|giv| 2017

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Every year, we take 3-4 weeks to intentionally focus on growing in generosity. We take this time to think about how God has given us undeserved grace while we were still sinners and continues to grow us as his people. We like to call it our |giv| series.


OUR |GIV| PROJECT

This year we are focussing our GIV series on helping our inner-city church planting partner, Midtown Two Notch.

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Usually, when you plant a church, you plan on being financially self-sufficient within three years. Unfortunately, that can have a restricting effect on who receives the gospel, because it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain a new church in areas stricken with poverty. For many of these churches, each new believer in Christ represents one more person who needs the love of Jesus but can't afford to financially support the church.

This year during our |giv| project, we're going to do what we can to make this Christmas special for the families that Midtown Two Notch is trying to reach. We're going to do what we can to relieve the financial burden of Christmas so that their kids can enjoy the season, and their parents don't have to make unwise financial choices to make it happen.

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THREE WAYS TO HELP

1. Christmas Party - Dec 16

Setup 12:-2
Party 2-5
Pack up 5-6

We plan to throw a giant Christmas Party at the Two Notch facility. It will essentially be a large-scale distraction for the kids while their parents go 'shopping' for Christmas Presents (part 2, below). We're going to have food, activities, Santa and elves, and all kinds of fun Christmassy stuff going on.

In order to pull this off we're going to need volunteers. If you could give us a heads up that you're planning to make it, that would be great. Fill out this form real quick for us!

Name *
Name

2. New toys, New or gently used children's clothes

We want to fill a room with toys and clothes so that while the kids are having fun at the Christmas Party, their parents can go 'shopping' for Christmas gifts that they will be able to give to their kids themselves and take all the credit. In order to make this happen, we're asking our church family to donate new toys and new or gently used children's clothing.

Some guidelines: Toys should be kept under $20. Parents will be 'shopping' for free, so we want the overall quality of toys to be in the same ballpark so that there is less of an 'early bird gets the worm' vibe. Also be mindful to get both boys and girls toys. Also, please leave everything unwrapped so that parents can see what toys and clothes they are picking up.

There is no need to let us know your plans, simply bring any donations in on a Sunday at the Gathering BEFORE DEC 16 and leave them on the steps of the stage.


3. Support Ant Frederick

 Ant with his wife Hannah and sons Colby (left) and Malachi (right). They also have a newborn daughter, Eden.

Ant with his wife Hannah and sons Colby (left) and Malachi (right). They also have a newborn daughter, Eden.

Ant is the Midtown Pastor who is most closely connected to Midtown Two Notch. Three years ago he chose to plant Midtown Two Notch in an area that he knew would never support his salary, and so must consistently spend time raising support for the church from outside sources.

Ant's family faces the added financial burden of requiring frequent surgeries for their son Malachi who suffers from a condition called venous vascular malformation. These surgeries require frequent week-long trips to Boston. Malachi will be going into his 19th and 20th surgeries during December.

The third part of our 2017 |giv| project is to support Ant and his family by raising as much as we can towards his salary for 2018.

If you would like to give towards this part of the |giv| project, you can give online and select '|giv| project' from the menu, or give on Sundays using the labeled envelopes.

Mission Weekend

This upcoming weekend (July 3rd) we will not have Gathering but rather be actively on mission in our city. What we mean by mission is that Jesus died to save sinners and He uses His church to spread that message. Our lives are to be used to spread the Gospel. Our time, energy, and wallets are spent to see our friends, coworkers, and neighbors come to know Jesus.

So in order to be best equipped for this, Josh recently got to pick Shia Labeouf's brain on how we can serve Columbia, SC for our upcoming Mission Weekend. Share and spread the word!

This I Believe and The Apostles' Creed

The Apostles' Creed is an ancient text that was memorized and repeated by the early church for centuries. It has been preserved throughout history and is still used in many churches today.

The creed itself has no inherent or inspired authority, and was never intended to be treated the same as Scripture, but it is a very concise list of basic doctrine that is helpful for the church.

Originally written in Greek, a good and common English translation is as follows:

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
The third day he arose again from the dead.
He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy universal Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.

This coming Sunday we will be playing a new song for the first time called This I Believe. This song was written by Hillsong in an attempt to modernize this ancient creed. A series of bold statements of faith, this will not only allow us to declare God's truth, but will ingrain in us some excellent doctrine about the beliefs of the church. 

More Thoughts on Same Sex Attraction.

We recently spoke about Same Sex Attraction in a sermon called Hate-Filled Bigots and Hospitality. The Theology of Sex Series was a great start for us to be thinking how we as a gospel-centered community on mission can be God's people impacting our city with the gospel amid a culture that glorifies a sexual narrative that conflicts with the bible.

As we continue to develop a culture at Mill City Church that speaks openly about all sin struggles, we want to create an informed environment that is able and capable of loving those among us who struggle with same sex attraction.

The following is a handful of videos from a Same Sex Attraction series published by the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC. Sam Allberry, author of Is God Anti-Gay? answers a number of thoughtful questions that will help us as a church to better understand, love, and serve our brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle with same sex attraction.

Is Same Sex Attraction A Sin?

How Can A Christian Minister To A Same Sex Attracted Individual Who Is Experiencing Loneliness?

How Do Families Explain Same Sex Attraction To Their Children?

What Does It Meant To Be A Same-Sex Attracted Person Who Is Also A Christian?

As Christians, Why Is It Important Not To Wrap Up Our Identity In Our Sexuality?

What Does Early Discipleship To A Homosexual Individual Look Like?