Month: January 2021

Cottonwood Creek Welcomes New Deacons

"Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons."

I Timothy 3:8-10

On October 25, 2020, an ordination of the newest Deacons of Cottonwood Creek was celebrated for the following:

DEACONS & THEIR WIVES:

  • Larry Anthony
    Rebecca
  • Todd Carter
    Christina
  • Stan DeYager
    Sandy
  • Tim Granberry
    Stephanie
  • Art Goerlitz
    Jeannie
  • Tim Hartman
    Dana
  • Rex Hise
    Ann
  • Selvin Hobbs
    Mary Kay
  • Tom Leddy
    Shirley
  • Todd Lehmann
  • David Paul
    Janice
  • Steve Powers
    Wanda
  • Beolan Sanford
    Janet
  • Dan Stoltzfus
    Sarah
  • Doug Trent
    Diana
  • Brantley Walch
    Melissa

During their ordination, the new Deacons were recognized as men who exemplified the qualities described in I Timothy: respectful, sincere, excellent standing, and most of all, they have a great faith in Jesus Christ. 

The ordination was a recognition of these qualities, as well as a time of encouragement.Additionally, Senior Pastor John Mark Caton gave the Deacon charges, which reminded the Deacons of the duties they have been selected to fulfill. Finally, the deacons received a prayerful embrace, and following that, a blessing was given as they were welcomed into their new role in our church. 

As we gladly receive these leaders and pillars of our church, we recognize the great responsibility they have chosen to take joyfully onto their shoulders.

In Acts 6, the Deacons of the church were chosen to care for widows, whom beforehand had been overlooked. The disciples gathered and decided they would choose men of Spirit and wisdom to give their full attention to those in need.

Today, our disciples perform those same biblical tasks. The Deacons of Cottonwood Creek serve our church in many ways: greeting new members, inviting people in our community to church, leading Life Groups, helping show the love of Jesus to those in need, and so much more. 

We are so grateful to those who have stepped up to this essential position in our church, and we want to take a moment to specifically thank them for their dutiful service and powerful faithfulness. 

As we move into a new year and a new season at our church, we are so excited to have such wonderful Deacons serving our church family. Please feel free to reach out to congratulate and encourage any of our newly ordained Deacons.

Discovering God’s Will While Grieving – Cottonwood Creek GriefShare

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us."

Romans 5:3-5

Though we experience the pain and loss of the human world, we know that our God is eternal. As Christ-followers, we are able to live peacefully with the knowledge that our heavenly life awaits us. However, the shock of death and grief can still bring sorrow and mourning into our lives. GriefShare at Cottonwood Creek seeks to provide a safe place for those undergoing a grieving process to be surrounded by others who have also undergone a significant loss.

Currently led by Meredith Jackson, a new group begins each semester. The group meets weekly for 13 weeks. Meredith first joined the class as a member, following the death of her parents and husband. She, as well as many others, have found healing through GriefShare.

Although meetings usually occur in-person, they are currently taking place online due to COVID-19. Despite a loss of face-to-face interaction, Jackson feels, “there’s a bond that’s been created in this group, not only because they share their grief, but because they are also able to share the loss that all of us have experienced in 2020.”

Every person’s grief is different and so is the journey to their healing.  While attending every session is encouraged, it is not required.  Some may only attend a few meetings, and some people find the meetings so helpful that they will repeat the classes a second or third time. Healing from grief is hard work, and there is no easy path. Even as the current leader, Jackson remembers the difficulty she experienced when attending meetings:

“I drove past the church every day on the way home from work, so there was no excuse for me not to go. Still, I always tried to convince myself each time that I wouldn’t be able to make it; it was too painful to talk about my loss. No matter how hard I tried to avoid it, I found myself turning into the church parking lot each week. And, I am so glad that I did.”

As we approach the holiday season, the Cottonwood Creek GriefShare group plans to hold a special session: Surviving the Holidays on Sunday, November 8th at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Those who attend this class will receive guidance on how to best manage grief during holidays that they may be spending without a loved one for the first time or many times.

Healing happens slowly, but there is a bright path ahead for those moving through a grieving process. If you or someone you know is dealing with loss, please feel free to direct them to Meredith.jackson@cottonwoodcreek.org. Everyone is welcome to join this free and impactful class.

Josh Bolton’s Testimony: The Powerful Impact of Community

Before I surrendered to Christ, my life was a total mess. I was full of pride and a lust for the things of this world. As a kid, I attended church on occasion with my family and friends. I knew who Christ was at the time and wanted to be saved, but I was unwilling to surrender my way of life to Him. When I was 19, I fell asleep driving down the highway on my way home from work; I was tired from being up late the night before. My truck was totaled, but I was left with only a small mark on my forearm from the airbag.

Looking back, that accident is one of the best things that ever happened to me. It was my wakeup call and caused me to realize that, if I kept trying to do things my way instead of God’s way and if I didn’t repent and surrender to Him, I was lost. Like Jesus says in Matthew 16:24-25, “if anyone wants to come after me, He must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

I was lucky enough to meet my wife early in my walk, and through our relationship and encouragement from her, I began to attend Church regularly and read scripture. It didn’t happen instantly,and there were many ups and downs. However, through the conviction and guidance of the Holy Spirit and encouragement from fellow believers, I am a new creation in Christ.

In 2013, my family, along with some neighbors, decided to start a life group at home. Being a part of a life group has been instrumental in continuing to grow in our faith. There is something to be said about the importance of an intentional group that really encourages and supports one another in our lives and in our walk with the Lord. Being a part of a life group, surrounded by like-minded families, has helped to keep us focused on what really matters and has created some great relationships.

Acts 4:32 says it best: “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.”

– Josh Bolton