The Power of Kindness

by Pastor Curt on July 30, 2014
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I finished my day today with a visit to my atheist friend’s house in our neighborhood. Regretfully his wife is dying. Cancer has overrun her body, particularly her brain. Stupid disease. The extended family has camped out for the duration. Hospice has coached all concerned about what to expect. Her body is shutting down. It’s [...]

Children’s Ministry Abuzz

by Matt West on July 27, 2014
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If you see Children’s workers fluttering about with excessive busy-ness the next month and a half, there is a reason. There are a number of things that we are doing, and I will try to hit on all of them and give some of the reasons. While you may love, hate, or feel indifferent about [...]

*/ if you’d like to talk further about any of the things we are doing.

The first thing we are doing is we are putting the current “Runners” class and the elementary class in with the Adults during Missionary Month. One of the things we consistently study in these classes is how God uses His saints to take the gospel around the world. We thought it would enable us to convey a consistent message to allow them to meet some of our missionaries who are doing that for God’s church at OGC. This means that from the age of 3 all the way up to adults will be in the sanctuary for the first Sunday in August. We will still have the “Infants” and “Walkers” rooms available for those with younger children.

The very next Sunday, August 10, we are beginning our new divisions for our youngest children. The new divisions will not be based on age, but rather, they will be based on ability. You might also need to check and see which room your child will be in, as some of them (dare I say, most) will be going to new rooms. The class in W4 will be from birth until walking. Once you begin walking, your child will move to F1, where he will stay until he is potty trained. After being potty trained, they will move to F3, where they will stay until they are ready to sit still enough to pay attention to a small age-appropriate lesson. If you are wondering if your child is ready for that jump there are two places you can get the answer. First, you can watch them in the missionary meeting August 3. Second, you can ask the people who have been teaching them in the “Runners” Class for an honest assessment. We are looking for someone who can head each of these classes, and we still need more volunteers. Feel free to talk to Mandi Armand or me if you have any interest in doing this.

When September rolls around, we will have the new Sunday School class for those PreSchool ready to 1st grade (in F2). The 2nd to 5th grade class will also re-open (in W2). Hopefully, you will learn the proper class based on your child’s ability in the month of August, so that all these classes being opened will be an easy transition. Of course, that change is a much smaller change than the other change we are rolling out. After Sunday School, the parents of kids in those two classes will get the opportunity to pick up their children. Those children will get the opportunity to join us for at least the first half of the worship service. At a point in the service, they will be dismissed to go to GraceKids, our very own Children’s Church ministry.

We will have a curriculum for GraceKids and the kids will have a fun, informative, and scheduled time that will point them to Jesus! We invite anyone up through second grade to join us. We also could use more people to make this time less stressful for the workers and more productive for the children. I’d love to have you come talk to me about wanting to help in this! Our intent is to re-introduce all the children (and workers) back into the service during the closing song of the service each week, so that we can once again all worship together.

As a complete dry run for the dismissal and reintroduction elements (though very few of the actual GraceKids elements), Pastor Curt will be dismissing everyone 6th grade and under (and anyone else who would like to be dismissed) during his August 3 sermon, where they will hear an illustration that will be similar to an illustration in the “normal” sermon delivery that will be a little more befitting the younger crowd. After a few minutes, we will rejoin the sermon.

Certainly there will be many things that will come up in the next seven weeks, but I think this is at least an outline of what’s happening. Thanks for sticking with us as we grow into the congregation God would have us be!

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Leading With Love

by Pastor Curt on July 24, 2014
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The Lord has me camped out of late in Alexander Strauch’s exposition of 1 Corinthians 13 as it applies to the realm of leadership in the local church. All I can say is very convicting. I have a long way to go in living out the law of love in the stewardship that is pastoral ministry. For [...]

A Shepherd’s Dilemma

by Pastor Curt on July 22, 2014
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Frankly, it’s hard for any pastor, I suspect, to zero in on only one. Lots of things perplex, challenge, disturb, perhaps even dismay a shepherd of God’s sheep. The one I feel the most more than not is trying to shepherd those with whom I can’t seem to make contact. Proverbs 27:23 exhorts, “Know well [...]

A Church “Do Your Best”

by Pastor Curt on July 19, 2014
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This week I am doing sermon prep in Ephesians 4:1-6 for a message in September, Lord willing. In the text the apostle exhorts believers who desire to live out a worthy walk in Jesus to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” The word for “eager” is variously translated [...]

A Way to Pray

by Pastor Curt on July 14, 2014
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When someone gifts me a book, I tend to pay close attention. Books change lives. A new title added to my library, prompted by someone’s concern that it might enrich me, makes me want to read the thing with very few exceptions. That certainly was the case with my recent sabbatical when a dear friend [...]

The Keeper and the Kept

by Pastor Curt on June 25, 2014
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While on sabbatical my wife and I opted to visit the first church I ever served as pastor fresh out of seminary. I had only returned one time since we left in 1985. Nancy had never been back. On our road trip out west we traveled via Southern California for a spiritual blast from the [...]

The Flourishing Life

by Pastor Curt on June 22, 2014
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It was a delight to climb back into the pulpit at OGC this morning after our sabbatical. To get to preach again, particularly on a passage in Psalm 92 that so thoroughly expresses my desires for this next season in my life and ministry, gave me great pleasure. I blew through the the eight takeaways at [...]

Promotion Sunday!

by Matt West on June 6, 2014
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Last week, we recognized our graduates in the Sunday morning service. It was a great time, where Pastor Mike was able to communicate to our people how we value education and how God is using it to improve those around us to achieve greater things for the Kingdom! While there are certain thresholds that will [...]

Gifts of Grace

by Kelly Simpson on May 7, 2014
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Would you like to get delightful, handmade gifts AND help spread the Gospel to your neighbors? Sounds too good to be true, right? Read on. It is very true! As you have heard announced, OGC is hosting our first every Craft Fair on Saturday May 10th from 9am-2pm. There will be over forty vendors all [...]