T H E
ears ago I was covering for a pastor in a small Indiana town. I had been asked to officiate a gravesite service for a parishioner’s elderly aunt in Argos, an even smaller town, and I followed the directions as given (cell phones had not gone mainstream and Google maps would not exists for another eight years).
The directions seemed off, but because I grew up in the area, I figured it out, arriving with a half hour to spare. I was surprised no one was there, not even cemetery staff. Must be a laid-back group, I thought. Fifteen minutes went by. No one. Twenty minutes. Twenty-five. When it was five minutes past the appointed time of service, I finally drove to a pay phone and connected with the funeral director, who asked, “Where exactly are you now?” I gave her the cross streets of my location in Argos. “Argos?” she gasped. “The service is in Akron!”
Stories are often what
connects us. . . .
And that is what we share today: everyday
people, sharing how they have encountered Christ Jesus and
what that means for them.
I felt horrible—embarrassed, humbled, humiliated. Can you relate? Stories are often what connects us. We can chuckle over our mishaps and lament over our errors. Jesus was a master storyteller—He knew that we would hear and understand truths in new ways when told through the lens of a story.
One of the powerful gifts of a church community is sharing with transparency and vulnerability how our lives are impacted when we come to faith, when we experience how knowing Jesus changes us and transforms us. And that is what we share today: everyday people, sharing how they have encountered Christ Jesus and what that means for them. Our hope is that as you read the stories in this issue, you will be encouraged and inspired— but also that you might reflect on how God has worked in your own life. And if you are wondering what Jesus is all about and what trusting in Him means, we invite you to come back and worship with us so that you might come to know His great love for you!
R O N H A W K I N S serves as TR ANSITION PASTOR
Special thanks to Molly Braun for the photography in this issue // themollybphotosite.com.
S T ORY IS ONE S Dâ€™
Jafar WA Z I R
WAZIR SERVES ON OUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS TEAM
STORIES ISSUE 2019
grew up in a third-world country, in Guyana, which is north of Brazil. My dad died in a car crash when I was one, and my mom abandoned me when I was three. So my early years were spent with my grandparents. Because they were Muslim, I went to masjid every night.
When I was nine, my older brother and I were adopted by my uncle and his wife, who lived in the Twin Cities. Though they speak English in Guyana, it is more like a Creole-style English. People here just didn’t understand me. I was a lost kid. My uncle owned a donut shop, and when I was just eleven, I had to wake up at two or three in the morning to work. By 8th grade, my uncle had gotten a divorce. That’s when things became more challenging. I was a very angry child. I got into a lot of trouble—I skipped class and was getting into alcohol and drugs by the time I was thirteen. My school career had its ups and downs, and when I turned 18 in 11th grade, I packed a bag and ran away. It was then I found out I wasn’t a citizen. I had no identification other than my school ID. I didn’t have a social security number; I couldn’t work. I was house-hopping and sometimes I slept on the street. I met a family who ran a restaurant, who paid me under the table. I still made it to school, but I was hanging with people who were such a bad influence—drugs, guns, drinking. I started struggling in school. But one teacher helped me get a free legal aid lawyer. And this lawyer helped me become a citizen, and she got my ID and a social security card all within two weeks. It was amazing. When I eventually graduated, it was the proudest moment of my life! I landed a job at a hearing aid company and worked it for a year. But I was craving something different, so I ended up working with kids at the Minnesota Autism Center. Personally, things weren’t going well with my brother and my living situation. Then I broke up with my girlfriend, and I was partying a lot and drinking heavily. I eventually was taken in by the parents of my uncle’s ex-wife. They are really kind. Her dad, Dale, is a retired pastor, and that’s when I really started learning about Christianity. I began going to Ebenezer Church, attending a men’s group every Saturday, and I even helped Wednesday nights with the kids. When I started AA meetings and they talked about a “higher power,” I thought I didn’t need that, didn’t need God. But at the men’s group, we’d have really great conversations, especially since I came from a Muslim background. And Dale and I would sit down every night and do a catechism workbook. Eventually I decided it was time for me to be baptized—though I didn’t really understand at that time all that it meant. But I knew that I wanted to do it, knew that I had changed because of what I was learning. It felt holy and safe. I didn’t feel like I believed, but I felt like I belonged. That was my first step.
control my life. that I can’t, that I need God.
I was trying so hard to But I realized
At the end of 2017, I started some behaviors that were separating me from this new faith I was exploring. I moved out of Dale’s home and went back to Edina. But things began to spiral out of control. People were living with me who were bringing alcohol and drugs into the house every day. Cops eventually raided it. I was in an abusive dating relationship. I got two DWIs. I ended up in jail. I had no job, no car. Thankfully, a friend’s family took me in again, and things started turning around. I had a real spiritual awakening. I started going to AA meetings and coming to church at CPC every Sunday. Two months ago [CPCer] Steve Hartwig introduced me to my mentor, Dave. Dave has taught me so much. Ever since I met him, I wear the Lord’s Prayer around my neck and I pray every day. Before I get out of bed, I’m on my knees. I just believe that prayer works. I was trying so hard to control my life. But I realized that I can’t, that I need God. Following Jesus means that I love people in a new way. This faith has brought me so much joy and love. Before I came to faith, I was always putting myself down. I obviously had a lot of sins, regrets. I had such burdens. But I just decided to let go of everything. I asked God to take me under His wings. Three weeks ago I got a call from my uncle. I hadn’t talked to him in six years. We had lunch and made amends. I’m talking to my grandma, my mom. Being in the Bible and serving is just changing me. Knowing Jesus means I have someone I can always talk to. I know He’s always there. And the cool thing is, I don’t feel lonely anymore. I go on walks by myself, but I know God’s right beside me. Jesus lifted that burden off of me, that sense of shame, the regret. He gave me a second chance. Looking back, I’m so thankful for all the bad things that happened to me, because without them, I wouldn’t be here today, I wouldn’t be the person I am. Now I can share my story and tell others that this is what coming to faith in Jesus can do! CPC LIFE
STORIES ISSUE 2019
’ve gone to church ever since I can remember. When I was younger, I knew who Jesus was, but He wasn’t really that important to me. But in middle school, I had questions. I believed in Him, but I wouldn’t really pray a lot or read the Bible. Faith was something I had in my life, but it wasn’t a big deal. And then high school came, and I started TEN12, which has impacted me a lot. My leader, Katey, is probably the person who has influenced my faith the most. I can ask her anything. She gives really good advice, and it’s always related back to God and Jesus. The community is a safe space. In middle school it’s that weird judgmental phase, so I didn’t really feel like I could open up. But in TEN12 I can just be myself. I remember the first night at TEN12—our whole small group was nervous. It was overwhelming with so many kids. But I met my leader, Katey, and she was so welcoming, and I knew that the year was going to be really good. Erica [Ferris, Associate Director of High School] spoke that night, and what she said really resonated with me. Some of the stuff she’s struggled with, I struggle with, too. It’s cool to have an older faith mentor who has gone through the same things. It has really helped me grow in my faith, and I can take the talks into my week and remember what I heard when I’m having a bad day. I think I feel God’s presence most through the people He’s put in my life—my leader Katey, my parents who both have really strong faith, my friends. The past couple of months, I’ve had friendship changes—and not always by my choice. I’ve lost friends, but God has brought in new people who make such an impact on my life. They all know Jesus, and that makes a difference. It’s amazing to see what God provides when things get messed up. Sometimes it’s hard in the moment when everything is falling apart, but I can look back and see that He put those people in my life to teach me something or to show me His love and kindness. One of my friends and I talk a lot about how we want to live like Jesus—even though we know we can’t be perfect—but we want to spread kindness and grace and God’s love. It’s hard to understand where another person is coming from, but I do try to see the other person’s point of view. Being a teenager in high school, every day there is hate. On social media, too, there are always negative things happening, so if someone says they are having a bad day, I’ll just reach out and say, “I’m here if you need anything.” I try to put kindness out there instead of hate and negativity. It’s tempting to hold grudges against people, especially if they don’t treat you well, but I’ve learned through Jesus to love everyone, no matter what. You don’t know what other people are going through. It’s easy to get anxious and stress about life—you can get caught up in school, work, and everyday things—but I try to bring Jesus into my life every day. I pray for God’s help, asking Him to calm me down, and I feel calm right away. He’s always there. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 4:12: "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." It really speaks to me because it shows how big His love is, how He’ll do anything for us. Jesus died on the cross, feeling the weight of all of our sins, and He went through so much pain. God sent His only Son to be human and experience living life like us. It’s just so cool to me.
STORIES ISSUE 2019
amazing to see what God provides when things get messed up. It’s
Chaput H a n n a h
HANNAH IS A JUNIOR AT EDINA HIGH SCHOOL
y parents helped found a church in Columbia, Missouri, so I literally grew up in the church and even attended Christian school. I can distinctly remember accepting Christ in kindergarten when our teacher asked if anyone wanted to invite Jesus into their hearts. I raised my hand, and we went out in the hall and prayed. When my wife, Alyssa, and I started dating, we decided early on that if we were going to be together, we needed to find a church where we both felt fed. Alyssa’s background was Catholic, and the non-denominational church I grew up in was charismatic. I remembered coming to a Christmas concert at CPC, so I thought we’d try a service. John Crosby [former senior pastor] spoke that first Sunday, and we both walked out, quiet, and I said, “I really liked that.” And she said, “So did I!” and so we’ve been here ever since. My faith journey contains some formative, mountaintop moments . . . though you’re not meant to live on the mountaintop. You’re meant to come back down. I grew up at a very charismatic church,
suicide. I don’t think I’d have ever acted on it, but I remember praying and feeling released from it. I haven’t felt that deep darkness since. In high school I went to a conference where I really got on fire in my faith. I was reading the Bible and praying all the time. I felt this deep connection, a deep desire to be engaged. But rather than go into more of the experiential, charismatic end of things, it set the stage for me wanting to deepen my understanding of God and theology. I started going to a Presbyterian church; I was interested in moving away from the emotional side of my faith to the rich, deep theology that I started to be fed by. When I was nominated to be an elder of CPC, I felt that if God wanted me to serve in this way, I would do it. Then I was asked to be the Chair of Personnel, and I remember responding, “I can’t think of anyone more underqualified than me to do this.” But when I think of the people God used in the Bible, it was rarely the most qualified who were chosen! It’s not about being the most qualified, it’s about being willing to serve.
Warren S E T H
For the first time I
that God was not just “out there” but
in our lives in tangible ways.
SETH SERVES AS AN ELDER
where people spoke in tongues and were slain in the Spirit. I remember when we had a Holy Spirit “outbreak” in our church. I saw people being healed—things we don’t talk about or see a whole lot in this day and age. For the first time I understood that God was not just “out there” but actually working in our lives in tangible ways. But the awkward early teen years were kinda tough on me. I was always a chubby kid. Fairly tall but super chubby. And then in a period of two years I didn’t gain a pound but grew a foot and a half, and I suddenly became a different being. But in that time, I was really struggling with some bullying, some depression. God, in a very real way, I think, saved me from . . . well, who knows? I had some thoughts of
The more life goes by, the more I understand all Jesus is. Since I was a kid, I’ve known that Jesus is my Savior. But in America, we have the feeling that you get what you earn. And I certainly grew up believing that if I do more “good stuff,” better things would happen to me. But I’ve come to the point—though I still struggle with this—that it’s not about what I do. Doing good things is an outcropping of this joy and love that is flowing through me because of Jesus. Realizing that was a huge leap in my faith, one that has really hit home to me in the years I’ve been at CPC. What does Jesus mean to me? He’s saving me and there is NOTHING I have done to deserve it. CPC LIFE
STORIES ISSUE 2019
Nienaber J A N E
grew up in a Methodist church. We went every Sunday and we sang hymns, but I never heard about a personal relationship with Jesus. When I was in high school I thought I was going to be a home economics major because I liked working with fabric, but then I found out you had to take chemistry, and my brain protested! Luckily, my high school offered an organ class, and since I already knew how to play piano, I decided to take it. Two years later, I started private lessons. After I graduated from high school, I began regularly playing at a church, and I haven’t stopped playing yet! God definitely had His in hand in that, putting me in a job where I could serve Him directly, because how many high schools offer an organ class?
JANE SERVES AS ORGANIST AT CPC
One of the things that impressed me when I first started here were ALL the Bible studies—men’s Bible studies, women’s Bible studies, Community Bible Study, BSF. Always being in a Bible study has been important in my personal journey. You’re never done studying the Bible. And you need others to walk with you and be in the Word with you. Having a friend, someone that you can share things with—when you’re strong in your faith, when you’re struggling in your faith, you can uphold each other. Worship is important, too—worshiping God in community with others. Being with believers, encouraging others and being encouraged, hearing the Gospel, helping each other grow.
Jesus has helped me to be more vocal in sharing my faith, and sharing it has in turn strengthened my faith.
My relationship with
I was spending a lot of time in church, playing four services every Sunday, but it was my job, not a spiritual calling. Then in 1980 I went to Bible Study Fellowship for the first time—and that was just a whole new experience! I realized what a difference having a personal relationship with God made, and this began a new chapter in my life, one of walking with Jesus. As an organist, I am working hard during worship. I’m thinking about the musical elements of the service, the tempo of the hymns—and I’m listening carefully to the sermon so I know when it’s about to end. But I realized that I needed to worship, too—not just work. I wanted my job and my faith to work hand in hand together. I came to CPC in 1988. I knew there was something different here because in my interview, I was asked, “What is your relationship with Jesus?” I’d never been asked that question before. I have no idea what I said, but it must have been okay because I got the job!
STORIES ISSUE 2019
Jesus is the whole focus of why we worship. We worship in church, but we show that Jesus matters when we bring His message outside of worship and share that in personal ways with other people. Being an introvert, and not growing up in a family or church where it was emphasized, I shied away from sharing my faith, but I do value it now. In addition to transforming my work, my relationship with Jesus has helped me to be more vocal in sharing my faith, and sharing it has in turn strengthened my faith. The older I get, the more I realize that there is so much to be thankful for. My husband and I had our fiftieth anniversary this year, how cool is that!?! I’m thankful I’m still able to do this job, this calling, and that I’m at this church where Jesus is the center—it’s not named Christ Presbyterian Church for nothing! Some people grow up hearing the Gospel and some hear it very late in life. It doesn’t matter. We have the chance to walk with and serve God. That is our true calling, no matter what our “day job” is.
Come Be Encouraged! I F : G AT H E R I N G Friday, February 7, 6:00-9:00PM & Saturday, February 8, 9:00AM-5:00PM
Gather with women from CPC and across our community to participate in IF:Gathering 2020 via livestream in Westview. Get in the Word, experience powerful teaching, dive into authentic conversations, and hear stories that will encourage you to grow in your relationship with Jesus.
This is a free two-day event with limited space. Sign up early! cpconline.org/events
Our Small Group Encouragement Hour is for every person in a small group, not just leaders or facilitators! Gather with other CPCers to learn tools for applying the daily power of the Gospel to your small group. Tuesday, January 21, 7:00-8:00PM Thursday, January 23, 12:00-1:00PM Sunday, January 26, 9:30-10:30AM
Pick a time and sign up at cpconline.org/events.
Join Us for Camp!
Visit cpconline.org for more info and to sign up SIX8 KIDS' & STUDENTS'
FEBRUARY 7-8 ZUMBRO FALLS, MN â€˘ COST: $89 6th-8th graders are invited to join us for our first ever Snow Camp: a whirlwind retreat with broomball, cocoa, large group learning, small group bonding, and more!
Spend your summer with CPC! We want to help kids and students grow in their faith and their relationships with one another all summer long. Visit our website to learn about our 7 summer camps for kids and students.
SIGNUPS OPEN FEBRUARY 1 AT 9:00AM
HAPPENINGS EVENTS FIRST STEPS
Sundays, January 5 & February 2 • 10:30AM & 12:00PM • Room 200 Want to learn more about our church, staff, and programs? This short, informal gathering is a great time to hear about our community and how to get connected!
MID-MONTH CHAPEL SERVICE
Wednesday, January 15 • 12:00PM • Chapel A traditional service with a short message by Linnea Peasley, Congregational Care Intern, hymns, Communion, and prayers. Lunch follows in the Westview Room.
SMALL GROUP ENCOURAGEMENT HOUR
Tuesday, January 21 • 7:00-8:00PM • Room 116 Thursday, January 23 • 12:00-1:00PM • Anderson Hall Sunday, January 26 • 9:30-10:30AM • Room 10 Everyone in a small group is invited to come and be encouraged about how to point one another to Jesus. Receive some practical training that will make a difference in the life of your small group. Choose the date that works best in your schedule. Sign up: cpconline.org/events
Friday, February 7, 6:00-9:00PM & Saturday, February 8, 9:00AM-5:00PM Westview Gather with other women to watch and be blessed by the teaching and worship of the live IF:Gathering. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to grow in your relationship with Jesus and others in our community. Ask the women of your small group to join you! Sign up: cpconline.org/events
WOMEN WHO INSPIRE: SAVE THE DATE!
Friday, March 13 • 6:00-8:00PM • Westview Author Amy Peterson will speak on topics from her book, Where Goodness Still Grows: Reclaiming Virtue in an Age of Hypocrisy. Cost: $20 early bird rate; $25 after February 20. Sign up: cpconline.org/events
LONDON/ISTANBUL TRIP DEBRIEF
Tuesday, January 14 • 6:00PM • Fellowship Hall Pastor Emily Hamilton, David Schwandt, and Susan Gallagher traveled to London and Istanbul in November and had an amazing experience with the Pars Theological Centre and Frontier Fellowship. They’d love to share this experience with you! Pars’ mission is to equip and mobilize the Iranian church by training a new generation of biblically grounded, theologically informed, and spiritually mature servant leaders to lead the church into loving God and one another—transforming the Persian-speaking world for the glory of God.
KIDS FAMILY COMMUNION WORKSHOP
Sunday, March 8 • 4:00-6:00PM • Westview Kids and their parents discover both the biblical beginnings and CPC’s tradition of taking Communion including a kid-friendly Seder dinner. All ages welcome. Cost: $5 per person. Sign up: cpconline.org/events
STORIES ISSUE 2019
2020 SUMMER CAMPS
Signups open Saturday, February 1 at 9:00AM at cpconline.org/events Hope Shores: June 14-19 • kids entering 3rd-5th grade VBS: July 13-16 • kids age 3-entering 5th grade Music Camp: July 27-30 • kids entering 1st-6th grade Summer Blitz: August 5 • kids entering 3rd-5th grade
2020 SUMMER FAMILY EVENTS Summer Launch Picnic: June 7 Meet Us at the Pool: June 25
No registration, but kids attending programming must check-in at the Family Check-In area. More details at cpconline.org/weekend-programs. Saturday 5:15PM service: Loving childcare provided (6 weeks3 years). Sunday 9:30 and 11:00AM services: Nursery (6-weeks-2 years): Loving childcare provided. 2-year-olds: Families may choose to keep their child with them at the beginning of the service OR take them directly to Room 216. Preschool: Preschool families may choose to keep their kids with them at the beginning of the service OR take them to their classroom on the 2nd floor. Elementary: At 9:30AM we offer Sunday school for kids (K-5th) on the 3rd floor. Kids can be dropped off before the beginning of the service OR they can attend the beginning of worship with their families. At 11:00 AM, all elementary kids begin in the service with their families, and then are dismissed for Kids’ Church. Change: K-3rd grade will be in the MPR; 4th-5th grade will now be in Room 306. There will be no programming on Communion Sundays: January 5, February 2, and March 1.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT: CHOIR & CLUB
Wednesdays (no programming January 1) Dinner (5:00-5:30PM for choir families & 5:30-6:15PM): Enjoy dinner with your family and fellowship with other CPCers at our weekly dinner. Food options rotate. Cost: $5/person Choir for K-5th graders (5:30-6:15PM): Kids develop a love for music, learn biblical truths, and improve musical and dramatic skills, all while praising God! Choir kids registered for Club will be guided to the MPR for pre-Club activities. Club for K-5th graders (6:25-7:30PM): With this year’s theme, “Around the World with Jesus,” kids are growing in their understanding about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus as they cross cultures traveling from one destination to the next. February 5 is Club Fun night—invite a friend! Sign up: cpconline.org/kids Cost: $20 for Choir; $20 for Club; or $35 for both Choir and Club
STUDENTS 2020 SUMMER CAMPS
Signups open Saturday, February 1 at 9:00AM at cpconline.org/events Rockslide: June 22-25 • students entering 6-8th grade Quest: July 6-10 • students entering 9th grade Mission Michigan: June 14-19 • students entering 9th-12th grade Summit: August 1-7 • students entering 10th-12th grade
CPCONLINE.ORG • 952.920.8515 MIDDLE SCHOOL SIX8
Wednesdays (no programs January 1 & 15)• 6:25-7:30PM A high-energy, engaging program for 6th-8th grade students. Sign up: cpconline.org/events email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday-Saturday, February 7-8 • Zumbro Falls, MN Join us for our first-ever Snow Camp! 6th-8th graders are invited on a fun whirlwind retreat with snow tubing, broomball, hot cocoa, great messages in large group, and small group and high school leader bonding. We will be staying at cozy Birch Lodge at Camp Victory which is just over an hour south of Edina. Cost: $89. Sign up: cpconline.org/events
HIGH SCHOOL COMMITMENT CLASS
Wednesdays, January 8 (small group activity), January 22 & 29 (no programs January 1 & 15)• 7:45-9:00PM • Anderson Hall A night of fun, large-group learning and small-group discussion for 9th graders. Sign up: cpconline.org/students email@example.com
CC WORSHIP EXPERIENCE
Sunday, January 26 Small groups will be assigned to a different church to worship together. This is a required experience for Commitment Class.
Wednesdays, January 8 (small group activity), January 22 & 29 (no programs January 1 & 15) • 7:45-9:00 PM • CPC A great night full of fun and an authentic space for kids to just be themselves. We start the night in Westview for large group learning followed by small group time to process what was just heard. firstname.lastname@example.org
SPECIAL NEEDS TAPESTRY
Tuesday, January 21 • 6:30-7:30PM • Fellowship Hall CPC’s ministry for kids and students with special needs explores who God is and how we can have a relationship with Him through Bible study, service projects, games, guest speakers, and story/drama. email@example.com
MOSAIC WORSHIP SERVICE
Sunday, January 26 • 10:45AM • Westview We are all children of God and invited to worship in our own way. Led mostly by students with special needs. Noises, sounds, and movements are firstname.lastname@example.org welcome and pleasing to God! Brunch follows.
ADULTS MIXED SUNDAY COMMUNITIES
Sundays • 9:30 or 10:45AM Sunday Communities foster a sense of belonging and growth with people of
similar life stages through fellowship and discussion-based teaching.
• E3: millennial couples (9:30AM - Room 116) • CATALYST: married couples with young kids (9:30AM - Room 201/202) • ALLOY: mostly 30s-40s (9:30AM - Room 205) • S.A.L.T.: late 40s-60s (9:30AM - Fellowship Hall East) • A.C.T.S.: late 50s & up (9:20AM - Fellowship Hall Center) • MORE: active retired folks (10:45AM - Fireside Room) • CREDO: intergenerational (10:45AM - Room 10) Learn more: cpconline.org/sunday-communities
Connect with others and deepen your relationship with Jesus. For more details and to sign up: cpconline.org/groups • Couples with Kids: First Thursdays • 7:00-8:30PM • Member homes • Soul Keepers (50s & Up): Every other Wednesday • 7:00-8:30PM • St. Louis Park • 20s & 30s: Every other Thursday • 7:00-8:30PM • St. Louis Park • Christ in Career: 1st & 3rd Saturdays • 8:30-10:00AM • CPC
IN THE WORD
Mondays • 9:30-11:30AM • Room 116 OR Tuesdays • 7:00-8:30PM • Room 116 James Madsen leads this intergenerational discussion-oriented class for men and women. In January we begin a new study on the book of Jonah, learning how it connects to our faith today and our need for Jesus. Sign up: cpconline.org/classes
WEDNESDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY
Wednesdays • 11:00AM-12:00PM • Room 303 Rick Byron leads this lively discussion on the book of Romans. We meet every Wednesday except when Edynamoes is held. email@example.com
Wednesdays • 6:30-7:30PM • Room 10 Grow as a family in faith this year! Join other parents for fellowship and learning while your kids are at club. Childcare provided. Cost: $15. Sign up: cpconline.org/classes
FINANCIAL PEACE UNIVERSITY
Thursdays starting January 16 • 6:30-8:00PM • Anderson Hall This nine-week series from Dave Ramsey offers practical, biblical resources for financial management. FPU will help you take control of your money, plan for your future, and transform your life. Cost: discounted price of $75/household for the first five households to register, then $99. Sign up: cpconline.org/classes
MEN SMALL GROUPS
Connect with others and deepen your relationship with Jesus. For more details and to sign up: cpconline.org/groups • Tuesday Morning Group: Tuesdays • 7:00-8:00AM • CPC • The Dads’ Group: Wednesdays • 6:30-7:30PM • CPC • Thursday Morning Groups: Thursdays • 7:00-8:00AM • CPC • Friday Guys’ Group: Fridays • 6:10-7:00AM • Calvary Church, Edina CPC LIFE
STORIES ISSUE 2019
WOMEN WOMEN IN THE WORD
Mondays, January 6-March 2 • 9:30-11:30AM • Anderson Hall Join us for Twelve Women of the Bible: Life-Changing Stories for Women Today with teaching from Lysa Terkeurst, Naomi Zacharias, and others. Be encouraged to draw near to God as you learn lessons from biblical women like Rebekah and Mary Magdalene. Sessions include DVD teaching, small group conversation, fellowship, and prayer. Cost: $10. Sign up: cpconline.org/classes
MOMS IN THE MIDDLE (for moms of tweens and teens)
LARGE GROUP Thursday, January 9 • 12:00-1:15PM • Anderson Hall Rosey Brausen of KTIS radio presents “Not On My Watch!–Understanding the Truth and Trauma that our Kids Experience.” Thursday, February 6 • 6:30-8:30PM • Anderson Hall Roger and Joanne Thompson will speak on the topic “What About Us? Discovering Each Other Again,” a marital refresh. Cost: $5 per event at the door. Sign up: cpconline.org/moms-in-the-middle
Saturday, January 11 • 10:00AM-2:00PM • Fellowship Hall Our mission is to make warm garments and blankets for local agencies that serve those in need. We have yarn, fabric, and knitters to get you started. Edie Kosa at 952.920.1753
Come connect with other moms and grow together in faith. Childcare is provided for babies through PreK. firstname.lastname@example.org
OLDER ADULTS RUTH CIRCLE
Meets every Wednesday • 9:30AM On the first and third Wednesdays, we meet in a home for food, fellowship, devotions, and prayers. On the other Wednesdays, we serve at Feed My Starving Children and at CPC. Barb Bucha at 952.470.4414
Wednesday, January 29 • 11:30 AM • Fellowship Hall Join us for lunch served by CPC staff and a performance by Creekside Crickets. We’ll enjoy oldies, country, polka, waltzes, and showtunes! Cost: $5. Please bring Jerry’s cash receipts and pop/can tabs. Sign up by Sunday, January 26: Cleo Wedge at 952.922.2769
HORIZONS (ACTIVE-RETIRED AGE)
Saturday, January 25 • 6:30PM • Anderson Hall Please join us for a game of Bunco and delicious pie. Horizons is an inviting community of active retirement-age singles and couples, experiencing and sharing the good we see all around us! This event is free; you may sign up to bring pie. Sign up: Great Room on Sunday mornings, or at cpconline.org/events.
MOM’S MORNING (for moms of young children)
LARGE GROUP Wednesdays January 8 & 22 • 9:30-11:30AM • Westview On January 8, Pastor Melissa Schaser will speak about the ways female friendships (and sisterhoods) advanced the Gospel in the early Church and continue to do so today. On January 22, we’ll hear from Becky Danielson, a licensed parent and family educator, about a 20/20 vision for proactive parenting and be encouraged to be the mothers God created us to be. Limited childcare available; contact email@example.com to check on availability. Program cost: $30; childcare cost: $25/child. Sign up: cpconline.org/moms-morning SMALL GROUP Meet 1st, 3rd & 5th Wednesdays • 9:30-11:30AM Join a small community of women where it’s safe to be honest about life’s challenges. Develop meaningful relationships through Bible study, prayer, and Christ-centered support. Limited childcare available. Childcare cost: $25/child. Sign up: cpconline.org/moms-morning
TUESDAY AFTERNOON WOMEN’S STUDY
Tuesdays • 1:00-2:30PM • Fireside Room Carolyn Beatty leads an in-depth study of the Gospel of Luke. Participants will use the ESV Scripture Journal available in Pathway for $6. This group generates lively discussions and cares for one another. Carolyn Beatty at 612.729.3143
Connect with others and deepen your relationship with Jesus. Visit cpconline.org/groups • 30-Somethings: 1st & 3rd Tuesdays • 6:00-8:00PM • CPC • Titus 2 Women: 1st, 3rd, & 5th Wednesdays • 9:30-11:30AM • CPC • 60s and Still Growing: 1st & 3rd Wednesdays • 1:00-2:30PM • CPC
WEDNESDAY NIGHT MOMS’ GROUP
Wednesdays • 6:30-7:30PM • CPC This is a perfect opportunity for moms whose kids are involved in Wednesday night programming. Moms who periodically volunteer with Wednesday night programming could also join in with us as you are able.
STORIES ISSUE 2019
GROUPS LGBTQ FAMILY GROUP
This group is for parents and family members of someone who is LGBTQ. Discuss together how to best love and support our loved one and each other. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, January 14 • 6:00-8:30PM • Fireside Room • meets 2nd Tuesdays Grief Recovery is for those who have lost a loved one. We experience God’s hope and healing through fellowship and prayer, and sharing a meal. Cathy Wood will be the guest speaker. No reservation needed. email@example.com
GRACE & HOPE FOR OUR CHILDREN
Tuesday, January 21 • 7:00-8:30PM • Anderson Hall • meets 3rd Tuesdays Does your child experience emotional or mental health issues? You are not alone. Join other parents, friends, and caregivers as we care for one another on our journeys. Meetings include sharing time and occasional guest speakers. firstname.lastname@example.org
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
Friday, January 10 & Saturday, January 25 • 10:00AM-12:00PM • Anderson Hall This ministry seeks to share God’s love, comfort, and peace through the knitting and gifting of shawls. Prayers for the recipient are knit into each shawl. Over 100 shawls were gifted this past year! More knitters, experienced or not, are needed. Tutoring is provided. Janice Velgersdyk at 612-986-5902
(Short Term Assistance Reaching Seniors) is a new ministry designed to support seniors at home during their recovery from an accident, illness, or fall, or returning home after a hospital/rehab stay. Services include transportation to doctor/physical therapy appointments, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, and more! Judy Brink at 952.920.4364
SERVE HERE LOVE JESUS AND LOVE KIDS?
Help kids feel known and loved and learn about Jesus and the Gospel by helping out weekly, biweekly, or monthly. email@example.com
A.R.M.S. (Active Retired Men Serving) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
Thursdays • 8:00AM-12:00PM • donuts and coffee at 10:00AM This dedicated group works on various projects to keep the building in prime condition! Men and women of all ages and skill levels are welcome. firstname.lastname@example.org
NEAR BLOOMINGTON LOAVES & FISHES
Friday, January 17 • Third Friday of the month, year-round; Meal Prep: 2:00-4:00PM, Serve: 5:00-7:00PM • Creekside Community Center Individuals, small groups, and families with children are welcome to volunteer and serve a hot meal to those in need. Meal prep is best for volunteers ages 16 and older while serving is best for volunteers ages 7 and older. Sign up: cpconline.org/events
CALVARY DROP-IN MEALS
Sunday, January 26 • Fourth Sunday of the Month, November-April • 12:30-3:00PM • Calvary Church, 2608 Blaisdell Ave. S., Minneapolis Nearly 100 guests are invited to rest, watch the ball game on the big screen TV, converse, and/or share in a friendly game of cards. Volunteers will help to prepare the meal, serve the food and visit with guests, then clean-up after the meal. Register online for all adult and child volunteers age 9 and over. Children under age 9 are welcome, but do not need to be registered. Sign up: cpconline.org/events
FAR GO!TRIP INFO SESSION AND UPCOMING GO!TRIPS
Sunday, January 12 • 10:30AM & 12:00PM • CPC Chapel Come with your questions about our 2020 GO!Trips and consider if God is inviting you to GO! Trip dates subject to change: March 15-19 Dominican Republic with International Justice Mission June 13-22 Israel-Palestine with Nazareth Evangelical College and Yohanna Katanacho June 15-19 Benton Harbor, Michigan with CPC Student Ministries 9-12 Grades June 22-27 Colombia with Opportunity International October 15-18 NEW! Civil Rights Journey to the American South November 10-25 NEW! South Asia with CPC’s Local Partner Contact Leslie Boie for more information at email@example.com or 952-920-8515 x274
from the Crosbys Dear Friends, Even after being gone from CPC for almost a year, it's hard to absorb all the gracious ways you celebrated God's work and sent us off. We are so, so grateful for your kindness. You were so generous—with words, gifts, prayers, hugs, memories; since we can’t single people out, let us just say “Thanks!” We truly can’t thank you enough for blessing us this way. We miss you often and continue to thank God for our years together. We are prayerfully cheering you on as you discern who God is calling to pastor with you in this next season. As for us, right now we’re writing from Switzerland! Laura and I were asked to fill in for two months as pastors for the International Church of Lucerne. It has been such fun to work together in a new culture, to see God at work in this small community (from 44 different countries). We’ve had the chance to worship in many different traditions in the last year and to see God at work all over the world. Our prayer is that you also experience the gift of Jesus this season. Grace and peace and JOY to you in this new year!
John and Laura Crosby
STORIES ISSUE 2019
ELDER + DEACON
If you have been around CPC long enough, you will eventually hear about our “elders” and “deacons,” but you may wonder what they do, who they are, or how they’re chosen.
WHAT A RE EL D ERS A ND D EAC O NS ?
In the Presbyterian tradition, elders are members of the congregation who are elected by CPC members to lead and govern the church. Elders, along with the Senior Pastor and other pastors, make up the Session. It is essentially a board of directors for CPC. Deacons are likewise elected by the congregation to tangibly serve the people of CPC, but also to help lead the acts of service in our community. The model for elders as community leaders is found in both the Old and New Testaments. Elders oversaw the temple, and early Christians continued this familiar role. The job of deacons comes from the book of Acts, where leaders in the early church chose people “full of the Spirit and wisdom” to minister to their community. The title “deacon” comes from the Greek word diakonos, meaning “server.”
HOW LO NG D O TH EY S ERVE? CPC elects four elders each year, for a total of sixteen elders on Session. These men and women serve two back-to-back, two-year terms. Each elder serves on one of the three standing committees: Resource, Personnel, and Governance. Together with CPC’s staff, Session is accountable for the mission and vision of CPC, the stewardship of the church’s financial resources, and the operation of our church. A LIST OF CURRENT ELDERS CAN BE FOUND AT CPCONLINE.ORG/LEADERSHIP OR AT THE BLUE WALL!
Deacons serve three years and are engaged in one or two service ministry areas. While there is not a defined number for each class, CPC usually elects fifteen or more deacons each year.
WHO CAN B E A N EL D ER O R D EAC O N? As a church, we are blessed to have gifted and committed volunteer leaders. Some elders and deacons make use of their professional expertise in their CPC leadership position, but that is not a requirement. What is most important is that all are called because of their heart for Jesus and CPC. The essential requirements for a nominee are commitment to CPC and a sincere life of faith. Identifying the next classes of leaders begins soon! In January the Nominating Committee, which was elected by the congregation at the Annual Meeting of the Congregational in November, will begin the process for calling new elders and deacons. MEMBERS OF THE ELDER AND DEACON NOMINATING COMMITTEE INCLUDE: Amanda Bratton • Brian Benz • Genna Porter • Joe Lee • Tricia Devries • Riddell Scott • Scott Peterson
WE NEED YOU!
We need your help to identify people who are possible candidates for the important work of serving as Elders and Deacons. WHAT M A K ES A G O O D NO M I NEE?
• Committed to following Jesus
• Engaged in the life of CPC
• Spiritually mature • Willing to take a further step in leadership & service
H OW TO NO M I NATE In January, look for nomination cards in the Great Room—you can deposit the cards in the Nominations Box or return them to the church office. Nominations can also be made online at cpconline.org/events. Nominations can be made anonymously, but we encourage people to share why they are nominating and who has done so to help us with the selection process. We want input from all parts of the community and program areas! People completing their service as elders and deacons routinely identify it as a remarkable time of forming new relationships at CPC and deepening their life of faith.
Heather and Kory Schleicher welcomed a daughter, Natalie Jayne, and a son, Jakob Steven, on October 19.
Melissa Clark and Alex Hintz were married on November 16. The Rev. Jody Phenow officiated.
Max Rossi passed away on November 1. He is survived by mother Deb Apuli. Dora Herman passed away on November 11 at the age of 99. She is survived by son Bob (Karen) Herman. Clairice Garborg passed away on November 14 at the age of 81. She is survived by son Keith (Joanie) Garborg. Joel Skornicka passed away on November 16 at the age of 82 years. He is survived by daughter Jennifer (Steve) Rewey. John Burritt passed away on November 17 at the age of 79 years. He is survived by his wife Sue.
Hannah Sudhakar leaves her position as Associate Director of Early Elementary, emphasis 3 years-1st Grade. Michelle Durrett transitions from her role as Manager of Pathway to the Associate Director of Care & Life Events. Jennifer Karlen is now Manager of Pathway Books. Annie Michel is now Assistant Manager of Pathway Books.
The Job Opportunity Profile (job description) for our next Senior Pastor has been posted on our website (cpconline.org/transition). Vanderbloemen, our search partner, is now actively searching on our behalf.
Ministry Fund Revenue/Expense Update October 2019 YTD revenue actual: $1,727,168 October 2019 YTD revenue budget: $1,555,976 November 2019 YTD revenue actual: $2,140,959 November 2019 YTD revenue budget: $1,915,192
John Howes passed away on November 21. He is survived by sister Jean Knowles.
YTD (11/30/2019) We are ahead on giving revenue by $225,767. We are under on expenses by $151,440.
Kathy Spera passed away on December 4 at the age of 69 years. She is survived by sister Pixie Pixler.
Missions YTD Total Missions Giving*: $88,865
RECENTLY HOSPITALIZED Cathi Droz Carolyn Erny
Shirley Gerdin Doris Nielson
Brooks Nielson Gail Waters
*Given through special offering, above and beyond missionsâ€™ dollars we budget from the Ministry Fund for our partners. CPC fiscal year 2020 began June 1, 2019 and ends May 31, 2020.
Heather Augdahl leaves her position as Associate Director of Early Childhood.
EVERY GIFT MATTERS. HELP US FLOURISH IN 2020!
You can set up or update your recurring giving at cpconline.org/give. If you prefer to give by cash or check, commitment cards can be found in the pews and placed in the offering plate, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All contributions to the church must be received or postmarked by December 31, 2019 to be credited for 2019. You can mail your gift or drop it off in the CPC office at the north entrance through December 31 by 5:00PM. Contributions made during services on December 28/29 will also be credited for 2019.
NEW JANUA RY WORS H I P S E RI E S !
Out of joint, out of whack, misaligned—it all means that in some way, we are not feeling how we want to feel or going where we want to go. We can try to adjust our eating, our exercise, our work, and our relationships—but often the issue is deeper. It’s a matter of our hearts. When it comes to faith, it can be hard to recognize when our beliefs and behaviors aren’t on the same page. In this study of Ephesians, we will find hope and direction as we see the ways that our life flourishes when we are in greater alignment with Jesus.
Christ Presbyterian Church | 952.920.8515 | cpconline.org | facebook.com/cpconline | @CPCEdina | #cpcedina