Community Day crosses culture
    May 4 2010 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor

    Volunteers in black shirts greeted a slow but steady crowd at Cross Culture Church Community Day in Raleigh at Leesville Road Middle School as part of the statewide Operation Inasmuch April 24.

    “It was a big success for us,” said Clay Stevens, lead pastor. “We’re trying to show the love of Jesus in a tangible way.”

    Fear of rain must have kept some people away when the event began, but soon the skies cleared and the festivities picked up at the middle school field.

    BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle

    Children enjoy a sack race at Cross Culture Church’s Community Day April 24. The church was participating in Operation Inasmuch, a statewide effort to minister to neighbors. See photo gallery and video.

    “When we’re doing something like this it’s so reliant on the weather,” he said.

    The church, which used to meet at the middle school and now meets at Leesville Road High School, had about 75 volunteers helping what eventually became about 600 visitors.

    Average Sunday morning worship attendance is between 150-175 for the church that launched in September 2008.

    A bouncy house and ponies drew the longest lines, but families seemed to enjoy the food, puppets and arts and crafts as well. There were also three-leg and potato sack races. Visitors were attracted by road signs, word-of-mouth, the church’s web site and public service announcements on local media.

    Stevens said he was “pleasantly surprised” at the turnout. He arrived early with his wife, Cindy, who is secretary of the Baptist State Convention board of directors, to set up and stayed late to pack up. He also served as a gofer and greeter and brought breakfast for the volunteers.

    “We want to be a church that reaches out and crosses over culture,” Clay Stevens said. “We want to be a true reflection of our community. We want to be a culture built on the cross.”

    Stevens stressed that it’s “not about me.”

    “It’s about Him being glorified. We’re doing our best to see that develop.”  

    Part of outreach
    Cross Culture had been doing Love Your Neighbor days every quarter.

    Stevens said projects are done by small groups, and each group is responsible for putting together a how-to guide once a project is complete.

    That way, other small groups can build on previous ideas. Last September the church partnered with the fire department for public safety day and did some of the same activities as on this most recent Community Day.

    Stevens wasn’t sure about using puppets because they weren’t well received in September. But this time children and their parents sat down on the ground to enjoy the show.

    Celeste Winston and Kristi McCown, who worked side-by-side at the popcorn station for most of the day, were part of the church plant.

    Stevens was pastor at Bethesda Baptist Church in Durham for eight years and had always been interested in North Raleigh. He met with BSC church planter consultants to discuss the possibility of a church plant in that area.

    “It seemed like a good place to start,” he said.

    The long-range hope is to plant churches along the I-540 ring around Raleigh.

    “All that’s gotta come in God’s timing,” he said. “We’re praying now which direction?”


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    5/4/2010 6:23:00 AM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Assistant Managing Editor | with 0 comments

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