Welcome to Our New Children’s Director

Staff_April_Spano

Christ Community PCA would like to welcome our new Children’s Director, April Spano, to the staff. April will be responsible for coordinating the nursery, children’s Sunday school classes, summer kids camp, and more. Be on the lookout for several upcoming children’s activities she is already planning.

April grew up in the Birmingham area and has lived in Springville since 2014.  She and her husband Tony joined our church in early 2015 and they have already made a positive impact on many areas of church life. Her experience as a nanny combined with her work in management at a local restaurant prepared her for this new role. We know the children of Springville will love April because she will work hard to ensure sure they are loved. Join us in welcoming April to the Christ Community staff!

 

Stand or Flee?

Should we support Kim Davis or flee?

church_state

Where do you stand? Should we ignore Kim so we can pay closer attention to the refugees from Syria? Is the solution for the discord in our country found in a new President? If so, whom? Christians all agree the ultimate answer is Christ. The difficulty comes when we discuss life here and now prior to seeing the enemies of Christ as His footstool.

We do not make it a practice of addressing every contemporary issue that comes our way at Christ Community. Stories come and go in our age of 24 hour “news” and attempting to keep up with the latest event is not overly fruitful for corporate worship. There are times, however, where the Lord aligns our walk through Scripture directly with the happenings of our world. This is where we are Sunday.

Hebrews 2:8 Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.

Our study of Hebrews brings us to chapter 2:5-9 and we will examine what it means to live as sojourners awaiting the consummation of the Kingdom of God. The Lord has provided the instruction of His Word, which includes the hope of His promise, and He has given numerous examples for us to consider and work through in today’s world.

We may never be called to go to jail for what we profess. There is, however, a call on our lives to live in subjection to the Lord Jesus Christ even though we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. The Gospel calls us, protects us, keeps us, and empowers us all for the glory of God. Come this Sunday to be refreshed through the worship of the Lord!

 

Christ Community PCA is growing

Have you noticed the changes we’ve made in the last few weeks? Are you curious about what we’re doing next? Read on.

We are done with phase 1, and that is only the beginning. You can see pictures of our progress on our Facebook page.

The Lord has blessed our fellowship. If you have considered visiting with us, now is a great time to do so.

Phase 1 – Goal: Safety (Complete)

Parents can now let their children run free and we gained a nicer property in general. Every comment we’ve received has been a positive one. What exactly did we do? We Added a new fence along highway 11 and planted shrubbery to hide the fence. In about a year the fence will not be visible. We built a new sidewalk, planted grass and plants, and also moved the storage shed in preparation for future expansion.

landscape_updates

Phase 2 – Goal: Accessibility (Planning)

We want a building that is accessible to everyone. A newly paved parking lot will make it easier for everyone to get from their car to the building. It will also look nice!

Phase 3 – Goal: Expansion (Future)

We are outgrowing our current sanctuary. We will take advantage of additional space in our current building by removing the old house (current nursery), building a new entry with bathrooms in its place, and updating the existing sanctuary to double our current capacity.

When this phase is complete we will have one of the premiere properties in Springville. We are proud to be part of the Springville community and want to add to the beauty of the city. We are known for proclaiming the truth of God’s grace and we believe our property updates will help us continue doing that.

Phase 4 – Goal: Long-Term Home (Future)

There are a few different options for this one. We will either build a new sanctuary on our existing property or purchase land for a new campus. We expect this to be 3+ years into the future. Our long-term plans are to continue in the tradition of church planting that brought us into existence. We are a church plant out of Community Presbyterian in Moody, AL. Community Presbyterian was a church plant out of Briarwood in the 80’s. We will work toward beginning a new church plant in a neighboring community as we grow and decisions around that will impact phase 4 and beyond.

Additional Items

We have other items that will need to fit somewhere in these phases or be side projects in between phases. These include:

  • Paint outside of existing sanctuary where there is no stucco
  • Stucco remainder of existing sanctuary
  • Build a new storage building that better fits the property
  • Sell our existing storage building (interested?)
  • Replace roof on existing sanctuary
  • Clear brush on end of property toward the High School
  • Update heating/cooling in existing sanctuary
  • Build a playground

Breeze Church Management – A++

Does your church have a solid software system for keeping up with people? We recently signed up for a new service at breezechms.com and it was one of the best decisions we’ve made as a church. We are a mission church in the PCA and our growth outpaced our previous system. Breeze plugs into tools we were already using and provides us with functionality we did not previously have available to us.

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 4.07.48 PM

Breeze may not be the right choice for the largest of congregations, but I believe it would satisfy the needs of most congregations. We pay $50 a month for unlimited access to all the features. We are able to accept gifts on our website and manage gifts/tithes through Breeze. Our members can also log into Breeze to print their own giving statements at any time.

We are able to record check-ins for events and although we have not used this functionality yet, we could print name tags on the spot for those events. This would be excellent for managing a nursery or any one-time event. Breeze handles the fundamental aspects of keeping information about individual people and families. It can serve as a password protected church directory built to work seamlessly on our member’s mobile devices. It allows us to create forms for activities and even collect money based on answers to questions on those forms.

These features are not ground breaking, but what I have found is that the software is simple. People who use it in our congregation understand it the first time they login. I signed up and had it configured and functioning within an hour. I clicked a button on their site to request a free demo and they generated a personalized demo site immediately so I could actually use the site rather than watching a sales demo.

Breeze is simple, modern and well thought out without being limited on features. It is relatively inexpensive and there is no long-term commitment. It is secure and essentially just what we need because it helps us do the work of Gospel ministry more efficiently.

This may sound like a sales pitch, but it is not. I am an ordained minister with nearly 20 years experience in the software development industry so I was excited to find Breeze. I have no affiliation to the team at Breeze, but I appreciate them. We’ve been using Breeze for a couple of months now and they have already released new features twice. The team at Breeze is nimble and they understand what it takes to create beautiful software. Check it out if your church is looking to upgrade from your current solution.

http://www.christcommunityspringville.com/2015/04/22/2635/

thats-allWe are closing in on the end of our study in Ecclesiastes. What began with the hopeless vanity of vanities has awakened us to our need for redemption from this world rather than redemption in this world. We do not need victory on earth. We do not simply need to be the greatest people living in the greatest earthly kingdom. We need a savior who has conquered sin and death. One that will usher in a new heaven and a new earth. One that will break the curse that has subjected all of creation to futility. We need God’s anointed one. We need Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Solomon and others in the Old Testament had a limited viewpoint. The final revelation in Christ was yet future for them. The Lord gave them limited clarity of His plans as they lived in the shadows. Our viewpoint on the other hand is full of hope because we see how the vanity of toil in this life is made valuable in Christ. We have visibility into eternity. Our visibility is limited, but we have the eternal Spirit of God dwelling in us and we see how the fruit He produces has eternal value and consequences.

“This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” The Psalmist (118:24) urges us to see each day in a different light. Christ is the light of the world that enables us to see the kingdom of God. We can rejoice inwardly and let our gladness shine outwardly because we see God with greater clarity. This life is full of vanity due to death, but victory over death has been won and it is ours in Christ.

Yes, our study in Ecclesiastes is coming to an end, but the impact this study will have on our lives will not end. Many of Solomon’s statements were difficult and confusing, but we worked through them and the overarching message pointed out our need for something more than this world can offer. Solomon knew the answer rested in God, and the New Testament fills out the message for us through the Son of God and the Spirit of God.

This Sunday we will be in Ecclesiastes 11. Come. Rest. Enjoy.

Current Series: Ecclesiastes

We live under the sun. A simple yet rich statement. The casual hearer may move on without pause, but the book of Ecclesiastes hopes for a different reaction. Its author hopes we will pause and consider the repercussions of this statement.

eggEcclesiastes strikes at the heart of life when it uses these words. The weight and depth of them is meant to bear down upon us. Solomon screams over the millennia to anyone who will listen. He wants us to live under the Son while living under the sun.

The message of Ecclesiastes is simple yet the delivery can be complex at times. The simple message is this: the struggles of this life will never be conquered until the Lord intervenes and removes them. In light of this we ought to enjoy life and wait patiently upon the Lord. Simple message. Difficult to implement. The Spirit of God was given that we might enjoy the Lord forever, which includes today.

Come study the remainder of Ecclesiastes with us. We pick up in chapter 8 this Sunday.

Mobile Friendly Website

Have you ever tried to view our site on a mobile device and had a miserable experience? I have! Our new site will hopefully resolve that. If you still have issues, please let us know.

new_website_screenshot

 

The Advent of Peace

advent-websiteWe come to the last Sunday of the Advent season this week and we look to the message of the Angels.  Peace!  We long for peace and the Angels promised it.  The Angel’s promise is not their own, but rather it is the promise of the Lord of all Creation.  They are simply messengers.  The coming Savior, Immanuel, would bring peace to men.  He would reconcile His people to the God to whom they were born enemies.  To whom we have sinned against.

Jesus Christ is our peace.  The Savior that was coming to Israel has come as announced by the Angels and is coming again to take us to the place He has prepared for us.  On Christmas day we celebrate the advent of peace on earth in the birth of the Christ.  Peace with God.  A future peace that reaches back into our current day and fills us with hope and begins to bring joy now.  Come celebrate the Gospel of Jesus Christ with us this Sunday at 10:30 am.

 

August 24, 2014 – 2 Peter 1:1-15

2

Since we are partakers of the divine nature through our union with Christ, we ought to supplement our faith with virtue!  Peter tells those of us in Christ that we make our calling and election sure when we add knowledge, self-control, faithfulness, and godliness to our faith.  Faith exercised begins to transform us and the effort we put forth toward holiness is to our benefit as it strengthens us spiritually and assures us that the Lord does indeed have a hold of us.  He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.  He is also faithful to fulfill His promise to prepare a place for us and to come and get us so that where He is we may be also.  Peter promises “you will never fail” if you practice these qualities because he knows that the Lord is the one who keeps us from failing and these qualities are evidence of the Spirit of the Lord living within us!

 

June 29 2014 Worship

christ_community_worship_small

The book of Malachi has revealed our need of redemption.  Israel’s sinful activity is very much like our own and the root of both is unbelief.  As we close out the book of Malachi, we see the Gospel with deeper clarity.  As we look around today, we may not see much distinction between the blessings of God’s people and the blessings of God’s enemies.  If you look closely enough, there is indeed a peace that surpasses all understanding only available to the elect, but on the surface there is no clear distinction.  Malachi explains this is part of God’s purposes.  He also gives a promise from God that a distinction will be made and this distinction will be greater than the exodus from Egypt or the victory in the promised land of Canaan.  The Lord will separate the wheat from the chaff and we must wait for the great and awesome day of our God!

Come worship the sovereign Creator with us this Sunday morning as He strengthens us through Word and prayer in corporate worship.

The Welcome and Greeting

The Song of Ascent     O Worship the King

The Call to Worship     Psalm 5:11

The Prayer of Invocation

The Song of Praise  Jesus, Lover of My Soul

The Call to Confession   Psalm 5:4-8

The Prayer of Confession    Psalm 5:1-3

All:  Give ear to my words, O Lord; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.

(A time of silent confession)

The Promise of Forgiveness: Psalm 5:11-12

The Affirmation of Faith       The Heidelberg Catechism Q. 85

Leader:    How is the kingdom of heaven shut and opened by christian discipline?

People:  According to the command of Christ, those, who under the name of Christians, maintain doctrines, or practices inconsistent therewith, and will not, after having been often brotherly admonished, renounce their errors and wicked course of life, are complained of to the church, or to those, who are appointed for this purpose by the church; and if they despise their admonition, are by them forbidden the use of the sacraments; whereby they are excluded from the Christian church, and by God himself from the kingdom of Christ; and when they promise and show real amendment, are again received as members of Christ and his church.

The Song of Rejoicing   How Firm a Foundation

The Prayer of Intercession

The Scripture Reading   Malachi 3:16-4:6

The Preaching of God’s Word  

The Bringing of Tithes and Offerings

The Response of Praise

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

The Benediction