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Summer Outreach

I am supposed to write to you about our upcoming summer outreach programs as well as some of the changes and advancements currently underway in the church’s staffing, and even its building. It’s good stuff. I personally am looking forward to the Wednesday night cookouts starting on June 7th. The We Are One event will also, likely be an exciting few weeks. So, I really should have no trouble telling you all about this.

Outreach is becoming a very important part of the focus on One Community. I think this is a wonderful thing and I know it is in line with our mission. The Cookouts serve as a great example of this. The goal is to bring our members and the community together for a meal and fun. It’s an amazing opportunity for all of us to join in, have some fun and help make Christ known through love and togetherness. So, why would I have trouble writing about this?

There is a mentality. The church Is one thing and I am another. Many of us have this mentality from time to time. God does not place any drive or passion into the heart of an organization. He puts these into the hearts of people. This is an important thing to be aware of, because for some reason, when we have that passion in us, we tend to wait for the church to present us with an opportunity to serve. It’s almost like we believe the church is an entity that serves God and we are individuals who serve the church. This works fine… since, if the church is serving God, then we are as well by serving the church. I really don’t mean to belittle it, but it seems to be lacking to me.

When I look at it, the church is a group of people. It is all of us. We are not a part of the church or servants to the church… We are the church. What else is there? The building… Does the building even matter? None of that matters. The church is about us and it is us. We are all united, in Christ, as one and in Christ no one is greater than the other.

I have heard people comment that they have a passion to do something. They want to serve and give and help others, but lack direction. Often, they make the offhand comment that they wish the church would do something like this or that. This made me think. What if the Church’s job wasn’t to give us something to do, but to empower us to do what is in our hearts. What if instead of waiting for the church to plan an outreach, we simply did it.

I admit, an organized outreach with people helping would have a much more significant impact. However, Christ was willing to talk with crowds of thousands of people, but also with individuals. Christ would take the time to affect a single person. He didn’t seem to care about the size of the impact. He cared about doing what was in his heart. He didn’t walk by a sick person and say, “too bad no one is around to see it, otherwise I would heal them” He simply healed.

 If God has put the desire to work in your heart, don’t wait around for the church to come up with a way for you to serve. Go out and do it. Outreach begins with you. It begins with you reaching out to those around you. It may be your friends, your family, your neighbors, even your enemies… Outreach is about extending your hand to help someone else stand up. The sheer humanity of this action overpowers anything else.

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MEXICO MISSION

I was trying to figure out how to explain our upcoming mission to Mexico. Obviously, I must tell you all about it. The problem is, there is a lot more to convey than the simple fact can embody. As I sat on my back porch, wondering how I would explain this, I stared at an old walnut tree. My mind began to drift, as it tends to do from time to time. I started thinking about the roots of that tree. Those roots are surely important. They reach deep into the ground to absorb the nutrients and water from the soil.

These nutrients and water blend together to become a single mana for the tree. On the opposite end are the leaves. These also are incredibly important. The leaves nourish the tree by collecting sunlight. It was the rest the tree that caught my drifting mind, however. From the roots the tree is one large trunk. For the most part, compared to the roots and the leaves, the trunk doesn’t seem as important. It’s mostly just a conduit between the leaves and the roots. The life-giving mana from the roots and from the leaves, pass through the trunk, but the trunk doesn’t really add to this. So, I began to wonder, what would it be like to be the trunk.

As the trunk goes up, it leads to a few branches. Those lead to more branches. This continues on and on until we get to those aforementioned leaves. As a branch, between trunk and other branches, the job seems pretty lame. Most people are will to cut off a branch, since it’s pretty unimportant. The thing is, the branch is very important, just as important as the leaves and the roots. The branch doesn’t concern itself with gathering sunlight or absorbing water. These things are not the job of the branch. The branches job is pass the life-giving mana on to the rest of the tree. The branch is the ultimate giver. It receives and abundance of nutrient and takes only what it needs and passes the rest on to where it is needed.

When I thought about this, I began to see how it related to our mission in Mexico. If we think of the people in Mexico as the leaves. Then Salt and Light would be those tiny branches that hold and feed the leaves. We are the trunk and the larger branches. So, some of us will get closer to those leaves. Some of us will travel to Mexico this summer and maybe even provide some direct nourishment to them. What of the rest of us though? Will we be unimportant? Does this mission have nothing to do with us?

Though we may not be close to it, and we may not be going there, we still have a very important part to play. Like the branches, we are the givers. We are the ones who pass on the nutrients to share with those leaves. For me, this brought Romans 12:4-8 to mind.

Romans 12: 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

It is up to each of us to figure out what our part is. Some may provide money. Others may provide love and prayers. Each of us however, does hold a sum of that precious mana that will feed and encourage our friends in Mexico. Do not wait to be asked to help. You have that mana now, and it wants to be used. So actively seek out your way of passing it on and sharing it with the rest of the tree.

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Making Jesus Known

Our mission at One Community is to make Jesus known. I don’t know about you, but I hear that and it seems like a very easy thing to say. As I think about it though, I start to wonder, what exactly does this mean? What does making Jesus known actually look like?

The simple answer is to spread the gospel. Again, this is something that is easy to say… “I want to spread the gospel.” However, what does that look like? Many people answer this by teaching the gospel. They believe that spreading the gospel is to tell people about it. The problem is, the gospel isn’t really just about knowledge. It’s great to share knowledge about Christ and the bible, but that isn’t really the whole of making Jesus known.

Often, we think that doing good deeds is sharing the gospel. This makes a lot of sense. I mean, feeding the hungry and giving love to those who need it is in line with the love of Christ. So, by reaching out and sharing in that love, we allow others to experience the love Christ has for them. Essentially a man who has never known love cannot understand love. So, it is up to us to show them love and to help them experience that love.

This is a much bigger task than just explaining the bible. Unfortunately, it is also bigger than simply handing someone a sandwich. Love is not something you show once then it is forgotten. Love is a permanent connection between two people. Love never fades, even if we lose sight of it sometimes. Love is always there and it binds people together in the journey of life. To this end, sharing the Gospel and making Jesus known is not about a small deed, nor is it about teaching the word. Both of those things are a part of it, but they are not the sum of it.

Making Jesus known is about reaching out and joining others in life. It’s about connections and friendships and love. Making Jesus known is about being there and being a part of someone’s life. It isn’t stepping in for a short time and walking away. It’s about love and love is eternal. Love doesn’t die. Love forgives any transgression. Love helps in any way it can. Love is there so we will never be alone. Love and Christ have a lot in common. So maybe making Christ known begins by making love known.

As I pondered the deeper significance of making Jesus known, I began to realize that the statement might not be as easy to say as I had thought. It takes compassion and a very strong commitment. It takes passion and love. We have to begin to see past people’s faults and to begin to accept them. We have to learn to let go of the pain inside of us when someone betrays us. We have to walk with them, even if they don’t understand why we are. We have to do this, because this is what Jesus did. There is no easy path. There is no cheat. To make Jesus known, we truly have to follow in his example.

This is what One Community is trying to foster. I see the many initiatives and outreaches we have planned for the next year. I see the growth and design that we are focusing on, and I’m beginning to see it. It isn’t about reaching more and more people. It’s about really reaching those we can. It isn’t about filling the sanctuary on Sunday. It’s about filling the hearts of everyone that is in it and everyone they touch.

Though this seems like a lot of work, and it seems like it would be a burden. The truth is, it is joyous and fulfilling. There is no burden nor is there a drain, because when you are actively making Christ known, then you are fulfilled and rejuvenated by the spirit. The mission is started from the church, but it is executed by each and every one of us.

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October 2016 Newsletter

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October 2016 Newsletter

If you stopped by the connect table last Sunday you probably noticed that the October edition of our monthly newsletter has been released. If you happened to miss it however, fret not as this newsletter portion of the OneCC site now contains all of the articles and information found in our printed newsletter.

Should you still want to see the newsletter as it was printed, you can stop by the connect table and pick one up, or you could simply download the entire newsletter in PDF Format here

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Serve Opportunities

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Serve Opportunities

There are many opportunities for you to SERVE in our church. Whether it is helping out in our parking team or greeting someone as they come through our doors or working with our Kids or Students, there is something for everyone. This is a great way for you to not only SERVE our church, but to also CONNECT with some amazing people.

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Discipleship Groups

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Discipleship Groups

Groups are a place where the church can be the church; where community is built and we bear one another’s burdens. Read about our Groups below and get involved with one that’s right for you!

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OneCC Communication and Media Changes

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OneCC Communication and Media Changes

You may have noticed some changes in the way that we communicate lately. One thing we are working hard at is getting meaningful information to you in entertaining and reliable way. Here is a sneak peak at some of the things we are currently working on.

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INSIDE LOOK: Joshua Davis

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INSIDE LOOK: Joshua Davis

Inside Look is a new monthly feature that is intended to share a much more personal look into the lives of the people behind OneCC. Each month will feature a different person and will attempt to give you a little insight into what makes them tick.
 

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We Are One Recap

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We Are One Recap

In trying to figure out how to recap this event, I find myself at a loss. There is no way to express the power of what this event meant to everyone in just a few simple paragraphs. The event was huge and the significance of its message even greater.

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