A Perpetual Party!

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A Perpetual Party!

This past Sunday at ONEchapel we water baptized 22 people during a night of worship celebration. If you were there then you know what happened. We were swept up in an experience of God’s presence and wonder—an encounter where you’re not sure whether to burst out in exuberant laughter, or fall to the ground weeping with tears of gratitude.

We danced and knelt, prayed and worshiped, listened and shouted like children who were unaware that anyone was watching. A young Catholic man who had been invited by a friend said to me in these exact words, “Whaaaat is this? This is transcendental, man!” His religious context provided no grid for this kind of spiritual awakening.

Watching people come alive from the mortality of their sinful past is an awe-inspiring experience that I want to see more of at ONEchapel. A water baptism service changes every one of us because we witness and participate in the greatest transformation of a human soul—death to life. It is a life-giving, perspective-altering, load-lifting, love-saturating, kingdom-coming, heaven-opening manifestation of God’s grace. What I’m saying is…it messes with you! 

In Luke 15, Jesus tells three stories about lost things being found. He speaks of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son—the prodigal son. In each of these stories, something is lost that is valuable to the person who can’t find it. The items are not lost in terms of ignorance, confusion, or cluelessness—although the prodigal son probably had his moments. They are lost because they are in the wrong place. They should be somewhere that they aren’t. They are not fulfilling their purpose. The lamb is alone, the coin is not being saved or spent, and the son is not in relationship with his father or his family. 

This “lostness” produced a search that used up considerable time, energy, and in the case of the father of the prodigal son, expense. Actually, the father didn’t search as much as wait, pray, agonize, and watch. Still, he expended a great deal of energy.

In each of these stories, when what was lost is finally found, a celebration ensues. They call neighbors, invite friends, and kill calves for a feast. They essentially throw a huge party—a bash, a festive gala of epic proportions! This idea is exceedingly meaningful for who we are as a church.

I think our church should be kind of like a perpetual party! I’m not saying we aren’t serious or reverent about what we do. We need to acknowledge that life is challenging and suffering is real, but we constantly need new lives born into this church family, creating a culture of celebration and joy.

New life breeds celebration, wonder and love. It also brings responsibility, accountability, and maturity because we all have to take care of these new, young lives. The kingdom of God grows as people are born again spiritually and the rest of us grow as a result. Having babies is always a little bit of a struggle. The house stays a little messier and the schedule may revolve around the babies more than others, but there’s always love and joy. 

Let’s pray together that God will use each of us to birth new believers into the family of God. Let’s look forward to more water baptism services where people are being raised to a new life with Christ. And may it always be true of our local church family that somebody is always throwing a party!

 

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What's Springing to Life at ONEchapel

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What's Springing to Life at ONEchapel

Spring Has Sprung, ONEchapel!

Spring means new birth, new growth, and new life everywhere. That includes our spiritual lives and the hearts of people all around us. I want to encourage you to be attentive to the new things God is doing in you and wants to do through you in the coming weeks as we ramp up to Easter Sunday. Check out these great opportunities to connect and serve over the next six weeks!

  • GROW 401 – This Sunday, March 23rd, 5:30pm, at Monterey Oaks. Get connected and join a team. It’s fulfilling, it’s fun, and there’ll be good food! Go here for details!
  • WATER BAPTISM AND NIGHT OF WORSHIP – Sunday, March 30th, 5:30pm at Monterey Oaks. Celebrating new life in Christ and soaking in God’s presence. Sign up for water baptism here!
  • SINGLE LADIES: SHOP AND SWAP – Saturday, April 5th, 7pm at Monterey Oaks. New friends, new duds, and a new way to see yourself. Super fun! Check it out here.
  • CONNECT GROUP LEADER ORIENTATION – Sunday, April 6th, 4pm at Monterey Oaks. Prepare to let God use you to lead a group for our next Connect Group Session. Sign up here!
  • LOVE AUSTIN – Saturday, April 12th, 9am-1pm. Band together to serve our neighborhoods and city in tangible expressions of love. Sign up here!
  • FOUR EASTER SUNDAY SERVICES – Sunday, April 20th, 7:30 / 9:00 / 10:45 / 12:30. Invite friends and family to join us for these impacting services. I’ll be sharing a special message, “No Stone Too Big!” Come early for a Sunrise Breakfast at 7am! More service info at www.onechapel.com.
  • GARAGE SALE FOR ORPHANS – Saturday, April 26th, 7am-2pm at The Ben Garza House. Spring-cleaning can build a home for orphans in Haiti with “Help One Now.” More details coming!
  • CONNECT GROUP SUNDAY – April 27th, at all services. We’re kicking off our second spring session with new Connect Groups for everyone! Check out the current groups at www.onechapel.com

I love what Jesus is doing. Let’s get ready to grow!

Ross

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Putting Down Roots at ONEchapel.

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Putting Down Roots at ONEchapel.

Dear ONEchapel Family and Friends,

God is doing so much in our community of faith! I am hearing great reports about Connect Groups and personal ministry moments where people are learning, growing, and being healed. Two Sundays ago we had an exceptional time of experiencing God’s presence and the feedback that I’m receiving from our extended time of worship and prayer has been glowing. We’ve had our largest attendance numbers since last April and people continue to commit their lives to Christ each and every week! I’m so grateful for so many of you who are engaged every week in serving on Team ONE to make this all possible! Speaking of Team ONE, check out what’s coming up…

ROOTS: A STUDY IN COLOSSIANS – New Message Series

Last Sunday, we started a new series about how we can all be rooted in the life of Christ and grow in our faith together as a community. It’s an amazing study for both new and mature believers alike. I’m praying this prayer for you from the Apostle Paul in Colossians 1:9-14. Check it out and get ready to put down some roots!

UNCEASING PRAYER – Saturday, March 1st, 12am – 11:59pm

Join the ONEchapel family and other churches in Austin to pray over our city. Each church chooses one day—24 hours—each month to pray. We chose the first Saturday of every month in 2014. Sign up for one hour of prayer here, or go to www.onechapel.com and click on “Unceasing Prayer.” You’ll receive prayer points and information about our city and it’s needs. Monterey Oaks will be open for prayer from 9am-9pm. Join me in prayer that takes us out of the realm of what we can do and into the realm of what God can do!

AND SAVE THESE DATES:

DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME – Sunday, March 9th, 2:00am (Spring Forward)

NIGHT OF WORSHIP AND BAPTISM – Sunday, March 30th, 5:30pm

SINGLE LADIES CLOTHES SWAP – Saturday, April 5th, 7pm at Monterey Oaks

CONNECT GROUP LEADER ORIENTATION – Sunday, April 6th, 4pm at Monterey Oaks

EASTER SUNDAY – April 20th with four services (stay tuned for times)

ONE HOPE FOR HAITI GARAGE SALE – Saturday, April 26th, 7am-2pm at the Ben Garza House

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THIS WEEK AT ONECHAPEL

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THIS WEEK AT ONECHAPEL

Hi ONEchapel,

We’re not even two weeks into our Spring 2014 semester of CONNECT GROUPS and I am hearing awesome reports of relationship building and community going on in all kinds of groups. If you haven’t jumped in yet, don’t hesitate to try one out this week, and begin prioritizing these great opportunities for spiritual growth and encouragement. Check out the list of groups here.

You’re invited to the FAMILY STEWARDSHIP MEETING this Sunday, February 9th 5:30pm for a one-hour informational gathering about ONEchapel finances. I will be giving a brief financial update and report from 2013, as well as sharing some insight and vision about where we’re headed in our next season as a church. If you’re interested, join us at Monterey Oaks this Sunday night at 5:30pm. 

We had huge attendance last Sunday at ONEchapel in our three services at MONTEREY OAKS! 9am was packed out, 10:45am was full, and the 12:30pm was very well attended, making it the easiest service to access. This week we will finish up our ultra-practical series on what matters most, “Do This. Not That.” I hope you’ll join us and bring a friend for worship, teaching and great community!

I love this adventure we’re on together,

Ross

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The Move to Monterey Oaks.

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The Move to Monterey Oaks.

ONEchapel Family and Friends,

It was one short year ago that we moved into the Westlake Performing Arts Center as a weekend venue for ONEchapel. It’s our third venue in three years and God has led us, and moved with us wherever we have gathered. He has been so faithful!

Here are a few highlights:

  • 135 people have filled out Connection Cards committing their lives to Christ this year.
  • 69 people chose to be water baptized.
  • 109 Connect Groups were launched through out the year.
  • 310 people attended our 10-week Disciple Circle Training.
  • 158 people became official new members.
  • 140 people joined Team ONE to serve ONEchapel.
  • 45 different family and organizational entities were served through Love Austin. 

With all of this in mind, I am really excited about how God is leading us into 2014.

Last Sunday, I announced that we would be moving to our Monterey Oaks campus for Sunday worship on February 2, 2014 with three services at 9am 10:45am and 12:30pm

The ONEchapel leadership team has been praying in anticipation of 2014 and asking the Lord for His direction. During our first two years we saw God doing incredible things, and the result was a steep growth curve resulting in about 1,100 in Sunday attendance. This past year we’ve seen the growth appear in the depth of relationships and spiritual maturity among our congregation. We grew deeper but not necessarily wider. We’re learning more about leadership, community, and spiritual growth as an authentic mission-minded church, and now we’re focusing our energies on the next season for ONEchapel. Here is the primary reason for our move.

We want to be more strategic in stewarding our finances in 2014. This year we have grown in the number of givers and in more consistent giving. Our finances are strong. However, we want to position ourselves for the future with more savings toward a permanent home for ONEchapel, or to prepare for the potential of starting Sunday morning communities in South Austin or Dripping Springs. We are currently leasing two venues, but we need to let go of one in order to keep moving forward with other priorities, vision, and ministry. We are convinced that this change will enable us to be more strategic with what God has given us.

Remember, buildings don’t carry vision, people do. I’ve been fond of saying “We make secular places sacred.” Whether it’s a movie theater, commercial office building, a school, a cave, or a cathedral—God dwells in us as we worship together and as we go out into the world to share life and light. A building does not make us a church. We are simply a group of people called together by God to influence others. We will keep taking the gospel into different parts of the city, taking risks, and stretching our faith; and we can do that in any kind of facility where God gives us the provision and opportunity.

So, we’re going to pull together as a family and squeeze into Monterey Oaks now, for the sake of what God wants to do in our future. Plus, we get to take coffee into the auditorium! I’m really looking forward to that!

I believe the best is yet to come; and it’s already been pretty good so far!

Loving this adventure with you.

Ross

Monterey Oaks at 9:00, 10:45 and 12:30 this Sunday, February 2nd. 

 

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Goodbye 2013...Hello 2014.

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Goodbye 2013...Hello 2014.

ONEchapel Family and Friends,

What an amazing time we had together on Christmas Eve. It was truly a moving experience celebrating the Savior with family and friends. You gave almost $3,000 toward the “We’ve Got Your Backpack” initiative for Sunset Valley Elementary students, sharing life and light with families in need.

As we wave goodbye to 2013 and look to the New Year, here is what's happening at ONEchapel.

FAMILY SUNDAY on December 29th

This weekend is what we call “Family Sunday” where we invite all the children to join us in the auditorium for worship together. We’ll gear the service toward the whole family with some special elements for kids and a couple of surprises! You don’t want to miss out because it’s going to be crazy fun! As always, we’ll meet at 9:30am and 11:30am at the Westlake PAC.

FIRST WEEK PRAYER AND FASTING on January 5th – January 11th

Start the year off right by putting God first. During the first full week of 2014 we’ll be consecrating our lives to follow Jesus all year long. We’ll be praying for our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers to come to Jesus, as well as fasting food during this time. You may choose to fast a meal, a day or several days, or try a modified eating plan to resist appetites of the flesh and encourage spiritual awareness. Check out this article from Bill Bright who founded Campus Crusade for Christ on How to Prepare for Your Fast.

Schedule for the week of prayer and worship at Monterey Oaks: 

Weekdays at 6am for prayer

Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm for worship

CONNECT GROUP LEADER TRAINING on January 12th

Many of you are ready to lead a Connect Group this next semester. You don’t need a theology degree. You just need to love people and allow God to use you to share himself with others. We have a bunch of great resources for group ideas, so don’t hesitate. Join me for a two-hour training on Sunday, January 12th at 4:30pm at Monterey Oaks. Sign-up here!

WE’VE GOT YOUR BACKPACK INITIATIVE

If you’re interested in joining this team to serve needy kids and families each week by packing backpacks contact kristi.savage@onechapel.com. This is an investment in our partnership with Sunset Valley Elementary and an easy way to share a tangible expression of God’s love with people in need.

I love this adventure! See you Sunday.

Ross

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Sunset Valley Elementary We've got your back-pack initiative

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Sunset Valley Elementary We've got your back-pack initiative

We are supporting the students and families of Sunset Valley Elementary by purchasing backpacks and food for some students who are on the Free or Reduced lunch program. We’ll load these backpacks with food and send them home to ensure students and their families have plenty of food over the holidays.

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THANKFUL FOR YOU

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THANKFUL FOR YOU

Thanksgiving Greetings ONEchapel Family and Friends!

Today I am grateful for you.

I am grateful for your kindness to Aimee and I, as your pastors, and how you welcome all who come to ONEchapel with your openness and warmth.

I am grateful for your generosity that feeds needy families as near as Sunset Valley Elementary School and as far away as the typhoon-ravaged Philippines.

I am grateful for your willingness to serve others in need. Whether it's participating in Love Austin, serving on Team ONE or hosting a Connect Group, you are changing lives.

I am grateful for your partnership to carry the message of God's love and power into our city in thousands of small, intentional, consistent words and actions.

I am grateful for your commitment to the vision and future of ONEchapel that is still to be realized and discovered.

I'm grateful for you today. I want you to know that I love you, and I'm praying for you and your family during this Holiday season.

See you Sunday for worship and our continuing relationship series, DTR!

I love being your pastor!

Ross Parsley 

 

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BAPTISM AND BABY DEDICATION

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BAPTISM AND BABY DEDICATION

Hi ONEchapel Family,

This Sunday we’ll worship together with Water Baptisms and Baby Dedications in both services. If you’ve not been water baptized “since you believed” I want to encourage you to participate in this beautiful sacrament of the Church where we identify with Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

If you were baptized as an infant or a child, but have since made a conscious profession of faith in Christ, this is the perfect opportunity for a fresh start. We’ll also be celebrating Baby Dedications for parents who want to dedicate their children to the Lord.

FOR WATER BAPTISM

Just go to www.onechapel.com/baptism to sign up and get all the information you need for this celebration of Water Baptism.

FOR BABY DEDICATION

If you want to dedicate your children to the Lord this Sunday, just send an email to info@onechapel.com and indicate what service you’ll be attending, 9:30am or 11:30am.

I’m really excited to share a life-giving message with you this week as we engage in a special extended time of worship, so make it a priority to join us this Sunday at ONEchapel!

Ross

 

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