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December 2016
Pacific Church Network Newsletter
Discernment
Someone once said something like...if you tell a lie often enough, loud enough and long enough, people will eventually believe it. During our election season, some people pointed out that "fake news" was occasionally used to spread rumors, and some people believed the rumors. Imagine that. We all know that the media, blogs and TV news programs don't always get the truth out without commentary one way or another. Biased reporting exists.

Christmas receives a lot of biased reporting as well. Now it is politically correct to only say, "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." For centuries, some people have reported that Jesus was not born of a virgin, the star of Bethlehem is a myth, wise men from the east never visited Israel and that Jesus is not the son of God. Many don't believe as Joseph did when the angel said to him,""Joseph, son of David...do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."  Matthew 1:20-21 (NLT)  When Joseph woke up, he believe it and acted accordingly. Be careful what you believe is true or not. Check the facts and then, when you know it is true, like Anna after meeting baby Jesus, "she talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem." Luke 2:38 (NLT) Also, greet everyone this year with a joyful "Merry Christmas!"

Have a great Christmas season, from me and my grandson.

Sincerely, 

Jim Smith
President
Pacific Church Network 
 
Christmas on Sunday!
What churches will do on Sunday is an interesting discussion. Ed Seltzer shares some thoughts on this subject.
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"Although Christian churches tend to worship on Sundays, in the United States there is only one day a year that seems more "holy" than the Lord's Day. Christmas morning, is for many families, a sacred time, though not often for religious reasons. Family traditions (often with traveling family members) tend to trump church expectations, especially as it relates to when and where individuals will choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
In 2005 (the last time the December 25 fell on a Sunday) Christianity  Today and the Chicago Tribune reported the decision some mega-churches made to cancel Sunday Christmas services. 
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Cally Parkinson, spokeswoman for Willow Creek said, "It's being lifestyle-friendly for people who are just very, very busy."
Lot's of other churches followed Willow Creek and it  even made national headlines. 
It appears to me that there are some missional opportunities around Christmas time, but also some family challenges. I'd be interested in how your church is handling it-- and why.
I've listed some of the responses to my Tweet below. It seems like this year most are going to continue with at least one service Sunday morning and forgo small group gatherings. Many are holding Christmas Eve services, but the timing varies. Some are even holding Friday night candlelight services, two days before Christmas.
You will note that some churches (particularly liturgical ones) would never miss Christmas morning worship, on a Sunday or not.
What about yours?"
 
 
Annual Meeting 2017
Put it in your calendar and plan on attending. Bring a bunch from your church and make a day of it.

On Sunday, January 29, Pacific Church Network will hold our Annual Meeting at Calvary Baptist Church in Huntington Beach. Come hear and meet our Church Planters, Chaplains and WorldVenture missionaries from around the region, country and world. Plus take advantage of some helpful late afternoon workshops and network over dinner with other people from member Pacific Church Network churches. more information

Holy Land Tour Begins
Pacific Church Network's first trip to the Holy Land will leave LAX this Thursday! It has been many months since we first announced our trip and the response has been wonderful. A total of 48 people from a variety of PCN churches will be together for 10 exciting days over in Israel. With such a good response to this trip, look for another PCN sponsored trip coming soon. We will announce our next trip at our annual meeting in January. Look for our Israel trip photos on our PCN facebook page.

Rick center above, Brett below
Ordinations in Bishop
On Tuesday, November 22, Calvary Baptist Church in Bishop asked Pacific Church Network to officiate the ordination council for two of their staff, Lead Pastor Rick Klug and Youth Pastor Brett Newman. PCN Ordination Chairman Perry White and PCN President Jim Smith joined Calvary's Elders for the council. Brett's examination was in the morning and Rick's was in the afternoon. A long day for the council, but enjoyable conversation and fellowship. Both were approved and will be recognized in a church service in December. Rick has been successfully leading Calvary in Bishop for 11 years and has seen significant growth. Brett has been serving at Calvary for years and will soon become a full-time Army Chaplain. Congratulations to both!!!

Cena de Navidad
This year, our annual Christmas gathering for our Spanish-language pastors and church leaders will be hosted by Calvary Baptist Church in La Puente on December 3 at 6:00 p.m. Pastor Noel Hacegaba, Calvary's pastor, will be sharing an inspirational message, and along with great food and fellowship, this is a night you won't want to miss. Cost is $10 per person. Hurry to register while there's still time!

Home with the Lord
On Monday, November 14, Jim Redden passed away and entered into the presence of our Lord. Jim was a very active member in Pacific Church Network (CB Southern California) serving as the Senior Pastor of Temple Baptist in Perris and Pastor of Senior Care at Grace Church in Glendora, as well as an active Board Member for many years. His memorial service was on November 22 at North Coast Church in Vista. If you wish, you may write to his wife Cherie. Contact the PCN office for the address at info@pacificchurchnetwork.com. There is a facebook page in honor of Jim you can visit as well.
 
A Great Date Night 
Sometimes in marriage we forget that we need to pursue and "woo" our spouse. So Pacific Church Network wants to give you a great opportunity to make a wonderful memory with your spouse. We value strong marriages and want to provide opportunities to strengthen them. This is one of those opportunities. We are planning a special night for couples this coming February 25, 2017.  An afternoon coffee, followed by a great marriage workshop, and concluding with a memorable dinner you'll long remember. Brian and Chandra Howard and Jim and Vicki Smith will be leading the marriage workshops.  More information here.
 
Chaplaincy in Guam
John Tomada is on staff at Bayview Church in Guam, one of the member churches in the Pacific Church Network. John also serves regularly as a Chaplain at the US Army base.  As a Chaplain, John takes advantage of the opportunity to talk to soldiers whenever he can, like in this picture taken while on a short break in the field, literally. This ministry is an on call, 24-hours-a-day, duty where our chaplains work hard to help meet the emotional and spiritual needs men and women face in their stress-filled lives. Pacific Church Network supports 195 chaplains worldwide through CBAmerica.
 
Greetings from Guam
Bayview Church on Guam used a drone to take a church family picture. It's a great idea and can be used in many ways. Seasons greetings from our Pacific Church Network Church on Guam, which will definitely not see snow anywhere on the island. The church is growing and healthy, with over 150 kids and an average of 450 people attending each Sunday.  Merry Christmas to Pastor Kevin and Missy Elwell and and the Bayview church family!
 
Chaplains Baptized 115
Chaplain Brian Hargis, US Army Chaplain, shares this story...."For the first service in March, it was WEEK 1 for the Soldiers and over 200 attended the chapel service.  No doubt that numerous Soldiers received the Gospel for the first time in their lives.  So many came to Jesus that it was more than I could count.....For the last week, the services had grown by word of mouth. We needed more chairs in the battalion conference room to seat 250 Soldiers...One by one, we baptized 115 Soldiers in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and presented baptismal certificates."  
 
Vision of Jesus in Turkey
WorldVenture, PCN's sister organization, works on planting churches around the world. Here is one story from Turkey... "Seyhan Tekih grew up as a Muslim in Usak, Turkey. One day, a man approached her on the street, asking if she'd like to attend a concert in the city that night. Seyhan decided to go, not knowing the concert was Christian and that she would meet followers of Jesus for the first time in her life. After that night, she couldn't stop reading the Bible and other books she received from those Christians. Then she had a dream in which Jesus appeared to her in a cave surrounded by bright light. It became clear to her: she had no choice but to follow Jesus.  It wasn't long before Seyhan's father and mother found out she had left Islam. To them, that was the same as saying she was no longer Turkish. They disowned their daughter, and even now-eight years later-Seyhan rarely speaks to them...."  read the rest of the story .

Movie Night in Glendale
Our PCN church in Glendale, the Armenian Evangelical Brethren Church hosted a free kids movie night in their parking lot in early November, featuring the movie, "Finding Dory."  Free popcorn and hot dogs were offered before the movie and the only ticket needed was to offer your email address. Over 100 neighbors attended this wonderful family outreach that was appreciated by all those in attendance.  
 
desktop-items-phone.jpg Temporary Injunction
This may apply to you. A ruling by the Obama Administration that affected salaried employees making less than $47,500 a year was going into effect this month. However, on November 22, a federal judge issued a nationwide temporary injunction halting the implementation of the new overtime pay rule scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016. The judge, Amos L. Mazzant III - appointed by President Obama - ruled that the Obama administration (specifically, the U.S. Department of Labor) exceeded its legal authority in implementing the new rule. Consequently, this rule change is on hold for all U.S. employers. read more

China Representatives
In November, Pacific Church Network President Jim Smith was invited to meet with Missions Door Southwest City Ministry Specialist Ken Wallace and Mission Door Missionary Benjamin Chen as they hosted a dinner for two pastors from the Guangzhou area of China.  These pastors have churches of over 1,000 and wanted to hear and see what is happening in Southern California. Continue to pray for the Christians in China and the influence they have in that growing part of the world.
Generosity Workshop
Pacific Church Network is holding a free workshop on how to Create a Culture of Generosity in your church on Tuesday, February 7.  Brad Leeper will be our guest speaker, and he has had the privilege of working with the best people on the planet in accelerating generosity toward a God-inspired vision. Creating an environment where individuals ask God what He wants them to do--in light of what He has called their church to do--is Brad's ultimate task.  This event is free for Pacific Church Network, Transformation Ministries and Acts 29 Member Churches and includes lunch. Our PCN church in Glendale, Armenian Evangelical Brethren Church, will be hosting this special event. Register here for this free event.