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ECL: Experience Connection Lunch

ECl/Connection Church

Today we had part one of our two-part ECL.   ECL is a great way for Pastor Rocky to put names with faces (literally he has been correct 100% this year– I know, I know…we can’t figure it out either…) and for you to get an overview of Connection Church.   

We were thrilled with the turn out today — what a great group!  Here are some of the reasons people gave for coming to CC.                          

  • Everyone seems so caring
  • Everyone is friendly
  • I felt like I was home
  • I feel accepted
  • Rocky’s teaching
  • Children’s Ministry
  • Worship
  • Youth

That got me thinking…what did you like about Connection Church when you visited that made you stay? 


9 Responses

  1. I really loved the worship, and as one who loooooves to worship, that was important to me. We also enjoyed Rocky’s preaching, of course. We attended the ECL the first week we visited, although it wasn’t called that at the time. We loved being able to learn about the church right away. We left the lunch excited to be part of a church that had so ministries and groups to offer.

    Yay Connection!

  2. Christie, your comment came through on my phone and I was able to share it during staff meeting…it was a great encouragement to our staff.
    Thanks so much!!

  3. Well lemme take this opportunity to share with you how we (me and Steve) ended up at Tri-City/Connection…

    I WAS A MESS. Lemme explain… We came to faith as a young dysfunctional couple in the early 90’s thru Calvary Chapel Pasadena in CA where we were baptised by Xavier Reese. We ended up at a WONDERFUL church called NEW SONG in San Dimas where between them and many other ministries, we did a lot of our learning a growing. After living in CA for 20 years, it was time to come back to MI where I’m from origionally (Steve is native CA) which has been 4 or 5 years ago now. Long story short, I returned home to many of the same problems that I ran away from as a kid and found myself wounded, confused and emotionally and spiritually bankrupt very quickly. We were going to another church for the wrong reasons when we first moved here and as my crisis mounted, I fell thru the cracks there when attempting to get help. We decided it was time to do things right and to take our time looking for the best fit for us. So Steve printed a long list of churches from the internet and Tri-City was the first on the list. We promised ourselves we would go thru the whole list before making our decision. Well it was daylight savings time when we showed up that first Sunday morning and like ding dongs we came in smack dab in the middle of a service. I was so stressed out I cannot even tell you. But even after having missed much of the service, Rocky was speaking just to ME. God spoke to my broken heart thru Rocky’s words and doesnt it figure it happened to be a communion day which was huge for me because I didn’t think I would ever feel worthy to take communion again. But healing had already begun that allowed me to feel comfortable to participate. When the service ended we sat right there for the next one so we could catch what we missed and I literally felt like I couldve sat there forever! When we did finally exit the santuary, Debbie and Scott Burnham scooped us right up and seemed to “accept” us right there on the spot. Its like they new exactly what we needed. I told her I was a mess and needed therapy so she gave me contacts on the spot. She took us around and introduced us to key people who could assist us in a variety of ways. I began therapy immediately with a professional at the church who I will FOREVER be grateful to for saving my sanity and challenging my thinking and behaviors!! She played a HUGE part in making me almost normal. lol The Burnhams have been our dear friends and mentors ever since. And it doesnt end there (although you may wish it would as I know I’m rambling…) Rocky and Dave Stevens learned that Steve is a musician. Steve had been singing in a secular band so they came out the the bar to hear them jam which was HUGE! Now dont freak out…They didnt drink a drop and they do not advocate the “bar life”. But clearly they acknowlege that bar folk are people too and what an impact they made. I cannot tell you how special it was to introduce our pastors around to the gang, and that bar crowd has been a massive ministry field baring much fruit!
    There are so many other stories I could tell and examples I could give of how it is that we ended up choosing Connection to be our church. I think the best way I can sum it up is that it feels to us like Connection chose us. After that very first visit, we couldnt throw that internet list away fast enough!! We KNEW we were home. We know people there “get us” and support us just as we are. And I’ll tell ya a secret… There have been times like one winter night last year, when the lights were out in the chapel but there was light coming thru the windows near the ceiling where the moon was shining and the snow was falling. I slipped in there all alone and just sat there quietly toward the front very much aware that I was near that great big cross at the front wall. And I just sat there thinking to myself…”I’m home. I’m right where I belong”. And ya gotta understand how I’m wired…A little high strung. So I cannot tell you how nice it was to just sit there feeling the presence of God while my spirit just rested. Yup, I do love my church. I’ve always said I love the “heart” of my church which is God filtered down thru Rocky and Nancy and every staff member, volunteer, member and visitor. Me and STeve have had some major challenges since moving to MI, but we are so diggin our decision to move here because we adore our community. So alls I can say now is ROCK ON CONNECTION CHURCH!!!
    From the bottom of my heart,
    Laura XOXO

  4. they had good sandwiches at the luncheon.
    I knew that was a sign.

  5. Amen to that my rack-o-ribs!

  6. Hello all
    Most of you have seen the CONNECTION VIDEO that was done on me last year. Those that have’nt, here’s the story of how I fell in love and rediscovered my faith.
    I was down and out… financially, mentally, and medically, and spiritually. My friends Steve, Laura, and Rick kept after me for months to come to “there church”. Other friends were also going there, Al, Michelle and Dink, Dean and a few others.
    Music is the only thing that gave me relief. Rick, my best friend and bass player convinced me to come to church “If for nothing else than to see me play in the band. They rock” he said , so I went for the music. The LORD works in misterious ways indeed.
    When we arived at TRI-CITY as it was called then, we were greeted at least 3 times with warm hello’s and good morning good to see you. This was BEFORE we got to the building. As we entered it was more of the same. I felt love and acceptance like never before but most of all….I felt GODS presence in this place. HE was here and I felt it.. AMAZING!!!!!
    We met our friends in the front row and talked for a minute or two, then, the lights grew dim, the curtain opened up, and this band playing christian music blew me away. Not just that they were so talented but the songs actually MEANT something to me. We sang we smiled, and we felt GODS love right there on the spot.
    After 4 songs a man came out and started talking……NOT PREACHING…. TALKING… and it seamed he was talking to me. Could this be????
    He made me laugh, smile, cry, think and opened my heart to GOD. THANK YOU PASTOR ROCKY. Your MY hero !
    OK… that was in May of 2007. Since that day I have missed 3 services. I look forward to going every week. Pastor Rocky baptised my wife and myself last December. My wife and I volenteer at open door every week. I joined the Mens group last week. I am a part of the greatest “SMALL” group there could be, (my opinion) I feel more love every week at connection than the week before. The people I have met there are awsome.
    Simply put…. I LOVE THIS PLACE
    Rocky, Nancy, Dave, Delana, James, Tammi and everyone else…..Thank you is all I can say
    My “MISFIT FRIENDS” in the front 3 rows.. Thank you for bringing me to this place that fills me with love, and hope. I look forward to the things we can do to open others hearts and minds.
    NOW…. as for the music….. IT ROCKS… and by the way …. DAVE… I’m still waiting for my audition. LOL
    GOD bless you all and thank GOD for all of you and CONECTION CHURCH in my life
    much love
    Dan Marler

  7. Steve, food is always a draw… 🙂

  8. OK, it’s my turn.
    I’m also part of the misfits in the front row! I’m one of the bar people that Laura and Steve met in the clubs.
    I am part of the creative arts team.
    I’m raised a Roman Catholic and still go to that church as well. On sunday if I’m not scheduled for running sound at the service I go to catholic church with my parents and then head right to Connection Church to be with my other family!
    (You can never get to much God!)

    Why Connection Church? Here’s why!
    Everyone is so caring
    Everyone is friendly
    I’m at home
    I’m accepted
    Rocky’s teaching, Dave’s teaching, James teaching Phils teaching…………..
    Children’s Ministry
    and so much more!

    I met Laura and Steve when Steve joined a band Called PowerSource. This band and it’s website has a whole lot to do with us musfits becoming the family we are now. They invited me out and I came Easter of 2004 or 2005 and I have been a part of this church ever since. Our goal from the beginning is to fill the church with people seeking God. We started with the front row and we’re not going to stop!

    We have a great small group. And the Connection Church Family is continuing to grow! God Bless and see you Sunday!

  9. Hi All,

    I wanted to put my two cents in here to let you know how David ( Dink), Matt and I started coming to Connection Church which use to be Tri-City.

    First of all I hadn’t attended church in a very long time, I use to go to a baptis church when I was a kid where the bus use to pick us up every Sunday and then afterwards drop us off back at home…. I didn’t have much church in my life, though I did believe in God, but nothing like I do now….Let me explain….I knew from attending church as a kid from the bus picking me up and I remember singing songs and reading bible verses and I remembered the juice and cookies after our kiddie classes…..I grew into an adult, and never went to church agian, though I still believed in God. I married kind of young and divorced a year later, which brought me into meeting the love of my life, my soul mate, my one true love David, that I had specifically asked God for I KID YOU NOT!

    David and I met in a bar back in 1990, ( I know of all places to meet, it had to be a bar) March to be exact! We were inseperable we both were married and divorced and knew what we didn’t want in a relationship…..his folks said we were in LUST, LUST!
    No I knew, we knew we were in love! Well in April of that same year he proposed to me and I accepted…..we got engaged in May of 1990 and in July I found out I was pregnant with our daughter Jessica. We had to move the wedding up and decided that September we would take our vows. So here we are just getting to know one another, and then we found out about the baby, and then we just jumped in with both feet…We got married at David’s church which was a great church for us at the time….because I use to attend with him in the Young Adults group…Well both of us were working and struggling and were living with my parents until we could save up some money to buy a house. We finally were able to buy a home going into our 3rd year of marriage, and 4 months later here we are expecting our second child…….It was hard and we had stuggled so much and David was working all the time and here I am trying to work with what I have and raise two kids and was thankful to be a stay at home mom. Believe me it wasn’t easy by no means. As our kids grew, we decided we needed some means of religion for our children and Jessica was all up for that, she loved going to church and Matt, well lets just say he delt with it. Jessica was old enough to go on a Uniteen Retreat, so David and I let her go….little did we know that, 8 months later she’d make her trasition. She was 11 years old and for God to take her on the most holiest day of all, Christmas. I was so angry and I hated him for that…I was a mess a complete utter mess for a long time. I didn’t want to go to that church anymore none of us did. I was so angry at God and why and for what reason did he have to take our daughter. Try and explain to an 8 yr. old boy that he’s not going to see his sister again. That was the second hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The first hardest thing I ever had to do was shut the machines off that my daughter was connected to. (I find that at her birth she was born at 6:10pm and the time of her death was 6:10am how planned out was that??)

    Well as time went on we started hanging out with some people who my husband worked with for over 20 years and they had this band named Power Source, which Steve Urenda fronts…..We met Steve and Laura at the bar and ended up getting to know one another, and then one of our dear friends lost his place, so we where over there to help them move, and they were talking about this cool church that go to, and I thought wow that would be cool to check it out, cuz we haven’t been to church in a long time, and the place that we were going to just wasn’t giving us what we needed, we felt like we needed something way more than they could give…..So Matt was on a camping trip to Kings Island one weekend with our nephew Michael and Dink and I decided to check it out….So we came up to (Tri-City) Connection Church as it’s called now and We LOVED IT!!! So we just kept coming and Matthew loves it and we take up part of the first three rows in the front and now look where we are……..David, Matthew and I were baptized here on July 16th of this year, we are learning and growing as we speak. We are part of the misfits group that Steve and Laura Urenda are teaching……..I know that God is working through us and me and I’m getting it and I’ve got my Jesus on! I’m heading in the right direction! Life is so much better and brighter….don’t get me wrong we still struggle, but it’s so much better having and walking with God on my side.
    And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!
    All my Love,
    Michelly~ XO

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