On New Lights and Being Light

Last week we installed new stage lighting in the auditorium. We're still working out all the kinks, getting the right bulbs, and adjusting the settings, but we're sure it's going to make a big improvement in our overall lighting situation. Wondering why we needed new lights? Here's one reason why:

Every Sunday we record the sermon and publish it to Vimeo, a video hosting website. From there we link it to our church website and Facebook page. We do this for members who can't make it, yes. For when you're sick or traveling (we currently have a family watching remotely each week while they handle their child's cancer care). But we also do this to reach people beyond our church, both within the Round Rock community and outside it. 

How well are we reaching those people? 

Really well. 

Over the course of the last 365 days Round Rock videos have been played almost 6,000 times. 

In the last two years we've baptized at least four people who first interacted with our church via sermon videos, watching for weeks before ever entering our building. 

Our sermon videos are used by missionaries in Brazil and Croatia, and have been viewed just this year in each of the locations indicated on the map below:

God is using these videos. (Thank you, God! We love it!)

In order to invest more fully in this good work we've improved the stage lighting in the auditorium (A big thanks to Kirk Roefer for handling the wiring and Jack Chisum for supervising the installation). This will enable better picture quality in our sermon videos (which have so far suffered a bit from lack of light and the presence of dramatic shadows). 

Lights seem like a boring way to spend God's money. But getting the good news into the hands of people across the globe? That's something worth investing in. 

P.S. These new (more directional) lights will greatly improve the picture quality on our screens in the auditorium by reducing the light washed onto them. The worship slides and story videos we play on occasion should be much more readable and watchable. 

 

Ever visited our sermon page on the website? Check it out HERE.

On Sharing Our Stuff and Sharing Our Hearts

Every year in April our church pulls together to bless our neighbors through Sharefest, a giant yard sale where everything is nice and everything is free. We collect our extra clothes, appliances, furniture, books, shoes, lamps and toasters and then give them away to people who need them more than we do. The event's purpose is two fold: 1. To help our neighbors by meeting their physical needs and 2. To welcome our neighbors into our midst, giving them a reason to believe this is a community in which they'd be welcome, a community that loves and shares. 

In an effort to be more welcoming, we've recently begun serving breakfast to the men, women and children who arrive SO early to get in line for Sharefest (this year we had a family arrive at midnight to get the first spot in line). We hand out breakfast tacos, play with the kids, serve coffee. 

This year though we did something special. Thanks to new member Terri Arnold, we collected prayer requests from every person in line. Then we gathered the whole line into a circle on the green grass of our front yard, held hands and prayed over those requests, name by name, in English AND Spanish. 

Just try to look at these pictures and not tear up:

It's always a joy to share our stuff, but this year we got the chance to share our hearts. AND we got to welcome the burdens, pains, hurts and struggles on the hearts of our neighbors, lifting that load to God, asking for the kind of help we can't provide but He most certainly can. 

Praise God for opportunities like these!

Songs About God // A Blind and Broken Song

This Sunday we shared yet another Psalm from one of our members. Here's both how Justin introduced this song and the song itself:

The person I approached to share a psalm this week is someone who’s going through something extremely difficult. Someone who’s hurting, who’s angry, and who’s feeling far from God. I asked her to write a prayer. A song to God that grows from the cracked soil of her pain. I told her that we don’t pray angry, hurting prayers often enough. We don’t sing as many “Where Are You?” songs as we feel. I told her that I hope RRCOC can be a family that’s moving in the direction of rich relationship with God--relationship in which hard truths are spoken and vulnerability is pursued. I told her I wondered if she might help us in that. And I promised that if she did, I’d let her remain anonymous and read her prayer myself. She said yes.

She calls this "Heart's Alt Truth."

Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! You oh Light on a hill, would it not have been better if I were blind? Or a statue made of cement unable to shatter,  not these broken shards of glass, unhinged and betrayed.  I have hidden your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you, but my heart lay here in tiny pieces disheartened, by my past, frozen by my present, aching for what is to come.

For it is written that in this life there be a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,  a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, well I would sincerely like to give it away. Blind me or take it all away, anything but this, this treacherous darkness void of life and yet here I reside.

Leave your pity, I can't afford to be sympathetic to your empathy for I am your sheep... broken beyond repair, filled with the shattered glass left from what used to be my heart. Would it not be better to be blind, blind from the pain of this cold earth with its scorched people, barriers from you and your Omnipotent light and yet you leave me here, wounded animal that I am, trapt in darkness.

I should pray to be blind, that I may have never known or seen what could have been. In this life I'm promised pain, loss,  people plead for hope... I plead for hope, but for what? More pain, more loss, more shattered glass because to gain more is to have more to lose. You give and you take it all away.

You can't be for me, my Savior, and bring this much sorrow and destruction, you are not in my corner, you are not on my side. I know this must be true for my thoughts to reconcile this grief. For you my Lord are All sides, you are not in my corner for you are All corners, All hope, All destruction, All pain, All light, All darkness. My pain is earth's fuel to more misery, more destruction, more synthetic light sources for my inner turmoil. These Alt-truths rebirthed in my rotten flesh, why not blind me so I may see.

This life, gone in a vapor, and you my Lord, my awesome God, with my shattered glass between your fingers, tear streaked soul... why? This meaningless life, over in the blink of an eye, what is the point? Grant me your infinite wisdom, correct my lenses as I am too tired, too exhausted to continue this unyielding desolate and lonely path unable to see my way out.

Make me a statue so that I may sit here unwavering, staring at your Light on a hill, unable to bend or break, upheld by your Truth. But, if you won't, then in my exhaustion I feel that now it is a time to give up, a time to refrain from embrace, a time to search. Now is my time to break what's left. You have left me shattered, beyond repair, crumbling between your fingers holding on for all I have left; for your Word. I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

On Being Together (No Matter Our Ages)

This Sunday our youth sponsored a Sweethearts dinner for our members over the age of 50. That's sweet--young people serving older people, cute decorations, a photo booth. But serving them wasn't the big point. Connection was the point, remembering that we're family, that no matter how many years we have between us, we have a whole host of things in common (especially Christ). 

To help drive this home for everyone, teens and older folks paired up for a rousing round of "speed dating," asking each other all kinds of interesting get to know you questions.

Then they took pictures with their "new" friends. :)

Josh Jones, our youth minister, said, "The idea behind all of it was to bridge some of the generational boundaries within our church. Not necessarily to create fellowship and community between two different generations but to show them that since they (the students) are a part of this church they already are in community with this generation and everyone in our church."

Thanks to everyone who participated! What a gift it is to find connection in the family of God!

On Doing What Jesus Did // Dylan Kennedy's Baptism Story

I grew up in the church and always watched people being baptized, so I knew I wanted to do the same thing someday. A couple months before I turned 13 I told my parents I thought I was ready. My dad said he had a book about baptism that his dad used when people felt ready for baptism. The only problem was he had no idea where it was! When he found it, we went through it and talked about it. We talked about baptism being a death, burial, and resurrection. Our sins die and are buried along with us in the water, and we come up cleansed.

I also knew that baptism was something we needed to do because Jesus did it himself. If Jesus did it, then it must be important!

To me, baptism means accepting God in to your life, getting a fresh start, and choosing to live a life that pleases God.

Songs About God // A "Where Are You?" Psalm by Eric Posadas

A year and a half ago, one of my best friends was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Life expectancy - 2 to 5 years with an 11% chance he’ll live beyond year five. His name is Jason. He’s married with three little girls - ages 12, 8, and 3.

There’s a group of us who have been friends for over a decade. All transplants with family out of town... so we’ve been each other’s family over the years.

  Eric is on the far left. Jason, far right.

Eric is on the far left. Jason, far right.

At first, our battle cry was fierce. Strong. Full of hope and determination. And of confidence he would beat this thing. And... I had God on my side. I immediately turned to prayer; I had little doubt God would handle this.

Like I mentioned, it’s been a year and a half now. And those battle cries, though still defiant, have inched closer to cries of despair. Jason’s cancer hasn't gone away. In fact, it’s only growing larger and may be spreading. I can see him wrestle with letting his hope fade away as he talks to me about the need to make preparations. And I’m angry. All those prayers seemingly unanswered.

I know many of us have been affected by cancer. Lost love ones to it. And I know God could just take it all away if He chose to. He could thump the tumors out of my best friend, but He just won’t. And it’s frustrating. It upsets me.

But then, I sit among you. And I watch a Baby Blessing and witness a baptism. I listen to a sermon. Jason and his family visit our church for the first time. And my heart swells. God is so good. He’s pulled me from so much wreckage; blessed me with a great marriage. And has given me much. God is good.

I know many of you have had struggles. And continue to have struggles. This is mine. And this is my song to God:

 

You, my God, are a God who hears me when I speak.

You, my Lord, are a Lord who knows my thoughts

 without a word being lifted.

 

I raise my voice to you when I feel afflicted.

I cry in silence when my emotions run wild

 and my heart is too heavy to utter a noise.

 

Time and again, you’ve delivered me from evil and have kept my family safe.

You, alone, have guarded my thoughts

 and saved me from ruin.

 

Then, why, dear Lord, do you turn away when you are needed most?

My prayers are as constant as you are blameless

 so why must you ignore my supplication?

 

What should I do so you know I’m sincere?

Should I simply whisper this personal petition

Knowing you are an intimate God?

 

How should I act so you feel my earnest, deafening plea?

Shall I rip my clothes and bellow until my face is covered in tears,

 And my voice is no more?

 

Such is the ache in my soul, dear God.

I know not how to call your attention

My desperation laid bare for all to see.

 

Yet, I know you are with me for I am still drawing breath.

My good God, you have previously answered my darkest call.

Given me so much without a formal request.

 

Where, then, shall I sing your praise so you know my gratitude?

Should I speak soft so my thankfulness is tender and true?

 

How should I boast in you, Lord, to display my full indebtedness?

Should I shout with admiration; arms held high; a smile of pure elation?

 

Such is my fear and faith and doubt in you, God.

My anger in your ostensible absence

 intertwined with my thankfulness for your sustained presence.

 

You, my God, are a God who hears me when I speak.

Hear me now.

Your Story. His Glory. (Reflections on our 2017 Women's Retreat)

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"Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story..." Psalm 107:2

This year over 70 women attended our annual women's retreat in Salado, TX. We spent the weekend connecting with God and one another, sharing the stories of what God's been doing in our lives through worship, interviews, small group reflection and communion. We also ate chili and built marshmallow towers and played cards.

So many of the women who attended have remarked on the power of stories to make us feel closer to one another and to renew our commitment to God and this body of believers. Here are just a few of the stories we shared:

Exercises in Seeing God (with Tamie Roefer)

Reviewing the exercises and taking notes (Tamie Roefer's story of seeing God in the ups and downs--both)

 

Listen to the file below to hear Kim Humble talking about living with serious health problems and seeing God in grief:

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On What God's Doing With Our Effort In Croatia (Hint: A lot.)

For years now RRCOC has been committed to missionaries Tom and Sandra Sibley serving in Zagreb, Croatia. Tom works as the director of the Biblijski Institut there in Zagreb--the only protestant school in the country preparing students for ministry. He and Sandra also labor with the church in Zagreb where Tom is an elder. 

If Croatia sounds familiar, but you really couldn't place it on a map--Europe, maybe?--here's a quick geography lesson: Croatia is across the Adriatic Sea from Italy and includes more than 1,000 islands. 4.28 million people live in Croatia, once a part of Yugoslavia, now bordered by Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia, etc.  Croatia looks a lot like Italy. If you've never been to Italy, imagine California. If you've never been to California, Google Croatia. You'll get pictures like this:

Also important to know: While most citizens claim to be members of the Catholic church, the population, like most of Europe, practically speaking would more accurately be called "post-Christian." Croatia also has a growing Muslim population as it borders Bosnia and Serbia. 

That's the context in which Tom and Sandra have  worked for decades. 

Now that you're caught up, we want to take this chance to update you on some of the amazing things happening in Croatia for the sake of Christ, all of them directly affected by your giving here in Round Rock, TX.

1. This past year one of the graduates of the Institute Tom directs was chosen by Samaritan's Purse (a global Christian charity) to head up their efforts to help refugees in Croatia. Even as we prayed at Round Rock for God to move on the behalf of so many homeless Syrian men and women, our God was using our small efforts (in combination with so many others) to do that very work. 

2. As of this year, the Institute has placed 35,000 Bibles in secular Zagreb schools (by invitation from the local government). These Bibles are in the hands of school children all over the city. Be sure to ask Katy and Roger Whiteside for details as they've recently returned from a trip to Croatia. Praise God for the spreading of His Word!

3. As always, the Biblijski Institut is training men and women to serve all over Eastern Europe. The most recent publication from the school (available in our church foyer) profiles 11 recent graduates, some preachers, some church planters, children's ministers, worship leaders and translators, all advancing the Kingdom in their home country in their mother tongue. 

If you'd like to know more about the work in Croatia, feel free to contact Katy or Roger Whiteside (kt@rrcoc.org) or Jennifer and Gary Meixell who're hosting a Croatian minister in their home THIS VERY WEEK. 

This is exciting stuff we get to be a part of, folks. Praise God for all He does with our small offering!

An Upside Down Christmas Worship

This Christmas we celebrated together the arrival of our redeeming, saving King, welcoming into our midst dozens and dozens of friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers. In this, the last in our sermon series "Upside Down Christmas" we spoke directly to the people who don't always feel comfortable in church, people like the shepherds to whom God entrusted the heavenly announcement of His baby boy's birth. 

We explored what it must have felt like to be the last person God should want to talk to, and the first person He does in this monologue, delivered by Jennifer Gerhardt from the perspective of a shepherd:

Later in the service, we explained that not only does God welcome the unexpected, He calls those same unexpected, sometimes rough around the edges, folks to be the messengers who deliver His good news to others. We explored this truth through the eyes of an angel as played by Ryan Crowder:

If you have a friend who thinks church isn't the place for her or a co-worker who thinks maybe the world would end if he ever entered a church building, THIS is the sermon you need to have them watch. The truth is God calls who He wants to call. You are (however surprising it is) called. What are you going to do about it?

You can watch the sermon here:

Finally, we ended worship with a most upside down offering in which we asked you to TAKE money OUT of the plate. Thanks to our 2016 giving surplus, we were able to put $4,000 in five dollar bills into the offering plate. We asked you take money for yourself if you're in need, for your neighbor, for a friend or relative or needy stranger. We wanted to equip you to meet the needs you see around you, to help the people only you can help. We said we'd keep passing the plates until all the money was gone. And while so many of you put even more cash in, we were never so happy to collect empty baskets. 

Watch the offering here: 

Thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with us! It was a joy to be with God's people on this holy day. 

A Day For Remembering. And Celebrating.

This past Sunday our church met all together at one worship service for the last time. As we looked forward to this new opportunity to reach more people with the good news of Jesus Christ, we also wanted to look backward at all God's done through us and in us over our history together. Below you'll find the entire worship, every tear-inducing moment, including our legacy prayers from long time members, the elder blessing, and Glenda Morrison's touching words about our church's past.  

Beneath the video, you'll find stories submitted by our members, stories of their very best memories of life in the family of God at Round Rock. 

Thank you, church for making this day a beautiful altar commemorating the stories God's writing in our church. Let's go make room for more...

 

 

REMEMBER WHEN...

 

I got a call on a Saturday at 8am that my parents had been in a horrible auto accident. 

I had to wait for someone to come stay with Josiah and make the long 50 minute drive from Taylor to Brackenridge hospital and was met by 20 or so church friends in the waiting room. 

They got there before I did. 

This still gives me goosebumps because I thought I was going to lose my parents that day and it could have ended so differently. But what I know is that through it all my church carried me through it. 

As I type this years are pouring down my cheeks and snot is coming out of nose because I'm doing the ugly cry. Because I don't know what I would do without my church and I know Christ's Love feels and looks like. 

You can find it right here at RRCOC. 

Another story...

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my brother-in-law's death. 

Danny collapsed a week before of a ruptured brain tumor no one knew he had. These difficult moments really proved to me what church is to me. Church is family. I mean deep, love-you-when-you’re-hysterical, call-in-the-middle-of the-night, dry-heave-crying and in-my-darkest-times-I’m-there-for-you family. 

I remember getting an email from Jodi, whom I had never actually really spoken to at church and she said "I'm in Lubbock, can I do anything for your sister? Can I bring them lunch?"  I responded without asking my sister because she probably would have said "that's ok, we're fine, no need to bother."  

But here's the thing. I had never even spoken a word to Jodi or Eric. Maybe a hi in the hallway or a quick nod but that's it. They took food and prayed and Jodi still keeps in touch with my sister. 

I remember standing in the parking lot at RRCOC after church when my sister was visiting (she came here right after his death because she wasn't ready to go home) and crying watching Jodi hug her so tight and Eric pray over her. 

This was another beautiful and tender moment etched in my heart. 

    This was holy. 

        This was love. 

            This was family. 

I will never forget that moment.

-Angie Nett


In 1992, Chris Wiginton, Paul Rogendorff, Shannon Shaw, and I were the only members of the YAM/YAWS (young adult men, young adult women). We prayed that somehow, for some reason, God would send us people our age that we could minister to. 

In the spring of 1993 we started a class based on The Blessing by Gary Smalley. God brought many young-professionals, so that by the end of the summer we had over 15 people, who became a close-knit family, taking care of each other, and showing God’s love to each other.

Another time that stands out to me is the first year that we did Serve at Home Ministries. 

The congregation truly gave of themselves sacrificially all year long, and grew in their servanthood. 

We served The Hope Alliance, the Serving Center, Starry, Blue Santa, Texas Baptist Childrens Home, Habitat for Humanity, and other organizations. Such an outpouring of time, energy, money, effort, serving, and love.

-Ken Kohl


I remember the first ShareFest I helped with. I was amazed! 

The people were so excited. Some couldn't believe everything was free. The look on their faces was priceless! 

It made me feel good to be able to help them.

-Karen James


A group of us gathered early Sunday mornings in the auditorium over a decade ago to pray for God to let his Presence be known in the auditorium.

Then Geary and I made a decision to work and worship in the town in which we were living for a few years. When we returned it was obvious to the both of us that something powerful was happening and that our collective prayers were answered. 

-Jennifer Meixsell


Favorite moments:

The sermon from our first year, 2010 I think, called How To Be Free.  It was the one centered around Exodus 14 and letting go of our own 'egyptians', things that enslave us. We were given the opportunity to come forward and write our own struggles on a rock and bury it (drop it into a glass bowl and let it sink).

The one where Michelle Mohrmann shared her family story of writing on their family table cloth and then the whole church body did that.

The time Justin reminded us that we all know how (and were created) to harmonize.  I can't remember the sermon but it was a few years ago, where Justin hopped on stage having us mimic him at different octaves and then took a surprise 'hop' one step further and we all shared the same pitch.  

When Stephan Colwell spoke about gratitude after a sermon and introduced members who had written what they were grateful for on large sheets of cardboard and one at a time walked across the stage sharing them.

Also... the Christmas sermons.  However, I think Arrival is still my favorite.  In part because it was our first, and it seemed to be the one where everything came together emotionally.  

-Jennifer Fox


I’ve seen God at work in this church so often and in so many different ways that I probably take it for granted.  

The times that popped in my head when I read this request are those times that God chose to remind us that our faith is in Him and in Him alone - that He alone is on the throne and we should not place anyone or anything else in His place.  

They were times of hardship as we dealt with difficult situations as a church family; times when we may have felt betrayed, confused or deceived; times when we questioned the leadership of our elders and/or ministers.  

But God took full advantage of those situations to remind us that He is completely faithful and trustworthy in all circumstances. He worked in those situations to show us that, as each of us puts our faith and trust in Him, He is able to heal our relationships with one another, strengthen our commitment to Him and to the church, and give us a new and better perspective - His perspective.  

-Georgine East


We have been members of RRcoC for 25 years.  

When we first began meeting we met with the Hispanic group which had been influenced by George Roggendorf and Steve Carrizal was the Hispanic preacher.  Maricruz’s parents lived with us and they did not speak English.  So, this was our primary reason for attending RRoC.  

After the Hispanic work was dropped we continued because we had young children and the youth program was always good.  We hated to see the Hispanic work dropped but Maricruz’s parents continue to attend all the services because of their love for God and their grandchildren.  When we discussed going where there was Spanish speaking teacher they replied “No, our grandchildren’s happiness and involvement in the church is more important to us.”

We are now living in Georgetown and could be working with a congregation there, but we find it difficult to say “good bye”  to a family we have loved for these 25 years.  

We are so happy to see our congregation growing.  And we have all confidenceand trust in God that He will continue to bless our congregation.  

-Edwin & Maricruz Young


The reason I'm at RRCOC is because of how God is felt within this community of church. 

From the 1st day I came to visit a year ago and to this day, every time I come to church I have someone come up to me and say, "I've seen you but I haven't met you. My name is (whoever). I'm so glad to meet you!" My group of acquaintances and friends are growing within this home every Sunday. 

Then I had my surgery and ended up with multiple blood clots in my lung. Without me saying anything, prayer request went out to the whole church, a meal train was created and people came to visit me in the hospital. Some people I knew, others I didn't. The love and generosity that poured out from this church was so profound and heart touching!  AND... I wasn't even a member of the church. 

I was so grateful of the love and help I was shown and given. My decision was easily made and I became a member of this church. 

I am not married to the the father of my daughter and we live together.

This is a burden of guilt, shame and disrespect I carry around every day. I have lied about it for 12 years wearing a wedding band and calling Gary my husband to avoid judgement and more guilt. This in not what I want, I want to be Gary's wife. I stopped wearing the wedding ring and lying about it after one of the sermons several months ago. 

It has been a difficult adjustment for me. 

I saw God's love when I met with the elders to join the church. The message given was, “We welcome you and want you to be a part of this church but we don't condone your behavior of living with a man and not being married. We will pray with you and for you about this situation, that God's will be done and hopefully it will be for Gary will open his heart and mind to make you his wife.” 

Again I was expecting to be told I couldn't join. It's the kind of Christian approach for accountability that you hear about but don't necessarily experience. 

The fact that they confronted me on my wrong doings but still met me with kindness and prayer is what being a Christian is all about. It is a part of living love that this church does so well. It’s not just as a motto but a lifestyle. 

It was even harder for me to tell my small group and apologized to them for lying to them. I was met with hugs and prayers in support not condemnation as I expected. Once again God’s love being shown through this church and its people. 

As a result, Gary has been given a deadline, he has until they request my name for my Master’s diploma, which is May of 2019. I have considered leaving so I wouldn’t have to live in sin but it becomes complicated when you have a child. I don’t want Aubrey or Nicholas to be exposed to the struggles of being a single mother again. As well as I could not support myself or kids while I’m working part time and in school. Because of the God speaking through Sunday messages and these people that I have become so fond of, I can strive to be a better person and embrace my path as a Christian. 

To Live Love has given me new purpose to be closer to God and to bring God in all aspects of my life. 

-Connie 


It has been great watching people step in and continue the student ministry during the times we have been in between ministers. 

I saw lots of different people give up so much of their time and energy in order to provide opportunities for the students. From weekly efforts of being small group leaders and teaching class on Sundays, planning and supporting retreats. 

It was always humbling to see people rise to the occasion and go beyond what they may have been comfortable with. To do so, even if they did not have kids in the group, that the churches kids could experience what God desires for them has been a tremendous blessing...

Years ago, Steve had preached and during his sermon he mentioned that he was meeting at 1:00 that afternoon with a family that were not members. They were asking for help with their rent, if not something more. 

He mentioned that he was not sure how to help them.  

I was in the foyer, I think I had been passing the offering tray, and Steve walked to the back of the auditorium after he was finished. People started handing him cash as he walked by, they met him at the back to give him cash and they were handing cash to me. 

By the time he got to his office (now Dan's) to meet with them, he had $1200.  

This was after we had taken up the offering. 

Someone gave me $300 that they had taken out of the ATM machine that morning because they felt like they might need for something else that day.

It was the most amazing, spontaneous response I have seen, a response I believe completely lead by and motivated by God's Spirit in his people.

-Chris Wiginton


When I was going through my divorce a group of ladies showed up at the house and prayed over me for hours! One of those sweet ladies met me once  a week for months to guide me through. And Joey Swofford was my rock through the whole thing. 

I have never been closer to God then that period of time.

-Britni


I've been at RRCOC for 45 yrs & as I recall, we decided in 1971 to pray for the future of our congregation. 

Specifically, we prayed that the future of our church actually WAS our children & so we asked for guidance on how to affirm them & grow them to be future leaders for God's kingdom. 

God showed up big time by bringing more young families with lots of children as well as lots of willing & dedicated teachers to plant seeds & give direction for them. We soon moved into a new building, had our 'Joy Bus" ministry driving to pick up kids & families, & began filling our building with teenagers excited to be leaders in the school & community.

Sacrifices of time, funds, & the changes & pains of FAST growth were overcome through the vision of God's plans & His faithfulness to love us through it all. Through the years, God has blessed us with affirmation that our future IS our kids & we have to invest in them & pray specifically for His plans for them.

-Vicki Swofford


I have lots of stories about how God has worked at Round Rock CofC but the one that I think has impacted our church in tremendous ways.  

In the late 1980s and early 90's paid positions for Children's Ministry was becoming common especially in Bible Churches and others but not so much with churches of Christ.   Volunteer coordinators were in charge of children's classes and activities with the oversight of an education minister or deacon.  In 1993 we were going through some ministry changes in 1993 and our education minister, Steve Carrizal, was moving into the Pulpit Ministry. I was involved in many areas of children's ministry and was discussing with John my concerns and wondering who was going to oversee the kids.  

Unknown to me at that time, there was a group of 4 people who had been tasked with creating a plan for the children. 

After a few days of thinking and praying about this, I woke up in the middle if the night with a grand thought.  We need someone to oversee just children's ministry!  But it involves a lot of work. To do it right it needs to be a paid position. A staff position. A children's minister!   

I told John about God placing this on my heart and if this was a solution I was suggesting then I should be willing to implement the solution.  - and then I said I think God is calling me to do this!  I asked John what he thought and he said "You have to do it!  Talk to Steve or Vera Jeanne and ask what they think.” 

All of us had been praying for direction and someone to lead this ministry and God was working His plan through all of us. The task group, elders, and ministers were enthusiastically in favor of creating this position and Round Rock became one of the first and few churches to hire a paid Children's Minister. 

Look where we are today!  

A real dream, a real vision, a ministry that has grown into multiple ministries that encourage the spiritual development of  children and their families. 

I know this is long but I think it was a real turning point in the life of this church. 

-Toni Moman


So I cant seem to choose just one, what about the time when Robin,  Patty, and Pam took me out for dessert, just me, not even their own kids just to hear about my teenage problems, or when then Humbles treated me like their own daughter and drove me across state lines so I could see snow for the first time on spring break, or the countless pancakes consumed by me at the Wiginton’s.

What about the day my mommy died, yall (collectively RRCOC) cried the tears that I couldn't. 

Let me also not forget about Sunday lunches with the Strands or the literal blood, sweat, and tears shared by the miniature army it took to move me into my first apartment, or those that brought food and candy when my dad was in the hospital.... 

I think, to sum it all up I see God in the fact that I couldramble on for hours even days about the love that this church family has shown to me, my surrogate mothers, mentors, friends and I still would likely leave some one out. 

For this I am truly blessed.

-Tina Alexander


Many times over the past 30 years I have seen wonderful giving hearts at work in our church.  

When former students of mine needed prayers, help with bills or support in various ways this church has responded. 

When my family has faced hardships there were ALWAYS RRCOC family there to help and support us. Times when it may have been hard to accept that God was there this church made it evident that he is!  

So thankful for my precious family here!

-Roxanne Balusek


In the few short months my husband and I have attended, we have been fed with scriptures and wonderful applications to implement in our lives. Although we still can't say his name correctly, the lesson on Mephibosheth is especially one we constantly discuss.   Thank you Justin for bringing messages to us.

-Sue Duncan


The love and support that the church showed to New Orleans after Katrina by sending adults/student twice to de-muk homes, and the students/adults that went to help Greensburg, Kansas after a devastating tornado that flattened much of the town.  And the students/adults that went to Mexico to help build churches.  And the students/adults that went to a children's home and put a roof on their barn.  And the student/adults that went to Galvanston to help rebuild homes to help them recover from a hurricane.

The teams that took ChampsCamp to Croatia to help show them how to run one (which now continues and grows organized solely by the local church).

The love shown to the community to do ShareFest, BackPack in the Park, ChampsCamp, Voigt, and FallFest simply because they love Jesus, expecting nothing in return.

The love that families have shown to those getting married, having babies, and grieving for their lost ones thru showers and meals.

The love shown to missionaries when they come home from furlough thru meals, place to stay, and thru loaning of cars to them.

The love shown by the anonymous givers that give thousands and thousands of dollars collectively every year to those in need, those serving others, and missions - never asking for anything in return, not even a thank you.

Those that offer free child care, at times, so younger adults can go out and spend time with each other for the evening.

Those that open up their homes, or provide car rides, so that students can have a place to hang out.  And for the volunteers that work with the students.

Those that open up their homes for small groups for 27 years.

The quiet servants that maintain the building.

-Ray East


It is really hard to pick just one item after 36 years with this church.  

I could tell you about the time when I was 3 and we were brand new to the church.  Peter and Jo Gunn showed up to our house with groceries because they heard we were without food. My mother was very pregnant with my brother and we had just moved to the area.  We had not even attended the church but a few times when this happened.  

How about the time when I was 9 and my dad left our family.  My parents divorced and people stepped forward to help my mother. My bible school teacher did stuff with my brother and I on the weekends.  He and his wife let us know if we ever needed to talk to anyone he was there.  Church members that lived in our neighborhood were one call away if we needed anything after school.  

At 19 when my grandmother was dying there was a storm that took out the electricity.  A member at church knew she needed a generator for her oxygen and got one to her quickly.   

Growing up in this church I always looked at it as a family. We were there on average once a week and most of the time 2-3 times a week. Not because we had to but because we wanted to.  

Like any family there are hard times and good times.  When I am frustrated I am often asked why I stay and the answer is simple.  This is my chosen family and you don't leave your family. As long as God is there it will work out.  

-Rachel Schmidt


One of the biggest things as a Church that I witnessed and took part of was when Linda Post was sick with Cancer.  

She had 4 young girls that she was raising.  The church brought them meals, took the girls to activities, helped clean the house, took Linda to appointments and just sat with her.   

There were holidays where meals were cooked and the holiday was put on so that they could have as normal of a life as possible.  

I was so blessed to have known Linda and learned so much from serving her and her family.  

-Rachel


The approx year was 2010? Tom and Sandra Sibley were here to help us in a time of transition and a season of prayer. 

My husband, Ralph, was still with us and we had hosted Tom & Sandy for dinner at Ralph's favorite restaurant, Buca de Beppo. In the course of our conversation I ask Tom & Sandra to tell us "how would we know" if The Lord was blessing our plans? They looked at each other with the smiles of "a private joke just between them." Then Sandra said, Patti, have you been hearing the powerful sermons of Tom's since we got here? To my reply that yes we had been present She laughed and looking right into Tom's eyes and said, "well he's not that good!" Ralph and I cracked up thinking she was just kidding but Tom spoke up to say, "she's right, I'm not.  The Holy Spirit is the power of encouragement behind my words and frankly they are not all really my words." 

Ralph and I got the point. Yes, God was blessing our plans and He, God, was making sure we heard the power of encouragement and inspiration to guide us to continue with our plans. 

To be honest I can't remember what we were planning at the time. I do remember that from that day forward I understood better than ever before, that The Holy Spirit is here. He is working among usand there is evidence to that fact.  l

Tom & Sandy weren't confident or hopeful, they were sure.  

As a Church we have grown and served well without exception in all things I have witnessed since then.

-Patti Fatheree


First one is obvious--my husband at long last giving his life to Christ.

Second was the toy give away in front of the library--done a few kids for kids they’d never met.

Third is when Mira surprised me with a watercolor of one of my favorite pictures of my son, James. 

Fourth is lifelong friends and gracious hosts who opened up their home to us and do it for so many! 

And lastly... Can't forget the fun we had on the 4th of July! People everywhere in our front yard, united in Christ, having a great time. 

-Natalie Bogue


The sermons pulled me into this wonderful place to worship. 

I was lonely and afraid with all the changes in my life. I now am at peace. 

Thank you!

-Nancy Ward

 

CAMP BARNABAS 2016

This summer our teens (and a few wonderful adults) traveled to Purdee, Missouri to volunteer at Camp Barnabas, a camp for kids and young adults with special needs. The following videos represent a few of their beautiful, God-soaked stories...