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/
Join us for a night of worship with Christian recording artist, Chris August on May 19 at 7 p.m. in the Faith Center Sanctuary. Tickets are $10 an can be purchased online here or at the Faith Center Welcome Center.
“These songs mean more to me than anything I’ve ever done…”
Says the guy who brought us “Starry Night” and “7 x 70.”
Says the guy who virtually swept the Dove Awards, taking New Artist of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year upon the merit of his debut album.
Says the guy who has had a distinct, life-‐altering, life-‐saving encounter with his Maker.
In 2012, amongst tours, a sophomore record and endless miles on buses and planes around the world, Chris August’s entire world turned upside down in a matter of seconds. A skateboarding accident put him in the hospital with a bruised and bleeding brain. It was serious, but eventually, he was stabilized—with a major caveat—he might need a surgery that could incapacitate him for life. Fortunately, after some time and a lot of prayer, the swelling subsided and the physical healing began. And that’s when it got hard.
The pain from his injuries had to be managed. His doctors would prescribe pain … Continue reading
Easter weekend is one of our favorite weekends here at Faith Center. We love seeing all of the church come together as one over the course of three days. Together we will remember Good Friday and Christ’s death, and then celebrate his resurrection and promise to us on Easter Saturday and Sunday.
This year we will once again have a special order of events for both Good Friday and Easter. Our Good Friday service is always a somber night. We will have various guest pastors and speakers sharing with us as we reflect on the narrative of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. We will close our service with communion in remembrance of the sacrifice in which He gave and new life we have received.
On Easter Saturday and Sunday we will have the ultimate celebration! The services will include new songs, a choir, testimony videos from congregation members, and segmented teaching. Each service will also have special prize winners. In the foyer you can find a family photo booth and Faith Center merchandise (t-shirts and stickers) on sale!
Be sure to get to service early as seats fill up. Overflow seating will be available in the Faith Center Dome.
Good Friday Service- April 14, … Continue reading
It started with a Facebook post. Vicky Armstrong, Faith Center’s Uganda Mission Team leader, put out a plea on the social media site asking for a CPR dummy. But when days passed by and no responses came back, she began to accept that it wasn’t going to happen. That’s when an old friend gave her a surprise she would never forget.
The Uganda Mission Team is travelling this week to the Nakasangola District of Uganda in Eastern Africa. There, the team of five will work at the African Hospitality Institute, a school founded in 2006 by Christian missionary Maggie Josiah. The Institute transforms the lives of at-risk youth by offering vocational hospitality training to Ugandan young adults. In a country with over 80% unemployment, the program helps graduates obtain highly sought-after jobs in the tourism industry.
During the Faith Center team’s two-week stay, they will provide the students with an opportunity to practice the hospitality skills they are learning. The team also plans to teach first aid and CPR. That’s why when Haider Ajina with the Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka messaged Armstrong, he was not only doing a friend a favor, but helping change the lives of hundreds of future Ugandan … Continue reading
There are many different things that can cause us to drift and few that hold secure. When we face changes, challenges and struggles, we can lose touch with our faith and the very relationships that anchor us. Learn more about the hope that anchors our lives April 28-30 at this year’s Men’s Retreat at Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds in Occidental, CA.
This year’s featured speaker is Pastor Danny Bennett. Danny is the pastor of Hope Church in Santa Cruz, CA. He and his wife Jenny pioneered the church five years ago out of their living room. It is now a thriving community where every week lives are being transformed and people are opening their lives to Jesus. The heartbeat of the church is to help people find and follow Jesus in a “no perfect people, come as you are” atmosphere. Trusting God, taking risks, and dropping in to the “deep end” have been themes since the beginning. Life is never boring when you say “yes” to God! Danny loves life, his family, surfing, fishing, skateboarding, riding bikes with his family, and a good burrito. He has two children, Ruby Sunshine (10) and Kalé (2).
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER