connection stonebriar community church
glorifying God by encouraging all people to pursue a lifelong, joyous relationship with Jesus Christ
pastor vs. pastor
favored foods and unholy animals are revealed with david ake and pablo monroy
staff blog spotlight
an inside scoop about working at stonebriar
whatâ€™s the word? fifth and sixth grade students share favorite memories of small group leaders
senior pastor chuck swindoll senior director of resource ministries carol spencer communications director sandi garrett assistant communications director amy hyles graphic designer/writer susan jacobson editor/writer patricia krecklow
childrenâ€™s choirs and gloria Dei ministering through young voices
Good News clubs (continued on page 7) sharing the Word in local schools
graphic designer/writer townsend keller
tres leches cake
graphic designer michelle sweeten
cultivating a heart full of hope
volunteer editor shelly king
10 ÂŠ2016 Stonebriar Community Church, Frisco, Texas. The material within this publication may not be disseminated without permission. All inquiries, comments, suggestions, and story ideas may be e-mailed to our Communications Department at email@example.com.
lifelong learning ministries for fall and winter
word search and coloring
pastor vs. pastor by townsend keller
We got such a good response to pitting our pastors against each other in a combat setting, we decided to do it again. This time, we asked David Ake and Pablo Monroy to take time out of their busy schedules to entertain questions that every churchgoer needs to know about their shepherds.
interim student ministries pastor well-known prank instigator
If you could only go to one fast food restaurant the rest of your life, which one would you pick? Well, that’s easy: Chipotle or Torchy’s Tacos. Tacos are a food you can eat for all three meals a day. Breakfast tacos—good! Lunch tacos—quick, handy, good! Dinner tacos—delightfully pleasant and elegant. Chick-fil-A, of course . . . I am a Christian.
If you had to live in one 90’s sitcom, which one would you choose? Wow, such awesome choices! I think I would love to do junior high or high school over again through Boy Meets World or Saved by the Bell.
associate pastor, missional living pitiable houston sports fan
Are cats bad or the worst? Cats aren’t in the Bible. There is a reason for that. I think in Lamentations 7, it talks about the fact that they came out of the same spot that the Kaiju did in Pacific Rim. The worst, for sure. I can’t stand them. I am a dog person. The worst!
What breed of dog do you identify with most? St. Bernards . . . or Labrador mutts. Bernards are loyal, strong and big, like me. BUT lab mutts are just crazy enough to be fun but smart enough to still be labs.
Saved by the Bell. I loved high school.
Welsh Corgi. Outgoing, short, playful, and just plain funny looking.
Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or fifty duck-sized horses?
If you had to survive in the wilderness for a week, would you rather do it in Alaska during winter or the Sahara in the summer?
If the “compies” taught us anything in Jurassic Park 2 it’s that you never want to mess with them in a group. One horse-sized duck should be easy to spot (and saddle up and ride like a T-Rex)!
Totally Alaska during the winter . . . because bears are best. Being naturally tan, I would be at an advantage to skip working up a base tan in Alaska and focus on priorities like fire, shelter, water, and tacos.
One horse-sized duck. Getting kicked by fifty ducksized horses would not be fun.
Sahara in the summer. It might be a little riskier to survive in the desert, but I don’t like the cold.
To contact either of these pastors to tell them why they should have picked Whataburger (or, you know, regular stuff), e-mail David Ake—firstname.lastname@example.org or Pablo Monroy—email@example.com.
www.stonebriar.org | 3
There is almost always some kind of food laying around.
Cookies left over from the ice cream social, fried chicken left over from an Awana meeting, anything. You can survive solely on women’s Bible study doughnuts.
Working in a church saves you money on a Christian Mingle membership. Ninety-eight percent of church
blog spotlight: staff
t o p 1 0 things nobo
dy tells you about working at stonebriar by townsend keller
employees have single friends or relatives around your age that you would “get along with so well.” The other two percent have been told to stop trying to set up said friends and relatives.
Bunnies hang out all over the campus.
you keep that noise to yourself. For all you know, that 90-pound elderly lady broke the bench when she sat on it.
with the Preteen Ministry can break out into glow-in-the-dark finger rocket fights. They stimulate the mind and aid the creative process.
Star Wars themed meetings happen, and
Anyone who can walk in there without sprinting to the light switch is some sort of Bear Grylls/ Batman super-person.
And they are so full of second-hand grace they let you walk right on by them.
If you broke anything at the church while you were in the youth group,
Our Worship Center is straight up scary when the lights are turned off.
Did you know
that the fake swan in the back pond has a name? “Cluck Swandoll” protects us from an evil flock of geese that set up residence here.
Pastor Chuck’s Hawaiian shirts have me, a twenty-
something guy, wondering how comfortable a nice Tommy Bahama would be in this heat and how to convince my girlfriend to let me buy one.
your boss may request you wear the Chewbacca Mom mask when you present your part of the slideshow.
Going to Pine Cove as a child and going to Pine Cove on the Men’s Retreat could not be more different experiences. Never before had I gone to camp and had Breathe Right strips be standard issue.
This article has been updated since its original appearance on the Stonebriar staff blog on July 19, 2013. Read about other insights from our staff at www.stonebriar.org [keyword: blog].
what’spreteen the word? ministries
We asked our students in Junction 56 about their small group leaders. Take a look at a few of their favorite memories of these special volunteers.
What is your favorite memory of your small group leader? “When we wrapped him head to toe with toilet paper.” Ethan M., grade 6 “When we leave, he gives us fist bumps and says, ‘Have a great week!’” Landry K., grade 5 “When she sent me and my sister a birthday card. I think that was so sweet of her.” Avery E., grade 6 “He is always being a friend and always is funny.” Zane M., grade 5
If your small group leader were a superhero, what would be his or her super power? “Unlimited kindness, patience, and love. Also, she could probably fly.” Carey T., grade 5 “Her super power would be flying, because fairies fly, and she is nice like a fairy.”
Molly G., grade 5
“Defeating the enemy with laughter. She is always smiling and makes us all feel good even if we didn’t before.” Paige M., grade 6 “The power to turn a bad situation into a good situation.” Erin R., grade 6
How has your small group leader helped you grow in your faith? “I have become more selfless.” Zachary B., grade 6 “By showing us how we can change through experiencing God’s power.” Harrison P., grade 5 “She helped me see that obeying higher authority was one way that you can come even closer to God.” Carson S., grade 5 “When she came back from the hospital. God answered my prayers by making her well, so that whole experience helped me trust God.” Lily C., grade 6 “I’m not afraid anymore.” Jonathan M., grade 5
What is your favorite thing that your small group leader has said? “God made you who you are. You don’t have to worry about what others think of you.” Julie L., grade 6 artists from top: Paige M., grade 6; Zachary B., grade 6; Breanna S., grade 5; Alizah O, grade 5; Noel H., grade 5; Morgan B., grade 5; Emma B., grade 6; Bethany G., grade 5; Michelle B., grade 6; Emery W., grade 6; Zahira S., grade 6; Avery E., grade 6; Carson S., grade 5; Ethan M., grade 6
“Even though they aren’t Christians, you shouldn’t treat them differently.” Gabrielle S., grade 6 “Never turn away from the Lord.” Doug G., grade 6 “Believe in yourself!” Alex T., grade 5
You can make a difference in young lives, too. See what opportunities are available at www.stonebriar.org [keyword: projectserve].
by patricia krecklow
People will hear about our choirs just as music programs and come for the education, and, as a result , they hear about Christ.
I come broken to be mended. I come wounded to be healed. I come desperate to be rescued. I come empty to be filled. I come guilty to be pardoned By the blood of Christ the Lamb, And I’m welcomed with open arms, Praise God, just as I am. “Just As I Am”
Sung by Stonebriar Children’s Choirs in 2016
For Stonebriar Children’s Choirs, learning music is about more than perfecting a performance. Every rehearsal and concert is an opportunity for children to learn and share the Good News of Jesus through song. It is the goal of this ministry to nurture children’s understanding of God’s character and equip them to worship Him.
Every school year, choir leaders help these children develop and see the true purpose for their God-given talents: to glorify Him alone.
Choir members are encouraged to recognize biblical themes in the songs they are singing, such as grace, repentance, and redemption. God’s nature and promises are ingrained into little hearts and minds as they memorize the lyrics to songs like I Will Sing of My Redeemer, Come to Jesus, and Just As I Am. And every week, they are guided through these songs by leaders who prioritize each child’s spiritual vitality above any other goal. In addition to reaching the hearts of choir members, Children’s Choirs can also reach hearts in our community. Choir members
are encouraged to invite their friends and neighbors to concerts, extending an invitation to hear God’s stories and praises. Even our choir program itself can draw in families from outside Stonebriar. Director Sandi Altstaetter says, “People will hear about our choirs just as music programs and come for the education, and, as a result, they hear about Christ.” Our Children’s Choirs are currently open for enrollment for any child, pre-kindergarten through elementary. Rehearsals incorporate singing, biblical truth, music theory, and movement each week. And there is always space for more leaders, of any level of musical talent. To learn more about joining or volunteering with our Children’s Choirs or our Gloria Dei Youth Choir, visit [keyword: children’s choirs]. o Photo by Rich Diesto.
sharing the Good News
a conversation with pastoral leader of community care, karen hawkins When sharing the Good News of our Savior with our community, starting small can have a huge impact—and by “small,” I mean the littlest, youngest among us. According to the Frisco Chamber of Commerce, one third of Frisco’s population is school-aged children— upwards of 50,000 kids and counting. As they grow, these children will determine the shape of our future, here in Frisco and throughout the country. So how do we reach this precious group in Christ’s name? I talked with Pastoral Leader of Community Care Karen Hawkins, whose answer was this: “We take the Good News straight to them.” She went on to say that kids spend most of their time in school, just as adults spend most of our time at work. Out of this reality, after-school Bible clubs were born. (continued)
6 | connection
Pray for the teachers and students when you drive past a school • Bring treats for the school staff • Donate school supplies to kids in need
(Good News clubs continued) Good News Clubs, a ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship, meet weekly in public schools all across America. For 90 minutes each week, volunteers mentor kids by sharing the Gospel, playing games, telling stories, and praying with them. In the 2015– 2016 school year, Stonebriar sponsored five Good News Clubs in Frisco, and we have been asked to start two more this fall. These clubs allow us to establish a relationship with kids and their families before we invite them to our church building. “This is taking the church to them instead of waiting for them to come to us,” Karen said. Through fun activities and meaningful mentorship, volunteers get to be involved in the lives of these children, creating a safe place for their needs to be expressed—and for Christ to fill them. Praying with the children can give tremendous insight into their hearts and burdens, as prayer requests vary from bring me a puppy and help me with math to cure my mom of cancer and help my dad stop drinking. Knowing these struggles helps us extend grace and understanding to our neighbors. Stonebriar was able to reach more than 200 kids last year through our Good News Clubs, and the potential keeps rising. I urge you to see that figure as more than just a number; instead, see the faces of the kids in your community. These are the kids who play on your block or who smile at you at the grocery store. This is your chance to know them, to invest in their generation for the glory of God’s name. And this chance will not last forever. Christian organizations still have the right to host these clubs on public school grounds for now, but as our culture continues to change, we could be shut out in the future. Now is the time to seize this opportunity. One of Karen’s visions is to see a Good News Club on every one of our elementary campuses, forty in total. And for this, we need prayers and volunteers. “What we need is people who love children to give an hour and a half each week to care for them,” Karen explained. The more volunteers each club has, the more personal attention each child receives, and the more we will be able to branch out into new schools. And adult volunteers are not the only ones who can help this ministry grow. Stonebriar kids can participate after school on their own campuses and invite their friends. This teaches our kids from a young age to share the Good News of our Savior Jesus Christ, right where they are. As Frisco expands, the challenge of developing close relationships with our neighbors rises, but that does not change Jesus’ command for us to love them as we love ourselves. Investing in the lives of local children is a loving opportunity we must not miss. There are young hearts and minds ready to receive the Gospel at a school near you. Knowing this, how will you respond? To learn more about how to show the love of Christ to your neighbors, keep up with Stonebriar Community Care [keyword: care]. o
francey s totally worth it
tres leches cake
Cake • 8 eggs, separated • 2 cups sugar • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract • 2 cups flour • 1 tablespoon baking powder • 1/2 cup milk Custard Bath • 3 egg yolks • 2 12 ounce cans evaporated milk • 1 14 ounce can condensed milk • 2 cups heavy cream • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour pan. Pan must be 9”x 13”x 4” high. Make the Cake 1. In mixing bowl, beat 8 egg whites until very stiff. Set aside. 2. In another large bowl, beat sugar and egg yolks until pale yellow. 3. Add vanilla, flour, baking powder, and milk. Beat until combined. 4. Fold in beaten whites, taking care to lose as little volume as possible. 5. Pour batter into greased and floured pan. 6. Bake 30–40 minutes, until light brown and toothpick comes out clean. 7. Cool on rack and leave in the pan. Make the Bath 1. Combine beaten yolks ingredients until well blended.
2. Poke holes all over the top of the cake, and pour mixture over cake to soak it. 3. Top the cake with Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream. *Best when made a day in advance of eating. – by Francey Kelso, Music Associate
Join a Watchdog program or Parent Teacher Association • Cheer on their teams and attend their concerts • Run concession stands at games
www.stonebriar.org | 7
Care Ministries Pastor Steve Fischer once told me that seeds do not grow from unbroken ground. The plow comes before the sower, breaking up the earth and making room for seeds to grow. Similarly, in our lives, most often the broken ground of pain comes before the fruit of hope. During such seasons of painful tilling, the people of Stonebriar’s Care Ministries are here to help you.
cultivating a heart full of hope by patricia krecklow
—Romans 5:3–4, NIV
clockwise on left: Dan Lebsack, Taylor Gardner, Meaghan Wall, Lauri Lanier right: Roy Williamson, Steve Fischer, Amanda Draeger, Darla Hill
If you have met anyone on our Care Ministries team, then you have encountered people with some of the biggest hearts you may ever know. I have the blessing of working with them every day, hearing their insights on the Word and on the battles and victories of this life. Whether you are working through divorce, addiction, illness, grief, financial crisis, or a disability, these are the people God has equipped to labor with you. As Associate Pastor Roy Williamson put it, “Pain is a reality because of sin. Our job is to help you work through the pain.” Care Ministries staff and volunteers do more behind the scenes at Stonebriar than any of us can track. They are always on the go, replying to prayer requests, delivering benevolence gifts, leading support groups, offering pastoral guidance . . . By the grace of God, they do it all, and they do it all out of love for Jesus and for you.
encouragement groups DivorceCare and GriefShare are 13-week programs designed to heal and encourage those suffering from the end of a marriage or the passing of a loved one. Stonebriar hosts these programs several times a year, offering participants the opportunity to surround themselves with people who understand their struggles. Group members find solace in community and receive guidance from group facilitators who have endured the same pain, and have grown through it. Stonebriar also offers weekly MarriageCore meetings, intended to strengthen married couples, as well as monthly meetings for widows and cancer patients. These groups are a significant part of how Care Ministries tends to the emotional needs of our church family.
benevolence for financial crisis Stonebriar is blessed to be able to provide benevolence funds for those in crisis. The four primary areas of benevolence are food, shelter, clothing, and transportation, though Stonebriar also assists with disaster relief and other physical, mental, and spiritual needs, such as funding emergency counseling. Roy Williamson, who helps manage benevolence, reminded me that our Savior’s earthly ministry was marked by His healings, which returned the lame, the deaf, and the ill to the natural flow of life—including employment
8 | connection
Your Stonebriar family members are prepared to help you through life’s painful seasons. Care Ministries also offers hospital visitation and prayer ministries, and new groups and programs are developing every year.
and financial stability. Jesus’s miracles freed people to rebuild their lives, aiding beggars and those who had been cast aside. Benevolence is Stonebriar’s way of modeling His restorative gifts. To a struggling family, benevolence can feel like a miracle.
repairs and practical assistance Formerly known as the Home Team, Lizzie’s Team is a group of craftsman with a history of practically serving our church and community. In the past, they built Habitat for Humanity homes in Frisco, sent a team to New Orleans for Hurricane Katrina relief, and built the check-in stations on our church campus. Recently, they have specialized in building ramps and home accommodations for children with special needs, and they assisted in the construction of Hope Park, a disability-inclusive playground in Frisco.
anyone God puts before them. “Ultimately,” Steve Fischer shared regarding SoulCare ministry and pastoral guidance, “we are here to encourage, pray, and remind people that there is a God and they have not been forgotten.” More than anything, we hope that you know you are not alone. It is okay to reach out for help. It is okay to feel broken. We are all here to care for you.o
God Is Faithful Throughout (or GIFT) is Stonebriar’s own thriving Special Needs Ministry. The GIFT program currently serves more than 100 families, created out of the belief that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to worship, learn, and serve in our church, regardless of abilities. Pastoral Leader Meaghan Wall and her team coordinate activities that grow the skills of individuals with special needs, such as their weekly art classes, Bible studies, and encouragement meetings. They also plan events that offer respite for caregivers and parents of those with special needs, as well as fun family events planned with differing abilities in mind.
recovery and restoration Restore (Stonebriar’s recovery ministry) and Associate Pastor Dan Lebsack are newcomers to Care Ministries. Once a week, Restore attendees gather for large group teaching and small group discussions divided by different types of struggles, from alcoholism to parenting troubled teens and beyond. “We are not here to fix each other,” Dan often says. “We are here to encourage each other as we deal with our sins and the sins of others against us. We desperately want people to have peace and freedom.” Small groups are led by facilitators who have been through their own trials in the past—people who have survived and want to carry messages of hope to those still suffering. Dan believes that being able to help others is God’s way of bringing purpose to your pain.
guidance and encouragement Care Ministries is full of opportunities for people to guide and serve out of what they have learned, and another of those opportunities is SoulCare. Its mission is to connect people who want to help with people who need help. SoulCare partners are specially trained in numerous ways to guide those of us who hurt. You will see these ministry partners in the Prayer Rooms on Sundays, wearing nametags around campus, ever prepared to listen and encourage If you need help, the whole Care team agrees that their doors are always open for you. Visit [keyword: care].
www.stonebriar.org | 9
lifelong learning Students are returning to school in Frisco, but they are not the only ones who can study this fall. Stonebriar encourages lifelong learning at every age. Be a student of the Word and join one of our upcoming Bible studies, or visit www.stonebriar.org [keyword: equipping] to explore a list of classes designed to equip you for ministry in Christ.
Women’s Wednesday Bible Study Refresh and challenge your faith with this fall’s guide, Free to Soar: A Study in Romans. Develop relationships with women in your small group as you study the Word and worship together in His presence. We also welcome Marilyn Meberg to our teaching team this year. Morning and evening meetings are offered to accommodate all schedules. Register to join us on Wednesdays, September 7 through November 9 at 9:30 a.m. or 6:30 p.m.
Men’s Wednesday Night Bible Study with Dr. Steve Farrar Come and hear teaching from Dr. Steve Farrar, founder and chairman of Men’s Leadership Ministries. This Bible study is known for taking on the challenges of faith, family, career, and ethics. Small group discussion is not scheduled during the study, but men are encouraged to discuss each lesson afterward. Registration is not required. Join us Wednesdays, September 7 through November 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Worship Center.
Men’s Tuesday Night Bible Study Join our continuing in-depth study of major Bible themes. Registration is required, and the group size is limited to ensure full participation from each member. One to three hours of outside study preparation is required each week. This class will meet Tuesdays, September 13 through November 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Women of Grace Small Group Study Gather with a small group of women for a time of Bible study, support, and encouragement. Prepare to share God’s grace with one another as you discuss life’s challenges and learn to apply Scripture to your daily lives. Registration is not required. Join us Tuesdays, September 6 through November 8 at 7 p.m. Check our men’s and women’s ministry web pages for registration and more information on these studies. Childcare is available by reservation only at [keyword: men] or [keyword: women].
10 | connection
connection book bash
Book Worm forgot his library card. Help him find his way back so he can check out his favorite books!
The jumbled letters below contain 19 things that you can find in the library. Remember to look for words that are backwards!
C U L N S D V D W O R D S B L
H W I L E A R N I N G P O G H
E L B Y M W I F J A M O W M P
C V R R D Q S D B R K B H U U
BOOK BOOKMARK BOOKWORM CHECKOUT COMPUTERS DVDS LEARNING
K K A A G C H P O M E W I K T
O V R R M J N W A M S V S Q M
U N Y B D Y K R I P R H P T W
T G C I F O K T Z Z E X E F S
H O A L O T Y M Q L T R R Y Y
S C R B E R F F V X U E S D F
LIBRARIAN LIBRARY LIBRARY CARD MAGAZINES NEWSPAPERS PAGE QUIET
H R D I O X C E Z U P B G I F
P F U T N X S A A F M K I A M
F Q S G N I D A E R O O I P P
L I B R A R I A N G C O A T O
S E N I Z A G A M W R B L C S
READING SHELVES STORY TIME WHISPER WORDS
Color this page and visit [keyword: connection] for answers to these puzzles.
www.stonebriar.org | 11
upcoming 10/21– 10/23
men’s fall retreat
operation Christmas child shoebox collection
thanks for giving
legacy grandparenting summit
sanctuary choir and orchestra Christmas program
pine cove in tyler, texas [keyword: men’s retreat]
6 to 9 p.m. [keyword: fall festival]
food sorting and packing [keyword: thanks for giving]
9 and 10:45 a.m., worship center
a sweet celebration
children’s choirs Christmas program
7 p.m., worship center [keyword: sweet celebration]
6 p.m., worship center
4801 legendary drive, frisco, texas 75034
Christmas eve services
feed my starving children
5 and 6:30 p.m., worship center