The news early last Friday morning that President and Mrs. Trump had both tested positive for the coronavirus was a stark reminder of how potent this virus is and how easily it can spread. No one is immune from it, and we must be ever vigilant out of abundant care for one another and for the common good. For now, Imagine Church has chosen to enjoy these fall Sundays by offering both outdoor worship on the new church site as well as our online component. These are the safest of the options available to us at this present time.
At the same time, we continue the design phase for our upcoming new church facility. What has the pandemic taught us? One thing for certain is that we will have a strong ISP to provide secure, steady, and reliable access to the Internet, as our worship, Imagine Kids, and Imagine Nation Youth all incorporate the latest videos. We also want our worship center to provide great WiFi for our participants -- for free. Live streaming will be a permanent part of our church life even after hundreds can return to worshiping in person. We are able to reach people through our online worship we would never have reached otherwise. The Remind app, social media, email, and online giving will continue to be important ways we interact together as a church family.
One thing will never change: God cares about people, not buildings or tech. In a strange way, the Covid crisis has brought us back to the foundational truth that we need each other. The church is how God wants to demonstrate his love for each and every soul he created. At the end of the age, God will ask, "Did you care for my sheep?" As we continue to incorporate these changes, it is for one purpose and one purpose only: to stay on task and to fulfill our divine calling to reach the world for Jesus Christ.
Sunday, October 11: THIS SUNDAY!
10:15 a.m. Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship on New Church Site, 5471 Highway 55, East, Lake Wylie
Message: "Love Where You Live, Part 2" by Pastor Bruce
Separate Sessions for Imagine Kids (Elementary) and Imagine Nation Youth on Site
Wednesday, October 14:
9:30 a.m. The Circle Maker Bible Study
Facilitated on New Church Site, 5471 Highway 55, East, Lake Wylie by Amy Davis and Jennifer Tankersley
Sunday, October 18:
10:15 a.m. Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship on New Church Site, 5471 Highway 55, East, Lake Wylie
Message: "Love Where You Live, Part 3" by Pastor Bruce
Separate sessions for Imagine Kids (Elementary) and Imagine Nation Youth on Site
Imagine Church Devotional
"Get Busy Living, or Get Busy Dying"
There's a line spoken by actor Tim Robbins in the academy award winning movie "The Shawshank Redemption" that's echoed later in the film by costar Morgan Freeman. It consists of seven words that have stayed with me ever since I first heard them: "Get busy living, or get busy dying." That poignant statement carries profound implications for churches as certainly as it does for individuals.
Churches die sometimes; the factory closes, the mill shuts down, the people move away, and the church just dies a natural death. The sign out front that used to read, "Worship, 11:00; Sunday School, 9:45" now says, "Flounder and hush puppies, every Friday night, all you can eat, $11.95." It's painful when a church dies.
There's one thing that can kill a church more quickly than anything else I can name, and it's something that was articulated by the writer of Proverbs generations ago. The warning is simple: "Without a vision, the people perish." Bill Hybels put a new spin on it when he said, "Without a vision, the people go to another parish!" Without vision, God's presence will soon be gone, leaving only lifeless, soulless, busy people going through the motions -- all the signs of a dying church.
"Get busy living, or get busy dying." Imagine Church has chosen to get busy living. Several days ago, our architects took first brush at a floorplan for our new church facility. The Leadership Team responded, "Make it bigger." So, instead of a 350-seat worship center, we are now looking at 400. Every Sunday out on the church site there are signs of new life, new visions, and new dreams being spearheaded by our children's and youth ministries and the multitude of new young families who have begun attending in recent weeks.
I've had some experience in this dreaming business over the years. I know that dreams can come true. The first step is to believe they can. We are those who have been privileged to see God perform his mighty acts through the young life of Imagine Church. As exhilarating as these few years have been, this may be the best time of all. Let's together dream a great dream for 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
The tendency in today's culture is to treat people based on the value they are to us. However, Christianity teaches us a great, important truth: you are surrounded today by people of immeasurable value. People who are so valuable to our heavenly Father that he sent his Son to die on their behalf. This is the backdrop for part 2 of our new series, "Love Where You Live." We invite you to join us at 10:15 a.m. this Sunday, October 11, for drive-in and/or sit outdoors worship on our new church site (5471 Highway 55, East, Lake Wylie) or you can watch online on the Imagine Church Facebook page. Later on Sunday afternoon, our drive-in worship experience is posted on the Imagine Church YouTube channel, so there are three ways you can worship with us on Sunday.
The forecast calls for the threat of rain this weekend from the remnants of Hurricane Delta. If we are forced to cancel the outdoor service, we will send out notifications by email, Facebook, and our new Remind app that sends notifications straight to your phone. If we are able to worship outdoors, remember to bring a camping chair if you wish to sit outside your vehicle. There is ample room for us to spread out and socially distance. There will be offering baskets if you wish to make a contribution, or you can do that online at the Imagine Church website or by mail. One way or another, we hope you will be with us on Sunday!
Stay in the Loop!
Want to be reminded about an upcoming Imagine Church event? Want to receive brief and timely updates from Imagine Church? Want to know whether Sunday's outdoor service will be canceled without having to check your email inbox or the church's Facebook page? Unfortunately, this last scenario might just happen this weekend, so we encourage everyone in our church family to join the Imagine Church of the Carolinas group on the Remind app which allows for important updates from Pastor Bruce or Church Administrator Kari DiDonato to be sent right to your phone.
Choose a way to receive messages.
If you have a smartphone, get push notifications by opening your web browser and going to the following link: rmd.at/imaginechu
Follow the instructions to sign up for Remind, and if you don't already have the Remind app, you'll be prompted to download the mobile app.
If you don't have a smartphone, you can receive text notifications. Simply text the message @imaginechu to the number 81010. If you're having trouble with 81010, try texting @imaginechu to (424) 295-0868.
Don't have a mobile phone? Go to rmd.at/imaginechu on a desktop computer to sign up for email notifications.
If you have any issues working through this process, please reach out to our Church Administrator, Kari DiDonato, by means of her church email address (email@example.com) to ask for help.
It's Fall, Y'all! Help Us Decorate!
We're sending BIG THANKS to Amy Davis, Tonia Parshall, and Wendy Weisenfeld who helped spruce up our property with festive Fall decorations!
We look forward to making our property look even more 'lived in', and we will gladly accept any of these items at Sunday's service:
- Hay Bales
- Corn Stalks
- Other miscellaneous Fall decorations including outdoor decorations for which you no longer have a use
Or, feel free to connect with Amy Davis or Jennifer Tankersley to make plans to get involved in the decorating.
Design Process Underway
A small group from the Leadership Team and members of the church staff had a virtual meeting this week with the architect and contractor as work on the design phase continues. We have had preliminary discussions about the size and scope of the project, and we are currently working on the floorplan. Our vision for the facility is the driver as we seek to translate that vision into practical application and concrete decisions. It's important to note how our building will make people feel -- we want them to feel comfortable, welcome, and safe, and we want them to feel the diversity, to know Jesus here, and to feel loved and cared for. This is all part of the culture of Imagine Church we hope to express in our new facility.
The Circle Maker Bible Study Begins October 14
It's not too late! The Circle Maker Bible Study will begin next Wednesday, October 14 at 9:30 a.m. The group, led by Jennifer Tankersley and Amy Davis, will meet at the church property (5471 Highway 55, East) in Lake Wylie, and participants should bring their own camping chairs. The barn will provide the option of coverage in the event of unfavorable weather. If you wish to join the group or if you simply want more information, please text Amy Davis at 704-516-2437.
What They're Saying
Isaiah 43:19 came to mind this morning as we experienced the blessing of intimate and heart-changing worship with Imagine Church: "Behold, I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." God is truly doing a new thing in and through Imagine Church and your ministry. Imagine Church is absolutely "springing forth", and we are definitely "perceiving it!" It is a joy to witness it and to be a part of this new thing that God is doing in our community! Thanks be to God! We are praying daily for you and your ministry team.
With grateful hearts,
Steve and Ginny Chole
Dear Imagine Church Family,
I am happy to report that, with your help, we exceeded our goal of 1,500 dozen cookies and delivered yesterday to Kershaw Prison 2,043 dozen! This far exceeded our expectations, and again I thank all of you for helping. Now everyone gets Kairos Cookies including guards, staff, management, and some extra for the Chaplain's office for those who see the Chaplain for counsel.
Thank You for Supporting the Work and Ministry of Christ
Thank you for your faithfulness to give over these months -- even those weeks and months when we have exclusively been worshiping as a virtual faith community. Your giving has been an amazing thing to observe, and it's evidence of how God is at work in the life of this church family. Your continued giving keeps Imagine Church's ministry alive and vital, and we thank you for your generosity in the way you support the work and ministry of Christ. If you are led to make an offering, collection baskets will be located on stands at this Sunday's "Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship" at the church's property in Lake Wylie. Or, offerings can be made online using the link below via credit or debit card, ACH check payment, or by mailing cash or check to our church office at:
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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
OCTOBER'S OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY:
Palmetto Women's Center
Thank you, Imagine Church family, for generously supporting this month's outreach opportunity. You can learn more about the Palmetto Women's Center by checking out their website or by following them on Facebook:
Located at 828 Lucas Street in Rock Hill, the Palmetto Women's Center is an extension of the local church that shares the love of Jesus Christ and His redemptive power. Among other things, the Palmetto Women's Center supports women and their families during and after stress pregnancies by enabling them to choose life and have hope in Christ for the future.
The Palmetto Women's Center is a 501C3 organization. They do not accept government money nor do they receive funds from The United Way. That means they rely on their community of churches, businesses, and individual donations for their center to function and provide services at no charge.
Throughout the month of October, we will support the Palmetto Women's Center in several ways. Thank you to those in our church family who brought donations of baby items (diapers, wipes, Good Start and Gerber formula, hygiene items, outfits, etc.) to last Sunday's in-person worship. We will continue to collect these items in addition to collecting maternity clothes for women in need of them. You can bring any of these items to this Sunday's worship service on our new church property in Lake Wylie.
If you are unable to attend in-person worship and still wish to donate any of these items, please reach out to Church Administrator Kari DiDonato at email@example.com to make other collection arrangements.
Weekly Inspiration and Encouragement
By: Casting Crowns
"If your eyes are on the storm,
You'll wonder if I love you still.
But if your eyes are on the cross,
You'll know I always have and I always will."
Submitted by: Lydia Smith and Jennifer Tankersley
Bible Verse of Encouragement:
"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." ~Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Prayers and Praises
Remember to pray daily at 11:11 a.m. as we join together to pray for our nation, for healing, for unity, and for our Imagine Church family as we enter into a building program and continue our worship both outdoors and online during these fall Sundays.
Pray for those of our church family who have had COVID-19, all of whom have recovered or are recovering.
Pray for Jo Johnson, friend of Amy Davis and many of our Imagine Church family. Pray for comfort for her days as her illness continues to progress.
Bonita Nugent is facing surgery on October 15 for thyroid issues and needs our prayers.
Please continue to pray for:
Dianne Cloer, friend of Michelle Transou
Gary Holloway, friend of Debra Tadlock
Jerry Brownlee, father of Lydia Smith
Have a prayer request or praise item to share? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org so the church can join you in prayers and praise!
This month, Gregory is highlighting stories about real people who had God-given super powers. When we follow God, He can make us all super heroes...heroes of faith! Last Sunday's message
focused on Daniel (begin at 17:15 mark) who was thrown into a lion's den, and this Sunday's message will focus on David and Goliath.
The children will be
dismissed just before Bruce's sermon and will return to their parents at the end of service. Carpet squares spaced 7 feet apart will encourage participation while maintaining proper social distance. Everyone who is working with the children during this time will be wearing a mask, and we also encourage the children to wear masks as well. A portable restroom facility is now conveniently available on site, and hand sanitizer will also be available. It is our utmost desire to keep the children safe while also teaching them about the love of Jesus, and we hope YOU will join us in person on Sunday!
NOTE: In the event that this Sunday's in-person worship is cancelled due to weather, please look for Gregory to give his message on Facebook Live at 10:00 a.m.
Please stay tuned for information about future Imagine Kids events.
Parents, here is the memory verse for you to practice with your child(ren)!
Preschool and Elementary
"The king said to Daniel, 'I'm sure your God is the greatest God of all. He is the Lord of kings. He explains mysteries.'"
Parents, if the entire verse is too long for your preschooler, have them learn the first part:
"The king said to Daniel, 'I'm sure your God is the greatest God of all.'"
Imagine Nation Youth
Week after week, Imagine Nation Youth is growing in numbers, and that is very exciting to know that we are reaching new youth in our community! Imagine Nation Youth will conduct their own separate session again this Sunday, October 11, at the church's beautiful Lake Wylie property during our "Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship". Bring a chair and plan to enjoy Tim's message from the great outdoors. And, great news, a portable restroom facility is now conveniently available on site.
NOTE: In the event that this Sunday's in-person worship is cancelled due to weather, please look for Tim to give his message on Facebook Live at 11:00 a.m.
Mark Winter Xtreme in your calendar for Dec. 27-30!
$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.
Sunday, Dec. 27
12:30 p.m. - Meet at CSD YMCA
1:00 p.m. - Depart CSD YMCA
5:00 p.m. - Arrive at Winter X-treme
6:00 p.m. - Dinner
Monday, Dec. 28
9:30 a.m. - Breakfast
11:00 a.m. - Leave for Anakeesta for lunch, zipline, shopping, etc.
5:30 p.m. - Dinner
7:00 p.m. - Service (Riley Clemmons and Crowder)
Tuesday, Dec. 29
9:30 a.m. - Breakfast
10:00 a.m. - Service (Newsong)
12:30 p.m. - Lunch and free time
5:30 p.m. - Dinner
7:00 p.m. - Service (Austin French, Tim Tebow, Lecrae)
Wednesday, Dec. 30
9:00 a.m. - Breakfast
10:00 a.m. - Depart
2:00 p.m. - Arrive at CSD YMCA for pick-up
Please contact Tim Gunn to let him know if you are interested in attending or if you have any questions about these events.
We send heartfelt birthday greetings to these Imagine Church family members who have birthdays throughout the next two weeks:
|Brian Foit||Oct 12|
|Justin McInnis||Oct 13|
|Kristin Clark||Oct 15|
|Sydney Walker||Oct 15|
|Cameron Hurst||Oct 17|
|Cadence Jones||Oct 19|
|Stephen Kowalczyk||Oct 19|
|Lauren Magnie||Oct 19|
|Summer Whalen||Oct 22|
If you are wanting your name added to our birthday list, simply send us a quick email at email@example.com. We want to celebrate with you!
Each of us is messed up. God loves us anyway. Nothing can separate us from God's love. Nothing (Romans 8:38-39). No one is perfect, and we are all totally dependent upon God's grace (Romans 3:22-24). God gives endless second chances, so we do our best to forgive recklessly and infinitely (Matthew 18:21-22). All of this is descriptive of the ministry and theology of Imagine Church!
Jesus lived and loved with passion, and so should we.
Copyright © 2018 Imagine Church of the Carolinas. All Rights Reserved.