A Message From Our Senior Pastor

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1 I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever. Psalm 145:1 NLT A Message From Our Senior Pastor Praise God! First, let me thank you all for the cards, letters, baked goods, and financial support you provided to my family and me during Pastor s Appreciation in October. Lady Sharon and I love each of you and truly appreciate the support and generosity you continue to show us. It was amazing to read all of your kind words. I m beyond blessed that God has allowed me to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ for 37 years and that you all have allowed me to pastor Eastern Star Church for 28 of those years! None of this would be possible without putting God first, allowing Him to guide my steps, showing me visions for the church, and blessing me with a wonderful staff and dedicated ministry volunteers to carry out His visions for the church. Throughout this past year, we have welcomed more than 650 new members, assisted 119 baptism candidates, and reached more than 7,000 people weekly. Additionally, more than 500 members completed the Financial Freedom Institute classes. The Children s and Youth Ministry provided 46 high school seniors with an ESC Scholarship, 700 people attended the Hallelujah Celebration, and we sent out college care packages to students twice this year. ESC Care served 3,600 people, provided $30,000 to support the hurricane relief in Baton Rouge, LA, and Haiti, and partnered with organizations in Central Indiana to assist the least, lonely, and left out. More than 20,000 people served in ministry this year with an investment exceeding $2 million. We are grateful for the generosity of our members that allows us to continue to show God s love for our fellow man. As we close out 2016, I encourage you to look back throughout this year and meditate on the goodness of Jesus and how He showed you favor in your situations, consoled you during your time of need, and carried you through different life experiences. I look forward to what 2017 will bring as we reflect upon God s majesty and celebrate His glory! Featured Stories: Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season Children s and Youth Ministry Volunteer Spotlights December 2016 Blessings, Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr. Senior Pastor and more...

2 Financial Planning for the 2017 Holiday Season Written by Valerie Wortham As we continue to celebrate this holiday season, it is important that we celebrate responsibly regarding our finances. We interviewed Elder James Poore on how to stay financially fit and avoid holiday debt next year. First, meditate on a favorite Bible verse to help with your money decisions. Psalm 24:1 reminds us that God is the owner of everything, we are stewards of His resources. Elder Poore stated, This scripture keeps me focused on the importance that I handle money in a way that pleases God, not man. It is always important to go back to ownership. Begin planning early and start tapering expectations advises Elder Poore. Have a discussion with your family about the real meaning of Christmas, the celebration of Jesus. According to Elder Poore the more people, the more pressure to spend money. Consider drawing names, so every member is getting one gift for the family member whose name they draw instead of buying everyone something every year. When you buy various gifts, make a list of who you plan to buy gifts for and what you want to buy them. Pay with cash, and don t exceed your spending limits. Avoid charging gifts on credit cards, which will cost you more in finance charges. It is important to know how much cash you have to spend on others. Estimate the cost of the gift and do not overspend. Ask about price matching and what happens if an item is reduced before Christmas. Most importantly, write down how much you plan to spend on each individual and don t overspend. Only buy, what you planned in your budget to buy. Let family and friends know ahead of time that you don t expect to spend a lot on Christmas next year. Get ahead of the 2017 holiday season by starting a Christmas saving account now with a bank or credit union, or just create a savings account of your own by putting aside a certain amount from every paycheck throughout the year. Follow these steps to stay financially fit during the holidays, next year. To get more information about becoming more financially fit throughout the year, visit easternstarchurch.org and click on the FINANCIAL FREEDOM INSTITUTE tab Make a list. Write down how much you plan to spend. Pay with cash. Avoid charging gifts on credit cards. They will cost you more in finance charges. Don t overspend. Estimate the cost of the gift. Ask about price matching. Get ahead. Create a savings account. Put aside a certain amount from every paycheck.

3 Tis the Season for Giving Back Written by Arlean Johnson The world defines greatness in terms of power and prestige, but God measures greatness in terms of service. As the holiday season is upon us, thoughts of family gatherings, vacations, and gifts fill our minds. However, there are many families that go without during the holiday season; it s important that we as Christians are unselfish and giving on every occasion. There are many ways in which people can give back: Help a loved one by donating your time, talent, or treasure. Sign up for the volunteer program at work. Gleaners Food Bank has a distribution center where volunteers can inspect, sort, and pack donations. Assist an elderly neighbor around the house. Gift a family in need with a holiday dinner basket. Volunteer at Eastern Star Church Care to assist with outreach efforts that support families in need and our community. God is pleased when we who are created in His image, give our time, money, and talents generously and cheerfully. 2 Corinthians 9: 12 reminds us, that this service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Let s remember to give thanks in all things, serve others, and pray for those who are less fortunate. For more information on how to get connected to volunteer opportunities, visit easternstarchurch.org and click on the GET INVOLVED tab.

4 The Children s and Youth Ministry Need YOU! Written by William Benny Toler Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. - 1 Timothy 4:12 There is a place for everyone to get connected and share his or her spiritual gift at Eastern Star Church (ESC). A variety of ministries are available that enable ESC members to grow in Christ and share their faith with fellow Christians. One such ministry is the Children s and Youth Ministry, which includes: K.I.D.S. Children s Church Teen Church Children s Sunday School K.I.D.S. Bible Study SALT Youth Bible Study Children and Youth Recreation The ministry is staffed with dedicated and enthusiastic mentors and volunteers, committed to reinforcing Christian values and providing a safe environment in which their faith can grow and develop. One such dedicated volunteer in the Children s and Youth Ministry is Sister Le Quisha Woods. Sister Le Quisha Woods started volunteering in the SALT Youth Ministry in March 2011 and serves as a SALT Youth Advisor and SALT Youth Teacher at the Cooper Road Campus. Sister Woods stated that she was very impressed with and excited to see that Eastern Star Church was dedicated to the spiritual growth and development of our teens and that the Lord led her to join the SALT Youth Ministry. As a teen advisor and teacher Sister Woods states, I have an amazing opportunity to share the Word of God with them and inspire them to live a life that is pleasing to God. Sister Woods advises ESC members that have children/teens who aren t involved in the Children s and Youth Ministry to get involved in Bible Study to prepare them spiritually to deal with day-to-day life. God has a plan for them! Thinking of volunteering in the Children s and Youth Ministry? Listed below are a few suggestions for discovering how you can fit in with current youth programs: Pray about how you envision yourself working with youth. Take the Spiritual Gifts assessment and attend the Spiritual Gifts class at the church. The Spiritual Gifts assessment is on the website (easternstarchurch.org) by clicking on the MINISTRIES tab. To register for the upcoming Spiritual Gifts class on February 22, 2017, contact Michelle Kirk at (317) ext The class will give you a better understanding of your spiritual gifts and how to use those gifts at Eastern Star Church. Visit one or multiple youth activities to observe and talk with current youth volunteers. Help with an event like the Hallelujah Celebration, Vacation Bible School, etc. By volunteering at an event for the Children s and Youth Ministry, it will give you an idea of what age group you most prefer to volunteer with on an on-going basis. The Children s and Youth Ministry NEEDS YOUR HELP to evangelize and disciple this generation so that their lives can be devoted to the Lord Jesus Christ. To ensure the effectiveness of our programming, we need ample volunteers to cover each program opportunity. With a shortage of volunteers at the Cooper Road and Fishers campuses, there is the possibility of condensed programming. To volunteer call (317) ext. 119 or To complete an application for the Children s and Youth Ministry, visit easternstarchurch.org, click on the MINISTRIES tab, then YOUTH.

5 Eastern Star Church Online Bookstore Available 24/7 Written by Stacey Moore Eastern Star Church (ESC) continues to evolve in the use of technology to effectively and efficiently serve the congregation. We recently launched the ESC Online Bookstore that is available 24/7 on any mobile device for easy access to a vast variety of Christian books, gifts, and more. Veronica Kelly, ESC s Membership and Database Specialist, stated that the primary purpose of the online bookstore, "is to align with our mission of evangelism and discipleship' by providing access to Christian resources to help our members and the community-at-large." She also stated that more than 170,000 products are only a click away. There is a huge product selection including Bibles, books, music, videos, home/school items, and more. Additionally, the online bookstore offers books authored by our Senior Pastor, Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr. In addition to a plethora of books, online bookstore visitors will find sections such as ESC Recommends, New Releases, as well as sale items to browse and purchase. Everyone is also encouraged to download the Eastern Star Church app on their smart device to see all of the sermons and much more. The bookstore is always open! Visit the website and click on the ESC Online Bookstore tab! EASTERN STAR CHURCH BLOG Also, be sure to check out the Eastern Star Church website and the exciting news and features posted on our blog page! Discover what s going on in our ministries, learn fun facts about our church history, and get updates on events. Visit easternstarchurch.org to get the scoop on our latest ESC stories and news.

6 Love Lived Out - Care, Compassion, and Love Written by Barbara Walker Volunteering involves giving of your time, talents, and treasure for the benefit of someone other than yourself. It is the altruistic giving of yourself with no expectation of personal gain. But truth be told, when you are sincere in giving, you will always get back more than you give. Deacon Raymond and Sister Sherrie Turner are a true demonstration of this principle. When asked why they do it, Sister Turner replied, "When I retired I had no intention of sitting at home doing nothing. I wanted to use my time giving back and helping others." After retiring, Sister Turner got involved with Eastern Star Church (ESC) Care formerly known as JEWEL Human Services. Not long after she started, Deacon Turner joined in the work, and they currently volunteer two days per week. They have met people who are grateful for the hand-up they receive from Care. They have worked with people that walked for hours to get to the Care Center because they had no transportation. The Turners often receive appreciation for providing people with their first meal of the day, or sometimes, the first meal in days. In addition to working with the Care clients, they get to meet other members of the church and share their experiences. The time at ESC Care isn t what the Turners expected; it s proven to be so much more! Their involvement has reminded them of how much God has blessed them. Deacon Turner said, I went expecting to be a blessing, but I was the one who has been blessed by the experience. It has allowed them to become more grateful and given them immeasurable satisfaction over the years. During His earthly ministry, God anointed Jesus who went about doing good." Jesus loved people and was concerned about their well-being. He did His part to meet their needs and remind them that they were loved. As His disciples, Jesus has left us to continue the work that He started. He expects us to "go about doing good." We are Jesus' hands and feet. He needs us to visit the sick and imprisoned. He needs us to clothe the naked. He needs us to feed the hungry. He needs us to CARE. To learn more information about Eastern Star Church Care or volunteering at the Care Center, call (317) 547-LIVE (5483) or visit easternstarchurch.org. Volunteer Spotlight by Nicole Ashburn SECURITY MINISTRY Brother Breazeale Norris, Jr. has been a member of Eastern Star Church for 11 years and two of those years has served as a volunteer for the Security Ministry. When asked why do you volunteer? Brother Norris replied, I volunteer because I want to fulfill my obligation in the body of Christ which is my duty to God. Brother Norris stated that volunteering for the Security Ministry consists of ensuring that our members are safe while worshipping in our congregation, the pulpit area is safe from any unwelcomed guests, and the Children's and Youth Ministry areas are safe. As well as, keeping the hallways areas safe from any unforeseen danger. Brother Norris said the Security Ministry can always use volunteers. He stated, I believe that one should join a ministry because this would give them an opportunity to get involved with serving God which is His plan for us to serve in the body of Christ. The time commitment for the Security Ministry is about two hours per week. USHER MINISTRY Sister Shalon Roberson, president of the Usher Ministry, has been a member of Eastern Star Church for 18 years and has served in the Usher Ministry for approximately 12 years. She explained that she volunteers because she has a true servant s heart and likes helping others. Sister Roberson said, We are the doorkeepers. We welcome members and guests into the sanctuary, seat them throughout the sanctuary, collect offerings, and distribute/collect communion cups. The time commitment for volunteers in this ministry is about five hours or less per week including Sunday worship, mid-week worship, and attending a meeting once a month. Sister Roberson welcomes additional ushers and says the greatest need at this time is at the Cooper Road Campus. The Usher Ministry is also in need of Junior Ushers, ages 9 18 years old. Sister Roberson says, You should join the Usher Ministry if you are hospitable and enjoy welcoming and serving others. To join one of these ministries or view other ministries at Eastern Star Church, visit easternstarchurch.org and click on the MINISTRIES tab.

7 2016 Recap: Men of Purpose and Women of the Word Ministries Written by Alisa Allen As the word tells us in Hebrews 10:25 (NLT): "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." We give Glory to God for the ministries of Men of Purpose (MOP) and Women of the Word (WOW) that seek to disciple to and fellowship with members of the congregation. These ministries meet the second Saturday of the month from 9-11 a.m. at the Main Campus. MOP and WOW welcome anyone, members, and non-members, 18 years old and older to their monthly meetings. In 2016, MOP invited several speakers to discuss topics such as finances, money management, Spending time with Christ from Dr. Tony Evan s Kingdom Men series, and a series that broke down the stages of boyhood to manhood. MOP also had guest pastors who were previously a part of Eastern Star Church such as Dr. David Hampton, Dr. James A. Jackson, Pastor Eric Wiggins, and Pastor Kenneth Sullivan. For 2017, MOP will focus on how to pray and serve in the Kingdom. They will also touch on topics such as marriage, finances, and your walk with Christ. Why should men attend MOP? Brother James Woodard, ESC Ministry Administrator, said, Men should join because they can develop spiritually by studying God s Word and applying it to their lives. Brother Woodard further explained that "MOP is a great way to fellowship with other men and promote and develop a brotherhood in Christ that will help lead men to disciple other men to Christ." For 2016, WOW studied from the book, True Woman 201: Interior Design - Ten Elements of Biblical Womanhood by Mary A. Kassian and Nancy Leigh Demoss. At each meeting, WOW went into detail about topics concerning: discernment, honor, affection, discipline, virtue, responsibility, benevolence, disposition, and beauty. WOW had several speakers lead the discussion on "True Woman 201" such as Nicole Barnes, Hazel Owens, Margo Filer, Katina Hartsfield, Sandra Keith, and guest speakers Barbara Walker and LaJuan Epperson. These speakers charged women to discover who they re created to be. God created man in his own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Gen. 1:27) For 2017, WOW will study It s Tough Being a Woman by Beth Moore that profiles the story of Esther. Why should women attend WOW? WOW members help build relationships with other women by fellowshipping, praying, and learning the Word of God. They pray for each other, encourage, support, and serve together. Men of Purpose and Women of the Word ministry meetings resume on January 14, 2017, from 9 11 a.m. at the Main Campus.

8 CALENDAR Important Dates for All Members Visit our website calendar to view updates and registration details for the following: Sunday School Resumes: January 8 Sunday School resumes on January 8 at 8 a.m. at the Fishers Campus, 9:30 a.m. at Cooper Road Campus, and 11 a.m. at Main Campus. Baptism Date: January 8 The next Baptism is on January 8. Registration is required and must be completed by Wednesday, January 4. You must be a member to participate. Registration is available on our website. For more information call (317) ext Bible Study: January 10 Bible Study resumes on Tuesday, January 10 at 7 p.m. at the Fishers Campus, Wednesday, January 11 at noon and 7 p.m. at the Main Campus, and Thursday, January 12, at 7 p.m. at the Cooper Road Campus. Men of Purpose and Women of the Word: January 14 Men of Purpose and Women of the Word will resume on Saturday, January 14 from 9 11 a.m. at the Main Campus. Children s Church Resumes: January 15 Parents mark your calendars! Children s Church resumes on January 15 at 9:15 a.m. at the Fishers Campus, 10:45 a.m. at Cooper Road Campus, and 12:15 p.m. at Main Campus. Baby Dedication: January 22 (all campuses) Baby Dedication is on Sunday, January 22 at all three campuses. Registration is required and must be completed by Wednesday, January 18. At least one parent must be a member to participate. Registration is available on our website. For more information call (317) ext New Member s Orientation: January 28 The next New Member s Orientation is on Saturday, January 28 at the Main Campus from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Registration is required and must be completed by Wednesday, January 25 to participate. New Member s Orientation is offered to children, tweens, teens, and adults. Registration is available on our website by clicking the ABOUT US tab, then MEMBERSHIP. For more information, call (317) ext Health and Wellness Activities Senior Saints Body Building: January 10 Senior Saints Body Building classes are on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting January 10 at the Main Campus, Family Life Center from 3-4 p.m. Boot Camp: January 10 (6-weeks) Boot Camp is on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning January 10 at the Main Campus from 7 8 p.m. for adults 18 years and older. Registration is $50 per adult. Registration deadline is January 6, Registration is available on our website. Line Dancing: January 23 Line Dancing classes are on Mondays beginning January 23 at the Main Campus from 6-8 p.m. Line Dancing classes will cost $5 per class. For more information about the health and wellness activities, please call Cecil Sinkfield at (317) ext Want to keep up with what s going on at Eastern Star Church? Financial Freedom Institute (FFI) 101A Registration Registration for Financial Freedom Institute 101A begins January 8. The FREE classes are February 5 thru March 12; materials are only $10 and can be paid via the online registration. Space is limited. Registration closes January 29. Download the Eastern Star Church App TODAY!

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