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Sept 28, 2020

For the past 5 years, Phil has loved and led our EPIC community in so many incredible ways. A lot of you also know a huge piece of Phil’s heart and gifting, among many others, is worship leading. After a lot of prayer and discernment, Phil feels called to transition into the role of Worship Leader at University Carillon.

As Phil transitions out over the next few weeks, Holly will be stepping in as the Youth Pastor, and will continue to work alongside an amazing team with Kris, Angel and Brandon!

The changes are bittersweet, but we’re genuinely excited to see God doing a new work in so many ministries of the church, and can’t wait to see what He has in store. We’d love if you joined us in praying over, celebrating and anticipating this next season as an EPIC family! As things move forward, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.

—The EPIC Team

May 27, 2020

No Worship Wednesday tonight, but we encourage you to check out last week’s! After a few songs of worship, Phil and Casey brought in their friend Kyle for a conversation about the need for racial reconciliation, and the way that need is close to God’s heart. As this need continues to be all the more fitting, we encourage you to listen in. —interview starts 28:40.

“As Christians, we understand that God made all people and all people have value. There’s a very specific reason He made us all different.

…And then you think about how the Bible often describes the church as a body. And when you think of a body, it has different parts—head, hands, feet, toes—everything is different. Can you imagine a body walking around with all hands? Or all feet? Or all heads? Like, that would be terrible. There is beauty in being individuals and who we are, but there’s also an important piece of embracing uniqueness.

…if you believe the things God does are wonderful and perfect, then you have to look at yourself and say, “Man…if I’m around all hands, I’m missing out. And other people are missing out.”

May 19, 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 4:18 • Hudson

Last Colossians devotional and we’re excited to finish with a STUDENT TAKEOVER! Hudson finishing us out by reflecting on Paul’s story and send-out message in Colossians 4:18: “Remember my chains.”

“The way Paul was freed from his chains reminded me of a time, a little over a year ago, when I broke my knee-cap. I was stuck in bed for a while…I was in crutches for over a month, and not gonna lie, was starting to lose some faith in God. …I remember when my faith was restored. I was “crutching” around the park with my friend, and these two girls came up and asked about my knee. …and they asked, “Can we pray for you?” And it helped me to have my faith healed. It didn’t take the crutches off my arms, but it took the crutches off my mind and my heart to get my faith back.”

Questions to think about:
– Has there been a time when you’ve been freed from your chains?
– What in life has caused you to forget God’s grace or be pulled from it?

May 18, 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 4:14-17 • Sarah

It’s another STUDENT TAKEOVER! Great words from Sarah, pressing into who on earth Demas is (and how we probably relate to him) and the power of serving faithfully. Grab your Bibles and join us!

“I think there’s one thing that’s certain…what God has for us is so much better than what the world has in store. So when things do get tough…it’s easy to just abandon what God has for us. But there’s so much more when we stay with Christ & what He has for us.”

May 15, 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 4:10-13 • Scott

It’s another STUDENT TAKEOVER! Great words from Scott on the power of loving people by welcoming them – welcoming individuals, welcoming groups different than us, and welcoming the presence of God.

“In a season of quarantine, it may seem like we’re not really able to invite people into a space…we’re not really able to welcome people anywhere. But that shouldn’t stop us from trying to welcome people into what God is doing. We would love to welcome you into our church family and invite you into these spaces so you can encounter God.”

May 12, 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 4:2-6 • Emma

STUDENT TAKEOVER for today’s devotional! Emma dropping some 🔥 on prayer and Colossians 4:2-6. Grab your Bibles and join us!

“I’m always the one talking in prayer…but then it’s not a conversation, it’s just a lecture or a speech. But conversation is what build relationships. Speaking is important, but we have to listen. It’s not just all about what we have to say…it’s all about what God has to say.”

Desserts for Straight Street
Monday, May 4th—drop off between 9 AM and 12 PM

The past few weeks have held a lot of chaos and change…not just in our world, and probably in your world too, but right here in our city. A growing number of homeless folks in our local community have been affected by changes with COVID-19, and more and more have been going hungry daily. Straight Street Orlando has been incredible in doing all they can to meet that need, by providing pop-up meals for the local homeless population throughout the week. And the best we can in this season, we want to join them!

A few incredible people at the church have committed to providing a hot meal for these folks on Monday night (May 4th)…but they need some help providing dessert. EPIC—that’s where you come in!!

Whether you love baking, or whether you know you could handle Slice & Bake or boxed brownie mix…we need your help! We’ll be providing about 250 desserts for Straight Street this Monday, so we need 10 volunteers to bake 25 cookies or brownies (individually packaged) for our homeless friends for this Monday, May 4th!

A few notes:

  • Please be sure to package the desserts individually. This is a big deal, to help keep our friends at Straight Street safe and healthy. You can package them in individual plastic bags, plastic wrap, etc. 
  • Drop them off between 9AM—noon in the church lobby on Monday (5/4). There will be a table with a sign.
  • Please make sure your brownies and cookies do not have nuts. A lot of people have allergies and we want to be sensitive to that!
  • If you can make enough, be generous with sizes! Big brownies = better brownies. (I think we would all agree.)  🙂

April 27, 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 2:20-31 • Holly

Quote referenced (by Henri Nouwen): *quote was shortened in the video; below is the full quote*
“At issue here is the question: “To whom do I belong? God or to the world?” Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world than to God. A little criticism makes me angry, and a little rejection makes me depressed. A little praise raises my spirits, and a little success excites me. It takes very little to raise me up or thrust me down. Often I am like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of its waves. All the time and energy I spend in keeping some kind of balance and preventing myself from being tipped over and drowning shows that my life is mostly a struggle for survival: not a holy struggle, but an anxious struggle resulting from the mistaken idea that it is the world that defines me.

As long as I keep running about asking: “Do you love me? Do you really love me?” I give all power to the voices of the world and put myself in bondage because the world is filled with “ifs.” The world says: “Yes, I love you if you are good-looking, intelligent, and wealthy. I love you if you have a good education, a good job, and good connections. I love you if you produce much, sell much, and buy much.” There are endless “ifs” hidden in the world’s love. These “ifs” enslave me, since it is impossible to respond adequately to all of them. The world’s love is and always will be conditional. As long as I keep looking for my true self in the world of conditional love, I will remain “hooked” to the world-trying, failing,and trying again. It is a world that fosters addictions because what it offers cannot satisfy the deepest craving of my heart.”

April 24, 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 2:16-19 • Phil

The God we serve doesn’t require us to follow rituals but instead allows us to choose to be in a relationship where we have the opportunity to encounter the greatest love we will ever know on this earth. We follow him out of reverence not out of requirement.

Questions to engage with:

  • How did God speak to you through this scripture today?
  • What does it mean to be legalistic? Have you ever felt like you were being that way towards someone else? Or Vice Versa?
  • It might feel like you are disconnected from God, and your EPIC family right now. How can you find nourishment from God so that you may feel more connected to Him, and His people?
  • In what ways are you needing to feel connected to your EPIC family? Pray and tell God what your thinking and feeling. While you’re at it tell an EPIC Staff member or tell a friend. THEY WOULD BE MORE THAN HAPPY TO GET YOU MORE CONNECTED

Song to check out You Hold It All Together by All Sons & Daughters

April 22 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 2:13-15 • Kris

Here’s some questions to keep thinking on:

  • Verse 13 says God “forgave us all our sins” or “trespasses.” In your Bible or on Google, look up the phrase, forgave us our trespasses.” Does that phrase show up anywhere else in the Bible? What might that phrase mean?
  • Has there ever been a time when a friend or family member intentionally took the fall for something you did?
  • Verse 15 talks about the “rulers and authorities” Jesus triumphed over on the cross. Who or what are these “rulers and authorities”? What might it mean that Christ has triumphed over them?

April 17, 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 2:2-5 • Holly

A few questions to reflect on…

  • Where have I experienced the power of encouragement, or the danger of discouragement?
  • How can I be an encouragement to someone today?
  • Remember a time for you when God went from a total mystery, to a little less of a mystery. Maybe it was a moment, a season, an experience…what was that like?
  • If you don’t feel like you’ve experienced that, take some time to pray that you would! Ask God to reveal Himself to you through Jesus.

April 14, 2020

Today’s scripture: Colossians 1:25-27 • Phil

NOTE FROM PHIL:

To start, before you even open the scripture, pray and ask God to speak to you through this text. Ask him to change your heart, and rejuvenate your spirit as you draw near to Him.

Questions to Engage with:

  • What stands out to you about this scripture?
  • How can you be a minister in your current context? Who do you feel like God is telling you to minister to?
  • Who are the ‘gentiles’ around you right now that you know? In what ways can you share with them about who Jesus is?

Now that you know that the power of Christ lives in YOU, share with God where you need to find more confidence in Him so that you can receive the strength He has for YOU.

Challenge: Serve someone sacrificially this week. Bring them hand sanitizer, food, toilet paper, or whatever it is you feel God is telling you to do. I’m asking you to do this because in the same way Jesus united the Jews & Gentiles, I think uniting everyone as people starts with trying to serve them by meeting the smallest needs.

So Go, and prayerfully ask Jesus to help you serve your neighbors, friends, family and community around us. AND BE SAFE!

April 8, 2020

For every day of Holy Week, the Bible tells us what Jesus’ did…every day, that is, except for Wednesday. On Wednesday, we have no idea. Nothing is written. The scriptures are silent. Jesus is totally off-the-record.

So tomorrow, our challenge for you is to do the same. In a season where it can be so easy to kill time scrolling on IG, getting lost in endless YouTube trains, and see your screen time climbing (trust us, we get it), we’re challenging you to take a day to spend as little time on screens as possible, and spend a little more time with Jesus.

We know you’ve got virtual school, and we’ll still have a devotional we want you to engage with tomorrow morning! But besides that, we’re encouraging you—take tomorrow to go off-the-record, unplug, and focus on Him.

WORSHIP WEDNESDAY—In addition to Wednesday devotionals, on Wednesday nights, Phil and Casey will lead a few songs of LIVE worship at 9pm, then host a live Q&A. Feel free to join in and ask questions about anything from Faith, Life, Taco Places, or anything else! We want this to be a time where we can worship together and connect.  If you’d like to, you can pre-send your questions to Phil at 407-405-1894.  Feel free to invite anyone to join!

WORSHIP WEDNESDAY—In addition to Wednesday devotionals, on Wednesday nights, Phil and Casey will lead a few songs of LIVE worship at 9pm, then host a live Q&A. Feel free to join in and ask questions about anything from Faith, Life, Taco Places, or anything else! We want this to be a time where we can worship together and connect.  If you’d like to, you can pre-send your questions to Phil at 407-405-1894.  Feel free to invite anyone to join!

March 23, 2020

DAILY DEVOTIONALS START TODAY!

Usually, not having enough time is one of students’ biggest blocks to consistently engaging with Scripture. But we know right now, your students probably have more free time (or at least flexible time) than normal! Our heart is to empower them to use this time to create a pattern of regularly meeting with God.

So we want to invite your student to walk through the book of Colossians with us! On Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays @ 9 AM, we’ll be posting short Daily Devotionals (videos from EPIC staff), sharing our reflections, questions and thoughts on the day’s scripture.