By Design

Vision

Through the series, By Design, we desire for everyone to know that, as human beings, our identities have been handcrafted by a loving and purposeful God who shapes every awesome detail of who we are. Whether we are single or married God’s design for our sexuality impacts the way we love God and love one another in all our relationships.

Stay tuned this year as we biblically study topics like Identity, freedom, love, singleness, marriage, intimacy, family, gender, body, and more.  

Messages

Body By Design - Dr. Henry Schorr and Prof. Nancy Pearcey

February 10, 2019

We have permission to have this message online for a limited amount of time. The guest speaker, Professor Nancy Pearcey shares about how our culture views and treats our bodies today, and how the Bible restores the full value and dignity of the human body, so that we can love our bodies and treat them as God intended.

Pastor Henry started by reminding us that we want to be a people who reflect the heart & spirit of Christ. People who genuinely help others feel welcome, heard & loved & cared for. We want to be a place where people can be honest and transparent about their struggles, grapple with the issue of identity, work through issues of faith, and pursue God and his perfect design for our lives.

Sermon Study Guide

Identity By Design - Henry Schorr

February 24, 2019

On what do you base your identity? Your cultural heritage? Your chosen occupation? Your marital status? Your sexual orientation? Your gender preference? Our culture would have us believe that all identities are equally valid and should be embraced as describing our true self. But does our identity - who we are at the core - go deeper than our gender, race, sexuality or any other factor pertaining to our human experience? These are the questions that are addressed in Part 2 of the 'By Design' series.

Sermon Study Guide

Gender By Design - Rosemary Flaaten

March 9, 2019

Gender is a word that causes much misunderstanding and division in our world. Its definition and use has changed much over the last few years. Listen in to this message as we look into Scripture to see God's heart on the topic of gender and what it means to be men and women made in the image of God.

Sermon Study Guide

Desire By Design - Henry Schorr

March 24, 2019

This sermon continues the “By Design” Series on the topic of Desire. God has given us physical desires for food, water, physical touch and sexual intimacy. When used in the way God intended, these desires are good and wonderful gifts. However, our desires can also tempt us to go outside of God’s design for sex and other areas of our lives. The Bible gives the answers if you want to be set free from the power of sinful desires in your life.

Sermon Study Guide

 Interview with Rosemary Flaaten & Jonathan Deroche

March 31, 2019

Every one of us is on a journey. Each is unique. Each has its ups and downs, its disappointments and joys, regrets and successes. But our journeys are all part of God's Grand Story. As you listen to Jonathan tell his story, which at times seemed bleak and absent of God, ask how your journey, the story that is being woven with your life, gives evidence of God.

 Sermon Study Guide

 Love By Design - Rosemary Flaaten and Jojo Ruba

May 12, 2019

 Sermon Study Guide

 

Processing Our Learnings

Questions to think through or discuss with others:

What was something new I learned today?

What have I based my identity on, other than Christ?

What feelings did this topic bring up in me, and why?

How can I be more compassionate and understanding to people who view things differently than I do?

What might God be saying to me, and what is He inviting me to do about that?

Resources: Classes and Events

STORIES

Designed to Overcome

As CSC journeys through the By Design series this year, our desire is for everybody to know that we have been handcrafted by a loving God who designed every awesome detail of our lives, including our sexuality, gender and relationships.

The reality is that we live in a culture that promotes and encourages us to pursue all our sexual desires. The moral parameters start and end with consent and safety, rather than embracing God`s design for our sexuality as being for our good.

It is our desire as a church that when it comes to the challenging topics of sexuality, that we would seek God and the Bible for His plan and His design for us. We also hope we will learn how to lean in with love to those who are struggling, to uphold Biblical truth, and to offer hope for those seeking it. We must remember that we are ALL in need of God`s forgiveness, grace and love when it comes to dealing with the sexual sin in our lives. Learning to apply God`s truth to our own lives and extended grace to others is an ongoing challenge in all areas of our lives and relationships.

Our By Design communications team has wrestled with the challenge to combine love, truth and hope in a way to honors God and his creation. We sent one of our writers to capture stories that we consider to be journeys in progress (called “Hope in Progress”), and we have also been hearing stories of freedom (called “Designed to Overcome”), which are about people who sensed God’s call to overcome their flesh nature and pursue the lifetime challenge of holiness through the power of Jesus. These are the stories of people who look back on their journey with a sense of awe of how God has restored them and continues to bring them into a place of freedom from the unquenchable demands of our physical desires.

Michelle's Story

Michelle had a challenging childhood. She was bullied for her red hair, for being homeschooled and for her hand-me-down clothes. The message she was receiving was that she was ugly, nothing special and an embarrassment.

When she was 9, she was hanging out with some neighbourhood boys and one of them brought them in their basement to show them all some pornography he had discovered from his brother’s computer. Michelle didn’t think much of it at the time, other than to notice that she didn’t look anything like the girls in the pictures. She wasn’t blonde or brunette. She wasn’t developed. “I must be ugly,” she thought. And with these boys, she felt invisible.

At 10 years old, Michelle was inappropriately touched and kissed by her uncle.  When she told her parents about it, her dad was dismissive.

Read More

Hope in Progress

How do we experience hope amid the challenges, disappointments and storms of life? As CSC journeys through the By Design series this year, the desire is for everybody to know that we have been handcrafted by a loving God who designed every awesome detail of our lives, including our sexuality, gender and relationships.

The reality today is that many individuals and families are experiencing a friction between their own experience and God’s design, especially regarding matters of sexuality and gender. The angst grows because few in the church have been talking about these real issues so prevalent in our society. It is our desire as a church that we would learn how to lean in with love, uphold Biblical truth, and offer hope when people are seeking it.

But how do we actually do this? Does offering love and hope mean that you let go of truth? Or is it possible to hold tightly to hopeful truth and extend a hand of gracious love?

Our By Design communications team wrestled with these questions and came to the conclusion that we need to create a space where people can share their journeys and stories without shame. It means we need to stop keeping certain stories in the shadows, especially when they involve journeys of people who still find themselves in dark valleys. But bringing our stories into the light means that people don’t have to feel alone. Sharing about our life in dark spaces, allows the light of truth to reveal God. An authentic story is a gift.

We sent one of our writers to capture some of these stories of people at CSC. Some people chose to share their names and others chose to remain anonymous for various reasons. All decisions and stories are valued. Every story is unique, and it is our heart at CSC to share different stories from different perspectives within the congregation. This is the story of one such couple, John and Linda (not their real name) and their current, challenging journey as parents of someone who is transgender.

Linda and John's Story

John still remembers the moment he was confronted with a decision – it was a decision that set the tone for his challenging journey with his daughter.

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Judy and Corry's Journey

Judy knew something wasn’t right when she heard Corry come home and go straight to her room. That’s weird, she thought. Usually she says hello.

Read More

Fior's Story

Fior was not allowed to see her daughter until her daughter was ready to see her.

Read More

 

Resources: Books

People To Be Loved - Preston Sprinkle (Zondervan)

Is God Anti-Gay - Sam Allberry (The Good Book Company)

Out of a Far Country: A Gay Son's Journey to God. A Broken Mother's Search for Hope - Christopher Yuan, Angela Yuan. (Waterbrook)

 

 

Resources: Podcasts

You are not your sexuality - Rev Sam Allberry

Is it Ok to be Gay? Candid Conversations on Christians and Same-Sex Attractions

Love Letter to a Lesbian - Jackie Hill Perry

 

We hope you have been blessed by the messages and resources of this series and that you are experiencing growth in the way you are personally able to lean in with love, uphold truth and offer hope. Between Mother's Day and Father's Day we will be continuing the series with more messages, classes and workshops focusing on relationships. We are praying for you as you process what you have learned over the last couple of months, and as you seek God and what He may be saying to you in this season.

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