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Written by Marshall Mead on . Posted in Church Update

LeaderSHIFT

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7)

LeadersOver Labor Day weekend, the LAICC singles ministry hosted 155 single leaders from all over the West Coast in Big Bear, California for LeaderSHIFT. This was the first weekend entirely devoted to spiritual leadership in the singles ministry.

What was LeaderSHIFT? A weekend devoted to the spiritual inspiration and growth of our leaders. A weekend focused on what God says about leadership. A weekend focused on encouraging and strengthening our leaders. A weekend focused on shifting the perception of singles leadership in God’s church for current and future leaders.

Amazing things happened even before the retreat began. As singles registered for the event, they were asked to complete a DiSC Profile Assessment that was used to each individual get in touch with their leadership strengths and areas of growth opportunities. These results were used throughout the weekend amongst the different lessons and discussion groups to add depth and insight into our personal leadership styles. The lessons focused on different areas of leadership, such as The Call of Leadership, The Gifts of Leadership, and The Cost of Leadership. Mike Rock gave a power and moving lesson on what it means to give up your life for Christ to be a disciple and serve others.

Through lessons, discussion groups, prayer times, hikes, and activities, there was something for each person to help them to connect with God, connect with His Word, and connect with each other.

Overall, the weekend was a great success! Retreat goers were moved to continue in their leadership or to start leading. On a post-weekend survey, one comment that sums up the feeling of those who attended was:

I am so humbled to be a part of such an amazing church! These events really help me look within myself and be strengthened into Christ. All the lessons this weekend focused on the heart of why we do what we do, and that’s key to building other areas.

God is working powerfully in the singles ministry on the West Coast and we look forward to many more events that highlight and strengthen the amazing singles ministry!

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.

Written by Kevin Mains on . Posted in Announcements, Church Update

We Made It!

Made ItOn June 7th we collected a “Special Missions Contribution” to support our sister churches in Mexico and Central America. Our goal was $236,000. To date, the church has given $271,000.
What a great victory for our church and for the churches in Mexico and Central America! Thank you for allowing God to use you to help so many disciples and future disciple in our 39 churches south of the border. A portion of the money will be used to teach disciples and their children in our churches in Central America learn English in order to better their chances of supporting their families. Money will be used to begin or support existing campus ministries. Other funds will be used to develop leadership in these churches, other funds will be used to plant new churches and support newer mission teams. What a tremendous opportunity for us to partner with our Latin brothers and sisters to have a dramatic impact on many. I feel very proud of the disciples in Orange County and your generosity. Your hearts to respond to the needs locally and around the world are an inspiration to me and to many who have heard of what you have done not only in this contribution but also in many other expressions of your love for those in need.

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!

Written by Marshall Mead on . Posted in Spiritual Growth

Covenant Relationships 3

This is the 3rd and final installment of the Covenant Relationships sermon series. In Part 1 we saw the need to recommit to one-another discipling relationships that call us higher in our walk with Christ and transform us into more than we could achieve on our own. In Part 2 we talked about the tools to work through conflict, to overcome hurt, and restore trust when relationships break down. Now let’s talk about the rewards of Covenant Relationships. When you commit to one another and make an emotional investment, you are then able to draw from the benefits of these genuine friendships within the body of Christ. Yes, the Bible calls us to one another relationships and that should be enough motivation for all who strive to live as Christians. However, when we begin to count the rewards we receive when we strive to build and maintain covenant relationships, we would be silly to try to tread down the narrow path without them. We are blessed to have friendships in Christ that make life rich and fulfilling.

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)