Monthly Archives: September 2011

ChangePoint: Homecoming, Fall Kickoff & Ministry Fair

Ministry Fair Attracts Many

Last Sunday found me at ChangePoint for a host of activities. For me, the real attraction was their Ministry Fair where ChangePoint’s cavernous lobby was filled with many booths staffed by member volunteers providing detailed information about these ministries. I attended the 11:30 service, ChangePoint’s most-attended, but also found the Fair thronged by many people.

I’m astounded more churches do not use this concept. It’s a highly effective way to expose a large number of people to all of the various ministries a church might offer.[img_assist|nid=158079|title=Ministry Fair Draws Many|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=222]

I talked to several people staffing the various community outreach booths about the valuable services they offer. One ministry offers shelter to the homeless during extreme cold spells, two nights a week at ChangePoint, in coordination with other local churches. ChangePoint’s Warehouse Ministry supplies bare necessities to individuals and families who are suddenly without for one reason or another. These items such as linen, and bathroom supplies, etc., are a Godsend for those suddenly without.

A list of the various ministries represented at the Fair is reproduced at the bottom of this post. [img_assist|nid=158078|title=Pastors Jarrell and Pullins Giving Update|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=350|height=263]

Homecoming Message Effective

The Homecoming Message was given by Teaching Pastor Dan Jarrell, and Lead Pastor Jay Pullins. Together, they reviewed church progress toward goals, challenges ahead, and goals for the new year to a near capacity crowd. Delivered in an informal manner news desk approach, their material offered an articulate and sincere accounting of where ChangePoint is, currently, and where it is going. You can listen to their entire message by clicking HERE. I feel too few churches take the time to honestly articulate for their members, in a public forum, where they are at and where they are going. ChangePoint is not one of them.

ChangePoint has had it’s critics over the years but you cannot deny their broadminded community spirit and effective impact.
Ministry Fair Participants
Artist Community

Dance Connect

FinancialPeace University

EPIC Senior High Ministry

FORGE Junior High Ministry

A.I.R. (Assisting Immigrants & Refugees)

ChangePoint Cold Weather Shelter

Local Outreach Ministry

State & Global Outreach Ministry

ChangePoint NortheastAnchorage Campus


Single & Parenting


New Marrieds (The Rookies)

Growing Young Families Together

Thanksgiving Blessing Project

ChangePoint Health Fair

Sunday Meals Team

Baptism & Communion Team

Worship Team (Vocals & Band)

Production (Graphics, Lights, Sound)


Connection Ministry

Info Kiosk / Greeters

Security Team


Preschool Praise & Play

CPKIDS Children’s Ministry

Path of Life Recovery Ministry


DivorceCare 4 Kids

Boundaries for Children

Coffee 4 Kids

Raising A Modern Day Knight

Boy Scouts

Cub Scouts

Fall Courses & Classes

– The Romans Forum

– The Old Testament

– Leader Lunch Hour

– Prayer: Practicing Presence

– Beth Moore: David – A Heart Like His

Communities & Groups

– Brightside Ministry

– Winsome Widows

– Beth Moore: Believing God

Alaska Correctional Ministries

Christian Motorcyclists Association

Alaska Lay School of Theology This Weekend

One of Alaska’s truly great religion study opportunities is the Alaska Lay School of Theology sponsored by Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology and co-sponsored by the Alaska United Methodist Conference. Each September, notable faculty members from Southern Methodist University (SMU) come to Anchorage to present religious topics of significance. Over two days, participants learn at the feet of excellent Biblical and religion scholars.

My first exposure to this event was several years ago, when I discovered new insights to the parables of Jesus from Alyce McKenzie, SMU’s engaging Levan Professor of Preaching and Worship.

This weekend, Alaskans have an opportunity to participate in this exciting annual event. Two more notables from SMU will be presenting topics of interested to laymen and clergy alike.

Jaime Clark-Soles, SMU Associate Professor of New Testament, will be presenting Matthew: Meaning and Mission. This will be an exploration of first book of the New Testament canon and its meaning/implications for us.

Robin W. Loving, SMU Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics will be presenting Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism. This course is intended as an introduction to the life and thought of Niebuhr, one of the most important theologians of the twentieth century with an emphasis of Niebuhr’s interpretation of American history.

All sessions will be held at United Methodist Church of Chugiak and commence at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 16, adjourning on Saturday, 4:30 p.m. Online information is available by clicking here where you may download a fully descriptive brochure. The cost is extremely reasonable and well worth the price. You may register online for a discount or pay at the door.

Don’t miss this rare local opportunity to broaden your knowledge of scripture and theology.

Friendly Churches Change Lives

During my years of writing this column, I’ve visited a number of unfriendly churches. It’s always sad to discover these churches are so out-of-touch with their guests, and even their own members. This week, I stumbled across a blog post which described a positive first-person account of a church-seeking couple in a new community.

Hopefully an excerpt from this account, reproduced here, will inspire churches and members in our community to truly explore the meaning and results of extending true hospitality to their guests.

“My husband and I unfortunately have been part of several unfriendly churches…! We lived in a wealthy artsy town and raised our children in this striving community nestled between the tall mountains and the perfect beach. My husband was a professor in a private Christian college there – one that had a reputation for excellence. And church fellowship for us consisted mostly of important people striving to impress other important people! Fellow Christians in this snobbish oasis knew their Bibles so perfectly and were quick to judge anyone who didn’t measure up. After many years of trying to be a part of these competitive Christian groups, both my husband and I left depressed, isolated and lonely.

We left it all and moved across the country. It had been such a long time since we had enjoyed real Christian fellowship! Did it still exist? We had never attended a Methodist church before but a few weeks after our move we nervously snuck into a Methodist church down the street from our new home, A young man with a “Greeter” button on his lapel met us at the door with a big smile and a hand shake. When he discovered that we were visitors he suggested that we join a Sunday School class, and before we could answer he grabbed our arm and began pushing us around proudly pointing out one Sunday School class after the other.

On impulse we decided to try the smallest class-the Searchers Class. We were immediately invited into their circle and offered a cup of coffee. Everyone introduced themselves and told us that they take turns giving the lesson each week. It felt good to be in a friendly group, so we decided to give this new Searchers class a try.

We’ve been part of this small Christian group now for six years and it’s so good to be equal with others and belong! We share Scripture and pray for one another in our little circle. The Searchers don’t look too impressive to the outsider. So what do we have now that we missed out on for all of those years in all of those unfriendly churches? For one we all treat each other like family. We eat together once a week and go on mission trips together – cook at the local shelter together, collect money each week for the poor and distribute it. We don’t judge one another and everyone is welcome always.

I can think of so many folks who fell by the wayside while going to the pretentious unfriendly churches we tried to attend in the past! Unfriendly churches and unfriendly pastors are responsible for so many lonely ones never enjoying Christian fellowship, never finding our Lord! A very real tragedy! There will be an accounting!”

Extracted from “Should Churches Be as Friendly as Bars” as found at