Friday, April 21, 2006

Looking for DSM now!

At the MCC Council meeting on April 11th, the council voted to authorize Don Johnson and a search committee to begin an immediate search for a Director of Student Ministries. The committee is drafting a job description and a examining a growing file of resumes of candidates who would be strong leaders for our student ministries.
Why "student" ministry and not "youth?" The Vision Team, Council and Search team all grappled with this term. We believe the term "student" is more comprehensive and accurate, and broader. Adolescence, a term formerly applying to 7th-12th graders, is descending. The growing role of media and internet is creeping into our children's lives at a lower and lower age level each year. So the beginning level for "student" ministry is 5th and 6th grade. We want our staff person planning for those who are coming into middle school and hgih school. "Student" also applies to the large numbers of our youth in college, who are still in the process of being trained.
The primary focus of his/her energy will still be in the arena of Jr. and Sr. High, but those working with 5th &6th will report to the Director of Student Ministries, as will the College Intern at MCC. Please pray for this most important staff search at MCC.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

He Is Risen

Easter is about full color, bright and big. Resurrection is not subtle or mousy. It's the biggest news for the universe; God raised his dead son back to life and promises to do the same for us who belileve. That's good news! That's great news! The bright altar flowers explode in different directions like fireworks. Standing next to the flowers is the Christ Candle, which was brought out of the sanctuary Friday night, leaving worshipers in the total darkness of death. Now it is back in the sanctuary, tall and lit.
The patio fountain has been converted from a flowing fountain of water to a cascading fountain of bright flowers. It looks like a party. There is nothing but good news here! Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Palm Sunday

When you come into the sanctuary of Monetecito Covenant Church on Sunday, April 9th you will see palm branches just about everywhere. Why? Why palms? Why not pine branches or maple leaves or roses? What's the deal with palms?
Palms are for parades...really old and special parades. On this Sunday we celebrate a parade of one. Jesus was a one-person parade into Jerusalem. Many people came out to greet him; with palms. Because most of them were very poor, and palms grew around Jerusalem as much as around Santa Barbara, they were basically brush to be thrown away. You could look on the side of most roads and see palm branches. But palms, beyond being cheap, sent a special Jewish signal: of victory. Over 150 years before Jesus' day, the Jersualem Jews revolted against people who did terrible things in the Temple. The guy who led the revolt was Judas Maccabaeus. And on that victory day (read; parade) everyone waved palms. That day is now the Jewish holiday of Hannukah. Palms were waved for victory over enemies. The people waved those palms because they thought Jesus was bringing a victory over the Roman government like Judas Maccabaeus did.
But Jesus' parade was about a different kind of victory....over sin, death and all the forces of evil. Wave those palms! Jesus won the battle!