Teen Camp 2017

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Reporting

Hot Summer for the OC Teen Ministry! 

This summer has been an exciting time for the Teen Ministry.  With less than a month left for most students before they return to school, we recap some of the highlights of the 2017 summer.

Summer began in June with the LA Congregational Teen Summer Kick-Off with hundreds of students gathering in Panorama City from the Los Angeles, Inland Empire and Orange County areas to worship together, hear one of their peers preach the word of God, and enjoy great fellowship with one another.  That was only the beginning.

Rounding out the month of June, this year’s Teen Camp titled “Sabotage” was launched at a new location, the Murrieta Hot Springs Conference Center.  Leaving behind the cabins of Big Bear and entering the air conditioned lodges and luxurious hot springs, Teen Camp was more like Teen “Getaway” this year.  The beauty and refreshing atmosphere however, did nothing to undermine the incredible experience of Teen Camp.  Lessons addressed Satan’s attacks to sabotage God’s connection with us and his plans for our lives.  We also learned that we in turn can sabotage Satan’s plans and choose to have a relationship with God. Teens had an amazing opportunity to connect with God throughout the week during quiet times by the hot springs, daily discussion groups, a moving worship concert and more!

Our summer has continued with over ten teens and parents participating in the HOPE worldwide volunteer signature service program, HOPE Youth Corps.  Teens and families served communities throughout the world in Philadelphia, Dallas, Chicago and Hungary.  A Junior at El Toro High School, Amanda Nakano recounts her time in Dallas, “HYC was an experience that softened my heart completely as I was shown God’s love through the new relationships and connections I was able to make.”  Mattias Franklin who served in Philadelphia concurs, “Youth Corps is life changing… You get closer to God, build relationships and serve with all you heart.” A two week volunteer service has created a lifetime of impact for those served and volunteers alike.

God has certainly used all these wonderful moments to draw our hearts near to him.  A number of teens have chosen to engage in personal Bible studies to further learn about God.  Last week we met at Inspiration Point to witness and celebrate Jayden Pinson’s decision to get baptized and make Jesus Lord of his life.  Several were moved to tears by the love and power of God so clearly displayed in his life.

Please continue to pray for God’s influence in our OC Teen Ministry this summer and throughout the year.

2016 Service Brigade

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Reporting

Guatemala Service Brigade

IMG_0866What a beautiful experience being able to serve in Guatemala last month! This was my second community brigade with Hope Worldwide. I have never felt more connected to God than when serving others in need. Children traveling 4-5 hours on bus just to ask for Tylenol. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts and uncles asking for reading classes to study the bible. Orphans filled with tears when receiving multi-vitamins, wellness checks, access to medicine and dental care for the very first time. I met farmers in desperate need of pain medication only to subdue their aches in order to continue working in the fields and provide for their families.

Dental WorkIt’s mind blowing thinking that I take these trips with the intent of “giving” yet God fills my heart in more ways than you can possibly imagine. My life has changed forever. I no longer want to travel for myself….As disciples we are called to help the less fortunate and spread God’s love.

ChandraWhatever you’re able to give: time, talent, medical skills, artistic skills, friendship, donations, or just a faith filled heart, there are hundreds of people that God has allowed us to assist. I truly believe this is how we glorify him and find our place in God’s story.

Guatemala 2015

Written by OC Disciples on . Posted in Reporting

Guatemala Service Brigade

by Steve McBride
Guatemala1Guatemala is picturesque, a mountainous region with lush green forests and live volcanoes. Unfortunately, the landscape socially is filled with chaos. A few months before our arrival the vice president stepped down amid allegations of defrauding the state out of millions of dollars. Currently, the ex-president is in jail, being ordered to stand trial for taking bribes and customs fraud.
With a very small middle class, there’s a huge disparity between the super wealthy and the majority of people who are extremely poor and lacking the most basic services.
Last month, I had the privilege to serve the people of Guatemala at the Medical Service Brigade where hundreds of people were bussed in from remote areas throughout the region to receive free medical services. Every person, people of all ages, who came for medical attention, were treated to a tooth brush, tooth paste and fluoride treatments. Being that most every person had never seen a toothbrush or toothpaste we took the time to give instructions and demonstrate the basics of dental hygiene. Before brushing their teeth, each person had to learn how to wash their hands with a bar of soap, again, for most, this was a first in their lives as well. Fortunately, there was a dentist and a dental assistant on site providing fillings and extractions to alleviate people who had lived with dental pain for years. One memorable moment was showing an elderly woman how to brush her teeth. Though many of her teeth were missing, she imitated me as I demonstrated proper brushing techniques as Guatemala2toothpaste ran down her chin. Have you ever laughed with a mouth full of toothpaste?
If you ever have the opportunity to take a few days off work and want to make a difference serving those less fortunate, you’ll be greatly rewarded with the joy that follows at the Medical Service Brigades that take place every six months throughout Central America.

2015 MLK Report

Written by Ryan Weekley on . Posted in Events, Reporting

MLK Service Report

MLK2015We would like to say a huge “thank you” to all of our volunteers for this year’s MLK Weekend of Service! We had over 350 volunteers at 9 different projects throughout the weekend for the Orange County Region, and our volunteers served for a total of over 800 hours in just 4 days! Our projects in Orange County were part of a much larger effort all around the Los Angeles area by the Southern California Chapter of HOPE Worldwide. Our OC Church of Christ is proud to be part of this amazing organization and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve those around us.

Our OC volunteers served in a variety of ways throughout the MLK Weekend of Service. Our projects for this year included the following: Mercy House, Love Community Outreach, Think Together – Book Doctors, Second Harvest Food Bank, Orange County Food Bank (CAPOC), a blood drive with the American Red Cross, and a project with South Junior High School in Anaheim.

We are very proud of our members for giving their time, energy and hearts to serve those who are less fortunate. God gives us the charge to look after “the least of these,” and we’re confident that our efforts during the Weekend of Service will help many individuals and families throughout our community. We also want to encourage everyone involved to keep it up! Continue to find ways to serve those in need through our church programs, Non-Profit projects, and by meeting simple needs you and your family notice from week to week. Thank you again for your hearts for the poor and willingness to serve, and we hope to see all of our volunteers again next year in 2016!

Elevate

Written by Marshall Mead on . Posted in Reporting

Singles in Denver

ISC2014The 2014 International Singles Conference (ISC) entitled “Elevate” was a game changer for the Singles Ministry around the world! The conference was hosted by the Denver Church of Christ over the weekend of September 26-28, and was attended by almost 2,500 singles from around the United States and from 19 countries outside the U.S.

Unique to this year’s conference was the opportunity for single disciples to share “elevaTED TALKS”, rather than keynote speeches for the main evening sessions. Dominic Luu from Orange County kicked it off on Friday night and spoke about courage to overcome our limiting fears. Jacqueline Guthrie from Atlanta spoke vulnerably about her journey as a disciple, specifically in the area of celibacy. On Saturday, Kimba Henderson from Turning Point shared about using your gifts and talents to glorify God. And Cesar Hernandez from Las Vegas shared about finding your purpose and passion – the thing that God created you to do.

As ministry leaders in the Singles Ministry, I urge you to pray for a harvest of open hearts in this critical demographic. Invite your unmarried friends to church! Reach out to those who are single again – it is a fast-growing segment of our community. According to data used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its monthly job-market report, some 124.6 million Americans are single – which represents 50.2 percent of those who were 16 years or older. In 1976, it was 37.4 percent and has been trending upward since. Over half of the adults in the United States are not married. God is using the Singles ministry in our fellowship of churches to share the message of Christ. But we ask you to join the effort, as we all are within arms reach of singles in our workplace, schools, and our neighborhood.

Read the featured article about the 2014 ISC on Disciples Today:

Watch the elevaTED TALKS (and all the other lessons from the 2014 ISC)

Father Son Campout 2014

Written by Scott Sweeney on . Posted in Church Update, Events, Reporting

“Fishers of Men”

Father & Son Campout 2014

We had an amazing weekend up at Silverwood Lake this year! I was left with the feeling that, “This is what our faith is all about!”…Having fun with our kids, enjoying fellowship, nature and of course the campfire! We had 51 dads and 76 boys join us this year. Steve Berger led an amazing devotional about fishing, and using the right spiritual bait, and persevering in our walks with God. Jesus came to turn parents’ hearts to their children and we got to witness God’s plan and heart for family this weekend. A big thanks to Kevin Mitchell and Aubyn Hines and the food crew, who made some amazing egg burritos, brisket, and a great spread! We look forward to this event continuing to grow in the years to come!

Please check out our Facebook page for all of the candid and individual pictures at “Father Son Campout 2014”.

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