Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Church Family Update

Hi Church Family,

***Roll out those lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer… I hope you are enjoying this spectacular time of year—I sure am. In fact, I actually thought we were going to have a slower paced summer here at CMCC this year but it seems the opposite has been happening... and it’s been great fun! Maybe August will slow down, but then again, maybe not. Here’s what’s happening.

***Last week a group from CMCC traveled to Florida to enjoy two nights at the now famous Lakeland Revival. Ron, Julie, Lauren and Lani Odato, Dee Iommi, Paul Engelhardt and I took the trip and completely enjoyed the experience. It was my second time to Lakeland and, as before, the worship alone was worth the effort. It is disarming and deeply moving to be in the midst of over five thousand people who are pouring out their hearts to Jesus for several hours on end. Seven days a week for over 100 days in a row, people from all over the world (30 nations were represented while we attended) are congregating to enjoy this holy phenomenon.

Apparently there is a lot of controversy surrounding this outpouring especially since the leader, Todd Bentley, is so non-traditional, sporting tattoos and various piercings and is sometimes a little ‘out there’ with some of his rhetoric and healing claims. Oh well. The proof of the value of the event, for me, is the overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit in worship and the hunger for God from so many people. To the person who is in a receiving state of mind and becomes like a little child in faith, there is a softening of the heart that is simply supernatural. Todd Bentley did not speak at either of the services we attended this time and it was announced that he would be taking some time off.

***I was honored to give the invocation and benediction at the unveiling of the Trooper David Brinkerhoff Memorial at the Town of Middletown office building on Sunday afternoon, June 29. Trooper Brinkerhoff is the selfless hero who lost his life in a fire-fight while protecting our community from a desperate criminal last year. Others offering comments at the ceremony were Assemblyman Cliff Crouch, New York State Police Superintendent Harry Corbitt, Middletown Supervisor Len Utter, and memorial organizer Heather Gockel.

A hundred or so police officers, community leaders and residents also attended the event and lent a show of support to Trooper Brinkerhoff’s family who unveiled the black granite monument. As a part of the ceremony I was presented a beautiful plaque by NYS Police, Troop Commander Kevin Molinari as thanks for CMCC’s support and fundraising efforts on behalf of the Brinkerhoff family. CMCC hosted a Trooper Brinkerhoff walk-a-thon and memorial service last year and gathered over $10,000 for the fallen hero’s family. Stop by my office some time to see the plaque.

***43+ CMCC youth and adults are off this week to the 3-day-long, Generation Youth conference in Utica, New York. http://www.generationconference.com/ This promises to be an awesome time for our young people as several thousand teens gather and receive top notch ministry, music and encouragement from some of the best youth ministers in the nation. Thanks go out to our leaders, chaperones and coordinator, Brad Keator.

***Pastor Renard Barto is leading a group of 10 CMCC members on a mission to Mexico on July 25. The eleven day trip will include ministry to remote Indian villages located outside of Mexico City. We are teaming up with our sister church, Victorious Life Christian Church in Troy, NY for this holy adventure and are looking forward to the great reports.

***This past Sunday we enjoyed the ministry of Dr. Larry Keefauver, long time friend and apostolic associate of CMCC. Dr. Larry led a large church for over 20 years and is the author of over fifty books with 2.5 million in total print. His message on Sunday morning on ‘confidence’ got rave reviews from everyone in attendance and is available for listening on our website under Streaming Sermons: www.cmcconline.org Later in the day on Sunday Dr. Keefauver also met with our leadership team and then the Sunday evening college-age group.

***Each Sunday this summer we have been giving out ‘CMCC Hero of the Faith Awards.’ Like CMCC’s version of the Oscars, these certificates acknowledge the finest qualities of God’s children—those members whose joyful and faithful service over a long period of time demonstrates their love for Jesus in an outstanding and visible way. So far, Marie Spaulding, Michelle Beutel, Mike and Chris Tuch, Brad and Lynn Keator, Bob and Irena Lanzilotta and Dean and Jeanne Malaxos have received this award—a framed certificate along with a gift bag. Each one of these heroes has served the Lord for years on end in various capacities, joyfully working in service to the King. Congratulations!!!

***This past Saturday evening, 20 some-odd CMCC members motored over to Maryland, NY to help celebrate the Word of Faith Church’s 25th Anniversary. Founded by Pastor Frank and Peggy MacCracken 25 years ago, the church has been a close friend to CMCC over the years.

***Healing Reports:
1) If you were at church this past Sunday, you heard the wonderful report from Diane Villaseca. She told how after praying for healing the day before for her painful hand (a condition that had affected her for some time) the pain instantly and completely disappeared. This happened on Saturday morning and when she testified at Sunday service, she was still pain free. Praise Jesus!

2) This is an e-mail from Ross Gill:
Pastor Bob: As I mentioned on the phone earlier, God has definitely and completely healed me just a few weeks ago. For 5-6 years, I've had acute and chronic pain in my hip muscles. Whenever I experienced a muscle spasm the pain was so intense that I would fall to the floor. Over time this situation became worse despite doctors, chiropractors and a physical therapist. I asked for prayer at church. One of these times, Brad Keator prayed and correctly stated that I would be afflicted 3 more times then after God would completely heal me. A few weeks ago, Pastor Renard Barto prayed for me. That day the Lord completely healed me and I am back to full health and exercising daily, as I was years ago. God is incredible. -Ross

***Summer Church Picnic!!! This Sunday, July 20, join the CMCC family for a BBQ immediately after service. Held right in CMCC’s back yard, the $5.00 per person donation will support our upcoming youth conference. Menu to include: Dogs and burgers, mac and potato salad, baked beans, chips, drinks and dessert. Come out and have some fun with the nicest people around.

***We have a number of plans currently in various stages of development and want to keep these items as a priority on everyone’s prayer list. As Pastor Alan Babcock used to teach, “Never initiate more than you can saturate in prayer.”
  1. Second story for our main building which will be able to expand our services to the community and the Kingdom of God even more. This has become an obvious need over the past year as we have come to the place where we are utilizing every foot of our present facility. Our present space is full with activity.
  2. Business school and entrepreneurial empowerment program. This September we will launch the Catskill Mountain Business Institute, a program for anyone presently operating a business, desiring to start a business or interested in getting increased wealth to fulfill God’s desire to establish His Kingdom.
  3. Young adult’s residency program. We are considering a number of options to be able to empower and affect young people.
  4. New flooring for CAP. We are tearing up the old carpet in the food warehouse and store to replace it with an impervious epoxy-like painted surface.
  5. 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. Each of these grants represents 4 million servings of nutritious food to be shipped and distributed by our ministry. Thanks to CitiHope for their guidance in these new waters.
  6. Senior citizen’s housing project. On a recent trip to Texas, I learned of a company that partners with churches to build housing projects for low income people or senior citizens with government help. It is an interesting proposal that we are doing our due-diligence on to determine whether it is viable for us.
  7. Reprisal of our radio ministry. We have been off the air for a full year and a half after thirteen straight years of broadcasting. We must fulfill Jesus’ command to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) Our voice of common sense Christianity fueled by radical faith, hope and love is desperately needed in a world increasingly disoriented and cynical.
  8. Women’s care center. Part of our second story project will be dedicated to a women’s care center where we will meet women in crisis and help to bring them to wholeness, life, and personal empowerment. Pregnancy concerns, domestic issues, anger management, parenting, nutrition, housing assistance and plenty of encouragement will offer hope to women in stressful situations. In doing this we are drawing on Nancy Engelhardt’s years of experience as a co-founder and the original executive director of Abow Pregnancy Distress Center near Albany, a highly successful ministry to women.
  9. Church planting. We have one potential church plant being sown into the soil right now and our vision is to raise-up a network of New Testament churches as the Lord directs.
  10. Growth and expansion of our school of ministry. We will grow into an entity that offers teaching and awards diplomas and certificates on a variety of subjects for a variety of reasons.
  11. Development of Bethesda Ministers Association. We will start an apostolic network for the purpose of empowering and covering a full range of ministry activities.

***Following is a great letter and a prayer request… Congratulations Melissa!!!! Send her your congratulations at "Melissa S. Wyckoff" <m_s_wyckoff@yahoo.com>

Dear Pastor: Your daughter has graduated law school and is the proud recipient of her Juris Doctorate. Graduating law school isn’t the end of the journey, for my next hurdle will be to pass the bar exam. I am writing to ask you to keep me in prayer. More than ever I need my church family to be by my side fighting for me. Already, I can feel a lack of focus and my endurance isn’t as strong as it should be to study. Distractions are numerous and mental fatigue is abundant. I cling to Jeremiah 29:11- God does have a hope and a future for me and it is already starting to play out. It is easier to say everything is in God’s hands and it is easier to say that I trust God, but the longest journey is from the head to the heart. Every day I struggle to trust Him and to give Him full control. Please continue to lift me up in prayer. My bar exam is July 30th and 31st. Love in Christ, Melissa Wyckoff

*** But I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; For You have been my defense And refuge in the day of my trouble. Psalms 59:16

See you Sunday!