Big Fred's Bytes- June 1, 2017

Big Fred Neal 1

Big Fred’s Bytes
Let’s start with a big congrats to all our graduates!  Join us this weekend in congratulating these men and women on their accomplishments.  We encourage you to take your next step boldly with Christ as your guide.  As you navigate your next steps, be sure to talk with your campus pastor about how you may remain connected at Harvest while you do. 

Summer is sneaking in on us it seems, so we have lots of exciting opportunities coming up – Check the new edition of Harvest Happenings that we will distribute in the next couple weeks for all of the details of ministry opportunities over the next 6 months at all of our campuses.  You can also pick one up at the campus information centers at any time once they are printed.  (Keep in mind that we will share another update in December for the following 6 months).

We are so excited to have Pastor Mike back and getting stronger by the week.  I urge you to remember that he is working his way back in to the routine.  There are times when he may not be able to engage at the level you are accustomed to experiencing in the past. It will take some time for him to be up to 100%. 

Please be in prayer for our Harvest Kidz ministries as we plan our summer changes.  We are very excited about our discussions with all our teachers / assistants and the ideas we have heard about taking Harvest Kidz to the next level.  We realize the value of investing in this next generation early and often.  While we believe that parents maintain the primary responsibility to disciple their children, we seek to partner and equip those parents in many ways.  I believe you will find a lot of value in The Gospel Project curriculum and the components that our teachers will have access to - But parents -  PLEASE take the time to talk with your children after Sunday School about what they are learning.  Look for ways to reinforce this message during the coming week.  Our campus pastors and teachers are working on ways to let the parents know directly what the weekly lesson has covered.  We also are excited that all classes will be working on the same bible story on any given weekend.  It will just have greater detail / activities that will be appropriate for the age of the child.

We are currently discussing some long-range planning that will include more than just a facelift in the children’s area.  Our space challenges continue but we are excited by the opportunities that are attached to them.  Thank you for your financial support that allows these efforts to continue.

This fall we plan to develop a new church photo directory to help our church family learn the names of our brothers and sisters around all four campuses.  Don’t forget that you have access to the online directory via the Harvest APP– available for Android and OIS users as well as online via our website.  We will be looking at ways we can update our data, our photos, and provide useful information to you, all at the same time.  We are working hard to ensure that as we do so no one is strong-armed into picture purchases.  We will monitor pricing and sales efforts to ensure you have access to what you want without expectations.  You can expect our photo dates at all campuses to be in October for your planning purposes.

We are receiving names for those desiring to be baptized this summer.  Many choose to take that step in August when we are Down by the Riverside…  (Park Service) on August 27th, but we can discuss other options with you too.  If you are a believer in Christ and have not experienced – Believer’s Baptism, I urge you to discuss that with your Campus Pastor or any of our Elders and Deacons.

Community Groups are wrapping up for the summer – so no official meetings after the first week of June.  We look forward to September when they will start up again.  If you have not been participating with a community group, consider joining one for our September semester.  Community Groups not only discuss the weekly sermon but also pray for each other, care for each other, and fellowship with each other.  Believers supporting each other are central to biblical teaching.  We will share more details before the fall kickoff, but please start thinking about joining a small group this fall.

Quick hitter details:

  • Vacation Bible School – 4 locations – 4 different opportunities.  Check the link for the details for the one closest to you! 
  • # Follow for those going into 4th grade thru those going into 7thgrade.  Camp is at the Kittanning Campus only – see link below for details.
  •  # Follow and VBS page
  • Summer teachers and assistants needed – willing to train – investing in the Next Generation with your commitment to serve.  See your Campus Pastor for details.
  • Churchwide – Pool Picnic at the Belmont Complex – Food, swimming, games, fellowship – invite a friend or a bus full of friends – we have complete use of both facilities -  all day July 8th – admission is free (great chance to meet some people from other campuses).  Start prepping for the Campus Tug-a-War.  This year teams of 10 will compete for the Grand Prize. 
  • The Harvest Softball Teams are hard at working toward their championship.The Penguins aren’t doing so bad either, but we won’t mention the Pirates right now

Check Harvest Happenings for many more opportunities.
So, we take steps to bring you opportunities to have fun and fellowship, but I must say that it is more than that.  It is about Jesus.  Learning, living, and sharing our faith as we learn to walk in a lifestyle that is more honoring and pleasing to Him.  Join us weekly for Gospel centered sermons at each campus.  That is the most important activity we haveWithout that, these fun opportunities just become “stuff”.  Growing closer to Christ, these become opportunities for us to grow, build friendships, fellowship, and help each other.  So it is simple.  If you only have time for one thing, it should be weekend worship.  Add the rest as you can, but don’t skip the weekend worship time.

Philemon 1: 4-6 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.