Author: Neil Smith

WCOC to Offer Celebrate Recovery Program

In this week’s Sunday Sermon, Bob Kolodner announced that the Warrenton Church of Christ will be offering support to the local community in the form of a world-renowned Christ-centered addiction and dependency healing program called ‘Celebrate Recovery‘.

Founded by John Baker back in 1991 at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, the program has grown to an international scale. It offers a safe place for people with a wide range of dependency and addiction issues to come and get help using a 12 step program, without fear of being judged.

Now people of the Warrenton area have a safe place to come to get help and learn the steps and coping tools for a happier life, free from chemical and emotional dependency issues. You don’t have to be a regular attendee or member of the Warrenton Church of Christ to attend these meetings. Just come as you are and enjoy a welcoming church family. There’s no cost except an hour of your time – so please, come join us and get the healing you need.

This program has been spearheaded by the Warrenton Church of Christ minister Bob Kolodner who has decades of professional counselling experience, and supported by the membership of the Warrenton Church of Christ. We would be delighted to see you at our first meeting, scheduled for Thursday, November 7th, 2019.

See the link below to learn more about the Celebrate Recovery program.

Three New Elders Appointed Today

Today is an auspicious day for the Warrenton Church of Christ as we celebrate the official installation of three new Elders. These men have joined our existing three Elders to assist in the grand and noble task of leading the Warrenton Church of Christ congregation.

From left to right: Susie and Parry Hernandez (new Elder), Bill Powell, current Elder, Lorraine and George Davenport (New Elder), Eddie Perez (Current Elder), and Bruce and Cathy Rampy (New Elder).

In the church’s more than 50 year history, we have never been so honored to have six men, with the support of their wives, stepping up to take on this role: the weight of which is not lost on any member of this family.  

Brother’s Bruce, George, and Perry, we thank each of you for making this solemn commitment to serve us in this way and to join our Elders in this challenging and deeply selfless task. We also thank Cathy, Lorraine, and Susie for your love and support for these men as they step into leadership. We appreciate all that you do, and will do in the future to ensure the growth, and spiritual health of this family.

We shall be keeping all of you in our prayers as you adapt to your new and important roles in this church.  God bless you all.

Tom Seals – Where do we go from here?

More than 50 years ago, Tom Seals started a small church in Warrenton, VA with a handful of other christians. These were the first meetings of what has become a wonderful church family, with missions, Elders, a full time pulpit minister, deacons, a vibrant preschool, and a church building that has stood now for 50 years.

In this video, Tom Seals honors us with a visit for the homecoming celebrations of the Koonce family’s return from 22 years of mission work in Africa, and the 50th anniversary of breaking ground for the church building. In this video Tom will share with us his thoughts on where this church should go in the next 50 years.

Koonce Family Homecoming

After 22 years in the African mission field, we are blessed and honored to celebrate the return of our dear brother and sister Marty and Louise marking the end of a very long and incredible service first in Togo, and later in post-genocide Rwanda.

We are so blessed to have them back with us in good health and good spirits after such an amazing and rewarding mission taking the word, and the hope of Christ Jesus to a regions of the world so different, and so deeply and permanently impacted by the genocide in 1994.

It is impossible to imagine what the people of Rwanda endured during those fateful months, but you can begin to appreciate the impact when you listen to Marty talk about the spirit of the amazing people he has worked with during the years of his Rwandan mission. Please take a look at this video of Marty’s message as he recounts the mission years and his family’s life on the continent of Africa. You will be blessed by this message.

Homecoming and 50 Year Celebration

This past weekend we were blessed to have so many things to celebrate with our church brothers and sisters. The homecoming of the Koonce family after 22 years on missions in Africa, 50 years since we broke ground on the church building, a visit from our founding Minister Tom Seals and many others from the earliest days of the church. And if that wasn’t enough, the baptism of James, meaning we also got to welcome a new brother to our midst.

Fifty years ago we broke ground on the Warrenton Church of Christ building. To help us celebrate that event we were honored by a visit from our founding Minister Dr. Tom Seals. He shared memories with us of the early days when the church was just a handful of people meeting in what was then the PNC bank building. It was such an incredible joy and privilage to have the man who started this wonderful church joining us on this auspicious day. For those of you who could not be with us, or those who would simply love to hear his message again, we have provided a video of Tom’s wonderful narrative of years past and the simple beginnings.

So without further ado, enjoy this video (more to follow this week) as Bob Kolodner introduces Tom Seals.

WCoC 2019 Minute To Win It

Today saw the first ever Warrenton Church of Christ Minute To Win It games and it was a huge amount of fun for all the family.

Let the Games Begin!

The games began with “Junk In Your Trunk” where a tissue box with 8 ping pong balls is attached to the back of each contestant with a belt. The objective is to empty all the balls out of the box by jumping around and doing whatever gyrations you think will loose off all the balls. The Kids found some very creative ways to win some of these games, as you can see below.

Dad – I think I got you beat with this limbo dancing maneuver!

In this next game you put some Vaseline on your nose and then use it to pick up cotton balls, transporting them to another bowl on the opposite table. This was hilarious to watch as you can tell from the following snapshot.

Fun for the Kids and the Grown-ups

Well if you didn’t manage to make it down to the church this Saturday, then take a look at this one minute 20 second video that captures some of the highlights of the games. Have fun everyone.

WCoC Minute To Win It 2019 highlights

Men’s Retreat – Camp WAMAVA 2018

This year’s men’s retreat saw the Brothers of Warrenton Church of Christ making tracks to the woods of Linden, VA for some spiritual growth and enlightenment at camp WAMAVA.

The event was headed up this year by our dear brother Royce.  This was his first retreat.  He organized a committee that managed all the details of the trip, and speaking as a camper, I think Royce and the committee team did an excellent job.

The one thing of course that no organizer can control is the weather, and as it turned out, the Friday evening we all set out to head for camp had us enjoying a fairly robust rain storm.  While this might have dampened some of the bedding we took, and certainly some shoes and socks as we unloaded our vehicles, it certainly didn’t seem to have a dampening affect on anyone’s spirit.  Indeed I think heavy rain can somehow augment the memorability of an event in some strangely nostalgic way.  Maybe it always invokes feelings of being a child playing outside when unexpected rain suddenly has us running for cover, soaking our clothes and making even the most rudimentary shelter a veritable luxury hotel once we get out of the downpour.  To be clear though, there’s nothing rudimentary about camp WAMAVA.  This place is really awesome, regardless of any bad weather.

Happy to have only a short run from the cars to the meeting hall, we all got our gear in, got situated and then got a rather wonderful fire burning in one of the two fireplaces available.  We then enjoyed an evening devotional with some prayers lead by brother Royce, and some singing of hymns lead by our brother Shawn.  Originally we had planned to have a camp fire outside and hold the devotionals and singing around it.  However, with the rain still beating down outside, we adapted to the fire place option and enjoyed the evening just the same.  After the devotionals and hymns we all got together round some tables to catch up and to get to know each other a little better.  It’s somewhat rare to have that kind of unfettered time to just talk to each other. At services there’s always time pressure, places to go after, Monday to prepare for and so on.  So it’s nice to just sit around with no particular agenda to follow and just talk.  Only the eventual need for sleep would be likely to put an end to the easy dialog that moved us forward and strengthened our brotherly bonds.

At the end of the evening, most of the brothers started to drift off to the accommodation cabins around the campus to try and get some sleep.  We wanted to be rested and ready for the main events tomorrow where we would be contemplating our theme for this year’s retreat – mentoring.

Saturday Morning and no Rain

After a night of mixed fortunes in obtaining sleep (which this author failed to accomplish miserably), some of the men got up early and started to prepare breakfast in the rather awesome commercial kitchen in the main hall.  Meanwhile, others dropped into the nearby town to purchase fresh donuts while the hot plates warmed up and the bacon, eggs, sausage, and pancakes were getting started.  It was clear to me as an observer of the kitchen activities that some of these brothers were no strangers to commercial kitchens, and brother Bob H. was looking particularly at home over by a huge hotplate flipping a vast array of pancakes one by one like a past artist.  Indeed I later learned he had worked in food hospitality in a past career – yeah that figures I thought as he shared the story – “you did look particularly comfortable over there brother”.

After a hearty breakfast rather Shawn delivered an excellent devotional on the theme subject of the retreat – mentoring.  After he had shared his thoughts and got us all thinking about what mentoring was, who should be a mentor, who should receive mentoring, how to use prayer as part of the process, and how to mentor by example we broke off into small groups.  The challenge was to think about ways that the men of this church could be mentors to others.

After we spent about 20 or so minutes in our small groups we reconvened as a large group and discussed our findings.  There were some wonderful thoughts, ideas, and suggestions about how we could all become mentors, and to whom we could mentor. I don’t have sufficient column inches here to cover all the content that we discussed, but suffice to say there are a large number of brothers in the church who will be actively seeking ways to mentor not just those already in our church, but those we meet out in the world, our friends, colleagues, spouses, children, or anyone in need of teaching a guidance in some area of there lives.

On behalf of all who attending this retreat I want to thank the organizers and presenters for doing such a great job making it an excellent success.  It was not lost on us how much effort and thought you must all have put in to organize every detail of the trip, accommodations, food, logistics and all the things I can’t think of that must have taken great effort.  Thanks to you all my brothers and sisters.

Sermon Podcasts now on Google Play

As the WCoC Sermon Podcast gains momentum both here at home, and on the international stage, we are proud to announce that over this past week, our application for a Google Play podcast channel has been approved.

This is great news because it now potentially doubles our reach to the world and allows a much larger audience the option to subscribe to the sermon podcasts.  This is the case because it now makes it much easier for Android subscribers to dial in to the podcast using native apps.  Previously it was sometimes necessary to install additional apps to access the Apple-based iTunes podcasts because of course the iPhone devices favor iTunes; whereas Google Play is favored by Android.

At the time of writing this article, the WCoC podcasts have had over 2,300 hits.  These have been largely in the US, but we have also seen high numbers of hits in some surprising countries including Japan (see previous article) and more recently a growing following in the Netherlands.

We hope that by adding Google Play as a new way to access our podcasts, we will continue to increase our listener base around the globe.

It is fascinating how this new era of internet technology has opened up new and powerful ways to share the word of God and the love of Christ Jesus.  Now Bob’s teachings can reach new brothers and sisters who may not otherwise have regular access to such high caliber sermons as delivered each week by our dear Minister Bob Kolodner.  We are so blessed to have him as our Minister and to have regular access to his wonderful teaching and guidance.

WCoC Minister’s Sermons Big In Japan

Well folks it seems that our esteemed Minister Bob Kolodner is breaking international ground and spreading the word in the far east, without even leaving the country.

So how does one pull off such an amazing feat of daring do?  The answer of course is Podcasts.

While looking at the year to date stats for Podcast listenership we discovered a page that shows not only how many listens the WCoC Podcast channel has enjoyed, but in which countries.  The big surprise was not just how many individual listens the channel has had since January 1st, but where they came from.  Here’s a breakout of the stats.

USA: 612

Japan: 130

France: 10

Russian Federation: 5

UK: 5

Other interesting places with only one or two hits included Ghana, New Zealand, India, Canada and even all the way down under, our friends in Australia.

So we have to wonder who our new friends are in Japan and all these other places that are tuning in to our humble podcast.  Whoever you are, welcome, thank you, and God bless.  We are pleased to have you joining our services and welcome you to our family.  We are blessed to have you all with us.

As a final thought, if that’s the numbers for just year to date, what about the all time number of listeners?  Good question.  We’ve been podcasting for just about two years now and so we wanted to know just how many people have enjoyed Bob’s lessons in total to date.  Can I have a drum roll please….

All Time Listenership 1,595.

Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement in this podcast initiative.  Unfortunately we have seen some breaks in this service this year when key contributors have been unavailable to make, process, and post the recordings.  We will endeavor to improve on this for the sake of all our international and local friends.

 

 

 

WCoC’s Spring FPU Event

SuperSavingIt was a terrific start to the first Financial Peace University class for 2018 and was kicked off with the Super Saving lesson.  We learned about the importance of saving money, where, when and how to save, and the wonders of compound interest.  A wonderful example of saving and investing is the Ben and Arthur saving model.  In here we learned how two teenagers will retire as millionaires with different fortunes based on when they started, and how much they put in.

This lesson also introduces the 7 baby steps, of which saving is baby step 1 and also baby step 3.  Huh? Yes, there are two distinct savings events when you are working the Dave Ramsey principals for getting out of debt and growing wealth.

Baby Step 1 – Save $1000 for a starter emergency fund

Baby Step 2 – Run the debt snowball paying off debts smallest balance to largest balance.  Details for how this works in a later blog.SuperSaving_002

Baby Step 3 – Build on the starter emergency fund by saving 3 – 6 months worth of expenses in a money market account.  This is not an investment, its insurance: insurance against Mr. Murphy and family.  Therefore we do not worry about earning big interest on this – it just sits there near to hand and only used for a major financial emergency.