By Carl Stagner
Deadly floods in West Virginia, South Carolina, and Malawi. Earthquakes in Ecuador, Myanmar, and Japan. A typhoon in the Philippines. Tornadoes in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest. The European refugee crisis. Over just the past few years, Church of God Ministries has been hard at work, carefully distributing funds you’ve given to provide much-needed relief in the wake of disasters around the world. Church of God Ministries maintains the Disaster Relief Fund on behalf of the Church of God movement in order to be able to respond swiftly to disasters when they strike. Recently the need has proved greater than our capacity. We’re looking to God’s abundant grace and your generosity to continue disaster relief into the future. Continue reading
Senseless violence has yet again shaken the country as news of a deadly shooting surfaced from the city of Roseburg, Oregon. The October 1, 2015, tragedy is only just beginning to send shockwaves through the city, which lies about 180 miles south of Portland. Our Church of God congregation, Hucrest Community, opened its doors to the public for anyone who would like to pray. Prayer is what is so desperately needed at a time like this, and we invite the Church of God across the country and around the world to pray. Please remember the wounded, the friends and family of the deceased, Umpqua Community College, Pastor Jon Nutter, the congregation he serves, and the entire Roseburg community in your prayers. Thank you. Continue reading
By Serena Ellens
“…The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21 NKJV). Often cited in times of trial or difficulty, these famous words perfectly embody the attitude of Houston First Church of God during the past few months. The trials began with severe flooding in the church, which was due to the heavy rainfall and resulting damaged drainage pipe that burst in the roof above the youth room. Filling the church with one to three inches of standing water, the flood damaged numerous areas of the building and required that much of it be gutted and completely redone (drywall and insulation included).
Then the church was struck again, this time with the traumatic and sudden loss of their lead pastor, John Miller. After suffering a stroke on June 2, Miller passed away a few days later, leaving his congregation behind while he went to be with the Lord. Continue reading
By Carl Stagner
June 17, 2015, was yet another dark day for all of us in the United States of America. Searing pain was felt across the land, especially for those who lost loved ones in one of the largest mass shootings ever to take place inside the doors of a church. In the days that followed, the Church of God encouraged believers to spend focused times in prayer for families of the victims, for the safety of our churches, for reconciliation, and for the future of our country. As heinous acts of racism and persecution against Christians continue to rise in our world, the Church of God stands on its founding principles of holiness and unity with the Prince of Peace as our common subject. Two examples of a holy, loving response to the June 17 tragedy come from Brownsville Community Church of God in Charleston’s neighbor-to-the-north, Summerville; and the Church of God in Varnville, South Carolina. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Southeast
Tagged Brownsville Community, Charleston, hate, persecution, race, racism, Reconciliation, Robert Toliver, Ruthie Williams, shooting, South Carolina, Summerville, tragedy, Varnville, violence
On Wednesday evening, June 17, 2015, evil once again reared its ugly head in the United States of America. Our hearts mourn the loss of nine lives brutally taken from this earth in Charleston, South Carolina. In a world where racism, hatred, and sin run deep, we turn our anguished hearts toward heaven to seek hope and divine consolation. It is at the end of a painful week such as this that we strongly encourage Church of God congregations in North America and around the world to seek peace, reconciliation, and justice on bended knee. Continue reading
Photo: Shelly and Mitchell Burch
Every day in the Church of God around the world there are people who suffer great loss, yet they find strength to press on in ministry because of the grace of Jesus. Church of God Ministries recognizes this reality as exemplified in the news of yet another unspeakable tragedy. Pastor Mitchell Burch, his family, the Towne Boulevard congregation of Middletown, Ohio, and the Church of God movement are at a loss for words. Today we mourn the passing of Rochelle “Shelly” Burch—faithful pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, accomplished musician, minister, and friend—as well as Shelly’s devoted and loving mother, Linda Golden.
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged legacy, Linda Golden, loss, Middletown, Mitchell Burch, mourning, Ohio, Rochelle Burch, Shelly, Towne Boulevard Church of God, tragedy
Photo: The Living Room Coffee House, used lately as a place of comfort and healing for those grieving after the Marysville, Washington tragedy.
By Carl Stagner
“Exactly two weeks after our grand opening, I was at work at the golf course and I received a text from my daughter Jordan, who is a sophomore at Marysville Pilchuck High School. The text said, ‘HELP!’” The urgent message sent to Mike Reynolds, pastor of Hillside Church in Marysville, Washington, was certainly not the kind that any parent hopes to receive. The October 24 school shooting hit too close to home for the Reynolds family, who had just celebrated the opening of a coffee shop ministry adjacent to the worship center. While Jordan’s life was spared, the trauma and grief left in the wake of the shooting has led the four-year-old Church of God congregation to offer their coffee house as a place of comfort and healing. Continue reading