Atlanta

Matt and I got to spend a few days in Atlanta this week. It was all wrapped up in PCM stuff, but it’s always nice to get away without the kiddos. We got to make a stop at this place…

See those teeth in the background? Haha…

The Williams went with us and it was a lot of fun! It was a challenging time (we were being assessed by the Rebuild Initiative), but a time of growth. Matt and I actually had our very first marriage counseling session (we didn’t even have pre-marital counseling…we’ve been wingin’ it for years) and it was wonderful. I really enjoyed getting to sit down with a third party and gain some practical knowledge on how we can make our relationship even better.

I need a few days to regroup, but I hope you are having a wonderful week!

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PCM Kids

 

 

 

 

I thought I would share a few pics of PCM Kids. I’m in charge of coordinating the volunteers for our kiddos, and it has been such a joy to serve in this way. We never know how many kids to expect, but we usually have a full class.

Because we are so small, we keep things simple with the kids. They only leave the service during the sermon, and they come back as soon as the sermon is over to sit with their family.

Each week, we start with a snack, then read a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible (hands down, the best kids Bible…adults should read it too).

After the story, we do a VERY simple craft, or we just color.

Delaney got a little carried away with coloring this week.

It’s such a fun way to serve the church! The best part is that all of our core members are involved in volunteering, even the ones that don’t have any kids. Last week, Matt and James were in there and they did great! The kids just love people that love them and I love that our people love kids.

We got locked out…

The girls and I got to church on Sunday and everyone was sitting outside on the curb. We rent a local community center for our Sunday meetings, and no one showed up to let us in:(

Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day, and the community center is right next to a park. We loaded up our stuff, and took it over to the park and had our service there.

First time in a swing!

The band

 

Mykilei stealing all the animal crackers:)

Brutha Matt

 

We didn’t even have chairs! We all just spread out blankets or jackets (whatever we could find in our cars) and sat on the ground. It could have easily been a frustrating, disastrous experience, but it was by far one of the best services I’ve been a part of. No one complained, everyone helped out, Mondonico had an awesome message, and God was honored. We even got to meet a few families who came to play at the park.

It was definitely a memorable Sunday.

 

 

On this day…

…in PCM history, we had our first public service. September 11, 2011.

A real live service. With music. And preaching.

And people came that weren’t related to us.

I have to say, it was a surreal time. PCM has been in the making/dreaming stage for a few years now and to finally see it in action, it was amazing. It was similar to the feeling of meeting both of my daughters for the first time. I carried them for nine months just wondering what they would look like and how they would act, and then they are born and the emotions are overwhelming. It felt like yesterday, PCM was born.

Matt was still hobbling around after his appendix surgery, but there is no way he was going to stay home on this monumental day. Mondonico preached a fantastic sermon (which I will listen to via podcast this week since I am the designated children’s director and was with the kiddos during the sermon) and the music was awesome. I am so thankful to God for the musicians he brought to PCM. They truly love the Lord and they are seriously talented.

We were blessed with twelve kiddos during the sermon…ages 0-7. Four of them were crawlers. The big kids got to sit at a table and make cards for the firefighters at the fire department that is next to the community center where we meet (it was weird to think that none of those kids were around on 9/11/01). Matt led a prayer for those affected by the attacks, and thanking God for those that protect us.

All in all, it was a wonderful first service. We are so thankful for those 40 people who came, and pray that we stay true to the vision God has given us. To God be the glory.

Another Step for PCM

Yesterday was another milestone for our little-church-that-could. We had our first Sunday morning meeting in a public place. We had met a few times on Sunday mornings before, but always in a home (we usually meet on Sunday nights). It was time for us to establish a little more structure, so we set up shop at a local community center and had a practice-run in our new temporary home.

Our Sound Team

Quavonn got up to start us off with Scripture and prayer, and our mics were picking up a church across the street. It was pretty funny, but we had to go mic-less for the rest of the service.

 

Q and the Mic

Q and the Mic

We only had our kids and the Williams’ kids (co-planters with us) so we kept all the kids in the service. We’ve done this a lot before so the kids are used to it and do pretty well. We are planning on having childcare for ages birth-8 years, but we want families to feel comfortable to have their kids in the service if they would like. We want kids to feel like they are part of the family too, not a distraction.

James with Kylen and Delaney

We are so blessed with a core group that loves children. Even our young single men love the kids. Delaney sat with Mr. James for part of the service.

The service was pretty informal. Derek (usually leads the songs) couldn’t be there, so we sang a few songs a cappella. Matt preached and did a great job. Delaney even wandered up there a few times:)

Brotha Matt

Sorry all these pics are so bad! I was just clicking away with my phone.

All in all, it was a successful first Sunday! It was extremely encouraging. We will be meeting again on Sunday, September 11 at 10:30am at the Marion Hale Community Center. Come on out!


Church Planting is Hard.

People ask me a lot what I think about church planting. My answer? It is by far the hardest, most trying thing that we have ever done as a family. It is filled with heartbreak, testing of patience, tears and questions. 98% of the time, we feel like we have no idea what we are doing. That’s the honest truth. I got to meet some sweet new wives at seminary a few weeks ago, and they looked at me like a superhero because my husband is a church planter. “When we graduate from seminary, we are planning on doing the same thing!” they would say with twinkling eyes. “Do you have any other options?” I asked them, “because church planting is the hardest thing you will ever do.”

With that said, there is remarkable peace and joy that comes with a clear vision that the Lord has given. Matt has questioned that vision so many times along this bumpy road, but we always come back to the fact that the Lord has given us this vision, and it needs to be seen until completion.  The Lord has been faithful to encourage us along this road, sending us people and circumstances that reinforce the vision and mission of the church. One of those instances happened this past Sunday at Faith Baptist Church.

Matt, Mondonico and Pastor Danny Sinquefield

Faith is a big church in terms of members. They are supporters of our little church that could, Pursuit Church Memphis. They invited us out to tell their congregation about the church and give anyone who would like to be involved, a chance to hear a little more. I have to say, I really don’t like  going to big, Southern Baptist churches. They usually seem really cheesy. Faith Baptist totally made me eat my words. I was totally blown away by their fully-robed HUGE choir and orchestra. The music was absolutely focused on Jesus and it was just amazing. They even had an interpretive movement!!! My cynical self was fully prepared to mock them on the inside, but when they were finished I was on my feet! It was fantastic and I was so blessed to be a part of it. What a jerk I was for having those preconceived ideas.

Pastor Sinquefield and Pastor Ryan were so gracious and friendly to our little core group that came. We are so thankful for such a wonderful, Christ centered church to partner with. Thanks Faith!!