Here are four questions to ask to help you get ready to follow Jesus in 2015.
As we mentioned, the student’s and our leadership team were floored when we saw how generous our faith family had been in donating items for our trip to Rio de Janeiro.
As we were stuffing suitcase after suitcase several hours before our flight out, we soon realized that we had too much. In fact, we had what amounted to about six suitcases worth of clothing that we couldn’t take with us due to checked bag limitations of international flights.
However, we wanted to let you all know that those items did not go to waste! They were donated to Project Safe to be sold in their thrift store. For those of you who don’t know about Project Safe, it is a safe house here in Athens for women suffering from domestic abuse – it is a place where they can recover and start again away from any danger.The items you donated will be sold in their thrift store to fund this safe house and its tenants.
Thank you so much for your generosity; it has impacted men, women, and children in another hemisphere as well as just down the street. If you have any interest in volunteering or making further donations to Project Safe you can find their information at www.project-safe.org.
Read this thank-you note from Ben Farnsworth for what our church family’s generosity was able to do for Downtown Ministries in Athens:
” Dear Christ Community Family,
Thank you so much for having us come share about Downtown Ministries and worship with you last month. The money from the Easter offering will enable us to continue to love and encourage hundreds of kids each year, and share the gospel with them through our sports and educational programs. We are also excited about parterning through the Jobs For Life program. Without some key leadership from CCC, this program wouldn’t be happening.
Thanks again for your support! Without gifts like yours we could not do what we do. We are thankful to have CCC as a part of the Downtown Ministries Family and look forward to continuing our relationship.
Grace and peace,
Ben Farnsworth” “
We believe in the local church.
After reading through the New Testament, we believe in local churches and their affect spreading the gospel in their local communities. The church is God’s idea. And though the people who make up a church are imperfect, He uses them as a people united in love to spread His story of resurrection and redemption.
That is why we believe in Christ Community Church in Athens, GA. That is why we believe in the importance of Acts 29 - a network of local churches looking to constantly plant more churches. And that is why we believe in giving a portion of the money we receive as a church to other churches.
So that is what we have started to do. We are happy to say that because of your generosity in tithing, we were able to give New City Church (Macon, GA) money to purchase chairs for their gathering space.
This is a note sent from Keith Watson, lead pastor of New City Church:
“Thank you so much for your help in our purchase of new chairs for New City Church! With your help we were able to immediately add about 60 seats to our venue. This will not only give us an opportunity to provide space in our main gathering for more people, but it will also allow us to set up a video overflow café in the art gallery providing another 50 or more seats. Thank you for partnering with us to see the gospel transform Middle Georgia and beyond!”
Our church is participating in Advent Conspiracy this year. Contrary to popular belief, this is not something our church came up with. It is a movement that is asking people to believe that Christmas can [still] change the world. We want to get involved with winning back Christmas as a time that celebrates the “story of promise, hope and revolutionary love.” Will you join us? Here is the heart behind the mission -
It starts with Jesus. It ends with Jesus. This is the holistic approach God had in mind for Christmas. It’s a season where we are called to put down our burdens and lift a song up to our God. It’s a season where love rules, peace reigns, and a king is celebrated with each breath. It’s the party of the year. Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.
Before you think we’re getting all Scrooge on you, let us explain what we mean. We like gifts. Our kids really like gifts. But consider this: America spends an average of $450 billion a year every Christmas. How often have you spent money on Christmas presents for no other reason than obligation? How many times have you received a gift out of that same obligation? Thanks, but no thanks, right? We’re asking you to consider cutting back Christmas spending by just 10% (or 25%, or 50% if you want!). Sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season. For some good ideas on how to cut spending, follow this link: www.rethinkingchristmas.com
God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?
When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined. Though rich, he became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving resources to those who need help the most. When Advent Conspiracy first began four churches challenged this simple concept to its congregations. The result raised more than a half million dollars to aid those in need. Less presents, more presence.
Lead Pastor Matt Adair will be making announcements at each Sunday gathering on how our church is participating in Advent Conspiracy this Christmas. Also, check the blog once a week to know more about the movement. If you want to read more about it from their site, click here: www.adventconspiracy.org