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Women's Retreat Recap 2016

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This April, the women of Integrity Church had the opportunity to get away together for a weekend of teaching, prayer and fellowship. We traveled to Camp Willow Run in Littleton, North Carolina and spent the weekend going through the book of Ephesians. Through our study of this book, we were instructed on topics such as our true identity in Christ, dealing with our past and the importance of discipleship. The weekend of the women’s retreat was a sweet time for the women of Integrity Church to come together, study scripture, pray for one another, and consider why it is important to intentionally spend time together as women.

In examining Ephesians, Paul reminds the Church at Ephesus of the unity that was awarded to all believers through Jesus’ perfect work on the cross. In the day-to-day chaos of jobs, bills, daycare, school, and responsibility; it is easy to lose sight of our utter dependence on Jesus. Even more so, it is easy to allow the sinfulness and selfish desires of our flesh to promote division and hostility amongst the body. Often we desire pull away and hide from the people God has sovereignly placed in our lives in order to love us, encourage us, teach us and admonish us. This is why, an opportunity to retreat and refocus on how we can be unified as a body of women is vital to the health of the church as a whole.

During the weekend we were reminded that unity can be fostered in many ways. One such way is through teaching God’s word. Scripture not only urges, but commands women to teach each other. In Titus 2:3-5, Paul urges women to teach other women “what is good”. This can only occur through studying God’s word together. One of the best ways this is practically displayed is through discipleship relationships. These relationships don’t have to be complicated, they don’t have to follow a specific formula, or look a certain way. True discipleship is growing in your knowledge of scripture, your love of Jesus, and through those things, growing in your love for each other.

Christ-like love for one another is fostered further through real transparency and vulnerability. Though these things are not easy or natural, when practiced, they point us back to the truth that no one is perfect. Everyone has experienced hurts, disappointments and overwhelming grief, but they don’t have to define us, encourage us to hide or foster shame. No matter our past, Jesus is perfectly sovereign and He perfectly loves us. Honest and vulnerable community breaks down barriers so the healing work of Jesus can take place. Only in these types of relationships can we glimpse what it is like to be fully known and yet fully loved -pointing us back to the beauty of the gospel. 

We desire to be a unified community of women who grow to know and love the gospel more.

Posted by Chandler & Morgan with

How to Love the Harris Family

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Joshua & Joy Harris are loving parents with two amazing sons, Josiah and Jayden. They have been members of Integrity for many years. Even if you don’t know them, they’ve served you. Their mutual love for Christ overflows in love and service to our church family in many ways. Josh is both a Small Group leader and Volunteer Team leader. Joy is a coordinator and leader in Integrity Kids. The gospel centered relationships they’ve fostered and impact they’ve made is immeasurable.

By now many of you have heard about the tragedy that struck their family while on vacation in D.C. While visiting family, Josiah (their 6 year old son) suffered a severe asthma attack and had to be taken to the hospital. He was diagnosed with the flu and pneumonia but his condition continued to worsen. Josiah is now in the ICU hooked to a heart and lung bypass machine. The hope is that this machine will give his body the rest it needs to heal from the flu and pneumonia so that his lungs can begin functioning properly again. This process will take several weeks.

Joshua and Joy are going through a very difficult time as they have watched their 6 year old son desperately struggle for his life. This is an unimaginable situation for most of us. Josh has told us that he is fighting with the strength that Christ provides. Through unimaginable pain, Josh and Joy are resting in God’s divine sovereignty and are hopeful Josiah will continue to heal.

Many have been asking how they can help. This is an opportunity as a church to reflect the love of Christ by showing love towards the Harris'. The Apostle John says, "Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions (1 Jn. 3:18)."  While there are many ways to show love towards the Harris', here are two we feel are very important:

Pray

They are asking that we join them in praying for healing for their son: that his life would be sustained on these machines until the pneumonia and flu go away, that no infection would enter his body and that he would continue to grow stronger each day. Pray that Joshua and Joy would continue to cling to Christ for comfort and strength in the days to come and that the body of Christ would rally around them to encourage them and love them well.

Give

While you are praying, we encourage you to match your prayers with generosity. As a church we have the collective resources to cover the medical expenses, missed work, and other expenses that they will incur during their extended hospital stay. We don't want them to suffer financially as well. By giving you can help them focus on their son and avoid a financial disaster.

Please consider giving a generous donation to the Harris'. You can do so by giving to the GoFundMe created for them by clicking the button below: 

GIVE TO THE HARRIS'

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