University Church of Christ 2016

January

UCC started off great this year with the baptism of Sarah Goetsch on January 3rd.

Charlton kicked us off this year with a sermon series called Formed.

David Harrelson, our Youth Minister, is joined by Alan Porter, Stanna Porter, and Art Matthews who lead our a capella worship every Sunday for first service.

Amber Perry and Patrick Leong, our worship ministers, are joined by various UCC Members, as they lead worship every Sunday during 2nd service.

ON SUNDAYS, DAVID, WITH THE HELP OF DAVID AND NOLA FISHER, AND TOM AND GENIA ALLISON. HELP OUR TEENAGERS STUDY FOR THE UPCOMING BIBLE BOWL COMPETITIONS. They also help the teens prepare for a drama sketch that the teens PERFORM during Fabulous 13.

On January 17th, David hosted a Bible Bowl lock-in for the teenagers. Teenagers participating in Bible Bowl are invited to a lock-in where they study for the upcoming Bible Bowl tournaments. They also have fun spending time playing interactive games like Nukem.

On January 20th, Matt Schalk kicked off the school semester with an AFC fun night. This is a night where college students come to the gym, play games, eat food, socialize, and have fun before they begin school.

One week later, AFC had it's first worship night.

Matt started off the Spring semester with a sermon called, Foundations.

Amber, is joined with Zeke Montoya, and various other AFC members, as they lead worship every Wednesday night at AFC.

On January 30th, David hosted a Sweetheart banquet. The Sweetheart Banquet is an intergenerational event where teens serve and interact with mature members of UCC.

David also got some help From his wife, Beth Harrelson, and our Executive Minister, Sonya Harmon.

Aubrey Russell and Peyton Womble both used their beautiful voices to sing songs at the Banquet.

David Harrelson says that, "The more adults interacting with our teens the better their spiritual growth!"

The last Sunday of January the elders prayed over the Community Group leaders. Amy Russell, our Children's Minister, brought the kids in front of the congregation and talked about what the children have been learning for the past month.

The verse for this month was Jeremiah 29:11

Febuary

On February 3rd, Charlton made a guest APPEARANCE at AFC and spoke to our College Students.

On February 13th, UCC hosted over 200 teens for a youth event called Fabulous 13!

Fabulous 13, starts off with a Bible Bowl competition. This competition test the kid's memorization on specific books in the bible.

Senior Bible Bowl team from Las Cruces

After the Bible Bowl competition, the teens were divided into 19 groups that went out and did 19 different service projects in Las Cruces.

These projects include:

  • Passing out water.
  • Working with Alzheimer patients.
  • Animal services.
  • Delivering food.
  • Working at nursing homes.
  • Interacting with children and reading to them.
  • Feeding the homeless.
  • Washing firetrucks.
  • Picking up trash in lots.

After the kids returned from their service projects, they heard a lesson from our guest speaker, Marty Baker.

After Marty Baker spoke, the kids then had a choice to go to two of the several classes that were being taught by the youth ministers.

This was followed by dinner and then a performance by our Youth Drama Group.

The evening ended with Alyssa Newton performing live music. She was later joined by her friend Hannah Kerr. They did an excellent performance.

Alyssa Newton grew up in UCC, she has lead worship for UCC services, retreats, and other events. She has also performed in theater musicals that raised money for the youth group. Alyssa has done so much for UCC, we are very blessed to have her in our family. Alyssa, is currently studying songwriting at Belmont University.

UCC is a very proud supporter of Turning Point. Turning Point is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide women, men and families with the facts and resources to allow them to make an informed decision for their overall health.

Turning Point is overseen by a licensed physician and nursing staff. They offer free pregnancy tests, Peer Counseling, Parenting Class, and much more. All services are confidential.

One of our members, Susie Newton received an award from Turning Point for peer counseling. Susie Newton has been counseling at Turning Point for over 4 years.

On Friday February 26th, Matt took a big group of the college students to Ruidoso for the annual Spring AFC retreat!

THE AFC RETREAT IS A WEEKEND WHERE COLLEGE STUDENTS CAN GET AWAY FROM THE WORLD, MEET NEW PEOPLE, BUILD RELATIONSHIPS, WORSHIP, HAVE FUN, AND FOCUS ON THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

EVERY RETREAT MATT GETS A GUEST SPEAKER. THIS YEAR THE GUEST SPEAKER WAS OUR VERY OWN MEMBER, JOEL NEWTON. HIS DAUGHTER, SHARAYAH NEWTON, ALSO HELPED WITH WORSHIP THAT WEEKEND. (BOY, THE NEWTONS SURE WERE BUSY THIS MONTH.)

THIS MONTH, THE KIDS LEARNED THE STORY OF JESUS CLEARING THE TEMPLE. THE KIDS MADE A VIDEO ACTING OUT THE STORY.

And the verse of the month for the kids was Luke 16:10.

WANT TO GET MORE INVOLVED AT UCC? GET CONNECTED BY JOINING ONE OF OUR COMMUNITY GROUPS. WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS AND HAVE PLENTY OF SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU TO GET INVOLVED IN.

AS ALWAYS YOU CAN CHECKOUT OUR WEBSITE AT CHURCH4THECITY.COM!

March

On Friday April 18th, David took 21 teenagers and 7 adults to San Diego, California for the last Bible Bowl trip of the year.

After competing in the Bible Bowl competition, the group goes and enjoys a nice time at the beach.

On March 25th, UCC had a Good Friday Lament Service called, Cry Out.

Two days later, UCC celebrated the resurrection of Jesus.

EASTER STARTED GREAT WHEN DESTINY CORONA, ONE OF OUR TEENAGERS, WAS BAPTIZED BY DAVID HARRELSON.

IN HIS SERMON, CHARLTON COMPARED PETER’S DENIAL OF JESUS IN JOHN CHAPTER 18 TO OUR OWN FAILURES. HE THEN RELATED JESUS’S RESTORATION OF PETER IN CHAPTER 21 TO THE FORGIVENESS, NEW LIFE AND HOPE WE HAVE RECEIVED.

CHARLTON MENTIONS THAT IF THE BOOK OF JOHN HAD ENDED ON CHAPTER 20, PETER IS LEFT WITH UNCERTAINTY, SHAME, AND FAILURE.

Chapter 21 is there so that you and I can be assured that Jesus restored Peter... that Peter wasn't left in his denial, guilt and shame... but here's the thing. If there were no resurrection, there is no Chapter 21. Peter goes down in history as a failure... a quitter on his teacher, mentor and friend.

CHARLTON POINTED OUT THAT ALL OF US HAVE A “CHAPTER 20” AND “CHAPTER 21” IN OUR OWN LIVES. WE EACH HAVE FAILURE, BUT WE HAVE ALSO RECEIVED FORGIVENESS, NEW LIFE AND HOPE THROUGH JESUS’S RESURRECTION.

You see the resurrection means we all get a chapter 21... That it doesn't end in chapter 20, that your chapter 20 doesn't have the final say... the resurrection does!

AT THIS POINT CHARLTON STANDS UP WITH A SIGN. ON ONE SIDE OF THAT SIGN, IT SHOWED HIS "CHAPTER 20", A STATEMENT OF BROKENNESS, SIN, OR SUFFERING. ON THE OTHER SIDE, IT SHOWED HOW HIS "CHAPTER 21", A CONFESSION ON HOW GOD, THROUGH THE POWER OF THE RESSURECTION, HAS TRANSFORMED THAT PART OF THEIR LIFE.

AFTER THIS 15 DIFFERENT UCC MEMBERS GOT UP ON STAGE AND SHOWED THEIR "CHAPTER 20" AND "CHAPTER 21".

April

On April 6th Leon Hampton was given an award for his service at UCC. Specifically for his 50 + years mentoring and serving college students.

After Leon received his reward, everyone from AFC went up on stage and prayed for Leon Hampton.
For 50 selfless years of dedicated service to the campus ministry at University Church of Christ. The campus at New Mexico State University and countless individual's lives will be forever changed because of your service, your shepherding, and your heart for young people.

On April 8th David took several teenagers on a weekend backpacking trip through little creek.

That next Friday, David took a group of teenagers to the Riverside Youth Rally in Albuquerque.

Backpacking trips and retreats are great opportunists for teens to get away from their routine weeks to reflect and focus on relationships and self-improvements.

Amy Russell, our children's minister, along with members of our UCC community, spent hours decorating our building for a free viewing of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

TWO OF OUR MEMBERS DRESSED UP AS REY AND KYLO REN, TWO OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS FROM THE MOVIE.

FAMILIES WERE ABLE TO TAKE PHOTOS WITH REY AND KYLO AS WELL AS "YOUR FACE HERE" CUTOUTS.

Thank you Amy Russell and everyone else who helped out with this event.

On Sunday April 17th the UCC staff hung a bunch of photos of our members in the foyer.

THE STAFF WANTED TO REMIND OUR MEMBERS THAT UNIVERSITY CHURCH OF CHRIST IS A COMMUNITY BASED CHURCH. OUR CHURCH RUNS AND EXISTS BECAUSE OF THE LOVE, SKILLS, MONEY, AND TIME OUR MEMBERS GIVE TO THE CHURCH.

UCC HAS ROUGHLY 35 PEOPLE WHO VOLUNTEER TO HELP RUN SERVICES ON SUNDAY MORNING AND WEDNESDAY EVENINGS. THIS INCLUDES PEOPLE WHO SING, PLAY INSTRUMENTS, AND RUN AUDIO/VIDEO DURING THESE SERVICES. UCC ALSO HAS TEACHERS, A PRISON MINISTRY, COMMUNITY GROUP LEADERS, COMMUNION PREPARERS, GROUNDSKEEPERS, CLEANERS, MECHANICS, EVENT PLANNERS, AND MANY MORE, WHO GIVE THEIR TIME, MONEY, AND SKILLS TO OUR CHURCH. OUR CHURCH AND MEMBERS ALSO LOVE TO SERVE OTHERS IN VARIOUS WAYS. WE HAVE VARIOUS SERVICE PROJECTS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR THAT HAVE AN IMPACT ON OTHER PEOPLES LIVES. WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL AND BLESSED TO HAVE SO MANY VOLUNTEERS WHO ARE WILLING TO TAKE TIME OUT OF THEIR LIVES TO SERVE OUR CHURCH. THANK YOU ALL FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO! IT NEVER GOES UNAPPRECIATED.

On Saturday April 23rd, Rae Prather and Alissa Bezenek were Baptized in the Rio Grande river.

More then 30 AFC member came out and supported Rae and Alissa. Our college community really shows love and support for others.

On Saturday March 30th the Convoy of Hope came to Las Cruces.

The Convoy of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that has helped over 70 million people throughout the world.

University Church of Christ was one of the 53 churches that partnered with Convoy of Hope while they were here in Las Cruces.

Convoy of Hope brought $1 million worth of services, groceries, and door prizes.

Free Services provided included:

  • Food and drinks.
  • Family portraits.
  • Kid zone full of games and inflatable houses.
  • Health Services
  • Shoes for kids.
  • Washing feet.
  • Breast Cancer Awareness and Information
  • Pregnancy facts and information.
  • Sonograms
  • Haircuts
  • Veterans Services
  • Workforce Deployment
  • Community Service Information

MANY OF OUR UCC MEMBERS GAVE UP THEIR SATURDAY TO VOLUNTEER AT THIS EVENT. WE HAD 30+ VOLUNTEERS JUST FROM THE AFC GROUP ALONE. WAY TO GO TEAM! YOU GET A TWO THUMBS UP FROM OUR CONNECTIONS MINISTER, JEFFREY HEIDENREICH.

May

May Started of great as Philip Chavez was baptized on May 1st.

On Wednesday May 4th, Aggies for Christ had it's last Wednesday Night Service. For some of our AFC members and leaders, this will be their last AFC worship night for the rest of their lives. UCC formed a college ministry in 1966 and for 50+ years that ministry has helped and served thousands and thousands of college students. Over the course of those 50 years we have had hundreds of AFC Christian members move away from Las Cruses and continued to lead and help our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

One of the graduating AFC leaders, Bethany Butchko, had this to say about her experience with AFC and UCC:

The UCC/AFC family became my home for 5 years. This family taught me how to love all and to serve joyfully. When I did those two things consistently my relationship with God got stronger. I will miss my UCC/AFC family but God equipped me through these ministries to serve His Kingdom anywhere.

Here are some stories from former and current AFC/UCC members.

These are only some of the countless stores and spiritual adventurers that take place at UCC. This church is very blessed to have ministries dedicated to kids, teenagers, college students, and adults.

Here is a list of our other College students who graduated:

Chris Brooks, Master of Curriculum & Instruction, NMSU

Ashley Matsko, Master of Business Administration, NMSU

Jarrett Neal, Bachelor of Business Project & Supply Chain Management & Managerial Leadership, NMSU

Lauren Tinley, Bachelor in Communication Disorders, NMSU

Jared Van Natta, Bachelor of Arts & Sciences in Anthropology, NMSU

Julie Wojtko, Masters of History & Public History, NMSU

That same evening, the youth group had their annual "Passing the Baton." This is an event where the graduating Seniors pass a baton to the Juniors. This is a special event that reflects leadership in our youth group and allows the seniors to reflect how they have grown in the youth group.

This has been a tradition since 1991, so a very long tradition. Each year our seniors pass down the batons to the juniors to symbolize the passing down of leadership. Plus, we want to encourage next year's seniors to be active in the youth group. So often, when teens hit their senior year, the youth group seems childish and silly, so many of them cut back on their involvement. We wanted our seniors to see how desperately they are needed. All of our teens look up to the senior class and having them slip away during the summer is always a tremendous set back. It will be a great opportunity for everyone to let our seniors know how much they will be missed. -David Harrelson

Here is a list of our HIGH SCHOOL Seniors:

Kristen Baca, Centennial

Cole Blanchard, Centennial

Dylan Hamilton-Bristol, Centennial

Lakyn Coppedge, Mesilla Valley Christian School

Amber Graves, Oñate

Jerry Gurrola, Centennial

Samantha Harmon, Oñate

Cameron Jones, Centennial

Samantha Martin, Oñate

Ashton Womble, Oñate

On Sunday May 8th, the church celebrated Mother's day with a video slideshow.

On Friday May 13th a group of mothers and their teenage daughters went on a retreat to Ruidoso. This is a great opportunity for mothers to spend time with their daughters away from the rest of the world.

On Sunday May 16th, David Harrelson took our high school seniors and their families to Chili's to thank them for everything they have done for the Youth Group.

The youth group also had three service projects this month. On May 11th, they went to serve food and visited with residents at Arbors of Del Rey. On May 18th, they served pizza and had a worship service at Camp Hope. And on May 25th, they had a kickball game with some local residents, they also served some food and had a devotional service.

June

At UCC we believe that community is a huge part of our journey of faith, that living life together makes life better and makes us better Jesus followers. Since many of our community groups take a break for the summer and to keep our connections going and growing, we’re planning 5 Wednesday night events were calling the Fab Fam 5.

There were two Fab Fam 5 events in June, the first one was a Potluck-Gate in the UCC parking lot. There was plenty of food and games for everyone to enjoy. The second one, Charlton and Marybeth invited everyone over to their house for pancakes.

On Saturday June 12th, David took a group of teenagers to Encounter. Encounter is a camp held at Lubbock Christian University. It's one of the most popular events in the youth group next to Pine Springs. This is what one of the students had to say about Encounter:

Encounter is my favorite event of the year! At Encounter, we spend a week on the LCU campus where our youth group attends classes, worship service, and fellowship with other youth groups. What I love so much about Encounter, is being able to attend classes taught by other youth ministers. Hearing from other biblical leaders has helped me develop my own faith with Christ, I believe it’s a very important part in our spiritual journey. It is also the event that I personally feel like our youth unites together. During this week, we love to run to the front row during all events, we fellowship together, we go to classes together, we eat together, we enjoy together, and we love together. One lesson that stands out to me that I took from Encounter, is that you can have a group of diverse personalities, interests, and characteristics, who still come together to worship and serve our LORD. GOD’s love is so strong that it brings people with complete opposite traits into fellowship and friendship. Encounter is an amazing camp that I hope everyone gets to experience.

On Sunday June 19th, UCC celebrated Father's day with awesome fake mustaches you can wear and Tons of Bacon!

ON SUNDAY JUNE 26TH, DAVID AND A GROUP OF TEENAGERS HEADED UP TO THE PINE SPRING CAMP FOR A FULL WEEK OF FUN AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH. LIKE ENCOUNTER, PINE SPRINGS IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR EVENTS IN THE YOUTH GROUP, SO I THINK IT'S BEST TO HEAR FROM ONE OF THE STUDENTS.

Pine Springs is a week-long spiritual journey that helped me discover who I am. For 7 days we are isolated from the rest of the world where we can focus on our relationship with GOD, as well as build our community with each other. During this week we are split into these groups called families. In these families, we do a lot of activities together, including, competing with other families, creating skits, solving puzzles, and expressing our thoughts among each other. We are challenged during this week to look at our lives and point out what sin we have in our life. We are also challenged to be open about this in our family. These were important steps for my spiritual growth, because it helped me realized that I am not alone in this, that I need other Christians to help me fight the battle, and that I need to be honest about my life. This has helped mold me into the Christian that I am today. I feel like Encounter is more focused on our youth group, Pine Springs is more focused on the individual. One of my favorite memories from Pine Springs was having my feet washed from one of the adults from UCC. Being able to experience that in person gave me a different perspective on Jesus washing his disciples feet. David does such an amazing job running the camp, I don’t know where I would be without him.

David Harrelson has been the Youth Minister for UCC since 1987. That means next year David will be the Youth Minister for 30 years, which will be a huge milestone for David. But on June 27th, 2016 David was unexpectedly hit with another huge milestone. For those of you who don't know, David is colorblind, so the UCC Senior class, with the help of David Russell, surprised David Harrelson with a pair of EnChroma glasses.

David was able to see red, green, and purple for the first time in his life!

I unfortunately was not able to witness this myself, but his wife, Beth Harrelson, was able to. This is what she said about it:

A bunch of us at Pine Springs Summer Camp witnessed one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen, somewhat of a miracle .... Some of our teens bought David some very expensive EnChroma colorblind glasses. As he put them on in our sight, he was sobbing with joy as he saw red, green and purple for the first time. He was in complete awe as he saw the sharpness and vividness of other colors...he kept exclaiming, "Your hair is red; I didn't know that!" "Since when did you have a red beard?!" or "Those colors are so bright!" We then took him on a hike up the mountain, where we taught him what my very favorite color, purple, looked like, aided by our oldest grandchild, Jenya, picking him purple flowers. He was in awe of our beautiful eyes, clothing, hats, you name it! Most of us joined David in crying tears of joy for him. I know I even started to see colors more vividly through David's perspective. I don't think I'll ever take for granted the beauty of color in our world again! Thank you, God, for blessing our teens with their precious giving and compassionate spirit! -Beth Harrelson
I don't think there could have been a better place for David to see color for the first time.
As many of you know, I received a pair of color blind glasses from some of the teens in the youth group and adults. The glasses are not cheap and I deeply appreciate the glasses. It has really impacted my life. I am what they call Deutan color blind. Deutans are people with deuteranomaly, a type of red-green color blindness in which green cone doesn’t detect enough green but is too sensitive to yellows, oranges, and reds. As a result, greens, yellows, oranges, reds and browns may appear too similar, especially in low light. It can be difficult to tell the difference between blues and purples, or pinks and grays. This is the best description I can tell you about the way I see color. I see colors but not the same way as you. As a result of the glasses, I do not want to take them off. I see the colors very vividly, and the differences are sometimes very distracting for me. My initial reaction was very emotional and continues to be as I move around outside. I love flowers, purple, and I am discovering new shades of pink, orange, and of course green and red. Thanks for all that pitched in and helped. -David Harrelson

July

On Sunday July 10th, Sheldon Church and Kendra Sineman were baptized.

July 11th - 13th was UCC's annual Vacation Bible School.

For these Three days, kids traveled to Egypt to see the story of Joseph.

After VBS on Wednesday, the church held a picnic for everyone to come to. The next Wednesday UCC held a worship service for it's 4th Fab Fam 5 event.

On Thursday July 21st, David took a group of teenagers to go backpacking in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. They also did a service project for the church in Driggs Idaho.

First backing trip David went on with his new glasses.

On July 24th, the church had an appreciation party for our former Connections Minister, Jeffrey Heidenreich. Jeffrey decided to pursue a career in education and left his ministry position at the end of July. Jeffrey first came to UCC in 2007 as a Freshman in college. During his college years he attended AFC becoming a leader in the group. Jeffrey lead small groups, ran events, and even started the "Guess who's coming to Dinner?" event in AFC. After graduating from college in 2011, Jeffrey became our Church's Connections Minister in January, 2012. While being our connections minister, Jeffrey helped expand our churches relationship to the city of Las Cruces. tHANK YOU jEFFREY FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE.

On July 31st, my sister-in-law, Brittany Johnson, was Baptized!

August

On Sunday August 14th, our church asked anyone student in the k-12 grade as well as anyone who works in a school system to come up stage to have our staff and elders pray for them.

School started on August 15th for K-12 and on August 17th for College Students.

On Wednesday August 17th, UCC hosted a Food Truck Fiesta. We had several food trucks in the UCC parking lot and a few hundred people show up. Our Worship ministers played some songs and inside the gym people were playing different kinds of sports. This was a great OPPORTUNITY for people to get to know our church.

FRIDAY AUGUST 19TH-20TH DAVID HAD HIS ANNUAL SUMMER DREAMING EVENT. SUMMER DREAMING IS WHEN THE YOUTH GROUP STAYS UP ALL NIGHT DOING VARIOUS ACTIVITIES. DAVID LIKES TO DO THIS AS A LAST SUMMER ACTIVITY BEFORE THE KIDS START GETTING REALLY BUSY WITH SCHOOL. IT'S A LOT OF FUN AND IS A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO BRING YOUR FRIENDS TO.

On Sunday August 21st, Briann Ortiz was Baptized

Soon after that, all of the college students and anyone who works at NMSU or DACC went to the front and had the elders and staff pray over them.

Then after second service we invited the college students next door for a BBQ potluck.

That Wednesday was the first AFC service for the semester.

Sunday August 28th, Kathy Ford Kirk was baptized!

September

On Friday September 10th, the youth group had their father/son event. This is a good chance for the boys in the youth group to spend some time with their father. Some of the teenagers would even invite other father figures from or church.

On Friday September 16th, Matt took a bunch of college students up to Pine Springs for the AFC Fall Retreat.

The guest speaker for this retreat was our own preacher, Charlton.

At the retreat, Bella Salazar was baptized.

Then on Sunday September 18th, Autumn Chavez was Baptized

On Friday September 30th, David takes a bunch of teenagers to the Southern New Mexico State Fair to do their annual puppet show.

October

On Sunday October 2nd, Adriana Peinado and Daniel Montez were baptized.

On October 5th, Brandon Rue was baptized.

On Friday October 14th, David took a bunch of our teenagers up to Pine Springs camp for a youth retreat. Our youth kids were joined by other youth groups from texas and new mexico.

On October 31st, UCC had it's annual fall festival. This event is a family friendly event that has food, drinks, entertainment, and lots of games for kids to win candy.

November

On Saturday November 5th, AFC had a progressive dinner where college students would go to three different homes for a full course meal. The hosting and meals were provided by members of our UCC communities. This is a great opportunity for our Church community to server and build relationships with our college students.

On Sunday December 5th, UCC had it's annual Stone Soup Fundraiser. This is a fundraiser dedicated to the Youth Group's bible bowl trips. UCC members has helped raise money for the Bible Bowler's to travel to Albuquerque, Arizona, and California for many years. While in California, they also take a trip to the beach and go to one of the Amusement parks in the area.

On Sunday November 13th, UCC had 5 baptisms during 2nd service!

ON WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 16TH, THE YOUTH GROUP HAD THEIR ANNUAL BLESSING BALL EVENT. IN THIS EVENT DAVID HAS A VOLLEY BALL AND WHAT THE TEENS DO IS THEY PASS THIS VOLLEY BALL TO SOMEONE IN THE YOUTH GROUP WHO HAS BEEN A BLESSING IN THEIR LIFE. THIS IS A GREAT WAY FOR WAY FOR TEENAGERS TO REFLECT ON THE PEOPLE GOD HAS BLESSED THEM WITH. DAVID HAS BEEN DOING THIS EVENT EVER SINCE HE STARTED WORKING AT UCC IN 1987.

Back in 2001, I went to my very first blessing ball at Roger and Sharon Odom's house. I was in 7th grade and one of the seniors, Richard Odom, was the 2nd person who received the ball. After he signed it, he looked around the room and to my surprise he said he was going to give the ball to me. I honestly don't remember what he said I was a blessing in his life, but it was one of first major act of kindness where I really felt accepted in the Youth Group. Then at my last blessing ball in 2006, I gave the blessing ball to a 6th grader because I wanted to give the same appreciation and joy that Richard gave to me on that day.

ON SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19TH, UCC HANDED OUT OVER 100 BASKETS FULL OF THANKSGIVING FOOD TO FAMILIES IN OUR CITY. THESE BASKETS ARE DONATED BY OUR UCC FAMILY AND FED OVER 600 FAMILIES. THANK YOU UCC FOR YOUR GENEROUSITY!

December

ON DECEMBER 2ND, DAVID HAD HIS ANNUAL MIDDLE SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PARTY. THEY HAVE A WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT EXCHANGE AT THIS PARTY AND DAVID DOES A WORD BLANK STORY WITH THE KIDS.

On December 7th, AFC had it's last Wednesday night service for the year.

On Saturday December 10th, UCC had its Breakfast with Santa event where families are invited to bring their kids to get a free picture with Santa and a free breakfast meal. We had over 100 families show up to this event.

ON DECEMBER 14, DAVID HAD HIS ANNUAL HIGH SCHOOL BANQUET. DAVID FEEDS THE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, SHOWS A PICTURE SLIDESHOW, AND GIVES OUT THE GREEN WEENIE AWARD TO A SOPHOMORE. THIS IS A GREAT TIME OF REFLECTION OF THE YEAR FOR THE KIDS.

ON SUNDAY DECEMBER 18TH, DAVID AND A GROUP OF TEENAGERS WENT TO A FEW NURSING HOMES TO SING CHRISTMAS CAROLS. THEY ENDED THE EVENING BY GOING TO ROBERT AND PAULA JOHNSON'S HOUSE TO EAT SANDWICHES, HOT COCO, AND MAKE S'MORES.

ON SATURDAY DECEMBER 24TH, UCC HAD A CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE CALLED ARRIVAL.

OVER 360 PEOPLE SHOWED UP TO OUR CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE.

2016 Overview

Credits

I'M NOT SUPERMAN, SO HERE ARE SOME CREDITS TO THOSE WHO HELPED ME WITH THIS PROJECT.

EDITORS:

  • Sonya Harmon
  • Jeffrey Heidenreich
  • Patrick Leong

PHOTOGRAPHERS:

  • David Harrelson
  • Charlton Taylor
  • Matt Schalk

About the Author:

JOEL JOHNSON WAS BORN AND RAISED IN LAS CRUCES, NM. HE HAS BEEN ATTENDING UCC HIS ENTIRE LIFE. WHILE GROWING UP IN UCC, JOEL WAS HIGHLY INVOLVED IN THE YOUTH GROUP AND ATTENDED MOST OF THE ACTIVATES. HE ATTENDED COLLEGE AT NMSU AND JOINED TO THE AFC COLLEGE GROUP. IN 2013, JOEL JOINED THE UCC STAFF AS THEIR IT CONSULTANT. HIS JOB IS TO KEEP ALL THE TECHNOLOGY UP AND RUNNING FOR THE REST OF THE UCC STAFF. ASIDE FROM WORKING COMPUTERS, JOEL’S HOBBIES INCLUDE PHOTOGRAPHY, FILMOGRAPHY, VIDEO GAMES, HIKING, AND CAMPING. JOEL HAS BEEN VOLUNTEERING AT UCC FOR 15+ YEARS.

Ending Statement:

THERE’S A LOT THAT EVENTS THAT UNIVERSITY CHURCH OF CHRIST IS A PART OF EVERY YEAR. WE HAVE SOME HUGE EVENTS LIKE YOUTH AND COLLEGE RETREATS, AND VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL. THERE’S ALSO A LOT OF SMALL EVENTS AND VOLUNTEER WORK THAT HAPPENS, THAT MOST PEOPLE DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT.

I created this project because I wanted to show everything that our church does for our members and more importantly, for what we do for our community. To be honest, I doubt I even got everything that goes on at our church. Our church is very community driven, our staff couldn’t accomplish any of this without our members volunteering countless hours for our church. I am very proud to be a part of a church that loves and cares so much for our community.

David Harrelson, thank you for your 30 years of service here at UCC as our youth minister. Thank you for your dedication to our youth and children. I want to personally thank you for everything you taught and challenged me with during my years in the youth group.

Patrick Leong, Amber Perry, and Zeke Montoya, thank you for your weekly service to our church. Thank you for taking your personal time to practice and give us an awesome worship service each Sunday and/or Wednesday. I appreciate it that you all stepped up for our church when we really needed it.

Matt Schalk, thank you for the love and devotion you have for our college students. Thank you for the time and dedication it takes to plan all the college events. I love that you bring new ideas every year to help out our church and college students.

Amy Russell, thank you for all the work you do for our kids. Thank you for setting up and planning Vacation Bible School every year, and for teaching our children every Sunday. I really appreciate how you decorate our building for various events.

Sonya Harmon, thank you for coordinating our church and special events. Thank you for working with our community for using our building. Thank you for your countless volunteer work for our church. I love how much time you put in with our youth group and our children at UCC.

Charlton Taylor, thank you for bringing us our message each week. Thank you for listening to us, thank you for challenging us, thank you for the love and compassion you show us.

UCC Staff, thank you all for always checking up with me, talking with me, and putting up with me.

Elders, thank you for the prayers and love you show everyone at UCC. Thank you for watching over us, thank you for showing your compassion, thank you for being there for everything our church has gone through.

Thank you, to everyone who helps with Sunday and Wednesday services.

Thank you, to everyone who help keeps our building clean and maintained.

Thank you, to all our community group, college, and youth leaders.

Thank you, to all our teachers.

Thank you, to all our nursery volunteers.

Thank you, to who volunteer at our major events.

Thank you, to everyone that does a job at our church, that was not mentioned.

There are no deeds, big or small, that happen at our church that are not appreciated. So thank you everyone for what you do!

Created By
Joel Johnson
Appreciate

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