August 2016 Newsletter

Welcoming Visitors to CCC

Most of us have not had the experience recently of looking for a new church home.  It is an experience that can be difficult and uncomfortable, at best.   Walking into a church where many people already know each other and are engaged with each other can make you feel like an outsider.

A key challenge of all churches has to do with welcoming visitors to church in ways that help them feel at home and thus become regular attenders.  This is an issue that GCI has been addressing in the latest round of regional conferences.  It’s an issue commonly referred to as the “assimilation” challenge.

At CCC we have a Connections Ministry (see Sandra Hamilton) that does a great job in connecting with visitors, but it is something that everyone needs to be aware of and can help in addressing.

One of the top reasons visitors do not return to a church is that they don’t feel welcome.   A couple of things that can make all the difference are:

* When you come to church next, imagine yourself as a first time visitor and view your experience through the eyes of a newcomer.

* Treat visitors as you would someone who stepped through the front door of your home for the first time.   Certainly, none of us would greet someone who just walked in our home and then turn and walk away, nor would we just let them sit alone for an extended period of time.

As a whole, I think we do a great job as a church, but we can always do better.   Making people feel welcome, accepted, included and at home, is part of our church vision.  It’s really a matter of extending grace to those who grace our front door.

Pastor George










WORD IN THE STREET:  The second Word in the Street of the summer will be on Sunday August 7 at Oakwood Apartments from 2-4pm. This is a great way to get to know our neighbors and participate in what the Holy Spirit is doing. We will be collaborating with the owner and residents of Oakwood, Milford police and fire department, Milford Miami Ministries, Milford Schools, Drug Coalition, St Vincent DePaul and Artsy Fartsy. We will be sharing a meal, playing games with kids and adults, art project, fellowship and sharing God’s love. Hope to see everyone there! Your help is needed. Bring your lawn chair and extras to share. Bring a dessert or fruit. Plus we will need help in setting up and taking down. See Becky Hickman for questions.



The Milford and Miami Township Police Departments, the Milford Miami Township Chamber of Commerce and Target are partnering to host our  annual National Night Out on August 2nd from 6-9pm. National Night Out is a nationwide program designed to heighten crime awareness as well as strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships by bringing citizens, businesses and churches together.  We will be setting up a table, handing out cold water and popsicles. This a good opportunity to talk with people and let them know about our church. Last year over 4,000 people attended. It is located in the Target parking lot at River’s Edge. Come and join what the Holy Spirit is doing in our community.

See Becky for any questions.


MILFORD MIAMI MINISTRY:  As you know MMM is busy helping the underserved in the community with food and emergency money for bills. They are now offering spiritual help. When someone comes in to get help with physical needs, they are offered prayer and someone to just listen to their story. If any-one is interested in helping in this way, let Becky or Jana know. MMM is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9-12, Wednesday from 6:30-8pm and 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 9-11.

ARTSY FARTSY: Come and join us for Artsy Fartsy on Saturday, August 13th, from 1pm to 3pm.

artsy fartsy


by Ron Hickman

My wife Becky and I recently participated in the “Experiencing the Trinity” retreat in Eureka, Missouri. This retreat is one of several offerings of Odyssey in Christ, a GCI ministry founded and directed by Dr. Larry Hinkle. During this 72 hour retreat, one of the themes is the power of surrender.

During a time of solitude on the first night of the retreat, I struggled with the idea of surrender. My first thought was that I had surrendered to God long ago, so why do I need to think about surrender. Then I began to experience the power of this spiritual practice of solitude.

As I remained in solitude, with nothing to read, no one to talk to, no radio, cell phone, TV, or any other distractions, I was truly alone with God. I invited the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom about the idea of surrender, and the Holy Spirit spoke to me – not in an audible voice, but gently to my heart.

In solitude, at first I struggled against the distractions of my own thoughts. When my time of solitude began, every kind of thought came to me, about many ideas, including fears and distractions. Yet as I continued to give my attention to the Spirit, my mind became quieter, more focused on God, and less distracted. As the Spirit spoke to my heart, I began to discern a more profound meaning of surrender.

I began to think of surrender as a way of living in God’s presence, not just an action or an event. I began to under-stand that surrender is really not an option if I am to escape my own way of thinking and begin truly to abide in Christ. Surrender means responding to God’s invitation to trust his love for me. Surrender means giving up my chains and living in the freedom that Jesus promised.

Surrendering to the God who is love, the God revealed by Jesus the Messiah, is the only way for me to be saved from myself. Now when I think of surrender, I think of myself as a child being rescued from a burning house. My surrender to God is like a child surrendering to the firefighter who has come to the rescue. When I surrender, I’m leaping from the burning building of my own ways, into the rescuing arms of Jesus.

oddsey in christ



GCI-USA Generations Ministries announced recently that it is sponsoring training for children’s ministers in September. Here are the details from GenMin’s national coordinator Anthony Mullins.

Having deemed 2016 The Year of the Child, we in GenMin want to back up our commitment to children’s ministry by providing resources that will help our churches serve children within their fellowship and in their community. Toward that end, GenMin is hosting an equipping event for people who minister to children. It will be held at Christ Fellowship Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, starting Friday evening, September 16 and extending through the day on Saturday, September 17. Becky Jarrett, a talented and experienced children’s minister and friend of GCI, will lead the training, which will be highly interactive. Tyler Lang, the youth leader at Christ Fellowship Church, is coordinating the event. Please contact him if you are interested in attending. His email address is


August  Announcements

General Announcements

Café: The café is open every Sunday, before and after services. Come enjoy meeting and greeting our church brothers and sisters. Donations gladly accepted to help support the food and beverages.

Prayer Meeting

P.U.S.H. – This months PUSH meeting  is on Sunday night August 21st @ 6pm

Small Groups

Going Deep: Every Wednesday night at 7-8:30pm  Topic will be the Sermon message from the week prior.

Women’s Group:  8/12 & 8/26, 6:30am

Sunday Morning Group:  2nd & 4th Sunday 8:45am,  Children’s room

Good & Beautiful:   Every Sunday at 8:45am—Worship Center

Coleman Monday Night:  2nd & 4th Monday 7:30pm

GriefShare:  Tuesday, August 16th, 7-8:30pm

Mission Strategy: August 8th, at 6:30PM

Ministry Meetings

Pastoral Team: Monday, August 15th at 6:30pm

Neighbor 2 Neighbor: Monday, August 22nd at 6:30pm

GriefShare:  Team meeting, Sunday, August 21stth, 12:30pm after service.

MMM: Thursday, August 4th, 7:00pm

Advisory Council: Saturday, August 13th, 8am



Our greeting ministry needs four  volunteers to greet four times a year (only once a quarter).  For more information  see Sandra Hamilton




There will be a new series – “Soul Keeping – Caring for the Most Important Part of You”. This series by John Ortberg is to help us rediscover our soul – the best connection to God there is – and find out why it’s hurting and why neglecting it has set so many believers so far back spiritually. This is a six-session, video based small group study, shows that caring for your soul is necessary for your Christian life. We will learn what our soul is, why it is important, how to assess your soul’s health, and how to care for it so that we can have a meaningful and beautiful life with God and others. We will start this series on Friday, August 26. The group meets on the 2nd and 4th Friday at 6:30 am. See Becky Hickman to order a study guide for $7.



Making Visitors Feel Welcome

It begins in the parking lot with a clear line of sight into the lobby, and someone greeting them at the door and assisting as necessary.

There are few things more uncomfortable than walking into a sanctuary, sitting by yourself, and then leaving without speaking to anyone.

After the service, being genuinely curious about others will often lead to engagement and help visitors feel like someone actually cares that they show up. Try asking non-threatening, non-status questions.

Consider instituting a five-minute rule.  For the first five minutes after the service ends talk to someone other than family or friends.

We need to intentionally engage with our visitors and go beyond opening the door and handing them a bulletin.   Point out the location of the coat room, the rest room, and children’s ministry, etc.

The basics—making eye contact, offering a warm handshake—go a long way in easing the anxiety that many of us feel as we enter an unfamiliar space.

In a recent Christianity Today article, Dorothy Littell Greco shared the uncomfortable experience of her and her husband in looking for a new church home.  Greco recounts some of their experience as well as some suggestions for making visitors feel welcome.   You can read Dorothy Littell Greco’s entire article titled “Teach Your Entire Church to Welcome Visitors” at the following link:





Do you play an instrument? Maybe guitar? Drums? Tambourine? Pennywhistle? Violin? Do you like to sing and worship? If so, the worship band would love to have you!

Please see Jana Slick, Kim Kirk or Zac Brown if you’re interested or would like more details.


Faith Goals

“An intelligent person aims at wise action, but a fool starts off in many directions.” Proverbs 17:24 (GN)

Most business people are familiar with the concept of goal setting.  But do you know there’s something even bigger?  It’s setting God-inspired faith goals. Some people may argue that goal setting is a lack of faith, but just the opposite is true.   The apostle Paul had faith goals.  If you read his letters you see a pattern of him setting a goal and then a clear direction in achieving that goal.   For example, in 1 Corinthians 9:22 Paul states his goal to “become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”  Now that is an award-winning faith goal if there ever was one!   Setting faith goals is not a lack of faith but a way of exercising faith. Over the past few months the pastoral team has been working on faith goals for our faith community.   One focused on the Easter season has actually been completed already, and one focused on gifting is yet to be finalized.    The three we are currently working on are below and you will see there are four parts to each goal:

1. Statement of the goal.

2. Foundational scripture.

3. What we are willing to commit to.

4. What we are committed to asking God to do.

Faith Goal:  To impact the communities of Milford and Miami Twp positively for Christ

Luke 4:18-19 (MSG)  God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, Sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, “This is God’s year to act!”

We are willing to commit to:

 *Attend/Lead/Host the quarterly A Community United meetings of civic and faith community leaders.

 *Actively participate in events and activities sponsored by the group.

 *Attend monthly meetings of One Lord One Hope (leaders from faith based communities).

 *Continue to develop personal relationships with civic and faith community leaders through A Community United, One Lord One Hope and through personal one-on-one contact meetings.

We are committed to ask God to:

* Continue to open doors to CCC to impact the community.

 *The faith to walk through every open door and respond positively to every request.

Faith Goal:  Help strengthen Christ Community Church by fostering a better understanding of racial issues.

John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

We are willing to commit to:

* Creating a team of members of color to meet and determine the issues and facts around the loss of members of color from CCC.

 *Determine the underlying issues, reasons, feelings and the things that contributed to loss of members of color.

 *Prepare a discussion that can be brought back to the Pastor and Pastoral team to help provide understanding and enlightenment.

 *Take necessary steps to address the issues as feasible.

 *Determine what follow-up dialogue, training, and teaching is necessary to educate the pastoral team and the congregation.

We are committed to ask God to:

 *Open mindedness and willingness to learn.

 *Provide a safe place for open discussion of issues.

 *Willingness to listen assertively.

 *Allow for true sharing and growing.

Growth in the area of racial sensitivity and the issues that people of color have to deal with.

Faith Goal: To saturate the Oakbrook community with God’s love.

Matthew 22:37-40  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

We are willing to commit to:

*Pray weekly at the physical site of the apartment complex and at church.

*Conduct 2 summer events at the complex working with Lynda Fox (owner), providing food, summer games and individual attention to those attending.

Develop deeper relationships with the kids and families of Artsy Fartsy by spending focused time with them at monthly event.

Invite kids to VBS and provide transportation.

Invite 3 families to church and offer transportation.

We are committed to ask God to:

Provide our members with a heart to reach out to the community of Oakbrook.

To provide workers for the events.

To have words and wisdom to communicate about God’s love to the residents.

“According to your faith let it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29 NIV).


Income/Expense Comparison 

1st Half 2015 1st Half 2016 Amount Difference


Gifts                           $    5,100       $ 14,595   $   9,495

General Offering      $  60,038      $ 66,255   $   6,217

Misc.                           $   113            $ 313          $    200

TOTAL                       $  65,251      $ 81,163      $ 15,912

TOTAL EXPENSES  $  80,153     $ 76,342     $ – 3,811

OVERALL TOTAL     $ -14,902     $  4,821      $ 19,723

Note: For a more detail breakdown of expenses, check the bulletin board in the café.


Connect with Christ Community Church


George Hart


Family Ministry:

Ron & Becky Hickman Ron 513-252-6483 Becky 513-317-4658

Member Care & Grief Share:  John Hoover  859-628-5427

Teen Ministry:  Jana Slick    513-582-3763

Join us for 



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Categories News | Tags: | Posted on August 7, 2016

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Sunday Morning Worship Service
10:30 am

1005 Lila Ave. Milford, OH 45150