Connecting Point – July 7, 2023

What are some summertime activities that you and your family like to engage in together? Our family enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, and dining - lots and lots of dining. But another thing that we like to do is play games. We play games such as card games (Hearts, Spades, Uno, etc), dominoes, video games, etc. And one game we play from time to time is Connect Four. In Connect Four people have to build on what others have done and strategically connect pieces or tokens together in a diagonal, horizontal, or vertical line in order to win the game. In a similar way, in the Christian life, we are constantly building on the decisions of others, seeking to connect together the important spiritual, emotional, relational, and ministry areas of our lives in order to experience joy, peace, purpose, and productivity in our lives.

In the New Testament, we find that the first Christians faced many overwhelming challenges, and yet they were able to overcome those challenges because they made the “right connections” in their lives. We’re told in Acts 2:41-47 that those early Christians were strongly connected to the Lord and to one another. They allowed Jesus to be their Lord as well as their Savior, they learned God’s Word from God’s Leaders, they dined and fellowshipped together regularly, and they ministered to one another, and they prayed together. And because of those important “connections'' in their lives, they were able to live strong, satisfying, and impactful lives in spite of the great obstacles and opposition they were experiencing.

Join us this Sunday as we begin our CONNECT MORE emphasis.
At Celebration Church we want to help you live a strong, satisfying, and impactful life, which is why in the month of July we’re focusing on the theme, CONNECT MORE. In this month, in our Worship Services and Life Groups we’re going to be learning how to connect in deeper ways with the Lord, with our fellow Christians, with our Church, and with others as well. And we’re confident that by the end of July, those who are actively participating with us will be well on their way to experiencing great strength, satisfaction, and influence in their lives.

One of the ways that we can have more impact on our culture is by becoming facilitators of greater justice and unity in communities around us - which is what the UNIFY Conference (July 15) is all about. Several years ago some incidents caused lots of people in our nation to see that while much progress has occurred over the years, we still have a lot of racial division, inequality, and injustice in our nation. As a result of what was happening at that time, we formed the Justice & Unity Team of Celebration Church to begin praying and dialoguing together about what we as a Church could do to be facilitators of healing, reconciliation, and justice in our region and nation. As a result of that initiative, in the past several years we’ve led prayer emphases, provided training to Celebration leaders and members, and participated in discussions with other Pastors in our region about how we could make a difference in the areas of justice and unity.

UNIFY is a Conference about Biblical Justice and Unity, and about how we make a difference in communities around us. It’s being held at Celebration on Airline on July 15 and begins at 9 am. Our keynote speaker for the event is Jonathan Tremaine Thomas. Pastor Thomas is a well-known speaker throughout our nation who is the founder of the Civil Righteousness organization. After the incidents and riots that occurred in Ferguson, Missouri several years ago, he and his family moved to Ferguson to become facilitators of peace and healing in that region. One of his great focuses in his ministry is not only to help bring reconciliation between human beings from different backgrounds but to help people become reconciled to the Lord. I believe that Conference attendees will learn much from Pastor Thomas.

Other key leaders for the UNIFY Conference include:

  • Dr. Kevin Brown Professor of Social Work at SUNO

  • Sula Kim WDSU News Anchor and Christian Leader in our region

  • John Gerhart founder of Urban Impact Ministries in Central City in NOLA

  • Paula Rodriguez Attorney with the Miguel Elias Group (specializing in immigration law)

  • Pastor Jamaal Weathersby Lead Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Central City

UNIFY CONFERENCE • JULY 15
We will also have Panel Discussions and Breakout Sessions with Community Compassion Ministry Leaders from Greater New Orleans, who will share how people can become involved in bringing help, healing, and hope to people in our region on an ongoing basis. So, if you have an interest in learning more about these issues and ministries or you want to be involved in making a difference in our region in regards to these issues, register yourself and some friends for the UNIFY Conference at www.celebrationchurch.org/jutcc/. The Conference is free to attendees and will include beverages and lunch. So register today if you’re interested in attending.

We’re always looking for godly and motivated people to serve alongside us on the staff of Celebration Church, Crescent City Christian School, and our CCCS Early Learning Centers. At our Crescent City Christian School we’re looking for Teachers for 4th Grade, for 5th-6th Grades (Math and Science), for Middle School (Math and Science), and for High School (Math and English). To learn more about those Crescent City Christian and Celebration job opportunities, go to www.celebrationchurch.org/jobs, or email us at jobs@celebrationchurch.org.

This past Sunday we learned about the steps we personally and collectively need to take if we are to make a difference in our region and nation for good and for God. If you weren’t able to join us, or if you want to review the message from the weekend, visit our online service at www.celebrationchurch.org.

We look forward to seeing you this Sunday as we begin our CONNECT MORE emphasis.

Gratefully Yours,
  
Pastor Dennis Watson
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church
dennisw@celebrationchurch.org
  dennis.watson.96
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