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February 2017
Vol 17, Issue 2


The Quickest Way to Stay Informed

STORYLINE: A Big Move to Baltimore
Michael S. Martin, who has so faithfully served several ministries both locally and nationally with EFCA, is making a move back toward his roots.  Michael (with his always wise and helpful wife Gail) will be taking the role of senior pastor of  Stillmeadow Evangelical Free Church in Baltimore, MD.  Michael's last Sunday at Oceanside Christian Fellowship in El Segundo, CA, will be January 29, 2017.
Christ Community Church Hosting West Coast Conference
Christ Community Church (EFC) in Laguna Hills, CA, is hosting the West Coast Conference for "Made in His Image: Live for His Glory." The Conference includes four plenary sessions and several breakout sessions.  The dates are Friday, May 5, beginning at 7 pm, and Saturday, May 6, 8:30 am- 1:00 pm.   The cost is only $30.  Conference speakers include Denny Burk, Ric Rodeheaver and Grant Castleberry. The conference is held in conjunction with CBMW.
SoCal Men's Retreat
FH Ojai
Again this year a number of our SoCal EFCA churches are collaborating on a Men's Retreat at Forest Home in Ojai.  This year's retreat will be April 28-30.  The speaker is Harry Walls,  the campus pastor at The Master's College. The retreat cost for cabins is $205 and tent cabins are $165 per person. If your church would like to send a group of men, contact Bob Childress, pastor of Church of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, or phone him at (661) 252-1600.
Immigrant Pathway Institute 2017
Immigrant Pathway Institute (IPI)  is a week-long, 40-hour training on introductory immigration law and legal practice.  It is designed to meet one of the major requirements for  Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) accreditation , the certification that allows non-profit workers to practice immigration law This class is also open to a wide range of people, from attorneys looking for a foundation in immigration law to pastors or administrators exploring whether to open an immigration program in their church or organization.  The next IPI will be held in Minneapolis, MN, March 20-24, 2017. Click here for more information or click here to register.
Thrive Conference
The Thrive Conference is designed to provide encouragement and fresh ideas for your church.   Learn from a variety of breakout speakers who have practical insights on church ministry, leadership, communications, worship and more. Thrive is being hosted at Southwest Church (EFCA) in Indian Wells, CA March 23-25.  Thrive is offering a discount to those associated with EFCA West.   Click here for more information and registration. If you sign up using the code SW2017 you will receive an EFCA rate of  $70 rather than the promotional rate of $129.
Something to Talk About: What Do We Do When Things Go Wrong?
"Things go wrong all the time. It's the result of imperfect creatures living in a fallen world. Despite our determined efforts, people make mistakes, don't foresee potential negative outcomes, cannot accurately predict future events, and sometimes just don't pay attention to the things that needed to have had their attention.

"Then something goes wrong, and we need to address it. And because things often go wrong, and it is our responsibility as leaders to address what went wrong, how we go about doing so is something to talk about."
EFCA Resources
One of the best kept secrets of EFCA is the many resources available for leaders of local churches.  To receive more information on the available resources such as  EFCA Today, Theology Podcasts, EFCA  Leadership, Worship Leaders Network, ReachGlobal, Church Multiplication and many more, go to the  one page list on the EFCA website to subscribe.
This Is Our Time
Trevin Wax issued a call to Christians in the U.S. who are disillusioned by the results of the last election and the shifting culture, especially as it relates to sexuality.  In his post " This Is Our Time," Trevin reminds all those who follow Christ that we live in this time in this place with these people.   The Gospel is not bound by the conditions of the culture. It is time we recognized these realities and made choices to live our lives on the basis of what is, not what we wish was different.
2016 Predictions That Didn't Come True
James Emory White begins with some predictions highlighted in the Wall Street Journal and then discusses predictions made about the evangelical church.  In his Church and Culture article  Predictions That Didn't Come True, White looks particularly at the predictions made about millennials, such as "The church has moved past racism," and "Large, fast-growing churches are attracting crowds through the abandonment of orthodoxy."
Go to Church LOL: An Impertinent Catechism
Matthew Loftus recently wrote Go to Church LOL: An Impertinent Catechism for Mere Orthodoxy.   Question 4 serves as a good example of Matthew's approach.  "Question 4: But I can worship God and study the Bible in the privacy of my own home, fellowship with other people, and serve the poor on my own. Why do I need to go to church for any of those things?   Because not going to Church at all cuts you off from the accountability, fellowship, discipline, teaching, and grace that you can only receive there. The vast majority of people are very bad at worshiping God and studying the Bible on their own. They are often prone to coming up with half-cocked answers to questions without thinking to consult people smarter than them that already wrestled with these issues a long time ago. Going to Church doesn't necessarily stop people from believing goofy things, but it certainly helps cordon off some of the craziness."
The Centurion Project
The Centurion Project was created for the sole purpose of meeting the financial, physical and spiritual needs of police officers. TCP's most essential mission is to share Jesus Christ's life-changing message, and to show His love to the law enforcement community.

Tom Garasha, former Director of Pastoral Care for EFCA West, is now serving with The Centurion Project. You can read an update on Tom's ministry here and Tom's latest blog here.
Free Exponential Online Course
The "Becoming a Level 5 Multiplying Church" online course is designed to  give you an understanding of the Five levels and discover your own level (i.e. your Profile) as your starting point. You will get insights into Levels 4 and 5 and learn from others who have made that journey. This course will help you recognize the tensions that you'll encounter on your way to Level 5, so that you can begin to take your own steps toward kingdom multiplication. You can register here.
The Kingstone Bible
Recently Kingstone Comics released a three-volume graphic novel covering both the Old and New Testament. The books are currently available both in print and digitally for one price. Each volume is about 650 pages of graphic work by artists who work for Marvel and DC Comics. The authors include Ben Avery and Randy Alcorn. The stories are told as a graphic adaptation, but any text directly quoted from the Bible is from the New Living Translation.
Something to Think About
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. --John Quincy Adams
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