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Weekly Newsletter: September 10, 2020
Rhonda Preston of the Imagine Church family shared the following account of a young Associate Pastor who was asked to perform the funeral for someone who had died without having a pastor.  Although he was clear about safety protocols and expectations, and everyone present wore masks, he later learned that the deceased had actually died of COVID-19 and that several of the family members were actively experiencing symptoms, including the person who leaned in to confide these things to him.
 
While he took every precaution, others did not.  He wore a mask the entire time and kept his distance, but others did not.  He immediately went into quarantine and a week later was exhibiting symptoms.  The following Saturday he tested positive for COVID-19.  He is nine days from first showing symptoms; breathing still hurts and he says he is exhausted, but his coughing is subsiding.  He plans to remain in isolation for at least ten days after symptoms subside per his doctor's recommendations.
 
The young pastor named Alex Zuber is sharing this as a cautionary tale.  He did everything he was supposed to do to stay safe, but it took one family not taking this pandemic seriously for all his good efforts to be undone.  This pandemic has so far claimed the lives of 891,000 people worldwide including over 190,000 in the United States.  
 
The nature of salvation is realizing that our salvation is bound up in the salvation of our neighbor.  In order to see an end to this pandemic, we must choose selflessness and recognize how inextricably bound we are to one another.  Our destinies are bound together in mutual love and concern for one another, and selflessness is the lens by which God's kingdom will be seen and ultimately built here on earth.
  
 
Upcoming Events:
  
Sunday, September 13:  THIS SUNDAY! 
10:15 a.m.  Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship on New Church Site, 5471 Highway 55, East, Lake Wylie
Message:  "The Divided States of America, Part 2" by Pastor Bruce
Separate Session for Imagine Nation Youth on Site
6:30 p.m.  Churchwide Life Group on New Church Site
 
 Monday, September 14:
5:30 p.m.  Life Group Representatives Meeting at River Hills Marina, Lake Wylie
  
Thursday, September 17:
6:30 p.m.  The Landing Life Group Via Zoom
 
Sunday, September 20:
10:15 a.m.  Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship on New Church Site, 5471 Highway 55, East, Lake Wylie
Message:  "The Divided States of America, Part 3" by Pastor Bruce
Separate Session for Imagine Nation Youth on Site
      
In This Issue
Imagine Church Devotional

"The True Definition of Faith"
 
Do you have a favorite episode of The Andy Griffith Show?  It may be "Opie the Birdman" or "Deputy Otis," but mine is "Mr. McBeevee" which originally aired on October 1, 1962.  This episode reminds me of the true definition of faith.  Faith is not based on evidence, and it does not always make sense.
 
Opie's description of Mr. McBeevee illustrates this point perfectly.  From Opie's description, Andy has no reason to believe that what his son is saying is true.  We as humans pride ourselves on our logic, and we believe that everything real must have a logical explanation.  Our problems begin when we are called to believe in something that is not supported by evidence we can understand. 
 
Andy could have based his decision solely on the evidence, including any preconceived opinions he had about his son's active imagination.  In that case, he would have concluded that Opie was lying about the existence of Mr. McBeevee.  
 
His second option was more difficult.  He would have to see past what he understood about the situation, look into the heart of his young son, and, regardless of the evidence, believe in his son.  That is hard to do, but that is exactly what we are called to do as Christians.  To look past all the suffering and injustice in this world -- all the things we could point to and say, "If God loves me, then why is this happening to me?"  Instead, we are called to have the faith that, even when we don't understand everything, God will do what is right.
 
Andy said it best when he explained why he believed in Opie:  "I guess it's a time like this when you're asked to believe something that just doesn't seem possible; that's the moment that decides whether you've got faith in somebody or not."  The Bible says it this way:  "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1).  Andy said it like this:  "No, I don't believe in Mr. McBeevee. But I do believe in Opie."
 
 
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
 
For worship at 10:15 a.m. this Sunday, September 13, we invite you to take a trip.  For most of you, it won't be a long trip at all.  Go through the community of Lake Wylie, and turn on Highway 55 East,  toward Clover.  Across from the new Summerhouse neighborhood, turn into the beautiful tract of land that is owned by Imagine Church on which our new church facility will be built.  The address is 5471 Highway 55, East, and we invite you to join us for "Drive-In and/or Sit-Outdoors Worship" this Sunday.
 
Sunday morning, you can remain in your vehicle or bring a camping chair and socially distance from one another outdoors.  Also, a portable restroom facility is now conveniently available on site.  Offering baskets will be located on stands for those who wish to make an offering in person on Sunday morning. Those who join us in person can listen to the service over the PA system or on Imagine FM 87.9.  If you can't join us in person, look for a shortened, prerecorded version of our worship to be made available simultaneously on the Imagine Church Facebook page so you can still hear Bruce's message at home.  Sometime later on Sunday, we will also post a video link of Sunday's service on the Imagine Church Facebook page for anyone who is interested in viewing it.  Bruce will share Part 2 of our thought-provoking new series, "The Divided States of America."  The one thing that Jesus prayed for before he was crucified was that his movement, his ecclesia, would not be divided, but that we would be one.  We invite you to join us for worship this Sunday -- and if you've not seen our new church site, you will be impressed.
Church Life Group Info
 
You are invited to join us for an outdoor churchwide Life Group this Sunday evening, September 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the church site (note that we have moved the time up thirty minutes to avoid nightfall).  Bring your own folding chair or camping chair, and join us for this informal time of sharing, Bible study, and prayer!
 
On Monday evening, September 14, at 5:30 p.m., representatives of all our various Life Groups will meet outdoors at the River Hills Marina Pavilion to discuss how we will reconvene Life Groups this fall.  If you are a group leader or wish to represent your particular Life Group, we invite you to join us!  
Thank You for Your Tithes and Offerings
 
Imagine Church is truly humbled and so very grateful to all of you who have continued to give online or via mail during these weeks when we have not been able to congregate in person.  For those of you planning to attend this Sunday's "Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship" at the church's property in Lake Wylie, offering baskets will be located on stands if you are led to make an offering.  Or, offerings can be made online via credit or debit card, ACH check payment, or by mailing cash or check to our church office at:  
 
 Imagine Church
13000 S. Tryon Street, Suite F-114
Charlotte, NC  28278
 
Thank you for the generous spirit of giving you display! 
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 
 
 
SEPTEMBER'S OUTREACH OPPORTUNITY:

EDGE of York County
Mentoring Program


 
EDGE of York County is a mentoring program that is dedicated to equipping, developing, growing, and engaging young women ages 13-25 to reach their full God-given potential. The goal of EDGE is to encourage and inspire young women to strengthen every aspect of life: personally, spiritually, and professionally. Through close mentoring relationships and engagement with the community, young women are empowered to see their true value and develop healthy lifestyle habits and leadership skills.

Throughout the school year, EDGE facilitates YELL (Youth Engaged in Leadership and Learning) Girls Circles.  Girls Circle recognizes the responsibility to provide safe and structured environments for girls to learn and grow, while instilling a sense of responsibility for the girls to be successful, productive, and service-minded citizens.  In order to conduct these sessions, EDGE is in need of the following supplies:
 
  • Butcher paper
  • Poster boards
  • 11x14 paper
  • Index cards
  • Sticky notes
  • Folders with pockets and prongs 
  • Old magazines (PG rated)
  •  Markers 
  • Tape 
  • Glue
  • Disposable cameras
  • Fake money
  • Skittles

We will have collection bins available at Sunday's "Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship" if you are able to contribute any of these requested items.  If you won't be at Sunday's worship and wish to donate items, please reach out to Kari DiDonato at her Imagine Church email address (imaginechurch2014@gmail.com).  Or, if you are led to offer financial support, please click here to make a monetary donation. 
 
Thank you, Imagine Church family, for generously supporting this month's outreach opportunity.  You can learn more about EDGE of York County by following them on Facebook or by checking out their website:
 
 
Weekly Inspiration and Encouragement
 
Inspirational Song:
   
By: Cody Carnes & Kari Jobe 
 
"There is always an open door into the welcome invitation of the Father's love. It's available to every person. We accept that invitation when we say, 'I need you.' This is an 'I need you' song. It celebrates the grace that never runs out and recognizes the freedom and security that's found in the arms of the Father. I pray this song reveals the love of God for you in a deeper way today."  -Cody Carnes
 
Submitted by:  Jennifer Tankersley,
Minister of Worship and the Arts  
 
 
Bible Verse of Encouragement:
 
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
~Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
Prayers and Praises  
 
Bonnie Klaisle's son, Marc, has been diagnosed with a form of cancer with surgery scheduled on September 18; Bonnie is flying to Chicago today (Thursday) in order to be with him.  Please keep Marc and Bonnie in your prayers.
 
We are pleased to report that Zach Preston's cancer marker has come down to 3.7, which is very good, though he has been getting a tour of the medical profession with six appointments in four days.  He will have a scan on Tuesday, September 15, which might lead to a new round of radiation depending on what it shows.  We continue to hold Zach and Rhonda in our prayers.
 
Dean Myers, son-in-law of Virginia Russell, travels to Duke Medical Center today (Thursday) for scans to see if it is time for treatment as he continues his battle against cancer; please pray for Dean and his wife, Sherri, and for Virginia, too.
 
Our friend Jim Olson has asked if Imagine Church would be willing to supply "Kairos cookies" for the men's prison in Kershaw, South Carolina, by bringing the cookies with us to drive-in worship (or a centrally-located place to be announced) on Sunday, September 27. Watch for full details next week!
 
 
Please continue to pray for:
 
Bob Wujciak
Vaughn Dunn
Tammie Callahan (sister-in-law of Tyra Jones)
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
 
Debra Tadlock has created a new Facebook page called "Heavenly Expectations" where she periodically publishes her devotionals.  She encourages you to like this page if you are looking for continued spiritual growth and are wanting to grow closer to God through study and reflection. 
Imagine Kids

This past Sunday, Gregory and Elijah shared the message "Joseph In Charge" from "The Adventures of Joseph, Son of Jacob" message series.  This Sunday, September 13, Gregory will share his next message from that series with Imagine Kids and their families from the church's Lake Wylie property during our "Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship".  So, bring a chair to sit outdoors, or enjoy his message from inside your car if you'd prefer.  And, great news, a portable restroom facility is now conveniently available on site.

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

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

Preschool and Elementary:
"You planned to harm me.  But God planned it for good.  He planned to do what is now being done.  He wanted to save many lives."  
Genesis 50:20
 
Parents, if the entire verse is too long for your preschooler, have them learn the first part:
"You planned to harm me.  But God planned it for good."
 
 
Gregory Roberts | 704-502-3107 | imaginekids@imaginechurchnow.org  
  
Imagine Nation Youth
 
This past Sunday, Tim shared the third part of his message series for Imagine Nation Youth and their families called "Reset".  He shared his message, "Fix Your Thoughts", that referenced scripture from Collosians 3:2.  This Sunday, September 13, Tim will meet with Imagine Nation Youth at the church's Lake Wylie property during our "Drive-In and/or Sit Outdoors Worship", so bring a chair and plan to sit outdoors while enjoying his message.  And, great news, a portable restroom facility is now conveniently available on site. 
 
 
Upcoming Events:
 
Winter X-treme:
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.
 
Itinerary  
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.  
 
 
Tim Gunn | 803-322-1113 | youth@imaginechurchnow.org
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Happy Birthday!

We send heartfelt birthday greetings to these Imagine Church family members who have birthdays throughout the next two weeks:

Aurelia Stanford
Sep 10
Bonita Nugent
Sep 11
Trever Flott
Sep 12
Brittany McInnis
Sep 14
Ken Moreno
Sep 16
Chase Jones
Sep 20
Heidi Chausse
Sep 21
Ben Horgan
Sep 21
Brooklyn Gunn
Sep 22
Katie James
Sep 23
David Kowalczyk
Sep 23
Roland Neuffer
Sep 23
Campbell Hurst
Sep 24
Kaelyn Turner
Sep 24


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!
 
We believe that grace is the love, honesty, and compassion that God gives and shows us in Jesus.  It's how Jesus saves us, heals us, sets us free, and increases our capacity for love.  The world today needs grace in large doses, and that's what the good news of Jesus Christ is able to provide! 
 
 
IMAGINE CHURCH
A spiritually progressive community of faith