Monthly Archives: September 2011

We are in the middle of launching all of our small groups! This week is always filled with nervous anticipation as I imagine anxious people piling into houses all over Vancouver. We are all hoping for the same thing: a place to grow and find relationship…and not be in an extremely awkward situation.

So far our groups are a major success! We rolled out some of our best options ever and have seen the fruit of that. We have more people signed up for this semester than ever before. In fact, if you add in the kid’s small groups from Sundays and the youth from Thursday nights, we actually have more people signed up for groups than our average attendance on Sunday mornings.

We did have a computer glitch for a brief time, so if you think you signed up for a group, but haven’t been contacted, please email Amy at right away! We’ll get you quickly plugged in to the right group!

I also wanted to give a shout out to Amy Day on her first official launch of small groups as our Small Groups Director. She fits into our team perfectly and we’ve loved the addition of her bright smile and sweet spirit. She’s a sharp woman who pulled together a great list of leaders and groups!

On another note, I want to encourage you to get the most out of your group! I’ve often found that some of my favorite people were not the ones I would have initially thought would be great friendships. Just keep going and dive into people’s lives…I guarantee you’ll find lots of treasures! Our small groups are not designed for you to sit and be fed, but rather for everybody to take an active role in each other’s lives and therefore grow together. Pour yourself out and watch God fill you up!

Many blessings on this semester!

HAPPY 5th Anniversary, Sweet Church! I succeeded in holding it together for the most part of the day, but I’m on the edge of an emotional mess! This church just signifies so much in my life, it’s hard to explain. It’s a reflection of so much growth that God has done in my heart and I am SO grateful for it. So grateful.

The Hip Hop Dancers opened our service! Super awesome! They attend our church, as well as dance all over the place. Find Marc Roy on Facebook and connect with him about classes. He teaches all ages and he’s an all-around GREAT guy!

We wouldn’t have had enough room today if we had the bar. Don’t hold on to what you think is important, because it will cost you what is really important…

We have the most amazing team on the planet! Six of us preached yesterday and I would put that bunch up against anyone. They are anointed, strong, confident, humble, and unified. Our team as a collective whole are on the same mission and united in a friendship that is TIGHT. I don’t underestimate that the strength of our church is a reflection of the unity that flows from our team.

We have fought for five years to form the culture of our church. I am grateful for the battles because years later we have what I want to see in a church. We have drawn lines about everything from bulletin boards (I hate them) to gossip and division. Pastors – don’t be afraid to draw the line on little things and big things in order to mold your church into what you want it to be. That’s your job.

Small Groups kickoff this week! Some groups are closed and all groups are getting full, so sign up NOW! Someone offered a full scholarship to Financial Peace, so if money is holding you back from getting healthy about money, email me today at and you can have the scholarship. Don’t you dare think, “Oh, I’ll let someone else have it.” If 10 people email me, we’ll figure it out. It’s important!

Now that we’ve made room in the auditorium, the kid’s classes are getting too full…maybe we should renovate!!! I’ll think about that tomorrow. Today I am relaxing and drinking coffee while the floors at the church get done.

Thanks to the Newells and the Steinmanns for tying bows on hundreds of Take5 Candy Bars! YUMMY!

Didn’t the parking lot look MUCH better this weekend? The landscaping got cleaned up, we got some arrows on the pavement for traffic, and the parking lot got blown, swept, and washed. One step towards the finished product!

We shared LOTS of Stories of Changed Lives yesterday. Jesus makes things different! That’s what it’s all about! Here’s to another five years of watching Him do amazing work!

I wanted to highlight an amazing class we have for people who need a foundation in Christianity that we offer a couple of times a year. It’s called Starting Point and it meets on Sunday mornings at 9:30 am. We provide childcare and you can stay for the 11:00 am service if you don’t want to miss anything. It’s awesome! You can sign up under the Small Groups Link on our website at

Here is a great email about the benefits of jumping into Starting Point:

I’m writing to you to inform you of a marvelous step in my spiritual journey! I’ve completed reading the Holy Bible for the first time in my “almost 50” years of life! When I first began reading the Bible a year ago, I had the hardest time believing God’s existence. As my doubts grew stronger, I forced myself to continue reading. I came across Job 38:1-41 – God chastises Job for doubting his existence. Talk about an “A-Ha! moment!” This had to be God thumping me on the back of the head! This is when my journey took yet another path. I signed up for a Starting Point Group. It was amazing! I was like a sponge soaking up all of God’s Words, grace and glory. I volunteered to help out at church, joined a small group, met new people, talked to everyone who wanted to listen. I was baptized, I’ve learned over 50 memory scriptures that I refer to everyday, enjoyed all of the amazing sermons that you and your team have provided for us. I then became a small group leader. This is all God’s plan for me and it’s a wonderful journey. I thank you seventy times seven!

Awesome! If you have any questions, you can email our Starting Point Director, Pete Torres, at

This weekend was packed with lots of incredible things! Here are my highlights:

We had a work party on Saturday…in the rain. So many wet, dirty people working for Jesus! The outside of the building took a major step UP as we cut down trees, ripped out bushes, spread red rock, pressure washed and hauled massive amounts away. Kudos to all of you who are landscaping geniuses and a special shout out to Nate for the permanent reminder we left on the back of his truck that looks a lot like the impression of a flying stump.

On Sunday we launched Small Groups signups. We have great options and a couple of the groups are nearly FULL! If you want in one, sign up now at

Rene came and repaired the area on the building where the bees nest resided. No more bees will be inhabiting that area. It’s done right!

Several women in our church weren’t there on Sunday because they were supporting friends in the Race for the Cure! Super proud of the great women in our church that deeply love and care for people who are dealing with monumental challenges. We have a strength from God that is worth sharing!

Starting Point is beginning in Oct. as well! This is a class for people who need a foundation in Christianity. Maybe you feel like you are swimming in church and really wish you had the broad strokes to give you a framework? Starting Point is the place for you! Signups are under our Small Groups link on the web as well. It’s $25 a person for the workbook, but you will find that you can understand the basics so much better!

We have a very hard working team! This renovation project has pushed them all to the limits, but as usual, the stress seems to make them even better. It is always a lot to ask of our staff to do a renovation project on top of their already very full plates! Thank you to Rachael for mopping up endless cement, Chris for unclogging toilets and scheming about decor, Lee for rainy trips to the dump pile, Helen for re-painting the wall that you swore you’d never paint again, Andrea for coming to mulitple services just to help me stay sane, Vanessa for ruining your tanktop for the kid’s ministry wall, Matt for reassembling sound equipment that we keep disassembling EVERY week just in time for worship practice, Kris for relocating 80 teenagers to an outdoor service in the rain, Joe for putting up with Kris while she relocated 80 teenagers, Amy for somehow getting 8 small groups off the ground, John for fighting with our floors…you will win in the end!, and Kim for trying to paint walls that you are too short to reach even with the ladder. We are blessed by your sacrifice!

I was in the Great Adventure on Sunday. Awesome kids! I had some of our 5th graders, Grace and Kennedy, lead my group for me. They rocked it! You are never too young to invest in someone else!

A shout out to Emily Boyd, Chelsey Fassett, and Karlie Lakin who were assistants in the Little Adventurers. They lead with grace, wisdom, and excitement. Way to go!

Volunteer! The good stuff happens when you are involved in the lives of people. You can sign up online under the Resources link.

It’s gonna be a crazy week leading up to our Five Year Anniversary this weekend. Five years…loved every minute.

As most of you know, we have spent the last month in a mad dash to renovate our main auditorium to make more seating by Sept. 25, which is our Five Year Anniversary! Here’s where we are at with 10 days to go:

We have one brick wall painted. I included a picture because we PAINTED a plain wall to look like brick. Thank you, Stephanie Ricker! It’s not real, but it sure looks that way!

We still have one more wall to “brick” and then several spots that need some blowouts…stay tuned!

The floor is also officially stained and will get it’s first coat of verathane this afternoon. It is an awesome brown acid wash color and the shine will add some POP!

The walls are mostly painted, but the hand brushing on the tops & bottoms still needs to be done. Most of the walls are a SHOCKING yellow. You will probably need to swallow hard when you see it, but we have some elaborate art projects to offset it, so hold your judgement until it’s all done! It’s going to be GREAT! We are risk takers and we don’t do neutral. Just remember that’s what you love about this church and you’ll be just fine.

We have a MASSIVE bar that needs to be hauled in and set up. It’s not as massive as the one we just ripped out, but it’s going to be quite the showpiece. Lee Malone may need a medal for what it took to load that in his trailer. Let’s just say that I may or may not have played the “cute girl needs help” card with strangers in Portland to have enough manpower to lift it. Here’s a picture from the store in Chinatown that donated it to us:

We have more painting and staining projects than I think I care to blog about.

We need to trim, rip out, and chop down overgrown bushes everywhere you look. We have 8 yards of red rock to spread out as well, which will be easy to maintain and hard for our Vancouver rain to wash away.

The Kid’s rooms are well on their way to being freshly updated. The Great Adventurer’s are transitioning to their new theme KidCity and the Little Adventures are rockin’ it out as Tiny Town. We have 25 new stools for the older kids to sit on and they need to be assembled. Thank you IKEA!

We have a plane that needs to be mounted to the ceiling and our sound and media all needs to get moved and setup.

Did I mention we have a workday at the church on Saturday from 1-5:00 pm? We’d love help and we have SO many options for you to choose from. Even if you don’t attend our church, we take free labor! See you then and don’t forget to join us on Sept. 25 as we celebrate all that God has done in 5 years…and it’s a lot more than cool paint!