Woodhaven Blog

Shipwrecked VBS Logo

Looking for the VBS Crew

Shipwrecked VBS Logo
We need all hands on deck for this summer’s Vacation Bible School: “Shipwrecked – Rescued by Jesus.” Our children’s minister, Emily Hayne, is looking for a good crew with all kinds of interests and skills. Can you greet parents and kids with a smile? We need you! Can you help a preschooler glue Popsicle sticks? We need you! Can you sing, dance or make a joyful noise with goofy enthusiasm? We need you! Most important, can you share Jesus’ love with children? If you said “Aye-aye,” please contact Emily to let her know you’re ready to come aboard! 

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Realm logo with tin can phone

All In the Woodhaven Realm!

Realm logo with tin can phone
Why should you be part of Woodhaven’s Realm?
  • To help us be a better-connected community
  • To give staff new tools to use for record-keeping and outreach
  • To help reduce costs by deactivating the old church directory
 
All church members (who are over age 13 and have active emails on file with Woodhaven) have been sent email invitations to set up their accounts in REALM, our new church record-keeping and directory tool. The email included a link that will take you to the Realm website where you can set up your account and a link to get detailed, step-by-step instructions (if you need them).
 

ALL IN in April!

Please help us make this new directory a tool for everybody at Woodhaven by opening these emails and following the instructions to set up your account as soon as possible. On April 8, we are aiming for “ALL IN”!
 
If you do not have an email on file with Woodhaven but are in the current church directory, you will be added to the new directory by the church administrative staff.
 

How to Set up Your Realm Account

NOTE: Use your computer to set up your account; some of the set up features do not work correctly on your mobile device!
  1. Click the link in your email invitation and set password.
  2. Click the link in the follow-up email to continue registration.
  3. Verify your phone number. Enter the phone number you have on file with Woodhaven.
  4. Review your PROFILE and modify PRIVACY so EVERYONE in church can see your contact information.
  5. Always SAVE your changes in Step 3.
 

Sign In

After you set up your account, you can sign back in to Realm by going to onrealm.org/woodhaven/signin. You may want to create a bookmark or favorite for it, so you won’t have to type it in the next time.
 

Questions

If you have questions after you receive your invitation, members of the Realm Launch Team will be available in the narthex during Fellowship Time on Sundays (10:10 – 10:30 a.m.) to you assist you over the next few weeks.

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Woman with "Cuddler" name badge

Joy-Joy Win-Win

Woman with "Cuddler" name badge
I’ve done a lot of thinking about our Joy Rising theme at Woodhaven. What brings me joy? What causes my joy to rise? Can I give others joy or cause their joy to rise?
 
There are a lot of things that give me joy and cause my joy to rise. Mostly I have faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior, so as the song Old Church Choir by Zach Williams says, “Ain’t Nothing Going to Steal My Joy!” I always have joy in my heart. There are times it’s a little harder to access than others, but I know it is always there.
 
Jesus is my source of joy, but on a lesser level there are other things that bring me joy. Sometimes joy comes in a song, a call or note from a friend, a hug, the unconditional greeting of my dog, or a luscious piece of chocolate cake. Part of my joy comes from the privilege of serving at Woodhaven. I love being able to talk with the kids, teach them, and share life with them (and you) at Woodhaven.
 
Recently I’ve begun a new volunteer job. My joy is definitely rising, and I believe I’m helping others to feel some joy as well. I’m volunteering for a couple of hours each week at UNC Children’s Hospital. My official job title is “Cuddler.” I find babies (sometimes older children) who need to be rocked, held, and talked to or sung to. I’ve really enjoyed my time with the little ones.
 
Hopefully, the attention I’ve shared with them has given them, their parents and the medical staff some joy, as well. The little ones are getting some needed one on one attention that has nothing to do with their medical condition. Rather than a win-win situation, I like to think of it as a joy-joy situation. I get joy, and others get joy, too! Can you find a way to help your joy and the joy of others rise?

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Yellow Lightning Bolt for Sons of Thunder Retreat

Sons of Thunder: High School Guys Retreat

Yellow Lightning Bolt for Sons of Thunder Retreat
Do you hear the rumble of thunder? The High School Guys Retreat is coming soon! It’s going to be a great weekend, including a ride on Doug’s boat, fun on Harker’s Island, good times together and seeing what we can learn from the “Sons of Thunder.” Led by Doug Smith and Zac Campbell.
 

Dates: April 13 – 15, 2018

Time: We’ll leave Woodhaven at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and return to Woodhaven by 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Location: Hosted by Doug Smith at Harker’s Island, NC

What to Bring: Pack lightly! Small duffel bag with Bible, 2 changes of clothing, bath towel, beach towel, swimsuit. Bed linens will be provided, but you may want to bring your own pillow.

Cost: Bring at least $50 to cover meals out on Friday and Saturday night and breakfast on Sunday. Lodging, transportation, snacks, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday will be provided.

RSVP to Zac Campbell.


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It’s Amazing What You Can Do in a Hairnet

We’ve found a great recipe for love:  Take one plastic bag, add a vitamin packet, drop in a sprinkle of soy and a generous scoop of dehydrated vegetables and top with a big cup of rice. Weigh it, seal it, and package it with care. Repeat 2,519 more times.
 
Garbed in hairnets and hats, 106 Woodhaven members and friends of all ages measured, scooped and sealed away the first Saturday in March. In record time, we prepared enough packages to serve 15,120 meals through Rise Against Hunger. Those nutritious meals are already on the way to feed children and adults in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
 
Rise Against Hunger meals are served in schools, vocational training programs, medical clinics, maternal health facilities, child and youth development centers and elder care facilities. And Rise Against Hunger Impact Partners work in the same communities to teach food safety, improve water quality and provide job training and emergency assistance.
 
The Woodhaven on Missions committee organized the Rise Against Hunger event, and Woodhaven’s missions offerings supported the cost of meal supplies and shipping. Judging by the laughter and cheers after each 1,000 meals prepared, it’s love in action. If you missed it this year, be on the lookout for next year’s meal packaging event. We’ll save a hairnet just for you!
 
 
 

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Jar of colorful jelly beans spilling onto Jelly Bean Prayer card

Introducing Kids to Lent

Jar of colorful jelly beans spilling onto Jelly Bean Prayer card

This season, let’s welcome our children into our observance of Lent. Traditionally, we “give up” something for the 40 days of Lent. But 40 days is a long time for a child and they (as well as the grown-ups) may easily tire of and even forget what they’re doing and why they’ve given something up.  

I’m offering our Woodhaven children the opportunity to participate in a special activity that will last throughout the Lenten season. On Ash Wednesday, children will receive a jar, a copy of the jelly bean prayer, and some jelly beans. The children can put their jar in a prominent place at home along with the jelly bean prayer. Parents can hang onto the jelly beans and place one in the child’s jar for each activity or behavior that the child practices.

The children won’t eat the jelly beans until Easter. No white jelly beans are given for behavior, since the white jelly beans represent God’s grace, which is a gift from God and cannot earned.   

Here’s the secret part: on Easter morning, the kids will find that their jars are filled up where they were still empty or lacking with white jelly beans (symbolizing God’s grace). Parents, please make sure you have enough white jelly beans to completely fill your child’s jar on Easter morning.

Here’s the prayer and what each color jelly bean represents:
  • Red is for the blood Christ gave (each morning the child can chose something to sacrifice that day to earn the red jellybean.  It should be something they would have had the opportunity to have or do that day).
  • Green is for the palm’s cool shade. (Green jelly beans are earned for doing good deed each day. It was a good deed to provide shade for Jesus with the palm.)
  • Yellow is for God’s light so bright. (Yellow jelly beans are earned for sharing God’s light through kindness to others.)
  • Orange is for prayers at twilight. (Orange jelly beans are earned for saying a bedtime prayer and reading a nighttime Bible story.)
  • Black is for sweet rest at night. (These jelly beans are earned for going to bed—without complaint and reminders.)
  • Purple is for Jesus’ days of sorrow. (These are earned by apologizing to anyone we hurt with our words or actions that day.)
  • Pink is for each new tomorrow. (Pink jelly beans are earned when we forgive those who apologize to us for hurtful behavior.)
  • Blue is for the joy of knowing Jesus. (These can be earned by singing a favorite Bible song!)
  • White is for the Grace of Christ and cannot be earned.

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Person having ash cross drawn on forehead

Do You Do Lent?

Person having ash cross drawn on forehead

I still consider myself to be learning about Lent. Growing up as a Baptist in the rural south, Lent was not a part of my faith tradition for much of my life. On the rare occasions Lent came up in the Baptist circles I traveled in during my younger days, the discipline was typically dismissed as an unbiblical, Roman Catholic practice.

While in some ways I feel like I’m still trying to get the hang of Lent (even though I’ve been practicing Lent for many years now), I have come to embrace the discipline.


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Warm winter coats hanging on a rack

Celebrations of Giving

Warm winter coats hanging on a rack
In the second chapter of Matthew, wise men from are overwhelmed with joy to find the child born as king of the Jews. What do they do? Pay Him homage by giving treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 
 
During Advent, Woodhaven celebrated the gift of Christ by sharing our time and treasures in our community. Thanks to the generosity of our church family, Woodhaven on Mission was able to give $2,500 to Dorcas Ministry and $2,500 to the Western Wake Crisis Ministry.
 
Woodhaven members surrounded the Christmas tree with new toys to share with homeless and needy families through the Lost Sheep Outreach Ministry. Our youth wrapped dozens and dozens of the toys during a holiday lock in, and Woodhaven members helped to distribute the gifts during the Lost Sheep Christmas Celebration
 
The warmth of giving continues during the month of January. We’ll be collecting new and gently used winter coats, hats and gloves for the Lost Sheep Outreach Ministry. Please wash all used items, and don’t forget to empty the pockets! Bring all items to the lobby area outside the Sanctuary.

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When we grow in Christ, we can expect Joy Rising.

Joy Rising: What to Expect

When we grow in Christ, we can expect Joy Rising.
According to Eugene Peterson, “The story of our faith, our very existence, begins and ends with joy.” This he says right after pointing out the passage in Job in which God says the heavenly beings shouted for joy as God did the work of creation (38:7) and how the great multitude shouts for joy at the culmination of all things according to Revelation 7:8-10.
 
But Peterson doesn’t stop there. He also cites numerous passages in asserting that “between the beginning and the conclusion there is joy.” So Peterson boldly proclaims: “Joy at the beginning, joy at the end, joy everywhere in between. Joy is God’s creation and gift. No authentic biblical faith is conceivable that is not permeated with it.”
 
Wow! That’s quite a statement! Is it true that authentic biblical faith is permeated with joy? Does Peterson go too far?
 
Well, why not take a year to talk about it?
 
This is what we are planning to do with our new annual theme: Joy Rising. Happy New Year, by the way. Our new church year began on September 1. As we, together, live out our irresistible life in Christ, we are going to focus on joy for the 2017-18 church year.
 
In exploring this theme we do not intend to paper over our grief or ignore the injustices of our world. We will mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15) and struggle fiercely against evil (Ephesians 6:12). Yet, amid the atrocities in the headlines, the disappointments we endure and the weight of stress we carry, is there nonetheless joy like a fountain in our souls as the old song says?
 
After all, Jesus knew all about the difficulties of this world and he knew that he was about to endure the pain and injustice of the cross when he said to his followers, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11, NRSV). It seems that the fruit of the Spirit that is joy (Galatians 5:22) remains a characteristic of the irresistible life in Christ no matter what is going on in our lives and in our world.
 
I certainly won’t exhaust the implications of our new theme in this one, brief column. But it’s worth noting that Jesus spoke the words above about our joy being complete right after he spoke of abiding in him and abiding in his love. As we nurture our relationship with the King of kings and Lord of lords we can expect joy to rise in our lives.
 
Your brother,
Dave

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