Wednesday, September 27, 2017

October 2017 Newsletter

Operation Christmas Child

It's shoebox packing season once again!
The world’s largest Christmas project of its kind, Operation Christmas Child, uses gift-filled shoeboxes to demonstrate God’s love in a tangible way to children in need around the world. Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child, has collected and delivered more than 135 million gift-filled shoeboxes to children in more than 150 countries and territories. Through  Operation Christmas Child, lives get changed and kids from all over the world get to know how much they are loved with a shoebox full of little gifts at Christmastime. Once the shoeboxes reach their destinations, pastors around the world host shoebox distributions in places where people may not know Christ and invite them to follow Him. Other churches use the boxes as resources for outreach in orphanages and other at-risk areas. In many places, they also offer The Greatest Gift, a Gospel story booklet Samaritan’s Purse developed for shoebox recipients. 
Pick up your box/boxes, the list of suggested items for the gifts, and the tags to mark your box for boy/girl and ages at the table in front of the sound booth. NO candy or toothpaste please! They can’t go through customs! Please include $9 with each box you pack to cover shipping costs. Boxes must be packed and turned in by November 12th. Co-leaders Tanya Mangum ( and Sheryl Stewart ( will be ready to receive your boxes any time!

Memorize Scripture
 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.
Deuteronomy 10:17-18 (NIV)

Fall 2017 LIFE Groups

Our LIFE groups are small groups for fellowship and discipleship. In small groups, each member enjoys Christian fellowship as we serve one another in love. Please contact Pastor Charles if you would like to lead and/or host a LIFE Group. There are currently 5 confirmed LIFE Groups being offered this Fall.
· 2:7 Series LIFE Group: led by Pastor Charles and elders @ VGC, Sundays @ 3pm-4pm
· Hayden LIFE Group: led by John Hayden @ Hayden home, Mondays @ 6pm-8pm
· Vista Sisters Daytime LIFE Group: led by Sheryl Stewart @ VGC, Tuesdays @ 10am-12pm, studying “The Rapture: Don’t be Deceived”
· Men’s LIFE Group: led by Pastor Charles Lord @ EMC, Wednesdays @ 7pm-8:30pm, studying “The Purpose Driven Life”
· Rapture Study: led by Karla Davis @ VGC, Wednesdays @ 7pm-8:30pm, studying “The Rapture: Don’t be Deceived”

TFI and Orphan Sunday

According to The Forgotten Initiative, there are 250,000 children entering the foster care system in the United States every year. These children need loving, caring foster families to pour into their lives, but this need is often left unmet because there are not enough foster families.
The role of foster parents is to love a child wholeheartedly and to care for his/her needs for as long as necessary. But they must also leave their arms open because the goal for this child (in most cases) is to return home to his/her parents. Foster parents have a beautiful opportunity to come alongside an entire family. Foster parenting can be mentally and physically exhausting, emotionally draining and easily misunderstood.
What if the Body of Christ rallied around foster parents? When the Church supports foster parents, they are encouraged and better equipped to serve the children in their care.
Orphan Sunday is November 12th. In preparation for this, The Forgotten Initiative would like to give some helpful gift cards to local foster care families who are working with the BAIR Foundation in Albuquerque to provide homes for New Mexico children in foster care. The goal is to reward hard-working families with something special so husband/wife can reconnect and regroup, and for foster families to have ways to bond together and have special memories made.
1. Gift cards to area "fun" places (like Hinkle's, Dave and Buster's, Main Event, Cliff's, etc).
2. Gift cards for restaurants and local hotels for monthly "foster family of the month".
Please contact our TFI advocate, Jen Bartz, if you want to donate gift cards or if you can make a monetary donation for these items. She can be reached at jenni.bartz@ or 405-385-6341. To learn more about TFI, please visit their website,

October Calendar Event Details

· Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29— 8:30am Service @ VGC, coffee fellowship @ 8am
· Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29— 10:30am Service @ VGC, coffee fellowship @ 10am
· Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29— 2:7 Series LIFE Group, 3pm-4pm @ VGC, contact Pastor Charles Lord w/ questions (505-206-3210)
· Oct 1, 8, 15, 22, 29— Youth Service, 5pm-7pm @ VGC
· Oct 2, 9, 16, 23, 30— Hayden LIFE Group, 6pm-8pm @ Hayden home, contact John Hayden w/ questions (505-249-3235)
· Oct 3, 10, 17, 24, 31— Vista Sisters Daytime LIFE Group, 10am-12pm @ VGC, studying “The Rapture: Don’t be Deceived,” contact Sheryl Stewart w/ questions (505-803-1510)
· Oct 4, 11, 18, 25— Prayer Meeting/Dinner, 5:30pm-6:15pm prayer and 6:15pm-7pm dinner @ VGC
· Oct 4, 11, 18, 25— Men’s LIFE Group, 7pm-8:30pm @ East Mountain Campus, studying “The Purpose-Driven Life,” contact Pastor Charles Lord w/ questions (505-206-3210)
· Oct 4, 11, 18, 25— Rapture Study, 7pm-8:30pm @ VGC, studying “The Rapture: Don’t be Deceived,” contact Karla Davis w/ questions (505-407-4505)
· Oct 5, 12, 19, 26— Worship Practice, 6pm-7pm @ VGC
· Oct 7— Men’s Breakfast, 8am-10am @ VGC, please RSVP with Tom Meluso (
· Oct 7— Beth Moore Simulcast, 9am-3:45pm @ FBC Tijeras, doors open @ 8:30am, cost is $20 per person, space is limited, BYO lunch or purchase for $5, please RSVP w/ Rose Alexa by 10/4 (505-281-3457)
· Oct 11, 25— Feed the Kids, 9:45am-11:30am @ First Baptist Church Tijeras Fellowship Hall, contact Sheryl Stewart w/ questions (505-803-1510)
· Oct 14— Vista Sisters Women’s Breakfast, 9am-10:30am @ VGC, theme is Fall Favorites, bring your favorite fall dish to share, please contact Christie Lord ( or Cyndi Leavitt (leavitt. w/ questions
· Oct 26— Storehouse Mobile Pantry, 3pm-4:30pm @ A. Montoya Elementary School, volunteers please arrive by 2:15pm to help set up, please contact Sheryl Stewart w/ questions (505-803-1510)

Friday, September 8, 2017

September 2017 Newsletter

New School Year for Feed The Kids

Feed the Kids is back and we’re ready to pack! The dates for September FTK packing are 9/13 and 9/27. We meet at the First Baptist Tijeras Fellowship Hall for packing, 9:45am-10:00am. Delivery to the schools is immediately after packing. If anyone wants to help with this, please stick around!
If you can’t be with us to pack, would you do this for us, please?
1. For the kids.
2. The FTK program has more needs than we can fill. Schools are calling asking for help and we don’t have all the resources in place…yet!
3. For the schools and Bible Clubs.
*Sponsor a child through your church giving — designate FTK and an amount on the memo line. $20 a month sponsors a child for every weekend of the month!
*Donate foods — shop for us and with us. We have grocery lists available that specify the foods we pack regularly. You can download a list by visiting the “Feed the Kids” webpage on the church website.
*Help us deliver the food bags.
*Shop online using AmazonSmile — designate Vista Grande Church as your charity and Amazon will donate 0.5% of all eligible purchases to Feed the Kids. Please visit the “Feed the Kids” webpage on the church website for step-by-step instructions.
*Tell people about FTK — encourage others to get involved and pray for us!
-Sheryl Stewart

Memorize Scripture
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

Fall 2017 LIFE Groups

With the school year in full swing, LIFE Groups are kicking off in September. Our LIFE groups are small groups for fellowship and discipleship. We help each other follow Christ together. In small groups, each member enjoys Christian fellowship as we serve one another in love. Please contact Pastor Charles if you would like to lead and/or host a LIFE Group. There are currently 4 confirmed LIFE Groups being offered this Fall.

The Hayden LIFE Group will be led by John Hayden at the Hayden’s home on Mondays at 6pm-8pm. This LIFE Group starts on September 11th. Initially, the group will meet to answer these questions:
1. What should the major focus of our group be (for/within the group, for the neighborhood, for (as a part of) VGC, and for the East Mountain community)?
2. How can we as a group encourage and nurture each other in identifying and supporting areas (personal/spiritual) of growth/expansion/renewal?
3. What area/issue/project can we commit to actively serving – in other words, how can we lend a needed hand? 
4. How do we guide/model our study to support one or more of the results/needs from our discussion?
5. How do we ensure that our worship and prayer time is centered on our Lord Jesus?

The Vista Sisters Daytime LIFE Group will be led by Sheryl Stewart at VGC on Tuesdays at 10am-12pm, and starts on September 12th. This women’s only study will be working through a 14-week DVD series entitled, “The Rapture: Don’t Be Deceived,” by Pastor Billy Crone. The first 7 lessons will be completed in the Fall semester and the remaining 7 lessons will be completed in the Spring semester. Study guides are $15; please reserve your copy by signing up on the back table at church on 9/3 or contact Sheryl Stewart. Childcare is available for this LIFE Group. Please let Sheryl know if you will need childcare. Sher can be reached at or 505-803-1510.

“The Rapture: Don’t Be Deceived” will also be offered on Wednesday nights at VGC at 7pm-8:30pm. This study will be led by Karla Davis and will begin on September 13th. Please reserve your study guide by signing up on the back table at church on 9/3 or contact Karla Davis. She can be reached at or 505-407-4505.

The VGC Men’s LIFE Group will be led by Charles Lord at VGC (location subject to change) on Wednesdays at 7pm-8:30pm. Starting in September, the Men’s LIFE Group will be working through the book of Jude and will begin “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren in October.

Beginning September 13th, Prayer Meeting will return to 5:30pm-6:15pm and we will resume offering a free dinner meal at 6:15pm-7pm.

Annual Labor Day Picnic

Join us on Monday, 9/4, for our annual Labor Day Picnic! It will be at the Capulin/Snowplay Picnic Area at Sandia Crest starting at 10:30am. 

At the junction of Hwy 14-N, take the winding Sandia Crest Road for 8 miles to the Capulin/Snowplay Picnic Area. Turn right at the Fee Station to pay the parking fee. Park in the large parking area straight ahead.

What to bring: $3 per vehicle, beverage, chair, and a dish to share!

Please sign up at to bring a dish to share. Burgers, hot dogs, and condiments are provided. Visit www.perfectpotluck. com and use the “Find” option. Type in “Harding” for Coordinator Last Name and “1234” for the Password. If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Terry Nunneley at 505-238-0857.

Hurricane Harvey Support

In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, thousands of people are without shelter, food, water, and other basic necessities. There are several ways that we can help meet these needs.
First, you can donate financially through the North American Mission Board, the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, Samaritan's Purse, and a host of other avenues. Second, you can volunteer to travel to Texas and/or SW Louisiana to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
NAMB donation and volunteer information:
BCNM donation information: Individuals may text the words "BCNM HARVEY" to 73256 on their smart phones. A return text contains a link they may use to specify their gift amount ($3 minimum) and enter their credit card information. The website through which the gift is made ( is a service used by the convention for online payments of various kinds. The system will provide confirmation of the gift via return text. Individuals can also make donations through their local church by designating "Hurricane Harvey Relief" on their checks/envelopes.
BCNM volunteer information: Individuals interested in receiving training to serve as Disaster Relief volunteers should contact the BCNM Missions Mobilization office at (505) 924-2315 or (800) 898-8544. Trainings are being planned across the state. Only trained DR volunteers with current badges and background checks can participate in DR relief work. Information about training opportunities will be emailed to churches and posted at www.gobnm. com and, as well as released through social media channels.
Samaritan's Purse donation and volunteer information: https://spvolunteernetwork.

Calendar Event Details

· Sep 2— Men’s Breakfast, 8am-10am @ VGC, please RSVP with Tom Meluso (
· Sep 3, 10, 17, 24— 8:30am Service @ VGC, coffee fellowship @ 8am
· Sep 3, 10, 17, 24— 10:30am Service @ VGC, coffee fellowship @ 10am
· Sep 3, 10, 17, 24— Youth Service, 5pm-7pm @ VGC
· Sep 4— Labor Day Picnic, 10:30am-2pm @ Capulin/Snowplay Picnic Area at Sandia Crest, please bring dish to share, contact Mr. Terry Nunneley w/ questions (505-238-0857)
· Sep 6— Prayer Meeting, 6pm @ VGC
· Sep 6, 13, 20, 27— Men’s Study, 7pm @ VGC (location subject to change)
· Sep 7, 14, 21, 28— Worship Practice, 6pm-7pm @ VGC
· Sep 8-9— Women’s Weekender, overnight event @ First Baptist Church Ruidoso, 5pm Friday to 3pm Saturday, cost is $40, visit https://www. to register, contact Connie Dixon w/ questions (cdixon@
· Sep 11, 18, 25— Hayden LIFE Group, 6pm @ Hayden home, contact John Hayden w/ questions (505-249-3235)
· Sep 12, 19, 26— Vista Sisters Daytime LIFE Group, 10am-12pm @ VGC, contact Sheryl Stewart w/ questions (505-803-1510)
· Sep 12, 19— “Follow the Son” Training Workshop, contact Gayle DeRose for more information (deyellowrose@hot
· Sep 13, 27— Feed the Kids, 9:45am-11:30am @ First Baptist Church Tijeras Fellowship Hall, contact Sheryl Stewart w/ questions
· Sep 13, 20, 27— Prayer Meeting/Dinner, 5:30pm-6:15pm prayer and 6:15pm-7pm dinner @ VGC
· Sep 13, 20, 27— Rapture Study, 7pm-8:30pm @ VGC, contact Karla Davis w/ questions (505-407-4505)
· Sep 15-16— Megapalooza of Children’s Ministry Training, 6pm-8:30pm Friday and 8:15am-1pm Saturday @ Del Norte Baptist Church, contact Gayle DeRose for more information
· Sep 22-23— R.E.A.L. Women’s Conference, 6pm-9pm Friday and 8am-2:30pm Saturday @ Sandia Baptist Church, cost is $45,  visit to register, contact Sara Ghormley w/ questions (sara.ghormley
· Sep 23— “Dare 2 Share Live” Teen Evangelism Conference, 10am-5:30pm @ Eastern Hills Baptist Church, $10 per student, contact Mike Harding to RSVP by 9/3 (

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

August 2017 Newsletter

God’s Work in Dulce, NM

Our team visit to Dulce to help lead Vacation Bible School at Dulce Baptist Church reminded me that our mission field begins where we live, and right here in our state there are so many people who don’t know who Jesus is, nor what He has done for them. The spiritual and visible needs are evident here, but God is working here through His people.

We taught the children truths from the gospel that can change their lives, and they responded. Ten children prayed to receive Jesus this week in Vacation Bible School. Some of the parents also came to the church for supper and worship, and God planted seeds of truth and hope through the sharing of His Word and the testimonies. Dulce has had some difficult times and things are changing, but we are very hopeful for the church there because we can see God’s hand of grace on them.

There are even bigger plans for next summer, and we hope to return to help the new pastor and the people to carry on the work. Prayer is key, because only God can bring the change and life that is needed. There is little to support His kingdom work here in the way of material or people, but God’s people have great big hearts and it was evident in the openness and the blessing of this special week for children. Thanks for supporting the work with your prayers, your baking, and your going with us.

-Pastor Charles Lord

Memorize Scripture
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB)

Reaching the Nations at the Grand Canyon

On our mission trip, we achieved many goals as a youth ministry. One of our goals was teaching students how to share their faith with confidence. Even those that did not go to the Grand Canyon but attended the 2-day training learned how to share the hope that they have in Christ.

Many of our students, though having come from great Christian homes, did not know how to share their testimonies. We went over that and for some it was the first time they actually got their story of salvation ordered out.

For some students, the trip was eye opening to the fact that God has gifted them with an ability to share the Good News. They discovered a newfound fervor to make Jesus known among all nations. The sweetest part for me was seeing the students be obedient even when they were terrified initially. They stepped out in faith and started conversations with complete strangers, even starting conversations with people who spoke very little English.

We have much to be proud about when it comes to the VGCYM. Knowing they now have some tools to clearly articulate the Gospel is one of the many things I am thankful for the opportunity to teach them.

-Michael Harding

Showing God’s Love in Peru

I spent a week in Peru with the sweetest, kindest, toughest kids. I went on this trip last year as well, but this time I think I observed and learned more than before. I am so grateful to this church for supporting me; without you I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go.

I had the pleasure of working with the “Pukklay NiƱas” – the youngest group of girls there, whom I worked with last year as well. These girls ranged from ages 3 to 5. We taught them about the Good Samaritan story and since they are so young, we mostly did crafts, snacks and free play. We brought them blocks, puzzles, play-dough, water colors, and coloring books. We had them memorize a bible verse that was along with the theme of the week, “Woven.” We watched a  Peru vs. US soccer game (we always lose), had a fiesta, and taught them how to take care of each other (hence the Band-Aids all over their faces).

I learned so much about patience, how it doesn’t matter if you speak Spanish or not, and I realized how much we complain! These girls have a hard life ahead of them, and I am incredibly lucky to have seen them twice in a year. It made my heart so happy to see these girls remember my name and the love I showed them a year ago.

-Madison McCoy

August Calendar Event Details

 · August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30— Prayer Meeting, 6pm @VGC
· August 2, 9, 16, 23, 30— Men’s Study, 7pm-8:30pm @ VGC, led by Pastor Charles
· August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31— Worship Practice, 6pm-7pm @ VGC
· August 5— Men’s Breakfast, 8am-10am @ VGC, please RSVP with Tom Meluso (
· August 6, 13, 20, 27— 8:30am Service @ VGC, coffee fellowship @ 8am
· August 6, 13, 20, 27— 10:30am Service @ VGC, coffee fellowship @ 10am
· August 6, 13, 20, 27— Youth Service, 5pm-7pm @ VGC
· August 13— Back-to-School Block  Party, 2pm-5pm @ VGC, FREE school supplies, food, drinks, kids jumper and lots of fun!, school supplies donations needed, please drop off @ church, volunteers to work block party needed, please contact Gayle DeRose if interested in volunteering (
· August 19— Engage Women’s Conference, 9am-12:30pm @ Albuquerque First Baptist Church (4101 Paseo Del Norte NW, Albuquerque), FREE event sponsored by CBA Women’s    Networking Group, registration begins @ 8:30am, topics include helping women learn life skills to live independently, freedom from human trafficking, prison ministry, Biblical counseling, how to promote your activities with all generations, and others, please contact Sheryl Stewart if   interested in attending and carpooling (

Thursday, July 20, 2017

July 2017 Newsletter

Quest Sports Camp Review

Quest Sports Camp, which was held at the Vista Grande Community Center in early June, was a huge success! Not only was Quest a success in the number of children who attended, but also, and most importantly, in the presence of the Holy Spirit and unity amongst the volunteers and staff of the center. Our Christian Challenge college students were dedicated and joyful in their task of herding, teaching, and modeling the love of God to the 75 children who participated.
It couldn't have happened without the 30 committed volunteers who came and worked all 4 days with positive attitudes and patience for every child. Huge kudos, once again, to our awesome students in the youth ministry. They participated in the sports (basketball, soccer, and archery), and developed relationships with many of the children. We had some hot and long days and they stayed on task--huge thanks to all of you! 
The biggest praise goes to Almighty God for moving in the hearts of many children who committed their lives to following Jesus. Hallelujah!! When Pastor Charles asked the children to stand if they wanted to know more on how to put their faith in our Savior, the response was startling. Groups of 3 to 8 children being counseled were spread around the gymnasium praying and believing. It brought tears of joy to my eyes! 
Thank you, STORM, for blessing us with your presence and gift of puppetry; thank you, Hunter Harlan and Pastor Charles, for your gift of worship; thank you, Christian Challenge students, for your teaching; and thank you, registration staff, for keeping the sign-in/sign-out of participants flowing as smoothly as possible. 
God was in this outreach; thank you to every one of you who prayed for its success. We need to thank God with joyful hearts for trusting Vista Grande Church with this incredible task and fulfilling every need and every heart with His presence.

-Gayle DeRose

Is Jesus Worth It?

To some, Africa is too far a step to serve God.  To many Africans, Africa is too far a step to serve God. But as a Christian who has heard the Great Commission, not going or not sending is not an adequate answer.
Jake and I were blessed with an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Mozambique for two weeks. We got to see a view of Mozambique that I am sure many do not get to see.  If you were at church on June 18th, the Sunday after we both got back from our trip, you heard some stories and were encouraged to step out in faith, be lights in this world, and to set it ablaze for Jesus. If you missed it, our message is on the church website under “Sermons.”
In the time that I have had to process our trip, one thing has become abundantly clear: being obedient to Jesus normally means laying aside our pre-conceived notions of what it means to serve Him. John Piper says, "Missions exist because worship doesn't.” If we let that settle in, then the picture we see is not one of dread, but one of anticipation to take the Gospel of Jesus to all nations.
Can you say with your life that Jesus is worth it? What are you holding back from God?

-Michael Harding

July Calendar Event Details

· July 1—Youth Ministry Yard Sale Fundraiser, 8am-3pm @ VGC
· July 1—Men’s Breakfast, 8am-10am @ VGC, please RSVP with Tom Meluso (
· July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30—8:30am Service @ VGC, coffee fellowship @ 8am
· July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30—10:30am Service @ VGC, coffee fellowship @ 10am
· July 2, 9, 23, 30—Youth Service, 5pm-7pm @ VGC
· July 5, 12, 19, 26—Prayer Meeting, 6pm @VGC
· July 5, 12, 19, 26—Men’s Study, 7pm-8:30pm @ VGC, a walkthrough of the book of James led by Pastor Charles
· July 6, 13, 20, 27—Worship Practice, 6pm-7pm @ VGC
· July 10-16—Youth Ministry Grand  Canyon Mission Trip, first two days spent locally focusing on evangelism training, remaining days spent at the Grand Canyon sharing the Gospel with fellow tourists
· July 23-27—Dulce Mission Trip, volunteers will help host VBS for children on the reservation
· July 27—Storehouse Mobile Pantry @ A Montoya Elementary School, time TBD, volunteers needed, contact Sheryl Stewart for details (sheryl@barry