The State of the Church: 2017 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 our Executive and Elder Board, and went over our 2017 Annual Report. To download a PDF: Annual Report 2017.
Take a look below at the 2017 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 2018.
For this week’s study, we are doing something a little different. Instead of going further into the texts used in this week’s Sunday morning message, we are going to take some time to look at the “state of ourselves.” That is, we are going to look at where we came from individually, figure out what we find important in the life of the church, and then look to the future as we create a goal for how we can be part of God’s mission in our community.
Where do you come from?
- Mike gave a brief history of the movement in church history from which Harvest originates. We are a “reformation” church. Talk about how you came to be a part of Harvest.
- How was this last year for you, spiritually? What were some highs and lows?
- Read Acts 2:42-47. Has your life reflected the life of the early church?
What is important?
- Let’s start this section with a deceptively simple question: Why do you go to church?
- What do you believe should be the priority of the church, both the global church and the congregation that meets at Harvest?
- If Harvest were to create some sort of new ministry or program, and asked you what you believe that ministry or program should be geared toward, what specifically would it do? For example, if community outreach were your answer from the previous question, what practical steps should the church be taking to accomplish that goal?
What’s in the future?
- How will you serve the church body over the next year?
- What is some sort of habit you need to either break or improve this year?
- In whose life, either within or outside the church, can you make a difference this year? How will you do so?
Pray for the upcoming year, and the enormous potential we have. Remember we are a church backed by the almighty creator of the universe. The goals we have are nothing compared to the power and faithfulness of our Lord! Pray for opportunities to carry out our mission and to become a church body that impacts our community in the name of Christ.
I am open today from 11 am to 1 pm. Generally a team of two, alternating weeks, staff me. People come in the side door past the big staircase in the wedding garden where they are greeted and recorded. Depending on their family size, they shop for food to meet about 3-4 days’ need. Today, about ten to twelve families will come and shop my shelves and the one average-sized refrigerator that fits into my small room.
At about 11:30 the shoppers return from Birch Community Services – whose mission statement is “to provide a community where people can be responsible and accountable for their needs and to equip them with tools to overcome financial difficulty”. They get between 600 and 900 pounds of food to stock the shelves with – bulk rice, frozen vegetables, strangely-flavored chips and soda. Occasionally they get lucky and find some meat or some canned goods. Some shoppers have houses and apartments to cook in and some do not, so volunteers who go to Birch try to balance the foods they are offered with what different sorts of shoppers can use. Occasionally there are other things in storage to be pulled out, so the people stocking the shelves look for other gaps on the shelves to fill.
Every once in a while bulk foods need to be broken down, be it boxes of hamburger patties or bags of cous cous. This usually happens on an off day, where a volunteer will break things down and then come down and stock the shelves.
A different team from Sunday opens up the pantry at two. As on Sundays, they check the donation bin at the church entrance to see if anything needs transferred onto my shelves downstairs. They will usually have six to eight shoppers to greet and record, with a new person or two to get registered on a short sheet. These volunteers are responsible for making sure that everyone is getting a fair amount of food according to their family size, for keeping the room uncluttered, and for making people feel invited and warm. The pantry is closed up again at 4 pm.
Most weeks, the occasional person will walk in and ask for help with groceries. Even though the pantry is not open, someone from the office will walk them downstairs and help them get set up with a registration card and a few days worth of food. Sometimes they have another need to be filled, such as energy assistance or clothing. The office takes in these requests and follow up with the guest shopper.
Volunteers go to a nearby bread company and get roughly fifty bread items, then come in and stock my shelves for the next week’s worth of shoppers. The bread contribution is a huge blessing that provides a staple item for families in our church and local community.
Our food pantry is small and discreet; many people might not even realize that we have one. However, to our friends who shop regularly, it is a big help to stretch the budget a little farther. Some people have other methods of grocery assistance and some do not. We believe that our pantry is for the good of our community in any form that takes, and we try to put as few stipulations on our shoppers as possible. We recognize that it is a huge act of love that helps to make earth look a little more like heaven. We also reach out to people not already part of our church family – maybe this will be the thing that makes a difference.
This year it was also an avenue for the distribution of our Thanksgiving baskets. It was an opportunity for Troutdale Elementary families to recognize that they have yet another resource – and another friend – at Harvest Christian Church. I was overwhelmed by the support that we received for that ministry drive. It was a big relief to families and a great way for our pantry to show even more love. Thank you thank you thank you for taking part.
If you decide you want to help support our pantry, there are several ways to do it:
- Occasional Opportunities: breaking down bulk items, scooping ice cream at the January 14 chili cook-off, cleaning, stocking items,
- Regular Opportunities: become a weekly volunteer: We are currently in need of an additional Sunday volunteer who can work fairly reliably every other week from 11 am until 1 pm. We are also currently in need of two people who are regularly available on Mondays from 10 am to 12:30 pm.
- We can always use the following items:
- Peanut butter
- Canned meat
- Canned veggies
- Canned fruit
- Canned soups
- Excess garden produce
- We also do pay a fee to shop at BCS, so financial giving does have a place. Any money given should be designated to the “Care Team” fund.
- We can always use the following items:
- If your workplace, school, or community group wants a service project, we would love to have you come up with ways to stock our shelves. Recently, a group of nursing home employees had a contest to see who could bring in the most non-perishable items. Our pantry hugely benefited from this drive.
- Again, financial contributions are incredibly helpful as well.
- Spread the Word
- If you know someone in the area who needs extra help: let them know that we are here to support them.
- If you know someone with extra resources: remind them that we are a willing recipient of anything that can be easily passed out of our pantry (mostly food, occasionally clothing and hygiene items)
Interested in helping in the Food Pantry? Contact Faith Fox at [email protected]. We could not do this without our faithful volunteers!
It’s been an interesting week around here. The parking lot is full of Red Cross vehicles and the cars and RVs of the evacuees. The gym is full of cots and tables and stocks of food and essentials. We became the official East Corbett Evacuee church as of Tuesday. It’s really a privilege for our building to be used as such.
Here is an interesting one: yesterday we were ready to continue work on the retaining wall (You may have noticed the construction equipment the last 4 months in the parking lot) I went out to start the church dump truck… I looked around, scratched my head, and stood where I a parked it the night before, and it was Gone! Really. . . Can you believe someone stole God’s dump truck! It was old and tired but it still worked great. We were counting on the 10 or 12 thousand it would sell for at the end of the project to pay for our gym completion. Its not like the Philistines stealing the ark of the covenant in 1 Samuel, but if you remember the story, such terrible bad things happened to them that they couldn’t wait to give it back! That is what I am praying, . . (I hope that doesn’t sound vengeful . . .of course if they do bring it back I truly hope they will find the peace of God.)
I am finally over the jet lag from being in Africa the month of August. What a great experience that was. Here are a few pictures. Kathy is so great with her medical visit to each village. Small wounds, burns, malaria, infections, worms in the kids scalps and parasites in their bodies, eye medicine and antibiotics are the main recurring symptoms and treatments.
Here is a great picture of most of the 19 church Pastors. The last Sunday we were there we had a Gathering of the closest churches. Harvest bought a bull and some goats, rice, corn, and crackers for a feast that fed 600 of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for them in their hard times of famine. For most of them, this was the first big meal they had had in weeks.
I’m looking forward to bringing the next message on Sunday in our “I AM” series. “I am the Light of the World” Invite a neighbor and we’ll see you Sunday! And if you see an old green dump truck being driven by a guy who looks like he is having a terrible day, give me a call. We really need it back!
Greetings from Kamketo, Kenya. This is Pastor Mike. Even though it’s the winter months here, it has been over 90 degrees everyday. It took us an extra 3 days to get out here to Kemketo from Kitale, but everything is going fine.
The ladies, Olivia, September, and my wife Jeanette, are learning the PoKot language and working on tile work in the Tierney’s house. They are also providing medical attention to the PoKot in nurse Kathy’s absence. She will be joining us in two more days. They have been distributing antibiotics and per
forming minor surgeries.
Michael VanDoren and myself are working hard on the house along with 20 PoKot people each day. I’ve never seen so many people stand in line to be able to work all day. The going rate is $2 per day. We are paying them $4 per day. They need the money badly to be able to buy corn, so we pay extra.
Our scorpion count is up to five and I have them all (alive) in a tupperware container. I don’t believe they are going to let us bring them home on the airplane. The PoKot people keep finding them and bringing me more for the container. The teacher here keeps picking them up. He says there is a special way to hold them. I’m not particularly interested in mastering his technique.
The new well that our church put in last month has been a huge success since the one in town is partially broken. There has been a constant line of people pumping water into large yellow 5-gallon jugs.
I preached Sunday with an interpreter. They seemed to like it. But I don’t think it was as good as when I was here in January because last time they gave me a chicken when I preached. Well, I still have two more Sundays…
We look forward to being back in two weeks and sharing some of the neat things that are going on!
Our team left Monday for Africa! Flights through Seattle, Dubai, and Nairobi. The 7 hour drive to Kitale was terrible last night. Torrential rain and potholes. It seemed like 10,000 guys on motorcycles, sheep, donkeys, oh, and one zebra, were all on the “freeway.”
They carry everything here by motorcycle. My two favorites that I saw weaving in and out of traffic was a motorcycle that had a full 6’ coffin on the back sideways, and the second was another motorcycle that had a full 6’ sofa on it sideways that had a lady sleeping on half of it…and had groceries on the other half! I will try and take some pictures of the things people put on the back of their motorcycles to send you.
We are in the very third world city of Kitale. Glad to be here. We spent the day shopping for building materials for the mission house and medicine for the PoKot people. Penicillin is very cheap here, it averages out to be about $1 per series of doses for one person.
Because of the elections here, it’s pretty unstable. A lot of the grocery stores don’t have basic supplies and people have not been at work. We are not sure why. Looks like we will be eating a lot of rice. Meat, eggs, and bread are very scarce. Don’t feel too bad, I still have a jumbo bag of candy bars from Dubai…
It’s not really that bad, we still have lots of food, just not the things we were planning on being able to purchase.
We are loading up a semi-truck full of supplies and we will be heading north 5 hours on the worst unpaved road you’ve seen into the bush where the Tierney Mission is located. Kathy Tierney will be joining us next Friday.
We will give you more news in the next couple of days.
Be sure to keep us in your prayers!
Mike & Jeanette Halstead, Michael VanDoren, September Price, Olivia Lowe
To learn more about Tierney Christian Mission, [Click Here].
You may recognize some booklets for our “Super Hero Memory Program” that have gone home with your kids in the last couple of weeks (1st-3rd Graders). We are very excited about this! I am investing in our kids memorizing the Bible, in them hiding Scripture in their hearts. My goal is to get them started on being able to recognize Bible sections, to maybe even have a piece of Scripture to lean back on when they need help deciding what is right. I hope that this sets their hearts on a good course and crafts their identity. That’s a big goal, but if you don’t have a big goal why be motivated to try?
Here’s a few guidelines, straight from me. They have until August 4 to memorize these verses. There are many one-point verses, a few two-point verses, one three-point verse, and ten points for memorizing the book titles in order for each testament. That last one – that’s an easy ten points! They will need to keep their book throughout the summer, and when they bring this book to church they can recite the verses they memorized that week. A check-in volunteer, a classroom teacher, or I will sign and date when they recited the verse. At the end of the ten weeks, they can turn their books in to me and I will add up how many points they earned.
If they reach fifty-one points, they get to go to our Grand Prize Party. This will be something awesome, like laser tag, mini golf, or a movie pizza party. Like I said, I am investing in your kids learning Scripture! There are other prize tiers too, and you can check these out in the memorization books.
This program is for upcoming first through third graders. I am also relying on you, parents/grandparents/guardians, to help them memorize. These kids aren’t all strong readers yet, and we aren’t providing designated class time for memorization. So at home, help them read the verses, find some songs on YouTube that give the verses a fun tune, and Google other great memorization practices. I know that when I had to memorize verses in college, Scripturetyper.com was an AWESOME resource. I’m splitting the responsibility with you- help them learn, and we’ll listen to the recitation and provide GREAT prizes.
There is good in it for you too! No Grand Prize Party for adults, but I have confidence that as your are coaching your kid or listening to them practice, it will help you to memorize these verses yourself. Have you memorized much Scripture? I know that many people come to faith as adults, and I am so excited about that. But in that process, did you go through the elementary process of memorization?
Church, this isn’t just for parents of the kids in Uptown. Memorizing Scripture is incredibly useful. Scripture says that we hide His word in our hearts so that we might not sin against Him. It helps us with our call to righteousness. It turns our heart towards loving him. Scripture also says to always be ready to give an answer for the hope that we have. This is a great reason to study apologetics through philosophy and science, but it is also a great reason to memorize Scripture. When someone challenges you, and I hope that they do, what do you have to say? Do you have passages of the Bible that you can share in conversation with someone who might doubt what God’s word has to say? Can you share something that motivates you to love?
Even me. I know many of the verses that these little disciples will be memorizing, but I can’t tell you the scriptural “address” of several of those. There are others that I only have a faint idea of what they say, I can refer to a phrase and say “I’m pretty sure that is in the Bible somewhere.” I had a great memorization program in my children’s ministry, and in college! So some of you might be like me, and need to decide on a refresher course. If you need accountability, feel free to come talk to me, or as always you can email me at [email protected]
This summer, I commit to memorizing these Scriptures alongside our kids. I will make sure that, by the time the day comes around in August, that I will know all of these verses. I will memorize the books of the Bible in order. I hope you will too!
DOWNLOAD THE MEMORY VERSE BOOK HERE: Memory Verse Program Book 2017
Scripture Memory Challenge:
- John 16:33
- Zephaniah 3:17
- Philippians 4:4
- Colossians 3:12
- 1 John 5:3
- Hebrews 13:8
- Psalm 150:6
- Romans 10:13
- Romans 3:23
- James 1:17
- Matthew 28:20
- Psalm 118:24
- Psalm 119:105
- Matthew 22:39
- 1 Corinthians 10:31
- Psalm 19:1
- Genesis 1:1
- Psalm 139:14
- Matthew 28:6
- 1 John 4:9
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17
- Isaiah 26:4
- Joshua 1:9
- Psalm 46:1
- Isaiah 40:28
- John 3:16
- Ephesians 4:32
- Philippians 4:6
- 2 Timothy 4:12
- 2 Timothy 3:16
- Romans 6:1
- John 14:6
- Luke 2:52
- Psalm 136:1
- 1 John 3:18
- Ecclesiastes 9:10
- Galatians 5:22-23
- Matthew 28:19-20
- Proverbs 3:5-6
- Matthew 22:37-39
- Books of the Old Testament
- Books of the New Testament
For as long as I can remember, going to camp has always been the highlight of my year. To me, life was divided into two seasons: camp and not camp. Each year I would wait and wait for camp to arrive, and it was always the most amazing week. I made friends with kids from all over the Pacific Northwest – friends that I am still in contact with as an adult – my camp friends. During camp, I wouldn’t get homesick, but I definitely got campsick when it was time to be back at home.
Some of the most formative moments in my life happened while I was at camp Wi-ne-ma. There are so many different directions that my life could have taken. Camp had a profound impact on my life. I met my best friend at camp when I was fourteen years old. I met my husband at camp when I was fifteen years old. I was sixteen years old (and at camp) when I decided to go to bible college and pursue a ministry degree. Without the things that I learned and experienced at camp, I truly do not know where I would be today – or even who I would be.
At camp, we get to share with kids how much God loves them. At camp, kids get to try new things and grow more independent. At camp, we learn to slow down and how to live in community with one another. At camp, everyone gets to unplug from his or her lives (especially all the technology). At camp, kids get to reconnect with nature – God’s beautiful creation surrounds them. At camp, we get to make mistakes and we get to fail, and that is okay. At camp, lives and hearts change.
Camp Wi-ne-ma will always hold a special place in my heart. Even to this day, I cannot keep myself away. Every year I go back and volunteer as a counselor at camp. I still look forward to camp season, I still get to go and see old friends (and make new ones), and I still get campsick when I am away. I believe in camp and the powerful and profound impact that it can have on our lives.
In ten days, I will be back at camp Wi-ne-ma. We have some amazing things in store for campers this year, and it makes me so excited. I want as many kids as possible to have the opportunity to come to camp too. I want them to make new friendships and lasting memories, just as I did. I want them to be stretched and challenged in the same ways that I was stretched and challenged. Most of all, I want them to experience firsthand the love of God. So if you haven’t signed up for camp yet, do it today – you won’t be sorry that you did [SIGN UP HERE]. Camp changed my life, are you ready for it to change yours?
Hello Harvest Family. I am sending your way ten reasons why you should be part of the VBS volunteer staff. Some are big, some are small, all are relevant. Enjoy!
1. We have snacks. They’re going to be good snacks. They are going to be theme-driven and cute. Why even finish the list?
2. Jesus loves kids. He said to let the little children come to me. Whether you are a regular volunteer, so scared of large groups of children that you make a wide loop into the auditorium away from the kid wing, or have been slowly considering whether or not Uptown is a ministry you want to commit to, we can find a way for you to take part in Jesus’ love for the little ones.
3. Your kid/grandkid/brother/niece would love it. They would be so excited to have you there taking part!
4. You’ll get a t-shirt. All volunteers are going to get an AWESOME t-shirt, design and color TBD.
5. You will get to take part in teaching kids about how BIG God is. If you love God, if you love God so much that you just can’t help but let it pour out of you, I NEED you. No negotiations. We will have unreached kids there that NEED someone passionate to tell them about how awesome God is.
6. You can be a part of our children’s ministry, even if you don’t have the opportunity for a month on/month off Uptown commitment. I get it, it’s hard to say “yes, I can be in the classroom every other month.” But this is just three hours a day for five days. It’s easy. It’s a great opportunity for members of our congregation who are not normally in our ministry to get to support their discipleship.
7. You really love stargazing, right? Well, we have a stargazing themed VBS this year. It’s perfect for you!
8. These lessons are great for everyone. They are basic and important. Kids, big kids, and adults alike can benefit from what we are offering.
9. We have crafts. And games. And worship. And missions. It’s going to be so much fun.
10. You love Harvest. We love you! You’re part of our family. Serving at VBS is a great way to solidify connections and make relationships. It’s a good thing, I promise.
There you have it. Ten simple reasons. If you resonate with any of these, you can pass a background check, and you have some spare time in the month of July please consider being a part of the VBS staff. There is a wide variety of ways you can help, and they aren’t all Monday –Friday 8:30-12:30. You can sign up with this link [Sign up Here] , or fill out a volunteer form on Sunday. I’ll be in touch soon.
If you have questions or concerns, always feel free to email me at [email protected]
Right now in Uptown we just finished up The Story for Children curriculum. Chyanne Higgins, our previous Children’s Director, started the transition with this curriculum taking the kids through the Bible learning about the scope of the narrative overall. Through this curriculum, your children have seen how God made the world, they have seen that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit the relationship between God and man was broken. God knew that He would need to send a savior, and designed a history of man that points towards the person of Jesus. Abraham accepted the promise of God, he begat Isaac who begat Jacob, and the Israelites who descended moved to Egypt. With them they carried the promises of God. Israel eventually left the grasp of Egypt, and spent every generation from that time on struggling to remain faithful to God. We learned about good kings who tried to pull them back to God like David, Solomon, and Asa. We learned about the prophets who God spoke through to put them back like Haggai and Jeremiah. Through it all, they were promised a savior. When Jesus was born, he fulfilled everything. We wrapped up from there – showing the kids that Jesus is our king and he has something great for us.
As I was planning these lessons for our department it was refreshing to be reminded of how the whole story comes together to show the insane goodness and persistent love of God. I hope my children’s ministry staff benefited from these as I did. Most importantly, the kids had fun learning, too! They played games and did crafts that emphasized these lessons.
We are now learning about the Fruits of the Spirit as a mini-series around Easter until we start something new later in the spring. The emphasis is being placed on God working on earth through His Spirit to make us more like Him. When we know him, he gives us these qualities in our lives. “But the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” This is found in Galatians 5, and we are combining them with stories of the apostles from Acts that exemplify these qualities.
Also, recently, children have been learning some songs in a gathered worship time. We have implemented this for the month of March to help them learn songs for Palm Sunday and
Easter kids choir performances. Parents do need to sign kids up for the stage performance, but they have had a ton of fun with Rachel Johnson learning these songs as part of their normal Sunday activity.
I am also planning fun times for our parents and kids to get together, providing that Christian community that we keep encouraging. We had an ornament decorating party at Christmas where kids and parents alike were given an avenue to be creative. This week, during spring break we will spend Thursday (March 30) in the gym playing kickball, tag, and parachute games around a break for lunch.
Our UpCamps from last summer will be surfacing again around the centerpiece of Vacation Bible School from July 10-14. We will meet in the mornings, getting out in time for lunch.
Mark your calendars! Our theme is “Galactic Starveyors.” I am excited to be able to lay out for you our daily themes:
- The Relationship Began – Genesis 1:1-2, 26-31; John 1:1, 14
- The Relationship Broken – Genesis 3
- The Relationship Promised – Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-24; Luke 2:22-39
- The Relationship Restored – Mark 12:22-16:7
- The Relationship Continues – John 21:1-19; Acts 1:4,8
We will have more information and more excitement as the week gets closer, but keep us in mind when you are planning your summer. This will be a great event for kids familiar with church to build some theology and continuity, as well as a great outreach and evangelism tool for anyone else you may want to invite. We will also need plenty of help in many different areas!
Before I sign off, I just want to share that my personal focus when it comes to children’s ministry is to build up our local community. I want to provide Biblical teaching for your kids in a safe environment, to provide resources for your family to grow to know God better, and to equip you to go and be a light in our dark world. I hope that what I have to share about our ministry encourages you, that it shines a light on the little ones in our midst and shows that they are important to us because we know that they are important to God.
If you are interested in having any information about our Children’s Ministry, think you might want to volunteer, or want to know what other sort of resources we have for families please e-mail [email protected]
Hey, everybody! Kyle here. I just wanted to introduce some of the greatest people of all time: Harvest’s team of small group leaders!
When I began looking for people to take the lead in the effort to create an atmosphere of fellowship and community within the Harvest family, I did not have to search very long. The call was (and continues to be) answered by those who have caught the vision of creating a church that lives life together, and we wanted to give everybody the chance to be able to see exactly who they are.
If you haven’t taken the step of joining a small group yet, get in touch with me, or any one of our leaders and we would be happy to talk to you about how to make that happen!
Most of our small groups start this coming week (week of March 12th)! We are adding new groups all the time. If any of these groups work well with your schedule, location, and childcare needs, be sure to send me (Kyle) an email or give the office a phone call at 503-492-9800 and I will give you more details on how to connect with that group. If you haven’t signed up yet to participate in a small group, click this link to fill out the form!