Catalyst Goes Big During Summer!

by Seth Wallenburn

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Catalyst goes big during summer! Our philosophy is to ramp Youth up for June-August! We figure if students have time away from school, why not use that time to build strong relationships with their friends, leaders and God! Here are just a few of the things we do during the summer:

Summer180:

This is a program we started a few years back to build strong bonds in the youth ministry. We spend two days a week with one another throughout July-August. We go to the redwoods, the beach, hiking, rafting, movie days, ride zip lines, play sports at local parks, serve our community, read and pray together, set up for youth nights and more. The great thing about this program is we only charge $50 per student! We want our students to be involved during the summer and know families also have a lot of other expenses! We want to make it as inexpensive as possible! www.parkwaycc.com/summer180

High School Shasta Trip:

This year we are back on Houseboats at Lake Shasta. We love getting away from the noise and chaos of every day to spend quality time with our Catalyst Fam. This trip is usually filled with a lot of sun, swimming, watersports, campfires and more. Although I (Pastor Seth) have had my encounters with bears, skunks and the like, this is one of my favorite trips! www.parkwaycc.com/shasta

Middle School Trip:

Middle School students are going on our Annual San Francisco trip. We get to visit Six Flags in Vallejo, Pier 39 and go to a water park. More details are coming soon, but this is a trip you do not want to miss! www.parkwaycc.com/mstrip

A few other things that we look forward to are a Welcome to Summer Party on June 20, spontaneous camp fire nights, rafting trips, bringing the incoming 6th graders on monthly events, etc. If you are a parent, a student, or just someone who attends Parkway and would like to keep informed on the events we do, follow us on our social media links below. All summer forms are available as of May 2nd. If you would like to sponsor Youth summer programs, please put “Student Summer Trips” on the memo line when you give.

Please be praying that our students not only have a great time during the summer, but that they have an incredible encounter with God, and build strong relationships with others!

Follow Us for Reminders, Spontaneous Events & Hangouts:
Twitter: @Catalystgp
Facebook: @CatalystGP
Instagram: @gpcatalyst
Text Messages Via Twitter: Text to #40404 and type “follow @catalystgp”

To read the full newsletter (and see more pictures) this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, May 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 5.

Posted on May 9, 2018 .

Beautiful Together

by Sarah Craven

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My passion over the last 12 years has become the hearts of women. I am Sarah – mom of three: Beth 13, Cindy 10, and Howie 8. I have been married to my best friend Jeff for 20 years this month. We made Grants Pass our home in 2014, and haven’t looked back. Raised in Oregon, I left for California and then later Arizona in the mid 90s to attend college and follow Jeff to San Diego where he served in the Navy. We were blessed when given the opportunity to move back to Oregon after being away for 16 years. 

My passion for women’s hearts developed out of becoming a mom, and seeing how incredibly hard the mundane parts of life can be. Faced with becoming a stay at home mom, after teaching High School Language Arts for 7 years, I found myself lonely and isolated. Confused as to how I fit into this new role, my world turned upside down. Teaching was full of collaboration, encouragement, and suggestions. Stay at home mommy-ing was full of questions with no one to answer, silence, and wondering if there was a better or a different way. A friend reached out and invited me into a Christ centered moms group called Mops. This is where we pulled off all the facades and realized we were just a bunch of moms, struggling in the everyday, loved Jesus, and had a heart for each other and passion for sharing his word. 

Leaning on other believers, and always having them point me back to His Word is what radically changed me, and led me from simply believing in Christ to having a relationship with Him. When we moved to Oregon, I prepared and prayed daily for this type of community. Within 5 days of being in Oregon, God led to me a local women’s group where Jeannette Webber was speaking. I knew from simply listening to her for 30 minutes, that she was rooted in Christ, had a heart for women, and had so much wisdom to share. That next Sunday we attended Parkway and have been here ever since.  

Drawing closer to God, He led me to this new season at Parkway. All this busy mom of 3 has to offer is a deep love for her Lord, and that all women are given the chance to experience the depth of love. As I prepare this next season, my heart is that we all feel we have a place. That we all belong. That we all are welcome, and we all grow in Christ together. Loneliness is one of the most effective tools of the enemy, because God created us to fellowship together.

Look for Connect – Parkway Women’s events in the months to come that serve to unite us. When I agreed to take over this volunteer position, it was simply because I love the Lord, and this church He brought me to.  Life is so much more fulfilling when we have someone to walk through it with. We will have several times where we can connect over dinner, movies, or games. We have two weekly Bible studies to help us connect to the Word and each other. If you have ideas, or a willingness to help serve please reach out. I am here to serve, and want to plan events that women want to attend. Our first big event will take place on May 12, at our Women’s Tea and Talent Luncheon:  Beautiful Together 

I believe that we are Beautiful Together, and want to celebrate all ages of women and girls. I hope that you will plan to attend. It will be a great opportunity to learn something new, meet new friends, strengthen relationships, and laugh!

If you have a talent you want to share please sign up at the church office, or online at www.parkwaycc.com/tea-talent.  We are looking for all ages, all instruments, funny, serious, skits, dances, groups, or individuals.

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, April 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 4.

Posted on April 5, 2018 .

Generation Unleashed 2018

by Seth Wallenburn

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Our Catalyst students went to a conference called Generation Unleashed in Portland, Oregon. The purpose and goal of the Generation Unleashed conference is for students and volunteers to leave with their life changed by the power of God. City Bible Church celebrated their 25th anniversary of putting on the conference this year, and it was an incredible one! During the conference we got to hear from nationally known speakers such as Micah Carter, Levi Lusko and Havilah Cunnington!  The theme for this year was God’s Grace! I would say with confidence that most, if not all, of the 45 staff and volunteers who went on the trip had an encounter with God. It was great to see students commit their lives to Christ for the first time, and students who decided to come back to their relationship with Christ! I’ll never forget talking to one of our students who is new to our youth ministry during one of the sessions. God spoke to her about grace in a new light. She told me that she has always been good at forgiving others, but has not forgiven herself for past sins until this trip. What an incredible testimony that will help to change her trajectory years down the road. A simple realization of God’s grace--empowering her to live in Christ’s abundant life! We just finished a testimony series in our main Sunday service, most of these testimonies were based upon milestones. For some of our students this was a milestone moment in their life. A God encounter that changed the way they will live after this trip! For others it was a new beginning where they just began their journey of following Christ! I can tell you, Church, that God is not just a God of the past generations. God is raising up a generation with a selfless faith, one that is authentic and genuine, one that seeks to serve and save the lost and broken people in our city! My prayer is that God is going to use this trip to catapult us into new territory as a church; new roads; new visions; and new life. Can I encourage you to pray for the next generation? Pray that God will use them in mighty ways and He would use these God encounters to bring change to our city!

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, March 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 3.

Posted on March 10, 2018 .

Beyond the Sanctuary

by Carissa Moddison

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Hi, we are so happy you have chosen Parkway as your place of worship. For some (ok, I mean me, I admit it), just making it to those doors on time is a small (or large) victory. For others, a desire to connect with God is overwhelming because, well, LIFE has happened that week. Then there is the joy of anticipation as we connect with our church family, catching up on, well, LIFE. 

As you walk through the doors, you are greeted with a smile and a handshake. You are invited to join us in the sanctuary, handed a bulletin and helped to your seat. Our Hospitality Team answers any questions at the info desk or helps you to the nursery and preschool wing. After you have taken your seat, you see the Worship Team take the stage and are invited to join them in praise and worship as the Media Team mixes audio, lights and displays lyrics on screen (as well as broadcasts our services to those unable to attend). Once a month, you are invited to share in communion. If you have prayer needs, the Prayer Team welcomes you, prays with you and anoints the sick with oil. 

We all settle down for announcements and prayer over the youth and kids as they join their teachers for a lesson. Then, we enter into a time of learning. You listen and look to the power point slides to fill in your bulletin. 

We commit to applying that day’s lesson to our life that week and are given an opportunity to honor God with our tithes and offering. We pray over what we have learned and then we are dismissed. We pick up our children, visit with friends and family, make lunch plans and continue on our way – entering into a new week refreshed and prepared for what it may bring us. 

That is a typical Sunday Service at Parkway. But, have you ever wondered what went into making all of the DETAILS of this day happen? It’s a blessed two hours, but how many hours (and days) went into making it happen behind the scenes and in the week (or weeks) leading up to this particular Sunday? WHO is doing this work? How does it all come together? Is there a place where you can help?

Welcome to our new series, “Beyond the Sanctuary.” In this series it is our goal to show you how Sunday happens and honor those who have been serving in these various areas. Over the next few months, you will meet the teams and see the process of what happens behind the scenes. We invite you into the process. 

If you are interested in joining any of these ministry teams, contact us at
info@parkwaycc.com or call the office at 541-479-2639

Beyond the Sanctuary: Sermon Selection Process.

by Pastor Dennis Webber

Someone asked, “How do you decide what sermons to preach?”  The short answer is we pray and ask God and then do what He says. The longer answer is that the prayer is often asked in context. To help in doing his work as Pastor of the church in Ephesus, the Apostle Paul writes this to Timothy in a letter, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NIV)

In that sense it is not really possible to present the “wrong” sermon. All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for Godly living so any portion of Scripture properly understood, presented, and applied is “good.”

The question becomes one of what kind of equipping does this group of people need at this time in this place? That is where the conversation with God begins. He knows us. He knows our circumstance.  He also knows what is coming for which we need to be prepared.

This process can be one of doing no prior preparation other than personal devotional reading followed up with a prayer on the way up to the podium that says “God help me say the right thing.” On the other hand it can be the choice to preach through a lectionary that has been developed over centuries and is designed to assign to the speaker three related passages of Scripture (one each from the Old Testament, Psalms, and New Testament) from which the speaker chooses and preaches on an annual rotation. Then there are those who start in Genesis 1 every year and head for Revelation 22 by the end of the year.

We tend to find a path in the middle, choosing sections of Scripture (a letter to a New Testament church, one of the four Gospels or some subset like Jesus’ parables or miracles) and to explore them in some depth.  We do this for a couple of reasons. First, we want people to understand how to read the Bible for themselves; learning not only what lessons the speaker thinks are important from the Bible but at least in some degree how he came to that understanding.  Second, it is our hope that the Biblical thinking of the people we are learning with will be greater than just a devotional reading (here is what the verse means to me) and that we will come to the place of understanding in the context of the Bible as a whole and the purpose of its intended writing when it was written “What does this verse actually mean?”  

We believe that it is from this perspective that the most accurate and life informing applications of Scripture can be made. We never underestimate the Holy Spirit’s ability to help the person who just says “I am in trouble so I am going to just open the Bible and read the first words I see.” It is just our perception that long term if your are going to be Biblically informed both in information and practice at some point you have to study as Scripture says, not merely read.

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, February 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 2.

Posted on February 7, 2018 .

Change and New Beginnings

by Pastor Dennis Webber

  Image Top: Kintsugi - translated to “golden joinery” or “golden repair” is the art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold. 

Image Top: Kintsugi - translated to “golden joinery” or “golden repair” is the art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold. 

When writing to the church in Corinth, the Apostle Paul reminds them that the Kingdom of God is not open to those who deliberately choose a lifestyle of wrongdoing.  He then reminds them that that is what many of them were before they had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ.  He says it this way – “That is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

A couple of those terms are pretty technical but Paul is trying to get them to understand that when Jesus sets us free from our old self of selfishness and addictions we are in His words “free indeed.”  All of us need to have the crud of our lives washed off but we are talking much more than a getting a spiritual shower.  

Paul uses those technical terms to indicate that everything about us changes when we engage in an encounter with Jesus.  Our very nature, our motivations, responses, and relationships change.  We are sanctified; our legal standing with the authority of the universe changes.   We, the person who did all of those things in the past, are declared fully forgiven and rehabilitated.  We are justified.

The Bible is full of stories about human lives being changed by personal encounters with God.  Moses the slave and murderer becomes Moses the deliverer.  Rahab the prostitute becomes Rahab the protector and along the way becomes part of the family into which Jesus is born.  Saul of Tarsus, who by his own admission was a violent man and an aggressor, becomes the apostle to the Gentiles.

As inspiring as these stories are, my favorite stories of change and new beginnings are the ones happening right now, right here.  It is the drug addict and thief who is now sober, productive, and yes charitable; a user having become a giver.  It is the promiscuous lady who has come to see herself in a new way.  A wayward daughter who now knows she is a daughter of the King.  It is the self-righteous man who has come to understand that a whole bunch of stuff is not the same as being personally whole.

That is why we are spending the first 8 weeks of the New Year to celebrate new beginnings.  Every week we are going to share in the stories of individuals who have experienced a new beginning with Jesus.  We are going to celebrate that change.  We are going to celebrate the journey that continues from that change.  We are going to encourage one another to finish the change that started when we were washed, when we were sanctified, and when we were justified.

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, January 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 1.

Posted on January 8, 2018 .

"Mini-mony"

by Shanna O'Donnell

  Image Top: Kintsugi - translated to “golden joinery” or “golden repair” is the art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold. 

Image Top: Kintsugi - translated to “golden joinery” or “golden repair” is the art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold. 

Hello family, my name is Shanna O’Donnell and I am a grateful believer. I have been an official member of Parkway for the last year, but have attended off and on for most of my adult life. I have been blessed with a crazy beautiful marriage to the love of my life for 16 years and I have 3 awesome teenagers that experience autism. Life is busy and my connection to the Lord and my church family is extremely important to me.

I was raised in a household that believed in God, but did not believe in the church and I was never really acquainted with the bible. It wasn’t until I got married to my amazing husband that I was introduced to the idea of attending. Being married at such a young age and living in denial about my 3 children, I struggled with self worth, depression and crippling anxiety. Untreated and unconnected to Christ, I fell into the darkness of sin and addiction.

Out of desperation in 2007 I hit my knees and have since been on a journey with the Lord that I never thought possible. I was scared to surrender and resisted the idea that I was loved. I tried out multiple religions in an effort to justify my sins, when in reality I was looking for the freely given love of our Savior. Every time I attended church, I was overwhelmed by the Spirit and my own emotions would scare me away for weeks, sometimes months.

I wanted something different so I tried out different churches and embarked on a relationship with Jesus. In November 2014 I gave my life to the Lord and was baptized. The church I was attending lacked the personal connection I so desperately craved and I once again found myself in the balcony of Parkway. Overwhelmed by the Spirit, I knew I had found my family.

Being a part of the recovery community here in the Rogue Valley, my path to restoration was lacking the influence of Christ. Knowing that I needed him to be successful, I started attending Celebrate Recovery on Thursday nights and focusing on the truths of God instead of the lies of the enemy. The love of Jesus Christ has filled every broken space in my heart that I tried to fill with people, places and things.

In January of this year, my marriage took some brutal blows from our past and we reached out to the pastoral staff here at Parkway for guidance. With the help of our mentors and God’s unfailing love, my marriage and my life in general is overflowing with joy. The love of Christ alone brought me out of the darkness of my self induced chaos. I am now on the leadership team of Celebrate Recovery and you can find me every Sunday morning at Parkway praising my heart out.

Our Story

In January, Parkway will kick off a seven week testimony series. Each week you will hear a story from people who have lived lives of brokenness. For some, the brokenness was “out there” and for others it was well hidden, but all suffered the consequences from their own choices and from the choices of others. Stories will be on abuse, addiction, sexual brokenness, homosexuality, pride, legalism, and for most a combination of consequences.

God showed the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah that we are all pots shaped by the Lord and when we break, it is in His gentle hands that we are picked up and stitched back together with seams of gold. We are even more beautiful for our scars, yet WHOLE and able to serve in His kingdom. We proclaim our brokenness as a testimony of His love for us. 

In this series of testimonies, you will hear how broken and mended vessels have become a tool for ministry in our communities. We are all walking across the bridge of ministry, going from chaos to stability and back into the chaos as our stability
leads to ministry.

Join us in 2018. Enter into the stories. Be a part of the conversations. Bring a friend or neighbor to hear from one of our own. Come and witness grace. 

Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, December 2017, Vol. 1, Issue 5.

Posted on December 1, 2017 .

There is Life After 50!

by Pastor Ron Marsh

  Image Top: Annual B.I.G. (Blessed In God) Dinner at the Grants Pass Golf Course.

Image Top: Annual B.I.G. (Blessed In God) Dinner at the Grants Pass Golf Course.

Introducing our ministry to our empty nest adults, Life After Fifty (over 50 and still working) and Traditions for our retired adults.  LAF (Life After Fifty) events are offered on a monthly basis for our still working adults who have graduated their children into the main stream of life.  THERE IS…Life After Fifty with no children in the home, take advantage of these times to get acquainted with other folks of like circumstance and enjoy being empty nesters.  Watch for monthly events focused for you: game night in January, Valentine’s dinner in February and an evening Seder meal
in March.  Look for specifics as the dates draw closer, they will be published in this newsletter, on the website, in our bulletin, and on our bulletin board in the Fellowship Hallway by the patio entrance.

Pictured above is our annual BIG (Blessed In God) day event.  This year about 90 of us ate a wonderful meal at the Grants Pass golf course dining room.  Our first year trying this event off campus was a total success.  Due to the generosity of one of our supporters, who paid for the meal for all who attended, we were able to give our portion of the meal fees to aid the ROC (Reaching Our Community) food pantry Thanksgiving Basket Give Away.  The ROC will distribute 650 food baskets to the individuals and families in our community.  Traditions thanks our donor supporter and the ROC for their commitment to feed the less fortunate and needy in our county and Traditions is honored to be able to support these families.

Traditions will be distributing gifts to the former Fairview Rehab Center, usually about 75 folks, on Dec 21st during our meeting time followed by a Christmas potluck lunch.  You are invited to participate in distributing these gifts to the shut-in adults in our neighborhood.  Traditions ministry is also supporting families by adopting two families this year for Christmas gifts and food for a holiday meal.  We have adopted a family recently graduated from the Gospel Rescue Mission and a family that has recently been restored through our efforts and connections with Royal Family Kids.  These families struggle once public assistance ceases so we are helping them transition into responsible healthy lifestyles.  We also are assisting four elderly widows for the
holiday season.  Thank you all for your support financially and spiritually so we are able to pay forward to help meet these needs.   

If you are interested in a mid-week uplift, ministry to others and belonging to an active group of believers, join us on Thursdays at 10:00 AM  and/or  our special monthly activities.  THERE IS…Life After Fifty, God isn’t done with you yet, there are many who still do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior, so join us as we continue to serve in the Kingdom, offering opportunities and ministry to our growing community of over fifty adults.

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, December 2017, Vol. 1, Issue 5.

Posted on December 1, 2017 .

What God Did in Me at Oregon Youth Convention

by Braden Pennington

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Two weeks ago, I was able to go to Oregon Youth Convention with our youth group. I went expecting God to do things in my life and showing me the answers to my questions I had. The most powerful times of the trip for me was during worship.  During the last evening worship session, the holy spirit urged me to pray for a particular person. After some negotiating I went and prayed for the person. This act of obedience taught me a lot more than I expected! I discovered that when I surrender in obedience to God that I truly become a living vessel for Him. When we let God live through us all the time, that’s when we are living life to the fullest.  Now the challenge for myself is to let God breathe through me all the time living completely surrendered 24/7.  I challenge you as a reader to do the same.  Let God access every part of your life so that He can fully live through you and create you into the beautiful person He has created you to be.

OYC Reflections

by Sarah Wiltrout

OYC was an amazing experience. OYC stands for Oregon Youth Convention. OYC is an every year church trip near Salem. I liked OYC because of the environment, the worship and the sermon. The students and leaders were kind and welcoming. The leaders were very fun and were a part of the reason that made the trip fun. The worship was very touching. My friends and I loved the services for worship. It was very much of a spirits rising type of worship. One of the speakers was Reggie Dabbs. All I heard all week was about how amazing Reggie was, and how they can’t wait for him to come back. Another leader that spoke was Brian Eno, who was so much fun.

OYC Reflections

by Nevaeh VanDusen

OYC was an amazing event with friends and a good place to find God and worship Him. The trip also came with some awkward moments, but we all laughed them off. I had the best time and I got really close with God. I loved the worship and the support that came with my walk.

To read the full newsletter (and see more images from OYC), go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, November 2017, Vol. 1, Issue 4.

Posted on November 4, 2017 .

Connect With Your Community at the Annual Harvest Festival

by Pastor St. John Eyre

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“Mom, it’s gonna rain on Halloween,” said little Susie. “My costume is going to be ruined.” 

Hey folks, regardless of the weather outside on October 31st, you and your kids will be able to enjoy a wonderful family fun event inside our gymnasium.  Welcome to the annual Harvest Festival.  

This attraction has become one of the most popular and well attended events in our community.  While it is presented by the Children’s Ministry Department, the entire church body gets involved in making this a memorable event for the so many families.  

Plans start very early to get everything ready for the Harvest Festival.  Candy donations are accepted starting October 1st in any of our convenient donation drop sites.  They are located in the church foyer, the Fellowship Hall and in the Preschool and KidFactorE wings.  The generosity of our church really gives us an opportunity to demonstrate how much we care about our community.

The Harvest Festival is a family friendly event, providing a safe and welcoming event for children.  While most of our guests include kids ranging from toddlers to 7th grade, the parents can often be seen alongside their kids helping them enjoy the many carnival style games.  There will also be a bounce house to help the kiddos work off some of their energy.  

For our adults, there is comfortable seating right in the middle of all the action.  They can sit down and relax with some refreshments from our snack bar that will include classics like a hot bowl of chili which is just perfect as the fall season approaches, some nachos or a hotdog with chips and a drink.

Every year Pastor St. John looks to add something new for the kids to enjoy.  Last year the floating wiffle ball ‘batter-up’ activity was a big hit.  New for 2017 is The Demoltion Zone obstacle course, The Camelot Castle jump house and Skee-Ball.  There will also be many of our favorite activities for the kids like the toddler friendly fishing pond, the duck pull and woggler boards.  

If you would like to volunteer for this event, please sign-up in the church foyer or contact the church office for more information.  So many of our volunteers have shared how much they look forward to being a part of this community outreach.  We strive for safety as well so if you do intend to volunteer please sign-up early as every volunteer will have to have a background check completed prior to the event.

This event begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. with the famous ‘Candy Toss’.  If you are not familiar with what that is you’ll just have to plan to be there to see it.  

To read the full newsletter, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletterOctober 2017, Vol.1, Issue 3.

Posted on October 6, 2017 .

59 Kids, 78 heroes and Overwhelming Support From You!

By Allison McLain

It’s hard to believe another year of camp is complete, but our 12th year was one of our best.  Seventy-eight real-life heroes laid it all on the line to give our fifty-nine campers the week of a lifetime, full of countless moments that deeply matter and positive memories that we believe they’ll hold for eternity.  This week was a picture-perfect glimpse of what pure and undefiled religion really looks like--people truly loving God and loving people.  

Driving up to camp with the kids Monday morning, I had a very clear picture in my mind of God literally handing us these kids and saying, “Here you go. These are mine, and this week I’m giving them to you.  Love them well.”  Our team gave everything they had, and more, to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to love each child deeply and to show them that they matter more than they could ever imagine.  These adults served beautifully and selflessly, and because of a massive influx of child applications this year, let us take more kids knowing it meant they’d have to work even harder.  On Friday, we handed our kids back to God, having done exactly what He entrusted us to do, and knowing that the trajectory of their lives is now a little bit different. 

In reflecting on camp, Keith Ruska shared this: “So many of these kids are shuttled from one foster home to another and they can’t physically call a house a home. Many of those kids, for maybe the first time, found an open door of love from the Lord beckoning them to come to His home of love. That open door was provided by the unity and love God used to show them how love really operates.”

A few hours in, eleven-year-old *Sarah, surprised us by sharing that she was an atheist, and she didn’t know this was a Christian camp.  Her counselor told her she was free to believe whatever she wanted, that she loved her anyways, and that since she was at camp already, she might as well have a great week.  By Friday morning, Sarah said in an excited voice, “I believe in God!”  Later, her Grandma, in tears, shared that she had been praying for her to believe for years.  

Joy Chamberlain said, “The fact is that God’s love saturates their little hearts and they have ears to hear that God really does love them and He can make a big difference in their lives. The way I know this is by how kids love this camp. It’s more than just a bunch of nice people spending time with them, it’s the love of God.”

Parkway family, thank you for the support you’ve offered over the last twelve years and for the countless ways you’ve stood in the gap for kids who can’t stand for themselves yet, and for stepping up to the battle lines to fight for their futures and for their place in the Kingdom.  And if you haven’t joined us yet, we’ve got a place for you.

*Name changed to protect child’s identity

To read the full newsletter, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletterSeptember 2017, Vol.1, Issue 2.

Posted on September 7, 2017 .

Communication, Connecting and Christ

by Pastor Dennis Webber

Welcome to our new newsletter format!  It is our hope that this will be one more way we all stay connected.  Living connected or disconnected is the big thing in life.  Sin disconnected us from our Creator so He came to reconnect with us.  He connected with us in personal ways, in life changing ways, and in eternity changing ways.  That same sin separated us from each other.  Not that there is enough space to really get away from each other, but we often find ourselves putting up with broken awkward relationships with people we would like to be close to, people we would like to be connected with.  So Scripture talks to us not just about being connected with God but how to be connected with each other.

As Jesus said, the first and greatest commandment is to love God with all that we are and all that we have and that the second commandment is similar to it, love one another the way Christ loved us.  Connected, not in forced ways but in life giving relational ways is at the heart of this Christian thing.

As we launch this new communication tool – because being connected means sharing information – I want you to be alert to some things.  First is the opportunity to connect with others in the Parkway family in ways that are life affirming.  You will notice that most of what you read in this newsletter is focused on events other than Sunday morning and often for gatherings of smaller settings like events for youth or men or women.  

We speak of our Care Groups as places “to know and be known, to pray and be prayed for.”  Be alert to opportunities to be a part of these groups as a place to find personal encouragement and connection.  If you do not find a group you can easily connect with, start one!  We will help you be a successful facilitator of friends gathering in the name of Jesus to know and be known, praying and being prayed for.

We will also be using these pages to report back on the successes and outcomes of some of the projects we engage in, everything from how much did we raise for that cause to how did that trip go that those young people went on.

Our focus on these pages will continue to reflect our understanding of why we are here as individual Christians gathered in this fellowship.  We are here to help people connect with Jesus.  We illustrate this with what we call The Bridge of Ministry.  It reminds us that God has saved us from ourselves and the futility of the life we were creating.  He then walked us across from where we were to a place of relationship with Him and others whom He had already saved from themselves.  In this new place we help each other live out this new life God has given us.  Along the way we have come to understand that God is asking us to work with Him in the process of saving other people from themselves.  

While one side of the bridge is firmly rooted in what God is doing for us collectively as people already saved from ourselves, the other side of the bridge is firmly rooted in the places we believe that God has asked us to partner with Him in saving others from themselves and the lives being forced upon them by sin and sin’s bad choices.

Consequently, part of what you will read about here are ways we are connecting either as individuals or collectively with those in the community that seem to be in greatest need of assistance.  You will read about volunteering to help people who are struggling with life controlling issues.  You will read about volunteering to help people going through life crisis.  You will read about volunteering to help children and families in the foster care system.  

Being connected in life affirming, life-giving ways is key to this whole Jesus lifestyle.  We want you to be informed.  We want you to be connected.  We want hurting and struggling people to be connected with Jesus.  It is great to be able to do life with you!

To read the full newsletter, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, August 2017, Vol.1, Issue 1.

Posted on August 9, 2017 .