Whoever you are, wherever you are in your journey of faith, you are welcome at Community Christian Church of Marana

El Camino

El Camino

You are invited to come and see and worship!  The group will be at church - indeed, will "be church" - every Friday night at 7 pm.  And, just so you know, not everything is in Spanish.  Some of the songs are sung in English, and the Lord's Supper is at times in English. So, if your primary (or only) language is English, you still will understand some things.  Moreover, you very well may feel the moving of the Spirit, which transcends language and ethnicity, and brings us into unity in Christ Jesus.

Ash Wednesday Service, February 26, 6:30 pm

Ash Wednesday Service, February 26, 6:30 pm

We hope you will join us on Wednesday, February 26, 6:30 pm, for a special Ash Wednesday service as we start the season of Lent. Lent is a traditional Christian season of 40 days that leads up to Easter Sunday, in which believers are invited to pay special attention to our mortality and utter dependence upon God. Repentance, prayer, fasting, and acts of charity are some of ways to focus our attention. A Special Offering will be received to help purchase Bibles.

Thursday Bible Study: How We Got The Bible

Thursday Bible Study: How We Got The Bible

While the Bible is the best-selling book of all time, and is read and revered by millions of people daily, even Christians have questions about it: who wrote it? did the stories in it get written down accurately from the start? and even if so, have these stories been accurately transmitted over all these hundreds of years? also, why do we have so many versions now? and more. If you are interested in learning how the Bible in your home or in your hands (or on your cell phone!) came to be, this 8-week course is for you! Thursday evenings, 6:30-8 pm. Dates: January 16 & 30; Feb. 6, 13, & 27; Mar. 5 & 12; Apr. 2.

Looking Forward, Looking Back

The following is a slightly edited letter sent out to our members and other friends who contributed financially to the mission of our church this past year.  But in addition to some financial news, it serves as a brief review of 2019 and a look forward into 2020. Enjoy!

 

“Greetings!  I hope 2020 has been good for you so far.  In any case, the Lord is good, and I pray you are continuing to put your trust in Him!  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

 

The start of a new year, as usual, has been a time for me to reflect on what has taken place in our church over the past year.  In 2019, we completed many capital-improvement projects: a much-needed exterior paint job; a new back porch; new tiling for our fellowship hall and bathrooms which replaced old, stained tile that was cracking; and a refurbishing of the garage located on our Outreach Center property.  For much of the year, we had three on-going adult Bible studies, one in Spanish. And speaking of Spanish, we started “El Camino,” a Spanish-speaking worship service on Friday nights. Our youth group grew (it basically doubled in size), and you may have noticed the youth being more active in worship leadership and service over the course of the year, in addition to the fun they have had.  These are just a few of the highlights. 

 

Financially, there is good news and bad news.  There’s always good news and bad news, isn’t there?  A husband asked his wife, “Honey, would you like the good news first, or the bad news?”  The wife said, “Either one.” The husband told her, “I’m losing my voice.” She replied, “O.K.  What’s the bad news?” For us, the bad news financially is that we spent more than we received in general offerings and fund-raisers.  $167,453 came in, and $178,785 went out, for a loss of $9,878. The good news, however, includes:

 

  1. we look much better at the end of 2019 than we looked in 2018.  At the end of 2018, we had a much greater loss, not because expenses were much greater, but because income was much less.  In fact, 2019 income was up $20,816 from the previous year. That’s something to celebrate!

 

  1. we have had other donations over and above our general offering that will help us cover the costs for our new Outreach Center project.  These include a variety of financial and other gifts. For example, one gift was a 2011 RV, given by a generous person in our congregation, that we sold for $4,000, all of which will go toward the project.  

 

  1. other pockets of money continue to help various ministries.  For example, Nada Beck, who passed away in 2014, left the church money in her will, and we continue to receive $1,000 per year in interest money, to be used for women’s ministry, children & youth ministry, and leadership development. 

 

In the coming year, we have a number of goals, including:

 

  1. break ground on the new Outreach Center, and if all goes well, see the project completed.

 

  1. support the youth as they go on a summer mission trip, rather than camp this year.  Check out youthworks.com to learn about the Christ-centered mission trip (likely to San Diego) in which they will participate. 

 

  1. promote the growth of the church.  Last year, we held only one CLASS 101 for new members.  This year, we have three planned, along with a second year of D.I.G. (Disciples In Growth) classes for our 4th-7th graders.  Moreover, we will to continue to expand our reach with technology, helping people to be part of our community even when they can’t physically be present.  We hope you will invite your friends and family to join us, either in person, or through Facebook or YouTube. In fact, please “like” us on Facebook if you haven’t yet!

 

Of course, all of these goals are so that people have the opportunity to learn about Jesus, receive Him as Lord and Savior, and then grow as His disciples, shining His light by serving Him, serving our neighbors, and sharing His Word.  I am thankful for your support of our mission!

 

In Him, Pastor Dave Hedgepeth

Go And Do

“Go and Do.”  

 

In the last entry, back in October 2019, I wrote about an invitation and attitude of Jesus that was prevalent throughout his ministry; His was a “come and see” ministry.  He was invitational, and He calls us today to be invitational as well. Church is not an exclusive club, but an inclusive community. “Come and see!”

 

I also mentioned, at the end of the entry: “Stay tuned for the next entry, two weeks from now, on the second invitation of Jesus.”  Well, that was the longest two weeks of my life! It’s now January 2020, and as can happen, time got away. I wound up leading five memorial services soon after October ended, and helping minister to the families whose loved ones had passed away.  Four of those families had little to no connection with our church, and two of the memorials were held at our town’s excellent Marana Mortuary and Cemetery. Also in November, we had a “Fall Fest” at our church, with which I had a very small role due to the excellent leadership of many people in our congregation. The goal of the Fall Fest was to invite others in our community to a fun, family-friendly event (a “come and see” event), as well as raise money for our Mercy Fund, which reaches out into our community to help many people.  Then, a small but mighty group of us went Christmas caroling in early December, to some people who can’t get out and about anymore. I guess you could say I’ve been “on the go.” In addition, we also have begun discussions about changing our traditions in the summer, for our youth – from summer camp to a summer mission trip in 2020.  

“Come and See”

We currently are in the middle of a Sunday series called “Coming and Going.” It is based on a
book by Robert Schnase called Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, but more importantly,
based on two important invitations of Jesus.

The first invitation is when he told some people who were wondering where He was staying
(and, more than that I believe, were wondering about HIM), “Come and see.” One of those
men was Andrew, who became the first of Jesus’ disciples. Andrew must have been impacted
by those words, because in the gospel accounts we have of Andrew, he was often bringing
people to Jesus – in other words, to “come and see.”

FOCUSING OUTWARD

“… go and make disciples….” (Matthew 28:19)

 

I love Community Christian Church of Marana!  I appreciate our history, am in awe of our commitment to outreach (made evident by the purchase last fall of the Puma Rd. property on which our Outreach Center sits, and current planning to develop the property), and admire the incredible faith I see in so many of our people.  I also believe that diversity of age, life experience, and ethnic backgrounds make our congregation richer than if we were all the same.  I am a better person because my family and I get to “be church” with you.

 

So I was dismayed when I recently saw for the past two years, our worship attendance has dropped by 16%.  That’s a trend in the wrong direction, one which our church hasn’t seen since 2006.  Numbers aren’t everything, but neither should they be ignored.  They may be an indication that not all is well.