On a given Saturday, Men's Breakfast has already become an integral part of the schedule in the monthly chart of our brethren of the church and beyond. Every time the next meeting is in session, all have the opportunity to enjoy a cooked breakfast prepared by sisters which offers coffee/tea, and of course delicious sandwiches, fruit and sweets that are already "settled" on the table appearing at the door of the church office, for men.
We all know that the man's breakfast - it is not just a holiday for the body of men, but it is also an anticipated event for the inner, spiritual man who, by the way, also needs to be fed. That is exactly what we would like to talk a little more about.
At the beginning of the second part, or "breakfast" for the soul, Sergey Lobozinsky, as the organizer, welcomed all those present and spoke on the way this session will be led, and introduced the guests. After that, Vasiliy Spatarel and a team of brothers declared a time to focus on worshiping God in prayer and praising the Lord in singing hymns of praise.
Pastor Russell Korets took the microphone, introduced guest, Dr. Roger Olson, who is quite well-known in surrounding academic communities. With his lectures, he tries to compare positions of Arminianisim and Calvinism, as close as possible to Biblical truth in his claims.
Dr. Olson is indeed very well versed in these views, and at this breakfast, brothers could clarify many things for themselves. Dr. Roger Olson, being a supporter of Arminianism, introduced many Biblical evidences to suggest that in his view, the position of Arminianism better explains the relationship between God's power and human responsibility in the matter of salvation.
Between Arminianism and Calvinism are the following 5 major differences.
1. Calvinism is the view of the complete depravity, while Arminianism says partial depravity. Total depravity states that every aspect of humanity tainted by sin, so that the man can not come to God on his own. Partial depravity states that every aspect of human nature tainted by sin, but not to such an extent that he could not believe in God alone.
2. Calvinism holds the position of unconditional election, while Arminianism involves conditional election. Unconditional election means that God chooses people for salvation based entirely on His will alone, and not on anything that depends on the person. According to the conditional election, God chooses people for salvation based on His foreknowledge of who will believe in Christo as Savior.
3. Calvinism says about limited atonement, and Arminianism holds an unlimited atonement. This point is the most controversial of all five. Limited Atonement - is the belief that Jesus died only for the elect. Unlimited atonement - Jesus died for all, but his death has no effect until the person believes.
4. Calvinism holds irresistible grace while Arminianism - "resistible." Irresistible grace suggests that if God calls a person to salvation, that person will inevitably be saved. The idea of "resistible" grace states that God calls all to salvation, but many people resist and reject this call.
5. Calvinism also talks about saving of the saints, and Arminianism, by contrast, takes the position of conditional salvation. Preservation of the saints means that a person chosen by God, will be saved in faith and never reject Christ, and shall not depart from Him. Conditional salvation - a believer in Christ can voluntarily depart from Christ and, therefore, lose his salvation.
A wonderful event called "Awakening" happened this past weekend. It was under this name that a youth conference was held with Joel Stockstill. Lots of young people gathered on Saturday, March 9th and Sunday, March 10th to worship God in anticipation of God's revelations and blessings. The assistance in organizing the conference, as always, was with youth of Overcomer Covenant Church. Worship was conducted by City On A Hill Church, City Church, Overcomer Covenant Church, and Christian Faith Center.
Joel Stockstill, a man with extensive experience of youth and pastoral ministry, shared his personal revelations about the cross and holiness. His word was prophetic, calling young people to serve God radically.
Speaking of the cross, Joel reminded of Scriptures mentioning the shedding of Christ's blood. He taught to submit our own will to God's will: "How can we carry the cross, if we have never experienced it in our lives? God will use us when we surrender our will to His will."
"The holiness of God was and is the main subject line in my sermons," said Joel. "It's through revelation of holiness that I began my ministry." He noted that our holy life always pleases God, that God's will is number one for us, to be holy and that holiness is a calling. According to the pastor, sexual sin is the first enemy of holy life today. In addition, Joel noticed a sad trend lately: some Christians want to demonstrate how far they can go in sin as believers, rather than try to go as far as possible in the holiness of God.
March 2nd, youth leaders from the southern and northern campuses of City on a Hill Church had a great opportunity to participate in youth training. The event was organized to inspire, guide and strengthen young people as they serve God. The training covered three main topics: the relationship between a man and a woman, spiritual discipline and teamwork.
Alexander Korenchuk, covered the first theme. He drew special attention of participants on the motives of relationships. He spoke of marriage as unity, having the right motives in the relationship between a man and a woman.
Speaking about the basics of spiritual discipline, Pastor Russell Korets pointed out the following areas: Bible reading, prayer, personal worship, personal evangelism, personal finances, time and the state of the minister’s heart. He also advised those who attended to read Donald Whitney's book "Spiritual Discipline in the Christian Life," which he has read several times.
Victor Kostrub, having a great experience with people at different levels, openly shared primary keys of building a successful team. He spoke of the need to be fair, both to themselves and to God, the importance of building and maintaining confidence and trust in the team, as well as honor, which should always be maintained.
After each section, participants eagerly asked questions, and at the end of the meeting they were able leave ideas for future similar events. At the end of the training, senior pastor Vasily Botsyan summed up all that has been said for the evening, making the emphasis on loyalty and devotion when serving God.
Last Wednesday, February 27th City Hill Church north campus hosted at a youth event called 20+ where Sergey Vinkovsky who serves as a pastor of the "Victory" Church in Dnepropetrovsk (Ukraine) spoke. He is known for a huge audience of listeners and viewers, thanks to the particular manner of presenting the truths of God's Word. His message is distinguished for its dynamic and direct, sincere and honest, and compassionate love for people.
As soon as the worship was over, the microphone was immediately passed to the guest, while all listened to which all were waiting impatiently. Sermon topic was "prove yourself." The pastor began his conversation with a passage from Timothy: "Let no one look down on you because you are young. You be an example for all believers - in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and purity” (RV, 1Tim.4: 12).
"Do not let yourself think about yourself as bad and do not give a reason for others to think so," taught Pastor Sergey.
Communicating with young people, the minister left specific instructions based on their reading passages from the New Testament. He wanted the young people in the evening, just as Paul wanted Timothy to be an example of his message, as follows:
1. In the word.
2. Love and compassion for others.
3. Peace with people.
4. Peace with God.
8. In faith.
9. In purity and personal holiness.
At the end of his sermon, Pastor prayed with young people for the renewal of Christian life and exemplary Christian behavior. Young people were also able to ask questions, to which he gave his answers. In addition, after the service was over, another important part of the meeting was fellowship where young people were able to drink a good cup of coffee or tea with goodies and continue the discussion in a more informal setting.
Last Sunday on February 24th, our church took into its family five more people who desired to join the church through the holy baptism. The ceremony was held in the church building, in the Baptistery. Each of the baptized by Pastor Yuri Litvinchuk was asked, “Are you ready to serve the Lord in a pure and good conscience?” After each replied that he was ready, was then completely submerged into the water, as a symbol of the fact that he's dying to the old life, and raised from the water, as a symbol of resurrecting into a new life with Christ and live for Him.
All of the gathered in the main sanctuary room could hear and see what was happening through the live broadcast on the screen, while friends and relatives attended close by and rejoiced together with the Angels (Luk.15: 10).
City on a Hill Church also joins at congratulating and wishing God's blessing to young people, to firmly resist sin and to live by spreading the Kingdom of God around them.
On February 23rd, City on a Hill Church held an appreciation event to acknowledge all Kids and Teens Ministry Volunteers. Pastors Vasily Botsyan, Andrew Muzychuk, & Yuri Litvinchuk shared short messages to encourage and thank each volunteer for their hard work and dedication to the ministry.
A few leaders that attended the Children’s Pastors Conference in January shared about their experience at the conference along with some of the important things they learned.
The rest of the time was spent enjoying the food, participating in interactive activities, fellowship with one another, and prayer.
One of the most influential pastors in the US, Pastor Joel Stockstill, is coming to City on a Hill Church, and City Hill Youth are hosting "The Awakening," 2 evening services, with Pastor Joel. Between 1730 and 1745 over the American colonies from Maine to Georgia swept a religious revival known as the Great Awakening. Countless lives were changed and transformed!
We at City Hill are a local youth group, a part of a local church that has a passion to see this generation of young people wake up to the reality and goodness of Jesus Christ! City Hill Youth is proud to announce our first ever 3-part quarterly service (March 9-10) with Pastor Joel Stockstill from Bethany Church in Baton Rouge, LA.
Featuring Sam Alvarez from The City Church, who will be leading worship. This is free event for all high school, college and young professionals. There will be 3 services: March 9 at 7:30PM and March 10 at 2:30PM & 7:30PM
We anticipate a packed house! Please register for the evening services here: http://theawakening-cityhill.eventbrite.com
Your seats will be reserved until 7:10pm both of the evenings.
If you have any questions, email us at youth cityhill.tv
Dr. Roger Olson, distinguished author and professor of Theology is coming to City On A Hill Church March 16th and 17th, and the church will host a number of services with Dr. Olson speaking.
The main event will be a Forum on Calvinism and Arminianism, held on Sunday evening, March 17th, at 6 pm, together with one of the pastors of City On A Hill, Russell Korets. In addition to the forum, Dr. Olson will also serve at the Men’s Breakfast on Saturday morning, March 16th, and at both campuses on Sunday morning, March 17th.
During the Forum, many issues related to Calvinism & Arminianism, election and predestination, limited or unlimited atonement, and other questions will be discussed. A Q&A will also be held towards the end of the forum.
To register for the Forum, go to http://forumwithdrolson.eventbrite.com.
Dr. Olson is Professor of Theology, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University, Waco, TX. He holds degrees from Rice University, North American Baptist Seminary and Open Bible College. He has written numerous articles for such publications as Christian Century and Christianity Today. His recent books include Against Calvinism, The Story of Christian Theology: Twenty Centuries of Tradition and Reform, Arminian Theology: Myths and Realities and Who Needs Theology? with Stanley J. Grenz. Olson received two awards for The Story of Christian Theology including a Gold Medallion from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for 1999. In 1993 he and co-author Mr. Grenz received Christianity Today's award for best book in theology/biblical studies for 20th Century Theology: God and the World in a Transitional Age. Dr. Olson was the editor ofChristian Scholar's Review. A past president of the American Theological Society (Midwest Division), Olson has been the co-chair of the Evangelical Theology Group of the American Academy of Religion for two years. An expert in historical theology, he is a frequent preacher, teacher and speaker for local churches and organizations.
Understanding that our churches have people who hold the Arminian view and those who hold the Calvinist view, this forum will not be an “anti- ________” event. The focus of the event is not to change one’s view to another. Rather, the focus of this forum is to educated the audience of both views, as well as correct the understanding of what Arminianism and Calvinism is. Because Dr. Olson is openly Arminian, certainly, more questions will be asked about the Arminian view, and why he believes it aligns more with scripture and the character of God.
If you’d like to send in advance a question to be asked during this forum, please do so by sending it to Russellcityhill.tv.
Saturday, February 9th marked the first Men's Breakfast this year, which was called "In a healthy body - healthy mind?!" It started out as usual with the morning communication amongst brothers during breakfast, which was wonderfully prepared by our sisters. In addition, an integral part of each of these breakfasts is morning worship, where all gathered with Vasiliy Spatarel in a prayer of thanksgiving and praise to our God.
It has become a good tradition that before the brothers dwell into to a serious conversation on the topic, the brothers prepare probing questions, with answers that are always rewarded. Once again, prizes were prepared and found its’ owners.
Before the men got deeper into the discussion, Sergey Lobozinsky spoke briefly about the history of the origin of the phrase "In a healthy body - healthy mind." “It turns out”, said Sergey “this phrase originally had a different meaning, and if it is translated from Latin, it would now read as follows: ‘In a healthy body, healthy mind, a rare phenomenon.’” However that may be, the idea of the breakfast was to highlight some connection between the spiritual and physical aspects of the personality, in the light of Christianity.
In order to make the whole process of this study more interesting, the organizers of this topic were invited to take the stage. Guest Vitaliy Oleynik (Minister, Head of Spiritual Enlightenment, Seattle, author and radio station host of "Discovering the Bible"), as well as brothers from our church - Sergey Prokopovich, Sergey Mironchuk, and Gennady Gavrelyuk. During the discussion, participants were asked key questions, such as the relationship between the physical and spiritual health; what the Bible says in regards to health, and what it suggests as common sense?
"In the Gospels, Jesus did not heal a man supernaturally if he could improve his health by changing his lifestyle. He healed only when the man was powerless." said Vitaliy Oleynik.
This month 10 Kids and Teen ministry leaders went to a 4-day CPC conference in Orlando, Florida. CPC is a Children’s Pastors Conference that is organized by INCM (International Network of Children’s Ministry). About 2,000 Kids’ pastors and other ministry workers gather each year from 1,600 churches. Represented are 70 major Christian denominations of United States and internationally. Most of the attendees are from the US, but some other 15 countries are represented as well.
CPC conference is created to meet children pastors’ needs - such as networking, education, training, empowerment, etc. For this reason, during the 4 days the leaders attended 6 general sessions, 8 breakouts and 4 networking lunches and dinners. For breakout sessions they had a choice to attend a class with one of the 100 speakers from different fields of ministry and experience. Some of them are kids’ pastors, others are family pastors, educators, experts in a specific area, missionaries, different outreach ministry leaders, and book authors.
Each leader gained more knowledge and understanding as well as felt renewed and more equipped to serve the kids and families at City on a Hill church.
Here is feedback from some of the leaders that attended the conference:
CPC was the greatest conference I’ve had a privilege of attending thus far. The leading experts of children’s ministry in the nation taught on a variety of topics, with points on what makes a church thrive. By attending this conference, I was able to participate in incredible worship each morning, hear interviews of leaders who share the same passion and focus, and was motivated and challenged to increase my effectiveness in ministry to children. I am excited to go home with a refreshed outlook to begin utilizing the information I received at the conference. (Galina Adzhigirey)
The conference in Orlando not only brought more awareness for the importance of children’s ministry but gave us greater education on how to teach our children about our God and Savior Jesus Christ. Unless we have an effective children’s ministry we will not be able to lead the next generation to Christ. We learned different ways of how we can evangelize through children’s ministry and share the gospel with our local community. The networking lunch gave us a great opportunity to meet other children’s pastors and volunteers. It was encouraging to know that we are not alone in this ministry. Overall, the INCM conference improved my knowledge about creative teaching, spiritual formation, ways to deal with discipline problems and personal spiritual growth. I would strongly recommend INCM to anyone who is involved with children’s ministry. (Slavik Golovatyuk)
“The opportunity of going to the Children’s Pastor Conference was exactly what my Kids Ministry team at the North campus needed. Coming into Kids Ministry eight months ago, I had no previous training or experience. At the conference, I attended many sessions on leadership and how to build up a team like Jesus did with His disciples. Coming back from the conference, I have a better vision of how our ministry should be like and we now have the tools and knowledge to train others to become a more dynamic kid’s ministry.” (Angelina Velichko)
“Going to the CPC conference has been a true eye opener to the sacrifices our leaders make and to the seriousness that God places on kids ministry. This is the future of our church; the present day work that we put into kids ministry will have a huge impact on the future of our children and our children’s children. We heard from many speakers who have gone through many trial and error moves that defined the structure of their kids’ ministry; and the effect that those changes have made on the community of God's family, the church. As we move forward with our children's ministry, we strive to lead our children by listening to and following the lead of the Holy Spirit. I can honestly say that this conference has been a true eye opener and a life changing experience, for which I am deeply, humbly grateful." (Alina Kravchenko)