volume 31, number 7             July 2014

From our Lead Pastor

Six months ago the Administrative Board decided to rename our church to better reflect our identity as a multi-site church. After months of holding town hall meetings, receiving potential names from the entire congregation, narrowing down the submissions, and having the congregation rank the final 3 names, the Administrative Board voted to rename our church Crosspoint United Methodist Church.

"Crosspoint" captures our passion to be a Christ-centered church, connects well with our current logo, and conveys our long-held vision and purpose to "connect" or "point" people to Christ. As our logo already illustrates, people can come to Christ (the cross) from any direction. The name will also accommodate our multiple campuses well both now and as we expand even further in the future.

Details Communications designed our present logo and will begin work this week to adapt the logo to our new name. Over the next few months we will do all the behind the scenes work to prepare for a community-wide rollout of the name on the September 13-14 weekend.

The chairperson of our renaming committee shared with the committee a story about not getting the number on his jersey that he wanted when playing high school football. He wanted the particular number because he had been named after a professional football player who wore that number. When he came home disappointed his father told him, "Son, the number doesn't make the player, the player makes the number."

He then told the committee that whatever name is chosen, we will make that name special by who we are and what we do as a church. I believe he was right. Through the commitment, dedication and spirit-led service of everyone in our congregation, our community will know that "Crosspoint United Methodist Church" is a caring community where people can come as they are, meet Christ, grow in their faith, and find a place to serve.

The Mission Conference is here! From July 26-30 we will have missionaries from all over the world visiting both of our campuses. You will hear from Christians working in sensitive parts of Africa, Asia, Tonga, France, and Niceville UMC's very own "Soul Care" who provide services to missionaries all over the world. Some "Don't Miss" events are our Weekend Worship Services, each of which will feature a missionary preaching and some neat mission elements. Read the entire missions article in this newsletter and plan to be present for inspirational information about what our missionary servants are accomplishing in the world!!

I covet your prayers for my next Africa trip this July 23-August 2 to Kenya. This trip is a little different from most of the ones to the Congo where we have trained pastors with
"Christian To The Core" materials. Many key leaders of the African Methodist Church are getting together for prayer and networking. The African Church is almost to the point of representing 40% of the UMC. I am one of a handful of pastors in the US who have been invited to come as an observer, participant, and networker. I ask that you pray, as always, for our safety, for God's wisdom, and for strong stands to help keep our UMC a biblical church.

Rev. Rurel AusleySee you Sunday,
Rev. Rurel Ausley
Lead Pastor

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Upcoming Messages

The "I AM" Sayings of Jesus

Have you ever noticed that sometimes Jesus says weird things in the Bible? For instance, in the Gospel of John, 7 times Jesus makes the statement "I am" and then gives a descriptor for Himself. Why does He do that? What was He trying I AMto tell us about who He is, and who God is? Join us over the summer as we take an in-depth look into who Jesus says He is.

Series messages continue...

June 29: The Door
July 6: The Shepherd
July 13: The Resurrection
July 20: The Way
July 27: [Missions Conference]
August 3: The Vine

Miss a Message? Watch online!

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Pastoral Article

God's Calling You

Rev. Jeremy Smith, Teaching Pastor

A few Monday nights ago, I reached a significant milestone in my life and ministry... I officially got ordained into the United Methodist Church. It was a very special service, made even more special by friends and family who were able to be there, including my immediate family, my wife, Rurel and Greg, and other pastors and friends from here, along with all those who watched online (which I was shocked by the amount of people who chose to watch). I want to say a huge THANK YOU to this church for letting me be here and supporting me through this process! I love it here!

Jeremy Smith Ordination Jeremy Smith Ordination

However, I also want to challenge all of us to take up the responsibility of being in the ministry wherever we are. All of us are called to be ministers of Christ, and use the gifts God has given us to advance His Kingdom everywhere we go. I specifically want to challenge some of you to consider how God might be calling you into vocational ministry in the church. The truth is God is using our church to reach people all over this region, and this world, and we're not ever going to stop going to people. So, we need people in this church to answer the call to go; to answer God's call to become a missionary, a future campus pastor, a youth or children's worker, an administrative guru, or to use your gifts in a creative role.

God is calling YOU! Will you say yes?

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Mission Conference 2014

Mission Conference is Here! - "Shine"

Tyler FullerFrom July 26-30 we will have missionaries from all over the world visiting both of our campuses. You will hear from Christians working in sensitive parts of Africa, Asia, Tonga, France, and Niceville UMC's very own "Soul Care" who provide services to missionaries all over the world.

Some "Don't Miss" events are our Weekend Worship Services, each of which will feature a missionary preaching and some neat mission elements. This all starts with a "Before Exchange" meet and greet dinner at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Sunday Evening Mission Banquet (4:45-6:30 p.m.) will feature interactive question and answer sessions Shinewith our visitors, as well as a fantastic mission themed meal. Reservations for the banquet can be made through the church bulletin or by contacting your favorite church staff person! The Coffee and Calling event on Tuesday (6-7:30 p.m.) is a venue for folks who feel some draw to the mission field: foreign or local, short term trip, mid term 'gap year' service, or full time field work. The event will be a way to discuss with "practitioners" on the field how they heard and responded to their call, as well as answer some of the nuts and bolts questions that come with calling. If you've ever wondered things like: "how did you know you were called," "how did you end up in your location," "how did you raise your family on the field," or "how did you raise the funding," this would be a good place to start finding some answers. Finally, Wednesday Night Classes (6:00-7:30) will features missionary guest speakers sharing vision and taking questions.

Don't miss this rare and holy opportunity to really hear about what is happening on the mission field around the world! For a comprehensive schedule including where and when all of our guests will be speaking, and a seating chart for the banquet where you can confirm your reservation and find your table, see nicevilleumc.org/missions/ as the conference date draws near.

Mission Conference 2014 Highlights

Saturday, July 26
  5:00 p.m. "Before Exchange" meet and greet dinner with missionaries
  6:00 p.m. Exchange: J/L from Africa preaches
Sunday, July 27
  Sanctuary Services: "Mission Okaloosa" preaches (8:00/9:30/11:00)
  Community Life Center Services: John Mark from Asia preaches (9:32/11:02)
  Fellowship Hall: Jordings from South Pacific share (9:30/11:00)
  Youth Theater (CLC): Woolwines from Tonga Share (9:30/11:00)
  Mission Banquet (4:45-6:30): Hear all of our missionaries and share a great meal. Reservations can be made through the bulletin’s communication card or by contacting your favorite staff person.
Tuesday, July 29
  Coffee and Calling: explore your calling in conversation with a missionary, Commission Cafe, 6:00-7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 30
  Fellowship Hall (6:00-7:30): Andrew Howell from France shares
  Marler Chapel (6:00-7:30): "Soul Care Project" shares

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Student Ministries

by Billy Russell

Billy RussellI recently reminded the parents at Wesley Academy Graduation to remember the words of country singer Kenny Chesney, "Don't blink."

I then mentioned that to a large group of parents at our Class of 2014 Baccalaureate service as well.

I even had a few parents of those senior graduates who admitted that they had "blinked."

It all goes by too fast if you and I are not careful. It is important that we soak in the moments of life that are important to us.

Another question for you and me is, "what is important?" What are the things that we value? I know for my family and I we value the Lord and our relationships with Him. I believe that is what you value as well.

Here's the point: don't blink.

If we don't take the time now to get connected to spiritual things over the course of the summer when we have a little more margin we probably will not do it when we are busier.
So here is my challenge to you: pray about one area in Student Ministries in which you and your family can get better connected. There are plenty of opportunities and the Student Ministries staff is always available to answer any questions you may have.

We'd love to have you and we will see you soon.

Upcoming Events

Middle School Summer Fun Days. Don't sit on the couch this summer. Join us every week for a new, exciting summer adventure. For example:

July 2 we will have a camp-in,
July 15 will be Tournament Day,
July 23, we'll play kickball and on
July 30 we will go on a Mini Mission.

Check out our website for more information regarding exact times nicevilleumc.org/students/Soul Surfer

High School Prayer Lunches: Every Wednesday in July (except July 9) we will meet at 12:30 p.m. at a local fast food restaurant, eat lunch and then head out to a church or school to pray. Check our website nicevilleumc.org/students/ for the exact location. If you have any questions, please call or email nmoreno@nicevilleumc.org 678-4411 ext. 151.

Sunday, July 20: High School students are invited to come and watch the movie "Soul Surfer" with us in the Youth Theater. Afterwards we will have a group discussion. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. Movie is 6:30 p.m.!

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July Featured Events


4th of July Holiday OFFICES CLOSED

July Calendar


Community Life Center is Closed for Recreation Activities


Mission Okaloosa

8, 15, 22, 29

Singles Ministry: Leader Training


Discover Class


Active Adults 50 Plus Summer Bash


Guatemala Mission Trip


Mission Conference


Before Exchange hang out with Missionaries


Mission Banquet


Coffee and Calling


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Our Vision

Logo (do not copy)Our vision is: "Connecting People to Christ"

"To build a community where people can come as they are, meet Christ, grow in their faith, and find a place to serve."

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Welcome New Members!

We joyfully welcome the following members to our church family, who joined in May 2014.

Kevin and Holley Bush
Kevin and Holley Bush

Elaine Schuett
Elaine Schuett



Scott and Carrie Summerlin
Scott and Carrie Summerlin

Kelly (and Matt) Susko
Kelly (and Matt) Susko


Welcome to our Church Family at Niceville UMC!

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VisionDiscover Class

New to our Church?

Want to know more about who we are and what we're all about?

Then we invite you to join us in the Community Life Center, Room 905-907, on Sunday, July 13, at 9:15-10:45 a.m. for the next Discover Class. You will receive a brief overview of our mission, vision and values. Childcare is provided in the Children's Building.

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Vacation Bible School 2014

VBS generic logoA HUGE THANK YOU!
...to all those who helped make Vacation Bible School 2014 happen!

More than 300 adult & youth volunteers were able to share Jesus' love with 921 children who attended this year... record numbers!

The children collected money for our mission--Casa Bernabe in Guatemala--to help them build more classrooms in their school.

We are privileged to be a part of a church who values children and we stand in awe how our entire church gives of themselves loving and sharing Jesus with these precious children.

With grateful and thankful hearts...

Your Children's Ministry Team

VBS Collage

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Active Adults 50 Plus Ministry

Young at Heart: Our program for Tuesday, July 8, will be a spectacular drama by Hurd Productions! Come see what this dynamic troupe has planned. Join us at 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Cost for lunch: $6. Please sign up or cancel for lunch by the Thursday noon, July 3.

Summer Bash: Last chance to get your tickets from Barbara in the Active Adults 50 Plus office for this great evening on Thursday, July 17, 5:00-8:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. (note location change). Join us as we walk down memory lane with music from the 20's–70's in this "Showcase of Memories". Cost: $15, includes a wonderful dinner.


US Coast Guard Station: Join us as we tour the station in Destin on Thursday, July 24! Then, explore HarborWalk Village and have lunch there. Departing at 9:00 a.m. and returning at 2:30 p.m. Cost: $4. Sign up by July 21.

Cruise the British Isles: Sign ups have now begun for this 13-day cruise aboard the Royal Princess visiting Ireland, Scotland and Paris/Normandy. We depart Aug. 25 and return Sept. 6, 2015. Only a $100 deposit secures your spot if you book by July 31, 2014, and you'll receive a coupon book for onboard savings. Cruise prices start at $4730 and are all-inclusive except for gratuities. Contact Barbara for itinerary and details: 678-4411, ext. 123; bwilder@nicevilleumc.org.

Check out all of the Active Adults 50 Plus at: nicevilleumc.org/seniors/pdf/seniors-current.pdf

Barbara WilderContact Barbara Wilder for trip details and sign ups:
678-4411, ext. 123 or bwilder@nicevilleumc.org

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Church Library

Calling all books! The Church Library needs your overdue books and or media back. Please search your home, office or car for any overdue or lost library items and return them as soon as possible. Your cooperation would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Thank You: It is with sincere gratitude that I thank each of you for all the kindnesses shown to me and my family during my hospital stay and recuperation at home. Your prayers, visits, cards, phone calls, flowers, and meals were appreciated. Your thoughtfulness meant a lot to me. May God bless you! Thanks! Linda Hoskins

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Prayerful Concerns

Recently Hospitalized:

Dorothy Baldwin, Brad & Jordan Boykin, Joe Checkler, Belinda Duke, Millie Duncan, Jordin Early, Selman Ellisor, Darsi Ewing, Becky Goodenough, Mary Halstead, Marilyn Hairston, Terry Housand, Zander Huff, Vivian Justice, Pete King, Daniel Kneeland, Linda Lyon, Pete Peterson, Roy Ripley, Elaine Schuett, Susan Shepard, Drummer Thompson, and Al Welle.


To Gene Bond on the death of his mother;
To Linda Boyles on the death of her husband;
To Ed Chandler on the death of his nephew;
To Elaine Farrington and Wes Lassiter on the death of their uncle;
To Becky Goodenough on the death of her father;
To Jacquelyn Jacobs on the death of her daughter;
To John Raymer on the death of his mother;
To Cameron Rodgers on the death of his mother.
To Bunny Wilson on the death of her sister, Alice Wagnon.

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From the Lil' White House

"Germs or Feelings?"

by Deanna Eddy

Germs or Feelings? . . . That is the Question. As a mother, our job is to protect our children. It physically hurts us when we see our children suffering. So naturally mothers develop a sixth sense that tells us what could possibly be lurking around the corner or how that next boo-boo will occur. Because of this handy sensory function, most mothers become germaphobic.

This affliction seemingly increases when in busy retail stores, the ones that claim to save us money so we can live better (I think you all know who I am referring to).

Fathers realize that this is a God-given ability and that we are not trying to be annoying or overprotective.

Read the full article at: nicevilleumc.org/counseling/feelings.html

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Stewardship Report

This report below is an image.
Stewardship May 2014

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Please Pray for Your Niceville Campus Staff

This listing below is an image.

Staff as of June 2014
For a complete listing of all staff with email links, visit the Staff Contact List online.

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Connections Newsletter, Vol. 31, No. 7, Niceville United Methodist Church

Publication Deadlines: Bulletin - 12:00 noon each Tuesday. Newsletter: 15th day of the prior month. Connections is a monthly publication of Niceville United Methodist Church, 214 Partin Dr. S., Niceville, Florida 32578. Printed copies are only mailed to those who specifically sign up for that delivery means. Newsletters also available in brochure racks at the church.

If you wish to unsubscribe to this newsletter, please "reply" and put the word "unsubscribe" in the Subject line, or call 850-678-4411 850-678-4411. Please also include a message indicating whether you are choosing to remove your email address from the database, or you are only unsubscribing from the e-newsletter. Email addresses are also used for FirstNet tools, class communications, etc.

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