Pastor’s Desk 2017-12-12

Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* The Christmas Season is upon us and it is a wonderful time of connecting with all the friends and organizations we’re all a part of. It seems there is a bit of double booking (or rather double opportunity) going on in our lives, but we’re loving it and doing our best to participate as best as we’re able. Had a great time last night with some friends, but also made a few new acquaintances. I love the stories of how and why people have come to San Carlos and met several families last night who have moved her permanently in the last year. Simply fun and adventurous people – and that’s what most of us are. What a great community.

 
* Regarding “double opportunity”, it happens for many of us this Saturday as well. I know Loma del Mar has their Christmas party. And Belen Casa de Pan, has their Christmas event on Saturday at 4:00 PM, while Pastor David’s fundraising Dinner happens Saturday at 6:00 PM. So things are a humming.
            Grant only has a few tickets left for the fundraiser, so talk to him soon if you want to get in on the Mexican Dinner.
 
* The first of the BackPacks will be distributed to the children who participate in Belen Casa de Pan’s feeding program (Devon & Marisol). This happens on Saturday and once again, coincides with their children’s Christmas presentation (4:30 ish).
            The second BackPack distribution will happen Thursday, Dec 21 at Cuidad de Refugio “Fatima” beginning at 6:30 pm. Anyone is welcome to join in and watch the joy of children receiving these backpacks at either of the locations.
 
* Hey, as you will have seen last Sunday, the church looks like a million bucks. I think we should have a contest to see if you can guess how many trees have been wonderfully arranged and perfectly staged for our Christmas season enjoyment. A huge thank you from all of us to Kathy Stoaks and Karen Ruddock!! Absolutely amazing!
 
* On a sad note, Earl Lunceford passed away last Thursday afternoon. Our condolences go out to Judy as she grieves the loss of her husband. For those of you who may not know the Luncefords personally, Judy is a vital part of our women’s ministry at SCCC. Please pray for Judy and her family as they grieve this loss.
 
* Prayer Time:
            * Please keep Judy Lunceford & family in your prayers.
            * Chuck and Nancy Dreiling need our ongoing prayers.
            * Missionaries of the Week – Ken & Ruth (Medical Missions in Mexico)
            * Deacon of the Week – Ruben Bustos (Spanish Translation)
 
* SCCC is looking for three new deacons this year and nominations are now open and will remain open until day’s end of January 7. The qualifications of nominees and the process to elect them will be in the bulletin and follows at the end of this newsletter. Any attendee of SCCC is invited to nominate an attendee of SCCC for one of these deacon positions. Each position is for a three year term. Because people are gone for Christmas, we are also accepting nominations by email, which must be sent to Mayra at office@sancarloscommunitychurch.com. All nomination ballots must include the name of the one nominated and the name of the person making that nomination. If you have any questions, please contact Art Koenes or myself. I encourage you to participate and prayerfully consider who you believe could fill these servant roles for our church. The nomination box is in the foyer of the church.

* Wednesday Spanish Service – 20 Spanish speaking guests attended last week’s service. Mayra did a great job of sharing the Word with the folks. What a treat to watch this ministry continue to blossom. Keep praying for the Hudsons as they plan, guide and direct this brand new ministry of SCCC.
 
 
* On Sunday, Matt shared about “year round” joy, using the book of Habakkuk as his text. While many of us find joy during the Christmas season, often we find that joy diminishing during the other 11 months of the year. Habakuk’s story is one of disappointment, both in God and in life, yet after his 3 chapters of debate with the Lord, he declares, that even if there is no figs on the tree, no olives in the orchard, no cattle and so forth, he will still continue to rejoice in the Lord. The challenge for us is to find a year round joy as we contemplate our future eternity with the Lord.

Have a great week,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine
 
* Events this Week:

  1. Wed @ 9:00 AM – Women’s Prayer time at the Church
  2. Wed @ 7:00 PM – “Spanish Service” (Ed & Jennifer)
  3. Thur @ 8:30 AM – Men’s Study & Fellowship @ Tequila’s (Steve)
  4. Thur @ 10:00 AM – Men’s Prayer Time @ Tequila’s (John New)
  5. Friday @ 5:00 PM – Youth Night at the Church (Matt)
  6. Sat @ 4:30 PM – Back Pack Distribution at Belen Casa de Pan.
  7. Sun @ 9:00 AM – Bilingual Children’s Church for Under 12 (Mayra)
  8. Sun @ 9:00 AM – Adult Worship Service (Simultaneous Translation)
  9. Monday @10:00 AM – CoDA resumes on Monday, Jan. 8
  10. Monday @ 3:33 PM Grief Share – (See Christmas Schedule below)

* GriefShare Schedule through the Holidays:

  1. Mon, Dec 18 3:00 to 5:30 (double session) Lite dinner provided.
  2. Tues, Dec 26 @ 3:33 PM at SCCC
  3. Tues, Jan 02 @ 3:33 PM (Bob & Marilyn’s Home w/ Dinner – Last Meeting)

* Coming Events at SCCC:

  1. Dec 21 – 6:30 PM – Back Pack Distribution at Fatima Church in Guaymas
  2. Dec 24 – Our Next Cookie Sunday
  3. Dec 24 – Christmas Service with participation of Children’s Church
  4. Dec 25 – No Service at SCCC
  5. Jan 5 & 6 – 2018 Prayer Vigil – (Daytime Only)
  6. Jan 19-21 – Missions Convention @SCCC (Linda Bowden)
  7. Feb 5 –  Games/Quiz Night @ SCCC (Catherine G)
  8. Feb 22 – AGM (Annual General Meeting)
  9. Mar 3 – Ladies Retreat w/ Cynthia Hyatt
  10. Apr 2 – Monday Night at the Movies @ SCCC (Catherine G)

Pastor’s Desk 2017-12-05

Good Morning SCCC Family,

* Not even three weeks until Christmas. You may remember an old song, “Time, time is on my side, Yes it is” – I don’t think so! Or maybe you’ve heard the slogan, “time flies when you’re having fun.” Well, we must be having fun! I’ve always thought “fast is fun” and it is, but it does mean, we’ve got to make our time count as “time is swiftly passing, the moments are fleeting away.” Oh this is way to scary – trying to be too philosophical this early in the morning. Soooo, I hope your week is going well.

* Received a great note from Ed & Jennifer regarding the Wednesday Spanish Service, “We showed some growth tonight with approx. 15 Mexicans and 14 americanos/canadians. Next week will be our first cookies and ice cream Weds. The exciting news is one man came forward and accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior. Awesome moment! Onward and upward.”
            So excited to see what God is doing here! And this Wednesday, the very one and only “Mayra” will be sharing the Word. Please keep praying for Ed, Jennifer & team and that our Lord will continue to draw the local Spanish speaking folks to Himself.

* Some FYI’s:

  1. No Cookie Sunday this Sunday Dec 10 – next one will be Dec 24!
  2. We will have our Christmas Service on Sunday, Dec 24. (Please note – There will not be a service on Christmas Day.

* Pastor David and the Spanish Church – an “Authentic Mexican” Fundraising Dinner is coming up quickly – Sat Dec 16 – get your tickets from Grant & Ethel Dafoe. This is a great way to support the church that’s right next door to us! If you absolutely can’t go, why not buy a couple of tickets anyway and let’s be a blessing to these folks!

* This will also be Brian & Elizabeth Matchett’s last week with us in SC. They will have completed their two year term in SC and will continue their work in Indiana. Many of you are well aware of the tremendous blessing they have been to this church, not only in what they do (which by the way was all done with such excellence) but also through their friendship with so many of us. Thank you for who you are Brian & Elizabeth! We wish you all of God’s best as you return to the USA.

* “Welcome to your new Home” – Scott, Dana and Tasha Clement arrived in SC yesterday. Scott is a bible teacher and their family has previously spent a number of years teaching in Mexico and later in Mongolia. They are back and ready to begin their mission service and will be based out of San Carlos. Scott is a man of quotes, his latest: “The desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.” – Tacitus

* Just over 300 backpacks are packed and ready to go. Thanks to all of you who donated for these great gifts and thanks to all who came and helped pack them.

* “Trinkets and Treats” created by the ladies at the Guaymas Women’s Prison will be on sale after the service this Sunday. Those cookies absolutely rock and are typically sold out by the time I get outside after the service. So get there early and don’t miss out!

* Leadership Retreat Results – The Elders, Deacons and Spouses had an excellent time together at the Retreat last week. The setting and the meals were incredible. Thanks Art & Brenda! Thank you John for all your otganization of the event and Thank you to all of you who prayed for us. Our time together was wonderfully productive, resulted in some positive ways to enhance both our leadership capacity and our friendships. I’m personally so thankful to all the leaders and spousess that came to help advance our leadership capacity. John New shared the results with the congregation on Sunday and I share them with you as follows: 

  1. Continue to improve two way communication between Deacons/Elders to enable a more strategic working relationship. Leadership Team (Elders & Deacons) to have joint meetings scheduled at least twice per year, and whenever major decisions are needed.
  2. Distinguish and clarify the responsibilities for Deacons and Elders in the Bylaws to avoid duplication and conflicts. For example, the budget process, along with other financial responsibilities will shift to Elder Input with Deacon approval.
  3. Align Bylaws for both Elders and Deacons to serve three year terms with a maximum of two terms.
  4. A Sub-group of Deacons and Elders was appointed to review and streamline the section on Elders and Deacons in the Church Bylaws before the next AGM.
  5. Elders will review the qualifications for appointment of future elders in light of scripture and our bylaws
  6. A regular Men’s Prayer program will be implemented beginning this Thursday at Tequila’s. A 20 minute prayer time will be held after the Thursday Men’s Study for those who wish to stay. 

* Rob & Sherry, Art & Brenda and the team returned this week from another mountain ministry trip. I will post some of their pictures on our church facebook shortly.
Rob writes: “Saturday, Nov. 25, we left after the feeding program at Belen Casa de Pan (120 children showed up) and we took Marisol’s parents along with us, into the mountains, headed for San Bernardo, Sonora.
On the 26th, we headed for La Mesa, where the people from up in the mountains hiked down, to receive food hampers, as we had heard there was no rain and no crops this year.  We brought bibles, and reading glasses and the children received a toque as it is cold in the mountains. You can tell these people are the Huatajio Indians, by their colorful dresses and the men wearing their homemade sandals made from rubber tires.
Monday, the 27th, we had the joy of putting up a church for a pastor couple in San Bernardo (Pastor Raphael).  It’s not actually a building but a tent.  But it still was so amazing to see.  They were so excited to have a church.  They are very poor, but that doesn’t stop them from spreading the Gospel, whatever they have to do to make it happen, even if they have to walk to the nearby villages.
The next night, we had an awesome time with Pastor Raphael & family, in the next village over.  80 Huatajio Indians showed up to see the Jesus film (basically the whole village.)  We had lots of prayer time.  I can hardly wait to hear about the stories, the miracles that are coming. There’s so many stories, but these are a few of our highlights.” Rob & Sherry

* Missionaries of the Week – Billy & Erika (Indigenous Peoples in Mexico)

* On Sunday, we looked at the last in our Series, “Did Jesus really say,” this week looking at did Jesus really say, “He is the only way.” We dealt with a number of the myths we encounter as believers, particularly as it relates to Jesus being the only way to God and ultimately the only way to spend an eternity in heaven. The myths we looked at included:

  1. When you get right down to it, all religions are basically the same.
  2. Even though Christianity might be different, it’s still just one philosophy among many, and it’s only as valid as any other religion.
  3. Christians are narrow-minded when they say Jesus is the only way to heaven.

We looked at a biblical response to each of those myths and we saw that Christianity is indeed unique as a “religion”, that there truly is only one way to “God” but we also saw that Christianity is in no way, “narrow” as Jesus has set the table and has made it possible for all to come and be part of His family. While all are invited to come, the only ones who will miss out on heaven are the ones who truly decided they could live life without Him. If you missed it, you can listen to the message at www.sancarloscommunitychurch.com.

Have a great week,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

Pastor’s Desk 2017-11-28

Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* That’s two this year – thanksgiving dinners that is! Yes and what a treat! Love the fact that Thanksgiving lands in a different month in Canada than in the USA and that we get to celebrate twice. Someone asked me recently why the Canadian date is earlier than the American one – very simple explanation. There’s snow in Canada in November and people are not as thankful at that point, so we celebrate it in October when its still nice out. Some things you should believe, somethings you shouldn’t, ok?

* Heartbreak in Canada as Calgary insisted on blowing their chances of taking home the Grey Cup by totally botching at least three major plays on the snow covered field in Ottawa and thus allowing the Eastern, Toronto Argonauts to carry the Cup back to their city. The heartbreak may be limited to the Western provinces only, however . . .
 
* This Thursday and Friday, the SCCC leadership is having its first “Elder, Deacon & Spouse Retreat at Casa de Esperanza. Join us in praying for an effective time of ministry, building relationships and developing future plans for our church! This is such a positive step in the building of our church for the future. Hope to share some great stories and some updates from the Retreat with you in a few weeks.
 
* The “Mountain Team” is in action again as a team of 15 people left for the mountains last weekend. Let’s be praying for Rob & Sherry, Art & Brenda, and the team as they serve these folks and support the pastors and churches with Bibles, Christian Videos and help develop Children’s Ministries in these locations.
 
* Our very first “All Spanish” Service happened last Wednesday and we’re looking forward to another one, tomorrow evening at 7:00. We’re off to a good start, but we’d love to see more of our Spanish speaking friends attend. If you know of someone who would like to come, and you aren’t able to bring them, there will be a free ride from the Circle K at 6:45 PM. (the one at the Loma del Mar turn off)
 
* You can now purchase tickets for an authentic “Mexican Dinner” which happens on Saturday, December 16 at Pastor David’s Church – The House of Grace and Peace. Our church has been involved for several years in supporting this congregations through this fundraiser. Tickets are 200 pesos and you can purchase them from Grant Dafoe. Love to see you there.
 
* Please be praying for Barbara and Al Montoya. Al’s son, Roy passed away yesterday morning. They believe he had a massive heart attack. He was 62 years of age. The Montoyas are leaving for Tucson today to be with the family. We are so sorry for your loss.
 
* Please be praying for the McKinneys as MaryAnn is back in Tucson today and Wednesday for follow up tests from her cancer surgery.
 
* What a story we saw last evening in the movie, “Facing Darkness”. The servant hearts of the people who risked their lives to help stop the 2014 Ebola virus in West Africa was inspiring to say the least, but the losses were heart rending. I think the one quote summed it all up. “When there’s a fire, Christians run to the fire, not away from it!” and that’s exactly what the Samaritan’s Purse staff did. Thank you Catherine and Team for all you did to make this a great evening.
 
* Here’s a neat way for you to help for a few hours. We’re packing BackPacks on Monday at 9:00 AM at the church. Come join in the fun as we prepare these precious gifts for the children who will receive them. Supplies can be dropped off at the church until the packing begins.
 
* Ladies from the Guaymas Women’s Prison are preparing baking and crafts to sell after the service on December 10. Gabriela and Heather have all the details.
 
* Missionaries of the Week – Ryan Thiessen (CEC – The Bible School)
                                                         
* On Sunday, we looked at whether Heaven is merely Wishful Thinking. Although, if you’re still here, like me, you have no anecdotes of whether its real or even what its really like. But to determine if its only wishful thinking, one has to understand that heaven hinges on the resurrection. If there’s no resurrection, there’s not even a reason for heaven. So in an “apologetic” format, we looked at five different categories which fully endorse Jesus resurrection, which of course makes our resurrection a reality as well, in due time of course! The categories we looked at, which verify the resurrection included:

  1. Early Written Accounts – Reliable testimony of History 
  2. Empty Tomb – The body is missing.
  3. Eyewitness Testimony – 515 people saw Jesus over 40 days.
  4. Emergence of a new and different Church
  5. Extra Biblical Evidence – Confirmation from outside the Bible.

This led us to a concise conclusion as it related to the question, “is heaven merely wishful thinking?” Heaven is not the desperate longing of people afraid to face their mortality – it’s the logical conclusion of what’s to come based on the evidence of history!
 
Have a great week,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

Pastor’s Desk 2017-11-21

Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* So enjoyed connecting with folks on Sunday. The place was buzzing. Even the balcony already had a bunch of people in it. I’m hearing the singing behind me once again. Although we so appreciate the summer services, we also love being able to hear all the voices behind us when the “house” fills up. And to see all the reconnections and new connections which are forming – that’s the best. People linger, visit, enjoy and care for each other. That is so huge and so precious to observe.

* Had a great day last Friday as Jeannine and I particapated in the “Opening Day” Ceremonies of the Yacht Club. This is the 3rd time I’ve been invited to pray at what is known as the “Blessing of the Fleet”ceremony, something which is celebrated at Yacht Clubs around the world. Its an opportunity to pray publically for God’s protection over the boating community, for their safety and for a great “boating” season. And what’s really special, is that everytime we’re involved, Jeannine and I have seen one or several of the families at the event, visit our church the following Sunday and it happened again this year. God uses the most unique things in life to make Himself visible to our community. Gotta love it! 
 
* Tomorrow evening – Our very first “All Spanish” Service begins at 7:00 PM in the main sanctuary. Maybe, there is a Spanish speaking friend you could ask to come with you?
 
* Thursday is coming – “Happy Thanksgiving” to all our American friends. Hope you enjoy the turkey and trimmings and have a wonderful day expressing your gratitude to our Lord for all that He has done for us!
 
* This coming Monday (Nov 27) @ 6:PM – Monday Night at the Movies @ SCCC with the movie “Facing Darkness”. It’s a great story as no other agency was willing to go into Liberia to help with this deadly ebola virus. However, Samaritan’s Purse was already there doing some other projects and with virtually no experience in this field, they agreed to see how they could help. Little did they know what was going to happen, particularly to their own team, but the story ends with an incredible miracle.
            The Movie Promo reads as follows: In the Spring of 2014, the Ebola pandemic was sweeping across West Africa. One organization stepped up with people and resources to provide compassion and care in the Name of Jesus. But when the deadly virus infected its own medical personnel, including Dr. Kent Brantly, the epic crisis truly hit home for Samaritan’s Purse and its leader Franklin Graham. FACING DARKNESS tells an incredible true story of faith, determination and prayer … and of how God performed a miracle.
 
* A really neat story from Darlene, who visited us at church last Sunday. Many of you had been praying for healing for her as she had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. She shared with me on Sunday that she is in fact entirely healed. The tumor is gone! Thank you Lord.
 
* Please note – Prayer Wall Issues – We have recently had several people post prayer requests on our “Church Prayer Wall”, only to see them disappear several days later. We are trying to determine what this “glitch” may be and hope we have it repaired. However, If your recent request has been removed, would you please inform us of this by emailing info@sancarloscommunitychurch.com .  Thank you!
 
* Women’s Prison Ministry – Gabriela and Heather are accepting donations of toys or cash (to buy a cake or piñata) to contribute to the prison’s annual Christmas Party for the children of the inmates. Please bring any gifts / donations to the church or you can give them directly to Gabriela or Heather by the end of November.
 
* Missionaries of the Week – Job & Maria Sierra (United Ministries Fellowship)
                                                         
* On Sunday, we looked at the “Cliff’s Notes” of the Bible as found in the Golden Rule recorded in Matthew 7:12. While it will probably never happen universally on this side of Jesus’ return, we can all make application of this rule in our own sphere of influence. Here’s some of the thoughts we looked at when it comes to applying the Golden Rule:
 
1. Seeing the value God places on other human beings.
        Challenge: to see people from God’s perspective
2. Crawling into Someone’s Life.    (Galatians 6:2)
       Challenge: to see the situation from the other person’s point of view
3. Love which comes from beyond ourselves.  (Matt 22:37-39)
       Challenge – Is my first priority to love God with all my heart, soul and mind?
4. A Conduit for Christ’s Current
       Challenge: Am I being a conduit of God’s love to others?
5. Making a choice to make a difference.
       Challenge: Am I looking for ways to make a difference in my sphere of influence?
6. The Golden Touch (James 1:22-25)
       Challenge: Am I only listening or am I “Doing?”
 
The power of the Golden Rule is that when I make a decision to reach beyond myself, and to tangibly express love to another human being, it can result in the kind of a spiral that will bless others, just as God is constantly blessing me/us!
 
Have a great week,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

Pastor’s Desk 2017-11-14

Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* Hello to you all. The windows are open. Not only was the AC shut off for night, even the fans are silent at this moment. No buzzing and whining sounds of “air moving” monsters designed to keep us in a “temperate” state. Its peaceful in our home. Aahhh! And I’ve got some great news to share with you this week.
 
* We are thrilled !!! Welcome aboard, Diane Venable – our new bookkeeper. We are so grateful for the way God continues to provide for SCCC and Diane is the most recent of those wonderful provisions. She will be training with Elizabeth until Brian & Elizabeth move back to Indiana in mid Dec. and she will then officially begin her role as our new Book Keeper. Thank you Diane for your servant heart. We are so grateful.
 
* The Deacons met last week. One of the reports we heard was from Chuck Morton and the “We Care” Ministry – Over the summer, Chuck & Carol have had several opportunities to both organize meals and to personally care for families within the church through the We Care Ministry. Several families received meals at challenging times. Chuck was able to help out another family who had been robbed and provided counseling for yet another family. We Care is a great service offered through SCCC and we’re grateful to Chuck & Carol for their leadership. Please talk to Chuck if you’d like to get involved in providing meals when they may be needed.
 
* The Elders will meet on Thursday. So thankful they’re all back, no more “google hangout”, online meetings for the next few months. Our discussions at the present relate to an upcoming joint leadership retreat with the elders and deacons at Casa de Esperanza. I’d also invite you to be in prayer for us as we look at adding at some additional elders to the team.
 
* Thank You from the McKinney’s after Mary Ann’s recent surgery. “The surgeon was very pleased, and said they found no evidence of spread into the lymph system. They will have more test’s complete by our next visit on Tuesday. Thank you and everyone else for the prayers for Mary Ann’s quick recovery. It seems the Lord is listening for sure.”
 
* Another note of Appreciation from Shirley Robson – “I was undergoing treatment for 4th stage cancer. Praise God after 3 years of treatment I am now clean of cancer. Thank you to the congregation for your prayers!”  Shirl (Linda Abbate’s sister)
 
* Pick up an “invitation card” in the church foyer designed to help you invite a Spanish speaking friend to our first “All Spanish” Wed evening Service on Nov. 22.
 
* Women’s Prison Ministry – Gabriela and Heather are accepting donations of toys or cash (to buy a cake or piñata) to contribute to the prison’s annual Christmas Party for the children of the inmates. Please bring any gifts / donations to the church or you can give them directly to Gabriela or Heather.
 
* Missionaries of the Week – Jenny & Jesse Navarro (King’s Kids)
                                                         
* On Sunday, we looked at principles from Scripture which help us to deal with the loneliness we all feel at different times. These principles of genuine friendship included:
 
1. Affinity: celebrating what we hold in common.
            If you took away the activity, would the relationship wither?
2. Acceptance: relating to people on an “as is” basis. (Romans 15:7)
            Challenge – What attitude do I bring into my friendships?        
3. Authenticity: feeling safe enough to be real. (Matt 26:38)
            Challenge – Take a risk, make a call and get together.
4. Assistance: putting our friends first (Romans 12:10)
            What can I do to be a better friend?
5. Affirmation: cheer leading your friend.
            Never assume your friends know how you feel about them.
 
You have a choice – God has given you the desire and ability to enter into community with others and thereby drive a stake into that loneliness that wants to darken your life. Its scary, its risky, its time consuming, its messy, its frustrating and ITS WORTH IT.
 
Have a great week,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

Going Hard After The Lost By Lance Witt on Nov 6, 2017

As a pastor, it is easy for me to get busy running my ministry and living my own life and as a result get disconnected from those who are far from God.

This past week I was reading the story of the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8 and was struck by God’s tenacity in getting the gospel to this one man.

In those early days the church was spreading like wildfire.  And after Stephen is martyred in Acts 7, the first verse of Acts 8 says that “on that day a great persecution broke out against the church…”  Yet, in the midst of the swirl of all that was going on, God goes to tremendous lengths to get the gospel to one man from a foreign country. 

It reminds me of Jesus’ parable in Luke 15 about the man who leaves the ninety-nine sheep in his flock and relentlessly searches for the one lost sheep.  If we are going to have the heart of God we must go hard after those who are far from God.

In Acts 8, Philip has a divine interruption.  Earlier in Acts 8 we find Philip in Samaria carrying out his ministry and then an angel of the Lord tells him to go to the desert road that goes from Jerusalem to Gaza. 

Now, you are not likely to have an angel tap you on the shoulder and give you specific instructions.  But we can expect the Holy Spirit to prompt us.

This is all about awareness and sensitivity to those opportunities that God brings across our path.

What if this next week you put up your spiritual antenna and started being sensitive to opportunities to have God conversations with those in your community?  When is the last time you prayed and asked God for opportunities to share the gospel.

Just like in Philip’s case we can have confidence that God is already at work in the lives of those around us.  This is evidenced by the fact that this official from Ethiopia just happened to be reading Isaiah 53, one of the most powerful prophecies about the coming messiah.

When this Ethiopian man asked Philip who the prophet was talking about, verse 35 says Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.

I love that Philip starts with Isaiah 53 and then takes the conversation to Jesus. Philip didn’t focus on this man’s moral condition, or talk about how sinful he was or invite him to a local church.  No!  He took the conversation straight to Jesus.  It is a good reminder for me that ultimately it is an encounter with Jesus that transforms people’s lives.  This man needed to be born again.

As Christian leaders living in the 21st century, we find ourselves in a culture that is unfriendly to the claims of the gospel.  We are living in a post-Christian era.  To declare that Jesus is the only way to heaven is not politically correct these days.  When you declare that Jesus is the only way to heaven, you can expect to be ridiculed as intolerant, arrogant, and narrow-minded.

This is one of the non-negotiables our faith and a cornerstone of our churches.  We cannot let cultural pressure cause us to be unclear about the gospel.  When we boldly declare that Jesus it he only way to eternal life, we are not being arrogant or intolerant.  We are simply declaring for Jesus what he declared for himself.  He said of himself I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.

In 1 Corinthians 1:18, the apostle Paul said, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

The cross is the dividing line in history.  Paul says that the cross divides all of humanity into two groups of people.  On one side, there is the group who would look at what we believe and what we stand for and say it is “foolishness.”  The word that Paul uses here is actually the Greek word that we get our English word “moron.” Some would look at us and say we are morons for believing that a death on a cross could give us eternal life.

But Paul says that there is another group.  For them, the cross is not foolishness, it is the power of God.  The root word for power is the same word that we get our word “dynamite.”  The gospel has explosive power to change a life.

So, in this ever-changing culture, may you unashamedly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Don’t back down from declaring Jesus as the only way.   

It is widely believed that this Ethiopian eunuch was responsible for taking the gospel to Africa.  You just never know how God might use somebody you share the gospel with.

Pastor’s Desk 2017-06-27

Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* Ever forget to do something? Of course you have. Regular habits can keep us from forgetting, but not having written a “pastor’s desk” last week, may have been the cause of my forgetfulness this morning. I was on a roll working on next Sunday’s message and I stopped to have a coffee with my lady a few minutes ago and the first thing she asked me is, “aren’t you doing a pastor’s desk?” Well good thing I had started it yesterday, so here it is, a little late, but not forgotten.
 
* Every once in a while, I receive one of those emails that just make my day. I received one of these last week from Chuck Dreiling and asked if I could share it with you!
            Chuck writes: I just had another radiation treatment this morning . . . . . But now Nancy and I are waiting for a room for the night until tomorrow’s next treatment.  As we wait, there is a beautiful young Mexican couple from Hermosillo whose sons were in the children’s home fire in Hermosillo a few years ago where 41 children died. Their 2 boys were among the 16 survivors but were burned badly and are now in the Shriner’s hospital next to my hospital. Now the boys are being treated for their burns. What makes this special is that gifts from SCCC have ministered to this couple and provided them with the ability to travel and get treatment here at Shriner’s in Sacramento. They have worked with Shelli Neufeld – our contact with the Hermosillo support team. Their sons are Paulo and Alan.  Dad is Hecter, and Mom is Gladys. They will be here for a month.  What a blessing to see the results of the loving gifts from the saints at SCCC.  I think God chose me to have this cancer just for the purpose of seeing how He is ripening the fruit of our plantings and readying them for the harvest.   More than just a coincidence.  What a God we can love and enjoy!
My love to all.
Chuck D

* Got another precious email from the Marstons regarding Sue. “Praise God! I got the drain out this am and am happy to be home. The cyst is completely gone! I’m on antibiotic for one week, then good bye forever. I at first thought that the cyst would be drained and sterilized, but didn’t realize it would be gone . . . God gave me a verse in Psalm 138, last verse. He will perfect (bring to a perfect completion) that which concerns you! And that’s what I was counting on! Thanks for all the prayer support. Sue
 
* Please continue to keep all these folks in your prayers and find many other ways to pray for our church family on the Church Prayer Wall. Thanks for remembering to pray!

* Several awesome events coming to the church in July – Youth Retreat on July 7-8 and our Kid’s Kamp (former VBS event) happens July 17-21. Please pray for Matt and Mayra as they guide and participate in both of these potentially life changing events for the young people who will attend. If you’re in SC and can help them out, there are a variety of ways to do so.
 
* This will be my final pastor’s desk for the summer as Jeannine and I leave for holidays next Monday. We have also asked the elders for an additional four weeks away, without salary. We are grateful for the elder’s support as we take this extended time for ourselves. Services will continue as usual. An excellent list of guest speakers are in place for Sunday mornings including Ken Van Kirk on July 16. He and Ruth have moved to SC and Ruth is a regular on the worship team. I know God is stirring things in their hearts, so you don’t want to miss this Sunday and the many other Sundays, where God will guide in ministering to each of you who are here. Jeannine and I look forward to our return on October 1.  
 
Have a great summer,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine
 
            While we are gone, the following are your contact people:

Matt Wyka: matthew.wyka2012@gmail.com (622) 149-2876 (Church Services)
Steve McLean:
smclean@wpmfg.com   (622) 150-1717 (Elder Related)
Chuck Morton:
chaplain45@gmail.com (622) 226-1156 (“We Care” Needs)
Mayra Gonzalez:
mayglez@gmail.com  (622) 226-0945 (Administration)

Pastor’s Desk 2017-06-13

Good Morning SCCC Family,        

Just a few things for you to note today. The “Pastor’s Desk” is going to take a break and will return on June 27.

Brian & Elizabeth Matchett recently had their car stolen. Their time in Mexico will be completed at the end of 2017. If you have a vehicle in San Carlos that they would be able to rent or buy from July until December, please contact Elizabeth at egmatchett@gmail.com or Brian at brian.j.matchett@gmail.com. 

The “Prayer Wall” is the place where you can find make any updates or add any prayer requests you may have. Allow me to encourage you to take a few moments, as time allows, to be praying for the needs which are listed. This is such a great tool to keep our church family caring for one another while we’re in the different places that we are. You can find the “Prayer Wall” on the church webiste or simply click on this link: http://www.sancarloscommunitychurch.com/pastorsdesk/prayer.

Allow me to share an email testimonial I received from some folks in Colorado. They are friends of Earl and Sonja Harris, who Earl met through some plumbing they needed done in their home. Earl found out that Mike’s wife Julie (Mike is the plumber) had cancer and Earl posted their need on our Prayer wall, roughly 6 months ago. The following is Mike’s response:

     Dear Pastor Glenn,

Thank you so much for your prayers over the last 6 months! I cant tell you how many times my iPhone beeped and I got to tell Julie “Someone in San Carlos just prayed for you”, it must have been hundreds and hundreds.  Every single one lifted up our spirits.

Last Friday was our last chemotherapy, next month we get scheduled to have the port removed. We will be doing follow up colonoscopies and pet scans every October. One day I hope to be able to come down to San Carlos to thank you all in person. Earl and Sonja has shown me so many pictures of the town and sunsets. San Carlos looks like such a beautiful place to live.

Again, I thank you and your congregation for all your prayers.

In Christ, Michael Sciarabba

Next Sunday, we’ll be in Joshua 3, seeing what we can learn about strength and courage as we pursue the tasks the Lord seems to put before us. If yu’re looking for some great reading material, Joshua is one of those stories. Enjoy!                            

Praying you have a great week!
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

Pastor’s Desk 2017-06-06

Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* Its another great morning in San Carlos! Well, a few more farewells last week as people continue to return home for the summer. But there’s still a pretty good sized group of “die hards” sticking it out, in faith believing its “not hot” outside. About 75-80 adults left for the service after the children were dismissed. There always seems to be a few guests as well. But things are relatively quiet on the home front here. No Seattle/Vancouver/Hermosillo type traffic jams happening on Beltrones (Main Street) of San Carlos. I just saw some of the traffic jams on the Vancouver roads on tv this morning. I’m not sure I could enjoy an hour drive to the work place anymore! 

 
* Another addition to worship this week – Yes, and what a job she did on the keys. Ruth VanKirk joined the rest of the crew and with Ryan’s leadership, they put together an excellent worship set! So good to see folks using their giftedness to bless God’s family.
 
* Please note that Mayra will not be in the office for the next few weeks. She is in Dallas at a Leadership Event for some continued training in Children’s Ministry. And then she’ll take some of her holidays as well.
 
* What a great time after Sunday’s service. Some really neat people in SCCC. People who are willing to wrestle with the Scriptures to gain a greater understanding of who Jesus is; people not satisfied to just live the “status quo” kind of anticipated Christian walk, people willing to ask the real questions they have on their hearts; people willing to get beyond pretense, to be vulnerable, people who resemble the Bereans of Acts 17, so aptly applauded by Paul for searching out truth. I so enjoy those kinds of conversations. Another person came and asked about baptism and shared that several of them would like to discuss what baptism would look like for them. If you’re interested in baptism, please call/email me as we’ll be meeting in the next couple of weeks to talk about that. All of the above makes for a very good day.
 
Prayer Link: http://www.sancarloscommunitychurch.com/pastorsdesk/prayer
 
* Sermon Series – We looked at “soon” in the context of Jesus’s return last Sunday. I’m sure you, like myself, have wondered about “soon”. We understand it within our own context of time. But as I look at Jesus’s return in light of both 1 & 2 Peter, it seems to have much more to do with a Mindset, than it does a Time Frame. Peter is very clear that what holds the Lord back is His desire that None should perish. NO one! The sad reality is that there will continue to be people who reject Him. I’m so grateful that He waited long enough for me to come back to Him! I know many others whom I praying will also come to know Him before He returns for those who know Him.
            Peter reveals to us how we can know if we are living with this mindset, this anticipation of Jesus’ return and he gives us three things to test how we’re doing. Praying harder is the first. If we’re truly living like Christ is coming back soon, that we understand there is no more opportunity to make things right with Him after he returns, we will be praying sincerely for the folks we know who haven’t yet made him Lord. He secondly challenges us to love folks deeper, not only “church folks”, but strangers. Why? Well throughout Peter’s book that answer has been obvious – so they can see who God is through our actions. And finally, he challenges us in our service, to use “our” God given giftings to influence those around us. The answer to the question, “are we living in anticipation of His return”, can be answered very quickly by reviewing how we’re doing in each of those three respective areas.
            This week, Lord willing, we’ll finish this book by looking at I Peter 5.

* Read another great article from Thom Rainer this morning. Thought provoking for sure! Hope you enjoy it!

Have a great week serving Jesus,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

Six Attitudes That Kill Evangelism in the Church by Thom Rainer

Here are my notes from an interview I did with a church member recently.

Question: Do you believe evangelism should be a priority in the church?
“Absolutely.”

Question: Is evangelism a priority in your church?
“Not really. Our pastor doesn’t do much about it. And we get no help from our denomination.”

Question: What are you doing personally to be more evangelistic?
<Silence>
——————-
I won’t bore you with statistics about declining evangelism in our churches. You don’t need me to convince you most churches are not reaching our communities with the gospel. You don’t need me to provide data that shows our churches are reaching fewer people today than just a few years ago.

But why are our churches less evangelistic today?

That question could be answered from a number of perspectives. But one of the key explanations is simply an attitude problem. There are several dangerous and debilitating attitudes in churches that are killing evangelism. Here are six of them:

  1. “That’s what we pay our pastor to do.” The hired-hand attitude toward the Great Commission is debilitating. It emanates from an attitude of comfort and entitlement among church members. And, above all, it is totally unbiblical.
  2. “Our church members are just not evangelistic.” This quote comes from pastors and other church leaders. It is the other side of the coin of the blame game noted in number one above. Pastors who make those comments typically aren’t evangelistic themselves. And the number one correlative factor of an evangelistic church is an evangelistic pastor. If pastors are serious about their churches becoming Great Commission instruments, they must begin by looking in the mirror.
  3. “Our denomination does not help us.” This attitude is a continuation of the blame and deflection issue. Evangelistic churches do not depend on denominations to lead them to share the gospel. They see the Great Commission as primarily an issue of local church responsibility.
  4. “We emphasize evangelism once a year in our church.” If evangelism is just another emphasis in the church, it is dead on arrival. It must be an ongoing priority of the church. The Great Commission is not just another event; it is living the priority of sharing the gospel.
  5. “I don’t know anyone well who is not a Christian.” This attitude is part of the greater issue of the holy huddle in many churches. If the church members are not intentionally developing relationships with people who are not Christians, evangelism just won’t happen. Here is a test to consider. How many of the groups or classes in your church are regularly seeking to connect with unbelievers?
  6. “We don’t have the resources.” The most effective evangelistic churches depend on two key resources: prayer and obedience.

The decline in evangelism in our churches comes down to just a few key issues. Too many believers see evangelism as the responsibility of someone else. Closely related to that issue is the matter of blame. It’s the pastor’s fault. It’s the church members’ fault. It’s the denomination’s fault.

I have seen churches make dramatic turnarounds when just one person decided to be radically obedient to the Great Commission.

The question should not be: “What about them?”

The question should be: “What about me?”

Pastor’s Desk 2017-05-30

Good Morning SCCC Family,

* We’re talking about Jesus “soon” return this coming Sunday. But I’m thinking everything is “soon” these days. May is done after tomorrow. It was just March. I think I must have missed April! That means we’re getting closer to our holidays, but it also means that our holidays will be over just as quickly. I was just reading a piece in James where he says, “life is but a vapor”. I remember when “old” people used to say things like that. And who is this guy sitting here writing about this. Maybe I’ve become one of those “old” people! But from another perspective, if you’re going fast, you’re having fun, right? And we still are! Heard some more great stories last week from friends in the church family, spent a day at one of our missions, watching the kids, loving what Jesus was doing through all those who were serving there. Just another perfect week of living in this great little town of San Carlos.

* It may well be the first one held in our church, but what an exciting time as we celebrated Karla’s Quinceañera. Bethany’s wedding dress added a huge touch of elegance for Karla, but the changing of the shoes, was totally unique – removing the “converse” and replacing them with an elegant set of heels was the finishing touch for this “new young lady.” Many gracious words shared by Jenny, Bonnie, Raul, some of her best friends and of course, Brandon & Bethany! Matt shared an exhortation meant particularly for Karla, but equally as applicable to all. And of course, what is a cultural party in Mexico without a plethora of appetizers and a full course meal? Wonderfully done and congratulations to you Karla. So fun!

* Please note there are a number of pictures on the church’s facebook page of this event and several other recent events as well. 

* Last Wednesday, we joined the crowd at La Palapa to celebrate Mark Mulligan’s birthday and while there Terry Lynn sang her song “Make a Difference” which I’ve always loved. Its the story about making a difference in one person’s life. Mayra did a fine presentation Sunday regarding our upcoming “Kid’s Camp”, formerly called the VBS. And her dream and ours is the same as Terry Lynn’s – let’s make a difference in someone’s life – in our case, the lives of the kids in San Carlos and area.         Our website has a “Kid’s Camp” icon on the home page with all the details, with registration and with options to help for each of you that will be here in July. This will be another huge opportunity to impact these young lives. Why don’t you sign up and help make a difference in these little lives? There’s all kinds of ways to help and I’m sure that one of those ways would be a perfect fit for you.  

* a “heart of service” – Matt’s recent focus with the youth about “service” played out in a wonderful way last week as he and some of the youth painted “sealed” the roof of one of the ladies from our church. They plan to finish the job this week. What a great act of caring and service from Matt and the youth team.

* The Prayer Wall – many reasons to pray and/or to rejoice.

  • So grateful, Chuck Morton got a good report from his colonoscopy.
  • Gail Wilkins has two breaks in her pelvis from a nasty fall.
  • Don Amerman, (Jim McKinney’s nephew) battling throat cancer.
  • Chuck Dreiling beginning Chemo and Radiation shortly.
  • Harold Cherry going through cancer treatment.
  • Ellen Flore’s knee surgery went well
  • Bev Mettlewsky had a knee replacement last week.
  • Bob & Becky Burr are planning a move back to San Carlos.

Prayer Link: http://www.sancarloscommunitychurch.com/pastorsdesk/prayer

* Sermon Series – We finished our short mini series on the spiritual realm last Sunday with a message about temptation. James was our source as he’s a master on practical insights about this theme. We discovered that “you can know the right thing but still do the wrong thing. Information alone doesn’t change us. And secondly, you can choose not to fall (sin), but you cannot choose the fallout (consequences). James goes on to share how to resist temptation. But if you fail, he shared, we must own our failure without blaming others and finally he highlights our need for confession, not only to God, but to someone that we can trust. Forgiveness comes from God, but confession is the piece that brings us to another level of accountability.       
     Our goal with this 3 part series on the spiritual realm was not to overwhelm us by the enemy’s desires to steal, kill and destroy, but to bring us awareness of his tactics and schemes so that we’re not blindsided by his lies and we’re not enticed by the things he designs to take our focus off the Lord. The enemy is real, but he is also under our feet. So be aware, but never be overwhelmed. Be enamored by Jesus and those temptations begin to lose their enticing power.
      This Sunday, we’re back in Peter, looking at the Lord’s “soon” return. Really? Soon? When did He say that? Hope to see you Sunday!

Have a great week serving Jesus,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine

Pastor’s Desk 2017-05-23

Good Morning SCCC Family,
                                                                                               
* Went for a sunset cruise last week. I’m not sure we even got out on the water this past winter, but some friends invited us to join them for a wonderful evening cruise – so smooth, so peaceful, saw some dolphins close up, enjoyed some tasty snacks, just a great time of “yack & fun”. We have got to coin a new word for “fellowship”. That may seem like slaughtering the proverbial sacred cow, but that word is so overused that its become boring. If you can think of something better than “yack & fun”, send it my way and we’ll try and coin a phrase that’s more eloquent than “yack & fun”.
 
* We joined in with a farewell party for Tiffiny Fisher & Co. on Saturday. They will move back North to WA this week after spending several years in San Carlos. We’re grateful for all they’ve done and the things they’ve added to our lives. All the best to you on your new adventure.  
 
* Thought you might enjoy the following story, I received from Dan & Linda Abbate. They are former attendees who now live in Rocky Point, who still have such a huge heart for the Lord and for SCCC. What a treat to hear about these recent miracles! (Linda’s Sister, is Shirley Robson, who also attended while she was in SC)
 
Good morning, Pastor Glenn,     
Two things:
     My Sister-in-law, Shirley, has continued her recovery from the breast and sternum cancer. She turned 82 last month and feels, looks and acts like she’s at least 20 years younger.Her treatment has been scaled back to a blood infusion every four weeks.She was virtually on her deathbed in early 2015 when our request was placed on the Prayer Wall.Through those who prayed and God’s Grace, she is now enjoying life very much and has come much closer to Him.
My “blind eye” situation has greatly improved.The left two-thirds of my right eye is unchanged with vision still blocked by a gray cloud. The good news is that, after seeing three ophthalmologists in Arizona, a friend, Michael, here in Rocky Point referred me to an eye doc he has been seeing here. With nothing to lose I scheduled an appointment with him about 3 months ago.After three injections and prescription eye drops over that period, the distortion on the right side of the eye, which was also caused by the burst blood vessel, is almost completely gone. The final injection in the series was 3 days ago, and he expects things will improve even more over the next few weeks.

     Pretty amazing, after being told by three experts in their field, that there was no hope for any improvement. The end results will be that the eye patch should only be necessary for close-up work like reading and typing, but won’t be necessary for distance. Distance vision being driving, yes driving, watching sports, viewing TV and similar things requiring depth perception.You have no idea what a difference this has made in my quality of life on a day to day basis. I believe I remember telling you the last time I saw you that there was no chance things would ever get better. You told me you would be praying anyway.I should have had more faith.Obviously, God had a better plan for me than to be one-eyed.Also, lots of others have prayed, as I have, but admittedly not with a lot of conviction from me at first.
     I should have known better. As my mother used to quote from Matthew, “Oh ye of little faith”, when things were gloomy and impossible looking. There is a reason for everything He does. Sometimes I forget that. For some reason, I now believe that somehow I will be given opportunities to witness about this totally unexpected miracle and how God’s hand has been on me since that day last November, just waiting for the right time.Michael and his wife who are both deacons in their Lutheran church in Tucson, as well as attending Family of God here, have been praying for me since I told them about the eye problem in early December.They were both convinced that the doctor here would find some way to help me because he had helped Michael with a much less serious vision problem. They couldn’t have been more correct.
      Praise to God and much gratitude to those, who prayed and had faith in my chance at improved vision. I had no idea this would turn out to be such a long narrative, but I felt you wouldn’t mind reading it, since it is such a terrific example of God’s blessings.

Dan Abbate

* Have you got a recent “God Story” you’d like to share. Feel free to send it my way. There’s no greater encouragement than hearing about God at work in people’s lives!

* A number of brand new “Missionary Newsletters and Updates” have been posted on the Church’s “One Drive”. Access them by clicking HERE

 
* Your Prayer Connection center is the SCCC “Prayer Wall” where you can either post your prayer request OR pray for those from our church family who have posted a prayer need! So grateful to have such a great resource to keep our church family connected over the summer months! Follow the link:
http://www.sancarloscommunitychurch.com/pastorsdesk/prayer
 
* Sermon Series – We’ve diverted from 1 Peter for a few weeks to look at some things about the spiritual realm. Two weeks ago, we looked at Believer’s enemy, Satan, particularly at who he is and what he does. Last Sunday, we looked at how to combat this enemy, using Ephesians 6:10-18 as our text. Paul, writing from a Roman prison, chained to a guard 24/7, uses the armor the guard wears as an analogy of what we need to do to defend ourselves against the enemy’s tactics and schemes. The Lord shows us how important it is to protect our heart and minds (armor & helmet) from the things in life that pierce and wound us. His Truth (belt) reminds us of who we are, of our security in Christ, our authority in Christ and allows us to march forward (boots) with the Gospel (Good News) rather than being sidelined by the wounds we receive in life. We receive one offensive weapon, the Word of God (sword) which is the Lord’s Word about who we are in Him and gives us confidence as we respond to the enemy’s lies. While he “protects” us and allows us to “advance”, it is Prayer that keeps us connected to our commander in Chief. He’s the one who lives in our hearts and who ultimately gives us the victory in our walk. Next week, we will finish this series by looking at temptation and how we deal with those things that come our way.
 
Please note – I apologize to those of you who listen to the services online, but there is no recording of last Sunday’s service.
 
Have a great week serving Jesus,
Pastor Glenn y Jeannine