Tag Archives: service

Michigan Church Courageously Combats Flint Water Crisis

Distribution of water at West Court Street Church of God.

By Megan DeBruyn

It has been four years, one month, one week, and one day since Flint, Michigan has had access to clean drinking water.

The crisis began back in 2014, when Genesee County implemented a new pipeline designed to deliver water from Lake Huron to the residents of Flint. Shortly thereafter, the city announced that fecal coliform bacterium had been detected in the water supply and issued a water boiling advisory to neighborhoods on the west side of town. The situation continued to escalate into early 2015, when it was announced that the water could be causing serious health issues and an increased risk of cancer. Continue reading

Fifty Years and Counting: Ohio Pastor’s Longevity at One Church Inspires

The congregation honoring Pastor Walls for his faithful service (Image courtesy Ferman Brown Photography).

By Carl Stagner

They came from near and far. Pastors, politicians, family, friends, and members of the community descended upon East Second Street First Church of God in Xenia, Ohio, for a very special and very unique occasion. On Sunday, March 18, notable Church of God figures addressed the over-capacity crowd, including—but not limited to—Ed Foggs, former executive secretary of the Church of God; Miki Merritt, presiding elder of the National Association; Demetrius Booker, associate state pastor of Ohio Ministries; Timothy Clarke, senior pastor of First Church of God in Columbus; and Dennis Kidd, senior pastor of Front Street Church of God in Hamilton, Ohio. Morning and afternoon services, complete with preaching, presentations, and powerful moments of worship, celebrated the sixty-five-year ministry of Dr. J. Douglas and Lady Donna Walls: fifty faithful years at one church. Continue reading

From the Archives: A Perspective on the Cross

By Paul A. Tanner

It takes two dimensions to make a cross, even as it takes two basic relationships to practice the Christian faith adequately. The one direction is Godward, the other humanward. A half cross is no cross at all. There is room for the monastery with its steeple, as well as the marketplace full of persons. Each relationship is essential to the other, and neither is independent of the other. Continue reading

Colorado Church Serves Up Grace, Wins Small Victories

Pickleball at Arvada Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

Across the Church of God movement, large churches are doing some vital, and often incredible, ministries. Often their tremendous successes can seem unattainable to the small church. Balancing multiple jobs, juggling the demands of resources and parishioners, and finding time to squeeze in one more task can seem daunting to the small-church pastor. But God sees. And he’s just as much at work through our small churches. Though they may win more small victories at any given time, churches like Arvada Church of God in Arvada, Colorado, are making a big impact for the kingdom. Continue reading

Passing the Torch: Reflections on the Legacy of Paul Tanner

Some of the family to whom Paul has passed the torch.

By Carl Stagner

Sometimes words cannot adequately express the totality of a great leader. Such is the case with Paul Tanner, who served as executive secretary for the Executive Council of the Church of God from 1979 to 1988. His family and closest friends may try to find the words, but the human lexicon inevitably falls short. Of course, Paul was so much more than a role, as Natalie Farmer, Dave Lawson, Ed Foggs, and Jim Lyon explain. Though Paul Tanner passed away on October 23 at the age of 94, the light of Christ planted in his heart is truly inextinguishable. An ever-burning torch of love and leadership has been passed on to multiple generations of those who are following in his footsteps. Continue reading

From the Archives: God’s Workmanship

By Nina C. Smith

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph 2:10 KJV). How much this means to every believer of the Lord Jesus—to fully realize that this comes personal to each of us. We are his workmanship. Through an active, humble, childlike life, the world beholds in each of us the workmanship of the Almighty God. In and through his dear children, people are to see the truth, power, faith, and glory of God, through our creation in Christ Jesus. Continue reading

Native American Ministries: Two Generations of Bentleys Leave Lasting Impact

A touching moment for Paul and Kathy Bentley (August 19).

By Carl Stagner

True heart for ministry is unmistakable. Combine that with a love for the Lakota people in Allen, South Dakota, and you have a recipe for a lasting impact. Such is the case with the combined thirty-two years of Native American ministry by two generations of Bentleys. Paul and Kathy Bentley, followed by Barry and Shelly Bentley, dedicated themselves to making a difference in a hope-deprived land among an impoverished people. As they pass the torch of leadership on to home missionaries Tim and Kim Wardell, we pause to bless the Bentleys and remember their steadfast service. Continue reading

Oregon Church Journeys with Jesus through Service, Partnership

Photo: The church working with Habitat for Humanity.

By Carl Stagner

“Eighth and River Street is what God has given us, so that is where we are.” Matt Ingalls reflects on the ministry of the church he has served as senior pastor for almost seven years. He’s grateful for the chance to serve where God has planted them. Sure, there may be ritzier, more glamorous ministry venues. But this is their “little slice of God’s universe,” as Pastor Matt has explained. The needs are great, and the work isn’t easy. But this church is on a journey with Jesus. For them, Jesus is the subject. Like Jesus, River Street Church of God in Newberg, Oregon, has made the people around them—not ideology, programs, or traditions—the priority. Continue reading

Church of God Gears Up for Easter

Photo: Cornwall Church’s Skagit Valley “Tulip Team” members.

By Carl Stagner

Jesus is the subject, no doubt about it. The life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ—from birth, to death, to resurrection—is one we exalt from Sunday to Sunday, Christmas to Easter, and throughout the year. It’s no wonder that Church of God congregations across the country and around the world are pulling out all the stops for a week of worship, reflection, outreach, community service, and celebration. Throughout the movement, churches are preparing for community Easter egg hunts and festivals, Communion, Good Friday gatherings, Sunrise services, breakfasts and brunches, stations of the cross, special music and drama—and of course, footwashing. Continue reading

The Empty Pew Project

EmptyPewProject_volunteers_FORWEB

By Serena Ellens

The Empty Pew Project, a new ministry opportunity developed by North Avenue Church of God in Battle Creek, Michigan, was created to give members the opportunity to serve in their community instead of simply sitting in church every week. The Empty Pew Project defied the negative connotations associated with empty pews and instead transformed this negative image into an incredibly positive and engaging ministry event. Continue reading

Church of God Students Gear Up for Community Service at IYC2014

IYC2014-logo_FORWEB

On July 5, nearly five-thousand high school students and their youth leaders from all over North America—with representatives from Italy, Bangladesh, Australia, and Jordan—will gather in Nashville, Tennessee, for the 49th biennial International Youth Convention (IYC) of the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). On the afternoon of Monday, July 7, these students will give back to the city of Nashville by serving the community in hopes of making a difference. Continue reading

Warner Pacific’s Andrea Cook Honored as Hero for Service to Community

Photo: Dr. Andrea Cook

Dr. Andrea P. Cook, president of Warner Pacific College, has been recognized as one of Adventist Health Foundation’s “Heroes of the Heart,” a distinction awarded to local community members who are making a difference in Portland through their service to others. Continue reading

5,000 Teens Looking to Make an IMPACT on Denver

IYC12_Logo_No_Kids

By Mary Baker Boudissa

The International Youth Convention is here! This week, the International Youth Convention of the Church of God, known as IYC, plans to take the Mile High City by storm. The biannual convention runs from July 4–7, 2012, and brings thousands of youth and youth leaders from cities across the United States and Canada. These exuberant young people come to worship and fellowship, and they are intent on making an impact on the world around them! Continue reading