Graciously Serving "the Churched"
As Well As "the Unchurched"

by Anna Martinez

Following up on my March e-newsletter cover story, I've got a number of related photo images that I hope you'll appreciate.
Serving "the Churched"  The first three photos include some of my PowerPoint slides I've made for my church's worship services. The presentations appear while congregants of my church, Life Covenant Church, in Torrance California, sing worship songs.
I usually select a variety of images for my slides — from modern art, cool sculpture, and ancient maps, with which I made a benediction slide that appears in the second slide, below.
Beneath my three slides are four images that I've used at church for special occasions. They depict some of my favorite pieces: a Caravaggio (Italian Renaissance painter); a Dali (a surrealist painter); a stone mosaic that dates back to an ancient monastery; and a beautiful, stained-glass window image.
Serving "the Unchurched"  The last four photos represent my church's successful homeless outreach and support efforts. Two other Anna makes a new friendwonderful women from my church and I coordinate this ministry that provides dinner for the homeless, every eight weeks. (We partner with other churches in the area that volunteer the other seven weeks). All church volunteers arrive early, every week, to prepare a nutritious meal and get the place ready for our friends, who often line up outside hours in advance.
We sit down to eat and fellowship with them, building relationships with many people, several of whom have now started attending our church! I'm in charge of organizing our next dinner, on March 12. The invitation slide I made for this dinner appears at the bottom of my collection.
Please pray that we'll deepen our friendships with these people and show them the hope that Jesus brings.

      For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in (Matthew 25:35).

Take a look at my first three slide images that I created for my church's worship services.

This is the beginning slide for the worship song "God of Wonders," written by Steve Hindalong & Marc Byrd.

For my church's benediction slide, I placed a quote from Apostle Paul over an ancient world map.

Accompanying a sermon series about "the heart," I found this beautiful, contemporary painting that goes hand in hand with the lyrics of "Beautiful One," written by Chris Tomlin.

 

These four unique artwork pieces are some of my favorites.

This painting, titled "Doubting Thomas," showing Apostle Thomas touching Jesus after his crucifixion and resurrection, is by Caravaggio (1602-03). My emotional response to it is one of amazement. It's so lifelike, with a dramatic black background and a single source of light illuminating Jesus, who appears to still be in His burial clothes.

"Christ on the Cross" was painted by a gentleman officially named Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquis of Púbol (that's a mouthful), a.k.a. Salvadore Dali. A Spaniard, Dali is usually known for his surrealist works. Consequently, this painting always struck me as unusual because of its unexpected normality.

This "Loaves and Fishes" mosaic is a fifth-century creation placed on the floor of an ancient church and monastery at Tabgha, on the north shore of the Sea of Galilee, near where Jesus is said to have fed the 5,000, when He initiated His Bread of Life discourse.

Titled "Holy Spirit as Dove," this striking stained-glass pane was made by artist G. Bernini of the Italian Baroque period, 1656-66, and is permanently displayed in the Vatican in St Peter's Basilica, Rome. Bernini was a true Master at painting, sculpture, and architecture. Interestingly, he built much of the Vatican.

 

Here are four images of my church's community outreach ministry serving and befriending local homeless people.

Only a portion of the 60 or so homeless people who dine with us are shown in this photo. Those standing, greeting, and serving are members of my Life Covenant Church.

My church's drummer (standing to the right) and me (center) enjoy this time with our homeless friends, who graciously offered to pose for this photo — it looks as though the photographer caught a couple of them "mid-bite."

Many more diners can be seen in this photo from the other side of the room. Those sitting at this first table are homeless people I've befriended, many of whom are veterans. It's good that we talk about everything: from their pet dogs; to movies; to whether the food was good or not; and how we can make things better for them at our next dinner.

I made this homeless dinner slide as a church announcements a while back. Because some of our homeless friends have started to attend church, I'll use a more respectful background image that depicts love and support.

another Christian fish with a cross

Take a look at all the March family photo pages:

One from each of the Fisher children; one from Marti and Dale