Tuesday, January 31, 2012

put one foot in front of the other...

I don't think I can even begin to explain what is happening in my heart right now. What I think I can explain is that for the last year, I have simply been following a series of “open doors” in my life. The biggest majority has to do with human trafficking.
I have been saying for months; that when you actually see and understand the heinous issue of human trafficking, some of us are eternally changed. Knowing too much, to ever consider stepping back into the oblivion of not knowing.

For us (me) the heart's discontent is too great.

Over the last year; I have been transformed into a modern day abolitionist.

The past Sunday evening, at our churches Core Community, one of our lead pastors Chris Campbell shared that he will be changing courses in his life and following a call from God.

I don’t fully have all the answers yet, but I believe it has to do with the “least of these”.(Matthew 25) One of the greatest pleasures in my life has been to serve in the ranks of CrossCurrent Ministries and have my mind truly opened to the “least of these”. I am blessed to partner with and shepherd a variety of people who are consumed with the mission of rescue and restoration. Their zeal has spread through this local church like a little bit of leaven in a loaf and over time we have become increasingly broken over the “least of these” who are waiting to be rescued and restored by a mighty Savior using simple people to do atypical things. I find myself surrounded by intentional folks who embrace the principles of true religion by caring for the most vulnerable in society (James 1:27). We are all learning how to act justly and love mercy and walk humbly. (Micah 6:8) We are recognizing the urgency of the times we live in and rather than merely join in on socially hip causes, we are learning to lead with the Gospel and give Jesus center stage as we move in His power to love unconditionally (God and people) and serve the world.
Maybe God recognizes that deep inside I wonder what it would be like to trade in my coach’s cap, clip board and whistle and actually get in the game? Maybe he’s recognized my longing glances as I watch the people who I love actively jumping into the some of the most broken places in order to rescue and restore the “least of these.” (from “About Last Night” Chris Campbell)

I was in great turmoil when the announcement was made. Losing such a great shepard in our faith community. But the turmoil that was created wasn't about him leaving (though that is tough). I am starting to figure out that it has to do with the human trafficking part of the equation in my life.

I don't know where this is all leading. I have been feeling like Moses, been reading and re-reading Exodus 3.  I do know that I will continue to "put one foot in front of the other" and walk through the open doors.

Monday, January 30, 2012

anatomy of setting up a stage design...

I use everything that I am able to find to create the stage design each week. I snag tech carts and items from the school (this week I used the conductors platform). These items get covered with cloth and VOILA!
It may seem silly, but I am very excited. There is a large gray metal cart, that I use frequently to lift things up in stage designs. Well this week, the marvelous Emily Firestone made a custom cover (she calls it a tablecloth. LOL) that I just slip onto the cart now. Woot! Woot! I am doing a happy dance!
I look forward to using it...

You can barely even see in the pictures, but we added a dark blue net material to the design. It looks nice and flow-ie...

First, I have to say that I really like our banners.

Nobody asked; BUT if someone HAD asked, I probably would have asked for matte finish on the banners (note the lights that reflect off of the shiny, slick fronts of the banners).

I also would have staggered the designs. One towards to top, one towards the middle and one towards the bottom.

No biggie, it is something that we are able to work with.

That's what it looked like today; now it's about time to go back for Core Community, After which we will strike the stage set and band equipment. We will load it all up again in the trailer, drive it back to the office and in 7 days, we will do it all over again.

serve the world...

Worship Set 1You Are Good
This is our second week with this song. It is so fun and upbeat. Lyrics (Brian Johnson & Jeremy Riddle, BETHEL MUSIC 2011)
Freedom is Here

Worship Set 2
Here For You (Matt Redman)
Always (Kristian Stanfill)

Message: serve the world...

Worship Set 3
Tear Down the Walls

Two focuses on our “serve the world...” Sunday.
One is our partnership with Windswept Academy. Gearing up for uur third trip to South Dakota
This is what we did last year
Building a fence 

Second, today we are partnering with another local church for a collection of food for a backpack buddy program here locally. This is one of the things I love about our people. A couple times a year, we hand out a list on Sunday morning and have people come back later in the day to drop off donations.
It's cool to see how people respond. We are a medium sized church with a big heart to help others.

Monday, January 23, 2012

love God, love others...

Our current series is "love God, love others, serve the world" We are trying to brand this purpose statement in people's minds. Last week we were focused on "love God"...
An advantage to being mobile, is that you don't feel locked into a stage design once it is set up. Since the stage has to be struck each and every week, you feel more freedom in tweeking the design.
We want to keep the purpose statement in order, and each week bring to the forefront the portion being discussed.
This week we are focused on "love others"...
So that banner was rasied higher.
And I utilize whatever I am able to find to work with.
For example last week and this week, I used the tech carts to lift the banners higher. I also used the containers that the drums are stored in. LOL. Then I have to furiously take everything down so the techs and band are able to reach their carts.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

love others...

Well, our worship and tech team were fired up this morning. We spent Saturday night listening to Russell Fragar (of Hillsong fame). This week we had two worship leaders on stage. Each worship leader sort of has a niche. I categorize them into mostly “current”. “retro” and “vintage”. This week is a some current songs & vintage (hymns). We also had our violinist playing.

Worship Set 1
One Thing

Worship Set 2
You Are Good
Beauty of the Lord
Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow

Message: “love others...”

Worship Set 3
In Christ Alone

How would you define your worship set lists?
This week for the stage design we obviously wanted to highlight the "love others" banner.
All this and more being posted over at the Sunday Set List @ worshipcommunity.com.

are you having a great time serving...

Saturday evening, we were so blessed to have Russell Fragar come and share with our worship(both adult and youth) and tech team. It was such a wonderful evening of food, friends, worship and encouragement.Russell served as Music Pastor for the Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia from 1989-2001, back in the days of "Shout to the Lord" and Darlene Zschech. He now lives in Northern Virginia and is personal friends with one of our worship leaders.
He shared a lot of stories and tips, then answered questions.
Just one of his comments: “if you aren’t having a great time in the praise and worship ministry, you’re doing it wrong”.
There were about 30 of us gathered and we were really glad we went out.
Needless to say, those of us who attended woke up at our normal 5:00 a.m. to get ready for worship set up were fired up. It was such fun to be able to serve and it spread to those who hadn't attended.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Possible thought for Redemption Sunday 5 minute countdown...

Thursday, January 19, 2012

some "free" stuff for worship media...

For those of you who remember...PowerPoint in worship or are just getting started using projected media in worship: we need to remember that there are churches all along the spectrum.
So I have been thinking of in the beginning; of being in transition from hymnals to projections.

Here are just a few great resources for various types of media. Both free and for purchase. If you sign-up for e-mails, some of the paid sites will occasionally send "free" media to use. There is a lot out there that people are willing to share.
We have had amazing results recently with simply asking creators/designers of various videos that are posted on You Tube and Vimeo, if we could use their work in our worship service. They have been very accommodating. Remember to always ask for permission, for it is their work.

Here are just a few basic Graphic and Font Guidelines for media
So from static graphics to loops and videos, there is a plethora of media available to you.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

silent servers...

It takes a lot of people to prepare for the Sunday morning worship experience. There are some who are creating during the week and then there are those who come in at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday to prepare the worship space.
Here are just a few that helped serve for this week. This doesn't included the person who got the ladder, helped me climb the ladder and put up the banners, took it all down and much, much more.
And that is just the beginning.
Thank you for serving!

love God, not kidney stones...

I love our worship leaders! This week was part 2 in our series of “love God, love others, serve the world”... The message today was “love God” and our worship sets really highlighted the message.

Worship Set 1
Our Love is Loud

Worship Set 2
Our God
Revelation Song
Only You
Message: love God...

Worship Set 3

We will be focusing a lot on this series, which is also our purpose statement at XC. Our banners arrived this week. Printed on foam core. Looked really nice.

O.k. Got the love God; but kidney stones? Yup! I have been battling kidney stones for awhile. Got the stage all set up, but then I had to leave because of the stones. (sadness).

This is being posted as part of Sunday Set Lists @ the Worship Community. See what people are singing today across the nation.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

worship wars...

I believe there is an inherent struggle for people to want to remain the same.
The people say: “What “we did” in the day is still current and relevant. “We want new people to come, yet just fit in and become just like us.”
The lines get drawn based on person's preferences.
What I struggle with is I see people pushing the remain in the past; which for us means late 80's and early 90's. It is ironic that these 30-40 somethings are becoming a graying congregation and they don't see it. I read a book in 2002, entitled “2020 Vision”, by Richard Hamm. It was very enlightening. It talks about how congregations are able to appear to be surviving well (a lot of it is based on the tithing habits of the founding members). Then those members start to die off and all of the sudden they realize there is no one left. What has happened was they didn't have a forward thinking vision to stay relevant enough to remain healthy in the future.
I keep saying that is it is God's will to remain stuck in the past (for this body of Christ), then that is what we are supposed to do. But if it is simply based on what “we want” or “we like”, then we've got it wrong. If you are passionate about following God, I believe you have to constantly step out of your comfort zone to pursue the higher ideal of serving God's vision. It all boils down to what God wants.
There is nothing inherently wrong with either traditional or modern worship styles.
If we listen to Him, we will continue to impact the world. But if we don't listen to Him, based on human nature, this “worship style” battle will continue to rage through the Body of Christ.

Friday, January 13, 2012

the video that went around the world (literally)....

So, this is the story of how a vid literally went around to world to finally wind up back home...We have a missionary named Jessica, who is now serving in South Africa. She has been a member of our community for many, many years.
She posted this video on fb a couple of weeks back. I clicked and loved it!
Passed it on to our teaching pastor for that week. He loved it!
Someone on our team got permission for the creators to use the video. They downloaded it and prepped our ProPresenter. Used it that very same Sunday.
This all happened in less than a week.

Later, I went to write a thank you note to Kelly and Niki Tshibaka, the people who created the video;
  and found out they they live here in Northen Virginia!
How about that!

inventory in a truck...

Resolved...to get a handle on what inventory, props, cloth, etc we have (for XC creative arts) and where it is located! Not so easy.First, some of the cloth.
Need to update the newer cloth purchases; schedule a fun, exciting day to roll out, measure, mark and re-roll and document all the cloth. Yippee!
Next, these are the random items that are in a truck at CFC's property.

Then, I need to get the the XC storage facility and document what is there...

we will see what happens...

Starting a new series. love God, love others, serve the world...
(smiling) Due to last minute planning (not on my part), the new logo (our purpose statement) have been created and made into banners and printed.
Didn't have any input. (still smiling)
They were not ready for this set design, so the pastor requested a simple living room set.
So this week it was our standard couch, end table, a light from Ikea and a little cloth.
Since the band was rather large this week, wound up hanging the cloth in the corner, safety pinned it around the school's American flag pole. Seriously.

Last picture: several times since we have been meeting in this middle school auditorium, the electric room divider has gotten stuck partway. makes for an interesting Sunday.
Thankfully I always have some sort of cloth in my car, so we roped off that section. LOL.
So, the banners are supposed to be here this week. I'll be really interested to see what they look like. They were described to me a little. We will see.
Still smiling!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

love God, love others, serve the world...

It has been a while since I have participated in the "Sunday Set List", at TheWorshipCommunity.com. So here goes...
Worship Set 1
Love Came Down
Worship Set 2
There is Nothing Like
I Love Your Presence
Video: "This is Discipling" by Kelly Tshibaka at Foursquare Connection
Message: Love God, Love Others, Serve the World

Worship Set 3
Holding Nothing Back

Nice flow today. We have 4 worship leaders currently serving; one of them being a college student that lead today (home for the holidays).
For those of you who don't know me, I facilitate our creative team, produce, do the stage designs (for a mobile church) and I love worship. Our set was really laid back today since we were focusing on Vision Casting for the coming year.

Friday, January 6, 2012

visioning & WAREHOUSING

Today I posted a pic on fb, of a young, thin man about 6 feet tall, African-American; claiming I found my long lost twin.
Now if you don't know me - I am a 54 year old grandmother of 6, short, fluffy (nice word for chubby) & Caucasian woman.
Recently I was musing that I realize that most people don't understand me or how I think. I am fine with that. Then I met Joshua Hill, my twin. Seriously, it was one of the most fun evenings I have had.
We are both extremely interested in creative stage design & experiential elements for our respective churches. We spent that time talking about our thoughts, ideas, past designs, future dreams...
We got talking about getting other churches together in the area to share stage designs we have created in the past with each other.
Now, that may not seem all that exciting; BUT I have been dreaming and praying about that very idea since about June 2008! I actually had to look the posts up on my blog to see how long I have been praying about it.
The concept is WAREHOUSE’ing actual set/stage designs, sort of where you are finished with a project and you are willing to give/share it with another church.
Sort of a clearing house idea where people could share their ideas of creative elements and possible lend or give props, designs, etc. away to other churches. Particularly there are so many churches that are working with a very small budget.
I can't begin to explain how fired up I am! It was just the shot of adrenaline that I need & that is so God! I always find it interesting how God works, in His time.


I apologize to my (6) followers. I have been going through and editing (actually while searching for a previous post) and decided to publish some older drafts.Then I relized that they were posting today.
Sorry about that.

I have an idea...

Sometimes an idea is simply that, an idea. But, often in creative team, when I say “I have an idea”, what I really mean is I see the ENTIRE creative element piece in my mind.
The SHOUT creative movement piece was one of those full blown ideas.

Well, anyway I have idea for next Christmas. Especially since Christmas actually falls on a Sunday next year.

The idea started at a dinner for the leadership: Campbell asked a question for us to discuss at each table: “which person from the Christmas story do you identify with and why?”
Then he gave a short message was on how important telling "stories" are.
Stories connect us to each other.
Then, the next morning I saw this video from Igniter Media “A Social Network Christmas”

So for next year I was thinking....
Start with the video…

Then creating short vignettes about each person in the story of the birth of Christ. Either live and/or videos.
Work with the pastors as to what each person would be feeling.

Zechariah -
Elizabeth -
Mary - with a photo montage of pictures of a 12 year old girls - when you really think about her being around 12 years old and seeing then seeing 12 year olds - it feels very different. (Thanks to Mark Driscoll for that thought) @20:01-23:51 It is really worth it to see this.
Joseph -
Shepard(s) -
An animal -

Ending with the reading of the STORY of the nativity…
Staging would center around our wonderful stable.

Maybe a take-away…

when does a logo need to evolve?

Starbucks & XC. Time for a logo change?
Here I go, probably going to get myself in trouble again. It’s time to re-evaluate our XC logo.
Starbucks has cause all sorts of ruckus with it's announcement of a new changed logo yesterday.
But I like it, I get it.

I personally have felt it has been time to re-evaluate XC’s logo for awhile now.

Colors need to be updated?
Is text is bang-on?
Font needs to be updated?
Does it reflect who we have become?

There are ways to update it and not change the overall concept.
Let me be clear, here are just my personal thoughts…
Color palette needs to be updated from 1980’s to a more current color palette.
Keep the X and add the C into the graphic. That is what more people are actually calling ourselves now.
Minimize, lighten in color the Minimize, lighten in color the CROSSCURRENT to the size and color of the Ministries. Keep the all caps &  add .org (?)
Point: It is interesting; our old school people still abbreviate our church C.C., while most of the newer people and groups use X.C. See they are actually picking up the X in our logo, it seems to reflect who we are currently.
Please note: I am NOT a graphic artist, so this is just a conceptual picture, not an accurate example.

Changing a logo – pros and cons

Gut Shabbat…

So many things going on in my head. I don’t like it when my mind gets full.
Therefore it is time to stop and think…
Is it time to “cease”? Not only to practice Shabbat, but a sabbatical possibly?
Is it self doubt…

Can one person really make a difference?
How to inspire people who don’t appear to wish to be inspired?
Is my creative originality being hampered by my physical limitations?
What am I doing wrong?
Have I taken on too much?
What would people say about me if I asked them?

And it is such an odd time honestly. Things that I have been talking about, praying about for a very long time...seem to be coming to fruition.
So, I am taking some time to re-focus.
Obviously I need to seek some mentorship.
We will see how this plays out.

wahhh, wahhh, wahhh...

I must say that I am not fond of the anti-church vibe among many "believers" these days. There comes a time in our personal faith journey when we no longer rely on the "church" to provide us a way to serve but; we have to become responsible for our own personal calling from God.
Don't take this to mean you should walk away from church itself. That is the cowards way out. Crying wahhh, wahhh, wahhh... the church doesn't serve my needs and wants. Guess what? It isn't supposed to be about you!
You need the challenge of the body. You need teaching that is true.

Los Whittaker @ Raggamuffin Soul posted #Dear Modern Day Church.

life in 6 words...

Love, love, love spoken words...

Saw this awhile ago...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

new band set up...

The band set up from January 1, 2012.

This pic was taken during a worship set.
What do you think?