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The Vision Behind

Within Reach

Fall Series Preview:

The Genesis Experience Skye Jethani's

The Voting Booth

Melody Karnes' Journey of Faith, Hope, & Perseverance CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH

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COVER STORY Melody Karnes


It's All Within Reach

The Vision Behind the Movement

24 26 28

Americans Struggle to Talk Across Divides

A Closer Look at the Gap Between Christians & Culture


The Voting Booth by Skye Jethani


The Upcoming Elections and the Christian Response

We > Me

Point of Hope

The Life-Changing Power of Community

32 38



Middle School Missions Trip Practical Parenting Q&A: Ron Dotzler Step Into Village One Volunteer Spotlight: Paula Hardin

Fall Series Preview: The Genesis Experience Life at CCC: Ministries, Groups, Classes, and Services Events at CCC

A Single Mom's Journey From Despair to Hope



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Publisher | CHRIST COMMUNITY CHURCH Editor | JONATHAN NORTON Art Direction | JOE JENSEN and JONATHAN NORTON Copy Editor | RACHEL BEBEE Graphic Design | MARIE DUFOUR Contributing Photographers: Machaela Morrissey, Marie Dufour, Jonathan Norton, Alex Ehly, Bill Sitzmann, Jordan Johnson, Craig Walter Contributing Writers: Mark Ashton, Skye Jethani, Joe Jensen, Lisa Ashton, Tristan Roberts, Klint Bitter, Rachel Bebee, Craig Walter, Eva Rhoades THE HUB MAGAZINE 404 S 108 Ave | Omaha, NE 68154 402.330.3360 | |

SUNDAY MORNING SERVICES Old Mill / 404 S 108th Ave / Omaha, NE 68154 / 402.330.3360 /

Traditions / 9 AM / Worship Center Timeless hymns and songs of faith led by a spirited choir and orchestra.

Access / 9 & 10:45 AM / Gym / 10:45 AM / Worship Center Engaging band-led worship evokes a reflec tive and powerful worship experience in a relaxed atmosphere. Online / / Sundays / 9 & 10:45 AM

The Hub Magazine is published semi-yearly by Christ Community Church. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or part without written permission from the publisher. Copyright 2016 Christ Community Church. All rights reserved.



MAGAZINE... Welcome to the all-new Hub Magazine.

“We don't want to simply advertise and inform; we want to tell the story of God and His people.”

Our desire is that this publication will be more than just words and pictures on a set of pages. Rather, our vision is that it will be a place where God's mission for the church and the people He has called to fulfill that mission converge, where events and programs are the tools and resources for real life transformation. We don't want to simply advertise and inform; we want to tell the story of God and His people. Now, with that said, The Hub Magazine will definitely keep you informed on all the exciting things happening and about to happen at Christ Community Church. It will feature in-depth looks at some of the toughest challenges we face in culture today and offer practical ways we can engage and solve those challenges as Christ-followers. It will introduce you to various ministries of CCC and the leaders who lead them. But that's just the beginning... The Hub Magazine will also tell real stories of real people whose lives have been changed by a real and loving God. It will tell the story of this great church we're blessed to be a part of. And most of all, our dream is that it will compel those who read it to consider, “How can I engage in a deeper and more meaningful way to the greater story of God at Christ Community Church?” Moving forward, the old Hub newsletter will no longer exist. But don't worry, the new Hub Magazine will contain almost all of the information the old Hub did. The weekly announcements that aren't in the magazine will be communicated in the Sunday program, on the website and social media, as well as in the CCC weekly email. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, we'd love to hear it. May the hard work and passion that our team has put into this magazine be a blessing to you as a valued attender of Christ Community Church. In Christ, The CCC Hub Magazine Team /




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“Turn around,” Jesus said, “because God’s kingdom is within reach!” The main message that Jesus gave from town to town in Galilee was this one-sentence masterpiece. We all have a sense that “all is not right” in the world that we live in. The very thing at the core of human yearning is that this messed-up world would be restored to its original intent—beauty, order, and abundance. The means for that to take effect is if God lands on the planet and reorders it around His purposes. It is all within reach. Better marriages are within reach. A new day for the poor and marginalized is within reach. A generation of passionate, missional, just, and loving kids is within reach. Reduced crime is within reach. God is within reach. I believe all of these things to be true. And as we give ourselves increasingly to Jesus and His purposes, these things will happen. A little over a year ago, God gave a vision to make this happen to a small group of Christian leaders in Omaha, including me. One of the things I love about Omaha is that it is a “reachable city.” In other words, it is “within reach.” The 900,000 people each matter to God, but most don’t know Him in a life-giving way. It is the job of the church to connect people to God—to let a watching world know that He is within reach. No single church in Omaha can do this alone. If we are going to reach an entire city with the love of Jesus, we have to work together to make it happen. So we are praying and dreaming and working together to turn a dream into a reality. Our dream is that fifty churches in Omaha would join the movement and that each church would agree to these four key things: 1. To passionately pursue the mission of connecting people to God—people who do not yet know His love and power. Our dream is that every person in every church would be praying for and reaching out to a few friends and neighbors.

2. To plant one church in the next three years. 3. To unleash unprecedented compassion on the city of Omaha, so that people can not only hear the good news, but see it lived out. 4. To work together once a year on a four-week outreach series that raises the spiritual awareness of the entire city to reach people within the local church context. If these things take place, we should see fifty churches growing by reaching out to those who do not yet know Jesus. We should see fifty churches planted in the next three years. We should see compassionate transformation among the poor, the hungry, the homeless, and the children of our city. And we should experience a month of heightened awareness and effectiveness in sharing the power and message of Jesus citywide each year. This year, we experienced this through the citywide message series Everybody Wins. With the coverage of citywide billboard and radio ads, social media, and car window awareness, conversations erupted throughout the city. Thirty-five churches gave themselves to teaching the idea that everybody wins when God’s agenda for humanity moves forward. Powerful videos of changed lives were played in services, on Facebook, and on our collaborative website, And in churches all over Omaha, God’s power was poured out as new people visited churches, moved forward in their spiritual journeys, and hundreds (maybe thousands!) came to place their faith in Jesus. Next year, we pray that God will include more churches, penetrate our city with His love, and mobilize His people to be all He has called us to be. We will continue to move forward, one step, one life, one church at a time because God’s strength and power is Within Reach! §

Mark Ashton is the Lead Pastor at CCC. THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG


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The United States is in a cultural crisis. There are gaping fissures between the rich and poor, growing tensions between races, disunity among faith groups, increasing resentment between genders, and a vast and expanding gap between liberals and conservatives. Generation, gender, socioeconomics, ethnicity, faith, and politics massively divide the American population. And the Christian community has not been immune. Just look at the current election cycle. Candidates like Donald Trump have fiercely divided faith “tribes,” especially evangelicals. In recent research on the presidential race, Barna found that the five unique personal faith segments in America—evangelicals, non-evangelical born-again Christians, notional Christians, people associated with non-Christian faiths, and religious skeptics—hold substantially different attitudes and candidate preferences, causing deep tensions and divides. This splintering and polarization of American culture has made it more difficult than ever to have a good conversation. In research conducted for David Kinnaman’s new book Good Faith, Barna discovered just how difficult it is for most people to reach across these cultural divides. Most Americans indicate that they think it would be difficult to have a natural and normal conversation with minority groups who are different than them. As shown in the table on the following page, a majority of Americans would struggle to have a conversation with a Muslim (73%), a Mormon (60%), an atheist (56%), an evangelical (55%), or someone from the LGBT community (52%). Evangelicals seem to have a particularly difficult time talking to those outside their group. They report higher tensions than any other group when it comes to having conversations with those who are different from them. For instance, almost nine in 10 evangelicals (87%) believe it would be difficult to have a natural and normal conversation with a member of the LGBT community, but only six in 10 in the LGBT community (58%) say it would be difficult to have a natural and normal conversation with an evangelical. This is consistent across the board. Evangelicals consistently report higher levels of difficulty toward other groups

than those groups report toward them. Nearly nine in 10 evangelicals (87%) think it would be difficult to have a conversation with a Muslim, but only two-thirds of those with other faiths (66%) report difficulty in conversing with evangelicals. Similarly, when it comes to speaking

Barna’s research also revealed that social media has changed our capacity for healthy, effective, and good conversations about our differences. According to the data, most people believe these digital tools have made meaningful dialogue and deep connection more difficult. In fact, 61 percent of adults say they believe social media has made people less social, less capable of deep friendships and strong connections. Furthermore, Americans are twice as likely today to say they are lonely as compared to ten years ago. It would appear that social media doesn’t always make us more social.

What The Research Means

think it would be difficult to have a conversation with a muslim. to atheists, 85 percent of evangelicals think it would be difficult, but again only two-thirds of atheists, agnostics, or those who do not have any faith (66%) say they would have a hard time talking with evangelicals. Also, and not surprisingly, most groups tend to have more internal than external harmony. For instance, almost three in 10 evangelicals (28%) think it would be difficult to have a conversation with another evangelical. That’s a comparatively low number—especially when 87 percent of evangelicals think it would be difficult to have a conversation with a Muslim—but even three in 10 is high, and points to signs of growing tensions even within groups. This goes beyond evangelicals though. Four in 10 LGBT adults (39%) think it would be difficult to have a conversation with another member of the LGBT community.

“This splintering and polarization of American culture has made it more difficult than ever to have a good conversation, especially about faith,” says David Kinnaman, president of Barna Group and the lead designer and analysis on the study. “Even when two people agree, honest interaction can seem elusive. Try to talk about things like gay marriage—or anything remotely controversial—with someone you disagree with and the temperature rises a few degrees. But being friends across differences is hard, and cultivating good conversations is the rocky, up-hill climb that leads to peace in a conflict-ridden culture. “In order to have meaningful conversations, we must first realize that it’s not enough to be nice,” continues Kinnaman. “Though important, being winsome often means leaving some of the more inevitable conflict at the door, which limits meaningful dialogue. It also causes an uncomfortably large segment of Christians to agree with people around them rather than experience even the mildest conflict. We must embrace the hard edges of dialogue, extending kindness and hospitality, but doing so in the face of inevitable, but healthy and constructive, conflict.

© 2016 Barna Group. []. Used by permission. THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG


“Also, social media, for all the remarkable benefits of digital tools like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram, can make connecting across these gaps more difficult, not less,” concludes Kinnaman. “In spite of the truly wonderful gifts of the digital revolution, social media at its worst can magnify our differences, making it even harder to have conversations that matter. For one thing, it can make it more difficult to see other people for who they really are. For another, it helps us find the tiny cliques of people who are already convinced of the crazy things we believe. Social media makes it far too easy to self-select voices that always affirm and never challenge our assumptions and sacred cows. Plus, many of our sanest thinkers and leaders are choosing to stay out of the fray altogether. They’ve clued in that the most strident and extreme voices are liked, shared, and retweeted—not the most reasonable ones.” §

About the Research The study on which these findings are based was conducted via online surveys from August 17 to August 21, 2015. A total of 1,000 interviews were conducted. The sample error is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points at the 95-percent confidence level. The completion rate was 66 percent. Minimal statistical weighting was used to calibrate the sample to known population percentages in relation to demographic variables. The online study is derived from a probability panel, which means that respondents are recruited for inclusion in the research based on physical mailing addresses, not an opt-in online panel. Those randomly selected households without Internet access are provided an Internetenabled device to complete surveys. “Evangelicals” are those who meet nine sets of criteria, including having made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today and believing that, when they die, they will go to heaven because they have confessed their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

People with Whom It's Difficult to Have a Conversation Which groups do you think it would be difficult for you to have a natural and normal conversation with? Mark all that apply. % “very” + “somewhat” difficult

% Other Faiths

% Atheists, Agnostic, Unaffiliated (No Faith)


% US Adults

% Evangelicals

% Practicing Christians





























LGBT community







Source: Barna OmniPoll, August 2015, N = 1,000 * Barna's definition of "evangelical" is based on agreement with a series of belief statements, not on self-identification (see below for the complete definition). Thus, not all those who qualify under Barna's definition identify themselves as "evangelical."

The seven other conditions for evangelicals include saying their faith is very important in their life today; believing they have a personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ with non-Christians; believing that Satan exists; believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; asserting that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not works; and describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who created the universe and still rules it today. Being classified as an evangelical is not dependent upon church attendance or the denominational affiliation of the church attended. Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as “evangelical.” “Other faith” indicates respondents who self-identify with a religion other than Christianity. “No faith” indicates respondents who self-identify as atheist or agnostic, or who are religiously unaffiliated. “Practicing Christians” are self-identified Christians who have attended a church

service in the past month and say their religious faith is very important in their life. “LGBT” indicates respondents who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.

About Barna Group

Barna Group is a private, non-partisan, for-profit organization under the umbrella of the Issachar Companies. Located in Ventura, California, Barna Group has been conducting and analyzing primary research to understand cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors since 1984. If you would like to receive free email notifications of the release of each update on the latest research findings from Barna Group, you may subscribe to this free service at the Barna website ( © 2016 by Barna Group.

© 2016 Barna Group. []. Used by permission. 14

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Back in 2012, David Campbell and Robert Putnam published a groundbreaking report about faith and politics. They found a link between the increasing number of young adults abandoning Christianity and the association of Christian faith with partisan politics. They found that if you are under the age of 40 you probably assume “evangelicalism” is synonymous with “political conservatism.” Simply put, young adults assume that if you want Jesus, you have to be a Republican too. Of course, that hasn’t always been the case. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, evangelicals could be found across the political spectrum, and in some eras they even organized around progressive ideas like abolition, criminal justice reform, and prohibition. Even today, evangelicals from minority communities


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(African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asians) are more evenly split between political parties than white evangelicals. The unappealing options in the current election are causing some to rethink this four-decade-old relationship between politics and faith. While that is probably a healthy exercise, I think 2016 offers us a chance to reexamine more than our party affiliation or who we vote into the White House. It’s an opportunity to explore why we vote in the first place, what we think our vote will accomplish, and how we understand Christian cultural engagement overall. Should we withdraw from the culture and political involvement to await Christ’s return? Should Christians aggressively seek to grasp the reigns of power in Washington to protect religious liberty and stop the advancement of non-biblical

values? And how does Jesus’ command to love God and our neighbors translate in a pluralistic democracy like ours? The following excerpt is taken from my new e-book, The Voting Booth, which tries to answer those questions. Rather than another sermon-in-a-book which we’ve all read too many times, The Voting Booth is written as a dialogue between a perplexed voter named Christian and three spirits he meets in the booth representing three ways God’s people have related to the culture in ages past— Exodus, Exile, and Incarnation (think of it as a mash-up of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Niebuhr’s Christ and Culture). The goal is to challenge assumptions and provide a more biblical vision for how Christians can vote in faith, rather than in fear.


Christian usually knows which candidate will receive his vote long before arriving at his neighborhood polling station. This time was different. He was genuinely undecided. He stood before the three election judges still wondering if he should just go home. The first judge found his name in the huge binder. By the time the second judge handed him a ballot, Christian figured it was too late to back out. Why did I bother to come? Despite months of debates, rallies, and millions of dollars’ worth of ads exaggerating one candidate’s virtues and another’s vices, Christian still lacked clarity. His neighbors, however, arrived at the voting station eager to cast their ballots. Most displayed yard signs months ago declaring their loyalties. He understood the candidates and their visions for the country well enough. What he did not understand was himself. What future did he want? What future should he want? How was he supposed to live and vote in a culture that was increasingly post-Christian?

Before Christian were three figures illuminated by a light from a source he could not detect. The person on the left sat in a cushioned recliner with feet comfortably aloft. The figure on the right sat in a tall, leather swivel chair—the sort that belonged behind a mahogany desk with a blotter and phone. The one in the middle sat on a wooden arm chair with spindle legs. Christian: Where am I? Figure on the Left: We are here to answer many questions, but that is not one of them. Christian: Who are you? Figure on the Left: (Rising from his recliner) That is one I may answer. I am the Spirit of Exodus. I will show you how to see your culture and escape its many dangers. Figure on the Right: (Also rising from his leather desk chair) And I am the Spirit of Exile. I have led God's people to effectively engage their cultures for millennia, and I will lead you as well.

How does Jesus’ command to love God and our neighbors translate in a pluralistic democracy like ours? Given his confusion, Christian originally intended to stay home and literally sit out the election on his sofa with a good book; but something compelled him to show up anyway. Was it guilt? A sense of patriotic duty? No, it was something more hopeful. Maybe, he thought, if I genuinely intended to care about the future of my culture, God will show me how to care. The third election judge led him to a vacant voting booth. Christian entered and silently prayed—God, give me the grace to see my culture as you see it. He reached for the privacy curtain, but his hand seemed to grasp more than mere cloth. As he pulled it closed, the voting station disappeared from his sight; as did the cramped booth. Instead, as if Christian had pulled back the curtain on some celestial stage, he suddenly found himself standing in a cavernous hall so immense that the walls and ceiling could not be seen. It was a dark, hallowed space.

Exodus: Don't believe him. His way ends only in struggle and ruin. I will protect you. I have kept God's people safe since the beginning of recorded history. Exile: Safe? Ha! History has shown that the best defense is a strong offense. Go back to your recliner, Exodus, your age has passed. Christian: (Pointing to the figure seated in the central wooden armchair) And who are you? Figure in Center: (Silence) Exodus: Do not be offended by his silence. We are much older and more favored by the people than he is. His silence is out of respect for us, not disrespect for you. As I am the eldest, I shall address your questions first. (Exile returns to his chair) Christian: What question? Exodus: You are perplexed by your culture and how to live faithfully in it, and so you do not know how to vote.

Did you not pray for grace as you entered the voting booth; for help regarding how to think about your culture? Christian: Yes. Exodus: We are the answer to that prayer. We will reveal the paths that lay before you; the ways taken by the faithful in the past, and the wisdom of Scripture that illuminates each. Which path to take, however, is for you to decide. Let's begin. §

Skye Jethani is an author, speaker, consultant, and ordained pastor. He also serves as the co-host of the popular Phil Vischer Podcast, a weekly show that blends astute cultural and theological insights with comical conversation. Between 2004 and 2015, Skye occupied numerous roles at Christianity Today, a leading communications ministry launched by Billy Graham. He served as both the managing and senior editor of Leadership Journal and as the Director of Mission Advancement for CT. He was also the senior producer of This Is Our City, a multi-year, multicity project telling the stories of Christians working for the common good of their communities. Skye has authored three books: The Divine Commodity: Discovering a Faith Beyond Consumer Christianity (2009), WITH: Reimagining the Way You Relate to God (2011), and Futureville (2014). His latest writing project is the WITH GOD DAILY DEVOTIONAL, a subscription-based daily email designed to help a smartphone generation begin the day with God. To purchase the complete e-book, visit


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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!” –2 Corinthians 5:17 by Joe Jensen THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG



t was a seemingly ordinary fall day in Omaha. 58 degrees, clear skies, a slight breeze blowing through the trees, creating that all-familiar rustle as the turning leaves fall to the ground and race across the city's streets and sidewalks. For Melody Karnes, this day was anything but ordinary. This particular Wednesday, October 14, 2015, would change her life, embarking her on a journey that would challenge her faith and change her perspective forever. A couple of months earlier, Melody began to notice a tingling, numbing sensation in her right arm. Days and weeks went by and her symptoms worsened. She felt tired. The muscles in her arm became weaker. As a registered oncology nurse for over 25 years, she knew well enough to have herself checked out.

She called her doctor and made an appointment. Vitals were checked. Questions were asked. Tests were run. And then... the results. Melody Karnes had ALS. ALS, made famous and brought to light in 1939 when Hall of Fame baseball player Lou Gehrig was diagnosed, currently has no cure. It's a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons that connect the brain to the spinal cord and muscle groups of the body begin to die, limiting and eventually eliminating the brain's ability to initiate and control muscle movement. It eventually paralyzes the body as vital muscle groups, including the respiratory system, lose function—which is why the majority of ALS patients actually die of lung failure. ALS (Amyotrophic

Lateral Sclerosis) is a cruel, unrelenting disease; a diagnosis usually brings great despair and turmoil to the one receiving it. For Melody, however, it brought a much different response. “I can't explain it; it doesn't make much sense, I know. But when I first found out that I had ALS, I felt peace.” Peace, in a moment that should bring chaos and confusion. Peace, in the midst of incredible pain and tremendous uncertainty.

It's a response that's tough to wrap your mind around, even for a follower of Christ. Is it really possible? Is it just lip-service, the answer you give because you think it's the “Christian” thing to say? Or can a peace that “passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) really be experienced, even with a diagnosis like ALS? Melody believes the answer to that question is “yes.” For her, the diagnosis has brought her closer to God and her family. It has also caused her to look back on her life and reflect upon how this isn't the first time God has been faithful to her. She looks back on the 38 years of marriage to her husband Chris with fondness, noting the ups and downs and recognizing God's faithfulness along the way. She remembers first accepting Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior when she was a young girl. It would be the single most important decision of her life, giving her a foundation to live upon and

• Melody Karnes pictured on the Karnes Horse Ranch in Omaha, Nebraska. Chris and Melody have owned and cared for their ranch for over 15 years.

a means to get through some of life's toughest challenges. She reflects upon her career as an oncology nurse at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. In that role, Melody saw a lot—a lot of pain as a patient endured a bone marrow transplant, a lot of grief as a family received the news of a loved one's passing. Along the way, in the midst of the challenges that come with life as a nurse, Melody's faith helped her persevere. It helped her patients persevere as well. She is thankful for her husband, her son, her Christian friends—all walking next to her as she battles this terrible disease that's slowly taking over her body. The same body that ran marathons not so long ago now loses its breath walking across the room. But Melody is not discouraged—she keeps praying, reading, and listening. “That's all I know how to do most of the time. I just keep praying and trusting God.”

• Melody with Pastor Mark Ashton at CCC's annual Baptism on the Green on June 12, 2016. 20

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Melody realizes now more than ever that she needs Jesus, and she wants to let the world know her story—which led her to June 12, 2016. It was a warm, sunny Sunday at Christ Community Church. Activities, food, music, and most importantly, over 60 people declaring their faith in Jesus through baptism. Melody Karnes was one of them. And so was her son, Dan. “I remember going under the water and coming back up, and it felt amazing! I really did feel ‘brand new,’” Melody said, reflecting on her experience at Baptism on the Green. “And it was so great

to experience it with my son.” Melody's baptism really is the perfect, symbolic picture of her life: her old self going into the water, her sins being washed away by the grace and forgiveness of Jesus, and her “brand-new” self emerging, ready to experience whatever

life throws at her—disease, pain, and eventually, death. She will be able to endure all of those things, not on

• Melody with John, a rescue who is one of the five horses at the ranch • Chris and Melody Karnes • (bottom left)

The Karnes family with horses John and Jarvis (bottom right)

her own strength and power, but because of the hope and joy that comes from and through her relationship with Jesus Christ. Today, Melody is simply trying to live in the moment and cherish every day she has on this earth. She recognizes that it won't be easy. She has some tough days ahead of her. But her faith continues to guide her and give her strength as she battles this disease. “My prayer right now is that I can go to Jamaica with my family without needing a breathing tube. But I'm definitely going!” She wants to travel as much as her body will allow. She wants to spend as much time with family as possible and take care of her horses (she has five of them) as well as all her other pets (she loves animals). And most of all, Melody Karnes wants to share her story with as many people as possible. “If I can help people get through what I'm going through, it will be worth it.” §

Why Baptism? “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20). Baptism is an act of obedience to this command of Christ and a public testimony for people who have moved from seeking to believing. When you are baptized, you are publicly saying you are a follower of Christ. However, baptism does not assure salvation. Salvation only comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Baptism symbolizes spiritual cleansing. Divine forgiveness and newness of life is experienced by believers by virtue of their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. Baptism by immersion illustrates this, as old self-centered ways are buried beneath the water and rising from the water is a new, spiritually-alive life. If you are interested in getting baptized at Christ Community Church, visit our website at

Joe Jensen is the Executive Director of Ministry Arts at CCC.

Baptism on the Green is an annual summer event hosted by CCC. Its purpose is to come together as a church to celebrate people who have made the decision to commit their lives to Christ and make it publicly known through the symbol of water baptism.




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WE > ME The Life-Changing Power of Community by Lisa Ashton


oining a class or small group can be intimidating. It can be awkward. For Drew and Annie Henning, it was scary. “For so long we were scared to step out. We were afraid we were not enough, too young in our faith, or that we’d be judged. We just came to church and left. We sat on the sidelines.” Reflecting on their circumstances five years ago, Annie would be the first to admit that life was hard. She had been battling a chronic illness for about a year and it made relationships and life in general pretty difficult. “We were not fun to be around and hard to love.” In an effort to meet some people and strengthen their marriage, Drew and Annie joined a marriage class at CCC. Through the class they connected with several couples who began to walk with them through their season of struggle. The marriage class evolved into a Journey Group and for the first time, Annie and Drew began to experience true community. “We felt included. During a time when we felt least lovable, we were loved.” They began regularly attending the group and as Annie simply puts it, “It changed our lives.” Five years later, the Hennings are no longer on the sidelines, but co-leading a group of six young families. They have experienced the power of God through Annie’s renewed health, the birth of two kids, and a deeper faith in Jesus. Tuesday evenings have become a favorite day of the week and they are experiencing the many benefits of being in community. “We know each other’s stories and we have a certain level of trust. We have been with each other through the challenges of starting a family or parenting struggles. When we don’t have answers, we pray for each other. And when we need people to process current events through a Biblical lens, we have that.

My group has been Jesus to me and shown me what discipleship really looks like.” In addition, Annie would be the first to rave about her group's once-a-month cooking club. “I love Cooking Club. It's where we as women can laugh and cry. Be silly or serious. Some of the best conversations I have had with women have been around that table.” Once a month the ladies take turns hosting a night of cooking, conversation, and delicious food. Her friend Vanessa, who is also a member of the group, recently wrote an article about the club. She shares: After a few years gathering as a couples’ group, my good friend decided we girls needed some time to connect beyond couples’ time. This is how our Cooking Club was born. It was something we all desperately wanted and needed. In our three years together, we have gone from three babies to twelve. Twelve, with at least one more on the way. One could say we are in the baby-making season of life. In this season, more than ever before, we need each other and we need Cooking Club. At Cooking Club there are no expectations except to show up when you can, and bring a dish to share. No one expects Top-Chef-style cooking (although if you are on that level, let me know and you can join us) or fancy table settings or perfect ambiance. Sometimes a dish turns out to be a Pinterest fail, sometimes one of us gets an SOS text from dad to hurry home, sometimes there is literally a crying baby in the bedroom next to the kitchen. Those interruptions are all a part of this season and we all relate and none of it matters. We are there simply to be together… as women, as moms…

I feel seen and heard and known and don’t feel the need to hide anything. One night there may be a mom who is going through troubles and needs to vent and to be heard and seen… it may be all we talk about. On other nights we all are sharing and listening as the conversation bounces around the table like a ping pong ball. Each month is different and unique as we are all going through our seasons of motherhood. Both Annie and Vanessa are eager to high-five their husbands who take the kids on Cooking Club night so they can have an evening out with their mom tribe. No doubt these men have seen the value of connection for their wives and have made room in their schedule to make it happen. Perhaps more than anything, being in a Journey Group with other families has taught the Hennings that they are not alone. Annie recalls the reassuring statement of “me too” that is heard on a regular basis in the group. “It is comforting to hear my group members share something and for someone else to say, ‘me too.’ I have learned that I can say, ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I don’t understand’ without being afraid of what others think.” Isn’t this what groups need to be about? A place where insecurities are replaced with acceptance and authentic friendships are formed? A place where the real Jesus is experienced and the truth of God transforms people? For Annie and Drew, joining a Journey Group is one of the best things they have ever done. How about you? Are you looking for a place to experience true community? Step out today and join a group. § Lisa Ashton is the Assistant Director of Adult Discipleship at CCC.




ristan Roberts is a freshman at Central High School and recently participated in the CCC Middle School Ministry mission trip to Chicago. While on the trip, students led a soccer camp, served at parks and churches, and took prayer walks throughout the city. Tristan shared about how this trip affected his walk with God. TRISTAN, SHARE A LITTLE ABOUT THE MIDDLE SCHOOL MISSION TRIP TO CHICAGO THIS SUMMER. The Chicago mission trip was a life-changing event for me. It completely changed my own belief and my view of God. I made some great friendships, in just one week, with people I didn’t know. We participated in different community service projects, which were a little tiring, but worth it in the long run when you see what good you’ve done for someone else, just as Jesus did in the Bible. We were praising God every day and all day, whether it was through worship, prayer, or thanking Him for a blessing that had happened. I can tell that who I was before this trip, was nothing like the man of God I am now. HOW DID THIS TRIP CHANGE HOW YOU VIEW GOD AND OTHERS? On the mission trip, I was very curious of the way people worshipped God. The people that we stayed with were so godly and humble. They embraced the presence of God anytime they could. It made me feel bad about my relationship with God. I used to always think of God as a hospital for me when I’m hurt or need healing, but now I think of Him as an amazing inspiration in my life to be like Him. I now want to be like God because I now understand how He felt when He went to serve other people that were

practically lower than servants. It takes my breath away how the Son of God serves people that aren't valuable to others. I want to serve in the way God served, with joy. I want to be able to be happy when I try to help someone, not dread that I have to take time to do it. SHARE ABOUT ONE EXPERIENCE THAT IMPACTED YOU. The friends I got to make on the trip were very friendly and faithful people. They were always by my side when rough times came on the trip. What was very cool was that I was able to be vulnerable about my issues with them. No matter the problem, they will pray for those issues. Being prayed over by them was one of the most miraculous things I’ll ever feel in my life. When they pray for you, they can somewhat feel your pain. It’s as if God’s healing just courses through them to you. There’s nothing like that experience. Besides the power of being prayed over, you can also tell that when they pray it’s so meaningful and encouraging, as if God is speaking His voice through them. HOW DID YOU EXPERIENCE LIFE TRANSFORMATION DURING THIS WEEK? While I was on the trip, I started experiencing changes. I noticed thoughts that came into my head that weren’t mine. When we talked to strangers on the street, I spoke with confidence that I’ve never had before. When we were together in a group, I prayed in ways that I thought only pastors pray. I even made decisions that I thought only God could do. I also became vulnerable to God on the trip. I confessed to Him and I prayed for healing in my life. I can tell that God has a plan for me. §

From L-R: Tristan Roberts, Alyssa Harris, Hannah Brown, Bri Mapes, and Christian Simmons in Chicago on the Middle School Ministry mission trip in June 2016.



LIFE ON PURPOSE: Practical Ways to Make Every Week Count

by Klint Bitter

936. Is it the number of hot dogs an average person consumes in a lifetime? No. The number of Pokémon you must collect to truly “Catch ‘em all”? Nope. The number of times I answered “Are we there yet?” on this summer’s road trip… maybe, but it’s more. There’s a chance you’ve seen that number floating around CCC. It has shown up in a sermon, adorned tye-dyed t-shirts, and has been a topic of recent conversation. It’s an important number as it serves to offer perspective on the urgency and reality of life’s fleeting moments. 936 is the number of weeks that pass from birth to age eighteen. Eighteen-years-old is a cultural milestone we associate with high school graduation, college choices, career decisions, growing independence, and an instant outpouring of endless, 26

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godly wisdom for the newfound adult (maybe not that last one). Eighteen feels like the threshold of adulthood in which we most often begin to see our kids leave the nest and relative comforts of home and childhood for the wild, unruly task of being a real adult. This means for us as parents, the bulk of our formative parenting work happens in the context of these 936 weeks. As a kid, 936 seemed a breath away from infinity. But the older I get, the smaller that number becomes. As a parent, I’ve noticed time growing more fleeting than ever before as my kids rocket toward adulthood before my eyes. There’s certainly no shortage of tasks on your parenting list, so how do you make your way to that which matters most? More activity and stuff on the calendar does not inherently lead to greater value and impact. How do you invest each week to

create an environment where the fruit of the Spirit of God can flourish in the lives of our kids? 936 keeps that urgency in perspective for me as a parent and as a ministry leader. As a ministry leader, it reminds me of the aim of Kids and Student Ministry at CCC. These are ministries in which hundreds of heroes selflessly sacrifice their time and energy each week to invest in the next generation through teaching, small-group leading, praying, smiling, high-fiving, providing security, showing hospitality, and more. In all, they’re creating environments for making disciples of Jesus among kids and students. That’s happening every single week. In Kids and Student Ministry, we also hope to encourage parents and make resources available to them so they can

being with one another, practicing the discipline of togetherness. Not to mention that it's GREAT space for disciple-making conversations with your kids! I encourage you to view family dinner as an expression of what it means to be a family. Don’t merely view this as another item to do on your crowded calendar, but let it become part of family life. Trips, vacations, family nights—they’ll all be stronger, more meaningful experiences for your family if you’ve invested in the discipline of time and conversation together. It’s not always natural or easy, but fight for it. If not every night, set a goal for when you’re going to make it happen, communicate it, and go after it. Dinner time feels flat and redundant? Google suggestions to keep it fresh—there are some great ideas out there!

“As parents, the bulk of our formative parenting work happens in the context of these 936 weeks.” make every week count in their own families. Through collaborating on what we’re teaching, providing resources, creating space for families to interact, and encouraging parents as they run the marathon God has set before them, we hope to join in the discipling work parents are already doing. It’s to that end that I offer 3 quick thoughts on how you can make every week in your family count for what matters most.

One: Family Dinner

Let’s start this list with an old classic: family dinner. Numerous studies show that regular family dinners have been linked to healthy family dynamics and characteristics in kids. We’re a hurried culture and there’s no doubt you feel the pinch of work schedules, homework, extracurricular activities, and all the other things we’re supposed to do with our families. But investing time here really pays off. Family dinner is less about the act of sitting around a table and eating food, and more about the time and rhythm of

Two: Adopt a Mission

Next, adopt a mission as a family. I can’t think of a better environment for faith development than serving others in the name of Jesus. Forcing yourself to recognize the image of God that every person you see bears will radically challenge the way you view and engage with your everyday world. Not only that, you’ll almost certainly see your faith stretched as you lean more deeply into God’s Holy Spirit, trusting Him to make an impact through you. Living on mission together, praying together for a common cause, working, dreaming, and serving together are great ways to make each week count. Adopt a person or family in need and fully embrace and serve them. Identify a neighbor far from Jesus and pray for them, serve them, and bear witness of the life-changing power of the Gospel of Jesus. Find a part of your neighborhood that needs some TLC (old park, empty lot, etc.) and serve your community. Commit to a regular rhythm of serving with the Open Door Mission or create space in

your calendar for events like Step Into Village One. Do something outside of yourselves and elevate the person of Jesus along the way. You’ll make lasting memories. You’ll grow in Christ-likeness together. You’ll affirm for your kids that a key element of following Jesus is joining Him on His mission to restore a lost and broken world.

Three: Family Mission Statement

The last tip I have is to affirm what matters most in your family by crafting a family mission statement. And yes, I realize that such a suggestion can be intimidating or just sounds boring. Don’t overcomplicate this, but do recognize that your words are powerful. Several years ago I “stole” a phrase from my friend that he was driving into his kids. In their family they say, “God takes care of us so that we can take care of others.” I love it and have shamelessly ripped it off. I love asking my girls, “Why does God take care of us?” to hear them reply (usually with less enthusiasm than I’d hope for), “So we can take care of others.” That simple phrase helps us build gratitude in our family, an understanding that God is the giver of every good gift, acknowledge that God is faithful to provide for our needs, and we’re daily living on mission with God to be a blessing to the world around us. Language matters. Key in on a phrase from Scripture, pray it through with your spouse, talk it over with your kids, and answer the question, “What do we want our family to be about?” And then repeat it until your kids’ eyes roll whenever you mention it. You’re building values and vision into your family that can help you all emphasize the most important things. These ideas aren’t groundbreaking; you’ve likely heard them before. The power and effectiveness of it comes from action. Choose one or talk with your family to let these ideas serve as a spark to new and different ones. But do something to stoke the fires of intentional discipleship in your family. Then together, we’ll spend 936 weeks passing a rich, vibrant, and growing faith on to the next generation. § Klint Bitter is Pastor of Kids and Student Ministry at CCC. THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG




Dotzler is the founder of Abide and Bridge Church in Omaha. In 2014, Abide celebrated their 25th anniversary. This year, Bridge purchased their third church location, which will be planted in partnership with Christ Community Church. Rachel Bebee recently sat down with Ron to talk about how God is moving in this part of our city. on

TELL ME ABOUT THE VISION OF BRIDGE CHURCH. Our vision is that one day people from all over the world, all over the United States, would fly into Omaha, Nebraska, because there’s no inner city. There’s no place of high crime and violence, no place of high unemployment and high dropout rates. People say, “You’re crazy. How’s that going to happen?” One neighborhood at a time. It’s that whole “love your neighbor” thing. We adopt neighborhoods and get people to live in those neighborhoods and become a Lighthouse, which is to become a missionary in that neighborhood. HOW CAN THE CHURCH CHANGE THE CULTURE AND THE COMMUNITY? Number one, you gotta live in the neighborhood. You can’t change a community from a distance. Number two, you have to have church be central to everything. Number three, you’ve got to raise up leaders from the community. “OUT OF THE SEATS AND INTO THE STREETS” IS A MAIN SLOGAN FOR VILLAGE ONE. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE CHURCH? Most churches are very inward-focused. We have Sunday morning service, 28

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midweek Bible study, and small groups. Everything is inside the four walls. I’m a huge advocate for the church getting out of the seats and into the streets doing things regularly. If we have a weekly Sunday gathering inside the church, maybe we should have a weekly gathering outside the church. Let’s get people from West Omaha to come into North Omaha and get to know neighbors and get to know people. It will produce reconciliation. It will produce a sensitivity to people with a lot of challenges in our community. The inner city transformed me. The greatest people that need to be changed today are Christians. I tell people that before I moved to the inner city, I had invited Jesus into my heart, but by being in the inner city and getting next to brokenness, Jesus invited me into His heart and I experienced brokenness. I moved from a personal relationship into a purposeful relationship. All of a sudden, my life took on traction and I knew that I was here to make a difference in the lives of others. HOW IS BRIDGE CHURCH IMPACTING THE NEIGHBORHOOD? With Bridge we started a church for the unchurched, the dechurched, and those

that needed church. We didn’t start a church for the already-convinced. When we planted Bridge, I changed some things so that we are regularly going out into the community. Every month we have some kind of activity in a neighborhood, where we’re doing block parties, Christmas caroling, Easter egg hunts, or Thanksgiving meals. We’re in the community all the time and we’ve got a culture now where the church is regularly out of the seats and into the streets. IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE THING WITH CCC, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? My journey with God has always been important in my life, but it was never central to my life. After ten years of living a Christian life, I had a personal relationship, but I had no purposeful relationship. I did not know my whole purpose. We all need a personal relationship, but just like breathing, there’s inhale and there’s exhale, so also does Christianity have two parts: a personal relationship and a purposeful relationship. It’s an encouragement to first give your life to Christ, and second, for those who are Christ-followers, to really start thinking about how God wants to use them to make a difference in the world. § Rachel Bebee is the Project Coordinator for the Creative / Communications Team at CCC.

If you'd like to learn more about Bridge Church or Abide, visit or

8 camp sessions 1160 campers 133 first-time decisions 246 rededications When you give, kids' lives are transformed.

2840 County Rd 13, Fremont, NE 68025

2017 SHORT-TERM MISSION TRIPS Mali (Jan 27–Feb 5, 2017): Outreach through Animal Inoculations Inoculate cattle, goats, and sheep as an outreach into unreached Malian villages (men only).

Mali (February 2017): Evangelism and Village Ministry Work with C&MA church planters and Malian pastors to reach out to Malian villages (partner with C&MA missionaries).

Peru (January 2017): Children’s Ministry for SIM Missionaries Help run a VBS for 30-35 missionary children (partner with missionary Allen George).

Mali (Fall 2017): Dental and Community Outreach We are looking for dentists and hygienists to provide dental care at the hospital (partner with missionary Carey Schlieker).

Miami (February 2017): Inner-City Ministry Perform light to moderate construction work at the new EnVision facility (partner with missionaries Matt & Teri Perrotto).

To apply for one of these short-term trips or to get more information, visit More 2017 short-term trips will be added in the near future, so keep checking the website for updates.  

Ron Dotzler, founder of Bridge Church, loves to ask, “If Jesus were to return to Omaha today, what part of our city would he go to first?” People often answer, “North Omaha.” Why? Is it because this area has high poverty or is frequently on the nightly news? Is it because we know that Jesus has compassion for the poor, the abused, and the hungry? Or is it because this is the part of the city we are most afraid to go to ourselves? CCC's Director of Missions Craig Walter observed, “When we first started working in North Omaha, many of our people had never stepped foot there. For us to have impact in this part of our city, this had to change.” Step Into Village One (SIVO) is an annual CCC event where 500 people step into a 33-block section of North Omaha called Village One. The goal is simple but God-sized: through acts of love and compassion we seek to attract the people living in Village One into the arms of Jesus through our partner in North Omaha, Bridge Church. We want to show so much love and compassion to people that they find it hard to say no to Jesus. Step Into Village One attracted Doug and Cyndee Dell to make CCC their church home after moving to Omaha. They have become leaders in the mission to splash Jesus onto the people living there. Pastor Craig sat down with Doug and Cyndee to learn more about their experience with CCC’s ministry in Village One.

HOW CAN SERVING IN VILLAGE ONE IMPACT CCC ATTENDERS? Doug: This ministry is making a difference in North Omaha and also at CCC. My hope is that out of the 500 people that show up to serve, 100 would say, “We can serve here, we can serve Christ, we can help Bridge Church.” It will change their lives. Cyndee: It gets us outside the four walls of our church. It’s too easy to go to a church, see the same people, and take care of yourself. It gets us out of our comfort zone. I know it got me out of mine. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO SOMEBODY WHO SAYS “I CAN’T IMAGINE GOING INTO NORTH OMAHA. I DON’T EVEN DRIVE THROUGH THAT PART OF OUR CITY”? Cyndee: There are so many people involved from both CCC and Bridge at SIVO that I’ve never felt at risk. Doug: If you look at Christ’s ministry, he went wherever there was a need. This is a very easy way to step into that.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO GET INVOLVED WITH THIS MINISTRY? Cyndee: The first Sunday we came was the week before Step Into Village One. When we heard what it was, we looked at each other and said, “Let’s go do that,” because that’s exactly up our alley, to do something. Doug: We took a faith step and signed up to go. We’ve been a part of every SIVO since. Cyndee: We love it because it’s doing something for someone. There’s an outcome you can see. I love the Lighthouse we did, the one that Rosie moved into. YOU MENTIONED THE LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT WHERE WE BOUGHT AND RENOVATED A HOUSE, AND THEN A BRIDGE CHURCH FAMILY (JIM AND ROSIE SCHUMAN) MOVED IN. HOW HAVE YOU SEEN THAT LIGHTHOUSE HAVE AN IMPACT? Doug: After we finished working at the Lighthouse, we held a BBQ, and a young, single lady with two small children came. I watched Rosie spend time with her. She came with a big frown on her face just wanting food, but as Rosie talked with her she smiled and seemed to have a little bit of peace. All of the sudden it clicked for me­. We put the effort into the Lighthouse so Rosie could live there and minister to the people in her neighborhood. This is what it’s about.

Each fall, CCC attenders get out of the seats and into the streets for Step Into Village One. This is a great opportunity to be a part of God’s work in our city. CCC also offers monthly opportunities to serve in Village One. Contribute a few hours at Second Saturday Serve alongside CCC’s partners. For more info, visit or contact CCC's Outreach Coordinator Eric Carpenter at / 402.938.1538 § Craig Walter is the Director of Missions at CCC. THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG



“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 MARRIAGE: 24 years to Scott CHILDREN: Casey (19) and Jackson (17) PROFESSION: Stay-at-home mom; school volunteer; previously worked in the corporate world ORIGINS: Des Moines, IA; Moved to Nebraska in 1990

WHERE DO YOU SERVE? I serve on the Connectors Team (one of the First Impression Teams). I am the team lead and recruiter, and serve weekly. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN VOLUNTEERING? As far back as I can remember, I've volunteered in many positions. This includes positions in other churches we had attended, such as Start-up Co-Chair of contemporary service (where none had previously existed), Spiritual Gifts and Ministry Team start-ups and recruitment, co-leader for several high school Bible studies, inner city and outreach youth projects, and student-related trips and mission events. I have volunteered at Heartland Hope Mission, Cross Training Center, and Open Door Mission, assisting with their fundraising events and charitable activities. When my 19- and 17-year-old boys first started school, I loved to volunteer in their classes to help lighten the load for their teachers. It was so much fun. This continued through middle school with the School Improvement Team and on through high school, serving with the Band Boosters and Omaha Area Youth Orchestra, doing public relations and fundraising, special events, and serving as a board member for both organizations. WHY DID YOU BEGIN VOLUNTEERING AT CCC? We were visitors to CCC and noticed that for around 3 months or so, we walked in and out of services without much interaction. This was okay for a while, as I was wanting to not be involved and just worship quietly for some needed respite time. As time went on, I was disappointed that no one made an effort to get to know my husband and me. I felt the church should be more welcoming 32

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and inviting to guests. As a result, we joined the church and I became a team lead and have been with this team since 2009. I help on other teams and serve at special events, holiday services, and concerts—anywhere the church needs assistance. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT SERVING? It sounds cliché, but it is indeed the people, which includes the people with whom I serve, as well as the people I serve. There is nothing more fulfilling, heartwarming, and satisfying than to know that something you did that Sunday morning made even a small difference in someone’s life. As the renowned Dr. Seuss so wisely said, “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” IF YOU COULD ENCOURAGE SOMEONE TO SERVE, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM? I would tell them, GET INVOLVED! Don’t sit this life out and assume others will fill volunteer spots. You are needed! God put us on this earth to serve others and we are instructed to bless others as we have been blessed. I promise, you will gain so much more than you can ever give­­—strengthening your faith in Jesus Christ and mankind, enjoying your time with others that long to be the hands and feet of Jesus, having a wonderful time meeting new people and serving their needs, narrowing the size of our church, and connecting people to help them grow, strengthen, and move forward in their spiritual journey. § Interested in serving at CCC? Visit for a list of serving opportunities.

Point of Hope: by Eva Rhoades ELIZABETH, THEN… Being a single mom of a toddler and an infant wasn’t something Elizabeth dreamed would happen to her. She’d found the man of her dreams and they built a life together; within a few years they had a daughter and a son on the way. But life had already begun to unravel: loss of friendship and intimacy with each other, late nights out for him, miscommunication, arguing, distance, and bitterness. Elizabeth’s dream became a nightmare. The man of her dreams left her alone with two small children. Elizabeth experienced hopelessness, loneliness, isolation, and despair daily. She felt every decision for her finances, work, future, and her children’s lives rested heavily on her shoulders. While she had faith in God’s plan, protection, and provision, He felt so distant. Where was He when she was in the trenches? Where was He when she had to go to court with her husband, pay for a lawyer, and fight for custody of her two children? Elizabeth felt alone and stuck in a never-ending cycle of endless responsibilities, chores, disappointments, and heaviness. There was a chasm between her current situation and what she believed about God’s love and plan. How would it be possible to walk through this? ELIZABETH, NOW… Elizabeth stands in Access at Christ Community Church on Sunday mornings and praises God. She delights in His presence, longs for time with Him, desiring a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him. She no longer lives in a nightmare. Her future and the future of her children is not dependent on her because God has them in His hands. She now sees, hears, and experiences God on the good and bad days. She isn’t stuck in a cycle of despair. She has come through that chasm and has HOPE. WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THEN AND NOW? Jesus interceded on Elizabeth’s behalf. The Holy Spirit spoke to Elizabeth through other women, groups, couples, counselors, and creation. Our Father, in His sweetness and strength, carried Elizabeth through that chasm. Numerous women, young & old, reached out to Elizabeth, to invite her to coffee or a play date or a phone conversation.

They listened to her. They cried with her. They prayed over her. Couples reached out to Elizabeth. They invited her to their Journey Groups. They asked how they could pray and actually prayed with her. They assisted with chores around her home. They offered to help with babysitting, finances, and meals. They allowed her into their lives, so she could see what a healthy marriage looks like. Point of Hope, a group for single moms at CCC, helped Elizabeth feel she wasn't alone. It was a starting “point of hope” for her. She saw, heard, and felt that there were people who cared for her and her kids. People wanted to help her move from despair to hope, joy, and peace. Through Point of Hope, Elizabeth has learned more about forgiveness and has been able to extend it to others. She has been confronted with feelings of unworthiness and fear and continues to work through these feelings with the other moms and leaders. Elizabeth has connected with other single moms, to help them see and feel a point of hope, not despair, in the midst of their circumstances. HOW DOES THIS INVOLVE US, THE CHURCH? Elizabeth is not alone in her story. Many women are still in the “then” stage. Church, this is where we come in. The “between” is where God calls us. Are you a woman who has felt a twinge in your heart to reach out to a single mom? Invite her and her kids to a play date at a park. Connect at CCC on a Sunday morning over coffee. Send her a note or encouraging email. When you feel the Holy Spirit prompt you to reach out to her, reach out. Are you a couple that feels it’s your turn to show love to a single mom? Invite her to your Journey Group or over for lunch. Help mow the lawn and plant flowers. Meet her between services and pray over her and her kids. We are called to love. To love our neighbors, to love endlessly and passionately, to love without fear. Choose love. Choose to love and serve those in the “between.” § Eva Rhoades is a leader of the Point of Hope group at CCC. If you'd like to get in contact with her, send an email to THE HUB MAGAZINE / CCCOMAHA.ORG





AH 4:6 (NIV)

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As a church, we are embarking on a 3-month journey through the book of Genesis. Through challenging messages, powerful worship experiences, small group discussion, and personal Bible study, we will experience the book of Genesis in a fresh, new way. Here’s a preview of what The Genesis Experience will be all about.

Sunday Message Series

Groups & Personal Study



We’ll kick things off where it all began: Genesis chapters 1–3. The existence and nature of God, the Creation account, the fall of Man, and the early signs of God’s plan of redemption are the major themes.


This part of The Genesis Experience picks up in chapter 12 with Abraham and an important covenant that God makes to establish His nation through Abraham’s descendants. In 3 short weeks, we’ll uncover the raw and real stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and discover how obedience and faith shaped a young nation forever.


Joseph: from favorite son to slave, from dreamer to ruler. Travel through Genesis chapters 36–50 as we unpack the eventful and faithful life of Joseph, confronting tough lessons of perseverance and forgiveness, and finding hope and redemption from a loving God.

Join CCC on an all-church adventure through the book of Genesis. Over the course of 12 weeks, we’ll gather throughout the city in Journey Groups to study the Bible, pray, and grow in community. To find a group in your neighborhood, visit


Pick up a reading guide at the Info Center. The Genesis Experience journals will be available for purchase at the Resource Booth in the Atrium for $2.


Sign up to receive weekly emails with bonus The Genesis Experience content from Lead Pastor Mark Ashton. You won’t want to miss great insights into the text and application for daily living. You can also access the reading guide and videos on the CCC Mobile App, available on most platforms. Search for “Christ Community Church” on your device’s app store.





Contact: Jessica Hawley / Looking for information? Stop at one of the Info Centers and pick up a welcome packet. For a complete list of events, ministries, staff listing, and more, visit Old Mill / 404 S 108th Ave / Omaha, NE 68154 / 402.330.3360 Online / / Sundays / 9 & 10:45 AM


Contact: Kathy McKelvey / Ages birth–Grade 5 / Sundays / 9 & 10:45 AM Family is Primary God has given parents the incredible responsibility of impressing a love for God on the hearts of their children (Deuteronomy 6:5–7). These impressions best occur as a natural overflow from the lives of parents who are seeking to love the Lord with their own hearts, souls, and strength. Homefront Weekly helps equip parents to lead their children’s spiritual growth. The weekly email to parents includes resources designed to allow families to have time in God’s Word, before children attend weekend services. To download Homefront Weekly, visit Sunday Morning Children join a small group of kids their age or grade level. Kids from birth– kindergarten may stay for two sessions (9 & 10:45 AM). Students in grades 1–5 attend one session only. This fosters relationships with other kids, and allows them to attend worship with parents during the other hour. We ensure healthy staff-tochild ratios, allowing small group leaders to get to know each child. Greeters at welcome centers help register children and acquaint parents with security, checkin, and pick-up procedures. Trail Life USA Contact Chris Brooks / A Christian Scouting-like organization for boys K–12th grade. Scouting, leadership, and adventure. Mondays / 7–8:30 PM / G260 38

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Baby Dedications Contact Kathy / Baby Dedications are held quarterly at Christ Community Church. For more info or to sign up, stop by the nursery any Sunday, contact Kathy, or sign up online at


Contact: Kathy McKelvey / or visit Wednesdays / 6:30–8 PM Kids will learn about God through Bible memorization, lessons, games, crafts, and activities. Kids Clubs meet September to April and are self-funded through annual dues.

Journey Groups Ask honest questions, study Scripture, be invested in by a Christ-following adult, and share life with a small group of peers as you develop deep and lasting friendships (September–April). Grade 6 / Wednesdays / 6:30–8 PM / Gym Grades 7–8 / Sundays / 6–8 PM / Atrium Grades 9–12 / Sundays / 6–8 PM / Student Center Sunday Mornings / 9 AM & 10:45 AM / Worship Center & Gym Develop deep faith and a greater sense of community as you serve and worship alongside Christians of different ages and backgrounds. Opportunities to serve can be found online at

AWANA / CUBBIES (Ages 3–4) Cubbies communicates basic truths about God, Jesus Christ, salvation, and the Bible through Scripture memorization, handbook lessons, awards, games, and activities.

Events and Retreats Visit to discover the life-changing events, trips, and retreats offered by Student Ministry.

AWANA / SPARKS (Grades K–2) Sparks meet in small groups to focus on Scripture memorization. In large group, they experience upbeat music and singing, Bible teaching and instruction, and age-appropriate games.

Contact: Jared Kliewer /

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB (Grades 3–5) Kids gather in small groups where lifelong friendships can begin. A club meeting is divided into three segments: worship and Bible teaching, age-appropriate crafts or team games, and small group time. Each Bible lesson is accompanied by a Scripture memory verse.


8:08 / COLLEGE 8:08 is a community of college-age students (18–24) who are passionate about loving God, each other, and the city. Whether you’re walking intimately with Jesus or just have questions about who God is, get connected in the 8:08 College Community. Thursdays / 8:08 PM / Student Center Facebook 8:08 College Community / Stay in the loop with 8:08 happenings and share with your friends.

Contact: Elizabeth Bartz /

Journey Groups Various locations & meeting times. Visit for details.

Student Ministry exists to help students know Jesus every day and live their lives for Him at home, at school, and in the community.

Contact: Lisa Ashton /

Large Group Gatherings Gather Sundays for music, teaching, games, discussions, friendship, and good food in the café (year-round). Grades 6–8 / Sunday Mornings at the Student Center / 9 AM Grades 9–12 / Sunday Nights at the Student Center / 6–8 PM


Emerge engages young professionals through authentic community and spiritual growth opportunities to impact the church, city, and world. Emerge is comprised of young professionals, typically single or married, no kids. For more info, visit our Facebook page at


ADULTS Men’s Ministry Contact Reid Brown / or visit CCC increases Kingdom impact by engaging, equipping, and encouraging men to discover godly manhood. Men are committed to go all-in alongside other men in Journey Groups, Bible studies, Renewal Groups, and serving. Women’s Ministry Contact Terry Carpenter / or visit Engage in the fresh, deep, and authentic community of women at Christ Community Church. Women’s Ministry offers Journey Groups, Bible studies, Renewal Groups, and events that will help you develop a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ and other women. Deaf Ministry Contact Milton Cabrera / or visit Deaf Ministry exists to help Deaf people see and understand Jesus Christ so they can accept Him as their Savior and grow in relationship with Him. God has

faithfully grown the Deaf Ministry at Christ Community Church. He has brought many Deaf and hard-of-hearing people to CCC and provided Deaf-led classes, interpreters, and outreach opportunities for Deaf people and their families. CCC offers a variety of fellowship options for those with hearing impairments. Worship and learn corporately during an interpreted service, or attend a Bible study. Interpreted Service / 10:45 AM Worship Center / Seating is up front and to the right of the center aisle Deaf Class / 9 AM Adults in D225 / Children in C220 Deaf Men’s Bible Study / Wednesdays The Porch / 6:30–8:30 PM Deaf Women’s Bible Study / Wednesdays The Porch / 6:30–8:30 PM Do you need an interpreter or are you interested in learning ASL? Contact Jan Ohlsson /


To learn more about Journey Groups or to join a group, visit Journey Groups are where real life happens together. Meet regularly to study, pray, and

grow with others. Belong to a community, be transformed by the Gospel, and be on mission for the people in the city. WHY JOIN A JOURNEY GROUP? Develop friendships with others The smaller group of people gives you the opportunity to form genuine friendships and care for others in times of need. Grow in your relationship with God The smaller setting allows you to dig deeper into Scripture and ask questions in a discussion-based format. Interact with and learn from others. Make an impact for the Kingdom Make a difference by serving together in the city or participating in CCC’s partnerships around the world. HOW DO I JOIN A JOURNEY GROUP? Groups are available on Sunday morning during services or in neighborhoods throughout the week. Attend GroupLink Meet staff and volunteers who will help you find Journey Groups in your neighborhood. Atrium / After 9 & 10:45 AM services Journey Group Locator Search for groups in your area based on type and meeting time online at





Marriage Matters

Planning on engagement or marriage in the next year? Learn how to have a healthy marriage. Marriage Matters is a 6-week session offered throughout the year. Class Date 2016 Sept–Oct 2017 Feb–March 2017 May–June

Wedding Date 2017 Jan–May 2017 June–Aug 2017 Sept–Nov

Foundations An interactive orientation to CCC for those new in their faith or new to CCC. Learn about CCC’s history, values, and the characteristics of a growing disciple. Foundations is a prerequisite for membership. For upcoming class dates, stop at Next Steps after services or visit International Community Contact Mark Carlson / Sundays / 10:45 AM / D226 A community of people who share a love for internationals, diverse cultures, and a desire to grow in their relationship with God. Includes prayer, life sharing, and Bible discussion.

Love and Respect For upcoming class dates, visit or contact Sue / A free 12-week course people find informative, non-threatening, funny, and helpful in understanding the opposite sex. Love and Respect has applications for marriage and great info for all relationships. Each session includes a 30-minute video lesson and an encouraging discussion about the topic. Love and Respect is offered throughout the year on Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings. Point of Hope Sundays / 10:45 AM / D227 A positive environment for single moms to grow alongside each other, with encouragement and life-giving discipleship. Women of all ages and stages of spiritual growth are welcome. Let’s enjoy studying God’s Word together and watch Him fill our hearts with hope! Council Bluffs Men’s Group Contact Dave Piercy / or Steve Irwin / Tuesdays / 6–7:30 AM / Panera Bread / 3617 Denmark Dr, Council Bluffs Discuss and study the Bible over coffee

weekly. Join if you are in the Council Bluffs area. Journey Men Contact Greg VanderVost / Tuesdays / 7 PM / Porch, P506 Helping men connect with other men through discussion-based learning and solid teaching. Begin the journey anytime. Noble Men Contact Jim Ratte / Fridays / 6:15–7:30 AM / I-188 Noble Men is an ongoing Friday morning group at CCC.


Contact: Paul Gedden /

Sunday Groups New Community Groups help make healthy disciples for Jesus through strong biblical teaching, loving care, and dedicated prayer. Dayspring / 7:45 AM Dayspring is a cross-generational class that welcomes singles and couples for challenging teaching, ministry projects, missionary support, and outstanding care groups.

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Kingdom Builders / 9 AM Join Kingdom Builders for prayer, fellowship, biblical teaching, and learning the Word together. Thankful Hearts / 9 AM This cross-generational group for ages 40 and up focuses on Bible study, friendship, life application, and growing in relationship with Jesus Christ. Ambassadors / 10:45 AM These caring and praying seniors focus on strong biblical teaching with love for Christ, missionaries, and our nation. Ecclesia / 10:45 AM Ecclesia begins with worship and refreshments, and then moves to studying Scripture verse-by-verse, with time for discussion. Spiritually Advancing Linked Together (SALT) / 10:45 AM Boomers and seniors are welcome for fellowship, prayer, the study of God’s Word and class socials. Senior Activities Senior Lunch & Fellowship First Tuesday of the month 11:30 AM / CCC / $6 Let the games begin! Bring a game to play, bring a friend.

Seniors Breakfast Second Tuesday of the month / 8:30 AM The Egg & I / 147th & Maple Enjoy breakfast and encouragement. Super Adults Third Tuesday of the month 9:30 AM / CCC / $6 Coffee over fellowship, a program featuring a guest speaker, and a delicious meal. Stamp Ministry Fridays / 8–11 AM / D127 Come join in the work and fellowship.


Everyone has defining moments in their lives—challenging circumstances, relational pain, and transitional seasons. How we respond during these times has a direct impact on our futures and the future of those around us. The Care Network at Christ Community Church is a multi-disciplinary team of caregivers who are passionate about providing an environment and relationships to help people heal and grow. Developed by pastors, trained counselors, and professional licensed counselors, the Care Network is committed to helping people find healing and wholeness amidst the challenges of life.

Professional Counseling Contact Kathy Sell / 402.938.1513 / These services are provided by CityCare Counseling at The Porch at CCC. CityCare provides access to confidential and private therapy by licensed professional counselors trained to address your needs from a holistic perspective. Pastoral Counseling Contact Sue Beed / 402.938.1570 / These services are provided by the pastoral staff and pastoral counselors trained to provide biblical advice or spiritual counsel to those in need. Financial counseling is also available. Healing Prayer Contact Sue Beed / 402.938.1570 / Immanuel Prayer is practical training in deepening your intimacy with God so relational barriers and painful life experiences can be resolved. Theophostic Prayer creates an environment where people find relief from emotional pain through a personal encounter with God.




Caring Partners Contact Doni Gregory / 402.938.1512 / Serves those in need of temporary assistance by distributing designated funds as an expression of God’s love. The Oil Change Ministry and on-site food pantry are also part of Caring Partners. Stephen Ministers Contact Paul Gedden / 402.938.1574 / Men and women trained to provide confidential, one-to-one care to people experiencing a difficult time in life, such as grief, divorce, job loss, aging, loneliness, spiritual crisis, chronic or terminal illness, relocation, or separation due to military deployment. They have a passion for bringing Christ’s love and care to people during a time of need. Pathways to Spiritual Formation The ongoing transformation of your life through experiential discovery. Immanuel Lifestyle Informed by brain research, this highly relational eight-week training fosters your ability to recognize and experience God’s presence, and stimulates on-going healing and spiritual growth.


Visit or contact Marc M / 402.938.1577 /

Omaha Career Networking Provides support, tips, and tactics to help you with your job search.

Experience renewal in your life by connecting with trained volunteers, professional counselors, and others experiencing similar circumstances. All groups meet at Christ Community Church.


Chemical Dependency Addictions Biblically-based curriculum in a non-judgmental environment. Restarting Exposure to the brain science of addiction and the importance of secure attachments, with joy-building and quieting exercises. Sexual Identity & Brokenness Restoration Support and encouragement for those whose loved ones struggle with sexual identity. Hope After Betrayal Support, hope, and healing for those women whose marriages or relationships have been shattered.

Selah Groups Monthly exposure to various spiritual practices such as solitude and silence, formational approaches to the Word, and group spiritual direction, in a contemplative prayer group for women that facilitates connection with God.

Seeds of Hope Does your past include sexual abuse that continues to creep into present life and relationships? There is hope. This group for women is a safe place to explore the whats & whys, and how to find freedom from the past.

Forming Twelve-week training experience to help build a relationship with God that is substantive enough to change you from the inside out.

In the Wildflowers A twelve-week course for women about processing and healing from the damage of past sexual abuse. This group is offered to those who have finished Seeds of Hope.

Joyful Journey Eight-week training in interactive journaling (listening to Immanuel) and community spiritual practices to cultivate your own “Jesus Calling”-style intimacy with God.

Bloom A group for women who have completed In the Wildflowers to continue their journey of thriving in Christ.

Spiritual Direction Contact Wendell Nelson / 402.938.1573 / A monthly one-on-one meeting to help you notice and savor God’s presence in your life and stimulate on-going growth; nurturing choices that consistently delight God.



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Resolve An entry point for men striving for sexual purity. Men of Integrity A grace-filled environment to address lust issues along with honesty with self, others, and God.

Conquering Codependency A support group for men and women struggling with codependent relationships. DivorceCare A friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult challenges. Love and Respect Biblical teaching for individuals or couples who are married, divorced, single, or engaged to learn to communicate in a manner that builds mutual understanding between genders. Relationships 101 for Men Learn how to build and maintain healthy, life-giving relationships. Dude’s Group Face the challenges of life through faith and a deeper understanding of God. GriefShare A support group to foster the journey from mourning to joy amid the chaos of the loss of a loved one. Life Together (LifT) A group of women with the simple desire to do the everyday joys and sorrows, victories and failures of life together. Find encouragement for ongoing support—a chance for women to support other women. Prisoners of Hate Simply coaching people on changing behaviors isn’t a lasting solution to anger. This group will focus on the sources of anger that threaten your well-being and help you to see your true enemy. Physical Wholeness Fresh Hope A safe setting for people with mood disorders, or their family members, who desire to incorporate faith into the recovery process. NAMI Helps families understand and support individuals with mental illness.




CityCare Counseling exists to provide effective professional counseling for those who are seeking excellent care with a distinctly Christian perspective. Visit for more information.




The Porch at Old Mill 10845 Harney St. Omaha, NE 68154

Monday – Friday 9 AM – 8 PM


Saturday & Sunday By appointment only

A gathering for women of all ages to come together, grow in community, worship, and connect more deeply with God. Hear from author Mindy Meier, engage in interactive workshops, and have fun as you grow. Registration opens January 2017. For more information or to register, visit


FALL-WINTER / 2016-2017 / ISSUE 1

EVENTS AT CCC Check out all of the great things happening here at Christ Community Church. For additional up-to-date information, visit




8.28 / 4–8 PM / Journey Group Launch for Student Ministry / Grades 7–12

11.4–11.6 / High School Ministry and Middle School Ministry Fall Retreats / Grades 7–12

1.4.17 / Kids Clubs resumes

SEPTEMBER 9.4 / Labor Day Cookout / Student Ministry / Grades 7–12

11.13 / 10:20 AM & 12:05 PM / Baby Dedication / Chapel / Sign up at 11.23 / No Kids Clubs due to Thanksgiving break

9.7 / 6:30–8 PM / Kids Clubs Kickoff 9.11 / 10:20 AM & 12:05 PM / Baby Dedication / Chapel 9.11 / Foundations Class begins / 3-week membership class 9.11 / Christianity Explored begins / 10-week class 9.17 / NEXT Ministry Conference / Student Ministry / For High School leaders 9.25 / Annual Step Into Village One / Sign up at

OCTOBER 10.7–10.8 / Couple(d) Conference For more info and to register, visit

DECEMBER 12.4 / Christmas Concert at CCC 12.18 / 6–9 PM / Student Ministry Journey Group Christmas Party / Student Center

1.13.17 / 4th-5th Meltdown / Kids Connect

FEBRUARY 2.10.17 / Kids Connect Family Night 2.12.17 / 10:20 AM & 12:05 PM / Baby Dedication / Chapel / Sign up at 2.24-2.25.17 / Thrive Women's Conference 2.26.17 / 6 PM / Annual CCC Business Meeting

12.21 / No Kids Clubs due to Christmas break 12.23 / 5 & 7 PM / Christmas Eve Services 12.24 / 3, 5 & 7 PM / Christmas Eve Services 12.25 / 10 AM / Christmas Morning Service 12.28 / No Kids Clubs due to Christmas break

10.9 / 12–5 PM / Couch-O-Rama / Student Ministry / Grades 9–12




FALL-WINTER / 2016-2017 / ISSUE 1

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