The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Fall is the time for wind storms. Often you hear the wind whisper through the trees even before you feel its force. The leaves rustle. A branch snaps. The house creeks. By listening, you can discern the presence of wind.
Because it is invisible, don’t know where it may be coming from until you feel, it or see its impact. Wind can come from any direction. It can surprise you. It ranges from silent stillness to hurricane force.
Followers of Jesus have been supernaturally been “born of the Spirit”. We look like ordinary people, embedded in a community of light and darkness. As the Spirit leads us there are times where we are to be still and silent. Then there are times when we bring a quiet word of encouragement to one person. And there are times when the Spirit brings us together to have a powerful and dramatic impact on our world.
Our responsibility is to develop a sensitivity and responsiveness to the Holy Spirit. But how? What does it … Continue reading
I would like to let the public know I am personally opposed to the production, sale, and use of recreational marijuana.
I have been working with the drug-addicted for many years both in Eureka and in Seattle, where I previously ran an in-patient facility for those affected by addiction and mental health issues. I believe there is a direct correlation between the very difficult issues we face as a community in regard to crime, homelessness, and addiction and the prevalence of recreational marijuana in Humboldt County.
In the Eureka City Council meeting on October 3, 2017, I approved the regulation recommendations of the staff regarding the retail sales of medical and recreational marijuana in the city of Eureka because we are now at a point of determining regulation rather than legalization. Regulation has to do with what is best for our city in light of the new laws voted on by citizens regarding this subject.
My decision was based on that reality more than my personal preference regarding regulation in the city of Eureka, as well as the need to put in regulations before the State of California implements broader ones on January 1, 2018.
Heidi Messner is a lead pastor at Faith Center … Continue reading
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, one third of teens on the street will be lured toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. Teen runaways are often promised food, shelter, and protection from the cruelty of the streets, only to find themselves trapped, prisoners to the world of sex trafficking.
One local group is working to end this horrific crime in Humboldt County. Empower. Protect. Invest. (E.P.I.) thinkSMALL Humboldt County is dedicated to educating local students about the red flags and dangers of human trafficking, empowering them to protect themselves and their friends from traffickers lurking in our county.
E.P.I. is partnering with LifeHouse Humboldt to present Runaway Sleep Out Night, a fundraiser for anti-human trafficking education in Humboldt County. The event is being held at LifeHouse Humboldt (2734 Hubbard Ln., Eureka, CA) on Friday, October 6, 2017 beginning at 5 p.m. and running until 8 a.m. the next day. Runaway Night is a community awareness project that replicates just a small part of what a runaway may face their first night out on the streets. Participants acquire sponsors to donate to the cause if the participant sleeps outside for one night at the event. A prize will be awarded … Continue reading
Down the hall and to the left in the Administration Building is the somewhat elusive Pastoral Office. Without any particular name displayed, it’s easy to pass by.
The staff members inside work largely behind the scenes to plan and coordinate community events, spiritual development classes, missions, and outreaches. Their work is at the heart of Faith Center’s Mission Statement: To lead people into a thriving relationship with Jesus by gathering, growing and going in God’s love.
Two of the pastoral office staff, Rick Urban, Pastor of Care Ministries, and Leslie Lemmon, Assisting Minister and NCBI Administrator, had humble beginnings working at the church. Both have only had their current roles since around 2015, but have a long history at Faith Center.
Rick started out in 2008 working in facilities as a janitor.
“I learned a lot being a janitor here for seven years,” Urban said. “I think we all need to have a heart that is ready to clean a toilet,” he added with a warm chuckle.
Rick has a heart that is ready to clean a toilet (or tell a wisecrack joke). With his humor and servitude he reaches out to others continually, warmly welcoming them as they are.
In various ways … Continue reading
Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:6,7 NIV
There really have been those times for me that I have felt forgotten, well, at least a little bit anyway. Sometimes I have questioned my own personal value. I have even questioned the reality of my relationship with Jesus. I suspect that you have felt like that once in a while too, or should I say, I really hope that I am not completely alone on this account!
I have had the Lord show up a few times and usually right in the middle of my “Pity Party” celebration. He must feel bad for me since no one that I invite comes to those parties anyway. He has shown up in the most unusual of ways; but maybe for him it’s not that unusual. I would like to tell you about one of those times and certainly one of the two most profound encounters that I have had since becoming a believer.
Some years back I was in my garage working on a fish. … Continue reading
On any given Wednesday night at Faith Center, you will find a group of millenials breaking the stereotype; 18 to 30 year olds sharing life and the Bible. It’s a rare sighting for the modern church, in a time where only two in ten Americans under 30 believe attending a church is worthwhile.
But despite the odds, this Young Adults group keeps growing.
“We started off with only a handful of people,” Co-Director Zach Stewart said. “We have since grown to a group of almost 20+ each week. New young adults keep coming.”
The group makes it a priority to meet new young adults right where they are.
“Sometimes people think that they have to have it all together before coming to church or joining a small group,” Co-Director Samantha Karges said. “Some might say, ‘oh well I keep doing this, or that’ or ‘they’ll judge me by my past/present.’ That isn’t the case. Christ meets us where we are, sin and all. We follow His example.”
The idea is to create a community space where young people can make friends and share their lives with their peers. Through games, activities, Bible study and the occasional dinner, connections are happening.
Another focus of the group is … Continue reading
In 2015, Heidi and I celebrated 25 years of full time pastoral ministry.
In March of 2017 we completed seven years of ministry here at Faith Center. We are thankful for this community, this church, and the fruitfulness the Lord has allowed us to witness while serving here.
Last year the Lord began to nudge us to consider taking a sabbatical during 2017. Heidi and I try to proactively pace ourselves in order avoid the burn out that is typical among pastors. Sabbaticals have recently become common for pastors as they have grown in their understanding of the importance of self-care. With responsibilities that include pastoring, serving as Divisional Superintendents (giving oversight to nine churches), City Council and teaching, we carry a heavy workload and are not immune to the toll that ministry takes. The church council confirmed our thoughts by suggesting that Faith Center should offer this as a benefit every seven years.
What is a Sabbatical?
A ministry sabbatical is a spiritual renewal leave, for the purpose of restoring vitality and health (spiritual, emotional and physical) in spiritual leaders. It is not merely a vacation, but it is instead an intentional time of refreshment and restoration where the leader is released … Continue reading
Vacuuming, while a tiresome chore, may seem easy enough. But for our older congregation members, the task can be a huge challenge. On Saturday, June 3 a group of Faith Center volunteers set out to make the impossible, possible with a lot of love and hard work.
“I would never ask anyone to do what [my volunteers] did for me,” a local senior said. “It’s so wonderful that [Faith Center] asked me what I needed, and I didn’t have to ask.”
More than 30 volunteers of all ages met in the Faith Center foyer Saturday morning to receive their assignments, pray, and dispatch to 12 senior’s homes. There they performed an assortment of services ranging from vacuuming, cleaning, mopping, dusting, washing windows and cars, and clearing gutters.
“Everything we did was unskilled labor,” Organizer Sandi Case said. “Simple things can just be increasingly difficult as we reach a certain age.”
Teams were a mix of singles, couples and families with small children serving people up to and past 80 years of age.
“[My senior] kept thanking us over and over,” one volunteer said, “but I don’t think she was nearly as blessed by us as I was by her.”
After completing their tasks, volunteers and the seniors … Continue reading
Send your kids on an imaginative, impacting adventure! At Maker Fun Factory VBS, kids discover not only that God made them the way they are, but for a purpose too.
Maker Fun Factory is filled with incredible Bible-learning experiences kids see, hear, touch, and even taste! Sciency-Fun Gizmos™, team-building games, cool Bible songs, and tasty treats are just a few of the standout activities that help faith flow into real life. (Since everything is hands-on, kids might get a little messy. Be sure to send them in play clothes and safe shoes.) Plus, we’ll help kids discover how to see evidence of God in everyday life—something we call God Sightings. Get ready to hear that phrase a lot!
Join us June 19-23 from 9 a.m. to noon at Faith Center. Vacation Bible School is for ages Kindergarten through 5th grade.
Register online at: https://vbspro.events/p/events/kidzone/