Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New Series - The Star, The Cross, And The Crescent

Hey all! We're starting a very cool new series this Sunday called The Star, The Cross, And The Crescent. Here's a quick overview:

Over the last 4,000 years, three major religions have been born. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all acknowledge a common ancestry, tracing their origins to the same man. But are they the same? How are they different? In this four-part message series, Andy Stanley explains the history of these three religions, and two guest speakers tell how they came to faith in Christ. Judy Reamer is a Jewish believer and Afshin Ziafat is a former Muslim who is now a follower of Christ.

See you this Sunday at either 9:30 am or 11:15 am!

Steve Mazac
Lead Pastor

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Taste What It's Like To Help

Did you know that in Africa: every 14 seconds a child is orphaned because of AIDS, 50,000 children will die of AIDS this year, every 3 seconds a child dies of nutrition deprivation/starvation, there are 42,000 deaths every week due to unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation facilities?

Have you ever wondered what you could do to make a difference?

11 people from Watermarke Church are joining with 410Bridge in September and heading off to Kenya for a week to help build a much needed medical facility. We will be working side by side with our international partner in the community of Kwambekenya; offering them hope in the name of Jesus.

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Each of us needs to raise $3,500 in order to go on the trip and one way we are doing this is by selling bags of kettle corn for $5.00. Yep, you're right....that's a lot of kettle corn we need to sell in order to go!! So please stop by the volunteer room on Sunday to pick up a bag or two. If you’re not sure where it is, just ask a Host Team volunteer or staff member (they’re wearing name tags). By doing so, you can help make this trip possible and get to taste some of the best kettle corn ever!!!

Sue Shook
Mission Trip Leader

Friday, June 13, 2008

Defining Moments

As many of you know, we took 54 students and leaders to BigStuf camps this past week. Based on experience, I believed that this camp would be life-changing for our students, but it was during one of the leader training sessions that I realized how life-changing BigStuf camps had been for me. When Reggie Joiner asked us to think back on the defining moments of our lives, I thought of a moment that occurred in that same room three years earlier when I met Reggie for the first time. He invited me to be part of the camp that they were developing for elementary students, which would later be named Camp KidJam. Because of that meeting, I connected with Watermarke Church a few months later.

As a result of that defining moment, I have had the opportunity to be part of other defining moments with children, students, and families at Watermarke church. Many of those moments happened this past week at BigStuf camps.

One of my prayers for our middle school students is that they would learn how to freely worship God without worrying about those around them. God answered those prayers in a big way, during session after session as our students raised their hands and voices to worship our great God.

During small groups, the students were able to talk with one another about what God was doing in their lives and changes that they needed to make in order to more clearly broadcast God to the world. It was exciting to hear the stories of small groups who were able to be vulnerable with one another and share what God was doing in their lives. Some of the students had the chance to celebrate communion with each other on the beach.

During one of the sessions, The Daraja Children’s Choir sang for us and shared some of their stories. Though we all know that poverty exists in the world, to hear those who have suffered its effects share with us, gave us a whole new perspective on the issue. Some of our students chose to sponsor children through Compassion International, which is an organization that feeds, educates, and offers health care for children in third-world countries. Others had the chance to catch up with friends they had met in Kenya.

Several of our students took next steps in their relationships with Jesus, one actually chose to begin a relationship with Jesus while we were at camp. On the last night, 5 of our students demonstrated their decision to follow Jesus by being baptized in the ocean. For me, it was an unforgettable experience to watch Andy Jones baptizing our students in the ocean.

I’m certain that these brief anecdotes cannot capture all that God did in our hearts and lives this week. From here I look forward to seeing how BigStuf camps continues to impact our students, their families, and our world. ~ Wyndi Beck, Family Ministry Director

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

One Of The Best Kept Secrets

Do you ever find yourself wondering why we do certain things at Watermarke? Or why we do them the way we do? Do you ever wonder why there are things that we don't do?

One of the resources that is often the most eye-opening as I share it with leaders at Watermarke, is a book called the 7 Practices Of Effective Ministry. Almost every time I share these practices with someone, a light goes on and there's a much deeper understanding of what we do as a church. Not only that, people almost always take these 7 Practices and apply them at their jobs, in their businesses, or in their families.

So many great things have come out of sharing these practices that I wanted to make sure more people knew about them. So, here's how you can dive into them:

1 - Buy the book online from the North Point store.
2 - If you are an auditory learner and/or would like the free option, you can listen to the series of 7 mp3s where Andy Stanley, Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones (half of the 6 founders of North Point Community Church) discuss each of them.

If you've been coming to Watermarke for a while and have some of those questions mentioned above, or if you're brand new and just want to look under the hood to find out more of what we're all about, follow the links in one of the options above and see if things don't make a lot more sense about what we do as a church.

Steve Mazac
Lead Pastor

Monday, June 9, 2008

Looking At Attention And Direction

We just concluded a four-part series by Andy Stanley called Destinations and I hope you were as challenged as I was. The two questions Andy left us with yesterday as a conclusion are still bouncing around in my brain:

What has captured/grabbed your attention?
What do you need to pay attention to?

Since attention determines direction and direction, not intention, determines our destination, these are great questions to help us see where we might be heading. This really helped me clarify what I need to be paying attention to:

- My relationship with God
- My relationship with Sabina
- My relationship with Eliana

If you missed any of the messages, you can listen to them online or pick up the audio CDs or DVD of the whole series at the Information Table on Sunday.

This Sunday Andy starts a new two-part series that is a sequel to Destinations called Boulevard Of Broken Dreams. See you then!

Steve Mazac
Lead Pastor

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

LOVE and farewell for now.

Most of you were at church on Sunday and know that Josh and I will be heading into full time missions in 24 days. We will be traveling to 11 countries over the next 11 months, living in community (with 32 others) and living simply (out of a backpack and sleeping in a tent). We will have the opportunity to work with local ministries, plant churches, minister to AIDS orphans, bring restoration and freedom to victims of child sex trafficking, and bring love and hope to so many. More than that Josh and I will be transformed as our idea of what is "normal" changes, as we are empowered by the Holy Spirit to bring the KINGDOM OF GOD to earth. We long to be vessels of Love and to live out Ghandi's words when he said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world."

So, we rented our home, sold our car, found a new home for Azure (our Siberian Husky), and have given away most of our stuff. We are ready to embark on whatever the adventure ahead holds for us. And, not only am I excited that Josh and I are going on THE WORLD RACE, but I get to share this next year with my brother, Johnny, and his wife, Marissa. Please, share in our journey by reading our stories online. Tara Bruce and Josh Bruce If you would like to communicate with my sign up for skype and you can talk to us for free through the computer - joshandtarabruce

Love you all dearly!
Tara Bruce*


Interview with Lead Pastor Steve Mazac

Tara: What are you passionate about?
Steve: I'm passionate about my family and doing everything I can to make sure they know that their relationships are the number 1 priority for me on this planet.

Tara: What are you learning right now?
Steve: I'm learning to listen to God in everything I do and everywhere I go.

Tara: What is something unusual about yourself?
Steve: My kneecaps are cracked about 60% and have been that way my entire life.

Tara: What is one thing that has made your job worth it this year?
Steve: Taking time to go visit people in Community Groups. I've really enjoyed connecting with so many people and hopefully have helped them feel more connected to Watermarke.

Tara: If you could tell Watermarke one thing what would it be?
Steve: If you're not in a Community Group or haven't invited someone to Watermarke who doesn't go to church, you're really missing what we're all about.

Tara: Fave TV show?
Steve: I really cannot word it any better than Andy Jones did, "The office is the funniest show on TV, period."

Tara: What do you do when you are not working?
Steve: Spend time hanging out with Sabina and 3-month-old Eliana, Apartment Life events, and learning new things.

Tara: Hobbies?
Steve: Reading, learning new things and CrossFit.

Tara: Book you are currently reading? Favorite book?
Steve: I am currently reading Like a Rock by Andy Stanley and my favorite book is Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.


Interview with Kim Hayward, our new Waumba Land Director.

Tara: What are you passionate about?
Kim: My family and children in general! I love to watch children grow. To be able to come along side their parents and teach them about God's love and how much Jesus loves them is the most amazing opportunity!

Tara: What are you learning right now?
Kim: To trust God and that I am not in control.

Tara: What is something unusual about yourself?
Kim: Hmmmmm, not sure, does an obsession with a good cup of coffee qualify?

Tara: What is the one thing that has made your job worth it this year?
Kim: Hearing feedback from parents on the impact we are making in their children's lives--I have to generalize because there are too many examples --which is a great thing!

Tara: If you could tell Watermarke one thing what would it be?
Kim: To dive in and get involved, it's a great place to be.

Tara: Fave TV show?
Kim: Law and Order, CSI, and all those type of shows!

Tara: What do you do when you are not working?
Kim: Hang out with my daughters as much as possible... I also love to spend time with the amazing friends and family God has put in my life!

Tara: Hobbies?
Kim: Walking, Elliptical, and drinking coffee with friends.

Tara: Favorite book?
Kim: A Thousand Splendid Suns

Spit, Really?!?!?

At the end of Family Birthday Celebration, where we celebrated seven baptisms, Greg Chatham came up to me to talk. He thanked me so much for the environments we create every Sunday and then shared a little background.

He told me how at their last church, Cael (their youngest, 2nd grade) just really didn't like going on Sundays. It became harder and harder to get him there. But, after coming to Watermarke, Cael is the one waking them up on Sunday morning to get everyone to church.

Greg said, "Now I can now die happy because all three of my children know the Lord." He shared that he felt like we did all of this for just for him and his family. Then he said the best line ever, "Even if you spit on me every Sunday we came to church, we would still come because of how it has affected my children."

Well, that's certainly not something our Host Team will start doing, but wow, that really shows how important every single environment is on a Sunday morning to bringing life change to families like the Chathams!

Steve Mazac
Lead Pastor

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thank You Letter

Watermarke Church,

Last Saturday we had a visitation of some Angels from your church. What a joy it was to see the Body of Christ at work. I don't know how we would have been able to get all the clean up done without their help. Please pass along our appreciation to your congregation and to the group of Angels that worked so hard to help those in need.

Thank you and God Blessings!
Paul Storey
Director of Christian Outreach Ministries