Sunday in Review

1.  Original Jesus - We gave away a free book to guests this past Sunday.  If you would like a copy we have some available for $2 each.  Check out the bookstore for more information.  

 

2.  Welcome - Bliss Evangeline Enge was born Thursday and joined us for her first Easter service.  Congratulations Enge Family!! 

 

3.  WorshipGod 2014 - We are hosting Sovereign Grace Ministries bi-annual worship conference this summer!  July 16-19.  Invite friends or sign-up to volunteer.  In addition to this conference, there will be a Songwriters Camp with Steve and Vikki Cook right here in Old Towne Orange.  More information to come.

4.  Beach Camp - This summers Church Beach Camp in Santa Barbara is already half way sold out!  If you would like to join us please get online soon to register.  We will be opening it up to friends soon!!

 

5.  Chili Cook-off - Mark your calendars for our Second Annual Freestyle Chili Cook-off at Hart Park.   Sunday - August 24th.  Get those recipes out and ready to be judged!  You won't want to miss Pastor Eric's latest creation...…The Four Chili's of the Apocalypse!!

 

Pastor Eric began a new series in Mark - listen as he brings us Jesus!  Mark 1:1-15

Help Us Find Our Next Deacons

Praise God for His power to save and reconcile us to Himself and one another. We see God at work among our church and city and we are encouraged. Can we get an amen?!

Deacon Nominations

Now seems like the right time to establish a Deaconate Ministry. We won't know for sure until that first deacon is ordained, but we're definitely experiencing the signs of a church in need of a deacon or two. To this end, our pastors have asked all church members to engage in a process that should take 4-6 months. It's not a contest and we won't be taking a vote. However, we believe God will use the entire body to identify and support our future deacons.

Here are four things you can do:

  1. Review our Deaconate Ministry Paper. It explains the qualifications of a deacon and the process of selecting and ordaining one.
  2. Review this article and sermon on the purposes of deacons. This explains why we should want deacons and the difference they would make in our church community.
  3. Pray for wisdom. As we progress, we'll provide you with more specifics. For now, we need men who agree to be assessed.
  4. Fill out the form below. You must be a church member and you are welcome to submit more than one name. Please keep in mind that this is not an election and your nomination is a recommendation, not a vote. All submissions will be kept confidential (pastors only). 
Deacon Nomination Form
Your Name *
Your Name
Nomination *
Nomination

Give To The Mission Of Our Denomination

What does it mean to partner with Sovereign Grace Churches?

How is God working in our sister churches?

How can we give to the mission of Sovereign Grace?

Learn more about our partnership with Sovereign Grace Churches and how you can participate in the planting and strengthening of local churches around the world.

Download the 2014 Mission Fund and Financial Report Brochure.

Go here to give.

Sunday in review

1. Mission Fund - There are many ways to give and support the church.  Sunday we passed out information from our church denomination that highlighted various opportunities.  Our church was started with funds from others who gave generously.  If you would like more information, go here or pick up an information packet at church.  Thanks for being a generous church!

 

2.  Deacons - We are a young, new, growing church and ready to start ordaining some deacons.  Watch the web this week as we will be asking you to pray for God to identify and lead us in the selection process.  We need your input and ideas and encourage you to help us identify some candidates.  Watch the blog for more details.

 

Listen again as Pastor Eric finished up his series on church government. 

52 SUNDAYS: What If I'm The Only XYZ

This year we're challenging our members and regular attenders to attend a church service every week in 2014. You can read more about the 52 SUNDAYS challenge here. This article is part of a series of articles about 52 SUNDAYS.

What if I'm the only XYZ?

Opposites don’t attract. Being different is hard. Life isn't like Cheers, where everyone knows your name. And everyone is the same. We all know that sinking feeling of walking into a room were we feel like we don’t fit-in. It's no fun.

Different is better.

However, be encouraged. In the Bible, we find the church is diverse. So much so that it's counter-cultural. Every congregation was made up of slaves and free men. Rich and poor people. Singles and married. And like them, our common salvation unites us today, while our diversity demonstrates God’s ability to reconcile us to Himself and one another. We are different by design. 

Different is helpful.

This may seem contradictory at first, but our differences helps us grow in our faith. The church is called to mature Christians into Christians, not make them cookie cutter XYZs. And this only happens when the church is filled with all kinds of different people. For this reason, we view our diversity as a strength and blessing, not an obstacle to fitting in.

Different is the same.

The main thing that unites a church is not it differences, but it's common need for Jesus. Our share in Him creates a bond stronger than a season of life, or ethnicity, or economics, or even a theological perspective. We are brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter how different our lives may be. We are a family...and families are made up of different people in different season of life.

Different is welcome here.

Want to find a place where you're welcome "as is"? Come to church on Sunday. Don't stay home or go looking for another club. You won't find another place more capable of being one with each other while retaining the marks of our individuality. God is making for Himself a new people, from every tribe, tongue, and nation.

5 Things We Believe About Denominations

Our final sermon from We Believe In Organized Religion focused on the role of denominations in the life of Christians. Why should local churches relate to other local churches? How should they relate? And is it even possible for a church to choose not to relate to other churches?

While many say we are moving into a "post-denominational" future, there is still good reason to work towards building strong partnerships with other congregations. Call them what you will (denominations, networks, a family of churches, etc.), churches bound together in a meaningful manner is a reason to rejoice. Go here to listen to the sermon.

Here are a few things we learned about denominations from Acts 15:1-41.

Denominations are biblical, not sinful.

The question isn't "Should we relate to other churches?" We are one church under God. Jesus is the head of the universal church (little "c" catholic). We already are related to one another. It's unavoidable.

So then, the better question is "How should we relate to other churches?" And guaranteed, no church is going to devise an effective plan to relate to every other church that has ever existed, currently exists, or one day will exist. That's impossible. Churches come and go and so do their denominational ties. It's ok that today we find so many denominations. You might even say more is better.

Denominations promote theological precision.

Churches have always worked together to preserve, protect, and promote good theology and doctrine. Most of our cherished creeds and confessions were the result of churches coming together...as was our very own Statement of Faith. Add seminaries, colleges, programs, and theological publications (like books) to the list and you will quickly see how interdependent churches are on this point. Every church stands on the shoulders of other churches.

Denominations facilitate mutual encouragement.

We don't know what we don't know. How's that for a trustworthy statement? God is at work everywhere, at all times, simultaneously...and the view from our church is very small indeed. If the Apostles thought it necessary for churches to know what was occurring in other churches (and this wasn't gossip, it was for encouragement), you'd think it'd be good for us today as well.

Denominations provide real accountability.

What are we supposed to do when a church needs help or a teacher teaches something that's not true? Is each church really on their own or should we do something? The context for accountability is forged in moments of prosperity. We make commitments to one another. We invest in one another. And when trouble arrives (and it certainly will) we draw on mutual trust and history and love and relationship, and rush towards the hurting and needy church. Not away.

Denominations unite churches. Independence divides them.

Associations are built on the principle of our union with Christ, not pragmatism. Not efficiency. Not practicality. We consider the interests of other churches (where possible) above our own. There are times when it's right to sever your ties, but let's not pick our friends based on the benefits we hope to receive. Let's choose partners we can promote and bless and love...in good times and bad...like Jesus does for us.

Church Budget

Every month we publish an update on our church budget. These figures represent the grace of God at work in the members and friends of our local church...but only in part! Wouldn't it be great if we could publish a monthly report on your generous affections for one another, service to one another, or just time spent with one another? Thank you for living no longer for yourselves but for God and your neighbor!

March 2014

$ 11,527 General Contributions

$ 10,836 Total Expense

Propaganda Album Release Party - May 29

propcrimsoncordalbumrelease

We are so grateful to have Jason Petty (aka Propaganda) as a member of our church. He, along with his wife Alma, have been a vital part of our fellowship. But Jason has the God-given opportunity to reach tons of people through his music. And we want to encourage him in it! Here's how:

Join us May 29 for his Crimson Cord Album Release!

Come out to The Glass House in Pomona to hear Jason and some other excellent musicians perform. Get this on your calendar now, it is going to be amazing.

You can get all the details and tickets by CLICKING HERE.

If you need any other information or if you'd like to carpool up there with a group from the church, please e-mail Dustin Smetona.

5 Things We Believe About Deacons

Our second sermon from We Believe In Organized Religion focused on the role of deacons in the life of Christians. Why and when does a church need deacons? What do deacons do? What difference do deacons make in the everyday world of local church ministry?

Deacons are a part of God's plan to advance his word through us. They ensure our testimony as a church equals the testimony of the Scriptures...that our walk and talk match up. As Pastor Eric said, "We need to repent of our preoccupation with growth management practices and go back to the Bible. When the church grows and her ministries get stretched, God's says elect deacons, not adopt better business practices." Go here to listen to the sermon. 

Read more about our Deaconate Ministry.

A few of the things we know about deacons from Acts 6:1-7.

Deacons are servants.

That's what the word deacon means (i.e. servant) and every christian is called to be one. Their ministry is modeled after Jesus, who came not to be "deaconed" but to "deacon" us. However, God calls some christians to represent the church, people given responsibility and authority to ensure our life together bears good fruit.

Deacons promote diversity.

Language, culture, economics, spiritual maturity...these all pose challenges to our church life. And left unchecked, we trend towards uniformity at the exclusion of the marginalized. Deacons ensure everyone who wants to join in our fellowship is received well and served with equity. 

Deacons work for unity.

They are trusted officials of the local church. Members look to them to smooth out the kinks and bumps of a growing community.  They function like shock absorbers.

Deacons preserve pastoral ministry.

The necessity of deacons reminds us of the importance of pastors in the life church AND that pastors are just as limited as the rest of us. They aren't our heroes. They are servants in need of being served. The church needs the ministry of the word and prayer and deacons exist to make sure it happens.

Deacons are missional.

They aren't stewards of the status quo. Deacons are about the advance of the gospel and the mission of the church. Stephen (one of the first deacons) was the first martyr, who died after preaching Christ publicly. And Philip (also among the first 7) preached and performed miracles, later to be known as Philip the Evangelist (who baptized the Ethiopian eunuch).

Sunday in Review

1.  Sunday Morning Prayer: Every Sunday - 9:45 am in the garden we meet to ask God to bless us and be glorified in all we do on Sundays.  All are welcome!

 

2.  Book Recommendation:  Why We Love the Church: In praise of institutions and organized religion.  This book fits in with our current sermon series on church government.   Everyone will enjoy it, but more specifically for those struggling with organized church in particular.
If you’re questioning why we need to be a church! Or why you need to “go to church”! This book is for you. Check out the bookstore after today's service.

 

3.  Tea.ology:  Join us for our monthly gathering of women talking like women about.  7 pm in Old Towne Orange.  

 

Listen as Pastor Eric teaches about Deacons in his second of a three part series on Church Government.