Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Just wanted to say...


This break and time at home has not been at all like planned.

Due to changed travel arrangements, I am leaving before Jan 2014. Because of that, I am not able to meet with everyone I wanted to. I am trying to take advantage of time with family, so I plan to do a few video updates soon.

Keeping this short because it's Christmas and that's the BEST NEWS EVER: God loves us so much. Thankful for His Son, Jesus and the life He lived. Just as thankful for Easter which makes the birth of Jesus meaningful.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The story behind The Story

It all started with the simple invitation.

I received a text that said, "I have free tickets to see Steven Curtis Chapman in concert tomorrow. Do you want to go?"

Free concert + SCC. Yes, please. Channeling my inner middle schooler since that's when I started listening to SCC. Don't know of any recent music, but you cannot go wrong with a free concert.

I look up the concert yesterday afternoon and see Nichole Nordeman, Natalie Grant, and Casting Crowns will also be performing. Add to the middle school excitement some inner high school/college excitement. The women have powerful lyrics that I connect with. Casting Crowns is just a great band.

My friend who invited me, Becky, works for an organization that was started by Mary Beth Chapman and somehow got the hookup for this concert.

It turns out that it was music from The Story. Complete with orchestra.
It was great.
Powerful lyrics and amazing music (because all the music was written by Nichole Nordeman and Natalie's husband, Bernie Herms).

Having gone through the entire Story book with D-Groups (First Church's middle school group) last year, it was great to experience it in a musical way.
So sad. They made me put my good camera back in the car (AND empty my water bottle AND throw away my food in my purse), so this picture is as good as it gets.

Did I mention Becky had meet and greet passes, too?

Randy Frazee, author (and narrator) of The Story. Get ready -- he's writing a second book!

Steven Curtis Chapman. Enough said.

Great night. Great company. Great city.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Shoutout to my boss, Juliet

This picture was on Facebook. I did not take it.

My boss is pretty awesome. She's the event coordinator. Pictured above is Juliet with John, the guy who is leading the charge on our Berlin coffeehouse. 

Juliet is the main reason I accepted the position with NCC. I wasn't sure about the interview when I found out I could have one. Then I started talking to this down-to-earth woman who grew up in South Dakota. She's so chill and stylish. I find it a great compliment when people compare me to her (we are about the same height and often have similar hairstyles).

I have shared some of my life dreams in our weekly reflection meetings (we usually grab coffee and talk about life -- not so much about work at this one hour meeting but overall life). It's one of my favorite parts of my week, and Juliet is encouraging me to explore new things to pursue my passions.

We often find ourselves laughing about stupid stuff together. 
I am so thankful for God weaving our stories together.
So thankful that as we create safe environments for honest conversation and host different groups in our space at work, we can also share our lives with each other.

1 Thessalonians 2.8: So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Little bit more about Ebenezers

A few weeks ago, our church service was this entire film.

It's four stories of what God is up to around the world through the NCC community.

Ebenezers is one of those stories (if you don't have time to watch it all, that story is from minute markers 11:16-17:35). While Kody talks a little bit about music downstairs and how it was a church service (they used to have church services on the lower level but do not anymore), there is actually weekly concerts in that space and still music playing sometimes!

My natural love for all things music has made this job a great fit. It's amazing to me how God has prepared me for this moment. From the simple things of being detail-oriented (because keeping all these website postings straight is not for the faint of heart) to allowing me to live in a city for two months in 2006. From doing my youth ministry internship in Birmingham, England in 2006 to now, I have a soft spot in my heart for cities. Sure, I miss seeing the stars brilliantly light up the night sky. But I love where I am. I love who I am with in these moments. I love that I get to blend my love for people who don't know Jesus with the ministry of creating environments for people to experience the love of Jesus for the first time. It's a slow process of building relationships with people, but it is so worth it!

I have learned about hospitality, social media marketing, networking, audio/visual production (scariest one on the list by far). I have already experienced true community with a small group of friends God has placed in my life here.

I am looking forward to what the next year holds!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Shoutout to NCC Worship Team

All pictures are on the NCC website. I did not take any of these pictures.

I don't think the term "worship" is meant to be solely musical, but that is how most people understand the term. I have had the privilege to work alongside these amazing people from the worship ministry. They are hilarious and passionate about Jesus and music. They have 80+ volunteers working with them to create intimate experiences with Jesus at our six (soon to be seven) campus locations.

Kurtis -- Worship Director

Joel -- Worship Leader

Chris -- Worship Leader

Diana -- Music & Arts Coordinator (this girl attempts to keep them all organized -- major props!)

Ben -- Worship Protege

Carolina -- Worship Protege

Now that Thanksgiving is done, most people will recognize it is time for some good Christmas music! 714 Music (basically the people pictured above) recently put out a Christmas cd -- full of great music! Near or far, you should get it! It is now available on iTunes. In DC, it's available at NCC locations on the weekends or any day of the week at Ebenezers. It's just $10! Physical copies include an advent calendar and DVD of music videos!

Check out O Come All Ye Faithful below:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Friends in DC

A large part of the reason I love DC is the community I have found here.

Two people that stand out to me are Laura and Valerie. I met both of these girls through our small group that meets on Tuesday nights called Freshmen of the City. It's a group dedicated to helping people find their way in the city but also how to intersect faith and work, seeing work as mission.

This is a picture of us in front of the White House...

Laura is my opposite in almost every way, which makes for a great friendship. She's outgoing and extroverted, always planning dinner parties and get togethers for our group and her roommates/friends. About a month into our friendship we had a great deep conversation about life, and we both realized this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. We are both 29 and understand each other a lot better than our younger 20-something friends. Laura works hard on behalf of children in the DC area by working as a social worker for the Child and Family Service Agency. Laura actually invited me to spend Thanksgiving with her family, so don't worry -- I won't be alone during the holidays!

This was one of her FB pics; I did not take this picture. 

Valerie is so much like me it scares me sometimes! She loves having dates with her couch and Netflix, has a fear of large crowds, and likes saving money through clipping coupons. She also has a blog! She worked on a cruise ship for a few years, exploring different places and living a life of adventure. Now she's testing out her skills at National Geographic Society doing technical production! She told me about the National Christmas tree lighting ceremony lottery (you have to win tickets to actually get in). I won them; she did not. Thus, she will be one of my four friends who get tickets (the others going to Laura, her boyfriend Chris, and my roommate Allie).

I need both kinds of people in my life and these two are just a sample of the treasured relationships I have been forming since arriving in DC!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Shoutout to NCC Media Team

All pictures are on the NCC website. I did not take any of these pictures.

A few years ago, I went to Granger Community Church for the first time. I loved it. There's just something about the culture they created in their church that CELEBRATES life. They are unashamed in their love of their church, families, and volunteers. Mark Beeson has a great blog and often featured ROCK STARS who often work behind the scenes and don't get recognition. If I hadn't lived 45 minutes away from GCC, I would have been there a lot more than once every few weeks for their Saturday service. They have a great staff they celebrate.

Likewise, NCC is great at celebrating and allowing people to serve within their gifting.
The following men have been amazing to work with and put in a lot of hours to make services happen each weekend, as well as the amazing media that is shown.

Matt -- Technology Director

Jason -- Production Coordinator

Adam -- Media Producer

Andy -- Visual Storyteller (yes, apparently this is an actual job title!)

Mike -- Technology Manager/Sound Engineer

Want to see some of the stuff this team does? Check out their vimeo channel!

Way to go, media team! You rock!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TED Talk: Start with Why

Today I gave my first ever TED talk style presentation.

It is a learning process, and I will have to give two more before the end of my protege year. 

Just thought you'd like to learn something new.
Not sure how well you will hear it; I have my talk in a PDF I can email you if you want it.

Trying to keep you all updated on what I am doing.
This entire experience is helping me grow as a leader, understand myself better, and find my place in the Church. 

Enjoy the video...Hope I didn't butcher the beginning too much. ha.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

God is up to something great!

Last week the NCC staff journeyed to Baltimore's Inner Harbor to have one or two days of meetings.
Mark always says "change of pace + change of place = change of perspective." It was a great place to dream, hang out with staff, and get updates on what God is doing in DC. I am excited to be a part of this church. The best is yet to come!

Baltimore's Inner Harbor (no, those are not UFO lights... it's a reflection of the hotel room lights in the window)

We had the top floor as our meeting space, so I came bright and early to try to catch the sunrise. Here's one of the pictures I took that morning.

Sunday night we had the Thrill of Hope listening party. It's the new Christmas music 714Music just released on Tuesday. My fellow protege, Ben, organized the entire event. It was a packed house and so fun to see Ebenezers full of some of my favorite people!

For the month of November, NCC is talking all about MISSIONS.

You can check out our website (or listen to podcasts on iTunes) to follow along.

It makes me so happy to be a part of a Church that is going to send out 27 short term mission teams next year and supports 80 global missionaries.

Tuesday night we had an event called A1:8 Innovate, which was a reminder that we can view work as mission as well.

Last Sunday I had the chance to teach elementary kids their month memory verse (and one of my life verses!).

Acts 1:8 (thus our missions department name of A1:8): But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witness in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth.

Jerusalem = your neighborhood/city
Judea = your region
Samaria = cross-cultural in your area
The ends of the earth = international

God is up to something great in D.C. and every day I am so thankful for His provision but also His preparation. Who would have thought that all my random life experiences would prepare me for what I am doing right now?!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Coffeehouse + Romance

Ebenezers Coffeehouse has been a special place for a lot of people. It's a great place to just grab coffee and talk about life.

In the past week, there have been two proposals at Ebenezers! I overheard a guy this week say he went to Ebenezers a lot more since he and his girlfriend started dating because he had great reason to be there.

Check out this link for some great pics from one that happened on Friday night!

So awesome that my workplace is an environment where people want to celebrate special moments!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Last night was probably my favorite while in DC.
We had an all church event at the Lincoln Theatre.
All church as in six locations coming together for a night of worship through songs, baptism, and communion.
Holy moments.

I work with a great team of people who pulled together to make this thing work.
Our production team is amazing.
Our worship leaders are rock solid.
I have never heard this song, but I heard it twice yesterday and love it!

Oceans (Where Feet May Fall) by Hillsong

I was backstage helping people figure out where to change for baptisms.
Over 30 people were baptized last night.
I was able to talk to them right after their baptisms! 

God is doing amazing things here in DC.
I am thankful to be part of a church that CELEBRATES!
It is often said at NCC, "What gets celebrated, gets repeated."

Let's do this again!


little reminder of home

It's a beautiful day

view from backstage

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

All In

I have been challenged by Mark Batterson's writing, and his latest book, All In, is no different. I have a book blog for book reviews only, and did one for All In. I would like to add a few more quotes because I love how it connects with what I am doing at Ebenezers Coffeehouse:

"Your workplace is your mission field. Your job is your sermon. Your colleagues are your congregation. The's why we often end out services [at NCC] with this benediction. When you leave this place, you don't leave the presence of God. You take the presence of God with you wherever you go" (79).

It has been beautiful seeing how NCC challenges people to be the priesthood of all believers and realize marketplace/ministry, work/faith can intersect in beautiful ways. Have eyes to see people in front of you and love them deeply.

On page 99 of All In, Mark describes how Ebenezers came to be. "The original vision was to create a place where church and community could cross paths.... Coffeehouses are postmodern wells! But instead of water, we serve coffee. Actually, coffee with a cause. Ebenezers Coffeehouse gives every penny of profit to missions.... None of us had even worked in a coffeehouse. And I didn't even drink coffee! We lacked experience and necessary expertise" (99).

Still so incredibly thankful to God for intersecting stories in so many ways. Life is better than I would have ever dreamed it to be. That being said, it is also not without hardships, but I am thankful for them as well because they help shape character.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ebenezers Coffeehouse video

Here's a video from 2008 (two years after Ebenezers Coffeehouse opened) to help you better understand what Ebenezers Coffeehouse is designed to do.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Importance of Orange

I recently saw Reggie Joiner speak... Once at Catalyst and another time for the Orange One Day Event.

Orange is a great a concept that combines the heart of the home (red) and the light of the church (yellow) to partner together to give kids the orange experience that comes from the two working together.

It is common at Orange events to see a jar of marbles representing how many weeks from birth to high school graduation your kids have left. The pictures above are a reality that childhood/young adulthood is a process of letting go. Reggie read this letter , and it was very touching. His daughter Hannah painted the pictures above and replied with her own blog post in response.

"When you see how much time you have left, you'll take the time to get serious now."

"The greatest gift you can give someone is time."

"How you love kids when they are still kids will dramatically affect their future."

"When you start imagining the potential of a child's future, you will invest more in them now."

  1. You will die sooner than you think
  2. You will be forgotten
  3. You will only be remembered by the people who know you now.
If you are a parent, Sunday school teacher, volunteer, ministry leader... don't give up! Keep at it. What you are doing matters!

"Every week matters. Be consistent. There's no single event that will make or break a kid. It's having a history with kids. You're making history. Keep investing in what you cannot see."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fundraising Update

You can check out my fundraising update total here. While Razoo is great for visualizing how much has been donated, the best way to donate is by check (online through NCC website or mail a real check to the church). Either way, the memo needs to include my name and protege program. Reminder of all the ways to give are found here.

My goal is $18,000 for the year ($1500 month).

It is incredible to see my community of friends and family support me this year. Thank you to those who have been in on this from the beginning. It is not too late to join in what God is doing in my life now. There are ten months left and every little bit helps.

Even $5 (the price of a cup of coffee) helps. One of my former youth group students (currently in college) is helping to support me. It is so amazing to me the people God is using to provide. Family, close friends, former partners in ministry, former employers, even people I don't know donated!

Thank you!

Philippians 1.3: I thank my God every time I remember you.

Monday, October 14, 2013


Catalyst was overwhelming to me in a lot of ways. The music, lights, and sounds, plus tons of people... So many well-known speakers.

Surprisingly my favorite person was Angela Ahrendts, the CEO of Burberry. I dress for comfort, not so much for fashion (most of my cool clothes come from my fashionista mother's taste -- ha). Whether it was an actual pause or pre-planned, Angela paused before answering most questions. I liked it because she was not afraid to be different. She's a girl from Indiana who happens to be making history in the fashion world. She's a powerful woman in business and I liked her story. As a child, she was a loner, a dreamer, and loved to listen.

She talked about having a clear simple vision and to over communicate with people so there is no fear of where things are going.

"I have chosen to remember where I came from."

"It's crazy to me to think people wouldn't be authentic."

I was able to see Priscilla Shirer live. I did a Bible study earlier this year that included video from her. She's a gifted speaker of truth.

I have yet to jump in on the Duck Dynasty bandwagon. My dad bought me their book last year for Christmas. Uncle Si was at Catalyst.

"The networks try to figure out why Duck Dynasty is so successful. They leave out the God factor."

"If hunting was only about pulling a trigger, I wouldn't get out of bed. It's a time to be with my Creator. I've got orders from HQs to kill it and grill it."

He also explained how his infamous cup was a gift from his mom while he was over in Vietnam. That cup is not for sale... and he drinks unsweetened tea in it.

So grateful to have experienced Catalyst this year.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Catalyst Labs

How do you ever put into words an event like Catalyst?

I am really glad I paid the extra money to go to Catalyst Labs. I liked the smaller feel to it and it provided the breakouts that I was expecting to be a part of the regular Catalyst program. I was shocked that it was two days of sitting in an arena listening to speaker after speaker.

The labs were a nice setup for Catalyst. There were a few people from NCC staff who went early (our flight was at 6am, so I shared a cab with my boss who lives a few blocks from me).

I saw a few people I haven't seen in years. It was so good to reconnect.

It was amazing seeing Bianca live since I have followed her and her sister Jasmine on their blogs for years now.

I also noticed Los Whittaker's girls hanging out in the lobby area and was shocked to recognize them from the photos on his blog.

Breakout One was my favorite. It was Bianca and Rebekah Lyons. Someday I want to write a book. I found it very inspiring hearing a little bit of Rebekah's journey with writing, but also coming to grips with her weakness of anxiety. It has become her ministry.

I went to hear Mark Batterson talk about his new book, All In. It is always great to hear him because he loves to tell the stories of how far God has brought NCC. It's an amazingly rich history that I am blessed to be a part of now.

"Leaders are those who take the first step and trust God to reveal the second step." ~Mark Batterson

Bob Goff and Donald Miller closed it out... and what a way to go!

"Love God. Love others. DO STUFF!"

"It's the book of ACTS, not opinions."

"Stop calling it ministry. Call it Tuesday."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Arlington National Cemetery

Yesterday I went to the Lincoln Theatre launch:

(I am in the picture.... You can click to enlarge it. I'm all the way to the left side) Photo credit: Adam Mason

It was a great morning to be at a theatre with a great history that can be part of an amazing Church future. God is doing amazing things in DC and I am lucky to be a part of it all!

That afternoon, I met up with my good friend Emily, her parents, and her boyfriend, Greg. It was nice to spend time with friends and tour Arlington Cemetery, a new experience for most of us. It was so much bigger than I had pictured it.

I love history and there is so much of it in the city. I feel ill-prepared most of the time, but you just need to experience it, even if you don't know everything about it. I would love to learn more about the requirements for the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

I was telling Emily's mom, Marji, that this protege experience at NCC has been even better than I had imagined it would be. I heard the following verses quoted that morning at Lincoln Theatre, but it applies so much to my protege year already:

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3.20-21) 

PS -- the exclamation point in verse 21 is in the Bible. Love that! :)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

DC needs your prayers

Growing up in a church that regularly put "pray for our nation's capitol" in the bulletin (do churches even have those anymore?), I never really followed through with that request.

Living in DC, it is so clear to me that the people here need prayer! It has been crazy these last few weeks with the Navy Yard Shooting, Government Shutdown, the woman in the car and man on fire making news.

I just got back from Catalyst (which deserves several posts) and went to Mark Batterson's breakout session. He reminded people that "National news is our local news" and that "even though the government shutdown, NCC is not shutdown". A lot of our NCCers are on "vacation" this week.

Greater things have yet to come, Greater things are still to be done in this city.

I am thankful for this time in DC. I am grateful to be part of a city of leaders.

Please note: this is not a political post and I do not want any comments based on sides.

Monday, September 30, 2013


I just want to thank God for:

~Providing through my friends/family for me for the month of September. I moved to DC on the money that I had saved and with a lot of help from my mom in what I bought while she was still here. My goal is $18000 for the year that I am here in DC, which would include special items like plane tickets home as well as monthly bills.
~FOTC. This is my small group called Freshmen of the City. We have been emailing since Tuesday and I am excited to get to know this group of people better. We each have interesting stories and bring a lot to the table. I will forever love Tuesdays because of this group.
~Storyline Church. My church back in Michigan... Denise sent me some pictures of the IMPACT Sunday, where they serve the community instead of having church service. I loved seeing familiar faces but also knowing that the Kingdom is being advanced by my friends and family in Christ.

God is good.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

What a Weekend!

Life in DC is good.
There are certain things I miss from back home, but overall, I am happy to be here.

My boss spent the last week and a half in Berlin, so I was running shows by myself. When we have a concert at Ebenezers, it's basically the sound engineer and myself. I'm the host (greeting artists, giving them water and drinks from Ebz, taking ticket money at the door). I am putting my few months of being a Walmart greeter/cashier to good use! ha.

This weekend has been super busy. Even my day off was jam packed.

We had a great turnout for our Friday night concert. It was a talented husband/wife duo, August York. The main headliner was Andy Suzuki & The Method. Great music. Good vibe from the people there. Just an overall great night.

Saturday was my "day off" but I spent it at a four hour training event to work with the kids' ministry. They fed us breakfast and lunch (Chik-fil-A). They have such a great team of creative people. I am really looking forward to volunteering 2x/month with the kids.

After that, Barrack's Row Fall Festival was happening where our BR location is. We showed cartoons and offered free popcorn. It was a good hangout spot for families. I heard a lot of people say, "Wow. I want to go in and check this out... I've never seen inside before".

Tonight was the Derek Webb concert at the Theatre. I organized the volunteers to help run it. It went smoothly, so I am thankful and praising God. Have I mentioned how much I love what I am doing?

Friday, September 27, 2013


I have been here for a little over three weeks. I feel like I am just getting to the point where I know my way around the city... or at least my little part of it.

I have had some really great conversations in the past few days.
~I met this man named John tonight at the concert I was hosting. He was an event supervisor and has seen some great shows (Chicago and Josh Groban included -- two I would LOVE to see).
~My landlords are awesome and go to NCC. Had a brief conversation with Jen about their housewarming party they had last weekend.
~I did laundry yesterday at the local laundromat. It was quite the experience. I met a lady who liked my laundry bag (and I was envious of her cart... I have a bag that makes me look like Santa lugging my laundry there). She was really friendly and told me that this laundromat was the cleanest and best in the area. She also told me about a few stores that might have carts like hers. It was just great to connect like that over laundry (of all things).
~We have a rental who uses Ebenezers weekly. I had my first conversation with the man in charge about something other than how they want it set up.
~My roommate and I went to H&Pizza yesterday. We chatted with the cashier (and enjoyed the best pizza I've had other than in Italy). The cashier was working two jobs in order to save up for a house.
~Monday night we had our first Alpha meeting. I met two women who go to NCC and were ready to connect in a small group. We find out our small groups on Monday.
~Freshmen of the City (FOTC). We had our second meeting on Tuesday and were placed in small groups. The people in my group were awesome! I am really excited to get to know more people in the DC area.

I have a feeling that God is just beginning with the conversations I will have at Ebenezers. I am so excited about what God is doing in my life, in this city, and the world.

Bike rides

Life has been great.
I am continuing to experience all DC has to offer.
Monday I took my first ever bike ride.
I just went from my house to Ebenezers.
I felt like I was 5 years old waiting about five minutes to have the courage to cross a busy road.
It was a major win for me!

That night I had Alpha class (more on that in the next post) and went for a night bike ride.
Adam, Nicole, Allie and I were biking around the city.
We met at the Capitol Building and went all the way to Lincoln Memorial.
It was beautiful and fun.
I did not fall or get injured at all!

Here's a pic of me with Lincoln (this is after I accidentally deleted the first one -- oops):

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Protege Team 2013

I have loved getting to know the six other people who are in my protege class.

Allie, my roommate, is doing discipleship. She works with a great team of people who lead small groups and the leadership retreats for our staff.

Stephanie and Meredith are doing A1:8 local and international missions. They are working at the Southeast White House and getting ready for the opening of the Dream Center (modeled after the one that has been open in L.A.).

Ben and Carolina are doing worship. They led songs at the Alpha training last weekend. It was great to see them in their area.

Matt is doing campus pastor. I already see the way he leads by example.

This is a great group of people. The two guys are married, so that adds two women to our group. Their wives are awesome! Here's a picture of our group (minus Abby, Matt's wife) after our visit to the Ballston Campus:

After visiting the Gala Campus, we went to Z-Burger for burgers, fries, and milkshakes! YUM!

L to R: Steph, me, Carolina, Allie, Meredith, Ben, Erica, Matt, Abby, Heather (the woman in charge of us all!) We are only missing Heather's sidekick, Emily, who would complete our Protege family.

Blessed to be a part of this group of people.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

September 16

Yesterday started out like any other day.

I was walking to work and as I was passing a park, I noticed a policeman on his motorcycle turn on his lights and speed away. Not an uncommon sight here.

I passed by a lady feeding her goldfish outside (one of the blessings on my walk to work is seeing this pond in her front yard).

As I continued walking, I realized the sirens were nonstop. For TWENTY MINUTES.

When I got into my office and locked myself in (most people have Mondays as their day off), I was shocked to hear what had happened at Navy Yard. We were told to "shelter in place". Because I was already safely in my office at the beginning of the workday, I just hunkered down while watching live feed with my boss throughout the day on our computers. It was sobering. Please be in prayer for the victims' families. It is so tough to think how one day can change your life. Thirteen people were not able to go home to their families.

DC needs the Good News and hope found in Jesus. I know that I am where I need to be. Please be praying that I can shine light the city so they can find their way to Jesus.

busy weekend

This weekend we had Alpha training. It was at a retreat center in Virginia. It was beautiful. We had a bonfire and could see the stars. It was just a great weekend to meet with the other leaders and learn more about what Alpha is.

For those who do not know, Alpha is a group that meets for dinner and then has a short talk and discussion. It is on the basics of the Christian faith, but it is not just for new Christians. It is for people who are new to the Church, people who have doubts, or just anyone interested in discussion. I am really excited for this part of our time here. I had heard about Alpha and feel that it will be a great learning experience helping lead a group.

Sunday we went to the following locations: Barracks Row, Ballston, and Gala. We successfully used the metro (although last weekend I used it to visit my good friend, Emily).

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to babysit for a family with two boys (1st and 4th grade). It was so great to meet a family from NCC and hear their story. Their boys are so sweet and fun. The 1st grader would sing some really cool songs that I had never heard before, which was fun! Looking forward to getting to know them better.

Monday, September 9, 2013

First Office Day

Today I spent some time in the office with my boss, Juliet. She is awesome and I am so excited to learn more from her. She served a couple years with YWAM in Greece, Australia, and New Zealand.

The thing that excites me the most about what I am doing in DC at NCC is that it is marketplace ministry. Providing artists a place in DC to perform but also have a great experience themselves. My favorite retail job was at GFS, which felt like a family (shout out to all the awesome GFS people!) and really allowed me to see and appreciate small business owners. I love networking and that was a really great experience for that.

I have visited two of the six campuses. I went to Barrack's Row Saturday night and Kingstowne on Sunday morning. We visited Firehouse Subs right next door -- so good!

Last night I was undecided if I wanted to go to their Launch Meeting for Lincoln Theatre. I am so glad I went! It is a beautiful space with a great history. Dave led the meeting and was great at transferring ownership to others. Leaders recruited for their ministries. It was an awesome time to see how God has gifted people.

It is an exciting time to become a part of what God is doing at NCC. But the great thing about this Church is that they have a Kingdom mindset.

Side note...
ikea furniture is great... until you have to put it together. ha. Allie and I assembled our bed yesterday. Feeling accomplished (picture is of bed in process):

Got to visit my good friend, Emily. We haven't lived in the same city since high school, so it's nice to be within a reasonable distance from her again! This is a great view from her building.

Tonight on my walk to dinner at Union Pub, I noticed these beautiful purple flowers. If you know me at all, you know my favorite color is purple. What you may not know is that purple flowers are my reminder that God is good, faithful, and that He loves me.

Psalm 145.10: All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful flowers will praise you.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Staff Lunch

I forgot to mention in day one that they had a staff lunch for us at Ebenezer's. It was downstairs in the performance space and really felt like getting off a bus at Young Life camp. Music pumping, people clapping and smiling... Lots of different faces greeting you. A little overwhelming. We had District Taco and were seated around tables. I met Jennifer, Mark's assistant. She was really nice and guided me over to a table to sit with Mark and Lora. I also met Dave.

It is so clear that this church cares for the poor and missions.

I am so excited to see all that God has planned for me this year.

Our protege class is the 6th class they have had at NCC. Next Tuesday when we are all together again, I will try to get a group picture. I am blessed to serve alongside six other amazing people from across the country.

I am feeling so incredibly blessed and I would not be able to be here without the love and support of my community of friends and family. Thank you for your financial support and prayer support. It means so much to me.

Did you know...
~Capitol Hill was built on a swamp? I learned this yesterday when one of the staff members was telling a story of how she fell into a hole in the sidewalk... and it's also clear by the mosquito invasion. 
~Albert Einstein was in the 20th season of Seseme Street? Apparently this dude was in Sesame Street's opening scene. I found this out in our photo scavenger hunt around the National Mall.
~NCC plans to take 28 short term mission trips next year? I hope to go on one of them. My boss Juliet is going to Berlin in a couple of weeks to work on finishing touches for the coffeehouse NCC is opening there. So pumped that NCC has a Kingdom mindset.

DC Life

Now that I have time, I will update you on the past week.

Tuesday at 3 am, I left Michigan. Yep, 3 am. My mom is a morning person and drove for a good chunk of the trip. We also had my brother's girlfriend, Shay, in the car with us. I packed so much stuff in that car!

Great traveling companion.

You may not be able to tell, but my mom, Shay and I are in this picture in front of the Capitol building.

Right around the corner from Union Station is Ebenezer's Coffeehouse. This is where I will be spending most of my time. I will have two offices... one here and one at the main office. Part of me loves it for the nerdy reason that I will have two places to bring office supplies. ha. I also have three sets of keys for work and I already feel like a janitor jangling my keys.

My roommate Allie and me on our first day! We did not get lost!

On our way to the church office, I noticed this library and had to take a picture. I am hoping to visit there a bit.

Our first day we were greeted with homemade poptarts from Ted's Bulletin. One of the choices was peanut butter and bacon. I was the first brave soul who chowed down on one... it was actually really good.

That night we went to dinner at one of the pastor's houses. They fried cookie dough and mint oreos. 

I am so in the right place (and not just because the church staff's love language is food!).

Friday, August 23, 2013


Seems the easiest thing for me to update is my facebook group, so if you're not connected, it's JENNI B IN DC. I plan on using the blog more once I get down there.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Short Update

Just wanted to touch base about DC. I move in exactly two weeks! It's kind of unreal, but typical of how God works in my life. He doesn't usually leave me much time to freak out about things... He moves swiftly, which I think is a good thing given my personality of obsessing over things.

Housing is still to be determined. I have applied for a basement one bedroom apartment with Allie, another girl in the protege program. Hoping to hear back by Thursday if we have gotten it.

If you are considering sponsoring me financially but have not let me know, I would love to hear from you by September 1st. I move on September 3rd and will not receive anything from NCC until the third Friday of every month (the first round of donations being distributed on September 20th).

How to donate: check out the fundraising post.

"When should we start sending money?"
People can donate now. You have until September 19th in order for me to receive money in the first distribution of the donations sent into NCC. (And in case you're thinking I am going to get rich off this fundraising adventure, they have set a max of $5500/month or $66000/year. If a miracle happens of receiving over $5500 in September, the overflow will transfer over to the next month).

Monday, August 5, 2013

300 people

My goal in fundraising is $1500/month. That will include rent/utilities, food, health insurance, and transportation.

Because I am raising funds and not receiving a paycheck, I will also be saving part of what I fundraise to pay taxes on that money.

It can seem like a huge task to raise that much money per month for a year, but if 300 people gave $5 (the price of a cup of coffee) every month, that would equal the goal of $1500. It is only $60 a year per person!

You can check out this post to find ways to donate.

Thanks in advance for investing in my journey to DC and all God has planned there.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Prayer: Housing

It's hard enough to find a great roommate when you live in the town you are moving to. Trying to figure out housing from afar has been a challenge, as I am not available to check out the places or try to meet people to live with for a year. I have a great friend in VA who looked at one place, but it was rented out to a family.

Please pray for me as I search for affordable housing in DC and that God will put things together as they should be so that things will be enjoyable for the next year. I'm excited about future roommates, so I just ask that you pray for me as I try to figure out that part of my journey.

DC is more expensive than here... A two bedroom place goes for around $2000. If I could get three other girls, it would be the best living situation and affordable.



I am trying to be as cost-effective as possible with fundraising, thus the emails and sharing here on my blog. Feel free to contact me with any questions. 

Dear friends and family,

I hope this finds you well. I have some exciting news I want to share with you!

I have been accepted into the protégé program at National Community Church (NCC) and will be moving to Washington, D.C. in September. I am excited to take part in this mission year! NCC’s goal for this program is to train up emerging leaders to then send out as missionaries, ministers, and into the workplace.

I am the Events Protégé – planning, creating, and designing events at NCC’s coffeehouse, Ebenezer’s. I will staff and promote these events via social media. This position will allow me to oversee the Street Team as well, which is a group of volunteers who “hit the streets” to promote the events. I am excited about the conversations that can happen in a coffeehouse setting that creates a safe environment to have deep, meaningful conversations. Each person I will meet has a story, and I’m interested to see how God will weave our stories together in a beautiful way. 

This is an unpaid internship, and I am required to raise support for my living expenses. Will you partner with me on my journey in DC? I am looking for monthly financial supporters, although one time gifts are also appreciated. If you choose to support me financially during this mission year, I would appreciate it if you could email me as there are quite a few ways to give and it will make it easier for me to create a budget!

Tax-Deductible Ways to donate:
1. Check: made out to National Community Church with Protégé Program + Jenni Button in memo line. Mail directly to NCC, 205 F Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

2. NCC online (check/credit card): Visit and create an online account. When you click on "give", you'll see different funds. Select "protege" and then in the sub-fund dropdown, you'll see Jenni Button as an option. There is no fee if you do the ACH/EFT (online check) option. There is a 4.0% processing fee if you select the credit card option.

3. Razoo: No need to create an account, but there is a 4.9% processing fee.

Thank you for investing in my life. I am thankful that you are part of my story and can help me share the goodness and faithfulness of God to others in our Nation’s Capitol. Please contact me with any questions. Thank you so much for your prayers, support, and encouragement.

Jenni Button

Each donation is made to and for the use of National Community Church, a charitable organization under Internal Revenue Service Code Section 170(a), and is not a gift to any individual. All contributions are made with the understanding that National Community Church has full, complete discretion, control, and administration over the use of the donated funds. All donated funds will be used to carry out National Community Church's function and purposes.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Welcome to my blog!

This is where I will be sharing my experiences in DC this next year.

You can sign up for email updates.

Thanks for stopping by and I'll update again soon!