Worshiping Sundays In-Person and as an
Online Faith Community

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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:
November 18, 2021
Although Mecklenburg County's COVID-19 trends had been improving, the COVID percent positive rate took a slight turn in the wrong direction and increased to 6% earlier this week. The county will only drop its indoor mask mandate if the percent positive rate drops below 5% for seven straight days. Therefore, Imagine Church and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary will continue to monitor news reports and will strongly recommend face coverings for indoor gatherings as long as the mask mandate is in effect. Masks will be available in the rotunda on Sunday mornings for those who need them.
Upcoming Events
Sunday, November 21: THIS SUNDAY!
10:15 a.m. Sunday Worship at Imagine Church (in person at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Chapel, 14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte, or online at Imagine Church Facebook Page)
Message: "God's Offer of Adventure" by Pastor Bruce
Separate sessions for ALL ages of Imagine Kids and Imagine Nation Youth
10:30 a.m. Imagine Life College Ministry
Proclaim - Jim Gilkeson; Safety & Security - Pat Nolan
11:45 a.m. Leadership Team Meets in Room 122-A

Wednesday, November 24:
11:00 a.m. Delivery of Thanksgiving Dinners from Lake Wylie Church Site, 5471 Highway 55 East, Lake Wylie

Thursday, November 25:
Thanksgiving Day

Sunday, November 28:
10:15 a.m. Sunday Worship at Imagine Church (in person at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Chapel, 14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte, or online at Imagine Church Facebook Page)
First Sunday of Advent
Message: "Who Needs Christmas" by Pastor Bruce
Separate sessions for ALL ages of Imagine Kids and Imagine Nation Youth
Proclaim - Jim Gilkeson; Safety & Security - Jimmy Ferguson
Imagine Church Devotional
"The Church That Helps People"
I was already fifteen minutes late when I pulled into the driveway, and I was surprised to find the entire family -- Mom, Dad, and three kids -- standing on the front porch waiting for me. I was delivering a trunk-load of gifts from the church for a family we were sponsoring at Christmas. I had barely stepped out of the car when the five-year-old daughter ran up to me, flung her arms around my legs to give me a hug, and when I looked down at those bright little eyes and that wide smile, she said, "I know who you are!" "Who am I?" I answered. She said, "You're that man who helps people!"

I've never been paid a higher compliment in my life. "You're that man who helps people." I explained to the little girl and her family that the gifts were from the church, and I was just the deliverer, but I've never forgotten that experience from years ago because her words provide a clear description of the heart of a church which truly cares about the people of our community and region. Though there may be a hundred other ways by which we are known to the people of York County and Southwest Charlotte, the most symbolic of the collective heart of Imagine Church are Thanksgiving dinners and bicycles at Christmas. They have been part of the fabric of Imagine's life and witness since the very first year.

How I wish sometimes that you could travel with me to visit the households we assist through our church's missions program. Each one has its own unique story, and each one tugs at the heartstrings in its own unique way.
We don't get many thank-you cards, nor do we expect them. We may help solve one problem, but for these folks, there are usually other problems immediately to face. Once, however, we received this hand-written message, written on notebook paper: "I am writing to thank you for the wonderful gift you sent my family. I truly cannot thank you enough for all your generosity. There are not too many people in this world who would blindly help someone, but you did and because of your help my family is steadily getting back on our feet. I am left speechless and amazed by your kindness, and the only thing I can say is thank you. I will keep you in my heart and prayers. I pray that God will bless you and your church with good health and all the happiness that you have given my family."

I will keep that letter in a desk drawer along with one that I received a number of years ago. It was a small card with only a two-sentence message, but one that I pull out and look at often to remind me of what we're supposed to do and what we're supposed to be. It says, "Thank you for what your church did. We didn't know anyone cared for the likes of us."

I remember reading about a little girl who was shown a picture and asked to identify it. "It's Jesus," she said. "No, it isn't," said the teacher. "You mean it's not Jesus?" the little girl asked, obviously surprised. "No," the teacher said again. "Well," said the little girl, "it sure does look like him." My thought is that what happens because of Imagine Church week after week may not be Christianity, but it sure does look like it. When a church commits to help and serve, feed and clothe, it looks a lot like Jesus to me.

It's not a bad way to be known out there in the wider world. "That's the church that helps people."

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
There is so much for which we're grateful at Imagine Church, and this Sunday, November 21, gives us an opportunity to express that sense of gratitude. Periodically we need to go back and retell the story of Imagine Church because we continue to receive new people and new households who need to hear it. However, it's good even for our longtime participants to hear the Imagine Church story because doing so reminds us who we are and of the ministry to which we have been called. Our stories help define us. At 10:15 a.m. Sunday, Bruce will share the Imagine Church story, and we will also receive a report on the "My Church Is Kind of a Big Deal" commitment emphasis. The report is actually, well, kind of a big deal, too! Join us Sunday, in person at GCTS or online on the Imagine Church Facebook page.
Thanks For Your Commitment
Last Sunday, November 14, began with a unique Commitment Sunday breakfast featuring homemade waffles served by Waffle Tastries and hot beverages and assorted breakfast goods served by Humble Cup Coffee Co. We ended with worship in the Chapel of Gordon-Conwell where we concluded by bringing our commitment cards forward to place them on the communion table to be consecrated to the glory and service of God. To see a complete series of photos from last week's Commitment Sunday service, click here.
This Sunday, we will have a chance to hear the total initial response to our fall commitment emphasis that culminated this past Commitment Sunday. This is one of those times when we hope to have a 100% response! If you haven't yet returned your commitment card, we ask you to bring it with you to worship this Sunday, November 21, and place it in one of the offering baskets located near the doors to the chapel, or simply use the return mailing envelope included in your packet and mail it to the church office. And to the many who have already made their commitments for 2022, please know of our heartfelt and sincere thank you!  Together, God and you comprise the wonderful team which makes this ministry possible!
Cookies For Kairos
COOKIES FOR KAIROS
Fred Wetherell of our Missions Team will be our point person to supply cookies once again for the Kairos Prison Ministry. This "Cookies for Kairos" outreach is the perfect opportunity to remind the inmates at the Kershaw Correctional Institution that they are children of God, they are loved, and they are thought of during these difficult times.
But there's a twist this time...
Homemade cookies are NOT ALLOWED to be sent to Kershaw this year. We are asked instead to send individually wrapped snack pack cookies that are packaged by the manufacturer. These cookies are available online from Amazon, Walmart, Target, Costco, and Sam's Club, to name a few. Individually wrapped packages can contain one large cookie or multiple smaller bite-size cookies.

Please purchase these types of cookies and have them shipped to:
Kershaw Correctional Institution
4848 Gold Mine Hwy.
Kershaw, SC 29067
Attention: Chaplain Stephen Miller

Please schedule the shipments to arrive the week of November 29. Fred Wetherell needs to keep count of how many total individually wrapped packages are being sent, so please use this email to notify Fred with the total count of cookie packages that you send:

Ultimately, we need to send down 1,300 individual packages -- but we are hoping to exceed that goal by 2 or 3 fold! So, please spread the word, and get your friends involved with shipping cookies to Kershaw by November 29. Cookies will be delivered to Kershaw residents on December 7.

Thank you, Imagine Church family, for serving this meaningful ministry opportunity!
 
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" (Matthew 25:40)
You Don't Want to Miss Winterfest 2021!
The Imagination Destinations Life Group invites YOU and YOUR FAMILY to join them on Wednesday, December 15, for a 6:00 p.m. dinner at Hickory Tavern in Steele Creek followed by a visit to Winterfest at Carowinds. You will find extravagant holiday decor, gourmet treats, and brilliant entertainment -- it's fun for the whole family! Carowinds tickets are $23, and the cost of dinner will be on your own.


Use the above link to register for this event. If you have a Carowinds Season Pass, please select the 'Season Pass Holder Attendee' type. Otherwise, please select the 'Standard Attendee' type, and provide payment of $23. This is a special church rate, so Imagine Church will end up purchasing the tickets for those who need them.

We hope you and your family will join the Imagination Destinations Life Group at Winterfest!

***NOTE*** Carowinds is cashless inside the park, and in-park purchases will require a debit/credit card.

Questions? Reach out to Paula Davis at decarbodavis@gmail.com or 704-906-0101.
Turkey Meal Deliveries
As you know, this is the 7th consecutive year that we've partnered with the Clover School District to support their Thanksgiving Dinner Distribution as part of their Holiday Assistance Program. Many in our church family will say this is one of the most meaningful ministries in which we participate, and so we are thrilled to support the CSD by purchasing and delivering complete Thanksgiving meals to families in need of assistance in the York County area!

Through your generous giving, we were able to fully fund the purchase of forty (40) boxed Thanksgiving meals from Harris Teeter, and for that we are so incredibly grateful! Danielle Bower worked behind the scenes to negotiate a special rate on the boxed meals, and we are extremely appreciative for her efforts and for the generosity of Terrell Towns and the management at the Steele Creek Harris Teeter for affording us special pricing on these boxed meals. 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

Please look for a separate mailing yet this week that will provide the details about when and where to meet to deliver these boxed meals on Wednesday, November 24.
What They're Saying
Dear Church Family,
Thank you for the gracious show of support to our staff at Kinard Elementary. The breakfast was delicious! We appreciate the love we receive from Imagine Church. Thanks for being God's hands.
Be blessed,
Tina Ginn, Kinard Elementary
Dear Imagine Church Family,
Thank you so much for the flowers you sent when my father passed away. They are truly some of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Losing a loved one is very difficult, and it helps to know we’re supported. We love each of you and look forward to getting back to our “normal” routine soon, including attending church!!
With much love and gratitude,
Lydia Smith
Imagine Kids
We invite Imagine Kids of ALL ages (nursery through 5th grade) to join us at Gordon-Conwell this Sunday, November 21, when Gregory will share the first message from a new series titled: "Jesus Said, 'I Am the Bread of Life.'"

If you missed Gregory's conclusion to "Jesus Said, 'I Am the True Vine,'" from this past Sunday, click here to watch (at the 26:50 minute mark):


LOOKING AHEAD:
CENTRIKID CAMP
You are invited to sign up for "CentriKid Camp July 2022".
CentriKid Camp is a place for kids (rising 3rd graders to rising 7th graders) to get away to hear loud and clear that God loves them and has a plan for their lives.

CentriKid Camp will be at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Ridgecrest, NC from July 22-24, 2022. The cost is $199, and a deposit of $75 is required. Please use this link to register your child and pay the $75 deposit: CentriKid Camp - REGISTER HERE

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

"Then Jesus said, 'I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry. And whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.'" (John 6:35 NIrV)

Preschoolers can memorize just the first sentence: "Then Jesus said, 'I am the bread of life.'"

Gregory Roberts | 704-502-3107 | ImagineKids@ImagineChurchNow.org
Imagine Nation Youth
Last Sunday, all youth remained in the Chapel for praise and worship and for Bruce's Commitment Sunday message. However, this Sunday, November 21, we invite all youth to dismiss after praise and worship to meet separately with Tim. Additionally, all high school seniors and college students who might happen to be in town are invited to attend and participate in Imagine Life, our Imagine Youth ministry that is focused on engaging college students and high school seniors.

Also, we still need mailing addresses for our Imagine college students. Please see Matt Hubbard with that information.
LOOKING AHEAD:
Youth Christmas Party:
Sunday, December 12, will be the Youth's Christmas Party during morning worship. Join us for some Christmas Luau Party fun - you won't want to miss it! Please look for additional information to be posted in weeks to come.
Winter Xtreme 2021
We're excited for Winter Xtreme in Gatlinburg this December 28-30! For those youth who are registered, please use this link (click on 'Profile' and then 'My Registrations') to pay off your account in full:

There will be a meeting for everyone attending Winter Xtreme on Sunday, December 12 immediately following morning worship -- this will be a chance to go over details and answer any questions. Please plan to attend.
Weekly Devotion:

The last part of today’s verse says, “you are mine”. Aren’t those words encouraging? To know that you’re God’s? You’re not an accident, regardless of what others say. You are God’s. That gives you dignity.

So no matter what people have said about you, you can hold your head high. You know that God loves you and calls you His. He will be with you and help you in every trouble that you face. He’s there to comfort you, protect you, provide for you, and meet any physical or emotional need you have.

But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine."

So go out today to your world on purpose. Know that you’ve been created for this time and on purpose. Let the world see how good God is through you. God wants to do big things through you!

Today’s Truth: I am God’s.
Did you like what you read above? Follow these steps to get set-up to receive Tim's weekly devotional messages and other important information for Imagine Youth via Remind:

Get push notifications on your smartphone by going to the following link(s): rmd.at/imagineyg
 
Sign-up to receive text notifications by texting @imagineyg to the number 81010.
We look forward to seeing you Sunday morning, Imagine Youth -- and bring a friend, too!

Tim Gunn | 803-322-1113 | Youth@ImagineChurchNow.org
Be the Hands and Feet of Jesus
There are so many opportunities that exist for our church to be the hands and feet of Jesus by helping others through various means of service right here in our community and around the world. If you have a heart for missions, you are invited to join the Missions Team or simply support its initiatives. For more information about the Missions Team, please email Kari DiDonato at her Imagine Church email: imaginechurch2014@gmail.com
NOVEMBER'S MISSION FOCUS:
~ Clover School District's Holiday Assistance Program ~
~ Christmas Bicycles ~
"What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don't show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, "Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well" -- but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn't enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless."
~ James 2:14-17 (NLT)
For the 7th consecutive year, Imagine Church will be partnering again with the Clover School District in support of their 2021 Holiday Assistance Program providing bikes (and possibly scooters and skateboards) to families in need of assistance this Christmas. Last year, your generous monetary contributions toward this initiative afforded us the opportunity to donate 19 bikes, 4 skateboards, 3 scooters, and gift cards for the recipients to purchase their own helmets!
We offer sincere thanks to those who have already made a financial contribution in order to afford us the opportunity to carry on this meaningful tradition. If you are still led to contribute any amount of money toward this important community outreach, you can make a donation per the donation options listed below in the We Give Our Thanks article -- just be sure to mark your contribution for "Christmas Bicycles" in a check memo line or as an online comment field or drop-down selection.

The church will finalize the purchase of the requested bikes and scooters in the next few days, and the items will be delivered to the school district in early December. Many within our church family say that this, along with our Thanksgiving Dinner outreach, is one of the most meaningful ministries we support, and we are excited to carry on the tradition again this year. We wholeheartedly thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus by helping to make this outreach a reality again this Christmas!
We Give Our Thanks
When we give back to God, we give our offerings in gratitude and rejoice in the abundance of His gifts to us. We trust that He will provide for our needs while blessing and using our offerings for His purposes here in this community and around the world. If you are led to make a tithe, offering, or gift, we offer these safe and convenient giving options:

MAIL: Cash or check donations can be mailed directly to our church office at:

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

WORSHIP: Cash or check donations can be placed in one of the collection baskets at our Sunday in-person worships at GCTS.

ONLINE: Use this link to access our Church Center online giving platform:

MOBILE: Make a donation from your smart phone using the mobile Church Center app. Search for Imagine Church in Lake Wylie to create your account:

Or, text the amount of your offering (ex: $123) to 84321.

RECURRING: Make a recurring donation using Church Center:

*** (NEW) ZELLE: Now you can setup Zelle to send donations to Imagine Church via the following email address: treasurer@imaginechurchnow.org

THANK YOU for making our ministry possible here in this community and around the world!
Ladies' Life Group
The Ladies Life Group will not meet the week of Thanksgiving but will resume again the following Wednesday, December 1, at 7pm at the home of Debra Tadlock (117 Shimmerlake Ln, Belmont, NC) to continue their study of the books of Daniel and Revelation.

Please stay tuned for details about upcoming events and outings from the Ladies Life Group.

Debra Tadlock | 704-460-9075dsb0602@yahoo.com

Guys & Cars Life Group
Please stay tuned for details about upcoming events and outings from the Guys & Cars Life Group, and reach out to Jim Gilkeson with any questions.

Jim Gilkeson | 803-627-6637gilkesonj@gmail.com

Imagination Destinations Life Group
Anyone and everyone from our church family is invited to join the Imagination Destinations Life Group on Wednesday, December 15, for a 6:00 p.m. dinner at Hickory Tavern in Steele Creek followed by a visit to Winterfest at Carowinds -- it's fun for the whole family! Carowinds tickets are $23, and the cost of dinner will be on your own.


Use the above link to register for this event. If you have a Carowinds Season Pass, please select the 'Season Pass Holder Attendee' type. Otherwise, please select the 'Standard Attendee' type, and provide payment of $23. This is a special church rate, so Imagine Church will end up purchasing the tickets for those who need them.

Paula Davis | 704-906-0101decarbodavis@gmail.com
Weekly Inspiration and Encouragement
Inspirational Song:
Sung by Lauren Daigle

In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

Submitted by: Jennifer Tankersley,
Minister of Worship and the Arts 

Bible Verse of Encouragement:

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ."
~ Ephesians 1:3 (NIV)
Prayers and Praises
We extend our sincere sympathy to Chris Buster and Heidi Orton at the death of Heidi's brother, Mike Rice, who died suddenly on Saturday, November 13, at age 50. Chris and Heidi reside in Fort Madison, Iowa, and Chris is the son of Scott and Janet Waterman of the Imagine Church family.
We continue to hold in our prayers Diane Davis (mother of Kendall Davis) and her husband Hank "Cricket" Davis following her shoulder surgery on Tuesday, November 15. Cricket and Diane are a faithful part of our online worshiping community each week.
We want to extend our sincere congratulations to Helen MacCaffray on the occasion of her 103rd birthday on Sunday, November 14. Helen is represented by three generations in Imagine Church with her daughter, Nancy MacCaffray Church, her granddaughter, Amy Fronczkiewicz, and great-granddaughters Ada and Maizy Fronczkiewicz.  What an outstanding legacy Mrs. MacCaffray is still writing for her family!
We extend congratulations to Scott and Janet Waterman on the birth of a granddaughter, Zoe Jane Savage, born on November 1, 2021, to Patrick and Lauren Savage. Zoe weighed a perfect 7 lbs. and 7 oz. We congratulate this dear family on the gift of new birth!
Happy Birthday!
We send heartfelt and happy birthday greetings to these Imagine Church family members who have birthdays throughout the next two weeks:
Nov 18....Kara Szot
Nov 19....Jaron Szot
Nov 21....Rick Rhodes
Nov 23....Londyn Case
Nov 23....James Gilkeson
Nov 23....Logan Smith
Nov 25....Ron Domurat
Nov 25....Merry Smith
Nov 25....Terry Wilder
Nov 26....Tamra Roberts
Nov 27....Melanie Todd
Nov 28....Gabriella Hayes
Nov 30....Claire Schilling
Dec 1......Trey Schilling
Dec 2......Vaughn Dunn
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?
As we all do what we know how to do, we then get the privilege of watching God do what only God can do. Imagine Church seems to have a special appeal to men and women who get excited about following a vision and doing what others would consider impossible. That's Imagine Church!
"By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others."