The book of James says: “Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James 2:17-18
As we close in on the end of June I was looking over our calendar from the first six months of 2008 and thought to share a synopsis with you. Sometimes we can forget what a powerhouse of life and activity we have here at CMCC. Here goes:
So far this year, we’ve had the following special ministry events: Strongman Steve Carrier and Team Mega-Force (over 100 people made decisions for Christ in these meetings); Evangelist Randy Goudeau, the young Louisiana-born church planter currently working in New York City; Caryl Mallory from Wycliff Bible Translators; Youth and music ministers Mark & Mary Meyers from Orlando; Paul Moore, Sr. from CitiHope International in Andes; Former NFL star, Paul Costa; Rev. Bob & Cara Grimm from Walla Walla, Washington and Sue Brown from Arising to Excellence Ministries in Dallas. Also, many of us took an overnight trip as a group, attending the two day Battle-Cry youth event at the Meadowlands in New Jersey where thousands of youth gathered as T.D. Jakes and other notable speakers and music groups ministered.
Additionally we’ve had monthly women’s meetings with special guests including Mrs. Kris Mirocco and regular men’s meetings including an eight week Saturday morning video series teaching on the subject of ‘honor’ with John Bevere. So far this year, we’ve also had a CMCA school spelling bee, family game night, coffee house, Valentine’s dinner, 24 hour prayer vigil, CMCA awards ceremony, Good Friday Passion film presentation, Easter sunrise service, Easter breakfast and Little Pond school picnic.
Our regularly scheduled activities included 26 weeks of Sunday morning services with record high attendances, Wednesday mid-week services (with separate worship team), weekly home groups, weekly prayer meetings, and twice weekly music practices. We also conducted weekly Power Kids, adult and children’s Sunday school, True Beauties, Royal Rangers and Youth Group. Our Beacon University/Christian Life School of Theology program continues to feed the minds and satisfy the souls of some of our most intelligent members through weekly college level studies. We are always providing pastoral counseling, marriage and pre-marriage counseling, funerals and bereavement counseling, hospital visitation, and prayer ministry in addition to leadership development and personal discipleship to our expansive leadership team.
Catskill Mountain Christian Academy, finishing its thirteenth year, continues to educate students with excellence in a full academic program, caring for the minds and spirits of 50 children from pre-k through senior high. Seven hours a day, five days a week for forty weeks a year our facility is home to a world-class school program. CMCA students continue to score well above average in standardized tests, including the SATs, and a large majority of our graduates continue to move immediately into higher education. This week, four academically prepared and spiritually mature young scholars will graduate from CMCA and move forward in their lives. We pray for God’s protection and good success for Deanna Barto, Sarah Keator, Lani Odato and Morgan Spaulding.
Our senior citizen weekly dinner/fellowship, in its eight year, continues to serve a free hot meal to 30-50 local seniors each Wednesday evening and our Nursing home ministry rolls on, as it has for over fifteen years, presenting a song service each month to the residents of Mountainside Nursing Home. Home group leaders meet regularly for training and problem solving, our prayer team is coordinated and active and our usher team is well equipped to protect and serve at every service.
The power-house CAP program/Family Table, our rural food initiative, is caring for the needy in our region, having provided over two hundred thousand dollars in food-aid so far this year alone. Another major portion of our Main Street, Margaretville facility is occupied by this life giving grocery store/warehouse. The Family Table store buzzes with activity during store hours six days each week as the blessing of food is available to income-eligible families. The Family Table also holds monthly evening work parties including dinner and fellowship for the CAP membership. Since starting four years ago we have distributed over 1.2 million dollars worth of groceries to local families below the poverty line, serving thousands of our neighbors in need.
To put the icing on the cake is the unseen work of maintaining the CMCC facility and grounds and running the business/administrative office. Each week cleaners are cleaning, fixers are fixing, books and finances are being kept in order, bills are being paid, trucks are being fixed, broken furnaces repaired, insurances are being negotiated, snow is being plowed, grass is being cut, our web site maintained, meetings organized, sermons prepared, classes taught, and the list goes on and on. Literally thousands and thousands of man-hours of work are being conducted under the covering of CMCC, all for the glory of the King! To Him alone: To Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the Living God, be all praise for ever and ever! This is our purpose. This is our cause.
On a more personal note, but still part of the productivity of CMCC so far this year:
- Nancy and I conducted ministry weekends at both the City of Refuge Church in San Antonio, Texas and at the Word of Jesus Church on Long Island.
- I was a conference speaker at the Eagles Wings Ministries annual national minister’s conference in Pennsylvania.
- Nancy and I had the privilege of representing CMCC last month at the United Nations in New York City at the 60th Birthday Party for Israel along with many notable dignitaries.
- I spoke in April to a group of mainly police officers at the 1st anniversary memorial event of Trooper David Brinkerhoff’s tragic death here in our town.
- Nancy served on the board of directors of the Pregnancy Distress Centers of Ulster County.
- Both Nancy and I have preached at various regional churches including Greenville and Athens.
- My latest book revision, The Sovereignty of God, originally written in 1901 by A.W. Pink and revised, edited and updated by me came out within the past two months. Published by Bridge-Logos Publishers this book is the second Pure Gold Classic I’ve revised—the first being four years ago, entitled Power, Passion and Prayer by nineteenth century revivalist Charles Grandison Finney. I spent nearly every spare moment for over seven months in 2007 on the Pink manuscript and it is a good feeling to finally see it in print. My first sole authorship book, Family Church, is now being edited by the publisher and will be out sometime next year. The Sovereignty of God is available for purchase from the church office.
A couple closing thoughts. I have had the necessity to travel a little more this year and participate in several organizations that will ultimately benefit the work of CMCC. As a member of the International Coalition of Apostles, the ecclesiastical advisory board of the International Christian Wealth Builders Foundation, the board of directors of CitiHope International, a member of Your Ministry Consultation Services, Eagles’ Wings Ministries and several other organizations that we are closely affiliated with, my active participation by attending various meetings and conferences enables CMCC to be connected with the greater Body of Christ and draw resources from some of the most cutting edge, godly and prophetic ministry partners available.
Nancy and I along with the other elders/trustees of CMCC are constantly prayerfully considering new opportunities and trying to make our church run in a way that pleases Jesus. We are highly fortunate to have had seventeen years of growth and life and never take one moment for granted. We are deeply grateful to the Lord for the good He has given and our deepest most heartfelt prayer of all is that we can continue into the future with unity, hope and love. Our hearts desire is to make a place for people to be able to serve the Lord and grow in His grace as we work together to represent God’s interests in this generation and prepare the way for generations still to come.
Some things out there in the future that are in various stages of development are:
- Second story for our main building which will be able to expand our services to the community and the Kingdom of God even more.
- Business school and entrepreneurial empowerment program.
- Young adult’s residency discipleship program.
- New flooring for CAP.
- Two grants are currently under review by the USAID for foreign-aid projects. If approved, one will fund a program in Kenya, the other in the Dominican Republic.
- Senior citizen’s housing project.
- Reprisal of our radio ministry.
- Women’s care center.
- Church planting.
- Growth and expansion of our school of ministry.
- Development of Bethesda Ministers Association.
Finally: I hope that you are as excited about the future of Catskill Mountain Christian Center as I am. To everyone who has worked with love on behalf of our Lord and Savior... thank you. "For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Hebrews 6:10
See you Sunday!