Sunday, January 24, 2010

Love @ Encounter Church

This morning in the service I was a bit of a stinker. I pointed out the engagement of my two friends Jeff Ruetty and Rachel Bauer. They have been with us from practically the beginning of the church plant and that is right when their dating relationship began as well.
Last night I got a text from Jeff with this picture of the ring. So this morning while I promoted a new message series coming up called, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", I also popped the pic. of Rachel's engagement ring on the screen and then walked up to them and took this pic.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Encounter Church Gives

Last week I had been e-mailed by a few of my NewThing Network buddies who were having special offerings for the relief work in Haiti. It inspired me to do the same. After checking in with all our ministry coaches, small group leaders and apprentice leaders, this is what we decided to do. We emptied our benevolence fund and took up a special offering at the end of our service. The total of the two added up to $5,485.00.
Our desire is to be a generous church body and there's no better way to become generous than to seize opportunities to be generous.
I heard a pastor friend of mine named Troy McMahon say, "Generosity is like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it gets". He's right and we're on our way to strengthening that muscle.
We sent our gift to VisionTrust International where my buddy Matt Storer is the president. As you may know he is also one of Encounter's officially supported missionaries. He has a work in the Dominican Republic and knows others with the hospital and orphanage pictured here. They are both right on the Haiti-DR border in the city of Jimani, DR. That is where our monies have gone. Matt also tells me that the US government has chosen the site and has set up a large scale treatment center there.
CLICK HERE to see the site via Google Maps.
To God Be The Glory.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A fun evening out

Melissa and & I recently multiplied out of our small group and began a new one with Matt & Chrissy Jacobs. So far we've had one meeting to introduce ourselves and tell where we are at in our journey with Christ and how long we've attended Encounter.
Tonight we went out for our first social: bowling. It was so fun! Imagine 13 non-bowlers battling it out for mediocre scores.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

One Year Anniversary of our First Church Service

This coming Sunday, January 17th, marks the one year point of holding Sunday morning services at Eli Pinney Elementary. How could that much time have gone by already?! I still remember with fondness meeting at the YMCA in Powell with the original launch team of 13 families dreaming of what we would become.
The message this week has to do with our core value, Grow. The congregation will be reintroduced to all our small group leaders and apprentice leaders as well as the leaders of our men and women's Bible studies. They will also hear from Sheila Persall and Chuck Taylor about how they feel they've grown in their relationship with Christ and other followers through being committed to a small group.
As kindly and clearly as we can, we'll be letting attenders once again know that if they want to be part of Encounter Church, being in a small group is a must. Serving in some capacity, esp. on a Sunday morning, is also a must but that's next weeks message:-) Growth happens through being committed to a community of believers. Not simply attending a one hour service once a week.
After the service we'll be celebrating with a threefold communion: a meal picturing the future marriage supper of the Lamb for all true believers, footwashing which represents our daily need for forgiveness and connection with God and the bread and the cup which reminds us of the sacrifice Christ made on the cross for our sins. It's always a special time for the Body. To learn more about the theology of why we do communion this way, Click Here. There are even some pictures at this link for you to see what we do.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Our Core Value: CELEBRATE

Last week I started a five week series titled, "Revolutionaries". It began with looking at why David was known as, "the man after God's own heart" and why we ought to also live with God's heart in mind. Today and the next three weeks we're reviewing our four core values: Celebrate, Grow, Serve, and Multiply.
This morning Rob Comfort hosted the service for the first time, Maggie Smith gave a testimony for the first time and Dalan Zartman, our Worship & Create Arts Coach, preached for the first time. Actually he and I co-taught. I started off with reading through parts of II Samuel 6 where David brings the Ark of God back to Israel with 30,000 soldiers praising God with all their might. Dalan then picked up from there, sharing personal examples from his own life and just how important it is to worship God with a right heart not simply with our outward actions. You can listen to the message by Clicking Here. I felt that he did a great job. You can count on hearing from him again in the future:-)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First LC of 2010

Today was the first Leadership Community of the new year and there was a lot to celebrate. Each ministry coach spoke of wins in 2009 and things to look forward to in 2010. It was the highest number of people at an LC so far with 33 in attendance. It is so good to have committed individuals willing to serve in so many ways. The meeting was in the schools library b/c there were basketball games going on in the gym. I thought it worked out very well.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year's Eve fun and the Buckeyes win the Rose Bowl

Talk about being out numbered by kids...when the Mielke's, Zartman's and Spoelstra's got together on New Year's Eve, there were 15 children ranging from 6 months to 14 years and just six of us adults. It was a fun night that ended with me making a traditional Dutch treat called "appelbeignets" (said: apple bun-yeahs)or apple floppen. Basically they are apples that have been pealed, cored, and sliced. Then dipped in a cinnamon batter and deep fried. They are best eaten hot with icing sugar.
Then two days later the Buckeyes were playing in the Rose Bowl. We headed over to the Taylor's and met up with a whole group of people that made the night really fun.
When the game was over Phil Hill, Kristin Taylor Luke Fields and I did the traditional O-H-I-O stance. Go Bucks!