The blog of Christ Church serves to keep members and the local and broader communities directly informed about the ways that the church is fulfilling its mission to make, mature and mobilize disciples by loving Jesus and loving like Jesus.
The 30-year owner of a construction company, Mike Palombi has been building foundations—both for houses and for young lives. Since his release from prison, Mike has used his trade skills and experience of overcoming the entanglements of addiction and incarceration to teach at-risk youth the importance of building foundations for life. Mike is the CEO of Prisoner of Hope Ministries, whose purpose is to share the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women and youth to become loving and productive citizens of their communities.
Mike will be the guest speaker at Men’s Prayer Breakfast on Friday, July 26 at 6:45 a.m. in Seabrook Hall. Join us as Mike shares from his award-winning memoir, How’s It Feel, Tough Guy?: From Prisoner of Pride to Prisoner of Hope. His compelling story of overcoming trauma to experience healing received first place recognition in The Christian Writers Awards in the category of Counseling/Recovery. Together with his wife, Heidi, they use the book as a vehicle to bring the hope of the Gospel message to those most others deem hopeless. To date, they have donated several thousand copies of his life-changing memoir to inmates and those in recovery across America.
Christ Church member Kyle Rote Jr. encourages men to bring a friend with them to hear Mike’s story. “Mike’s journey from being a ‘prisoner of pride’ (a tough guy) to a ‘prisoner of hope’ is a remarkable story,” Kyle said. “The transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ made Mike into a ‘new creation’ who now shares the Gospel.”
Mike recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to present his Proposal for Inmate Development & Reform to the Congressional Judiciary Committee. His vision focuses on an approach to prisoner reform that targets unaddressed trauma and helps individuals become loving and productive citizens. After his appearance at the Men’s Prayer Breakfast on July 26, Mike will meet with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s staff regarding prison reform in the Memphis region.
Mike is a keynote speaker for men’s groups, churches, recovery events, drug treatment facilities and prisons. For 20 years, Mike has also participated in the Juvenile Awareness Program (formerly known as Scared Straight) at East Jersey State Prison and served as a member of the program’s advisory board.
Christ Church is excited to announce that Scott Cherry has been named Director of Sports Ministry.
Scott spent nine years as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at High Point University and 11 years as an Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach at several Division 1 colleges including the University of South Carolina, Western Kentucky University, George Mason University and Tennessee Tech University. Last year he was an Assistant Boys’ Basketball Coach at Briarcrest Christian School.
Scott played college basketball at the University of North Carolina under Head Coach Dean Smith and was part of the 1993 National Championship team that finished 34-4. After graduation he played professionally for one year in Limassol, Cyprus.
Scott and his wife Cortney have a 13-year-old son named Brody.
The Christ Church Athletics Ministry recently expanded into two ministries: Sports and Fitness/Wellness. The Sports Ministry encompasses leagues, coaches, teams, scheduling and all activities associated with that area. As Director of Sports Ministry, Scott’s core responsibilities include evangelism, relationship-building, communication/organization and strategic planning for our athletic program.
“I am excited about joining Christ Church and Christ Methodist Day School because it involves two things that I am passionate about, my faith and athletics,” Scott said. “Through difficulty, God led my family and me to West Tennessee, and I believe this is the next step in my career and life path. I am looking forward to working with families and meeting everyone in the Christ Church community.”
Guest post by Abby Holland, Christ Church Summer Resident
Christ Church welcomes this summer’s Residents with open arms! From film production to Student Ministry, they are already engaging with Christ Church staff and learning the ins and outs of running Christ Church. In addition to serving with various ministries at the church, these Residents will participate in several church-wide activities including Vacation Bible School, SOS and weekly Residency classes led by Christ Church staff members Andrew Grissom and Grant Caldwell.
Our YUGO missions team has been hard at work this week in Ensenada, Mexico, building two houses and helping with Vacation Bible School. Pray that the families who live in the homes will continue to grow in their faith and that they will help build and strengthen God’s church in Mexico. Pray for our team as they return home and live out the things God taught them in Mexico.
Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@ChristChurchMEM) and Facebook (@ChristChurchMEM) for updates like this and more from our church. In case you missed it, here’s a glimpse of what they’ve done.
2019 YUGO missions team
YUGO team worships together
The YUGO team is building two houses.
The YUGO team loved on kids through crafts, playing and sharing His Word at VBS.
It’s a joy to sing and praise God in two different languages.
The YUGO team worshiped alongside our friends at Luz y Poder.
Betty Moore said her favorite part of the trip is sharing the experience with her daughter and grandchildren.
Betty Moore is serving in Mexico for the third year. She said her favorite part of the YUGO trip is sharing the experience with her grandchildren and, this year, her daughter, too! She loves seeing the way God works His miracles and transforms lives in Ensenada.
Here are recap videos from the first three days to see a glimpse of the work:
Day One - Dry Creek Community Church, East Sarang Church & Christ Church Memphis. - Vimeo
Day Two - Dry Creek Community Church, East Sarang Church & Christ Church Memphis. - Vimeo
Day Three - Dry Creek Community Church, East Sarang Church & Christ Church Memphis. - Vimeo
The words hope, connection and collaboration were repeated often on evaluation forms from the recent Hope in Action conference presented by No Whispers. More than 150 educators, social workers, nonprofit directors and faith-based leaders gathered at the University of Memphis for a daylong conference. “We are providing a trauma-informed lens through which to view Memphis,” said Jesse Johnson, No Whispers Program Director. “This new way of seeing opens us up to greater empathy toward others and healing for ourselves.”
Attendees participated in one of four trauma tracks—focused on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), poverty, criminal justice or prevention—taught by experts in those fields. In the afternoon, attendees were asked to find solutions in their communities using their newly acquired trauma knowledge. “There is a wealth of collective experience and wisdom in our communities,” Jesse said. “I’m always impressed with the ideas they come up with.”
The goal of the conference was to cast a wider net in thinking about mental health. When we add Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) into the equation, we begin to see a significant link between childhood trauma and mental illness. In a highly publicized study on white, middle-class Americans, Kaiser Permanente found that the higher a child’s ACE score, the higher the rate of depression, risky behaviors and suicide attempts.
“Many people minimize the traumatic experiences of their childhood because they think, ‘I should have been tougher’ or ‘My parents did the best they could.’ Naturally, we want to protect the people who fed and clothed us,” Jesse said. “None of us had a choice in our parents, whether good or bad. Yet the trauma experienced in childhood can have physical and psychological health effects that last a lifetime.”
The goal is not to point fingers but to build greater understanding and compassion. It shifts the conversation from “What is wrong with you?” to “What happened to you?” We stop judging people and begin to listen more. We are all broken in some way. We are all cracked image-bearers of God.
The good news of the Gospel is that no matter what trauma we have experienced, God promises that it can all be redeemed for His purpose (Romans 8:28). Hardship can build resilience and reliance on God. Brokenness can give birth to restoration, healing and forgiveness. “As dispensers of everlasting hope, I believe the Church needs to be at the forefront of this conversation,” Jesse said. “No Whispers, through the Hope in Action conference, is helping lead this conversation.”
The Christ Church Young Adults Ministry is expanding its reach, and Andrew Grissom was recently named Pastor to Single Young Adults to help with these efforts. Several events are planned this summer, and Andrew invites all young adults to join him at these events designed specifically for them.
“We’re excited to be planning an incredible ministry, getting ready to welcome you guys here into the body of Christ as we have an awesome time together, get into community and seek after Jesus together,” Andrew said. “Whether it’s your first time at Christ Church or you’ve been here your whole life, you are welcome here with us.”
This summer’s events include:
Hangout at Levee Creamery Thursday, May 30 | 7:30-9 p.m. | 431 S. Highland Come get some ice cream on us and learn more about the Young Adults Ministry.
901FC Game Saturday, June 8 | 6 p.m. | AutoZone Park Join us as we head to AutoZone Park to see a 901FC soccer game. We will meet at the Christ Church for those who want to caravan, or you can meet us outside AutoZone Park at 7 p.m. Text SOCCER to (901) 871-0525 to let us know you’re coming so we can get tickets.
Cookout Saturday, July 6 | 5:30-7 p.m. | Shelby Farms Come hang with us as we grill out and have games and celebrate the 4th of July at Shelby Farms.
Game Night Saturday, July 20 | 6-7:30 p.m. | location TBA Come eat and join us as we hang out and play some games and just have a good time.
Worship Night Sunday, Aug. 4 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Wilson Chapel Join us as we fill Wilson Chapel and worship God together as a ministry.
Serve with us:
VBS | June 17-20: Be part of making this the best week of the summer for our children while sharing the love of God.
SOS | June 23-28: Serve with our Student Ministry and Service Over Self (SOS) in Binghampton.
Questions? Contact Andrew, (901) 202-6048. Watch this video to hear more from Andrew:
Tickets are available for the 7th annual Senior Adult Banquet on Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. in Seabrook Hall featuring guest worship leader Don Moen. This year’s theme is God Will Make a Way.
Ask Don Moen what he does, and the answer might surprise you: “… an architect who designs products and events that help people experience God’s presence in a new and fresh way.” In more than three decades of ministry, he’s had many opportunities to fulfill that purpose.
You’ll have an opportunity to experience God’s presence as Moen shares in both prose and music at the Senior Adult Banquet.
Moen grew up in Minnesota before attending Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. There, his musical gifts caught the eye of Terry Law, who asked Moen to join his worship team, Living Sound, which ministered in communist countries throughout Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. For 10 years, Moen saw first-hand the power of praise and worship to open closed doors and hearts.
In 1984, Integrity Music asked him to lead worship on one of the first Hosanna! Music albums, Give Thanks. The project became one of Integrity’s most popular recordings ever and a benchmark for the genre, achieving gold certification status and now nearing platinum certification.
Moen eventually joined the staff of Integrity and served as president of Integrity Music and executive vice-president/creative director for Integrity Media.
In 2002, his peers recognized his commitment to creating musical recordings that lead people into an honest and intimate relationship with the Lord by presenting him with the Ray DeVries Church Ministry Award. He has also received a Dove Award for his work on the musical God with Us and has received multiple Dove Award nominations for his songs, CDs and choral resources.
Moen’s concerts and seminars have taken him throughout the United States as well as to Ghana, South Africa, Great Britain, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Guatemala, Honduras and elsewhere.
Today, Moen is president of Don Moen Productions in Nashville, where he resides with his wife Laura and five children.
Tickets are $20 per person. No formal registration cards will be mailed this year, but there are three ways to register:
*online *pick up and complete a registration form at the Seabrook Hall Welcome Center *mail completed form/payment to the Senior Adult Ministry at Christ Church
The deadline is Sunday, June 16. Questions? Contact Libby Shackelford, (901) 683-6887.
Guest post by Ashley Parks & Pearl Holland, Christ Church Special Needs Ministry
April 26 was definitely an Evening to Remember for the special needs community of the Mid-South. Memphis Joy Prom just wrapped up six years of full-scale prom celebration. From providing guests with dresses and tuxes to red carpet walks to photo booths to a live band, no detail is untouched. More than 200 guests are treated to a night of joy and excitement to be loved on by the body of Christ. Christ Church Memphis, Grace Evan, Second Pres, Germantown Pres, Camp Conquest, Young Life Capernaum and New Generation Ministries come together to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our guests and their families as well as our volunteers.
Memphis Joy Prom is an amazing avenue to actively provide and support this community of friends who can be overlooked and underserved. This year Memphis Joy Prom guest registration filled up within five hours! We were overwhelmed by the volume and response to be a part of this unique opportunity that is offered to the special needs community.
Here are just a few of the many comments received from guests and their family members:
My daughter got to hang out with one of her favorite volunteers and feel like a princess. Thank you to all who made this possible and who helped make the Memphis JOY Prom so memorable. It was truly magical. —mother of Bailey
Memphis Joy Prom 2019 was soooooo much fun! Just kept dancing the night away. —guest Tia
He had a blast, the band was fabulous and he’s still talking about every detail! —mother of Chris
So happy Jesus put us all together. —sister of Robyn
Thank you very much to everyone that made Friday night the most special night of the year for my son and the other 249 participants! —mother of Cody
Thank you for making dreams come true and creating an evening of joyful fulfillment. Thank you for blessing our ‘special ones.’ —mother of Patrick
The team is already prayerfully at work for Memphis Joy Prom 2020. We hope you can be a part. If you would like to volunteer or participate in special needs events throughout the year, contact Ashley Parks.
What a fun night celebrating the winners of the 2019 Founders Circle Awards! It was a special time with friends and family as we honored those who teach, lead and serve and recognized the outreach efforts of Christ Church Global. Christ Church Memphis Senior Pastor Dr. Shane Stanford created the Founders Circle Banquet five years ago to celebrate the values and work of Christ Church Global (CCGlobal), the church’s media outreach ministry, within our church body as well as in the community. >>View more pics from the evening
Guest post by Danny Shivers, Director of Older Elementary
The 2019 spring semester of School of the Rock has come to a close with an amazing ending. This free arts camp allows children to use art, drama, technology, creative athletics and music to tell their story and their part in God’s BIG story.
This semester’s classes included Art, Breakin’ Dance, Creative Conditioning, Creative Cooking, My Tunes and Cartooning & Modeling. Children learn not only about the activity they choose but, most importantly, how to glorify God with what they learn.
More than 2,000 pieces of pizza were consumed during the 13 weeks, which fueled the weekly creativity. Two of our classes even gave a preview to the adults at the Wednesday night dinner. We focused this semester on God’s great creation found in Genesis, and the children used their creative spirits each week to illustrate this in their different mediums.
Our classes are open to any child in JK-5th grade. We love seeing all the different perspectives and personalities as we walk through the Gospel truths. Our next semester will start in the fall, and, as always, we are excited to see what talents and creativity God will reveal.