Exciting Days at CIL

So, what has happened so far in 2017 at CIL?  Lots of exciting things!
1. Our Sunday morning services are growing in participation, passion and joy.  There is a great awareness of God’s presence in our services.
2. We have had record attendance and enthusiasm in our student ministry.
3. The new 6-7 grade small group during the Sunday sermon has been well received by students and parents.
4. We continue to reach more kids through specializing in age categories. Our early childhood, K-3rd grade, and 4th-5th grade, are all fully staffed with effective ministers, and developing well.
5. Take 2 for age 55+ is the most fun group in the church!
6. The new college age 242 Group is ministering to a crucial age category.  Chris and Kelly Multi are bringing great leadership and love to those young adults.
7.  Upgrades to our sound and lighting in the sanctuary have been made for a more pleasant worship experience.
8. In the next two weeks we should have 60 new parking spaces on the highway side of the property.  We are preparing for more increase!
9.  Alpha on Monday nights has been so good!  Our church is creating a culture to invite people into this great gospel story.
10. Newcomers are finishing CIL Forward, signing Covenant Partnerships, and participating in small groups.  Our family is increasing!

Epiphany – “Search for the Sacred”

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Do you Search for the Sacred?

It is the season of Epiphany according to the church calendar.  This is a time for God to reveal Himself to us, just as he did to the three wise men in the time of Jesus, and all Gentiles since then.

This season is also a reminder to us amidst our new year’s resolutions, which often revolve around secular matters, to search for the sacred.

On Sunday (January 15), I will be preaching from Psalm 40 and Psalm 116, in a message titled, How Can I Repay the Lord?  This Scripture is something God used to form my heart last year, and I look forward to sharing it with you on Sunday.

Join us at CIL – 9am or 10:45am

Preparing for Christmas Eve

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Christmas Eve is almost here! Don’t panic! Instead of stress and hurry, make a decision right now to enjoy the next few days. Slow down a little bit. Have some meaningful conversations. Soak it all in.

Also, make plans to attend one of our Christmas Eve services. We will have services at 3:00 and 4:30pm.  Nursery will be provided through age two. The Christmas Eve service is part of our spiritual formation as His people. The Advent season has been building us towards this celebration. Please invite anyone not part of another congregation to this inspiring and faith-building experience.

This Sunday (December 18) is important, too.  Our Covenant Partners will have the chance to ratify Ched Heiss, Tommy Hollinden, Chip Johnson, and Roger Shea to the Leadership Board for 2017-2018.

Also, there will be a Men’s “Drop-In” Fellowship in between services in the Living Room (from 10:10-10:40am). Ben Cordray and Ched Heiss will have coffee and donuts to share.  This is something new we are trying to connect our men more. All guys, plan to stop by and say hello and meet other men of our church.

I’ll be preaching week four of Advent, as we look to the theme Adore. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday!

December is special!

What a special time of year December is!   Make sure you attend one of our services this weekend at 9:00am or 10:45am, as we focus our attention on Jesus Christ through the Advent season. I have felt God’s anointing on these messages as I prepare.  The Word of God is so powerful!  These Scriptures we are preaching from during Advent point us to a greater future with Jesus.

Who can you invite to CIL this month?  We have invitation cards that tell people about both our Advent and Christmas Eve services.  What a great opportunity to share our life-changing message with our friends and family.

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Come and celebrate the Savior’s birth with a Christmas Eve service at CIL.  Through Christmas carols, communion and a message from Scripture, you will be re-focused on what Christmas is all about.

We will have two services that start at 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.   The services will each be one hour long. There will be no services on Sunday, December 25, so make sure you attend one of our Christmas Eve services for your weekend worship.

Tennessee tragedies point us to the Eternal

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There have been difficult times in Tennessee in recent days.

The deadly bus crash in Chattanooga (November 21).
Gatlinburg fires (November 28).
Tornados on Tennessee-Alabama border (November 30)

In this world of both environmental tragedy and human evil, we need a refuge and eternal perspective.  That place of security is not a location or institution. but the person of Jesus the Christ.

Blessed are you, Sovereign God,
creator of light and darkness,
to you be glory and praise for ever . . .
May your word be a lantern to our feet
and a light upon our path
that we may behold your coming among us . . .
As we walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
may we call upon your name,
raise the cup of salvation,
and so proclaim your death, O Lord,
until you come in glory.
                              – Daily Office, Evening Prayer, December 2

Advent begins this Sunday (Nov. 27)

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After enjoying Thanksgiving, let’s gather this Sunday in anticipation of what God is going to do. We’d love to meet your visiting family, and believe God’s Word will speak to them, as well as to us, as I preach from Romans 13:1-14. It will be a blessing to enjoy a Family Sunday together.

ADVENT, a word with Latin roots, means “coming.”   Advent designates a period before Christmas when Christians prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ birth. This practice began in the church over sixteen hundred years ago! Sermons focused on the wonder of the Incarnation. By the Middle Ages four Sundays had become the standard length of the Advent season. Since then, Advent has been considered the beginning of the church year.

This Sunday at CIL we begin our fifth year anticipating the celebration of Christmas by preparing our hearts through the season of Advent.

Here are our themes:
November 27            Anticipate
December 4               Prepare
December 11              Rejoice
December 18             Adore

These themes will prepare us for a Jesus-centered Christmas!  We will gather on Christmas Eve at 3pm and 4:30pm for services that welcome the Lord Jesus fully into our lives and church.

Also, we are collecting items for the Christmas Blessing this Sunday through Christmas Eve. Items needed: Coats (new or in good condition) Hats, Gloves, Scarves, Socks, Blankets, (new or in good condition) Sleeping Bags, Individually wrapped candy, Fruit Snacks, Peanut butter, or Cheese crackers, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, Chapstick, Cough drops, Pocket Pack Kleenex, Band-aids, Feminine Products, $5 McDonald gift cards.