Worshiping Sundays as an Online Faith Community

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Weekly Newsletter: June 25, 2020
Coronavirus cases have risen an estimated 15% nationwide in the last two weeks with 12 states hitting single-day records in the last week alone, including both North and South Carolina.  Some believe that much of this surge can be traced to the reopening of many venues on and since Memorial Day weekend.  On Tuesday, June 23, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that the next two weeks will be critical to slowing surges around the U.S.  Churches, whose reopenings have been debated, are emerging as sources of major clusters around the country.  Outbreaks have been on the rise since early June, and they reflect the unpredictable nature of the coronavirus.  This is why the vast majority of denominations and churches have refrained from resuming indoor, in-person worship.
 
Imagine Church stands with over 90% of churches in America which continue to employ other means in which we worship together each week.  We seek to balance the Scriptural call to meet together (as found in Hebrews 10:25) with the call to submit to governmental authorities (Romans 13:1-5), to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39), and to put the interests of others ahead of our own (Philippians 2:3-4).  This biblical guidance has been an aid for our church leaders as we cooperate with public officials who are working to stop the spread of this virus in order to save lives.
 
The reopening of churches for indoor worship must proceed gradually and in a measured fashion, and the surge in the Carolinas has not yet subsided.  We call upon all to practice the virtue of patience during these difficult days, recognizing that patience is not something we create in ourselves; it is something produced in us as we go through hardship with a growing love for God and our neighbors.
 


Upcoming Events:
 
Sunday, June 28:  THIS SUNDAY!  
10:15 a.m.:  Online Worship on Facebook Premiere, Imagine Church Facebook Page 
Message:  "The Stuff We Hide Under the Rug", by Pastor Bruce  
    
Sunday, July 5:
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 Worship on Facebook Premiere, Imagine Church Facebook Page
Message:  " Taking Your Cue", 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

"Absent in Body, but Present in Spirit"
 
Last week I did something I had never done before:  I went on a sibling vacation.  My older brother, Henry, younger sister, Pam, and I went to the beach together for a few days.  We laughed, reminisced, recalled old stories, shed a few tears, and just enjoyed each other's company for a longer stretch of time than we had allowed ourselves in years.  We played card games and board games and were defeated by a 500-piece "puzzle torture", as Pam called it.
 
Pam brought a laminator, and Henry brought some old hand-written letters we wanted to preserve.  One was written by our dad to our mom during the hard days of World War II.  They were in the first years of marriage when Dad enlisted in the U.S. Navy because it was what he knew he should do.  He served on a destroyer in the Pacific Theater, and I was moved to tears to read the letter he sent our mother on their wedding anniversary.  It was one of the most heartfelt, beautifully-moving letters I have ever read.  It broke his heart to have to be away, but he knew he was serving a greater good that was worth his personal sacrifice.
 
I feel the same emotion when I read the apostle Paul's letter to the Colossians.  It was a church he started, but at the time of his writing, Paul was in prison in Rome.  His fondest hope was to see his friends in the young church at Colossae, but at the time, that was not possible.  Instead, he wrote, "Though I am absent from you in the body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is" (Colossians 2:5).
 
Many of us may feel that way today.  We yearn to be together in the chapel, joined together in worship the way we always did.  However, right now we subjugate that desire for the sake of a greater good that is worth our personal sacrifice:  to keep our church family, especially the most vulnerable among us, safe until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.  We may not be in prison or called to serve overseas, but in our world today, it is still a sacrifice.
 
The day will come when we will all breathe a sigh of relief and agree that it was worth it.  Until then, we can join the apostle Paul in saying, "For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how disciplined you are and how firm your faith in Christ is."
 
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
 
Online Worship This Week
 
We've enjoyed our drive-in worship experiences, though the summer heat was oppressive on Father's Day.  The next two Sundays, June 28 and July 5, we will once again have our focus on worshiping together as an online faith community with Bruce bringing the message on Imagine Church's Facebook page at 10:15 a.m.  Gregory and Tamra Roberts are moving into their new home this weekend, and Tim and Andrea Gunn will be with daughter Annastin at a dance competition in Pigeon Forge, so we're giving them each a summertime Sunday off!  But we invite you to join us online as Bruce looks forward to leading us in worship and sharing a message called "The Stuff We Hide Under the Rug".  We hope you will join us online Sunday morning!  You can find the Imagine Church Facebook page by clicking here .
What They're Saying
 
Dear Friends at Imagine Church:
Thank you for supporting Young Life, especially during this time of turmoil and upheaval.  Thank you for clearing a path for leaders to continue to make their way to young people who need to know Jesus.  We are all longing for the day when we can gather face-to-face instead of meeting screen-to-screen.  Until that day, pray with me for all our staff and leaders who are navigating a world turned upside down, looking for lost sheep, and sharing by any means possible the good news.  It is a privilege to partner with you in Young Life.
In Christ for all kids,
Newton F. Crenshaw, President
Thank You for Your Tithes and Offerings
 
Together, we are the Body of Christ.  When we are giving, we are being the faithful people God calls us to be.  We thank you, our Imagine Church family, for the offerings you have made and continue to make to Imagine Church.  We can receive your offerings via cash or check at the church's office mailing address (see below). However, if you haven't already done so, we encourage you to check out our online giving option that allows for credit or debit cards and also ACH check payments to be made from our church website. Thank you for your faithfulness to tithe!  
  
 
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 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 this section of the newsletter, please email any pertinent information to Kari DiDonato at her Imagine Church email account: imaginechurch2014@gmail.com 
 
 
JUNE'S OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY:

Father's Day Clothes Collection

Benefiting Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center


Thank you, Imagine Church family, for having made the time to CLEAN OUT YOUR CLOSETS to help Anuvia fill up THEIR closets!  Your clothing donations at last Sunday's drive-in (and sit-outside) Father's Days worship service far exceeded our expectations, and Anuvia will be deeply touched by your generosity.  Thank you for having supported this outreach!
 
For more information about Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center, check out their website and their Facebook page.  
  
Weekly Inspiration and Encouragement
 
Inspirational Song:
 
By: Hillsong United     
 
"This song is about God as an artist working His masterpiece, a work of art called 'love'. And it began with creation, and it goes through the whole story where it was finished at the cross. And now it continues to be re-birthed and restored in and through us here and now.  -  Hillsong United
      
Submitted by:  Jennifer Tankersley,
Minister of Worship and the Arts 
 
 
Bible Verse of Encouragement:
 
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and are safe."  -Proverbs 18:10
Prayers and Praises  
 
Katrina Daniels, one of our young adults and a student at Clemson, suffered a hard fall on the pavement in their neighborhood and may have a broken scaphoid bone (thumb/wrist area).  She is very badly scraped up.  Please keep Katrina in your prayers!
 
Bob Wujciak returned home from the hospital on Wednesday after having had surgery to remove gallstones that were causing him quite a bit of discomfort.  Bob and Linda are hoping for better days, so please keep them in your prayers as well. 
 
Tyra and Bruce had a chance to visit on Sunday with Tyra's sister-in-law, Tammie Callahan, who is strengthening and improving in her fight with cancer.
 
Please continue to pray for:
 
Zach Preston
Vaughn Dunn
Jerry Brownlee (father of Lydia Smith)
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Have a prayer request or praise item to share? Please email info@imaginechurchnow.org  so the church can join you in prayers and praise!
Grow Closer to God
 
If you are looking for continued spiritual growth and are wanting to grow closer to God through study and reflection, Debra Tadlock encourages you to check out her Facebook page where she publishes devotionals several times a week. 
The Women's Life Group gathered on Wednesday for an evening of food, crafting, and fellowship.  The ladies began their night with dinner at Nellie's in Belmont and ended their evening with a DIY project at AR Workshop just a short walk away.  The food was delicious, the crafting produced beautiful works, and the fellowship was good for the soul.  Please stay tuned for information about upcoming Women's Life Group activities. 
 
 
 
Debra Tadlock | 704-460-9075 | Dsb0602@yahoo.com
 
Guys & Cars Life Group
Please stay tuned for information about future Guys & Cars Life Group activities. 
 
Jim Gilkeson | 803-627-6637 | gilkesonj@gmail.com

Adult Life Group
Please stay tuned for information about future Adult Life Group activities.  
 
Lee Morgan | 704-609-6172 gagelee2421@gmail.com 
 
Home-Based Life Groups
The Greater Community Life Group meets for fellowship and prayer via Zoom conference.  If you are interested in participating with this group, please email Heidi Chausse at hchausse@gordonconwell.edu for the Zoom link.
 
The Landing Life Group has decided to suspend meeting for the summer.  Please stay tuned for information about when this life group will reconvene following the summer months. 
 
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We ask all home-based Life Groups to let us know their meeting schedule by dropping us a note at  info@imaginechurchnow.org .  Thanks!  
 
Pastor Bruce Jones | 980-999-3500 | info@imaginechurchnow.org

Imagine Kids

There will be no message for Imagine Kids this Sunday, June 28, but tune in next Sunday, July 5, when Gregory and his family will share another message on Facebook Live at 10:00 a.m. just prior to Pastor Bruce's online message.


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

June Memory Verse
Parents, here is this month's memory verse for you to practice with your child(ren)!

Preschool and Elementary:
"Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It does not want what belongs to others.  It does not brag.  It is not proud. "   
1 Corinthians 13:4 
 
 
Gregory Roberts | 704-502-3107 | imaginekids@imaginechurchnow.org  
   
Imagine Nation Youth
 
There will be no message for Imagine Nation Youth this Sunday, June 28, but tune in next Sunday, July 5, when Tim will share another message on Facebook Live at 11:00 a.m. immediately following Pastor Bruce's online message.  
 
 
Upcoming Events:

July 10-13, 2020:  Summer Youth Retreat at Lake Junaluska - CANCELED
Although our summer youth event at Lake Junaluska has been canceled, please stay tuned for more information about an Imagine Nation Youth event we'd like to conduct later in July at the River Hills beach area:  volleyball, cookout, boating/tubing, and lots of fun! 
 
Contact Tim Gunn with questions or to request additional information.  
 
Tim Gunn |  803-322-1113  | youth@imaginechurchnow.org
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Happy Birthday!

(Note: Birthdays listed are for the next two weeks.)

Jordan Phillips
Jun 26
Chase Campbell
Jun 27
Elijah Carpenter
Jun 27
Bernd Herold
Jun 27
Virginia Russell
Jun 27
Lee Potter
Jun 28
Scott Tadlock
Jun 29
Charlene Horgan
Jun 30
Michael James
Jun 30
Ellaree Tyler
Jun 30
Scarlet Woodcock
Jun 30
Kate Tankersley
Jul 1
Lori Halstead
Jul 2
Nick Jones
Jul 3
Lilah Price
Jul 5
Steve Phillips
Jul 6
Shayla Linck
Jul 7
Nancy Church
Jul 9
Cindy Griffin
Jul 9
Carolyn Partin
Jul 9


If you are wanting your name added to our birthday list, simply   send us a quick email at  Info@ImagineChurchNow.org ! We w ant to celebrate with you!
 
Imagine a church that knows how much we need each other.  Whether single, married, partnered, divorced, or widowed, it's a lot easier to follow God with friends than it is by ourselves.  That's Imagine Church
 
 
IMAGINE CHURCH 
Progressive Jesus followers