EPIC is sending a team to help with Sandy relief July 24th-27th. The team will leave Wednesday evening and return late Saturday. This is a great opportunity to serve some hurting people and to get your feet wet with a short missions experience. The cost will be about $60. We really need you to sign up soon so that we can begin to get an idea of how many will be going. If you are interested please sign up at the Welcome Table or email Chris McNeil (email@example.com).
If you would like to learn more about EPIC, we invite you to join us for EPIC Beginnings. This is a basic introduction to EPIC that is done in a little over an hour. The time centers on 3 things: God’s Story (why do we call ourselves EPIC?), our story (What is the mission and the values of EPIC?), and your story (How can you plug in? What questions do you have? And how can EPIC be a part of what God is doing in your life?). Join us on May 26th at 12:15 after the second service (we will be done by 1:30). Childcare is provided along with some light food (we know it is lunch time so we want to provide something for you). So, we need you to register! If you would like to attend please register on Sunday mornings at the Welcome Table or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 27th, we will partner with many other churches and Christians to serve the local community. Last year we had over 50% of our church involved and we would love to top that number this year. We are coordinating numerous projects and need LOTS of volunteers! If you would like to serve with us that day email us at email@example.com
One of the biggest problems in India is human trafficking. Every day, approximately 200 girls in India are forced into prostitution. The average age of the girls is 11! Rahab’s Rope is a ministry that gives hope and opportunity to women and girls who are at risk or have been forced into the commercial sex trade. The ladies at EPIC are invited to an Open House on April 20th from 5-8PM at the office of Bel Air Construction (1655 Robin Circle in Forest Hill) to support this wonderful ministry. For more information, stop by the Welcome Table or contact Terri at 410-952-8447.
In April we will begin a short series addressing a few difficult questions: Why does God allow suffering? Is there really only way to heaven? Can we trust the Bible? Is hell real? How does science relate to faith? We will address these issues candidly, with sensitivity, and with a focus on what the Bible says. Join us and invite some others!
Easter is always a big day at EPIC and this year will be no different. We invite you to join us this Sunday as we celebrate the foundation of our faith. We will have 2 services 9AM or 11AM (the first one is 30 minutes earlier than our normal earlier service), an Easter Egg hunt for kids on the stadium field in between services (10:15), a great time of worship, and a message of hope. Join us and invite some others!
At EPIC, we want to be a community that shares life together. So, we have organized small groups that meet throughout the week in people’s homes. These groups study the Bible together, pray for each other, and serve together. More than anything we want these groups to be opportunities for people to connect with others in order to share their lives together. One of our favorite verses at EPIC is 1 Thessalonians 2:8: we were delighted to share with you not only the Gospel of God but our lives as well because you had become so dear to us. Click here for a list of our current groups.
Don’t miss this coming Sunday, February 17th! We begin the most important series since EPIC launched almost 2 years ago. It will last 6 weeks and culminate the Sunday before Easter on our 2 Year Anniversary. Please read a note below from our Lead Pastor, Brian, about this upcoming series…
Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” Matthew 13:44-46
The passage above really shares the heartbeat of this series. In both parables, two people find something of such incomparable worth that they joyfully sell all that they have to obtain this great treasure. These men went “all in” when they found the treasure. They risked much and sold everything. And Jesus is saying, “the great treasure that is worth selling everything for is ME and My Kingdom.” So, in this series we want to unpack this story and discover what it means to go “all in.” We are going to challenge us as individuals and our church as a whole to go “all in” in our commitment to God, to one another and to God’s mission in the world. We want to challenge us to risk much for the cause of Christ, for the glory of His name and for the joy of all people in Christ.
Throughout this series, you will hear us use three words over and over (you will continue to hear these words in the months and years to come as well). We believe that these three words capture what it means to follow Jesus Christ and to go “all in.” Through this series we are going to challenge ourselves to TREASURE, SHARE, and MULTIPLY. What it means to follow Jesus is to TREASURE Him more than anything, to SHARE our lives with others, and to MULTIPLY (to make disciples of all nations).
In addition to this being a series of messages, this series is really the kickoff of a two year campaign. First, this means that everything that we do as a church over the next two years will relate to these three things: treasuring God, sharing life with one another and multiplying. Second, as part of this campaign we have several dreams/goals for the lives of every person who call EPIC home. We want to see God accomplish some big, monumental things in your life over the next two years. We will be sharing those dreams with you throughout the series. Finally, as part of this campaign, we want to share some dreams that we believe God has for us as a church. And none of these dreams will be accomplished if we do not go “all in” together! We have some specific plans that we look forward to sharing with you and it will cost us much to accomplish these dreams. But we are confident that the cost is worth it because we gain a treasure worth more than anything we could imagine!
I ask several things of you during this series. First, please don’t miss a Sunday! Second, be open to what God wants to teach you. Soften your heart and ask God to speak to you through this series. Third, share with others. Get in a small group, use the devotions we will provide and discuss what you are learning with others. Finally, as God speaks to you and you feel led to go “all in” please share those stories with us. We want to use your stories to encourage others that it is worth it to go “all in.”
I am excited about the journey ahead. Know that I have been praying for you long before we began this series. I am confident that “He who began a good work in you will see it to completion.” I am excited about the things that God has for you and for us as a church.
For His glory,
Our current sermon series, “A Portrait of Love,” will conclude on February 3rd with a Q&A. We have been discussing love throughout this series but we often struggle with how this applies in certain relationships and situations. So, we will conclude this series by answering some of your questions regarding marriage, singleness, parenting, friendship, conflict, etc. Please submit your questions to Brian (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will try to answer as many as possible. We also have resources available at the Welcome Table. We have three wonderful resources: The Meaning of Marriage, Give them Grace (about parenting), and The Sacred Search (about singleness, dating and finding the “right one”).
Sunday is Sanctity of Life Sunday. On this special Sunday, we reflect on the value of human life. We remind ourselves that every single person is made in the image of God and is worthy of respect, dignity, care and love. On Sunday, we want to do three things related to this issue. First, we want to consider how we treat other people. Do we look upon everyone we meet as a person who is made in the image of God and is therefore worthy of tremendous respect and love? We meet no ordinary people. Every person is unique and special. We are called as followers of Jesus to view people as God does and to treat people with love. It is fitting that we continue to look at the great “love chapter” (1 Corinthians 13) on Sunday as part of our current sermon series (A Portrait of Love).
Second, we want to consider how we treat the most vulnerable among us. The reality is this: a society that tramples on the weakest among us is doomed to eventually collapse. As a culture, we have devalued life from conception. And this has led us to be a nation that devalues human life as a whole. We hurt each other, focus first on our own needs, mistreat one another, regularly mock each other, and fail to follow the golden rule. As a result, it is no wonder that we live in one of the most violent cultures in the world. The church is called to be different. In addition to loving people who cross our paths, we want to be people who love justice and mercy, especially for people who have no voice. This should lead us to get involved in certain causes. So, consider how you can help those who are in need of justice and mercy. This may lead some of us to get involved in helping fight human trafficking or to adopt a compassion kid or to take a trip to help Sandy victims. Let’s consider how we can treat people, especially those who are less fortunate, with kindness.
This leads to number three: we will take a portion of our offering from Sunday and give it to Alpha’s Glory, a crisis pregnancy center right in our community. Our hearts mourn the 1 million plus babies aborted each year in the US and we want to fight for future babies who have no voice. One of the best ways we do this is by partnering with organizations like Alpha’s Glory. Please join us Sunday and give generously to help a wonderful cause. Here is the website if you would like more information about their ministry: http://www.alphasglory.org/.