Sabbatical for the Allisons

Aaron&Beth-2018-Apr8On Sunday the CIL Leadership Board made an exciting presentation to the church.  Upon their invitation, Beth and I have accepted a sabbatical to celebrate eleven years of service at CIL, and 24 years of vocational ministry.   From May 13 to July 14, we will be away from CIL, enjoying a time of spiritual reflection, family time, and other experiences we do not have the luxury for during the normal pace of ministry.

We are not burned out or in need of a break.  A sabbatical is not a reactive move.  On the contrary, this is a proactive spiritual discipline that will contribute to our personal health and continued service to the CIL community.

CIL is currently in a firm position in every facet of our congregation and experiencing positive momentum.  It is an exciting time at our church, so taking a few weeks off in some ways feels counter-intuitive.  However, we trust our fantastic staff, leadership team, and church family to soar during our time of retreat.

What will we be doing?  Our number one goal during this sabbatical is rest and spiritual renewal.   Some of the things we have planned include time with extended family, council from spiritual mentors, family vacation, prayer retreat at a monastery, and some house chores we haven’t gotten to in a while.

Will you see us at CIL? No.  Our children will still be attending the church often, but Beth and I will be completely retreating from congregational life for this short season.

Who will be preaching? We have an incredible line up of guest speakers that will be speaking each week.  The spiritual life of our church will increase from the ministry of both the CIL staff and outside speakers.

I am expecting this time to be a fruitful and rewarding time for our family’s spiritual development and the health of the CIL family.  Thank you for giving us this opportunity!  We could not be blessed more to serve such great people.

But, we are not on sabbatical yet!    I will be preaching the next five weeks, and I cannot wait to share God’s Word to you during the Easter season!

We love serving Jesus with you!

Aaron and Beth

Learning from Joseph

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I have noticed a lot of people struggling with their mood, outlook, and emotional health in the last few weeks. I love how authentic everyone is with their feelings. This vulnerability is so much better than the days when Christians wore masks of perfection.
 
Still, why now? Is it all the recent rain? Is it the winter darkness and lack of vegetation? Is it the loss of momentum from New Year’s resolutions?
 
While I don’t want to minimize anyone’s personal experience, I must observe that some of this angst is predictable. Most years, we start January with some level of optimism but seem to plod through the winter months with a survival mindset. While winter doesn’t bother me as much as some people, believe me – I have my challenging times each year!
 
I wrote all of this because I think Sunday’s sermon is going to help people. We will look at a statement Joseph made in Genesis 45:5, “God sent me ahead.” Discovering Joseph’s perspective on his life may give you some perspective on yours.
 
Join me at CIL at either 9am or 10:45am.
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“The Recognition of Joseph by His Brothers”
Date: 1816-1817
Artist: Cornelius, Peter von, 1783-1867

Randy Carter preaching at CIL

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Sunday is going to be great at CIL!

My good friend Randy Carter will return to preach on December 30th. Randy is smart, seasoned, and humorous. Everyone loved it when he was with us a couple of years ago, so you will not want to miss Sunday’s service.

Randy is the senior pastor of Northside Assembly of God in Jackson, TN. He is going to bring CIL an encouraging message in anticipation of 2019, so come expecting great things from God!

9:00am or 10:45am.

New worship leader begins October 7

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October 7 is an exciting day at CIL, as Pastor Aubrey McGowan begins his tenure as the primary worship leader for our church family. We have enjoyed Aubrey and Jen’s music ministry monthly the last few years, so they are familiar and trusted voices. We look forward to them working more with our entire team, and bringing us into the presence of God each week.
 
To read more about Aubrey’s ministry, click here
 
 
Help welcome them by attending services tomorrow at either 9am or 10:45am.
 

Thank you, Beth Allison

IMG_2741Sunday is a bitter-sweet, transforming morning for me.  September 30this my wife Beth’s last Sunday as the CIL Worship Leader.  After 21 years of leading worship – 6 of it as CIL’s primary Worship Leader – Beth’s role on staff will change to other tasks on our team.  We are excited that Aubrey McGowan will now be CIL’s worship leader, and will celebrate that gift later.

For now, I remember 21 years that my constant partner in ministry has always brought it musically!  Whether she was tired, sick, pregnant, recovering from pregnancy, grieving the loss of her father, managing Lincoln’s early health issues, or dealing with an immature, unreasonable boss (that, would be me!) – Beth always brought anointed, Jesus-exalting worship. She voluntarily and sacrificially gave up her role as worship leader to cement the merge of the churches that became CIL.  When ever we were in a pinch, she always stepped it up.  She raised up so many talented worship leaders, singers and musicians for the worship team, lovingly encouraging each to step in their God-called role.

So here are all the places for now I can remember her leading worship at: Cornerstone’s Jr. High room, Tabernacle, Gym, and Sanctuary.  In Frisco, there was Hillcrest Day School, Beary Best Academy, our house on Santa Clara St., and the apartment clubhouse.  At Sumner Life, there was Guild Elementary School, the Palace Theatre, Sumner Regional hospital, the Glen Oak clubhouse, and Station Camp Middle School.  Then, came CIL.  Remember those Wednesday night services?  No one will ever realize how hard that was for an elementary Mom to lead worship on a Wednesday night.  At every place.  At every service. During every song.  She brought us all Jesus.

So, now I am excited for a new era in our ministry and marriage. I’m looking forward to Beth helping me more directly. I need her more than ever before, and it is wonderful to imagine all God has for our ministry. Thank you Beth for being my all-time, favorite worship leader!