I got a box of assorted chocolates at Christmas time. I loved it. And yes, I’m not lost on Forrest Gump’s famous quote in the 1994 film – “My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” So my blog this week will be about an assortment of things here at Pantano. You never know what you might find out!
Feed My Starving Children
Over the last 7 years, we packed just over 2.1 million nutritious meals which are shipped all over the world to provide a healthy balanced diet for children in need. We’ve fed a lot of hungry stomachs! Way to go, Pantano!
Elisa Medina – Hands of Hope
If you missed the powerful message Elisa Medina gave at Pantano, be sure to watch her online at https://pantano.church/watch/. Yes, she talked about abortion, but she did so in such a compassionate and unique way. Her personal stories are amazing. No matter what you think about abortion, her message is worth watching. Thank you, Elisa, for your heart for Jesus that’s greater than the cause to which you’ve given your life.
We start a new five-week teaching series this Sunday (January 26) at both physical campuses and online. We are calling it Invitations. Following Jesus is actually a series of invitations. Each invitation from Jesus is meant to help take us deeper in our relationship with God. Here are some of the invitations we’ll be looking at in this series: an invitation to follow; an invitation to encounter God; an invitation to experience freedom God has for us as we let go of our guilt, shame, and regret; an invitation to change the way we think; and an invitation to abide or to be ‘in Christ’. If we’ll say “yes” to each of these invitations, we’ll move closer to God, find greater meaning in life, and grow to be more like Jesus. And there’s one more invitation; this Sunday (Jan. 26th), we’ll have an opportunity for folks to say “yes” to Jesus and express their commitment in baptism.
Movement Day – Addressing Poverty in Tucson
Tucson ranks as one of the poorest metro areas in the United States. This doesn’t have to be this way. 4Tucson is hosting Movement Day where the church in Tucson will gather to address the root causes of poverty and find ways to make a lasting sustainable change in our city. Join us this Saturday (Jan. 25th) starting at 8:30 am at La Paloma Resort (3800 E. Sunrise Dr. 85718). To register go to https://www.4tucson.com/movement%20day/.
All In Partner
If you haven’t done so yet, please make a commitment to be an All In Partner. Cards are available at both campuses or you can “sign” digitally online at https://mypantano.church/allin
It’s one of those things I like least about my personality; once something great happens, I’ve already moved on to work on the next good thing and don’t take time to celebrate. The fact is, we all need to celebrate more and it’s a key part of gratitude which is one of the most spiritually healthy things we can do! So, let’s celebrate a few “Wows!”…
Let’s Celebrate Feed My Starving Children!
We finished another Feed My Starving Children mobile pack. We packed 287,712 meals which brings our church’s grand total to 1.7 MILLION MEALS sent to children in need!
This year we had 1,148 participants from 23 schools. Robin Blumenthal, who leads and organizes this event was invited to give 15 school presentations from November to January to tell the students about her trip to the Dominican Republic, where she got to see how these meals make a difference. In addition, we had 267 youth and leaders at the Wednesday night pack from 5 churches.
We had a total of 1,818 volunteers participate in packing this year. And, there were another 50 or so volunteers serving with the schools and behind-the-scenes! THANK YOU, Robin and Pantano! WOW!
Let’s Celebrate Unite4Africa!
Unite4Africa is one of our global partners and is led by Okongo Samson. Their ministry is currently working in six countries in Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Sudan, Uganda, and Togo). Here’s what happened in 2018 through this ministry:
That deserves a WOW!
Let’s Celebrate What I Can’t Name!
Due to the dangers and obstacles it might create, I can’t tell you the country and the details of what is happening. But, one of our global partners is now working with hundreds of new believers in a dangerous, conflict-ridden, predominantly Muslim country. We are praying for an outbreak of the Spirit of God and a church planting movement to emerge. WOW!
Let’s Celebrate Care Portal!
Our church helped launch and supports Care Portal. This organization helps provide families with needed supplies to help parents or family reunite, rather than send kids into foster care or group homes. In 2018, we helped bless 29 families, 59 children and accounted for nearly $25,000 of items for these wonderful people! WOW!
We have so much to celebrate. To God be the glory!
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Christmas Eve Offering
Wow, Pantano, you gave $73,213 for our Christmas Eve offering. That will help make a huge difference in getting the Gospel Rescue Mission’s Center of Opportunity to become a reality this spring. In addition, over 250 folks showed up on Sunday, 12/23 to help with the remodel and upgrade. Thank you all for your generosity. That’s making a difference!
We launched our fifth year of doing One Word on Sunday. One Word is a way to replace New Year’s resolutions. You ask God for one word to focus on for the entire year. Pick a word that will challenge you toward transformation. If you missed Sunday, we’ll have One Word cards with instructions available at Guest Services. You can watch the message here. Post and share your One Word – #oneword.
Feed My Starving Children
It’s coming back to Pantano on Tuesday, Jan. 22nd – Saturday, Jan. 26th. We’ll be packing 280,000 emergency meals this year. We shifted our focus to engaging schools with 23 schools joining us this year. We are going to have two public packs (Friday night and Saturday morning); we have dropped the price to $15 per person, and you can sign up here. We are hosting over 1,000 students from 23 schools, so we need many volunteers to help – check out the FMSC table in the courtyard on Sunday.
Pantano Classes, Wednesday PM Children’s and Students Resume
Classes start this week on Wednesday – 6:30-8pm! Go to mypantano.church or click here to find out what classes to join and sign up. Check out our great Bible, parenting, marriage, financial classes and more!
Red Cross Blood Drive – Sunday, January 20th
Pantano Christian Church and the American Red Cross have partnered in a joint effort to help save lives by hosting a blood drive on Sunday, January 20th from 8 am – 1 pm. It will be located by the main west gate entrance. To schedule your appointment or for more information, please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and use Sponsor Code: PCC.
Live Service Rebroadcast
In case you miss a Sunday, did you know that we rebroadcast the full Sunday service Monday through Friday each week at 6 pm? Go to http://live.pantano.church