Friday, May 4, 2012

Citychurch Has New Bass Monster Stickers for Distribution! 

The Bass Monster is a puppet character that Citychurch uses to teach the children about Jesus Christ.  The Bass Monster uses music to communicate scripture the same way that a DJ would play music in a club or on the radio.  He is seen as a neighborhood protector by the kids and his image has become an icon of Citychurch's ministry to children.

They're weatherproof, available in multiple colors and sizes and come in a pack of six.  Best of all they're free!  They stick to cloth, concrete, wood and metal.  To receive a free sticker pack, visit our Facebook page here and you'll see the link to get you started.

Monday, January 30, 2012

12 Months of Ministry...

Citychurch just wrapped up it's Christmas program and has started off the new year with a new season of outreach programs for the kids, youth and families in the neighborhoods we serve.  We don't just serve these families during summer and Christmas, but all year round...that's 12 months of ministry!  There is something every Sunday and Wednesday!

We produce dynamic programs to teach the youth and kids on a weekly basis the truth about God.  Every Wednesday there is a quality kids puppet show, not just for entertainment, but to express God's truth in a way that is fresh to their hearts and minds.  For example, Mr. Hinklee is back with Bass Monster and the gang.  Last season they ran a Good News Bike Messenger Shop, this season? A television network, BFN (Bible Friends Network).  The puppet set resembles a backstage view of a tv studio and the kids watch as puppets, Bass Monster and Mr. Hinklee produce tv shows to share the message of Jesus.

Dusty, a puppet we made here!
But they don't just watch.  There are segments where they interact personally with the puppets, play games, win prizes, and sing praise songs.  There are cartoons and videos, which are produced here, to illustrate scripture lessons along with live characters and puppets.  And all this happens within one 20 minute program!

There is a separate program for the youth on Wednesdays, which begins right after school.  They have their own hang out spot here at the church, where Godly hip-hop music is dj-ed along with games and of course a teenagers much needed social time.  But that funnels them in to a program where they learn of worship and the truth about God.  Donnie will lead them through a lesson using creative and artistic projects designed to interact with each student.

Kids learning they can "TRUST" God.
As a church, we have a responsibility to the families we serve to invest into their spiritual education.  We go beyond telling them of God's love and invest further in showing it to them.  Jesus is concerned with our needs and throughout scripture He shows us He is sensitive to them.  An immediate need the kids, youth and families have here is in the area of a decent meal and that is something God has supplied us to fulfill.  When they come to church, whether it is Wednesday night or Sunday morning or even a special event these kids know they are going to enjoy a great meal.  God expresses His love through the church in meeting that immediate need.

Citychurch is here for one purpose, to share the love of Christ with those who need to know it and feel it.  We are committed to ministry 12 months out of the year, and God has been faithful in providing the resources through you who support us.  We invite you to attend one of our events and take part in the work God has called us to and we thank all of you for your prayers and support!

- Pastor Jeremy (follow me on twitter @tendingfigs)

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Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas at Citychurch

As I write this, snow is blanketing the ground outside.  Thankfully today we are in the office preparing for the Christmas Box ministry, which will carry us through December, and then a special night of ministry we have planned for next Wednesday night.  Also during this time, we have the Good Shepherd Offering.  Go to our website to  learn more about it.  The Good Shepherd Offering.

The Christmas Gift Boxes are a tool used by Citychurch to express God's love.  Gift giving is a reality most of our families don't get to take part in.  The parents are doing good just to keep their family in a house, they struggle to provide food and clothing, so buying gifts for their kids is low on the priority list.  We have ministered to these kids all year long, and over that time, we have come to know them really well.  We know their sizes for clothing and everything they are interested in.  Yearlong we collects toys, clothes, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, books, arts and crafts and several other items.  Then during December we package Christmas Gift Boxes filled with everything we can stuff in them!  Because of how well we know the kids, we are able to personalize every gift with the kids that are receiving it!  We do everything we can to make them feel special.  Just like God does with us.

Next Wednesday, December 14, we will bring the kids and youth in to provide a night of good Christmas fun.  Growing up in the country, with a really close family, one of the best things I remember about Christmas wasn't the gifts, but the special time spent with family and it all started the day after Thanksgiving.  I remember several evenings between then and Christmas morning, watching Christmas specials, making homemade ornaments, drinking hot cocoa and decorating the tree.  Sadly most of the kids will not have such an experience, so we are going to provide that for them.  We have a night planned of baking cookies, drinking hot cocoa, making homemade decorations they can take home with them, singing Christmas carols, and of course sharing the Gospel and loving Jesus.  The church will be their family!

King Solomon speaks of seeking out the work of man and finding it vanity and vexation of spirit (Ecclesisastes 1:14).  In other words, the work we subject ourselves too is fruitless and like chasing the wind.  It's the work of sharing Christ that bears fruit.  We can pile gifts on these kids, and stuff them full of the fanciest foods every 4 hours, it could be endless, but we are not in the business of being fruitless or chasing the wind.  Knowing that Christ is the hope for EVERYONE, we use every thing we give, food, gas, clothes or toys as an opportunity to share the hope we have in Jesus.  The result in this work Citychurch is involved in is by no means fruitless.  Everyday we witness God changing the lives of the kids and families that are involved with Citychurch.

Sunday morning during church is the greatest proof of the fruitfulness of this work.  We see the families of the kids we minister to come in and worship wholeheartedly, in love with God.  He is providing for His church and the families He loves and they are responding back to Him!

If you would like to help in this wonderful ministry, your effort will not be in vain.  You can come and help package a personalized gift box, be apart of delivering the gifts to their homes, or come next Wednesday and help us have a family Christmas party with the kids!  We thank everyone for their support and prayers.  We thank you for the love of the kids, and the help in expressing God's love for them!

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Jeremy (follow me on twitter @tendingfigs)

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Review...Spring Preview

Take heart, ministry is alive and well at Citychurch.  We have been working through more ministry than we could imagine, and it's wonderful!  The Lord loves these kids and He is giving us every opportunity to reach them with His love.  Be sure to check out the new video link and pictures on our website:

Children's Ministry
The Wednesday evening puppet ministry started back when school started.  We pick the kids up in the neighborhood, bring them to the church and feed them a supper fit for kings.  Then...puppets!  The kids are exposed to a God-fearing, scripture loving Bass Monster who works with Mr. Hinklee's Good News Bike Messenger service to deliver bible messages to kids in need of Jesus' love.  Their efforts are slightly hindered by antics of Big Red and his crew, who wish to see families broken up and kids miserable.  But every episode, God's love shines through!

Just a few weekends ago we gathered up the kids on a Friday night, fed them at the church then headed out to Maxwell's Pumpkin patch.  We had almost 200 with us!  Mostly kids, a few volunteers and even families from the neighborhood joined us.  Everyone had a blast.

Earlier this week we hosted a Book Fair with the pre-school aged kids of the neighborhood.  Volunteers from the BGCT brought bookcases and books to give away to those kids who attended.  There were clowns, facepainting, a puppet show and a craft time.  Loads of fun!

We will continue the Wednesday night puppet show until Thanksgiving, which is coming quickly.  There will be a special Thanksgiving program and Christmas program.  Plus we have one of the coolest projects coming up, the Christmas Boxes!  We will package about 300 boxes for our kids this year.  Stay tuned for more details on that one!

Youth Ministry
The youth ministry has been busy as well.  These youth had active parts all summer in serving the kids.  Some helped in delivering lunches, working with the kids during VBS and pitching in wherever they could.

We had a fantastic youth camp at the end of the summer where those who served were able to leave their neighborhood and spend a week in the mountains.  Everyday they attended bible studies, had worship time, and a little bit of fun time.  It was during this time of closeness with God, several of the youth expressed a desire for mission work.  God is working with these guys!

The youth have their own Wednesday afternoon program.  We pick them up from school, bring them to the church, feed them like kings and share a message from scripture with them.  They even have their own youth led worship band, that leads them in worship on Wednesday afternoons.

With their expression of God calling them into missions, they have been working the last several week's planning their own youth led revival, to reach out to their friends and other youth on their blocks!  God has a group of youth here who are genuine in their love for Him!

There will be a special Thanksgiving meal and Christmas program for them as well.  And they will be a part of the Christmas Box project as well.

Looking back and ahead we see where God has been doing a great work in the hearts of the kids, youth, volunteers and families of Citychurch.  When we have a genuine love of Jesus and realize our reliance upon Him daily, then we can only give credit to Him.  The work is hard and we have to learn to be patient, but the fruit is good, and well worth the time and effort!

- Jeremy (follow me on twitter @tendingfigs)

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Monday, June 27, 2011

Citychurch presents...Jesus!

This morning, instead of loading lunches into our bikes and trailer for delivery, my sidekick Cannon (one of our youth) and I loaded up in the old "Citychurch Racing Van" and lurched down Polk street to the old Mary Hazelrigg neighborhood.  This week our neighborhood, along with North Heights, visits our park for a summer bible school!  For the kids from Mary Hazelrigg it was something new.  This neighborhood is a newly added route to our lunch and pastoring ministry and the last few weeks of serving these kids lunches was for the opportunity this week to present to them...Jesus!

We have fed 80 to 85 kids in this neighborhood.  Some are waiting for the bikes as they come down the road, but some are kept shut up inside the house, by mothers afraid of the surrounding neighborhood.  But they are always glad to see us, and somewhat relieved.  This place is loaded with sweet families, with hearts open to love.

As the vans were loaded this morning, the kids were silent, something unusual for a Citychurch van full of kids!  They weren't sure what to expect, having never been on a venture with us.  They didn't know each other, or really where they were going.  Some had a hard time leaving their moms.  But they came!

Our park is loaded with bouncers and slip 'n' slides, games, snow cones, snacks and lunches.  It is like a small carnival coming to town.  The basketball court is alive and the concession stand is serving.  Kids get to crawl all over the 40 foot rock wall cross and the two jungle gyms in the back, then build sand castles in our giant sandbox.

After playing, the visiting youth group pulls all the kids together, shuts down all the distractions, then teaches and leads the kids into something most of them don't know exists...worship of God!  It was sweet.  The worship is good.  It points the kids to the idea of God as a father and his love for us shown through Jesus Christ.  Today, after their hearts worshiped, they were led through a bible story of Jesus healing the centurion's child, introducing them to faith.  

And during the entire bible school time, the kids become best friends with the junior high and high school students and visiting adults who come with hearts ready to serve and love.

Needless to say the van ride home wasn't quiet, not even close.  The kids had new friendships with one another.  They had a blast at the park and they had hearts open to love with a seed of faith planted deep in it.  I told the guy riding with me that we just witnessed the work of God's love in these youngster's lives.  They are ready for tomorrow, as am I and I know, as is God.  We present Jesus everyday this week to these sweet kids and He begins a lifelong work in them!

- Jeremy (follow me personally on twitter @tendingfigs for daily updates and things that happen on the lunch route)

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

...with the least amount of resources.

"Let us reach the largest amount of kids with the least amount of resources." - Pastor Don Lane

This is a staple prayer  around Citychurch and is exactly that we are doing this summer in our lunch program.  With gas prices going up, we needed a way to cut the cost of running all the vans, so, out of 9 neighborhood routes, 3 of them will be ran on bicycles.  That's right!  Bicycles.

We have built cargo trailers to be pulled by some utility bikes and each can carry around 100 or so lunches.  We also notified the volunteer youth groups to bring their bikes along, so they can ride into the neighborhood with us.

It's a fun thing for the kids we feed too!  A bicycle is an important mode of transportation for any child, especially down here, and for us to pull up on bicycles with trailers helps provide a connection with those kids, not to mention the food passed along to them!

But not only is it a fun, creative and efficient way of feeding and connecting with the kids, it also goes to show how easy outreach can be.  You don't have to have a fleet of vans and commercial kitchen with 1000s of volunteers to feed hungry kids.  It can be as simple as making up some pb&j sandwiches in your home kitchen.  Then have your family hop on some bicycles and spend the afternoon riding up and down your local neighborhood, sharing the food with some hungry kids and spending time just getting to know them!

We welcome anyone to come down this summer and join us in the ministry.  Bring your whole family and your bikes and ride with one of us delivering lunches and sharing the love of Jesus.  If you don't have bikes, we have some extras.  And if you don't think you want to ride a bike route, then you still have 6 other routes done in vans you can ride along with.

We look forward to riding with you this summer, be it van or bicycle!  Also, keep up with our posts this summer for pictures and videos of the lunch deliveries.

All to share Christ!

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