Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Come Visit Church (Virtually) With Me

Yesterday, after we attended Easter church services with our 21-year-old son Steven who attends college in another city, he remarked that he hasn't been able find teaching like we have at our church.  Our senior pastor, Tim Hawks, is a gifted speaker, and I always learn something every time I listen to him (and I've been around a while, not that I admit to being old or anything like that ;) )

Hill Country Bible Church is a large, extremely fast-growing church in Austin, Texas, located in a neighborhood filled with technology workers.  It's been an adventure for John and I, because we were determined to find a small church when we moved here, but this one, which seemed so very large at the time (it was teensy compared to now) was where we belonged.  We've gradually realized that belonging to a humongous church is a fantastic experience, because they seem to have so many ministries where you could serve or have your needs met, and because they have a philosophy of getting everyone involved and growing.  They do a tremendous amount of charitable work to help the community, they've planted a great many churches, they do a lot of overseas work, and I am grateful every week to be part of something so special.  John and I have mainly been involved with financial literacy ministries, but last year and the year before we worked with students at the church plant at the University of Texas. 

The church films and records its services.  They have all sort of resources that you can tap into at their website, http://www.hcbc.com/.  Here are two sermons you can experience over the internet, if you're interested:

1.  Easter is always a special day because church attendance swells to three packed services.  The church auditorium holds 3,000 people, and they have us move together to eliminate empty seats between people.  On top of that, they have two overflow venues with electronic viewing and two off-site broadcast venues.  For Easter and Christmas, because so many people visit, they always have a big choir, special visual aids and a famous country singer who is a member often does special music. 

On Easter, our pastor always explains the basics of Christianity.  Lots of people have never actually listened to a clear presentation about what Christians believe and wonder what the big deal is about Jesus, anyway, so if you're curious about what Christianity is about, this is the one to listen to!  http://mediaplayer.hcbc.com/sermons/1201

2. For a second, more typical service, here's a link to the Palm Sunday service.  Palm Sunday is one of my favorite days on the church calendar! My sweetie and I walked down the aisle on a Palm Sunday, years ago, as he made a public decision to become a Christ-follower, which makes this day even more meaningful for me. On this Palm Sunday, the week before last, our pastor delivered a fascinating sermon about the seven different statements that Jesus made from the cross.

Here's the Palm Sunday link.

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