Friday, August 30, 2013

The Sunday Set-Up for September 1, 2013

Readings for Sunday: Psalm 2 and Luke 22:66-23:3

Worship Songs for Sunday: September 1, 2013

Sermon Teaser Question:
With the secularization of our schools and universities, the increasingly anti-Christian legislation taking place in our government and the entertainment industry pressing the boundaries of acceptable behavior further and further every day, does it ever feel like our world is going to hell in a hand basket?  How should we as Christians respond to a world gone wild?  Come and join us at Church of the Apostles as we take a look at Psalm 2 and consider together how the Lord views all of this rebellion and what our response as Christians should be.

Each Friday we will post The Sunday Set-Up here on the blog. 
It will include the Scripture readings from which the pastor will preach, the worship songs we will sing, and a "sermon teaser" question from the preaching pastor.
It is our desire that The Sunday Set-Up will "set you up" for a deeper and more meaningful Sunday morning worship experience. Perhaps you will read the Scripture passages a few times over the weekend and become more familiar with them. You could also read over the song lyrics that so often are richly based on Scripture and are another way to bring the Word to life. And finally, the pastor's sermon teaser question will help you begin to think through what they will talk about in their sermon. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Look at Missions through Community Hope

Liz Rickner is one of the newest members of the Leadership Council here at Church of the Apostles. She has served as a mentor through Community HOPE (a Ministry Partner of Apostles) for the past three years. Read about Liz's experience with living out a portion of our mission statement: "transforming the city through Jesus Christ." 

Community Hope is a literacy mentoring program sponsored by the YMCA and supported by Church of the Apostles.  It is not just a tutoring program; it is a relationship and a bond between mentor and child. 

For the past three years I have been mentoring the same child once a week during the school year.  We work through an individualized literacy plan to build vital reading skills, with guidance from an experienced Community Hope staff.  It has been rewarding, educational, inspiring and challenging for both of us!  My student and I learn from each other regularly. When we study together weekly we understand more about patience, perseverance, and persistence.  It is rewarding to see a concept that we have been working on come alive and make sense.  

Community Hope is inspiring to me because I know God has brought us together at just the right time in our lives. Weekly, I try to be a good example to my student with words and actions that please God. I am looking forward to another productive year with my 5th grader.

Mentors are still needed and children are on a waiting list. If you would like to get involved in Community HOPE and become a mentor, you can contact the following people:
Eric Saunders – Finley YMCA (North Raleigh)
Eric.Saunders@YMCATriangle.org
Sharlene Provilous – Alexander YMCA (Downtown Raleigh) Sharlene.Provilous@YMCATriangle.org

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Look at Missions both Near and Far

Sarah Hughes is one of the newest members of the Leadership Council here at Church of the Apostles. Here is a glimpse inside what the Lord has laid on her heart through being involved with missions both here in Raleigh and through two trips to our sister church in Rwanda. 

Sarah and the "Abishyzehamwe"
("The people who decided to be together)
As the Executive Director of a Church of the Apostles ministry partner, House of Hope of NC, and being blessed to go on the Rwanda
partnership trip for the past 2 years, I have a unique view of missions at Apostles. Being a part of both of these partnerships make a huge personal impact on me. In particular, young women are a passion of mine. I love seeing God pursue us women and change us to be like Him. This past trip to Rwanda I was able to spend some time with a group of women in Gikomero who have come together to support one another because they have lost the support of their family because they have had children out of wedlock. While I was with them I shared this passage from Isaiah:

Isaiah 61:1-3

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
    to proclaim freedom for the captives
    and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
    and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
    instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
    instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
    instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
    a planting of the Lord
    for the display of his splendor.”

This is God’s heart for all of these young women. For all of us. It reminds me each time I read it how much he loves me, loves us. He wants to take our dark, scary, and painful and turn it into beauty, joy, and praise! Walking with these young women, at House of Hope and in Rwanda, is a true honor. I will never be the same because of it. To see their bravery as they face hard things and trust in God and His faithfulness causes me to trust Him more and more. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Sunday Set Up for August 25, 2013

Scripture Reading for Sunday: Mark 9:1-13

Worship Songs for Sunday: August 25, 2013

Sermon Teaser Question:
When you hear the phrase 'the Kingdom of God' what comes to your mind? What is your vision of 'the Kingdom?' How does it affect your life and influence your decisions?




Each Friday we will post The Sunday Set-Up here on the blog. 

It will include the Scripture readings from which the pastor will preach, the worship songs we will sing, and a "sermon teaser" question from the preaching pastor.

It is our desire that The Sunday Set-Up will "set you up" for a deeper and more meaningful Sunday morning worship experience. Perhaps you will read the Scripture passages a few times over the weekend and become more familiar with them. You could also read over the song lyrics that so often are richly based on Scripture and are another way to bring the Word to life. And finally, the pastor's sermon teaser question will help you begin to think through what they will talk about in their sermon. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

2012-2013 A Look Back

We are actively preparing for Vision Sunday to celebrate the beginning of a new season of ministry at Church of the Apostles. Before we do, it is good to pause and take a look back at all God has done in our midst this past year. 



Faith in Christ
Baptism on August 11
It was a very fruitful year as people continued to come to faith in Jesus Christ through your ministries and prayers.  A number of parents had the wonderful privilege of leading their kids to receive Jesus as their Lord. At least 8 of these children were baptized. 15 young people came to faith in Jesus through the work of our student ministries. At least four adults came to faith in the midst of a variety of ministry settings. We are sure even more have come to faith as we continue to be encouraged by stories of our members faithfully reaching out in their families, neighborhoods, and places of business. 

Growth
We can also rejoice that God has provided growth in our congregation. This past year we saw a 6% increase in overall attendance. The Children’s Ministry and Youth Ministry Sunday attendance increased by 18% and 16% respectively.  We also saw five new community groups formed to bring the total to 33 groups and 305 participants, as well as our women’s groups and men’s groups. We added 34 new members and had over 800 registered visitors!

Depth and strength
Our January sermon series on marriage proved to be very inspiring and practical. One member said, “We should do this every January!” The Lenten series on prayer was also very well received and many expressed deep appreciation for how their connection with the Lord through prayer had been enriched.

Jonathan Noël
The Lord has blessed our worship ministry as well with the addition of Jonathan Noel. His musical ability, experience, and expertise have added a notable depth and richness to Sunday morning worship. His leadership also displays a loving and humble character as he leads us to more faithfully worship our Lord. 

The addition of Lee Hilts to our staff has provided a much needed element of organization and oversight to the administration of the many tasks, strategies, and teams required to effectively carry out ministry in a church our size. 

Church Planting
We have made especially good progress in our church planting initiative this year. Ford has been named as our church planter and is working diligently with his advisory team for his personal preparation, the identifying of his key team leaders, and the raising up of a congregation out of our own who will join him and Lindsay on this new venture.

I would love to keep writing, as so much more has taken place, but our intent is to keep our blog posts short and readable. Over the course of this coming year, many of your stories will be told in this blog so that we can all be aware of and celebrate what God is doing in our midst. I close this posting with one of my favorite quotes from Paul:

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.   -Philippians 1:3-6

With you in Christ,

Patrick


Friday, August 16, 2013

The Sunday Set-Up

Each Friday we will post The Sunday Set-Up here on the blog. 

It will include the Scripture readings from which the pastor will preach, the worship songs we will sing, and a "sermon teaser" question from the preaching pastor.

It is our desire that The Sunday Set-Up will "set you up" for a deeper and more meaningful Sunday morning worship experience. Perhaps you will read the Scripture passages a few times over the weekend and become more familiar with them. You could also read over the song lyrics that so often are richly based on Scripture and are another way to bring the Word to life. And finally, the pastor's sermon teaser question will help you begin to think through what they will talk about in their sermon. 

Scripture Reading for Sunday: Galatians 6:1-18

Worship Songs for Sunday: August 18, 2013

Sermon Teaser Question:
This summer, week after week, we’ve been working our way through Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia.  Over and over again we’ve been reminded that the Gentile Christians did not need to receive circumcision in order to be accepted by God.  Paul has made very clear to them and to us that our faith is not, and has not ever been about external trappings.  Instead, it’s all about faith in Jesus.  Yet, in this final chapter of Galatians, Paul exhorts the Christians to all sorts of good works – and even says that by doing these works, they will have fulfilled the law of Christ!  How is it that our works don’t matter towards our salvation, yet we are always called to do them?  Come find out on Sunday as we conclude the book of Galatians and wrap up our summer series "Set Free in Christ." 

Please remember that we are moving back to 2 services this Sunday at 8:30am and 11:00am.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Adult Sunday School Classes Offered This Fall



Our next round of Adult Sunday School classes begins on September 8 at 10am.  Join us for "Sundae Sunday" this Sunday, August 18 at 10am to register for classes and eat ice cream sundaes!

Below is a list and description of the classes being offered this Fall:


One Step at a Time
Faith truly is a journey, and each of us travel on that journey one step at a time. In this class, we will explore how to invite those around us (friends, family, neighbors, coworkers) to take the next step on their faith journey towards Jesus whether they are skeptical, curious, or wandering. Through Bible study, group discussion and teaching we will learn how to authentically and practically share our faith journey with others.
Led by Lauren and Brian Mann, and Robin Bolash

In His Image
The creation narrative tells us that God made man in his own image, and that he called it “very good." Paul often uses the human body as a metaphor for the body of Christ, with different parts having different roles and functions, but all still intertwined and dependent upon each other. Join us as we dig deeper into this idea, and explore how the human body -  in its beauty and in its brokenness - gives us a glimpse of how the body of Christ can and should work, and how God’s redemptive work in our lives makes us more like himself. (Note: Andy and Scott are physicians, so they will explore these biblical concepts through the lens of medicine and Scripture.)
Led by Andy Alspaugh & Scott Garrison


Parenting: Biblical Perspectives & Personal Experiences
Every parent wants their kids to be safe, happy and ready to tackle the world. As Christian parents, you want all this, and you want your kids to learn to walk with Jesus. So, how do you parent your kids toward these goals? What do you do with mistakes you make? What does Scripture have to say about parenting? How do you avoid repeating the methods your parents used that you're not too fond of? Join us as we explore these questions together. We guarantee your kids will turn out perfectly. Just kidding! But we will explore biblical principles for parenting and share our own experiences as parents.
Led by Billy & Cathy Williams, Jim & Ann Dotson

Transformative Bible Study for Community Groups
Do you know how to study the Bible and grow deeper in your faith? Do you know how to lead others to do so? This fall, Eric and Ford will be teaching a class on transformative Bible study where each of these will happen. So come and join us for this practical, applicable class as we seek to grow as students of the Scriptures and as leaders of people. We are asking all Community Group (CG) leaders to sign up for this class. However, if you're not a CG leader, you are still welcome to join us.
Led by Ford Jordan & Eric Bolash

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Welcome to our blog...



Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I am excited to introduce you to our new blog at Church of the Apostles. We are launching this blog because it has become clear as we have grown that we need a way to spread the wonderful stories of all that God is doing in and through the lives and ministries of all of you at Church of the Apostles. 

You can expect a variety of stories, videos, pictures, and reports covering the events, experiences, and perspectives of our ministries, outreaches, community groups, congregation members, and staff. These reports will be a short and meaningful way of keeping you in the know so you can pray for, celebrate, and join in on all that God is doing in our midst. (See below for a more detailed list of examples of stories that we will include on the blog.)


In the book of Revelation we are told that there is much power to overcome the evil one by simply sharing our stories.

Revelation 12:11a
They triumphed over him [Satan]
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony... 

That is what this blog is about. I hope you enjoy it.

We encourage you to subscribe to the blog as an easy way to know when new stories are posted.  You can also "Like" our Church of the Apostles Facebook Page to receive blog updates in your Facebook news feed. 

With you in Christ,

Patrick





1. Pre- and Post-Event Stories (Men’s Retreat, Women’s Retreat, etc.)
2. Updates on the Missionaries of Apostles
3. Updates about Apostles’ Ministry Partners
4. Testimonies/stories from people who serve with a Ministry Partner
5. Stories from Community Groups
6. Photo collages from events
7. Bios on Staff, Leadership Council Members, and Fellows
8. Explanation of Church Holidays (Advent, Maundy Thursday, Pentecost, etc)
9. Write-ups about the new upcoming Sermon Series
10. Readings, songs/lyrics, sermon “teaser” questions for Sunday services
11. Updates about the Ministries of Apostles
12. The story behind a song we will sing during the worship service
13. Testimonies from Congregation Members
14. Sermon follow-ups
15. A word from a pastor about what they have been learning
… and the list will go on