Good Friday morning Church Requel!
I'm writing you from Celina, Ohio - home of the fighting Bulldogs, the largest manmade lake in Ohio, and the prettiest girl I ever met! Mary Kay and I are visiting her hometown for a couple of days before returning home for Church Requel Sunday morning. I hope you are enjoying a terrific Friday too!
Before we talk about what's up for this Sunday at CR, we need to celebrate the great Sunday we enjoyed last week! As you can see from the pictures on the right, we enjoyed a record number (over 30) kids in KidsMin last Sunday. We love how Church Requel is growing and there is no place it's growing faster than with our children age 10 and under!
This is not what so-called church growth experts figure will happen. Usually the best a church can do is just hold on to it's congregation throughout the summer and then hope for more growth when school starts up in the Fall. What we are witnessing at Church Requel is God-provided and we are most thankful.
Let me share some more good news with you about our Kids' ministry! Tamira Barnes and I had a very long talk this past week about the Church Requel ministry and her part in it. It seems clear to both of us that God is using her in a very powerful way to reach our young people for Christ. Beyond that, her many years in ministry - including church plants, children's ministries and worship ministries - has been a great encouragement to me personally. Originally Tamira was only going to work at Church Requel during the summer months. But given everything good thing happening here, Tamira has decided to continue serving our children and our church as Children's Ministry Director! Anyone else excited besides me?
Marshmallow Slingshots. Tamira is not resting on past successes. I asked her yesterday what she had planned for this Sunday morning. Now I can't tell you exactly what this means, but she told me that the preschoolers will be learning about David and Goliath. (That part I understood.) Then she said: "Marshmallow slingshots alert!!!" I have to admit that sounds fun, entertaining, and delicious. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we have a few extra adults volunteering to "serve" in the Toddler room this Sunday morning. (How is a preacher supposed to compete with marshmallow slingshots?)
Tamira tells me that the Elementary kids will continue learning how to keep their focus on God. They will be playing with blindfolds and yes... more marshmallows are involved!
Guest Guitarist Sunday! Brandi and her worship team continue to work hard too! Brandi tells me that our own Dan Logan has a friend, David Hill, who has agreed to sing and play with him this Sunday morning. David will be singing "Voice of Truth," made famous by Casting Crowns, right after the sermon. What a great way to exit!
I'm also excited about our opening worship time. I will be joining Brandi on the Praise Team singing some of my personal favorite praise songs including "Only A God Like You," "Let The People Praise Him," "Day By Day," and "You Are The Way." I had so much fun practicing with Brandi. It's been a while since I had the privilege of leading our praise music and I'm really looking forward to it!
Funny Announcements Sunday. Speaking of Brandi, I have to tell you one more thing about Sunday morning that will be so much fun! Nancy Roop, who usually keeps us posted about all the things happening at Church Requel every week, will be away on vacation this Sunday. So our staff team (isn't it wonderful to have a staff team now?) decided to produce an announcement video for you. Have you ever known Brandi Walker to ever do anything halfway? The picture on the right is from the video, when she is talking about the Kids Splash Park coming up this coming Sunday. She is hilarious!
Widow and The Jar. We will wrap up our Directions For Living sermon series this Sunday with the sermon, "Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone." I'm really excited about this talk from 2 Kings 4. We'll look at the story of Elisha, the widow, and her empty jar. Along the way we'll learn four different steps that take us outside our comfort zone. How long has it been since your faith was stretched? We'll discover that it only takes a little bit of faith to make a big difference!
Tuesday - New Generations Youth Sing! This coming Tuesday we are in for a very special treat. The New Generation Singers will be singing at Church Requel this Tuesday evening, July 22nd at 7pm. This is an 85-voice Christian youth choir from St. Joseph, MO. Check out www.ngsingers.com for more information. We are asking households to host 2-4 of the youths after the concert until the next morning. They can sleep two in a bed and two on the floor; that is what they plan for! You will feed them breakfast and bring them back in the morning. If you can help, call Pat at 419-756-1372. Mary Kay and I have committed to housing six singers. This will be an awesome opportunity to invite family and friends to your church for a non-Sunday morning event. We expect a sell-out for this no-charge event, so come early!
Next Saturday - July 26th CR Family Splash Party. Cool down those hot summer days with fun at the Ashland Kroc Center Splash Park, 527 E. Liberty Street, Ashland, Ohio. We will meet at Church Requel at 10am, then caravan up to Ashland. Families pack a lunch for each kiddo big and small. We’ll drive back to Church Requel by 1pm. FREE family fun!
Friday - August 15th “Minute To Win It” Back To School Pizza Bash at Church Requel. 6pm - 9pm. I know this is still a month out, but I'm hoping all our families will put this on their calendars and prioritize this fun event now. Going back to school doesn’t have to be so painful, especially if you can win cool prizes, eat lots of pizza and enjoy the company of all your CR friends!
Wow! Lot's of great things are happening this summer at Church Requel. I love being your pastor. I can't wait to see you again on Sunday. Have a great weekend! With great affection, Pastor Mark