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July 2007
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September 2007

So it begins...



Tomorrow is a big day in the Cullen house...big day...Sydney starts preschool.  Just a couple days a week, but this is a BIG deal around here.  Sydney is my little pal.  We have had quite the journey over the last 3 years - Atlanta, NYC, now Hilton Head - she has been my little go-with-the-flow buddy and has loved every minute of her first 3 years of life.  So it begins..the growing up and the letting go...of course, she's fine - she can't wait!  I, on the other hand, am going to need a grande white chocolate mocha and one big muffin after we drop her off with a box of tissue on the side.  I'm not crying because I don't want her to go.  I'm crying because of how sweet it has been to be with her everyday and I'm overwhelmed with the memories thus far. I'm so honored that God chose me to be Sydney's mom. 

Seacoast Church

Todd and I visited 2 multi-sites of Seacoast Church this weekend in Columbia, SC. The original campus is located in Charleston and we visited there back in May. We wanted to see how well the values, excellence, and the flavor of the original campus translated to the video venues they have started down the coast. They have 2 video venues in Columbia - East Columbia and Irmo. Both venues were terrific - each having their own flavor but very much displaying the DNA of the original campus in Charleston. The music and the service were great - the children's areas where top notch on both campuses. Todd and I have been overwhelmed from our first visit in May to the original campus to talk with Jason Surat who is on staff there to each of these campus pastors being so helpful and eager to encourage us as we start our church campus. We have never met such a large system of churches where everyone seems to be so "kingdom" minded about church planting (i.e. - non-competitive and so eager to be of any assistance). These 2 campuses in Columbia are about 15 minutes a part from each other! We start in 2 weeks with our preview service and Todd I are nervous, excited, stressed, prayerful, anxious, and all around geeked up about being a part of a new church campus on the Island. This weekend really energized us and also reminded us of the importance of trusting God. Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct Your paths." That sums it up for us right now!

Our new church campus got press!

Check out this great article inTHE ISLAND PACKET about our new church campus on the Island! 

Click here to read the entire article...

"...The decision was much more missional than it was out of needing seats and parking spaces," said Todd Cullen, who was recruited by Cranston to serve as the Hilton Head campus pastor. "It's about going to the community on the island and not asking the community to come to us."

For now, Cullen said the Hilton Head campus will meet at The Seventh Day Adventist Church located off Park Lane, near the U.S. 278 entrance of Shipyard. Since Seventh Day Adventist observes the Sabbath on Saturdays, the church is allowing LowCountry Community to rent its facilities from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

As campus pastor, Cullen will "host" each service and organize pastoral care on the island. Announcements, music and fellowship will be live, but the sermon will be delivered by Cranston on video screens, rather than communicated in person..."

Church and Hootie?



Last night, LowCountry Community (our new church) had over 100 volunteers at THE Summer concert featuring Hootie and the Blowfish at Honey Horn here on the Island.  We parked cars, cooked and served barbecue,hosted a putting contest, and passed out rave cards letting everyone know about the new campus starting this fall.  The heat index being what it was (over 100), I ran errands for the event and stayed home with the kids that night.  Todd said that it was an awesome opportunity to serve the community and everyone had a blast!

Creators of culture

Updated: 2:14 p.m. ET July 27, 2007

MILAN, Italy - "There are no crosses in Makoto Fujimura’s paintings. No images of Jesus gazing into the distance, or serene scenes of churches in a snow-cloaked wood. Fujimura’s abstract works speak to his evangelical Christian faith. But to find it takes some digging."

This is a FABULOUS article!  I had the privilege of learning from Mako personally through IAM and really being exposed to this convergance that is taking place with Christians and the arts. My 18 months living in NYC forever changed my outlook on arts, the church, and the culture. Mako and his faith were a huge part of that process for me.

To read the entire article, click here.

Creative Space


I have been struck lately at how important these 2 little words are to me...When I have some very focused time by myself to gather my thoughts, journal, walk through a bookstore, drink coffee and think, it AMAZES me how it turns on the fire hydrant of creativity!  I get worried sometimes that I may not have any new ideas or that my creative juices are worn out (I have been a part of the creative planning of church services as an adult for about 15 years, but really even before that when my dad was a pastor in the 80's).  Through the trends and through alot of failed attempts at "being cool", I was reminded during some"creative space" this past week of the importance of authenticity. That is what I long for when I worship God.  I can create the most out-of-the-box, outlandish, trendy, on-the-edge video or song or whatever to enhance the worship experience - but if I am not authentic, it's just "smoke and mirrors." (Thank you, Jerome Olds).  Get some creative won't believe what will happen!

Faith and Fiber

"The American people may have "Iraq fatigue," but that doesn't mean they've stopped paying attention. A few days ago, the Gallup/USA Today poll reported that, over the past four weeks, belief that the extra troops in Iraq were "making the situation better" rose to 31% from 22%. The percentage who say the new troops don't matter dropped to 41% from 51%. Somehow people have found their way to reports that Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency strategy is toting up gains on the ground.

Here in the U.S., any such news a half-world away from the troops in Iraq will be processed immediately into the chopped meat of our politics. Example: If the Iraq commitment turns steadily positive, the Democratic leadership's domestic antiwar strategy may leave the party's candidates on thin ice as they slip and slide toward the primary season. This ensures that the war, the one in the U.S., will be fought with recrimination and accusation.

Imagine the surprise, then, when the most cathartic experience I've had recently in matters of war or peace was seeing a stage play about . . . war.

The play is "Beyond Glory," written and performed by Stephen Lang at the Roundabout Theater in New York. In barest outline, Mr. Lang, who originated the role of the accused Marine colonel in the Broadway production of "A Few Good Men," brings to life eight recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Without interruption for 80 minutes, Mr. Lang recreates eight different men, who relate the hellish events that earned them the Medal of Honor. As described recently by Journal theater critic Terry Teachout, this is "acting of the highest imaginable quality, a performance that will sear its way into your mind and linger there forever after." An understatement..."

- An excerpt from BY DANIEL HENNINGER
Thursday, August 9, 2007

To read this entire article, click here

Book Review:Choosing the Right Path to Your Creative Summit


I read Randy Elrod's new book this morning...It's about 18 pages of energy!  The challenge for every creative is to stay fresh and to be challenged to break outside of what you have always done and reach for something that honestly may be out of your reach.  This book will be a mainstay for me in my personal reading because I need to be reminded of the beauty and the exhilaration that being creative holds for me everyday. Being a wife, mother of 2, worship leader, and THE creative team leader at my church requires that I stay current, energized, and ready for challenges.  That scares me just to type that!  Get this book - you need it...

Click here to buy it...