Join us for encouragement from God’s Word at 10:30 am via Facebook live (it will be on our be available on the CCAG Facebook page click on the icon below). We’re currently studying the Gospel of John. This gospel is unique amongst the four gospels, focusing more on “who” Jesus is than “what he did and said”.
UPDATE!!! We’re now opening in person (in the building) on June 7th for our worship gathering at 10:30am , Sunday School is planned to resume on June 21 (this might change to the 28th)
We’re excited to share that CCAG will be resuming services at our building again starting on May 31st.
CCAG is re-opening in a 2 step manner, we’ll begin with “Drive In” service and then begin meeting again in the building. Below is the currently planned schedule:
- June 3 – Adult Bible Study will resume meeting at the church
- May 31st
and June 7th
- “Drive In” Service at 10:30 am
- Just pull in to the parking lot and tune to FM 90.3 (the frequency may change depending on effectiveness).
June 14th – Sunday School and Morning Worship resume in the building ! We will be following safety guidelines to do our best to ensure safety and comfort.
Here are a few of the precautions we’ll be taking.
- Both the front door and the side door to the sanctuary will be available for entry. They will be propped open until 5-10 minutes into service.
- We’ll be removing some seats from the sanctuary to ensure better spacing between households
- We request you wear facemasks until you reach your seat. This is not a requirement , just a request. We will have facemasks available for you if you would like one.
- We request that only one person use each restroom at a time.
- We will not serve coffee, but bottles of water will be available.
- The building will be thoroughly cleaned each week before services
- Hand sanitizer will be available in multiple places throughout the building
Come join us! We’re looking forward to seeing you here!
If you are not comfortable returning to an “in-person” setting we will continue to live stream our services here on Facebook!
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been dominating headlines in recent weeks. Some reports are sensationalistic; others offer measured concern. Doubtless, this virus is affecting tens of thousands of people around the globe.
I ask our Assemblies of God family to join me in prayer in these specific areas this weekend:
1. Pray we will be driven by faith and not fear.
The U.S. Assemblies of God is part of a global Assemblies of God family. In recent days, we’ve seen how Italy has been particularly impacted by the coronavirus. I was encouraged to see how the Assemblies of God in Italy chose to encourage their members to rely on the strength and the power of God’s Word, asking them to pray in accordance to Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
2. Pray for the people who have been greatly impacted.
We believe that God has the power to heal every sickness and every disease. Pray that His healing power would be manifested across the nations of the earth that are facing this crisis in their own neighborhoods, communities, and families.
Pray for scientists and researchers to be led by the Holy Spirit as they seek to provide treatments and vaccines.
3. Pray for our missionary family and global partners.
Members of our Assemblies of God family frequently travel throughout the world in response to the gospel. Pray God’s protection on them, that they would stay strong, healthy, and effective where God has called them to be. Pray that God will be glorified in the response of AG churches and partners throughout the world.
4. Pray for hope, the Blessed Hope, of Christ.
We believe in Jesus as Savior, Healer, Baptizer in the Spirit, and Soon-Coming King. As we pray for healing, may we not lose sight that our hope is not in a medical breakthrough or in the effective systems of the world. Our hope is in Christ and the Blessed Hope of His soon return. Disasters such as these should remind us of our eternal hope in Christ and awaken us to the need to share His hope with those around us.
Source: AG News
In today’s world, it takes courage to serve the Lord at home, in the church, and in the marketplace. In order to develop that kind of courage, men need a place they can turn to in order to resource and reach that goal. For that reason, AG Men’s Ministries has chosen “Courage” as the 2018 Men’s Ministries theme accompanied with fully supported free downloadable resources from its website.
“It takes courage to live, lead, and love as God intended man to live, lead, and love,” says Rick Allen, national Men’s Ministries director. “So often in today’s culture, the media portrays men as weak. But God wants men who are courageous in Him, for Him, and like Him — especially in their homes, their churches, and at their places of employment.”
The annual theme is based on Joshua 1:9 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. The Lord your God will be with you where you go. The support resources made available by Men’s Ministries include: Courage Small Group Study, Courage 21-day devotional, a Courage mailer, and a series of five Courage banners — all available in English or Spanish as free downloads.
The Courage Small Group Study offers five lessons that focus on relationships each man faces within his life, his family, and his interaction in society. Each lesson provides an opportunity where a man can study by himself or with a group of men. Within each study there are conversation points to assist men at three levels of spiritual growth: Courage for men who are wanting to find or grow in their walk with Christ, Strength for those who want to strengthen their relationship with Christ and friends, and Endurance for the leaders who want to finish strong and help younger men in the journey of Courage. Each study is supported by Scripture references and application.
“Whether men do the lessons in group or individually, I believe it is vital for them to come together and discuss their responses,” Allen says. “Many times we can see a need for change in our lives, but we fail to make that change because no one holds us accountable. I urge men to have the courage — or pray for the courage — to speak the truth about themselves to each other and then be willing to be held accountable for the changes they want to make. In this way, they can truly become courageous men of God.”
To learn more about Men’s Ministries, see men.ag.org. The 2018 National Men’s Day in the Assemblies of God is Jan. 28.
Source: AG News
Although not a Christian, Sayaka Ikeda of Japan enjoyed herself in a Chi Alpha Bible study group when she began attending as a first-year student in 2001 at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.
The Japanese L.I.F.E. (Love, Instruction, Fellowship, Evangelism) group offered the familiarity of home by providing a place to meet Japanese friends, eat Japanese food, and speak her native tongue.
Those in the group talked about a message of hope in a language she understood. The Bible study, worship, and prayer took place in Japanese, which helped the young student still developing her English skills learn about God’s love at a deeper level. She met Japanese Christians for the first time through the group.
“It opened my eyes to see how Jesus is God of all nations, even Japan,” she says. “At first I thought Jesus and Christianity were only for Western people.”
Ikeda accepted Jesus as Savior at Carbondale’s Calvary Campus Church in 2005. The multiethnic Assemblies of God congregation is a ministry partner of SIU Chi Alpha, part of AG U.S. Missions. Today she serves as a full-time Chi Alpha campus staff member at her alma mater, leading the same L.I.F.E. group she attended. She is also a pastor at Calvary, which started in 1988 as a way to minister to SIU’s international student population in the community of 26,000.
Calvary Campus Church Pastor Bruce David Payne is also SIU Chi Alpha director. Payne says the church’s founding pastor, Dale Call, felt led to reach out to international students, and believed God would provide Americans with a heart for the nations to minister to them.
Individuals from more than 30 foreign nations currently attend Calvary. Students from more than 90 countries have attended Carbondale student ministries. L.I.F.E. groups, such as the one Ikeda attended and now leads, are a primary avenue for connecting with international students on a cultural level.
In addition to Ikeda’s group, SIU Chi Alpha includes African, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, and Latin American groups that meet weekly for Bible study, and often include a meal and fellowship. As with Ikeda’s group, some of the Bible studies are spoken in a native language.
As Ikeda experienced, L.I.F.E. groups provide a safe place for international students to see what Christianity is about.
“Hopefully, as they get saved, as many have, they’ll get discipled and start coming to church on Sunday,” says Payne, 53.
The international students receive the opportunity to share their culture with everyone at Calvary. Once a semester, those in attendance celebrate international Sunday. The different L.I.F.E. groups sing praise and worship music in their native languages and wear clothing from their home countries. On other Sundays, the worship team translates songs so that the whole congregation sings in another language.
Source: AG News
Nestled inside a musty velvet jewelry box from among the belongings of her late aunt, Adele Flower Dalton, Kathryn Flower Ringer found a curious antique – a lady’s pocket watch. The scrolling, elegant numbers and hands were real gold; but the face and the case, a steely black.
Kathryn discovered the watch’s significance immediately, as wrapped tightly around the jewelry box was the following article, written by Adele and clipped from the July 1985 Pentecostal Evangel International Edition:
Gold-for-iron for JESUS:
Around the turn of the century, Mary Alice Reynolds heard of an irresistible deal: she could give up her gold and get iron in its place!
Crazy? Maybe. But to her it made good sense, because giving up her gold would help advance the cause of foreign missions…and that was something she wanted to do.
In the early days of the Pentecostal revival over 80 years ago, Mary Alice and her husband, Charles Reynolds – my grandparents – were members of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. From the C&MA an appeal went out: “Gold-for-iron for Jesus!” Those who brought their gold and possessions would be given iron and the proceeds from the sale of the gold would be donated to missions.
So Mary Alice Reynolds brought her gold watch and, much to her husband’s consternation, her gold wedding ring – her two most prized possessions. A jeweler replaced the gold case with gunmetal, and the watch was returned to Mrs. Reynolds.
If the watch was precious with its gold, it was even more so after the exchange. Now I have fallen heir to it and love to wear it because of its priceless value.
It is not the monetary value that makes the watch priceless; rather, it is the memory of the gift and the cause to which it was devoted.
The memory of the gift presents a challenge to us as Christians today. What are we doing for missions? Have we sacrificed? Is our love for Jesus so full and sincere that we would obediently give up our dearest possessions at His request? He may not be asking for gold jewelry, but He does ask for our lives.
Adele was certainly familiar with sacrifice for Jesus. The second of six children of early AG leaders J. Roswell and Alice Reynolds Flower, Adele devoted her life to missions work, first for 15 years as a single woman throughout Latin America and then with her husband, Roy Dalton, in Ronda, Spain. Together, Roy and Adele ministered for 10 years in Ronda and throughout Spain. After Roy’s untimely death in 1968, Adele stayed on until 1976 before returning to the United States to care for her parents. She served as senior editorial assistant for what is now AG World Missions.
Kathryn — daughter of Adele’s youngest brother, David W. Flower — was inspired by her aunt’s life of missions ministry and the compelling story of Mary Alice Reynolds’ sacrifice of material treasures. Because Roy and Adele had no children, Kathryn and her husband, David, had inherited the Daltons’ wedding rings. The thick gold bands were engraved with the Daltons’ 1957 wedding date.
Kathryn says, “I looked at my husband and said, ‘What good are those rings doing, sitting in a strong box?’ Let’s sell them and let the money continue Aunt Adele’s work.”
The Ringers were unsure of exactly how to go about “continuing Aunt Adele’s work,” but proceeded with selling the wedding bands and other family treasures. With the assistance of AGWM Archives, they got in touch with veteran missionaries Scott and Marisa Smith, who have served in Spain since 1975 and as fully appointed AGWM missionaries since 1984.
Marisa’s acquaintanceship with Adele dated back to 1968 and Scott’s to 1983, so they were surprised and excited to hear from her niece Kathryn.
“We loved Adele,” they wrote. “Neither of us, unfortunately, were able to get to know Roy, but he is a legend in the Spanish AG. The church in Ronda is doing well. One of the first converts there was a man named Manuel Bernal who later pastored the church. The current pastor, Ezequiel Bernal, is his son. Ezequiel and his wife, Mari Carmen, are doing an excellent job. They are in the process of remodeling the building and developing vital social outreaches to the community (including a food bank and breakfast program for needy children). The church is growing; the pastors are maturing. The future of the congregation and its influence in the community looks very, very good. Adele and Roy would be so pleased!”
The gift was sent. Mary Alice Reynolds’ missional act of nearly a century ago and the Daltons’ missional lives of half a century ago continue to bear fruit.
“It’s hard to describe the impact of Mary Alice Reynolds’ sacrificial act on us,” the Ringers say. “Her legacy is challenging, stimulating, thought-provoking, requiring a response: the call not simply to give but to give in a way that included and honored Aunt Adele and Uncle Roy. May the fruit of their labors in Spain continue to increase.”
Source: AG News
An Assemblies of God layperson and former drug addict recently launched an outreach to support addicts and families devastated by dependency.
Earlier this year, Janelle Lanning Unger, who oversees the recovery ministry at Freedom Assembly of God in Mentor, Ohio, started VIP (Vigil, Intercession, and Prayer) Outreach to fight drugs in a spiritual manner. She says God convinced her to start VIP Outreach following a community vigil.
“At the end, as I looked around, people were still grieving, still looked hopeless and sad, and it didn’t provide any closure,” Unger says.
She spent the next two days in prayer.
“The Lord gave me the idea of VIP because everyone is a very important person to Him and should be to the church,” says Unger, who also ministers to female inmates at the Lake County Jail near Cleveland. “This epidemic is trying to wipe out an entire generation, and it’s time we unite community and church.”
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, overdose deaths, particularly from prescription drugs and heroin, have reached epidemic levels. More than 4,000 people in Ohio died last year due to unintentional drug overdose.
Unger, 51, is no stranger to the drug scene. In her early 20s, she became addicted to cocaine, ecstasy, and crack.
At 24, Unger gave birth to a son but she resumed using drugs and continued down a destructive path. But a year later, she accepted Christ at 25 at Lakeshore Assembly of God in Mentor, was delivered from drugs and has been sober ever since. However, she says she has a close family member who has struggled with drugs for nearly 13 years, including the last nine to heroin.
“My heart is with the hurting, the forgotten, the struggling, the hopeless, the addict,” Unger says.
VIP at Freedom Assembly has drawn more than 100 people in each of its two gatherings so far. A third intercession outreach, which is supported by some other area churches, is set for January.
Because of interacting with Unger and VIP, Lindsey Hutchinson-Kish accepted Christ as Savior and started attending Freedom AG. Unger reached out to Hutchinson-Kish, who had been jailed on drug-related charges, and invited her to church.
Hutchinson-Kish says the initial VIP event inspired her because of inspirational accounts from people formerly hooked on drugs.
“As an addict, you live in a state of constant fear and judgment,” says Hutchinson-Kish, who has been sober for a year. “It’s such an amazing feeling to know that the community and churches opened their hearts and their doors to help show support and love without judgment.”
Tonya Gillispie King, who also accepted Christ at Freedom Assembly after attending a VIP meeting, says she had been in “a very dark, depressed place” trying to cope with the loss of her husband, Justin, who overdosed four years ago.
“The support and love I received at the event was breathtaking,” says King. “I have never in my life felt so accepted and loved. I was finally able to let my grief and all the feelings that go along with losing a loved one to addiction free from my heart. They are no longer bottled up.”
Amber Strnad, founder of Northeast Ohio’s Fight Against Addiction never struggled with drugs, but she has lost friends and knows many who are in the throes of dependence.
“This outreach gives an opportunity to hear stories of hope and deliverance, which is so powerful when it seems like we’re losing a whole generation,” Strnad says. “The testimonies given at these outreaches keep me motivated to continue the fight for those struggling with addiction.”
Freedom Assembly Pastor Jason Tatterson is a vocal supporter of VIP Outreach.
“VIP is bringing the hope of Jesus into an especially dark and immense stranglehold that Satan has had on our communities,” Tatterson says. “The vision that God has fostered in Janelle Unger, as well as many others, has put the enemy on notice that we will not allow him to continue to consume our friends and family without a fight.”
IMAGE – VIP Outreach supports include (from left) Tonya King, Janelle Unger, and Lindsey Hutchinson-Kish.
Source: AG News
New York Teen Challenge Director Jimmy Jack thinks he knows the solution to the nation’s opioid crisis: Teen Challenge.
Jack has told Trump administration officials as much, handing a 14-page report to three of them at the White House Oct. 26 when President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency. Jack also met with Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, who promised to get the report — which details the effective addiction recovery work of Teen Challenge — into Trump’s hands.
“Faith-based organizations lead the way in drug and alcohol rehabilitation,” says Jack, who, along with Miriam, his wife of 33 years, is a 1985 Brooklyn Teen Challenge graduate. In 1990, after he graduated from Central Bible College, Jack founded Long Island Teen Challenge, which now has 120 beds in three homes on 5 acres.
Jack and his friend Mariano Rivera received personal invitations to the White House to stand on the platform behind Trump as he made the declaration. Rivera — who retired in 2013 as Major League Baseball’s all-time saves leader — helped start Refuge of Hope, a Pentecostal church in New Rochelle, New York, pastored by his wife, Clara.
Rivera advised the six-member President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, a panel chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris J. Christie. The commission released a 141-page report Nov. 2 that makes 56 recommendations. The findings note that there is a critical shortage of housing for Americans seeking drug addiction recovery. Barely one in 10 people who need treatment receive it.
Jack believes the key to overcoming the shortage of treatment locales is a federal partnership with Adult & Teen Challenge that would allocate funds for a “beds and building” solution to the epidemic.
“This proposal challenges the government to intentionally engage, recognize, support, and fund bona fide, community-recognized, faith-based drug and alcohol programs for buildings and beds,” says the U.S. Missions Teen Challenge leader. “Teen Challenge is the most successful recovery program that can assist and partner with the federal government in its war against the opioid crisis.”
Citing a 70 percent proven sobriety success rate after graduation, Jack says Teen Challenge works because of its faith-based element in long-term residential treatment.
“Addicts that connect to something spiritual are more conducive to becoming rehabilitated than with medication alone,” says Jack, who has 50 family members who went through Teen Challenge. “Faith bridges the gap between healing and medication, and has the ability to do what medication alone cannot.”
While Trump’s declaration last month allows for government flexibility in grant money to fight the epidemic, it didn’t authorize additional funds. Trump is expected to send a budget proposal by the end of the year to Congress, which would have to appropriate more money. Jack hopes his report enlightens the president. In addition to Conway and Christie, Jack handed copies of his Teen Challenge proposal to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.
There are 261 Adult & Teen Challenge centers in the U.S., with 8,050 beds. Jack notes that Adult & Teen Challenge is able to help clients recover for a fraction of the cost of traditional treatment programs. The cost to rehabilitate 24,000 patients in residential treatment programs would be $8.6 billion annually, Jack says. Teen Challenge could do it for $840 million, or $7.8 billion less.
“We’re not in it for the income, we’re in it for the outcome,” Jack says. “Everyone at Teen Challenge is mission-minded, not money-driven.” Typically, he notes, interns who are trained become staff members and administrators, living and eating on site.
Adult & Teen Challenge has the ability to expand rapidly because of experienced and trained leaders and an established curriculum, Jack says. But the government would need to provide the facilities.
Jack also oversees Teen Challenge centers in Albany, Brooklyn, Syracuse, and Buffalo, plus Santiago, Dominican Republic, with a combined 425 beds, including Long Island. In addition, he is pastor of Freedom Chapel International Worship Center on Long Island.
U.S. Missions Adult & Teen Challenge President Joseph S. Batluck Sr., who had input into the report given to administration officials, concurs that Adult & Teen Challenge is the leading specialist on addiction recovery in the world.
“The methods are proven, and the six-decade track record is undeniable,” Batluck says. “At the center of every Teen Challenge is a focus on the worth of the individual, the possibility of freedom from addiction, and the importance of the life-transforming power of Jesus Christ.”
A gospel-centered approach to addiction recovery can be more effective than merely incarcerating individuals with life-controlling addictions, according to Batluck.
“Teen Challenge has a program to meet addicts at their point of need, whether it is detox, clinical counseling, individual life skills, or family rebuilding,” Batluck says. “Boarding schools for adolescents provide premier and life-impacting training.”
The presidential commission’s report states that 33,091 people died because of opioids in 2015, making drug overdoses the leading cause of unintentional deaths in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day more than 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids.
IMAGE – Mariano Rivera and Jimmy Jack (in purple tie) stand behind President Trump during his White House announcement.
Source: AG News
I think I might be gay. My wife left me for another woman. My friend’s church says the Bible approves of homosexuality. My teacher says transgender desires are natural. I’m attracted to the same sex and I don’t want to be — help me!
For pastors, leaders, parents, or peers who have had these kind of encounters, the question is, “How do I respond compassionately, but effectively?”
The Assemblies of God has endorsed a new ministry, ReStory Ministries, that offers AG ministers and members services, education, and support on how to effectively minister to those who are affected by, tempted with, or already embrace a gay or trans identity, while not approving of it.
According to author, speaker, and ordained pastoral counselor Joe Dallas, who is a member of the ReStory Ministries Board of Directors, the focus of the ministry is to equip the Assemblies of God, from pulpit to pew, to effectively respond to the current cultural affirmation of homosexual practice and gender confusion.
“It’s all about equipping,” affirms Dallas, who is a member of Newport Mesa Church (California) AG. “We want to see our leaders well-equipped to preach, teach, and offer pastoral care on these issues.”
“There is a lot of misinformation out there in the culture, based on a non-biblical worldview,” states Jim Bradford, AG general secretary and official advisor to ReStory Ministries. “We need to be able to speak both clearly and compassionately to the issues of sexual purity, wholeness, and freedom. Silence will lose the battle for us.”
Dallas explains that in the past, homosexual practice was readily identified as a sin by Christians and was viewed negatively by the American culture, but today it is one of the very few sins clearly condemned in the Bible that is largely celebrated by the culture and an increasing number of those identifying as Christians.
ReStory Ministries aims to prepare church leaders and families to respond to the challenge of clearly explaining what the Bible teaches about homosexual practice — that it is a sin — while at the same time effectively pastoring those who experience same-sex attractions.
However, Dallas points out, these issues impact nearly everyone — from grade school children (who are exposed to pro-gay teachers and curriculum, TV programming, and Internet sites) to grandparents who may have friends or family members who embrace a gay identity. The need for church leaders and families to be ready to respond at all levels is difficult to overstate.
ReStory Ministries’ three-fold purpose begins with service. One of the first services the ministry is offering are topical webinars.
The monthly webinars begin Tuesday, Dec. 5, with Dallas leading the initial session titled, “Homosexuality and the AG: Where Do We Go from Here?” Other seminars to follow each month include: “Ministering to Those Affected by Transgender Issues (Linda Seiler), “When Homosexuality Hits Home” (Ginger Haan), “Ministering to Those Affected by HIV/AIDS” (Ron Mango), “When Homosexuality Hits a Marriage” (Renee Dallas), “Pro-Gay Theology: What It Is and How to Respond” (Joe Dallas); and more.
The webinars are free and open to all AG pastors, leaders, and members, but registration is required — simply register by clicking on the webinar event name, scroll down, and sign up.
In addition to the webinars, ReStory offers a blog and educational tools (books, CDs, and videos). The ministry also provides speakers who offer seminars for churches to educate and equip believers and church leaders, along with sermons for Sunday services. Joe Dallas, Ginger Haan, Renee Dallas, and others from the ReStory board are available to speak to local churches , district councils, and conferences.
Various ReStory board members have found one-day seminars to be highly effective. Following the seminars, many people have commented on how they now understand things at a deeper level and feel equipped to have conversations with their congregation or people in the community.
The ministry’s leadership also recognizes how vital it is to reach youth with the truth of Scripture. Youth pastors and leaders consistently express the need for resources in this area.
“I can’t tell you how many Bible-believing churches with Bible-believing youth I have spoken at, who don’t understand why I believe homosexual practice is a sin,” Joe Dallas says. “This speaks to a huge gap that we have not addressed properly with our youth, but believe me, everybody else has — the school system, Hollywood, the music industry, even the psychiatric industry — they all want to talk to our youth; why wouldn’t we be talking to our youth?”
One of the key goals of ReStory is to develop a network of church-based ministries equipped to address homosexuality and gender identity.
“We’d like to see AG churches largely equipped with their own in-house ministries,” Dallas says. “I’m talking about equipping and networking people who can disciple, mentor, teach, and encourage people who struggle with their sexuality and to provide support for family members.
ReStory would also assist in networking the leaders of the in-house ministries as a form of community, support, encouragement, and growth.
More than a half-century ago, AG-icon Ralph Harris wrote a book called, Now What? A Guidebook for New Christians. The book is still in print because of the necessity for clear instruction on what to do next. ReStory Ministries’ purpose is to prepare AG ministers and members to be able to respond to “Now What?” questions and challenges about homosexuality and gender identity with the same type of clear, compassionate, and biblically accurate responses — and more.
But time is of the essence. Dallas communicates an additional sense of urgency as he says some U.S. states have already made it illegal to offer
therapy for teens who struggle with same-sex attractions or gender confusion.
“The local church is going to become the last place of refuge for someone who is wanting to have help,” Dallas says. “We need to be ready for that.”
Source: AG News