Recent News

Over 1300 Kids Take Part in Xenos Summer Camps

Great summer fun. Stronger friendships. A deeper commitment to spiritual growth. The start of a relationship with God.

These are all the wonderful results of Xenos’ camps this summer. The camps hosted well over a thousand kids—from pre-schoolers to high school seniors—at various camps.

For the youngest kids, VBS—Vacation Bible School—brought God’s love alive through music, skits, activities, sports, and teachings. Over 350 kids took part, with a couple hundred volunteers hosting them through the week. Claire Howard with VBS says the week went smoothly, and she says 5 kids said they invited Christ into their hearts. She also says most of the kids memorized the Bible verses that were featured through the week!

Older elementary-aged kids enjoyed TNT Camp, which is built around a missions focus each year. This year they featured the realities of life in Haiti. Over 70 kids took part, and 3 kids said they prayed to ask Jesus into their hearts. Camp Director Amy Cooksey says kids were very excited about memorizing Scripture, with some memorizing 20-30 verses during the week.

Xenos Grief Ministry Offers Loss of Spouse Workshop

By John Montgomery, Xenos Grief Ministry Coordinator

On Sunday, August 18th, the Xenos Grief Ministry will offer a workshop called GriefShare: Loss of a Spouse. It will be from 1:30-3:30 pm in the newly completed Xenos Office Auditorium (1340 Community Park Dr., 43229). 

When your spouse dies, your world changes. One minute you are married; the next you are single, alone, and grieving. The person who would normally help you through difficult times is no longer there for support.

You may feel numb, brokenhearted, confused, or anxious. You may feel guilty for being the one who is still alive or relieved that your spouse is no longer suffering if a long-term illness was involved. You might even feel angry at your spouse for leaving you, disappointed in God for not preventing the death, and/or resentful toward the doctors who provided treatment to your spouse. You may cry a lot or a little or not at all. Dealing with the intense emotions, the significant life changes, and the many practical considerations that accompany the death of a spouse, can make you feel overwhelmed and uncertain about your future.

Find help at a Loss of a Spouse Workshop

The Loss of Spouse workshop is designed to help grieving spouses receive comfort, encouragement, and practical teaching on dealing with their tremendous loss. It presents a Biblical perspective on grief, suffering, and trust in God. The workshop features practical suggestions and reassurance through video interviews with counselors, grief experts, and others who have experienced the unique pain of losing a spouse. Topics discussed include: what to expect in the weeks and months after a death, what to do with surprising emotions, how to handle changing relationships, how to handle the loneliness, what to do with your spouse’s belongings, and how to find the strength to go on.

A Big Thank You to Hundreds of Clean-Up Volunteers

Nearly 900 volunteers joined in on the effort last Sunday to clean up trash and bulk items from the Ohio State campus area. They gathered at Central Teaching locations to get supplies and get organized, then spread out across campus streets and alleys. They swept up glass, filled trash bags, and loaded dumpsters with larger items.

While most volunteers were picking up trash, others were serving in Oasis rooms, taking care of young children so their parents could participate. And others distributed water, helped dispatch teams to different locations, and worked security.

Laura Bolain participated with her home group and says it was a fun morning. She says some of the team focused on small items while the others worked to clear space in front of a dumpster so it could be emptied. She said when they all met up later, they agreed it was gratifying to see they made a visible difference for the better.

Many parents brought their older kids along, saying it was great to have an opportunity to serve together as a family, along with their friends. Kristin Ratliff and her kids volunteered. She says, "Serving with my friends and seeing my kids get into the whole thing really made it a great time."

This time of year students are moving out of rental housing from the previous school year, and leave behind a large amount of trash, furniture, and other belongings. This event was timed to help take care of that debris.

Learn More about Xenos' Partnership in Côte d'Ivoire

For the last few years Xenos has been part of an exciting movement of God in Côte d'Ivoire in Africa. Our global partners from that country will be visiting Columbus next month, and you'll have a chance to meet them, hear their story, and support them financially.

There'll be a fund-raiser for them August 7th from 7:00-8:30 pm at the Main Campus Cafe (1394 Community Park Dr., 43229). It's a unique opportunity to hear first hand about the amazing ways God has been working in that country.

There'll be dinner and drinks, followed by a presentation by Victor, with whom Xenos works. This effort has reached over 6,000 people, extending beyond Côte d'Ivoire's borders. Come hear more!

Volunteer for Big Clean up This Sunday

"Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matt. 5:16

This Sunday, July 28th, hundreds of volunteers from Xenos will be working in the Ohio State campus area, cleaning up trash and hauling off bulk items, demonstrating God's loving care to folks in the area.

Please consider being a part of it! Let your home church leaders know if you're going to take part.

Volunteers should head to their usual CT location at 9 am. You'll get instructions there and equipment, and be sent to a specific area to pick up trash.

If you have young kids--infants through 3rd grade--Oasis staff members will care for them at your CT location. And your older kids can join in under your supervision.

The event will happen rain or shine, and you'll be able to return to your CT location by noon.

Xenos Prepares to Host Thousands for Summer Institute

An extraordinary event. One of my favorite places to speak

That’s how best-selling author and international speaker Mark Mittelberg describes the Xenos Summer Institute. Renowned Christian apologist Dr. William Lane Craig describes his experience being a part of XSI: “People were so enthusiastic. It was a privilege to be involved.

This year’s XSI runs July 10-12, with the theme, “Christ Over All.” Xenos Equipping Division Coordinator Pat Reeder says the title reflects the goal of making Christ supreme over all areas of our lives. “Not just our Sunday mornings, not just our ‘spiritual lives’ but everything from our bodies, our minds, our families, our schedules, our wallets, and anything else we can imagine.”

Pat says the initial inspiration for this year's theme began with 1 John 2:15, "Do not love the world," but as they explored the theme, they moved to the sentiment of Psalm 24:1, "The earth is the Lord's and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it."

Ready, Set, Clean-up!

Mark your calendars--Xenos will be cancelling Sunday Morning adult Central Teachings on Sunday, July 28th at Main Campus, the Warehouse, and 4th Street because of a major clean-up effort. Morning Central Teachings will still take place at East and West locations. Volunteers should gather at their usual CT location at 9 am and should be finished by noon. You can read more details here.

We will be serving the Ohio State campus neighborhood, which is burdened by trash, furniture and other items left behind by students who've moved out. Volunteers will be given supplies, instructions, and assigned to a specific area.

Teams will travel together to their area to clean up so be ready to carpool. City meters are free on Sundays, but look for signs to make sure you're not parking in a residents only area. 

There will be childcare for kids 3rd grade and younger at your usual CT location. You're encouraged to bring your older children to join in the clean up. 

We are NOT required to move bulky/heavy furniture. However, we will be outside in the elements. Come dressed appropriately and don't forget sunscreen and/or bug spray.

What if I can't pick up trash?

There's still a role for you! Other opportunities exist for a variety of roles:

Important Summer Institute Deadlines Approaching

Xenos Summer Institute (XSI) starts soon--July 10th. Be sure you're registered for the conference and for the breakout sessions you want to attend.

If you're already registered, Friday, June 28, is the deadline for registering for breakout sessions. By registering for these breakouts, you'll save your spot in popular sessions. You'll find directions for registering for breakouts in your registration email. If you miss the breakout deadline you can still attend the sessions you choose if there is seating available.

If you have not yet registered for Summer Institute, the deadline to do that online is Monday, July 8th at noon. You can register at xenos.org/xsi. If you miss that deadline you can still pay at the door. Walk-in registration starts at 5:30 pm, a few hours before the opening plenary session.

This year's XSI theme is "Christ Over All," and features guest speakers John Perkins, Dwight Smith, and Nancy Pearcey. XSI runs July 10th-12th.

Main Office Renovation to Bring Leaders' Offices Together

If you visit Xenos’ main office you’ll notice a lot of construction going on in the old office auditorium. The space is being renovated to house office space to bring together Xenos' pastoral senior leadership. 

With growth in the leadership staff of Xenos since the office first opened in November 1996, Senior Pastor Ryan Lowery says the current office arrangement could no longer accommodate all of our top leaders. Currently many of these full-time leaders don’t have office space, causing them to seek out work space wherever they can find it, mostly at other venues. This arrangement has made it difficult for leaders across different spheres and age groups to collaborate, and has made it hard for teachers to prepare on-site.

The new space will provide enough space to house current top-level leadership and allow for growth, following our ethic of housing 2-3 staff members per office space. There'll be a reception area for visitors after they check in at the main office reception desk. There will be a conference room for larger meetings and a place to meet with visitors, for which there is currently no designated space. There will also be a large common room furnished to provide collaboration space along with a small kitchen area.

Ryan says the value of the new arrangement goes beyond just desks and chairs. He says it will allow leaders to comprehensively care for all people who call Xenos home. “We're excited to have our student and adult sphere leaders sharing a common space,” Ryan says. “This will help foster unity and our overall vision for cooperation on pastoral care of families.”

Consider Serving in Oasis

As a new program year for Oasis gets started, there’s still a need for volunteers, particularly at the Main Campus morning Central Teaching. There are still some classroom openings in pre-school and some younger grades for that CT.

Oasis is Xenos’ kids program, operated during the adult Central Teachings. Kevin Doyle and his wife Whitney have been Oasis volunteers for many years and says it’s a great opportunity because in just one role you serve many--children, their parents, and God.

Whitney agrees—“As a parent, I’m so thankful that on Sundays I know my kids are safe and learning about the Lord, while I am sitting under great teachings in Central Teaching (when I’m not a volunteer myself).”

Whitney says volunteering in Oasis is very gratifying—that it’s allowed her to be involved in teaching her kids and their peers about the timeless truths in the Bible. “At this age, it's big picture ideas, but it's really fun to see the light bulb go off and understand grace, forgiveness, and what Jesus did for them. When I think about that it gives me butterflies...in 12 or 24 Sundays a year you can help build the kingdom!

If you’re on the fence about volunteering, Kevin says you should just try it since the one year commitment isn’t overwhelming. You can choose to serve every week, every other week, or you can share the job with another volunteer to be less frequent.                                     

If the idea of volunteering to serve kids makes you uncomfortable, Kevin says to at least pray about it: “We sometimes grow the most in uncomfortable situations, just like a muscle being used beyond its point of comfort.”

The Doyles say it’s a role appropriate for many people. “For parents, it’s a sweet way to spend time with your kids, and potentially life-long friends of theirs,” Whitney says. “To college age kids or young adults without kids, I would say, you are way cooler than me! Kids will love you!”

Kevin also says if you’re able to serve now, take advantage of the opportunity. “There may be a time when you may be unable to serve this ministry due to health, age, or other factors, and these children will only be young once.”

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