Some Serious Sparkling Going On!
We welcomed four or five brand new people last Sunday morning on campus and many others who have started joining us online. We celebrated four people in the past week who have stepped up to start volunteering for the first time.
Our reach is larger than we realize. This week, a couple came in to the church office, Elaine and Gilbert, both in their 70s. They shared with us that, while each of them are still connected to their own churches, (Catholic and Lutheran respectively), they have been tuning into our worship service on Star64 EVERY Sunday since the spring. They love our messages and enjoy connecting to a church that is vibrant and fully alive. They said, "It is so inspiring to see the Church alive and well and making such a positive impact throughout the community." They stopped by our building for the first time ever to pick up a copy of the book, The Sparkle Box, and to drop off a generous donation to our Christmas Eve Offering. That's the church working right!
Jon Tisevich and I also got this wonderful email from Jess about how their family is Sparkling:
Jon and David,
Emma and I drove together to dinner tonight, and I made a wrong turn, and we found ourselves going through downtown. People were begging on almost corner, and I kept saying how bad I felt that I didn't have our food bag any more (I gave it away 2 days ago). We came to a light with a homeless person and Emma mentioned that we had all the mini pies in the car. We made the quick decision to "sacrifice" a mini pie and handed it out the window as the light turned green.
I wanted to take a minute to tell you how much my husband and I are enjoying the Sparkle series at church. The idea of the sparkle box is so wonderful, and has even already brought light into my own life in an unexpected way. A little background-- our daughter, Emma, is 12 and is your typical pre-teen/teen. She and I have been butting heads A LOT lately. It is a struggle because I had always dreamed that having a little girl would be like having a little best friend!
Well, as is typical with any holiday meal, after eating there was WAY too much food left. So I decided to package 8 mini meals in containers and Emma volunteered to write "Happy Thanksgiving God Bless" on each lid. She and I drove home together, singing along to Christmas songs and took the long way through downtown again. After a quick few laps, we gave away all 8 meals. We both felt happy and agreed that we would have to give away meals again because it was so nice to see the smiles.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, not only did I feel like we "sparkled" in the way that we have been learning at service, but it brought sparkle into MY life as well. For an hour, I had the "old" Emma back. My little happy girl, giggling, smiling, not caring how she looked. We rode side by side laughing, without her phone in her hand and without a scowl on her face. It was a blessing that I never thought could come out of spreading God's light to others. It was so wonderful. So thank you for giving me this time with my daughter.
We are pleased to announce that some Sparkling leaders will be joining our staff in December and January!
Jody Burgin has agreed to join our staff team next week as our new Life Center Manager, building on the sparkling foundation laid by Terri Beth Faust. Jody has been serving on our elder team as chairman, and will be transitioning off that team. This is the perfect fit for Jody's education, gifts, and experience. It brings him full circle as he originally had the vision for the Life Center years ago and helped facilitate the grant which enabled it to be built. So glad Jody and wife, Paula, are willing to accept this critical role in this crucial season.
After some great discussions with him, Jon Tisevich is excited to announce that Nic Gonzales will be joining our leadership team part-time in January as a Worship Ministry Coach to all the leaders in our Worship and Production ministry. Nic and wife, Jaci will not just be leading worship on some weekends, but will also be mentoring and pastoring all our artists. As many of you have experienced firsthand, Nic has such an incredible pastor's heart and has been such a blessing to our Whitewater family over the years. They will still live in Tennessee, but spend extra days when they visit and do online coaching on weeks they're not on site. In the weeks ahead, please pray for Nic, Jaci, and their children, Soren, and Zealand as they work through logistics and make preparations to join our team. I spoke at length with Nic after he spent some extended time with Jon, and he shared that he loves the direction of Whitewater in general and Jon Tisevich in particular.
We are also happy to share that Chris Eger will be joining us on staff, beginning January 4, 2021 filling the position of Weekend & Campus Services. Some of you may recognize the name, as Chris grew up in this church (back then it was Westwood Cheviot Church of Christ) and his parents (Jim and Linda Eger) are still very involved today. We are excited, as Chris, his wife Ameila, and two kids (Greta & Ellis) return to Cincinnati! Chris graduated from Oak Hills and Milligan Bible College, spending the last 17 years ministering in east Tennessee. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in both the weekend and systems and processes to help us become even more efficient with our on campus resources. Similar to Nic, Chris is excited about the moves we have made as a church and the future path we are taking.
These hires are a part of an intentional plan to strategically hire/align new staff to our future priorities in a brand new ministry environment chock full of opportunity. Welcome Jody, Nic, and Chris!
Please bring in any toy donations for our Toy Store, unwrapped, by this Sunday, December 6!
The Humphries Family
On behalf of Jereca and the Humphries family, we are so appreciative of the love and support you have given. The celebration of life service for Rob last Sunday night could not have been better. As a result of Rob's life, we are establishing a special Widows Fund in his honor for occasions like this now (and later) in order to assist widows with living expenses for a period of time. If you are led to give toward this, make your check out to WCCC and put Life Center Widows Fund in the memo line. Several generous checks have already come in, and we are so grateful. What an amazing church this is!
Two other sparkle stories from the beautiful and powerful celebration of Rob Humphries life this past Sunday night:
The evening ended, as was only fitting, with Gianna Nero making the decision to go ALL-IN! Gianna, the daughter of our Office Manager/Executive Assistant, Angela Nero-Krabbe, had been thinking about being baptized for a while now, but was hesitant to do so in front of a large crowd. However, following the worship service for Rob, she felt this was the perfect night to dedicate her life to Jesus, even though there was a crowd!
And, we also heard from one of Rob's friends who had been wanting to get baptized for a while now. He was hoping to have Rob be the one to baptize him, but in his own words, "could never work up the courage to ask Rob." After the service for Rob, he said he would really like Jereca and Jon to baptize him after service this Sunday! He's not putting it off any longer. Again - there is nothing like the church when the church is working right!
Sparkle on friends!
P.S. We are already planning for a Sparkling Christmas Eve. This year, we will be hosting four services during Christmas week:
- 6:30pm on Wednesday, December 23 (eve of Christmas Eve)
- Noon, 2pm, and 4pm on Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)
We will also continue our practice of collecting a Christmas offering at all Christmas week services. 100% of that offering will be allocated outside our walls for the sole purpose of bringing Help and Hope to people. We will be investing in the Life Center Resource Fund and three faithful strategic partners - Wheels, Thrive Point Counseling, and BLOC ministries. Look for more details about all these as we spread the light and love of Jesus on mission here.
Note: We will NOT be hosting an indoor service on campus on Sunday, December 27 this year. However, we will be sharing a special message online that morning, because whether on campus or online, we are still on mission!
Dose of Hope
Don't forget about the Dose of Hope on Facebook or YouTube, Wednesdays at 7pm!
Watch Dose of Hope