There are so many ways to lift others and be lifted. When we connect in community we live more like Jesus—walking together through good and difficult times.
A group of young families shares how they learned more about faith, themselves and building friendships and deeper connections with others through a variety of groups.
If you would like to know more about being connected to a community and growing your faith, check out our grow opportunities.
Summer Fun and Faith Building
Since we launched LIFT in January 2023 our #1 goal has been for everyone who calls Christ Church their church home to LIFT their faith and discipleship. This summer we witnessed hundreds of kids and students from age 4 through seniors in high school do just that. Summer combined fun with teaching about the Lord and living out our faith.
Watch the video for some highlights and hear where children and students experienced God this summer.
Here is what people’s gifts toward LIFT help make possible this summer:
• 430 children ages 4 through 5th grade, with the help of 153 adults, attended VBS at our Oak Brook and Butterfield campuses in June having a Stellar time learning scripture and songs.
• 80 children in grades 4 & 5 went to Rock ‘N’ Canoe camp in Wisconsin with the help of 35 adults.
• 190 middle school students attended Camp COW in Wisconsin this June led by 45 adults.
• 86 high school students spent a week of Roca y Agua on house boats in Arkansas this June supported by 21 leaders.
• 23 students in grades 7 & 8 and 5 leaders served in soup kitchens and youth charities in Nashville, TN this July.
• 26 high school students and 5 leaders spent a week in Chicago this July serving Christ Church mission partner By the Hand, a Christ-centered, after-school program.
• 23 high school students and 11 leaders spent eight days together in July building homes and serving children’s programming in Tijuana, Mexico.
• Many middle school and high school students participated in park groups and house groups throughout the summer gathering to grow together in their faith and have fun.
Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
A small group from Christ Church decided to step out of their comfort zone to lift others during a challenging season in life. Through one of our mission partners, World Relief, they were paired with a Muslim family–refugees from Sudan.
“I was really nervous because of the language barrier…,” says church member Dawn Reinhart. “They provided a translator but, within five minutes you could tell this was a God thing.”
Everyone involved, the family and this small group, were transformed as these relationships grew.
“It was such a blessing to all of us to see the happiness that they have. To think that you could do one small thing and really make a difference in a person’s life. And they did the same for us,” church member Eva Tameling.
Together in Faith
Sallie and Todd Barre met at church and have grown together in their faith. When they married, Sally insisted they tithe, which was a new concept for Todd.
“That was the start of understanding it does all belong to God and we need to give a significant percentage of our income,” Todd says. Thirty years ago, Sally started a Bible study for adults with disabilities at Christ Church. Inside and outside of the classroom Sally and her volunteers are Lifting the faith of the Friendship Bible Club. She was excited to learn hiring an All-Abilities Director is one of the goals of Lift and Todd appreciates how the leadership is forward-thinking. “I would encourage people to not think about ‘when I’m generous what’s in it for me?’ But, to think about how am I going to expand the kingdom?”
A Passion to Lift Others
Generosity for Victor and Mary Warren has been a transformation that took place over time as they were obedient to the Lord in their giving.
“I now give with a much more joyful heart than I did when I first started giving,” says Victor. They have seen the way investing in Christ Church has impacted their lives and the important role relationships from small groups played in helping Victor with his struggles with alcohol and surrounding them during times of crisis. Victor and Mary are co-chairs of the Lift Steering Team because they are passionate about more people in our local communities being Lifted up.
Witnessing God at Work
Peter and Elizabeth Celauro have been at Christ Church since they were kids. They have served in student ministry, missions and more.
Throughout that time, they have been Lifted by the church community and their circle of friends through times of celebration and struggle and want that for their children and so many more in the church and around the world. They expressed how excited they are to see what God will do through Lift and their generosity. “Our giving as a family has been shaped by the way we see God at work through Christ Church,” Peter says. “We see the dollars making a difference in the lives of so many people.”
Friends Lifting One Another
It was November of 2017 when Jim received the life changing diagnosis of ALS–amyotrophic lateral sclerosis–a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Jim and his wife Lin have been supported and loved throughout their journey by friends they made at Christ Church. What is even more inspiring is how they have encouraged others with the way they live for Christ every day. Over the years and even now, Lin and Jim are generous with their time, talents and treasure. Lin shared that it is her “Love for the Lord and love for people” that fuel her generosity. Jim lives out the truth that God’s grace is greater than the gravity of life, “We have received so much from the Lord we made plans that when we are gone everything we have will go back to Him.”
Lifting Others in Times of Crisis
Helena lived in Eastern Kentucky with her Aunt Helen. Their home was built in 1974 by her grandparents and was the family gathering place for all holidays.
In July of 2022 their home was devastated by the heavy rain and flash flooding that plagued areas in Eastern Kentucky. When the water finally receded, mud was everywhere and the whole house had to be gutted. Helen was living temporarily at the dog groomers where she works.
Christ Church sent twelve volunteers in late August to partner with Samaritan’s Purse. They shoveled mud, tore through insulation, dry wall and flooring, and hauled everything out in order to prepare Helena’s home for restoration.
In addition to physical help, Christ Church sent $30,000 during the spring and summer months to Florida, Kentucky, Puerto Rico and Pakistan in response to natural disasters.
We are grateful for those who faithfully give to Christ Church allowing us to respond quickly in times of crisis.