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Home Explore 2020.11 Connect

2020.11 Connect

Published by Topeka Bible Church, 2020-10-29 22:25:19

Description: Volume 1, Issue 4
Featuring stories about:
Stephen McIntosh
Julie Sugg
Kenna Brantingham


Read the Text Version

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 CONNECT TheTshteosriteosribesehbienhdintdhethpeepoepoleplaenadndmminiinsitsrtierisesoof fTTooppeekkaaBBiibblleeCChhuurrcchh Serving Intentionally: Stephen McIntosh Ladies LOL Ticketing p 6 Tickets Required for Christmas Eve Services p 13

UPCOMING CONNECTING EVENTS HARVESTERS WOMEN’S EXPRESSO volunteer at our hear how God community is moving in food the lives of distribution TBC women 8 AM Tuesday, November 10 7 PM Tuesday, November 10 and December 8 GRIEFSHARE: MEN’S SURVIVING BREAKFAST THE HOLIDAYS connect with for those who other guys have endured the over a hearty loss of a loved one breakfast 2 PM Sunday, November 15 7:30 AM Saturday, November 21 and December 19 Also in December ... Ladies LOL (see page 6) and Christmas Eve Services (see page 13) Visit for details on these and other upcoming opportunities to connect! Connect magazine is a publication of Our thanks to the volunteers Topeka Bible Church, 1135 SW College who contributed to this issue: Avenue, Topeka, KS 66604, 785-234-5545. Todd Fertig (writing) Please email editorial inquiries to Teresa Jenkins, [email protected]. Parker Robb (photography)

CONNECT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 IN THIS ISSUE This Christmas season may look a little different than its predecessors, but we at TBC are focused on a feeling we call A Thrill of Hope. It’s the same feeling experienced by people in a broken world more than 2000 years ago, as they waited in faith for the fulfillment of God’s promise – the promise to send a Savior to rescue them. In today’s broken world we, too, 2 Serving Intentionally wait for the fulfillment of another promise – that Christ will return again to heal and Meet tech team member Stephen McIntosh 6 Ladies LOL restore our world for eternity. It’s a thrilling feeling, and we invite you to experience it with us – through our Sunday sermon 9 A Thrill of Hope series and Christmas events like Ladies LOL and Christmas Eve services. Christmas at TBC • Christmas Giving But before Christmas, let’s take a moment to Opportunities and Christmas Eve Services 14 Fostering the Love consider the blessings in our lives and give of Christ thanks. We’re thankful for all our volunteers who have risen to the challenge of finding 18 Meet foster care ministry volunteer Julie Sugg creative and effective ways to carry out ministry during the pandemic. Read on to Connection Points: learn more about a few of them. What are you thankful for? 20 Connecting With: Jim Congdon Kenna Brantingham Lead Pastor NEW TO TBC? Text “NEW” to 785-432-4801 We’re so glad you’re here ... welcome! We know it can be difficult to find a good fit in a new church home. We have several welcome events throughout the year to help you get acquainted and to share more about our ministries and beliefs. These casual, get-to-know-you lunches are held on designated Sundays throughout the year. To find out more, or to get connected with a Bible study, Sunday school, or small group, simply text “NEW” to 785-432-4801.

Sunday, behind the scenes: (left to right) TBC Technical Director Sam Reid and volunteers Stephen McIntosh, Will Scott, and Dave Corley. 2 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

For one TBCer, being a volunteer is about more than helping out, it’s about modeling for his children and Serving Intentionally Just before 9:30 AM on Sunday, March 15, 2020, TBC entered into a new era of sharing the Gospel via livestream. COVID-19 concerns caused the elder board to decide to close the doors for in-person services. A handful of staff gathered in the Mulvane Auditorium that morning as we did our first Sunday livestream – broadcasting it to hundreds of homes via Facebook live on an iPhone. Technical Productions Team volunteer Stephen McIntosh was one of the people in the Facebook audience. “I recall thinking how much more difficult it was going to be, multitasking and focusing,” Stephen said. “We previously had multiple services to work through and get right, compared to only one.” In the past, the team would capture all three services each Sunday and piece together the best for the video that would be published later in the week. The following week, Stephen and other tech team volunteers were back in the building as we used our production cameras for the broadcast. Then came the steep learning curve as the team learned how to distribute to multiple platforms – Facebook, YouTube, and our own website, Stephen is a quick learner, so TBC Technical Director Sam Reid had no concerns about growing Stephen’s scope of service to encompass several roles, including leading the entire video team on some Sundays. “He has a knack for seeing the details, but also maintaining a high-level view,” said Sam Reid, TBC’s technical director. “I can’t think of a major event in the past few years when he hasn’t been involved in some capacity.” Stephen was born in Coffeyville and has lived in Colorado, California, and New Mexico. He attended church as a child. His mother was Baptist, and continued NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 • CONNECT 3

his father belonged to an African Methodist I was hungry for connection. I wanted to be Episcopal church. But during his senior year there every week.” in high school, Stephen stopped attending The McIntoshes started attending regularly church. and began to consider how they could be “I felt like I knew the Lord, but I thought more intentional in raising their four I had it all figured out,” Stephen said. “I children (two from their marriage and two thought I didn’t need to go to church.” from Stephen’s previous marriage). “I underestimated the power of just going to church when I was young,” Stephen said. “It made it easy to go astray. The smallest thing that has yielded the biggest fruit is just showing up for church every Sunday.” Stephen said that part of why he and Ashlee volun- teer is because they want to model serving for their children. Ashlee serves in Children’s Ministry with Stephen joined the tech team as a camera operator, our Wednesday night Club but quickly grew his skills and now often serves as the Catapult program (and production lead and video director. before that, was on the After high school, Stephen attended and Awana leadership team). played football at New Mexico Military Stephen said that in helping your children Institute. He transferred to Washburn grow their faith, “The little things can University, where he graduated with a BA establish a foundation. You don’t have to in criminal justice and a minor in military go for big wins all the time. It’s who we studies. surround ourselves with. Showing up for A few years later, Stephen had a promising church no matter what. For our kids to see career and was married to his wife, Ashlee. that our faith is important to us, well – that’s The couple began discussing their faith important to us.” life. One of Ashlee’s friends from work Outside of church, the McIntoshes also mentioned that she attended TBC, and the spend time with other families who share couple made their first visit. Stephen was their faith. They want their kids growing up impressed by the experience. having fun with others in the family of Christ, “I love a good lecture, a good philosopher, so those relationships can help prepare them and a good professor,” Stephen said, “and for their own adult faith journeys. Pastor Jim offered all of that. I also liked In addition to serving on the tech team, how welcoming it was on campus, with the Stephen is also a member of the TBC body of Christ welcoming us from day one. Deacon Board. He describes the deacons 4 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

The smallest thing that has yielded the biggest fruit is just showing up for church every Sunday. as being servants for the church body. They discuss facilities needs and other issues that meld with the long-term goals of the church. Deacons also provide support with logistics and setup for church events. When he’s not serving at TBC or spending time with Ashlee and their children, Stephen is the senior manager of field asset protection for Lululemon, an international athletic apparel company. He and his team of five handle all safety and security, crisis response, business continuity, and emergency management operations for the company’s US locations. Although Stephen is the only Lululemon employee in Topeka (he offices out of a building downtown and before COVID, traveled roughly 60% of the time), he has the opportunity to be an influence for Christ through his work. “I share my faith with my colleagues by how I show up,” Stephen said. “I’ve been asked several times if I’m a Believer, just by how I act. I see everyone as God’s children. When you start from there, it’s easy for people to see the person I am. I also realize that everyone’s journey is different. When I see others through that lens, it gives me a perspective where I can relate to them in a way that doesn’t feel judgmental or hurtful. I want to create that for everyone I meet.” Stephen and Ashlee and their children, which they lovingly refer to as “the bigs” (Samantha and Austin) and “the littles” (Alexander and Alivia). NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 • CONNECT 5

In-person and via livestream Thursday and Friday, December 3 and 4* This year more than ever, we need laughter and time spent in the company of good friends. TBC’s favorite comedienne, Connie Hall, returns with more stories and her unique perspective on the global pandemic. Our face masks can’t stop the spread of laughter – join us online or in person! In-person seating is limited, so please consider hosting a livestream watch party, virtually or in-person at home. WIN! At-home watch party participants are eligible to win one of ten prize packages! Details at right. * A Saturday matinee may be added at 2 PM December 5. 6 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Get yoSuaurtntDdiciaskyce,otNvseoorvnTeBlminCbe.cesortma8rting WATCH IN-PERSON (6:30 PM): Reserve tickets online at starting Sunday, November 8. Limit of five tickets per person. If you do not have Internet access, we will have volunteers in the lobby to assist with reservations on November 8. Due to the local health ordinance, face masks are to be worn inside the building throughout the event. Doors open at 6 PM. The live “pre-show” performance begins at 6:30 PM, with our online audience joining us at 7 PM. WATCH ONLINE (7 PM): Reserve online access tickets at starting Sunday, November 8. You’ll receive event emails with links to watch the performance, and you’ll be entered into our prize package (below). The online performance begins at 7 PM. Win an online watch party prize package! We encourage online viewers to host an in-person or virtual watch party with friends. All online ticket buyers will be registered to win one of ten prize packages, with snacks and other fun surprises for you and your guests! Tickets must be reserved by 5 PM Sunday, November 29, to be entered in the drawing. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 • CONNECT 7

9 and 10:30 AM services (livestream at 9) Sunday, November 22 Mulvane and College Avenue Auditoriums Join us in person or online for a special Sunday celebration as we worship and hear an inspiring story of how one TBC family is giving thanks, despite the global pandemic. 8 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020


Christmas Opportunities It’s the season of giving, and we’re shining a spotlight on two ways TBCers can make an impact for Christ in our own community and around the world! TBC’s Christmas Project: “The Project” Our annual Christmas Project campaign solicits year-end gifts to benefit one or more local or international outreach organizations. Through your generosity, we have stocked a diaper bank, provided critical operating funds for our local homeless shelter, and built water wells, schools and churches in third-world communities. For our 2020 campaign, we have selected The Project. Your gifts will help The Project purchase and equip a restoration house for women victims of human trafficking. It’s a gift of hope for these women, providing them with a safe place to rest, rebuild their lives, and make a fresh start. Human trafficking is the second largest and fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Kansas has been identified as an originating state for trafficking, which means our own adults and children are especially at risk. Please make Christmas Project checks payable to TBC and indicate “Christmas Project” in the memo line. If giving electronically, select “Christmas Project” from the pull-down fund menu. Gifts must be delivered in-person to the office or postmarked by December 31 to be eligible for the 2020 tax year. 10 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Hope for the Holidays This effort by our Foster Care & Adoption Ministry is for children in foster care and young adults who have aged out (and were never placed with a forever family). Many of these youth go without traditional holiday celebrations and gifts from loved ones. We want to remind youth from foster care that they are not alone. Hope for the Holidays plans to utilize an online registry/wish list system. Details will be announced on November 8. Due to the pandemic, there will be limited in-person contact for both the purchasing and delivery of items. Monetary donations or Visa gift cards are encouraged. For more information, email [email protected]. Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes Operation Christmas Child (OCC) reaches millions of children in some of the most remote areas of the world. Participants pack a shoebox full of gifts for a boy or girl, and OCC does the rest. In addition to their shoebox, children hear a Gospel presentation and receive a copy a storybook (in their language) with age-appropriate stories from Scripture, along with an invitation to children (and their families) to follow Christ. Here’s how you can participate: Pick up your OCC information and shoeboxes (or you use your own) at TBC on November 8 and 15. For details on how to pack an OCC shoebox, visit • Bring your packed shoeboxes to church through November 22. There will be collection points in the lobby on Sundays or you may bring your boxes to the office on weekdays. After November 22, shoeboxes should be delivered to Northland Christian Church. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 • CONNECT 11

CHRISTMAS AT TBC A thrill of hope. These words from a nearly 200-year-old carol are the foundation for our Christmas message series and Christmas Eve services. Just as it was back then, our world is weary and in need of its Savior, Jesus Christ. When He was born, some of God’s first promises were fulfilled, and we could have hope of eternal life in Heaven. Gather your family (and friends) this Christmas as we celebrate the glory of that thrill of hope. 12 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Reserve your Christmas Eve service tickets for these dates and times starting November 29 at Wednesday, December 23 Thursday, December 24 In-person services at In-person services at 5 & 7 PM 1, 3, 5, & 7 PM Livestream at 7 PM Livestream at 7 PM Our hour-long Christmas Eve candlelight service is the perfect way for your family to begin your Christmas celebrations. It includes a Christmas message from Lead Pastor Jim Congdon, Christmas worship songs, and an engaging, multimedia presentation for the whole family. Choose from a number of in-person services (tickets required) on Wednesday and Thursday, December 23 and 24, or watch via Livestream at 7 PM on these days on YouTube, Facebook or at NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 • CONNECT 13

With a bag filled with clean clothes and other simple things most of us take for granted, Julie Sugg and other TBCers are Fostering the Love of Christ More than 7,000 children are in the Kansas foster care system. Due to the circumstances under which children often enter foster care, they often leave their homes with short notice, unable to take essential items with them. TBCer Julie Sugg is working to ensure that children in foster care are welcomed, loved, and cared for, because she knows how important children are to God. “When Jesus was here on Earth doing his ministry, how many times did he show that he was concerned about children?” Julie said. “It breaks my heart to think that there are children that don’t have a home where they experience love and security. I just feel like anything I can do to make it easier for a child, I want to do it.” Julie volunteers in the church’s Foster Care & Adoption Ministry (FCAM), which supports foster care, adoptive, and kinship families. Kinship families are those who are caring for the children of relatives, often grandparents. She sees the care for someone else’s children as especially symbolic of God’s love for Christians. “We’re all adopted sons and daughters of God,” Julie said. “It’s a picture of how God chose us. Being a foster parent takes selflessness and can be very hard. But it’s a special way to model God’s love.” With her husband Josh, Julie has learned the beauty of raising a college-age step-daughter and two young children. She said the vulnerability of children compels her to work to protect and provide continued 14 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Foster Care & Adoption Ministry volunteer Julie Sugg helps manage an inventory of hundreds of clothing items that have been donated for children entering foster care. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 • CONNECT 15

“Children can’t advocate for themselves, and adoptive/kinship families can find donated so much evil can be put on them when they items in the church’s clothing closet. These don’t have a choice,” Julie said. “I think it’s could include coats, hats, and gloves, as well important for us to help raise up children as clothes for all ages. and give them the security and love that they need.” Julie also leads the church’s Blessing Bag program, which provides 50 to 60 bags a With James 1:27 as its theme verse – “Pure year of new items to children when they and undefiled religion enter foster care. before our God and Toiletries, blankets, Father is this: to look’s important for pillows, pajamas, and after orphans and us to help raise up an age-appropriate widows in their stuffed animal or toy distress” – FCAM children and give hopefully soften the exists to shine light blow of transitioning on God’s heart for them the security into foster care. adoption, support and love that Blessing Bags are families in their foster delivered to foster or adoption journey, they need. families within other and show Christ’s love churches and to chil- to children from hard places. dren in police protective custody. Julie said FCAM promotes the opportunity “They may not have time to pack a bag, to provide foster care and the need for more or have someone who will pack for them families to open their homes to children before they leave their homes,” Julie said. in need. But she said the group does much “So we want them to have something that more than recruit foster care providers. can be their own, and that can make them Julie oversees a clothing closet specifically feel at home, that they can take with them for children in foster care. She said that whether they go back to their home or are when these children leave their homes moved to another foster home.” unexpectedly, they often don’t bring the FCAM also works to connect foster/ essential clothing, toiletries, and other ne- adoptive/kinship families and provide them cessities with them. Rather than having with education and support. It offers fun to buy all the items they need, foster/ events for families and hosts speakers, often WANT TO HELP? SMALL THINGS MATTER Pray or: Visit to access our current prayer needs. Donate: We can always use gift cards for meals, groceries, or family activities such as bowling. Purchase age-appropriate Bibles for children entering care. Visit for a list of other donation needs. Volunteer: Sort clothes or pack Blessing Bags, be trained to mentor a foster child or aged-out youth, provide meals for families. Email: [email protected] 16 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

Julie Sugg oversees the Foster Care & Adoption Ministry Blessing Bags program. Donations of clothing, hygiene products, books, and blankets from individuals allow the team to provide bags with essential items for children entering foster care. collaborating with other churches in the also called “Stand Sunday,” which raises area. Julie said the church even provides a awareness about the urgent need for support group for these families. Christians to stand up for vulnerable Julie said some ways to support FCAM are children, whether they are in need of an to make financial donations for the Blessing adoptive family, in foster care, or aged out Bags, donate used children’s clothes to the of foster care. clothing closet, volunteer to help organize Julie said TBC does a good job supporting the clothing donations, and pray. foster care providers and educating people Another way to help is to mentor a child in about the foster care system’s needs. She foster care or a young adult who recently hopes FCAM can effectively bring transitioned out of the system. awareness of opportunities to bless “Those students may need help with school vulnerable children. or just need another adult in their lives,” “I think a lot of times people see that Julie said. “Or when they ‘age out,’ they may we’re promoting foster care and adoption not have had anyone teach them those life and people walk right by us because they skills for adulthood.” think we’re only recruiting people to be November is National Adoption Month, foster parents. But there are ways for everyone to help.” NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 • CONNECT 17

CONNECTION POINTS We asked TBCers: “What are you thankful for?” When I look back at 2020 there are honestly so many things to be grateful for, but this year what really stands out is how divided our country is over every little thing. So I have found that this year more than any other I am grateful for the unity we find in the salvation of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. I am saved and there is absolutely nothing and no one who can change how my story will end. – Kendall Heiniger My salvation. Thank I am thankful for my you, Jesus! church family at TBC and my family I was – Debby Sowers born into. I also am blessed that God put my husband in my life. – Tammy Evarts Oh my! How could I ever pick one thing? I’m incredibly grateful for my lot in life is such a blessing! – Vicki Haverkamp My family and My wife and Friends. daughter! – Debbie Hogan – Josh Powell 18 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

I’m grateful to work with a staff who not only loves and laughs together, but also has been so creative and energetic to find new ways to impact our church family and community for Christ – even in a pandemic and lockdowns. – TBC Executive Pastor Doug Will My faith, family, and Over the last couple f riends! years I have had a lot to be thankful for, – Lynda Denton but I think one of the greatest things that sums I’m thankful for the it all up for me is, God’s presence in way God provides my life even when I don’t expect it. meaningful relationships in – David Ellis every season. Sometimes it takes reaching way out of my I’m so thankful for our comfort zone to find them, but I’m Lord’s constant and thankful for the challenges and continual presence trials God sends because of the and provision in my growth and dependence on Him life. What a blessing! they push me toward. – Deb Tubbs – Abby Holloway I am so very thankful for our couples small group. Some of us have been doing life together for 33+ years. We have shared our ups and downs, our blessings and sorrows, family births and family deaths. I love these Christian friends of mine. They have blessed me abundantly! – Sandy Ruelle NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020 • CONNECT 19

CONNE CTING WITH: One of the greatest joys for those involved in any student ministry OCCUPATION: is when one of the children you’ve Indirect Lending Assistant at seen grow through middle and high Envista Credit Union school comes back later to invest MINISTRY INVOLVEMENT: their time in the ministry as a Student Ministry and Young Adults leader or mentor. FAMILY AT HOME: Kenna Brantingham (and her Married to Connor. They have two husband, Connor), are great Newfoundlands (Lazar Wolf and examples of this kind of Fezzik), a rabbit (Broccoli, inherited full-circle servant leadership. from beloved TBCer Sandy Balocca). Kenna is one of four children born Oh, and the Brantinghams are to Ken and Ruth Mahner. She was expecting in February! home schooled and earned her graphic FUN FACT: design certificate from Washburn Tech. Kenna’s uncle is TBC Lead Pastor Kenna later graduated with an associate’s Jim Congdon (Kenna’s Mom, degree from Washburn University. She Ruth Mahner, is one of Jim’s sisters). and her siblings grew up at Topeka Bible Church. Kenna met Connor through student ministry, but their relationship didn’t start until awhile later. The couple married in 2015. Her involvement in student ministry forced Kenna to address faith issues she hadn’t considered before and helped her make her faith her own. “We all have sins, and we all struggle with things.” Kenna said. “God sees our hearts differently than man sees them.” She explained that even the cleanest of people can have the dirtiest of hearts through God’s eyes and that we all need saving. These days, Kenna and Connor are giving back to the ministry that brought them together. Kenna helps the seventh- and eighth-grade girls and mentors some of these young ladies after they age out of junior high ministry. Connor helps the seventh and eleventh grade boys. Along with serving on Sunday student gatherings, the couple helps with youth events throughout the year. They’re also involved in our Young Adults Ministry. 20 CONNECT • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

#discovertbc – photos from our feeds OUR YOUNG ADULTS Thursday night meet-ups are SEPTEMBER’S CHURCH ON always popular, especially when there’s plenty of pizza THE LAWN event was a huge to go around! Back row (left to right) Mikaela Moeller, success, due in part to the Brian Cervantez, Zac Glenn, Young Adults Pastor Alex help and skills of volunteers Wolfe, Parker Robb, Dallas Gloss. Front row (left to like Kyle Livgren, who spent right) Rachel Hurla, Alyssa Hurla, Kelly Crandall. nearly 24 hours at church, helping to smoke 220+ pounds of pork for the barbecue dinner! KAN-JAM, washers, and corn hole are popular yard games after dinner for the families who attend our Wednesday night Fed & Led programs. While her husband Jesse helps with a tech run-through in the auditorium, Amanda White plays with her son, Jaxon, and daughter, Abigail, before they head inside for Club Catapult. Tag your TBC-related pics with #discovertbc or email them to Teresa@DiscoverTBC. You might see one of your photos in our next issue! CONNECT WITH US! @discovertbc @topekabiblehurch Topeka Bible Church

UPCOMING EVENTS Events are subject to change with little notice. To stay informed about changes, subscribe to our weekly e-bulletin (sign up at or download the Topeka Bible Church app from your favorite mobile marketplace. NOVEMBER 2020 8 Ladies LOL ticket 15 GriefShare: Surviving 10 reservations open 21 the Holidays 22 10 See page 6 2 PM, Mulvane Building A workshop for those grieving Harvesters Food the death of a loved one. Distribution Men’s Breakfast 8 AM, Stormont Vail Events Center parking lot 7:30 AM, College Avenue Lobby Volunteers needed Kick off your weekend with breakfast and hear how God Women’s Expresso is moving in the lives of TBC men. This month’s speaker: 7 PM, Mulvane Lower Micah Hawkinson Auditorium Inspiring stories from TBC Thanksgiving Service women. of Praise 9 and 10:30 AM A special Thanksgiving message and worship DECEMBER 2020 3-4 Ladies LOL 23-24 Christmas Eve Services • See page 13 See page 6 A note about our Christmas Light Show We recently made the very difficult decision not to host the Light Show this year. In the midst of this pandemic, we felt it impossible to maintain the level of excellence that is associated with this event, nor is it feasible to plan appropriately and safely for thousands of guests and volunteers. Thank you for your understanding as we make these difficult decisions in this trying season. We look forward to a time when we can gather together again with the Topeka community to celebrate the gift of our Lord, Jesus Christ! NEW TO TBC? Text “NEW” to 785-432-4801 and we’ll be happy to help you get connected!

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