Worshiping Sundays In-Person and as an
Online Faith Community

Be sure to 'Like' us on Facebook
to view our online sermons

10:15 a.m.: In-Person Worship Service and
Online Facebook Worship
Church Office: 980-999-3500

Weekly Newsletter: October 29, 2020
Weekly Newsletter:
February 18, 2021
Upcoming Events
Sunday, February 21: THIS SUNDAY!
9:45 a.m. Online message to Imagine Kids by Gregory Roberts (Imagine Church Facebook Page)
10:15 a.m. Indoor worship inside Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Chapel,
14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte (and online worship on Imagine Church Facebook Page)
First Sunday in Lent
Message: "Your Story" Part 1, Personal Faith Story by Jim Hare
Separate sessions for Imagine Youth and Imagine Kids (kids depart chapel after opening of worship)
A/V - Jim Gilkeson; Safety & Security - Craig Galeota & Andy Brown

Sunday, February 28:
9:45 a.m. Online message to Imagine Kids by Gregory Roberts (Imagine Church Facebook Page)
10:15 a.m. Indoor worship inside Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Chapel,
14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte (and online worship on Imagine Church Facebook Page)
Second Sunday in Lent
Message: "Your Story" Part 2, Personal Faith Story by Steve Chole
Separate sessions for Imagine Youth and Imagine Kids (kids and youth depart chapel after opening of worship)
A/V - Paula Davis; Safety & Security - Craig Galeota & Scott Tadlock
Imagine Church Devotional
(Pastor's note: For the last two years I have been privileged to lead mentored ministry sessions with Jennifer Agan, an M.Div. student at Gordon-Conwell who lives in Signal Mountain, TN. We have only met in person once, two years ago, as Jennifer takes her classes by Digital Live and all our conferences have been by Zoom. She shared this devotional on Valentine's Day at a Retirement Center, and I asked if we could excerpt part of it for this week's Imagine Church devotional. Jennifer also teaches school, and she and her husband, John, have four children.)
"A Child's Valentine Brings Us Closer to God"
Four children sit around a table. Scissors snip, paper crinkles, and crayons scratch construction paper. White doilies, pink tissue paper, and a rainbow of colored hearts complete the scene of the valentine creation party. Curiously, the mother looks over the shoulders of her children. Her eyes fall on the five-year-old's folded pink construction paper card. Upon it is a drawing of a red Crayola heart with a magic marker face. Blue tears drip out of its eyes falling toward the bottom of the page.

The mother's heart breaks, as she reaches out to God in silent prayer. "Please, Lord, hear me," she begins, as the words of Psalm 121 flow, "I lift up my eyes to the mountains. From where does my help come? My help comes from you, Lord, who made heaven and earth."

"For a moment, stop the valentine-making process," she says. "Instead I want each of you to draw me a mountain." The mother hands each of them a blank piece of light blue construction paper. Slowly the mother speaks the beginning of Psalm 121 knowing that mountains bring you closer to God.

The mother looks lovingly at her children. "I understand your fear, moving from our home in New Orleans to Signal Mountain is scary. Nevertheless, 'we will lift our eyes to the mountains and remember where our help comes from.' Our help comes from the Lord. The Lord is your shadow, your shade, and your invisible friend who walks beside you whether you remain in New Orleans or move to Signal Mountain. Being closer to God will bring you each closer to God's love. God watches, guards, and protects those who believe."
"Momma," asks the five-year-old. "May I make a Valentine for God? God is my new best friend."

"Yes, of course you can. I think that God would like that very much," replies the mother. Hearing those confirming words, the little girl folds another piece of pink construction paper and begins to draw a red heart with a beautiful smiling face.

In the name of the One who can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
Jennifer Agan, M.Div. student, 
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Charlotte
Worship This Week
The season of Lent, the forty days and six Sundays of penitence, reflection, and preparation for Easter, began yesterday on Ash Wednesday, February 17. It continues through black Saturday (the day before Easter; Easter this year is on Sunday, April 4). Imagine Church has a unique series planned for the six Sundays of Lent, and it's called "Your Story." The theory behind "Your Story" is that the word of your testimony can change and impact society. Through the faith story of six individuals from the Imagine Church family, our aim is to encourage and equip you to find your place in God's story and to be inspired to share your faith boldly. It all starts this Sunday, February 21, at 10:15 a.m., both online (Imagine Church Facebook page) and in-person (Gordon-Conwell chapel). You're invited to join us!
"Your Story" Speaker This Week, Jim Hare
Jim Hare grew up in a family of five that split time between the Philadelphia suburbs and southern New Jersey. He has been a part of church life since before he can remember. From his early teen years on, his family built and ran a Christian campground in English Creek, NJ. In 1982, he graduated college one weekend and married his beautiful wife, Valerie, the next! From there, three daughters followed. Their first one passed away at birth. God saw them through that difficult time and then blessed them with Jillian and Taylor. They have two very special grandchildren, Sawyer (6) and Jameson (2), hence their move to Lake Wylie four years ago. Jim has been employed in the paper industry for over 36 years and has moved around the Southeast as a result. His family has always gone to church, and church-wise, Jim has been a Sunday School teacher, Children's Church leader, Methodist Lay Leader, and musician in the band. Music, especially guitar, has always been his passion. He plays several instruments and says he has really enjoyed playing with the terrific Imagine Church worship team for almost a year now. Jim is our lead-off speaker in the new "Your Story" series during Lent, and we get to hear his story at 10:15 a.m. this Sunday, February 21.
What They're Saying
Dear Bruce:
I hope you and your family are doing well. I want to thank you and your Imagine Church of the Carolinas congregation for your generous financial support for ICCC's mission and work this past year. 2020 was a challenging year in so many ways for our congregations, communities, nation, and global community. I am grateful for your faithful and imaginative leadership in guiding your congregation and our ICCC family during this tumultuous past year. I am excited for you and your congregation as you build your new church home to serve your congregation and community. I look forward to the day that I can rejoin you and your congregation in-person again. Please convey my words of appreciation and gratitude to your congregation for its support for ICCC. Have a blessed day.
Rev. Phil Tom, Executive Director
International Council of Community Churches
Imagine Kids
On Sunday mornings, elementary aged Imagine Kids (grades K-5) are dismissed from the chapel early in worship for their session with our Minister to Children and Families, Gregory Roberts. If you join us for in-person worship on Sundays at 10:15 a.m. at Gordon-Conwell, we invite you to spread the love and share the fun by bringing a friend to Imagine Kids, too!

Additionally, you can catch Gregory's weekly message LIVE on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. on the Imagine Church Facebook page. With the help of Elijah and Lilly, Gregory presented this past Sunday's message, 'The Story of Joseph and His Jealous Brothers, Part 2,' and, this Sunday, they will pick up where they left off with Part 3 -- you won't want to miss it!
Memory Verse:
Parents, here is the memory verse for you to practice with your child(ren):

"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 just this first part:

"You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good."

Gregory Roberts | 704-502-3107 | ImagineKids@ImagineChurchNow.org
Imagine Youth
Last week, Imagine Youth began watching the movie, I Still Believe, the true life story of Christian music mega star Jeremy Camp. Jeremy’s remarkable journey of love and loss proves there is always hope in the midst of tragedy and that faith tested is the only faith worth sharing.

The youth will pick-up where they left off and will finish watching the movie this Sunday, February 21. Did you miss last week? No problem! We'll bring you up to speed so you can jump right in to this week's continuation. You won't want to miss it, and we invite you to bring a friend, too! This Sunday, youth should bypass the chapel and head straight to the youth room upon arriving at GCTS.

Looking Ahead...

Stay tuned for more information about a new Imagine Youth ministry that will be targeted toward our college students and high school seniors. Tim is looking forward to this opportunity to stay in touch with our college students and give great direction for our high school seniors. We will have a meeting in March during one of the morning services, so please stay tuned.

March's Youth Sermon Series: Funny Stories from the Bible

Grab a Bible or Bible app and read Proverbs 15:18. It seems like lots of people start their days in a default mode of angry. It almost starts to seem normal, but Proverbs tells us that being dominated by anger just makes everything worse. The key is to learn to be patient in the midst of your anger. Your anger can be a useful tool in bringing about positive change, but only if you're patient. So pray for God to give you patience today!
Please help us connect with you and the youth by joining us on Remind or Instagram (search for Imagine Youth). In addition to posting the latest events, Tim will post weekly devotions that he hopes will get your sons and daughters connected to what God can do in the lives of all the young people at Imagine Church. If you and/or your youth are not already signed up for Remind, please follow these steps to get set-up to receive push notifications or texts from Tim:

Get push notifications on your smartphone by going to the following link(s):
Sign-up to receive text notifications by texting @imagineyg to the number 81010.

Have a blessed week knowing God is with you! We look forward to seeing you on Sunday, and we encourage you to bring a friend, too!

Tim Gunn | 803-322-1113 | Youth@ImagineChurchNow.org
Ladies' Life Group
The Ladies' Life Group, led by Debra Tadlock, will resume meeting in person with a get-together at Gordon-Conwell in room 127 on Tuesday night, March 2, at 7:00 p.m. This first meeting will be an opportunity to talk, laugh, eat, and enjoy being together as well as to chart their course of events which could include Bible studies, outings, and other fun activities. Precautions will be taken to ensure a safe setting. The invitation to participate is open to ALL women -- and you are even invited to bring a friend!

The following week, the group will begin a 5-week Bible study on the book of James. This book, written by the brother of Jesus, is a powerful book providing explicit direction on how we are expected to live our lives as Christians. The Bible study will read the chapters, have discussions, and delve deeper into His Word. The study will meet for 60-90 minutes each session, and you are asked to please register using this link:

Home-Based Life Groups

The Greater Community Life Group is meeting again in 2021 every two weeks on Wednesday evenings. The ladies are reading Max Lucado's You Are Never Alone with facilitation provided by Michelle Transou. For more information about the group's next series, contact Michelle at 704-299-6235.
Tithes & Offerings: For God Loves a Cheerful Giver
Imagine Church is blessed with cheerful givers right here in our local community, across the Carolinas, in various states across America, and even around the world! That's why, with many of our church family worshiping in person at Gordon-Conwell and others worshiping online on our Facebook page, it's wonderful to have different options for giving.

If you are led to make an offering and will be worshiping with us in person this Sunday, we invite you to place your offering in one of the collection baskets at the GCTS chapel. Anyone, however, can make a safe and secure online offering from our church website (https://imaginechurchnow.org/giving/) or by utilizing mobile text giving (SMS) by following the steps that have been detailed in previous newsletters. Of course, cash or check can always be mailed directly to our church office at:

Imagine Church
13000 S. Tryon Street, Suite F-114
Charlotte, NC 28278

THANK YOU for making our ministry possible here in this community and around the world. God is undoubtedly at work in the life of our church family!
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  

~ Tender Hearts Ministries ~
Tender Hearts Ministries is a 501c3 organization whose main mission is to help homeless women and their children in York County, SC. They offer community assistance through outreach & community service programs. Funding comes from donations and from the operation of several thrift stores throughout York County.
Tender Hearts has also just been approved to open the City of York's FIRST MEN'S HOMELESS SHELTER! How can YOU help get this facility up and running? By getting UP AND RUNNING, of course! Gather a group of friends, family, or even your life group, and join Tender Hearts for their MARCH FOR THE HEART 5K & FUN RUN on Saturday, March 13th! Use this link to register by March 10th:

Cost to participate in the 5K is $25 per person. Cost to participate in the Fun Run is $10 per person. Packet pickup will be Friday, March 12th, from 10am-7pm and also the day of the race from 7-8am at their Mill Headquarters located at 145 Blackburn St, York, SC.
Throughout this month, we have been collecting baby wipes, diapers, formula, and baby food to be donated to the residents of Tender Hearts House of Hope. To make a donation, please feel free to bring your items to Gordon-Conwell for any Sunday worship this month, or reach out to Kari DiDonato, Imagine Church Administrator, at imaginechurch2014@gmail.com to make alternate collection arrangements.

Thank you in advance, Imagine Church family, for generously supporting this month's outreach opportunity. You can learn more about Tender Hearts Ministries by checking out their website or by following them on Facebook:
Weekly Inspiration and Encouragement
Inspirational Song:
By: Zach Williams

A little more like mercy' a little more like grace
A little more like kindness' goodness, love, and faith
A little more like patience's a little more like peace
A little more like Jesus, a little less like me
~ Zach Williams

Submitted by: Jennifer Tankersley,
Minister of Worship and the Arts 
Bible Verse of Encouragement:
"For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
(Galatians 5:13, ESV)
Prayers and Praises
Our overseas missionary couple, Nick and Nika, have announced the birth of their first child, Maya Grace, born a fashionably one-week late on February 8, 2021. We congratulate them and extend every blessing from their friends at Imagine Church.

We extend Christian sympathy to the family, loved ones, and many friends of Jo Johnson who claimed her victory over illness and death on February 13, 2021. Jo blessed and influenced countless lives and families across her career as a beloved Christian educator and children's minister that included six years in the Lake Wylie area.

Zach Preston is improving at home after a bout with pneumonia at Atrium Hospital in Pineville. We continue to pray for Zach and his wife, Rhonda, as Zach strengthens and improves.

Jimmy Ferguson has been battling illness at home after being hospitalized briefly at Novant Steele Creek. We pray for his complete recovery as we also pray for his wife, Becky, who has been experiencing illness as well.

We pray for Meredith Martone as she recovers from serious injuries sustained as a passenger in a vehicle accident on February 3. She is facing three or four months of recovery, rehab, and physical therapy. We include both Meredith and her mother, Dana, in our prayers.

Tamra Roberts' mother, Tina Farrow, will soon be receiving God's complete healing from cancer as Tamra and other family members are preparing to be with her at Tina's home in Wisconsin. We include Tina, Tamra and husband Gregory, and other family members in our prayers.
Happy Birthday!
We send heartfelt and happy birthday greetings to these Imagine Church family members who have birthdays throughout the next two weeks:
Feb 19.....Kerri Duffy
Feb 23.....Steve Foit
Feb 23.....Fay Rhodes
Feb 24.....Kevin Thalinger
Mar 4.......Alana Jones
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!
Why Imagine Church?
Imagine a faith community that is rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ which tears down walls and builds up life. Imagine a place where there is authentic joy in gathering to worship God and power in discovering that, working together, we can serve and change the world. That's Imagine Church.
Real people. Real life. Real church.