It is Christmas Eve and the excitement of tomorrow is in the air! Yesterday we had another amazing day of worship. It felt that all throughout our time together that God was whispering His great love to us and telling us to be a people of grace and love. Thank you CBTS and friends who attend for listening and following God's call to be the church - His hands and feet in this world. Keep doing what you are doing and we can be peacemakers - we can be a people who shower our "worlds" with grace and love.
Last night we had our annual Cookies, Caroling, and Cocktails! About 100 of us met at St. Sebastian Catholic Church and went caroling throughout the neighborhood After that, we all came back to our house for dinner, a movie for the kids, some great beverages, and most importantly, spending time meeting new friends. This night would not have come together as well without the CCC committee: Kevin White, Trevor and Ashton Luk, and Cassie and Andres Carvajal. Thank you all and to the many others who stayed behind to help clean up this holy "mess"! It was such a memorable evening!
The sermon title was "Home for Christmas" and the scripture was Luke 2:1-7. Christmas is a time where the separation of us and heaven is a very thin line. The birth of Jesus is a message from God saying to that us that we have "home". We have a home where love abounds and grace is always present. God calls us all to come home to Him.
What an amazing weekend we had here at church! The Christmas Gala was a smashing success and with pretty much all the expenses paid we netted a little over $41,000 for the Corporate Board. A lot of hard work was given by so many people to make this annual event wonderful. Thank you again to all who contributed their time, presence, and their financial resources. I am already looking forward to next year's event.
We have so much to be involved in here these next few days. This Sunday evening we have our annual Cookies, Caroling, and Cocktails. It begins at 5:30pm at St. Sebastian Catholic Church's parking lot - we will then go caroling and then back to my house at 6:30pm for dinner, movie for the kids, smores, hot chocolate, and cocktails. Bring a batch of your favorite cookies. I hope you all can make it.
Christmas Eve services are 5pm - Family service and then 10pm - Traditional service! This coming week my prayer is for all of us to see the Christ-Child. I hope we all celebrate the birth of Christ and to see the love that God has for each one of us. Merry Christmas! Have a blessed week and I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday. God Bless.
The sermon title was "Is God Left-Handed" and the scripture was Matthew 2:13-18 and I Corinthians 1:25-31. Left-Handed Power is one that tries to win our heart by love and not force. It comes in perceived weakness but that is also it's strength. God sent us Jesus in the most vulnerable way possible - a baby, but this baby is Immanuel - God be with us.
What an amazing weekend we had here at church! It began on Saturday morning with a workday - thank you to all who were able to help. Some of us met up at the True Gospel Deliverance Church to help with the feeding of the homeless ministry they have, but when we arrived at the church they had a special thank-you lunch to us, for all the times we volunteer. They were so grateful. If you are interested in volunteering please speak with Margo and Fred Klein. Later in the afternoon, Jon Gardner, our co-youth pastor and current Session member, was married in a beautiful service in Miami. Congrats to Mariella and Jon! Then Sunday, we had wonderful worship service on Sunday. It felt like God's Spirit was moving all around the sanctuary. I am so grateful for this loving church. Last night we had our annual Christmas Gala and it was a tremendous success! First of all, a big thank you to Chef Peter and Cheri Schmidt for cooking some amazing food and chairing the Gala. Another thank you goes to Connie Tingle, Debbie Stokes, Marilyn Conroy, Randy Starr, Dave Finneran, Morgan Schmit, and the SIS Bible study for all their love and hard work. Another thank you to Jimmy Conway with Jimmy Jams Productions for donating the lighting for inside Eden Hall. It was a memorable evening! I will report this Sunday how much money we raised!
I hope this Christmas season you all feel and believe deep within your heart just how much love God has for you. Like it says in Ephesians 3:18-19, "And I pray that you and all God's people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love-how wide, how long, how high, and how deep that love is." Have a blessed week and I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday. God bless.
The sermon title was "Whispering Hope" and the scripture was John 11:17-32 and Romans 5:1-5. We face challenges, we get discouraged, but in all the emotions we can still have hope even if it is only a whisper of hope because when Jesus shows up the impossible becomes possible.
Challenge for the Week:
To believe that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope and hope does not disappoint us. Romans 5:3-5
The season of Advent has begun. Advent is a time for us to spiritually prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ child! I hope we all will take some time to pray and ask God for wisdom during these next four weeks.
We have a full December of ministries and activities for the whole family. Please look carefully for the things you would like to be involved in! Our first event is December 9th at the church. Our annual Christmas Gala is a memorable evening filled with delicious food, great music and dancing, and great times with friends. The Gala is a fundraiser for the Corporate Board of our church. This Board is responsible for all the buildings and grounds. I hope you all can participate in some way. If you cannot attend please purchase some raffle tickets, or make a donation for we are all called to take care of our physical properties. For all the details click here. Have a blessed week and I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday. God bless.
The sermon title was Olympic Size Faith and the scripture was Mark 9:14-29. Sometimes when we read the scripture we feel like the people in the stories are spiritual giants, they have faith that can move mountains, and definitely do not have doubts, but we do. How does God deal with our doubts? Faith is all about being real and genuine. We can admit our doubts and still be a person of deep faith.
Challenge for the Week:
Don't let your doubts keep you away from praying.
I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving either with family and friends, or you had some time just by yourself. How thankful are you? Do you thank God for all the blessings that have been given to you? As we all know, some blessings come immediately, some take a long time to come to fruition, and some we may never fully understand in this life, but we are called to be thankful. So, let us all work on being thankful.
I love the season of Advent. Advent begins this Sunday, until December 24th. Advent is a time of preparation for Christ's birth as we all sing "Glory to the newborn King". I hope we all will prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ-Child!
I challenge you all this week to participate in some way in our annual Christmas Gala to help raise funds for maintaining our church home. If you cannot attend the event, please consider purchasing some raffle tickets or a sponsorship as a contribution by clicking here.
Have a blessed week and I look forward to seeing you all this Sunday. God bless!
In the book of Daniel chapter 7 we see in Daniel’s vision from God that he saw before him one like the son of man coming with the clouds of heaven that His reign is everlasting. It will never pass away, or be destroyed. This would be Christ The King. We have received the greatest gift from God in our HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE that comes with the birth of Christ. That is Who it is all about!
Happy Thanksgiving!! I hope this week is a time for reflection, prayer, laughter, good times, and great food. Oh yea, maybe some football too. Whatever you are doing I hope you will take some time to really reflect on all that God has blessed you with. There are the obvious blessings, but like in my sermon this past Sunday; there just might be some blessings that sneak through the back door. Blessings that don't seem like they could be, but end being a huge blessing to you and to others. Have a blessed week and God bless.
The sermon title was "Thanksgiving through the Back Door" and the scriptures were John 1:43-46 and I Thessalonians 5:16-18. We all think of blessings as good things happening, but could it be that some blessings only come through hurt or heartache. Events that seem tragic just might be some of God's richest blessings. It is easy to say all these things, but God has a way of working in all circumstances.
Thank you is how I want to begin this email. Thank you to all our veterans! We appreciate your service to our country and I hope you feel that appreciation.
This past Sunday we had another wonderful morning of worship and fellowship! After worship we had our annual Thanksgiving Luncheon. Thank you to all those who brought side dishes, salads, and desserts. It was a great time to be together and be thankful.
Don't forget this Saturday and Sunday is our Holiday Boutique!! Doors open 10am-2pm on Saturday and 11am-2pm on Sunday. This will be a great way to get some of your Christmas shopping done and support our Children's Ministry. I hope you have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday in worship. God bless!
The sermon title was "The Question that Haunts Us" and the scripture's Ecclesiastes 9:1-2 and Romans 8:28-39. Why do bad things happen to good people? That is one of the age old questions of our human existence. We explored some different ways to look at it from God's perspective.
Challenge for the Week:
To realize and believe that God hurts when we hurt. God feels and understands our pain.
What a crazy week and weekend with the Boat Show in town. The intracoastal waterway was slammed packed with boats and people walking around to see them. I have to begin this email thanking Bruce Barclay, John Riser, Craige Ayscough-Clarke, Tom Shoop, Ray Williams, Ray Milligan, Fred Klein, Lorna Scanga, Jonathan Daniels, and Barry Harbour! These people helped parked cars from Thursday thru Sunday! It looks like at this moment we made about $6,000 for the Men's Club. Thank you all for braving the heat and collecting $30 per car!! Another thank you to Lisa Malcolm who is leading our Young at Heart ministry. They meet every first Thursday of the month for a program and lunch. Last Thursday, they had the Historical Society come and present a program. A great time was had by all.
This past Sunday we had another wonderful morning of worship and fellowship! It is so great to see some of our snowbirds make their way back down south. As we approach Thanksgiving and the Christmas season let us continue to pray to be God's hands and feet in this world. I hope you have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday in worship. God bless!
The sermon title was "The Revenge Business" and the scripture's Matthew 18:21-35 and Romans 13:8. It is so easy when we are hurt to want revenge but like a cancer, revenge, can consume us and take over. It will rob us of the very thing we want - PEACE. Through the power of the Holy Spirit we can overcome our desire for revenge and allow God's justice to prevail.
Challenge for the Week:
Are you blinded by revenge? Is it consuming you? Pray to God for the strength to trust Him. Pray for the wisdom to see the one who hurt you as a fellow struggler like you are.
This week has been one of highs and lows. A week where we see God doing some wonderful things in our community and then we see humanity at its worst. The shooting at the Tree of Life in Pittsburgh breaks the heart of God. A big thank you to Vice Mayor, Ben Sorenson for organizing an interfaith prayer vigil at the Sanctuary church. It was so inspirational praying alongside people of all faiths! I hope we all can pray about how we can make a difference in a world where division and hatred has roots. We need to be a people of GRACE - We need to be JESUS with skin on! I sure want too - how about you?
This past Sunday afternoon we had our annual Trunk or Treat. It was a Spooktacular time!! We had 30 trunks decorated with many volunteers helping make it run smoothly. Thank you to Sabrina Edler and Lauren Carroll for chairing this great event. Another thank you goes to Marie, for her energy and love. She is an amazing pastor to our children and to the church as well. This event drew so many families from the neighborhood and community! WELL DONE everyone. I hope you have a wonderful week and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday in worship. God bless!
PS - Copy and paste this into your web browser- www.ajot.com/news/seafarers-house-rockin-and-painting-for-a-good-cause - CBTS , the Grind Kindness Rocks Projects, and Seafarers' House partnered up last Saturday morning. Thank you members of CBTS for getting involved to make someone's Christmas uniquely special.
The sermon title was "The Only Words Worth Living For." The scripture's were Amos 2:6-8, 5:18-24 and Romans 13:1,8. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "God didn't come to take sides. God came to take over." Jesus is neither Republican, nor Democrat. Jesus loves us equally and we should too as best we can.
Challenge for the Week:
Think of some ways to love those you agree and disagree with?
A reminder this is Rummage Sale Week. We still need items to sell such as clothing, household goods, toys, etc. You can drop off these items today through Thursday between 9am and 4pm. Also stop by and shop as well when you drop off your items. The sale is this Saturday 8am to 12noon.
A big thank you to all who have brought shoes for our shoe drive. We have collected 176 pairs so far. We will continue to be collecting throughout the month of October.
Have a blessed week!
The Church By The Sea
Excerpt with the message from Pastor Chris:
Each day I have the pleasure of witnessing how God is growing us closer to Him and to each other. A loving church and a grace-filled congregation that seeks to serve is a church that God honors and blesses.
I am excited as I look forward to the Fall and the new school year. I am excited because the kids are back in school. Amen? Our halls during the week here are full again with the sound of joyful kids and loving teachers! I am grateful for our incredible preschool family! I am also excited because of all the Fall activities and ministries. We had an amazing Anchor’s Aweigh where many of you signed up to help serve or to get more involved. We have many areas to serve and grow as well as areas where help is needed.
This year we are working to open new opportunities for everyone to get connected, dig in deeper in their faith, and faithfully serve in our community:
We are working on launching a young adults ministry and hope that you will reach out if you are interested in helping with this.
We are also working to communicate what our various bible study groups are focusing on so that you can join us when a there is a topic that
interests you. Each week, our bible study topics will be displayed in the bulletin.
Our mission leaders will be having a planning session in mid-October to
organize how we as a church can have the biggest impact on our
community. Keep an eye out later in the month to look for opportunities on how you can serve the community through these planned mission projects.
God is moving and blessing us in so many ways. We must remember to stop and say thank you, Lord, for we are so grateful for the opportunity to serve Him and serve our neighbor.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is John 13:34-35. It says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” What does God want from us? God wants our heart and for us to love. Everyone will know...if you love one another. Let’s keep the great tradition of this church by loving those around us with a love from above that way everyone will know. God bless.
In His Grip,