Worshiping Sundays as an Online Faith Community

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to view our online sermons.

10:00 a.m.:  Imagine Kids Message on Facebook Live
10:15 a.m.:  Online Worship on Facebook Premiere
11:00 a.m.:  Imagine Nation Youth Message
on Facebook Live
Church Office:  980-999-3500 

Weekly Newsletter: August 6, 2020
New coronavirus cases are picking up at a dangerous pace in much of the country with the seven-day average for new infections hovering around 65,000 for two weeks in what amounts to a second wave of cases.  The U.S. recorded more than 1.9 million new infections just in July, nearly 42% of the more than 4.5 million cases reported nationwide since the pandemic began.  That is also more than double the number documented in any other month.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Imagine Church's staff and Leadership Team have prayed for God's wisdom as they read the science and data.  At this point, that wisdom and data do not suggest that indoor, in-person worship is safe for our church family.  We have observed continued high transmission rates for COVID-19 in the Carolinas, and remaining in this holding pattern for now is necessary to  protect the health and safety of the Imagine Church family.
We all look forward to when we can regather in the chapel at Gordon-Conwell.  Now it is simply not safe to reopen for worship with the exception of a small gathering as we had for Heidi's ordination which was out of necessity due to the timing of her move to Cincinnati.  There are some churches pushing the envelope and reopening, and there are church staffs and members who have tested positive.  We are not blaming or shaming; right now, we simply believe it is not safe.
Worship is for the glory of God, whether in-person or online.  We give a big, big thank you to the Imagine Church family who has stuck with us through this since mid-March.  We are learning something about ourselves.  And we are learning about the Lord's Day, not to take it for granted.  This is still the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Upcoming Events:
Friday, August 7:
11:00 a.m. Church Staff Meeting via Zoom 
Sunday, August 9:  THIS SUNDAY! 
Early Sunday a.m.  Musical posts on Imagine Church Facebook Page
Watch for worship songs posted by Jennifer Tankersley, Minister of Music and Worship Arts, and the Imagine Praise Band
10:00 a.m.  Online Message for Imagine Kids on Facebook Live 
Message by Gregory Roberts, Minister to Children and Families
10:15 a.m.  Online Sunday Worship on Facebook Premiere
Message:  "What Story Do You Want to Tell?", Part 2, by Pastor Bruce
11:00 a.m.  Online Message for Imagine Nation Youth on Facebook Live 
Message by Tim Gunn, Minister of Imagine Nation Youth
7:00 p.m.  Church-wide Life Group on Church Land
5471 Highway 55, East, Lake Wylie; bring your own camping chair or folding chair
8:30 p.m.  Leadership Team Meeting via Zoom
Sunday, August 16:
Early Sunday a.m.  Musical posts on Imagine Church Facebook Page 
Watch for worship songs posted by Jennifer Tankersley, Minister of Music and Worship Arts, and the Imagine Praise Band
10:00 a.m.  Online Message for Imagine Kids on Facebook Live
Message by Gregory Roberts, Minister to Children and Families 
10:15 a.m.  Online Sunday Worship on Facebook Premiere
Message:  "What Story Do You Want to Tell?", Part 3, by Pastor Bruce
11:00 a.m.  Online Message for Imagine Nation Youth on Facebook Live
Message by Tim Gunn, Minister of Imagine Nation Youth
In This Issue
Imagine Church Devotional

"Real Power"
As 2020 is the year for a presidential election, August will bring the national political conventions, with a difference this time -- both political parties will apparently hold virtual conventions in the age of Covid-19.  Maybe that will actually be better. Without all the pomp and circumstance and traditional trappings, maybe the candidates, instead of simply bashing each other, would actually detail policy and proposals for new legislation.  Do you think?
Washington is a city of power.  It is a city that has the power to make things happen, for good or ill, across the country and around the world.  It is a city of powerful people who fill the federal buildings, who push legislation and pull strings to make things happen, who trade opinions and favors and have great influence.  In those regards, they are different from most of us.  Yet I've always believed that, rich or poor, wise or immature, powerful or not, we are all alike in one fundamental way:  we all stand in need of the Christian gospel.  What possible message could the gospel of Jesus Christ have for our presidential candidates?
For one thing, it's okay to be a servant.  Jesus knew that he was here to serve, and he taught others to do the same.  One day he said, "Those who would save their life will lose it; but those who give their life in service to this world will keep it to eternal life."  The message of the gospel is that everyone is a servant of someone or something.  The important thing is to get clear about the person or power you are serving.
Another message of the gospel is that real power belongs to God.  Sure, the resident of the White House is powerful.  But the influence of earthly leaders should not blind us to the true power that creates, redeems, and sustains the universe.  God's power and influence are everywhere, whether we acknowledge it or not.
There is a message in the gospel that can provide guidance to our leaders in the nation's capital and to ourselves.  In the end, affiliations with particular political parties and congressional staffs aren't really the most important things.  All that matters, for any of us, is that we decide to serve God rather than ourselves.  Choose this day whom you will serve!
In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Bruce Jones, Pastor and Co-Creator,
Imagine Church of the Carolinas
Worship This Week
We will be online this Sunday, August 9, when Imagine Church gathers for Sunday worship virtually on the Imagine Church Facebook page.  Years from now, what is the story you want to tell of how you conducted yourself during one of the defining moments of an entire century, the current global pandemic?  You only get one chance to write that story -- what are the factors that help you write a great story, the story you will want to tell?  This will be the focus of Bruce's message at 10:15 a.m.  Gregory will also share a message for Imagine Kids (10:00) and Tim for Imagine Nation Youth (11:00).  Jennifer will post worship music early Sunday morning, too.  You can find the Imagine Church Facebook page here.  It will be good to be with you Sunday morning!
Series of Video Interviews with Dr. Pam Davis for Parents
We are delighted that our Minister to Children and Families, Gregory Roberts, and his wife Tamra have developed a wonderful series of videos to speak to the questions parents have during this challenging time.  Dr. Pam Davis is a member of the Imagine Church family and Director of Graduate Programs in Counseling at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and she is a tremendous Christian teacher and resource.  The first video is posted on the Imagine Church YouTube channel and can be found here:  Dr Pam Davis Interview - Part 1.  A new video will follow for each of the next three weeks, too. 
Informal Gathering on Church Land Sunday Evening
It's reasonably safe and a chance to be together and to see the new church site!  Bruce invites you to join him at the church property, 5471 Highway 55, East, Lake Wylie, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. this Sunday evening, August 9, for a church-wide Life Group -- a time of sharing, Bible study, and prayer.  Remember to bring your own camping chair or folding chair, dress comfortably, and plan to socially distance from each other.  In case of rain, we will send a quick email Sunday evening and make post on Facebook.
Zoom Leadership Team Meeting Sunday Night
We invite the members of our Leadership Team to join in a Zoom meeting this Sunday evening, August 9, at 8:30 p.m.  We will send out the Zoom link before Sunday night.  Thanks, Team!
Thank You, Church Family, for Your Spirit of Giving
Imagine Church thanks you, our church family, for the generous spirit of giving you continue to display week after week.  Several options exist for making an offering.  If you are led to do so, offerings can be mailed to our church office at the below mailing address, or you may choose to make an online credit or debit card or ACH check payment using this link:  
 Imagine Church
13000 S. Tryon Street, Suite F-114
Charlotte, NC  28278
Be the Hands and Feet of Jesus
There are so many opportunities that exist for our church family to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to help others through various means of service right here in our community.  If you are aware of an opportunity that you would like to see highlighted in the newsletter, please email Kari DiDonato at her Imagine Church email: imaginechurch2014@gmail.com 

Philippine Hope

At the end of August, Imagine Church will be sending a shipment to the Philippines to benefit and bless the residents of Bacani and also our friends and missionaries who are there -- Paul, Cecilia, and Margot. 
What to contribute:
Children's clothing - new or gently used in ANY size 
School supplies - whatever you can find in stores or online; examples include: lined paper or notebooks, pencils, pens, colored pencils, markers, erasers, scissors, supply boxes/pouches, lunch boxes, backpacks or cinch sacks, etc.  
Personal gifts - you can get creative here; let them know we're thinking of them! 
How to contribute:
The simplest thing is to put the items you wish to contribute in a bag and drop them off on the back screened porch at the home of Bruce and Tyra Jones in The Landing neighborhood of Lake Wylie:
1520 Calvin Hal Lane
Lake Wylie, SC  29710
If you choose to purchase something online, you can even designate Bruce and Tyra as the shipping address at their address listed above.  We are requesting to receive items by end-of-day on Sunday, August 23.  We can't send big, bulky items, but we appreciate your support with the items listed above. 
Weekly Inspiration and Encouragement
Inspirational Song and
Bible Verse of Encouragement:
By: Micah Tyler   
"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast."
~Psalms 139:7-10 NIV 
Submitted by:  Jennifer Tankersley,
Minister of Worship and the Arts 
Prayers and Praises  
Please continue to pray for:
Bob Wujciak
Zach Preston 
Vaughn Dunn
Jerry Brownlee (father of Lydia Smith)

Have a prayer request or praise item to share? Please email info@imaginechurchnow.org so the church can join you in prayers and praise!
Imagine Kids

This past Sunday, Gregory and his family shared a message from his "The Adventures of Joseph, Son of Jacob" message series.  This first message was titled "Joseph's Brothers Don't  Like Him".  Be sure to tune in to Facebook Live at 10:00 a.m. this Sunday when Gregory will share Part 2 of that series with Imagine Kids and their families.

Upcoming Events:
Please stay tuned for information about future Imagine Kids events.  

August Memory Verse
Parents, here is the memory verse for you to practice with your child(ren)!

Preschool and Elementary:
"You planned to harm me.  But God planned it for good.  He planned to do what is now being done.  He wanted to save many lives."  
Genesis 50:20
Parents, if the entire verse is too long for your preschooler, have them learn the first part:
"You planned to harm me.  But God planned it for good."
Gregory Roberts | 704-502-3107 | imaginekids@imaginechurchnow.org  
Imagine Nation Youth
This past Sunday, Tim shared the second part of his message titled "Be Inspired" with Imagine Nation Youth and their families.  Be sure to tune in to Facebook Live this Sunday at 11:00 a.m. for Tim's next inspiring message.
We offer huge thanks to our wonderful Imagine Nation Youth families for cooking, providing boat and jet ski rides, offering paddle boarding and kayaking, and giving amazing support with set up and clean up at this past Saturday's cookout at Southpoint Beach Park in River Hills. Much love to the Phillips, Fenders, and Parshalls for all your over-the-top efforts to make it such a fun event for the youth!
Upcoming Events:
Youth Group Service on New Church Land
Stay tuned for more information about a youth group service that will be conducted on our new church property (with a visit to Pelican's for snoball treats) sometime in August.
Winter X-treme
Mark Winter X-Treme in your calendar for Dec. 27-30.  Crowder, Lecrae, Austin French, and Tim Tebow will be the featured artists and speaker...you won't want to miss it! 
Please contact Tim Gunn with questions about any of these events.  
Tim Gunn | 803-322-1113 | youth@imaginechurchnow.org
Happy Birthday!

We send heartfelt birthday greetings to these Imagine Church family members who have birthdays throughout the next two weeks:

PJ Fronczkiewicz
Aug 7
Bob Hardee
Aug 7
Christina Winson
Aug 8
Pamela Bays
Aug 10
Grace Galeota
Aug 10
Brandon Strickler
Aug 10
Heather Gilkeson
Aug 13
Cooper Meehan
Aug 13
Elijah Price
Aug 14
Kelly Fox
Aug 17
Glenn Welshans
Aug 17
Otis Magnie
Aug 18
Greg Preston
Aug 19
Christi Bishop
Aug 20
Lilli DiDonato
Aug 20
Carrie Tucker
Aug 20

If you are wanting your name added to our birthday list, simply  send us a quick email at info@imaginechurchnow.org! We want to celebrate with you!
Imagine a faith community that emphasizes God's love for all people, the intersection of spirituality and justice, and the calling to make a difference in the world.  That's Imagine Church! 
What God originates, God orchestrates