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Grace Beckett

An in-depth introduction to life purpose

By Grace Beckett | September 18, 2017

An in-depth introduction to life purpose

Every Monday and Thursday evening this past summer, five young adults gathered with a group from the Ames-Des Moines CityChurch to soak up knowledge and mature in their faith. These individuals were a part of our network’s summer program, Immerse, which is designed to help young adults prepare for life by building strong, biblical foundations.

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Posted In Life Development Ordered Learning

Megan Wahl

Keeping it real: the CityChurch way

By Megan Wahl | August 14, 2017

Keeping it real: the CityChurch way

There’s something to be said about camping with your own family. You’ve seen each other at your worst, at your most dirty. Sweaty. Now include about eight other families and the barriers of being at your best inside your own home are torn down. There is no escaping the realness of being with people when you see them when they first wake up--before coffee. That’s when you feel like a family.

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Posted In Life Development Ordered Learning

Janae Smith

Special events mark life transitions

By Janae Smith | July 29, 2017

Special events mark life transitions

All eyes are on her, as she sits in the big comfy chair in front of the room. Her belly is abnormally bulged, with signs of a little one growing inside. Warm laughter, bright smiles, and sweet smells fill the air. The coffee and tea are brewing and loved ones gather. Gifts wrapped in colors of blue, pink, or neutral greens are stacked high behind her. Guessing games of names and gender are played. The excitement of added kin brings dreamy stories of near-family joys, and childhood tales are shar

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Laura Rendall

Baptism welcomes new believer to the church

By Laura Rendall | July 13, 2017

Baptism welcomes new believer to the church

On a hot Sunday afternoon, on the banks of the Skunk River, Du stood before our church cluster ready to be baptized. Using the words of Joshua he testified to us, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” When he came up out of the water we broke into cheers.

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Megan Wahl

Ordered learning and equipping leaders identifies need to reach more people

By Megan Wahl | June 21, 2017

Ordered learning and equipping leaders identifies need to reach more people

This spring has been a time of growth in spiritual maturity for many of us in the Des Moines cluster of Ames-Des Moines CityChurch. That growth is attributed to the ordered learning classes that have been offered as part of the Antioch School leadership series to the Des Moines cluster and many of its cohorts on Thursday nights. What began several years ago as two classes or one large class has grown to nearly 25 people in four classes.

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Posted In Ames/Des Moines Network Ordered Learning

Megan Wahl

Maturing leaders through lifelong learning

By Megan Wahl | June 15, 2017

Maturing leaders through lifelong learning

The Des Moines cluster of Ames-Des Moines CityChurch has embraced a unique opportunity in its offering of ordered learning classes. What began five years ago with Des Moines church leaders plus a couple leaders from Crossway Community Church in Altoona has expanded to include emerging leaders from the CityChurch network, leaders’ wives, and even some teenagers.

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Posted In Ames/Des Moines Network Life Development Ordered Learning Paradigm

Martha McIrvin

Memorial Day picnic gives vision of the larger network

By Martha McIrvin | June 5, 2017

Memorial Day picnic gives vision of the larger network

On a bright May morning, Aaron and Kathy Keller arrive at Brookside Park for the annual Memorial Day picnic. As they unpack their basket, the church family begins to arrive, setting up griddles and coffee stations. The morning begins comfortably, and unfolds into a delightful time of good fellowship and good food.

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Posted In Ames/Des Moines Network

Caleb Keller

Structured creativity within the churches

By Caleb Keller | May 23, 2017

Structured creativity within the churches

All the churches of the Ames-Des Moines CityChurch take the bread and the cup—but some take the cup at the end of the meal, and others do so at the end of the meeting. All the churches invest some time in instruction, singing, sharing, and praying; some do so in a predictable order, and others do not. Some churches plan out certain elements for the formal meeting time—and (you guessed it!) other churches don’t.

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Posted In Paradigm

Laura Rendall

Showing God’s love one meal at a time

By Laura Rendall | May 16, 2017

Showing God’s love one meal at a time

It was the end of a hard day. I was recovering from surgery and the kids were crabby. James had just come home, tired from a long week at work. Everyone was hungry, but the food situation was sketchy because I hadn’t made it to the grocery store. Just then, a knock on the door. In came Tom and Kelsie Olsen with supper for us. Nothing fancy – a pot of soup and some cornbread. They walked right in, turned on my stovetop to keep the soup hot, and set the cornbread on the counter.

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Laura Rendall

Establishing a new generation: Parents take an active role to teach, bring up their kids in faith

By Laura Rendall | May 8, 2017

Establishing a new generation: Parents take an active role to teach, bring up their kids in faith

At the end of a long day, David and Beth spend a few relaxing moments reading. A plate with one cookie left sits between their chairs. As David reaches out to take the last cookie, Beth looks indignant. She opens her mouth to protest, but then the scene freezes! Two new characters walk onto the stage: the Devil and God’s Word. Pretending to be inside Beth’s head, they argue back and forth about how Beth should respond to David. God’s Word wins the day and Beth politely asks “I was really looking

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Megan Wahl

Building community as a network of churches

By Megan Wahl | May 1, 2017

Building community as a network of churches

The scene: Bustling crowds of families. Parents and children. Grandparents. Tables set with plates, cups, baskets of bread. An overflowing abundance of fruit, meat, and breakfast casseroles. Smells of pancakes and waffles. Coffee. It’s a scene that is reminiscent of any typical gathering of a family around a meal for a major holiday. It’s a little chaotic. It’s a bit loud. It’s the coming together of people to share a family meal.

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Posted In Ames/Des Moines Network

Megan Wahl

Urbandale Church finds ways to build on relationships, stronger families

By Megan Wahl | April 11, 2017

Urbandale Church finds ways to build on relationships, stronger families

“Family of families” is a phrase that gets tossed around a bit in our Urbandale Church. It’s not something taken lightly, because it points to a greater calling of what our church body is striving to be: a family.

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Posted In Ames/Des Moines Network

Laura Rendall

Church "leaves" behind clear yards

By Laura Rendall | December 5, 2016

Church

No matter what neighborhood you live in, everyone has a common problem in the fall: leaves. My neighborhood is no exception, and may even have a larger than average leaf problem due to the number of giant, old sycamore trees in the area. Our North Campus/Yuma cluster has found over the years that a great way to show love to our neighbors and benefit the community is to help solve this problem and rid as many yards as we can of unwelcome leaf piles.

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Posted In Seek the Welfare

Hannah Reeves

BILD Summit Banquet - A Photo Essay

By Hannah Reeves | November 7, 2016

BILD Summit Banquet - A Photo Essay

An army of volunteer labor assembles every year to put on the annual BILD Summit Friday evening banquet. Come have a look at the hard work that goes into making the banquet a success.

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Megan Wahl

Union Park Church Community Project Seeks to Grow, Cultivate Relationships

By Megan Wahl | October 10, 2016

Union Park Church Community Project Seeks to Grow, Cultivate Relationships

Each church within the Ames/Des Moines CityChurch network has characteristics that make them unique to the neighborhood or area they are impacting. One characteristic that makes Union Park Church unique is that three of its main families and the leaders of the church live within blocks of each other. Being in such close proximity to each other leads to another unique characteristic, a project that is part of the church’s greater vision.

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Laura Rendall

New Church Leads to Joint Ministry

By Laura Rendall | October 3, 2016

New Church Leads to Joint Ministry

Northwest Ames Church was excited when a new church was planted just down the street, on Idaho Avenue. Right away, the two churches could sense the potential of working together. “When Nate bought the house next to us, I thought, ‘This is a cluster just waiting to happen,’” says Steve Kemp.

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Laura Rendall

Young Theologians: Ordered Learning in the CityChurch

By Laura Rendall | September 14, 2016

Young Theologians: Ordered Learning in the CityChurch

Kathy Keller teaches the combined 5th and 6th grade ordered learning class on Sunday mornings. In the 5th and 6th grade class, students pull together all the work from their previous years of ordered learning and write author’s intention statements for almost every book in the Bible. You might think that kids this age aren’t capable of doing that level of work, but Kathy argues otherwise. “They are capable of much more than we think they are,” she says.

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Laura Rendall

God's Redemptive Power At Work in a Marriage

By Laura Rendall | September 5, 2016

God's Redemptive Power At Work in a Marriage

In 2003, Curt and Terri’s marriage was nearly finished. Although they were done with each other, God was not done with them. For many years they had both been alcoholics. Their marriage, while not ideal, had at least been a shared experience. Recently though, Terri had changed her ways, gotten involved in AA, and tried to reform her life. Curt, however, did not share her conviction and made no serious effort to change. His alcoholism became worse than ever. Terri was fed up with her marriage and

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Posted In Life Development

Anna Bland

"Story" Teaching Leads to Musical Collaboration

By Anna Bland | August 29, 2016

Caleb Keller approached me at a music rehearsal in November of 2014 with an idea to write a song, as our network was studying Jeff Reed’s series on the Story. "What if we added some verses to O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, so that it was a really full depiction of The Story?" The first verse was evocative of Israel’s messianic expectation in exile, but the Story was not fleshed out through the rest of the original verses. Caleb wanted to use that longing for Emmanuel to frame a song laying out the ma

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Posted In Arts Paradigm

Megan Wahl

Love feast offers a firsthand look at Union Park Church’s vision

By Megan Wahl | August 22, 2016

Love feast offers a firsthand look at Union Park Church’s vision

Mix the elements of music, food and families together in a local park and you’d think what resulted would be an ordinary church picnic. However, last Sunday’s gathering of the Ames-Des Moines CityChurch was anything but ordinary.

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Posted In Ames/Des Moines Network Arts Life Development