thinking out loud

…things that are on my mind, heart, and soul

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Stay connected…

Terry

Filed under: Uncategorized

Exponential: The Big Ideas

This week I have been participating in Exponential in Orlando. It has been a four day experience filled with all sorts of big ideas. I have never participated in Exponential before and purposely built it into my schedule because many of the speakers and presenters were people I have not heard from in a conference or seminar format before. As well, I really enjoyed having a ton of smaller workshops built into the mix of things where you could interact and learn from practitioners. While I am pretty sure this was a one time deal for me, it was a rich experience.

The theme of the event was “transformation: it starts in the heart of one.” I wanted to share some of the big ideas I heard that if taken to heart, embraced and practiced have the potential to unleash a fresh kingdom revolution. I am also grateful that I am staying in Florida for a few days to unwind, decompress and think through some of this stuff. My usual practice has been to jump right back into the work and this is the first time I can remember actually blocking out the time and space to process some of the stuff.

Batterson, Chandler, and Chan: Before the event started, I participated in a pre-conference seminar led by Mark Batterson, Matt Chandler and Francis Chan. I greatly appreciated the way these guys openly shared with us. Matt and Francis are going through some really challenging life situations right now and they were open and authentic with us.

“Most people have not made a decision to follow Christ; they have asked Christ to follow them.” (Batterson)

My take on this is that there is a big difference between asking Jesus to follow us into the world (into the places we live, work, play and learn) and actually following Jesus into the world. Many of us (myself included) are committed people of faith and we truly welcome and desire Jesus’ presence in our everyday life. We want to glorify God in our everyday, ordinary lives. But what would it look like if we actually asked Jesus to lead us into the world. Where do you want me to go today, Jesus? Where should I live, work, learn and play? What if we actually gave Jesus the permission to set the agenda for us as opposed to asking Jesus to bless our agendas?

Three big ideas from Matt Chandler:

  1. Whatever you are teaching, even if it is moral, right and true must come through the lens and centrality of the Gospel.
  2. The study of Scripture without the intention to apply its truths is a frightening thing.
  3. What you don’t like about your church is most likely what you don’t like about yourself.

Matt’s teaching was wrapped around the centrality of the Gospel. he talked about the Gospel on the ground (God, Humanity, Christ, Response) and the Gospel in the air (Creation, Fall, Redemption and Consummation). These are the two sides of the Gospel and both are found in the Scriptures. Matt reminded us that there is a time and place for both expressions of the Gospel and that we should allow the texts we are teaching on lead us toward the most appropriate expression. He also reminded us that most teachers/preachers lean more heavily toward one or the other approaches. I am definitely a Gospel in the air kind of guy and love the whole narrative of salvation history and its communal and missional dimensions. Be on the lookout for a few more Gospel on the ground messages.

Francis Chan dropped the biggest bomb on us. He told us that on Sunday we had announced to his congregation that he is stepping down from his role as pastor of Cornerstone, a church he founded 16 years ago. Francis and his wife have discerned a call to step out in faith and follow the leadership of the Spirit. They are unsure of where that might be although Francis believes it most likely will be into a large urban area like the inner city of LA. Kind of wild to consider walking away from a very successful church and ministry into the unknown to you but known at this point only by God. You can learn more about Francis’ transition here.

Three big ideas from Chan:

  1. If Jesus says to do something, we don’t actually do it – we just memorize it.
  2. If I arrived in America after being on an island with just a Bible, I don’t think the first thing I would do is to start a Sunday worship service.
  3. Do we as leaders calm people down or spur people on to love and good works?

Chan’s last statement reminded me of words I heard years ago from Michael Slaughter who described the task of leadership as finding a spark in people’s life and throwing gas on it. Ken Blanchard said something similar at Exponential with these words: “some churches say we can do, it you can help – others say you can do it, we can help.”

Those are just some of the big ideas I picked up from the pre-conference expereince. More to come in the days ahead.

Stay connected…

Filed under: exponential, Uncategorized

Practice Resurrection

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.

Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.

So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.

Practice resurrection.
(Wendell Berry)

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Our Story

Over the past nine months our community of faith has been collectively working through a wonderfully creative and compelling narrative process. This process was designed to not only help us explore the story that God is writing through our lives but also to help us live more deeply into that story. I am grateful for Leanne Meyer and her leadership; she facilitated this process and masterfully led our leadership community through this journey.

Yesterday in worship we shared the results of this journey with our community. Six members of our community, through story, images and song, shared their perspective of the past, present, and future (the audio will be available via our podcast on iTunes and through our audio site Thinking Out Loud on Tuesday). Hearing these stories brought great joy to my heart as I was reminded of the ways God has been at work  forming and shaping our community of faith over the past six years.

We crafted a one page narrative summary which you will find in this post. My thanks to Dianne Polome who carried the freight on this project and spent many hours drafting and editing this document. As well, you can read the longer narrative on our CCCSH Blog. If you are a member of our community, I pray you would be encouraged by our story and challenged to live more passionately as a cast member of this drama. And if you are not a member of our community, I encourage you to reflect upon the story that God is writing through your community of faith and celebrate God’s activity in the past, acknowledge God’s work in the present and look forward in faith to the future God has in store for you.

Christ Community Church of the South Hills Narrative Summary

(Past) In the fall of 2003, God birthed a dream in the hearts of a small core of discerning men and women, boys and girls. What would it look like, they asked, to build a great church for God in the south hills of Pittsburgh, an alternative community of faith that would focus its resources upon the mission of God, by prioritizing relationships and by creating a welcoming environment for people who did not resonate with or had been disillusioned by a traditional church setting and context. With the firm conviction that men and women together reflect the image of God, this group of people committed to creating a community of faith that would keep Christ at its center. Empowered by these God-given convictions, the community called Terry Timm to be their lead pastor and in 2004, Christ Community Church of the South Hills was formally launched. Early on the community of faith saw itself as a small church with a big reach, believing that God would do great things, far beyond our imagination, through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the lives of committed Christ followers.

(Present) Six years later, CCCSH has remained true to our original intent and foundational values. We prioritize relationships and create catalytic worship, learning and serving environments where our mission is being accomplished. We live out our calling by providing an alternative worship environment featuring contemporary music and relevant messages from God’s Word. However, our worship gatherings are but a starting point for our participation in God’s work, as we understand our mission as helping others connect with God, one another and our world. Our learning environments for children, youth and adults help people make meaningful connections as well as rooting them more deeply in the way of Jesus. And our missional activity occurs throughout the week in the places we live, work, learn and play and through formal partnerships, joining in God’s work both near (Shepherd’s Heart and CCO) and far (Guraghe, Ethiopia) and in places in-between (Gulf Coast work teams).

(Future) As we look back on what God has accomplished in, with and through our community of faith, we have much to celebrate. Moving forward, we envision God enabling us to have an even greater reach, as we continue to grow our roots deeper in the way of Christ. Our focus will be on the formation of disciples, rather than simply making converts. We continue to be committed to an action-oriented ministry, one that helps people live more deeply into their faith and then exercise that faith in our world through their unique God-given strengths, gifts and passions. We remain a work in progress and believe that the One who began a good work in us will indeed one day bring it to completion.

Highlights

  • In the fall of 2003, a group of believers gathered around a God-sized dream to build a great church for God in the south hills of Pittsburgh.
  • In February 2004, Christ Community Church of the South Hills was formally launched.
  • We focus on creating dynamic and healthy worship, learning and serving environments and helping people connect to God, one another and our world in organic ways. Growing in our love for God and others is at the heart of our life as followers of Jesus.
  • We will accomplish our mission through people living into their unique giftedness and by establishing partnerships with like-minded ministries, near, far and everywhere in-between.
  • Fueled by a desire to follow Jesus into the world, we established the Uptown Center as a communal presence in the Mt Lebanon area.
  • Through the narrative process we pause to celebrate God’s work over the past six years and to root ourselves firmly in our identity as a community of faith as we anticipate God’s continued work in, with and through us.
  • Moving forward we seek to live out our original vision and values in deeper, stronger and broader ways, believing that God will do things far beyond our imagination, through the power of His Spirit at work in our lives.

Filed under: hope, leadership, Uncategorized

Warrior Princess: Fighting for Life with Courage and Hope

Imagine losing your mother, father, sister, brother and husband to a deadly disease. Then imagine carrying the killer HIV virus in your own body as well. To be honest, that scenario is beyond my capacity to imagine – and yet it is the reality Princess Zulu of Zambia lives with each and every day.  And yet, in her book “Warrior Princess: Fighting for Life with Courage and Hope,” Princess Zulu tells a compelling and inspiring story that will not only capture your heart, but  hopefully will move you into action as well.

On January 2, 1998 Princess discovered that she was HIV positive. However, she refused to be defeated by that diagnosis, but instead committed herself to doing everything humanly possible to educate, inform and to fight for life. Her own nation of Zambia and the entire sub-Saharan region of Africa has been devastated by the HIV and AIDS pandemic. Consider some of the most recent statistics:

  • Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region most heavily affected by HIV worldwide, accounting for over two thirds (67%) of all people living with HIV and for nearly three quarters (72%) of AIDS-related deaths in 2008.
  • An estimated 1.9 million [1.6 million–2.2 million] people were newly infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa in 2008, bringing to 22.4 million [20.8 million–24.1 million] the number of people living with HIV.
  • In 2008, more than 14 million children in sub-Saharan Africa had lost one or both parents to AIDS.
  • The nine countries in southern Africa continue to bear a disproportionate share of the global AIDS burden—each of them has an adult HIV prevalence greater than 10%.

Early in Princess Zulu’s spiritual journey she received a series of prophetic words and Scriptures that would guide and empower her life and mission. She tells the story of a word she received in 1996 from the Prophet Zimba who shared a vision of Princess “standing at an airport carrying suitcases. There were flights going in different directions, all around the world. The flags of many nations were waving about, but some were standing out stronger than others: the flags of Canada, Australia and America. And the American flag had come to a standstill” (pages 78-79).  Little did Princess know that God would one day carry this simple Zambian woman to the places of power in her own nation and around the globe to speak as a advocate for those suffering from the impact of  HIV and AIDS – especially women and vulnerable children.

Princess is one gutsy woman. One of the techniques she used to raise awareness about HIV was to pose as a commercial sex worker and “work” the truckers who would travel through her region. When they would solicit her for sex, she would make them aware of her HIV status and then educate them about the dangers of their own behavior and how they were contributing to the spread of the virus. While at times controversial, Princess would not let the conventional wisdom set the pace for the education of Africans regarding this deadly disease.

Princess is a wonderful storyteller and one of my favorite stories in the book recalls the famous “President Bush Kiss.”  Princess was invited to the White House to speak the President around the occasion of his PEPFAR initiative. The picture I included in this blogpost is worth one thousand words, but I encourage you to pick up the book to read the story behind the kiss.

From the White House to the gym at Eisenhower School. In 2008 our community of faith was fortunate to have Princess Zulu with us for a worship gathering. She shared a powerful message of compassion and hope and I encourage you to listen to it.

Please read Princess Zulu’s story. You will be inspired and I pray you will be moved into action. If you would like to learn more about the work of World Vision and our partnership in Guraghe, Ethiopia, please leave a comment and I would be pleased to connect you to this important work.

Stay connected…

Filed under: global poverty, hope, Uncategorized, world AIDS day

Keep Us Faithful to Your Dream

A friend sent me this prayer by Ted Loder crafted in honor of Martin Luther King and created to inspire and empower us to keep faithful to the dream. I find the words especially meaningful in light of the crisis in Haiti and the destruction that has devastated that nation.

Today on this day we honor Dr King, let us remember his words, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and pray and act to the end that the words of the prophet Amos might be fulfilled: “Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never ending stream” (Amos 5:24).

Please pray with me:

O God of all nations and peoples,
We are grateful for the dreams
Of freedom, justice, and peace
Forever spun by your Spirit
And focused by prophets in every age.

We are grateful that in our time
You call every man and woman
To lift up and live by that dream,
To embody it in our world by
Walking the walk,
Confessing our complicities
Braving the work,
Daring the confrontation,
Exposing the lies,
Singing our faith,
Asking the questions,
Raising the Cain,
Making the sacrifices,
Organizing the community,
Easing the hate,
Expanding the compassion,
Enduring in humility,
Risking the revolution of love,
And ratifying the ‘not for sale’ sign on our souls.

We especially praise you this day
For the life of Martin Luther King Jr.
And for countless others down the ages
Whose names are known and unknown,
And for those who yet lift up the dream and confirm it as yours,
Who quicken the conscience of this country
And the human family around this globe,
Whose courage and commitments,
Vision and enthusiasm and joy
Brace our spirits and fire our wills.

So we thank you and remember
And move boldly on in the faith that,
However dark the night,
However fearful the tyrannies of oppression,
However heavy the weight of arrogance,
We can yet be confident and buoyant in you and your promise
That one day justice will roll down like waters
And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream
And peace abide in our hearts
Through this land,
On this earth
Between brothers and sisters of every race,
Every nation, every faith, every orientation,
Every generation, every wounded, wonderful
One and all of your human family.

Keep us faithful to that promise,
Your dream,
And for Christ’s sake, and for ours.
Amen.

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Rogue Waves

WaveIt’s hard to believe that it has been two months since my last post. Little did I know that my reflections on Lament were simply a prelude for what was to come in the days ahead.

Straight up – it has been an extremely demanding summer; in fact, the past eight weeks have been some of the most challenging days I have experienced in some time. First off, my son became an economic causality and was laid off from his job. Next up my wife lost her job in an ugly way as she was treated inequitable and unjustly by her former employer. And then our daughter spent eight days in the hospital with a very serious flare-up of her colitis. More than a few times I have looked to the heavens and given voice to my lament to the Lord with this question – “what in the world are you doing God?”

During his opening talk at this year’s Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels introduced me to a fresh image that has helped me process the events of the past couple of months. The image comes from the world of sailing (one of Hybels’ passions) and is that of the rogue wave. A rogue wave is an unexpected, unpredictable, abnormally large wave that occurs on a seemingly random basis in the oceans. One of the things I realized afresh this summer is the reality that rogue waves are not confined to the oceans – you and I are confronted by them throughout our journey on terra firma. One of my favorite lines from Hybels’ talk was this:

“The normal we once knew and loved has left the building.”

Hybels reminded the 60,000 plus leaders participating in the Summit that it is times like these where our faith is challenged and our deepest convictions about the God and the community of faith are put to the test.  Is the Church really the hope of the world? And in my case, will the Church not so much be the hope of the world, but will it be a source of hope and help to me as I face the rogue waves of my own journey?

The most potent line from Hybels talk (which I immediately text to my wife) was this:

“We’re going to get through this chapter in life together.”

And we have!

Let me use this forum to say thank you to all of you in the Community of Faith who have been a source of real help and hope to me and my family during this season. Your timely texts and emails, the meals you have delivered to our doorstep, your continual prayers, your hugs and encouraging words – they have helped sustain me through the rough waters of this season.

One other thing that has helped sustain me along the way has been music. And Matt Redman’s recent release, “We Shall Not Be Shaken” has served as a powerful reminder of God’s presence and provision even in the midst of rogue waves. The title track reminds me that even when everything is breaking, God is left unshaken – when everything is tumbling down, God is the solid ground.

We shall not be shaken!

Stay connected…

Filed under: hope, Uncategorized

A Journey to the Cross

This Sunday we enter into the week we call holy. It is a fresh opportunity to enter more deeply into the passion of Jesus – His life, death, and resurrection. This Lent we have invited artists in our community to use their artistic gifts to help each of us and all of us experience anew the reality of Christ’s amazing love and sacrifice.

“The Journey to the Cross” will be open to the public next week at the Uptown Center (668 Washington Road in Mt Lebanon on Monday – Saturday from 10 AM-2 PM and Thursday and Friday evenings from 6:30-8:30 PM for viewing, reflection and prayer. Tonight (Friday) at 6 PM we will have a First Friday Open House preview. I hope you will join us during this holy season as I believe this exhibit will enable you to more fully apprehend the amazing, divine love of God in Christ.

The following is my introduction to the Journey and I invite you to reflect upon these words today.

Many years ago, during my final year of theological education at Pittsburgh Seminary, I had the opportunity to visit the nation of Israel for a month long immersion into the land we call “holy.” It was a rich, life changing journey and my experiences with fellow seminarians along the shores of the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea, in the mountains of Caesarea Philippi, the lush valleys of Jericho, and the deserted places – these experiences continue to inform and enlighten my reading of the Scriptures almost 25 years after the fact.

However, my favorite memories were the early morning and late night walks I took through the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem. The ancient paths possessed a maze-like quality and every twist and turn along the cobbled way brought with it intrigue, mystery and great delights of sight, sound, smell and taste. Over time we become familiar with many of the shopkeepers and street vendors along the way. Complex and competing Arab and Hebrew melodies, braying donkeys, freshly baked breads, tantalizing falaphal sandwiches, amazing fruits and vegetables, strong Arab coffee – these walks are locked deeply into my sensual memory banks. And yet there were moments on these walks when a profound sense of sacredness, might I say even holiness, overtook me as I came to the realization that the path my feet were traveling were perhaps tracing the very steps that Jesus took two centuries earlier.

For countless generations, followers of Jesus have referred to these sacred steps as the Via Dolorosa – Latin for “the Way of Grief” or “the Way of Sufferings”. Traditionally, the Via Dolorosa is held to be the pathway that Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion and death. Nine stations mark the Via Dolorosa, each one commemorating a specific event that contributed to the suffering and passion of our Lord in his final hours of His earthly ministry. For most pilgrims who find their way into the Old City, the exact location of each event along the Via Dolorosa is of little importance; what is most significant however is the spirit of the journey.

It is my honor to welcome you to the Journey to the Cross. This exhibit features the creative work of artists from our community of faith. As you take time to consider their artistic renderings of the final steps of Jesus, I invite you into the spirit of the journey.

May the same Spirit who empowered Jesus, each and every step of His journey to the cross, open your eyes, ears and hearts and may the Spirit guide you deeper into the mystery of the passion of our Lord – His life, death, and resurrection. And as we follow our Lord along the Via Dolorosa and ultimately to the empty tomb, may we be reminded of His passionate love for each of us and all of us.

Stay connected…

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An Invitation to Join Me on a W-Trek

Most of you know worship is one of my personal passions. As I look back at my ministry over the last 25 years, I can see how God has used me to invite people and communities to enter more deeply into the mysterious thing we call worship. And so I invite you to join me for a W-Trek.

What is a W-trek? W-treks are a small band of fellow travelers who come together as a learning community seeking a deeper experience of worship and most importantly a deeper relationship with the One we worship. W-treks differ from traditional sit-and-soak events because they are multi-sensory, integrative, interactive and involve participants on a variety of levels.

Who should attend a W-trek?
Worshipers of all types would benefit from participation in a W-trek. joining a trek can be extremely valuable for those serving as worship leaders, pastors, worship designers, or members of worship teams.

Trek Guide
Terry Timm, serves as lead pastor of Christ Community Church of the South Hills. Terry is a seasoned worship leader and brings his background in music, education, theology, and teams to this trek leadership.

Trek Signposts
Signpost One: what is worship?
Signpost Two: worship in the post-modern world
Signpost Three: worship in the experience economy
Signpost Four: epic worship
Signpost Five: designing worship in community
Signpost Six: worship and mission

Trek Expenses
$25 which includes trek guide, resources and refreshments

Trek Dates (choose one)
Saturday April 18, 25, May 2 (8:45 AM – 11:15 AM)
Tuesday April 21, (no trek on April 28) May 5, 12 (7 – 9 PM)

Trek Departure Point
The Uptown Center, 668 Washington Road in Mt Lebanon, PA

To register for a w-trek:
Simply email terry @ terrytimm@mac.com indicating a Saturday or Tuesday departure and forward a check (payable to CCCSH):
126 Woodhaven drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15228.

All proceeds from the trek will go to the establishment of the Pastors Resource Center in Guraghe, Ethiopia.

Stay connected…

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Help Me Celebrate My 50th Birthday

This is my last week to enjoy my 40’s. The past decade has been quite a ride! But next Friday (Friday the 13th actually), I will be celebrating the big 50. Would you help me celebrate it in a BIG way?

In October – November 2007, I visited a region of Ethiopia called Guraghe. My friend Barbara and I had the opportunity to travel with World Vision and see first hand how the good news of Christ enacted in word and deed can bring real help and hope to people in desperate need. Clean water, health care, food security, the empowerment of women through education, care provided to orphans and vulnerable children, churches being birthed – these are true signs of the life that Jesus desires for all people. I have been thrilled that our faith community has jumped headfirst into a partnership with the people of Guraghe. We have sponsored almost 75 children there and contributed to special projects like the Mother and Infant Nutrition Initiative. As a leader, our commitment really pumps me up and I am extremely proud of our community

There has been one group of servants in Guraghe that have been heavy on my heart lately. One Sunday afternoon in Guraghe, I had lunch with about dozen men who are serving the emerging churches in that community. Evangelical Christianity does not have a long history or broad reach in Guraghe, but in conjunction with the tangible expressions of the Gospel through World Vision, the Church of Jesus Christ is being established and people’s lives are being changed, physically and spiritually.

As we talked with these pastors and they shared their God-stories, I was overwhelmed by their commitment and sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel and the life of the Church. Each of them worked a full time job and yet poured themselves out for the people of the community. Not long ago I read the words from James 1:9, “Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position,” and I immediately thought of these pastors. They wouldn’t trade their call and humble place in life for anything the world could offer. And as I reflected upon these words from Scripture, the Holy Spirit prompted me to do something.

My venti dream for my 50th year is to bring blessing and encouragement to the pastors of Guraghe. Would you help me celebrate my birthday by making that dream a reality?

I have been working with World Vision, both here and in Ethiopia, to find a tangible expression of encouragement and support for these faithful servants. After consultation with the World Vision Guraghe staff and the local pastor’s fellowship in Guraghe we have landed upon a great concept. Our goal is to create a Pastors Resource Center that will help the local pastors serve their people more faithfully and fruitfully. The Resource Center would contain Bible study and other reference materials, musical and sound equipment, and basic office furnishings. All of these items will resource these pastors and greatly encourage them in their common ministry.

Someone asked me what I wanted for my birthday. They wanted to give me something significant and meaningful. While I have never asked for a birthday gift like this, I figured you are only 50 once – why not go for it!

Our church is establishing a special fund to do this very thing. If this resonates with you and you would like to help make this dream a reality, please send a check (payable to CCCSH – memo Guraghe PRC) to:

Christ Community Church of the South Hills
PO Box 13393
Pittsburgh, PA 15243

Thanks so much for considering this. Your generosity will help catalyze spiritual transformation among the people of Guraghe. And synergized with the physical and material expressions of love, men and women, boys and girls will experience the full life of Jesus Christ. And I could think of no better birthday gift!

Stay connected…

Filed under: Uncategorized

about me

my name is terry and i've been married to a great woman, patty for 29 years and we have four children, (ranging from 17-25) and an awesome grandson. i serve as lead pastor of christ community church of the south hills in pittsburgh, pa (lets go pens!). i am currently working on a book on worship with a working title of "a movable feast: a liturgy for our everyday, ordinary lives."

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