Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is perhaps my favorite holiday on the Christian calendar aside from Advent and Christmas.  I grew up Catholic, and Ash Wednesday was the first mass my step-dad shared with me.  One night, I asked him to take me to church and he responded, “Get your shoes on”.  I remember my acute confusion because it was Wednesday and with all the authority of a 10-year old, I declared church was for Sundays.  He said “let’s go – get in the car”.  We went to church.  On a Wednesday.  Ash Wednesday.  It was a solemn service launching the 40 days of Lent.  The priest smudged ashes in the shape of a cross on my forehead and said the words “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”.

Harvest Christian Church doesn’t ‘celebrate’ Ash Wednesday per se, but I’ll personally still go to the nearest Catholic church for Ash Wednesday service.  Last year, I came into the office and Mike said “Did you forget to wash your face today?!” hahaha!  It gave me a chance to explain why I had ashes on my forehead.

Why ashes?  Wikipedia explains it best: “Ashes were used in ancient times to express grief…. The gesture was also used to express sorrow for sins and faults. Examples of the practice among Jews are found in several other books of the Bible, including Numbers 19:9, 19:17, Jonah 3:6, Book of Esther 4:1, and Hebrews 9:13. Jesus is quoted as speaking of the practice in Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13: “If the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago (sitting) in sackcloth and ashes.”  Interesting side-note: in the Catholic Church, the ashes are from the previous year’s palms given out each Palm Sunday, collected and stored, then burned down to ash.  A symbol that we must not only rejoice of Jesus’ coming but also regret the fact that our sins made it necessary for him to die for us.

Growing up and attending a Catholic high school, I learned that the purpose of the 40 days of Lent is to prepare the believer through prayer, repentance of sins, almsgiving and self-denial for deeper understanding and awe of Resurrection Sunday.  The 40 days represents the 40 days Jesus spent fasting and being tempted in the desert as described in the Gospels before beginning his public ministry.  Today, as a Christian spending a lifetime in the desert of our present culture, I still find great value in this practice.

Traditionally, many people will give something up (example: chocolate/sweets or red meat) for these 40 days as a fast – remembering each time they have the urge to break their fast to deny the self and remember the sacrifice of Jesus in that moment and stop to pray.  Many others will add something to their daily routine that they do not normally do such as giving food to those in need or adding a daily devotion for 40 days.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the preparing process.  Preparation to draw closer to God and experience Resurrection Sunday with eyes wide open.  In awe.  In breathlessness.  In fear and trembling.  In renewal.

You do not need to run out and go get ashes – that is not the point.  However, I would encourage you to start a fast or add a family devotional time or jump into a small group or bring in a food pantry donation item for the next 40 days leading up to Easter Sunday.

Remember Repent and Prepare.  Start today on Ash Wednesday.  Start here.

Psalm: 103:8-14

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

 

 

Matthew 6:1-6,16-21

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

2016 Annual Report

This past Sunday, Pastor Mike discussed Harvest: our history, our present, and our future. It was a great message that touched on the roots of our church, our values and what is important here at Harvest [Listen Here]. He briefly introduced the staff (meet them here), talked about the missionaries we support (read more about them here), and went over our 2016 Annual Report. To download a PDF: 2016 Annual Report.

Take a look below at the 2016 Annual Report. It might look like a bunch of numbers, but it is important to remember that every number represents a unique individual with their own story. Here at Harvest, we aren’t about numbers – we are about the people. As a staff and leadership, we are so excited about the upcoming year and what is in store for 2017. To read more about some of our goals, check out this blog post: Welcome 2017!

 

2016 Annual Report    


While We Are Talking About Community

Recently, on a Saturday, I joined three ladies from our congregation during a morning of service at Adorned in Grace. We only had room for a small group in their back storage area. When we arrived, Dottie from Adorned in Grace, walked us around their showroom and explained what their mission is.

Adorned in Grace is operated under Abolition Now, a Portland Christian non-profit dedicated to efforts against sexual trafficking and care for its victims. They operate on peoples’ generosity alone: the dresses and space are donated, they are staffed with volunteers, renovations were donated to the old building formerly owned by another local church, and their income comes from the sale of the donated items. The organization loves receiving dresses with stories attached to them, it makes it the most fun for them to be bought and used again. They have some dresses that do not sell so they re-purpose them  through either saving precious pieces of them or by donating them to the next organization that they collaborate with.

Dottie herself does a lot of the sewing; the robes that brides wear when they are trying on dresses are handmade from old dresses. The love and generosity that goes into and comes out of this organization is wonderful. When we went back to their storage area, we saw a room stuffed with both wedding dresses and prom or bridesmaid dresses. The colorful, often sleeker dresses were being saved for their Dress for Freedom event, a time when girls, especially those in foster care, come in
and have their own day of getting dressed up and just being carefree girls who get to feel great about themselves.

The wedding dresses in this room are where we came in. They were being sent to the next ministry because they had not sold at AiG. We put three or so in a dress bag, zipped it up, and laid it flat. Then on to the next dresses. While doing this we were able to get to know each other better and enjoy using our own basic capabilities to serve.

We have been stressing building community here at Harvest. My husband Kyle and I moved here because of the incredible community he had experienced here when he was an intern. Now we are trying to improve upon that by creating new small groups and trying to convince you that it is worth it. I completely agree. I want each one of you to experience deep Christian community. I want you to cry and laugh together, to offer godly advice and commiserate gently over not quite getting it right, and to see different aspects of God through getting to know more of his people. We each have unique talents and interests, we have different backgrounds, and we each understand God and his kingdom slightly differently. We can learn from each other and become better for it. I hope that you all see this and embrace it. It might be scary at first but it is worth it, I promise.
Here is another way that I propose we build community: Let us go serve together. I am not suggesting this in place of a small group, but rather an additional way to be plugged into to the body of believers. Maybe your small group would want to get involved in a regular service project. This might be putting the cart before the horse, but email me and I can help you get that set up. Maybe you end up loving your small group but want the opportunity to meet more people outside your small group. I (Faith) will be setting up periodic opportunities to serve somewhere that is available to our entire church body; it is a great chance to meet different people.

It is also a great chance to know what is outside our specific gathering of Christians, to meet at these communal places of ministry between regular church gatherings. In addition, after serving together, you get opportunities to meet people and get to know them on a much deeper level. For instance, at Adorned in Grace, we all really enjoyed getting to know each other and what the ministry was a part of and how it operated. It was a precious experience, getting to be in the room with these lovely symbols of such a happy and important day. In the future, I plan to arrange more service projects at Adorned in Grace,  My Father’s House, and at the Pregnancy Resource Center. If there is any place that you strongly stand behind or serve on even a semi-regular basis, I want to know and see what we can do with our resources of people here at Harvest.

There are other opportunities besides these! Local ministries constantly need volunteers. Grab a few friends and go serve.  I can even point you in the direction of the ones in need. Our Care Ministry has a meal train-grab a few people you want to know better and make a meal for a new mom or a grieving family. Serve a family on your block by bringing over some treats. There are many levels of application for what I am advocating. I think service is another vital part of community, but not exclusively in serving others. Serving with others is a great tool, if only on this level: it’s easier to get to know someone when you are working, when you have something to do to take the awkwardness away?

To start, here at Harvest you will be seeing regular announcements for opportunities to serve. I would love to see an enthusiastic response, both from people who enjoy getting to know each other and from people who just enjoy getting to know and be involved in different ministries. These will be low commitment…a few hours on a Saturday morning or maybe the odd evening. If you have a million things happening in your life, these will hopefully still fit in from time to time. Many of these projects will be a great activity for the whole family! We’d love to see you there.

 

Faith Fox

5 Pillars of Community

It often feels like creating an authentic community is a little bit like going to the gym: we see the need, we see the benefit, and it really isn’t difficult to get there and workout. However, when we consider the amount of time and dedication required to see those results and benefits come to fruition, and understand the amount of times we will have to get in the car and go to the gym to workout, the task can become a little daunting.

 

Whether we realize it or not, we all crave authentic and intimate relationships that can come with a tight knit community of believers, but the long-term Communal life can often be difficult to maintain. That is why, for the small group network here at Harvest, we have come up with a basic structure within which we will frame everything we do.

 

5 Pillars of CommunityTo the left is a visual representation of how we are approaching the creation of a small group network that sustains itself. At the top is the small group itself, (kind of like an upper room, heh heh heh), supported by what we are calling the 5 Pillars of Community. These principles come straight from the example of Christian community we see in Acts 2:

 

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47

 

  1. Fellowship (v. 42-47)

To create a communal life together.

  1. Study (v. 42)

To gain a greater understanding of scripture and how we are to live out the teachings of Jesus Christ.

  1. Provision (v. 44-45)

To provide for the needs of one another and live sacrificial lives.

  1. Worship (v. 47)

To give all glory to God and recognize that Jesus’ ways are superior to our own.

  1. Evangelism (v. 47)

To invite others to share in the communal life of the small group and the church as a    whole.

 

Within our small groups, everything we do has to fall under one of the 5 Pillars, and we need to make sure that all 5 Pillars are a part of what we do. If we are having a great time of fellowship, but not spending time studying the Word, then our discipleship can suffer. If we invite anyone and everyone to our group, but our fellowship is only skin deep, then those new people may not want to stay.

 

So, when you join one of our small groups, be on the lookout for how you can contribute to supporting the communal life of Christian fellowship. The truth is, what you put into the group is what you will get out of it. If you want to be a part of the personal, intimate, and authentic community of believers that we see in scripture, this is how we start!

 

Kyle Fox

Small Groups Pastor

What we do MATTERS

By Rachel Johnson, Preteen Pastor

There is a famous parable, told by Jesus in Matthew 25, which we know simply as The Sheep and The Goats. In this particular parable, Jesus transports us into the future when he comes again “in all his glory” to sit on his throne. In this scene, all the nations of the earth are gathered together, in front of the throne, and Jesus begins to separate them into two groups – the sheep and the goats.

Jesus places the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. The sheep are blessed by God the Father and given an inheritance, while the goats are cursed into the eternal fire “prepared for the devil and his angels” (v 41). Those on the right are redeemed and saved, and those on the left are cursed and lost. So what was the deciding difference between these two groups? Why are some blessed and others cursed? The answer lies in their actions:

        “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” – Matt. 25:35-36

The ones who are blessed are the ones who lived lives of love and compassion, and it showed in their actions towards the people around them. The ones who are cursed did not act in such a manner, and they are condemned because of it (vv 42-45). This parable shows us that both the righteous and the wicked are affected – in an eternally significant way – by their actions.

It is at this point that we sit up a little bit straighter and think, “But what about grace? Our salvation is a gift offered to us, it isn’t something that can be earned!” The good works (or actions) that the sheep display in the parable are not the cause of salvation but the effect of salvation and the manifestation of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we should act different because we are different!

The Apostle Paul exhorts us in Galatians chapter 5 to “live by the Spirit” and not to “gratify the desires of the flesh” (v 16). The Spirit and the flesh, he goes on to say, are at odds with each other. The flesh desires that which is opposed to the Spirit; it desires sexual immorality, impurity, extravagance, idolization, hatreds, conflict, jealousy, anger, disagreements, rebellions, divisions, bitterness, drunkenness, and riotous behavior (vv 19-21). The Spirit desires that which is opposed to the flesh; it desires love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (vv 22-24).

What we do matters. As Christians we are to become like Christ, we act as ambassadors to the world on behalf of Christ. When the world looks at us, they should see sheep. They should see people who feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger and the foreigner, clothe and care for the sick and needy, and show compassion for those who have fallen so far as to wind up in prison. Faith and worship are not exclusive to an hour on a Sunday morning – they should be evident in every aspect of our lives.

A.W. Tozer has this to say:

“Remember, there is no magic in faith or in names. You can name the name of Jesus a thousand times; but if you will not follow the nature of Jesus the name of Jesus will not mean anything to you. We cannot worship God and live after our own nature. It is when God’s nature and our nature begin to harmonize that the power of the name of God begins to operate within us…We cannot pray in love and live in hate and still think we are worshiping God…

God won’t dwell in spiteful thoughts, polluted thoughts, lustful thoughts, covetous thoughts or prideful thoughts. He will only dwell in meek, pure, charitable, clean and loving thoughts…Make your thoughts a sanctuary God can inhabit, and don’t let any of the rest of your life dishonor God. See to it that not a foot of ground is unholy. See to it that every hour and every place is given over to God, and you will worship Him and He will accept it.”[1]

The fleshy desires of our hearts need to be overridden by the desires of the Spirit. These changes may begin inward, but they will ultimately ripple out into the world and to the people around us. Our lives are a testimony of who we serve. Do our lives serve to further sin and death, or do we live to serve in obedience to Christ who leads us to righteousness? In Christ, we are free – not free to sin or to live in hate or selfishness, we are instead free FROM living in such a way.

So let us live lives of compassion and love. Let us not be afraid to do good and to stand for what is right. “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline” (2 Tim. 1:7). Let us go bravely forward into the world as God’s representatives, to be His hands and feet and to continue the work that Jesus began while he was here on earth. Let us pray, daily, that God’s will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven. For the Kingdom of God is near.

[1] Excerpts selected from Tozer on Worship and Entertainment, by A.W. Tozer and compiled by James L. Snyder. Wing Spread Publishers, 2006

The Start of Something Big

Greetings!

My name is Kyle Fox, and I have recently come on board at Harvest as the Pastor of Small Groups. If you don’t know who I am, let me give you some info about myself. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and moved to Joplin Missouri at 18 to begin school at Ozark Christian College (OCC). During my time completing my degree, I came up to Troutdale and was an intern at Harvest for about 18 months, mostly working with the youth ministry. I graduated from OCC  with a Bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministry, and spent a few more years in Missouri. In May of 2016, my wife, Faith, and I were married. We moved to Gresham a month later, and we  love living here.

When I have visited Oregon after finishing my internship, and since my wife and I moved back, I have often had conversations with people about the state of Harvest and what steps they felt could be taken to create a stronger congregation and ministry to the community. The answer I received on several occasions was something in the realm of the small group ministry. While there was a great base level of groups that met, it seemed as though the church had the opportunity to expand the network of small groups and to give more people the opportunity to dive into the communal life displayed to us by Jesus and the early church. This was only compounded after the move to the new building and the rapid growth of the congregation.

That is where I come in. My job is to get into the nitty-gritty of forming a network of small groups. To find those interested in the fellowship, study, provision, worship, and evangelism (more on those next time) that are central to living in communion with other believers, and providing the resources to be able to do so. I’ve been in contact with pastors from around the area to gain their insight into the topic and have been reading a few books to learn about some of the most successful small group ministries have accomplished what they have. I am extremely excited to begin this next step in the story of Harvest and the members of the church that gather here.

However, all the planning and resources in the world wouldn’t do us any good if you are not on board and willing to be a part of what is happening. So here is my blog post challenge (that’s a thing, right?) to you: Become a part of a small group. To decide whether or not this is something you want to do, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  1. Are you living a life that reflects the community that Jesus modeled and the apostles carried on in the book of Acts?
  1. Are you striving to see your Christianity go beyond a Sunday morning service each week?
  1. Are you doing enough to fulfill the basic human need for connection and authenticity that we all have?

If your answers to these questions left you wanting more, I strongly encourage you to become part of what we are starting here at Harvest. I firmly believe that this is the start of something big.

Kyle Fox

kylef@harvestworld.com

Welcome 2017! A look at 2016…

I (Jacqui) am still having trouble believing that 2016 is over…yet here we are in January already. It seems like a good time to reflect on 2016 and all of the amazing things God has done through Harvest. We are constantly amazed by His goodness and grace in all things.

2016 has been a year of huge growth for Harvest. We currently average 500+ people on Sunday mornings. Easter was our biggest Sunday, with almost 900 in attendance. In 2016, we had 100 people join our church and 32 baptisms! Our volunteers are some of the most dedicated and consistent believers; we are so thankful for your involvement this past year. Harvest could not function without your time and support.

Weekly giving has increased and we were able to add on an additional staff member (Faith Fox) to work in community outreach. Chyanne Higgins did a great job ushering in the 2016 year as Children’s Director. We appreciate her time and work. She stepped down in October and we welcomed Faith Fox, who has been doing a great job.

A few of the things Harvest has been involved in this year:

  • Chartered Trail Life and American Heritage Girls Troops
  • Opened the Food Pantry in March 2016
  • Planned and executed 33 activities and outings for our Uptown Kids this past year
  • Harvest became the sending church for Tierney Christian Mission based in Kenya
  • We sent a group of people on a 3 week trip to Kenya to minister to the Po-Kot people with Jim and Kathy Tierney
  • Started “Seedlings,” a community outreach and play group for parents or caregivers and their little ones
  • The Men’s Ministry cooked and served dinner for The Harbor at the Portland Rescue Mission each month
  • 52 Food Baskets delivered to families in need for Thanksgiving
  • Kicked off  “Unplugged,” a monthly worship night hosted by Rachel Johnson
  • Hosted a community Harvest Carnival in which we filled the gym to capacity (we’ll make it the whole building next year!)
  • We packed 133 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
  • During Compassion Sunday, 14 kids were sponsored
  • We created a new church app in which you can easily access sermon recordings, calendar or events, blog posts, and even a Bible reading plan! (Haven’t downloaded it yet? Go download it right now!)

The staff and Elders here at Harvest are excited about the opportunities 2017 will bring and the impact we hope to have on lives in the congregation and in the community. We are currently working on plans to implement discipleship small groups! Be sure to keep an eye out for info on how to get involved.

The office has been busy putting together a photo directory – and it will be available soon. This is a great resource to help you learn names and get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ.  This is the LAST Sunday we will take pictures, so be sure to have your picture taken if you haven’t. (You will not receive a photo directory if you haven’t had your picture taken).

Your handy Admin Staff!

 

 A Year in Review: Harvest Christian Church 2016 | Mike Halstead Senior Pastor |

A Happy New year to you the church at Harvest!

It has been a joy and a privilege to be your Pastor this last year.  I know God has great things in store for us in the months ahead.  I am already asking myself  “What can I do differently or better to advance his kingdom this next year?

As your Pastor, my goal is to see Harvest grow in some of these following areas:

  1. The hiring of additional Pastoral staff
  2. 50 baptisms (we had 32 this last year)
  3. Growth of 150 in our Sunday morning attendance (we averaged 500 + this last year)
  4. A weekly Hispanic service or study
  5. At least 15% growth in our children’s and youth ministries
  6. At least 50% of the congregation involved in some sort of mid-week small group
  7. Expanded use of our gym facility midweek
  8. The completion of the children’s playground (out the double doors of the children’s wing)
  9. Develop an expanded ministry to those in need in the Troutdale area (life skills, parenting, marriage, job counseling etc.) in addition or our current food pantry and Change for a Dollar Benevolence programs.
  10. This one is left blank for YOU to fill in.  Let me know on Sunday on the communication card what you would like to see that would advance his kingdom!

I will be preaching this Sunday, but traveling to Africa for the following three weeks to help build a mission house for our missionaries Jim and Kathy Tierney. It is summer there and 100 degrees every day.  You will recognize me when I get back, I will be the tan one! . . . .and most likely have band aids on all of my fingers.    Have a great week.  We will see you Sunday!    Pastor Mike

 

A Year in Review: Uptown Kids 2016| Faith Fox Children’s Director |

2016 was a great year for Uptown kids. We are so glad to have the many kids who have become a regular part of our program. I am so grateful for our volunteers, those who have stepped out, stayed constant, and stepped in this last year. We had a very full summer, led still by Chyanne, with several “Upcamp” adventures in their various forms. I was a volunteer for one of them, a cooking themed three-evening adventure, and I thought it was a blast. The kids had so much fun. We touched the lives of kids in our program and in the community with these events.

Since I have stepped in, I have been encouraged by the support that flows into our kids. Many of you are volunteers, or you talk up the program to your friends, or even just bring your kids on a regular basis. These children are students of God’s word, already. With our The Story for Children curriculum, they have been learning about the promised Messiah- and about how God keeps his promises. Now we have been able to see that Jesus has indeed come! With the use of crafts and hands-on activities, these truths are reinforced. I am so looking forward to what truth we can learn in 2017!

 

A Year in Review: The Bridge Preteen Ministry 2016  | Rachel Johnson Preteen Director |

We have been in our new building for over a year now, and fantastic things have been happening in The Bridge, our preteen ministry here at Harvest. Preteens are an age group that tends to fall between the cracks because we don’t always know what to do with them. It is tough to be caught “in between” childhood and adolescence – but the Bridge has been able to provide a place where Preteens can have fun, make friends, build relationships with adult members of our congregation, and learn more about God’s love for them. The Bridge has grown into such an amazing place for both the students and the adults that lead them. We worship together, we play together, we learn together, and we pray together. Because “church” isn’t a building; the Church is people, and it doesn’t cease after Sunday service. Our prayer for 2017 is that this ministry continues to do God’s work in a powerful and meaningful way, so that our preteens can CONNECT with each other in relationship, SERVE God and His Church, and LOVE the way Christ loved us. May God’s will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven.

 

A Year in Review: Refuge Student Ministry 2016  | Steve Valdez  Youth Pastor |

What a year! As we celebrated our first full year within the new building, we also celebrated new friendships, amazing events, and, of course, the way the Gospel was both taught and lived in 2016. Throughout the year, we had a lot of fantastic moments, including our camps, a 45’ wet obstacle course, filling the Wunderland laser tag area, uniting in worship for our first worship night in the building, and the best part, baptizing several students. We are praying that 2017 is as great as 2016, and we are looking forward to our winter camp in February, and our week of service in March, so make sure your students are ready to have a great time and grow in their faith!

Sock Swapping, Giving Tree & Upcoming Events

A whole lot of fun was had at our recent Women’s Sock-ing Stuffer Swap. Say that 3 times real fast! This was the first time we have had this event and the consensus was …it was a sock-cess!

We had 29 ladies swap stuffed socks, fellowship, eat lots of goodies while sipping some hot chocolate, apple cider around the roaring fire and Christmas Tree . There were Star War Socks, Rudolph Socks, Present Socks, Hot Pink Socks, a wide array of fun Christmas theme socks to swap. We might have even “stolen” a few socks away from others a time or two (or more). Of course it was all in good fun! We will be adding this to our list of annual events so if you didn’t get a chance to come this year, make sure you come next year and get your socks on!

The Care Ministry would like to thank Harvest Members for your compassion and generosity for donating all the presents from the tags on The Giving Tree. We provided gifts to 9 local families that were nominated by our church body. Each family member received one “need” present and two “wants”. Jackets, socks, slippers, blankets, legos, arts and craft supplies, baby dolls, etc for the kids…. grocery gift cards, gas cards, etc for the parents. We delivered all the gifts to the families this past Sunday. All of the families were very appreciative and grateful for all the love and support.

And finally, our next big event is the Annual All Church Chili Cook Off! This is always one of the biggest events of the year. Keep an eye out for more details in the coming weeks. And get your favorite recipe ready!

Hope to see you and your family at the Christmas Eve service starting at 6:00pm or the Sunday Christmas Day service starting at 11am.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Jennifer Bailey, Care Ministry

We Did It Again….

We not only stepped up as a church body but knocked it out of the ball park! We surpassed all expectations for our annual Thanksgiving Basket Drive.

Final count, we collectively donated food including turkeys for 52 Thanksgiving Baskets!  52!  In years past, which was also utterly fantastic, we donated on average 25 baskets.

Over twice as much this year!  Ahhhh-mazing!

   

Because of your generous donations 52 local families were able to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with turkey and all the fixins’ with their families!

 

GOD is good and you, my Harvest Church family, are spectacular!  Thank you all again for committing to this yearly outreach!

As we move into the Christmas holiday I leave you with this…I know it sounds a little cliché but remember the reason for the season.  Praise the birth of Jesus, not the tree, the stockings hung by the chimney with care, the lights around the windows sills or the “presents” under the tree but rather the “presence” of family, friends and the LORD our Savior in our lives.

Be blessed!

Jennifer Bailey, Care Ministries Leader

From Ordinary Hands | Women’s Retreat Fall 2016

75 eggs….$20.00
15 pounds of chicken….$45.00
16 pounds of BACON….$125.00

More chocolate and coffee consumed then we probably want to admit!

31 amazing women Worshiping and Praising the LORD together for 48 hours….PRICELESS!

retreat-collage

What a blast we had enjoying each other’s company.  Getting to know each other on a totally different level.  There was lots of laughter, some tears and many new friendships made in Lincoln City this past weekend!  Definitely a weekend we will not forget, any time soon.

Our theme this year was “From Ordinary Hands”.

“From Ordinary Hands” we can do so much by serving HIM!  It doesn’t have to be BIG.  You have probably already taken “Action” and are using your “Calling” now.  Whether it is teaching at church or at home, making coffee in the cafe, holding the door, delivering pies, setting up communion, working at the info desk, carrying groceries for an elderly person, visiting someone in the hospital…it all counts.  We all have a “Calling” and we should be “Trusting” HIM and using it for HIS glory.

“We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace GOD gave us.” Roman 12:6

Do you enjoying singing?  How about getting involved with the worship team.

Do you like meeting new people?  The information desk is always looking for friendly people.

Are you tech savvy?  Our audio visual team might be a great fit.

Like to cook?  Sign up for the Mealtrain.

Want to serve by helping prep for the upcoming Harvest Family Carnival?  Come this Saturday, October 15th from 10am-4pm.

 

Like Jesus Himself said, “I didn’t come here to be served; I came to serve.”  How are you serving your church, your family, your community?

Are you ready to serve?  If not now, when?  If not you, who?

 

Visit our Project Serve page and get involved today.