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Amber Brings Shepherds Grove Outreach to Africa

We are proud to announce the return of our telecommunication staff member, Amber, from her enlightening mission experience in Kenya, Africa. This January, Amber answered God’s calling to spread his word in Africa for 3 weeks. We had the chance to sit down with Amber upon her return so that we could extract the ingrained memories of her cultural and spiritual life-changing experience.

Amber’s Calling

When she was merely 14 years old, Amber recalls God placing Africa within her heart. With this awareness, she continuously told herself “I am going to Africa,” manifesting her own reality that was put into action by the pieces that were laid out for her. At 19 years old, Amber regularly attended a life group on Sundays at Shepherd’s Grove, where she told the pastor that she had a heart for Africa. Her plans were put into place when the pastor told Amber that he met a girl whose parents are pastors who own an orphanage and widow center in Kenya. By placing the girls into communication with one another, Amber was offered the opportunity to visit this amazing family. It didn’t take long for Amber to agree to this transformational mission that she had been manifesting for 3 years. 6 months later, with the unwavering support of everyone at Shepherd’s Grove, she made her first step into the embodiment of her mission.

The Arrival

After a lengthy flight to Nairobi, Kenya, and a 7-hour bus ride to Migori, Amber arrived and was greeted by an immense amount of love. From there, she was welcomed into the home of 2 pastors with warm, open hearts, who were elated to share their space. Amber spent most of her time in Migori working with the orphans and widows, offering them love, laughter, and the word of God. “They watch the Hour of Power every Sunday, in their little home on a tiny TV” Amber says in shock, repeatedly. “They were so thankful that they had a visitor, but they were even more thankful that this visitor came from Hour of Power.”

 

The Lifestyle

What surprised Amber the most about the atmosphere was that, despite their poor quality of life, for people who have nothing, they want to give you everything. Upon entering each house, Amber was showered with kindness and food offerings, to a nearly overwhelming point. “They love you and they don’t even know you,” she reminisces. “They don’t look at your appearance. All they know is that this person is sent by God.”

The Culture

The most spectacular element of the Migori culture that Amber wishes she could share with us is the way that they worship. She describes the way that they sing and dance to show their love and gratitude as incredibly free. “I wish people could see that! It would give us a fire. They don’t care what people think about them.” She was fascinated to know the impact that Hour of Power has on their daily lives, and how grateful they are to be alive in God’s love.

Amber’s Perspective

Having known that Africa had been placed in her heart at an early age, Amber’s perspective strengthened even more after returning from her journey. “God can use anyone” Amber reassures us, beaming with honesty and nostalgia. “It doesn’t matter what nation you’re from, what language you speak, where you’re at—everyone needs God’s love.”

As the impact of the love and hospitality Amber experienced throughout her journey  weighs freshly on her heart and mind, it is evident that this will not be her last trip to Africa. We are confident that she will continue to spread the word of God and Hour of Power’s mission of love and dignity all over the world, wherever her heart takes her. God loves you Amber, and so do we.

Top 4 Reasons to Attend at 8:00 am

Here at Shepherd’s Grove, we are big fans of Sunday. It is the beginning of our week, and the perfect time to realign and motivate ourselves for the days to come.

Recently, we have had the joyous problem of an overflowing Traditional service at 9:25 am, and have launched an 8:00 am service to accommodate the blessing of growing attendance. This is a fantastic opportunity for both church members and newcomers alike, as our new timeslot has a few unique advantages. So, as our invitation to join us for the earlier time of worship, here are a few great reasons to consider the move!

  1. Beat the Crowd

First and foremost, this service is to alleviate the overcrowding caused by having only one Traditional service. If you’ve been with us on any recent Sunday, you know how difficult it can be to secure a seat in the pews. Again, this is an absolutely wonderful difficulty to have, as it means our message of love and dignity is touching people in our community, and compelling them to join us. We rejoice in God’s power to impact lives through our work!

Join us for the same, quality worship you've come to love!

Join us for the same, quality worship you’ve come to love!

By coming to our 8:00 am service, you will have the advantage of a more unhurried selection of seats. We want our congregation to feel comfortable in our church, as we attempt to be hospitable in God’s home.

  1. Enjoy your Sunday

As Bobby has often said, having a day to relax and enjoy is essential for spiritual health. SO often, our hurried lives can lead to stress and anxiety about what is happening and what is to come. Your Sunday should be a chance to decompress, and to experience life as God has called us to.

Consider our 8:00 am a chance to get a head start on your Sunday. Come, be filled with and inspired by the sermon, music, and church life, and go out with more time left in your day for that which brings you happiness!

Of course, church is not just something to be “gotten over with” every week, but rather to be the staring point to a Christ-centered life. The Christian week may begin with church, but it does not end with the doxology. Go out, and be rejuvenated with more Sunday to enjoy.

  1. Welcome Newcomers

One of the greatest joys in our faith is welcoming new attendees to our church, and helping them to become a part of our family. Our church is wonderful at

All your favorites, including the world-renowned Hour of Power Choir, will be there!

All your favorites, including the world-renowned Hour of Power Choir, will be there!

bringing in new people, as evidenced by our growing numbers!

Many things go in to whether a church feels welcoming to a new person or family, and we want to make every effort to put our new friends at ease. Numerous church analysts report that a key negative in a welcoming church environment is if a church service feels either too empty, or too full.

When a service reaches over 80% capacity, it can be unwelcoming to first-timers, making it feel like there isn’t a place left for them. When sparsely attended, a service can feel undesirable. Our goal as a church family should be to make these new friends feel as welcomed and loved as possible, no matter when they choose to attend.

So, we are asking those able to make the switch to our 8:00 am service to do so, as we continue to celebrate our growth, and not give reason for it to stop. This is our church home, and like any good hosts, we want to accommodate our guests to the best of our ability. By coming earlier, you are helping to show your love to our new attendees at that hour with a richer environment, and opening up space for others at 9:25 am.

  1. Support the Team

In order to bring the same level of quality performance and fellowship to our 8:00 am service, all of us – from the choir and orchestra, to the staff and volunteers – have committed to getting up even earlier (many arriving at 6 am or before!) to serve our congregation with the best of our ability. We are dedicated to

Our staff and volunteers will be there, and we'd love to have you as well!

Our staff and volunteers will be there, and we’d love to have you as well!

making the very best church opportunities for our congregants and community, and have worked diligently to make this 8:00 am service a reality.

At our earlier time, you’ll get the same caliber of excellence in worship you’ve come to expect from us, with all the heart and support we can give. We love our church, and we are willing to do what we can to help that love grow. We invite you to join us in this effort.

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We are so blessed to have a ministry that reaches so many, from our growing number of folks in person here at Shepherd’s Grove, to our burgeoning audiences around the world through the Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller program. Our foundation of support lies in you, our wonderful congregation. You carry the message of love and dignity out with you from our services every Sunday, and we are grateful for the light you share with us all.

New Things In Store for Student Ministries In 2017

By Robert Brazile
Youth Pastor, Shepherd’s Grove

2017 is going to be a big year for Shepherd’s Grove Student Ministries! The main goal we have as a student ministry this year is to get more involved with both the local community and the local junior high and high schools. We know that ministries can often get too caught up in the “number game,” where it’s all about the quantity of people that attend their youth group. Rather than drawing in students to benefit our own number game, we’d like to reach as many students as possible with the gospel. Through reaching out to the community and local schools, we hope we can draw more students into our church, and in turn, draw more students into our Christian family!

But how are we going to do that? Well, we’re glad you asked! We have three BIG things we are planning for 2017, and they’re going to be good.

1. Camping, Winter-Style

This year, in addition to our usual summer camp, we are adding a winter retreat! In February, we will embark on a weekend camping trip to allow students to escape from reality, enter God’s amazing creation, and spend some down time reflecting on what God’s doing in their lives. We’re really excited to see what God will do here!

2. A New Summer Camp

After looking into some different summer camps, we think we’ve found a really great camp option. Different from our past camps, this one will allow us to take even more students. Last year we took four leaders and 26 students to stay on houseboats in the Sacramento River Delta and it was a blast. But this year, we hope to take a total of 40 people to camp!

3. Fun Outreach Events

We also have smaller events planned to reach the students in our community. We’re planning bowling nights, game nights, movie nights, and beach days. We want to provide a fun opportunity for students — who may even be new to church — to spend time with people their age and to enjoy themselves in a completely positive environment. Sometimes church can be intimidating, but we want to eliminate all the intimidation in our student ministry.

Be on the look out for God to move in BIG ways here at Shepherd’s Grove in our student ministry!

5 Reasons You Should Go to “O Holy Night”

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Shepherd’s Grove is preparing for the Christmas season!


Christmas is just about to get in to full-swing, and we here at Shepherd’s Grove want to help you get the season going with a truly dazzling show! On December 3, our sanctuary will be filled with the sounds of Christmas as we present our “O Holy Night” Concert. This is shaping up to be a wonderfully special evening, and we want you to be a part of it. Here’s 5 quick reasons you won’t want to miss this show.

1. Amazing artists

We are overjoyed to have some exceptionally gifted artists performing on our stage, from powerhouse performers well-known to “The Voice” fans, to skilled entertainers of operatic and theatrical renown.

2. Watch it before the rest of the world

It’s no secret that the Hour of Power with Bobby Schuller has a global reach, and this concert will be no exception. A recording of this performance will be shared with our friends around the world, in places like the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Germany to name a few. Come take in the joy of the season, and know the performances you’re watching live will soon be enjoyed by people all around the globe!

3. Take a moment to breathe

Let’s face it; this time of year can get a bit hectic. By attending our performance, you are setting aside time to simply take in the wonder and enchantment around this time of year. As Bobby often says, even Jesus set aside time to rest, and so should you.

4. A white Christmas… in SoCal?!

Most of us here in Southern California enjoy the warm weather year-round, and are more than happy to avoid the harshness other areas of the world face in the winter months. Still, there’s something magical about a light snowfall that can warm you in ways a California climate cannot. We want to make sure you get to experience such an iconic Christmas moment, so make sure you’re prepared for a flurry or two while attending!

5. The gift of an experience

The truth is, you’re going to be putting your money towards many physical things this December, which are sure to bring joy, but nothing can beat a shared experience among friends and family. Those memories will last much longer, and are far more priceless.

Moreover, by attending our concert, you will be supporting a community ministry with a global reach, sharing the message of Love and Dignity year-round.

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We truly hope to have you with us on December 3, but know that seating is limited. If you would like to attend, you can purchase your tickets HERE, or by calling 866-GET-HOPE(438-4673).

oholynightsg

A Simple Guide to Walking on Water

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

Do you trust God? I mean, do you really trust God? If you’re like me, learning to trust and rely on God in a deep way is a constant process. This July, I invite you to join us as we explore what it looks like to truly walk in faith with our new series, “A Simple Guide to Walking on Water.”

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Together, we will learn how to trust God in a deeper and more assured way as we step out in faith into the world around us. I hope you’ll join!

Here are some highlights of what we’ll be covering each week:

July 3: Trust not Clarity
(Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-12, 17-19)

God doesn’t give us clarity. He gives us faith (trust). The weirdest thing about walking by faith is we don’t know where we are walking.

July 10: God is for You
(Luke 13:10-17)

Religious people may be against us, but God is for us. John 10:10b says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

July 17: Risk
(Matthew 14:25-32)

We can do everything God has called us to do. We should dream to do bigger things so that God gets the glory. We, the disciples, are supposed to do everything the rabbi does, and he has called us because he believes we are good enough.

July 24: Endurance
(James 1:2-4, Philippians 1:6)

Faith is about patience. Don’t quit because God will finish what he’s started in us. This sermon will focus on the story of Hagar, and how Abraham and Sarah tried to rush the process with God.

July 31: Words of Faith
(James 2-4, 9-12)

If we want succeed in life, we must succeed first in our words. Our world has made words cheap, so the less we speak the more people will listen to us. The more we listen, the more people will be willing to take our advice.

August 7: Vulnerability
(2 Corinthians 12:7b-10)

Being vulnerable is an act of faith that makes God strong in our weakness.

August 14: From Pride to Humility
Pastor Chad will preach the seventh message in this series about faith, trust, pride, and humility.

Podcast

Bobby Schuller - Shepherd's Grove Podcast

Yahweh Bore: I am your Creator. You are my sons and daughters.

Pastor Bobby Schuller begins his new series “I Am” with the message “Yahweh Bore: I am your Creator. You are my sons and daughters” at Shepherd’s Grove on Sunday April 23, 2017.

In this message, Bobby inspires us to find our life’s purpose within the expansive purpose of the world. The enemy of finding our purpose is shame–we mustn’t lose sight of our loving intention to co-create with one another, and with God. Let us not overthink our purpose, but rather go forth with faith and love.

Bobby Schuller - Shepherd's Grove Podcast

Easter

He is risen! On Sunday, April 16, 2017, Pastor Bobby and our congregation rejoiced in the wonders of bringing things back to life by faith. Easter is the anchor of hope for every believer, and on Easter of all days, we are called to abandon our fear of death. We are reminded of how much joy has been made available to us, since heaven has opened. You belong, you have a family, come home.

Bobby Schuller - Shepherd's Grove Podcast

Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017, Pastor Bobby focuses his message on courage. Being a human being requires an extraordinary amount of courage, and all it takes for you to conquer your fears is one small step. The will to make that one single step in the direction whatever you are afraid of is purely living a life for God. Bobby encourages us not to allow fear to dictate our lives, because fear cannot take away the one thing that all of us have: choice.

Chapter 12: Gratitude and Joy

Pastor Bobby Schuller continues his series “The Narrow Road: How To Be Alive” with the message “Gratitude and Joy” at Shepherd’s Grove on Sunday March 19, 2017.

In this message, Bobby reminds us that a grateful heart is a magnet for miracles. By viewing each hurdle and obstacle as a blessing, you will be able to look at your life in an entirely new light. Rather than looking upon your past with regret, learn to accept each decision as a part of what makes you strengthened in the present. Because the more grateful you are, the better the future you’re preparing for yourself.

Chapter 11: Sufficiency and Generosity

Pastor Bobby Schuller continues his series “The Narrow Road: How To Be Alive” with the message “Sufficiency and Generosity” at Shepherd’s Grove on Sunday March 12, 2017.

This week, Bobby encourages us to be generous. Generosity practiced in faith can cause anyone to feel wealthy. Do you need an opportunity in life? Transcend your problems and help others succeed. When following God, wealth is not simply defined by monetary gains. Rather it can be measured by wisdom, knowledge, character, and benevolence. Give something away to someone in need, so that you can hear the Lord say to you, “come follow me.”

Chapter 10: Don’t Worry-It Will Be Okay

Pastor Bobby Schuller continues his series “The Narrow Road: How To Be Alive” with the message “Don’t Worry-It Will Be Okay” at Shepherd’s Grove on Sunday March 5, 2017.

It’s easy to become swept up in the anxieties of our every day, but Bobby reminds us this week to slow down, let our anxieties go, and give them to God. Training your eyes to see what’s good, and not dwelling on the negative things that may happen can be tricky. But simply by walking in the strength of faith, anything is possible. Life is too beautiful to worry about the little things. Let go, trust, and live in the easy rhythms of grace. That is a good life.

Chapter 8: Be the Real You, You Don’t Have to Prove Anything

Pastor Bobby Schuller continues his series “The Narrow Road: How To Be Alive” with the message “Be the Real You, You Don’t Have to Prove Anything” at Shepherd’s Grove on Sunday February 19, 2017.

This week Bobby reassures us that, whatever we do, when we do something out of love rather than fear, it will be blessed by God. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and open might be difficult, but by doing so out of love, nothing but joy will result from such actions. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not simply because you’re craving acceptance. The most honest acceptance stems from being your true, whole self. You are loved!

Chapter 7: Of Course You’re Angry, but Let it Go.

Pastor Bobby Schuller continues his series “The Narrow Road: How To Be Alive” with the message “Of Course You’re Angry, but Let it Go” at Shepherd’s Grove on Sunday February 12, 2017.

In this message, Bobby takes a moment to address an emotion that has the immediate ability to completely consume us: anger. Like pain, anger means that something is wrong. But how do we best approach this emotion?

It is not anger that brings sin upon us. Rather, it is the words we say while we are trapped in this negative mindset; we cannot get them back once said aloud. Because of the impact of our words, we are encouraged to use our words more constructively. Speak the truth, and speak it kindly.

Chapter 6: Dealing with Criticism and Competition

Pastor Bobby Schuller continues his series “The Narrow Road: How To Be Alive” with the message “Dealing with Criticism and Competition” at Shepherd’s Grove on Sunday February 5, 2017.

In this message, Bobby harkens upon the Golden Rule of “love thy neighbor” to introduce a new idea: love your critics, love your competitors. By choosing to be merciful, you are proving that you entrust your life in Jesus. Very often, critics can be the best thing in your life, because they keep you grounded. Life is too good to hold a grudge, so love your enemies.