Saturday, September 30, 2006

Greetings from Charlie & Seth

One of the cool things about the inernet is the ability to say "HI" back and forth across continents. Did you know that Charlie Beck and Seth Ludwick are travelling thoughout Spain this year. Charlie has been taking fabulous photographs of their adventure. Keep these two guys in your prayers for safety and direction.

Bandage-Rolling & Prayer Shawls

Saturday morning, September 30 was a busy time in the Upper Room at MCC. A group of women gathered together for the first time to do two things simultaneously: roll bandages for Congo and knit prayer shawls for folks in need here. Both tasks occur "under the radar" of congregational life. They don't make a lot of noise about what they do, but the pay-off is big. When Martha and I visited Cong (the Zaire) in 1994, we were astounded at the way those bandages were used everywhere, kind of like we use duct tape. You see, there still is precious little infrastructure in Congo. So containers of bandages are used to dress wounds, support as slings, hold limbs up in traction, secure I.V. bottles, tie, hold, bind, support anything.
Then the prayer shawls are a ministry I saw practiced with Diana Trautwein, who brings a prayer shawl to a person just before or after surgery. They are knitted by members with prayer and love, knowing they will be wrapped around a person in the future with prayer from the whole church. Hospitals are notoriously cold places, and the prayer shawls bring that much more warmth and love.

Follow Me!

The altar decoration for Sunday Oct 1 revolves around the on-going story of Jesus' life. This tableau tells the story of Jesus (the big Christ candle) calling disciples, who leave their nets (with glistening drops of water still hanging) and follow after their new master, who promises to teach them how to fish for people instead of fish.
The point of the day is that God still comes to ordinary lives with the call to drop everything and follow.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

A Table for Don

MCC has a new patio table. It's made of recycled teak from the Philippines. It is sturdy, heavy and weather-ready. The table is a gift, not to Don Johnson, but in memory of Don Michealsen, late husband of Jeanne Michealsen. This table will serve to hold refreshments and act as an anchor point in the patio area. Don Michealsen was a founding member of MCC and his family is grateful for his life and love among us all.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In-place ministry staff!!

As of August 1st, Liam Murphy, Westmont graduate 2006, joined the MCC staff as Interim Director of Student Ministries. Liam has been a volunteer with student ministries in the past and is seeking God's direction as MCC continues to explore the right staffing for student ministries. Liam has Leslie Carrol working with him part-time as a ministry intern. Leslie is a senior at Westmont and has worked with Club 56 in the past.

Kevin Funkhouser applied for the position of college Ministries Director and joined the staff in September after a summer at Forest Home, giving spiritual guidance and care to the counselling staff. Kevin is a active musician, barrista, graphic designer, insect lover and fashion savant.

Brandon Waybright has been attending MCC for about one year. He volunteered to work with Club 56 and the kids loved him. When Leslie switched over to help with Jr/Sr high, Brandon stepped into the positon. Brandon comes from a large Evangelical Free Church in Illinois (and is a pastor's kid like Don & Martha). He too is a musician and seeker after God's will for his life.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Temptation & Ashes

Today's worship focussed on the temptations of Jesus as MCC explores the life of Christ. The altar had several large, coarse stones on it. The children quickly identified those stones as one like Jesus was tempted to turn into bread after his 40 day fast. The sermon from Matthew 4:1-11 showed how temptation comes as good advice, even scripture itself, turned a fraction off course, suited to meet our own personal needs rather than obedience to God.
At the end of the service, worshipers were invited to write their "wildernesses" and 'temptations" on blank peices of paper and bring them to a basket at the chancel steps. Then, after the benediction, they were taken outside and ignited, as burnt offerings to God.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

College Ministry BBQ

The service was hardly over when the smells of lit charcoal could be detected coming from the patio off the gym. Rick Pointer and Bruce Fisk were the "grilliers" along with several adult support-staff. Students ate their fill around the patio tables and met Kevin Funkouser, who will be starting regular college ministries.
Telford Work also began Yeshiva Jeshua at the Westmont dining room Sunday morning. The gathering group will be working their way through Isaiah. For further information contact Kevin at church 805-969-0373.

Ministry Fair #2

The courtyard was jammed and conversations everywhere were in full gear. This was MCC's second week of hosting a ministry fair. Any currently active ministry was given a table on which they could set up information, video or demonstrations. As I wandered through, I saw sign-up sheets filling and new people inquiring about everything from bandage rolling to nursery care. It was so well-received, we think we will host ministry fairs regularly throughout the year.