The moment we pulled into the parking lot, I knew it was going to be an exceptional visit. You know … when you really don’t leave the same way you came in. Ray Rai, the parking lot attendant, warmly greeted us, and so did the young boy who was assisting him. Ray was genuinely happy to see us and immediately pointed us to a visitor’s parking spot up front. This is by no means a small congregation, so I asked him, “How do you know I wasn’t here before?” His response … “I would have remembered you!” This seemingly small interaction spoke volumes to me. Once inside we were escorted to reserved seats towards the front of the church and they even took time to announce our visit during the service. And the VIP lounge for guests was an added treat. After the service we stopped in for fellowship, coffee and cookies!
The worship team at this church is diverse in age and culture. It began with several younger children dancing to a praise song. There was a small choir, and the lead singing was shared amongst various team members. It was powerful to see everyone in the congregation singing and worshiping with hands raised all over the room. There was a great enthusiasm present not just on the platform, but throughout the entire sanctuary. It was really like one giant worship team all praising God in UNITY. God was moving in such a powerful way and it prompted Pastor Dennis Graham-Parker to interject several times during the songs. In December 2017, Pastor Dennis and his wife Pastor Wendy took on the role of senior pastor at Cal Tab. From the UK, they took a leap of faith, trusting God completely as they left their comfortable surroundings and moved to America for this God ordained season of ministry.
Today they had a guest speaker from Australia, Lucas Connell, bring the message. The title, “Get Out of the Boat”, seemed commonplace, but the message delivered was in no way, shape or form common! Lucas was called to leave his full time, paid position, beautiful 4-bedroom home and familiar surroundings to “get out of the boat” and preach all over the world. Prior to stepping out, he spent 6 months making sure the church he had been serving in was well situated. Fear and doubt nipped at his heals throughout these 6 months. “What if I fail?” “What if I never get opportunities to preach?” But just like Peter, Lucas and his family desired to “walk on water”! Lucas stated, “You can always trace a fruitful season back to a moment when you took a step of faith”. When we step out of the boat we eventually will get comfortable and then that will become our new boat. We need to continue to take steps of faith and trust God to bring us to the next “water walking experience”, and each “boat” is bigger than the one before it as we grow from faith to faith.
According to Matthew 14, there were 12 men in the boat, but only one came out. Peter was afraid just like the others, but he had a faith filled spirit and said to Jesus, “Tell me to come” (Matthew 14:28). Eleven of them stayed, watching Jesus walk on the water as “spectators”. But we are not called to be spectators. Peter watched as a PARTICIPANT. Fear will come, but we should never let it direct us. God has a “next step” for all of us. Let’s have the same faith filled spirit as Peter so that we may “walk on water”. Pastors Dennis & Wendy both demonstrated a faith filled spirit when they came to America to pastor this church. Lucas Connell also demonstrated this, and now many lives are being touched and changed through his ministry.
With so many cultures and age groups represented here, Cal Tab has something for everyone. “Extreme Kids” (infants through 5th grade) is offered during the 10 am Sunday service. “Revolutions” (youth, grades 6-12) is held the 1st and 3rd Saturday (doors open at 5:30pm / service begins at 6:15pm) and “Revolutions Freestyle” is held the 4th Friday of the month (doors open at 6:30pm). “Life Groups” are smaller groups of 10-12 people and they meet 2-4 times a month at various locations. They hold a variety of adult “Discipleship Classes” (see schedule here – http://caltab.church/groups) and “Revolutions Youth” also has their own discipleship program for grades 6-12. And my personal favorite, Wednesday evening Bible Studies with Pastor Noel Cromhout. I attend these whenever my schedule allows and I am always thankful I did.
Come and welcome Pastors Dennis & Wendy to our region. Come and serve Christ with a family of believers who are passionate about worship and Word. Come and grow in your faith. Come … be a part of a congregation who are not spectators but PARTICIPANTS! Come … step out of the boat. Come … walk on water! And if you’ve never been here before, Cal Tab has a special visitor’s parking spot waiting just for you!
Church Website – http://caltab.church/#welcome
By Donna Hansen Munafo