Letter from the editor

Jake, my husband, and I don’t have kids of our own or even a pet, but we consider ourselves a little family. And we are blessed to be part of other families.

We are close with our immediate families; Jake’s brother is his best friend and my sister is mine. We are crazy enough to join the same tennis team as our parents and even play matches with them–this in a sport where many married couples need “tennis divorces” and refuse to play as partners–and we play with our parents as well as each other! (more…)

Out of the box

A few summers back, you might remember seeing something called a Blue Box (children’s sermons for everyone) as they were shared in the morning worship services.  We had so much fun with these great messages and having children in worship, we decided to bring Blue Boxes back to all the summer morning worship services beginning June 28. Children will join us in the first half of worship and be dismissed to the Upper Campus just before the sermon for age-appropriate activities that will further their understanding of the message. The Blue Box message will align with the sermon and provide a great opportunity to families to share learning and growth in post-worship discussion. Each Sunday, a conversation starter or two will be provided to encourage families to share what they have learned and how the day’s worship helped them grow and draw closer to God, or what they heard God calling them to do. (more…)

Milestones

Before either of my kids turned thirteen, I’d begun to hear stories of how other parents had marked such special milestones in their kids’ lives. Some ideas overwhelmed me, but one idea seemed perfect for our family. About three months prior to the day Nick would become a teenager, I sent out requests via Facebook and email to family members, friends, and a group of camp staff that both my kids grew up with. 

This request simply asked them to reply back with a short note, story, or some sort of art that I could include in a photo book I was going to have made by one of the numerous companies online (Shutterfly, York, etc.). I encouraged the writers to speak into Nick’s life, offer him some advice, share with him a favorite song, passage of Scripture, poem, etc., to help celebrate his foray into the teenage years. I wasn’t really sure what the response would be, but I figured it was a worthwhile cause. (more…)

MS/HS Denver Mission Trip

This past Spring Break, the BelPres Middle School and High School Departments sent a team of 10 people on a mission trip to Denver, Colorado, where we partnered with Center for Student Missions (CSM), an organization that facilitates urban missions and service experiences for various church groups.

As they guided us throughout the week, CSM was a mission tour guide of sorts for us—helping our group get to know the city of Denver and walk alongside its people. Even more, CSM helped us see the unique issues and problems in the city and allowed us to see firsthand what God is doing to foster and further His Kingdom in the city of Denver. (more…)

A Parent’s Faith Becomes a Child’s Faith

There is a story in the Bible about Abraham being asked by God to sacrifice his only son Isaac on the top of a mountain. His only son for whom he waited 100 years before God granted him one. We commonly refer to this part of Abraham’s story as “Abraham Is Tested.”

I recently spoke to middle school students about this story during a trip to Romania, and it was interesting to hear how they absorbed the story. (more…)

The Family that sings together…

At BelPres, families have opportunities to share ministry together in amazing ways. Some go overseas on short-term missions, some work side by side on Jubilee Service Day, and some share the gift of music together every week.

Laurie Barnett, member of the Sanctuary Chorus, can’t imagine not singing in choir. “It’s how I worship.  Now my husband is in the choir, too, just as my two kids had been. My youngest daughter Halley and I have both been singing in choirs our entire lives.(more…)

Why VBA?

Vacation Bible Adventure (VBA) preparation is in full gear now, and amidst all the details I keep having flashbacks of my own experiences here at BelPres. (Yes, I am a life long member.)

I remember eagerly listening as Mrs. Clark read The Giving Tree and being in awe of God’s love. I remember carefully threading beads on a leather cord, one for each memory verse and feeling fulfilled earning the last extra-large bead with John 3:16 printed on it. I remember eating lunch with Mrs. Dilworth and thinking wow, the senior pastor’s wife is cool. I remember Mrs. Gallotte beaming with joy as she led us in song, “If the devil doesn’t like it he can sit on a tack, sit on a tack…” I remember Jane Taylor and Susie Hendrickson laughing and laughing, having fun playing games and making crafts. (more…)

The Power of Tithing

Picture this. Your mother dies when you’re five. The babysitter locks you in the closet. Your dad has addiction problems. Your stepmother story is more Cinderella than the Brady Bunch, and you start working when you’re 14. Should be about time for some happy, don’t you think?

Well there is. At age 17, Katie McCormick met Christ through Young Life. (more…)

Behind the scenes: Megan Veldee

It’s three on a Friday afternoon and I’m having communion in a quiet cul-de-sac near downtown Bellevue. I’ve come to shadow Megan Veldee, Homebound Support Ministry Coordinator for the 30-plus homebound recipients of the Lord’s Supper right where they are, wherever that may be.

My first impression of Megan Veldee is that of a modern day Maria von Trapp. I do say that as a sincere compliment. In one hand she’s got a black satchel that holds things I’ll tell you of later, and her guitar case in the other. (more…)

Calling all photographers

We are accepting submissions for the covers of the September, October, and November issues of The Messenger. Here’s your chance to show off your fantastic photography skills!

The themes for The Messenger are:

September: Fall Season | Submission Due: August 1, 2015

October: Leaders/Mentors & Disciples | Submission Due: September 1, 2015

November: A Thankful Heart | Submission Due: October 1, 2015

Photos must be in jpeg form, ideally raw, with minimum size of 1600w x 2400h x 300 dpi.

Questions? Ready to submit? Contact Katie McRoberts, KMcRoberts@belpres.org.