Tag Archives: Church at the Crossing

Former School of Theology Dean: Never Give Up!

Dr. David L. Sebastian, former dean of the AU School of Theology and Christian Ministry, has published his ministry memoirs in a book titled Just Never Give Up. Sebastian answered God’s call to ministry while he was an auto mechanic in Middletown, Ohio, so the book is appropriately subtitled, “An Unlikely Person Following God into Unlikely Places.” Continue reading

Out of Death, Life: Gathering Celebrates CHOG History, Ohio Church’s Unique Story

Nyle Kardatzke highlighting stories of the CHOG in Elmore, OH at the recent Historical Society retreat.

By Carl Stagner

Stories connect us. They connect us to each other, to our roots, to our God. Stories help us learn from our past—to repeat the good and avoid the mistakes. Jesus used stories to communicate concepts with his listeners, and preachers do the same today. Individuals like the Church of God historian (Gary Agee) and our archivist (Nicholas Stanton-Roark), as well as groups like the Historical Society, strive to preserve, tell, and retell stories, too. Their stories take place within the context of the Church of God movement, and all point to the love of an eternal Father whose provision is not bound by time and space. At a late-June gathering of the Church of God Historical Society in Anderson, Indiana, Nyle Kardatzke was invited as a guest speaker to highlight some of the common experiences of “growing up Church of God”—both serious and whimsical—as well as the unique story of one Ohio church that came to life in the wake of death. Continue reading

When Teachers Become Learners: Barefoot and Humbled in Bangladesh

Photo: Cross-cultural footwashing in Bangladesh.

By Carl Stagner

If you’ve ever been on a mission trip, you know it’s a mistake to think you’re going to another country only to teach and bless someone else. More often than not, you end up learning more than you could offer. Instead of leaving feeling impressed by all the good you did, you feel humbled by the good people you met. When a group from Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana; First Church of God in Marion, South Dakota; and Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana, came together for a missions trip to Bangladesh this year, the teachers once again became the learners. Continue reading

ONE Gives Students Glimpse of Heaven, Desire to Change the World Together

By Carl Stagner

Some had likely never worshiped in Spanish before. Others had probably never experienced firsthand the high-octane energy of urban gospel. History suggests that few had likely ever been in a setting where three cultures converged in the name of Christ. But that’s exactly what happened at the first-ever ONE event, which took place at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 21 and 22. The result was a glimpse of heaven and a renewed desire to change the world together. Continue reading

Initial Reports Offer Glimpse of Freedom Sunday 2017 Impact

Photo: Creative Freedom Sunday approach in Indianapolis.

By Carl Stagner

The Church of God first took a stand against human trafficking in India more than a century ago. With the inception of CHOG Trafficklight in recent years, the issue has returned to the forefront of ministry made possible only when Church of God congregations rally together. Once again, the Church of God is fighting side by side not only to raise awareness of trafficking, but also to attack the issue at its root. On March 5, 2017, Church of God congregations across North America and beyond showed the same video announcing the launch of Trafficklight 2.0. Many also gave financially to support the Church of God initiative as they renewed their commitment to engage the battle—even in front of screens both large and handheld. The Holy Spirit’s presence was palpable, and several churches have already shared stories of God’s hand at work. Continue reading

Youth to Participate in Historic Unity Event this April

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By Carl Stagner

It’s at the core of who we are. We preach about it. We sing about it. We read books about it by pioneers of our movement. But we don’t have a flawless record of living it out. The perfect love which unites us all in Jesus must translate to how we function as individual churches and as a movement. A new generation is rising up in the Church of God less connected to “the way we’ve always done it.” They are challenging the status quo; they are daring to do things differently. They’re setting the example for the rest of us as they come together in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 21–22 to worship under one roof. No, it’s not the International Youth Convention. No, it’s not NIYC. And no, it’s also not a youth convention of the Concilio Hispano. It’s ONE gathering, hosted by all three groups, that your church’s youth group won’t want to miss. Continue reading

IYC, NIYC and Concilio Hispano Youth to Hold Unity Event in 2017

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By Carl Stagner

Two of our partners in ministry celebrate vibrant youth ministry outside of involvement in the International Youth Convention, including the National Association’s NIYC (National Inspirational Youth Convention) and the student ministries of the Hispanic Council (Concilio Hispano). For many youth in the Church of God, IYC is not the pinnacle of their year; NIYC or the youth events of the Hispanic Council take that description. It is with great anticipation then, that in 2017, students of IYC, NIYC, and the Hispanic Council will come together for a groundbreaking unity event. ONE will gather youth across ethnic and cultural lines together under the banner of Christ to worship and serve together. When unity becomes more than just talk, incredible things begin to happen. Continue reading

Women in Ministry: What Would People Think?

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By Nabil Safi

“What would people think?” is a common response I often got in the past, and still get today, when I have conversations about senior leadership with women from the Middle East. The fear of being judged has crippled women in general to be thriving in the community at-large and, in particular, inside the local church. The fact that a woman lives in a lopsided society that promotes males over females makes it very difficult for her to navigate the conflicting values of equality and personal achievement versus honor-shame and community’s best interest. Consequently, when faced with an invitation to lead, her immediate response is, What would people think? Continue reading

Power Outage Relocates Sunday Baptisms to Backyard Water Slide

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Photo: Chelsea Walker baptizes one of the girls in a “Hydro Rush.”

By Carl Stagner

Anderson University squirrels—or any squirrels, for that matter—aren’t as sweet and cuddly as they may be cute. They can, in fact, do a lot of damage with those razor-sharp teeth, much to the chagrin of homeowners, electricians, and the power company. On one fateful Sunday morning in May, one of these four-legged troublemakers sunk his teeth into more than he’d bargained for. The unsuspecting squirrel fell prey to the electrical surge, but so did the worship services scheduled that morning at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana. No light and no power meant no baptism in the church’s sanctuary. How convenient that the family of one of the soon-to-be-baptized had an inflatable water slide already set up in their backyard! Continue reading

Church of God Makes Final Prep for Freedom Sunday, Feb. 14

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By Ann Brandon and Carl Stagner

On Sunday, February 14—Valentine’s Day—believers across the denominational spectrum will stand as one against the epidemic of modern slavery. This is because February 14 isn’t just Valentine’s Day this year; it’s also Freedom Sunday! Human trafficking has met its match if and when God’s church comes together against such widespread evil. Church of God Ministries has put a plethora of free resources at your fingertips to help your congregation observe Freedom Sunday in a meaningful way, including opportunities to support CHOG TraffickLight and reach our movement-wide million-dollar goal. One church that has embraced God’s call to fight against the injustice of trafficking is Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis. Continue reading

Spiritual Gifts: One-Man Drama Ministry Teaches, Inspires

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By Carl Stagner

His home church is Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, but he’s not on staff. He loves to creatively share the gospel with others, but he’s not a pastor. Larry Holycross is just one man, doing the work God has called him to do. Using his spiritual gift of creative communication and the arts, as well as his gift of teaching, Larry reminds every person-in-the-pew that God’s kingdom advances through the whole body of Christ, not just the pastor. Continue reading

Indianapolis Church Offers Passport to Employment

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By Carl Stagner

Those who’ve traveled outside of the country know the challenge that crossing national borders can pose. The application, the background checks, the miscellaneous paperwork, and the time and energy consumed is enough to keep some from experiencing the blessings of global travel altogether. Many unemployed men and women in America have been laid off by no fault of their own, and they find the job hunt similarly restricting. The hot-button issue of how to solve the unemployment problem is often the topic of conversation, but often nothing more. Under Earle Hart’s leadership, Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis is doing more than just talking about the jobless rate. Since 2008, they’ve offered 942 job-seekers “passports” to full-time employment. Continue reading

Move Aside, Hollywood! CHOG Takes Action on Trafficking

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Photo: Carla Sunberg addresses Indiana Church of God ministers at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis.

By Carl Stagner

“I’m tired of Hollywood celebrities being the spokespersons for these issues. Where are all the Christians?” The words of Carla Sunberg, president of Nazarene Theological Seminary, echoed through the expanse of Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis. Ministers of the Church of God in Indiana came together for their annual meeting as they do each year in early October. But this year’s meeting took on a markedly different tone. Instead of offering leadership training or the latest tools for ministry, Indiana Ministries devoted the entire day to the subject of sex trafficking and gender-based violence. Continue reading