Author Archive for Jon Quesenberry

🌳 The Hurricane, Fall Class and Body Life

Dear RCC Church family and friends,

It looks like Hurricane Florence will be missing us. Instead it will be hitting North Carolina with catastrophic wind and rain over the next 48 hours. According to CNN predictions, our area should get 7 MPH winds and an inch of rain on Monday. Even though the storm will miss us, please be in prayer for our sister church in Charleston South Carolina. Mark & Heather George lead Restoration of Charleston. They are expected to get hit with 50 MPH winds and 15-20 inches of rain over the next 24 hours. Please pray for wisdom and protection for our sister congregation.
We will plan to meet on Sunday morning as usual no matter how much rain & wind we get. If the “power” goes out at the church we will still meet! We had practice with this on Sunday last week!
Last Sunday the electric went out at the church during the service, but the power did not! It was great to be involved in a situation where not having lights and sound amplification made very little difference in worship. I felt as though it was a good opportunity to test the depth of our interest in worship and encounter God. For those of you who were not there, the situation was quite unique. The lights went out during the last worship song. Suddenly we were all sitting in a semi-dark room singing with only the sound of two guitars and the drums. Worship continued with just a little hesitation. When worship was over we continued with announcements. Carol brought me a headlamp and we continued the meeting..  some sharing and the sermon.  Overall I felt as though it was an encouraging experience. Some commented that they enjoyed the fact that the power went out. One person said that it made the service more intimate.
Although we don’t plan on doing the service without lights and sound in the future, the experience caused me to think about what would happen if we experienced resistance and/or persecution. Will the church persevere in meeting to worship in times of persecution? In the 10/40 window the church already faces extreme resistance and persecution. What will our resolve be when the weather, the government or social unrest interfere with our ability to meet to worship and meet to encourage one another.  The electric power is back on at the church this week. We will plan to meet next Sunday no matter how much rain we get. In fact, our policy from now on will be that we probably won’t cancel service unless it is impossible to get into the parking lot. This may happen if we get lots of snow.
I am happy to announce that our badly out of date website is about to be updated! Clayton Shumate has agreed to be our new webmaster! Thank you Clayton! Since January, we have been in need of a skilled person to do weekly edits and update our website.
An attractive and up-to-date website is an essential outreach tool. People who are looking for a church use Google. If they find a site that is unattractive, out-of-date or inaccurate they usually do not pursue attending that church. We have a beautiful and powerful website but it has been seriously out of date for nearly 6 months. Over the next 30 days we are hoping to get all of our Home groups, church schedule and class information up to date. This is another way that we will be able to reach out to our community to share our compassion and the love of Jesus!
This past week our new home groups met for the first time. We had people attend each of the groups. The men’s and women’s home groups appear to be the preferred way that people want to meet.
Please take a look at the groups and prayerfully discern which group God is leading you to participate in. In the days to come, home groups will become the backbone of our church life. Please plan on visiting a home group soon! After 3 meetings we will be making a decision about the viability of the groups.

Home Group 1: Daytimers Home Group
Hosts: Arlin & Janet Martin (434-531-5968)
When: Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday @ 1:30pm
Where: Arlin & Janet Martin’s Home (or as arranged)
Who: Men and Women
Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 25th

Home Group 2: Family Home Group
Hosts: Jon & Carol Quesenberry (434-760-0009)
When: Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday @ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s Home (or as decided by group)
Who: Men & Women & children
Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 18th

Home Group 3: Women’s Home Group
Host: Carol Quesenberry (434-760-0009)
When: Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday@ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s home (May change location)
Who: Women
Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 26th

Home Group 4: Men’s Home Group
Host: Jon Quesenberry (434-760-2100)
When: Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday @ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s Home (To start.. may change)
Who: Men
Next Meeting: Tuesday, September 25th

Servants are still needed. Service to others in the body of Christ is true leadership. Contrary to what the world teaches about leadership, leadership in the body of Christ is just simply serving others. Thanks to Danielle, Jean Marie, Kim and Wade for stepping up to help with children’s ministry. We are still desperately in need of an administrative assistant with web page skills, a keyboard player for the worship team and a worship leader intern. The administrative assistant position is a paid position. We need someone who is available for 2-4 hours on Thursday mornings.

We are at a place in the life of our church where forward motion of the vision will require that servant leaders step into the call of God. It is important to remember that obedience to even the smallest call of God is costly. The enemy will do anything he can to keep you from making progress in following the call of God. But there is no comparison to the power and purpose of allowing God to use you to change the world around you when you say yes to His call.

This Sunday we are going to continue to discover the pattern of God regarding obedience. Last week we talked about three obstacles to Obedience: 1. The Consumer Mentality, 2. Information Saturation and finally 3. Undiscovered Sovereignty. All three of these very strong social currents must be fought to even begin to discover what it means to walk in obedience to God. This Sunday, we will review this quickly and then talk about the process that we must engage in to walk in obedience and how that differs from our natural decision making pattern. Obedience to God enables us to live powerfully. Obedience allows us to experience the fullness of Gods power and purpose! This teaching will be foundational in helping us discover a life of power and purpose. If you feel powerless and purposeless, perhaps God is calling you to a deeper level of obedience to His call? Walking in obedience to Jesus is a life of miracles, power and purpose but it is not easy.

The Deeper with God Course begins NEXT Thursday September 20th at 7pm. This class will be held at the Charlottesville House of Prayer at 115 10th St. N.W. This is the second class in the Hearing God’s Voice Series. This class will focus on learning and practicing seven basic disciplines that have enabled believers throughout history to hear and see God clearly. This class will be 8 weeks long and will be held at the House of Prayer (115 10th St. N.W. Charlottesville.) Sign up on the entry table or click HERE to register.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

Small Groups, Fall Class and Sunday Sermon

Dear Church Family and Friends,

I heard that this past Sunday morning was great! I want to thank Bob, Arlin, Titus Keupfer and Jill Hatter for their leadership. Both Titus (the preacher) and Jill (the worship leader) expressed appreciation and stated that the fellowship was sweet and that the congregation was so receptive and encouraging.

Here are a list of the Home Groups for RCC with contact numbers. Please take a look at the groups and prayerfully discern which group God is leading you to participate in. Please be praying about which home group you will plan to attend. I want to encourage everyone at RCC to check out a home group! If the day and time are not suitable for you but you want to attend a group, just contact the leader of the group and let them know. It may be possible to move the location and time to suit your schedule.

Home Group 1: Daytimers Home Group
Hosts: Arlin & Janet Martin (434-531-5968)
When: Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday @ 1:30pm
Where: Arlin & Janet Martin’s Home (or as arranged)
Who: Men and Women
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, September 11th

Home Group 2: Family Home Group
Hosts: Jon & Carol Quesenberry (434-760-0009)
When: Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday @ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s Home (or as decided by group)
Who: Men & Women & children
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, September 18th

Home Group 3: Women’s Home Group
Host: Carol Quesenberry (434-760-0009)
When: Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday@ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s home (May change location)
Who: Women
STARTS: Wednesday, September 12th

Home Group 4: Men’s Home Group
Host: Jon Quesenberry (434-760-2100)
When: Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday @ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s Home (To start.. may change)
Who: Men
STARTS: Tuesday, September 11th

In the days to come, home groups will become the backbone of our church life. Home groups are actually the future of the church. In fact, meeting in home groups was the FIRST structure of the church. “So they continued daily meeting together in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house…And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47) Of course the early church met in large groups too, but there is so much mutual care and encouragement that cannot happen in two hours on a Sunday morning! Home groups are a wealth of spiritual and emotional encouragement! Once you experience a good home group situation, you will truly always want to be a part of one. In a home group you can share your joys and concerns and receive real and compassionate friendship and ministry. The Bible instructs us in 32 separate  “one to another” verses to love and care for one another! Home group is the only way that this can happen! Home groups allow each member of the body of Christ to function in the fullness of their gifts and calling!

Servants are needed. Service to others in the body of Christ is true leadership. Contrary to what the world teaches about leadership, leadership in the body of Christ is just simply serving others. Jesus described His leadership plan: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)  Jesus went on to commission each of us: “… let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” (Luke 22:26) Servant leaders are needed! We need home group leaders, a keyboard player on the worship team, a worship leader intern and finally a couple of children outreach leaders. In order for our congregation to grow, we will need to have a ministry core group to support those who come.

Please be aware that ministry leadership is costly. In fact, obedience to even the smallest call of God is costly. Obedience to the call of God means saying “yes” to the impossible and then walking in power with Jesus. Be aware that living as Jesus did includes resistance from the enemy. Jesus experienced resistance from the enemy – right! He lived powerfully – but not easily! The call of God is not something that we can accomplish on our own strength. We also must be aware that the enemy will test that calling. Remember Jesus was obedient to be baptized and then God LED Him into the wilderness to be tested by the enemy? Remember that Moses was called to tell pharaoh “Let my people go!” and that God hardened pharoah’s heart causing the the elders of Israel pick up stones to kill Moses because they had to make brick without straw!! Obedience in the Kingdom of God comes at a cost. But there is no comparison to the power and purpose of allowing God to use you to change the world around you.

This Sunday we are going to seek the face of God in worship and then we want to open the Word of God to discover the pattern of God regarding obedience. Obedience is the call of God for everyone. Jesus was absolutely clear about this, He said: “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching.” (John 14:24-25a) Obedience is not optional. It is the powerful next step after hearing the call of God. Obedience to God enables us to live powerfully. Obedience allows us to experience the fullness of Gods power and purpose! These are the purposes that we were created for. More on Sunday!

The Deeper with God Course begins NEXT Thursday September 20th at 7pm. This class will be held at the Charlottesville House of Prayer at 115 10th St. N.W. This is the second class in the Hearing God’s Voice Series. Building on the first class we will continue our personal and passionate pursuit of God. Intimate communion with God leads to a powerful life and is basic to the New Covenant. With this as our premise, this class will focus on learning and practicing seven basic disciplines that have enabled believers throughout history to hear and see God clearly. This class will be 8 weeks long and will held in at the House of Prayer. Sign up on the entry table or click HERE to register.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

Home Groups and Plans for this Sunday

Dear Church Family and Friends,

I wanted to let everyone know about Arlin Martin. Arlin Martin fell on Monday afternoon at 5:30pm. He was transported to the hospital by rescue squad. On the way to the hospital the rescue squad noticed that his heart rate got as low as 40 beats per minute. Arlin was in the hospital all day Tuesday but most likely will be going home today. Tests show that his heart beat is irregular at times. The doctors are still unsure how to treat the problem but will continue to do monitoring. Please pray for safety and healing for Arlin. As most of you know, Arlin and Janet Martin are leaders in our congregation and an incredible support to the ministry. Arlin serves on the Financial Advisory Team for our church and as our treasurer. The Martins also host a home group.

This coming Sunday Carol and I will be on vacation with family for the Labor Day weekend. We are really looking forward to spending some refreshing time with family. This Sunday, Titus Kuepfer (a house church planter from Charlottesville) will be bringing the Sunday morning message. Some of you may know Titus from the House of Prayer. Jill Hatter will be leading worship. Jill has been a worship leader for many years. Some of you may know Jill from the Cornerstone Church of Augusta when she led worship there.

This Sunday, we will be announcing the start of 3 new home groups in addition to the continuation of Arlin & Janet’s group. At first we were expecting to start five new small groups and then up until last week we were fairly sure that it would be four. This past week we discovered that all potential home group leaders other than Carol and I have elected not to lead a small group at this time. Sorry for the delay in announcing the groups. As I mentioned at our mid-year family meeting; we are at a crucial time in the life of our church. Ministering people are needed. The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.

Please take a look at the small groups that will begin as early as September 4th:

Home Group 1: Daytimers Home Group
Hosts: Arlin & Janet Martin
When: Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday @ 1:30pm
Where: Arlin & Janet Martin’s Home (or as arranged)
Who: Men and Women
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, September 11th

Home Group 2: Family Home Group
Hosts: Jon & Carol Quesenberry
When: Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday @ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s Home (or as decided by group)
Who: Men & Women & children
STARTS: Tuesday, September 4th

Home Group 3: Women’s Home Group
Host: Carol Quesenberry
When: Every 2nd & 4th Wednesday@ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s home (May change location)
Who: Women
STARTS: Wednesday, September 12th

Home Group 4: Men’s Home Group
Host: Jon Quesenberry
When: Every 2nd & 4th Tuesday @ 7:00pm
Where: Jon & Carol’s Home (To start.. may change)
Who: Men
STARTS: Tuesday, September 11th

Please be praying about which home group you will plan to attend. In the days to come, our home groups will become the backbone of our congregation. There are so many things that cannot happen in 2 hours on a Sunday morning. Our home groups will become a source of spiritual and emotional life. In these groups we will be able to share our joys and concerns. If you have a need, you can share it in your home group. Other believers will be able to gather around you and pray for you.

We also will begin a 12-week discovery focus in our home groups. While the structure and content of each home group will be a little different the goals for our meeting we have will be the same. We will learn how to love each other by encouragement as well as mutual ministry and accountability.

Please write the date time and location of YOUR first home group meeting in your calendar.

Our Deeper with God Course will begin on Thursday September 20th from 7-9pm. This class is the second in the Hearing God’s Voice Series. Building on the first class we will continue our personal and passionate pursuit of God. Intimate communion with God is basic to the New Covenant. With this as our premise, this class will focus on learning and practicing seven basic disciplines that have enabled believers throughout history to hear and see God clearly. This class will be 8 weeks long and will held in at the House of Prayer. Click on this link to register: https://www.charlottesvillehop.com/deeper-with-god-class

See you in home group!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

Seasons in God & Small Group Update

Dear Church Family and Friends,

The Summer is almost over! Next week our children return to school! The seasons are about to change. The days will begin to shorten, the heat will subside and the colors of fall will begin to replace the green leaves on the trees. Some of us (I am included) are looking forward to cooler temperatures and routine of fall. The change of season is a welcome change. Of course there are some die hard summer fans but the change of seasons is necessary. Just like the seasons of the year are necessary there are also seasons in our life with God.

There are seasons of life and seasons in our life in God. During the summer seasons of our life in God we experience extraordinary prosperity and purpose. During these times there is momentum and little effort is needed to move ahead spiritually. We experience a high level of prosperity and peace. During these times we are full of gratitude and worship is easy. There are other times in our lives where it becomes more difficult. During other seasons we experience a change in the spiritual climate. Things that used to be easy may become more difficult. The blessings and purposes of God are still present, but it just seems that we need more encouragement and insight from God to make our way forward. It is also during these periods that great growth and transformation occur.

Jesus described the Christian life using illustrations drawn from nature. He said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener…If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit… every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1,5,2) In this verse and many others we discern that difficulty in our lives is not always caused by the Devil. It appears that God Himself does some pruning, not to destroy us, but so that we will become more mature and fruitful.

During these time of pruning the bible proposes the powerful discipline of perseverance. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4) According to this passage “trials of many kinds” is not an alarming condition calling for spiritual warfare but a season of life that God has designed to bring us into maturity and fruitfulness. Perseverance is defined as, “Continuing to do what God has called you to do until he calls you to do something else.” A sense of success may or may not be included in the process of perseverance. Often it is not.

I believe God is calling us to persevere in the call of God. As we move forward together into a season of deepening relationship with God and reaching out in love to others I believe that success in this process will require perseverance. We sense the calling of God during this season for outreach and mutual care in our home groups. Participation in a home group will be enjoyable but it also will require perseverance.

We also will be offering our “Deeper with God” course which is the next in the series after Hearing God’s Voice. This class will meet every Thursday for eight weeks starting September 13th. The location for this class is C-HOP at 115 10th St. N.W. Charlottesville. Please register for this class using the sign up sheet in the entry area.

At this point in time we are still looking for some basic leadership for our church. We need a keyboard player for the worship team, an administrative assistant, a children’s ministry assistant and a worship leader intern. These are just the basic leadership needs that we require to continue to function as a congregation. Please pray and discern if God is calling you to serve in one of these ways. Experience and skill is optional! God will enable who He calls. He also will provide the time and energy in obedience to His direction.

We will be postponing the announcements of our home groups until next Sunday. The process of equipping and unifying home group leadership is still in process. I apologize for the delay. As someone who has been leading small groups for the past 31 years I have discovered that obtaining unity of purpose and direction among leadership is key to success. At this point, we are still in a the process of working this out. Hopefully we will be able to announce our home groups and leaders next Sunday.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

Family Meeting Report & Vision

Dear Church Family and Friends,

This past Sunday we had our mid-year family meeting. I am grateful for those who were able to attend for this important event in the life of our church. The bottom line from the meeting: It seems that we are truly at a crossroads in the life of our church.

After our carry-in lunch we opened with prayer and I gave a report about the first six months of our new focus at RCC. When I became pastor in January of this year I began to share a vision for doing church called: Presence Based Community. During the past 6 months the focus of our Sunday morning services and classes have been on becoming a body of believers who live in intimate communion with the Spirit of God. The four activities of this vision  are: 1. Maintaining an attitude of yieldedness toward God. 2. Giving our attention to abiding in God by worship and waiting on Him. The result of abiding in God is in a multiplication of the fruits of the Spirit. 3. Partnering with God to manifest His presence by the gifts of the Spirit. This is mutual ministry for the spiritual care and upbuilding of the church. 4. Finally, that as we walk in the plans of God as He directs that we participate in the revelation of His Kingdom -His loving reign on the earth.

During the past 6 months I have been teaching about what it means to be a presence based community. There are specific activities that enable us to draw close to the presence of God. We have been giving time to these activities on Sunday. Being able to hear what God is saying is essential so we offered a course of study that emphasized “abiding” called “Hearing God’s Voice.” We also promoted several prayer group opportunities each week and opened the church on Thursdays to promote participation in prayer. To gauge the interest and the progress in transition to this focus Bob and I have been tabulating the results from feedback forms to measure the response of members.

From the feedback forms it seems that there are concerns about the new direction. It seems that one third of our group is expressing interest in returning to a more traditional church structure. Another third that are passionate about continuing with the new direction. The remaining number of people either did not respond to the survey or do not have a strong opinion. At the family meeting I shared that some people are expressing concerns about the length of worship and waiting time on Sunday morning. These same folks also suggested that we shorten the service overall to make it more seeker sensitive. I shared that a move in this direction is a step away from our new priority on “abiding in Him” by means of worship and prayer. In giving this feedback some good consideration, I believe that perhaps there are some ways that we can make our worship and waiting periods more accessible for those who are not used to meditation and prayer.

From the majority of people there were positive responses about the past 6 months. The Hearing God’s Voice Class seemed to be the high point of the first half of the year for many. Many expressed affirmation for the content of the Sunday messages as well. Many expressed affirmation for the quality of worship and most like our extended worship time. A few expressed gratitude for the time of waiting following the worship. Many people expressed that they were growing in their relationship and intimacy with God as a result of our meetings.

There is a lot of excitement about starting our home groups. It looks like 95% of those who sent in feedback forms are planning on participating in small groups in September.

On Sunday morning, August 19th we will be opening the home group ministry for everyone. At this time, we will announce the leaders for the small groups, where they will be meeting, how often they will be meeting and what the groups will be focusing on. Between now and then I will be meeting or talking with the potential group leaders to find out their details. After August 19th all members will be invited to visit any or all of the groups that they are interested in. It won’t be until later in September or the first of October that you will be asked to settle on ONE group as your primary home group. At the meeting we decided that – for now – we want to give our primary attention to the start of this small groups rather than giving our attention to a lot of other initiatives.

Other plans for the fall include our Deeper with God course starting the 3rd Thursday in September. That class will meet in at the C’ville House of Prayer on 10th St. We also mentioned that we will be working on developing a Family life and and Marriage course as well as a Financial Management course. We may roll out one of both of these classes in the Spring of 2019.

The biggest area of concern seems to be on friendship and connection among members in our fellowship. On the feedback forms this time there were a number of people who said that they don’t have any friends at RCC or that it is difficult to make friends at RCC. It seems that we are a very diverse group and that many people are quite busy with work, family or with friends outside of the church family. I shared that responding to this concern will be our leadership focus for discernment over the next weeks and months. It was suggested that the small group ministry might address this concern. It is true that commitment to a small group where people are able to intimately share their lives with each other is a real source of friendship and encouragement. As we move into the fall it is important that everyone in our church grow in friendship with other members in the body of Christ.

The second commandment is to love one another as we love ourselves. This means that we must give specific attention to reaching out to create loving and interactive friendships within the body of Christ. The truth is that if we (as members of the Body of Christ) are not friends first, we are unable to love one another as Jesus loved us. Walking in parallel existence without the benefit of intimate friendships will most definitely cause our fellowship to fail. To be clear, friendships among members is an essential part of a presence based community. Being present for each other is the glue that holds us together and makes it possible for us to walk in unity.

I would like to encourage everyone in our fellowship to reach out to someone that you don’t know very well. Perhaps ask them to meet you for coffee or invite them to your home for dinner. Friendship is the foundation for fellowship in the body of Christ.

At the end of our meeting Arlin Martin (chair of our financial advisory team) presented our midyear financial report. He shared that the total income from tithes and offerings is significantly short of our projected budget. He also reported that giving was $5,234.00 short of expenditures and that Faith Promise giving is $1510.00 short as well. What this means is that the church is not receiving enough tithes and offerings to meet our financial obligations. In addition, our plans for an expansion in outreach and ministry will not be possible with the current rate of giving. As a church family it is important to be transparent about this reality. There is some good news in the midst of this gloomy report however. Arlin explained that, thankfully, the church has a small surplus that is able to “cover” this shortfall. He explained that if we are to grow as a church or expand in our ministry to the community that we must experience growth in giving for the next six months. He also said that if we continue to experience a shortfall that there is possibility that we will need to close our doors. While it is difficult to hear, transparency is essential in the Body of Christ and knowing what needs exist allow all of us to respond appropriately.

In response to this report, I would like to say that when a church has a transition in leadership or sets a new direction it often experiences a drop in attendance and giving. Gerald Martin used to say: “Anything that is living will grow!” During the past six months we have been in a transition period. We have been giving primary attention to the proposal of building a core group of people who are committed to a presence based lifestyle. Our goal has been to grow in intimate relationship with Jesus by means of worship, prayer and obedience to the scriptures. Some are making the shift, others are having difficulty. I believe that if the direction is spirit led and if we persist in obedience to call of God that a thriving spiritual community will be the result. As we give primary attention to communion with Jesus, building relationships with each other and reaching out, I believe that we will become an stronger spiritual community. This will be a powerful reality for our community. Our goal is not that to have a church service where people can come to be inspired. Our aim is quite different.  Our church will grow if we can keep our eyes on Jesus to partner with Him to become an authentic Christian community!

Barna statistics show that the traditional church is in America is in a state of crisis. One third of people who used to attend church have stopped going. The #1 reason: they feel that the church is no longer a spiritual community but a religious ritual. Christians are looking for biblical Christianity. A community where God is present and active. They are looking for the presence of Jesus in the lives of believers. These communities DO exist all over the world and in the U.S. and they are very successful and transforming to their communities.

On the converse, many are taking the role of consumer when it comes to spirituality. There has been an explosion of superficiality in “seeker sensitive” type churches. While overall church attendance has decreased in America certain mega churches are swelling with people from smaller churches who are in favor of 70 minute consumer oriented services given in presentation format. Participation is optional at these events. Perhaps small churches are jealous of the success of these program based models.There truly is a lot that can be learned from these mega-church programs but the focus of this kind of church clearly is not on building a Spiritual Community described in the Bible. I know that this statement sounds harsh, but a review of the scriptures reveal that the Early church was a spiritually empowered deeply committed fellowship of believers devoted to seeking God in worship, prayer and active in ministry to one another. The focus of the consumer church is different

At the meeting I stated that we would continue to maintain our focus on building spiritual community. I believe that the focus of our Sunday morning services and our home group ministry will encourage interaction with God, each other and outreach to our community. I believe that at the completion of this transition period that we will find ourselves encouraged and in a position to make an impact in our community. Pre-believers are looking for authentic Christians and true spiritual community. They are attracted to real faith, passion for Jesus, the fruits of the spirit as well as the manifestation of the Spirits presence in the midst of His people.

As we continue in our pilgrimage as a presence based community we will continue to encounter God and then by the Spirits power become more and more engaged in spiritual ministry to one another as well as those in the community. That is how a presence based community functions. With this in mind, things may not get better right away because it takes time to for people to transition from being a consumer to being a participant. It takes time for people to shift their expectations of ministry coming primarily from the pastor, to the ministry that God has for them. It is my hope that more and more people who are interested in encounter with God will come in to fellowship with us. The key to this, in my mind is that they can see that we are walking in unity in what God has called us to be. This will be attractive for the community.

On Sunday, we gathered around Craig and Katy Bennett in support of the call of God on their lives to ministry in Waynesboro. God has given Katy a primary ministry at LOVE, INC. in Waynesboro. Both Craig and Katy are feeling called to put down roots in their hometown and connect in fellowship with a local church there! We are so glad that we were given an opportunity to gather around them and bless them! RCC is not just a landing strip it is a launching pad. Even though Craig and Katy will be missed greatly, we bless the call of God. The door is open so we know that we will see them on occasion!

On Sunday at 2:00pm everyone is invited to gather with hundreds of other area believers to walk and pray in the streets of Charlottesville. THIS IS NOT A PROTEST! The state of emergency that has been declared is designed to protect those who will be gathering peacefully. (That is us!) We are excited that Charlottesville is so committed to protecting those who want to gather in peace to pray. Please check out the webpage for this event: https://www.charlottesvilleprayercoalition.com/ Everything that you want to know about the event is on that page from how to prepare for the event to where to park to start the Prayer Walk. Please prepare for walking in hot weather. It is supposed to be 89 decrees and cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. I will need to leave right after the service on Sunday to attend to my responsibilities with the Prayer Walk.

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

Dear Church Family and Friends,

I just got off the phone with Debbie Jones. It looks like Adalynn and Mathias Testa (Debbie and Randy Jones grandchildren) are OK.

Debbie reported on Sunday that both children were having trouble breathing and that they were being taken to the hospital. They were released late on Sunday. The doctor said that they had some type of virus due to a rash that was present.

By late today both children seemed to be nearly back to normal. Adalynn still has a cough but she is getting better.

Thanks for you prayers!

Blessings,

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

Kingdom of God – The Parable of a Loving Father, Luke 15:11-32

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Please bring your completed feedback form with you to church on Sunday!

This coming Sunday we continue our corporate pursuit of God in worship and prayer. Then we will focus on the parable of the Loving Father. Most often this parable about the Kingdom of God is called “The Prodigal Son” but only a portion of the story is about the relationship of a loving father and a wayward son. The last part of the parable is about the relationship of a loving father with jealous son. In any case the focus of the story is not on the son but on the character of the father in the story. From this parable we learn about WHAT the father loves and HOW the father loves. More this Sunday!

God has blessed us in so many ways.  We live in a beautiful and fruitful land. All of us have enough to eat, perhaps too much! Most everyone has a supportive family and good relationships in the church. Even as I am typing this, I am enjoying a weekend family reunion in Laurelville, Pennsylvania surrounded by a wonderful group of extended family.

I would like to encourage you to take some time this week to consider all the blessings that surround your life. It might be an encouraging exercise to write down every blessing that you can think of on a piece of paper. As people abundantly blessed by God it can be easy to assume that the comfort and blessing that we enjoy is due to our good behavior or is a sign of God’s love. Instead of continuous blessing, however, what God has promised something quite different!

Jesus told His disciples: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. Did you know that the Bible promises that you will experience trouble? This is not a Bible promise that we put to memory or even consider to be a promise – but it is! Paul described his situation; “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” 2 Cor. 4:8-11 Paul was a powerful, effective and content believer but he did not enjoy most of the comfort that we do. Most believers don’t understand that abundance is not an expression of God’s love. Believers throughout history have experienced the blessings of God in both plenty and hardship. Paul described his situationl: I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phil 4:12-13

In times of tribulation, believers who have come to rely on abundance as a measure of God’s love may experience disappointment. Comfortable believers often are robbed of the feeling that they need to seek purpose and meaning in God alone. I am convinced that in the days ahead that the church we will need to embrace a deeper humility. We will need to know God truly and find our contentment in His presence.

Enter tribulation. The bible promises that difficult days will come. The promise is also that God will provide more  of his presence and power during this time. It will be a glorious time for the Kingdom of God. Lack of human comfort will lead many to seek out true riches of the presence of God. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said: “store up treasures in heaven.” Jesus said: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6:19

As a presence based community we want to walk in the abundance of the presence of God. We want to experience God in times of difficulty and times of plenty in the same measure We are in the process of shifting our affections and God is helping us to make this shift. Making a list and being thankful to God is the first step.

On Sunday, August 5th we will be having our RCC family midyear meeting and fellowship meal. Please plan to stay after the service on Sunday, August 5th for a fellowship meal and a time of sharing and vision for the remainder of the year and beyond. We also will be looking at the process that our congregation has been over the past 6 months. God is moving in our midst! We are excited about what God has been doing! We also want to continue to partner with Jesus as His church in Crozet to reveal His glory and extend His kingdom here.

Street Ministry Training will be offered at on Tuesday, July 31st and Tuesday, July 7th at 7:00pm at 115 10th St. N.W. (Charlottesville House of Prayer) These Street ministry equipping sessions grew out of street ministry that C-HOP was doing weekly last year. This training is not like any other that you may have been a part of. Teams that used this training last year found that 80% of people approached on the street responded positively and received prayer from the teams ministering to them. If you would like to be equipped to do positive and effective street ministry please plan now to attend one or both of these sessions.

The Charlottesville House of Prayer is inviting everyone to join them for worship and prayer at the next 24 Hour City Wide Burn Service Friday, July 27th @ 7:00pm – Saturday, July 28th at 7:00pm at Connect Church on 2080 Lambs Road, Charlottesville. This church building is located right next to Albemarle High School. Every ODD hour will be an hour of worship and every EVEN hour will be an hour of intercessory Prayer. Every revival in history started in a prayer meeting starting with Acts 2:1-ff. Our hope during this service is to encounter God and partner with Him on the earth to reveal His glory and extend His kingdom!

Our “Church in the House” equipping weekend will occur on Saturday, August 4th, 9:30am – 4:00pm. Lunch will be provided on site. This four session course will include very practical teaching in how to host a life-changing small group in your home. Anyone interested in hosting a group is welcome to come. Please RSVP to this email so that I know how many house church packets to make!

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

Kingdom of God – Parable of the ten maidens, Matt 25:12

Dear Church Family and Friends,

This Sunday we will be collecting the feedback forms that were given out last week. Please bring your completed form with you to church tomorrow!

On Sunday, August 5th we will be having our RCC family midyear meeting and fellowship meal. Please plan to stay after the service on Sunday, August 5th for a fellowship meal and a time of sharing and vision for the remainder of the year and beyond. We also will be looking at the process that our congregation has been over the past 6 months. God is moving in our midst! We are excited about what God has been doing! We also want to continue to partner with Jesus as His church in Crozet to reveal His glory and extend His kingdom here.

The Focus on the Word time this Sunday will be based on the Parable of the Ten Maidens (found in Matt 25:1-12.) This parable is an extremely important parable describing what the Kingdom of God looks like related to days in which we live. Anxiety is the mark of our age, but anxiety is not what God is promoting. There is a spiritual replacement for anxiety and this parable describes how God intends to replace our anxiety with anticipation. Please read Matt 25:1-12 and Luke 12:35-48 (another related parable) if you have a chance before Sunday.

Street Ministry Training will be offered at on Tuesday, July 31st and Tuesday, July 7th at 7:00pm at 115 10th St. N.W. (Charlottesville House of Prayer) These Street ministry equipping sessions grew out of street ministry that C-HOP was doing weekly last year. This training is not like any other that you may have been a part of. Teams that used this training last year found that 80% of people approached on the street responded positively and received prayer from the teams ministering to them. If you would like to be equipped to do positive and effective street ministry please plan now to attend one or both of these sessions.

The Charlottesville House of Prayer is inviting everyone to join them for worship and prayer at the next 24 Hour City Wide Burn Service Friday, July 27th @ 7:00pm – Saturday, July 28th at 7:00pm at Connect Church on 2080 Lambs Road, Charlottesville. This church building is located right next to Albemarle High School. Every ODD hour will be an hour of worship and every EVEN hour will be an hour of intercessory Prayer. Every revival in history started in a prayer meeting starting with Acts 2:1-ff. Our hope during this service is to encounter God and partner with Him on the earth to reveal His glory and extend His kingdom!

Our “Church in the House” equipping weekend will occur on Saturday, August 4th, 9:30am – 4:00pm. Lunch will be provided on site. This four session course will include very practical teaching in how to host a life-changing small group in your home. Anyone interested in hosting a group is welcome to come. Please RSVP to this email so that I know how many house church packets to make!

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

The Kingdom of God: The Word

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Please be in prayer for Josh and Juleigh Steppe. On Monday a large tree fell in their yard crushing both of their cars. Praise God that Josh and Juleigh are fine but it looks as though both cars are totaled! Matt Anderson has been in direct contact with Josh and I will be checking in later today to see if their landlord has been able to clear the tree. We thank God that no one was injured! Stay tuned! On Sunday, Matt or I should be able to give an update on the situation.

This Sunday (June 17th) is Father’s Day! We plan to honor our fathers and gather around each to bless and pray for them. God is Father. This is how He has chosen to reveal Himself in relationship to us! His love for us is bold, and strong. He is direct with us and passionately sacrificial. On Sunday, we want to pray that the heart of the God the Father will be manifest in the heart of each father in our church family.

On Sunday July 1st we are going to have our annual “Church in the Park” at Mint Springs Park followed by a picnic lunch and recreation. (Mint Spring park is located at: 6659 Mint Springs Park Road, Crozet, VA 22932.) We were able to reserve the main shelter down near the water! YAY!! We will plan to have our worship service “unplugged” (acoustic style) starting at 10am. Then we will have our picnic lunch followed by games like cornhole, volleyball and of course swimming and fishing in the lake. The shelter that we have reserved is very comfortable but we need chairs! Please bring folding chairs to sit in as well as food to share with others!

This annual “Church in the Park” event is a wonderful opportunity to invite your friends and neighbors to meet your church family. Feel free to use the cards in the foyer to invite guests to this event!

We have decided not to have our Family meeting at the July 1st “church in the park” event. We want to make this event “guest friendly!” We will postpone our family meeting until Sunday July 22nd after the service. On July 22nd at our family meeting we will celebrate the six month anniversary of our focus to becoming a presence-based community. Between now and then we want to do some self-evaluation. We will be conducting another survey in order to receive feedback and input for going forward. Please contact me directly if you have any helpful suggestions between now and then!

Our Cell Leaders meeting went well last night. It looks like we will be starting (or restarting) 5 or 6 home groups this fall. If you are interested in hosting a small group in your home there is still time to sign up for our “Church in the House” equipping weekend.

Our “Church in the House” equipping weekend will occur on Saturday, August 4th, 9:30am – 4:00pm. Lunch will be provided on site. This four session course will include very practical teaching in how to host a life-changing small group in your home.

Anyone interested in hosting a group is welcome to come. Please RSVP to this email so that I know how many packets to make!

See you Sunday!

Pastor Jon Quesenberry

The Kingdom of God: Eternal Focus

Dear Church Family and Friends,

Please be in prayer for Russ & Cathe Myers and family. Russ’ brother Jerry passed away on Wednesday. Russ brother was 71 years old and died unexpectedly on Wednesday. The family will be scheduling a memorial in Albuquerque, New Mexico later this summer.

This Sunday will be gathering once again to encounter God and to participate in a corporate expression of the greatest commandment. The weekly gathering of the church for the specific purposes of encountering God in prayer and worship is the cornerstone of biblical christianity. The greatest commandment for both Old and New Covenants is “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” Loving God includes listen to Him. Loving God includes giving Him worship and praise. Loving God includes waiting upon Him (abiding and listening) just like we do with family members at family gatherings. This Sunday we will will be gathering to have intimate fellowship with the Lover of our soul – the God of the ages. What a privilege we have to meet face to face in worship with the creator of the universe through the shed blood of Jesus. Encountering God is the primary reason for our gathering because He has promised that whenever 2-3 of us meet in His name, He is there with us! Since He is there with us, our aim is to give our attention to Him.

Matt Anderson will be bringing the message this Sunday. I am looking forward to hearing what Matt has to share. God has been using Matt in ministry locally and in cooperation with kingdom advance in Cuba. He will be sharing testimony and teaching. The focus for the sharing is: The Kingdom of God: An Eternal Perspective based on Mark 13:1-5.

On Sunday July 1st we are planning on having a church picnic and family meeting. We have reserved a shelter at Mint Springs for that day! Let’s talk about plans for that event on Sunday. Should we have a family meeting and a picnic on the same day? Is the weekend on July 1st open for most families? If we have a picnic, we want to make sure that most people can come!

July 1, 2018 is an important landmark in the life of our church. It will be the midway in our fiscal year and the six month anniversary of our focus on becoming a presence based community. The past six months we have been focusing on Hearing God’s voice, authentic worship, growing in prayer and being led by the Spirit of God as a body of believers. Between now and that meeting we want to do some self-evaluation. We will be conducting another survey in order to receive feedback and input for going forward. Please contact me directly if you have any helpful suggestions between now and then!

In preparation for the launch of our small groups (house church fellowships) we will host a Cell Leadership training course. The first meeting for this is THIS THURSDAY June 14th @ 7:00pm. If you are interested in hosting an in-home small group please sign up on the sign-up sheet in the entryway! We will be setting a schedule for the training at this meeting.

See you Sunday!
Pastor Jon Quesenberry