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									ENGAGESpring 2008           family .:. community .:. culture .:. Jesus

            stop hibernating and embrace life

:. Keep Your Family Safe Online
:. How Are You Wired?
:. Clothe the Naked
:. Easter 2008
a publication of Sherwood Oaks Christian Church .:.
              THOUGHTS FROM TOM
              senior minister


I love springtime! When March           in the soul. I’ve been watching       residents in convalescent homes.
rolls around on the calendar,           the excitement surrounding            Out of their compassion come
my hopes begin to rise. The             the work on the Pourhouse             burial gowns for stillborn infants.
anticipation that winter is             Café. As you know this whole          And these are just a few of the
winding down creates an                 adventure has become a reality        things they create. They share
expectation that new life is just       due to the dreams, contributions      their gifts freely because they see
around the corner. With warmer          and hard work by people in the        their work as an expression of
days, I begin to watch for sprigs       congregation. Hours and hours         worship to the Lord.
of green. I’m even excited to see       of volunteer labor and energy
crabgrass!                              have been invested to make the        There is hardly a month goes by
                                        coffeehouse something extra           that we don’t have volunteers
It seems no surprise to me that         special. In the 27 years I have       traveling on a short term mission
the resurrection of Jesus is            ministered here, I’ve never seen      trip somewhere around the
celebrated in the spring of the         that building look so inviting.       globe. These willing travelers
year. In the season of new life         And those who have served don’t       share their lives and faith with
comes the most hopeful event            seem weary or resentful about         people of different heritages
of history. I always look forward       their work – they’re pumped!          and languages but all with the
to celebrating Easter with you          They are living the adventure of      same need – a need for a spiritual
here at SOCC. This year is no           a vision to make a difference.        rebirth through the risen Christ.
exception. Take time to explore         Most of the hard work took            It is their goal to bring springtime
the opportunities listed in this        place during the winter, but it       to the souls of those who long to
issue of ENGAGE to celebrate            was springtime in the souls of        discover God’s forgiveness in the
and worship the risen Christ or         the volunteers. And it’s not just     bleak winter of their lives without
check out for              about creating a cool looking         Him.
information. Please take careful        place to sip coffee. It’s about
note of times and dates since           a genuine dream to make a             I’ve only scratched the surface. I
Easter comes very early this year.      difference in the lives of people     don’t have room to tell you about
(As a matter of fact, if I live to be   here and around the world in the      the many other wonderful acts of
100 years old, the 23rd of March        name of Jesus.                        service, but be assured it’s always
is the earliest date I will ever                                              springtime at SOCC!
celebrate the resurrection.)

In your soul it can be spring
                                        If you could see the ladies at work
                                        in the PieceMakers ministry, you’d
                                        know that it is springtime in their
                                                                                        . . .
time year round. Let me                 hearts year round. They create
                                        gifts of love with needles and        ENGAGING FEEDBACK : .
explain. When you are alive with
                                                                              Do you have a question or comment about
excitement and energy to serve          thread. Out of their creativity       this article? Email Tom at
the Lord, it doesn’t matter the         come wonderful treasures such as
month or season, it’s springtime        lap quilts and bibs for the aged
                   spring 2008


     COVER                                             FEATURES                                           BUZZ
     RENEWED : .                                       CONNECTING AND SERVING : .                         CHURCH NEWS : .
     Just as flowers come back to life and              FINDING YOUR FIT                                   12 .:. Church News
     animals return from their winter homes,           God has created us all differently to              12 .:. A Look Ahead
 9   it is time for you to be renewed and
     refreshed this spring. Breathe deep the       3
                                                       accomplish different things for Him.
                                                       Discovering your gifts—what He has
     majesty of creation and the new life              given you that makes you unique—is
     promised to you this year.                        the first step to truly serving Him                 RESOURCES : .
                                                       fully.                                             13 .:. SOCC Bookstore

                                                       OUTREACH : .                                       DEPARTMENTS : .
                                                       CLOTHE THE NAKED                                   13 .:. Care & Outreach
                                                       Master Provisions takes your old                   14 .:. Children & Family
                                                       clothes and turns them into some-                  15 .:. Students
                                                   5   thing extraordinary—a chance to                    16 .:. Adults
                                                       share the Gospel. So, clean out your               17 .:. Women & Men
                                                       closet and change the world.

                                                                                                          REAL PEOPLE, REAL i2U : .
                                                       FAMILY : .                                         18 .:. Eduardo Mendoza-Santiago
                                                       KEEP YOUR KIDS SAFE ONLINE
                                                       What is lurking online to snare your

                                                   7   children? The answer: a lot. But
                                                       there are easy ways you can turn the
                                                       internet into a positive tool for your
                                                       family and children.

     3       4      5        6      7          8   9       10       11       12         13      14   15      16        17       18
       discover how God wired you to impact His world

       By Elizabeth Howard
       Student Ministries Assistant

       This past Christmas my seven-          his view on spiritual gifts: “I       nect personality traits to different
       year-old daughter looked up at         turned eighteen on December           types of spiritual gifts, focusing
       me expectantly while I opened          28, 2007. I have just ‘become an      on sixteen in particular. You’ll
       my Christmas present from her.         adult’ as some would say. When        even find out what the word
       The look in her eyes was pre-          I was a child, I wanted to be just    poikilos means in English!
       cious to me. I very rarely see         like the bold and dramatic TV
       that particular look from her and      evangelists who could make lame       Read what 1 Corinthians 14:12
       when I do, the absolute joy of it      people walk and blind people          says about gifts:
       is indescribable.                      see. That was what I thought
                                              was the ‘exciting’ spiritual gift.    So it is with you. Since you are
       Two weeks before that moment,          Little did I know that spiritual      eager to have spiritual gifts, try
       my mother took her out shopping        gifts are for the purpose of glori-   to excel in gifts that build up the
       for the “perfect” present to give      fying God, and not for impressing     church.
       me. They looked at watches and         people on television.”
       perfumes and belts and the sorts                                             In fact, Paul devotes three chap-
       of items that seem very shiny          How can we glorify God through        ters in 1 Corinthians to spiritual
       and glamorous for the average          the things that we’re good at?        gifts and urges the church in
       seven-year-old girl. But this little   How are we wired? What does           Corinth to desire the most helpful
       girl shook her head at each one        the connection look like that         ones. With love as the basis for
       saying, “No… I don’t think that’s      binds you to what you believe         reaching out to others through
       the one.” And so they kept on          in? Is the connection frayed or       our gifts, as a church we can
       looking.                               does it require an extension cord?    move mountains. Bill Hybels has
                                              Perhaps it’s intact and the current   written, “People are never closer
       As personal experiences often do,      is strong. Whether you’re search-     to living out the teachings of
       this one made me think about           ing for your inner gifts or feel      Christ than when they are adding
       the types of gifts that are inside     you’ve already found them, SOCC       value to someone else’s life.” If
       us all. And I found myself think-      offers a class that explores our      you’ve ever been on a mission
       ing, “No… I don’t think that’s the     God-given talents in depth.           trip, you know exactly what he’s
       one,” after I burned popcorn in                                              talking about.
       the microwave or sang in front of      Ken and Claudia Mitchell lead
       people for the first time! Seri-        the DISCOVER class by sharing         I tend to use my imagination
       ously, though, God created us in       stories and Scripture that weave      when it comes to my relationship
       His image. God must have gifts.        along a path of discovery. Ques-      with God. When I’m sad or hurt,
       Just look around. So if He does,       tions like whether or not we have     I picture Him rocking me. When
       then surely so do we.                  spiritual gifts, what they are, and   I’m praying for a friend or loved
                                              how they can be used will be          one, I imagine He holds their
       A member of SOCC, Blake                answered. Participants will take      hands.
       Faulkner writes this concerning        a temperament survey to con-

3   .:. ENGAGE    .:.
                                                                                          ENGAGING OPPORTUNITY
                                                                                           how you can serve from the heart

When it comes to our gifts I envi-
sion God is looking at us with
                                                 . . .
utter expectancy at the present                                                    DISCOVER YOUR GIFTS : .
that is our gifts. Maybe He’s           ENGAGING FEEDBACK : .
wondering, like we do when              Do you have a question or comment about    God gave each one of us an arsenal
                                        this article?                              of spiritual gifts, talents and passions
someone close to us is about to
                                        Email Elizabeth at       so that serving other people would be
open a package we have spent                                                       exciting, fulfilling and deeply rewarding.
time finding just for them, “Will                                                   Christ-like service is not something to be
she think this is beautiful? Will                                                  dreaded or done out of guilt. Instead,
he use this?”                                                                      serving in your area of giftedness pro-
                                                                                   vides meaning and purpose to life and
God has given us each the gifts                                                    helps overcome isolation and loneliness.
He wants us to use for His king-
dom. No matter what gift you                                                       Don’t know how God has wired you to
                                                                                   serve? Come to DISCOVER, an hour-
have, it is the perfect gift for you.
                                                                                   long workshop where you can learn
He has given it to you with the                                                    more about spiritual gifts and find ways
expectation that you will use it,                                                  you can use yours to have an impact.
cherish it and find a way to make                                                   Visit to take a spiritual
the most of it. More than any-                                                     gifts assessment online and view current
thing, though, your gift is special.                                               serving opportunities at the church.
He hasn’t given anyone a gift
quite like what He gave you, and                                                   DISCOVER is April 6 in the Fireside
discovering that gift is the adven-                                                Room. Contact Cindy Hosea at
                                                                          or call 334.0206 for
ture of a lifetime.
                                                                                   more information.

On Christmas morning my daugh-
ter sat on my lap while I opened
her gift to me. She was antsy
with anticipation. I pulled out of
a box an ornament shaped like
a snowflake with her picture in                                                     QUESTIONS : .
the middle. I hugged her and                                                       Contact Cindy Hosea
kissed her temple knowing that                                           
I wouldn’t trade it for a watch,
perfume, a belt or the world.

                                                                                 .:.   ENGAGE         .:.   4

                                                                                 clean your closets for a
                                                                                 good cause

                                                                                 By Lyne Brown
                                                                                 Missions & Outreach Assistant

       The young Ukrainian mother            the distribution. A portion of      cause of Jesus, can I tell you
       entered the thrift store in hopes     the clothing shipped to these       about him?’ Until a person’s
       of finding an affordable pair          countries is given away, but        basic needs of food and clothing
       of shoes for her nine-year-old        most is sold through missions       are met, they are not thinking
       daughter. Visibly too small for       and churches at affordable          about their eternity.” Deep love
       her growing feet, the thread-        prices, allowing the recipients to   and concern for those he serves
       bare shoes that the little girl      maintain a sense of dignity and      is evident as Jim shares stories
       wore simply had to be replaced.      responsibility without creating      like that of a little girl finding a
       The two searched the shelves         dependency. Additionally, jobs       much-needed pair of shoes.
       and finally spotted a nearly new      are created as local Christians
       pair of shoes that appeared to       are employed to operate the          Since 2002, SOCC has held a
       be just the right size—a per-        thrift stores, enabling them not     bi-annual clothing drive for MP
       fect fit. As the little girl danced   only to provide financially for       as well as sorted and packed
       around in her new shoes, the         their own families, but also giv-    clothes during our annual
       mother thanked Jim and de-           ing them opportunities to share      CareFest. SOCC member Erika
       clared how happy she was to          the Gospel.                          Barnhill helps to pack clothes
       be able to give her daughter                                              almost every time the project
       something that brought her so      Growing up in a Christian home         is held. When asked what was
       much pleasure.                     helped Jim to develop a heart          most meaningful about the
                                          of service, but he readily admits      experience, she responded,
       True stories like this take place  “I never fully understood the          “Knowing folks are getting
       frequently throughout the          meaning of Matthew 25 until            something they otherwise
       world thanks to the work of        coming to work for MP.” Mat-           wouldn’t get, and giving of
       MASTER Provisions (MP), a min- thew 25 admonishes us to care              myself to help others who are in
       istry that provides clothing and for the hungry, homeless and             need.” We’re all called to serve,
       shoes to eleven economically       unclothed. “…Whatever you              whether it’s on a mission field
       devastated countries through-      did for one of the least of these      halfway around the world or to
       out South America, Africa, Asia brothers of mine, you did for             our neighbor next door.
       and Europe. Jim Smelser, Opera- me.” By meeting the needs of
       tions Director for MP, travels all the “least of these,” Jim says,        According to SOCC Outreach
       over the U.S. in a semi collect-   “The door to share about Jesus         Minister, Brad Pontius, cloth-
       ing clothing and also often        swings wide open as they ask           ing collected through SOCC has
       meets the container at the over- why we do this. We can then              made its way to both Ukraine
       seas delivery point to supervise   respond by saying, ‘It’s all be-       and Honduras. His Eyes Ministry

5   .:. ENGAGE    .:.
in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, is one       fication for another shopping             gym with volunteers and pack
of the distribution points for MP      spree. We live in a culture of           the clothes. Families are encour-
clothing. SOCC supports His Eyes       abundance while most people              aged to volunteer since this is
both financially and with short-        in the world have very little. It’s      a great way to introduce your
term teams who often help with         nearly impossible for us to iden-        children to the concept of serv-
clothing distribution. Just think,     tify with that young Ukrainian           ing others.
SOCC mission teams have dis-           mother. But in our abundance
tributed some of the clothes col-      we can help to meet her need.            Imagine, you can have a global
lected and packed right here in        Would you accept a challenge to          impact from right here in the
our gym. That can really make a        give not only from your abun-            SOCC gym. Catch the i2U vision,
project personal. Trevor Colby,        dance but sacrificially as well?          start today and step out of the
Director of His Eyes, agrees that                                               box or into your closet.
meeting physical needs is es-          SOCC has a heart for service,
sential when reaching out to
the impoverished, “Providing
the clothes in a Christ-like loving
                                       moving beyond the walls of the
                                       building and helping to meet
                                       needs locally and globally. We
                                                                                         . . .
manner will open doors that            call this heart of service i2U – liv-
                                                                                ENGAGING FEEDBACK : .
otherwise would be closed to us        ing out what we believe in prac-         Do you have a question or comment about
on a daily basis.”                     tical and tangible ways. During          this article?
                                       the month of May we will con-            Email Lyne at
At this time of year many of us        duct a clothing drive for MP. A
look at our closets and realize        semitrailer will be in the parking
it’s time to spring clean. We          lot all month for drop-off. Then
cart off our cast-offs in order        on Saturday, June 7, as a finale
to make room for more – justi-         to VBX, we’re going to fill the

              ENGAGING SERVICE
               simple ideas for serving

  Every month SOCC selects one or two local agencies to support as a congregation. Collection bins listing cur-
  rent needs are in the foyer, so check out what agency is being supported and see what you can do to help.
  March: Templeton Elementary Resource Center (food), April: Backstreet Mission (food), May: Master Provisions

  Mexico Family Camp can add a deeper dimension to your summer vacation while fostering a heart of service
  within your child. Children and adults work side-by-side building homes and holding Vacation Bible School for
  Mexican families in need. Your family will grow closer to one another and to God as you serve, worship and
  camp together. Clear your calendar for June 14 – 20. Deadline for registration is April 15, so pick up a
  brochure in the foyer and start packing.

  Empty out your closets and ask your neighbors to do the same. The bi-annual Master
  Provisions clothing drive is May 1-31 right here at SOCC. Get your small group together
  and plan on packing clothes June 7 in the gym to send to Honduras.

  Contact Lyne Brown

                                                                                  .:.   ENGAGE      .:.   6
       how you can make the internet a positive tool for your family

       By Joni Noel
       Engage Writer

       Facebook. Blogger. MySpace.         God made our hearts with a                    body of Christ through
       Friendster. Every day it seems      longing for connection and                    encouragement. Letting others
       that there are more and more        community. The World Wide                     in on what God is teaching you
       ways for people to connect          Web offers both through blogs                 can also benefit God’s kingdom.
       online. And many of those           and social networking sites, such             Other advantages of this type
       ways are good and healthy. But      as MySpace and Facebook. A                    of technology include: catching
       like anything in life, sometimes    social networking site is an online           up with friends or relatives
       what is good can become bad         location where a user can create              with whom you’ve gotten out
       or unhealthy. Are there ways        a profile and build a personal                 of touch, communicating with
       to build authentic community,       network that connects him or her              friends and family who are far
       cultivate friendships and even      to others.                                    away and meeting new folks
       grow God’s kingdom online?                                                        you may never have the benefit
       And more importantly, what are      There are some great benefits                  of meeting in person because
       the risks and benefits of such       that these kinds of web                       they are half-a-world away.
       tools?                              interactions provide for children             Missionaries and parachurch
                                           and adults alike. As mentioned                ministries also use these types
       Every day, more than half of        previously, all people long for               of sites to let supporters know
       all online American kids ages       connection and community.                     what is going on with their
       12-17 are using an online           Sites such as these can provide               organization, how they can be
       networking site. And according      community in new and different                praying and ways in which the
       to Technorati’s “State of the       ways. Do you like cooking? A                  kingdom of God is advancing
       Blogsphere” report in April of      group devoted to such can                     through their work.
       2007, 120,000 new blogs (short      certainly be found online. Or
       for weblog, a frequently updated    maybe you’re more interested                  But what are the drawbacks of
       online journaling tool intended     in connecting with other                      such information being shared
       for public consumption) are         Christian athletes. Again, online             online? And are there any
       being created daily. Obviously,     communities can connect you to                downsides to using this type of
       connecting online has appeal        others with this similar interest.            technology? For one, you don’t
                        to adults and      And, just like in a real-life                 know exactly who is reading
                               children.        community, there might be                what you put out there. While
                                                       opportunities for you             there are ways of tracking a
                                                            to share your                blog to find out the locations of
                                                                faith if you             who is reading, there is no way
                                                                  so desire or           to verify who exactly a person
                                                                    to build             is. And although you may think
                                                                     up the              you are messaging a certain

                                                        sources:, Internet Protect Your Kids (Stephen Arterburn and Roger
                                                        Marsh) and “Facebook and the Church” by Kent Shaffer (
7   .:. ENGAGE    .:.
person on MySpace, you never           be used by someone who, unlike       up the current developments
know if they are misrepresenting       you and your children, does not      in online communication this
themselves online. One very            have good intentions. As far as      way: “Social networking is
common problem with any                downsides go, these sites can be     reshaping the capacity for human
online communication tool where        addictive, swallowing up massive     relationships. The most effective
you’ve never actually “met” the        amounts of time if you’re not        social networks have merged the
person is that people can and do       careful. They can create a false     rolodex with communication,
misrepresent themselves in their       sense of community, since most       collaboration and fellowship.”
profiles.                               people tend to represent their       Grown-ups and children alike
                                       best selves in what they share       are throwing themselves into
Also, often children (or even          with others in print. Lastly, the    social connections nection are big
adults!) may not understand the        sites can encourage people to        benefits to this. Just remember
ramifications of sharing their          be more dependent of virtual         to keep yourselves, your children
information online. Personal           connections than real-life ones,     and your hearts safe as you
information such as your real          weakening real-life connection       venture into the exciting online
name, your hometown, family            and community.                       world of communication and
information, school location, etc.                                          socialization.
should never be shared online          Kent Shaffer, founder of
because that information could, sums
                                                                                     . . .
                                                                            ENGAGING FEEDBACK : .
                                                                            Do you have a question or comment about
                                                                            this article? Email Joni at

             make the internet work for you


 Parents must ask themselves before allowing children access to this type of technology if they are mature enough to
 handle it. And, if so, what are some ways that wise parents can keep their children safe? Here are some tips:

 • Keep home computers in places accessible to all family members. Just knowing that anyone can see what you are
   doing on the computer at any time provides accountability and safety to those using the technology.

 • Are your kids bugging you to let them get their own blog, Facebook or MySpace account? Go online yourself first
   to check out the site. Many parents block the sites if children don’t meet the age requirements (MySpace
   - 14, Facebook – 13).

 • Allow your children to have an account with a social networking site only if you are allowed full access to the site
   at any time. This will include knowing their password.
                Or, to allow them more independence, at the least you should require that your child give you access
                as a “friend” on the site, meaning that you will have to be registered with your own account in order
                to see what is being written on your child’s.

 • Tell children not to approve friend requests from people they do not know.

 Check out to familiarize yourself and your child with internet safety in an interactive way.

                                                                              .:.   ENGAGE      .:.   8
      stop hibernating and embrace life

      By Emily Bedwell
      ENGAGE Writer

      Spring is coming. The cold air is   of it to get free. It has to dig its   What is going to happen next?
      finally changing. The sun is shin-   roots in deeper than ever before       A tree you never noticed before
      ing more. The birds are starting    so it has the strength to push. It     suddenly becomes the most in-
      to sing again. The bland colors     has to fight for every ‘breath’ in      teresting thing in the world. You
      of winter are being replaced by     order to become what God has           start looking at it closely every
      the bright promises of spring.      created it to be.                      day, wondering what the next
      No matter where you look, the                                              phase of growth will look like.
      signs of new life are evident in    Isn’t that the same way with us?
      the natural world. The slumber      Don’t we have to strain to be-         Watching a tree come back to
      of winter is almost over and the    come who we could be by push-          life after winter is fascinating.
      celebration of life has begun.      ing through the older parts of         Watching a person come back to
                                          ourselves? Whether we’re fight-         life after a winter in the spirit is
      The question is, are you waking     ing old habits, old addictions or      even more exciting.
      up too? Do you find yourself         just our old self, we have to fight
      restless after a long dark winter   hard to get through it all to expe-    You may notice it in your neigh-
      and longing for something more?     rience the warmth of a spring day      bor who always rolled his eyes
      Are you ready to say goodbye to     and see fresh growth.                  when you mentioned he should
      the old and hello to the new?                                              join you for church. You invite
                                          Fresh Growth                           him one more time, knowing
      Every spring is a reminder of                                              what his answer will be, and he
      what happens in our hearts as we    There is nothing that says spring      surprises you with questions and
      turn toward God and away from       more than new buds on trees            wanting more. Fresh growth.
      whom we once were.                  that looked like they died over
                                          the winter. Once the frost has         You may notice it in the grumpy
      The Old Life                        stopped and the warmth gets            teenager your sweet child has
                                          the sap and juices flowing again,       become. You walk into her
      There is something interesting      little spots of green suddenly start   room expecting another fight
      happening as winter gives way       appearing. It may take weeks           and are greeted with a hug, a
      to spring. The new life is there,   before you even really notice that     made bed and a heart opening
      but it is hidden under piles of     they are there, but when you do        to your motherly advice. Fresh
      rotting leaves, discarded Christ-   see them for the first time, it is so   growth.
      mas trees and so much more. In      easy to do a double take.
      order to find the warmth of the                                              Or, what about that
      spring sun, that little piece of    When did that happen? When              coworker you simply
      grass or flower stem has to do a     did the tree start to grow again?       avoided as much
      lot of work. It has to push hard    When did the flowers begin pok-          as possible?
      through the dead debris on top      ing out from last year’s mulch?

9   .:. ENGAGE   .:.
You see him coming out of the       A New Life                           that we could continue to know
corner of your eye and brace                                             God more, to be stirred into a
yourself for another round of       New growth leads to something        deeper relationship with Him and
complaints. But, instead of com-    even more amazing. A new             to become more like Him and less
plaining, he asks for your advice   life: a new promise that you         like ourselves. The promise of a
because, as he says, he knows he    are meant to be so much more         new life is the promise that our
can trust you. Fresh growth.        than you thought. A promise          mistakes are forgiven, our fears
                                    that the awakening in your           can be relieved and we can grow
Once you start noticing the         soul leads to a new adven-           into something bigger, stronger,
fresh growth surrounding you,       ture and a new life that you         smarter and more faithful than
start looking for it on yourself.   didn’t even know was pos-            we ever thought possible. New
Do you have more patience for       sible.                               life means no matter what you’ve
traffic snarls than you used to?                                          done in the past, no matter who
That’s new growth. Are you          No matter where you are              you hurt, who you were or what
willing to get up early to spend    on your spiritual journey,           mistakes you made, you can be
a few more minutes with your        there is always the prom-
spouse before you go your sepa-     ise of a new life and more
rate ways in the morning? New       growth than you could
growth. Do you long to be closer    ever imagine. New growth
to God and closer to His commu-     is a sign that you are ready
nity? You’re growing, and you       to be challenged, to be
have probably been growing for      changed, to be different.
a long time without even real-      That growth and that desire
izing it.                           to live a new life is one of the
                                    reasons we celebrate Easter
                                    every spring.

                                    God’s promise to love us
                                    despite our own slow growth
                                    was made evident when Jesus
                                    willingly gave Himself as the
                                    sacrifice in our place. He died so

                                                                  .:.   ENGAGE    .:.   10
     different. You can live a new life         and weeks where we have a hard       encouraging those around you to
     free of all of the pain and fears          time remembering He is there at      do the same. Like a master gar-
     that have kept you hiding in the           all. There will be months when       dener, continue to tend to seeds
     old life for far too long.                 you feel yourself living your nor-   that you planted in the winter of
                                                mal, safe, old life and then find-    your friends and family’s lives and
     Are you ready to embrace a new             ing yourself struggling to break     celebrate any growth you see, no
     life? Are you ready to become              free of the cycle. That is okay.     matter how small.
     what God has always known you
     could be?                                  One of the most exciting things      Only God truly knows what seeds
                                                about spring is to watch the         will grow and what ones need an-
     A word of caution: this new life           world come back to life. At the      other year in the ground before
     isn’t just for people who don’t            same time, one of the most excit-    they are ready.
     know God and are finally ready to           ing things about life is experi-
     learn more about Him.                      encing the same change inside        Open your eyes to the signs of
                                                yourself as you go from your         spring in the world and in your
     No matter how long you have                comfortable winter slumber to a      life. Take a deep breath of warm
     followed God or have gone to               life full of vibrancy and growth.    spring air and celebrate another
     church, there is always a chance                                                season of change and growth!
     for you to live a new life, to make
     changes and to become someone
                                                Use this spring as a reminder to
                                                keep growing, to keep experienc-
                                                ing the life of a Christ-follower
                                                                                               . . .
                                                and to keep pushing through
     The Christian life is an ever-evolv-       your old self into your new life.    ENGAGING FEEDBACK : .
                                                                                     Do you have a question or comment about
     ing cycle of winters and springs—          And, just as importantly, keep       this article? Email Emily at
     of days and weeks when we feel
     close to the Creator God and days

                  ENGAGING GROWTH
                  strengthen your faith this spring

      SMALL GROUPS : .
      SOCC defines small groups as any “smaller group” that
      meets regularly to build relationships with God and with
      each other while living out the “core values” together.
      They help our church to grow larger and smaller at the
      same time. You can experience life in a small group and
      get connected. For more information or to sign up contact
      Lyne Brown at

      Are you ready to take the next step in your spiritual
      journey? It’s time to explore baptism and membership at
      Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. Join us on Sunday, April
      20 at 6:30 pm in the Fireside Room for our next baptism/
      membership class taught by Tom Ellsworth. The following
      Sunday, April 27, will be our annual Decision Sunday. If
      you have questions or to RSVP, please contact Cindy Hosea

11   .:. ENGAGE      .:.
                                                                           CHURCH NEWS


After months of preparation and prayer, the Pour-
house Café is open for business! We had a successful
open house at the beginning of February. Thank
you to the many volunteers who gave up their
weekends and evenings to make the renovation
work a success. We can’t wait to see you at the
Pourhouse Café.
Hours of Operation:
7:00am-10:00pm Monday-Saturday

Seating for 50-55 people

Wild Horse Creek Coffee
                                                         photo: Korry Ashton

Now Serving:                                           Located at 314 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana.
                                                       For information, contact John ( or David
Coffees, lattés, cappuccinos, international teas,
                                                       ( in the Sherwood Oaks office.
Pepsi products and various pastries.

MARCH : .                                              APRIL : .
3/3—CONNECT class                                      4/6—DISCOVER class
3/4—Upward Basketball Awards Night                     4/19-4/20—Junior High Believe Trip
3/5—Winter Celebration Classes end                     4/20—Membership/Baptism Dessert
3/8-3/16—Honduras G.O. Team trip                       4/27—Adopt-a-Student Luncheon
3/9-3/14—Senior High Spring Break trip                 4/27—Decision Sunday
3/16—Palm Sunday
3/20—Communion Thursday service                        MAY : .
3/22—Family/Community Easter Egg Hunt at 3:30pm        5/1-5/31—Master Provisions Clothing Drive
3/22—Easter Fam Jam at 5:00pm                          5/1—National Day of Prayer
3/22—Contemporary Easter Service at 7:00pm             5/3—IU Graduation
3/23—Sunrise Easter Service by the cross at 6:45am     5/4—CONNECT class
3/23—Traditional Easter Services at 8:00 & 9:30am      5/5-5/13—College Mission to Honduras
3/23—Contemporary Easter Service at 11:00am            5/14—Children’s Spring Musical
3/26—Spring Celebration Classes begin                  5/21—Preschool Recognition Night
                                                       5/31—Senior High Graduation Sunday

                                                                             .:.   ENGAGE   .:.   12
                         RESOURCES & DEPARTMENTS


     BIBLE : .                                    BOOK : .                                     MUSIC : .

     THE APOLOGETICS                              LOOKING FOR GOD                              GOD OF THIS
     STUDY BIBLE                                  By Nancy Ortberg                             CITY
     Broadman and                                 Tyndale House                                By: Passion
     Holman Publishers
                                                                                               Featuring Charlie Hall, Chris Tomlin,
                                                  God is in the details, but sometimes we      David Crowder and Matt Redman
     When faith is under fire, The Apologet-       just overlook him. Nancy Ortberg encour-
     ics Study Bible helps modern Christians      ages readers to see God in this very per-
     better understand, defend and proclaim       sonal, very engaging series of essays that
     their beliefs in this age of increasing      will bring God into focus and allow you
     moral and spiritual relativism. This Bible   to grow deeper in your relationship with
     includes extensive study material from       Him than you had ever imagined.
     today’s leading apologists including
     Ravi Zacharias, Norman Geisler and J.P.

                                                                             ABOUT THE BOOKSTORE
                                                                      HOURS : .                               QUESTIONS : .
                                                                      M/Tu/Th 10:00am-4:00pm
                                                                      W       10:00am-8:30pm                  contact Janet Wingard
                                                                      F       9:00am-11:30am        
                                                                      Su      9:00am-1:00pm                   812.334.0206 x252


     DOMESTIC MISSION TRIPS : .                                                                    PINEHAVEN CHRISTIAN RANCH : .
                                                                                                   Pinehaven Christian Ranch and
                                                                                                   School, located in the shadow of
     APACHE YOUTH MISSION : .                                                                      the Mission Mountains in western
     Apache Youth Mission is located on                                                            Montana, is home to nearly 70 chil-
     the White Mountain Apache Reserva-                                                            dren and teens. This project will take
     tion in Arizona. Held during the week                                                         place July 26 – August 2. The team
     of July 19-26, this project is similar to                                                     of fifteen will perform various tasks
     Family Camp as this team will “camp”                                                          including stacking firewood, painting,
     in a local elementary school.                                                                 construction and cleaning.
     The work will include some light                                                              These two projects are a great way
     construction, painting and clean-up,                                                          to get involved in missions while
     but the main focus will be interacting                                                        staying closer to home or to get your
     with the youth and children at the                                                            feet wet for international service.
     teen center and through VBS.                                                                  Brochures with registration forms
                                                                                                   are available in the foyer through
                                                                                                   May. For all mission trips contact
                                                                                                   Brad at or Lyne at


13   .:. ENGAGE       .:.


 VBX 2008 IS COMING : .
                                          What:    International Treasure: The Book of Truth
                                          When:    June 2-6, 9:00am through 11:45am
                                          Who:     All children from age 4 through 5th grade
                                          Where:   SOCC

                                          A couple of years ago, you may have been part of the pirate crew that scoured
                                          the Seven Seas for buried treasure at VBX.

                                          This summer, you’re invited back to the present day to join forces with Captain
                                          Scott’s great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson in a new quest. Help his
                                          team uncover the mysteries hidden in centuries-old puzzles.

                                          The first code for you to solve is below, and it will show you the “secret” loca-
                                          tion where you can go to find more information about VBX.


                                          Put on your night vision goggles, grab your grappling hook and meet us there
                                          for registration AND volunteer information.

                                          Registration begins April 27, 2008.

 HIS KIDS SPRING MUSICAL : .                through kindergarten are welcome          Our next Family Commitment Sunday
 Splash Kingdom is the story of a           to join the choirs Wednesdays from        is June 29. For more information con-
 group of kids who try to gain              6:30-7:30pm.                              tact Marilyn Kinkead at mkinkead@
 entrance to a local water park only to                                      or Jon Pinney at jpinney@
 find that they need to make reserva-        FAMILY COMMITMENT : .            You may also call the church
 tions “personally” with the CEO, Je-       Baby Recognition Sunday is now            office at 334-0206.
 sus Christ. Following the textbook for
 “Lifesaving 101,” they discover the
 “ABC’s of Salvation” and ultimately
                                            Family Commitment Sunday! We
                                            recognize that God has called the
                                            parents to be the primary spiritual
                                                                                               . . .
 have their names added to the Book         leaders in the lives of their children.   ENGAGING MINISTRY : .
 of Life, gaining entrance to Splash        At the same time, the church plays a      Would you like to serve in Children’s or
 Kingdom. The Spring Children’s             supporting role, equipping parents to     Family Ministry? Contact a ministry team
 Musical is May 14 at 6:30pm in the         lead their children and supplement-       partner:
 Worship Center.                            ing teaching that happens at home.
                                                                                      Scott Newland .:.
                                            On Family Commitment Sunday we
                                                                                      Family Minister
 YOUNGER CHOIRS : .                         ask the parents to publicly commit
 The Band of Angels (two-& three-           themselves to raising their children      Cynthia Parkes .:.
 year-olds) and Praisemakers (four-         according to Christian principles, and    Children’s Director
 year-olds and kindergarteners) are         we ask the church family to commit
 ready to lead you on a Journey with        to support, care for and pray for par-    Marilyn Kinkead .:.
                                            ents and their children.                  Early Childhood Associate
 Jesus. Join them through their words
 and songs as they take you on this
 exciting adventure. They’ll travel by      Parents with new babies or those new
 train, by plane and over the ocean         to SOCC with children up to age two
 in their quest. Children ages two          are invited to participate.

                                                                                     .:.   ENGAGE          .:.   14


      JUNIOR HIGH                                UPCOMING EVENTS : .                       IUCSF HOUSING : .
                                                 High School Spring Break
      AND HIGH SCHOOL : .                                 March 7-14
                                                 Jr. High Believe
      EASTER EGG HUNT : .                                 April 19-20
      Once again, the High School ministry       High School Summer in the Son
      will put together an Easter Egg Hunt                June 22-27
      for children in our community. High        Jr. High Challenge
      school students: start thinking about               July 6-11
      how you want to volunteer! We’re                                                     Indiana University Christian Student
      in need of egg fillers, egg hiders, sign    NEW CLASS : .                             Fellowship is now accepting applica-
      makers, whistle blowers and prize          Generation Change by Dave Ramsey          tions for living at their campus house
      givers! For information on serving         is a six-week class specifically geared    for the 2008-2009 school year. If you
      opportunities for the Easter Egg Hunt      toward teens and the road to finan-        desire to be a part of a campus com-
      contact Elizabeth in the church office.     cial independence. The first of six        munity pursuing authentic faith, CSF
                                                 sessions will begin on Sunday, April      may be the place for you. If inter-
      YOUTH COACHES NEEDED : .                   13 at 11:00am in the high school          ested, go to and fill out
      Jr. High Believe is a trip that requires   area. Look for sign-ups in the high       a housing application. If you have
      20-30 youth coaches to allow all of        school area in late March/early April.    questions, please contact the office at
      our students to go and have an op-         Check it out at www.daveramsey.  or 332.8972.
      timal spiritual impact. If you can be      com/hope/generationchange/.
      part of this great ministry experience,
      contact Jeremy or Elizabeth: jearle@,                COLLEGE : .
                                                 This semester, we have around 60
                                                                                                    . . .
                                                 students who have been adopted by
                                                 SOCC families. Praise God! Our an-
                                                 nual celebration lunch with parents
                                                                                           ENGAGING MINISTRY : .
                                                 and students will be on April 27 at       Would you like to serve with the Student
                                                 12:30pm.                                  Ministries or have questions? Contact a
                                                                                           ministry team partner:
                                                 GRADUATION : .
                                                 Indiana University graduation is May      Elizabeth Howard .:.
                                                 3. We would like to say congratula-       Student Ministry Assistant
                                                 tions to all our college graduates and
                                                                                           David Clark .:.
                                                 wish them much success with their
                                                                                           College Ministry Assistant
      Visit the new Student Ministries           future endeavors.
      website for all information on High
      School and Jr. High events. It’s new,      MISSION TRIP : .
      it’s simple, it’s up-to-date. Plus, you    SOCC College Ministry and CSF are
      can find relevant parenting resources.      partnering for a trip to Honduras
      Visit                      May 5-13. This trip is led by Brad Pon-
                                                 tius and John Robertson. For more
      GRADUATION SUNDAY : .                      information or to sign up, contact
      Our annual graduation Sunday is May        Lyne at by April 1.
      31! If you are a high school senior,
      please contact Elizabeth in the church
      office if you would like to take part
      in graduation events.

 15   .:. ENGAGE      .:.


Easter is one of the most exciting times here at
Sherwood Oaks. We offer programming for the whole
family and events that make it easy for you to invite
your friends and family to join you, as well. Whether
it’s inviting the neighborhood kids to our annual Easter
Egg Hunt and Fam Jam or joining Alan Phillips for a
sunrise service on the church lawn, Easter is a time to
celebrate the risen Christ and remember the ultimate
sacrifice made so that we might have life.

Tom will begin a new sermon series, Imagine, Easter
Sunday. Imagine life without God: a life without the
cross, a life without forgiveness. As we study the book
of Ephesians, imagine God moving around and for you.

A complete list of Easter events and programming is
located on the back of this issue of ENGAGE. For more
information, call the office at 334.0206.

 FAITH CAFÉ : .                                       WEDNESDAY MEALS : .         PLUG & PLAY JAM SESSIONS : .
 This spring we will be                               Our Wednesday night         Join us the last Monday of every
 launching a new Adult Ed-                            meals are still going       month at 6:00pm in the Worship
 ucation class at the 11:00                           strong. Join us beginning   Center. Plug & Play is open to anyone
 hour. Each week you’ll                               at 5:15pm each Wednes-      who wants to show up and jam (bring
 unpack a relevant topic                              day for a time to eat to-   your instrument). For more info, call
 such as knowing God, soul                            gether, get to know new     Dave Pruet at 320.DAVE.
 care, spiritual loneliness,                          people and relax before
 greed, workaholism, the                              heading off to the class

                                                                                           . . .
 idols we worship, sharing                            of your choice. Sign up
 our faith and our respon-                            on the bulletin tear-off
 sibility to the world. In                            each Sunday or online at
 each session you’ll enter                   To help
 into the environment with                            in the kitchen, contact     ENGAGING MINISTRY : .
 thoughts for reflection,                              Sharon Phillips at          Would you like to serve in an Adult Minis-
 drink in the living water                           try? Contact a ministry team partner:
 of God’s Word, savor a
 story about real-life struggles others                                           Cindy Hosea .:.
 have faced, experience what others       WEDNESDAY NIGHT CLASSES : .             Connection Assistant
 have to say and walk out with some       Our last session of Wednesday night
                                                                                  David Clark .:.
 practical steps to live out the truth.   classes before summer begin March
                                                                                  Young Adults and Men’s Assistant
 Faith Café is for you if you want        26 at 6:30pm. A complete class list
 something beyond a lecture ap-           is available online at    Donna Pruet .:.
 proach in a Bible study.                 Click on the “events” tab to sign up    Asst. Director of Adult Education
                                          for the class of your choice.
 A start date will be announced soon
 – watch the Sunday bulletin. For
 more information contact Donna
 Pruet at or by call-
 ing the church office.

                                                                                 .:.   ENGAGE        .:.   16


      WOMEN : .
      Looking for a new opportunity of-
      fered to women during the slow                            WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
      summer months? Consider joining a
      book club. It’s easy, it’s fun and shar-                  featuring Susie Larson
      ing fiction or nonfiction with a small
      group of women is a great addition                                                      Susie Larson has spoken to
      to your week. Contact Janet for de-                                                     thousands of women about is-
      tails at                                                             sues such as prayer, balance and
                                                                                              the power of choices. Susie is a
                                                                                              freelance writer for Focus on the
      CANCER SUPPORT MINISTRY : .                                                             Family and is the author of several
      Walking away from the first formal                                                       books. Susie’s book, Mercy in the
      gathering of this new ministry, words                                                   Wilderness is for women with a
      that came to mind were sisterhood,                                                      heart that longs to see God. She
      friendship, real concern and heart-                                                     asks questions like, “Do you ever
      felt emotion. This was an incredible                                                    feel that God is so far away, He
      meeting of women with a com-                                                            couldn’t possibly know that your
      mon bond, and there was nothing                                                         heart is breaking? Have you cried
      that could break the gently woven                                                       out to Him to find the response
      thread of sameness. More amazing                                                        you hear is the echo in your soul?
      than the words spoken that night                                                        How do we survive these trying
      were the eyes bright with tears and         times, and where is God when we feel so alone?”
      knowing that the new friend sitting
      next to them really got it! “You felt       The truth of the matter is that God is so very near to the brokenhearted and is
      that way too?” “You’ve never really         watching us more closely than we can imagine. He did guarantee the grace to
      known what thoughts your husband            see us through the messes that life promises. There is such a precious sweet-
      had through all this?” “That was my         ness in finding another willing to walk with us through the storm. Get ready for
      doctor!” If you or a loved one has          a time to be challenged and motivated to take hold of all that’s been offered to
      experienced having cancer, you are          you in God’s Word!
      invited to Mission of Hope every last
      Tuesday of the month in Living Room         Plan to join the Women’s Ministry at South Union Christian Church on May 9
      1 at 6:00pm. For more details contact       and 10 to hear Susie speak. Tickets will available in the SOCC Bookstore soon.
      Jill Brown at or          Contact Vickie in the church office to reserve a seat on the church van. Watch
      Vickie in the church office.                 the Sunday bulletin for upcoming details of this two day conference.

      MEN : .
      One of the goals in 2008 at Sherwood Oaks is to plan some activities for men. We need your feedback! Here are
      some activities that have been suggested:

      1.       A golf scramble
      2.       Fishing and camping weekend
      3.       Father and son activity
      4.       The Dayton Air Show
      5.       Service project in our community

      If you are interested in any of these ideas or have others, please contact John Robertson or Brad Pontius.

 17   .:. ENGAGE       .:.
               my i2U
               real people. real i2U.
It’s more than just music for
Eduardo Mendoza-Santiago

By Tim Thompson
Worship Minister
                                                                                  photos: Tim Bedwell

At Sherwood Oaks, we are accus-          reminded of the story of the disciples        us when we prepare ourselves to be
tomed to seeing and hearing Eduardo      who had spent all night fishing and            used by Him. So don’t get discour-
Mendoza-Santiago, a young classical      had caught nothing. Jesus told them           aged. And, if you catch nothing on
guitarist, play during our worship       to cast their nets one more time over         one side of the boat, cast your nets
services. But do you know who is he      the other side, and they brought in a         on the other side!”
is? I recently sat down with Lalo to     tremendous catch. So I believe God
learn a little more about this amazing
musician and Christian.
                                         was telling me to persevere. My visa
                                         allowed me to work in my field for                        . . .
                                         one year after graduation, so I asked
When asked about his childhood, Lalo     if there would be a place for me to           ENGAGING FEEDBACK : .
                                         serve in the music ministry at the            Do you have a question or comment about
said, “I grew up in Mexico City. My
                                                                                       this article?
father and mother were in ministry       church. We prayed about it, and God           Email Tim at
and I grew up in the church. I love      opened the doors to stay.”
the church. It’s where I was first in-
troduced to music. My mother played      When asked what motivates him with
piano and she gave me instruction in     his music, Lalo says, “I find playing
music when I was still very young.”      music sort of soul-cleansing, cathartic.
                                         And no matter what kind of music I’m
It may surprise you to know that         playing—classical, worship, or kids’
Lalo did not begin playing guitar        music—everything I do, I do it for                       OUR HEARTBEAT
                                                                                                    the i2U vision
until he was 19 years old. His youth     God. The Bible talks about using your
group needed someone to play, so         talents for Him.”                               At Sherwood Oaks, we dream of a
                                                                                         hopeful community that lives beyond
he decided to learn. Those humble                                                        itself. Our desire is that all people, from
beginnings led to years of school-       Lalo is currently in the middle of the          the spiritually unsure to the spiritually
                                                                                         mature, find purpose as they live like Jesus:
ing in Mexico before applying and        audition process again as he hopes to           loving the unloved, serving the underserved
being accepted to the IU School of       teach guitar at the University level.           and living out God’s plan in relevant and
                                                                                         practical ways. This is our mission, our
Music. After moving to Bloomington,      In the meantime, he is working with
                                                                                         vision, our hope.
his landlord invited him to attend       the Pourhouse Café to arrange for
                                         musicians to play there, going to the           To us, providing hope is about God’s
Sherwood Oaks, where Lalo became
                                                                                         power to transform lives…
involved in the college ministry.        hospital and to nursing homes and
                                         teaching private guitar lessons.                from seeking to finding,
                                                                                         from getting to giving,
“After that (finishing his degree) I                                                      from Sundays to always,
auditioned for a couple of universitys   Lalo truly embodies the i2U spirit              from inward to outward,
                                                                                         from “I-centered” to “YOU-centered,”
and was again turned down. I could       when he says, “Nothing is impossible
have gotten discouraged, but I was       with God, and I believe He honors               ...from i2U.

For more i2U stories, visit                                                .:.   ENGAGE             .:.   18
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                             U.S. POSTAGE

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                              Permit No. 68
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