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CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215
As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into His glory, and God will be glorified because of Him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, He will give His own glory to the Son, and He will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for Me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are My disciples.”John 13:31-35
A Passion for Love
On their 65th wedding anniversary, their grandson took gramps aside and said, “Grandpa, you still call grandma ‘honey’, or ‘gorgeous’ or ‘darling;’ what’s your secret?”
Grandpa replied, “I forgot her name five years ago and I’m scared to death to ask her what it is.”
Anniversaries often prompt us to take a look back as well as to cast an eye toward the future.
22 years ago yesterday, a group of committed Christians gathered in the cafeteria at Cloverleaf High School for CrossPointe Community Church’s first worship service.
Ron and Rena Thomas were not only there that day, but they also served on what was then called the Administrative Team that birthed this church.
Others of you who were there that day include (in alphabetical order): Heidi Cantlin, Annie Dean, Jeff and Stephanie Kinney, Gail Hruska, Bill and Dora Richardson, Drema Riser, Jim and Kathy Shepherd and Curt and Joyce Toy.
Cloverleaf served as our meeting place for 3 years and 3 months. Other than our worship services, which were, of course, the most important aspect of our ministry, we really did have fun! We hosted a “Sixties Hippie Dance” attended by about 100 people. We participated in the Lodi Sweet Corn Festival Parade; one year to advertise our Wizard of Oz play, and another a Beverly Hillbillies Bible Study.
While at Cloverleaf we began our partnership with Medina County’s Hidden Hollow Park; where in the barn we held Christmas Eve Services for several years, where we held a youth 30-hour Famine, and followed that up with Survival School VBS.
Other than the folks who were with us from the beginning, are there any here today who came to us while we sojourned at Cloverleaf?
Then we picked up our tents and made our first trek to the Grace Drake Building for the Performing Arts located on South Broadway Street in Medina. We began to worship and minister at that location on October 5th, 2003, and remained there until June 2006.
Here’s a picture of our Worship Team and one of Esther Hutton and Nancy Jarvis teaching a Sunday School class. And here are some shots of several other things we engaged in while in Medina: practice for the play A Christmas Tale, an action shot of Godspell, Garrett Tresch playing the bass, when we sponsored a donut sale at the Medina Home and Garden Show, sold lemonade stand for missions on the square at Art in the Park, and we worshiped followed by a picnic at Richardson’s Farms.
Are there any here who became part of the CrossPointe family during that time?
From there, this band of gypsies traversed to the intersection of Spencer Lake and Vandemark Roads where we sojourned until December of 2010.
Here’s a shot of a Blessing of the Pets outdoor worship service, our Wednesday evening Youth Club, a shot of a children’s play titled Angels Aware, another cast of A Christmas Tale, our Christmas Dinner held at the Old School House Restaurant in Litchfield, and here are 8 pictures of a Valentine’s Day Dance.
Are there any folks here who joined us during that time?
Finally we found our home here in Chippewa Lake. We had to do some remodeling before we could open up. We held our very first worship service here on Christmas Eve in 2010.
Other than worship, some of the events we’ve participated in include: a prom, many 4th of July Parades, Easter Egg Hunts, train rides on the CVSRR, various Gather to Scatter mission projects, and last but not least, the annual Lions’ Club Polar Bear Event.
How many of you have joined up with this band of merry minstrels since then?
And here we are today recognizing 22 years of mission and ministry accomplished by the good people of CrossPointe Community Church. Over those 22 years, people have come and some have gone, and we have said goodbye to many who are now in glory.
But despite the changes of locale and people, one thing has remained consistent: the love of God in Christ our Lord
The Old Testament assures us at least a dozen times that God’s “steadfast love never ceases.” His amazing grace for us and our love for one another is that which continues to ‘bind us together.’
And that is how it should be as the Bible says, “three things will last forever; faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love” (I Corinthians 13: 13).
Today I am so proud to say as pastor of CrossPointe Community Church that we have a group of people who love one another very much. Every time we give people a chance to say what they love about CrossPointe, the first thing that people mention is the love they experience one for another.
Furthermore; I can say with certainty, based on past experiences that you would do the same for anyone else in our congregation in similar circumstances. Every simple act of mercy testifies to the love that we have for one for another.
This honors Christ Jesus who as He was preparing to leave this world told His disciples, “A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you should love one another” (John 13:34).
Today we celebrate a wonderful tribute; a glowing testimony to the power of Christ’s love at work among us. That is the solid foundation that we have been building over the past 22 years; a foundation of love for one another that remains steadfast; is rock solid, will stand the test of time, and will propel us into the years that lie ahead.
With that in mind, we note that Jesus not only said, “love one another;” He also gave a reason, “for by this all people will know that you are My disciples” (John 13:35).
In other words, Jesus has more people on His mind than those who are already in His camp. Three chapters earlier in John’s gospel, Jesus informed His disciples, “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know Me, just as My Father knows Me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd” (John 10:14-16).
Those words remind us that we must continue to pursue with everything we’ve got our Purpose Statement of Sharing God’s Grace with Our Community. God has shared His love and grace with us, not only for us but for all those other sheep who live within our mission field who have yet to come into His fold.
All of us come into contact with people who are missing something extremely important in life. In most cases, they may not even know what it is they are missing. But we know; they are missing out on knowing Christ; the love He has for them and the love He shows them through people like us.
Twelve years ago this very Sunday, while we were still worshiping at Spencer Lake and Vandemark, I preached a message about reaching others for Christ and I’d like to quote part of that message for you.
I was so encouraged by the 12 persons who were here Thursday evening at our prayer meeting. We were talking about the possibility of purchasing a building in Chippewa Lake. And I was delighted to hear that the focus wasn’t on the building; whether it was good or bad or otherwise, but rather, the focus was on the opportunity to reach people for Christ. One person noted there are many people living in Chippewa Lake because they lost their homes and moved to Chippewa to rent. Another mentioned the children who live there who need to be reached. And several expressed what we all know; that there are many who live there who have yet to meet Jesus.
Those words spoken 12 years ago today are as relevant now as they were then.
There are many people who live in this community who are not believers in the good news that you and I have chosen to embrace. As long as that is true, our mission and ministry of love will never end.
Dwight Moody told a story about a boy he knew in Chicago a number of years back who attended a Sunday school. When his parents moved to another part of the city he still attended the same Sunday school, although it meant a long, tiresome walk each way. A friend asked him why he walked so far when there were plenty of other good churches nearer his home. “They may be as good for others, but not for me,” was his reply.
“Why not?” she asked.
“Because where I’m going, well, they love a fellow over there,” he replied.
And Moody wrote, “If only we could make the world believe that we loved them, there would be fewer empty churches and a smaller proportion of our population who never darken a church door. Let love replace duty in our church relations, and the world will soon be evangelized.” 1
Evangelist Josh McDowell talks about how before he met Christ he had a lot of hatred in his life; but hated one man more than any other; his father. If you’re from a small town and your father is an alcoholic, everyone knows about it. Kids would come to school and make jokes about my father being downtown. I’d laugh on the outside but would be crying within. I’d walk into our barn and see my mother beaten so badly she couldn’t get up, lying in the manure with the cows. I don’t think anyone could have hated anyone more than I hated my father.
After I made my decision for Christ, He took that hatred and turned it upside down. I could actually look my father in the eye and tell him. “Dad, I loved you” and I meant it. After some of the things I had said and done to him, that shook him up. He said, “Son, how can you love a father like me?”
McDowell said, “Dad, six months ago I made a decision to believe in Jesus And I can’t fully explain it but since then I have found the capacity to accept not only you but other people too, just the way they are.”
My dad didn’t say a word; he turned and walked away. But 45 minutes later he came back to me and said, “Son, if God can do in my life what I have seen him do in yours, then I want to give him the opportunity.” And I had the opportunity to lead my father in a prayer to receive Christ. 2
All people carry within them a story. Sometimes that story reveals a past filled with pain, abuse and/or neglect. And often . . . all it takes to help an individual rise up and overcome, is for someone like you or I to take the time to care, to listen and to testify to the love of Christ.
Pastor David Erickson tells a story about his little brother who once had a rather traumatic event take place in his life. He was playing basketball and took an extremely freakish fall. He went up in the air, came down with his feet over his head, and landed on the back of his head and neck. Immediately he went into convulsions and then his breathing stopped. Some medical personnel in the crowd began to administer CPR to him. A number of minutes later, they got him going again. To make a long story short, he is doing fine today. Other than the fact he is still the ugliest member of the Erickson clan, he’s fine.
His pastor brother wasn’t at the game, but he did have a chance to see it on VHS. When he watched the replay, two things were indelibly etched in his memory. Number one was the severity and horror of the fall itself. And the other thing that he will never forget was the look on his father’s face as he peered over the shoulders of those attempting to resuscitate his son. And Erickson writes, “I want you to know that there’s something extremely powerful about the way a father looks at his child in distress.” 3
Having been called by God as testifiers of His love and grace, we must learn to see with the eyes of a father whose desperate face announces that, even should one child perish, it’s far too much. We must see with unblinking eyes those who stray or perhaps even run from God, see them as children He is not willing to forfeit.
On this anniversary of CrossPointe Community Church, let us resolve to enter the 23rd year of our ministry with a renewed passion; a renewed passion for others, a renewed passion for loving others, a renewed passion for testifying to the love of God that has been revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Moody’s Anecdotes and Illustrations, [Gloucester, United Kingdom: Tredition Classics, ©2013]. Pages 71-72.
2 Josh McDowell,‘A Special Kind of Love,’ God’s Chicken Soup for the Spirit, Complied by Kathy Collard Miller and D. Larry Miller, [Lancaster, Pennsylvania: Starburst Publishers, © 1996], Pages 178-179.
3 Told by David Erickson in a sermon titled,
Encounter: The Vision for Witnessing