Preparing for the Members Forum

November 3, 2016 Josh Howeth Branch Notes, General

Our bi-annual Member’s Forum is coming up on Sunday, November 20th. The Forum will start at 6:30PM and dinner and childcare will be provided. If you are a member, these times together are so important for us as a church community. I really hope you will make it a priority to stay after and participate that Sunday evening.

I’d like to share some of the things that we will be talking about that night so that you can be prepared:

  1. We will be receiving elder recommendations from you. It’s our desire that we will have another elder as a part of our elder team by next fall. We want to hear from you regarding which men you’ve experienced a godly example from, someone who comes to your mind when you read 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9, and someone who you’d submit to as a leader in our church family.
  2. We will be sharing four different cities that we are praying about planting a future church in. Our church planting cohort has done some great work and has presented to our elder team four different cities that we want to begin to pray more seriously about planting in. It’s always been our communicated vision as a church that we would be a sending church who plants other churches, rather than seeking to simply grow as an individual church.
  3. We will be talking about Advent Conspiracy for this coming season of Advent. We have a non-profit we are beginning to work with that serves the Foster Care system. She will be coming to share about their ministry in our worship gathering in late November. We are excited about the work they do and want to heavily support them and be involved.
  4. We will be sharing our three goals for the year as a church. Every year our elders assess, pray and dream about the upcoming year. We have three specific ways that we are seeking to lead the church into greater health. It’s important that we each embrace them, in order that they become a reality.
  5. We will be rolling out and sharing our new Local Engagement Strategy as well as a Global missions pipeline. These two things will radically be changing the way we engage our city as well as equip, train, and send people to foreign fields of work.
  6. We will as always be sharing where we are at financially as a church. We want to give you the opportunity to look at and speak into the budget.
  7. We will also be announcing new church members.

Josh Howeth

 

Other Branch News:

The International Thanksgiving Dinner will be here soon. Every year we invite international students to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving meal. We need individuals and families to prepare food dishes in the days leading up to this event. Contact Trevor or Sarah for more information.


Hey ladies! Join us December 3rd, from 2-4 pm for an afternoon of fun, tea & treats. This will be a great opportunity to relax, meet other women in all stages of life at The Branch and lift each other up in prayer. Contact Victoria Renard if you plan to attend, or if you have any questions.

 

His Strength In My Weakness

October 28, 2016 Julia Campbell Branch Notes, General

Before starting this internship, I had a pretty naive idea of what ministry as a job looked and felt like. What could be better than devoting the majority of my day to sharing the Gospel, spending time with the Lord, and encouraging people in their faith? Nothing is better and more fulfilling than that, yes. But ministry is also very draining, messy, and humbling.

Every day I get to tell people about Jesus and encourage them in their walk with the Lord. While this is encouraging for myself in many ways, what I didn’t realize was that I would spend hours each day listening to people talk about their disappointments and struggles. Some of those people without the hope of Jesus Christ as their Savior. I didn’t realize that those conversations could take away so much of my energy. Before I discovered I had a limit to how many people I could effectively meet with in a day, I often thought and acted in the flesh rather than in the spirit during conversations. I was too drained from previous conversations, earlier in the day, to be fully present with those I met with next. I tried to do it all in my own strength rather through the Lord’s, which is when it became draining.

I also didn’t realize ministry could be so messy. How could it be when you’re working alongside the Body of Christ? If you think about it though, ministry is people working together. As people, we are sinful and broken so therefore working with each other is difficult at times. We all experience moments of defeat, we have miscommunications, or fail to see eye-to-eye on things. It isn’t always rainbows and sunshine.

The aspect of ministry that has effected me the most since starting this internship is humility. Without a doubt, this has been some of the most emotional months of my life. I am constantly humbled through the Lord revealing my sins to me. Someone close to me gave me insight into why this specific season of my life was leading me to uncover my sins. They pointed out that because of this internship, I’ve been spending more time with God, thinking about Him, reading His word, and actively living for Him. Awareness of my own brokenness is overwhelmingly enhanced because I’m daily reminded of my need for God.

With all these new discoveries about the hardships that come with ministry, I’ve learned so much about the God we serve and His faithfulness to those who love Him.  I tried to do things on my own – thinking that taking a break or allowing the Lord to help would be a sign of weakness. But it turns out that I AM WEAK. I can’t do it all on my own. Praise the Lord for his continuous grace, and his strength beyond anything I’ve ever felt before. Jesus is the reason I can do ministry every day. I’ve seen the importance of mini-retreats with the Lord, reflecting on my weakness, and being humbled by His strength. I’ve also learned to extend more grace and love to those that I work with. Oh how great and good is the God we worship for showing me all these things.

In closing, I want to share something my mom told me awhile back that I’ll never forget. She said, “Lately I’ve been praying, ‘Lord, reveal my sin to me so that I have no choice but to run to the cross.’” That’s a profound prayer to pray because the Lord will answer it if you ask Him to! As your sin is revealed to you, you’ll humble yourself before the Lord and discover that God’s grace and love for you is larger than you’ve ever known before. Even though ministry is draining (when done in your own strength rather than through God’s), messy, and humbling, it’s more than worth it because I get to be a part of growing God’s Kingdom and learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

 

Other News:

Branch Brunch is a great place to ask questions and hear about the purpose and values of our faith community. Our next Branch Brunch will be held on Sunday, October 30th at 10:30 am. This Brunch is
necessary if you are interested in becoming a member. If you are interested in attending contact Josh Howeth to RSVP.


The Members Forum is a time for members of The Branch to come together and hear about where we’ve been and where we are headed, make decisions as a church, welcome new members and share a meal together. If you are a member of The Branch please make plans to attend on Sunday, November 20th from 6:30-7:30 pm (immediately following our Sunday gathering.) Childcare is also provided for our families.


Calling all College Students! We have got the first ever Young Life Fall Getaway just for COLLEGE STUDENTS! Our College Getaway is November 4-6 and is only $99. We are joining up with other colleges all throughout the northwest to have the best weekend of the year. There will be OVER 500 college students there. Take a break away from the chaos of school and get away to Washington Family Ranch for an amazing weekend of community, games, teachings, and personal introspection. You will not want to miss it. Contact Davey Walker if you have any questions.


The International Thanksgiving Dinner will be here soon. Every year we invite international students to experience a traditional American Thanksgiving meal. We need individuals and families to prepare food dishes in the days leading up to this event. Contact Trevor or Sarah for more information.


Hey ladies! Join us December 3rd, from 2-4 pm for an afternoon of fun, tea & treats. This will be a great opportunity to relax, meet other women in all stages of life at The Branch and lift each other up in prayer. Contact Victoria Renard if you plan to attend, or if you have any questions.

Calling All College Students

October 20, 2016 Davey Walker Branch Notes

I want to share about something sweet that is on the horizons in my world. As many of you know, I also work for College Young Life at OSU. Young Life has been an awesome opportunity to get to share Jesus with students that you do not often find in the pews or seats of churches on Sunday. Many students have also used Young Life as a tool to have conversations about Jesus with their peers. It has been such a blessing to see people come into relationship with our Lord and Savior.

This fall we have a College Young Life first, Fall Camp. November 4-6 we are headed over to Washington Family Ranch for our college getaway. Camp will have the same feel of summer camp crammed into a weekend. Even better, it will not only be OSU out there but we will have over 500 college students through the pacific northwest including UW, UO, WOU, and PSU. I am stoked for this weekend because everyone there is going to get to hear the gospel. I encourage students to use this weekend as an opportunity to have your friends hear the gospel. We all have friends that we want to know Jesus but know will never come to church with us on Sunday. This is a great weekend to hopefully bridge that gap as they get to hear about Jesus in a setting that is much more comfortable for them.

I whole heartedly believe God is going to do big things this weekend. He is going to change lives and bring people into relationship with him. Students of OSU are going to be changed as they come face to face with Jesus.

I want all the students of the Branch to consider spending a weekend out at the ranch with their friends as the gospel is proclaimed clearly. If you have never been out to experience the beauty of Washington Family Ranch, there is extra incentive to come because there is no other camp like it. And if you are not in college, please lift up this weekend in prayer. The gospel is going to be proclaimed to over 500 college students throughout the northwest. Pray that students come to know Jesus and the overall spiritual climate of the Northwest is changed.

To God be the glory.

Specifics:
Date: November 4-6
Cost: only $99
Where: Washington Family Ranch
Contact: davey@thebranchcorvallis.org

 

Other News:

Branch Brunch is a great place to ask questions and hear about the purpose and values of our faith community. Our next Branch Brunch will be held on Sunday, October 30th at 10:30 am. This Brunch is necessary if you are interested in becoming a member. If you are interested in attending contact Josh Howeth to RSVP.


The Members Forum is a time for members of The Branch to come together and hear about where we’ve been and where we are headed, make decisions as a church, welcome new members and share a meal together. If you are a member of The Branch please make plans to attend on Sunday, November 20th from 6:30-7:30 pm (immediately following our Sunday gathering.) Childcare is also provided for our families.


Community groups gather together weekly to get to know one another, pray, study the bible and live life together. It’s never too late to join a group so if you didn’t attend one earlier this week you can still do that! You can find a list of weekly meeting locations and times on our website or on the Community Group Map in the back of the auditorium on Sunday nights.


In addition to our Sunday offering baskets, The Branch offers safe and secure online giving. Use this tool to give to international missions, support one of our interns, give your one-time tithe or even set-up a recurring tithe. Use our website or download our App on iTunes or Google Play.


We get it – cold and flu season, midterms, visiting family – sometimes you just can’t be at church on Sunday. Don’t worry, all of our sermon series are available on our website and iTunes so if you miss a week you don’t have to miss out.

One Of The Reasons Our Church Values Membership

October 7, 2016 Josh Howeth Branch Notes, General

Our faith community values membership. Not because we are trying to create a special club but because we think what the New Testament describes and commands God’s people, the church, to be and do can only be accomplished in our culture with some form of declared commitment. How can we encourage each other, love one another, carry each other’s burdens, pray for one another, do life together in a way that reflects the image of Jesus if church is merely a Sunday event that we attend?

Membership is a very meaningful thing to us because it is a declaration to others that we are committing our lives to them. We are saying in becoming a member that we care about other people’s growth in Christ-likeness and not just our own. We are saying that I choose to do life with you for the glory of Jesus. We are saying that I want to try and let myself be known by others, and I want to know others as well.

You see, membership is meaningful because it’s about people. We are committing our lives to each other, not to a 501C3 or an organization or a brand. It’s about following the desire of Jesus to not just save individuals for their own personal fulfillment, but to save individuals and gather them into a new community – a family.

We live in a day where commitment is not a value but a wavering individual choice that changes under the slightest transitions. When we experience other’s commitment to us, and they experience our’s to them, it is a beautiful picture to the world of how worthy and unifying Jesus is. The world will know Whose we are, by our love for one another. It’s just hard to love one another though, if we don’t do life with one another.

So it has been my prayer from the beginning that no matter who you are, I want to encourage you to become a member of a church somewhere. I hope it is a church that seeks to faithfully preach and embody the gospel and there are many incredible churches in our beautiful city that do that. So join in somewhere. But don’t see your commitment as a commitment to a worship service, or a brand, but to people.

If you’d like to take a step of exploring becoming a member of The Branch please RSVP to attend our quarterly Branch Brunch. This is a time where we share a meal, discuss our church’s story and the reason we exist, and what we are laboring to see God accomplish through our faith community. This brunch coming up at the end of this month, October 30th. (And did I mention that it’s only once a quarter?) It starts at 10:30am at my house. Don’t worry I’m not cooking, but someone who is amazing at cooking is (she’s pretty pretty and we share the same last name.)

 

Other News:

We will be celebrating The Branch’s 4th birthday with a 3rd Meal on this Sunday, October 9th! Our theme is 4 Years 4 Ingredients. Bring something yummy that is made with only four ingredients to share while we celebrate being a church family. Contact Jesse Parker for more information.

Community groups gather together weekly to get to know one another, pray, study the bible and live life together. It’s never too late to join a group so if you didn’t attend one earlier this week you can still do that! You can find a list of weekly meeting locations and times on our website or on the Community Group Map at the back of the church.


In addition to our Sunday offering baskets, The Branch offers safe and secure online giving. Use this tool to give to international missions, support one of our interns, give your one-time tithe or even set-up a recurring tithe. Use our website or download our App on iTunes or Google Play.


Did you miss it? All of our sermon series are available on our website and iTunes. Head on over to listen again or to catch up on what you missed.

Refuge Groups

September 30, 2016 Stephen Brucker General

Are you in a season of particular hardship? Are you struggling with addictions, anxiety, depression, grief, or just feeling stuck? If so, refuge is for you. These gender specific groups cater to people who feel stuck, and need help. Each week (Monday Night at 8 pm at Grant Ave. Baptist Church), trained leaders facilitate conversations around a curriculum called the Genesis Process. The goal is to pursue self-discovery, and most importantly, discovery of how God, through the gospel, changes us.

This summer I went through the first 6 weeks of the curriculum with a handful of men. Looking back, I can definitely say that God did some amazing things in my life because of going through the curriculum with those men. If you’re at all interested I highly recommend coming on Monday or contacting me at Stephen@thebranchcorvallis.org for more information.

 

Other News:

If you’re interested in becoming a member of The Branch and have not yet attended our Branch Brunch, make plans to attend on October 30th at 10:00 am. Email Josh Howeth or text him at 541-224-1476 for directions and to RSVP.


Community groups gather together weekly to get to know one another, pray, study the bible and live life together. It’s never too late to join a group so if you didn’t attend one earlier this week you can still do that! You can find a list of weekly meeting locations and times on our website or on the Community Group Map at the back of the church.


We will be celebrating The Branch’s 4th birthday with a 3rd Meal on Sunday, October 9th. Our theme is 4 Years 4 Ingredients. Bring something yummy that is made with only four ingredients to share while we celebrate being a church family!


In addition to our Sunday offering baskets, The Branch offers safe and secure online giving. Use this tool to give to international missions, support one of our interns, give your one-time tithe or even set-up a recurring tithe. Use our website or download our App on iTunes or Google Play.


Did you miss it? All of our sermon series are available on our website and iTunes. Head on over to listen again or to catch up on what you missed.

Jesus Continued: A Series Through the Book of Acts

September 24, 2016 Josh Howeth Branch Notes, General

This Sunday will mark our second gathering in our new location. It will also mark the beginning of the major teaching emphasis of this new year. We will be walking through the book of Acts, and honestly, I couldn’t be more excited.

With our 4th birthday as a church fast approaching, it has been joyous and fun to reflect on all that God has done over the last four years. But, it has also been a joy to look ahead and pray and dream about God continuing to move in our city.

There are a few things we are going to be praying and leading into this year as a church. We will be focusing our attention on leadership development for the purpose of church planting. We will also be focusing on cultivating a culture of evangelism in our church. Thirdly, we want to see significant growth in both our hearts and our actions towards compassion ministry to our city. The creation of Refuge is the first step towards that.

I say all of this, because I sense that the book of Acts will very much cultivate these things in the life of our church as we move through it.

More than anything though, I can’t wait to see how God cultivates a more significant love for Jesus in our hearts this year. Acts is showing us how Jesus is continuing to work, teach, and move in this world through his church.

It’s my hope that you’ll engage with God’s Word this year in community with us, and prayerfully ask Him to seriously transform your life through it. And may he do that for the sake of our faith community and for the benefit, salvation and transformation of our city and every nation.

I love you guys. You make pastoring a joy. Seriously.

See you Sunday at 5 in our new location.

Other News:

NEW LOCATION! We are now meeting at The River Center just off of Western and 35th on the Southwest side of OSU’s campus (4000 SW Western Blvd.)


Join us for a Welcome Back BBQ at our new location (4000 SW Western Blvd.) on Sunday, September 25th at 3:30 pm. It’s been a great summer and we’re excited to have everyone together again.


Refuge Groups start again on Monday, September 26th. If you are interested in learning more about Refuge groups please email Stephen.


Community Groups start next week. Pick a group from the list on our website and send the leader an email to let them know you’re coming. Super Easy. If you have any questions about a particular group feel free to email the leader. If you have questions about Community Groups in general contact Stephen Brucker.


The next 3rd meal will be Sunday, October 9th and to celebrate The Branch’s fourth birthday the theme is 4 Years, 4 Ingredients. Your challenge is to bring a dish that contains only four ingredients to share with everyone.


We need 15-20 people to join our Setup and Welcome teams. If you are interested in helping us out contact Jesse and Kimber Parker.

In Community

September 16, 2016 Stephen Brucker Branch Notes, General

Starting the last week of September, community groups begin. This year we have 8 groups meeting all over the city. Each community group will follow the rhtymn of Community, Bible, and prayer. Though each group might look a bit different, each week will rotate focusing on cultivating community, discussing the Bible/God and pursing the discipline of community led prayer.

There will be more information on the website soon, but we currently have 8 community groups. Please look at the list below and begin praying about joining a group.

Brad and Megan Anderson (young married)
Davey and Anna Walker (College)
Victoria Renard and Julia Campbell (women)
Josh and Liz Howeth
Stephen and Lisa Brucker
Ryan Mansfield and Hannah Valesano (college)
Matt and Jackie Munger

As we transition to a new building and new people begin to attend the Branch, this is a great way to get connected into the life of the church, grow in maturity, and learn more about others in our community. Feel free to connect me at Stephen@thebranchcorvallis.org for more information.

Other Branch News:

NEW LOCATION! Starting this coming Sunday, September 18th the Branch will be changing the location of it’s Sunday Gathering! We are now meeting at The River Center just off of Western and 35th on the Southwest side of OSU’s campus (4000 SW Western Blvd.) So please join us on Sunday, the 18th at 5 pm and bring your friends!


The Branch has signed up to make/assemble 15 welcome baskets for international students. We need 15 families, individuals, and groups of people to make a welcome basket. For more information and gift ideas contact Stephen.


Refuge Groups start again on Monday, September 26th. If you are interested in learning more about Refuge groups please email Stephen.


The next 3rd meal will be Sunday, October 9th and to celebrate The Branch’s fourth birthday the theme is 4 Years, 4 Ingredients. Your challenge is to bring a dish that contains only four ingredients to share with everyone.


We need 15-20 people to join our Setup and Welcome teams. If you are interested in helping us out contact Jesse and Kimber Parker.