Thank you for being a part of the City Church community and God’s family. There’s something so attractive about a healthy family. It’s my job as one of our pastors to make sure you are equipped and prepared to walk into God’s calling on your life. I would like to share this passage with you all today. 

Ephesians 4:11-16

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Charlie just turned 6 months old yesterday. He can now stay sitting up without assistance. Open his mouth to receive food when the spoon is in sight. He can grab his bottle and direct it straight into his mouth. But without assistance from someone preparing his bottle, getting it to a “preferred” temperature, and putting his food directly in front of his reach- he wouldn’t be able to eat. 

Then there’s my 2 year old Prezcott, who can go to the pantry, grab a macaroni and cheese single serve cup, attempt to open it without assistance, ask assistance, grab his stool, attempt to reach faucet, tell me how much water to put in single serving cup, then walk/lead me to the garage where we keep our microwave only for Mac n cheese and popcorn use pretty much, turn on microwave, wait patiently, mix in cheese packet and eat!  

I mean how cool is that? He may soon be at a stage where he can do it all on his own. 

Growing humans are so fun and frustrating to witness! I’ve learned so much more about the love of God for us, being a parent myself. I’m still so new to this and so eager to learn how to be a good mom for my children but that’s a whole different story. As the body of believers that we are, we get a first hand experience in watching and assisting in the growth of our community. 

At times it’s fun. At times it’s frustrating. But for always- it’s FAMILY.

As a family we stick by each other, believing, reminding, encouraging, pushing, protecting, serving, all for the sake of LOVE. 

He has called us to love each other as we love ourselves. I officiated my first wedding this past week and was reminded of this passage about what love is.

1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient, (A) love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (B) It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, (C) it is not easily angered, (D) it keeps no record of wrongs. (E) Love does not delight in evil (F) but rejoices with the truth. (G) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (H) Love never fails.

Gosh I think about the how author of this passage, this tough guy Paul, shares about what love is. What a testament of God’s wonder working power in softening this man’s heart to share such beautiful words for generations and generations to read, use, know, and hear over and over. 

Guys, I propose that this passage shares what the characteristics of Christ’s church and his people are to be. As we serve his people, would we put on love always- love for the KINGDOM, love for the body, local and globally, love for each other (our team mates) and for any new believer.

We have the greatest honor in serving each other.

When my son, Prezcott asks “Help, Mom!” I come running. Since I’ve learned these life skills that he’s just learning, I get a front row seat in watching him try, fail, and try again. In that, I’m learning myself, I’m trying, failing, trying, failing and trying again. None of us have it all figured out, but we get to figure it out together.

So here’s us figuring out how to best serve our community in this ever-changing and full of surprises kind of season.

Come Sunday, Sept. 12th we’ll be celebrating our 12th birthday as a local church body. We were hoping to relaunch TWO SERVICES, but decided to stick ONE SERVICE for the time being.

Worship/production team y’all know what needs to be done. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO REGULARLY PRIORITIZE OUR SUNDAY MORNING TEAM CONNECT TIMES AT 9:30AM. These morning team connections are vital, not only in these early stages or regrowth, but in our relationship with each other and our consideration for our team mates. We show up for our team.

We have a few areas that we still really need to make a push for: Security, Tech (Livestreaming) and Worship. Pretty much all areas are accepting new members. 

Our current offering count procedure is to have at least the lead usher and concierge doing count. Ideally we’d like a third person – either security or another greeter. Keep in mind the more priority areas after services are City Kids Security and the Welcome Table for new visitor capture. It is vital in capturing worship response cards so that we can stay in touch with those that come.

We don’t need to worry about any major threat, but if there were a more common threat to be concerned for- it would be domestic disputes over children. So it is VITAL we stick to enforcing our sticker system for the safety of the children.

Please also help keep our parking lot available for use to all those attending. If you can park on the street or the Anaheim Library, this will significantly open up parking spots and encourage folks to enjoy our in-person service option. 

Additionally, we must be considerate and diligent when it comes to our specific areas. Please just make sure we’re not leaving without completing our tasks as well as keeping our areas clean and disinfected.

If you gotta jet out early, please communicate it with either your lead (producer/usher/concierge) so they can find coverage. 

Also, please, please, please monitor what you’re able and not able to do. 

Set boundaries, add block-out dates to avoid burnout. Take breaks! We’ll be ok, I promise. God is so faithful and good and he will provide. We’re a revolving door here. You can step away for a season in serving and come right back. 

We love you. I love you. Jesus loves you. You’re so deeply loved, valued and appreciated. 

Nothing you do goes unnoticed. The Lord sees your heart. Even if man may not see it. Our Father is watching and loving every gift you give him.

At this time I actually wanted to acknowledge and appreciate y’all. Each and everyone of you deserves a Medal of Honor. A public declaration and standing ovation. 

But today I’d like to acknowledge three people specifically. Again, I can write a book on each and everyone of you and my gratitude and thankfulness for you. And there will be another time, because this won’t be our last team connect. I’m hoping to do these events more regularly.

This particular award. It’s called the “Whatever it Takes” award. This person has literally done whatever it takes to keep this train moving. Even as far as seeing a possible need before it isn’t even a need just yet. This person will go above and beyond in learning new skills and stepping outside of their comfort zone. From humble beginnings at the chain reaction, constant pleasant surprises in ability, I would like to present this “Whatever it Takes” Volunteer award to… DANIEL PANETTA!

 

Now this next award is called the “Lifetime Achievement” award. Most of you may have never even met this person. They are quite a quiet servant. You may have even eaten something this person has either cooked, or assisted in serving you a meal at some time or another. I’d like to shine a light on this particular superstar who has been with City Church since before me. They have missed less Sundays than even any one of our staff including Pastor Kyle- Would you help me in awarding this “LIFETIME Achievement” Volunteer award to… JOE HERNANDEZ!

 

Lastly, this next award is called the “City Church MVP” award. Not only is this person our most valuable player but easily one of our greatest coaches and cheerleaders! This person always has a smile on their face. Gives the greatest hugs. Is multi faceted and versatile, and has done pretty much every role there is – from easily being behind the scenes, a service host, children’s entertainer, dancing bear or rather dancing who, the Easter Bunny, the Greatest Showman, Mickey Mouse, and now even add a janitor. So everyone please join me in presenting this “City Church MVP” Volunteer awart to… TRACI VILLEGAS!

Now to each of you, I didn’t want to leave y’all without also sharing some more cheers. 

Y’all make this community whole, and complete. You each play vital roles in keeping this body strong, healthy, vibrant and alive.