Our series on Culture Making has wrapped up, but what we learned during it should be lived out every day. Steph Shaft writes about what creating culture looks like in our daily lives and how our Vista values plays into it.
With our Next Phase construction underway we thought it would be a great time to give you a deeper dive into a few of the ministry environments that we are most excited to utilize! This month we’ll be taking a look into our new student room.
Our high school students went to Queens, New York City, to serve the residents there and partner with Journey Church Queens. It had an incredible impact on the people there and on our students here. Alec Ramba writes about his experience on the trip!
In June, middle school students traveled up to Arlington for a mission trip, partnering with Mission Arlington. They served in incredible ways, from loving on kids at a VBS to heavy lifting in a warehouse. Chris Lackey shares how the experience impacted both the city and the students themselves.
Preteen Camp is a really unique experience for the counselors in particular. They volunteer a full week to invest in the lives of kids so they can grow deeper in their relationship with Christ. But as a counselor, something always happens – you learn things too. Matt Stephens, first time camp counselor, tells his experience from the week.
At Vista we are committed to being a church that lives out what it means to Love God and Love People both in our city and around the world. One of our longest global partnerships has been with several ministries that work on the northern coast of Honduras. Recently, a team of 17 people from Vista spent time working alongside these partners sharing the love and story of Jesus in various ways.
We believe strongly that serving others is a part of how we worship. Therefore, we contacted the Vista Connections Team to ask about serving. The Connections Coordinator was excited to have us sign up as and offered to meet with us. What we didn’t expect and what was so new to us was to be asked where we felt led to serve, what we felt our spiritual gifts were, and how we thought they could be used best.
This past weekend, Vista Students held the second annual girls' weekend, In[tents] -- a two-day event for 6th through 12th grade girls to build community with one another and learn more about God. We had more than 70 girls attend!!
This week is when we remember and celebrate the cornerstone of our faith - Jesus’s death and resurrection. We remember the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross on Good Friday. We take communion as a way to remember the sacrifice of Jesus, and we also know that communion is intended to be taken by those who have made a decision to follow Jesus. This can cause a bit of an awkward (and confusing!) moment for kids who wonder why they don’t get a mid-service snack like everyone else! So what do you do? How do you explain the purpose of communion to your kid who doesn’t fully understand what it means to follow Jesus yet?
We all want certain things in life for ourselves and for our kids. These wishes tend to become a reality more often than not if we set goals and check on their progress. We make note and give extra time to what we find important.
It was a great weekend at The Way! Overall, 13 churches in the Central Texas area were represented by approximately 700 students as well as college and adult leaders! Sessions were held in the chapel on the UMHB campus. Vista sent 102 students, had 9 host homes, and utilized 22 college leaders. David Marvin was our speaker and spoke on what it means to be a follower of Christ, and Aric Harding led worship.
Technology can be great. There are Bible apps and great information easily accessible. I took college courses online and saved all my written lectures. You can interact with friends and encourage and pray for one another. There are awesome parts about technology. But, like most anything, what can be used for good, can also be used for bad.
There’s no doubt Billy Graham’s preaching had an impact on millions of people. He was known as “America’s Pastor” for the better part of the past century. As the media reflected on Rev. Graham’s life and legacy this week, the focus was mostly on the large crowds of people he attracted and the fact that he was a friend and counselor to many U.S. presidents (both Republican and Democrat). But as a pastor, there are some other things that really stand out to me about his life; things that I want to imitate in my own life and preaching.
One way that Vista seeks to love and care for those who are homeless in our area is by partnering with Family Promise of East Bell County. Family Promise operates in order to “help homeless and low-income families achieve sustainable independence through a community-based response”. Their efforts help to move homeless families from a position of dependency to sustainability.
If you stood outside a church in the Bible-belt after a sermon on serving and asked people if they believed service was important, you would get a resounding “yes”. However, while discipleship isn’t complicated, it is difficult. For some people, connecting to community is difficult. All my fellow introverts say “amen”…from the back of the room. For others, consistently committing time to serving others can be difficult.
I think we would all agree that a home is more than the place where you eat and sleep. Home is a place where you rest, rejuvenate, and grow as a family. Home is a place where you are able to step away from the outside world and be with those you love. Home is a place where you are freely able to celebrate and to mourn. A home is much more than a place to lay your head. It’s a place to belong.
It’s an honor to be here today to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I’m a firm believer that talk can be pretty cheap, but as a pastor, I also happen to believe that, in the beginning, God started talking, started telling the truth, and a whole universe exploded into existence. Trillions of galaxies and only God knows how many stars, flashed into existence because God started talking and telling the truth. So maybe God will use some of these words to create a world with a little more truth.