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We’re a resort village church, relaxed and warm. Dress up, dress down, come as you are. We are located at 975 C Avenue, Coronado, California. Resident or tourist, you’ll be among friends who desire to know Christ and make Christ known.

 

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    Youth Ministries Blog

    Pastor John's Blog

    Saturday
    Jul012017

    Changing Gears

    Lots of people are making their way to the beach to enjoy the warm sun and cold water.  We’ve officially kicked off the summer with our first trip to Forest Home (Creekside) with our middle school students and launched our first beach day.  We can officially say, summer is here!  As everyone is changing gears from school to vacation, the youth ministry staff is in the midst of changing gears as well.  

     

    As you many have heard, Amber Cuadra is getting married in October!  YEA!  We could not be more excited for her and Micah Fischer as they enter the covenant of marriage together.  We first met Amber about two years ago and boy we were impressed.  Over the past two years Amber has been a vital part of the Youth Ministry staff.  But now it’s time for Amber to change gears to follow God’s call in her life as she and Micah start a new chapter as husband and wife. 

     

    Amber’s role as the Youth Ministries Administrative Assistant was filled with so many opportunities to work with parents and students.  Amber managed all the online forms for Forest Home Winter and Summer Camp.  She also organized our Big-5 dinner and Crosswalk snack schedule.  Amber worked very hard to make sure all communication about events and details were sent out to all our families.  In all of these, she even made time to lead a small group of high school girls through the book of Proverbs and the book of Galatians. 

     

    In life, there are lots of opportunities to change gears.  With Amber changing gears, we will be left with a small hole in our hearts.  The reason I say small hole is because Amber may be resigning from her official staff position, but she has developed such a wonderful relationship with parents and students, she will continue as a Crosswalk volunteer!  So the way we see it is, we are getting the best of both worlds—we get to keep Amber and Micah on top of bringing a new person on staff to the Youth Ministry department. 

     

    So much of changing gears requires listening to the still small voice of God.  We look for the marvelous acts of God to direct us or we expect to hear a booming voice from heaven for direction, but all too often God’s voice is a whisper (1 Kings 19:12b).  As we continue to search for a new Youth Ministries Assistant, we ask you to pray for God’s voice to clearly call the right person for the job.  And, if God’s voice is prompting you to considering joining the team click here for the official job description.  Or, if you know someone who would be interested, we would love to meet them and discern the Will of God together. 

     

    In the meantime, like Amber and Micah, we will trust God while the gears change.  We will trust God to speak and point us in the right direction—much like the prophet Elijah!  

     

    Congratulations to Micah and Amber!  May our Lord bless you and keep you.  May he make his face shine upon you and be gracious unto you.  May he lift his countenance upon you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

     

    Blessings,

    Pastor John

    Associate Pastor

    Friday
    Apr072017

    Tickets to Thailand

    Tickets to Thailand?  What are you talking about Pastor John?  I’m glad you asked.  In my last posted, we looked at how the world is impacted through relationships.  First, it starts with our relationship with Jesus, which impacts our relationships with each other.  Through these same relationships, you were invited to join us in the fundraising dinner extravaganza.  Club Blank and Club converge received a $100 each and were challenge to make a difference in their schools, communities and even world.  So, we’re offering you a “ticket to Thailand.”

     

    As the students work diligently to host a fundraising dinner to send the Mowad family to Thailand to serve Jesus—the Mowads said, “We would love to have you come join us!”  It would be amazing to the see the fruit of the labor.  To actually see first-hand what the Mowads were doing would be a tremendous blessing.  When the students heard the invitation, they were too excited.  And, I’m sure if you wanted to visit the Mowad family in Thailand, you would be more than welcome (let me know if you’re interested and I will connect you with Matt and Bethany Mowad).  But, if visiting Thailand is not something you’re interested in, but you would like to experience the culture, get your tickets to the Project25 dinner.  There is limited seating—so do not wait.  And, when we say “experience the culture,” that means Tessna from Swaddess Thai Restaurant in Coronado is preparing the entire meal, so you know it is going to be good. 

     

    If you already have tickets to the dinner—hold on to your seats.  The students are planning a silent auction which will included, authentic Thai cooking lessons for 6, Thai language lessons, hand crafted “Ellie-phants” (by our very own Ellie), tickets to Lamb’s Players Theatre and so much more.

     

    Blessings,

    Pastor John

    Associate Pastor

    Friday
    Mar032017

    Get It

    Working alongside of students is one of the most fulfilling aspects of ministry—especially when they just “get it.”  Over the past three years, we have seen students impact our worshiping community, our Coronado community—especially their peers—and the world.  Watching students who have a passion for Christ and the Church is one of my favorite things in the world—they just “get it.”   

     

    This year for Project25, both clubs at CMS and CHS are partnering with the Mowad family as they follow God’s call to Thailand.  The Mowad family accepted a call to work with Cadence International with the goal of equipping leaders with the Gospel and developing a stronger Christ-Centered presence in Thailand.  All this sprang up from students caring for one another, then came the vision sharing.  Through the relationships, the Mowad girls have in the youth ministry, the Club Blank and Converge students are all in.  Now there are 80 middle school students and high school students with a shared vision to see the Mowads fulfill their calling and for the Kingdom to continue growing—they just flat out “get it.”

     

    The best part of it all—it’s easy!  The Kingdom is growing because of the relationships with Jesus Christ and the relationships we have with each other.  People talk about being only 7 degrees of separation from everyone in the world—and that might actually be true.  But what I can tell you is true is God wants us to live in relationship with each other and with Jesus.  From there, the rest is easy.  Mountains will move, more people will see the blessing of following Jesus and the Mowads will be in Thailand! 

     

    It does not take courage.  It does not take a college degree.  It certainly does not take being a pastor—it takes a willing heart and “getting it!”  You’re probably wondering what “it” actually is.  Well, that’s easy too.  Jesus is calling us to be in relationship with him and with each other serving one another.  For the students that get it—I praise God every day!

     

    Thank You Lord!

     

    Blessings,

    Pastor John

    Associate Pastor

    Tuesday
    Nov082016

    What Changes?

    What changes after the election today?  Many have argued EVERYTHIING.  There seems to be a higher than normal level of anxiety over the election.  This is the year our country might elect the first woman for President of the United States.  It was not long ago the first African-American was elected as President of the United States—Barak Obama.  To say the least, these are major changes for our nation.  What makes our country so great is our freedom to vote.  Our voices elect the people who will lead us.  Not only do we vote leaders into office, but we also vote on propositions.  This is our time.  And for some the direction our country is headed scares them while others are excited.  No matter where you are, these are our times.

     

    It’s difficult not to assume where our country’s high level of anxiety comes from.  Too many of us place our trust in the President to bring hope to this country.  It seems too much for one person to shoulder.  The responsibility of the President is truly great. Unfortunately, this election year seems to be the most divisive election in a long time—some say ever.  And really, how can one person bring so much change?  In 2008, President Obama’s campaign slogans were “Change We Can Believe In,” and “Change We Need,” or simply “Hope.”  This is the message President Obama wanted the people to hear.  There is change in the air and it is hopeful.  Or, so that’s what we were to believe.  But, as I think about who I am and who I am becoming, how much change has taken place in me these last 4-years? 

     

    Now, my goal is not to write about the presidential climate of the U.S. but to bring to our attention where true hope and change comes from—and I must say—not from the President of the United States.  There is hope for change that really matters and it comes from Jesus Christ.  Do not get me wrong, there is great honor, power and authority in the position of the presidency—they are the Commander and Chief of the U.S. Military.  But when it comes to my every day choices and who I am when no one is looking—it does not matter who the President is, was or will be.  What matters is how my soul is being shaped by Jesus into Jesus. 

     

    So what changes?  Nothing?  Everything?  I guess it depends on your perspective.  No matter what the outcome of the presidential election is today—God is still sovereign over everything.  What changes for you?  Hopefully, you are encouraged to keep a Kingdom perspective where our change comes from knowing Jesus Christ and walking with him daily—that is where I have seen the most significant change in my life. 

     

    Now go vote!  (Only if you're old enough)

     

    Blessings,

    Pastor John

    Associate Pastor

    Friday
    Aug052016

    My Story

    Everyone has a story.  Sometimes stories have happy endings, like 99.99% of all Hollywood movies—but not all stories end happily.  All stories consist of main characters, protagonists and antagonists.  Each story follows a plot that consists of a beginning, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution.  What makes a great story is one we find ourselves lost in because we relate by finding common themes in our own story.  These stories reveal the power of overcoming overwhelming odds.  And when I think about stories with overwhelming odds, I immediately think of Lord of the Rings!  (A must seek trilogy!  If you haven’t seen it, you can borrow mine!).

     

    My story is not as powerful as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but it is powerful in its own right.  My story begins very simply with two parents trying to figure out how to make ends meet in a new country.  Many of you know my parents came to US in the mid 70s.  They left Cairo—everything they knew and understood for the U.S.—the land of opportunity.  Even more, they left Cairo because of persecution.  My family seriously felt, and experienced, the deep tension for Christians in the Middle East. 

     

    This may not be anything like your story, but there are several common elements that intersect in our stories.  What you can probably relate to is my parents did not honestly understand what it was like for me growing up.  Their experience and mine were so vastly different.  They grew up in the Cairo, Egypt in a time and place so vastly different than Southern California—or any place in the U.S. for that matter.  Southern California was the epitome of “Western Culture.”  All my parents knew was their experience in Cairo and Western Culture came with a very negative stigma—and I often proved the stigma true.  The struggle was very real.  It seemed as though I could do nothing right in their eyes. 

     

    I faced antagonists who persuaded me to push the clear boundaries clearly drawn in the sand.  Often, the promise of being accepted by others who I admired because of what they had, or because of what they knew, or even because of their experience. There are also protagonists in my story who helped me see God’s ultimate desire for my life—but it was (and is) a struggle.  It was a struggle against what I wanted to do against what I should have done.  Praise God for the times I succeeded!  But more often than not, I fail miserably—or at least it seemed that way. 

     

    You see, stories are powerful.  Stories connect people.  They unit us in deep and meaningful ways as we live day today.  When I hear a story, I am captured by the powerful emotions people feel and find myself almost experiencing those same emptions.  It is easy to be drawn into someone’s story.  The great thing about story is it shows us we’re not alone.  There is a much bigger story than my own—God’s story.

     

    God’s story is about love that brings forth forgiveness and redemption—ultimately restoration.  Everyone has a place in God’s story!  Do not get this one wrong.  We are not pawns in God’s story.  We are God’s most prized creation.  There is nothing more fulfilling for God when one of His creation recognizes their part in God’s story—as a beloved child!  We all fit into God’s story like thread in a beautiful tapestry or blanket.

     

    Starting the Fall of 2016 is like opening a new chapter in our story.  It’s this time of year when summer is quickly coming to an end and we start gearing up for school.  I know it’s not the most pleasant thought, but believe it or not, it is a good one.  Some of you are starting at a new school filled with great anticipation.  Others are moving into different classes with new teachers which brings renewed excitement—wherever you find yourself in the overall story (or metanarrative) God is already at work!

     

    This year we are going to hear several stories from people who have gone before us and how their story lines up with God’s story.  We will hear the significance of who God is and who we are.  We will also hear about how God speaks to us through the Word of God and how it guides and directs us back towards God.  We will hear about the challenges others have faced giving us strength when similar challenges come our way.  Even more, we will see how these challenges strengthen our faith when we faithfully seek God in the midst of trials! 

     

    I’m excited about what God is going to do as we launch the 2016-2017 school year.  Year after year, we see God faithfully show up on Tuesday nights to challenges us.  This year will only be more evidence to this fact! I invite you to join us this year to faithfully seek Truth and hear the struggles and triumphs of other who have walked before you—seeking Truth and finding it in Jesus.  The best part of God’s story is the end is clearly known and we praise God for the ultimate triumph at the end!

     

    Blessings,

    Pastor John

    Associate Pastor