Sports strengthen church

Sports Strengthen Scottsdale Congregation

Church grows through sportsA local Scottsdale church has been reporting steadily increasing congregation numbers thanks to the addition of various sporting activities for both youth and adult members. The church has found that families are significantly more active in church activities when there are sports involved. The Scottsdale church has found that sports lead families to be much more social with other families, which grows lasting bonds with one another and creates a stronger Christian community.

Some of the church sporting activities that have had the best turnouts are group golf outings, youth soccer games, family softball events, and church bowling nights. These events have proven to not only bring out families that are already within the congregation but also new families who weren’t previously members. A lot of people can be a bit hesitant to join a new faith community, however, group sporting events seem to take the edge off and make joining a church more fun and welcoming.

On a particular Saturday golf event, the Scottsdale congregation had four families who weren’t already members in its church show up to play golf. There, the congregation had a group golf lesson where they learned to putt and received some amazing golf putting tips. After the event, all of those four families decided to go to church the next day (Sunday). They were asked why they decided to join, and they all answered that they had such a nice time playing golf with the other families that they would like to visit the church.

Another event that turned out well was bowling. Similar to golf, multiple families from within and outside the congregation showed up and played a couple games of bowling on a Saturday. On Sunday, the families that weren’t previously members of the church decided to go to mass with their new friends.

It seems that choosing sports that members of all age groups can have fun playing, no matter their physical fitness has the best results. The other sports mentioned, youth soccer and family softball games, are great to strengthen the congregation but are better for families that are already comfortable with each other.

Here at http://calvaryscottsdale.com/ we think sports is a fantastic way to strengthen your congregation.

Rats In The Church Basement

The Scottsdale Church Has Rats

rat found in basement

We were notified Sunday that there were rats in the basement of the Scottsdale location. The basement is used to store boxes containing props, decoration, and various other items used through the year for religious holidays. Christmas and Easter decorations top that list. We also keep tables and chairs there for the events when we host weekend celebrations. While taking inventory for the upcoming holiday season, one of our members noticed that there were some unwelcome guests living in the basement. There were multiple rats spotted when the lights turned on, they quickly scurried through an opening in the wall that led to the exterior of the property. This was a bit concerning because of the potential hazards they pose for disease. Rat droppings can spread diseases like hantavirus and can become deadly for children and the elderly. Considering that many of these decorations are placed out on tables with food and beverages during holiday events it was important that not only did we cover the hole in the wall, wash all of our linens and props, but that we also treated the property for rats and other rodents that may take a liking to the basement of the property. Our Scottsdale location is an older property and has also had some cockroach problems that need to be treated. We contacted an exterminator in Scottsdale that had experience with pest control in the area and provided an affordable quote and a timeline for the treatment. They were able to come out the next day and treat the property for rats, termites, cockroaches, bed bugs, ants, spiders, and scorpions. We have seen all of these insects on the property at various times during worship hours and figured it would be best to treat the property for everything at the same time. They also set out traps for the rats, we would rather have them captured and killed then poisoned and wondering off into the walls of the church and dying off. Because the property is older and the surrounding area has older buildings that are not maintained we opted in to on-going maintenance. They will be out monthly to spray the property and check the traps for rats. This should provide us with a sanitary property to worship and enjoy fellowship during the holidays without having to worry about infestations and disease.

Armed robber strikes Apple store at Scottsdale Quarter

An armed robber was still on the loose after holding up an Apple store in Scottsdale Friday evening, police said.

      

 

 

'Global heating'; 'climate crisis': Why one publication is shifting its language on environmental issues

UK publication the Guardian announces it’s changing the language it uses about the environment.

      

 

 

How Palestine Divides Messianic Jews

The complexity of the situation even presents a challenge to Jewish Christian unity.

Among Christians in America, Israel can be viewed as a fulfillment of prophecy, a democratic ally in a region of chaos, or an occupier oppressing stateless Palestinians. How to choose?

Given that 2 out of 3 US evangelicals have a positive perception of Israel, according to LifeWay Research, perhaps a better question is: How should evangelicals identify with the issues Israel faces?

Fortunately, there is a useful interpreter. “If the Christian community wants to understand Israel from a believing perspective,” said Jamie Cowen, an Israeli lawyer and a believer in Jesus, “going through Messianic Jews is best.”

However, the complexity of Israel divides even Messianic Jews in attitude toward Palestine, as illustrated by debate this year over an interview provocatively summarized as supporting ethnic cleansing.

“The only rights the Palestinians have are squatter’s rights,” Paul Liberman, executive director of the Alliance for Israel Advocacy (AIA), toldThe Intercept. He described how the lobbying arm of the Messianic Jewish Alliance of America (MJAA) was pushing for a shift of US funding from UN–administered Palestinian aid ($364 million in 2017) to an Israeli-led effort offering money to relocate from the West Bank. The goal: eventual annexation of the territory in a one-state solution with fewer Palestinian citizens, maintaining Israel as a Jewish state.

First adopted by the MJAA in 2015, the idea reverberated within Messianic Jewish circles once TheIntercept highlighted efforts to harness evangelical influence in Congress and the White House.

“It is not a removal. It is an opportunity for a much better life,” said Joel Chernoff, CEO of the MJAA. “But the demographic …

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Nominate a Book for the 2020 Christianity Today Book Awards

Instructions for publishers.

Dear Publisher,

Each year, Christianity Today honors a set of outstanding books encompassing a variety of subjects and genres. The CT Book Awards, along with our “Beautiful Orthodoxy” Book of the Year, will be announced in December at christianitytoday.com. They also will be featured prominently in the January/February 2020 issue of CT and promoted in several CT newsletters. (In addition, readers will have the opportunity to participate in a marketing promotion organized by CT’s marketing team, complete with site banners and paid Facebook promotion.)

Awards Categories:

  1. Apologetics/Evangelism
  2. Biblical Studies
  3. Children & Youth
  4. Christian Living/Discipleship
  5. The Church/Pastoral Leadership
  6. Culture and the Arts
  7. Fiction
  8. History/Biography
  9. Missions/The Global Church
  10. Politics and Public Life
  11. Spiritual Formation
  12. Theology/Ethics
  13. CT Women*
  14. The “Beautiful Orthodoxy” Book of the Year**

*Learn more about CT Women at https://www.christianitytoday.com/women/.

**Beautiful Orthodoxy is the core philosophy guiding CT’s ministry. It describes a mission, across all our publications, to proclaim the truth, beauty, and goodness of the gospel in a gracious, non-antagonistic tone. Learn more about the cause of Beautiful Orthodoxy from CT editor Mark Galli, in this essay and this interview .

CT Women and Beautiful Orthodoxy are special add-on categories. Books nominated in these categories must have first been nominated in one of the other main categories. (They will be eligible to win more than once.) The add-on fee is $15 for either CT Women or Beautiful Orthodoxy, or $30 for both.

What and How to Submit:

To be eligible for nomination, a book must be published between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2019. We are looking for scholarly …

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Human remains found in Arizona identified as California man missing since 2017

The remains were discovered in 2018 when a hiker found a skull in the desert and contacted the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.

      

 

 

Woman's body found in northern Arizona area being investigated as a homicide

The body was found Saturday afternoon at Bly Pit, according to Coconino County sheriff’s officials.

      

 

 

Making Missions Count: How a Major Database Tracked Thailand’s Church-Planting Revival

A movement in Southeast Asia shows how real-time reporting is building Great Commission connections.

Dwight Martin can tell you the exact number of churches in Thailand. At the start of 2019, his site reported 5,805. By the next week, the number would be different.

While missionaries overseas, and even Western churches, often rely on broad estimates, he can calculate exactly how many subdistricts in the Buddhist kingdom have no churches at all (5,509) and how many people live in communities without any Christian neighbors (62.5 million).

The American missionary-kid-turned-IT-guru oversees the most comprehensive national church database in the world, with corresponding maps indicating exactly which corners of the colorful Southeast Asian country are most desperate for the gospel.

Fluent in Thai from his childhood, Martin had presented his findings dozens of times to church leaders and missionaries over more than a decade serving as the official research coordinator for the Thai church.

When he initially shared the data with the founders of a growing Thai church-planting movement, they balked, wondering why a white man was trying to make them feel bad about the outlook for the church in their country.

But the Free in Jesus Christ Church Association (FJCCA) eventually invited Martin to give his presentation to 60 of their top leaders, a third of whom had converted to Christianity less than a year before. Once they saw Martin’s maps, with data drilled down to the village level, they realized just how unreached their own nation remained.

After 190 years of Protestant ministry in Thailand, 95 percent of 80,000 villages in the country still didn’t have a church. While their humble house church movement had begun to multiply across their province in Central Thailand, provinces all over the region—and to the east and …

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Pastor Parking Paves the Way for Controversial Church Taxes

Some congregations will file taxes for the first time to comply with a new 21 percent tax on employee parking.

A new provision in the corporate tax code has some churches and other tax-exempt nonprofits wondering if they’ll really be on the hook for paying a “parking tax” this year.

2018 was the first year nonprofits were subject to a tax of 21 percent on employee benefits like parking and transportation stipends, under tax reforms passed by the GOP-controlled Congress the year before. The new tax is expected to cost nonprofits $1.7 billion over the next 10 years.

Experts suggest that many churches do not meet the parking tax requirements, as described in an interim guidance released by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in December. But evangelical groups have still rallied in opposition. As recently as last month, the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission continued to lobby Congress to repeal what its president Russell Moore called a “deeply un-American tax on churches.”

“There has been a great deal of rhetoric but no results,” he toldBaptist Press. “We now find ourselves weeks away from the tax deadline while many elected officials seem to hope this issue will get lost in the circus of the daily news cycle.”

The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities joined the ERLC’s plea to lawmakers, as did Catholic, Orthodox Jewish, and Seventh-day Adventist leaders.

“The whole idea of tax exemption for nonprofit organizations that are doing charitable, religious, and educational work is for them not to be on the same playing field as for-profit businesses when it comes to taxes, in order to incentivize the good work they …

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Breathtaking photos of Arizona's storms, from monsoon rains to snowfall

Arizona storms can see lightning split the sky, dust and snow envelope the state, and sometimes it ends with a rainbow.

      

 

 

Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek offers reward after $20,000 worth of property was stolen

After 20,000 dollars worth of property was stolen from Schnepf Farms early Sunday morning, Maricopa County Sherriff’s Office is investigating.