• Pastor Drew

You might have noticed the updated church logo. I know there have been some differing views about the church logo with many feelings and emotions. Let me tell you some of the thoughts behind the redesign and ensuing implementation of the logo.

There are always many things to consider when trying to capture the heart and essence of a church in a logo, especially when that church has been around for 170 years. How does a logo celebrate the past, honor the present, and look to the future?

First, celebrating our past. You might notice the updated logo looks both like stained glass and like stones stacked together. I learned that as the congregation was building this structure, the farmers would bring in their field stones and drop them off on their way to worship. The mason then took them and squared them up before placing them as part of the building. What a way to build a structure! The stones surrounding us during our worship times were harvested from the farms of previous congregants, and their heritage has stood the test of time. And the beautiful stained glass that adorns our sanctuary is a focal point of our place of worship. It reminds us of the story of God that we are a part of by worshipping and working in this place. We wanted the updated logo to honor our past and those who have served and worked in this place.

Secondly, we honor our present in our current name. Our given name was First Baptist Church of Lansing; however, it changed to Christ Community Church of Greater Lansing some years ago. Please note a couple of things about the current name and logo. Our name and logo have three C’s in them. The outer C and the first word in our name are correlated. I love how the logo shows Christ surrounding all that we do. Christ cradles Community and the church. It is as if Christ is hugging our community and our church. I love that imaginary. Notice that the cross is at the center of the logo to help us remember that Christ is surrounding us and protecting us and at the center of everything we do. It reminds me of the prayer of Saint Patrick, “Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ within me.” We work and worship, not for our glory but the glory of God and the purposes of Jesus Christ, our Savoir.

Finally, as we look hopefully toward the future, we wanted a clean and simple logo. Something that helps us be remembered by those who are searching for a church home. As we reach out to new people, we want people in the Lansing area to see this logo and associated it with a warm, welcoming congregation. People who proclaim the love and mercy of Christ in our deeds as well as our words.

And yeah, yeah, it still looks a little like the Cubs logo, but we couldn’t make anything look fabulous with an old English “C”. But more than any logo, what people will remember is the people (us) and the Jesus, who is behind the logo. We can have the coolest, cleanest, and best-designed logo, but if God’s love does not accompany it in our actions and words, it might as well be a resounding gong or clanging cymbals.

One final note, t-shirts, polos, and hats will be available soon. Once we have a print shop lined up, we will let everyone know. We are excited for people to see our congregation out in the community in Christ Community Church ware. It will be a simple way to let people know where you worship and invite them to church.

46 views0 comments
  • Pastor Drew

I have a confession to make. It is tough for me to pray for long periods. I probably have a touch of ADHD, but that is not an excuse not to spend time in prayer. However, when I sit down to pray in my office, I will get distracted by my phone, computer, a book I have meant to read, or just my artwork on the wall. Something will distract me from my intended purpose of prayer.

These past few weeks, I have been doing more walking around Lansing and especially downtown Lansing. I have noticed buildings, artwork, and, most importantly, the people. And on one of these walks, I started praying. I prayed for our congregation as I walked around the corner at Michigan and Capitol. I prayed for the outdoor neighbor who was panhandling at the corner. I prayed for our governor, the legislators, and their aides as I walked past the front lawn of the Capitol building. I prayed for the judges, the lawyers, and those standing trial as I walked past the Hall of Justice (which is the coolest name for any building in our fair city). I prayed for our neighbors in our community as I walked past the Capitol View apartments, the Riverfront apartments, the Outfield Lofts, and BLOCK600 Lofts. I prayed for the families and students who live in the houses and rentals between Capitol and MLK. I prayed for the kids playing soccer as I walked by Ferris Park.

I say all this to say. I am dedicating myself to the spiritual practice of prayer walks during July. I plan to walk 100 miles around Lansing, especially around the church building, and pray all the while. First, I am going to pray for the people. Second, I will pray that God makes us a place where those who need to know God’s love, mercy, and comfort can find it. Third, I will pray that God will give us a vision of how we can be a blessing to our community through our work and building. Finally, I will be praying for God to increase our numbers, not for our glory but so that we can have a more significant impact on our community for the glory of God.

I am asking for you to join me in this dedicated time of prayer in July. While you might not want to or be able to join me in walking 100 miles this July, but you can say 100 prayers. Each day, I will send out a text message with a prayer request. I am asking everyone who receives it to pray about this topic three times during that day. It could be during your morning devotions, or before a meal, or while you are walking your dog. Whenever it is, we are praying about the same topics together as a faith community. And we know God answers prayers.

If you want to join this campaign, text “PrayJuly” to 463-777-9451. Each day you will be sent a text reminding us of our prayer focus for the day. Plus, on Sundays, July 11 and 25, I hope to send people into the neighborhood on their prayer walk/drive. These days, we will focus on praying for the people who live around the church building and asking God to show us ways to bless them and invite them to church.

We know that our God listens when the people of God pray, so let us join our hearts and spirits together in a month of prayer for our community, our congregation, and our world. Won’t you join us in praying during July?

61 views0 comments
  • Pastor Drew

As I write this, I have been with Christ Community Church for only two and a half weeks. During that time, I have been able to meet with many of the people in our wonderful congregation. You have told me about your lives, where you have served in the church and your hopes for the future. I have read some of the histories of this congregation and walked these hallowed halls.

During the interview process, I remember one question in particular. The committee asked, “As it pertains to outreach, what are the first things you are going to do?” I took a second to think about it, and I answered, “I don’t know.” Not exactly a great answer for an interview.

But then I went on, as I typically do, “I don’t know the passions and talents of the congregation. I don’t know the needs of the community directly around the church. I don’t know how our facility could bless our community.” Okay, again, I don’t think I am winning any points for this answer.

Then I got to the part of the answer that might have been okay. I said, “My first few months at the church will be about getting to know the congregation. I want to know their passions, abilities, and talents. That will give me an idea of how we might be able to reach out to our community. Next, I need to get to know our community. Who lives directly around the church building? Who are the people in our community who are unchurched or dechurched? And finally, I need to get familiar with our facility because that will drive what kinds of activities and outreach events we can do.”

This is what I plan on working on this summer—getting to know you, the congregation. If you haven’t had a chance to meet with me one-on-one, I would love that opportunity. I promise not to sign you up for any committees or other volunteer opportunities that day. Next, there you will find me walking through the streets near the church. I want to get to know our neighborhood and see what needs we could help with right away. And finally, if you don’t hear from me for a while, it is probably because I am lost somewhere within our building. I want to get to know the facilities that God has blessed us with and dream about how we might use them to reach new people.

For me, May and June are all about reconnaissance. Learning everything I can about our congregation, community, and facilities so that I can be a champion for our outreach efforts as we reemerge from the pandemic and head into a new ministry year in the fall. I wish I had a quick fix to tell you would work and make hundreds of people show up next week, but I don’t. But I do trust that guided by the Holy Spirit, the leadership of this church, and the membership, we will find what God has called us to do here at the corner of Ionia and Capitol to reach out with Christ’s love, grace, and hope. And when God is with us, we cannot fail.

Please, pray for me, the leadership, and our congregation that God may lead us by Holy Spirit to the ministry that will significantly impact our community and congregation. Pray that God will challenge us to invite our friends, family, and neighbors to join us for worship. Pray that God will open our eyes, ears, and hearts to the hurting people around us.

22 views0 comments