a letter from


I was at the mall last week when a woman I didn’t know pretended that my kids were her grandkids. I know. Who does that, right?

permodel, a beekeeper, or a Kardashian. No one has ever begged me to play along in an episode of “Punk’d.” It’s comforting to know who you are and what you should be about. That’s why I love the story in Mark when Jesus changes Peter’s name to, well, Peter. It’s a story of a can’t-miss identity because it comes from the identity-maker himself. In Matthew 16:13-19 Jesus is asking his disciples what the word on the street is about his ministry and purpose. Then he asks them point-blank: “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” That’s when Peter — well, Simon — pipes up. “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Something important has happened here, we can tell, because in a rush of enthusiasm, Jesus blesses Simon, gives God the Father glory for revealing Jesus’ true nature to Simon, and then does something that only big-G god from the Old Testament does: he re-names Simon. “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” When Peter gets Jesus’ identity right, Jesus clarifies Peter’s identity. Could there be a direct relationship between God-recognizing and self-recognizing for us today? When Jesus asked the big question, Peter didn’t try to put his thumb on the speculations of the crowds or the popular opinion of the Jewish establishment. He answered out of a conviction deep within his own heart, a conviction that was elegantly simple and forever life-changing. Jesus is Messiah. Son of the living God. Peter acknowledged who Jesus was. And then Jesus returned the favor. “Who am I?” is not something to ask regularly if you’ve already answered the question, “Who is Jesus?” So the next time you feel lost or out of touch with who you are or what you’re supposed to be doing with your life, start asking a better question. Not, “Who am I?” but “Who is Jesus?” Not “What’s my real name?” but “What’s Jesus’ real name?” Start with Jesus and you’ll end with both him and a name that’s all your own. A name like Peter. Like Jacob/Israel. Like Sarai/Sarah. Like Abram/Abraham. Like Jolie-Pitt. Just kidding. The atheist Nietzsche observed, “One’s own self is well hidden from one’s own self; of all mines of treasure, one’s own is the last to be dug up.” Spoken as one who hasn’t been asking — and answering — the biggest question of all.

Here’s how it went down: My two kids and I were walking through the department store toward the blue atmosphere of the mall ahead, weaving past display cases like fast-moving cells in a bloodstream. We were passing a cosmetic counter just as a well-dressed woman was telling the makeup lady about how she was going to shop the kids clothing sale for her granddaughter’s birthday. At that very moment, another makeup lady appeared behind the counter. She arrived just in time to hear the well-dressed woman’s shopping plans at the same instant we were passing by. She assumed we were all together. For a moment, I admit, we did look like a little family unit. “Are those your grandkids?” asked the makeup lady of the well-dressed woman, pointing to Drew and Madeline as they skipped ahead. “They’re beautiful.” And without missing a beat, the well-dressed woman replied, “Thank you.” Thank you! With a simple “thank you,” I had become involved. Should I now pretend to be her daughter? Daughter-in-law? If asked, how should my children address her? “Grandma” would be generic enough. Perhaps we could work in a back-story of a shared trip to Hyannis Port or Martha’s Vineyard, where people are also well- dressed. Oh, and maybe something about a family history of asthma, or fibromyalgia. Something specific. By the time the deception had taken place, the kids and I were too far beyond the makeup counter to provide any kind of acknowledgement or rebuke. I shrugged and kept walking, struggling with how to feel. Should I be proud that the well-dressed woman would claim my kids? That she would claim me, who had either married her son or sprung from her body? It’s rare that you’re just walking around life one day, minding your own business, and someone ropes you in to a false identity. I’ve never been mistaken, for instance, for a su-

Editor Julie Rhodes Art Direction, Design & Goodness Josh Wiese, Lindsey Sobolik Admin Extraordinaire Victoria Andrews Our Very Tall Boss Scott McClellan, Communications Pastor

Photography Evan Chavez (Restore the Bean)* Heidi Lindsay (Children at IBC Tanzania) Patty Thompson (Supplies for Success)* Yony Kim (Bump into Something Real)* Writers Cheryl Hume (Bump into Something Real)* Scott McClellan (Idle Chatter) Stephanie Suire (Restoring the Bean)*

Editorial Assistance/Proofing Summer Alexander*, Annie Stone* Thoughts, comments, ideas? Contact Chatter at Need Chatter Digitally? Chatter is on the web at *Most beloved and indispensable Chatter Volunteer.

Irving Bible Church: a community on a journey.
Thanks for picking up Chatter. Chatter is a publication of Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas.
Why are we here?
IBC is on a journey committed to life transformation through Jesus Christ. We engage this journey by growing in Christ, connecting in community, and joining the mission. This commitment comes from Jesus’ words in the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-39) and Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

How do we do this?
Growing in Christ At the heart of the journey is the gospel of Jesus Christ, the story of the Son of God coming into our dark world to bring light, life, hope and transformation. The journey begins when we trust Christ, but it doesn’t end there. God’s desire for each of us is for our hearts and lives to become more like the one who has saved us (Ephesians 4:11-13). Connecting in Community The gospel story draws us into a community of people whose lives have been transformed by Jesus. This journey is not one that we undertake alone. We are designed to do life together as a community of Christ-followers. It is essential that we walk with one another on the journey (John 13:34-35). Joining the Mission The gospel tells us that one day God will take all that is broken in this world and make it whole. Those of us who are on the journey together are called to be people who do what we can to make glimpses of that day show up in our day. We do this by telling the gospel story and demonstrating gospel-shaped love to a needy world (Matthew 28:18-20).

Contact IBC

Irving Bible Church | 2435 Kinwest Pkwy, Irving, TX 75063 | (972) 560-4600 Web | Twitter @ibcvoice | Facebook irvingbible
Sign up for the IBC eLetter, a weekly email update for key ministry event information and announcements, along with a short devotional by Pastor Andy to encourage you on your journey week-to-week. Subscribe today at New to IBC? Turn to page 18.

Update: Supplies for Success

IBC’s partnership event with the City of Irving drew nearly 4,000 families in need of a little extra help getting ready for the school year.

Update: Haiti

A diverse team of 24 IBCers of all ages (kids and adults) joined forces to support Hosean International’s training ministry camp. The team cared for the 270 children who attended the week-long event, putting on a VBS/sports camp and distributing shoes, backpacks, shirts and more.

R e s to ring t h e b ea n
IBCer Russell Hayward is working to transform the coffee industry in South Sudan.


am sitting in Ascension Coffee on a busy Saturday morning across the table from the owner, Russell Hayward, listening to him talk about three things he is passionate about: God, coffee, and his recently launched mission called Restore the Bean. Restore the Bean is an initiative to resurrect the coffee industry in South Sudan after it was destroyed almost 30 years ago due to civil war and tribal fighting. When Russell’s wife first urged him to attend Irving Bible Church almost six years ago, he had no idea that God had been preparing him his entire life for this journey — one that allows him to use his talents, business experience and expertise to help others while serving God. Now he understands that his Heavenly Father is leading his story, an experience he describes as feeling God’s hand gently leading him forward. And God is showing up in amazing ways.   As soon as Russell sat down at the table in Ascension, he reached over and picked up my freshly brewed cup, breathing in the smell of the coffee before nodding his head in approval. I took this to mean that it passed his high standards and was good enough for me to drink. It is hard to believe that this is the same man who just over two years ago knew very little about the coffee industry or running a coffee shop. Originally from Australia, Russell came to the US in the 80s to produce a concert in San Francisco for “Guitar Player” magazine. After that project, he decided to stay in the U.S. and continued working in the music industry. “I kept my head down, worked hard for 10 years, then looked up one day and realized I had nothing,” he says. “My life felt like it had no meaning.” After several years in music, Russell found success again in the advertising industry, turning a small branding firm in Los Angeles into one of the top five packaging design firms in the U.S. Yet even as he reached the pinnacle of both careers, Russell continued to feel useless and worthless.   About six years ago, Russell met his wife, Renda Mathew, who was a member of IBC. She told him about the project called Water is Basic, an initiative to bring clean water to Sudan, which had just launched at IBC. Russell wasn’t interested, though, mainly because it was a Christian-based project. At the time, Russell was not a believer. Not yet.   Eventually, Renda convinced him to attend a service at IBC, where he sat in the balcony as far away from the stage as possible, ready for an early exit if needed. From his seat perched high above the congregation, Russell says he felt like Pastor Andy was speaking directly to him. That one Sunday morning changed the course of his life and now Russell and his wife both regularly attend IBC. A few years later, Russell started looking for a space to open a new restaurant. He wasn’t new to the restaurant industry — he had already owned a few in Dallas — but he was frustrated. After a two-year search that involved finding and losing locations for odd reasons, Russell was feeling that something was stopping him; that it just wasn’t “meant to be.” One day he asked Andy to meet with him to talk about his struggles. Andy patiently listened as Russell vented his frustration. Once he was done, Andy calmly asked him, “Have you prayed about it?” Russell wasn’t sure Andy’s advice would help, but that night he went home and asked God to lead him. The very next day, while

Russell Hayward’s favorite drink at Ascension Coffee is called the Double Macc — 4 shots of espresso topped with a little foam milk.

sitting in a coffee shop commiserating with a friend whose restaurant project was also not moving fast enough, Russell’s friend looked around, and said, “Why don’t we start a coffee shop?” Later that day, the pair found out about a space available in the Design District that had just been turned down by another potential coffee shop. This would become the location for Ascension Coffee, which opened in December 2012. After meeting Russell, Andy was convinced that Russell should also meet with Steve Roese, former IBC Executive Pastor and founder of Water is Basic (WIB). Water is Basic is an organization that drills water wells to provide fresh, clean water to the people living in the bush and the villages of Sudan. It is run by the Sudanese and staffed by the Sudanese. Money raised for WIB is used for equipment, salaries, training and supplies to drill the water wells, and has helped the people of Sudan drill 500 water wells in the past five years — greatly improving their quality of life. Maybe it was their shared sense of adventure or passion for helping others that made Andy think Russell and Steve should join forces, and his intuition paid off. “I was so impressed with Steve and how efficiently and effectively he organized WIB,” says Russell. It would be the beginning of a fruitful partnership. A few days later, Steve called Russell and said he found coffee in South Sudan. He claimed to have heard rumors of Arabica growing there and thought Russell would be interested. Coffee had been the #1 industry in Sudan for decades, but about 30 years ago the civil war and tribal fighting cut the country off from the world’s export market. With no market to sell their coffee, the skilled farmers who had worked the coffee fields for generations lost their livelihood. Always up for adventure, Russell booked a flight to Sudan in August of 2012 to see if he could find the coffee fields that Steve had seen. Steve set him up with Bishop Elias Taban of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of South Sudan who sent him on a tour of the local area. It didn’t take long for Russell to discover several overgrown and abandoned coffee farms. While exploring the fields, Russell met a man who introduced himself as a coffee farmer. For the past three decades, this man had continued to work his farm while praying for God to send someone to help. He believed that Russell was the answer to his prayers. It was then that the Bishop asked officially if Russell would help redevelop the coffee business in South Sudan. He agreed, and the next day met with the World Bank where he presented a 10-point plan on how to restore the once-thriving coffee industry. Even though he had never seen or touched a coffee cherry (the fruit form of the coffee bean) before that first trip to Sudan, Russell had the experience and Continued on page 6
Ascension Island is an isolated volcanic island just south of the equator in the South Atlantic.

Chatter | 5

Russell with coffee farmers in South Sudan

Continued from page 5 expertise from his prior jobs to create a plan that would promote a self-sustaining economy in South Sudan. All of those years he felt that he had possibly wasted in advertising and marketing were actually preparing him for God’s bigger plan for his life. And the more he visits Sudan, the more he understands both the challenges and opportunities inherent in a project like Restore the Bean. “The first time I visited Sudan, I was shocked at how desolate it was,” Russell says. On his next trip, however, he realized that Sudanese families are close, happy and lead a simple life. After being cut off from the rest of the world during decades of fighting, they now feel the power of God is at work. “The people there trust in God,” says Russell. “But without churches, the people of Africa

would not be where they are today.” Now when Russell visits the country, he only sees opportunity. The resources are available to restore the once thriving economy in Sudan and the people just need advocates to help them get their lives back. In Russell’s mind, IBC has served effectively in the role of advocate: “Projects like WIB take enormous effort and coordination to get going and sustain, but they are changing South Sudan. It is truly a blessing to go to places like Rwanda and South Sudan and see the hard proof of the good work that IBC has done to help in these far- flung countries.” Restore the Bean, which launched in July 2013, is a movement to return former coffee farmers to their livelihood and to train future farmers to work the fields. With proper training and resources, the people of Sudan can re-create the coffee export business that once thrived in this region. Russell’s mission is to provide the farmers with access to quality seedlings, training and guidance to reap a self-sustained harvest, and access to the world market for the crops. Every year for the next five years, a minimum of 100 acres of coffee farms will be planted and developed. Like WIB, Restore the Bean is dependent in part upon donations to fund the mission.   It may appear that doors keep opening effortlessly for Russell, but the reality is that he has been working very hard to keep up. “There is no way I would be doing this without IBC and Andy’s teaching,” he says. He describes running the coffee shop and launching a mission project as a stressful 70-hour a week workload, but he reminds himself of Andy’s words: “If you’re working for the Lord, don’t expect it to be an easy path, just a thoroughly rewarding one. ” In the end, as Russell will tell you, he is simply a servant for God’s work, and one who feels incredibly blessed to have this opportunity — 70 hours a week or 100. If you would like to learn more or get involved, visit Stephanie Suire is a former NFL cheerleader, current petroleum engineer and half marathon runner. But if you ask her kids what mom does for a living, they will say, “Mommy works in a building!”
Stephanie Suire has been married to Trey for 9 years and they have two children, Sophia (7) and Tallen (4). Stephanie writes a healthy living blog called Food and Fitness 4 Real ( where she shares fitness tips, race recaps, recipes and local restaurant reviews (including a review of Ascension Coffee).

Russell with David Balla (at left) of Crop Training Center, Yei, South Sudan

Building a Nation: the Birth of South Sudan — Join Us!
A decade of investment, faith and hard work is making an impact. Come join us as we hear from Bishop Elias Taban, former child soldier, SPLA colonel, Evangelical Presbyterian Church founder, businessman, humanitarian, nation builder and honored recipient of the Global Citizen award. Enjoy the public launch of “Ru” the film and commit together to partnering alongside Bishop Taban for the future of this newest nation on earth. Event Details: Saturday, September 28, 7- 10 p.m The Venues at 400 North Ervay 400 North Ervay, Dallas, TX 75201
 Cost is $75 — all proceeds going to new wells. Dress is Texas business casual. Enjoy complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from one of America’s most celebrated chefs. Visit irvingbible. org/mission to register. Event sponsored by:

Chatter | 6

The coffee cherry tastes a little like watermelon.

Before the civil war, the coffee industry in South Sudan was a $6 million agribusiness.

By the Numbers 


Over the past 5 years, the Propel class has helped hundreds of IBCers plug in, feel at home, and grow in Christ. If you’ve never been a Propel-er before, now might be the perfect time.

18 years 72 years
oldest attender

table leaders


youngest attender

375 women 236 men


bagels consumed

have recommended Propel to their friends

Next Propel kicks off September 15.
Want to find your place at IBC? If you can’t seem to figure out what IBC is all about or how you fit into the larger picture (and you want free breakfast every Sunday for four weeks), Propel is the place for you! Propel is designed to help you figure out how to best plug in to IBC’s culture and calling. We’ll talk about what it means to grow in Christ, connect in community and join the mission and what that might mean for you. You will also learn more about membership at IBC. When: Sundays, September 15–October 6 at 10:45 a.m. in West A Register: All are welcome, age 18 and up. Propel runs four Sundays from 10:45 a.m.-12 p.m. in a comfortable small group setting. Meet pastors and staff at the ministry fair the last week of class. Contact Sherri for more information at (972) 560–4614 or

“Propel equipped me with everything I needed to get involved and engage on my journey at IBC.”

72% have said,

What past Propel-ers have to say:

“I enjoyed Propel not only because it helped me become involved but I learned a lot about my relationship with the Lord.” “The weekly speakers were thoughtful and inspiring.” “Best class I’ve taken at IBC. I have gotten involved in other classes and Bible studies here but none compared to the honesty and depth that came out of such a short class.”

The bagel originated in Poland.

The biggest ship propeller in the world weighs 131 tons.

Chatter | 7

Woman and Elderly Man designed by Lemon Liu from The Noun Project.

In Their Own Words:

Marriage at IBC helps real couples in more ways than you might expect.
Ruth Bell Graham was asked if she had ever considered divorce. She answered, “Divorce, no. Murder, yes!” We laugh because her honesty reveals that we all struggle, even if you are Mrs. Billy Graham. Whether you think your marriage needs a defibrillator or just a vitamin, Marriage at IBC is a good place to start. Chatter spoke with three couples about their experience in IBC’s marriage small group community. Nathan and Candice: Seeking tools for a blended family Of the sea of faces exiting the worship center after service, Candice and Nathan’s stood out. They had the searching eyes of passengers disembarking their flight. “This is Nathan,” says Candice. Nathan’s towering height blocked the noon sun coming through the windowed wall in the Town Square. Alongside was their energetic nine-year-old son eager to play in The Tubes. “Honestly, I was attracted to Candice’s beauty, but as we talked we had an immediate connection because we have similar struggles from our pasts. I fell hard, head over heels,” says Nathan. Candice responds, “We were comfortable with each other and that was important to me.” Nathan has intensity in his wide green eyes, while Candice’s manner calms. Together they are a bouquet of qualities displaying the genius of God’s idea of male/female. Their individual styles were mirrored in their decision process to marry. He wanted to get married immediately, but she was cautious, knowing what it would take to make a blended family (with 5 kids!) work.

Bump Into Something Real

Candice speaks through a smile, “When we came to the first marriage class, we sat down at a table with couples that I thought had it all together. You know, married only once, raised their own children. I began to shut down. When we split into different groups, we were with couples more like us: crazy!” They laughed together. Nathan shares, “We learned to have business meetings on Thursday nights and use certain rules to help communication. There’s a lot of pressure with work and the kids. We have a tendency to let that stress out in how we talk to each other. In our small group we learned we are not the only couple who struggles with this. By the end of the eight weeks, most of the couples had shared honestly about their relationship. It was good to experience the honesty. We learned, ‘Don’t compare someone’s outsides to your insides.’ We all have trouble.” Nathan and Candice are doing what it takes. They have recently renewed their vows in Aruba. Robert and Rachelle: Seeking consistent community Question: What is the opposite of speed dating? Answer: A first date that lasts twelve hours. You would certainly have a better idea of who the other person is. This is what happened with Robert and Rachelle. The discovery for both was a resounding: “This is it!” Engagement soon followed. Robert and Rachelle have experienced the power of “doing life together” with the same small group that began through another church ten years ago. “Because of our experience, we are comfortable with sharing the reality of daily struggles in Marriage at IBC because we learned this in a non-judgmental environment. It makes all the difference,” says Robert.

Now this is the story all about how My life got flipped, turned upside down - The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Their motivation to attend the marriage class was to find a few families closer to home to begin another small group as they are now committed to IBC. But it wasn’t their only motivation. Rachelle recalls how they first fell in love: “Much of our getting to know each other was over the phone and through written letters. We could talk about everything, the things that matter. But in the busyness of everyday life, we lost that. We wanted to change that. We are both pretty type A, so although doing homework isn’t required, we did ours.” Robert adds, “Having the weekly class got us going.” Robert and Rachelle have learned to look unflinchingly at their insides and then take action. By the way, they have found other like-minded couples at Marriage at IBC and are now building another solid “small-group” community. Chris and Michelle: Seeking reminders and laughter Hoping to sing “We Are The Champions” at the end of the night, Chris and Michelle met each other at The Granada, while watching the Dallas Star’s championship game. This was the third attempt for one of their mutual friends to have them meet. Persistence pays off. “I could tell right away that Michelle was an excellent person,” says Chris. “She is trustworthy and has a good head on her shoulders. I knew this is who I wanted to build something with.” Since then, Michelle made the increasingly rare decision to leave her career and stay home with their children. “I am very grateful I can stay at home, but it is hard. People seem to not know what to say when you tell them. I’ll be the first to admit it is a challenge, but this was our choice and we feel good about it. I miss interaction with adults, especially laughing. I need to laugh.”

Chris mentions, “It definitely was helpful for us to hear about other couples’ struggles with the same mundane, everyday challenges that we have and to be able to laugh together about them.” “Michelle agrees, “I liked that. How else would you know you are not the only ones who have real struggles? It made us feel better. I’m so glad we went. We have made some friends that have helped in my need for interaction and friendship with adults. We laugh a lot.”  After a moment of pause in the conversation, Chris speaks a well-crafted summary: “The class is a reminder to be civil and respectful of one another. Listen to each other and be understanding.” Despite their very different needs, Chris and Michelle are on a unique path of growing their marriage. While diverse in terms of their individual objectives, each couple touched on a similar desire for their time at Marriage at IBC — friends we can be real with. They have bumped into the secret that is no secret: Father, Son, and Spirit exist as real community. And since we are somehow made in God’s image, it’s no wonder we need friends with whom we can connect without pretense. As the old saying goes, “The Jesus in Me Sees the Jesus in You.” It’s hard to imagine a better place to start for a happier, healthier marriage. After 31 years of marriage, Cheryl Hume and her husband David have discovered that the secret to happiness is never having to share a sink.


If you had to rate your marriage on a scale of one to ten, what score would you give it?
Whether your rating is a one or a nine, would you like to move up the continuum? Marriage at IBC is a collection of couples placed in small groups who work in community to strengthen their marriages and move towards oneness.

This 10-week session provides ideas and suggestions for improving common points of conflict such as finances, communication, expectations, sex, time management and in-laws. Most important, however, is the generous small group time where you learn from and are encouraged by other couples walking alongside you. Marriage at IBC launches Sunday, October 6. When: Sunday Mornings from 9-10:15 a.m. Where: IBC High School Room Contact with questions.

Community airs on NBC and has won one Primetime Emmy.

Chatter | 9

Why Date Your Mate? The surprising stats.

36% of U.S. adults say having a successful marriage is “one of the most important things” in life.
2011 Pew Research survey

Only 51% of U.S. adults are married — an all-time low.
2011 U.S. Census Bureau

Husbands who spend more couple time with their wives are 3.3 times more likely to enjoy above-average levels of sexual satisfaction.
National Survey of Families and Households,

Couples who share kisses lasting 6 seconds or longer enjoy a happier, healthier relationship.
Dr. John Gottman,

IBC Date Night
Want to ha ve a happier marriage?  Research reveals that over 90% of couples who go out on dates increased their relationship satisfaction. Your marriage needs you! IBC Date Night makes your evening especially fun by providing conversation-starting, thought-provoking questions for you and your spouse to talk about over dinner (restaurant discounts also available). They’re designed to bring laughter as well as honest exchanges that promote closeness and unity. Don’t be surprised if there is an amusing twist or two! Simply register at, download the Date Night app and enjoy your evening out. Childcare will be offered at a reduced rate by Kiddin’ Around Coppell. Only children between 6 weeks and 17 months need to be registered. To register, go to or call (972) 462-1300.

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Saturday, September 28







Lake Victoria


Children at IBC Travel to Tanzania
Last summer, three IBC families and two staff members took the first Children at IBC ministry trip to Moshi, Tanzania. The team visited with the kids from Compassion International sponsored by Children at IBC, served together at a preschool, and produced a children’s ministry conference and activities for IBC Partner ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries).
Take your family to Tanzania next year. Children at IBC will going back to Tanzania at the end of June 2014. If you are interested in learning more about the trip or our ministry with Compassion International, join us for an informational meeting on September 22 at 12:30 p.m. in the Alcove. Please register so we can plan for lunch:

1 The IBC team with Compassion kids sponsored by Children at IBC: Asia (8), Elizabeth (10), Hawa (10), Pili (11), Khatibu (12). 2 Chloe Torres helping students at the nursery school in Moshi. Chloe came on the trip with her mom Maria. 3 The watering hole at Ngorongoro Crater, considered one of the natural wonders of Africa. Photo taken while the team was on safari. 4 A student at the children’s ministry conference put on by the IBC team. 5 Locals along a trail on their way to collect water. 6 The team playing a version of Duck, Duck, Goose with the Compassion team.



Dar es Salaam

Indian Ocean




Put the Pedal to the Me(n)tal
IBC Car Show Crossword
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IBC’s annual Car Show is a hit for car enthusiasts, families, and neighbors alike. See if you’ve got the horsepower to tow your brain up the steep, mud-spattered incline of auto-recall. Across
6 7 10 14 16 18 21 23 24 27 28 Company of motor oil fame First Ford Finished pretty in the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Car freshener brand Popular __________ Most famous Bond car Presidential super-limo nickname The Boys with energy “Planes, Trains, and __________” Color of Hardy Boys’ car Motor City




14 16 17 18 19


1 2 3 4 5 8 9 11 12 13 15 17 19 20 22 25 26 Hot 80s collector car Route 66 alternative name Most expensive Lamborghini model No right on __________ National Association for __________ __________ Auto Racing Jeff Gordon’s middle name Blends air and fuel in an internal combustion engine Redneckmobile meaning “The Way” Voiced KITT from “Knight Rider” Elvis’ usual pick Notable “Car” steamship Car the Pink Ladies drove Lightning __________ 2007 film staring Andy Samberg “Cars 2” villains Swager Wagon maker Wax on, wax __________


21 22 23 24 25 26

27 28

3rd Annual IBC Car Show
September 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. | IBC Parking Lot Free — all donations benefit New Friends New Life, an IBC partner committed to helping women exit sexually oriented businesses. Food will be available for purchase. Enter the raffle drawing for prizes! Questions? Contact

Brought to you by:

Perfectly Blended
Couples find support for their blended families at IBC.

Darren & Corina Heizer
We were only married a couple of months when the additional trials surrounding a blended family union began to emerge. We quickly realized that the important and detailed lessons we learned from our premarital counseling did not include the reality we were now facing. We knew we needed additional teachings based on Scripture and saw the Perfectly Blended class (formerly Smart Stepfamilies) offered in Chatter. We immediately signed up to attend. Because the class yielded more indepth discussions than we anticipated, we signed up for the class a second time! Perfectly Blended felt like home to us because of the relationships that were built as we and other parents expressed similar struggles, fears, and accomplishments. There was a sense of authenticity as both biological and step-parents spoke freely about their issues within the family. We highly encourage anyone who is in need of support and community to join the blended family class. As we move forward in our marriage, we are still so grateful for what we have learned. The class has strengthened our belief in each other and in Christ.

Ryan & Samantha Kinnan
Although our church has so many programs and classes for everything you can think of, we could never find one that really fit perfectly with where we were on our journey. Last spring we found exactly what we were looking for in the Perfectly Blended class. Ryan was previously married, and had a child from his marriage as well. It can be hard sometimes for people who have not gone through something like this to relate, but this class did exactly that. For the first time since we have been married, we feel like there are people in our lives who can relate, give advice, and most importantly, let us spill our souls without judgment. The materials we covered in class have also helped immensely with the day-today process of living in our particular situation. God lead us to visit Perfectly Blended to see if it was for us, and within the first five minutes we were glad we listened to his prompting. We are so blessed to have found this group and look forward to attending every Sunday. Perfectly Blended: Step Family Support and Education Starts October 6, Sundays, 9 a.m. in the Conference Room Questions? Contact Jan at

Beginning September 6 Jesus invites us to thrive in the new Kingdom he ushered in. But what does his Kingdom look like? Why would we want to live there? How can we learn to flourish in his Kingdom when it is so different from the earthly kingdoms we know so well? This fall at First Watch we will explore how to live in this unusual yet incredibly rewarding Kingdom of God — right here, right now. Join the ranks of Men at IBC who are steadily moving towards Christ and making an eternal difference.



Fridays at 6:22 a.m. starts September 6. Register at

Bible Communities
Groups on Sunday
There’s always something new going on in Bible Communities! Here’s a taste of what’s happening this month:
Synergy — 9 a.m. — The Alcove Couples in their 30s to 50s If you desire to dive into the Scriptures and deepen your faith, this class is for you. The Tree — 9 a.m. — West D Married and young families The Tree is a community for young marrieds and young families looking to grow together in faith and marriage. Crossroads 10:45 a.m. — West C Married late 20s and 30s Join us as we explore the book of James and the implications of living out our faith through a series called “Living Faith.” Journey — 10:45 a.m. The Alcove — All Welcome Join us for relaxed fellowship centered on Bible-oriented lessons, interpersonal relationships, table discussions, and prayer. On Track — 10:45 a.m. Conference Room Single Parents If you are a single parent or a blended family, please join us for Bible study, fellowship and prayer. Thrive — 10:45 a.m. — West D Singles in their 30s & 40s Thrive offers in-depth Biblical teaching with group discussion to inform, challenge and mobilize believers. Renew — 10:45 a.m. Training Center Diverse, all ages and stages Can your relationship with God be bigger than just trying to do what he loves and avoiding what he hates? Join us in September as we explore a “Crazy Love” that seems to defy logic. Legacy Builders 6:45 p.m. — West A All Welcome Join us for fellowship, prayer, and in-depth Bible teaching. MyZone Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Zone/Zone Jr. Kicks off September 11. A midweek event for kids that’s great for bringing friends. K-5 grade. Contact Early Childhood Open House Sunday, September 22 See what your child experiences every Sunday at IBC and hear more about the heart and vision of the Early Childhood ministry from our staff. Parents are invited to join their children for Large Group during any regular service time, followed by an informational time. Children’s Mission Trip Informational Sunday, September 22 The Alcove Join us for an informational lunch about our 2014 trip to Tanzania where your family can meet the five children we support through Compassion International. Contact Gary Lindsay at

Hope & Healing
Community Care
Griefshare Thursdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m. West C Join a caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to walk through the journey alone. KidZone is available with prior registration. Contact Sharon at Abortion Recovery Counseling One-on-one, confidential counseling for those living with the aftermath of abortion. For information, contact Kym at (972)560-4632 or Recovery at IBC — Thursdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m. — West Wing Youth Lounge Do you deal with perfectionism, pride, overeating, inappropriate anger or control? Recovery is confidential and all are welcome. Contact Joe at Grace For the Wounded Thursdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m. A confidential small group ministry that explores the wounds we have received and the healing journey God’s prepared for us. Female group currently offered. Contact graceforthewounded@irvingbible. org to register. NAMI Family-to-Family Class Mondays, 6:30-9:30 p.m. West B A 12-week course designed for families and caregivers of those with serious mental illness. Starts September 2. Contact Joey at or Debra at Shelter from the Storm A confidential small group that focues on finding hope and healing from sexual abuse. We currently offer a group for adults. Contact Michelle at shelterfromthestormibc@ or (214) 725–0898. Mental Health Grace Alliance Every other Monday, 6:30 p.m. West C The Living Grace Group For those who have mental illness. Contact Melissa Clark at

Minister, or if you are interested in becoming a Stephen Minister, contact


Growing Together
Marriage at IBC October 6, 9 a.m. High School Room Marriage at IBC will kick off October 6. See ad, pg. 9. Date Night — September 28 See ad, pg. 10.

Visit for more info.


Community and Resources
Big Man Breakfast September 6, 6:22 a.m. The Commons 3rd Annual IBC Car Show September 28, 9 a.m.–1 p.m. IBC Parking Lot See ad, pg. 12. Father/Daughter Campout October 18–20 Save the date for the annual Father/ Daughter Campout. Watch Chatter for more details. First Watch Fridays, 6:22 a.m. The Commons See ad pg. 13. First Watch Xtra Meets Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. in the Training Center.



Events and Resources for Newcomers and Small Groups
Launch Pad Sundays, 9 a.m. — West C Launch Pad is a place for people who are registered for small groups, but have a few weeks to wait before being placed. Contact Katie at

Faith and Belief
Events and Resources
Baby Dedications — September 29 Registration runs September 8 through September 19 at Space is limited, so if you have a preference of service times, please register early. Photos of children being dedicated should be sent no later than September 19 to Donna at Hard copies are also acceptable. New Parent Orientation: September 22 at 9 a.m. in the Senior High Room. Orientation is not mandatory, but strongly encouraged. We will explore what it means to dedicate your child and answer questions about parenting issues and our children’s ministry at IBC. The Table — October 2, 6:30 p.m. OR October 6, 9 a.m. Men’s Conference Room Join us as we talk about faith and explore the hard questions of life. Contact Jason at

Visit for more info.


Local and Global
Prayer Meeting 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 6:45–8 p.m. — The Chapel Join us as we pray for IBC and the needs of our people and the world. Laundry Love — first Saturday of the month, 9 a.m.–12 p.m. Located at Amigo Laundromat, 3349 Country Club Dr. in Irving (just down from Sam Houston Middle School). Please join us as we provide free laundry cycles and detergent, strike up conversations and build relationships. For more info visit or contact

Please visit page 18 for more Sunday Bible Communities.


Infants Through 5th Grade
Zone 6:30 — Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. Kicks off September 10. A small group exploration of the Bible and God’s story. For kids K-5th grade.

Family Grace Group For family members, friends, and caregivers who support individuals with serious mental disorders. Contact Buzz Moody at myrabuzz@
Stephen Ministry at IBC Stephen Ministers provide a listening ear and a caring presence for IBCers going through emotionally difficult times such as the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, illness, injury, divorce or other life events. If you or someone you know could benefit from the care of a Stephen

Chatter | 14


Events and Resources
Parenting at IBC Conference September 20–21 Join us for a conference featuring author Leslie Leyland Fields.


in September. Register at
Waiting Families Group — September 7 and 28, 7 p.m. For families awaiting placement in the adoption or foster care process. Teen Adoptee/Parent Support Group Sunday, September 22, 5 p.m. A support group for teens (12-18) and parents of adopted teens.

Middle/High School and College
Middle School Sundays Life on Life (worship, teaching, small groups) — Student Ministries area, 10:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. Middle School Wednesdays The “W” — Student Ministry area, 6:30-8 p.m. Kicks off September 4. High School Sundays Life Groups — Student Ministry area, 6:45-8 p.m. High School Wednesdays SWAG — 7:15-8:30 — The Alcove Kicks off September 4. IBC College Ministry Sundays at 3:30 p.m. The Commons Annex For latest info on times and locations, join the Facebook group: College at IBC. Passion Conference 2014 The college group at IBC will be attending Passion 2014 in Houston, TX, February 14-15.

IBC Career Transition Ministry Wednesdays, 6:30–8 p.m. Want to find a job? Come learn how to craft a rock-solid resume, use the Internet and LinkedIn to network, and ace the interview. For more info, contact 2435jobtransition@


Visit for more info.


For Folks Ages 55+
Potluck Lunch and Fellowship September 15 Immediately following the second morning service in the Commons Annex adjoining the Haven. Bring a dish to share if you can.

If you have not attended a support group previously, or have questions, please email Amy at acurtis@

A Little Bit of Everything
NICHE (North Irving Christian Home Educators) Monday, September 16, 6:45–9 p.m. — The Alcove Join us as guest speaker Mike Riddle teaches how to stand firm in the faith when entering college and the working world. No childcare available. Visit

Young Adults
20s and Early 30s
The Gathering Thursdays, 7 p.m. — The Alcove Join us for a new series beginning September 12 entitled “He Loves Me/ She Loves Me Not.” See ad, pg, 16. Sit with us on Sunday! Join us for coffee before the 10:45 a.m. service in the Mo. We will sit together in the lower left-hand section facing the stage.

Please contact

Single Parents

Community and Resources
One Parent + Kids Starts September 4 Join us for this 12-week program designed to enrich the lives of single-parent families. Contact Jen at Kids' Night Out/Family Night Saturday, September 14, 6–9 p.m. The Commons Join us for a free western hoedown themed night. Enjoy a BBQ dinner, dancing, games, and more. Be sure to wear your finest western wear! Register at singleparents. Sit with us on Sunday! Several single-parent families enjoy worshiping together in the 9 a.m. service. Join us in the lowest righthand section, Rows 5 & 6, facing the stage.





The Reluctant Messenger

Community and Resources

2435 Kinwest
Women’s Fall Bible Study Tuesdays starting September 10 Join us for “Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ.” See ad, pg. 17. Square One — Starts September 26 A ministry for first-time moms. Attend with your 0-6 month-old and connect with mentor moms and other new moms. Contact Angie at for more info. See ad, pg. 16. Be Still Silent Retreat September 27, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Come away for a day to just be with Jesus and rest in him without interruption at the beautiful Mt. Carmel Center in Dallas. Retreat has limited space. Please register at irvingbible. org/women.

Wednesday Nights at IBC
Vox Humana Choir Wednesdays, 6:30-–8:10 p.m. IBC Worship Center The choral community of IBC is always looking for new singers, beginner or pro. Everyone is welcome and you can join at any time! No auditions necessary. Contact Crystal at 2435 Kinwest Kick-off September 11, 5:30 p.m. Join us as we start 2435 events for the fall. Free dinner, entertainment, and more. Contact lmoussa@ ESL: English as a Second Language Wednesdays, 6:30–8:30 p.m. AZ17, 18 and 19 Do you want to learn English? Improve your English? Come practice all four skills: speaking, listening, reading and writing. For more info, contact Corey at FREE Citizenship Class Wednesdays, 6:30–8 p.m. — IBC For those at least 18 years old who have been issued a Permanent Resident Card. We’ll guide you through the N-400 paperwork and prepare you for the main components of the new citizenship test. Contact Michael at

Special Needs

Community and Resources
In His Image Bible Study Wednesdays, 6:30–7:45 p.m. Training Room A small group for adults (18+) with special needs. Special Needs Support Group Wednesday nights, 6:30–7:45 p.m. The Conference Room Contact Lori at SonShine Pals and Room Our SonShine Rooms are available during the 10:45 a.m. service for children with special needs. There are also opportunities for children to be matched with a SonShine Pal.

All people matter to God, even “bad” people, even those we dislike or misunderstand. God promises that all who call upon him will be saved, and he invites his children to obediently deliver his message of restoration without discrimination. While Jonah resisted his calling, we should never forget that we too were once unlovable and lost before the beautiful message of Jesus.



Adoptive and Foster Families
Empowered to Connect Conference September 13–14, Houston, TX Visit conferences to register. Empowered to Connect Training for Adoptive/Foster Parents Weekly classes available starting

Join us Sundays starting September 15 at IBC. Media from the services can be found at


Chatter | 15

Remember all the questions you asked when you got home from the hospital with your first baby? “What if I’m not doing this right? What if they don’t stop crying? Will I ever sleep again?” If you or a woman you know is a brand-new, first-time mom, Square One is a great opportunity to connect with other moms and find encouragement, support, and a little help for those difficult questions along the way. Moms are invited to bring their babies each week and connect with mentor moms and other first-timers in a safe environment where they can discover the wonders of the mothering journey together. When: Thursdays, September 26–October 31 (6 weeks) 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Where: Comfort Zone 4, Irving Bible Church Who: For first-time moms with a baby 6 months old or younger Cost: Free To register, please email Contact Angie at if you have questions.

Thursday Nights, 7 p.m. in The Alcove The search for love is part of all of our lives. But in our complex culture we often don’t know what we’re doing when it comes to dating. What we should expect? How should we act? What is my responsibility? Join us as we discuss what Scripture teaches about the principles of healthy relationships and what we can learn from those who have gone before us. Weekly Summaries Sept. 12 What the Bible has to say about dating — from Solomon to Ruth (John & Amber Dyer) Sept. 19 Building a pattern for healthy relationships (Betsy) Sept. 26 What marriage really looks like on the other side — and how it can inform our dating (Panel discussion: John & Amber Dyer, Steve & Mary Ann Conner) Questions? Contact

The Gathering

Zone 6:30 A Bible Study for kids.
Zone 6:30 is a great way for your elementaryaged child to grow deeper in their spiritual walk through small group Bible study. Help your child take the next step in their faith journey this fall and prepare them for a life-long love of Scripture.

Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ
By Sue Edwards
Who are you and why are you here? Ephesians has the answers. In six short chapters Paul explains your Godgiven identity and purpose. When: Tuesdays, September 10–November 12 (10 weeks) 9:30–11:30 a.m. or 6:30–8:30 p.m. Where: The Commons at IBC Cost: $15 (includes workbook) Register at KidZone and Zone 6:30 is also available upon registration and closes September 5 at 12 p.m. Questions? Contact: Tiffany at or (972) 560–4600. Acompañanos a estudiar Efesios, un estudio escrito por Sue Edwards. Regiatrate hoy en


Who: K–5th Grade When: 6:30-8 p.m. every Tuesday, Starting Sept. 10 Where: The Zone Cost: $25 per child (covers the study guide, T-shirt, and various activities throughout the year) Registration: Now open at For more info, contact Gary at

Interested in Making a Difference? Zone 6:30 is now recruiting small group leaders. For more info, contact

MyZone is a place where kids can introduce their friends to Jesus through fun activities, fellowship, and in-depth conversations. (Oh, and slime. Lots and LOTS of slime!) Registration is now open at
Who: Grades K–5th Where: K–2nd graders: Zone Jr. 3rd–5th graders: the Zone When: Wednesday nights, 6:30–8:15 p.m. starting Sept. 11 Cost: MyZone is a free event.

Questions? Contact

Sunday Schedule
First Worship Service: 9 a.m.
Children’s Classes (all ages) Synergy (40s & 50s), Middle School Room The Tree (young marrieds and families), West D

My Time, Talents & Skills
2435 Kinwest Medical Clinic Volunteers The medical clinic is in need of professional health care providers (MD, PA, FNP) to provide treatment for our patients. Volunteers do not need to serve every week. Contact Charles at Tapestry Volunteers Tapestry, IBC’s foster and adoption ministry, is in need of volunteers. Contact Amy Curtis at NFNL Volunteers On the third Wednesday of each month, help serve dinner to the women of New Friends New Life at Preston Road Church of Christ. Contact Christine at newfriendsnewlife@ Lawyers Needed ALARM (African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries) is looking for lawyers to be agents of God’s leadership, reconciliation and justice. Contact Mentor Kids in Single-Parent Families Men and women are needed for gender specific mentoring of children from single parent families. Contact Marsha at Meal Team Volunteers IBC makes meals available both Sunday and Wednesday nights. Additional volunteers are needed to serve together. Sundays, contact Wednesdays, contact

Special Need Volunteers There any many opportunities from once a month to every Sunday to volunteer with the special needs ministry. Contact Shannon at Mercy Street Mentors Give of your love and time to an at-risk student through Mercy Steet. Training and encouragement provided by your mentor coordinator, as well as weekly activities to join in with your mentee. Please connect with Jen for more information:

Second Worship Service: 10:45 a.m.
Children’s Classes (all ages) Crossroads (mid 20s-30s couples), High School Room On Track (single parents), West C Journey (all welcome), Middle School Room Merge A.M. (middle school), Alcove Renew (multi-generational), Training Center Thrive (30s & 40s singles), West D

My Resources
Dental Supplies Tapestry will be collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss for children in Tapestry box. (Find the donation area at IBC.) Donations are for Beyond Adoption in Bungoma, Kenya. Laundry Soap and Dryer Sheets Laundry Love is collecting laundry soap and dryer sheets. Bring these to the Laundry Love box in the donation area by the Training Center. For more info visit or contact Online Giving Option If you would find it more convenient to donate to the ministries of Irving Bible Church online, visit

Third Worship Service: 5 p.m.
Children’s Classes (all ages)

Community Dinner: 6 p.m. Community Events: 6:45 p.m.
Legacy Builders (all welcome), West A Middle School, The Commons High School, Student Ministries Area

sunday Community Meals
Join us in the Town Square for our community meal on Sundays at 6 p.m. Meals are $3 per person or $10 max./family. 9/1 9/8 Labor Day Weekend. NO MEAL. Pizza, breadsticks, wonderful salad bar

9/15 Burgers and Brats 9/22 Giant baked potatoes with all the fixins 9/29 Hot dogs, Frito pie, ballpark nachos If you’d like to serve on a Sunday night meal team, contact Pat O’Reilly at (214) 289-6176 or

Interested in learning more about IBC’s budget for 2013 or other financial nuts and bolts? Visit

Wednesday Midweek Meals
Each Wednesday night from 5-6:20 p.m., IBC prepares dinner for anyone wanting a good, hot meal. PB&J sandwiches are also available. Cost is $3/meal or $10 max./family. Just come by The Commons and grab a plate! 9/11 Pulled pork sandwiches, chips, coleslaw, pickles and dessert. Hosted by Pat Downey’s team. 9/18 Enchiladas, refried beans, tacos, chips, salsa, fresh baked cookies. Hosted by Barbara Wille’s team. 9/25 Chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, cream gravy, chuck wagon veggies, salad, dessert. Hosted by Bob Downey’s team.

New to IBC?
Have questions? We’re here to help.

We’re so glad you’re here. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin, but we want to make the process of connecting and feeling at home as easy as possible. Here are some ways to start. The Information Center is a great place to get your questions answered, find help and encouragement for your personal journey, or just have a cup of coffee and settle in. Our team of volunteers would be happy to help you, and our goal is to make you feel at home. The Information Center is open every Sunday after all three worship services. The Newcomer Gathering is an informal get-together for those new to IBC and/or those wanting to learn more about who we are, what we believe and how to get plugged in. Meet other newcomers, ministry leaders and elders. Can’t seem to figure out what IBC is all about or how you fit into the larger picture? Want free breakfast every Sunday for four weeks? Propel is designed to help you figure out how to best plug in to IBC’s culture and calling. We’ll talk about what it means to grow in Christ, connect in community and join the mission — and what that might look like for you. You’ll also learn more about membership at IBC. Small groups exist to cultivate deep relationships that advance the kingdom of God in dark places — dark places in our world, in our relationships and in our hearts. We do this in the context of sermon-based Bible studies that meet in homes. Groups comprise 12 people or fewer and are formed by leaders who have completed small group leader training. To sign up for a group or get more info, contact Ryan Sanders at

Information Center

Newcomer Gathering
Learn more about IBC and meet others like you.

Changes to the menu may be made depending on food cost, availability, and Bob Downey’s whim. If you’d like to serve on a Wednesday night meal team, please email

Ready to get plugged in?


The Mosaic café (the mo)
Café Hours Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday: 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, Saturday: 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Sunday: 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. & 4-7 p.m. Phone: (972) 443-3323 New signature drinks! Stop by The Mo and see what we’ve got brewing.

Connect with others on the journey.

Small Groups

Chatter | 18

Perfect is Imperfect
A Sculpture Origin Story

“They were perfect,” she began. “A

family of beautiful beams rising from the earth in triumph, shining and glorious in the Texas sun.” Through the phone I was sure I could hear a single tear roll down her cheek. “But alas,” she continued, “they were imperfect.”

“I waited for Troy Dungan to interrupt the regularly scheduled program and tell us that severe weather had descended upon the Big Dallas. When that moment arrived, I was ready. I grabbed the lava cannon, flung it into the back of my Chevy Astro van, and raced to the sculpture. Battered by rain and tossed about by the wind, I fired the lava cannon at the upright beams.” “And then?” “And then I released the trigger. A bolt of lightning illuminated the sculpture and I knew the work was complete. The beams had a story.” She exhaled heavily, wistfully, as I scanned the page of questions I’d prepared for this conversation. “Right. The story thing,” I said. “So what does the story mean?” “What does it mean? What does it mean?!” She was shrieking into the phone at that point, and I realized I’d offended this delicate-but-thorny flower. Then the phone went quiet, and I feared she’d hung up. “Marie?” I asked as a soft, slow chuckle crept out through the tinny speaker on my iPhone. “You silly boy,” she sneered. “Your question betrays the smallishness of your brain.” “Smallishness? What, uh, how so?” “You ask what the sculpture means, but you have flip-flopped the order of things. The sculpture asks you what you mean. The sculpture does not mean; the sculpture asks. The next time you stand before it, boy, see if it does not probe your soul for something — anything — more substantive than indie rock and Harry Potter books.” How did she know about the indie rock and my affinity for Hogwarts? I wasn’t sure, but I figured she was unlikely to reveal her source. I moved on: “So you’re saying the sculpture has no meaning, but rather it reveals the meaning of its audience? I mean, that feels like a line from a bad “Portlandia” sketch, but I guess I get it. Is that whole searching/probing thing why you put it front of a church?” [click] She had indeed hung up on me this time. But I wasn’t done — I felt like I was on the verge of something — so I dialed her number again. “We’re sorry,” the recording played, “this number is no longer in service.” “What?!” I stared at my phone in disbelief. Who exactly was that woman? A ghost? A fraud? A bona fide UTA alum? I’ll never know. But what I do know is that my relationship to our sculpture has changed. When I look at it, I no longer wonder what it means. Instead, I wonder what it’d be like to shoot a lava cannon.

I was talking to Marie Duchamps, the visual artist responsible for the metallic sculpture that stands guard over one of our parking lots here at Irving Bible Church. My assignment was to track down Duchamps and dig into the origin of our beloved big sculpture, but what I got was so much more than an origin story. As you’ll see, what followed was a lesson in art, mania, and the irresponsible use of molten rock. “Imperfect?” I asked. “How?” “They were perfect, so they were imperfect.” I waited for Marie to explain further, but she remained silent. I began to confess my confusion when she cut me off. “Of course you don’t understand! You are of the generation who prefers the Googles over knowledge. The perfect was imperfect because it was perfect. There was no drama. There was no intrigue. There was no conflict. Thus, there was no story. And make no mistake, young man — I did not become an artist to shove metal into the ground! I became an artist to tell a story.” “So perfect is ... imperfect,” I said slowly, still processing her up-is-down way of looking at the world. “That’s right.” It’s worth mentioning at this point that Marie, despite being raised in Cairo by Parisian parents and studying at UT-Arlington, speaks grammatically acceptable English in a heavy, eastern European accent. Between the accent and the artistic idiosyncrasies, she sounds as though she’s auditioning for a role in an Austin Powers film. “So what did you do?” I asked. “How did the beams get all twisty?” “Twisty?” she sighed. “They got all twisty when I shot them with the lava.” “The lava?!” I exclaimed. “Surely you do —” “The lava,” she insisted. “My brother knew of guy who knew of guy who worked with a guy who owned a lava cannon, and I borrowed it. Then, I waited.” “Waited for what?” “I waited for Mr. Troy Dungan to tell me that the moment was right.” “The weatherman? I’m sorry, you lost me. Again.”

Scott McClellan has never seen “Titanic.”
Scott McClellan is IBC’s Communications Pastor.

Troy Dungan is 76 years old. His bow-tie is not.

The budget for the first season of “Portlandia” was less than $1 million.

The average temperature of lava is between 1,292 and 2,192 °F.

Chatter | 19

Chatter kicks it with IBC’s young adult mission team and their friends in the sands of the Indian Ocean (Mombasa, Kenya).

Chatter…you CAN take it with you. Send us your Chatter photos on location, and you may see yourself in an upcoming issue. Email us at

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