Thursday, June 25, 2009

What Does the Church Value?

There is much talk about the need for churches to have a set of core values. These are the things that guide the church and make up who the church is. They are rather constant and are meant to anchor a church. For a new church, values are "wish to be" statements. Thus, when a new church lists its values they are listing "wish to" statements about how they want to be some day since they have not had any life yet to live out those values.

But, once a church does have some years how does one determine what values they hold? There are three things to look at in my mind.
1. The church calendar. What does the church spend its time doing. Is it putting on chicken dinners and gospel sings or doing servant evangelism and Habitat for Humanity?
2. Talent. How are persons deployed in the church? Are person's spiritual gifts discovered so they can serve the institution or serve Jesus as they do life in the workplace, on the ball field, or at school?
3. Treasures. Where is the money being spent? Do we say we value youth and give them $500 dollars in the budget and then tell them to hold a car wash and sell fruit to raise money while we spend $40,000 to restore the pipe organ?

Incidentally, or not so incidentally, these same measuring sticks (which are admittedly not exhaustive) can be used to determine an individual follower of Jesus' values. You can tell a lot about what people and churches value by looking at the calendar and checkbook.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thrift Store Opening on Saturday

The New Season Thrift Store will open this Saturday for the first time. We will have an official grand opening later on but we wanted to get it open as quickly as possible. Cathy and Gregg Stewart and their team have been busy at work getting everything set up and ready.

If you would like to volunteer at the Thrift Store for an hour, four hours or a whole day let me know. We are also receiving donations, so if you have some Thrift Store treasures then let me know and we can arrange for you to drop them off.

I am looking forward to the relationships we will make with customers and the opportunity to be in ministry. Plus, its just a lot of fun to start new things!

Come check us out on Saturday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grove UMC Youth Choir

This past Sunday at New Season Church we had the joy and privilege to host the Grove UMC Youth Choir from West Chester, PA. What a great bunch of kids and adults from the Youth Choir. They did an excellent job leading worship for us.

I was real proud of our church for stepping up and demonstrating radical hospitality to the youth and their chaperones. We housed them all, fed them, took then to Carls and more.

The choir continued on Sunday to Woodbridge, then Georgia, then Florida. I pray that God would continue to use these young persons mightily now and in the future.

Thank you Grove UMC Youth choir and people of New Season Church.

Friday, June 12, 2009

One Prayer

Don't miss out on One Prayer this coming Sunday at New Season Church. Once again this year we will be participating with other churches in doing the One Prayer message series.

We pray to Jesus asking Him to answer our prayers - what if we became the answer to His? In John 17:20-24, He prayed that we would be one, and One Prayer is an opportunity to see what can be accomplished when the Church works together.

In June 2008, God worked in amazing ways as more than two million believers stood together to pray, fast, learn, and love others. This year, we'll be joining forces once again for an extraordinary worldwide experience: One Prayer 2009.

We'll come together to learn more about our Creator and go out into the world to share, serve and give. We'll partner around the globe and explore the theme..."God is"

We're looking forward to hearing what the gifted communicators participating in One Prayer have to say about this topic through messages like:

God is Strength Francis Chan

Cornerstone Community Church, Simi Valley, CA

God is Big Robb Almy

New Season United Methodist Church, Fredericksburg, VA

God is a Blast Brandon Thomas

Keystone Church, Keller, TX

God is Here Perry Noble

New Spring Church, Anderson, SC

New Season Church along with more than 1,800 churches will be united in action to reach our world—and we’re glad you will be a part of it. Just think: we are joining with churches around the globe…from Canada to Costa Rica, from Indonesia to Italy, from Ghana to Guatemala. We’re standing as one and sharing what the world needs more than anything else—the boundless love of Christ.

I Love the '80s Message Wrap Up

Here are the last two messages from the I Love the '80s message series.

Family Ties

The A-Team

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Amazing Story of our New Space

Last Sunday was our first Sunday at our new space for New Season Church. We have been looking for 3 1/2 years for some 24/7 space for our church but there was either none available or we were priced out. We did not want to settle for something that was too small and hemmed us in or was out in East Cuttyhunk. And, while we trust God's mighty provisions we also realized God did not call us to be stupid so we were not going to take a lease that called $150,000 in rent for a year. So, there were many spaces we passed up.

God has opened up for us in the last four months some great space in our mission field that is 23,000 sq. ft. at a rate that is well below market rates. Throughout the whole process God provided. The rental rate is by far the lowest rate in Fredericksburg even for warehouse or big box space. And, our space is a retail space that is fully carpeted, painted, and conditioned. We are right next to a bar and pool hall and looking forward to building relationships there and introducing people to Christ. 23,000 sqa ft. is more space than we need right now so we are also opening up a thrift store. We are ready to receive donations though the store is not open yet.

Even with the ridiculously low rates, one benefit of the poor economy, we are still stepping out in faith trusting that the God to whom all the world belong who is generous will provide for us as we take this next step to live out the vision he has given us.

Please pray for us in this next step. Pray that God would use us and this building as instruments to accomplish his great purposes. Pray that we would always remember the church belongs to Christ and that the church is not brick and mortar but the church is people. Pray that the name of Jesus would be made famous.

We are also looking for some items to fill our space- partitions for our children's space, a LCD projector, round tables, a couple of plamsa tv's for our worship space and more. If you have any these items used or want to donate them to us shoot me an email.

I am looking forward to all that God will do!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's Been Happening

It has been a little while since I last wrote. There have been a number of things that have made life a little crazy in the last couple of weeks.

At the end of May I graduated with my DMin (Doctor of Ministry) degree from Union-Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education (Union-PSCE for short, changing its name to Union Presbyterian Seminary btw). During that time I had family visiting and had a great time.

The Thursday before my graduation Diana's mom had a heart attack and they discovered they would have to do triple bypass and repair an aneurysm. Thankfully, the surgery went well, she is recovering well and has gone to rehab for a little while. Please keep Diana's mom, Dawn, in your prayers.

It was also during this time we finally got the use permit we needed to occupy the space for the church we have leased. The church has been busy setting things up and getting things into place as we make this transition.

Through it all God has been good. All this is to say that it has not left much time for blogging. It takes all I have to just keep up with email! While I never make any promises as to the frequency of my postings I hope to make more in the near future.