Karla has been a member of Christ Community Church since its early days in 2001. Known for her enthusiastic love for the Lord and her evangelistic gifts, when Karla was asked to teach a Yoga class in 2017, she knew that she could use it as an evangelism and discipling tool.
How long have you been enjoying Yoga? Since 2015.
How did the idea of having Yoga classes at CCC come about?
Someone from the 6:30 a.m. prayer gathering asked me if I would teach her some yoga in 2017. We started practicing together after the prayer meetings. People saw us and joined, and it slowly grew from there. Last fall, Anja asked if I would do it for LifeSchool. Now we have a nice little core of regulars.
Has the participation exceeded your expectations?
Yes. In December and January over the holiday break, we regularly had about 20 people. There were college students, youth group kids, and men and women of all ages. It was a really fun cross-section of our church.
Today, it is about 6-12 people.
What do you enjoy about serving in this capacity?
I love to see people start to notice that they are stronger. I really enjoy watching someone grow in confidence, and I love to see friendships start to develop among people who come regularly. We have some people who come mostly for the fellowship.
I also love the chance to pray and share scriptures. I take a long walk and pray before each class. He always gives me something to share!
What are some of your favorite moments from serving in Yoga?
I love when we laugh together. Someone complains about a certain stretch or pose... a little groaning and complaining is kind of funny. But everyone has learned that it only encourages me to make it a little harder! I love to see people get strong!
I love when non-Christians come for the free yoga. Angie Hollis is quite a natural evangelist, and people from her gym are always showing up saying Angie sent them! There are several who have expressed an interest in Jesus just from their time at Yoga.
We banded together to give rides to one woman and her children. Last week, we all rejoiced when she got her driver’s license. We will rejoice together again when she gets the job she needs and for which she hopes!
There is a woman from another church who comes a half hour early to be around the worship music and other believers.
But my very favorite thing is when we all spontaneously begin to worship and sing quietly as we move or stretch.
It is sweetly worshipful.
What would you tell someone who is wondering if they should get involved as a volunteer at CCC?
If there is something that you love doing or that has helped you; somewhere that you feel the Lord meets you-- consider sharing it! I think of the scene in Chariots of Fire when the runner said, “When I run, I feel God’s pleasure!” We can share those things with other people. I am not really that good at yoga. It certainly isn’t classic traditional yoga. It’s good enough to help people move, though. And people start to feel the pleasure that I have in Jesus as I move and encourage them.
I don’t need to be more than just a willing person who loves Jesus. That’s enough. That’s plenty! We can share that if we have it.
By Allen Allnoch
Dr. Grant Scarborough laughs as he tells the story of how MercyMed of Columbus acquired its name.
Scarborough founded MercyMed in 2011 after spending four years in Augusta, where he had co-founded a similar health care center “for people in all walks of life.” That facility was called Christ Community Health Services of Augusta. Thinking along those same lines when he moved back to Columbus, his hometown, he discovered another local institution already bore the name “Christ Community.”
He didn’t want to create confusion, so he decided on MercyMed for the new practice.
“So it’s pretty much your fault we have that name,” Scarborough joked as he spoke to a group visiting from Christ Community Church last Monday.
Branding issues aside, there’s only one name that really matters at MercyMed: Jesus. The entire practice is built on Him, with a mission “to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and to demonstrate His love by providing affordable, quality primary healthcare for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the underserved in Columbus, Georgia and the surrounding area.”
MercyMed seeks to treat not only physical ailments, but to care for its patients’ mental and spiritual wellbeing as well. It offers prayer and counseling services, and it has an expanding menu of specialty services that currently include dental, GYN, vision, cardio, dermatology and ultrasounds. Patients without insurance are charged on a sliding scale for as little as $30 a visit.
Scarborough holds degrees from the University of Georgia and the Mercer University School of Medicine. He completed residencies in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Tennessee-Memphis. But for all his knowledge and skill, he’s most concerned with helping people connect with God.
Faith in Jesus is not a requirement to see a MercyMed doctor or nurse. But patients will see, hear and feel the touch of the Gospel when they enter the former bank building on Second Avenue. (A second Columbus location opened on Steam Mill Road in 2014.) Scripture adorns the walls, and staff will discuss matters of faith when opportunities arise.
“I’m not the Great Physician,” Scarborough says. “I’m an OK physician. But I know the Great Physician, and that’s who we want to point people to.”
Scarborough and Billy Holbrook, MercyMed’s director of development, hosted the CCC group for lunch and a facility tour. The latter included a look at one of the newest initiatives, a community garden. MercyMed staff are growing fruits and vegetables with the goal of helping neighborhood residents improve their diet and, ultimately, their health.
The pair also shared prayer needs and volunteer opportunities. All of the following bullet points are prayer needs, and some are tangible ways CCC members and attenders can plug in. If you have an interest in giving time to Mercy Med, or have ideas or resources that would help staff fulfill their vision, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on all aspects of Mercy Med, visit mercymedcolumbus.com.
Prayer, Material and Volunteer Needs
On February 22, 1998, CCC held its first public worship service, at Arnold Middle School. Twenty years and four buildings later, this local church body has made a remarkable impact on the Chattahoochee Valley community and beyond. On Sunday evening, we gathered to celebrate what God has done in and through us over those two decades. From a look back at the story of how CCC came to be, to a look ahead and a rousing invitation for God to "COME ON," it was a joyful occasion. Click the buttons below to watch the celebration service and a compilation of memorable moments from over the years.
A look at what CCC kids and adults are doing out in the community during our June 4-8 Week of Hope outreach.
Why are we designating this particular week a “Week of Hope?” Shouldn’t we be putting our faith into action and taking hope to the world every day?
Yes we should. Loving our neighbor is a 24/7 biblical mandate, to be sure. And it’s fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit, as Pastor Keith taught in this week's Sunday message.
But just as with our Church Has Left the Building outreach last year, a ready-made outreach sometimes can be the nudge we need to get “out there” and be the hands and feet of Jesus.
And certainly any time we help “the least of these,” we are blessing someone and serving Christ himself.
Week of Hope also is a great opportunity to get to know some of our local ministry partners and get involved on an ongoing basis – organizations such as International Friendship Ministries, Heal the World Thrift Store, Open Door Community House and Sound Choices Pregnancy Clinic.
We’re working with eight ministry partners in all this week, but that’s only a small segment of the organizations we link arms with throughout the year. Visit our Around the City page for a look at all of our area partners, and click the "Contact" link if one of them stirs your heart to help.
As for Week of Hope, we’ve been comparing it to a mission trip, with a few key differences to make participation easier: 1) It’s right here in Columbus; 2) It doesn’t require hundreds of dollars in expenses; and 3) You can do it in two-hour increments – shifts at 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. each day (Monday-Thursday).
You can find all the details, including information on each partner/work project, right here. Pick a shift – or two, or more, even – and get out there!
It’s never too early to start instilling leadership lessons in young people. At Reese Road Leadership Academy, such lessons are implied in the school’s very name, and carried out on a daily basis.
Teachers make prodigious use of the Steven Covey book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and “The Leader in Me,” Franklin Covey’s whole-school transformation process, to foster principles and skills for living a fulfilled, productive life.
For the past three years, Christ Community Church has helped RRLA recognize those high-achieving students with the quarterly S.O.U.L. (Spirit of Uncommon Leadership) Awards.
Two students from each level of the K-5 school are recommended for the award by RRLA teachers and other adult leaders. The CCC staff typically hosts a ceremony for the students and their parents, with each student receiving a certificate, a written commendation from their teacher explaining why they were chosen for the award, and a framed photo.
The most recent ceremony, on Thursday, May 11, took place on campus at RRLA and followed the same format.
“We teach students the right way – the Roadrunner way – of doing things,” said Principal Katrina Collier-Long, alluding to the Reese Road mascot. “We love being able to honor them [with the S.O.U.L. Awards].”
CCC and Reese Road are part of the Greater Columbus Partners in Education (PIE) program, a joint venture of the Muscogee County School District and the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Through individual partnerships with businesses, churches and other local organizations, PIE enables schools to tap resources to meet unique needs in a student body, provide excellent educational programming, and recognize achievement.
As RRLA's Partner in Education, CCC encourages volunteer engagement from within our congregation. One upcoming opportunity is during our upcoming Week of Hope – RRLA is one of our ministry partners for this "local mission trip" initiative. But the possibilities to serve don’t stop there – the partnership is year-round, and RRLA Media Specialist Ruthie Hite says the school welcomes volunteers for one-on-one tutoring and reading to classes, as well as donations to fulfill certain material needs.
If you would like to serve with Reese Road, or for more information, email Karla Curran, CCC’s volunteer liason with the school.
The CCC Blog is a collection of writings and images from staff members and guest contributors, all pointing to the extraordinary life made possible by a relationship with Jesus.