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Blog Archives: October 2013

31
October
2013

The Importance of Story

Laura Turner
"The way we understand human life depends on what conception we have of the human story. What is the real story of which my life story is a part?" - Lesslie Newbigin As Ordinary Time comes to an end and we look forward to Advent, the season that marks the beginning of the church year, we enter a natural space to talk about the importance of story. Jesus' story, after all, is what the liturgical calendar is all about. The concept of "story" is a loaded one. More than beginning, middle, and end--which are usual elements--it implies a sense ...
31
October
2013

A Tear in our Fabric

Laura Turner
City Church Mourns the passing of Grant Ballard It was almost 2 years ago that Adam Snell and Andy Moon met Grant Ballard. He was recently graduated from a year-long CityTeam program in addiction recovery, and was paired with Adam and Andy as part of City Church's mentoring program, which matches two mentors with one mentee. Grant passed away last week, and the work of mourning has set in with Adam, Andy, and all those who knew him. He was good-natured and funny, but also struggled with addiction off and on during his adult life. At City ...
24
October
2013

Why Membership?

On November 2nd at City Church, we will have a membership seminar for anyone thinking of becoming a member. This may not be the world's most exciting topic, but it is one of faithfulness, call, and belonging, and we hope that you'll read a bit more about why we think membership is so important. Join us with your questions on Saturday, 11/2, from 9am-noon at the Russian Center. There are two words we want you to consider: church and member. In the broadest sense, the church is made up of all those who have been joined to Christ and make up ...
24
October
2013

Kids Hope

Kids Hope is a mentoring program that connects one church with a local school, and one adult mentor with one child at that school. We at City Church are now in our fifth year of mentorship at El Dorado Elementary School in the Visitacion Valley neighborhood, using the Kids Hope model. The goal of the program is to provide a consistent adult presence for students who could benefit from extra support and care, which they receive through an hour of time each week with their mentor--talking, reading, playing, and being listened to. These initial ...
17
October
2013

Harvest Festival

Laura Turner
The time of year has come again to dress up in costumes, eat lots of sugar, and crash at 8pm. Oh, and your kids can come, too! The 9th Annual Harvest Festival is happening on Sunday, October 27th in the auditorium at the Russian Center--although you may not recognize the auditorium, transformed as it will be into an autumnal paradise. There will be bales of hay, pumpkins to be carved, a fishing game, photo booth, and plenty of milk bottles to be knocked over. You are invited to dress as festively as you like, or not, but let's be ...
17
October
2013

Sunday Dinner for Artists

Laura Turner
This fall sees the launch of get-togethers for artists both from within City Church and the larger SF community to create a community of support for one another. Minna Choi and Karl Digerness are spearheading these Artists' Meetups, which will take place beginning Sunday, October 20th and following every other week afterwards. The vision for these meetups is to help artists create a community of support for one another. City Church has been intentionally turning a light towards the importance of art, and the people who make it. These ...
17
October
2013

Bridging the Gap: South Sudan and San Francisco

Laura Turner
South Sudan is the newest country in the world, a low-slung grassland state bisected by the White Nile River and racked by recent civil wars and infighting among militia groups. Amid this bleak picture, schools and a hospital are being constructed in Yei, a city in the south of the country. A team from our church recently traveled to serve with our partner in Yei, Harvesters International, and have brought home some remarkable stories of transformation and health. Join us this Sunday, October 20th, to hear from this team, see photos from the ...
10
October
2013

Informed Mystery: The Life of the Lectionary

As October ramps up and we move toward Advent, we wanted to take a moment in this busy season to talk more about, well, the importance of seasons. Laura Turner sat down with Fred Harrell to talk about our lectionary, the church calendar, and how we can plug into both. Why do we use a lectionary? Well, there are a number of reasons. First of all, in the early days of the church the use of a lectionary had a lot to do with doing things together. There was a sense that we were all formed by the same story--the same narrative--so going ...
10
October
2013

Featured Staff: Julie Van Til

Laura Turner
This is the first installment of what will become a regular feature in our This Week email. In a church our size, it isn't always easy to get to know the whole staff right away, so we've decided to bring our staff to you! This week, we're getting to know Rev. Julie Van Til. Julie joined our pastoral staff in 2013 and is a San Francisco transplant from her beloved Midwest...   What books have had a lasting spiritual impact on you? One of the most profound ones is this little book, The Isaiah Vision, by Raymond Fung. It's a wonderful ...
03
October
2013

RECAP: A Night for San Francisco

A Night for San Francisco was, as promised, a wonderfully fun evening of celebrating the work that City Hope has done in our city in the last year. The SOMArts space was filled with people, photos of City Hope's work, items up for auction, and delicious food and drink. One of the highlights of the evening was a video that underscored just what the folks of City Hope have been up to lately. Those in attendance got to hear about partnerships with the County Jail, LeLand House, and mentoring programs that have served San Francisco's children ...
03
October
2013

Telling the Truth

Laura Turner
Featured Artist: Mark Ackerley   Mark Ackerley is an unusual composer. He attends City Church and has a Masters degree in music composition. Mark has written new music for the Berkeley Symphony, and recently founded Transcendent Pathways, an organization dedicated to bringing music to people in places otherwise often forgotten: hospitals, nursing homes, and institutions for the mentally ill. As if his work weren't remarkable enough already, Ackerley doesn't write what you would call traditional music. He can, of course, but lately ...
03
October
2013

Caring for Orphans and other Miracles

A Reflection on our trip to South Sudan By the 2013 South Sudan team The South Sudan Missions team returned last week after spending 10 days serving and spreading God's love to the orphans, pastors and medical staff at Harvesters Reaching the Nations.  While it took us almost 48 hours to get to our destination of Yei, our exhaustion quickly dissipated as soon as we were welcomed by over 150 joyful young orphans who anticipated our arrival. This trip was a time of reflection, action, and most importantly, experiencing first-hand how we as ...