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Archive for February 2012

The Good of the Online Campus So Far

“You are the only confessed Christian I have ever shared that with”

We are three services into the life of the Online Campus. It’s hard to draw too many conclusions from such a small sample size. Still, it’s been worthwhile.

When pitching the concept of online church I could often get people to agree with the concept. I was the evangelist for it. Still, would this thing actually work? To experience the reality of it has been amazing. To see lives changed through it has been humbling and induced a sense of awe.

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Ron Brown and Rex Burkhead at Game Day

On Saturday, February 18, there were 1,100 men and sons gathered to catch Husker football coach Ron Brown and running back Rex Burkhead during the men’s event Game Day. Coach Brown’s inspirational message called men to courageously follow Christ and be the voice for what is right. Rex did an awesome job of fielding questions from the audience about his experiences and faith. In case you missed it, you can watch the event here.

Ron and Rex (via video) will be at the upcoming Freedmen Conquest 2012 on March 24 in Lincoln, NE. Check www.freedmennebraska.org for more details. Christ Community has a special offer of an event ticket and coach bus ride for only $30. This special offer must be purchased at Christ Community. Stop by the booth in the atrium on Sunday mornings to purchase and get more information.

Compass brings Life to children growing up in poverty

I have found over the last year that many people at CCC have heard the name “Compass”, but they are not sure what Compass does or how Compass is supported. Since Compass will be our featured ministry project at Global Summit starting on March 4th, I thought it would be a good idea to lay some ground work now.

So here are a few important nuggets about Compass that everyone should know:

  • Compass is an after-school program held in the Village One neighborhood of North Omaha since 1990. Young people from the ages of kindergarten through 5th grade show up after school from Monday through Thursday from about 4:00 to 6:00 PM. They get help with their homework, read, play games, have a snack, receive a Bible lesson, do some fun crafts, and then share prayer requests. All of this is part of the vision at Compass to invest in these young people both academically and spiritually.
  • Compass needs volunteers to be effective. While there are several people on staff at Compass to plan and organize, the real heart of the ministry happens through volunteers. Compass would love to have enough volunteers each day to ensure each child has one-on-one assistance with their homework and reading. Some days that happens, but many days it doesn’t. Volunteers can come once a week, twice a week, twice a month, or whatever works for their schedule.
  • Compass is funded by donors, not by Christ Community Church. While CCC provides oversight and direction to Compass, the entire ministry is funded by generous donations. Because we talk about Compass a lot at CCC many people think that Compass is simply funded by CCC but this is not the case.
  • Finally, Compass brings life to children growing up in poverty. The truth is, Village One is a part of our city where poverty is the way of life. Few homes have fathers, single moms are overworked, and guns and gangs and crime are a way of life. Compass provides a safe place for young people to gather, to grow, to experience the life-giving truth of Jesus.

How can you get involved at Compass?

First, on Sunday, March 4th during the first day of our 2012 Global Summit, CCC will take a special offering for Compass.

Second, we need volunteers. Right now Compass has 29 children involved in the program on a weekly basis and the only thing keeping it from growing larger is the need for more committed volunteers. If you are interested in learning more about volunteering, contact Jenny Burg at (402) 558-8646 / jenny@compass.omhcoxmail.com. You can also read Jenny’s blog about Compass at http://compassomaha.wordpress.com.

Craig Walter, Missions Pastor

February 19-25 Project 4:4 Readings

Because of the litany of passages that comprise the readings this week, we will not be able to link to the passages. You can click here to view a pdf of the readings. Also, check out our Daily Accelerators to get the audio/video for the day’s reading.

Beyond The Message: The Land Between

I sit down with Pastor Steve Walters to go over the concept of “the land between”, something Lead Pastor Mark Ashton discussed in his recent Project 4:4 message. Steve and I talk about how everyone encounters the land between at some point, and ways to deal with it in a healthy and godly way.

Guest Post: Making of the Wandering in the Desert Video

This is an excerpt from a post written by Anna Wastell. She is the Communications Director for Christ Community Church.

A few weeks ago I got to interview a woman that attends our church. I do a couple of interviews each month and typically go into them knowing the story I’m looking for. A specific experience with a group, or a certain angle on a situation – I’ve developed strategies for asking natural-seeming questions to get the story arc I want.

We’ve been working on a video piece to accompany a sermon on The Land Between from Numbers 11, one that tells the story of a person in the midst of the land between. It’s not a happy place, that land. It’s generally one ripe with complaints and emotional meltdown, but it’s also one where God can work the most powerfully.

I didn’t know much about her going into this interview; I had no idea where this story would arc, so I just had to trust God to direct this one. Her story is that of a childhood sexual abuse victim who was never taught to deal with what happened to her, who tangled herself in a web of lies and self-destructive behavior as an adult, who spent many years of her life wandering looking for only God knows what. But along the way, in the midst of the wandering, God was working in big ways. She landed in a career networking group at church and she found Jesus. She found truth. And she told her own story perfectly, with choice, precise words and with a gut-wrenching level of vulnerability. I was honored that she trusted me with her story.

We’re telling this story anonymously, so wanted some pretty b-roll to cover up some of the shots, places where her face would normally be seen. Our video guys took me out to a dirt road outside of Omaha at dusk one evening to capture the wandering of her story. It was a gorgeous Indian-Winter January evening. The road and fields we were on (sorry, Farmer) will play as desolate and lonely as we need them to in the video, but standing out in the middle of nowhere Nebraska in real life, the wind blowing my hair and my eyes squinting against the warm sun, with the sky wide open, I couldn’t help but sense just how vast the love of God really is, just how perfectly He wrote the big story

February 12-18 Project 4:4 Readings

Here are the daily readings, with links, for Project 4:4 this week.

February 12: Numbers 25, Numbers 31

February 13: Numbers 26

February 14: Numbers 27:15-23, Numbers 32, Deuteronomy 4:41-43, Numbers 33:50-56, Deuteronomy 25:17-19, Numbers 34:1-35:8

February 15: Deuteronomy 1-4:40

February 16: Deuteronomy 4:44-8:20

February 17: Deuteronomy 9:1-11:32

February 18: (There are fifteen different passages for this day from three different books. Project44.org has them all listed, in the reading plan, if you would like them.)

Property Heroes!

Most of the content of this blog post came from Tim Anstead, our property manager at CCC who, along with a great facility team created a superheroic effort to the church for services this week! Check it out and give them a high-five sometime!

The Property Care team doesn’t often seek attention for the work they do, but sometimes it’s great to have a reason to lift them up.

Although most people won’t notice it, we had a major HVAC failure yesterday about noon that caused tens, perhaps even hundreds of gallons of filthy, rusty water to gush from the air handlers located on each side of the upper Worship Center hallway. The mechanical rooms were flooded, and the water cascaded down through the floor and into the lower WC hallways and down the inside walls of the Worship Center.

It was really, really bad news.

The Property Care team responded perfectly. The custodial team immediately began containing the water, and after locating the source of the problem, they contacted me and DJ. We were able to close the water valves to the HVAC less than 20 minutes after the leak began. Twenty minutes seems like a long time, but believe me, we were amazingly blessed by that kind of response. Unfortunately, we now had a really wet building, and the two air handlers that serve the Worship Center were out of commission. (meaning no heat for Sunday Morning when we expect a 0 degree morning.) Because of the type of damage, getting the air handlers fixed was a long shot. It was shaping up to be a cold Sunday morning at church.

God is faithful, though. Within an hour we had Thermal Services onsite to address the frozen HVAC coils, we had Service Master onsite to handle the water extraction and clean-up, and we had BSSI (controls programmers) onsite to determine why the problem occurred in the first place. Against long odds, Thermal diagnosed and repaired the system so it could be in use this morning, Service Master extracted the water and got everything dried out for this morning, and BSSI found the source of the problem and worked long into the night to correct what they had found.

Thanks to the excellent response by Nick, Perry, Dave, Isaac, DJ, Dale from Thermal, Dave from Service Master, and Ty from BSSI, the people coming to church this morning will likely not know how close we came to property disaster yesterday. The team worked well together, and the results far exceeded the expectations I had when I first saw the true extent of the problem. What a great confirmation that even with when things break bad, we serve a God that gives us the people and resources we need to get it right in order to serve the people in His Kingdom.

We’ve got some wall and carpet damage that will need to be repaired over the next week or so, but without the quick, well-performed actions of our property staff and contractors, today could have looked far different than it does. So please, when you see the Property Care team over the next few days, give them a pat on the back, they certainly deserve it.

Ever wanted to ask Mark your toughest question?

 

Question Mark / Friday Night Gathering

2.17.12 / 7 PM / Student Center
Do you have friends who are asking tough questions about faith and Jesus? Invite them to an open forum with Lead Pastor, Mark Ashton and explore tough questions about God, the Bible and our place in the universe. Coffee & dessert provided.
Gathering is moving to a new once a month Friday Night coffee and dessert format.  We’ll be shooting for the second Friday Night of the month if you want to know how to plan ahead for Mar – June.  Make sure you pick up a postcard at CCC that you can use to invite a friend.
With all the excitement over Project 4:4 many have been in conversations.  Consider inviting that friend, coworker, neighbor or extended family member who is curious about scripture, God and the meaning of life.  What a great opportunity for them to see Mark and be in a relaxed environment.
If you’re unfamiliar with Gathering, click here and check out some of the topics we’ve dealt with over the past several months.
Come on out!
Tim Perry – Pastor of Spiritual Discovery CCC
timp@cccomaha.org

Beyond The Message: Project 4:4 So Far

Last week, I sat down with Lead Pastor Mark to get his perspective on how Project 4:4 has gone so far. Mark shares on things he has learned from Project 4:4, topics he wish he had more time to expand on, and what lays ahead with Project 4:4.