Friday, December 18, 2015

December 17, 2015 - Concrete Slab, Christmas Eve, End-of-Year Giving

Hi Everyone!
We have a slab!! The slab for the expansion was poured on Tuesday. Weather permitting the blocks will be delivered and the masonry work will begin on Thursday or Friday. Progress on the renovation continues with framing, HVAC installation, electrical work and security system modifications. It's exciting to watch the dream take shape and envision how God will use our renovated and expanded space to grow his church. What a blessing it is to be able to do this project! I am grateful for the generous and faithful stewardship of our church family that is making this possible. 

I was surprised by my kids. I don't remember exactly when it happened but there was a time many years ago when my kids started giving each other gifts at Christmas. Allyson must have been about 9 or 10 and Sara about 7 or 8. They first started making gifts for each other. It was the cutest thing to see them secretly working on something for a week or two before Christmas to give to each other and to their little sister, Emily (3-4 yrs.). It was usually a custom work of art, but sometimes it included a trinket from the "Dollar" store (purchased with their money). I loved watching there faces as their siblings opened their love inspired gifts. They enjoyed giving to each other more than opening their own gifts. As they grew their gifts got more expensive, and they often saved for months to buy gifts for their family members. I was surprised by their generosity and by how much they enjoyed giving. As they have become adults they have maintained that same spirit of giving to each other and to God's work. They learned that giving is more rewarding than receiving. That's what Jesus said would happen to all who give, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35). 

I urge you to give generously and be blessed this Christmas. Here are some possibilities to consider at Canopy Roads:
  • Special Christmas Eve Offering. We will give the first $5,000 of the Christmas Eve offering to a small local church to pay for a much needed new sound system. Their old one is completely dead, and they spent all of their reserves on essential building repairs. 
  • International Missions (Lottie Moon) Offering. 100% of the Lottie Moon Mission Offering goes to support over 5,000 Southern Baptist missionaries outside of North America. Envelopes for the offering are located in the backs of chairs in the worship center. 
  • Church budget or All In Campaign. We are still a little over $10,000 from meeting our operating budget for this year. We hope to meet that goal this Sunday. We need an additional $263,000 above what is currently pledged to the All In Campaign to pay for the construction costs. Wouldn't it be great to knock a huge chunk of this off before the end of the year?
Let's finish the year strong! This is a great time of year to catch up on your tithe or give a generous "above and beyond" offering to God's work. Please remember that in order to qualify for tax credit this year, donations must be received in the church office, processed online or postmarked by December 31st. The church office will be closed December 25th through January 1st.
Christmas Eve Services will be at 5 & 7 PM. Invite unchurched friends and family to attend with you on Christmas Eve. This may be the easiest ask all year for someone who is unchurched. Pray and invite! By the way, we need help with childcare at each service. Can you come to one service and volunteer to serve at the other? If so, email Diane Abrams to tell her which service you can volunteer.

The Christmas series, "Our Coming Savior" continues this Sunday. This week the focus will be on Mary and Joseph.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 3, 2015 - Movies in the Park, COOKIES!, Parent-Child Dedication

Hi Everyone,

Movies in the Park is a little over a week away, and we still need about 200 dozen cookies!We also need lots of volunteers to help with set up, take down, serving food and drinks, greeting, and more. To volunteer to bake cookies or work at the event, email Cathy Dangerfield. Begin praying now for beautiful weather!! That's by far the most critical part of MITP, and we have no control over it. Pray that God will bless our preparation for the event and lead hundreds and hundreds of unchurched people to attend. Post about MITP on Facebook and Twitter. Give a personal invitation to your friends, neighbors and work associates. It's one of the best, free family events of the Christmas season in Tallahassee. 

We will have Parent/Child Dedication during our morning worship services on Sunday, December 13. The purpose of this ceremony is for parents to commit to teach their children about Jesus and the Bible and bring them up in a loving, Christ-centered home. If you have an infant or other preschooler who has not participated in the Parent/Child Dedication, I would love to talk with you about it. Just email me. 

Big changes have taken place with the construction this week. The demolition of the kitchen should be complete by the end of the day tomorrow. Man, does it look different in there! With the walls and ceiling tiles gone, it's apparent how big the new cafe and lobby will be. It's going to be awesome!! Yesterday during the rain the footers were poured for the new addition. It was messy for the workers but the rain did not adversely affect the integrity of the concrete. The concrete supplier made adjustments in the formula of the mix so that it would work well in the wet conditions, and the workers used a sump pump to remove water from the trench as the concrete was poured in. Next week the rest of the foundation will be completed.

Watch your step! 
If you come by to look at the construction during the week, watch where you step to avoid stepping on nails or tripping over debris. It's best to keep children out of the demolition areas. We don't want anyone to get hurt.  Please do not walk through the demolition areas and into the worship center or preschool rooms. We want to keep these areas as clean as possible. 

New Christmas series continues this Sunday. I will be teaching about King Herod this week. He did everything he could to eliminate Jesus and stop God's plan to give us hope, but he failed. Is there a "Herod" in your life who is threatening to kill your joy or steal your hope? Join us this week for a fresh look at this part of the Christmas story.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015

November 19, 2015 - 400 Dozen Cookies, Pray for France, Construction Update

Hi Everyone, 

Please continue to pray for the citizens of France and the Christian churches there in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks. Brad has carried on conversations over Facebook with several evangelical pastors in Paris who asked us to pray for them and their churches as they share grace and hope in this time of grief and confusion. Pray that God will open the eyes of the French people and, for that matter, the rest of the world, to the reality of sin and evil and their urgent need for the one true Savior, Jesus Christ. Pray that God will create in them a hunger for the gospel. Pray also that God will bring about a worldwide spiritual awakening among Muslims. I had read prior to the Paris attacks that many Muslims have been shocked and disgusted by the evil acts of ISIS and other radical Islamic group and have turned from Islam and embraced Christ. That's eternal good news in the midst of temporal bad news. 

Construction got a little wet this week. The rain stopped all exterior work yesterday and today, but we are still on schedule. The building pad will be completed next week, and work will begin on the foundation. Much is happening behind the scenes preparing for the commencement of interior demolition that is set to start on Monday. Our construction manager, Oliver Sperry Renovation, has done a great job each week preparing the building for Sunday activities and other ministry events. I'm confident they will do an equally outstanding job making the building ready for activities once demolition and interior construction begins.

Movies in the Park is coming up fast (Dec. 12) and we need 400 dozen cookies! That's right, 400 DOZEN! If the weather is good, we typically have 1500-2000 people at MITP. It's our biggest outreach event of the year. We not only need cookies; we need lots of volunteers to help with set up, take down, serving food and drinks, greeting, and more. To volunteer to bake cookies or work at the event, email Cathy Dangerfield. Begin praying now for beautiful weather!! That's by far the most critical part of MITP, and we have no control over it. Pray also that God will bless our preparation for the event and lead hundreds and hundreds of unchurched people to attend. 

We will wrap up our Acts study this Sunday by looking at how our response to adversity affects those around us. Read Acts 27-28 to prepare for the message.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 5, 2015 Grab Your Coffee; Don't Be Like Eutychus (Acts 20)

Hi Everyone, 
Our newsletter is now compatible with mobile devices! According to Constant Contact, the service we use to produce the Canopy Roads Connection, approximately 50% of all emails are opened on mobile devices! Wow! After reading that statistic we realized that we needed to take immediate steps to reformat our weekly publication. We hope this will make it easier for you to read it and stay informed. If you read this on a smart phone or tablet, let us know how it works for you.

Beginning this Sunday the cafe will be outside under the covered drop off. For all my fellow java lovers, you can pick up a cup of coffee before you even enter the building! Now you won't have to worry about the embarrassment of nodding off during the service while that pastor goes on and on...BTW, we are taking a temporary break from snacks while we make the transition to the new set up, but don't worry. Snacks will be back.

Construction update: The new berm on the top of the hill has been sodded and will be watered by the new irrigation line. Actually we already had an irrigation system, we just had to reinstall the line that ran where the berm was placed. The electrical sub has begun work on his part of the project. It's one of the largest and most critical areas of the expansion. 

All In Commitment increase: Last month we reported that the All In campaign is projected to be about $267,000 short of funding all of the construction costs. We mentioned that if every family in the church would give about $70/mo. more to the campaign for the next two years that we would have enough to fund it in full. Terri and I prayed about it, and we have increased our giving by that much. Several other members have increased their giving as well. (To be clear this giving is above and beyond the regular giving to the budget. We must continue to fund the ongoing operations of the church while we pay for the construction.) Will you pray about giving $70/mo. more to the campaign for the next two years? If we all go all in we can pay this off in two years!

We are winding down our study of the book of Acts on Sunday mornings. This week we will cover chapter 20. Then we will only spend two weeks on the remaining eight chapters. Read in Acts 20 about what happened to the guy who fell asleep during Paul's sermon. In the last half of the chapter, read about Paul's farewell address to the Ephesian elders. What did he say that encourages or challenges you in your relationship with Christ?

Invite someone to join you on Sunday...

I'm All In,

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oct. 31, 2015 Trunk or Treat Review, Construction Update, Sermon Topic: "Counter Cultural" Acts 19:11-41

Hi Everyone!
Trunk or Treat last Sunday was fantastic! It was one of our best outreach events ever! We counted a little over 1200 people once we started counting, and that's not counting the 100 or so members already on site at that time. I had the pleasure of meeting a few hundred guests, and without fail they were excited about and genuinely appreciative of the quality of the event and the hospitality of our members. It was fun watching them interact with our members who were making kids smile, passing out candy, grilling hot dogs, passing out snack bags, making cotton candy, working the hay ride, parking cars and so much more. After the event was over everyone who sponsored a trunk meticulously cleaned up their spot while dozens of other volunteers cleaned up and put away everything else. Great job everyone! Let's keep praying that our unchurched guests will take the next step soon and visit on a Sunday morning.

Construction Update: We've had a busy week on the construction site. Our site contractor finished installing the silt fence to protect the site from erosion. He also built a berm on the top of the hill to divert stormwater from the west parking lot away from the building. The mechanical contractor temporarily relocated all of the existing HVAC units to the top of the building where they will stay until the construction is complete and new units are functioning. The back sidewalk was removed to prepare for a new electrical service installation and the building addition. 

Attention Parents! We have a security fence around the construction site, but it's not kid proof. Please tell your children to stay off the site. If you see other children inside the fence, politely ask them to leave. We don't want anyone to get hurt playing on equipment or snooping around the site.

This Sunday we will have baptism in both services! It is such an honor to baptize people. I love watching them go public with their faith in Christ. It's a strong witness to unchurched family and friends. My message this week is entitled "Counter Cultural" and comes from Acts 19:11-41. Read ahead and see if you can find the countercultural link. 

See you on Sunday,

Thursday, October 22, 2015

October 22, 2015

Hello Everyone! 

The Ground Has Been Broken! We had a fantastic groundbreaking service last Sunday. You have probably seen the many pictures from Facebook of families writing their names and Scripture and/or prayers on bricks to be placed in the building. If you missed the service, you and your family can still write your names on bricks this Sunday. We have plenty of bricks and markers for you. This week one of the contractors removed several trees on top of the hill where a drainage berm will be located. By Sunday we will have construction fences in place to mark off the staging area and construction site. We don't want any of our members or guests to wander into the area and get hurt. We will be seeing a lot more activity in a couple of weeks. 

Trunk or Treat is This Sunday from 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. We are anticipating another record crowd this year. North Point Christian Church has graciously offered to let us park cars in at their site at the corner of Bannerman and Bull Headley. We have hired Mike's Limousine Service to provide shuttle service to and from the satellite parking at North Point. We encourage our members to park there to make room for the hundreds of guests who will be attending. Trunk or Treat is our second biggest outreach event of the year and perhaps the best opportunity to meet and greet unchurched people on our church property. Here are some things you can do to maximize the impact of the event for the gospel:
  • Pray for God to lead unchurched families to attend.
  • Come early and park in the satellite parking lot unless your vehicle is part of a "trunk."
  • Wear your church name tag.
  • Smile and welcome guests and thank them for coming.
  • If you have conversations with people, ask if they attend church here in town. If they are unchurched, invite them to come next Sunday. 
This Sunday I will be teaching about how to instill faith in your children. Several times in the book of Acts we see entire households coming to faith in Christ and being baptized. That's significant. I want to talk about what we can do to instill faith in our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. This Sunday I will be interviewing a missionary from Kenya, and we will announce the kickoff of a new home team for couples. It's going to be another great Sunday at Canopy Roads. 

All In for Him,
Matt Hall

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 8, 2015

We will have a Canopy Conference this Sunday (Oct. 11) to vote on a recommendation to begin construction on the All In Project!! Both the elders and the expansion planning team have unanimously approved the construction plans and cost and will present their recommendation to the church at two conferences sessions in the worship center at 5:00 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. The expansion planning team members have worked diligently over the past four months to reduce costs while preserving all of the originally envisioned functionality of the expansion. I believe you will be encouraged and inspired by their recommendation. If you are a member of the church, I hope you will make plans to come to one of the conferences. Regular attenders and guests are welcome to attend as well. 

Groundbreaking is tentatively planned for Sunday, October 18th. If the church approves going ahead with construction this Sunday, we will have a groundbreaking service at both worship hours on the 18th. I will interview our architect and construction manager about how the plans were developed and what to expect with construction in the coming months. At the end of the service we have something special planned that will enable every family to pray and leave a permanent mark in the new building. You will not want to miss it!!

Trunk or Treat is only two weeks away!! We still need trunks of candy and volunteers to help in various places. Email Joy Whithaus to sponsor a trunk or volunteer to help. Pray that God will use this event to help us connect with hundreds of unchurched people in our community.
Help us build community. This week we heard from someone who has been attending our church for over a year but still does not feel at home. Even though she serves in a couple of ministries, few people speak to her family members each week. Her family likes the church but doesn't feel connected after months of regular attendance. This disturbed me greatly! Our natural tendency is to group up and hang out with people we know. Enjoying fellowship with friends is a vital part of being in God's family. However we must give attention to new people that God leads to our fellowship. Every week we have first time guests and repeat guests looking for community and a place to call home. Some folks, like this family, have been coming for months without feeling connected. We must do better! We can do better!Here are some ways we can raise the bar on community:
  • Wear your Canopy Roads name tag each week. This helps us meet people and feel comfortable talking to people we have already met but forgotten their names. If you need one, email Cathy and we will get one for you.
  • Speak to people you meet in the parking lot, hallway, worship center, cafĂ©, etc.
  • Meet and get to know all of the people who serve in your ministry.
  • Ask God each week to show you who you need to meet or talk to. Your cheerful greeting or word of encouragement could change a life this week.
This Sunday we will study the Apostle Paul's experience in the city of Athens. The title of the message is "Never Enough gods". Read and reflect on Acts 17:15-34 in preparation for the study.

All In for Him,
Matt Hall