You ought to read this church email

Hi Daniels (and Danielles) of Whitewater!

Are you opening up your windows and praying this week? (like we discussed last weekend with The Story?!)

VBS prep is in full swing. (Starts June 23 with FX Night!) Our entire “Turn It Up” Family Experience and Vacation Bible School is specifically designed to help parents lead their children through an exploration of God’s Big Story. Please pray for parents, children, and servants to leverage this summer tool to strengthen our children’s faith. You can register your kids online for VBS anytime, and pick up your free tickets to the Family Experience at any Children’s Check-in Kiosk.

Missy Litkenhaus, Susie Terrell, Linda Myers, and Phil Coleman have done an outstanding job of designing, recruiting, and training for our new Guest Services ministry. I found out that it takes 166 people each weekend to fill all the positions in Guest Services. Wow! If you are able/willing to serve at the worship gathering you currently attend, you can sign up on line for the next training session. (Guest Services)

Building 2:42 now has a new name (and sign). It is simply called Whitewater Crossing Extension. We needed a name on the outside sign that better connected/linked that building to Whitewater Crossing. After discussion, this was what we landed on.

I am very pleased to share the names of two new part time staff who have joined our team and will begin this month. We welcome Patty Morris as our new church receptionist and Tim Heim as our new Student Ministry Associate. Both of them are members of Whitewater and familiar to us and our mission. I also hope to announce next week an outstanding candidate who is completing the process with our elders for the Minister of Recovery and Support. When great folks are added to our leadership team, the church gets even better! We are currently accepting candidates for a full-time Director of Facilities (replacing Bruce Halfenberg who is retiring). If interested, visit the Whitewater employment page on our website (Facilities).

A couple of weekends ago, we highlighted the wonderful ministry Lee Buckmaster and her team of writers are doing sending Bibles and letters to those incarcerated (FISS Ministry). Lee received the following poem this week from one of our extended flock.

Tired of the heartache, loneliness and the pain;
never any sunshine, always rain…
So full of hate, so full of pride. I decided to end it all by committing suicide.
I opened my Bible you sent with such care
to see if I could find a last and final prayer..
All of a sudden I began to cry;
It was John 3:16 that caught my eye
It was then that I realized I was about to make a big mistake;
You see, it was not my life I was about to take.
I remembered the times I had given my life to Him,
then I turned away and my light went dim.
Why, Lord, did you leave me to turn out this way?
He said, “I did not leave you. I have been here…waiting for this day.
Now that you’ve got nowhere else to turn,
My ways will be easier for you to learn.”
I started right then and there to read my Bible every day; 
And as time went by, the old me passed away. 

Yes, I still look the same and I’m still walking around.
I still will go home someday to the same old house in the same old town.
But on the inside of me is where JESUS resides
because the one who used to live there committed suicide.

Is that not powerful!? (and shows the power of finding our story in His Story.) If you have a loved one  incarcerated, Lee would be glad to place them on the FISS mailing list. Just stop by the Ministry/Info Center and leave the inmate’s name and institution with your contact info too.

Your faithful financial giving makes stories and ministry like this possible! Be faithful this summer (as you travel) in your giving to Whitewater. Our bills and ministry initiatives engage in all four seasons! One great way to do this is through E-giving. (For those of you who are already giving digitally through automated giving, thank you for your consistent generosity!) E-Giving is easy and safe. Click here (MYwhitewater) to establish aMYwhitewater account and take it from there. Just a few fields and clicks and you’re giving!

BTW – One of the other advantages of creating a MYwhitewater account is that you can see (and even print out) your record of giving for the year (whether or not you give electronically). Creating an account is also the first step to be included in our church directory and being able to access that.

Speaking of giving, the city (and area) of Moore, OK, stole our hearts a few weeks ago when we heard the news of the natural disaster that took place there. Two of our Worships Artists (Paula Stefanovich and Michael Boggs) have ties and family in Oklahoma. We understand that Oklahoma will still be in need for months to come and our sister church down the road (Miamitown Church of Christ) is hosting/serving as a collection point for Mathew 25 Ministries from now till Wednesday, June 19. They are collecting non-perishable food, personal care products, and paper products. You may drop off donations at the church office during the hours of 9am-4pm Monday through Friday. Their address is 6670 SR 128 and their goal is to send a whole trailer full to Matthew 25.

See you this weekend for Chapter 19 of The Story and The Return Home. We are nearing the end of part one of our adventure/journey called The Story. (We’ll be taking a break from The Story in July and August to talk about ‘Competing Stories’ our world offers and then return to The Story in September with Jesus and the church.)

As you travel and recharge this summer, remember this Whitewater – ‘God is a relationship to be enjoyed, not a religion to be endured!’

See you soon!
David

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