April 01, 2021

Countdown to Easter Has Begun | The Direct - April 1, 2021

The countdown to Graves & Gardens (Easter) weekend has begun!

Easter is almost here!

The countdown to Graves & Gardens (Easter) weekend has begun.

My registration folks tell me we have been filling up seats rapidly! We added two services on Saturday to accommodate the need. Get online today and register! If you need a recommendation, let me guide you to the 6pm Saturday service (it currently has the most room). If you choose to check us out online, then note we will be live streaming all three Sunday services, too. There is no excuse for anyone to miss the Graves or Gardens!


Another kind of DORA

There has been a lot of chatter this week in downtown Cincy about the gatherings in the DORA (Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area) at the Banks.

We will focus much more attention this weekend on the Grave & Garden of Jesus' tomb. I might even call it a biblical DORA - Designated Outdoor Resurrection Area!


New Elders

Whitewater Crossing has been blessed in so many ways and one of those is with men who choose to serve as elders. Two new elder candidates have humbly entered the rigorous elder process, and we want to introduce them to you.

Jason Wessel is a Christian, husband, father, and healthcare leader, and he enjoys spending time outdoors. He first came to WCCC in 2011, and formally went All-In with his faith in 2012, In 2013, he married Maria and they now have four children: Olivia, Ben, Alix and Ava. He also has his three dogs: Maggie, Luna, and Lola. Jason has been blessed with a 30+ year career in healthcare, where he currently serves as the Vice President of Professional Services at St Elizabeth Healthcare. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, either on the lake or in his backyard. Jason's life theme is "God took what the enemy meant for evil and turned it into good" and he takes every opportunity to speak to his work team, family, friends, and strangers about the Lord and His grace.


Kyler Gray and his wife, Kara have been members at WCCC since moving to the area in 2012. They have been blessed with three children: Abram (7), Lucy (4), and Daniel (2). Kyler currently serves as a Harbortown Kids teacher and as a member of the Finance Team. He also actively volunteers in the Harrison community as a youth baseball, basketball, and soccer coach. Kyler is a Finance Director at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati.


The congregation will have sixty (60) days to object to Jason and/or Kyler as an elder candidate. If, after sixty days, no disqualifying charges are presented in writing, signed and substantiated by witnesses, the candidate(s) will be considered acceptable to serve as an elder.

As I mentioned Sunday, it is tough to be a leader of anything right now, but especially a leader in the church, so I am grateful for Kyler and Jason's willingness to serve, as well as the current elders leading and serving. Thanks, too, for your uber-kind texts and emails from my message last Sunday. It was fuel in my tank heading into one of our biggest weeks. My goal was to be real and authentic with you about the joys and burdens of being your pastor. What a caring flock we have and I was the recipient of that this week.


and lastly,

A wonderful Whitewater member named Joan now lives in California and still watches online. She emailed me after watching last week and sent a poem she wrote for pastors, elders, and shepherds everywhere.

Dear God,
Please bless the shepherds
The pasture looks bare
Still waters are troubled
Is rest anywhere?

Please anoint their heads
And keep their cups full
Their flocks can be trying
We bleat, push and pull.

Through this long valley
Where shadows are black
We often tend
To try to turn back

God bless their families
Their service is great
Where would shepherds be
Without a strong mate?

You gave us this pasture
You fill us with grace
You gave us these shepherds
Give them strength in this race.

Thanks, Joan. And to quote from the Gladiator movie my helmet came from - "Whatever comes through that gate, we stand a better chance of surviving if we stay together!" So, let's do just that in coming days.

See you at the Grave, but also in the Garden this weekend!



P.S. My favorite part of last Sunday was Katie's story that we showed on video. Wow - how powerful. If you want to make more stories like that happen, you can join us as we partner with BLOC Ministries this summer (June 15-17) on a GO Trip. It will help others go from Graves to Gardens, too.