Archive for April 2012


Not that long ago, Ryon Kaopuiki, an attendee of Northview Church’s Carmel campus, decided to say “yes.” If you ask, he can’t point to an exact time or place. The experience may have been at a Discipleship Walk that he describes as a “mountain top” or after a “go big or stay home” Bible study challenge in his Life Group; the opportunity also may have been during a conversation at Starbucks with his friend Bill. Yet at some point the links in the decision were joined and Ryon decided to say “yes” to the tug of the Holy Spirit. “Yes” to a mission trip to Ghana. “Yes” to leading a worship service with two hours notice. “Yes” to joining God where he was working. “Yes” to making sure this trip and other future mission trips were more about running what the Apostle Paul called a “good race” rather than a temporary spiritual high.

The key for Ryon is to stay obedient, keeping his focus on how God wants to use him during his daily walk of faith. For Ryon, that meant keeping a blog not only before and during his mission trip but during his “normal” life in central Indiana. What began as “ramblings about my daily attempt to move forward” has changed over the past few months to a full-throated call to live out the words of the Great Commission.

“The words ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ isn’t a suggestion, it’s a commandment,” Ryon said. “We all have the responsibility to be obedient and go, whether it is at their kid’s school, or work, or across the world.”

The blog,, has become Ryon’s testimony to the amazing grace freely given to each of us. Starting the year with the “Countdown to Ghana” blog, to a recent blog titled “Serving on a Saturday,” the focus has been on how to take the next step of obedience in faith. For Ryon, that includes a renewed effort to build relationships at work, with the students of Harrison College, and at home, especially with his children – one of whom has now committed to going on a mission trip of his own this summer.

Ryon had his share of excuses about why he should not be the one to step outside of the central Indiana “bubble” but the pull to get involved became too clear, too insistent.

“If God can use me, he can use anybody,” he said.

The blog has become a great tool for friends, family, acquaintances, and even strangers to follow Ryon’s walk of faith and how a mission trip has turned into so much more.

All you really have to do is say “yes.”

For more information on future available mission trips through Northview Church, please visit


If the sound of power tools makes you want to run out and build something, we have the perfect service opportunity for you. Even if the sound of power tools makes you want to hide in the nearest closet, believe it or not, this same project is the perfect opportunity for you, too!

Northview Church’s Carmel campus committed to building a house with Habitat for Humanity of Hamilton County (HFHHC) for the mission portion of the re.IMAGINE campaign.

Northview Church is joining forces with a group of Hamilton County United Methodist churches for the first-ever duplex to be built by Habitat for Humanity in Indiana. No skills or building experience is needed to volunteer on the build site. Many jobs are not difficult, yet they do take numerous sets of hands.

If you are willing to be hands-on for a day and follow instructions, then you are qualified. If you like to swing a hammer and work power tools, you are definitely qualified. If you like to get outside and enjoy fellowship with others while serving the community and getting a little sun, then you guessed it: you are qualified. The time is now. Ground is broken. The opportunity for you to step out to help the community is now.

Let’s build!

Every Friday and Saturday from now through July 28, Northview Church will help build on East 104th Street in HomePlace. There is space for 20 people to work each morning shift from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 20 people to work each afternoon shift from noon to 4 p.m. Volunteers can sign up for one or both shifts. During the overlap of shifts at noon, all people on-site will share lunch. To volunteer for the build, go to

Let’s serve the builders!

Volunteers must be 16 or older to participate on the work site, yet Northview has a special opportunity for families, young children and those not able to do physical labor to get involved. Each Saturday, two groups can sign up to provide lunch for those helping on the construction site. This is perfect for families who would like to serve together, as even small children can decorate lunch bags with stickers or draw pictures. Older children can make sandwiches and other lunch foods, put food in bags, and write encouraging notes for the workers…the sky is the limit! Also, children can help deliver the lunches; they are just not able to do actual work on the site. To volunteer for lunches simply go to and pick a date to sign up. Note: if the register button does not appear, that date is already taken.

Let’s make it happen!

Monica Polkow, local outreach coordinator at Northview’s Carmel campus, and Gretta Troyer, family services & volunteer coordinator for HFHHC, are working hard to coordinate this effort, and they are looking for many volunteers each weekend.

“We are excited to see re.IMAGINE in action and can’t wait to see how the Lord works in people’s hearts through this project,” Polkow said. “We are thrilled to be able to partner with Habitat for Humanity in helping create a place someone can call home. This is a great way to serve as an individual, family or life group and experience what it is to be a Good Neighbor.”

Please help us be a catalyst for change in the life of a local family. Help a family gain a stable environment to raise their children. What are you waiting for? Check your calendar. Sign up. Make a difference. You will be glad you did!

For more information and to get involved feel free to contact Monica Polkow, local outreach coordinator at Northview Church at or call 317.846.2884. You may also contact Gretta Troyer, family services & volunteer coordinator, HFHHC at or call 317.896.9423 ext. 5.


Kelli Butler’s Life Group knows what it means to “live life together.” The Butler family, attendees of Northview Church and their Life Group have been doing just that for almost four years now. So when the group found out Kelli was going to be part of Northview’s recent GO Team to Ghana, South Africa they were eager to be part of the experience.

Service is a large tenant of Kelli’s Life Group. As part of their commitment of service to others, each of the six families takes turn planning and organizing a monthly service project.

Two other members of the GO Team, Jody Dill and Traci Vermilion, had already begun making rag dolls to take with them on the trip. The team would be visiting medical clinics while in Ghana and they wanted something they could easily pack to hand out to the many children they would meet. After attending a doll-making open house, Kelli passed the idea on to her Life Group and pretty soon the ladies had met to assemble the dolls.

The dolls were very simple to make; just fold and re-fold fabric over itself until a doll shape is formed, add a colorful piece of fabric as an apron and they are done. No sewing required! Between the participating Life Group, the GO Team, and their friends and family, almost 200 dolls were packed along with medical supplies and any other small treats the team members could fit in their extra suitcase to take to the people of South Africa.

A child from Ghana holds a rag doll.

“It was such an amazing, awesome experience,” Kelli said of her mission trip. “It changed my life dramatically. I would recommend it to anyone. You go into it thinking you’re going to be such a blessing to them, but they end up blessing you.”

Kelli recalled a visit with one particular woman in the hospital named Cecelia. A few women on the team visited with her for over two hours. Cecelia was curious and had many questions about the Americans’ day-to-day lives. After the women explained their typical daily schedules, Cecelia questioned them, asking: “But when do you enjoy your family? Where is the time to simply be with them and take it all in?”

Kelli went on to explain that to the people in South Africa, family is everything.

“They have nothing by our standards. They were thrilled to receive even the smallest thing. But they know what is most important,” she said.

Kelli compared that attitude to the very materialistic mindset most of us adhere to in the United States. She said that is just one example of all she learned from the people she came to serve.

Before leaving for Ghana, Kelli’s Life Group had one more service idea up their sleeves. She received an e-mail with a prayer calendar. Every day she was gone, a different member of the group would be lifting her and the entire GO Team up in prayer. Kelli was moved to tears reading the e-mail and said she could feel the support of her Life Group while in South Africa.

“They were there with me,” she said.

For more information on future mission trips through Northview, please visit:


Despite the fact that I inhaled everything from cake to fried chicken over the weekend, I still found myself sitting in a booth at Cheesecake Factory after work last night with a girl that I’m just getting to know. Thankfully, the good Lord blessed me with self-discipline in the workout department and I ran both yesterday and today. (It should be known that I ran a couple extra miles purely out of guilt from my weekend of food gluttony.) I also only pounded down half of the cheesecake slice. It could have been worse, right?!

As I sat back from the table into the cushy seat with a full belly, I found myself fascinated by the similarities I began to have with this mere acquaintance. This was the first time that we’d ever sat alone to discuss life, love and the pursuit of happiness. We chatted about our upbringings, our jobs, our families, our hobbies and, of course, our incredible husbands. Though we largely had experienced two different walks of life and had very different ideals, when she shared about the longings of her heart, I instantly could feel her joys and sorrows as she described them.

It was then that it occurred to me that we are all on this highway of life together taking a road trip. There are those occasional intersections or rest stops along the way where we meet up and compare notes. You know the typical scenarios: “Well, about 40 miles back we had horrible construction and sat still for at least 2 hours” or “If you are looking for a good place to grab dinner, wait until you get to Exit 16. Great service! ” Our routes and modes of transportation may be different. But, along the way, we’ll find we have shared experiences when we meet at intersections and catch up.

It’s truly quite beautiful to know that we always have another person that’s probably happy, or sad, or hurting, laughing or crying at the same time that we are. It’s comforting to know that when our heart is broken, we can go out to coffee with a friend and share our pain. God designed us to relate to one another and support each other on our journeys.

Donald Miller, a favorite author of mine, wrote, “Every life is a story. Whether it is a story worth telling and talking about, though, is up to you. People set out with grand dreams of changing the world, falling in love, doing something amazing…What about you?”

I don’t recommend that you go out and indulge yourself in mass food consumption like I mistakenly did over the weekend. However, I fully endorse you getting out there to meet people and make time for those you already know. Make a new friend over coffee. Hear an old friend’s story over dinner. Go on a walk and talk with your siblings. Call up your parents and fill them in on your plans for the week. You never know what another person might be going through and how much it could relate to the path on which you travel.

Friends, pay close attention to those people that you find yourself stopping at the rest areas of life with because chances are good that your lives intersected for a reason.

The Tuesday Spiritual Column is entirely the opinion of this week’s writer and does not necessarily reflect the view of Northview Church as a whole.


Who has the hottest outfit? How much neon is too much? Should I buy the TOMS or the Top-Siders to complete the look? Fashion is an area for teen girls where following the crowd is easy, especially when provocative choices are even pushed by retailers today, and several ongoing trends are not exactly modest.

Since the Mother-Daughter Mall Mayhem event hit Northview Church’s Carmel campus in March, chances are good that 101 young ladies and their mothers now look at shopping and fashion differently. These seventh- to 12th-grade girls and their mothers converged on North Beach to have a fashionable afternoon of mother-daughter bonding and retail therapy – just in time for spring break shopping.

Sometimes meaningful conversations between parents and their teens are difficult, so when the fun began with a game and photo booth, those in attendance were able to let loose and get a little silly. Mothers and daughters enjoyed lunch together, complete with questions on their placemats to ask one another to open lines of communication. Each table had a team name, and after lunch, those six to eight people joined forces at the mall on a scavenger hunt of epic fashionable proportions.

While at the mall, there were several tasks to quickly complete. Amid plenty of laughter, daughters chose outfits for their mothers and mothers chose outfits for their daughters. They found cute (but appropriate) swimwear and hunted hastily for locations in the mall shown to them by photos. The team that accomplished the most of the scavenger hunt was the winner, and that was Dream Team No. 1.

This first-time event was a smashing success, as was the fabulous speaker and special guest for the event, Brenda Sharman. Sharman is the founding national director for the international faith-based organization called Pure Fashion. She has modeled for 20 years and competed successfully in numerous pageants, including winning the title of Miss Georgia USA. She is passionate about promoting change in our culture with the “Modesty Movement.”

Sharman spoke about dressing fashionably without sacrificing modesty and stressed that it is possible to be pretty without being provocative. Sharman asked the girls a question that resonated with many in attendance. “Do you want to be considered a toy or a treasure?” A toy is disposable; something or someone to throw away when the next best thing comes along, and a treasure is of high value, to be treated with respect.

“As a mother, I enjoyed spending time with my daughter Emily, seeing the smiles on her face and building relationships with other daughters and mothers,” said Liz Jewell, the high school associate for Northview Students. “We had fun being silly together. As a staff person, it was nice to see it all come together. Mothers and daughters were able to leave with a better understanding of one another.”

Mothers and daughters gathered at North Beach for lunch and to listen to guest speaker Brenda Sharman discuss dressing modestly.

Amanda Degler, Northview Students junior high associate, said she was also pleased with the event.

“Mall Mayhem was a great opportunity for mothers and daughters to spend quality time together to talk about how modesty affects how people perceive them,” she said. “We are looking forward to another mother-daughter event next year.”

The hope is that following Mall Mayhem, the girls who attended will remember some great nuggets of information to share with their friends next time they go shopping, and maybe they’ll have an extra dose of self -confidence as well.

For more information about Pure Fashion or Brenda Sharman, visit


EMF broadcasting Christian network radio station K-LOVE and sixstepsrecords partnered with David Crowder Band in February to help fight hunger and poverty by creating awareness and supporting local food drive efforts with Souper Bowl of Caring.

Following a live network broadcast nationwide with the partnership of local host churches, Crowder performed an evening acoustic concert where admission was a nonperishable food item. More than 10,000 people were involved in the four-day stretch of sold out shows in multiple cities across the country where over 53,000 pounds of food was given to support the cause.

Brookside Community Church was one of the churches in Indianapolis blessed through the partnership to obtain donations for its pantry from the concert – they received eight pallets of canned goods. Brookside pantry organizer and Northview Church member Tom Borek thought it befitting to share with other local churches to ensure the abundance of food reached the masses.

Volunteers from Northview's Carmel campus helped deliver food that was donated during the David Crowder food drive in March 2012.

Borek made arrangements for the food to be delivered to Safeway United Van Lines and found volunteers to help bring food into the pantry areas. Considering his huge desire to share, there were many questions to ask Tom:

1.) How did you find volunteers?

A.) Brookside Community Church (BCC) is the recipient of donations from Midwest Food Bank once a month. Midwest handled the donations from the event and brought the donations to their warehouse and volunteers separated them. Donations were then brought to Safeway United Van Lines where they stayed a week in storage until we could coordinate volunteers to help at the BCC pantry.

Northview teens travel to BCC on Thursdays to help with an afterschool program; during this time they brought enough volunteers to help with food donations. Board member and Northview member Ed Hart owns a company that graciously allowed for transportation and storage for the BCC ministry. Without this transportation, we could not pick up food bank donations.

2. What other pantries will be receiving food that you are sharing?

A.) Edna Martin Christian Center and St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church. St. Luke just started a pantry, so this is a wonderful blessing to begin this ministry.

3. What inspired you to work with Brookside Community Church’s pantry?

A.) I was just filling a need. God calls us to serve the oppressed, the poor and those in prison. I made myself available to serve where there was a void and He changed my heart. That was three years ago and He is still molding me.

4. Who are the people receiving the food?

A.) The people of the Brookside community. We serve among 60 to 75 families each week. Distribution is on Sunday mornings after service. The requirements are to sign up for the pantry with your ID and stay for worship service. We give enough food for a family for one day. We supply them with a breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, drink and chips. We also supply personal hygiene products when we have them in stock. We have an abundance of feminine products, but we have a greater need for deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, bath soap and toilet paper.

Brookside’s food pantry has also partnered with Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and their youth/young adult programs to ensure that young ladies in the program receive a snack. The girls of the program are 13- to 19-year-olds who attend the following high schools: Arlington, Tech, Broad Ripple, and Indiana National Guard Youth Challenge Academy.


After being treated for cancer as a child, Mark Cannon decided he would rather put the memory of the disease behind him. Yet today he is a passionate advocate for cancer fundraising and research.

The Fishers resident, who attends Northview Church’s Carmel campus, credits his tireless enthusiasm for volunteering to returning to church and opening himself up to God to discover his spiritual gifts.

Cannon grew up attending Catholic school in Evansville. He had been baptized and confirmed, however he said he never felt connected to God. He stopped attending church after completing law school and did not return to another church until he was invited by a Christian coworker.

In the beginning, he attended Northview once or twice a month until he decided to attend Alpha.

“The turning point for me in my spiritual journey was Alpha,” Cannon said. “I really began to understand what Christianity was about, and it lit a fire under me. I read the Bible and learned what faith was all about.”

Mark Cannon

His journey continued as he joined a Life Group and attended classes with Northview University. Cannon was rapidly learning all he could, but it wasn’t until he began to go through some hard personal times that he developed a deep relationship with Christ.

“During that time, I leaned on God and things started to grow in my life,” Cannon said. “I realized how closed off I was with people and God. I unlocked the spiritual side I hadn’t had before and I began to experience real relationships with other people. I read ‘The Purpose Driven Life’ and learned why I was here and what my purpose was. God led me to the American Cancer Society; it was the first volunteer experience I had that I felt connected to.”

As a volunteer with the nonprofit health organization, Cannon met with Congress to lobby for additional research for cancer in its early stages. He used personal stories of those affected by cancer to persuade the legislature. In addition, he has worked toward trying to get Indiana and its workplaces to go smoke-free.

Last year, Cannon formed a team for Relay For Life, a fundraising opportunity for the American Cancer Society. Relay For Life is a 24-hour event held one day each year; teams are formed of individuals who may walk or run for typically one or two hours per shift. The goal is to have at least one different walker or runner per team participating for the duration of the event. The event is 24 hours long because, according to Cannon, “cancer never sleeps.”

This year’s Relay For Life will be held June 30 at Holland Park in Fishers. Those who are interested in participating may contact Mark Cannon via phone at 317.514.6649 or e-mail

Cannon encourages those unaware of what spiritual gifts they possess to take the S.H.A.P.E. class through Northview and look outside the box for ways to use them.

“There are opportunities in and out of church,” he said. “Everyone has a passion, whether it’s working with charities, sports or secular organizations.”

The next S.H.A.P.E. class is a part of Northview University and starts on Thursday, April 19, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Northview’s Carmel campus. Please register at For more information, please contact Stan Killebrew at

  • Lynn Griffith: Yes... He is everywhere and in everything. I am thankful for that.
  • Kelly Stewart: Thanks for sharing!!!!! I love how God is always present in our everyday lives teaching us and filling us!!!!! And using us to bless others…
  • Teri Knapp: I agree. I hope you realize what an impact you have had on people, not because of your amazing voice, but because we can see your passion for Christ t
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