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Across the Nation: Big devo in Alabama, new home for ‘Disney Church’ and more quick takes


Across the Nation is our monthly rundown of news briefs, links and quotes from Churches of Christ across the U.S. Got an idea for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at [email protected]

Featured photo (above)

For Alabama teens, areawide devotional touts value of Christian unityAbout 360 Christians — many of them young people — worship during the recent Huntsville Areawide Devotional hosted by the Owens Cross Roads Church of Christ in Alabama.

Noah Vann, the Owens Cross Roads church’s youth minister, said the event is designed to emphasize “unity with the church within our community and to impact the lives of our youth.  

“Unity is very important to the Christian faith,” Vann added. “Our areawide devotionals give the youth ministers the opportunity to teach our youth the significance of a unified church.”

Owens Cross Roads members helped by bringing food, decorating and cleaning up afterward.

“Unity is very important to the Christian faith.”

Spotlight

Florida fundraiser: The Vero Beach Church of Christ‘s recent youth fundraiser banquet featured a Disney theme.

The event generated $3,000 for the Florida congregation’s youth ministry, associate minister Payton Minzenmayer said.

Natron Young, dressed as Winnie the Pooh, participates in the youth group fundraiser.

Natron Young, dressed as Winnie the Pooh, participates in the youth group fundraiser.

“The goal of this event is to raise enough funds to help balance the cost of Winterfest … but also to set us up nicely for various events throughout the year, such as missions trips, camp and fun outings,” Minzenmayer said. “This year we blew our expectations out of the water, both production-wise and financially.”

The church’s young people organized the “Dining With Disney” banquet and show, doing everything from skit writing to costume design to volunteer coordination. “So, our amazing show was completely produced by young people, and they did an outstanding job,” Minzenmayer said.

Quick takes

FLORIDA

KISSIMMEE — “Disney Church” is changing locations.

The Maingate Church of Christ — a ministry of the Concord Street Church of Christ in Orlando — offers a Sunday morning assembly for out-of-town travelers visiting Epcot, Magic Kingdom, SeaWorld or Universal Studios.


Related: I’m going to Disney church!


Starting March 3, the services will have a new home: the Red Lion Hotel, just down U.S. Highway 192 from the Baymont Inn & Suites, the previous site.

A guest preacher delivers the sermon each week. In exchange, the minister and his family receive a free week’s stay in the hotel.

For more information, see the Concord Street church website.

MONTANA

BELGRADE — The “Shepherds’ Network: Northwest Connection” brings together current and future church shepherds and their wives for networking and equipping.

The third such event, recently hosted by the Belgrade Church of Christ, involved 129 participants from 36 congregations.

Bruce and Marni Bolland at the “Shepherds’ Network: Northwest Connection” event.

Bruce and Marni Bolland at the “Shepherds’ Network: Northwest Connection” event.

Attendees came from Churches of Christ in Idaho, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

“Those serving in supported ministry positions often find opportunities and forums to network with other ministers where they find strength and encouragement,” said Scott Laird, minister for the Great Falls Church of Christ in Montana. “However, it is rare, at least in the North, to find a venue where elders and their wives can meet with others who bear the same responsibility of shepherding the people of God. The Shepherds’ Network provides the opportunity for shepherds to network with other shepherds and find strength, wisdom, and encouragement to faithfully fulfill their work of service.”

Churches of Christ in Montana and Harding School of Theology in Memphis, Tenn., sponsored the gathering.

“It is rare … to find a venue where elders and their wives can meet with others who bear the same responsibility of shepherding the people of God.”

OREGON

YAMHILL — About 60 people attended the recent Expositor’s Seminar, held at Camp Yamhill.

Jay Hawkins

Jay Hawkins

The speakers were Dave Bland of Harding School of Theology in Memphis, Tenn., and David Fleer of Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn.

“Bland and Fleer led us into God’s concern for justice, inviting us and our churches to pay attention to justice in the Bible and let it transform our lives,” said Jay Hawkins, minister for the Caldwell Church of Christ in Idaho.

Directed by Hawkins and Mark Johnson, evangelist for the Columbine Church of Christ in Littleton, Colo., the annual seminar serves leaders of Churches of Christ in the Pacific Northwest.

TEXAS

PlANO — “Designed: Made for More” was the theme of a recent areawide conference on families organized by the McDermott Road Church of Christ, north of Dallas.

More than 400 people from 25 Churches of Christ heard “encouraging, uplifting and thought-provoking” biblical messages on day-to-day family life, said Hollee McAdams, whose husband, Wes, preaches for the McDermott Road church.

The speakers included Ross Cochran, Wes McAdams, Joey Cope, Seth McDowell, Steve Cloer and Jeff McMillon.

The next conference is planned for Jan. 25, 2020. For more information, see the McDermott Road church website.


Willie Marsalis, right, and his brother August Marsalis lead singing during the 10th anniversary celebration of the Hollygrove Church of Christ in New Orleans. Willie and August were teens when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

Willie Marsalis, right, and his brother August Marsalis lead singing during the 10th anniversary celebration of the Hollygrove Church of Christ in New Orleans. Willie and August were teens when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

Quote of the month

“When you’re going through the storm, you don’t really get to see the vision of what God has in store.” — Willie Marsalis, discussing the blessings that came out of his family’s gut-wrenching experience with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Read the full story.

Filed under: Across the Nation National Top Stories

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