fellowship north speaks

a place to talk about what's going on at FN

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You’ve landed at the blog for Fellowship North; this is just a note for those of you who may be new to this blog, or blogs in general.  There are some helpful links to the right of this column.  Use the ‘about’ link find out more about this site, or view the most recent posts and comments.  If you would like to be updated automatically whenever there is a new entry on this blog, use the ‘subscribe’ options:  rss if you use a reader, and if you don’t know what a reader is, just click the ’email’ option.  You will be directed to enter your email address and then you will get a confirmation message.

Content here is arranged by date; the most recent post is right underneath this one, and older posts are beneath it.  You can search for a specific topic (box at top right), or browse the archives. Enjoy reading, and leave a comment by clicking the title of a post and scrolling to the bottom.  We look forward to hearing from you!

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Spring Break? Family Camp!

Dear families,

Each year as the high school students head west to spend Spring Break in the Rockies, do you find yourself wishing that you too could jump into a 15 passenger van and drive through a sleepless night fueled by Redbull, fast-food, and adolescent hormones?

Yeah, me neither.

But once you’re there, what an amazing week awaits you. A week to gaze on God’s splendor uniquely put on display by the snow covered mountains. A week filled with cool air in the lungs and warm hot chocolate in the lodge. And most importantly, a week filled with opportunities to deepen friendships with people both new and familiar.

This year, like some in the past, we’re offering this opportunity not only to high school students but to families as well! This isn’t for every family, but it is for some. And it might just be for you.

Some things about Family Camp are the same as the high school camp…

Same time… March 17-23

Same place… Taos, New Mexico

Same lodging… Ski-in Ski-out condos.

And of course all the same adrenaline pumping thrill the mountains have to offer.

A few things are different…

Not quite as hectic a pace. Quite a bit more downtime in the evening. You’re on your own for food. No locker room smell of sweaty high school boys. Oh yeah, and if the caravan of vans driving all night long isn’t your speed, you’ve got options.

So if this sound like something that you and your family would be interested in jumping in on, get in touch with me (Taido – tchino@fellowshipnorth.net // 501.771.1117) and I’ll help you get it all figured out.

______________________________________________

Taido Chino, is a teaching pastor who also works with middle and high school students at FN. He is married to Alison, and they have 4 kids: Cole, Mary Polly, Ben and Simon  Taido is something of a theology nerd and mountain enthusiast – oh, and he twitters.

Filed under: Taido Chino, trip, , , , , ,

Love, Sex, and Dating: LSDNOW

February, 1998.  What do you remember? 15-year-old Tara Lipinski skating her way to a Winter Olypmic Gold Medal over favorite Michelle Kwan?  Adam Sandler’s The Wedding Singer?  Good times, right there.  What about Celine Deon’s “My Heart Will Go On”?  Man…let’s just stop and sing that one for a minute.  “Near…far…wherever you are…

Okay.  I’m back.  Sorry.  That song gets me every time.

As for me…what do I remember about February of 1998?  Easy.  The entire course of my life changed.

As an 8th grade boy, I attended a Love, Sex, & Dating camp with Fellowship North at Castle Bluff.   On that Sunday morning at camp, I stood up and committed to sexual purity.  But even more importantly, I gave my life to Christ.  Entire.  Course.  Of.  My.  Life.  Changed.  All from one weekend in February of 1998.

Friends, we’re hoping and praying for that kind of impact here in North Little Rock in February of 2013.  We long to see students standing up for Christ and making decisions to and declarations of sexual purity.  But even more, we yearn to see the ones that don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior to receive Him into their lives.

So, February 22-23, right here at Fellowship North, we’ll be hosting an LSD camp for Middle School students (6th-8th grade).  Normally we head off to the Bluff for these kinds of things.  But we’ve been intrigued over the past few years by a camp model that’s been floating around other churches.  They’re called DNOW or  Discipleship Now weekends.  Here’s how they work:  students show up at church on a Friday night.  They spend the evening together before splitting up into small groups and sleeping over at Host Family’s homes.  Saturday, everyone gathers again as a group and spends the entire day diving deep into worship and the Word…with just enough fun and games mixed in that they’ll be absolutely worn out by the time they head home!

24 hours straight with middle schoolers sound crazy?  I can assure you…it is.  I’m not gonna sugar coat it.  But you know what?  Back in February of 1998, some leader was crazy enough to spend a weekend with little, 8th grade me.  Actually, I was a pretty big 8th grader.  Hit my growth spurt young.  Probably should’ve played football, now that I think of it.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that someone sacrificed time and energy to invest in my life.  And you know what?  Because of that, I now find it my joy, passion, and vocation to create these experiences for others.  God is good!

One last thing before I pass on the details.  We’re doing something BRAND NEW this year. That Saturday afternoon, from 3-5pm, we’ll be hosting a free seminar for parents.  We know it’s not always easy to address Love, Sex, & Dating in the home.  We want to equip parents to be able to have real, significant conversations with their kids.  We are hoping and praying that the good work that began in February of 2013 will continue for years and years to come!

If you’re a parent that’s interested, let us know and we’ll get in touch with you!  If you have a child or know of a student that would be interested in this camp, grab a form at the Connecting Point.  Lastly, if you just have a heart for students, please be praying over this weekend with us.  We want to see lives changed.  May God grant us that.

– Bobby Harrison

_____________________________________

LSDNOW:  The Details

Who?

ELEVATE (Middle Schoolers, 6th-8th grade)

What?

Love, Sex, and Dating camp for ELEVATE

When?

Starts: Friday, February 22nd @ 5pm

Ends: Saturday, February 23rd @ 5pm

Where?

Fellowship North Bible Church

A Few More Questions:

            How much does it cost?

$25: 3 meals included (dinner Friday night, breakfast & lunch Saturday)

            What do students need to bring?

Bible, change of clothes, toiletries, sleeping bag, pillow

What if a student can’t come the whole time?

We really believe there’s value in being ALL-IN on an experience like this.  If there’s a minor conflict that gets in the way, please let us know and we’ll see if we can work it out.

Filed under: Bobby Harrison, peak ministries, , , , ,

Got your number?

This Sunday we begin a new check-in and check-out procedure for all elementary students. We are making this change for one reason – the safety of our kids.  As a church, we have simply grown too large to be able to know every parent and every family situation for every child. In addition, under our old system we had no way of contacting a parent during the service if their child was sick or injured. Now, we will Imagehave an extra layer of security as well as a way to contact parents during the service if necessary.

Starting this Sunday, parents must drop off their child in his or her area, receive a number, pick that child up after the service, and return the number. No child in grades K-5 will be allowed to check in or out alone. Middle school or high school aged siblings can drop off or pick up a child up if they have the number.

For kids who are here two services, a parent should drop them off before first service and receive a number. We will transport kids to their 2nd service location.  The parent will then pick their child up after 2nd service and turn in the number.

A second safety related change we are making concerns our outside doors.  We will be locking all doors that lead from a children’s ministry area directly outside. In order to get to any children’s area, you will have to walk through the lobby.

We understand that these changes may cause you some inconvenience, but we hope that you will understand and work with us as we try to provide the safest possible environment for our kids. Please, let me know if you have any questions or concerns. You can contact me at jholsted@fellowshipnorth.net or call 771-1117.  

Filed under: Uncategorized, ,

Warm thanks

You may remember seeing some beautiful quilts displayed in our lobby recently. Made by the Piecemakers (a group here at FN who quilts together in order to donate), those quilts have now been given to Youth Home to be distributed as gifts. The Piecemakers recently recieved thank you notes, and we wanted to share them with you. It’s so good to know that people with different gifts, all over FN, are using their time and effort to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community. Here are some of the notes:

………and on Christmas day I had to watch my little brothers open gifts, there was none for me. Now I have something just for me. I am grateful and blessed, thank you.
………it is one of my keepsakes and I will hold onto it as long as I can because it is a new chaper in my life. God bless you all.
This one in crayons…..I got one in blue, my very favorite color which is special to me. I love my blanket. Thank you for your time, and God loves and blesses you all.
………..God bless you all. This is the nicest thing any one has ever done for me.
………..It’s really nice to know that there are people thinking about me. This means that I am loved by many people and don’t know it.
……….Christmas is all about giving and for so many ladies that doesn’t even know us to work so hard to give us a gift is something I will never forget.

Thanks to everyone who helped with these precious quilts over the fall!

Filed under: faith in action, missions, , ,

7: a challenge for 2013

Ever read a book that just…messes with you? Days, weeks, even months later, you still find yourself thinking about it? That has been my experience with a book I read late last summer. It’s by a woman named Jen Hatmaker, who lives in Austin, TX, where she runs a mission-based church with her husband, Brandon.

The book is called 7: an experimental mutiny against excess. The second part of the title was enough to hook me (“mutiny” is such a great word!) since I have struggled with this issue for a long time. Like many of us, I feel that I own too much – or that I am too connected to my possessions. But, I also don’t always know exactly what to do about that.

7cover

And here’s where this wonderful book comes in with a challenge. A 7-month experiment. Each month, Jen (along with some of her friends and family) identified a different area of excess and fought back by cutting back to just 7 things. Only eating 7 foods during one month. Only wearing 7 articles of clothing another. And on and on, hoping to discover what God had to say to her in the midst of radically simplifying her life.

And all along, she shares what it is like month my month – in a very conversational, often hilarious book (Alison Chino thought so too – you can read her review here).

So why am I telling you all this? First of all, because I would highly recommend the book. You can even read a little of it online for free (click the pic of the cover). Sound intriguing? Good. Because I also want to invite you to join into a “7” challenge right here at FN. That’s right: starting in February, some of us will start the same 7 month experiment and we’d love for you to join us! Want to find out more? Come by the lobby table any Sunday in January, or send me an email.

A few details:

  • This started as an idea among a group of women at FN, but guys, you’re welcome to read along!
  • This is definitely something you can be involved in a number of ways: do it with your family or existing small group, connect with a new group specifically for this challenge (women), or participate in our Facebook group (click JOIN GROUP on the right side of the page). Come visit with us in the lobby to figure it out.
  • The best way to understand it all is to read the book. Get a copy during January and read it; join the fun in February if you’d like!

________________________________

Sarabeth Jones is on staff as a part of the arts team at Fellowship North, where she gets to work in many different creative areas. She is married to Bryan and has 3 kids: Elizabeth (15), Jonathan (14), and Will (11). She blogs at the dramatic, and thinks she is pretty darn funny on the Twitters.

Filed under: faith in action, ,

Amboy Food Pantry [community ministry @FN]

If you’ve been in the lobby at Fellowship North, you’ve probably seen it: a large tub under a sign that says “Food Pantry.” Over the course of each month, it fills up with jars of peanut butter, or boxes of saltine crackers, or (this month!) instant potatoes. Where does that food go?

To the Amboy Food Pantry, which is a collective effort between the Arkansas Food Bank and several churches: Amboy Baptist, Amboy United Methodist, First General Baptist, 47th Street Baptist, Liberty Fellowship, Levy United Methodist, Lighthouse Christian, Levy Baptist, and Fellowship North. The pantry helps provide food for over 1000 people each month, and we help keep the shelves stocked by collecting food items each month.

In the economy we live in today, sometimes there is very little keeping an individual or a family from going hungry. We feel that supporting the pantry is a tangible expression of God’s love and provision to our community. In addition to the food items, the pantry is also one of the mission organizations that FN donates money to on a regular basis.

If you’d like to know more about the pantry, how it works, or how to help, contact Tonia Heckman at 771.1117.

Filed under: faith in action, missions, ,

silence is good for the soul

Last weekend, a whole group of women stepped out of their regular weekend routine for about 24 hours…to be silent. Definitely unusual, definitely doesn’t happen all the time, definitely makes for a meaningful and special time when it does.

Women’s Fellowship has been doing this retreat for several years now, thanks to Inés McBryde. She has found that God speaks powerfully to her in silence, and so many others who have gone with her agree.


The women traveled to Spring Lake Camp, just outside of Hot Springs, a beautiful natural setting with a lake and prayer walk. At the end of their time of quiet, they came back together to share with one another. One young woman, Caffhanie Calloway, wrote a poem that she shared with the group. It encompasses much of what was said and shared in that time – so we wanted to share it with you here.

She Free
Caffhanie Calloway

She free
She wit da broken heart—mended
She wit da battered soul—tended
            Her tattered cape flapp’n
            Holey and dirty
                        Yet da King—He clapp’n
She free
She wit da bruised body—heal’n
She wit da heated stare—chill’n
            She swimm’n like dem dolphins
            Her mangled arms gettin stronger
            Needle points and razor cuts
                        The Spirit accepts hah every touch
She free
She wit da untreatable disease—surviva
She wit da unplanned baby—momma
            She smil’n thru hah tears
            She won’t give up cuz dem fears
                        Hands callused and covered in sores
                        But the Son, He love hah even more
She free
She wit da dark eyes—lighten
She wit da weakened mind—fightin’
She covered in mud
She froth wit fatigue
She crawling thru the anger, violence, and deceit
She plummets thru the ravage, the danger, and the wraith
She naked and unguarded
            All she got wit hah is faith
She hit from all angles—chest, arms, and legs
            Bleed’n from self-deception, pride, and dread
She wit da damaged armor haphazardly hang’n on
            Took that seed thru the field wit hah
Body dragg’n low—pull’n, strugglin’—strugglin’
Strength gain’n, gain’n
Love grow’n. grow’n
 She wit da exhausted state—enliven—layin flat to the dirt
            dredging to the line where love comes first
She wit hah crusted fingers—grasp’n
            Wit renewed force abound—
Securely wit’n the Hand she found

She free

(shared with permission by Caffhanie Calloway – all rights reserved).

Filed under: women, , , , ,

Tool Time [community ministry @ FN]

It’s a fact of life: things break and must be repaired. That can be annoying, and mean a trip to Home Depot or a call to a repairman. Or, it could be overwhelming, with no fix in sight. It just depends on your circumstances. That’s where Tool Time comes in!

“We basically are here to help people,” says David Holsted, “primarily folks who might be financially unable to handle home repair (elderly, single moms, or widows).” David is the staff contact for Tool Time, and he works along with lead volunteer Pat Hill to figure out how best to help people. Sometimes it’s as simple as recommending an trustworthy repairman (“People call me when they’re not sure who else to call”) and other times, a team heads over to handle the fix.

If you have some skills in construction areas – plumbing, electrical, carpentry, heat & air, painting – then Tool Time wants you as a part of their team. Members serve on an as-needed basis. Or, if you need a repair, Tool Time would love to talk with you about it and help however they can. To volunteer, or to request a repair, simply contact David Holsted at 771.1117 or by email.

Like we talked about just last Sunday in church: all of us have different gifts. Some of us can swing a hammer and some of us would be better off, well…leaving the hammers alone. Tool Time is a great ministry that matches up people who can help with others in need of their help – a wonderful picture of how we are to work together as the family of God.

Filed under: faith in action,

You can encourage someone!

Each year, Pike View teachers are asked to look at the students in their class and identify those who could benefit from having someone that is their personal cheerleader.  Many of these students don’t have that at home.  They are growing up in single-parent homes and in some instances, are taking on huge responsibilities for the rearing of their siblings.  Each of these students are struggling in one or more subjects and they don’t have anyone at home to encourage them to do better or even expect that they can do better.

This year, the student list was much larger than our Encourager list.  Because of that, we have had to place about 30 students on the waiting list, but 15 Encouragers could change that and every student the teachers have identified would benefit from being paired with an Encourager.  We meet once a week, Mondays or Thursdays from 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm, spending 30 minutes with each student.  It may not seem like a lot, but many of the students have never had anyone give 30 minutes of undivided attention to them.  If you are willing to have your life changed while you change the life of a student, consider being an Encourager.

_________________________________

Remember what Harold said last week? Just jump in and try – the commitment is for the current school year. Call Barbara Scorza at 771-1117 (or email her) and let her know you want to help!

Filed under: faith in action

Well done, good and faithful servants

It’s a great thing when you get to work at a job that you were made for, when you get to use your gifts and abilities to bless others.  And that’s what Rhonda Eubanks and Amy Harrison have done for a combined 14 years here at Fellowship North.

Amy has worked in our communications office, helping share information with the the congregation, both efficiently and with beauty.  She has the ability to design incredible graphics AND stay organized at the same time!  She has a love for God and for the church that has helped her communicate in the “voice” of Fellowship North.  She and Bobby recently expanded their family by two, twins Samuel and Simone born in August.  And she will be caring for them, and Abe, full-time in this next season.  Thank you, Amy, for your positive, bright spirit and for sharing that as part of our staff these past 4 1/2 years.


Rhonda Eubanks has served as our hospitality/special events coordinator for almost 10 years.  She has handled everything from a complete kitchen redesign to the implementation of our Summer Feeding Program, Good Eats.  She has fed us, along with many in our community, very well!  She has a love for God and a love for people that shines through in whatever she’s involved in.  She is sensing God calling her to some new things for the next season and we look forward to seeing His continued work in her life.  Thank you, Rhonda, for your care in multiple ways  these past 10 years.

We are excited that both Rhonda and Amy will continue to be engaged in the life of Fellowship North and want to encourage you to express your thanks to both of them.

Well done, good and faithful servants!

Filed under: Uncategorized