Top 25 Highlights of 2016
What a year for Clay Center Christian Church! We are a busy church family, with a heart for the Lord, giving through our time and resources, helping people to know and love Jesus.
All in all, 140 people gather together every Sunday morning for worship, from as far away as Aurora, Exeter, Superior, and Hastings. We rejoice for the addition of 4 new memberships in 2016, as well as 6 baptisms, and we look forward to welcoming more people into God's Kingdom in the coming year.
Let's take a look back on the year, recognizing the top 25 highlights of 2016:
- Special Offering of Thanksgiving -- A record $98,000-plus was given through this annual special offering, of which $9,800 is going to Pibel Bible Camp for a much-needed septic system replacement and the remainder being applied to the building loan principal. This is a huge blessing and pushed the entire month of November's total giving to more than $140,000 -- another record!
- Mission Trip -- After collecting school supplies from our children's Vacation Bible School and the church family, a group traveled to the Pine Ridge Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota to not only deliver the school supplies but also install gutters, paint walls, renovate bathrooms, and update the library.
- Missions Support -- More than $37,000 has been given to support 14 established global, regional, and local mission partners as well as various other mission-oriented groups. Additionally, the church family gave generously through a shoe drive for Haitian flood victims, a donation drive for the local battered women's shelter, the Pine Ridge school supplies drive mentioned earlier, and other projects to benefit those in need, both near and far.
- Blackwood Brothers Concert -- Nearly 200 people from the area came to listen to live gospel music.
- Wells Repaired -- This improvement has resulted in savings of $2,000 in heating and cooling costs.
- Family Fun Day -- Approximately 150 people joined in a full day of worship, fellowship meals, golf, and children's bounce house.
- $1-for-One -- More than $5,900 has been given through this weekly offering, benefiting 20 area families in need due to loss of a loved one, medical expenses, house fires, and other hardship.
- Worship in the Park -- Approximately 125 people attended the Worship Service, taking up a special offering for the Sandy Creek Backpack Program through the Clay County Food Pantry. They then gathered for a fellowship meal, open to the communmity, at the Clay Center City Park.
- Playground Project -- More than $5,500 was given through Easter's 30 Pieces of Silver Offering, paving the way for church family members to complete the dirt and cement work in preparation of new playground equipment coming in 2017.
- Trunk-or-Treat -- More than 100 children visited 15 decorated vehicle trunks, played games, made crafts, and bounced in the bounce house, bringing new families in through the church doors.
- Christmas Home Mission -- Approximately $1,000 was donated through a special offering to benefit 50 area homes of the elderly and families in need. The food baskets were delivered as part of a Soup & Caroling event following the Children's Christmas Program that same day.
- Soup/Chili Cookoff -- Nearly $700 was raised for the C4 Student Ministry through the delicious monetary voting on 14 soups.
- Vacation Bible School -- Approximately 60 area children attended a week-long Bible School about how Christ's love shines even through hardships, taught through Scripture, skits, crafts, games, snacks, songs, the Pine Ridge school supply drive for children in need, and other activities. New this year was supper served each evening, open to both VBS children and their families.
- Children's Christmas Program -- More than 30 children gave the performance, "12 Symbols of Christmas," during a Sunday worship service, sharing the true reason for the season.
- Pibel Bible Camp -- This summer, 29 area children and teens attended Bible camps at the Erickson, Nebraska, joinng youth from around the state.
- Outdoor Digital Sign -- The installed sign helps to get the word out more about Sunday services and upcoming outreach events.
- Sermons -- This year's Sunday messages covered 30 key topics in the Bible as well the wisdom shared through the minor prophets.
- Church Directory -- An updated picture directory of the church family has been published and is now available through the church office.
- OCC Frontline - Ozark Christian College's Frontline Worship Team received $1,000 through a love offering after bringing 10 student musicians to lead our church's worship experience, with their professor giving the guest sermon. The group went on to lead a week of Pibel Bible Camp at Erickson, Nebraska.
- eNews -- The monthly print newsletter transitioned to a weekly digital newsletter, better able to keep in touch with the church family on upcoming happenings. Event recaps and missions updates are also now available on the church website between issues.
- Cry Out -- Thanks to the Women's Ministry for inspiring this 6-week prayer event that empowered both men and women to gather to pray for our community, country, and world leading up the U.S. election.
- OCC Youth Event -- A total of 7 teens were able to attend The Event at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Missouri, to nurture and empower their faith.
- Bible Classes & Small Group Bible Studies -- The church has always had strong adult education opportunities. Bible Classes are available each Sunday before worship, with 2 electives offered this summer on parenting and church leadership. In adition, an average of 6 small Bible study groups met during the week between worship services to go more indepth on the church-wide Believe study. These small groups are encouraged to continue meeting for their own Bible studies. Other Bible studies are offered regularly, including a monthly Men's Breakfast and a weeklky Ladies Bible Study.
- 9 Square Game -- This 3-D, 6-foot-tall ball game was designed for teens to encourage team-building and has been a great addition to C4 Student Ministry activities.
- Senior Ministry -- This new ministry continues to be developed, and it's exciting to see where God takes this opportunity to minister to others.