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May 2012 | Issue 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS Mission/Vision ........... Contributors ........... Psalm 66:4 ........... Kelly Jones Parks ........... Prayer Garden ........... Night of Worship ........... Jimmy Cummings ........... BiLD ........... Quilts of Valor ........... Homerun ........... Heath England ........... Spectra ........... Fellowship Art Gallery ........... SAMCC ...........

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NOTE * Available to read on the iPad... However, interactive links are not accessible.

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To produce and release spiritual leaders who know and express the authentic Christ to Northwest Arkansas and the world.


To change the heart and soul of Northwest Arkansas and the world.

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PHOTOGRAPHERS Alex Fougerousse Loralie Johnson Ashley Cox

EDITOR Debbie Griffin

WRITERS Jennifer Ford David Henderson Sheryl Potter Amy Giezentanner Rachel Osborn-Cox



Questions or comments, contact 4 | May 2012

Psalm 66:4

“All the earth worships You and sings praises to You; they sing praises to Your name.”

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It was the fall of 2000 when Kelly Jones (now Kelly Parks) walked through the doors of Fellowship for the first time. Her cousin had been wanting to visit the growing church in Lowell she kept hearing people talk about, and Kelly – who had recently ended a romantic relationship– needed to find a new church where she wouldn’t encounter her former boyfriend or the friends who knew them as a couple. The cousins liked what they experienced that first Sunday, and soon they started practicing with the choir for a Christmas production. When auditions for solo parts were held, Jones captured the attention of church worship leaders, who began giving this college sophomore opportunities to expand her worship skills. Kelly remembers those early experiences on stage as being far outside her comfort zone. “I never really had formal music lessons,” she reflected recently. “I learned how to play guitar mostly from girls in my church youth group.” The few lessons Kelly did take from a music teacher ended with the teacher “firing” her for what was perceived as a lack of effort. “She was trying to teach me scales and theory, and that just wasn’t what I cared about at that point. I had no interest at all in the techniques of music.” Within the first year after coming to Fellowship, Kelly recorded her first project and found herself on stage several times a month in worship services. There was just one problem. The guitar she had played since high school didn’t quite meet the needs of leading in a large worship setting. “It was great for taking on hiking trips and playing around a campfire but not for leading a band.” For church services, she would borrow one of Mickey Rapier’s guitars. That arrangement worked fine, Kelly reminisced, until his announcement one Sunday morning. “He stood before all three services, and said something like, ‘Y’all like it when this girl helps me lead, right? Well, she really needs a guitar. I’m tired of her borrowing mine,’” she laughed. “Okay, well maybe it wasn’t phrased quite like that, but he gave the body the opportunity to contribute to my ministry, and I’ll never forget the feeling when he presented me with a big stack of cash after the service.” Her parents, who were visiting from out of town that day, were also moved by the church’s expression of generosity toward their daughter. “My mom just broke down and cried,” Kelly remembered. To this day, the Taylor guitar she purchased with the love offering stands as a reminder of God’s

faithfulness to her. “Every time I play it, I am reminded how God has controlled my path from the very beginning. There is none of this that I could have pulled off on my own.” She is quick to give God glory for every blessing that has come to her, including the relationship breakup that actually led her to this church body that Kelly has come to love like family. Not to mention, after splitting up with Aaron Parks in the fall of 2000, the pair reconnected one year later and then married in September, 2002. More than a decade since Kelly discovered her calling as a worship leader, she counts among her greatest blessings, her husband Aaron Parks and sons Ben, 5, and Asher, 4. The pace of her early years in music- when she was not only recording and touring but also working alongside her husband in children’s ministry- has slowed to accommodate the needs of her young family. Almost ten years of marriage has brought them not only two sons but now a new passion for foster care. While leading worship at a retreat in the spring of 2010, Kelly heard a pastor speak about the church’s role in orphan care. “We tell young moms that life is a gift from God and encourage them not to abort their babies, but then how are we stepping in to help care for these kids and carry the weight?” she remembered the pastor asking. “It just hit me in that moment, and I felt that God was speaking to me. ‘Why can’t that be us?’ I started to wonder.” Aaron and Kelly first considered international adoption but soon felt their hearts being pulled toward fostering. After completing the necessary steps, Aaron, who has for nine years served as director of Fellowship’s Sunday morning ministry for third- and fourth-graders (Hwy 34) , and Kelly opened their home to their first foster child.. The 15-month-old girl stayed with the Parks for 10 months and was followed several months later by a little boy who lived with them for almost six months. The challenges of bringing other children into her care-- children who frequently bear the scars of abuse and neglect -- have brought the 32-yearold mother to her knees many times since she and Aaron first began this journey. “It’s hard. I won’t pretend it’s not,” Kelly noted. “Fostering is one of those callings that is very heavily weighed. It is not an easy road, but with each child God gives us, He provides just what we need to fulfill the calling.” Aaron and Kelly have found support from The CALL (Children of Arkansas Loved for a May 2012 | 7

Lifetime), an organization that seeks to mobilize the Christian community to provide homes for the estimated 3,500 Arkansas children who are in the foster care system at any given time. The couple met four other Fellowship families through The CALL who went through training with the Arkansas Department of Human Services at the same time and have been able to encourage each other along the way. Kelly has discovered that her experiences as a mother both to her sons and to the children she and Aaron have fostered has awakened a tenderness that has spilled over into her worship. “Leading worship is an outpouring of what is going on in my heart and life. When our first foster child left, it was a very hard transition, and worship was a huge part of the healing process.” Through the demands of raising a young family, Kelly still finds time to lead worship several times a month and write new music. She 8 collaborates | May 2012 with other songwriters around

the country via Skype and attends songwriting conferences to hone the craft of blending words and music. The joy of hearing a body of believers join their voices in singing a song that the Lord has given her is an inspiring yet humbling experience for Parks. “That’s what makes me want to keep writing, to create songs that cause people to experience the presence and life of Christ.” Kelly gives her husband a great deal of credit for helping her juggle the responsibilities of parenting and ministry while keeping her priorities properly aligned. “Family right now is central. God has given me the grace to be able to lead worship as much as I have, but simplicity is the key. Family is what Aaron and I are most committed to doing well.” By Sheryl Potter

The Fellowship Prayer Garden is located on the Northwest corner of our campus and is designed as a place for prayer, meditation and thoughtful reflection. The beauty of the Prayer Garden reminds us that the God we worship and serve is the God of all creation and that beauty is one of His gifts to us. A beautiful rock formation has been built as a Columbarium, a structure with recessed niches for storing cremated remains. It is provided for Fellowship families who would like to have such a place available. You are invited to come and enjoy the beauty of the Prayer Garden and find a special place for reflection or meditation. For more information on the Prayer Garden or Columbarium, contact Dwight Mix at 479-659-3605 or email May 2012 | 9

Last March the Mosaic worship team kicked off the first of a series of special worship experiences entitled NOW. But what is NOW? NOW, short for Night Of Worship, is a night when we, as a body of believers, experience extended worship through sincere song, story and sacrifice focused on a single aspect of God. Through NOW, we will more fully and deeply examine Kingdom attributes like compassion, justice, mercy, hope, unity and strength. The worship team’s mandate is to use their creative gifts to serve the body in esteeming and highlighting the chosen focal point of the night. The idea is that, once a quarter, we saturate ourselves in one of God’s traits and then we go into our world - our mission field - exemplifying that value. We live with God’s presence in our lives, deeply abiding in the Gospel, but we also live as a presence to others. We are image bearers and NOW is a great time to meditate and worship on a piece of that image so we bear it well to our family, friends and neighbors. To stay in constant worship with God. To re-connect our heart with our hands. To link faith with action. To value what God values. To love God and others with everything we have. These are some of the inspirations for NOW. Just as the church is a body of people and not a building, worship is a lifestyle, not a weekly event. NOW’s mission is to facilitate a Kingdom movement of worshippers and churches committed to and passionate about living out what they sing. There might be song. There might be dance. There might be story. There might be drama. There might be unclassifiable creativity, but there will always be a focus on drawing an aspect of God into our lives through worship and then drawing the aspect of worship into our lives. In March, NOW centered on “grace”. in May, NOW centered on “unity.” By David Henderson 10 | May 2012

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Jimmy Cummings

By Sheryl Potter

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Jimmy Cummings recently joined the Fellowship staff as Sunday morning worship leader. He and his wife of nearly five years, Megan, moved to Northwest Arkansas in March from Branson, Missouri. Jimmy took a few minutes recently to talk about where they’ve been and where they feel God is leading them. What was your previous job before coming to Fellowship? Megan and I were living in Branson and I was serving in two different capacities, as collegiate ministry director at College of the Ozarks and worship pastor at First Baptist Church of Branson.

Tell me about your growing up years. I grew up just west of St. Louis, Missouri, in the St. Charles County area. I’m the middle of seven kids. My oldest sibling is 33 and my youngest is 13. I have really appreciated my parents and their investment in us kids. My dad has always worked hard and valued family. He made it a priority to come home when there was ever something that needed to be resolved and took a lot of time with us. They prioritized family but not in an exclusive way. Recognizing that we’re part of a larger community of the body of Christ helped me to have a realistic picture of family and church and society.

Were your parents in ministry? No, my dad has been in construction since I was born. I got to work with my dad quite a bit through high school and really credit so much of who I am to his investment personally in me. In high school, my mom was the one who really pushed me out of the house and into the community and strongly encouraged me to get involved with different ministries, camps, and even a truckers’ church. We would go to a filling station on Sunday mornings and work with people who were on the move. She gave me opportunities to interact with all kinds of different people and get exposed to different backgrounds. I appreciated that. 14 | May 2012

Where did you get your start as a worship leader and who were your earliest musical influences? In junior high school, I taught myself to play guitar by ear. Our worship minister, Marty Kinsey, took me under his wing and gave me opportunities to learn from him and get comfortable leading worship in front of our church of 200-300 people. He was such a humble man, and getting to learn from him really helped form my approach to what worship is and how to juggle the excellence factor with the heart engagement factor. He showed me the importance of moving forward in our skills but not at the expense of disengaging our hearts and our people’s hearts from worship. We don’t want people to walk away applauding our ability to pull off a music set. As a worship leader, my job is to simply enhance the experience of engaging with God. When did you first feel God calling you to full-time ministry? I don’t really know that I could put a finger on a specific time. I never set out to be a worship leader vocationally. I originally planned to pursue a Master’s of Divinity at Southeastern (Baptist Theological Seminary in Wakefield, NC) right after college. During my senior year in 2007, God rerouted our direction and gave us a broader understanding of what missions is. He led us to the place where we realized that a geographical relocation wasn’t what He had planned for us. There was something He wanted to do in our hearts first. How did that change your plans? After graduating from College of the Ozarks, I stayed around in Branson and took a job working for my wife’s parents

who own a resort called Lilley’s Landing on Lake Taneycomo. I worked there for about a year. During that time, I started my master’s degree in worship studies at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies (IWS) in Florida. How did the Lord use that year to shape your ministry? There came a point after college as I was working at the resort, doing collegiate ministry, and volunteering at our church in Branson, that I began trying to figure out where God was leading us. I didn’t have a clear plan and the future was kind of a blur. My wife started challenging me with the question, “What would you do for free?” Leading worship has always been something I have been passionate about and something I would do if there were no paycheck involved. As we prayed about our future, over time God slowly began opening doors so I could support our family through the ministry of worship leading. When did you see those doors begin to open? In 2008, I started volunteering at FBCBranson, leading worship in a coffee shop service on Saturday nights. That evolved in 2010 into a paid opportunity to begin a third service at 9:30 on Sunday mornings. At that time, there were only two services, and this new-fangled contemporary service was a huge shift for our church. It grew very quickly into the largest service, and a year after that, I was asked to start leading worship for the 11 o’clock service. What has the formal study of worship done for your ministry? Right now, I’m on the last leg of completing my master’s program. At the time I started with IWS, I was just working May 2012 | 15

at the resort and had no outlet for worship ministry. A lot of my studies at RWS have revolved around the broader scope of worship and worship theology and that being the substance of what drives a worship service, not the worship style. How would you describe your style? I want to have a blended approach to worship. I would hope that in our services we value and do not forsake our history in the church. I try to create a blend of the old and what is current or contemporary not for the sake of appeasing everyone but recognizing that we can’t move forward without looking back and appreciating where we have come from. I think that honors the people who have gone before us and recognizes that the church is bigger than us right now. Besides leading Sunday morning worship, what will your role here at Fellowship encompass? Sunday morning is my primary responsibility. I’ll be leading the main worship service about two times a month and once a month in another congregation (Celebrate Recovery, Mosaic, or Community Worship). A big strength of Fellowship is cross-pollination and a strong team approach. I’m very excited to get to worship with the other congregations as well. How do you spend your time away from Fellowship? Enjoying the company of Megan and our chocolate lab, Darby Sue. My wife is continuing to work for Lilley’s Landing as head of marketing and advertising. She is able to do her work remotely, but every other week we make a trip to Branson. I enjoy hunting, fishing, mountain biking, and pretty much anything that gets me outdoors. I love sports and am a huge Cardinals fan. I’m looking forward to pursuing some old pastimes here in Arkansas and maybe even picking up some new ones.

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The BiLD (Biblical Institute of Leadership Development) Training Center is a major ministry division of Fellowship Bible Church of NWA. This Training Center is the tangible expression of one of the three guiding metaphors that best describes the mission and vision of Fellowship NWA; namely, that Fellowship is a “greenhouse,” a “launching pad,” and a “training center.”

For more information or to register for classes, click here for the BiLD website: May 2012 | 17

g QUILTS VALOR 18 | May 2012

By Jennifer Ford


On this Thursday morning a chilly rain falls outside The Lodge, but it’s warm and friendly inside where a ladies’ Bible study, led by Sharon Fuller, is just ending. In the next room, like a garden of patriotism, tables spill over with red, white and blue scraps and bolts of fabric. It’s “Quilts of Valor” work day, the second Thursday of the month. Led by Joyce Roberts, nearly a dozen ladies use their love of quilting and sewing to make handmade quilts for military service men and women who have been wounded in combat. “My husband is retired Navy Air and my son served the Army in Desert Storm,” Joyce says, “so I have military ties.” “Quilts of Valor” began in 2003, the vision of a Delaware mother whose son was serving in Iraq. It has become a national grassroots movement hoping to “cover all combat service members and veterans touched by war with comforting healing [quilts]” ( The Fellowship Bible Church chapter began in July, 2010.

The process of piecing, pinning, quilting and binding each 50” x 70” quilt is shared among the group members. Their sewing and quilting skills vary from no sewing experience to experts. “I don’t even want to know how to thread a needle,” laughs Carla Doty, who is a “pinner”. Created in the QOV (Quilts of Valor) required red, white and blue, the quilt tops are pieced by machine at the home of one of the group members. The monthly Thursday workday is usually spent “pinning” the top, filler and backing together so that it can be taken home again for machine quilting. Because sewing skills are not required to share in the process, every member feels a sense of contribution. “I’m just a pinner,” says Rosemary Hash of her role in the process. “But I don’t think it can be emphasized enough,” Roberts adds immediately, “how important they [the pinners] are.” “That’s right,” agrees Kay Gray, who the ladies agree is the premier “binder” (finishing the May 2012 | 19

edge of the quilt when all the other steps are complete) in the group. “Even those who don’t quilt can participate.” These projects offer fellowship, companionship and a meaningful purpose all in one afternoon. Some say spending the afternoon together is like “therapy”; but according to Carla Doty, “It’s a hoot.” There’s no question these ladies have a good time. But the quilting doesn’t end by the end of Thursday afternoon. Elinor Paasch, who grew up in a family of quilters, is now teaching her 13-year-old granddaughter, Iashia, to sew by making pillow cases that hold the folded quilt. She feels it’s a way for them to share in serving others. Last summer the group enlisted the help of some girls attending Fellowship’s week long “Summerfest.” During their craft time, 8-12 year-old girls pieced together their own quilt top complete with their signatures. The Quilts of Valor ladies finished it and sent it on its way. Occasionally, a touching story about the quilts have trickled back to them. For instance, an Air Force nurse wrote to tell them about giving away all of her own blankets to soldiers without their own. A few days later a quilt arrived at her hospital. After using it to replace her own blankets for a short time, she passed it on to a doctor who treats soldiers with traumatic brain injuries. “My son received your quilt,” a mother in Virginia wrote on behalf of her wounded son, “he will always keep up with it. You make the wounded soldiers feel very special with your quilts.” From Little Rock Medical Center Hospital a nurse wrote, “Your quilts help to keep our wounded warm as well as make the hospital feel more home-like with colorful quilts…many have cried upon receiving one.” These ladies are humble and gracious when they speak of their projects. Claiming to just be “doing what they love” in the service of our military, they estimate that they have sent approximately 125 quilts. Each one is prayed over by their Thursday morning Bible study 20 | May 2012

group before it is shipped off. From “pinner” to “binder”, these women give their gifts and talents as an offering of worship while sharing love and laughter with each other. Their quilts travel to unknown hospitals all over the globe carrying the blessing of their individual, personal touch.

HOW YOU CAN HELP 1. Donate: $15 pays for mailing of each quilt; $50-60 pays for the materials to make one quilt. 2. Join the group. Sewing skills not required. Any age welcome. 3. Make red/white/blue pillow cases to be shipped. 4. Make a quilt top and this group will finish it. For further information contact: Joyce Roberts 479-927-3227




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Changed Life: Heath England By Jennifer Ford

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Imagine Heath England’s story is a song. Do you hear the steady beat of his drums keeping the rhythm? Slow and steady….the backbeat of his life. Heath describes his childhood with a smile: born into a Christian home, received Christ in third grade. After meeting his wife, Denise, at Oklahoma Baptist University and realizing “I was never going to find anyone as exceptional as she is,” Heath moved to Northwest Arkansas. He and Denise married and started a family. After struggling with infertility, in 2004 they adopted two children from Russia: Will, now age 9, and Abby, age 8. “I had it all: six-figure income, high profile job, beautiful family,” he says of his life less than ten years ago. Heath and his family were involved not only at Fellowship, but with other churches in the area where they helped out with the praise and worship. “But we always considered Fellowship our home base. We appreciate the philosophy of equipping and releasing leaders.” “And then,” he says, “I pretty much destroyed my life.”

Cymbals crash, but the beat continues. It was about this time that Heath, a “social drinker,” began to use alcohol as a coping device. “Life just started happening. Whenever things got uncomfortable or painful I found something that took it all away,” he says. “It worked for a while but then it began to control me.

Like his heartbeat, the rhythm pumps a little faster. “I crafted a world around me with good people to do the work,” says Heath. “I became a 24/7 drinker. For one to two years I would never have been able to pass a blood alcohol test.” But he covered it well. He worked, played and even played in worship bands….under the influence. At this time ironically, Rodney Holmstrom, Director of the Fellowship Bible Celebrate Recovery ministry asked Heath to bring his talent as a drummer to the CR praise team on Friday nights. Denise also attended as part of the vocal team,“We came to help and almost immediately I knew, ‘Uh-oh.’” Denise began to recognize the symptoms of Heath’s addiction and after he had a “black out” episode, she confronted him. With the help of family and friends, the process of finding help began.

Cymbals… snare...bass…beat now heavy and insistent. After several short detox attempts, Heath finally checked into a threemonth rehab program in Louisiana. “That is where I got my education about addiction,” he says. During this period the Lord preserved his job and his relationships. “I had three months to

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work on myself. It was amazing.” After the ninety days, Heath returned home and relapsed immediately. “But now, everybody was done with me.” Within six weeks he lost his job, he wrecked a car, got a DUI and Denise asked him to move out.

SILENCE….. “So I packed up two cans of soup, one frozen pizza and several gallons of Vodka and drove to a family cabin,” Heath describes of his lowest point. “I was just done….” Heath believed he had messed up too much for God to help him out of his alcoholism. “I knew I’d go to heaven, but this was the way it would be until then.” Unsure of how many days he spent at the cabin, Heath smiles as he tells of how his father-in-law, Rodney Holmstrom and Heath’s CR sponsor drove to find him and took him to a detox center in Ft. Smith. “That’s where my miracle happened.” As he sobered up, Heath, who didn’t believe that God was in the business of doing miracles anymore, prayed a simple prayer. “God, I don’t care if I ever get my family and job back, but whatever you have for me has got to be better than this: so I’m yours.”

Drum roll… The next morning Heath woke up without the desire to drink.

Cymbals shimmer in the background…. “I felt like a newborn deer….so unfamiliar with this new feeling that I felt unsteady.” Upon the counsel of his 24 | May 2012

sponsor, Heath decided it was time to come back to Northwest Arkansas and begin rebuilding his marriage and his life. The beat returns, slowly and then faster. So for the next nine months Heath lived with his sister and took any job he could find: from UPS deliveries to putting gutters on houses. “I never had to apply for unemployment. God always provided.” He returned to contributing to the welfare of his family in all the ways he had forgotten when he was drinking: everything from taking care of the yard and house to putting the kids to bed at night. “Each night I would play with the kids, help with bath time and then return to my sister’s.” Eventually, Denise invited Heath back home and now he has a consistent job that provides for his family. “I wouldn’t switch and go back. Look what I have,” Heath says of the freedom and walk with God he enjoys.

Cymbals crash! Currently Heath and Denise are core leaders with Celebrate Recovery. Almost every week you will find Heath behind his drums. “I’ve played at probably fifty churches but there is not another group I enjoy playing for more than CR,” he says. “I used to be a performer, now playing is service. They both facilitate “step study” classes and have a rotation in the praise team. “I go through the study just like everyone else.” Heath is also a sponsor to three men who are struggling with addiction. CR has become an essential part of Heath England’s story. “I love to work with [newcomers to CR] because they are just like I was… thinking no one will understand and waiting for everyone to turn away – and no one does.”

The music and the beat slows, but the story goes on. God’s not finished with the song of Heath England... May 2012 | 25

Story by Amy Giezentanner

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“If art is beauty and beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then Fellowship has a new ministry for beholding.”

community group involvement, it is intended to be an uplifting fellowship that fosters spiritual growth among like-minded SPECTRA is a newly-formed group creative thinkers. for Christian artists from all mediums: Lorinda Gray, freelance photographer photographers, painters, visual artists, and graphic designer, was there graphic designers… you name it. If God when the idea first took shape. “To be inspires you with a vision to create, able to talk about how God speaks then Spectra has a place for you. through you and to you through art, with artists who understand, is very This visionary new ministry is the exciting,” she says. “It’s not just about brainchild of Fellowship artists seeking skill and technique. It’s about tapping to create an outreach for support. For into the abilities we’ve been given.” years, the art gallery at Fellowship has provided Christian artists a Most artists consider the artistic place to exhibit their craft and offer bent a gift, and many of them feel those who appreciate it a chance to tremendously blessed to share that purchase their art, with a portion of gift. Their lives have been touched by the proceeds going to Fellowship the need to create and express, and ministries. Now, artists will also be they want to give back artistically. able to meet on a regular basis to plan As the Christian Artist Ministry art projects, be encouraged through grows, those with more experience support and interaction, and to swap and developed skill may have the ideas and learn from each other. opportunity to teach those newer to the various mediums, or simply offer Breaking down walls built by ideas, support and fellowship. competition among artists allows them to encourage and bless one another, The ministry has an official support to give back from what they’ve been team that consists of Lorinda Gray, given, and to grow in number so more Rus Huffstutler, Beth Woessner, artists can give. The ministry seeks Kyle McCarthy, and Joel Storie. This to create art from the overflow of capable group of artists has invested God’s spirit within believers so they time and energy to breathe life into can carry out His work, and will do so the idea and plot the direction for the through defining art projects based ministry’s beginnings. Beth Davies, on their biblical goals. Artists will also staff liaison to the ministry and the learn from each other, both formally final member of the support group, and informally, with chances to attend said their job is to “support Christian events, listen to professional speakers, artists, to encourage and nurture and become involved in galleries their gifts by coordinating meetings and training. Although the ministry and project opportunities with an art is not meant as a replacement for ministry focus.” These are the people May 2012 | 27

in-the-know regarding the ministry’s focus and direction, so any questions about the ministry can be directed to them. The ministry meetings are directed toward adults. As the ministry goals get underway, we will expand them to involve children, too. Christian artists with the ability and the desire to create, regardless of skill level, can attend the next meeting, on June 14th at 6:30 in the BiLD Training Center. Regular meetings will always take place the 2nd Thursday of each month on the first floor of the Training Center at Fellowship Bible Church, 1051 West Pleasant Grove Road in Rogers. But not to worry if you can’t make this next meeting: jump in at any of their meetings, because it’s never too late to get involved so you can give back through some of the blessings He has given you.

These pieces (and more) by Fellowship artists are currently displayed in the Training Center lobby or hallway South of the Family Center.

SPECTRA UPDATE by Beth Davies Over 40 visual artists attended the ministry launch on May 10th, and we were able to discuss different opportunities to serve in NWA or get involved in the creative needs of Fellowship. Besides meeting once a month to plan, connect, and resource one another, we are going to “jump in” right away for serving known needs that pertain to this ministry. Projects on the horizon include “Light in the Void” Awareness Project for all worship services on Aug 3-5, “Picture the Kingdom” teaching series for Mosaic, painting a mural for the Springdale Samaritan Community Center, joining some art initiatives already in progress for the homeless and elderly. We will offer our support to another group in Fayetteville who’s working on “Murals with Inmates” for the Women’s Correctional Facility. AND, well, let me ask….have you ever seen an art gallery with a collection of 66 visual pieces, each one reflecting a different book of the Bible? Neither have we. Just imagine, if you will, the beauty and creativity. Nothing is planned YET, but we’re artists, and we dream! 28 | May 2012

THE FELLOWSHIP GALLERY Many of the faithful have been blessed with a truly precious, artistic ability to unfold and forward His purposes and expectations. Art is one form of worship we embrace to see our Lord glorified. It can be a catalyst for spiritual discussion, it can nurture and teach through introspection, and it can propel a viewer to deepen their understanding of Him. The Fellowship Gallery has been offering Christian artists the opportunity to display their pieces in hopes to do these things. With every sale of art, the artists give 30% of their sales back to the church ( to either “Release” or the Samaritan Community Center). 5 years later, we can say that over $2000 dollars has been raised for the church through these displays. Artists that participate in “The Gallery” commit to displaying their piece(s) for 6 months. At the end of the display period, artists retrieve their art with an opportunity to submit more, so if you love something and are waiting to purchase, just know it will only be hanging for a limited time. We do have some guidelines for submitting art, so artists that are interested can contact Beth Davies for that information at It is our hope and prayer that Christian artists will translate their inspired ideas into art. By doing so, the artists will not only be blessed, but will provide a blessing to everyone who views or purchases their art. We anticipate with the launch of Spectra that more artists will seize the opportunity to display, inspire and give back! May 2012 | 29

Samaritan Community Center formerly Samaritan House was a ministry started from Fellowship nearly 20 years ago. It has now branched into it’s own nonprofit in Rogers and Springdale, Arkansas. Many of you have been involved in this amazing ministry, and if you have not had the opportunity to experience the beauty Samaritan offers to people in our community, I strongly urge you to spend a day volunteering in one of their many programs that are helping change lives in Northwest Arkansas. By Rachel Osborn-Cox

In the past few months, SAMCC has welcomed 2 new key staff members to their team, Q: Name/title: A: Maxie Carpenter, Director of Operations Q: Tell me about what brought you to Samaritan: A: Mark Schatzman called me one day to ask if he could submit my name for an opening here at the Samaritan Community Center. He knew that I had been desiring to get back into an organizational environment after the last few years of independent consulting, and he thought it would be a good fit. I had no idea it was going to be in the non-profit segment and I certainly had no idea it would be here. Q: What is your background? A: I’ve been married for 31 years to my wife, Brenda, and have a 23 year old son, Micah and a 20 year old daughter, Shelby. Q: What will you be doing in your new role? A: I will oversee all of the Program Services offered by the Samaritan Community Centers in Rogers and Springdale, which are the Snackpack/Backpack programs, the Pantries, the Dental/Medical Clinics, and the Social Work/Counseling outreach. I’ll also be assisting the Executive Director with the Samaritan Shops and Strategic Planning and Organizational Development for the Center. Q: What are you most looking forward to accomplishing? A: Working hand in hand with the board, the leadership group, the staff and the volunteers to encourage all who enter here to find hope and experience positive life-change. Q: What does life look like outside of work? A: I participate in a Men’s ministry called the Influencers, teach one evening a week at the Rogers Center and am an Adjunct Professor for JBU in their Graduate Degree Program. I play golf whenever I get an opportunity, and do a lot of reading and writing. Q: What is a silly or random fact about yourself? A: I once cut a demo tape for Leon McAuliffe, the father of the steel guitar and a member of “Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys” and I once sang a duet with Amy Grant at a Wal-Mart meeting. 30 | May 2012

and we spent some time getting to know them: Maxie Carpenter and Mary Mann. Q: Name/title A: Mary Mann, Director of Community Relations Q: What is your background? A: I have over 30 years professional experience as a journalist and as a media, marketing and public relations consultant. I hold undergraduate degrees from the UA in journalism and vocal music performance and a master’s degree in Communication, also from the UA. Spent the first part of my career as a television reporter/news anchor, then as a newspaper editor. Have taught off and on as an adjunct profession in the UA journalism department and at JBU over the past 20 years. In 1997, I became the founding and major partner in a fourpartner advertising agency/political consulting firm – New Century Consulting. During that time we grew the agency by purchasing a printing company and exhibit trade show company and grew and grew – until I realized that’s not who I was or what I wanted. In 2003 the business took a bad turn and I divested myself of all partners, sold off the printing and exhibit trade show portions of the business and just continued as a political media consultant. In fact, I am probably best known in NWA, and around the state, as a Republican political media consultant and strategist. In deciding to come to SAMCC I had to give up political consulting (I may go back to it at some point in the distant future but for now I’m glad to give it up); however, I do continue to own New Century Consulting, through which I produce a bridal vendor show, NWABride Premier Showcase, Arkansas’ oldest and longest running bridal vendor show. This past year was our 20th year for the show. While I am the show owner/producer, my daughter-in-law manages the day-to-day operations and management of the show. Q: Tell me about what brought you to Samaritan... A: I am here because of my total belief in the mission of this organization and in Debbie Rambo. It is also because of Debbie Rambo that I almost did NOT come here. Debbie is one of my closest friends – she’s like a sister to me and I didn’t want to potentially jeopardize our personal relationship by redefining it into a friendship and business relationship once again. - For the rest of Mary Mann’s Q&A Click here May 2012 | 31

PROGRAMS... Samaritan Community Center has several program areas that help meet the needs of the under-served in our community, all through dignity and grace. Each of these programs helps to meet a physical need in the life of someone, but beyond physical needs Samaritan also believes in meeting the spiritual and emotional needs their clients may have. Each client that comes in the door may come in for one “need” but leaves feeling loved without judgment. For instance, one program that SAMCC offers is a food pantry that offers food and personal care items along with clothing vouchers to their “Samaritan Shop”. Through that ministry, clients are not only met with the physical resources they need, but also prayer teams and encouragers are standing by to help assist them with their emotional and spiritual needs and help provide information about other resources in the community that may benefit them. Bibles are also on hand that they LOVE to give out to anyone who may have an interest. There is also a program specific for the emotional needs of the client. This includes a full-time social worker for clients that come in for crisis management and they receive the advocacy and case-management that they may need to help avoid crisis they may be experiencing. This program works hand-in-hand with the John Brown University Care Clinic which offers free or reduced counseling services for members in our community. Many members of Fellowship are already plugged into a third program, The Samaritan Cafe. This resource is NOT a traditional soup kitchen, but a safe and welcoming place that clients can come and have a meal in a restaurant style setting. Clients are treated with respect and dignity and are fully served as though they were dining in any other restaurant in town. And, this year some amazing additions have been added to the Cafe culinary team, including a new Chef that just came from Abuelo’s. While enjoying a meal at Samaritan, clients are also able to fellowship with encouragment teams and volunteers can serve by having fun activities for children to play or work on before or after their meal.

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Of course, many of you have heard about “Snackpacks for Kids,” one of the most widespread programs currently being utilized in Northwest Arkansas. With over 4800 snackpacks being sent out weekly to over 85 area schools, children who are at-risk for hunger can have healthy snacks each week to take home with them. This program also coincides with an annual initiative called “Backpacks For Kids” which Samaritan hosts during back to school time. This helps provide the necessary and costly school supplies that many children have a huge need for year after year. A fourth program that is located both in Rogers and Springdale is the “Samaritan Shop”. This resource, formerly called Samaritan Thrift Stores, provides an opportunity for the community to shop or donate their gently used items that are sold to benefit the food needs at the Samaritan Community Center. The Samaritan Shop is also a resource point for clients referred by the Community Center who received needs vouchers there. This program fully functions from donations and always welcomes quality items to help further their mission. A final program focuses on the wellness of community members in Northwest Arkansas by offering a free dental and medical clinic. These services provide emergency dental treatment and basic medical care for those who do not have insurance. These clinics are completely run by professional volunteers: dentists, physicans, nurses, and hygenists in the community. Without the support of our medical community, these services would not be available to many who have ongoing medical needs.

GET PLUGGED IN... Each of these programs has a need for volunteers, whether you like to cook, serve, encourage, pray, donate physical resources, or work with children- there is always a way to plug in among the amazing initiatives Samaritan Community Center offers. If you are interested in getting involved with their organization, please feel free to contact their office at 479.636.4198. As a ministry that was once under the Fellowship Bible Church umbrella, we cannot be more excited and grateful for the many resources this nonprofit gives back to the community… changing lives right here in Northwest Arkansas.

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