News & Events
Welcome to our "News & Events" page. This is updated regularly with what is happening at Christ Church and our upcoming events.
Here is the latest news from Christ Church.
Happy Spring! Aaachoo! Sniffle! Sniffle! It's allergy season!
Christ Church has amazing Small Groups! But do you know what essential elements small groups should have to be really fruitful? Here are six (the minimum at least!) that characterize a small group in the Wesleyan tradition:
1. Prayer and Scripture.
Many think that prayer is the words that we speak to God. However, prayer is really our intentionality to be fully in the presence of God. Notice there is nothing in this definition that requires talking or listening - only BEING. Prayer is mainly about being attune to the God who is present with us. More than merely perfunctory words either at the beginning and/or end of the small-group time, prayer should be a time when we bring all of who we are before God's throne, so that God might work in and through us.
2. Bible Study
For some, a small group is almost equivalent to Bible Study. But there are many other practices and activities that small groups can and should participate in as well. Small groups should also be careful to not rely on any set curriculum as this often gets in the way of fruitful discussion. A printed study can hinder small-group creativity, discernment, and guidance, and possibly not allow the Spirit to guide the group.
This word can stir up many feelings of trepidation. Many hear this and they think of something punitive or guilt/shame inducing. That is not the type of accountability that Wesley spoke of. Accountability occurs between each participant and the Holy Spirit, more so than between participants. The role of other participants then is a supportive and encouraging one. While advice might be given if asked for, conviction and guidance are from the Holy Spirit. Wesley would ask these questions in small groups: "How is it with your soul? Where have you seen God at work since we last met?" The benefit of accountability in small groups is that we don't fall into the trap of believing that we are self-sufficient. We admit that we need one another in this journey of faith and life. Having accountability helps us as individuals and collectively to become the people of God.
A marker of when small groups have become fruitful is when they become the primary place of pastoral care for their participants. It has been said that a small group member should beat the pastor to the hospital when one of their small group members is there! The small group is there to truly be present with others as a supportive lifeline when life feels overwhelming.
Each small group should be involved in missions beyond the church. When well done, mission activities should lead participants back into Scripture and prayer (just as prayer and Bible study should lead us into mission). Serving together can provide opportunities for bonding and sensing God's presence as a group.
Healthy small groups have healthy boundaries. This is essential for a healthy small group. The use of a covenant cannot be stressed enough as a means of developing healthy and fruitful small groups. The covenants should list expectations and provide guardrails for participants. They should include the purpose of the group, specific tasks and roles for participants, expectations for attendance and confidentiality, as well as a beginning and ending time. It is also important to re-evaluate the covenant at least annually. This way the group has input and conversation about whether the group is meeting participants' needs or if someone needs to switch groups due to a life situation.
These are just a minimum of the ingredients for a healthy small group. Can you think of other essential elements to include?
(Information gleaned and taken from an article by Scott Hughes, the Executive Director of Congregational Vitality & Intentional Discipleship, published April 27, 2022)
The Month of May is our month for food Ministry Crisis Assistant Ministry.
Here are the upcoming events at Christ Church.
June 1, 2022, 1:00:00 PM
Join us at the Firestone Grill, W Franklin St., Gastonia. Our Breakfast Gathering is scheduled for any and all on the FIRST Wednesday of each month. A room has been reserved for the church at the Firestone Grill.
Pentecost in the Park
June 5, 2022, 2:00:00 PM
Worship and Picnic at Martha Rivers Park as we celebrate the Birthday of the Church Universal. We will meet at Shelter #2, set up at 10 am with worship at 11 am. Wear something red! Bring a dish to share. Note: this is a real picnic, no big grills and we cannot bring our own. There is no electric either. If picnic benches are hard for you to sit at, you might want to bring a lawn chair. The church will provide water, but we suggest you bring your own drinks. There is no amplification so turn your hearing aids up! LOL!
June 12, 2022, 2:45:00 PM
Following the service.
News From the Broader United Methodist Community
Rev. Kimberly T. Ingram
Director of Ministerial Services and Conference Secretary
Western North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church
Friends, This week I went to a breakfast about the new Gaston County Habitat for Humanity Initiative – Dixon Village. Some of your churches were represented. If you didn’t know, I live in Cramerton and worship at FUMC in Belmont.
Habitat for Humanity in Gaston County is seeking 15,000 persons to give $10 each toward the House that Faith Built campaign. It is targeted toward churches in Gaston County and will pay for one of the new houses in this community. The project is really exciting because it is mixed income and includes 1/3 Habitat homes, 1/3 Hometown Hero homes (like first responders, teachers, etc.), and 1/3 regular market homes. The community will be located in North Belmont.
More information is on the attached flyer and at this link: Dixon Village Neighborhood | Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County (habitatgaston.org)
The link below from Habitat contains:
Information on how to use the Text To Give option
Logo for the House That Faith Built campaign – LoveThyNeighbor
And a video that can be used to explain and promote.
Following the breakfast, I volunteered to share the information with the Gaston County United Methodist Churches. With the shortage of affordable housing in the greater Charlotte area, including Gaston County, this is such an exciting opportunity! And, it’s a way for churches work together. They hope to begin work in late June and there will be volunteer opportunities forthcoming. The campaign begins May 22 and they’d love for churches to ask members to pull out their phones and give on the spot. That’s what some of the information above explains.
If you have any questions, Kay Peninger is the Executive Director (and a member at Myers Memorial) and can be reached at these contacts:
What About the Continuing United Methodist Church?
While no one knows exactly what the future holds, our District Superintendent (David Christy) and Conference Secretary (Kim Ingram) will be leading a discussion on the future of the United Methodist Church in Western NC. This will be a chance to hear from conference leaders what our shared future can look like and to ask questions you may have. Our focus will be on the United Methodist Church, and not on any groups or other denominations that wish to separate from the United Methodist Church. We will discuss what the future of United Methodism will look like in our Annual Conference.
We have five counties in the Catawba Valley District and we are planning one meeting per county (See dates and locations below).
Thank you for your commitment to Christ and His Church.
All Sessions are on Sundays, from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
May 15: First UMC Lincolnton
June 5: First UMC Morganton
June 12: St. Luke’s UMC Hickory
July 10: First UMC Gastonia
July 24: Central UMC Kings Mountain
If you would like information about...What happens when a new denomination launches? https://www.umnews.org/en/news/what-happens-when-a-new-denomination-launches?mkt_tok=MDc4LUpYUS02NDMAAAGEEXu6RchOsaBf7BkclpQa7w3SUb89lhwEm8Vvi78ggGdgzYl0gZaJcRupspgb2WgM9mC9QzL3VAO5AMlxaVucYfud8LgXqjuW2XtepcBNsUUOgw