Holy Week & Easter Worship

holy week & easter worshipAs the season of Lent comes to a close we invite you to join us in the journey to the cross with services during Holy Week, and a celebration of the Risen Christ on Easter Sunday!  Note days and times below – childcare is offered for children age 3 and under in our nursery.  Need directions?  Click here!

Maundy Thursday Service & Celebration of First Communion
Thursday, April 13th at 7PM

Good Friday Service
Friday, April 14th at 7PM

Easter Sunday
Sunday, April 16th – services at 8AM, 9AM & 10:30AM

January Message Series

Peace

For thlightstock_187355_jpg_julie_douglase month of January we want to put a bright spotlight on God’s promise of peace!

How can we nourish peace in ourselves and pass it on to others?  It turns out that Peace is one of the most important dimensions of faith.   Peace is spoken of very often in the Bible in powerful and profound ways.  In our messages in January we will explore how Christian faith and peace are so directly related!  We will look into questions such as:  Can peace take more of a hold on our lives? Can we shed some of the worry and anxiety of our hard driven lifestyles?  Can we experience the peace that we need?

Please come out every Sunday in January with your family and explore the gift and promise of peace with me!

Christmas at Rejoice

Celebrate the Season with Us!

Come celebrate the joy of the birth of our Lord Jesus with us at Rejoice on Christmas Eve and Christmas day!  Please feel free to attend the service most convenient for you.

Christmas Eve

Candlelight services at:calendar-christmas2015

  • 2:00 PM (including special Christmas activities during the service for children preschool – 5th grade!)
  • 3:30 PM
  • 5:00 PM

Childcare for children 3 and under available at each service.

Christmas Day

  • 8:00 AM (no childcare available)

New to Rejoice? Visit our What to Expect page to learn more about where we’re located and what it’s like when you arrive.  We look forward to celebrating Christmas with you!

Exciting changes coming!

Have you ever wanted to serve God by serving communion?

communionGreetings!  This is Julie Douglas, your friendly neighborhood Director of Communications and Worship Team Coordinator here at Rejoice.  Thank you to Pastor Lou for allowing me to guest blog this week.  The reason you’re hearing from me is that I wanted to let you know that we’ve got some exciting changes coming to how we do communion at Rejoice!

It is an honor and privilege to be able to serve communion as a symbol of God’s grace to others in our congregation, and we want to make this opportunity open to all!  Communion servers will no longer be pre-scheduled each week, rather we will move to a more voluntary and organic method of serving communion.  Beginning Sunday, November 6th, six lanyards will hang on the wall across from the elevator doors in the narthex.  We invite anyone who is wanting to take part in the worship service by serving communion – either by holding the chalice of wine, the tray of wine & grape juice, or holding the basket to collect used cups – to take a lanyard.  When the lanyards are all taken, then we know we have enough communion servers for that service.

A few notes:
  • 6 lanyards will be available for each service – 2 trays of wine/grape juice, 2 common cups of wine, 2 baskets for discarded communion cups. After worship, don’t forget to return the lanyard to the wall for the next service!
  • Pastor Lou & the worship leader will continue to serve the bread
  • The back of the lanyard will include instructions on what to say and do as a communion server
  • We welcome children to serve by holding the baskets. As there is one basket for each side, we ask that there are no more than 2 children per service (once students are confirmed, they are welcome to serve the tray or common cup)
  • We will return to two full teams of communion servers for both services. For the past year, we have experimented with one team of servers at the 9AM service, but for ease and consistency we will return to two teams at each service beginning Nov 6th
  • We understand that there will be people who will welcome this opportunity, but others may not be comfortable performing this role. That’s ok!  We don’t want anyone to feel pressured into serving in a capacity in which they’re uncomfortable – there are many different ways to be involved at Rejoice!

Pastor Lou and I are excited about these upcoming changes, and we believe it is a wonderful opportunity to involve more people in, and bring new energy to, our worship services at Rejoice!  Click here if you want to learn more about being a communion server.  If you have any questions or comments, please click here to contact me.

Renewing our Mission

stewardship pledge

Recently we put together a mailing highlighting your giving at work… stories of FAITH in ACTION!  Just a few of the many ways your financial offering helps Rejoice be a place where God is experienced, community is shared and lives are changed.  If you did not receive a brochure, click here to read how God is at work through the people of Rejoice.

This year’s stewardship focus is entitled ” Renewing our Mission” were we make our pledge towards God’s mission at Rejoice.  We ask that you pray about your financial commitment for 2017, and bring your completed pledge card with you Sunday. Or if you prefer, you may click the button below to safely and confidentially make your pledge online.

Thank you. Timely receipt of your pledge will help us plan and budget for next year as we seek to honor your faithful stewardship by using your gifts wisely as we carry out God’s work in our congregation, our community and throughout His world.

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Renewal – Fall 2016

Renewal, New Life, Born Anew/Born from Above, New Covenant, A New Commandment… these are all characteristics of the energy and vibe of Christian faith.  The ideas of renewal, reawakening, re-commitment are all dynamics of a vibrant and evolving faith in Christ!

With topics such as renewing our imaginations, our energy in marriage and family, and our investment in the Kingdom as well as our own community, this fall we will explore the graces, the gifts, and the tasks that are at work in the blessing of renewal.  I hope you will join me on this journey of renewal that will take us to Advent!

Turbo Group Leadership Training

Are you interested in growing your skills as a leader?
Would you like to learn from our youth minister Mike Willis and Pastor Lou how to lead a small group bible study?

If you are interested in taking your involvement in spiritual growth to the next level and want to help others do the same… this TURBO GROUP IS FOR YOU!  Youth minister Mike Willis and I invite you to join them for a 5-week training experience where we will talk about spiritual leadership and the practical aspects of leading discussions and choosing great resources.  Our meeting dates will be Sept 20, Oct 4, Oct 18, Nov 1 & Nov 15 – we’ll meet from 7-8:30pm at Rejoice.

The expectation is simple: graduates of this class will commit to leading a group, with our support.  Mike and I are here to help you, so let’s do this!!  Sign up below by Sept 18th.

Yes, I'm interested in Turbo Group Leadership Training with Pastor Lou and Mike Willis

 

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Our Week in Eureka Springs

2016 High School Mission Trip

“To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.” -Jesus

Okay, let me clarify this quote isn’t actually from Jesus. In fact, I bet you won’t find it anywhere in Scripture. This quote was shared with us by Ketchup Ken, one of two men (Ken and Joe) whom we worked with directly at our mission site.  Two men we affectionately referred to (at least among ourselves) as the Jesi.

Right now you might be asking yourself what about the setup to this mission trip blog sounds common? And why were our youth referring to the two guys at our mission site as Jesus?

Well, you are right that this mission trip was the opposite of common. For starters, when I think of youth mission trips I usually think of doing repairs on an underprivileged person’s home or place of living, or natural disaster recovery work like “Mission on the Bay,” or something in that vein. This was not the case in Eureka Springs, AK.

When we arrived, TEAMeffort told us that Eureka Springs is organized different than all of their other locations. Eureka Springs is an economically poor area, however it is also uniquely a tourist area in the summer. Most people in Eureka and the surrounding towns have a hard time finding full-time work year round. In the summer during the tourist season people can find jobs in the small shops downtown, at the area caves, and at one of their biggest employers and sources of income in the area, a not-for-profit organization called the Great Passion Play.

TEAMeffort prayed about how they could be most effective at serving the people of this area and found that as a construction-based mission organization that operates in the area 10 weeks out of the year, the biggest impact they could have is to partner with other ministries who serve the area year round to help them be as effective in their ministries as possible by doing work on their facilities and grounds, freeing them to be able to focus on other tasks of the ministry.

rakingOur group was assigned to work at The Great Passion Play. The Great Passion Play is “America’s #1 Attended Outdoor Drama” with seating for 4100 people in an outdoor amphitheater. The multi-level set, special lighting and sound effects, live animals, and a cast of 150 Biblically-costumed actors come together to create the epic drama of Jesus Christ’s last days on earth. The play is not the only on-site attraction on the 167 acre park though, there is the Christ of the Ozarks statue, the Holy Land Tour, Moses Tabernacle in the Wilderness, a section of the Berlin Wall, the Church in the Grove, the Bible Museum (the second largest collection of Bibles in the U.S.), the History Museum, and the Sacred Arts Museum are also on the grounds.  This is where our team, along with our TEAMeffort leader Cali, got the chance to meet the people maintenancewe would be serving for the week – Ken and Joe, the “Jesi.”  Ken and Joe are really the heart and soul behind the ministry at The Passion Play.  They do everything from strategic planning to construction work and marketing, not to mention they both play the role of Jesus in different areas of the park as well as in the play. So they both have an uncanny resemblance to what we typically think our Savior looks like. They also represent Jesus in their love for his people and in their desire to use this place to help people experience Jesus’ life death, and Resurrection and bring people back to God.

concreteWe had various tasks from watering the flowers (which takes 3-4 hours a day), construction work, roofing an area in the market place, painting, lots and lots of painting, weeding/deforesting an area for a future Noah’s Ark petting zoo, cutting down trees, extracting boulders, and building a 3 mile walking path through the woods to the sea of Galilee (which is going to be dedicated to Rejoice). We did a ton of work even though many of things we did just seemed ordinary in and of themselves. Such as watering the flowers and painting garbage cans. However, our youth worked extremely well together and accomplished a lot. I shouldn’t leave out we also had a lot of fun in small-group, caving, zip-lining, playing volleyball, and dizzy flash bangs.

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passion playAt the end of our last day of service they asked us if we would like to be extras in the play and 14 of us took them up on the offer – what an amazing experience! We were able to see what our efforts all week went toward.  We had the privilege of being a part the cast who are a dedicated group of Christians from all walks of life who come together 150+ strong 4-5 nights per week to share the gospel with everyone in attendance, and to share Christ’s love with everyone they interact with. The lady we partnered with as an extra just arrived back in town that morning from Berlin, as she works as an international flight attendant but takes time to do this as her ministry whenever she is home.  When all was said and done at the end of our last night, Joe and Ken took pictures with us and Ken left us with the opening quote “To do a common thing uncommonly well brings success.”- Henry John Heinz.

Ken said when he was 16 years old he read that quote at youth group on the back of a Heinz ketchup bottle and it changed his life. It is what inspires him to approach all of the various tasks and challenges at the Great Passion play with an uncommon passion and zest. He told us that all of the tasks we performed this week no matter how common they might have seemed were done uncommonly well by our youth! I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t be more proud of the work effort that our youth put forth in the 100 degree plus heat each day. In the end I think each one of us would say that we were blessed to be a blessing to such a wonderful group of Christ followers who are on a mission to share Chris’s love with the world. No, Ken and Joe aren’t Jesus, but we sure saw a lot of Christ in them!

Mike Willis
Rejoice Youth Minister

Where We are Going in June

A Biblical Look into Life’s 4 Key Questions

This June I’ll be preaching a 4 part series called: A Biblical Look into Life’s 4 Key Questions. The inspiration for these messages have come from discussions I have had with many of you about these very issues, and our congregation’s desire for more spiritual growth opportunities.

Here are the questions we will grapple with:

  • What can we know about God?
  • Why is there such suffering in the world and what does this say about the “human condition”?
  • Where do we look for security and happiness?
  • What hope is there after our lives end?

All religions attempt to deal with these questions and our faith meets them head on.  What does Christianity really say about these matters?

I imagine we all ponder these mysteries from time to time.  Do you have friends right now who need to hear these messages?

If so – invite and bring them!

If we pray, come prepared and engage I believe this series can be a blessing in our spiritual formation and growth!

Kairos Torch Prison Ministry

Thank you to everyone that supported Dennis Morgan and me this past weekend on the Fox Valley Kairos Torch Prison Ministry Weekend.  With your prayers and contributions you were part of this powerful weekend where we sat alongside 18 incarcerated youth at the Illinois Youth Center.  Yes! that prison that you see on the north side of Route 38.

Adult mentors from churches around the Fox Valley, Pentecostals, Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Methodists, and Baptists joined together to serve the youth on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a mission to engage the youths’ reasoning skills to help them make better life choices going forward.

kairos torch prison ministryThis was an opportunity for us to follow the example of St. Ignatius who said that we can “See Jesus in the lowly places”.  The Illinois Youth Center is absolutely the place where Jesus would be today.

When you stand with these youth you create kinship with them, and once you do that it is impossible to despise or discard them … you can only love them.  They are beautiful individuals who are God’s creation … just like you and me.

There are few moments in my life that I have ever felt closer to God than I did this past weekend.

Kairos Torch Ongoing Mentoring

Under the guidance of Kairos Torch, both Dennis and I are committed to providing  ongoing mentoring to the some of these youthful offenders with weekly visits until they are released.

kairos torch meal ticketsYou will hear more about this ministry in the coming weeks and months and you will have an opportunity to become more directly engaged as we plan Kairos Torch #7.  In the meantime, thank you, thank you, thank you for:

  • your prayers,
  • your donations of meal tickets,
  • the creation of meal place-mats by our Club Wow children.

Torch Keep Me Informed

  • If you are interested in supporting future Torch Activities you can let us know by filling in this short form.
 

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