Holly Furtick

4 ways to join love week this Saturday!

 

WARNING: You are going to be hearing a lot about love week from me on social media over the next week.  Why?  Because I love LOVEWeek.  I love serving our community with my friends and family.  I love being the hands and feet of Jesus without any ulterior motives.  If you are a part of Elevation (or if you are not but you live in the area), I want you to be a part.  Not just do your part, BE a part.

When we all put our gifts and our passions together we can make a huge difference.  Do you like to do yard work?  Do you like to build?  Do you like senior citizens?  Are you passionate about feeding the needy or helping homeless children?  There is an opportunity for everyone.  Remember, you can go to the LOVEWeek site and search by location, type of event, time of day, and/or family friendly events.

And if you need a little help deciding, over the next week I will be posting opportunities for you to get involved.  Here are the top 4 events you can be involved with this Saturday…

If you like to build, tear down, reconstruct, or paint and  you live in the Cornelius, Charlotte, or Concord area? Habitat for Humanity has events happening at five locations this Saturday that you can sign up for. Come be a part of the first day of a new home build or renovate an office. This is your chance to put God’s love into action to transform lives and add beauty to your community.  Register HERE.

 

Do you like to party? To start up LOVE Week, we’ll be teaming up with Second Harvest Food Bank to have a packing party at the Uptown area warehouse.  Come spend some time with your friends and help supply much needed food to organizations throughout the Charlotte region. To register to help to make sure that food pantries stay stocked throughout the summer and serve those who might otherwise go hungry, click HERE.

 

Calling all green thumbs and parking lot artists! Your passion for gardening and painting in straight lines is needed at the Ada Jenkins Center to freshen it up before Fall. The Ada Jenkins Center is a new LOVE Week partner added with Elevation’s expansion to Lake Norman and we’re more than excited to be transforming this local non-profit inside and out. Have a hand in creating an inviting environment for students as they enter the next school year by registering HERE.

 

Want to give a landscape a new look? Jackson Park is a long-time strategic partner that has new energy to help transition families out of homelessness. Thirty volunteers are still needed for this Saturday’s transformational landscaping event. The lawn needs mowing, weeds have taken over play areas, and mulch needs refreshing. Sign up HERE and come out to create for Jackson Park an environment that matches their passion to help families in crisis and restore lives.

We will also have opportunities for you to serve at each of our campuses after the worship experiences all weekend.  Make sure that you plan to stay for a bit after!  Maybe I will see you out there?

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Love Week

 

 

I’m grateful to lead and be a part of a church where we don’t stop at just HEARING God’s word, we get out there and DO something about it. We believe you’re never more like Jesus than when you’re serving, so later this month we will give our time and talents to spend 9 days serving with 107 organizations in over 900 events.

It is LOVE Week people! One of my favorite weeks of the year. And it is so easy to get involved.

Starting July 26 and running through August 3, every day and through every Elevation location we’ll have the opportunity to do things like build a homeorganize a food pantry, spruce up the walls of a partner non-profit with fresh paintcook or deliver a meal for a homeless neighbor or a cancer patient, spend the day at summer camp with a kid who wouldn’t normally be able to afford it, play bingo with a senior citizen, or be a part of an outdoor landscaping makeover for one of our outreach partners.

Suzanne Spantgos is one of more than 120 volunteers leading the charge to accomplish what from the outside seems next to impossible. Planning and preparations started months ago. Suzanne and her husband George lead a special needs adult eGroup Elijah and I visited this spring. “I’m drawn to caring for others,” she says. “When I gave my life back to Jesus in 2010 at Elevation and saw how involved we are in serving and giving in our community to the things that really matter to me, I knew this was our church.”

Suzanne is organizing and ordering supplies for 169 food events during LOVE Week and coordinating dozens more through our Blakeney location.

You are going to be hearing a lot more about how you can get involved during LOVE Week. The best time to sign up is now because events will fill up fast (no commenting to me at the end of the month about events being full!!)! Sign up now!!

Click over to our outreach blog where you’ll see regular updates and highlighted opportunities as the countdown continues.  Go to the LOVE Week events site and use the filters to find events near you and your interests. Get involved and find out why many of us plan our summer vacations around this opportunity to bombard our cities with LOVE.

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Refugees in our backyard?

Once a month I like to take a few of the women in leadership at our church and visit one of our outreach partners.  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit One7 Academy.  We got to share in their chapel time and serve the girls lunch.

One7 is a ministry to refugee kids living in Charlotte.  Yes we have refugees living in Charlotte.  One7 Academy offers free, private education for 19 very blessed girls from all over the world (you’ve got to check out their profiles on their site).  One7 ministries seeks to minister to many of the international families in crisis in our city.  Of course, they also use the ministry of soccer.  In fact, one of their boy’s teams won the US Club National Championship last year.  But they also have an entire apartment building that offers help and hope to families that many of us don’t even know exist in our city, as well as a weekly discipleship opportunity too.

I had the best time at the academy.  I am so thankful that when I give to Elevation a percentage of my money goes to help kids like this and that our church provides so many opportunities for us to get involved with organizations that are really getting it done in our city.  And, if you are local to Charlotte,  I KNOW the girls at One7 Academy would love to meet you.  They have weekly opportunities for you and your group to get involved.  Contact them through their site.

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Wrapping up Christmas

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Earlier this week I had the opportunity to serve at A Child’s Place. A Child’s Place is an organization in Charlotte that serves homeless children. Did you know that there are over 7,000 identified homeless children in Charlotte? These are children living in hotels, shelters and staying with relatives. A Child’s Place provides many services for these children, one of which is family sponsorship at Christmas time.

I got to wrap some the many gifts given by the generous people of our city. We had such a great time. If you would like to serve with your family or group, here’s where you can find events going on this week and next. Click here to join the movement.

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Turkey Tuesday!

 

Today is Turkey Tuesday at Elevation.  That means that 200+ families in need this season will come to our church and receive a bag of groceries for a Thanksgiving meal for their family because of our partnership with Matthews Help Center.  I love my church.

Last night, I joined forces with 30 women from all of our campuses, all over Charlotte, to put these bags together.  I love getting to meet people while doing something productive at the same time.

When the evening was over and all the bags were packed, we prayed over the bags.  We prayed that the people who received the groceries would sense the love of Christ even if they don’t know him personally.  I am so thankful for the many opportunities that I get to be a part of.

 

If you live in Charlotte and would like to get involved in an outreach opportunity, check out our website for an event that fits you!

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A Ronald McDonald Party

Last night I got so serve alongside some of Elevation’s finest women.  About 30 women and I brought goodies to make welcome baskets for the families being served at Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.  We brought enough stuff to make over 100 baskets!  (and we ate cake pops too!).  Here is some more information about Ronald McDonald House and how you can be a part too…

Ronald McDonald House provides families a safe, comfortable, and supportive environment while their children receive treatment at nearby medical facilities.  They provide the following services and more for families in their care…

  • Ministry and spiritual support
  • Transportation
  • Sibling activities
  • Holiday and birthday celebrations
  • Group support
  • Nightly family meals
  • Daily family-friendly activities

To date, Elevation has given $17,000 to support this organization.

You can support RMH in the following ways…

  • Have your eGroup prepare the nightly meals, monthly table decorations, and/or bake fresh cookies.
  • Put together Family Care Kits like the ones we are putting together today.
  • Donate new toys and books.

If you or your eGroup would like to get involved with this outreach partner, please contact elisacurtis@sbcglobal.net.

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A trip to the Dove’s Nest

Last week, several of the Elevation staff spouses and I (how do you like our hair nets?) served at the Charlotte Rescue Mission’s Dove’s Nest.  The Dove’s Nest is an amazing ministry that provides substance abuse recovery for women and their families at a success rate of 77%!  Their program has several unique features…

  • They are a Christ based ministry
  • They are not a 28 day program, residents stay for 4-5 months
  • They are able to house a woman AND her children while the mother is getting help
  • The women receive counseling from trained professionals

This past summer the Dove’s Nest opened a brand new building, located right in the heart of Charlotte that is amazing.  Their new facility allows them to eventually be able to help 90 women at a time.

We had a great time touring their facility, hanging out with the residents and helping in their kitchen.  If you are local to Charlotte, you can help the Dove’s Nest in the following ways…

  • become a prayer partner
  • help cook or donate meals once a month
  • bring donations such as women’s clothing, shoes, and hygiene items
  • provide services for the women such as art or cooking classes, salon or spa services, even fitness classes

You can click here to see their ongoing and immediate needs.

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Ladies First

Last week we got together with our female staff and staff spouses.  We try to get together a few times a year.  Each time we meet we try to change it up.  We have served together, we have simply gotten to know each other and we have brought in speakers too (this was our last event).

This time we brought in one of my favorite authors, Shaunti Felhahn.  We decided to have everyone who normally attends this event invite someone with them.  We had the best time.  We had ice cream in January.  We talked about the core values of Elevation (The Code).  We collected items for Pregnancy Resource Center AND gave them a check from the generous people of Elevation for $40K!   And we heard from a bestselling author.

Shaunti spoke to us about the inner workings of men and how we can apply what we know about men to working with them and being married to them.  Her content is so good.  I love it because it is not one woman’s opinion for men, it is a woman’s findings after interviewing thousands of men.  If you have never read her book, For Women Only, or For Women Only in the Workplace, you need to get a copy!

Here’s a few pictures from our night…

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Kids serving kids

Right before Christmas we had the opportunity to make boxes for Operation Christmas Child along with a few other Elevation staff children.  I love serving with my kids.  I love teaching them to care about others.  They had such a great time picking out toys for their boxes and then assembling their boxes.

Did you know that this year, Operation Christmas Child expects to hit 100 Million boxes this year?  And, did you know that you don’t have to wait until Christmas time to make a box?  The boxes that we made will be distributed in Panama this March and you can still contribute to the stack (contact outreach@elevationchurch.org for more information).

And don’t forget, you can always visit Elevation Outreach for more information about how you, your family, or your small group can get involved.

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How to stay focused on Jesus during Christmas

We live in such an amazing time in history.  Technology has made it so that we have the greatest preachers and teachers on earth at our fingertips on the internet.  We can read books loaded all in one place on our phone or tablet and we can listen to the radio on demand!

It is important to have as many ways for God to speak to me throughout your day and really your week. And during the Christmas season, when life can be so busy, we must be intentional about this. Going to church is great, it’s essential, but unless I am digging in in between Sundays, I am not going to grow very much in my walk with Christ.  Of course nothing can replace studying God’s Word on your own, but we must make a conscious effort to fill our minds with things that are going to challenge us to grow and keep pur minds focused on Christ during the busy holiday season.

Here are a few ideas…

  • I recently found a great resource from the ministry of Dr. James Dobson, called Family Talk Radio (this is different from Focus on the Family).  They have a great app for the iPhone and Droid (just search Family Talk Radio or Dr. Dobson).  I love it.  I love that I can listen while I am driving or when I am cooking dinner.  The app is super easy to navigate but you can also listen online at Dr.JamesDobson.org.  Today and yesterday, they interviewed Linda Dillow, the author of one of my favorite books, What’s it like to be married to me?  Another great program they did recently was called 10 Habits of Happy Moms (search general parenting).
  • Begin the habit of listening to at least one other preacher in between Sundays (and your own if you missed church that week).  You can watch Elevation sermons at the Elevation Network.  Some of my other favorite preachers are Pastor Craig Groeschel at Lifechurch.tv and Pastor James Mc Donald.
  • Get your mind off yourself and all you have to do by serving a local organization.  This time of the year, there are so many organizations helping people in need.  If you live in Charlotte, there are tons of opportunities at ElevationOutreach.com
  • Listen to worship music.  It is amazing how much music can set a tone in my home or my car.  I have several favorite albums and a few Christmas instrumental albums, but a great cheap way to hear fresh music is through Pandora.  You can download their app or listen online at Pandora.com and create special radio stations with your favorite artists or categories.

 

I hope you will join me this holiday season in choosing to fill your mind with things that will challenge and keep you focused on Jesus this Christmas.  Next week I will share a few ideas of some family traditions that you can incorporate to help your kids focus on the true meaning of Christmas.

 

 

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