New Worship Arts Minister Selected!

July 22, 2014 • Category: Church News

shellyeAfter a three-month national search, LifeJourney Church has selected its new Worship Arts Minister, Shellye Bradford!  Shellye will begin September 8, after a two-week orientation period with Richard in late August.

In April, we posted our worship minister opening on several national church staffing sites, on our denominational site, with several schools of music, and within our congregation.  Forty-five people requested applications.  Sixteen submitted completed applications.  Our Search Team conducted intensive face-to-face interviews with seven leading candidates.  The Search Team consisted of Pastor Jeff, Todd Cox, and Genese Parker.  Once the Search Team finished gathering information, it presented its data and recommendations to the full Board of Directors for review.  The Board voted unanimously to select Shellye.

Although our search was national in scope and included a number of truly exceptional candidates, we ultimately concluded that the best person to help us grow the beauty and power of our worship was already right here among us.  Many of you know and love Shellye.  For the past five years, she has volunteered as a worship singer, choir member, choir leader, and gifted soloist.  During our last worship minister transition, she was as our interim worship leader.

But there’s much more to Shellye than you may know!  Before arriving at LifeJourney, she served as Worship Minister at Westlane Christian Church for 13 years.  Like LifeJourney, Westlane has a deep commitment to multicultural worship.  At Westlane, Shellye built two praise teams, grew their choir to 25 voices, grew a dance troupe to 30, selected and rehearsed soloists and ensembles, and produced many spiritual dramas – all while working with a congregation about half our size.  When Shellye came out, the leadership of Westlane asked her to step down.  That’s when she, her spouse Lynnette, and their children found LifeJourney.

As a young adult, Shellye also wrote and produced several musical dramas.  One of her productions, “This Way? That Way? One Way!!,” toured for almost two years, received national recognition, and was turned into a sound track.

Shellye is deeply committed to helping us enhance the beauty and diversity of our worship, and to growing the number of gifted worship artists who participate.  She loves all styles of music, from high church, to traditional, to gospel, to contemporary, etc.  You’ll hear more about Shellye’s vision in the weeks ahead.  Meanwhile, she’ll be working with Richard to create a smooth transition.

Welcome aboard Shellye!  We can’t wait to see what the future holds…

Quick Facts About Shellye

  • Incredible spiritual depth.
  • 13 years of successful Worship Minister experience at Westlane Christian Church.
  • Has written and produced a nationally-recognized spiritual musical and sound track.
  • Dynamic choir leader.
  • Incredible voice.
  • A heart as big as the ocean!
  • Married to Lynnette Pullen, and has four children.
  • Shellye’s tenure begins September 8, after a two-week orientation period with Richard.

Keyboard Accompanist Posting

In our new worship era, Shellye will lead from the platform, which means we’ll need a gifted pianist to accompany worship – just like Richard did when Mark was here, and Jason did when Julie was here.  Later this week, we will post a part-time accompanist position on our church website.  The person who fills this position must be a gifted keyboardist, proficient sight reader, and comfortable playing a broad range of musical genres – including classical, gospel, contemporary, hymns, etc.  The ability to play multiple instruments is a plus.  If you know someone who might fit the bill, ask them to check out our website later this week.    Help us spread word far and wide!

Latest Update If You’re Getting Married

June 26, 2014 • Category: Uncategorized

If after yesterday’s historical ruling, you’re wanting to get married quickly, before a possible judicial stay is issued, here’s how LifeJourney Church can help!  So far, Pastor Melody has been at the Marion County Clerk’s Office almost continuously, and has officiated at many weddings.  But we can’t keep someone there continuously round the clock.  So here’s how we’ll proceed.

Of course, the process begins with you going to the County Clerk’s Office to get the wedding paperwork.  Here’s a link to instructions for that part of the process:

http://www.indy.gov/eGov/County/Clerk/Pages/home.aspx

While you’re at the Clerk’s office, you will have the option of being married by the clerk, then immediately turning in your paperwork.  If instead, you want a LifeJourney Pastor to officiate, you can pick up the paperwork, swing by the church for a pastor to officiate your exchange of vows, then return to the Clerk’s office (and a much shorter line) to turn in your paperwork.  If you want a LifeJourney pastor to officiate, please contact Pastor Vivian to schedule:

317-722-0000 x106

PastorVivian@LifeJourneyChurch.cc

We’re here to help in this historic moment!  By the way, at our worship celebration on Sunday, we’ll say a special prayer of blessing for all newly married couples, as well as those who’ve been married elsewhere.  Don’t miss Sunday’s celebration!

VBS Registration

May 28, 2014 • Category: Uncategorized

This year LifeJourney Church will host the Workshop of Wonders for the Vacation Bible School theme.

In the Workshop of Wonders, kids discover how the ordinary becomes extraordinary with God. Experience the love of Jesus. Start an adventure. Use your imagination and creativity to build your faith. Meet people from the Bible who used what they had to produce something amazing with God. Use your heart, mind, and imagination to participate in the creative life of God, the one who works wonders!

The Workshop of Wonders is open the week of June 9-14 from 6:30-9:00 pm.

 

Click Here for ONLINE REGISTRATION for the Workshop Wonders.

 

 

LifeJourney Church Seeks Worship Arts Minister

April 3, 2014 • Category: Uncategorized

LifeJourney Church, Indianapolis, is searching for a full-time Worship Arts Minister. Our Church is passionate about following Jesus, serious about the Bible, theologically open-minded, and genuinely diverse. In fact, we are one of the most diverse congregations in the Indianapolis metropolitan area. Our mission is to follow the teachings of Jesus by developing disciples, doing justice, and helping those in need. We are a teaching church that challenges congregants to a high level of participation. We have an absolute commitment to excellence in multicultural worship.

View and download the full Position Description.

Worship Transition

March 28, 2014 • Category: Uncategorized

After much prayerful consideration, our Worship Arts Minister, Richard Ramsey, has announced that he is stepping down. Richard has given a very generous notice period. He will remain in his position for the next four months. During that time, we will launch our search for a new Worship Arts Minister, and Richard will continue to seek God’s direction for what is next.

Richard began as Worship Minister in August of 2012. Since then we’ve been blessed to experience many moments of amazing and powerful worship, not to mention Richard’s incredible musical artistry and wonderfully joyous spirit. But in recent months, Richard has begun to sense that a change is needed. When Richard began at LifeJourney, both he and we felt it was a terrific match, and it was! But in every ministry endeavor, there must be an ongoing dialogue with God’s Spirit about timing and direction. Richard’s decision arises from a growing sense that what we’re going to need in the next stages of our worship development is not the best match with his passion and calling.

Richard said, “I want to express my love for LifeJourney and my thanks for all this Church has meant to me. I’ve met so many beautiful people here, and had so many beautiful experiences.” Pastor Jeff said, “Richard’s decision makes me sad, but I know he has thought prayerfully about this, and I respect his decision. Richard has been wonderful to work with. I’ve learned so much from him. We’re all going to miss him.”

Within a couple weeks, we will launch a national search to fill our Worship Arts position. We know from past searches that there are many wonderful worship ministers who long to work in a Church like ours. So let’s celebrate all Richard has meant to us, and trust that the future is VERY BRIGHT for both him and us!

Note To Worship Volunteers: All of our worship ministries will continue to function fully during this transition period. Also, Pastor Jeff would like to meet with all worship volunteers on Monday evening April 7, at 7:00 pm, to hear thoughts and gather input that will help guide our worship minister search. This meeting is open to choir members, instrumentalists, singers, scripture readers, media team members, and all other worship volunteers.

2014 Annual Congregational Meeting

January 23, 2014 • Category: Uncategorized

The annual congregational meeting will be held Sunday, February 9, 2014 in the LifeJourney Church Sanctuary at 12:45 pm.

Please review this informational document and bring it with you to the meeting for reference.

HJR-3 (formerly HJR-6): HEARING SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY

January 10, 2014 • Category: Uncategorized

Committee-updatedThe first hearing on the proposed anti-freedom amendment (which is now titled HJR-3, not HJR-6) is scheduled for this Monday, January 13 at 10 am in the House Judiciary Committee. 

It is crucial that opponents of HJR-3 gather at the state house on Monday morning to stand together and urge our representatives to vote NO on HJR-3!

Join hundreds of grassroots supporters from across the state on Monday and help send a clear message to lawmakers that Hoosiers stand against the anti-freedom amendment.

When: Monday, January 13th at 10AM, arrive even earlier!
Where: Indiana State Capitol
Who: You, your family and friends!

More Information on Freedom Indiana’s Website

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT & Brief Note From Pastor Jeff

January 4, 2014 • Category: Uncategorized

LifeJourney’s worship services are CANCELLED for Sunday, January 5.  Government authorities have asked that no one drive on Sunday except in emergencies, and we want to respect that request.  Please take a moment to read the brief note below from Pastor Jeff:

Happy Blizzard of 2014! 

This is the first time in 20 years weather has forced us to cancel a worship service. 

Maybe God is trying to clear our schedules for a reason.  Maybe God wants each of us to take an hour Sunday morning to quiet ourselves and work through our 2014 Spiritual Self-Assessment. 

Will you do that?  That is my request to you.  Will you use a portion of your free time tomorrow morning to do your Spiritual Self-Assessment?  Nothing could be more important as we start a New Year! 

Just go to www.SoulCare.cc

And by the way, at times like this we are so very grateful for our electronic givers.  Canceling worship has a huge financial impact on a church.  If you’re not already an electronic giver, please consider going online today to make a one-time contribution, www.LifeJourneyChurch.cc/donate.  Your generosity will help our church “keep it together” during the Winter Storm of 2014!

 Stay warm.  Stay safe.  Use this free time to draw closer to God!

 Sincerely,

Pastor Jeff

International Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 13, 2013 • Category: community, Special Events

TDR Vigil ProgramTransgender Day of Remembrance was set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in dozens of cities across the world. Since 1977, when records of such murders began being kept, there have been 330 known Transgender deaths due to prejudice or hatred. Without a doubt there have been more who have died horrible deaths because they had the courage to live their truths.

A special candlelight vigil will be held at LifeJourney Church on Saturday, November 16 at 6:00 pm.  All are welcome to attend this service.

This special service is made possible by the support of:

  • Indiana Transgender Wellness Alliance
  • Interfaith Coalition On Non-Discrimination
  • Eli Lilly & Company PRIDE Employee Resource Group
  • LifeJourney Church

Church Without Lables…Forum on Sept 8th

August 29, 2013 • Category: Church News, Special Events

Back in July, Pastor Jeff gave a sermon encouraging us to continue our efforts to become a “church without labels” where all people feel welcome.  He encouraged us to think deeply about how we can be more effective at welcoming those who are under-represented in our congregation, including those who are straight.  Years ago we were founded as a church of refuge for LGBT people at a time when there were few affirming churches.  As a result, we became a predominantly LGBT congregation.  But the world is changing rapidly!  We’re moving into an era when Jesus’ prayer for all his followers to be one (John 17:20-21) can actually be fulfilled.  We would like to be part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer!

Sunday, September 8, at 12:45 pm, we’ll hold a forum in the sanctuary to talk about the challenges and opportunities of becoming a “church without labels.”  Please bring your ideas, questions, comments, and concerns.  All are welcome!

New Director of Communications & Technology!

August 9, 2013 • Category: Church News

Today we are welcoming our new Director of Communications & Technology – Spencer James! In May, we launched a national search to fill the vacancy in our church’s Communications & Technology position. We had almost 25 applicants – some local, but many from far flung places. Because the applicant pool was so talent rich, the Board’s Personnel Team took a couple months to interview, discern, and make a final selection.

Spencer will be responsible for our websites, social media, weekly bulletin, and weekly email. He will oversee the design, layout, writing, and printing of all our church brochures, displays, and advertisements. He will serve as staff liaison to our Worship Media Team and oversee maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrades of all equipment and technology used in worship and the church office.

As a church, our goal is to “raise our game” even higher in communicating internally and externally. We are asking Spencer to work with Staff and the Board to develop specific, comprehensive internal and external communications plans for our church for the first time ever. We want to develop an internal plan to systematically use all communications options to better connect us together as a caring congregation. We want to develop an external plan to better communicate all our church can offer to those who need a church home.

Spencer brings strong experience in both communications and technology. He holds an Associate’s degree from Vincennes University with a major that emphasized both television & radio broadcasting and marketing & sales. After graduation, he worked for 6 years at Fox 59 as an audio engineer and camera operator, then spent 8 years as a property manager for Greystone Property Management, responsible for marketing apartment properties. Most recently he has been a Real Estate Agent and Market Center Technology Coordinator for Keller Williams.

Spencer began attending LifeJourney several years ago. He was intimately involved in the recent upgrade of all our worship technology. He is passionate about our mission and ministry and has lots of great ideas about how we can communicate better in this rapidly-changing world of technology.

Please welcome Spencer, and lift him in prayer as he gets underway!

Church Without Labels

July 3, 2013 • Category: Church News

Jesus said, “I ask not only on behalf of these [my current followers], but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.” John 17:20-21.

This article supplements the sermon entitled The Times, They Are A-Changin’ that Pastor Jeff shared at MCC General Conference on July 5 and at LifeJourney Church on July 7. You can hear the sermon at LifeJourneyChurch.cc/listen.

MCC congregations have historically been churches of refuge for LGBT people. But now, after years of painstaking effort, we are seeing the fruits of our labor. Culture is rapidly moving toward acceptance and integration. Although there are notable exceptions, and much work left to do, many young LGBT people are experiencing integrated lives. If we said to one of them, “Would you like to go to a ‘gay church?’ they would probably say, “Why on earth would I want to do that? Many of my friends and family are straight, my kids will probably be straight, so I want to go to a church where everyone feels equally welcome.”

That is the challenge for MCC congregations. How do we transition from being known as “gay church” to being known as “church without labels”? Since our congregations are currently predominantly demographically LGBT, we will need to take intentional proactive steps to make the transition. If we don’t, we will soon be irrelevant to both straight and LGBT people in our increasingly integrated world.

Here are some practical steps for MCC congregations to consider. Taking one or two of these steps in isolation will probably be insufficient. Achieving the kind of change we’re talking about requires a holistic strategy.

  1. Consistently reassure existing members that the radical welcome MCCs have historically offered LGBT people, and the safety to “be yourself,” will NEVER change. This is not about giving up who we’ve been. It’s about welcoming even more people into that freedom and safety.
  2. Post open staff positions not just within MCC, but on national church staffing sites. Staffing must reflect the composition of the congregations we seek to become.
  3. Engage in marketing activities specifically designed to overcome the assumption that MCC is only for LGBT people. For example, consider sending targeted zip-code mailings to the neighborhoods closest to your church, describing your church in welcoming ways and making clear all MCC can offer to those who are straight.
  4. Encourage straight congregants to take on visible roles of leadership in worship, on the Board, and in other service opportunities. Put a face on what it looks like to be straight in MCC.
  5. Review your website, all literature, and wall displays to ask, “What subliminal messages are we sending? Would an affirming straight person instinctively feel welcome from what they are seeing and hearing?”
  6. Make sure your preachers, worship leaders, and small group leaders no longer talk in a way that assumes everyone in the congregation is LGBT.
  7. Expand the focus of your outreach activities beyond LGBT justice. (LGBT justice should and must be included, but we can walk and chew gum at the same time by addressing additional concerns, such as extreme poverty.)

If you have additional ideas or thoughts, we would love to hear them. Just email PastorJeff@LifeJourneyChurch.cc. Let’s share ideas and resources.

Together we can be part of the next great thing God wants to do in and through the Church!

“I ask . . . that they may all be one.” John 17:20-21.

David Squire Departing His Position

April 3, 2013 • Category: Church News

David SquireAfter 15 years of faithful service to our church, our Communications Director, David Squire, will be leaving his position. David’s final day will be April 5. As you see him around the church, please be sure to express deep thanks for his many years of service.

Even after his last day, David will continue to provide support on a transitional basis for several critical ongoing projects. For example, our publishing ministry, LifeJourney Press, is working with Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator of our denomination, to publish two books she has authored. David will complete the design and layout of those books over the next several months.

Pastor Jeff said, “Fifteen years ago David came to me and said, ‘I want to quit my job and volunteer full-time for the church.’ I was flabbergasted by his generosity. At that time, I was the only employee the church could afford. So David volunteered full-time for a year, then gradually we were able to begin paying him. He has done so much for our church over the years.”

Some of David’s signature accomplishments include designing our three church web sites: LifeJourneyChurch.cc, LifeJourneyPress.cc, and ­WouldJesusDiscriminate.org. David has designed all the products offered by our Press, our Weekly News, our brochures, and our wall displays. He has coordinated and edited our original daily meditation, Be Still and Know. He wrote the grant request that funded our state-of-the-art webcasting equipment. And these are just a few examples.

For all of this, David, we just want to say thank you!

Living Intentionally

December 30, 2012 • Category: Resources

Soul Care PlanThe turn of the New Year provides a great opportunity to pause, reflect, and set specific spiritual goals for the year to come. Here at LifeJourney, we invite everyone to spend an hour taking a spiritual self-inventory entitled Building A Vibrant Spiritual Life, then to prepare a personal Soul Care Plan for the year to come. You can download the inventory and Soul Care Plan, or pick up a copy at church.

If you would like to share a confidential copy of your plan with pastoral staff — for prayer and support — bring a copy to church and place it in the box at the kiosk. You’re also welcome to scan and email a copy to PastorJeff (at) LifeJourneyChurch.cc.

Two New Oasis Options

October 18, 2012 • Category: Oasis

2012 is the Year of the Oasis at LifeJourney! Oasis is the single best way to find connections and make friends in the church. We invite you to consider two new Oasis options that are coming soon.

Northeast Oasis

Michael Drain and Brent Walsh will lead the new Northeast Oasis, which will meet at the home of Burns Gutzwiller and Nathan Tuttle (207 W. Staat St, Fortville) beginning Monday, October 29 at 7:00 pm. Michael is currently serving as the co-leader to the Northside Oasis and is looking forward to launching this new group with Brent, an apprentice in the LifeJourney Pastoral Training Program. Both are excited to welcome you to this new group where building friendship connections and growing our souls will be the ultimate goal.

Singles Oasis

Robert Ferguson and Genese Parker will lead the new Singles Oasis. The group will meet at Robert’s home (3637 Catalpa Ave., near 56th and Kessler) beginning Tuesday, November 6 at 7:00 pm.

This group is especially for those who are single and looking to build strong spiritual friendships with other singles. Robert is a Deacon in our church and is excited to welcome singles into his home for a weekly time of fellowship. Genese brings her youth and gender balance to the group. Come join Genese and Robert on Tuesday evenings!

These new groups are just two out of 13 options for Oasis. Check out all the options, or pick up a brochure at church on Sunday.

Animal Ministry: Making a Difference

August 23, 2012 • Category: Outreach

Exciting things are happening with our Animal Ministry!

In June, the team unveiled a plan that included a new endeavor: fostering dogs. A few weeks ago, a plea was sent out about two dogs in desperate need from Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. One of the dogs was adopted out of the shelter quickly. The second, a Wheaten mix, is now being fostered by Sarah Addison, one of the heads of our Animal Ministry. He is now with Sarah learning basic manners and how to trust other people and animals, while he waits to find his forever home!

Also in the news is that Petco Adoption Days have begun! Robin Herman, through her Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, which is supported by our Animal Ministry, is currently fostering fifteen dogs. July 15 was the first day that five dogs were brought to Petco in Carmel for adoption.

Kris Soper, a member of the Animal Ministry, participated. She says, “This is one of the best things I have ever done in my life! Our dogs were the best behaved of all the adoption groups there and we even had two placements, which I thought was great!” Nora, a Cavalier King Charles/Papillion mix, shy as could be, slowly became more comfortable with people and became the “marketing” dog. She and Kris spent time sitting in front of our table at Petco. The table could be seen down the main aisle, and Nora just smiled and welcomed everyone, and was eventually adopted. Kris says she was happy to be a part of the event and proud of our success.

Please visit Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue if you are interested in adopting a dog. You can also contact Sarah Addison via the church office if you are interested in working with the Animal Ministry.

Our Animal Ministry is about building a strong network of people to help animals in need, helping at the Indianapolis Humane Society, assisting with adoption days at Petco for Lucky Dog Retreat Rescue, and fostering dogs rescued from kill shelters. The continued growth of the Animal Ministry will allow for many more lives to be saved!

Black Pride 2012!

July 20, 2012 • Category: Special Events

This year’s Black Pride theme is “Turning Your Pride Into Praise.” We are taking this time to celebrate God’s blessings in our lives. No matter how you identify, you deserve to be celebrated and recognized as God’s creation!

Please join us for our Black Pride Community Worship Service on August 12. Our special speaker will be our own Deacon Tina Johnson-McCrackin. The Gospel Choir will also sing. We will celebrate at both the 9:30 and 11:00 am services, and a potluck dinner will follow the 11:00 service. If you plan to join us for lunch, please bring a side dish or dessert to share.

Vacation Bible School Report

June 27, 2012 • Category: Children/Youth, Special Events

Operation Overboard provided a week filled with learning, fun, and adventure! More than 30 children joined in as we celebrated the love of God that goes deeper than the ocean. Check out the video to see all the dancing, playing, creating, and learning that took place during our week of VBS!

New Worship Arts Minister!

June 24, 2012 • Category: Church News

In worship services at LifeJourney Church today, June 24, Pastor Jeff announced that Richard Ramsey will serve as LifeJourney Church’s new Worship Arts Minister. Pastor Jeff said, “I am so excited, my heart could burst! God has blessed us with one of America’s most gifted and successful worship artists — and that is not an exaggeration.”

Richard comes to LifeJourney Church with a track record of helping dynamic churches grow the power of their worship. He served as Senior Director of Worship at Grace Community Church, Noblesville, Indiana, at a time when they grew to become one of central Indiana’s largest congregations. From there Richard moved to another innovative Indiana congregation, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, where he ministered as Creative Director and Worship Leader. Currently, Richard is at an historic church in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sardis Presbyterian Church. In between these roles, early in his career, Richard also traveled with, and played piano for, legendary Christian recording artist Sandi Patty.

As we talked to congregations where Richard has ministered, the same themes were echoed again and again. He excels at leading worship and helping congregations experience the presence of God. He is an incredibly outgoing guy who really loves people. He is a stunning musician. He is creative and open to diverse worship styles.

In the eyes of some, Richard is making an unusual move. He is serving, and has served, in grander settings. But Richard can’t say no to the call he feels to come to LifeJourney Church. During a brief transition period in his life a few years ago, he had the opportunity to work behind the scenes as a part-time accompanist at LifeJourney and became thoroughly familiar with us. He knows us well and is passionate about our vision and potential. He believes God wants to use churches like ours — centered on Christ, serious about the Bible, and genuinely open to all — to create a new model for how church is done in the future.

Richard said, “It’s been so exciting the work God has done through the church so far. I’m thrilled I get to be a part of this next chapter as we experience God together in fresh and new ways. ‘No eye has seen, nor ear heard’ all that God can do through LifeJourney Church!”

And so we begin a new era at LifeJourney. Richard’s commitment is to help us take our worship to the next level. His tenure will begin August 1, and we can’t wait! Thank you, God, for answering our prayers during this worship search.

Do you have a prayer request?

June 15, 2012 • Category: Church News, support

We now have a new way you can connect to receive prayer. The Pastoral Care Team of LifeJourney Church is now connected to you through Facebook!

You can find us at Facebook.com/LifeJourneyChurch. If you need a prayer, have a praise or just need to talk, please post a message or wall post. A Pastoral Care team member or Deacon will be there for you when you need us! Like us on Facebook because we love you!

Please keep in mind that wall posts are public, and messages are private.