China Outreach Ministries

by John Sciullo

I spent 12 years of my career in retail managing a store on the Pitt campus. One of the blessings I encountered was dealing with the Asian students, primarily those from China. Although they at first seemed a bit aloof and sometimes even arrogant, I came to realize that they were a small group on a major campus and home was 7,000 to 10,000 miles away. They did not go home for Christmas as very few were Christian; and Thanksgiving was just another day because this American holiday had little significance for them. In short, they weren’t aloof or arrogant, they were lonely and only had each other.

Ken Wagoner and his staff at China Outreach Ministries provide an opportunity for their culture to blend with the American way of life. They accomplish this by reaching out to these students with the Good News of the Gospel, discipiling them to be godly leaders for Christ and sharing their faith with others. Their purpose is deeply rooted with the truth of one God, eternally existent in three persons, the deity of Christ, the Bible as the only authoritative, inspired word of God and the Resurrection and Ascension of Christ. By walking alongside these students, they plant the seeds and nurture them to live out their faith with their families, communities and professions. A sense of connection develops through social activities, hospitality, communication and a variety of practical services helping them succeed. As their faith and confidence grows, many have returned to China and shared their faith with communities at home.

Help Ken and his staff keep this ministry vibrant. They covet your prayers for strength and wisdom as they bridge the gap between these two cultures. Contact me for more information at 724-516-2600.

Associate Pastor Search Underway

Meet Hebron’s APNC:

Geoff Gehring, Chair. Geoff, former Chair of the Pastoral Nominating Committee, serves on Session as Personnel Chair. He and his wife, Lisa, have 2 young children, age 7 and 5. Professionally, he is Vice-President with Redstone Presbyterian SeniorCare. When asked why he agreed to serve on the APNC, Geoff says that “the continuity needed between the PNC from 2018 and APNC from 2019 has become evidently clear. To witness the faithfulness of the Lord in bringing Henry and Kelly Knapp to Hebron was truly a joy. (At the end of the PNC process) , I was certain I would not return for the APNC at that time in any capacity. But through prayer and discernment, I accepted the opportunity to serve on the APNC.”

Amy Hehn, Co-Chair.  Amy returns to Session in 2020, following a year’s hiatus. She has served on Hospitality, Connections, and Women’s Ministry as well as leading and coaching various Groves. She is married to Gunther and they have two adult children. Amy says she is “honored to be asked to serve on the APNC and my desire is to humbly follow the Lord as He leads us. Throughout the PNC process in selecting Henry Knapp, I saw how clearly the Lord was working in and through each member of the PNC team. The APNC is the next step in Hebron’s future and I am hoping my interaction with team and candidates applying for the position will be useful.” She is looking for an Associate Pastor who knows, loves and follows our Lord Jesus Christ and has a strong commitment to discipleship and leadership development, particularly in the young adult and young family demographic.

Doug Keim. Doug  grew up at Hebron and is a past Elder who  will be returning to serve on Session in 2020. He  currently serves as a youth leader, Grove leader, and greeter. Doug, a self-employed chiropractor, and his wife, Megan, live in Delmont with their two teenage daughters.  He says he agreed to serve on the APNC because he is “passionate that we at Hebron hire the right person to help guide our church over the next few decades...a God-fearing, Bible-believing, scripturally-sound minister who believes that the Bible is the infallible Word of God and it does not change, even though our society who believes that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation and that salvation is based solely on His work on the cross.”

Steff Knabe. Steff is a retired nurse and Women’s Ministry Coordinator at Hebron. She and her husband, Craig, live in Murrysville and have two adult children and four grandchildren. Steff is currently active on the Discipleship Team of Session, as a greeter, and a Grove leader. She says the invitation to serve on the APNC came just as she was asking God to show her what He had planned for her to do next, and this was an answer to her prayer. She is praying that the Associate Pastor has a “vital, active, growing relationship with Jesus Christ...the ability to reflect Christ’s godly nature as he engages with and ministers to others with grace, love, compassion and a servant’s heart….committed to discipleship, vision-casting and leadership development of all, with a focus on young adults. Young families and young adults, active in ministry at Hebron, are essential for our growth and vital to move our mission and mission forward.”

David Mills. David serves at Hebron as a Thicket (Middle School) leader and as a Sunday morning small group leader substitute. A physician with Excela Health, David is married to Melanie and is the father of 3 young children ages 5, 3, and newborn. As a young husband and father, David represents the population that the Associate Pastor will focus on when he first arrives. David says he loves to see God work through His people at Hebron. He is looking for a “reformed follower of Christ who has a heart for student and kids ministry.”

Steve Sanders. Steve has served as a middle school leader, men’s Grove leader (currently organizing the men’s breakfasts), and plays guitar in the 10:45 band. He is married to Jessica and has 3 children, ages 8, 5, and 2, with another due in February. Professionally, Steve is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute at the Pitt School of Medicine. He is looking for someone “who loves the Gospel and is strongly rooted in reformed theology.”

Kristy Tomashewski. Kristy currently serves on the Women’s Ministry Team as well as the 8:15 Greeter Team with her family - Mike (her college sweetheart) and 2 young sons, ages 11 and 8. A middle school math teacher at The Ellis School, Kristy has been a Hebron member since graduating from college in 2002. She is very interested in Hebron’s future and wants to see that Hebron is a place where God is glorified and where her kids can grow in their relationship with the Lord.  She is looking for “someone who loves the Lord, and who is committed to serving Him!....someone who ‘buys in’ to what we already do at Hebron, but also someone who will bring their own creativity and ideas.” She says she would love to see “someone who reflects the diversity of our larger Penn Hills community because that is an area where (she) would like to see Hebron grow.” And she fully expects that God will make the right person for this position clear to her and the others. She says, “I think I’m going to be a bit surprised!”

Lona Wilson. Lona joined Hebron in 1991 and served over the next 20 years in a myriad of ways. In 2011 she relocated to North Carolina, but came home to stay in 2018. She has an adult daughter and a granddaughter who she is thrilled to spend lots of time with. Lona says it is an honor to serve the Lord on the APNC. She is looking for a God-fearing, God-loving leader to guide His flock and tell others who don’t know about the Lord.

Bill Martin. Bill and his wife, Sherrill, have been a part of the Hebron family since 2007. They have 4 adult children and 9 grandchildren. Bill has served Hebron as a teacher for the past 12 years. He is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Grove City College, and the University of Pittsburgh. For many years he taught Church History and Old & New Testament courses at the University of Pittsburgh. Bill was asked to serve as a non-voting advisor to the APNC following his invaluable assistance in that role on the PNC which brought us Henry Knapp. Bill says, “I hope we find the one God is leading to us and us to him. He should be a high energy people person with excellent biblical and theological knowledge and a fervent love of our Trinitarian God and His church.”

Henry Knapp also serves as an advisor to the APNC. He will have access to the Pastoral Information Forms (PIFs) throughout the process and will be given the opportunity to speak to the APNC about particular candidates. He may suggest that a candidate be removed from consideration before becoming a finalist and may separately interview finalists one-on-one and advise the APNC as to any particular concerns. The nominee must have the pastor’s endorsement.

Please keep our APNC in prayer as they search for the person the Lord has prepared for us.

On Being a Steward

by Henry Knapp

Billy Graham said it, and I believe it: “A checkbook is a theological document; it will tell you who and what you worship.”

I believe it in part because I know anyone looking at how I spend my money, my free time, my energy would soon have a handle on both my devotion to our Lord, and also to the idols in my life. Much of the way I live my life, the way I spend my money, the way I give of my time and energy, reflects my passion for Jesus and my commitment to Him. However, there is also much money, time, effort, passion spent on other things as well, things that, of course, I would deny were “idols,” but… perhaps are anyway.

The Christian life is a life of discipleship. It is LIFE—not a part of life, not just how we think about religious things, not a set of doctrines to believe or actions to take, but a full, complete, and all-encompassing LIFE. There is not one aspect of the Christian’s life which our Lord does not claim as His own. Your job? It is His. Your family? His. Emotions? Free time? Attitudes? Relationships? All His. And, yes, that includes our money. It is His.

Part of the struggle is that simple pronoun - “my” or “our”. After working so hard all week long, after the years of preparation, training, and suffering, it really feels like my paycheck is indeed “mine”. While we know that God rules all and owns all, on an everyday level, it just feels like our money is ours. But this is where the biblical doctrine of stewardship comes in. Stewardship reminds us that God does rule all. He does own all, and we are but stewards of the resources He gives us. Yes, I work hard for the money; but, nevertheless, even my working is a gift of God, the money I make is given from God. While it lands in my pocket and my bank account, it really belongs to my Lord—I am just the steward.

Steward, a noun, one who manages, looks after or cares for another’s property.

“Our” money, our time, our energy belong to God, yet He gives its care into our hands. The job of being a steward is huge! You have the obligation to manage well, look after appropriately, and care faithfully for God’s property. He charges us with that duty. He gives us that responsibility, and we are blessed to be taken into His purposes and plans. Think about it. He has plans for this world: He intends for this world to be His. He intends to accomplish His purposes. He can (and often does) work without us, but He also most often is determined to work through us, allowing us to manage His resources in such a way as to further Christ’s Kingdom. As citizens of the King, we are called every day in every way to faithfully care for His gifts (wealth, energy, time, talents) so that others might join us in praising the glory of His name!

As we move through this life together, our task of being faithful stewards will constantly appear. Much cynicism is leveled at Christians because “the church always talks about money.” Well, there is a good, solid reason for that. As Jesus reminds us, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). We are in the business of praising our Lord, and we will always praise Him more faithfully when our hearts are in the right place. And we can see where our hearts are when we see where our treasure is. So, yes, the church talks about money. And we will do so here at Hebron because we are disciples, and we are stewards.

I wonder. Are you willing to honestly see where your treasure is? Are you willing to evaluate your stewardship responsibilities? Are you willing to put your money, your effort, your thoughts, your time toward building His Kingdom? I wonder… Am I?        

Children's Ministry

by Ellen Dillard

We hope you find something for the kidz on your Christmas list! 
For Preschool Kidz

For Elementary Kidz

For Parents

WINS in Kidz Ministry

There are over 40 adults and teens who serve weekly as small Group Leaders in Kidz Ministry. Their goal as a Small Group Leader is to invest in the lives of a few kidz to encourage an authentic faith in Jesus Christ. For these Small Group Leaders a “WIN” is when kidz have meaningful interactions during Small Group that influence their faith in Jesus and deepen their relationships with others. It’s so encouraging for leaders to hear how God is moving in kidz’ lives; and we want to share these with you, too!
A parent told their child’s Small Group Leader that their child is picking 2 Bible stories for their bedtime reading (and the parent isn’t forcing/requiring this). God is moving in this child’s heart and it is a joy that we have to Partner with Parents by giving Bibles to kidz @ 4 years old and 2nd grade.

Recently, a child came to small group at 9:15 instead of his normal 10:45 small group. The child was so upset to find that his Small Group Leaders and Friends weren’t there! And his parents didn’t realize how this would impact him. He has really connected with his small group friends and leaders. In a very short amount of time, his Small Group has become a safe place for him which is so cool! Yes, he knows he is physically safe; but it is also a place that he is growing in his relationship with Jesus.

A leader spoke of how welcoming her small group is with visitors. A visitor came and her kidz were kind and welcoming!

Recently, one of the activities for kidz was to act out the Bible Story in their small group. The kidz were not enthusiastic about acting out the scripture (Joshua/Caleb + 10 others exploring Canaan.) But after a little bit, one child decided to be Caleb; and everybody else wanted to be the “10 other spies”. As the Small Group Leader was talking with them about their parts and reviewing the story with them, one of the “10” got this look on his face and said – “I don’t want to do that. I want to be Joshua!” This leader is present Every.Single.Week.  These kidz know that she’s going to be with them on a Sunday morning. Her presence connects them to a community of faith.

Watching a 3 year old and 3rd grader say their memory verse by heart. The 3rd grader led her peers to say the memory verse in large group. Kidz hiding God’s Word in their heart! 

Watching adult and teen leaders lead. It’s amazing to see their creativity and energy and passion for Jesus and kidz. These Small Group Leaders bring their passion, energy and creativity Every.Single.Week. Several of these leaders serve on Sundays and Wednesdays – building relationships with their small group of kidz.  And for those who lead on Wednesdays, a number of them are coming from work! But these leaders get here and they are focused and ready to lead.

Hearing how God provided an opening for a SGL to talk with her kidz about taking God’s name in vain. She was praying for just the right opportunity. It was great to hear how God provided just the right time. And to hear how the conversation unfolded and that some of the kidz in the small group added to the conversation and were able accurately explain why we aren’t to take God’s name in vain. And then these same kidz offered different words for their peers to say. The best way to create a safe place is to lead small. Through the safety of the small group, there was openness and honesty. Through their small group, kidz learned God’s truth and how to apply it in their lives. 

Our Anchor Is the Reason for the Season

by Jen Balkey

As the temperature changes and you begin to think about pulling out Christmas decorations and scheduling holiday parties, what is your attitude going into this season? What is it all about to you? The lights? The tree? The perfect tablescape? OR is this a season where you are more focused on the love of God and His provision? Do you recall why you are doing the things you are doing? Can you be proactive this year to remain anchored in Christ and fully enjoy this season?

As we are studying the book of John and the 10 Commandments - we see how God has ordered celebrations  (feasts) at particular times, providing us simple directions to help us remain in step with Him and in our relationships with others. What will you do to put into practice those teachings that we are studying? Are you allowing the Word to renew your mind and breathe new life into the holiday season? How can you be more intentional about how you approach each aspect of this upcoming season?

Here are some ways to be more intentional: (1) RENEW your mind through the Scriptures- know what is important and why it is important. (2) RECALL His goodness- how God has been faithful throughout all of history (read in His Word) and in your own life (sharing stories of God’s working in your life). And, (3) REJOICE in this opportunity to share your faith! There may be times when you are just not sure how to share your faith with others. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the perfect time to share God’s love. Gather people together. Talk about His goodness. It is a time of celebration!

Remain ANCHORED in the truth as you REACH OUT to those around you with the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ!! He is what you really need. He is what they really need. To God be the Glory!

** SAVE the DATE - Women’s Heart Breakfast Saturday, February 8th 9:00 -11:00 am.**

Simple Intention - Great Blessing

Tim & Shirley Dubeau

From the beginning, our intention was simple:  Let’s do something to celebrate our 50 years of marriage in keeping with our 50 years together. Serving is part of our DNA. So when the opportunity came our way to travel to North Africa for nine weeks to help prepare our grandkids’ primary, middle and secondary school buildings to receive students we said, “Let’s do it!” Did it cost us? Yes. Did it stretch us? Yes. 

What did we do? Basic punch-list jobs. Nothing extraordinary: cleaning, painting, repairing doors, windows, classroom set-ups and other miscellaneous tasks. 

As a bonus we assisted a local Fellowship pastored by our son-in-law (a family supported by Hebron!). We came alongside the Fellowship as they renovated a larger worship space to accommodate the ever-growing body of believers serving in this North African city.

It was not all work and no play!! We spent most evenings and shared a few special outings with family. We capped our time away by travelling to Switzerland, France and Germany visiting friends and our granddaughter. All of this on top of building new and deepening old relationships.     

Our desire was to be of service wherever we could.  Volunteering, whether at home or abroad provides an opportunity to reflect the image of Christ into a world that is watching. Let’s always remember we are “blessed to be a blessing!”. Now, this is something worth celebrating!

Merry Christmas Hebron!

We wanted to take a moment and let you know how thankful we are for this past year with all of you. We moved to Penn Hills in December and cannot believe it has been one year already. Words cannot describe how thankful we are for how you welcomed us, how you have encouraged us, and how you have served the Lord alongside us this past year.

What stands out to us about Hebron Church is how people are deeply pursuing to know and love the Lord more and more. This is a church of disciples, not just Sunday-goers. We appreciate how central Christ is—how the Word of God anchors this church in everything it does. We are so excited in the years to come to see what God will do in our midst to the praise of His glorious grace.

There are always challenges, obstacles, and various needs present—but, as the Scriptures teach, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Jeremiah 32:27). This very question got me thinking that this is what Christmas is about! The seemingly difficult and hard challenge of the Father sending his only Son to earth to offer us the salvation we truly needed in our sinful state. It appeared to be “too hard.” But in His goodness and grace, He did it! He sent Jesus Christ—for our very lives to be saved from sin and death—and He did this victoriously, beautifully, and in a glorious way. We are excited to see what the Lord is up to and will accomplish into 2020.

Know this Christmas that we pray for you, long to see Christ formed in you, and are so glad that we are here to serve the Lord alongside you. Rejoice in your Savior and have a very, Merry Christmas!

With love, The Knapp Family (Henry, Kelly, Sabrina and Jason)

A Story Worth Remembering

by Doug Rehberg

A couple came to see me recently with a question about giving. They asked, “What should we do if we aren’t sure that all the money we give to a ministry will be spent wisely and prudently?” It’s a good question. In fact, it begs a larger question – “What’s my responsibility to ensure that my tithes and offerings are spent wisely?”

As soon as they asked it, it prompted a story. Stories stick in our minds like glue, and they resurface again and again over time. In fact, according to several leading researchers of our day, 80% of the world’s people – including 70% of Americans – are story-centric learners. That is, they learn and are most influenced by stories, rather than through reading and writing. I know I am. Maybe you are too. It’s the stories you remember. It’s the stories that stick with you. It’s the stories that connect us to reality. And that’s why 70% of all Scripture is in story form. Just think of Jesus! When God became a man He was the Master Storyteller.

The sad fact is, according to those same researchers, 90% of all Christian leaders communicate the truth of God’s Word through a recantation of facts, theoretical concepts, and exhortations.

Someone has said that the success of a sermon is in the pictures you leave in the minds of the listeners. “They’ll forget your words, but will remember the stories.” To communicate successfully, the story must be at the center of what is communicated. It’s stories that intersect with the listener’s own experience that make a lasting imprint on their minds and hearts.

So, back to the question about giving. I told them a story about my father and me in 1962. You may have heard it.

It was 1962 and we were at a tent meeting outside Pensacola, Florida. At the beginning of the meeting evangelist Leroy Jenkins came out through the curtain and announced that God just told him that there were ten men in that tent who would give $100 to his ministry. He said he wouldn’t start preaching until they identified themselves. At my urging, my father was the third one to give a hundred dollars. On the way back to my grandmother’s house that night I asked my dad if he would pray with me to receive Jesus, because God had used Mr. Jenkins to stir my young heart.

Twelve years later I was at home from college when I picked up the Virginian Pilot newspaper and read that evangelist Leroy Jenkins was arrested on embezzlement charges. Half laughing and half stoic, I took the paper to my father and said, “I’m sorry Dad. It seems like you gave your money to a crook.” My Dad skimmed the article, looked me in the eye and said, “Doug, I didn’t give that money to Leroy Jenkins. I gave it to Jesus.”

It’s been 45 years since that late afternoon in Virginia and 57 years since that night in Pensacola. And, yet, I remember both stories, and what they taught me, as if it were yesterday.

Everything we give, we give to Jesus. Our privilege is to give to Him a mere fraction of what He’s given to us. As for Leroy Jenkins, was he a crook in 1962 or did he make a serious mistake sometime later? Who knows? The answer to that question has nothing to do with my responsibility to give to Jesus out of a joyful, grateful heart. Besides, I bet my father would have paid far more than $100 for the chance to kneel beside his son’s bed and lead him all the way to Jesus.

On Trials and Temptations

by Henry Knapp

Why does God allow us to suffer trials? Why do we suffer temptation?

The Book of James begins with the instruction to “consider it all joy when you face trials and temptations…” Really now? All joy? Perhaps that would be easier if we understood suffering better.

Why does God allow suffering? Surely, it is one of the most frequently repeated questions throughout the centuries, asked by many strong believers who experience something dreadful and by non-believers who are either avoiding the Gospel or seriously concerned about the validity of Christian claims to an all-loving, all-powerful God.

Is there one, simple all-encompassing answer? If so, then that answer is “sin.” But to many, that is unsatisfactory, and the Bible does a much better job in showing us that, because of sin, there are many different reasons why a person suffers in this world.

Here is a sample:

(1) The natural effects of living in a sinful world – the world has been distorted by sin and bad things happen. Period. If you live in Rome, prepare to do things the Roman way. If you live in this world, sinful things will happen. (Abraham’s travels)
(2) Attack by evil powers. They are real. They are here, and they do real damage. While not everything bad has a demonic cause, some things surely do. (Job)
(3) Sinned against by others. Lets face it, bad things happen because people do bad things. One of the reasons we suffer is because we are sinful people who act sinfully against others. (see Christ’s death,    1 Peter)
(4) Consequences of unwise choices. Whose fault is my suffering if I decide to ram my head against a stone wall? I suspect we could eliminate a lot of suffering in this world if we could only get rid of all the unwise people… (Proverbs)
(5) Divine discipline. Training for anything worthwhile is difficult. No pain, no gain, as all those sadistic athletic people say. Well, spiritually, no pain, no gain. Frequently, our suffering is intended to serve as an educational tool to bring us to godliness. (Hebrews, Proverbs)
(6) Divine Punishment. Yes, the Bible says so, and I believe it. Sometimes we suffer for no other reason than God is punishing us for our sin. Punishment, both for justice’s sake, and to lead us to repentance and mercy from God. (Judges, Gehazi, Ananias/Sapphria, Herod)

There is no easy answer for someone when they are suffering. I would never presume to tell someone that they are suffering for any specific one of the reasons listed above (such a presumption would be rather arrogant, in my opinion), but rather suggest they seek God’s comfort and wisdom.

And James does reassure us—suffering produces perseverance, and the one who perseveres is blessed by God.    

Does Our Worship Honor God?

by Barrett Hendrickson

The Lord was very specific to Israel on how He is to be worshiped. Many of us are studying the Ten Commandments this fall and recognize the first four commandments relate to the worship of God. God gives specific instruction in the building of the Tabernacle (Exodus 24-31). He describes the building of furniture that facilitates worship that pleases Him. Moreover, Leviticus and Deuteronomy prescribe appropriate acts of worship. While much of the symbolism has been fulfilled in the work of Christ, the Lord still cares deeply how He is worshiped.
God has a chosen people. In the Old Testament it was Israel: descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There were exceptions (i.e. Ruth, Rehab, who subsequently were mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy of Christ); but they were required to take on the identity of Israel (Exodus 12:48-49).
As Israel was entering Canaan, the Lord said: “When my angel goes before you and brings you to the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, you shall not bow down to their gods nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces. You shall serve the Lord your God” (Exodus 23:23-25). This was the Lord’s instruction because He knows the hearts of man.
But Israel did not obey. We see the results of their disobedience in the Book of Judges. “I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you’” (Judges 2:1-3).
The Lord warned His chosen people to drive out the inhabitants of the land, yet they allowed them to remain. The result was what is called syncretism, a meshing of the proper worship of the true God with the idolatrous worship of foreigners. Syncretism is still with us today. Our corrupt hearts often want to add our own preferences to the Scriptures, the Gospel, and the finished work of Christ.
Through the finished work of Christ, God’s chosen people are His church. The Church of Christ surpasses any national borders and is open to all who put their faith in Christ.
Hebron is proudly evangelical, which in the strictest sense means that we believe that the good news of Jesus' incarnation, death, resurrection, and incarnation as given to us in scripture calls us to obedience, repentance and faith. However, today the word “evangelical” is strongly associated with a political movement. To the common man on the street, evangelical means, one who hates abortion, homosexuality, socialism, loves guns, and is proudly “right wing”. While we do believe Scripture addresses many of these moral issues, they have very little to do with the Gospel and true evangelicalism.
Is our worship honoring to God? Why do our places of worship look the way they do? Do all aspects of our worship have a biblical basis or are there pieces that have been syncretized from the surrounding culture? Is our evangelicalism solidly rooted in the Scripture?
As we design our worship services and our places of worship, we must seek to align ourselves with Scripture. At the very least, we must not include elements that are forbidden in Scripture. I encourage you to arrive early to worship and look at the elements of worship in the service order, along with the tools of worship in the sanctuary (e.g. the communion table, the cross, the lighting, etc.), and consider how they align with Scripture. Ask yourself, “How do all these things point me in the direction of Jesus Christ and His finished work?”

Children's Ministry

by Ellen Dillard

Psalm 9:1 says:
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”

The Holidays can be crazy busy. While they are meant to be a time of thanksgiving and praise to God for His many blessings; the reality is that the holidays are often very stressful.  And frequently, we can’t wait until we go back to our normal 9-5!

This Thanksgiving, make sure you block off a few hours or even one whole day to enjoy family traditions or make new ones!

November 1, place a pumpkin in the middle of your dinner table.  Keep a sharpie close by.  Throughout the month, encourage your family members to write the things they are most thankful for on the pumpkin.  If your kidz are too young to write, ask them what they are most thankful for and write it for them!  Pray together and thank God for His many blessings.

Together, get your Bibles and “look through the Scriptures” for verses that help you to thank and praise God.  Write the verse on a piece of paper and put them in a jar. During 2020, pull a Scripture out daily/weekly as a reminder to give thanks to God!

We’d love to see your pumpkin and the thanksgiving Scriptures that you find!  Share them with us –

We are praying for and praising God for your family today!


Thank you for praying for our 4th/5th Graders while on their retreat at Pine Springs Camp. We talked about forgiveness.  Good conversation happened in our small groups - as kidz talked about and processed what it means to be forgiven and why we need to be forgiven.  In addition, we had a ton of fun playing games like chicken wars, climbing the rock wall, archery, and ziplining.