Volume 3, Issue 1 - January 2018
If Eastridge does one thing, it's love well. This fact is evidenced by the way groups of folks from this church get out into the community and serve.
This month's newsletter centers on local missions efforts that different groups of people from Eastridge have undertaken in the last half of last year. They're inspiring stories that show that reaching the world includes reaching this community as well.
But first, let's meet the 2018 Eastridge Missions Paradigm. Executive Pastor Trey Bailey explains:
Currently, Eastridge doesn't have a Missions "department." We view so much of what we do everyday as "missions." However, we HAVE had several Mission Directors over the years and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude in their leadership to where we are today in our REACH emphasis.
But once we chose to follow the vision of creating campuses that offer hope and life change through Jesus in every corner of the county, a centralized Mission Department became difficult to maintain AND meet the needs of each local community where we plan on having a campus.
So, currently, we are in transition from a single-leader leadership model to a more comprehensive group-led model that will accommodate the needs of each campus and their respective communities.
First, this new mission structure would facilitate an increase in Local Ministry Opportunities with the groups that we partner with locally:
These Local Ministry Opportunities will be "owned" and led by our Growth Groups. In 2018 as the congregation is signing up for Growth Groups, we will make sure that each group is assigned one of the local mission partners above. The end goal is to get MORE people from Eastridge involved in local ministry opportunities fully supporting our local mission partners.
The second leg of our new mission structure will include Global Mission Communications. Simply put, this will be how we keep up with and encourage our global mission partners. We currently have two different groups of global missionaries — those we have supported for years and believe in their ministries:
And those we call "homegrown" Eastridge Ministry Partners who have gone into full time mission work:
And our third leg of the new mission structure would include our Short-Term Mission Projects. We will continue to visit Casas por Cristo and Mision Caribe (and potentially others) annually, but we are finalizing negotiations with a third-party organization to handle all of the planning, organizing, training, leading, and administrative duties related to Short-Term Mission Projects. The name of this organization is Identify, led by Kristi Carr. This new venture with Identify will be exciting and prove fruitful in helping Eastridge plan, train for, and administrate these Short-Term Mission Projects.
It's an exciting time for our missions initiative, and I can't wait to see what God can do using this paradigm!
Change the World Day is an event that takes place every October in Covington. The event spotlights opportunities for people to serve the community, as well as providing services to those in need. Change the World Day also included food and entertainment, and a group from Eastridge teamed up with the Salvation Army to cook and provide lunch for those who attended the event.
The team served an astonishing amount of food from the Salvation Army canteen:
It was a memorable way to serve those who wish to make a difference in Covington.
I rang the bell for the Salvation Army at Walmart during December, and it was a true joy. Just to smile and interact with people, especially the children, and to wish them a Merry Christmas in the midst of the hustle and bustle warmed my heart even though my feet and hands were cold. You can only keep one hand at a time in your pocket when the other one is ringing the bell. One man approached me and said that the Salvation Army had helped him in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and he never forgot it. He told me this as he put a donation in the kettle. Another man approached with tears in his eyes. He looked at me and just said "The Salvation Army saved my life." He put a donation in the kettle and walked away. I was speechless and will probably never know what he meant, but those few hours I spent ringing the bell were a priceless opportunity to share the love of Christ during the Christmas season.
--Sammy Ozburn, ElderJudge Ozburn and his wife Rhonda have been membersat Eastridge since 2003. They live in Covington.
As you might have seen in last month's newsletter, in December the Jackson Lake Campus partnered with Heard-Mixon Elementary School for a special Angel Tree campaign, and JLC stepped up to give big time, providing Christmas presents for 70 kids - that's 17 families - and collecting nearly $900 in monetary donations!
The gifts filled two vans! Pete Leonetti, and ECC member who helped coordinate this effort, says that 100% of the folks who signed up to participate actually did so. Thanks to everyone at JLC who helped make Christmas special for these kids!
Here are a couple of things the students did to serve the community in December:
1. Our 6th-12th grade students donated blankets to Willing Helpers food pantry to give to those in need during the winter. About 30 blankets were donated.
2. Students at House Church donated gifts to “Hope for the Holidays” through Solid Rock Baptist Church. This is an annual Christmas event where needy families around Covington are given gifts for their children. Usually, 12-18 year-olds are overlooked, as most people donate gifts that are suitable for young kids. So, at House Church, our students donated gifts specifically for teenagers. We collected enough gifts for every family with a teenager to have at least one!
3. Students at House Church also spent the evening of December 20 serving dinner at Rainbow Ministries homeless shelter. The students made spaghetti, green beans, and garlic bread, along with drinks and dessert for over 30 residents.
--Kurt Petersheim, Covington Campus Student Pastor
Kevin & Hannah Oliver
Sean & Rebecca Kimbell
Ricky & Jennifer Childs
Scott & Kari Willis
Delarn & Dinicia Stephens
Chris & Heather Sewell
If you'd like to become a member at Eastridge, click here.