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FALL 2012



FALL 2012

volume 14 • number 3

A quarterly publication, Š 2012 Stonebriar Community Church, Frisco, Texas. The material within this publication may not be disseminated without permission. All inquiries, comments, suggestions, . and story ideas should be directed to. our Communications department by. e-mail to

senior pastor chuck swindoll senior director of resource ministries carol spencer communications director sandi garrett


creative director kenny courtenay writer rachel mcginness editor olga ball


designer sarah scherdt

remember when? .............................................................................2

communications coordinator jeri kopp

a great honor for a great lady

volunteer photographers phil bruce cyndie ward

encouraging all

ask the pastor......................................................................................1


summer in review............................................................................5


is america still a nation under God?......................................6

people to pursue

i love Jesus because . . . ...............................................................8

a lifelong, fall festival promises family fun!..............................................8

joyous relationship with Jesus Christ

our new volleyball courts serve up fun!.........................9


fall events calendar.................................................back cover

ask the pastor

by don mcminn, pastor of worship & music

What’s going on in the music ministry this year?”

The main focus of our music ministry is always on our Sunday services. We offer special concerts throughout the year, but. our priority is to facilitate a meaningful worship experience for our church every. seven days. We try to program a lot. of musical variety into our Sunday. morning services. We always have an. instrumentalist on stage and some type of vocal music, either from the choir, an. ensemble, or soloist. This takes a lot of long-range planning so we plan services about six months in advance and try to communicate well with our musicians. Relative to congregational singing, we try to program songs that are familiar to our parishioners so that people can sing. robustly. We include some new hymns into the mix, but we sing them often enough so that the music becomes well integrated into the repertoire of the church.

Our choir, orchestra, and soloists take their assignments seriously, and we work hard to creatively present musical offerings. that reflect the highest level of human preparation and divine enablement. It is, indeed, a wonderful thing to, “Praise God in His sanctuary” (Psalm 150). Through the years, we’ve been able to attract many great musicians who love the Lord deeply, which is a wonderful combination. Many of our musicians teach music in the school systems, teach private music lessons, or play in professional ensembles. This year our concert series will include hosting the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. for two concerts in our auditorium. Our entire community will enjoy hearing this world-class ensemble in the comfort and convenience of our local campus. Our Center Stage concert on February 9

will feature our artist-in-residence, David. Gaschen, who sang the role of the. Phantom in Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. And, of course, our Sanctuary. Choir and Orchestra and Children’s. Choirs will provide beautiful music. during the Christmas season. Every Wednesday evening more than 200. children participate in our children’s choirs. We teach them music and. encourage them toward a deeper reverence. for God. Our youth choir, Gloria Dei, aspires to do the same with youth. Our music leadership team is deeply grateful to be a part of what God is doing at Stonebriar Community Church. Our church is making a difference in the lives of those who live in the Metroplex and around the world.

dallas symphony orchestra in concert saturday, october 13 2:30 p.m. in the worship center tickets: $10, $20, and $40 available at | 1

a look back at the early days of our church by olga ball, staff editor

It all started with a short article. in the Dallas Morning News announcing that Pastor Chuck. Swindoll was going to start a. church in Frisco in the fall . . . Anyone interested was invited to a meeting at the Stonebriar Country Club.. Approximately 300 people showed up to the first meeting, including Jim and. Diann Gunn. Jim and Diann said that Pastor Chuck ended the meeting with a. prayer, “Lord, please forgive me for thinking that no one would show up.” The beginning of Stonebriar Community Church was a time of uncertainty, but the people involved were certain that the Lord was orchestrating their endeavor. “The first night, we got in the car and knew that this is where we wanted to be. I think a lot of people felt that way,” Diann said. The group stayed at the country club for three weeks. “On the third week, Pastor Chuck said this is our last week here. We don’t know where we will be next week. We will send you a postcard when we figure it out,” Diann said. The congregation spent one month at Trinity School before moving to the. Collin County Community College: Preston Ridge Campus for two years. “It was nerve-wracking not knowing where you were going to be the next week, but we just knew that God’s hand was in all of this,” Diann said.

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Jim and Diann Gunn in the “early days” of our church.

Collin County Community College allowed the congregation to use the facilities from Saturday afternoon until Sunday. at 2 p.m. “We all met at 4 p.m. on Saturday to. unload everything,” Jim said, “and the minute church was over, we had to start packing.” All of the white plastic chairs used during worship had to be put back in the storage. containers outside. “I had to take all of the baby stuff home and clean it,”. Diann added. The stage that Pastor Chuck preached from was flat risers in the. gymnasium. Baptisms were held in the indoor swimming pool at the. community college. There was a. basketball stuck in the rafters that. Pastor Chuck would occasionally refer to. in his sermons. One Sunday, it rained so hard. against the metal roof of the gymnasium that. no one could hear Pastor Chuck. Every. Wednesday, the set-up committee met at the Gunns’ home to discuss various problems from. the previous Sunday and to make plans for the next Sunday. “Every week was a new challenge,” Jim said, “but everyone had a positive attitude.. They knew we were growing. They knew it was. something special. Everyone wanted to get in on it.” Stonebriar became the fastest-growing church in. the United States. “We had to keep buying more chairs!” Diann said. As plans to construct a new

building were enacted, the set-up committee became a 12-person. steering committee to plan the new building. The steering. committee then evolved into the building committee, which. later became the board of elders. The church thrived with the help of volunteers. “We couldn’t. have done it without volunteers,” Jim said, “We got up to 200. volunteers helping on Sundays.” Some of the tasks included. mopping the floor, setting up and taking down the chairs, and. greeting people on Sunday morning. “It was easy to get. people to volunteer. Everyone was so excited,” Diann said.. One man, who had been in the restaurant business, even brought bagels for the entire church every Sunday. Each week, the bagels would have a different topping. “We couldn’t wait to see what. the new topping would be!” Jim laughed. The Gunns said that practically everyone in the congregation. volunteered in some way. “It was hard work, but it was so much fun. We were all so thrilled to be there,” Jim said, “We jumped in with both feet and tried to make it happen.” Volunteers continue to. be an integral part of. our church. If you would like to explore. the various ways you. can volunteer, visit. [keyword: projectserve] for more information. | 3

a great honor for a great lady

by rachel mcginness, staff writer At 7:30 a.m. one morning, Joyce Comstock got a call. Preparing for bad news, she braced herself and answered the phone. “A friend of mine said, ‘Joyce, are you sitting down? There’s going to be a Joyce Comstock School.’” “No one was ever more surprised,” Joyce said. “I’m very honored and very humbled.” After 21 years in education, eight years at. Frisco High School, she would have an elementary school bearing. her name. However, Joyce had one request before accepting the honor. She asked if her maiden name, Kelley, could be included. in the new elementary school’s name to honor her father. For her, education had been a family affair. Joyce’s father came from a big family and had to quit school after fifth grade to work for the railroad. At age 12, he. slept on a cot near the train station.. However, he later worked. to instill a love

of education in his children. “My dad is really important. He was such an encourager,” Joyce said. Frisco ISD Superintendent Dr. Rick Reedy called her “the special education teacher in Frisco.” “It wasn’t because of any of my accomplishments,” she joked. “It’s because I was the only one in town at the time!” Early in her teaching career, Joyce discovered she loved serving with the special education program at her church. “I truly have a heart for those children,” Joyce said. She still keeps in contact with many former students that she has taught throughout her career. Upon learning about our special needs ministry ten years ago, Joyce started attending our church. She volunteered for several years with the ministry and was always impressed by all the programs offered to special needs children and their families. “My heart is still there,” she said. Even though she retired from teaching years ago, Joyce still instructs an ESL class two nights a week. She even takes on extra work to help some of her students study for their citizenship exams. Both of Joyce’s children, along with several of her friends from. the Marathon adult fellowship class, will play an integral role in the dedication ceremony on September 16. Her three. great-grandchildren will recite the pledge of allegiance, her. daughter, also a teacher, will honor her mother with a speech,. and Stonebriar Elder Ralph Ehren will give the benediction. Another family member will be present during the dedication of Joyce Kelly Comstock Elementary School in the form of the legacy he left on its namesake. Joyce said, “I don’t know what God’s plan for heaven is, but I hope He lets my dad peek down and see that school.”

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by olga ball, staff editor

sports camps

elementary/preteen camp

Our church held three sports camps for. children: baseball/softball camp, basketball camp, and football camp. The camp theme,. “Run to Win!” was based on 1 Corinthians. 9:24-27. Under the direction of Roger. Campbell, and with the help of coaches and volunteers, children learned how to build character while developing skills.

At the “Surfin’ in the Son” Elementary Camp, 120 campers learned about Jesus, who He was, and how much He loves them.. Some kids’ lives were changed eternally, as. they chose to place their trust in Jesus.

vacation Bible school

More than 700 kids and 300 volunteers came together this summer for vacation. Bible school. Children had a great time. making crafts, playing games, worshiping. God, and learning how He lovingly. pursues us. At least 30 kids trusted Christ for the first time, and many more wanted. to grow deeper in their relationship with. Jesus. This year, children at VBS raised $2400 dollars for Cornerstone Kids, our VBS mission project. VBS concluded with a County Fair. Kids,. volunteers, and their families enjoyed a. fun night of review, bounce houses, giant. slides, ice cream, hamburgers and hot dogs,. and more.

At “Fill It Up” camp in Hawkins, Texas, 93 preteens enjoyed zip lines, played capture the flag, swam, and rode the breath-taker swing. Campers learned about growing in. their walk with God, and several made first-time decisions to trust Christ as their Savior. Many others were challenged to strengthen their walk with God.

junior high & high school mission trips

slogan describes the way the students. accomplished what God called them to. do. They weren’t just doing what they were. told, they were making key decisions,. solving problems, and humbly serving in. a leadership role. Our high school students. served in Honduras by creating a VBS. and laying a foundation for a new school building complete with concrete and rebar..

summer escape

On July 28, 260 ladies enjoyed 22. workshops, varying from Zumba and plumbing repair to sharing the Gospel and throwing a party. Keynote speaker Marilyn. Meberg brought her best friend Lucy. Swindoll along for an inspiring message. Everyone left with flip flops on their feet and smiles on their faces.

marriage live This summer, our Junior High Ministry went on a mission trip to Memphis while the high school ministry did a mission. trip to Honduras. The junior high students. taught a vacation Bible school to inner-. city children ages 2–15. They also restored a. house and created a community garden. for the people of Memphis. The slogan that. was consistently used to describe the work. was “People first, Mission always.” This.

Married couples experienced a night of. encouragement, music, and barbecue with a Western flair at Marriage Live. Couples learned about the “Good, Bad, and Ugly. of Communication,” from speaker Chip Dickens and enjoyed fellowship with. other married couples. | 5

by derrick jeter, contributing writer Sitting at a desk in the Boston office of Youth’s Companion magazine, a 37-yearold former clergyman took a scrap of paper. and began scribbling what he hoped. would be an expression of “intelligent. patriotism”—a love of the American ideal.. Francis Bellamy wrote:

under the watchful eye of God and. His Holy Scripture. Yet, if ever the people. allowed their commitment to God to. grow shabby and soft, their liberties would succumb to the plundering of an. unprincipled, power-hungry government..

I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands—one nation indivisible—with liberty and justice for all.1

The truth of this downward spiral is. repeated time and again in ancient history.. Within a century of their glorious. emancipation from Egyptian slavery, the. ancient Israelites fell into a predictable. pattern of liberty and tyranny that lasted. almost 300 years. Each cycle began with. shortsightedness—with the people. forgetting their history and the God who delivered them from bondage. Their. forgetfulness led to sin. Sin led to servitude. Shackles wrung from their hearts a cry of supplication for a deliverer. God answered their prayers and brought salvation through a Judge, who threw off the chains of slavery. Once free, silence fell upon the land and. the Israelites lived in peace . . . until the. people grew shortsighted again.

Since 1892, when Bellamy first penned. those 23 words, the Pledge of Allegiance has undergone two significant edits. The first came in the 1920s when the intimate sentiment “my flag” was changed to “the flag of the United States of America.” The second and most dramatic edit came in 1954 when Congress inserted the words “under God,” to distinguish America’s. godly heritage from the godlessness of. communist China and Russia. Congress’s addition captured the spirit of America’s founding fathers, who put. confidence in the truth that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”. (2 Corinthians 3:17).

the liberty triangle Our founders believed in three. fundamental principles—what we might call the liberty triangle: a republic cannot. survive without liberty, liberty cannot. survive without virtue, and virtue cannot survive without God. The founders believed that an assault on. the people’s liberty was a fool’s pursuit, as long as the people governed themselves.

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History’s lesson is stark but unmistakable: when citizens abandon God, private virtue fails; when private virtue fails, public virtue fails; and when public virtue fails, society fails, requiring either the passage of more laws or the machinations of history to. govern a people no longer capable of. governing themselves.

forgetting God The ancient book of Deuteronomy called. the Israelites back to remembrance—. to remember how God delivered them. from Egypt and sustained them in the. wilderness. They were to remember so as.

to not fall prey to the culture in which. they were entering. If they forgot their God, they would worship idols and thereby. receive judgment, instead of blessing,. from the living God. America is not Israel. But God loves and blesses those nations that honor Him. Says the psalmist: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD” (Psalm 33:12). And though we celebrate the First Amendment’s creed that all are free to choose whether to worship God, America has long held to the truth of “In God We Trust.” We sing “God Bless America” and pledge our allegiance to “one nation under God.” But have these sentiments lost their meaning? What if America was to forget God? The great Russian novelist Aleksandr. Solzhenitsyn once made this startling. admission: If I were asked today to. formulate as concisely as. possible the main cause of. the ruinous [Russian]. Revolution that swallowed. up some 60 million of. our people, I could not. put it more accurately. than . . . “Men have forgotten God; that’s. why all this has. happened.” . . . And if I were called upon to identify briefly the. principle trait of the. entire 20th century, here. too I would be unable to. find anything more precise. and pithy than to repeat once.

again: “Men have forgotten God.”2 One hundred and twenty years earlier,. Abraham Lincoln came to the same. conclusion: We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power,. as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten. the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and. strengthened us; and we have vainly. imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were. produced by some superior wisdom and. virtue of our own. Intoxicated with.

unbroken success, we have become too. self-sufficient to feel the necessity of. redeeming and preserving grace, too. proud to pray to the God that made us!3 What Lincoln and Solzhenitsyn. understood was the truth that no country. founded upon religious principles can. maintain its liberty once God is forgotten. —consigned to the fringes of public. life or cast out altogether. In all cases,. the citizens of such nations exchange. their liberty for tyranny. Russia fell. under the bleak ideology of Soviet. Communism. Germany fell under the jackbooted principles of Nazi Fascism. And America in the 1860s fell under the bloody sword of a civil war.

Thomas Jefferson’s haunting questions,. then, remain as relevant today as they were more than 200 years ago: Can the liberties. of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction. in the minds of the people that these. liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath?. Indeed I tremble for my country when I. reflect that God is just: that his justice. cannot sleep forever.5 Is America still a nation under God? You. be the judge. But never forget that our. republic will only maintain its liberties for as long as God wills. Which is why we should keep ever on our lips the humble prayer of patriotism: God, may our country. last forever in freedom. Derrick G. Jeter writes and speaks on topics. related to faith and freedom. He sometimes. teaches in Coffee House Fellowship. Read. articles and excerpts of Derrick’s books at Portions of this article. are taken from O America! A Manifesto on. Liberty. Copyright © 2011 by Derrick G. Jeter. All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission. ENDNOTES 1. Francis Bellamy, as quoted in Jeffery Owen Jones. and Peter Meyer, The Pledge: A History of the Pledge of Allegiance (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2010), 3, 10. 2. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, “Templeton Lecture,”. May 10, 1983, trans. Alexis Klimoff, in The Solzhenitsyn Reader: New and Essential Writings, 1947–2005, ed. Edward E. Ericson Jr. and Daniel. J. Mahoney (Wilmington, Del.: ISI Books,. 2006), 577. 3. Abraham Lincoln, “Proclamation Appointing a. National Fast Day,” March 30, 1863, in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 6, ed. Roy P. Basler (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers. University Press, 1953), 156. 4. Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia,. in Thomas Jefferson: Writings (New York: The Library of America, 1984), 289. | 7

Nothing is more pure and honest than child-like faith.. Matthew 19:14 says, “Let the children come to me. Don’t. stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to. those who are like these children” (NLT). These are the. responses from some of our Preschool Pals children when asked “I know Jesus loves me because . . .”

by rachel mcginness, staff writer The fall season brings about familiar routines and. activities: school gets underway, the weather begins to. cool, football starts again, and Stonebriar hosts Fall Festival!. This event is a unique way to involve the entire church. family in serving together. “We want our event to be a big. ‘hug’ to the community,” said Linda Wylie, preschool. ministry leader. She described Fall Festival as an open house. for our church. “We try to get our community into our. church in a non-threatening way,” Linda added. Each ministry is involved with Fall Festival in some capacity.. For example, our Sanctuary Choir and women’s ministry. bake cakes, men’s ministry provides sodas, the Home and. Adult Fellowships host booths, and other groups offer live. entertainment. There will be carnival games, bounce. houses, balloon animals, face painting, a trackless train,. and CANDY! Our 10th annual Fall Festival is Friday, October 26 from. 6 to 9 p.m. The event is free. If you choose, a Chick-fil-A. dinner may be purchased for $5. Snacks and soda will. also be available for $2. The event is cash only. Everyone. is encouraged to dress up. No “scary” costumes or. full-face masks.

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fall festival fun facts • For the past three years, ALL candy for Fall Festival has been generously provided by our church family. • We’ll have three photo booths complete with props this year. • We will presort 600 to 1,000 gallons of candy for the event. • The Sunday after Fall Festival is one of the busiest Sundays of the year. • Our church staff dresses up according to a theme. What will it be this year? • We’ll distribute close to 1,250 bags of candy to children. • Student Ministries hosts a midway, complete with a beauty salon. • Stonebriar en Español will host its first cake walk. • The event utilizes a large portion of our church campus, including the HUB, Circle Drive, Building B parking lot,. and the Atrium just to name a few! • Planning for next year’s Fall Festival begins immediately after this year’s event is finished. • There will be between 3,000 to 5,000 people at the event. • The Gospel is presented several times throughout the night, and prayer cards are made for the families. • Fall Festival will take place rain or shine!

our new volleyball courts serve up fun! by sarah scherdt, staff graphic designer We’re excited to announce a brand new ministry space at our. church—a sand volleyball court located next to Building B. (where the children’s playground used to be). It’s a low cost. upgrade with high ministry value. We encourage you to gather. your Adult Fellowship or IronMan group and enjoy fellowship and friendly competition. Mosaic fellowship and Stonebriar en Español have already served up some fun on the court. Your group could be next—here’s how: Any ministry group can reserve the court. (It’s currently not open to outside groups).. There’s no cost and reservations are. available on a first come, first. serve basis. All you need to. do is contact your ministry. representative to check. availability. It’s open year. round from dawn to dusk.. Our building management. team even has a hose. available to keep the sand cool underneath your feet.. Just be sure to turn off the. water when you’re done. Bring your own volleyball and we’ll see you in the sand. | 9

FALL 2012 in His time

chinese fellowship

1st & 3rd sundays, . 9–10:15 a.m., A211

recurring events

tiempo de oración y testimonios

sundays, 10:30 a.m., multi-purpose room

stonebriar prays

american airlines center


starting point class begins



9–10:15 a.m., A129 [keyword: equipping]

starting point home group class begins 6:30 p.m., mckinney [keyword: equipping]

preteen guys fun night 6–11:55 p.m.

10/5–7 junior high retreat pine cove 10/6,13, 27 clothe a child shopping days 10/7

celebration of the Lord’s supper 9 & 10:45 a.m., worship center

10/11–22 ireland mission trip

fridays, 7 a.m., B200-201 [keyword: ruro]


high school breakfast club

tuesdays, 6:30 p.m., B241-242. [keyword: marriagecore]

1st monday of the month 7–8:30 p.m., A129

9/21–22 women of faith conference

reach up, reach out job-loss encouragement

1st & 3rd tuesdays, 9 a.m.–noon [keyword: friscoconnect]

cancer encouragement group

12:30–3:30 p.m., Portable D

wednesdays, 9/12–11/14 6:30 p.m., worship center

frisco connect (employment networking)

1st sunday of the month 5–6:30 p.m., A129

home adult fellowship facilitator training begins

men’s wednesday night Bible study with steve farrar

mondays & thursdays, 7–9 p.m., registration required [keyword: esl]

servicio en español


wednesdays, 9:30–11 a.m. & 6:30–8 p.m. [keyword: womensbible]

english as a second language

sundays, 9 a.m., multi-purpose room

women’s fall Bible studies

3rd monday of the month 6:30–8 p.m., B201

10/12–14 men’s fall retreat pine cove

1st & 3rd friday, 9/21–12/16 6:45–7:45 a.m.


junior high/high school operation Christmas child




high school skilz


junior high/high school guys paintball

high school girls day at sundance square

special needs Christmas dinner


sweet celebration

11/9-11 preteen father/son & mother/daughter retreats


high school Christmas party




preteen girls fun night


fall festival


6–11:50 p.m. 6–9 p.m.

junior high/high school baptism lunch orientation 12:05–2 p.m.

11/2 preteen bowl ‘n tag

5–7 p.m.


adult baptism class

child dedication

12:30–2:30 p.m., A211

9 a.m. & 10:45 a.m.

thanks for giving packing 10 a.m.–1 p.m., atrium

11 a.m.–1 p.m., B181 (HUB) 1 p.m., multi-purpose room 7–11:30 a.m.

6:45 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

12:30–9 p.m.

5:30–8 p.m., multi-purpose room 7–9 p.m., worship center/atrium 6:30–8 p.m., B181 (HUB)

junior high Christmas party

6:30–8 p.m., B181 (HUB)

4801 legendary drive, frisco, texas 75034 • 469.252.5200 •

Connection Fall 2012  

A quarterly publication encouraging all people to pursue a lifelong, joyous relationship with Jesus Christ.