Rachel's Testimony
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This past Sunday, Rachel shared her experience with the Money Management class:

We give. We give because we have been given much.

Our possessions do not belong to us in the first place, they belong to God. He has blessed us with earthly possessions by his grace to act as stewards, so we give of them freely and cheerfully. This not only helps our hearts to relinquish a dependence on our possessions themselves, it shifts our focus to praise the Giver of those gifts.

I learned that the way I handle my finances can be a declaration of the gospel.

When we deal with our finances honestly and wisely, a way that is very different from the world, it is a proclamation that our lives have been changed by the power of Christ. It proclaims that our motivation in this life is not monetarily driven, but driven by a passion to serve Christ in all we do.

I first received practical knowledge of how I as a poor graduate student needed to exercise budgeting, saving, and investing. I even picked up a second job in the middle of the course because I could see that I was not saving enough to cover any unexpected expenses. But additionally the class helped me realize that how I handle my finances is a reflection of how God is at work in my heart: exposing areas in which I am selfish and worldly-focused. 

In our group, there were a lot of tough financial situations; situations that required a true reliance on the Lord to meet their family’s needs, but there were also many triumphs, with some families becoming completely debt-free! We are all so thankful to the Cards for hosting us, they do so much for this church and have had such an incredible influence on my life. Thank you so much for your willingness to serve us. Also, I am so thankful we have a leadership team that makes financial stewardship a priority. So if you are on the fence about taking the class next time around, definitely do it. I promise it is worth your while. 
 

LatestAnne Adam
There Are No Churchless Christians

To be united to Jesus is to be united to His church.

This past Sunday, Pastor Dustin showed us in Ephesians 2:11-22 that the death of Jesus Christ reconciles us both to God and to each other. And by God's redemptive power, He is pressing us towards vital, healthy relationships in the local church.

Listen to the sermon here.

ADDITIONAL STUDY RESOURCES
Why We Love the Church by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck (book)
What is a Healthy Church? by Mark Dever (book)
Love the One You're With (article)

Santa Ana Neighbors - Faith

Faith represents a community in Santa Ana that few take the time to get to know: the homeless. But homelessness hasn't always been part of her story and it's not where she wants her story to end either. She's a former business owner. She has two children. She moved to Orange County from the midwest less than ten years ago. She's living in "the Courtyard" (the transitional homeless shelter on Ross and Civic Center) for the time being, but she's been attending classes at Santa Ana College for the past two years and working toward re-establishing her career.

You can often find her studying at Starbucks on 4th and Broadway. If you come across her ... or any other homeless on the street, say hi. It may result in more Santa Anans becoming followers of Christ. 

The Bible in Two Words: Good News

The Bible is either good news or fake news.

On Sunday, Pastor Dustin showed us in 2 Corinthians 4:1-6, that you need to experience God through the Bible in order to trust it completely. And when you do, you'll see that it is very, very good news.

Listen to the sermon.

ADDITIONAL STUDY RESOURCES
How We Got the Bible by Timothy Paul Jones
How We Got the Bible by Neil Lightfoot
New Testament Manuscripts
The Reason for God by Tim Keller
Mere Christianity by CS Lewis
Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?

Help Wanted

We can only do church the way we do it because of many volunteers lending a hand. 

We give of our time to glorify God

and to honor the church. 

Would you consider joining a team? We are in need of additional volunteers on several teams.

If you are a member and you are looking for a way to serve, this is for you.

The commitment typically starts in September and lasts for a year. Click on these links to get more information. 

Audition for the Worship Team

Join the Sunday Operations Team

Learn how to run the sound board

Help out on the Video Team

Apply for Children's Ministry

 

LatestAnne Adam
We Are Hiring A Second Staff Pastor

We offered Dustin the job.

The pastoral team is pleased to inform you that we have offered Dustin a full-time, staff position. The team believes Dustin not only possesses the right skills and gifts, but is truly called by God to serve us in this role at this time. We'll keep you informed as we work out all the details.

Thanks to all who participated in this process. Your feedback, encouragements, and prayers have been very helpful. If it were not for you, we wouldn't be hiring more staff. This development is the fruit of your ministry and generosity. God is at work in and through you.

Please be sure to thank both the Smetonas and the Enges for their desire to serve us. Although we are employing Dustin, the Enges are to be honored and respected for their example of service and love for the Lord and his church. If the pastoral team learned anything during this process, it was how blessed we are to have men like Lucas leading our church.

From Pastor Eric...

This is probably the most difficult decision our pastoral team has ever made. Four volunteer pastors deciding which one of them should be compensated. Can you imagine how challenging this is?

I'm grateful to report that everyone proved up to the task. I'm so proud of them. This was a galvanizing moment as a team. We didn't decide just to hire Dustin and you are going to learn more about what we learned in the coming months. God met us. It's time to refine and focus.

I also want to commend the Enges to you. We all love them and they love us. He wanted the job because he wants to serve. And we want him to serve! Like I've said before, this process was guaranteed to disappoint. We all wish we could employ both of them.

I am convinced that hiring Dustin is going to serve the entire pastoral team. Lucas, Mike, Kyle, and I are going to bear more fruit and serve you better because Dustin will devote himself full-time to his calling as our pastor.

Please join me in praying for the Smetonas, for your pastors, and our future together. May God use us to spread the joy of Jesus to every Californian.

Sophia's testimony

Last Sunday we welcomed Sophia as a new member of our church. 

Here is what she shared:

One thing that I love and appreciate about this church is how welcoming everybody is: I felt like family. I was anxious about moving and leaving my family and friends but I wasn’t homesick at all. Some of you showed love inviting us to your house, taking time to ask me how I was, if I was missing Brazil or if I was adjusting well, some took me to supermarkets to teach me how to shop, some helped us keeping me busy because they knew I couldn’t work. Some friends gave us furniture and things for the house, or maybe just sent us messages offering help, some blessing us with babysitting jobs, which we really appreciate. And I could list a thousand other things that make me feel the love of Christ through this church. 

I also love to see how everybody here is interested in studying the bible in a deep way, how you love to talk about theology and Christian life, how you are committed to a small group and the church in general. I love the ladies group, how we share and help each other in many different ways. It really encourages me, and I can see God working in you through all that. 

It is a pleasure to become part of this church and part of what God is doing in you and through you. We would love to stay here for many and many years, but - for those who don’t know we are not Americans- our future here is uncertain. We know who holds our future and we know he knows what is best for us. We are super glad to be here now and for sharing life with you as long as he wants us to. Thank you so much for loving us and showing Christ’s love.

Santa Ana Neighbors - David

A Man Committed to The Growth of His City

David works for the OC Small Business Development Center near the 5 on Main. He works tirelessly to help men and women of Santa Ana start, build and grow their businesses, especially through his deep expertise in social media and web-based marketing strategies. 

As much as he's committed to the growth of businesses, he's even more passionate about people; the individuals that comprise the city, receiving the resources they need to thrive socially, financially and personally. David has a heart for the people around him. 

David is our Santa Ana neighbor. We hope you get the chance to meet him.