Thursday, August 31, 2006

Coming right up @ Horizons

The Horizons fall calendar is getting well-stocked with opportunities to serve, connect with God and others, and have fun with family and friends. Get out your calendars and take a look at what's in store:

  • Sept. 3-24, Living Truth series each Sunday.
  • Sept. 5, Encounter service 7-8 p.m. Worship Center. This is between you and God. Worship your way. First Tuesday of every month.
  • Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Horizons Free For All clothing exchange. (Start dropping off your gently used kid/maternity stuff now.)
  • Sept. 17, Sundaes on Sunday, 6-7 p.m.
  • Sept. 22, new Web site goes live!
  • Oct. 7, at 9 a.m. is the 5k Benefit Walk for $15 reg. fee, get a registration form off the Horizons web site.
  • Oct. 7, at 5 p.m. Concert on the Hill.
  • Oct. 8, one Worship Celebration service at 11 a.m. outdoors.
  • Oct. 15, launching Living Beyond Myself, change the way you think about serving God. This is a four week, church-wide study that we pray God will use to inspire a new level of serving at Horizons. I've read the material, it's going to be a lot of fun!

Add in the Husker football schedule and that will make for a packed season of fun events, great family activities and opportunities to serve others. Also remember we are collecting food for the People's City Mission Distribution Center all month.

Go Horizons! Go God!


Friday, August 25, 2006

Our new Web site is looking terrific

If you've been out of the country or off being a space tourist, you may not know that Horizons is preparing its new Web site for launching in September. Yes, that's next month.

On Friday, Sept. 22, Horizons will rejoin the World Wide Web in a bolder, more visual and informative way. Our designers and programmers have been working for five months to bring us a new look and feel that truly reflects our mission, our values, our beliefs and our people. The new site still has a long way to go before the launch date, but the Horizons eTeam is working on an ambitious schedule to get it done in time.

Once the site is fully functional and launched, we'll be moving some of our eTeam members around and having a dedicated Web team. If you're Web savvy and want to be a part of this World Wide outreach, contact me at You don't need to know html but if you do, we'll love you for it.


Thursday, August 24, 2006

About that Bishop

I was saddened to read this morning about the passing of our former Bishop Rhymes H. Moncure, Jr. late Saturday in Texas. I met him back when Horizons had its groundbreaking for our church building. He gave the sermon that day at Scott Middle School. He was enjoyable to listen to and great fun to chat with. He was one of those people you meet that you think you'd like to invite to your next BBQ.

I'm sad for our human loss...but happy for the Bishop. I'm sure he's happy to be home.

Pastor Steve's iPod

Ever wonder what Pastor Steve listens to on his iPod?

Here's a peek at his playlist for today.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Finding your niche

On Sunday we gained a few new members at Horizons. Welcome to everyone! I think when we became members several years ago, it may have been easier finding ways to get connected at Horizons and find places where we knew we were a right fit for serving.

So this post is for those new members and anyone else who is wondering how they can get plugged in to ministry at Horizons. Now, don't get all freaked out by the word "ministry." No one is going to ask you to get up and preach. Ministry is just another word for "serving." The act of serving is pretty important at is one of our five core values. It's part of who we are and how we as a local church fit into God's plan.

We don't simply ask that you volunteer. There's a difference between volunteering and serving God. As a volunteer, you may just be a warm body filling a spot. As someone serving in ministry, you are doing a job for God that God wired you to do. If you are a gifted musician, do that for God. If you are gifted with a love for babies and toddlers, do that for God. If you feel called to meet the needs of the homeless, then start working at the People's City Mission on a regular schedule and do that for God.

If you don't know what your gifts are, send Pastor Steve an email and ask him for some resources to find out where you fit. If you know your gifts and want some ideas of some ministry areas, send me an email at and I'll get you in touch with our serving values champions, Leslie and Tom S.

No matter what your gifts, there's a spot for you at Horizons.

So again, welcome to all the new members. It's great to see our church family grow and watch the life-change happening at Horizons.

Go God!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Early Sunday church for cyclists and others

Sunday will be week three of the early Sunday a.m. church for those on the go: cyclists, walkers, joggers, even drivers like me are welcome.

Pastor Steve will be back and I caught an earful of Worship Team rehearsal tonight so I can tell you that Trish and Rebecca will be providing the music for early church. Don't miss that. Last time I heard Rebecca sing, I was floored. She has a beautiful voice and a real heart for God.

The 30-min. service starts at 8 a.m. on the lawn east of the church building and north of the parking lot. If we get rain again this week, we'll move into the building and use one of the DiscoveryZone classrooms. If you're not familiar with Horizons, we're located at 3200 Grainger Parkway.

See you bright and early Sunday!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The secret revealed...make your blog reading simple

I've grappled with this for quite some time now.

Do I tell, do I not tell. Do I keep the secret to myself or do I tell you how to make all this blog stuff easier to keep up with.

I was fearful at first that it would scare people off...I mean, all this blog stuff at Horizons is really new and if you're like Andrea you don't even like the word "blog" so there are all these barriers and all this baggage we're working to get past...

This week we welcomed our 3000 hit on the blog. People are reading, we have a dozen email subscribers, and every once in awhile someone will even post a comment. I think it's time to tell. Here's the real secret to keeping up with this blog, Pastor Steve's blog, any blog (drumroll).

It's called RSS.

Now, keep reading. Don't be put off by one more new thing to add to your brain. It stands for Really Simple Syndication. It truly is simple. Here's a link to the best practical explanation for getting set up (it's free, calm down). Read this post by Tony Morgan. Get yourself set up on one of the free readers out there. I use NewsGator. I keep up with about 80 blogs more or less (church communications people are very chatty) and this keeps my feeds organized and I don't have to go visit any of the Web sites unless I want to leave a comment.

Trust me. This RSS thing is a busy person's dream come true.
If you have any questions, leave a comment or send me an email,

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Yes, Chris needs that haircut!

I've been amazed at the servant-heart of Chris Berger, a recent high school graduate all of 18 years old. He and Derek Steinacher are heading up the 5k walk Oct. 7 that will raise money for Tracy DuPont, a Lincoln woman (wife, mom and nurse), who needs a bone marrow transplant.

Here's what I find remarkable:

  • Chris and Derek don't even know Tracy.
  • About all they have in common with her is that she is a mom and they both have moms.

And another thing:

Chris says that when we get registrations turned in totaling $1000 he will SHAVE HIS HAIR OFF.

Have you seen Chris's hair? It's a mother's nightmare. Julie Berger needs our help. Desperately. Get your registration and $15 turned in quickly. Do it for Tracy. Do it for Julie. Do it for haircuts for teen-aged boys. Whatever you do it for, do it.

Way to go, Chris. Go God!


Friday, August 11, 2006

Horizons this weekend

Hey Horizons,

This Sunday we have two cool services:

  • Early church for cyclists, walkers and joggers (drivers welcome also!), 8-8:30 a.m. on the lawn east of the church building, north of the parking lot. There will be a couple of speakers who have participated in the NUMB ride and also Chris L., a recreational cyclist from Horizons.
  • Regular services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. featuring guest speaker Jerry Bockoven. It's been a few years since Jerry has been at Horizons (last time was back at Scott Middle School). Jerry is a psychology professor at Wesleyan and the department chair. He is formerly the director of the Samaritan Counseling Center. His topic will be "The Eyes of the Heart." He'll talk about looking at people through Jesus' eyes, with compassion.

See you there!


Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Easy link to 5k registration form

Check out the right hand column of links, the link directly to the printable file to register for the 5k Walk benefiting Tracy DuPont is there. Feel free to add that link to your outgoing emails when you invite your family and friends to join us on the walk.


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Register now for the Tracy's Angels 5k walk

The registration form is now available on the Horizons Web site. Scroll down toward the bottom of the home page and there's a link to the flyer. It's an Adobe reader file that you can print out, then either mail it to Horizons or drop it off any Sunday with your registration fee.

If you don't know what Tracy's Angels is, visit the link along the right side of the blog and read Tracy's story. Then get ready to walk on Oct. 7.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Early, outdoors church is cool

Pastor Steve and Jamie Brown did a great job this morning for the first early church at Horizons.

The 30-minute service was at a perfect time of day for being outdoors...the air was cool, the birds were making lots of noise, the clouds were more white than gray and the sun began bursting through as Steve was giving his message.

There were about 15 or so of us there to get close to God. Some rode bikes, ran or walked. I drove up in my very large, gas-hungry truck and no one made me feel bad for that. I met two cyclists who have come to know about Pastor Steve first through the Lincoln Journal Star story and from there, his blog. The guys were nice. They laughed at Pastor Steve's jokes.

Next Sunday, early church for cyclists and everyone else will happen again. There will even be a couple of guest speakers that will be of interest especially to cyclists. It starts at 8 a.m. The coffee, doughnuts and bagels will be ready when the service is over. It's only for the month of August, so come while you can. Today was a really cool experience.


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Church for cyclists and others -- 8 a.m tomorrow

Don't forget...Pastor Steve and Jamie Brown will be holding a 30 minute Worship service for those on the go tomorrow a.m. from 8-8:30 on the lawn east of the church building and north of the parking lot.

Horizons Community Church is located at 3200 Grainger Parkway. If you check out this entry on Pastor Steve's blog, scroll down toward the end where he gives directions for those taking the bike path.

We'll be hosting these every Sunday for the month of August. See you there!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Fiesta! is history...Viva!

We knew it had to come to an end.

By Sunday, all the material evidence of Fiesta! will most likely have been tossed, recycled or removed and no one will know that for five nights nearly 250 kids and more than 170 volunteers sang songs, made crafts, played games, watched a DVD of a chipmunk stranded in the desert, and we experienced dramas that seemed to come to life before our eyes.

But what made it all more than just songs, games and fun was that it was all about Jesus, all wrapped in prayer and we got to dig inside our hearts to get closer to God and to think more about others as Jesus would want us to do.

We met strangers who became friends. Maybe for some, Jesus is more of a friend now and less of a stranger.

We prayed. The adults prayed for the kids and some of our kids took up the challenge to pray for their leaders. Some took up other challenges, like talking to someone about Jesus or drawing a poster that shows Jesus' love for us. Others did nice things for people in their family.

I'll be honest. I'm tired. Bone tired. My eyelashes ache. My head hurts. I was ready to leave the Fiesta! What I hope is that the lessons, the feelings and the excitement about Jesus that these kids experienced this week will stay with them the rest of their lives. If they remember the fun and craziness and that all this was about Jesus -- then this exhaustion is worth it.

On Sunday, the kids will sing. They can just sing at the service they are attending, no need to stay for both. They can wear their orange Fiesta! t-shirts.


Big news about a big weekend - Oct. 7 & 8

Remember Concert on the Hill? It's our annual outdoor concert where we set up our lawn chairs and blankets outside and listen to our three Worship bands for a few hours.

This year, Horizons is hosting Weekend on the Hill -- two days of serving, fun and Worship that will include Concert on the Hill but more importantly, it'll include a big-Big-BIG service project. For the first time, Horizons is organizing and hosting a benefit 5k walk. We will be walking to raise money and awareness for Tracy's Angels, a group committed to raising $500,000 for Lincoln resident Tracy DuPont to pay for her bone marrow transplant.

The walk will kick-off the weekend beginning Saturday, Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. for check-in and late registration, and the walk will start at 9 a.m. The course begins and ends at Horizons Community Church, 3200 Grainger Parkway, Lincoln, Nebraska. Look for registration forms at Horizons and soon we'll have the registration area set up on the Web site. Walkers aged 14 through adults are $15 and they'll receive a pink Tracy's Angels t-shirt. Younger ages are not asked to donate and don't get a shirt. If they want one, they'll be available for $10.

Concert on the Hill will take place Saturday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. As before, bring your chairs, blankets, family and friends. There will be food for sale and fun things for the kids.

Sunday, Oct. 8, we will have one Worship-Celebration service outdoors at 11 a.m. Again, bring those lawn chairs and blankets. After Worship, there will be lunch and family games.

So you see, it is big. It's a big opportunity for us to serve a local woman who needs help. Serving is a core value at Horizons. It's part of our DNA as a church body. It defines who we are. Get the weekend reserved on your calendar now and watch for more details to come.


Fiesta! night 4

Four nights down, one to go and then Fiesta! will be history. Tonight we cruised along, got our blanket all ready for shipping to India for the orphanage Horizons supports through our ministry called Project Hope.

It was a really cool time during our finale when each crew brought up their blanket and piled them up on the stage. Earlier in the evening, we stuffed some red hearts inside the blanket and prayed together that the child or children who get to curl up with our blanket are warm, safe and loved. It was a fun project to work on. The blankets are fleece and it's actually two pieces of material with fringed edges that we tied together. During the week when we've had time, we could all sit together and work on tying the blanket. It made for a good time to talk and get to know each other. My crew included two Horizons girls and two girls who live at the People's City Mission, so we had lots to learn about each other.

Tomorrow, our last night, will be a bit sad having to see the party end. It's been one big Jesus fest. I hope the party-for-Jesus spirit will continue to keep these kids on fire for Jesus beyond this week and beyond this year.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fiesta! by the numbers -- night 2

We had more new registrations for night 2 of Fiesta!, that was Monday. Here are the updated numbers:

  • Kids Registered: 288
  • Kids in attendance: 247

That's 13 more registrations and 8 more kids than the first night. Not every kid can make it every night of Fiesta! so the numbers will change often. No worries, we are grateful that all these parents and guardians have entrusted their children to us and to the life-change God is working in and through them. Go God!


Fiesta! night 3

I think now we've found our groove and Fiesta! is just one huge party. The first two nights, we had a schedule to memorize and we were learning all these new songs and now we've pretty much mastered several -- able to put all the words and movements together which isn't always an easy thing for some of the adults to keep up with.

They test out these songs on kids, not adults. Trust me, no adult would say, yeah, let's do that one with all the hopping, leaping, shouting, stand up-sit-down-lean-to-the-left-then-the-right, then clap in an ever-changing order that no one (but a kid) can remember...yeesh. I feel like a two-left-footed goof half the time. But the kids love it. And pretty much that's what the week is about. Kids having fun while learning more about Jesus.



United Methodists helping fire victims out west

Western Nebraska is having a tough time with the fires that have been raging for several days now. The following is information from our UMC newsletter about how our church conference has been helping and how Horizons can help.

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) announces a $10,000 grant to the Nebraska Conference for disaster relief for Chadron and Harrison, Neb., as a result of devastating forest and grass fires.

The UMCOR grant is to help with immediate needs in the disaster area.

Nebraska United Methodist Conference establishes “United Methodist Dawes/Sioux Fire Relief Fund”

The Chadron UMC took the lead and helped the conference to establish a relief fund to parallel a community fund also established to take contributions. The United Methodist Dawes/Sioux Fire Relief Fund will be managed by the Chadron UMC.

Contributions can be sent to:
Nebraska United Methodist Dawes/Sioux Fire Relief Fund
Chadron UMC
847 Shelton St.
Chadron, NE 69337


Nebraska United Methodist Dawes/Sioux Fire Relief Fund
Nebraska United Methodist Conference
P. O. Box 4553
Lincoln, NE 68504-0553

Long term help will be needed Clean-up and help for victims once the fires are out will be a need long into the future. Disaster Committee Chairman Rev. Roger Gillming (Bushnell-Kimball UMCs) and Volunteers in Mission Chairwoman Rev. Nan Kaye-Skinner are coordinating the volunteer effort that! will be needed the coming weeks. Contact Kaye-Skinner at 402-331-4054 or


Fiesta! Monday night photos

Thanks to Erin and her new camera, we have pictures from last night's Fiesta!