The Promised Land

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 6: Joshua & Judges

The symbols and typology of this amazing story continue.  The illustration shifts from navigating the desert to how do we live with God on the earth in a place that includes both His amazing blessings and the resistance of evil.

As most human stories seem to do, they start out with amazing grace and amazing victories.  The waters part on the Jordan River and they enter the land by amazing intervention.  The walls of Jericho fall as the result of complete obedience to what is by any standard a crazy battle plan.  Over a period of several years the armies of Israel are victorious over enemies that were determined to stop them.  

But rather than acknowledge the wonders of living in harmony with God, the people quickly turn to tribalism, violence, and immorality.  It is hard not to read these events and wonder how could a people that had experienced so much deliverance and victory trade it in for a way of life that they knew was flawed and led to destruction.  Yet how many times have we experienced God’s deliverance and mercy in our own lives only to return to the very things He delivered us from in the first place?  How many times have we traded our old sin for a new one, knowing that our new sin is only new to us and that it did not work for the people who tried it before us?

Superstition and sensuality will always be practiced by someone who will offer it to us as an alternative to righteous living.  The freedom God gives us is the freedom to choose as opposed to the addiction of our sins that tells us what to choose.  This freedom to choose does not choose for us.  How we live this life of freedom and provision from God is directly connected to the choices we make. 

God has brought you to a new place. How are you living in that new place?

Posted on March 15, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

The Wilderness

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 5: Numbers & Deuteronomy

We have been pausing to take a look at this wilderness journey in our times together on Sunday mornings.  The lessons and illustrations are seemingly endless.  There are these amazing points in the story when God just does awesome things and there are even a couple of times when the people believe God will do them and are thankful when they are done.

Unfortunately there seems to be more times when they doubt God can help them regardless of how many times He has helped them in the past.  And what should result in gratitude often seems to end up in dissatisfaction.  In fact, in the end, Paul writes to the Corinthians and says the things that happened to them are examples for us so that we do not mess up the way they did.  I hope no one ends up using my life as an example of how not to live.

So here we are, living on the earth having been set free from sin and addiction headed for heaven – our kind of wilderness wandering.  Consequently every day we get to choose to have faith or fear, to be grateful or grumpy, or to trust or be terrified.  God is with us on this journey and He is providing for us along the way.  He has promised to bring us to a place of abundance forever.  We just need to walk with Him from where we are to where we are going.

It sounds so simple but as the story of the Israelites tells us the frustrations of the desert can get the better of our faith and our perspective can become sour if we are not careful to place our thoughts on Him, the originator and finisher of our story.

Read and learn as the Apostle Paul tells us.

Posted on February 25, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

The Covenant at Mt. Sinai

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 4: Exodus 19-40 & Leviticus 1-27

God is amazing, awesome, and terrifying.  He wants a relationship with us and as He proved through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus He is willing to do whatever it takes to have that relationship.  But as the story of God and the Israelites tells us, getting that close to God can be an overwhelming experience. 

God instructed the Israelites to get ready for their meeting on the mountain and to not just run up whenever they wanted.  In the end the people did not want to go at all.  They were more than willing to let Moses go (if was crazy enough to try it) and then come back and tell them what God said.

In the end, they received some guidelines about how to relate to God and how to relate to each other along with instructions about how to construct a meeting place that was modeled after what is in heaven.  A little heaven on earth so to speak.  (See Hebrews 8:1-6)

There are certainly lessons for us as we read through the events in these verses. 

  1. God is awesome – be sincere in your relationship with Him.

  2. God is holy – be serious in your attention to living a righteous life.

  3. God wants relationship – do not settle for letting someone else go up on the mountain to meet Him.  Pursue the relationship with God that is available to you because God has pursued you. 

As the author of Hebrews reminds us we have not come to a mere physical mountain that can be touched even if it is burning and shaking.We have the privilege of coming to a spiritual mountain and entering into an eternal relationship with God. (Hebrews 12:18-29)

Posted on February 22, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

The Exodus from Egypt

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 3: Exodus 1-18

This next section of Bible reading – The Exodus from Egypt – is truly one of the most dynamic and exciting portions of the whole Bible.  We have dramatic confrontations with God in the wilderness when a burning bush refuses to be consumed and a voice speaks from the bush.  We have powerful human leaders trying to impose their will on others by enslaving them and using them for profit and a God who goes head to head with such corrupt and powerful rulers and wins big time.  We have clueless people being delivered by God, trying to follow Him, but not sure what to believe or do.  And we get introduced to a God who feeds a couple million people with mystery food from heaven, gives them water in the desert, and meets with them to create a whole different culture than has ever existed on the planet before.

This is exciting stuff.  And just think, God is doing the same with us today.  He is delivering us from the things that try and control us and profit from us. He provides for us in the middle of a corrupt culture, and He is trying to create through us a culture that has never existed before on the earth. 

This is good.

Posted on February 22, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

Life After Fifty (LAF) & Tradtions

by Pastor Ron Marsh

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For those of you that may be new to Parkway, let me introduce myself and my wife, Gayle.  I am Pastor Ron one of the Associate Pastors here at Parkway.  Gayle and I oversee the activities and events of the empty nest and not retired (Life After Fifty) and senior adults retired or part time employed (Traditions).  

Watch for monthly events LAF (Life After Fifty not retired) adults can be participate in.  We do several events per year, usually on Friday evenings after working hours.  Traditions (retired and semi retired adults) meet weekly in our Fellowship Hall for worship, the word and great fellowship.  Potluck the 4th Thursday of the month, snacks weekly and the coffee is always on.  Join us Thursdays at 10:00 AM, meet new people, have fun and enjoy our relaxed atmosphere, Bible study and Prayer.

At our February event, Traditions and Life After Fifty are gathering at the Grants Pass Golf Club on Friday February 15th at 6:00 PM for a great Valentines Dinner and night out.  All are welcome, bring a friend, or come alone.  Singles or couples; this is a perfect night out for Valentines.  

The cost of this event is $13.00 per person or $25 for two...save a buck and buy two tickets.  Our meal for the evening will be roast beef, chicken, salad bar and all the side dishes, soft drinks and desserts are included along with easy listening entertainment.  We have invited a young lady, Sarah Dion Brooks to be our entertainment for the evening.  Sarah will be singing songs from the 30’s through the 50’s, Jazz, Blues and oldies but goodies.  Tickets will be for sale in the Lobby Sunday mornings, Traditions on Thursdays and in the church office Monday-Thursday (9-4).  

Plan to join us for these and other upcoming events.  April will feature a Seder Meal complete with teaching and meaningful instruction on the Passover Meal focusing on the Lord’s Supper where Jesus establishes Holy Communion for the New Covenant we observe today.  Mark your calendars for this Good Friday event, this will be an all church teaching and dining experience hosted by our Senior Adults.

Watch for all events and more information at parkwaycc.com/seniors

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, February 2019, Vol. 3, Issue 2.

Posted on February 6, 2019 .

Abrahamic Covenant

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 2: Genesis 12-50

You would think that after we humans had messed things up that God would just skip over us and fix things on His own without including us.  Yet we read early one how God decided to do His work of saving us from ourselves with us.  His desire for relationship with us is amazing. 

So we meet this guy Abraham, whose choices, strengths, weaknesses, and faith, which is at times amazing and at times tragic, becomes the human partner in the divine deliverance.  Over and over again we will see this pattern – God working with us in spite of us to deliver us from ourselves.  And it is not just Abraham but his kids and grandkids, most of whom continue this pattern of amazing faith interspersed into lifestyles and choices that are so messed up you wonder how God can work with any of them.  Yet He is faithful even when we are a mess.

So how is God working with you to deliver you from yourself?Think about it as you continue to read the amazing story of the Bible.

Posted on January 29, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

Creation & Fall

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By Dennis Webber

2019 Bible Reading Plan Part 1: Genesis 1-11

The opening chapters of the Bible are both exciting and discouraging.  It is exciting to see that we are not in a completely random universe.  What we know of as the physical universe was well thought out, powerfully brought into existence, and our corner of it was uniquely designed for our existence and purpose.  On the other hand it is tragic how quickly it went sideways because of human choice.  We were created with freedom and influence, so when we chose badly it affected lots of things.

But the God who had executed the beginning of all things executed a plan to fix what we had done to ourselves and to our environment before we messed it up.  There is tragedy but there is hope!  This is a theme we will see as we read the story of the Bible.

Together we are reading the Bible in 2019. If you would like to follow along with us, visit www.parkwaycc.com/Bible2019 to download the app today.

Posted on January 25, 2019 and filed under BIBLE2019.

Let's Read Together

by Pastor Dennis Webber

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How many times have you said “This year I am going to read my Bible – THE WHOLE THING!” - only to get a few weeks into it, hit a couple of really busy days and the book of Leviticus and . . . well you know.  Maybe next year.

God is telling a story through Scripture.  It is exciting.  It is informative.  It is brutally honest about just how bad sin can get and dramatically honest about how far God will go to save us from ourselves in spite of ourselves.  But let’s face it, for many it is the longest book we will ever read with a story located in places we have never been and full of really strange names.  And for the names we do know, just how many Josephs are there anyway?

I think we have found a way to help us not just get through the pages but to come away understanding what we have read and how the chapters we are reading fit into the big story of what God is up to.  It comes in the form of a Bible reading app called “Read Scripture.”  

The most outstanding feature of this app is that includes short videos before each book and sprinkled throughout in other places, that help us keep the big picture in focus and understand the details as they relate to the big story being told.

Like all Bible reading plans there is the reading part, about 4 chapters per day.  Unlike other plans this one will take you through the story in a chronological fashion, weaving together the books that give you the historic events with the prophets who were commenting on them.  Along with that is a daily reading of one of the Psalms.  In fact, before you are done you will have read the whole book and all 150 Psalms twice!

We have determined as a congregation that are going to be ruthlessly Biblical.  So if we are not going to end up being just Biblically flavored instead of being truly Biblically accurate, we need to be Biblically literate.  We need to know what the Book says, what it means, and how it informs our lives.  Let’s read the most amazing work of literature on the planet this year.  Lets read it together.

If you visit parkwaycc.com/Bible2019 you will find all of the information you need to download the app, get the printable, and join us on this journey. 

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, January 2019, Vol. 3, Issue 1.

Posted on January 5, 2019 .

Christmas Giving

by Carissa Moddison

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Christmas is coming! Usually for Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus by giving gifts to one another. A wonderful tradition that allows us an opportunity to love on those in our lives. For someone’s birthday, we give gifts to celebrate another year in the lives of those we care about. 

Jesus tells us “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40) 

So this year at Parkway we are doing something a little different to celebrate Christmas; the birth of Jesus. We are going to give gifts to Jesus.

For the past 10 years, we’ve been meeting this call by serving the needs of our Parkway family and those in the foster care system through the Caring Tree, where you could select a gift or person in need to bless during this season. This year, we are changing how we are serving this community.  

Traditions, our senior (50+) group that meets every Thursday morning is taking on the needs within the family of Parkway, those who attend Parkway and need some additional assistance during Christmas. If you are interested in coming along side Traditions to serve this community, we invite you to go to their next meeting on Thursday mornings at 10 a.m. in the Conference Center. Pastor Ron Marsh can give you more information about this opportunity to serve. They will start delivering their gifts at their meeting on Thursday, December 20th. 

As a Parkway family we are going to come together to take on the needs of Every Child to bless those in the foster care system and ROC Food Pantry to help those in need of basic food supplies during the winter months. 

We are inviting you to join us in celebration on Sunday, December 23 at 10 a.m. in the Hull Center for a family service to celebrate Christmas. As is a Parkway tradition, we will be serving food! Specifically a grab and go breakfast. In addition, Our Catalyst Youth Ministry will have the coffee bar open and will be raising funds for Speed the Light Ministry, so you can get your latte on! 

There will be fun for the kids (no Children’s Ministries or Preschool will be held during this service) and a time of worship. 

Then at the end, we will all gather and place our gifts under the Christmas Tree as a family. 

Please bring your gift unwrapped on December 23 to place under the tree. We will also have an opportunity to donate financially in lieu of bringing a gift. See the list to the right for a complete wish list from each organization.

There will be no Christmas Eve service this year. 

Every Child:

  • Working electronic-interactive toys

  • New board games

  • New unwrapped toys for upcoming Christmas party

  • Seasonal cookie cutters

  • New car seats (all sizes)

  • Teen underwear and bras (must be new)

  • Shoes of all sizes

  • Teen hygiene items

  • Food donations for the Snack Pantry

  • Large teen sized blankets

ROC Food Pantry:

  • Non-perishable food items

  • Shelf ready protein items (like tuna and peanut butter)

  • Men’s, teen’s, and children’s clothing

  • Diapers - all sizes

  • Hotel shampoos

  • Lotions

  • Soaps

  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, December 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 12.

Posted on December 6, 2018 .

Purpose & Values

by Pastor Dennis Webber

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We have spent some time together as a family looking and learning together about our Purpose and Values. In a world of hurting people and limitless “good ideas” about how to make a difference, these words become our guide regarding how and why we present Jesus’ message to our community and beyond. We have committed them to print and declared them publicly as part of our commitment to stay on mission with God.

While it is unlikely that many (any?) of us will commit them fully to memory, we have reduced them down to three key statements that summarize who we are and what we are up to.

Hospitality - “There You Are!”

The first is “There you are!”  Hospitality, not as a function of entertainment but as an expression to others of their value both to God and us is significant to living out our stated values. To honor and prefer one another above ourselves is how the Apostle Paul says we are to interact. The very core of hospitality is the affirmation of others through words and deeds of personal kindness.

Family - “Here We Are!”

The second is “Here we are.”  In a disconnected culture full of failed family units, having a sense of family connection and safety is huge to our sense of purpose and mission as a church. As the Apostle Peter reminds us, we are to love one another deeply from the heart. The opening song to the old sitcom Cheers reminded us that everybody wants to go where everybody knows your name. Where we connect, where we belong, by default becomes family for us regardless of the circumstances of our birth. We who have been born again into the family of God need to connect with one another at a deep level that strengthens our sense of
purpose and belonging.

Mission - “Here We Go”

The third is “Here we go.” Each of us has been created in the image of God for the express purpose of accomplishing good works that reflect the glory of God on the planet. These good works are always a together endeavor. Jesus sent the disciples out two by two. The first missionaries were a team – Paul and Barnabas – called out by God and sent by the Church into the world. We have a destiny to accomplish and we can only do it together.

As we move together with God and with one another to bring the message of hope and reconciliation to the world, if we can remember these three things and use them to evaluate our thoughts, words, and deeds it is likely that we will fulfill our purpose in ways that are in keeping with our values. So if you cannot remember the exact wording of the Purpose or remember all nine of the supporting values, just remember that your response to others should be “There you are” when you see them, “Here we are” as you are with them, and “Here we go” as we work with them to proclaim good news to our community.

If you would like to learn more about Parkway Christian Center, read a little about our founding history, learn our core beliefs, or download our Purpose and Values statements, please visit www.parkwaycc.com/about

Parkway Purpose

Building a multi-generational Christian community that is Christ-centered, Holy Spirit inspired, biblically literate and obedient through a personal relationship with Jesus that changes us so we can change our world.

Congregational Values

Integrity & Excellence -
1Timothy 4:16

Ruthlessly Biblical -
2Timothy 3:16-17

Dependence upon the Divine/Miraculous -
1Corinthians 2:1-5; John 14:10-11

Value Relationships -
1Corinthians 12:14-27; Romans 12:3-21; 1Peter 1:22

Honor Others Above Yourself -
Romans 12:10; Colossians 2:12-14; 1Corinthians 12:20-25

Celebrate Journey -
Ephesians 2:19-22, 4:14-16; 2Peter 1:5-8; Luke 15:1-7

Building Bridges -
2Corinthians 5:14-20; 1Corinthians 9:19-23; Mark 16:15-16

Trending Toward the Next Generation -
2Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 2:2-6

Value Wisdom and Those Who Share It -
James 313-18; Proverbs 12:18

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, November 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 11.

Posted on November 4, 2018 .

Meet Josh Schaubroeck, new director of the CBF!

by Pastor Stephen Olson

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There’s a new face on the Parkway campus! Meet Josh Schaubroeck (pronounced “show-broke”), the new director of the Community Bridges Foundation. I had the chance to sit down with Josh over lunch at Taprock and ask him a few questions.

What is the Community Bridges Foundation (CBF)?

CBF is a non-profit, 501C3, umbrella foundation for four programs: Celebrate Recovery, Church of the Valley, Royal Family Kids, and Every Child. My job is to promote those four programs and to handle a lot of the background business. Most of my work is actually for Every Child.

What is Every Child?

It started in Portland. Their goal is to involve the community in foster care. We offer a wide menu of ways people can get involved and help foster kids, foster families, and DHS workers. People can donate clothes, welcome boxes, and snacks; people can volunteer for Foster Parents Night Out or be Office Buddies; and people can look into foster parenting, emergent care, or respite care. 

I think I’m familiar with most of that, but what are Office Buddies?

When kids come into DHS, they are required to be within line of sight of the DHS worker. So they typically end up having to sit there and hear the DHS worker call house after house, looking for someone who is willing to take that kid in. It can be fairly discouraging. So some county in Oregon thought it would be good to ask people to volunteer to hang out with the kid and have fun while the DHS worker finds them a home. 

Every Child is a franchise model, so any good ideas that work can get sent up to headquarters and then recommended across the state.

How can people at Parkway become Office Buddies or talk to you about other ways they can help?

They can e-mail me at director@cbfgp.org

What’s your favorite part of the job?

I love the times I get to be directly involved in helping kids in vulnerable situations. I loved sending out an e-mail looking for a prom dress and then giving that donation to the girl and seeing her face light up. It was awesome. 

Last week I got to give a donated computer to a kid who is interested in robotics. Those are the moments I enjoy the most.

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, October 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 10.

Posted on October 9, 2018 .

Geronimo Project

by Bonnie VanDusen

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When we said YES to foster care we knew there would be additional expenses.  Soon after becoming a foster parent I saw a huge gap in the system and started Geronimo-Project.  My main goal with Geronimo-Project was to let people know what we as foster parents walk through and how other fosters and you the community can support and walk alongside.  Recently we hosted our 1st Foster Parent Clothing Swap.  When some homes can have a minimal of 4 kids and up to 10 kids the task of back to school or seasonal shopping can be a bit overwhelming and expensive.  A simple idea of foster parents being able to bring clothes kids no longer fit into and exchange them with other fosters turned into something more.  As the word spread community groups and individuals donated up to 245 bags worth of gently used clothing for the event.  We opened up the doors and served 10 different foster which is about $15,000 in savings for those foster families.  After servicing our foster families we opened up the doors to the general public charging $1.00 for clothing items servicing another 5 families and raising additional funds for foster families.  It can be very overwhelming if you want to help out with foster care in some way yet not open your home.  Our vision and goal with Geronimo-Project is to spread the message that everyone can do something. For more information visit geronimo-project.com

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, September 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 9.

Posted on September 3, 2018 .

Men's Ministry

by Pastor Stephen Olson

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When I was a teenager, a man prophesied that I would lead men’s ministry. I did not believe him and I had no passion for men’s ministry until I came to Parkway. What an powerful moment it was for me when I remembered that prophecy! It is encouraging to know that I am doing something that God planned ahead of time. Men’s ministry has been steadily growing at Parkway over the last few years. We now have four men’s small groups, a Man Camp, and a Community-Wide Men’s Ministry that hosts men’s breakfasts and publishes a list of twenty men’s small groups in Grants Pass. God is on the move! He is calling men out of complacency, passivity, and bondage to sin, and calling men to be leaders in their families, churches, and communities. 

I don’t know if it’s the concentration of testosterone or the Holy Spirit, but Man Camp is one of the most exciting times to experience this move of God in the hearts of men. Every year, men come to camp depleted and depressed and God shows up to renew and refresh. A couple years ago, God called four men to help me lead Man Camp. Here are their reasons why you should sign up for Man Camp:

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Charles Purdey

It’s an awesome place to take a break with your fellow men in Christ. The food is great and the people there are amazing.

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Jimmy Hogan: 

Men need to come to Man Camp to
get refueled, to hear from God, and
to connect and unite and build each other up.

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Matt Crump:

Everyone needs to build their brotherhood so that in times of battle they will be there for you.

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Paul True 

Men need to rest, refresh, retreat, sharpen, bless others, span their horizons, connect with other men, realize they are not alone, and eat good food.

Sign up today and get an early bird discount at parkwaycc.com/man-camp. I hope to see you there.

To read the full newsletter this article appeared in, go to www.parkwaycc.com/newsletter, August 2018, Vol. 2, Issue 8.

Posted on August 6, 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 .