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
Facebook Worship
Church Office: 980-999-3500

Weekly Newsletter: October 29, 2020
Weekly Newsletter:
January 7, 2021
Upcoming Events
Sunday, January 10: THIS SUNDAY!
10:15 a.m. Indoor worship inside Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Chapel,
14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte (and online worship on Imagine Church Facebook Page)
Baptism of the Lord/First Sunday after Epiphany
Message: "What Difference Does God Make?" Part 2, by Pastor Bruce
6:30 p.m. Personnel Team Meeting at the home of Jimmy and Becky Ferguson,
9106 Blue Dasher Drive, Lake Wylie

Sunday, January 17:
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 after Epiphany
Message: "What Difference Does God Make?" Part 3, by Pastor Bruce
Imagine Church Devotional
"Good Stories"
How many of us grew up watching cartoons? Back in the '60's, Hanna-Barbera and Warner Brothers made great cartoons. But then came the '70's and '80's and a long dry spell of absolutely horrid cartoons -- short on beauty, lousy music, anemic stick-figured characters with forgettable stories.

But all that changed with one cartoon movie that was created by Disney:  The Little Mermaid.  In this one movie, the art of animation was reborn. It was followed by Beauty and the Beast, and then Aladdin, and Hercules, and the story of Moses told by Stephen Spielberg in animation form called The Prince of Egypt.  At one point, an animated film, The Lion King, an ancient story from African folklore, grossed the largest amount of revenue in the history of film.

Folks, the oldest stories are still the best. They continue to engage and enthrall us because they embody truths about life that remain consistent throughout the ages. All good story-tellers -- whether they are Walt Disney, Stephen Spielberg, Tom Clancy, or Jesus -- provide us with hooks upon which we can hang our own life experiences. We identify their stories -- filmed, written, told, or sung -- with our own lives.
Do you realize there is no structure, no institution, no entity more charged with the responsibility for storytelling than is the church? When Barnum and Bailey's circus came to town a hundred years ago, it proudly touted itself as "The Greatest Show on Earth." The church can never forget that it has been charged with proclaiming "the greatest story on earth," the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is our privilege to tell the story of Jesus' continuing work in his still living body, the church. Though Imagine is a new church, we are also the embodiment of ancient stories of faith as they now live and breathe in our world today. We look forward to telling again the great stories of faith as we move through the weeks of 2021. By doing so, those stories from history become new and alive, vital and significant to each new generation that we seek to reach with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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're beginning the new year with a new series that's designed to explore the angles and answers to how God works and what God does in our world and in our lives. It's called "What Difference Does God Make?", and we will hear part 2 from Pastor Bruce at 10:15 a.m. this Sunday, January 10, when Imagine Church gathers for worship both in person (at the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary chapel) and online (on the Imagine Church Facebook page). Want to establish a meaningful new year's resolution? It's a powerful spiritual discipline to worship regularly and faithfully with your church family, either online or in person. Why not start right now?
Worship Themes to Begin the Year
Our current worship series, "What Difference Does God Make?", will continue through January 24; from January 31 to February 14, Bruce will introduce a new series called, "Plot Twist: The Story of Joseph." Even though life sometimes offers us a twist we didn't expect, we can trust that God will take the evil of this world and use it to accomplish something good. 
The season of Lent begins on February 21, and during the six weeks of Lent, Bruce has asked several individuals to share a personal story of faith or word of testimony in a new series called "Your Story." The value of your own faith journey and the word of your testimony can change and impact society. Much to look forward to in the early weeks of 2021!
Thank You for Completing an Astonishing Year!
No one knew how to predict the events of 2020 or how a global pandemic would affect churches -- especially when churches would have to incorporate long stretches of online worship only without the chance to meet together in person. Many of our households had to make contributions by new methods such as through-the-mail or online giving. In the final analysis, Imagine Church just completed an astonishing year financially with two of the strongest months in our history occurring in November and December of 2020. Our able Church Treasurer, Jim Gilkeson, will have a final report available soon, but as a church family, you are to be commended for your faithfulness and generosity in such a challenging year. Year-end contribution statements will be mailed to each household by the end of January. Thank you for helping write such an outstanding record!
What They're Saying
Bruce, the response from the Imagine Church family for the RideAbility Therapeutic Riding Center in Clover was incredible. I am hoping you can join us there for a few pictures as I present all the items contributed by Imagine Church.
~Lee Potter, Imagine Church member and volunteer at RideAbility Therapeutic Riding Center

Bruce, Tristan couldn't stop talking about how nice everyone was at Imagine Church on Sunday and how much he loved everyone that talked to us. He asked if we could come back next week and I told him we would. We want to start coming to Imagine Church on a regular basis.
~Ben Wylie, York, SC
Giving, Tithing, Offering, Blessing
If you are led to make an offering and will be worshiping with us in person this Sunday, January 10, we invite you to place your offering in one of the collection baskets at the GCTS chapel. However, if you will be worshiping with us as part of our online faith community, we encourage you to make a safe and secure online offering from our church website (https://imaginechurchnow.org/giving/) or to mail your cash or check directly to our church office at:

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

Your continued and generous giving is a blessing and illustrates how God is at work in the life of this church family. Thank you for making our ministry possible here in this community and around the world.
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  

~ Habitat for Humanity of York County ~

Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries. Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.

Habitat works toward their vision by building strength, stability, and self-reliance in partnership with families in need of decent and affordable housing. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
Habitat for Humanity of York County was founded in 1988 by a committed group of individuals captivated by the vision and committed to the mission of Habitat. Through faith, innovation and passion, and thanks to the support of countless community partners, volunteers, donors, and advocates, Habitat for Humanity of York County has made a significant impact in York County since its founding.

Throughout this month, we will highlight various ways that you can make a difference for Habitat of York County. Some of our church family like to donate tangible goods. Some of our church family like to donate monetarily, And others of our church family like to give their time and talents toward helping an organization. With Habitat for Humanity, there's an opportunity for everyone to help, and we look forward to introducing you to those opportunities in future newsletters.
Thank you in advance, Imagine Church family, for generously supporting this month's outreach opportunity. You can learn more about Habitat for Humanity of York County by checking out their website or by following them on Facebook:

Weekly Inspiration and Encouragement
Inspirational Song:
By: Hillsong Worship

Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus bring new wine out of me

Submitted by: Jennifer Tankersley,
Minister of Worship and the Arts 
Bible Verse of Encouragement:
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
(Matthew 5:14-16)
Prayers and Praises
Zach Preston's sister, Vonni Preston Anderson of Chesnee, SC, slipped away to God peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, January 2, at the Hospice House in Landrum, SC, following a courageous battle against cancer which she has now defeated. We express our sympathy and love to Zach and Rhonda and others of their family. Both of their mothers, Susan Bidinger (Zach's mom) and JoAnn Cartner (Rhonda's mom), are faithful members of our online worship community.

We also extend sympathy to Mary Jane Gammon and Kevin and Kim Dulin at the passing of Mary Jane's brother and Kim's uncle, Richard A. Leighton, Jr., on January 3.  

Please keep in your prayers Oma Hildegard, Bernd Herold's mother in Germany, who suffered a severe stroke last year that has left her half paralyzed. Bernd says that, prior to that time, she was an energetic 85-year-old who would take multiple-mile walks and ride her bike for 20 miles at a time. She has recently had a setback, and we want to pray for her. Bernd and daughter Lena plan to visit Oma on her 86th birthday on January 31.
Imagine Kids
If you are choosing to worship indoors at Gordon-Conwell, elementary aged Imagine Kids (grades K-5) will be dismissed from the chapel early in worship on Sundays for their session with our Minister to Children and Families, Gregory Roberts. Additionally, as a way of reaching our online faith community, you can also catch Gregory's weekly message online via Facebook Live on the Imagine Church Facebook page on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. This week's message will be from the Gospel of Luke.
Memory Verse:
Parents, here is the memory verse for you to practice with your child(ren):

"'Why were you looking for me?' he (Jesus) asked. 'Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?'"
(Luke 2:49)

Gregory Roberts | 704-502-3107 | ImagineKids@ImagineChurchNow.org
Imagine Nation Youth
We are excited to welcome back our Imagine Nation Youth and those adult chaperones who attended Winter Xtreme in Gatlinburg, TN, December 27-30. At this past Sunday's worship, we heard from a couple of youth about this trip, and it sounds like it was a fun yet meaningful and spiritual event for those who attended.

This Sunday, January 10, Tim will meet separately with Imagine Nation Youth during the 10:15 a.m. in-person worship service, and youth are invited to meet in Room 122-A immediately upon arrival to GCTS. Tim will be starting a 4-week series, "My Feelings", and he will supplement his Sunday messages by sending out devotions via the Remind app. It is Tim's hope that this series and the accompanying devotions will get your sons and daughters connected to what God can do in the lives of all the young people at Imagine Church.
You'll find peace in peaceless situations:

Jesus was clear that what we see informs what we do. In other words, if we want to live like Him, we need to learn to see like Him. This week, find time to read any chapter of Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. You'll do this type of devotional every week, so consider reading the chapters of whichever Gospel you choose in order! As you read about the life of Jesus, ask God to show you how you need to see differently in order to live differently this week.

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

Happy Birthday!
We send heartfelt and happy birthday greetings to these Imagine Church family members who have birthdays throughout the next two weeks:
Jan 4........MaryJane Gammon
Jan 4........Samantha Domurat
Jan 5........Lynda Bales Brown
Jan 5........Christina Corvin
Jan 5........Stuart (Bud) Rother
Jan 6........Grant James
Jan 6........Dawn Welshans
Jan 7........Caylin Jones
Jan 7........Beth Hardee
Jan 7........Doreen Kowalczyk
Jan 10......Adrienne Lanier
Jan 11......Carsen Domurat
Jan 11......Zachary Szot
Jan 12......Lee Morgan
Jan 14......Emma Imrick
Jan 14......Cameron James
Jan 15......Anna Litzenberger
Jan 15......Tim Schilling
Jan 16......Mieke VanDeNobelen
Jan 17......Kendall Davis
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?
We intentionally invite everyone to join us in our journey of joyful discovery and in our dance with God. We believe that invitational living is always rooted in relationship first.  That's Imagine Church.

Making a big change is pretty scary. But, know what's even scarier? Regret.