Big Fred's Byte's - April 21

NEAL-FRED-43

 

Flowers! We might have some rain to work through right now, but that brings out the flowers, birds, and even better gardens. We will have a table at each campus for free plant/produce exchange later in the year. So, if you have room to plant something to give to others, great! If you can’t get all your plants in, I hope someone else might have planted a few extra. The tables will probably go up in July for all weekend worship services. We plant the seeds, but God waters and brings forth fruit.
Pastor Mike will be returning to the pulpit this weekend. His recovery is progressing well, and he enjoyed the opportunity to teach at the women’s retreat this year. Please keep in mind that he still has some things to work through on this so try to share your love while being considerate of what he is working through. He repeatedly has expressed how much he appreciates all the cards, well wishes, and love that he has received over the last five months.


We start our new sermon series from the Gospel of Mark this weekend. It will be a great opportunity for us to focus on the Son of God. I am looking forward to this series and some of the discussions at
community groups that will flow from these sermons. Here is a sneak peek at our series bumper video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqMFxEtSP90  Pastor Matt does such a good job capturing the theme of the series when he develops these. Pastor Fred will be working with Pastor Mike as they collectively bring our weekly sermons. This will allow Mike to continue his recovery at a practical pace but get him back onto the schedule again.

 

Easter was awesome in so many ways. He lives! Our Lord, our Savior lives! Death and the grave was overcome! What better reason for a holiday, for a celebration! Our communion services were very moving as we reflected on the final meal Christ shared with His disciples. Then starting Friday Night, we enjoyed 7 Easter services at Harvest. Not counting our Thursday services, we experienced 1,347 people worshiping throughout the 7 services. Kittanning Campus met for 1 Friday and 2 Sunday, Petroleum Valley - 2 on Sunday, Freeport and Indiana each had one Sunday service. Harvest Kidz was packing them in at all four campuses (182 opportunities at Kittanning Friday/Sunday alone), but we will get to that in a moment. First, I want to thank all our Pastors, staff, and so many volunteer teams that bring these worship services together. If you served in any way last week, Thank YOU! I know you do it out of your love for our Lord, but I still want to extend – Thank you! You helped to provide the opportunity for those 1,347 to come together and focus their attention on our risen Savior.


Let’s talk about the little ones: Harvest Kidz are birth through sixth grade. At the end of March, we brought together over one hundred of our Harvest Kidz teachers, leaders, and assistants. WOW! Our theme for that day was Reaching Higher, and we are off to a great start. We spent the day showing our appreciation for their commitment to invest in the next generation as well as started to envision what it could look like as we take that ministry to the next level. Getting the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the hearts of our children starts to build a legacy that will be the foundation for the families of 2030 and beyond. We wrapped that day up with a goal for each campus to continue to talk and think of what they need to take our Harvest Kidz efforts at their campus to the next level. We discussed the potential of creating irresistible environments in the Kidz areas that helps develop a desire to be at church each week. I am looking forward to hearing more about those thoughts in the next two weeks and starting to make plans to achieve those goals. Here is a quick video from that Saturday at the Reaching Higher Summit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl9ALrCDLKE&t=17s

 

So much to share – Let’s get to our rapid fire segment!


Women’s Retreat was awesome!


The James sermon series really made an impact in the hearts of many. Don’t forget you can visit the sermon archives on the website to refresh your thoughts from those sermons. Thanks to Pastor Scott and Pastor Fred for your extra work and effort to bring us some awesome sermons while Pastor Mike was out.


FYI – I would expect that we will stay with Mark through summer or even Christmas. We won’t be done with it then but we will hit the pause button and return to our Timothy series. That will keep our thoughts fresh and allow us to enjoy both books.


National Day of Prayer – for so many needs… We will gather at the steps of the Armstrong Court House at 7am, in the Armstrong High School by invitation, at many other churches, schools, and public locations as we lift-up prayers for our country, our leaders, our churches, our communities… Join us at one in your area – see your Campus Pastor for more details.


Vacation Bible School teams are forming now at all campuses to seek out opportunities to share Jesus with as many children as possible during our VBS efforts. And don’t forget #Follow for the older children. If you’re willing, we will help you experience the gift of working with our Next Generation.


Harvest Happenings for July through December is being developed as I write. We look forward to distributing those in early to mid-June. Here are a few things you will find that will be in there:

 

  • Church wide summer pool party at the Belmont Pool
  • Opening for David Crowder at the Dayton Fair- you’re right, our Worship Team. Advance tickets are recommended. Details in Harvest Happenings.
  • Down by the Riverside… yep, church in the park with awesome food, fellowship, and baptisms
  • Fall kick off … it’s in there!


How about this one – Dare 2 Share could be coming to Kittanning. We are working on hosting a regional version of this national teen conference in September.

 

Welcome back Pastor Mike, we missed you!


In His Service,

Bigfred