Sundays at 9:00 AM & 10:30 AM Online Worship 10:30

Latest News

News & Updates From The Water’s Edge

June 14, 2020

Return To In-Person Worship Announcement

June 11, 2020

Swamp Oak and Sycamore Trees

 I’m sitting in my backyard as I write this. It’s early in the morning. I’m burning some wood I’ve gathered from the common area behind my house to take some of the chill out of the cool morning air. I’m looking at two trees I planted, or at least had the nursery plant on my behalf, about five or six years ago.

 One is a sycamore tree. My grandparents, Adolf and Elva, had a giant one in their front yard. They lived about a block north of me. I always loved the huge leaves. The tree is unique too. The bark shreds and has this wonderful light color to it. The two trees were the same size when planted. The sycamore tree is easily twice as large as the other tree and has even surpassed the more mature maples on both sides of it. It is a great tree and I’m glad I get to look at it every day.

The other tree is a swamp oak. It is the smallest of the dozen or so trees in our yard. It slowly climbs toward the sky. It is developing deep roots preparing for the violent storms and harsh winters it will experience over the next century. No acorns yet. The swamp oak waits thirty years or so. It focuses on health and then, when it is ready, shares its fruit with the world. The tree can live 300 years. It will, one day, be the biggest tree in the yard—60 feet tall and 75 feet from side to side. A more beautiful tree doesn’t exist.

The Water’s Edge was planted about 15 years ago as a swamp oak and not a sycamore. Nothing against the sycamore. They are great. But each year, WE have developed deeper roots and steadily grown. A day will come when WE plant new churches. WE will serve our part of the city for generations to come. If you are reading this, most likely you have played a role in helping The Water’s Edge develop deep roots in our community. You have prayed, given, served, related, led, and loved. Some seasons have seen growth and prosperity. WE have survived some tough seasons as well. I believe, and I believe you believe, that for The Water’s Edge—the best is yet to come.

Pray for Morgan

Morgan Coil is one of the missionaries WE support. She grew up at The Water’s Edge and now serves in Nicaragua with Amigos for Christ. Morgan is doing great ministry. She works in communications, leads teams, shares the Gospel, and leads an initiative to bring fresh water to the area. In April, WE supported Morgan with a $5,000 gift. This week I want us to pray for her. For her growth as a follower of Jesus, for her development as a leader, and for her to be used by God as a continued blessing to people in Nicaragua.

 

Lunch and Learn

Every weekday at noon, one of the staff people is hosting a Lunch + Learn at www.facebook.com/weomaha. WE are talking about the daily Bible reading from the Book of Acts during lunch. I led the Bible Study yesterday and had so much fun. The Bible reading schedule is located at www.weomaha.com/ignite. I hope you will join us—it is a great way to experience Christ’s nourishment during the week!

 

May 31st Financial Report

May was consistent with the rest of 2020—you all practiced visionary and sacrificial generosity. Our giving for May was 113% of our budget. Our staff and leadership team have been working diligently to manage expenses. Our expenses for the year are 91% of budget.

 WE head into the summer in a strong financial position. As WE transition to opening our building on Sunday mornings, WE are committed to continue doing online worship with excellence to serve COVID-19 vulnerable people. WE also anticipate offering additional worship times so that WE can accommodate our people and our community with low-density worship. This is a great opportunity for us, but will also create additional expenses.

WE will be sending out a more detailed financial report with your year-to-date giving statements next week.

Visit www.weomaha.com/give to set up recurring giving. Contact jennie@weomaha.com if you need help or have questions. WE still accept checks and cash too: 19600 Harrison Street, Gretna, NE 68028.

 

High School Senior Trip

 This has been a tough year for high school seniors who just graduated. Spring activities, Prom, graduation—they were all cancelled. Lots of anxiety about college starting in the fall. For the seniors who were signed up for the mission trip, WE are taking a road trip to Colorado where the students and their leaders will go whitewater rafting, hike with llamas, and do a high ropes course. I’m grateful The Water’s Edge is doing this for this group of students.

 

Blood Drive Results

WE hosted a blood drive yesterday. Over 60 people donated blood. Thanks to all of you who participated. You are a blessing to our community!

 

Re-Opening Team Meeting

WE will continue with online-only worship this Sunday. I will be making an announcement on Sunday morning when WE are going to be resuming in-person worship. WE have a few more details to work through in the next day or two, but for those of you who want to be back worshipping at The Water’s Edge—I will be sharing good news.

 

Prayer Service Tonight

WE are praying again tonight (Thursday) at 8:00. WE will gather online to pray and worship. We will be working through 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Join us tonight at www.facebook.com/weomaha or www.youtube.com/weomaha.

 In Christ,

Craig

June 4, 2020

 

Re-Opening Team Meeting

 Our reopening team met for the first time on Tuesday night. A few churches our size are opening this weekend. We aren’t quite there yet. We talked about service times, masks, seating, music, sterilization, and volunteers.

Some in our congregation want to wait for a while until medical leaders know more. Some of us wanted to reopen a few weeks ago. I get that. Here is what I promise:

  1. The staff will continue to make the worship experience engaging to our online congregation. Those who don’t feel comfortable returning to in-person worship—you are an essential part of our congregation and you will be valued.
  2. The re-opening team will work with staff and volunteers to make sure in-person worship is safe. The word “sanctuary” means refuge and safe place. We will ensure such is the case.

I am hoping to have a date when live, in-person worship will begin in next week’s update.

Dealing with Disappointment

This Sunday I’ll be talking about dealing with disappointment. As a Husker football fan, I’ve become quite an expert on the subject in the last twenty years. I have observed in recent months that many of us are disappointed with the effects of the pandemic and with race relations. Earlier this week it was a bit surreal to be in a pandemic and also under a curfew.

Painful moments will exist in your life. These moments will change you. Don’t allow these moments to make you somebody you are not. Let these moments make you more generous, more kind, and more empathetic.

Five Things We Can All Do Tomorrow

  1. Encourage somebody. Especially somebody who looks or thinks different than us. Invest time and energy building somebody up.
  2. Limit your intake of news and social media. When you are on social media, be kind and respectful.
  3. Don’t go through this season alone. Share your feelings with a friend. Be authentic and vulnerable.
  4. Do something outside. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Work in the yard. Sit on a bench.
  5. Pray. Pray for healing and hope. Pray for peace and patience.

 Prayer Service Tonight

Speaking of praying—WE are praying again tonight (Thursday) at 8:00. WE will gather online to pray and worship. Join us tonight at www.facebook.com/weomaha or www.youtube.com/weomaha.

Our world has significantly changed in the last week, again. WE will be praying tonight! 

A Critical Shortage of Blood

The nation is short on blood right now. WE are hosting another blood drive on Wednesday, June 10th from 10:30 to 4:30. Most of the slots are still available. Register to give at https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=watersedge. If you haven’t given before or if it has been a while, this is an easy way for us to serve our community.

Money Matters

Each week I am amazed and grateful for your generosity. WE had another family give us their stimulus check this week. Such a visionary and bold gift. Thank you all for being so financially faithful during these challenging times. Simple words like “thank you” don’t seem like enough.

Visit www.weomaha.com/give to set up recurring giving. Contact jennie@weomaha.com if you need help or have questions. WE still accept checks and cash too: 19600 Harrison Street, Gretna, NE 68028.

A Lesson from a Dead French Guy

A young Frenchman visited the United States 185 years ago. He turned out to be the keenest observer of democracy in American history. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: “America is great because America is good. If America ever stops being good, it will stop being great.”

I can’t do certain things: enact justice to a killer, prevent looting, stop violence, or censor hate on social media. I can do something though. I can be good and do good. And if enough of us be good and do good then America can be great again.

I can pray about what good looks like. For me it starts there as I don’t think much good happens apart from God.

I can listen to others. Especially people different from me. I can learn and understand and try to embrace what good looks like to them.

And I can be good and do good. Practice patience. Be kind. Offer forgiveness. Be generous. Give encouragement. Be tolerant. Disagree with somebody and still respect them. Be humble and know I may not be right. Pray for people I don’t understand. Be a servant. Seek peace.

Jesus said something like: “I leave you with this one command. Love each other like I have loved you.” It’s no easy task and Jesus doesn’t pretend otherwise, but you get the sense if you can pull it off, life won’t be just good or great—it will be something a whole lot better.

de Tocqueville also wrote: “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” We have a lot of work to do. I can’t start with anybody other than me so I think I’ll do that beginning right now.

In Christ,

Craig

 

 

May, 28, 2020

 

 

Eating Fudge and Climbing Mountains

Benjamin and I climbed Mt. Lemmon last Friday. The day started in Omaha and twelve hours later we were 9,159 feet above sea level overlooking Tucson, Arizona. Don’t think we are some amazing rock climbers or endurance athletes. We drove most of the way and hiked the last mile or so. The highlight of the trip was not reaching the top—that was fairly uneventful. It was just the two of us up there. Lots of rock and the big city below us. We didn’t stay long, it was cold and windy.

The highlight was the trip itself. Stopping dozens of times to take photos. Experiencing the temperature drop from the mid 90s to the mid 50s. Driving on the steep and curvy mountain passes. Eating four flavors of fudge at this little general store. Seeing the cactuses disappear and pine trees replacing them. Getting lost and finding our way again. Six hours I wish I could do over. 

I think it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote something like: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Turns out he was right. Enjoy the journey. 

The Body and the Blood of Christ Given for You 

I said those words hundreds of times yesterday. It was great seeing many of you, praying with you, and serving you communion yesterday. We were busy and backed-up most of the three hours we were outside. It was a joy serving many who had never been to our church before. A reporter came from Channel 3 news and did a story on us. We gladly served her communion too. On behalf of the staff—the hour and a half during lunch and the ninety minutes before dinner were our favorite moments yesterday. Thanks for stopping by.

Re-Opening Team Formed 

At our leadership team meeting on Tuesday night, we created a Re-Opening team. I also invited the leadership team and their families to attend worship on Sunday morning at 9:00 so they could experience online worship in person and be equipped to make wise decisions regarding re-opening. The re-opening team will be meeting for the first time early next week. 

Some of us want to wait for a while until medical leaders know more. Some of us wanted to reopen a few weeks ago. I get that. Here is what I promise: 

  1. The staff will continue to make the worship experience engaging to our online congregation. Those who don’t feel comfortable returning to in-person worship—you are an essential part of our congregation and you will be valued.
  2. The re-opening team will work with staff and volunteers to make sure in-person worship is safe. The word “sanctuary” means refuge and safe place. We will ensure such is the case. 

I’ll have another update next week. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive 

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich was my favorite growing up. Skippy crunchy and grandma Elva’s strawberry-rhubarb preserves on rye bread was my favorite. Benjamin and David don’t like peanut butter. I feel I have failed as a parent. Anyway, WE are in the middle of a Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive that ends this Sunday, May 31st. You can bring the food to the church on Sunday from 8:00 to 11:45. You can also drop it off today from 9:00 to 4:30. Or you can bring it to the prayer service tonight. Staff is usually here from 7:00 to 9:00. If you come between 8:00 and 9:00 tonight and want to watch the prayer service live—feel free to find a spot in the sanctuary. All the peanut butter and jelly will be given to Together Omaha and they will distribute the goods to food insecure families in our city. 

Prayer Service Tonight 

WE are praying again tonight (Thursday) at 8:00. WE will gather online to pray and worship. If you haven’t experienced a prayer service yet, join us tonight at www.facebook.com/weomaha or www.youtube.com/weomaha.

WE will be looking at seven short prayers. Sometimes, the best prayers aren’t the longest or the most eloquent, but the most succinct and simple. Consider praying these prayers regularly. 

  1. Thank You for…
  2. I’m sorry for…
  3. Let me more fully receive Your grace.
  4. Give me faith.
  5. Help me to prioritize.
  6. Let me give to others generously, with compassion, without judging, and with no strings attached.
  7. Use me Lord!

Cars Lined Up on Leavenworth Street 

WE provided $2,000 this week to Together Omaha. If you are hearing of dozens of cars being backed up on Leavenworth Street to get food—this is the place. I received the following note yesterday from Mike Hornacek, Together’s President and CEO.

Craig –

Thanks so much for your continued partnership! It has been unbelievable to see the amount of need. I don’t have words to accurately describe what we have been experiencing yet. By the end of next week, we will have served as many people through the pantry as we did in all of 2019. That is 42,000 people in 57 days!

While I am so saddened to see the need and the struggles people are going through, I am also so grateful to our community and how they have responded. Without this support, we would not be able to keep up.

Have a great day!

Mike 

Your financial generosity is feeding people in Omaha. Thank you Water’s Edge family!

Honoring Our High School Graduates

WE surprised all the high school graduates last weekend by placing a personalized yard sign in the front of their houses. It’s a tough year to be a senior who graduated with all the cancelations this spring and all the uncertainty next fall. One of our first Sundays back, WE will honor these young men and women. To all the graduates and their families: Congratulations!

A Critical Shortage of Blood

The nation is short on blood right now. WE are hosting another blood drive on Wednesday, June 10th from 10:30 to 4:30. Most of the slots are still available. Register to give at https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=watersedge. If you haven’t given before or if it has been a while, this is an easy way for us to serve our community.

Money Matters

Thank you for your generosity. WE continue to be an exception for churches and non-profits and remain financially healthy.

Many of you are converting to recurring giving. It is easier for the donor and good for the church. Here are the three ways to do it:

  1. Electronic Funds Transfer (this is the best option for the church
  2. Recurring online giving
  3. Recurring giving in your bill pay options offered by your bank

Visit www.weomaha.com/give to set up recurring giving. Contact jennie@weomaha.com if you need help or have questions.

WE still accept checks too: 19600 Harrison Street, Gretna, NE 68028.

I recognize that some of you are being adversely impacted financially by the effects of COVID-19. Let me know if this is the case. I’d love to listen to you and pray with you.

In Christ,

Craig

June 4, 2020

 

Re-Opening Team Meeting

 Our reopening team met for the first time on Tuesday night. A few churches our size are opening this weekend. We aren’t quite there yet. We talked about service times, masks, seating, music, sterilization, and volunteers.

Some in our congregation want to wait for a while until medical leaders know more. Some of us wanted to reopen a few weeks ago. I get that. Here is what I promise:

  1. The staff will continue to make the worship experience engaging to our online congregation. Those who don’t feel comfortable returning to in-person worship—you are an essential part of our congregation and you will be valued.
  2. The re-opening team will work with staff and volunteers to make sure in-person worship is safe. The word “sanctuary” means refuge and safe place. We will ensure such is the case.

I am hoping to have a date when live, in-person worship will begin in next week’s update.

Dealing with Disappointment

This Sunday I’ll be talking about dealing with disappointment. As a Husker football fan, I’ve become quite an expert on the subject in the last twenty years. I have observed in recent months that many of us are disappointed with the effects of the pandemic and with race relations. Earlier this week it was a bit surreal to be in a pandemic and also under a curfew.

Painful moments will exist in your life. These moments will change you. Don’t allow these moments to make you somebody you are not. Let these moments make you more generous, more kind, and more empathetic.

Five Things We Can All Do Tomorrow

  1. Encourage somebody. Especially somebody who looks or thinks different than us. Invest time and energy building somebody up.
  2. Limit your intake of news and social media. When you are on social media, be kind and respectful.
  3. Don’t go through this season alone. Share your feelings with a friend. Be authentic and vulnerable.
  4. Do something outside. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Work in the yard. Sit on a bench.
  5. Pray. Pray for healing and hope. Pray for peace and patience.

 Prayer Service Tonight

Speaking of praying—WE are praying again tonight (Thursday) at 8:00. WE will gather online to pray and worship. Join us tonight at www.facebook.com/weomaha or www.youtube.com/weomaha.

Our world has significantly changed in the last week, again. WE will be praying tonight! 

A Critical Shortage of Blood

The nation is short on blood right now. WE are hosting another blood drive on Wednesday, June 10th from 10:30 to 4:30. Most of the slots are still available. Register to give at https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=watersedge. If you haven’t given before or if it has been a while, this is an easy way for us to serve our community.

Money Matters

Each week I am amazed and grateful for your generosity. WE had another family give us their stimulus check this week. Such a visionary and bold gift. Thank you all for being so financially faithful during these challenging times. Simple words like “thank you” don’t seem like enough.

Visit www.weomaha.com/give to set up recurring giving. Contact jennie@weomaha.com if you need help or have questions. WE still accept checks and cash too: 19600 Harrison Street, Gretna, NE 68028.

A Lesson from a Dead French Guy

A young Frenchman visited the United States 185 years ago. He turned out to be the keenest observer of democracy in American history. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: “America is great because America is good. If America ever stops being good, it will stop being great.”

I can’t do certain things: enact justice to a killer, prevent looting, stop violence, or censor hate on social media. I can do something though. I can be good and do good. And if enough of us be good and do good then America can be great again.

I can pray about what good looks like. For me it starts there as I don’t think much good happens apart from God.

I can listen to others. Especially people different from me. I can learn and understand and try to embrace what good looks like to them.

And I can be good and do good. Practice patience. Be kind. Offer forgiveness. Be generous. Give encouragement. Be tolerant. Disagree with somebody and still respect them. Be humble and know I may not be right. Pray for people I don’t understand. Be a servant. Seek peace.

Jesus said something like: “I leave you with this one command. Love each other like I have loved you.” It’s no easy task and Jesus doesn’t pretend otherwise, but you get the sense if you can pull it off, life won’t be just good or great—it will be something a whole lot better.

de Tocqueville also wrote: “The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.” We have a lot of work to do. I can’t start with anybody other than me so I think I’ll do that beginning right now.

In Christ,

Craig

 

 

May, 28, 2020

 

 

Eating Fudge and Climbing Mountains

Benjamin and I climbed Mt. Lemmon last Friday. The day started in Omaha and twelve hours later we were 9,159 feet above sea level overlooking Tucson, Arizona. Don’t think we are some amazing rock climbers or endurance athletes. We drove most of the way and hiked the last mile or so. The highlight of the trip was not reaching the top—that was fairly uneventful. It was just the two of us up there. Lots of rock and the big city below us. We didn’t stay long, it was cold and windy.

The highlight was the trip itself. Stopping dozens of times to take photos. Experiencing the temperature drop from the mid 90s to the mid 50s. Driving on the steep and curvy mountain passes. Eating four flavors of fudge at this little general store. Seeing the cactuses disappear and pine trees replacing them. Getting lost and finding our way again. Six hours I wish I could do over. 

I think it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote something like: “Life is a journey, not a destination.” Turns out he was right. Enjoy the journey. 

The Body and the Blood of Christ Given for You 

I said those words hundreds of times yesterday. It was great seeing many of you, praying with you, and serving you communion yesterday. We were busy and backed-up most of the three hours we were outside. It was a joy serving many who had never been to our church before. A reporter came from Channel 3 news and did a story on us. We gladly served her communion too. On behalf of the staff—the hour and a half during lunch and the ninety minutes before dinner were our favorite moments yesterday. Thanks for stopping by.

Re-Opening Team Formed 

At our leadership team meeting on Tuesday night, we created a Re-Opening team. I also invited the leadership team and their families to attend worship on Sunday morning at 9:00 so they could experience online worship in person and be equipped to make wise decisions regarding re-opening. The re-opening team will be meeting for the first time early next week. 

Some of us want to wait for a while until medical leaders know more. Some of us wanted to reopen a few weeks ago. I get that. Here is what I promise: 

  1. The staff will continue to make the worship experience engaging to our online congregation. Those who don’t feel comfortable returning to in-person worship—you are an essential part of our congregation and you will be valued.
  2. The re-opening team will work with staff and volunteers to make sure in-person worship is safe. The word “sanctuary” means refuge and safe place. We will ensure such is the case. 

I’ll have another update next week. 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive 

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich was my favorite growing up. Skippy crunchy and grandma Elva’s strawberry-rhubarb preserves on rye bread was my favorite. Benjamin and David don’t like peanut butter. I feel I have failed as a parent. Anyway, WE are in the middle of a Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive that ends this Sunday, May 31st. You can bring the food to the church on Sunday from 8:00 to 11:45. You can also drop it off today from 9:00 to 4:30. Or you can bring it to the prayer service tonight. Staff is usually here from 7:00 to 9:00. If you come between 8:00 and 9:00 tonight and want to watch the prayer service live—feel free to find a spot in the sanctuary. All the peanut butter and jelly will be given to Together Omaha and they will distribute the goods to food insecure families in our city. 

Prayer Service Tonight 

WE are praying again tonight (Thursday) at 8:00. WE will gather online to pray and worship. If you haven’t experienced a prayer service yet, join us tonight at www.facebook.com/weomaha or www.youtube.com/weomaha.

WE will be looking at seven short prayers. Sometimes, the best prayers aren’t the longest or the most eloquent, but the most succinct and simple. Consider praying these prayers regularly. 

  1. Thank You for…
  2. I’m sorry for…
  3. Let me more fully receive Your grace.
  4. Give me faith.
  5. Help me to prioritize.
  6. Let me give to others generously, with compassion, without judging, and with no strings attached.
  7. Use me Lord!

Cars Lined Up on Leavenworth Street 

WE provided $2,000 this week to Together Omaha. If you are hearing of dozens of cars being backed up on Leavenworth Street to get food—this is the place. I received the following note yesterday from Mike Hornacek, Together’s President and CEO.

Craig –

Thanks so much for your continued partnership! It has been unbelievable to see the amount of need. I don’t have words to accurately describe what we have been experiencing yet. By the end of next week, we will have served as many people through the pantry as we did in all of 2019. That is 42,000 people in 57 days!

While I am so saddened to see the need and the struggles people are going through, I am also so grateful to our community and how they have responded. Without this support, we would not be able to keep up.

Have a great day!

Mike 

Your financial generosity is feeding people in Omaha. Thank you Water’s Edge family!

Honoring Our High School Graduates

WE surprised all the high school graduates last weekend by placing a personalized yard sign in the front of their houses. It’s a tough year to be a senior who graduated with all the cancelations this spring and all the uncertainty next fall. One of our first Sundays back, WE will honor these young men and women. To all the graduates and their families: Congratulations!

A Critical Shortage of Blood

The nation is short on blood right now. WE are hosting another blood drive on Wednesday, June 10th from 10:30 to 4:30. Most of the slots are still available. Register to give at https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=watersedge. If you haven’t given before or if it has been a while, this is an easy way for us to serve our community.

Money Matters

Thank you for your generosity. WE continue to be an exception for churches and non-profits and remain financially healthy.

Many of you are converting to recurring giving. It is easier for the donor and good for the church. Here are the three ways to do it:

  1. Electronic Funds Transfer (this is the best option for the church
  2. Recurring online giving
  3. Recurring giving in your bill pay options offered by your bank

Visit www.weomaha.com/give to set up recurring giving. Contact jennie@weomaha.com if you need help or have questions.

WE still accept checks too: 19600 Harrison Street, Gretna, NE 68028.

I recognize that some of you are being adversely impacted financially by the effects of COVID-19. Let me know if this is the case. I’d love to listen to you and pray with you.

In Christ,

Craig

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