Family Ministry Women’s Retreat

Written by Diane Mitchell on . Posted in Announcements, Events, Reporting

Family Ministry Women’s Retreat

Womens Retreat 1Early Saturday morning on March 15th, 40 women from the Youth and Family Ministry descended upon the Hilton Garden Inn at Carlsbad Beach to enjoy a women’s retreat together. The Hilton Garden Inn is directly across the street from the ocean, so the location was the perfect setting for our theme, “Going Deep”. The path along the ocean is high above the beach which made for a breathtaking view of the endless horizon. On this path new friendships were made and old friendships deepened as we walked and prayed and shared our hearts with each other.
On this beautiful Saturday morning, we gathered in the hotel conference room and began by singing with all our hearts as we were accompanied by Carol Lopez on the guitar. Deb Eskew, our wonderful Youth and Family Ministry women’s leader, gave us two lessons. In the first lesson, “Deep with God”, we read scriptures about how much God desires a relationship with each one of us (Psalm 139), and that in order to know God deeply we have to be willing to draw near to him. In the second lesson, “Deep Friendships”, we learned how we can deepen our relationships with one another. We dug deep into Peter’s character and learned that tension is present in all relationships, and we can learn to love each other despite how different we may be.

Womens Retreat 2After the morning lessons, we were free to spend all afternoon out and about in the town of Carlsbad to eat lunch, enjoy the flower fields or just sit on a blanket on the beach and relax. At 4:30 p.m., all 40 women met on the path across from the hotel that overlooks the ocean to pray with each other. After this inspiring time, we broke into smaller groups to share a meal together. Then at 7:30 p.m. we all came together in the conference room to play Family Feud organized by Angela Hines. We laughed and played for two hours and enjoyed the competition immensely.

On Sunday morning, we all enjoyed homemade muffins by Carol Lopez and Julie Paine outside in the Garden patio. Also, Isabella McBride led a yoga class in our conference room. At 9:30 a.m. we all gathered together for a group quiet time. Kimberly Bosworth and Karen Cantas led us in our thoughts. Suedine Nakano welcomed our guest speaker, Linda Brumley, our sister from the San Diego Church. Linda shared God’s word and her heart with us which prepared us for communion.

As the retreat drew to an end, the theme of the retreat, “Going Deep”, had been accomplished. The hearts of the women were filled with resolve and hope for a deeper walk with God and each other.

Teen Winter Retreat

Written by Ryan Weekley on . Posted in Church Update, Events, Reporting

Teen Winter Retreat

Winter Camp 2014Last month during President’s Day Weekend, over 20 students from our Teen Ministry traveled to Winter Camp 2014. The theme of this year’s camp was “Catching Fire,” a theme created to inspire our kids to be passionate and on fire in their relationships with God. Through various lessons, classes, activities, small groups and a ton of fellowship with counselors and other students, our Orange County Teens felt very encouraged and inspired to move forward in their personal walks with God!

There were three main segments of the “Catching Fire” theme – “A Symbol of Hope,” “A Greater Purpose,” and “The Revolution.” Each of these lessons inspired the students to look beyond the world around them and see the spiritual battle that’s before them. These lessons were followed by small groups, which gave the students a chance to discuss the material and how to practically apply it to their own lives. On top of the lesson material, the students met and bonded with kids from all over the Southwest, including teens from Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas to name a few.

Furthermore, a couple of our kids received sponsorship this year in order to attend, and we want to thank those who provided the funds which allowed these kids to take part in camp. Our youth ministry is very grateful to be a part of a church family that truly loves and looks out for one another. Please keep our students in your prayers and we know that this amazing camp experience will turn into lasting conviction in many our students lives!

Football 2014

Written by Dan Roditi on . Posted in Events, Reporting

OC Wins LA Football Tournament!

OCFootballThe day before the Super Bowl, the campus and teen ministries had the annual Joe Weinberg Memorial Football Tournament in Fontana.  There were 8 teams from the LA Church and 1 from San Diego that competed.  The competition, fair play and encouraging spirit with all of the brothers and sisters was truly a light to the world. The Orange County team came out on top after narrowly beating a great team from the North Region of the LA Church. Great job guys!

2013 Youth Camp Report

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Church Update, Events, Reporting

2013 Youth Camp Report

The following is an article written by Brian Craig about the 2013 LA Youth Camp.  You can find the original article on Disciples Today.

2013 Youth CampThe night sky was filled with thick clouds as Geo Garces began his Wednesday night message. The camp director was preaching about how we can approach God and talk to him about whatever we are going through–even if we are feeling angry, sad, or struggling with doubt. As Geo read from various Psalms, he emphasized how the writers were honest and vulnerable with God about their feelings. And then he began to share personally himself:

“Earlier tonight, I was in that field over there, calling out to God, ‘Lord, don’t you know its Wednesday night? Why all these clouds? Don’t you know we are supposed to have the Starlight Devotional tonight? I know the forecast calls for 90% cloud cover, but please, Abba!'”

He continued, “See kids, God hasn’t answered my prayer yet. But I still need to trust him, even when I doubt, and whether he answers my prayer or not. And God wants us to be honest, vulnerable, and real with him about whatever it is we are going through and how we feel about it.”

It was the third day of the annual LA Youth Camp, and the plan for the night called for the memorable “Starlight Devotional.” That was to be the special night when all the campers would be lead out into a large hidden field on the outskirts of camp where they would lie down in the silence and dark, look up at the stars and meditate. It was to be a night where the campers hearts would open up to God and they would make commitments to him. But with the current cloud cover and the forecast for the next two days, at this point it was doubtful if we would be able to proceed with the event.

This was my fourth year driving up to Idyllwild, to the annual LA Youth Camp. John Mannel and his team began the camp back in 2000 for kids going into 5th-8th grades. Every year it has just seemed to get better and better. This year we had well over 500 campers, lots of amazing counselors, and a full staff. The camp has gotten so large and successful that the decision was made to have two camp weeks next year and split the staff between the two camps. So everyone was in the mindset of learning all they could from each other so we’d be able to not miss a beat with next year’s camps.

2013 Camp 2There is something so amazing about being surrounded by hundreds of kids at this “magical” age as they are discovering who they are and how they fit in to their community. They still have so much of their innocence, and it is awesome to watch their eyes open to God and his word. They are responsive to the influence of their counselors as they are figuring out what to do with the different emotions they experience and relationship issues they go through. It’s coIMG 0743ol to wake up early in the morning and see little gatherings of campers all through the wooded areas and along the creek as their counselors lead them quiet times together. It’s the perfect time in life to teach them to begin to look to God for help in challenging circumstances and for answers to the deep questions of life.

There are so many fun things that happen at camp, with memorable activities and sporting events. The legendary “Water Wars” are a highlight of the week; Geo and the staff talk a lot of “smack” at every assembly leading up to the great battle, so by the time the war comes the kids are a frenzy of excitement to destroy the staff in a deluge of water. But for most of us, our favorite moments are the times of worship at night in the outdoor amphitheater, as the kids scream, shout, dance and sing their hearts out to God till they have no voices left. You can’t help but shed a tear at the sound of their young voices worshipping our Creator.

So, back to Wednesday night in the amphitheater. As Geo got into his final point about going to God when we are happy, praising him for good things and remembering to be grateful, murmurings began in the crowd. “Geo, look up!” someone said. Suddenly, clouds had cleared and the whole sky was full of stars. Geo told the campers to look up and to praise God for parting the clouds for the Starlight Devotional. The crowd erupted in cheer that God had heard our prayers. It was just one of those moments when God winks at you, when he reminds you of how amazing it is to belong to him. I felt a sense of awe and gratitude in my heart for this wonderful camp. And I was filled with the expectation that these young campers were on the right track towards one day devoting their whole lives to our awesome Creator.

2013 Teen Camp Report

Written by Ryan Weekley on . Posted in Events, Reporting

2013 Teen Camp Report

Teen Camp 1Each summer our Orange County Teen Ministry, along with other high school ministries from all over the Los Angeles area, travel to Big Bear for what we call “Teen Camp.” This year we took 43 students to camp from Orange County, with the total number of teens being approximately 400. We were also able to award 13 of those students with partial scholarships due to some donations from our members.

Some of the camps most exciting moments occurred during the intense competitions! All 400 students were split up into 6 “Tribes,” and tribes competed throughout the week in various competitions: Monster Ball, Lip Sync, Zombie Run, Glow-in-the-Dark Ultimate Frisbee, etc. There were points given out in each competition for sportsmanship and performance, and the Tribe of Daniel took away the trophy with the most points this year!

Apart from these competitions, students also were able to attend workshops on various subjects ranging from Family Drama, Studying the Bible, Hot Topics, and Leadership. This year’s camp also included two specialized tracks for specific campers: a Drop Zone track for our incoming 9th Grade campers, and a Senior Track for all incoming Senior students.

Teen Camp 2The theme of this year’s camp was “Speak Up.” The first lesson of camp discussed how God originally spoke up for us, creating us in his image. The second took that theme further and described how, due to our sin and disobedience, God needed to speak up again for our sake and sent his son to die as a sacrifice for us. These lessons helped the campers gain a better perspective of who God is and what He has done for us through Jesus. In small groups following those lessons, campers shared their thoughts and beliefs regarding God with each, and many openly confessed their sin in the safety of those small groups as well.

Teen Camp 3Later in the week, the students heard lessons on our need to speak up for God. We were taught the importance of allying ourselves with relationships that will take us closer to God, and to be willing to be vulnerable with others about how we’re really doing spiritually. The students were also challenged to “do work” as they went home from the mountain, making sure to put the lessons into practice and not letting the amazing camp experience go to waste!

Overall, our Teen Ministry has returned from camp fired up and ready to speak up for God as they transition back into their schools for the Fall Semester. We ask that you continue to pray for our Teen Ministry, and we thank all of those amazing staff and counselors who spent their week up at camp with our students! `

Orange County Parenting Workshop

Written by Scott Sweeney on . Posted in Announcements, Events

Raising Hope

The Orange County Church of Christ is hosting our 2nd Annual Family Day and Carnival on September, 30, 2012 at 10 AM at our building on 10 Goodyear, Irvine. The theme this year is “Raising Hope”. Raising children in our world today can be a scary undertaking given the moral decay of our society. Just listening to the news each day can produce feelings of concern and fear as we think about what the future holds for our children. How can we have hope for a brighter future and hope that our families can shine like stars in this world? During the worship service, Mike and Libby Rock, our guest speakers, will answer this question by sharing God’s Word and their lives. Their story and message is not only for those who are married but also for teens, campus students and singles because every generation needs hope that they too can build an incredible family for future generations. Register for the carnival by clicking here: Orange County Family Carnival.

Mike & Libby Rock have been married 31 years and have raised two awesome boys – Jake, 25 who is married to Kelsey, and Scott, 21. The Rocks have undergone many spiritual tests that they have allowed to refine their characters, unite them as a family and bring them all closer to God. Mike and Libby have spent many years of their lives serving families in churches all over the world, so they are very aware and in tune to the needs and challenges of family life. They have served in the ministry all around the U.S. – including California, Colorado, Arizona and Florida and have been courageously involved with churches in the Middle East, and have helped to plant