Worshiping Sundays In-Person and as an
Online Faith Community

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

Weekly Newsletter: October 29, 2020
Weekly Newsletter:
November 12, 2020
Imagine Church is entering a time of transition this week as we prepare on Sunday to resume indoor worship at 10:15 a.m. in the familiar surroundings at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Since September 13, we have enjoyed our outdoor worship on the Lake Wylie church site more than we imagined, and the numbers attending have grown weekly. However, the weather window is narrowing as we approach Thanksgiving, and dampness or rain makes the ground too soft, in some instances, for our regular use.

So, this coming Sunday, November 15, we will resume indoor worship. It will be different at first; masks will be required, and we will practice social distancing in our seating. We will have to omit coffee and refreshments for a while, and our worship will be streamlined, but we will strive for the safety and protection of all of our worshipers. Imagine Nation Youth will go directly to their session in room 103, and Imagine Kids will be dismissed early in worship for their sessions, too.

Of course, the online component will continue each Sunday at 10:15 on the Imagine Church Facebook page for those who prefer to worship as part of our virtual faith community.

Finally, lots of folks have asked about a return to outdoor worship. We are certainly open to that possibility as the weather may allow. Please watch this newsletter, the Remind app, Facebook posts, and emails for word about our week-to-week worship plans.
Upcoming Events
Sunday, November 15: THIS SUNDAY!
10:15 a.m. Indoor worship returns inside Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Chapel, 14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte (and online worship on Imagine Church Facebook Page)
Message: "Fearanoia: What Keeps You Awake at Night?" Conclusion by Pastor Bruce
Veterans Day Observance

Wednesday, November 18:
9:30 a.m. The Circle Maker Bible Study

Sunday, November 22:  
10:15 a.m. Indoor worship inside Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Chapel, 14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte (and online worship on Imagine Church Facebook Page)
Message: "Come As You Are," by Tim Gunn

Wednesday, November 25:
11:00 a.m. Meet at Lake Wylie Church Site to deliver Thanksgiving Dinners to families in need of assistance in York County area

Imagine Church Devotional
"Our Better Angels"

For our devotional thought this week following last week's hard-fought and exhausting general election, I want to share a brief excerpt from Dr. Jon Meacham's powerful book, The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels.

"The word from Warm Springs was devastating. It was April 12, 1945, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt was dead. In London, Winston Churchill felt the news as a 'physical blow.' In Berlin, the Nazi high command, nearing defeat, hoped the president's death was a good omen for the fate of the Third Reich. (It wasn't). And in Washington, a young congressman from Texas was distraught beyond measure. 'He was just like a daddy to me always,' Lyndon B. Johnson said. 'He was the one person I ever knew, anywhere, who was never afraid.' 
 
"Roosevelt had come to power twelve years earlier in the bleakest of hours. No one knew whether the world as it was known could long endure amid destabilizing unemployment, Dust Bowl dislocations, and plummeting confidence in the familiar American order. Yet, under Roosevelt's leadership, the Constitution and the market economy survived, and Nazi tyranny and Japanese imperialism fell. Now, in our own extraordinary moment, facing pandemic and panic, we are desperate for the steadying hand that Roosevelt offered not so long ago."

The presidency, as Roosevelt knew, is preeminently a place of moral leadership, a beacon of stability in unstable times. Roosevelt met the moment because of his empathy, his life experience, his faith in America, and his insistence on the centrality of both fact and faith. We learned from both Lyndon Johnson with Vietnam and Richard Nixon with Watergate that to sugarcoat the truth or deny reality only leads to failure and more trouble. Presidents, as perhaps with preachers, must give it to us straight.

Will President-elect Biden be that steadying hand, bringing stability in unstable times? Only time will tell. But I was encouraged by what I heard in his speech to the nation last Saturday evening. He referenced a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 3, when he said, "To everything there is a season: a time to build, a time to reap, and a time to sow and a time to heal." Then, he added, "This is the time to heal in America."
Joe Biden also quoted a hymn I've often used in funerals entitled, "On Eagles' Wings." It includes the words, "You who dwell in the shelter of the Lord, who abide in his shelter for life, say to the Lord, 'My refuge, my rock in whom I trust.'" America's past -- and our own personal experience -- unmistakably tell us that the way to a more perfect union is found in our reliance, not on candidates nor political parties, but upon God.  

I understand that Joe Biden is a weekly church attender and is devoted to his Catholic tradition. Biden is likely no Roosevelt -- no one is or may ever fully be -- but I pray that he will lead us with a character and ethos formed by the lessons of history, of hope, and of faith in God. If so, he will have earned something more important than our votes. He will have earned our respect.

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
It's been a long time, but we will return this Sunday, November 15, at 10:15 a.m. to the familiar surroundings of the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary chapel for morning worship. Our Leadership Team and staff have put in place a plan to keep us as safe as possible during our return indoors. Most of our requirements will be the ones with which people have become familiar during the pandemic: the wearing of masks will be required, we will socially distance the seating in the chapel with seating on the outer ends of the rows, we will not offer coffee or refreshments, offering baskets will be on stands, and Imagine Nation Youth will go straight to their session in room 103 upon arrival. This Sunday, Bruce will complete our series on "Fearanoia: What Keeps You Awake at Night?", and we will include a Veterans Day observance. You are invited to worship with us Sunday in the GCTS chapel.
Online Worship Continues Each Week
In addition to our worship in the chapel at Gordon-Conwell, the online component continues weekly as well! You can join us Sundays at 10:15 a.m. on the Imagine Church Facebook page from the safety and comfort of your own home. The wearing of pajamas is allowed!
In Praise of Outdoor Worship!
We've heard from countless people describing how much they have enjoyed the experience of worshiping outdoors on Imagine Church's new Lake Wylie site, especially on picture-perfect days like last Sunday, November 8, with 75-degree temps. As many have asked, yes, we are open to the idea of resuming outdoor worship when possible. However, approaching cold weather will impact that decision, and early in 2021, the land will become a construction site for a year or so. However, the concept of outdoor worship has been planted in our hearts and is something we plan to factor into our site development. How good it is sometimes to be outdoors!
What They're Saying
On Saturday, October 31, the Lake Wylie community celebrated the grand opening of Field Day Park at Lake Wylie, a 32-acre athletic complex located at Paddler's Cove, an expansive new neighborhood which extends to Highway 55 across from Imagine Church's new site. Instrumental in this years-long endeavor were men from Imagine Church like Ron Domurat, Jim Gilkeson, and Russ Partin, all of whom were involved in the dedication and grand opening. We are proud of them and the contributions they each make to the community's common good.
Many people have asked about Heidi Chausse and her new endeavors as the Resident Chaplain at Cincinnati's Children's Hospital. Heidi was our Ministerial Intern for two years and was ordained at Imagine Church. We have received a great letter from Heidi we wish to share with the church family. We will send it out in place of Pastor Bruce's Monday letter to the Imagine church family. Make sure to watch for it!
Thanksgiving Dinners Outreach
Many in our church family will say this is one of the most meaningful ministries we support, and so we are excited to partner with the Clover School District again for what will be our 6th consecutive year of purchasing and delivering turkey dinners as part of their Holiday Assistance Program!

On Wednesday, November 25, we invite your family to meet us at our church property in Lake Wylie at 11:00 a.m. where we will assign you addresses of recipients throughout York County to whom you will deliver boxed turkey dinners. Each boxed meal will serve 8-10 people and will consist of the following:
  • 9-12 lb. frozen, pre-cooked turkey
  • 2 lbs. cornbread dressing
  • 2 lbs. green bean casserole
  • 2 lbs. mashed potatoes
  • 16 oz. gravy
  • 18 oz. cranberry relish

This year, we have been asked to serve meals to 50 families. The cost of each boxed turkey meal is approximately $50, so, in order to carry on this meaningful tradition, we are needing you, our church family, to contribute financially toward this initiative. If you are led to contribute any amount, you can bring your cash or check donation to one of our upcoming indoor worship services or mail it to our church address at:

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

We also encourage online donations using this link:

NOTE: Please mark all donations for "Thanksgiving Dinners" on a check memo line or in a comment field online.

We wholeheartedly thank you for helping to make this Thanksgiving outreach a reality again!
Tithes & Offerings: Love Through Giving
With the Thanksgiving holiday season approaching, there are several ways you can honor God through your giving and help to fulfill the church's mission which includes our outreach to purchase and deliver over 50 Thanksgiving dinners for families in need of holiday assistance in our community. We continue to be so very humbled and grateful to those of you who routinely give, and so if you are led to make either a general donation or a Thanksgiving dinner-specific donation, you may do so by depositing cash or checks into the collection baskets at Sunday's worship at Gordon-Conwell, or you may choose to mail them to our church office (see address below) if you would prefer. However, if you are looking for a safe and secure alternative, 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 using this link:

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

NOTE: Please mark donations for our Thanksgiving dinner outreach with "Thanksgiving Dinners" in either a check memo line or an online comment field.
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  
 
NOVEMBER'S OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY:

Clover School District's Holiday Assistance Program
~ Christmas Outreach: Christmas Bikes and More! ~
In addition to supporting the Clover School District with boxed Thanksgiving turkey dinners, Imagine Church is honored to, once again, support their Holiday Assistance Program by purchasing bikes for children at Christmas. And this year, we can help fulfill wishes for scooters and skateboards in addition to bikes!

This will be Imagine Church's 6th year supporting this ministry opportunity in the Clover and Lake Wylie community, and we THANK YOU for your interest in supporting this initiative. Please use this SignUp Genius link to specify which of these opportunities you are interested in supporting:


Gift Cards
  • There is an opportunity to purchase $20 Walmart gift cards that will go toward the purchase of helmets.
  • These gift cards can be submitted to Imagine Church during one of our upcoming indoor worship services by means of our offering baskets.
  • Please submit your gift card no later than Sunday, November 29th.

Bikes, Scooters, and Skateboards
  • Please note that bikes, scooters, and skateboards must be NEW, and bikes must be ASSEMBLED.
  • These items need to be delivered to Oakridge Elementary School (5670 Oakridge Road, Clover, SC 29710) by no later than Wednesday, December 2nd.
  • When dropping off bikes, scooters, and skateboards, please attach a tag or a note that clearly identifies the 'Recipient #' that is referenced for your item in this SignUp.

Alternate Arrangements
If you need to make alternate arrangements to deliver bikes, scooters, skateboards, or gift cards, please reach out to Kari DiDonato, Imagine Church Administrator, by means of:

cell/text: 803.810.4992

Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus by helping to make this outreach a reality again this Christmas!
Weekly Inspiration and Encouragement
Inspirational Song:
 
By: Anthem Lights
 

Submitted by: Jennifer Tankersley,
Minister of Worship and the Arts 
 
  
Bible Verse of Encouragement:
 
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.”
Psalm 28:7 (ESV)
Prayers and Praises
Hunter Chole Smith, grandson of Steve and Ginny Chole, reentered the Levine Children's Hospital and was admitted to the PICU with a likely kidney infection. Please pray for Hunter, his parents and grandparents, and pray that he responds well to treatment and can be moved to a progressive care unit.

Bob Wujciak was admitted last Saturday to the ICU at Atrium's Carolina Medical Center. Linda Wujciak reported that Bob had grown weaker and his oxygen level was very low. Please keep Bob and Linda in your prayers as well.

Zach and Rhonda Preston continue to press onward in Zach's battle with cancer as they await his admission into a new clinical trial. Let us pray daily for Zach and Rhonda.

Robin Roberson had surgery at Matthews Presbyterian Hospital on Thursday, November 5, but surprised us all by being back in worship on Sunday, November 8. It's hard to keep a good woman down!

Bonita Nugent is doing well but was having more tests on Wednesday of this week.

Please pray for Jo Johnson as her illness continues to progress.  

We ask you to continue to remember Vaughn Dunn (Chere Dunn's husband) in your prayers as he lives with Parkinson's.
The Circle Maker Bible Study 
Pray circles around your biggest dreams and your greatest fears with the Circle Maker Bible Study which meets Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. on the church's Lake Wylie property. The group, led by Jennifer Tankersley and Amy Davis, will really learn and understand the power of prayer. Participants should bring their own camping chairs, but in the event of unfavorable weather, the barn will provide the option of coverage. If you wish to join the group or if you simply want more information, please text Amy Davis at 704-516-2437.
 
Home-Based Life Groups
The Greater Community Life Group resumed its bible study back in late September and is also in the midst of 'The Circle Maker' bible study. Michelle Transou is facilitating discussions, and we will continue to meet biweekly in the Summerhouse neighborhood through the holidays. For more information, please contact Michelle Transou at 704-299-6235.
 
The Landing Life Group has resumed meeting either by Zoom or at the home of Bruce and Tyra Jones at 1520 Calvin Hal Lane, Lake Wylie. We will continue to meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please contact Bruce Jones at 980-999-3500. 
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------
 
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
With indoor worship resuming at Gordon-Conwell, Imagine Kids will be dismissed from the chapel early in worship for their session with our Minister to Children and Families, Gregory Roberts. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday when Gregory will be sharing another message from the Book of Hebrews.
Upcoming Events:
 
Memory Verse:
Parents, here is the memory verse for you to practice with your child(ren)!
Preschool and Elementary
"What more can I say? I don't have time to tell about all the others. I don't hav time to talk about Gideon, Barak, Samson, and Jephthah. I don't have time to tell about David and Samuel and the prophets.'"  (Hebrews 11:32)
 
Parents, if the entire verse is too long for your preschooler, have them learn the first part:
"What more can I say? I don't have time to tell about all the others.'"
 
 
Gregory Roberts | 704-502-3107 | imaginekids@imaginechurchnow.org
Imagine Nation Youth
With indoor worship resuming at Gordon-Conwell, Imagine Nation Youth are asked to go straight to their session in room 103 upon arrival this week where Tim Gunn, our Minister of Imagine Nation Youth, will lead them in their session while following social distancing guidelines. Weather permitting, Tim and the youth may elect to go outdoors for their youth activities. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday...and we encourage you to bring a friend, too!

 
Upcoming Events: 

Winter Xtreme:
Mark Winter Xtreme in your calendar for Dec. 27-30!
 
Cost $200
$100 non-refundable deposit due by Sept. 27;
$50 due Oct. 25;
final $50 due Nov. 29.
Or, you can pay in full.
Please make all checks payable to 'Imagine Church'.
 
Price includes event, food, activities, transportation, and lodging. Bring extra money for arcade, t-shirts, and shopping.
  
Please contact Tim Gunn if you have any questions about Winter Xtreme. 
 
 
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:
Jennifer Bowling
Addisyn Schoeller
Kara Szot
Jaron Szot
Stephanie Hunter
Rick Rhodes
Londyn Case
James Gilkeson
Logan Smith
Ron Domurat
Will Hardee
Merry Smith
Terry Wilder
Tamra Roberts
Nov 15
Nov 16
Nov 18
Nov 19
Nov 20
Nov 21
Nov 23
Nov 23
Nov 23
Nov 25
Nov 25
Nov 25
Nov 25
Nov 26
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?
At Imagine Church, we are gathering folks who are willing to color outside the lines of established church pattern -- people who are willing to climb new terrain and chart a new course as we seek to reclaim faith for open minds. Whether you have been away from church for a long time or never affiliated with any church, whether you are married, single, divorced, or in transition, you truly matter to us because you truly matter to God. That's Imagine Church.
Reclaiming faith for open minds