A chance to serve

I just love the way our church reaches out to our community.  12% of every dollar given at Elevation goes right back into one of our outreach partners.  My Leadership Support Team and I have begun to serve once a month at one these partners.  I want to share with you about this organization and how you can help too.

This month we visited Pregnancy Resource Center of Charlotte.  We had such a wonderful time touring their facility and hearing so many stories of women that they have helped.

PRC offers pregnancy test and ultrasounds as well as additional help from simple information to parenting classes and even post abortion classes.  But my favorite thing they told us at PRC is that their main goal is to share Jesus with every woman that comes through their door.  And they take this seriously.  They pray and follow up with every woman, no matter what decision she makes concerning her pregnancy.

When we went, we brought supplies to make baskets for many of the expectant moms that they serve at PRC.  You can help too!  They are always in need of counselors and administrative help.  But for those who do not have quite that much time to commit, they are always in need of new or gently used baby items (they are located just off of Charlottetown Rd near CPCC).  You can drop off supplies, or you can get a group together to go and help them assemble baskets.  PRC even had a small group of middle school girls who came and made scripture cards tot be attached to each basket.

And don’t forget you can pray for PRC.  They are a growing organization that is making an impact in our city.  I am so proud to partner with them.

4 ways, 12 locations to serve this summer with kids

This year, I’ve enjoyed more than ever the opportunity to serve our community with my children.  Elijah and Graham are getting old enough to understand the importance of service, and Abbey’s getting easier to bring along wherever we go.  As we’re now halfway through summer, I wanted to share with you some of our Elevation Outreach team’s best opportunities to serve with your children before they head back to school.


GIVE A GIFT::  When you’re shopping for your child’s school supplies grab extra items for a homeless child served through A Child’s Place.  Lace up some shoes and bring an extra new pair or two to share with our partner Samaritan’s Feet.  This is my current favorite for my boys because they’ve got specific tasks they can complete.  They get to sort, tie, count, and drop shoes in big boxes in a big warehouse where nobody cares how loud they are, and running between tasks is actually encouraged.  Any time of year you can pack a shoebox full of gifts for a child through Operation Christmas Child and Samaritan’s Purse.  This is a favorite of Elevation staff mom Kelly Hubatka for her four girls and Elevation Providence mom Dana Ramsey who says, “My kids (Christian, 8 and Caroline, 13) love helping other children and take ownership of the process.”


FEED SOMEBODY::  One of the easiest ways to relate the importance of service to kids is through food.  They understand that everybody needs to eat.  And they can be a part of feeding somebody in so many ways.  Elevation Blakeney mom Erin Proctor says her two kids (Tamarah, 12 and Ty, 8) get up at 5:30am once a month with no complaints to serve breakfast as a family at Charlotte Rescue Mission.  Proctor says the kids feel empowered to truly serve as they say good morning and bring breakfast plates out to the men’s tables.  At Samaritan House, you and your eGroup can serve and share dinner together with homeless neighbors recovering from surgery.  Our church has scheduled, regular opportunities with these two partners so you won’t have to serve alone – seasoned volunteers will be there with you to show you how everything works.  Next time you’re at the grocery store, you can pick up an extra bag full for Matthews Help Center or Hope Cancer Ministries.  Both these organizations are experiencing a shortage in their food pantries and would really appreciate your help.  The kids can help put the groceries on the shelf at drop off if you have time as you help them understand the importance of sharing.  And everybody loves the smell of freshly baked cookies.  You can whip up your favorites on site to share with patient families at Ronald McDonald House.


CLOTHE SOMEBODY::  When you’re cleaning out your closets for new fall fashions, take your outgrown clothing to our partners at Crisis Assistance Ministry, Project 658, or Camino Community Center.  The operation at Crisis is huge.  Thousands of items of clothing circulate through there every day and kids age five and up are a big help.


SHARE YOUR TIME::  One of the sweetest new opportunities this summer is at Charlotte Family Housing’s Hawthorne Place.  Elevation University campus pastor Larry Brey spent the night there this month with his son Corbin (age 6).  Our service Sunday through Thursday nights once a month allows CFH to save thousands of dollars.  “We’d been there less than an hour and Corbin was already asking when we were coming back,” said Brey.  You arrive at 8:30pm, play with kids getting ready for bed, visit with parents transitioning out of homelessness, and tuck yourself into a private little room with your own bathroom and bunk bed.

You can also go Here to see a few events that we are already doing this summer.  You can sign up and jump in!

You can find out more about any of these outreach opportunities by emailing our outreach team, or follow them on the Elevation Outreach blog.

Code Orange Christmas


Last night we began our Christmas worship experiences.  The first 2 of 30! 

We are calling it Code Orange Christmas.  Code orange means there is a heightened since of urgency.  We are using it to say that God has rescued us in our most desperate need. 

The worship experience was amazing.  I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say, the gospel is presented in a powerful, life changing and creative way.

I hope you will be a bringer not just a consumer this Christmas no matter where you live.  People's hearts are so open to the gospel at Christmas time.  I am praying for each and every person who will be bringing their friends and family members to church over the next several days.

And Elevation, here's the best part… we are releasing more tickets at all of our campuses and worship experiences.  You can get tickets at CodeOrangeChristmas.com.  I will see you there!



CHARLOTTE, North Carolina - This beautiful Thursday morning, as every morning, there were more than 200 people waiting in line for assistance outside the doors of Crisis Assistance Ministry.

At lunchtime, Urban Ministry Center will serve more than 300 hungry people their only meal of the day.

At dinnertime tonight, a working single mother will weep because she doesn't have enough decent food to feed her children.

Hunger is real in the Charlotte area.  You know it.  You want to do something about it.

But you worry the need is so great, that no amount of effort on your part can make any sort of difference at all.  And especially now, as the holidays are approaching, you're wondering – how can I make THIS season different for my family?

Our staff at Elevation has been working to help you make your holiday season more meaningful than ever before.  Our church gives away 12% of everything that comes in back out to serve the underserved in our community.  But to really change this city, it takes more than our money.  Jesus calls us to a life of service.

This week, we are launched a month long outreach initiative called  "30 Days of Thanks"- 72 opportunities for you, your family, your eGroup, or your eTeam to serve the hungry in Charlotte.

Click here for the list of opportunities.  In many cases, we’ll provide the food, and all you have to do is show up and see how God might work through you.

One of my favorites is shopping with the kids for “Turkey Tuesday.”  For less than $40, you can provide a family all the fixings for their Thanksgiving meal.  Together, our goal is to provide 200 meals to families in need through our strategic outreach partner, Matthews Help Center.  It’s a great opportunity to share with your kids about gratitude and God’s provision, and how he calls on us to share with those in need.

You know can't do everything.  You know you must do something.  Not "one day" – but today.  Sign up now, and let me know where YOU will be serving during #30DaysofThanks this month.  I hope to see you there!


Elevation Staff in LOVE Week action

I thought I'd leave you with a quick look at what some of our staff and staff spouses have been up to this week during LOVE Week.


Urban Ministries

The Elevation staff spent the morning touring Urban Ministries, serving breakfast and jumping in on the work.

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Ladies Night Out

Volunteers spent the night pampering the girls at One7, Right Moves For Youth and Safe Journey.  My husband and I stopped by this event last night after our date, it was amazing!

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Hope Haven

Elevation Staff and volunteers spent the morning remodeling and serving breakfast to the residents.

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Piney Grove Elementary School

Elevation Staff spent time reading and donating books to the students at Piney Grove Elementary.

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Youth Homes Inc

Some of the band spouses got together to make Project Hugs Care Kits for moms at Youth Homes Inc

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Bright Blessings

Staff Spouses got together to make gift baskets for children at Bright Blessings.

Love week 

Stop Hunger Now 

Volunteers packaged 20,001 meals that will be shipped to Haiti.

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If you haven't had a chance to get involved yet, there are still many opportunities to serve tomorrow and Sunday (go to LOVEWeekCharlotte.com) AND don't forget to stuff the truck when you come to your campus this weekend.

Matthews Campus- Clothing
Blakeney Campus- Food
Uptown Campus- Books
Providence Campus- School supplies 

Tell me what LOVE Week projects have you done!

There are only 4 more days left in LOVE Week, and many more opportunities still open, it's not too late to get involved. Our goal for the week was to reach 25,000 volunteer hours. And we have already reached over 18,000 hours!!

I'm so proud to be a part of a movement that is making such an impact in our city. And I know you are too!  I want to know what you have been doing.  Leave a comment telling us where you have volunteered this week!

This morning Elijah and Graham volunteered at Bright Beginnings (see below).  They are making birthday packets for homeless children.

Elijah love week   Kids love week

Here's a quick look at some of the projects that have been going on through out the week.

1200547923_dsc_0296 Samaritan's Feet

Our goal for Samaritan’s Feet was 10,000 shoes processed. In one weekend we processed 17,279 pairs of shoes! That is 5 months worth of work for Samaritan's Feet!



Honorology_704 Stuff The Truck 

We contacted our Outreach partners to see what their greatest needs were. Starting with last weekend, at each campus we have been collecting everything from clothing to books for schools. This is a great way that we can provide for our outreach partners in a big way. The trucks will be there this weekend so it's not too late to bring stuff with you!




940705613_img_2922 Christ Our Shepherd

Christ Our Shepherd ministries exists to empower single parents to reach financial and spiritual security by providing quality children's programs, education and life skills in a Christian environment, and provide quality Christian resources and children's programs to the community at large. 




1204175406_dsc_6188 Jackson Park

Jackson Park is an incredible ministry with a vision "to see the families, children and all individuals of Jackson Park, Charlotte and surrounding communities come to know Christ as their Savior and Lord; becoming productive citizens in the community and serving others as a disciple of Christ." Our volunteers spent time cleaning up their facilities this week.




1204155679_dsc_6141 Bright Blessings

Bright Blessings vision is to bring joy, recognition and support to homeless children and families during difficult times.   Volunteers spent time this week putting together birthday gift baskets for kids who otherwise would not be getting anything on their birthday. It was a great way for children to get involved with LOVE Week and volunteer with their parents.




Check out the LOVE Week website to find out how you can still get involved!

And leave a comment to tell me what you have been involved in!

Hope Haven

All week long LOVE Week volunteers have been serving at Hope Haven working to remodel their building. Hope Haven is a foundation of recovery that provides life skills for homeless, chemically dependent adults and families within a supportive residential environment, leading to independence. They offer counseling, vocational training, parenting classes, money management and job placement.

The work started at Hope Haven on Friday night with an overnight student project and has been continuing throughout the week. Yesterday a team of about 70 LOVE Week volunteers spent 2 hours painting, putting furniture together and remodeling. Here's a few pictures of our volunteers hard at work!

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I am so proud of all the work that is going into loving our city! 

Today I want to hear what you have been doing.  There are so many projects going on, I would love to hear what you have been involved in!  If you have participated in LOVE Week leave a comment telling me what you have done.  I can't wait to hear from you!




Extreme Home Makeover, Elevation Style

Over the past few months, community outreach teams from Elevation have been working really hard on a very special project.

Jackson Park and Safe Journey (a program within CIS) are two of Elevation's outreach partners.  Jackson Park exists to help families with children who need financial aid and temporary housing.  Safe Journey is a program to help teen moms graduate high school (I have written about them here). 

Over the past several months Elevation volunteers have been working really hard to remodel several apartments for a couple graduates of the Safe Journey program who needed a place to live.  Then we all came together to present the girls their new homes.

I have never felt so proud of my church, our amazing volunteers, and our generous givers.  Here are a few pictures from the day…


Love Week Book Drive

There are so many great opportunities going on this week.  One more that I am really excited about is our book drive.  We are collecting new and gently used books for Freedom School Partners.   Freedom School Partners is an organization that provides summer and after-school activities for underprivileged children.

Tonight, as a family, we cleaned out our books.  We filled up a whole box and a bag.  I was proud of my children's generosity (although I'm not sure Graham understood because he kept saying "I wanna give this book to Ella.")  We had a great time and I love knowing that our books will go to great use.

You can do it too.  Here are the details…

Freedom School Partners: Book Drive – Matthews & Providence
Collecting books for Freedom School Partners Libraries. Volunteers
Needed: Unlimited

Time: Drop off before or after Worship
Experience normal times
Special Notes: Books should be
appropriate for elementary aged readers.
Point Person: Matthews: Kristi DeMeritte,
Providence: Amy Carr, acarr@elevationchurch.org

We joined the club

Scan0001Yesterday we joined Costco.  We have been members at Sam's Club for the past few years and decided to change it up.

We ate lunch (pizza and sprite) next to a lady who told me her 3 year old twins had never had soda because the sugar would ruin their teeth.  The girls were destroying some vanilla ice cream while she was talking to me.  Hmm… I'm just saying.

Anyway, here's my new card, I love it.