2019: A Year In Review
God continues to be at work in and through the lives of our church family. And we wanted to celebrate just some of the vibrant and beautiful things that happened at theHeart in 2019. We hope you enjoy the words and pictures that follow below.
During a three-week campaign in February, theHeart raised a record of $9,512.62 in support of Hope Pregnancy Center, one of our ministry partners. This money was given in addition to the $2,400 we provide annually through our church budget. And it went to fund two full scholarships which are designed to help mothers like Sarah McCollum who turned to Hope during her unplanned pregnancy. READ MORE
In May and again in October theHeart baptized people at the New River. In 2019, we celebrated with 6 people whose lives have been transformed forever in response to identifying with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We also had the honor of dedicating 3 children into the life of our church family.
In 2019, we had the privilege of discipling 14 college students through theInternship. This immersive experience in the vocation of ministry has created the opportunity for young men and women to become a vibrant part of our church family. Deep relationships and meaningful service are just some of the things they have involved themselves in during theInternship. We already have the next group of interns waiting to get started next semester.
First-Ever Youth Retreat
theHeart Youth Group experienced its first-ever retreat over the Memorial Day Weekend. The time spent learning more about how loved people love people allowed 14 middle- and high-schoolers to explore their identities in Christ. They learned a lot. Laughed even more. And they immersed themselves in God's great love. READ MORE
"The Whole Thing"
In his premiere book entitled "The Whole Thing: The Story of the Bible in Six Images," Teaching and Vision Pastor Jason English, explores how the biblical narrative isn't about brokenness, but wholeness.
“This is my limited attempt to teach the story of the entire Bible in a way that is clear, short, simple, fresh, and memorable. I’m not trying to explain everything. I’m trying to explain the whole thing.” —Jason English.
Already groups of readers at theHeart and across the country have studied and discussed Jason's book, exploring the truth of God's great love for us.
The Gift of Hospitality
In 2019 a dedicated group of volunteers spent one Sunday each month preparing and serving a hot meal at Hospitality House. We served a dozen meals during the year and spent around $1,350 on food supplies. READ MORE
If you're interested in helping to lead this group each month, please contact Josh Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Engaging the Heart of the High Country
Heading into 2020 and beyond, we are undertaking a building renovation project. But not in the traditional sense. Instead, of bricks and mortar, we are putting living stones—people who love God but feel disconnected to any church family—back into place. Check out the video below for some inspiration.
Learn about theHeart's vision for 6 specific ways we plan to move forward in the New Year. READ MORE
Love In Action
theHeart continues to move towards God and people by creating, coordinating, and participating in a variety of opportunities to partner with agencies and organizations throughout the High Country:
In partnership with the Hunger and Health Coalition, we collected more than 300 pounds of non-perishable food items that go to High Country families in need.
Spiritual Formation Groups at theHeart provided 3 separate families each with three months of food as part of a county-wide Summer Feeding Program.
Working closely with area social workers, Spiritual Formation Groups and our Youth Group partnered with the public schools to purchase the wish lists of Christmas gifts for 10 local kids.
theHeart supported the annual Back 2 School Festival by collecting and donating hundreds of pencils as part of their Pack the Bus supply drive campaign.
In support of Operation Christmas Child, we packed and collected a record of 197 gift-filled shoeboxes that will go to boys and girls in countries around the world. And we had the opportunity to hear Alex Nsengimana's inspiring story of forgiveness. READ MORE
We are in the preliminary stages of determining how we might serve and support families at theHeart and throughout the High Country who are called to foster care and adoption. Watch for more information coming in 2020.
As part of the Watauga County Compassionate Initiative, Relational Care Pastor Graham Aitken serves on the leadership team that helps determine ways that agencies, care workers, and the faith community can effectively work together to provide a network of substantive programs to serve those in need.
Wherever God Takes Us
This review of 2019 is by no means comprehensive. We recognize and celebrate the many and varied ways our church family loves simple. In big ways. In small ways. Not to mention the unheralded ways that may go completely unnoticed.
Looking back serves as a reminder that the God who got us here will also get us there. We can't wait for what God has planned for us in 2020. #letsdothis
Pray With Us
Please join us in asking God for His discernment and direction heading into the New Year. We're excited about the vision we have moving forward. And yet we want only the plans that will build His kingdom to flourish and those that are of our own making to fall away. We covet your prayers, always.