Showing items filed under “Christian Living”

Dime Store Dream Come True

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A Winter Relief Story

As Pam wandered around the Dollar Tree looking for Bingo prizes, she never imagined how God would use one of the items to bring a smile to Nan’s face.

No Bingo this year.

That was the word passed down from who-knows-where. The Winter Relief guests and volunteers alike were crestfallen. Playing Bingo for a chance to win prizes is the highlight of the week for many of the Winter Relief participants.

Pam and a few other volunteers decided that everyone NEEDED some Bingo in their lives. Pam climbed into her car and headed to the Dollar Tree to pick up some prizes. Right away a decorative sign with a saying about friendship caught her eye. She passed it by thinking that a decorative sign was probably the last thing a person without a home would want.

She continued to pick up more practical items. Fun socks, pretty headbands, scented lotion…   But her heart kept going back to the sign. She finally added it to the pile in her basket thinking that surely no one would want it.

Later, as Pam set up the prize table for Bingo Nan, a Winter Relief guest, was immediately interested in the sign. Pam recalls, “How I just wanted to say ‘go ahead, and take it’ but it wasn't my place to give away the bingo prizes and so I just prayed that she would win it. “

Pam didn’t stick around for Bingo as she had to run some errands, but upon her arrival back at church she noticed that the sign was absent from among the prizes. “I asked around as to who had won” Pam said, “and when I heard that Nan was one of the winners and that she picked the decoration, the one thing that I was for sure nobody would want, my heart was filled with joy.”

Such a simple thing.

Pam adds, “Now I know that it was God who was leading me to select that item for Nan and I'm so glad I listened.  She was so very happy.  When you consider the hardships that our guests go through on a day to day basis, and that something so simple as an item from the dollar store could bring such joy - well, that is what serving at winter relief is all about - seeing that joy.”


 

You never know how God is going to use you to bless others, or how this serving opportunity can bless you. 

Learn More About Winter Relief

 

How Severn Runners Get Connected

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We asked some Severn Runners how they got connected in our church community through Connect Groups. We thought their answers would encourage you to get connected if you aren't already.

Why did you join a Connect Group at Severn Run? 

I joined to be connected with parents who also have young kids and when the pastor said we should all be connected, I wanted to follow his leadership advice so I found a group. I'm so thankful I did.

What are some of the benefits of being in a Connect Group?

Being around families who also are at a similar life stage of having young kiddos has been very valuable to me. We can share our trials, celebrate our successes and do the journey of life together supporting each other.  I also learn more and do studies I would probably not take the initiative to do on my own, so it has been great exposure to studies out there and learning new things about God's word and learning how to apply it to my life in new and different ways. My son looks forward to going every Thursday night and playing with his friends, so it is a benefit to our whole family. 

How did you decide which Connect Group to join?

I went to one of the find a Connect Group events and met some of the folks in each group. I found a group I enjoyed talking to and decided to try visiting. I also was specifically looking for a group with childcare and really like that not only was childcare provided, but also it was on the church campus where my son was used to playing.

Do you lead a Connect Group? Why did you decide to lead?

I lead Families with Special Needs. Many times even day to day struggles are made even larger when dealing with a family member that has special needs. Our group is a safe place to share parenting questions and dilemmas as we support and encourage each other with scripture and prayer.


 

If you are feeling God's leading to get connected with Severn Run, now is the perfect time!

Simply go to http://severnrun.com/connectgroups/ and search our Connect Groups based on life phase, interests or locations.

You'll quickly find a great group of people with whom you can grow in faith.

#MyStory - How I Realized I Need a Connect Group

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Two years, three months, and 28 days ago I became a Marylander--or at least I moved to Maryland. I had gotten a job, rented a townhouse, put all my belongings on a moving truck, got in my car, and drove 1,121 miles to my new residence.

After living in the same state my entire life, I wanted to make a change. I needed to make a change. It was a good thing. In doing so however, I not only left Minnesota behind, I left behind something very important...connections. Connections with church, co-workers, family members, places, and friends.

I was thinking all those could be replaced and new connections could be made. But as an introvert it was more of a challenge than I ever imagined. Of all those left behind connections, friends have been the scarcest commodity here in Maryland. It’s not because I haven’t meet people. I have shaken hands and discussed the weather with numerous people. Acquaintances seem easy, a real and meaningful friendship--not easy at all.

I left a large, contemporary church where I’d attended 20 years. I had joined numerous small groups over the years that lead to several amazing friendships. Through the studies, I learned so much from Beth Moore, Ray Vander Laan, R. C. Sproul and other wonderful Bible teachers. 

So the solution to my emptiness seemed so obvious - I needed to find a church and get connected. I found the church and yet I resisted a connect group.

Thoughts ran through my head again and again...

  • What if they don’t like me?
  • What if I don't like them?
  • I’m divorced...will I be judged?
  • Share my deep dark secrets? No way. 
  • Will I know enough about the Bible?
  • I just don't have the time. 

Over time, through the noise, I begin to hear another small voice...

  • What if I am missing out on new great friendships?
  • Maybe I have something to share that could help someone else!
  • So I divorced, I am still a valued child of God.
  • There's so much more I can learn from studies and other people.
  • We all make time for what's important. 

This fall I am going to do it!

I am going to step out, take a deep breath, and find a connect group.

Am I excited? Yes.

Am I nervous? Absolutely!

But, I am going to do it.  

How about you?

Will you consider joining me in finding a connect group this fall?

We will both be happy we did. 

How Do I Get Connected?

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You may have heard us say (once or twice) that we believe Life is Better Connected.
 
But the first question people have about getting connected is usually, "Why should I be connected?”
 
Joining a Connect Group is more than joining a Bible study; it is your opportunity to move from hearing to doing. Our Connect Groups are committed to doing life together focused around God’s word. You get a chance to live out God’s word by being in authentic relationship with others and with God through Christ while going out into our community to love and serve people well. 
 
The next question is people ask about being connected is, “How do I get connected?”
 
 
There are several ways you can get connected at Severn Run.
 
  1. On a typical Sunday morning you may have noticed people wearing blue t-shirts that say “Life is Better Connected” or pins that say “Ask Me About Connect Groups". Those are our Connect Group Leaders; they are passionate about doing life together and will be able to help you get connected into our community.
  2. You can also check out the Connect Corner in the atrium. There you will find all of the information you need about our Connect Groups and how to join as well as meet some of our leaders who will be able to determine which groups would be best for you.
  3. Last, but not least, you can go to Severnrun.com/connectgroups where you will also find all of our Connect Group information and Upcoming events. 
We are committed to walking with you in your walk with Christ so you are prepared to walk other people into a loving relationship with Christ.
 
We are excited for you to get connected!

Believer's Baptism

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They emerge from beneath the water to party music and the roaring approval of the crowd. If there’s a celebration in the Worship Center, you can be sure there’s an even bigger celebration in heaven.

Baptism. A public way of showing that you have asked Jesus to be in charge of your life. There’s nothing special about the water. There’s nothing magical about the words that are spoken. There is however, something really cool about taking part in the very same act that Jesus demonstrated for us in the Jordan River. When we follow his example of baptism by submersion we show the world with our body what has happened within the confines of our soul.

Falco was raised in the Catholic church and was baptized as an infant. He started attending services at The Church at Severn Run in April of 2015. He was inspired by the church’s passion for Jesus instead of religion. Each baptism Sunday he watched as people walked down into the waters and came out again. He realized that he had no ownership in the act of baptism that was performed on him as an infant so long ago and felt the Spirit moving him to experience a believer’s baptism. He felt that baptism was an important part in the process of being a fully devoted follower of Christ.

Falco and his fiancé began to meet with Pastor John for premarital counseling. Pastor John asked about his faith journey and suggested that perhaps Falco should to baptized as a first step to entering into a Christ-centered marriage. It was as if Falco had been waiting for that very invitation. He said, “Absolutely!” and he couldn’t wait to dive right in (pun intended).

Kari’s relationship with Jesus began at a summertime VBS as a child. She felt an urgency to be baptized but wanted to make sure it was the right time for her. Fast forward a few years later to a Friday night at Collide (Severn Run Student Ministry). Pastor Chris approached Kari and asked her if she was getting baptized in August. Without thinking, she automatically said yes.

After responding in such haste, Kari began to think through what it means to be baptized and how such a seemingly simple act was going to impact her life. She realized she couldn’t wait to finally get baptized and start a new chapter in her relationship with Jesus. On Sunday, Kari experienced some anxiety about being on the stage in front of so many people. However, once she emerged from the waters she felt like a completely new person. Kari says, “I felt like I could walk on water, but unlike Peter, I can keep my eyes on Jesus.”

Baptism is a personal experience performed in public—not unlike a marriage. For some it may be uncomfortable to be the “center of attention” during a baptism (or a marriage ceremony), but what some may fail to realize is that the attention is on the Lord and HE is not uncomfortable. A baptism is a family celebration that one more brother or sister has been born into the Kingdom of God and it’s an honor and a privilege for us, as the audience, to join the believer in that celebration.

Kari says, “If you are reading this and wondering if you should get baptized, the answer is yes!”

 

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