Tuesday, June 01, 2010

on the move

The blog is on the move.

I'm going to start writing over here now. Actually, kinda already did. Just forgot to tell anyone. Oh well.

This has been a great blog, chronicling our time in Kentucky and move to North Carolina. A lot of change has happened, much of it captured here. Thanks for walking with us. Hope you continue the journey in the new home.


Thursday, January 14, 2010

a response to haiti

In Epiphany we have learned that awakening calls for action. We've all been shaken awake by the destruction in Haiti this week. I am moved by the rapid, passionate and creative response.

One of my friends, Stevan Sheets, is mobilizing action through thisishaiti.com. I love this guy, and I'm proud of his creative expression of mercy and compassion.

The Love Chapel Hill leadership team has responded as well, issuing the following response to our people through Facebook and Twitter today:

As news reports of devastation continue to roll in from Haiti, the question continues to rise, "How can I help?" The chaos and loss of life is overwhelming, but there are people on the ground there who are able to save lives and provide hope. Love Chapel Hill has teamed up with two organizations that already have people in Port-au-Prince working around the clock. The American Red Cross and World Hope International. You can join in supporting their efforts in three simple ways.

GIVE $10 to The Red Cross: text "HAITI" to 90999 - You'll receive a text to confirm the gift. Reply "YES" and $10 will be added to your next cell phone bill (standard text messaging rates apply).

GIVE any $$ amount to World Hope International by going to their giving page: worldhope.org Your gift will provide water, food and essential supplies for survivors to begin healing and rebuilding their lives.

GIVE $$ on Sunday. This Sunday Morning at Love Chapel Hill all cash given during the offering will be sent to World Hope International for their relief efforts in Haiti.

You can help! First... PRAY! And if you are able, simply choose one of these giving options. If you have any questions about these or other giving options, don't hesitate to email team@lovechapelhill.com or call 919.442.8828

LOVE with the Heart of Jesus!

The Love Chapel Hill Leadership Team

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Today is Epiphany, a day celebrated by the ancient Church to mark the manifestation of who Christ is and what He came to do. It is historically observed on the 12th day after Christmas.

Even though we are a new church that desires to experiment with innovative and creative expressions of our faith, we will always root the future in our past. We are a small part of something Bigger. We want to orient ourselves in this larger Story and remember who we are and who we have been.

So with this in mind, we are exploring a series that flows out this season of Epiphany. Our creative, catchy title will blow you away. It's called... wait for it... wait for it... Epiphany. Crazy, I know.

Here are a few scattered thoughts from the messages so far:
Luke 2:21-40 (Jesus dedicated in the Temple)
-Epiphany means "sudden realization or manifestation of meaning."
-It is not about digging up deeply buried treasures, but about recognizing treasures that are hiding in plain sight.
-It is not about opening up new and far off frontiers, but about opening up our eyes to the truth right at our feet.
-The truth, beauty and goodness of God are begging to be discovered. Look with the wonder and awe and freshness of a child and you will experience Epiphany. Your heart will say, like Simeon in the Temple, "My eyes have seen your salvation, prepared in the sight of your people, a light for revelation..."

Matthew 2:1-18 (The visit of the wise men)
-The only thing worse than the person who has all the answers to every question is the person who will accept no answer to any question.
-Our hearts are ships at sea, sojourner souls on a quest for meaning. We encourage the journey because we have experienced a small glimpse of the destination. We honor the quest because we worship the King that waits at the end of it. We celebrate The Searching because we believe in The Finding. Epiphany is possible.

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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

our first baptism

We celebrated our first baptism this Sunday. It was an incredible experience. We gathered and huddled and slipped on the muddy banks of a cold Morgan Creek. On a 40 degree day in December, we celebrated and participated in the new life of our friend Tony. Two weeks ago Tony asked how he could embrace the new life that is offered through the love and grace of Jesus Christ. He is Jeanine's brother, and right there in the room where he has crashed countless weekends on their couch, Justin walked Tony into the Kingdom.

Tony is a Marine, soon on his way back to Afghanistan. There's this thing he does when he shakes hands--a Marine thing, he says--where instead of the normal grip, hand in hand, he grips higher up on the inside of your forearm, while you're gripping his. The test then, is to see who is the stronger man, who has the strength to wrestle and turn his arm on top. In all of my personal experience, Tony has never lost.

Until Sunday.

As he went beneath the frigid water (yes, even cold for a hard core Marine) he let Someone else win. He surrendered. He submitted. He humbled himself to a stronger man... One strong enough to save.

This is the beauty of baptism. The submission and submersion, an old life buried beneath the water. A new one raised fresh and new. (And really, really cold.)

Watch the video of Tony's baptism here on Justin's blog. And as you watch, remember what it was like when you were baptized. And in your heart, go under with him, reaffirming the work God accomplished in you. Remember what it was like to come up new and alive, soaking wet and drenched in grace.

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

the story so far

It has been an exciting couple of months for us at Love Chapel Hill. We have been humbled by the way God has paved the way for us with His Spirit. Here is an article from reporter Ali Rockett of the Carolina Journalism Network. Thanks Ali, for listening to our story, and for retelling it. And thanks to our friends and fellow pioneers in this experiment in grace.

Read Ali's article here.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

a shared journey

Jesus sat down on a hillside, opened His mouth, and reshaped the world.

Every Sunday over the next several weeks, we are walking through His revolutionary teaching known as The Sermon on the Mount. These words have transformed history. They can do the same thing in our hearts.

So, we are inviting you to join us on a shared journey into the life and teachings of Jesus. Over the next 40 days we will immerse ourselves in His story as told by the good news writer Matthew. We are going small with this thing, reading just one chapter of Matthew a day. And going even smaller with the three chapters that make up the Sermon on the Mount. We will move intentionally slow through this portion, sinking into the words and letting the words sink into us.

Join us on this journey into the words that reshaped the world. And let them reshape you as well. Read along each day here.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

the varsity

This Sunday, October 4, Love Chapel Hill will find our first home in the historic Varsity Theatre on Franklin Street.

The Varsity is a classic. It is a landmark, an icon, a central piece of Franklin Street's cultural landscape. Since we are a church with a heart for Chapel Hill, it is fitting that we make our home at the heart of Chapel Hill. But we want to make it clear to the community that we are not the new owners and we are not turning it into a church building. We love the history and heritage of this place, and want to see it continue to be a vibrant center of creativity and community.

Thank you to all of our friends who have prayed with us for a location. We are humbled by God's goodness in this. We can hardly believe it. I have a whiteboard on my wall (I know that makes me a nerd) where I've brainstormed possible meeting places. One by one, most of our best backups fell through. And at the end of it all, we are left with our first (and most far-fetched) hope.

I've said before that I've dreamed of this since high school or college. But I'm not sure 'dream' is even the right word. As I think back, it's almost more like a memory that I couldn't even understand at the time. Like God was planting a seed back then that He would slowly and patiently cultivate into a dream years and years later. I am sure I would have never thought of this. But somehow, the subtle memory of it is there. So, really what we are walking into is not our dream or vision or idea, but God's genius and goodness and generous kindness. This is the extravagance of His grace, up in lights and splashed across the marquee.

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