These photos are a small record of the ministry that God has done at Calvary Albuquerque, they are our family photo album.
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Guest Speaker: Al Pittman
At the weekend services on January 17-18, Pastor Al Pittman taught a powerful message about finding restoration in the Lord. After Battle Drums led us in a time of worship, Pastor Al delivered a message called "Journey to Restoration" from Joel 2:1-27, explaining that we need to have a sense of urgency, be in a place of brokenness, and surrender completely to God in order to experience renewal. Pastor Al reminded us that no matter what situation we're in, God will restore us when we come to Him in brokenness and wholly trust in Him.
At the weekend services on January 10-11, Pastor Skip challenged believers to take part in community by joining a Connect Group. After Battle Drums opened the service with worship, Pastor Skip interviewed several Connect Group leaders. Then he delivered a message called "Living Life Together," explaining that people have been designed by God to be in community, not isolated from one another. He said that for believers, our fellowship shouldn't just be a social activity but a spiritual activity that adds to our spiritual health.
Sing In the New Year: Worship through the Ages
Calvary Albuquerque sang in the New Year with Battle Drums on Wednesday, December 31, as believers received refreshment from the Lord and exalted Him in song and prayer. Throughout the evening, the Battle Drums team played traditional hymns and original and popular worship songs that led believers in praise and thanksgiving to God. At the end of the night, Pastor Nate Heitzig challenged us to live completely for Jesus, placing hope and trust in Him to move mightily in our lives in 2015.
The Gift Christmas Eve Services
Calvary Albuquerque rejoiced in the gift of Jesus Christ during three services on Christmas Eve. The campus was aglow with Christmas lights and luminarias as families streamed in to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Battle Drums Worship led thousands of believers in joyful praise of Jesus Christ as they were joined by other performers. Pastor Skip then presented a message from Romans 5:16, explaining that Jesus is the gift given by God to man. Those who attended the 2 pm family service enjoyed cupcakes in the amphitheater in celebration of Jesus' birthday.
Fernando Ortega Christmas Concert
Calvary welcomed Fernando Ortega for a special Christmas concert on December 17. Playing the piano and accordion and accompanied by his band, Fernando performed original songs, hymns, and Christmas favorites. Fernando also shared personal stories and tied the evening together by encouraging believers to join in the constant, eternal worship of God happening in heaven. In the midst of the busy season, it was a welcome evening to reflect on our Savior and His advent.
Life After Fifty Fellowship (LAFF)
The Life After Fifty Fellowship welcomed Calvary Albuquerque missionaries Mike and Cora Hendricks at their gathering on Friday, December 12. John and Debra Sorrell and ministry leader Dave Hilland opened the evening with worship. Dave then invited Mike Hendricks to the stage to talk about his calling to serve native people in the Americas and to build up young leaders. Mike also shared his testimony about how the Lord led their family to this work as well as some recent opportunities they had to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
Finger-style guitarist Doyle Dykes showcased his incredible talent during the midweek service on Wednesday, December 10. After the Battle Drums team opened the service with worship, Pastor Skip introduced Doyle and welcomed him to the stage. Doyle mixed different sound styles in his performance and even played his twelve-string guitar, inviting the audience to sing along to Christmas carols. The evening came to an end as family and friends fellowshipped and Doyle stayed to talk with the audience.
Ministry Leaders Christmas Party
On Tuesday, December 9, ministry leaders from Calvary were honored with a Christmas party for their hard work and dedication to serve the body of Christ. As they came together to celebrate the birth of Jesus, they praised the Lord for His continued faithfulness and enjoyed fellowship with one another. During the evening, they were treated to a catered meal and received encouragement from a short message by Pastor Neil Ortiz. The evening ended with some baked goodies and more fellowship.
Ministry Volunteers Christmas Party
Volunteers from Calvary's Traffic, Hospitality, Ushers, and Safety teams celebrated the birth of Jesus with an evening of worship and fellowship at their annual Christmas party on December 8. After a delicious Mexican food dinner, Ministry Support Director Yvette Harrison and ministry leaders Gene Polito, Vince Harrison, and Dom Garcia extended heartfelt thanks to the faithful servants who ensure that every service and function at Calvary Albuquerque runs smoothly. Pastor Neil Ortiz also shared a word of encouragement and thanks.
Challenge Men's Monthly Rally
Challenge Men were encouraged to be more involved in ministry as they gathered for their monthly rally on Saturday, December 6. Ryan Wylie and the Battle Drums worship team kicked off the rally before Challenge leader Antonio Aragon delivered his message titled "What Really Matters Anyway?" from 2 Peter 3:10-11. He shared his testimony and described the vision for the men's ministry. He also explained how the men could get the most out of the weekly Connect Group Message Recap and how it can be an effective tool for discipleship.
H.I.S. Choir: The Night Heaven Came Down
On December 3, Bible Island’s Hallelujah Island Singers (H.I.S. Choir) celebrated God’s great love in their praisentation The Night Heaven Came Down. Through song and drama, the angelic choir joyfully reminded us that God changed the world on the night heaven came down—the night Jesus was born. Following the performance, Pastor Nate explained that Jesus is the gift who saves us from our sin, and more than twenty-five members of the audience responded to his invitation to receive Christ.
she Ministries Christmas Tea
Women celebrated Jesus' birth with she Ministries at the Buy One, Gift One (BOGO) Christmas Tea on Tuesday, December 2. At both the morning and evening celebrations, Sonia Montoya presented a powerful message from James 1:17. Ladies also enjoyed the Lovely Market, an inspiring marketplace with local vendors. And, over 1,000 sack lunches were collected for kids in Albuquerque Public Schools.
Guest Speaker: Franklin Graham
Thousands packed the sanctuary on November 29-30 as we welcomed special guest speaker Franklin Graham. The Battle Drums Worship team opened the service before guest musician Dennis Agajanian shared his fast-paced acoustic songs. Then Pastor Skip introduced Franklin Graham, who shared about what God is doing through Operation Christmas Child. Boldly preaching salvation through Jesus Christ alone, he taught on the story of the rich young ruler found in Mark 10:17-22. At the end of his message, Franklin gave an altar call, and many made decisions to receive Christ.
We gave thanks and praise to our Lord at the annual Thanksgiving Banner Service on Wednesday, November 26. With joyful hearts, we praised God for His goodness and continued faithfulness. After Pastor Skip shared from Psalm 92 about giving thanks to the Lord, he also talked about what he is thankful for. He exhorted the crowd to give thanks even through the hard times. Then families, Connect Groups, ministries, and individuals declared through homemade banners what they are thankful for as the Battle Drums Worship team set a mood of celebration.
At Skate Ministry on Tuesday, November 11, students enjoyed an evening of skating and fellowship as they dived into a study through the book of Mark. They had fun hanging out in the game room and practicing their latest tricks in the skate park. After they gathered inside, staff member Josh Edwards delivered a short teaching from Mark 1:14-20 about repentance, faith, and a believer's calling. After the teaching, the students split up into small groups to discuss the teaching so they could ask questions and learn how to apply it to their lives.
she Ministries Live Hopefully Finale
On November 11, the women of she Ministries reflected on what they learned in their Live Hopefully study as they wrapped up their first semester in Nehemiah. After Lenya Heitzig gave a preview of what the ladies can expect next semester, the she Ministries team Zanetta Romero, Misty Foster, and Larissa Lusko shared what the Lord taught them this semester. Then the ladies gathered in The Hub to enjoy fellowship and refreshments. They wrote on several banners their praises, prayer requests, and stories of how God moved in their lives through the study.
Sunday, November 9, was a memorable day for many believers as they demonstrated the inward change Christ made in their lives by being baptized. On this bright, warm day, Stuart Laws shared worship songs before Pastor Neil Ortiz explained the significance of baptism. With family and friends present to show their support, both children and adults shared their testimonies with the pastors. Then, each one was submerged in water as an outward expression of their new life in Jesus, identifying with His death, burial, and resurrection.
With the holiday season rolling in, hundreds stopped by Calvary Albuquerque to shop at the Velocity Craft Fair on Friday-Saturday, November 7-8. The Hub and the east foyer were filled with beautifully handcrafted items including hats, candies, jewelry, and household décor. Some of the booths featured items such as paintings, soaps, candles, photos, and wood art. Shoppers were excited to get an early start on their Christmas shopping while helping raise funds for Velocity Mid-High Ministry's upcoming winter retreat.
Dressed up in fun, clever costumes, families enjoyed candy, games, and a puppet show at Funfari on Friday, October 31. Bible Island children's ministry welcomed thousands to Calvary Albuquerque for the fun Halloween alternative. Throughout the evening, kids collected candy, played carnival games, and participated in a cake walk. The Bible Island puppet team shared the gospel through a black light puppet show they delivered three times during the evening, and many children responded by giving their lives to Jesus.
For King & Country Concert
Award-winning band For King & Country played a sold-out show on Sunday evening, October 26, at Calvary Albuquerque. Over 2,000 people packed the sanctuary to see the rock/pop duo, who kicked off the show with their signature energetic performance. During the concert, brothers Joel and Luke challenged the crowd to demonstrate respect and honor in their relationships. They also shared personal stories about their songs and exhorted the crowd with God's love. After the show, fans lined up to meet Joel and Luke and support them at their merchandise table.
she Ministries' Titus 2 Day
Ladies studied biblical principles and learned practical tips on time management at she Ministries' Titus 2 Day on Tuesday, October 21. Bekah Lusko and Natalie Wylie opened the night by sharing beautiful worship songs before Zanetta Romero made announcements. Then Maria Guy began her teaching "Making the Most of Your Time" from Titus 2:3-5, describing the types of roles and callings women have. Maria reminded the ladies about the brevity of life and how they must be wise with their time so they can make their life count for the kingdom of God.
Families and friends gathered in the amphitheater on Sunday, October 19, to cheer on loved ones who publicly affirmed their belief in Christ by being baptized. Children who wanted to make a profession of their faith were baptized first, followed by a general baptism for adults. Before the celebration began, Pastor Neil Ortiz explained the significance of baptism and, as Ryan and Natalie Wylie shared songs of praise, believers made a public identification with Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection.
Apologist Dr. John Warwick Montgomery defended the Christian faith in three different presentations, October 13-15. Dr. Montgomery presented "The Historical Case for Jesus Christ" on October 13 and "A Lawyer's Defense of Christianity" on October 14 at Calvary Nob Hill. Then, during the Expound service on October 15 at Calvary Albuquerque, Dr. Montgomery answered the question "Can We Trust the Bible?" Each evening ended with a Q & A session and a standing ovation in honor of the work Dr. Montgomery has done to defend the Christian faith and stand up for Jesus Christ.
Hundreds packed the sanctuary for the Harvest America simulcast event on Sunday, October 5. Pastor Skip welcomed everyone before Moriah Peters kicked off the event, followed by a performance from Urban Rescue. Then everyone turned their attention to the screens to listen to Pastor Greg Laurie share the gospel from Dallas, Texas, in a simulcast across the nation. At the end of the message, Pastor Nate welcomed dozens of people to give their lives to Christ. Rend Collective capped the night with an exciting performance featuring their unique folk-rock sound.
Challenge Men's Monthly Rally
Challenge Men studied God's intent for discipleship as they gathered for their monthly rally on Saturday, October 4. Pastor Neil Ortiz welcomed the men before the Battle Drums team led worship. The men then heard a short teaching from Pastor Skip, which came from a series he is sharing with Calvary staff on Tuesdays called Connect Groups: Connecting Our Past with Our Future. In Skip's message, the men learned about God's simple and powerful purpose for discipleship and were encouraged to take part in it through Connect Groups.
Evangelism Weekend with Skip Heitzig
Pastor Skip exhorted the body of Christ to proclaim and live out the gospel during the special evangelism services on Saturday-Sunday, October 4-5. After the Battle Drums team led worship, Pastor Nate Heitzig welcomed special guest musician Moriah Peters to the stage. Then in a special message called "How Does the Gospel Work?" from 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10, Pastor Skip laid out the flow of how the gospel works: it comes to us, it works in us, and then it comes from us. As he wrapped up his message, Pastor Skip challenged us to point others to Jesus.
Ladies learned financial and meal planning tips at she Ministries' Titus 2 Day on Tuesday, September 30. Taking a break from their Live Hopefully study in Nehemiah, the women learned about financial stewardship. Natalie Wylie and Bekah Lusko led the women in a time of worship before Zanetta Romero made announcements. Then the women began their study in Titus 2 with Maria Guy. In her teaching, Maria explained the importance of having the right attitude toward money and gave the ladies practical examples of what that looks like.
Camo Run: From the Bosque to Burma 5k Run/Walk
At Reload Love's Camo Run on September 28, over $5,000 was raised to help bring hope to children who have been affected by terrorism. Over 200 runners, including the founders of the Free Burma Rangers (FBR), participated in the 5k run/walk event in the Bosque. Proceeds from the event went to the Good Life Club, the relief arm of the FBR that helps mothers and children in displaced communities in Burma. Reload Love set a goal this year to raise $1 million for the Good Life Club so children in Burma can receive the abundant life that Christ offers.
Skip Heitzig Interview with Dave Eubank
At the weekend services on September 27-28, we welcomed Free Burma Rangers founder Dave Eubank. The Battle Drums team opened the services with worship before Pastor Skip welcomed Dave Eubank and his family, who introduced themselves to the congregation. Dave then explained how the Lord called his family to Burma and what the Free Burma Rangers do to help the people there who are caught in the crossfire of the country's continuing civil war. Dave's wife, Karen, also talked about the Good Life Club, the relief arm of the Free Burma Rangers that aids mothers and children.
Five Iron Frenzy played to a packed Lobo Theater at their concert on Thursday, September 18. Static Radio DJs Stevo and Mitch welcomed the audience and introduced local bands Archabald and The Echoing Green before Five Iron Frenzy took the stage. In an energetic performance featuring a saxophone, trumpet, trombone, guitars, and drums, Five Iron Frenzy performed fan favorites and new songs, showcasing their ska/rock music style. After the show, the crowd chatted with and supported the bands at their merchandise tables. All ticket sales went to support Static Radio.
Live Hopefully: A Study in the Book of Nehemiah
Ladies were introduced to the book of Nehemiah at the launch of she Ministries' fall Bible study, Live Hopefully, on Tuesday, September 9. With powerful worship from Natalie Wylie and Bekah Lusko beginning the service, Zanetta Romero welcomed the women before Lenya Heitzig gave her message. She encouraged the ladies with the story of how God used Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and how he lived with a profound hope in the Lord. After the teaching, the ladies broke into their small groups to meet their moderators and others in their group.
Students who attended Skate Ministry on Tuesday, September 9, enjoyed an evening of skating and fellowship. The kids had fun kicking back on the couches in the Gameroom and practicing their latest tricks in the skate park. After they gathered inside, staff member Josh Edwards shared his testimony and engaged with the students about future plans for The Mix, discussing what they want to learn through Skate Ministry. Then they prayed for the Lord to use them to impact the skate culture in New Mexico, and the evening ended with more skating and hanging out with friends.
Challenge Men's Monthly Rally
At their monthly rally on Saturday, September 6, Challenge Men were invited to pursue community and discipleship with other believers. After the Battle Drums team kicked off the rally with worship, Pastor Kyle Nelson talked about Connect Groups, and Pastor Kerry Rose shared the message "Are We Building a House or a Home?" from Ephesians 4:11-16. He explained the differences between a house and a home, and he showed the men how God provides the tools they need through their pastors. After the message, the men engaged in discussion as they enjoyed coffee and fellowship.
Guest Speaker: Ed Stetzer
At the weekend services, September 6-7, Pastor Ed Stetzer called believers to glorify the Lord by serving Him and His church. The Battle Drums team began the service with worship before Pastor Skip introduced guest speaker Pastor Ed Stetzer. He shared the message "Engaging All God's People in Mission" from 1 Peter 4:10-11, pointing out that there are a lot of passive spectators in the church rather than active participants. Sharing principles about engaging in mission, Pastor Stetzer exhorted us to use our spiritual gifts to glorify God by serving Him and others.
As friends and family cheered them on, over fifty believers lined up in the amphitheater on Sunday, August 31, to demonstrate the inward change Christ made in their lives. After Bible Island Director Roxie Sharp explained the significance of baptism to children and their families, eleven kids were baptized, followed by another explanation of baptism for the adults by Pastor Skip. Ryan Wylie and Pastor Brian Nixon shared songs of worship as believers shared their testimonies with Calvary pastors and made this step of obedience.
Guest Speaker: Sean McDowell
We were honored to welcome Sean McDowell to the Expound service on Wednesday, August 27. The Battle Drums team kicked off the service with worship, and in a short video, Pastor Skip introduced guest speaker Sean McDowell. In his message called "Homosexuality: Compassion and Clarity," Sean took us through a number of Bible passages, explaining the biblical view of homosexuality. Sharing some of his experiences with atheists and with his own students, Sean gave us helpful advice about how we as believers can address this issue in a thoughtful and compassionate way.
Matt Baird of the band Spoken played a show after the Renovate service on Thursday, August 21. The night began with worship and a song by Matt Baird. Then Renovate pastor Mat Pirolo launched the new series, Tilt Shift, a study in Colossians. He shared the message "All of Life with Jesus in Focus" from Colossians 1:1-2, showing how Christ was the focus of the apostle Paul's life. Mat encouraged the students to have that same focus and to display Christ in their lives. After the teaching, Matt Baird played a longer acoustic set and stayed afterward to meet the students.
Spectrum and Velocity Back-to-School Block Party
Over the weekend of August 16-17, hundreds of students packed the park at Calvary for the Spectrum and Velocity Back-to-School Block Party. With dozens of new kids in attendance, the students focused their hearts on God during a time of worship before hearing from God's Word. Jesse Lusko delivered a short message from Matthew 11:16-20. He shared how Jesus spent a lot of His time with the sick, poor, and outcasts. Jesse encouraged the students to be friends of sinners without becoming sinful. Over the weekend, more than twenty students made decisions to live for Christ.
At Skate Ministry on Tuesday, August 12, students learned what it means to be secure in Christ. They had fun skating and hanging out with one another before they gathered inside The Mix to hear a message by Austin Walker called "Security Without the Insecurity." Teaching from Isaiah 41:10 and Psalm 56, Austin explained that insecurity is rooted in fear, but he showed the students that they can trust in God's promises. It was a powerful night for the students as they were encouraged to break through insecurities and place their trust and faith in Christ.
Challenge Men's Monthly Rally
Challenge Men were called to listen to God's voice as they gathered for their monthly rally on Saturday, August 9. The Battle Drums team kicked off the rally with worship before an interview with pastors Neil Ortiz and Kerry Rose about connecting in small groups. Neil challenged the men to consider getting involved in a Connect Group, and then he introduced Kyle Nelson, who delivered the message "Are You Man Enough to Listen?" from Psalm 19:7-14. Kyle challenged the men to obey the Lord when He speaks and explained the importance of abiding in God and His Word.
Guest Speaker: Dr. Erwin Lutzer
Dr. Erwin Lutzer taught a powerful message at our weekend services, August 9-10, about surviving the storms of life. After the Battle Drums team led us in worship, Pastor Skip introduced Dr. Erwin Lutzer, who shared a message called "How to Survive a Storm" from Matthew 14:22-33. He gave us seven important lessons from the story of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee and encouraged us to remember that God is with us in the hard times. Dr. Lutzer also called us to lay our burdens before the Lord, keeping our eyes on Him because He is above our circumstances.
Life After Fifty Fellowship (LAFF)
The Life After Fifty Fellowship obeyed the Lord's command to be planted in His house and bear fruit as they enjoyed a delicious potluck meal together on August 8. John and Debra Sorrell led worship before ministry leader Dave Hilland shared a teaching about trusting the Lord. He reminded the group about God's abounding faithfulness and called them to examine how much they trust God to work in their lives. Dave closed his teaching by highlighting God's promise to be with them at all times.
Expound Exposed Outdoor Communion Service
Believers gathered for the Expound Exposed service on Wednesday, August 6. Guest musician Aaron Gillespie kicked off the service with worship before Pastor Skip welcomed missionary Doug Keen, pastor of Calvary Chapel Hastings in England. Then Pastor Skip began a study on the genealogy of Christ found in Luke 3:23-38. He reminded believers about Jesus' sacrifice on the cross to redeem those who believe in Him. The night ended with pastors Brian Nixon and Nate Heitzig sharing a word about Communion and the body of Christ taking the Lord's Supper together.
Staff Devos at The Lakes Apartments
On Tuesday, August 5, Calvary Albuquerque staff held their morning devos at The Lakes Apartments, where Pastor Skip began a home Bible study in 1981 that eventually grew into the current 15,000-member congregation. At the devos, Pastor Skip welcomed his friend Kent Bagdasar, who was an integral part of Calvary's beginnings. Kent talked about their calling to move from California to Albuquerque and shared stories about the incredible growth of Calvary in its first year. Kent ended the devo time by exhorting the staff to do their best as they serve in their ministries.
Shimmer: A Spirit-Filled Life
Hundreds of ladies filled the Calvary Albuquerque campus to learn about the Holy Spirit at she Ministries' 2014 conference, Shimmer: A Spirit-Filled Life, on August 1-2. Grammy nominee Francesca Battistelli led worship during the conference and treated ladies to a concert on Friday night. Lenya Heitzig and guest speakers Lisa Allen and Wendy Blight shared powerful messages about the power of the Holy Spirit, how He equips believers, and how believers are to wage spiritual warfare. The ladies were encouraged and empowered to let the Lord shimmer in their lives.
Sunday, July 27, was a memorable day for many believers as they cemented their faith in Christ by being baptized. On this bright, warm day, Ryan Wylie shared worship songs for the joyous occasion before Pastor Neil Ortiz explained the significance of baptism. With family and friends present to show their support, believers lined up and, one by one, shared their testimonies with the pastors. Then, each believer was submerged in water as an outward expression of their new life in Jesus, identifying with His death, burial, and resurrection.
We had the privilege of welcoming special guest Aileen Coleman to the Expound service on Wednesday, July 23. After a time of worship with Battle Drums, Pastor Skip sat down with Aileen Coleman for a special interview. Aileen talked about how the Lord sent her to the Middle East, where she co-founded a clinic in 1965 to help the Bedouin people. Aileen also talked about how she has specifically helped people with tuberculosis and other lung diseases and shared about how she has been used as a witness for Christ's love.
Guest Speaker: Daniel Fusco
At the weekend services, July 19-20, Pastor Daniel Fusco shared a message about how Jesus transforms believers. Battle Drums opened the service, sharing songs about God's love and grace. Our guest speaker, Pastor Daniel Fusco, shared the message "Spiritual Transformation" from John 2:1-11, using the story of Jesus turning water into wine to explain how Jesus causes transformation in believers' lives. Daniel explained that when we are rooted in the cross and obedient, God will make the ordinary extraordinary, adding that "transformed people transform people."
Students who attended Skate Ministry at The Mix on Tuesday, July 15, learned what it means to look like Christ. After a time of skating and fellowship, they winded down to study God's Word together. Pastor Caleb Chavez started off his interactive teaching "Christian Means Like Christ" by discussing with the kids what it means to be a Christian. Using a number of Bible passages, Caleb explained the importance of following Jesus and what that looks like on a practical level. He wrapped up his teaching by explaining who believers are in Christ.
Over 350 concertgoers filled the Lobo Theater for the sold-out Run River North concert on July 14. Static Radio DJs Stevo and Matteo welcomed the audience and shared the vision and purpose of Static. Local musician Chad Barela opened the show before indie folk-rock band Run River North took the stage. With every band member singing during the set, they delivered a stirring and incredible performance. Afterward, concertgoers crowded the lobby to support the musicians at their merchandise tables. All ticket sales for the show went to support the ministry of Static Radio.
Challenge Men's Monthly Rally
Challenge Men rallied together in The Hub on July 12 to build up one another. The Battle Drums Worship team opened their time together before Pastor Neil Ortiz interviewed Johnny Martinez and Kurt Parker. Neil then delivered a message called "Our Need to Belong" from Genesis 37:1-11. As the men studied Joseph's life, Neil shared that there were times when Joseph didn't seem to belong. He reminded the men that the Christian's need to belong is fulfilled in Christ, encouraging them to support one another in their day-to-day struggles.
Pastor Skip kicked off our new weekend series, Playlist, at the services on July 5-6. We began the service with Battle Drums Worship and were treated to a surprise when two dancers came on stage to perform to Battle Drums' cover of the hit song "Happy." Then Pastor Skip began the series with a message also called "Happy," taking us through Psalm 1. He explained two different lifestyles—the godly and ungodly—and we learned what godly characteristics mark a blessed, or happy, life. We were reminded that happiness is a by-product of the pursuit of God and holiness.
On July 2, over 6,000 people filled the amphitheater and park to celebrate our nation's freedom and our freedom in Christ. We kicked off the evening with Battle Drums as they shared songs about our freedom in Christ. Then Pastor Skip gave a special message from John 8:31-36. He reminded us that true freedom can only be found in Jesus because of His work of redemption on the cross. Because of Him, we are free indeed! After the service, kids enjoyed a Veggie Tales movie before the evening ended with a magnificent display of fireworks.
Songs of praise filled the amphitheater as members of our congregation gathered to publicly identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. After an explanation of baptism from Pastor Skip Heitzig, Ryan Wylie led worship for the June 29 baptism service while family and friends witnessed these faithful believers' obedience to the Lord. The crowd showed their support and cheered as many men, women, and children outwardly expressed Christ's reign in their lives.
Students from the Spectrum High School Ministry spent several days in England to share the love of Christ. From June 27-July 7, Pastor Jesse Lusko, his wife, Bekah, and a group of students journeyed across the Atlantic to partner with Doug and Lisa Keen of Calvary Chapel Hastings in England. They evangelized in Hastings, cleaned and repaired a single mother's home, and taught evangelism to the church's Connect Groups. They also explored London for two days. They had many fruitful—even heart-wrenching—encounters as God moved through their obedience to share the gospel.
Expound Exposed Outdoor Communion Service
Pastor Skip began a verse-by-verse study of Luke at the Expound Exposed outdoor Communion service on June 25. The service kicked off with a time of worship with Battle Drums before Pastor Skip began the study. He recounted the 400 years of history between the Old and New Testament, and we discovered that the Old Testament ended with a curse and a promise. Skip showed us how Luke picked up on that promise in the story of Zacharias and Elizabeth. He also showed us how God turned the Old Testament curse into grace through Jesus Christ, and together we took Communion.
The sanctuary was transformed into a tropical forest for Bible Island's Jungle Safari VBS, June 23-27, as kids explored the nature of God through Bible teaching, skits, crafts, games, and worship. They learned that God is their Creator, Provider, Protector, Savior, and King. They also collected over $1,800 for Reload Love and donated food items to the Albuquerque Public School's Homeless Project, New Beginnings Church, and Calvary Chapel Tohlakai. Highlights from the week included a wacky hair day and a live bird show on Tuesday and a slip and slide on Thursday.
Guest Speaker: Victor Marx
We were excited to welcome Victor Marx at our weekend services, June 21-22. Kicking off the service, the Battle Drums team led us in worship of our Savior Jesus Christ. Victor Marx then shared a powerful message called "When Impossible Is the Only Way Out" from 2 Timothy 1:7, reminding us that God has equipped us to serve Him. Victor weaved his personal testimony into the message as he addressed fear, redemption, marriage, purity, and forgiveness, pointing us back to Christ and His unconditional love.
Challenge Men's Rally & Car Show
Flashy cars and trucks, the sounds of roaring engines, and the aroma of food filled the Calvary Albuquerque parking lot at the Challenge Men's Rally and Car Show on Friday, June 20. After the awards for the car show were given out, Battle Drums kicked off the men-only service with a time of worship. Guest speaker Victor Marx then delivered the special message "Do You Know How to Fight?" calling men to honor God by living a pure lifestyle whether or not they are married. He challenged them to be ready to fight for their families by living according to God's standards.
We were pleased to welcome Bob Shank at our weekend services, June 14-15. Battle Drums led us in worship as we exalted our Lord Jesus and prepared our hearts to study God's Word. Over the weekend, Bob shared a message titled "How to Live the Blessed Life," exhorting us to make generosity a part of our lives. He shared that even though being generous can often be risky, we must remember that it is right and it is a demonstration of faith. He closed the message with a challenging thought: our measure of generosity to God determines the measure of God's blessing to us.
This weekend, we were honored to welcome Pastor Raul Ries at our services, June 7-8. Battle Drums and rapper Graham Saber kicked off the services with a time of worship. Over the weekend, Pastor Raul Ries shared two messages: On Saturday evening in a message titled "Deception Within the Church," Raul warned believers about those who desire to mislead the church, and he gave encouragement about how to arm ourselves with God's truth. On Sunday morning, Raul shared a message called "A Person Who is Holy," exhorting us to live honorable and holy lives for the Lord.
Fifth graders enjoyed two days of action-packed fun during the Shine 5th Grade Retreat, May 31-June 1, at Camp Oro Quay, New Mexico. The students filled their weekend away from the city with loads of activities, including basketball, ping-pong, field games, and a hayride. After they visited the old mines in the area, they enjoyed a tasty barbecue. The kids had a great time as they worshiped the Lord, studied His Word, and fellowshipped around a campfire. This was the fifth graders' last event with Bible Island before they moved on to Velocity Mid-High Ministry.
Calvary Nob Hill opened its doors for a showing of the film Veil of Tears on Sunday, June 1. Pastor Servy Pardo welcomed the audience before he introduced the movie, which focused on the untold story of millions of women in India who are oppressed because they are women. The film also highlighted the work that Gospel for Asia is doing for them. Afterward, the film's producer/director Kenny Saylors and executive producer Taun Cortado answered questions about their experience filming in India, including being exposed to the traumatic stories of so many women.
2014 School of Ministry Graduation
Friends and family of the 2014 School of Ministry students gathered in The Hub on Friday, May 23, for a graduation ceremony in honor of the students' efforts and accomplishments. After a delicious dinner, SOM Dean of Academics Dr. Nelson Walker delivered an inspiring commencement speech. SOM Administrator Breezy Sloan presented Nelson and former SOM Administrator Laney St. Martin with gifts from the students. Nelson and six of the SOM teachers then presented twenty-one students with their diplomas and gift Bibles signed by Pastor Skip.
O2 Experience with Levi Lusko
Pastor Levi Lusko preached two powerful messages to hundreds of people at the O2 Experience on Tuesday, May 20. During the Life and Death session, Levi delivered an impactful message about the brevity of life and the importance of seeing Jesus as all we need. Over 180 people made decisions to receive Christ. Levi gave his second message during the Sex and Romance session, calling young people to make commitments to fight for purity and honor. It was a life-changing evening that provided refreshment for believers and pointed lost, broken souls to the love of Christ.
Fresh spring air and praise songs provided the perfect setting for our baptism on Sunday, May 18. Music filled the amphitheater as Pastor Kenny Riley led worship and Pastor Brian Nixon explained the significance of baptism. Friends and family gathered under the beautiful blue sky to cheer on, welcome, and pray for those new to the faith. Believers took this opportunity to make an outward demonstration of the inward change Jesus has made in their lives. It was a joyous occasion as many publicly identified themselves with Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection.
Calvary launched its new church-wide initiative, Reload Love, at the weekend services, May 10-11. After a time of worship with Battle Drums, Skip and Lenya Heitzig introduced Reload Love and invited people to get involved. Lenya shared how Reload Love's mission is to help heal the lives of little ones around the world who have suffered the violence of terrorism. By transforming spent bullet casings into brass charms and donating the proceeds, as well as raising public awareness, Reload Love arms these children with hope.
Dance Ministry Redemption Performance
Hearts and minds turned heavenward on Friday, May 2, at Redemption. Young men and women from the Calvary Dance Ministry performed a number of dances including ballet, jazz, flamenco, hip-hop, and more. Katrina Sisneros, Fabian Sisneros, and guests made a joyful noise to the Lord in accompaniment to several of the performances before David Puvogel II led the audience in worship at the end of the night. Following the presentation, families and friends gathered in The Hub to enjoy dessert and coffee while visiting with the performers.
With the encouragement of family and friends, many believers chose to identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ at the April 27 baptism service. The sounds of cheering loved ones filled the amphitheater as Tamra Salmon and Stuart Laws shared songs of praise to our Lord. Pastor Skip Heitzig explained the significance and meaning of baptism, then one-by-one, men, women, and children shared their testimonies with Calvary pastors and were baptized, demonstrating their decision to follow Christ.
Over 150 mid-high and high school students took over the Calvary campus April 25-27 for Reboot 2014. Musical guest The Royal Royal rocked The Hub with their phenomenal sound, and guest speaker Ben Courson delivered practical and relevant Bible teachings. They participated in small groups, a scavenger hunt, and an obstacle course, which helped them to build friendships with one another. During the weekend, twenty students accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. On Sunday, they held a baptism, where over thirty students were baptized, celebrating new life in Christ.
Easter Sunrise Service: Say It Loud
Thousands attended Calvary's Easter Sunrise Service at University Stadium on Sunday, April 20. The Battle Drums Worship team started the morning with pre-service worship. Guest musicians For King & Country took the stage for more time of worship. Pastor Skip then delivered a message called "Say It Loud: He's Alive!" from Psalm 22:31. He reminded us that we have the best news, so we should say it loud: Jesus is alive! After the message, many came forward to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
Good Friday Communion Service
On April 18, thousands of believers gathered for the Good Friday Communion Service in the amphitheater at Calvary Albuquerque to remember Christ's great sacrifice for us. With hands raised, the voices of God's people filled the skies in praise of our King as the Battle Drums team led us in song. While we worshiped, Pastor Nate Heitzig shared a spoken word poem as he painted a cross red to symbolize Christ's blood that was spilled for our sins. Pastor Skip then taught the message "Forsaken," explaining the separation from God that Christ endured for us.
The MIX welcomed new and familiar faces to its first SkateMinistry event of the year on Tuesday, April 15. After months of being closed for remodeling, The MIX opened its doors to over thirty students to skate, play games, and hang out. During the night, Pastor Caleb Chavez gave a rundown of what Skate Ministry is and explained the reason for the remodeling: to create a more dynamic youth center. He taught from Matthew 28:18-20, encouraging the students to be involved in discipleship. The night concluded with a preview of upcoming events, more skating, and fellowship.
The MIX Gameroom & Skatepark was packed for their open house on Saturday, April 12, as they welcomed back youth from the community. The MIX closed during the winter for remodeling in order to make the place welcoming to a variety of youth, including non-skaters. After months of hard work, the team at The MIX was excited to present the remodeled Gameroom, snack bar, and skateboard shop. During the day, youth enjoyed snacks, skating, playing games, and fellowship.
Pastor Skip shared a special teaching about the cross at the weekend services, April 12-13. With a large wooden cross at the front of the sanctuary, Pastor Skip began his message called "Nailed to the Cross," reminding us that the cross was a result of our sin but was also part of God's plan. The congregation wrote on a piece of paper the sins they wanted forgiveness for and the burdens they wanted to release. Leaders from the church put the notes into envelopes and nailed them to the cross—a beautiful reminder that Christ paid the price for our sins once and for all.
Battle Drums Night of Worship
At the Battle Drums Worship Night on Wednesday, April 9, the body of Christ received refreshment from the Lord as we exalted Him in song and prayer. The Battle Drums team played original and popular worship songs that led believers in praise and thanksgiving to God. Pastor Nate Heitzig also shared a short message about our approach to worship. As Battle Drums continued playing, Nate invited whoever needed prayer or encouragement to the front of the sanctuary to pray with a Calvary pastor. It was a beautiful night as believers came to the feet of Jesus to be refreshed.
she Live Brilliantly Finale
she Ministries wrapped up their Bible study, Live Brilliantly: 1 John, on Tuesday, April 8. In a short video, Lenya Heitzig, who wasn't able to attend, encouraged the women and thanked them for coming to the Bible study. The leadership team also gave gifts to the she volunteers in appreciation for their service. Many of the ladies then shared their personal testimonies about what God has shown them through the Bible study. They concluded their time together with uplifting worship led by Jen Santiago, JoAnn Huber, and Michael McDade.
A group of Calvary servants were installed as deacons at the expound service on Wednesday, April 2. They were recognized for their service in ministry, proving themselves in faithfulness and doctrine. Pastor Skip explained that the pastoral team unanimously agreed every person in the group fulfilled the description of a deacon found in 1 Timothy 3. Pastor Neil Ortiz prayed over the deacons, asking the Lord for continued growth in their ministries and relationships with Him.
Love Revolution: she Ministries 2014 Spring Retreat
Over 100 ladies gathered to seek the Lord and grow in His love at she Ministries' spring retreat, Love Revolution, March 29-30, in Santa Fe, NM. The ladies spent the weekend at the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza to hear teachings from Bianca Olthoff and worship from Shannon Quintana. Bianca shared messages about what love is and what it means to love. On Saturday night, the ladies took part in an Afterglow where they prayed boldly for the will of God in their lives. It was a refreshing time for the women as they encountered the Holy Spirit and worshiped Jesus.
Guest Speaker: Nate Heitzig
We were excited to welcome Pastor Nate Heitzig as our guest speaker for all weekend services, March 29-30. After the Battledrums Worship team led the congregation in a time of praise, Pastor Nate taught a message called "The Promise of Prayer" from Matthew 6:5-10. In this passage, which leads up to and covers the first part of the Lord's Prayer, Nate encouraged us to align our will with God's will rather than try to get what we want. He closed with the challenge that we shouldn't ask God to change our circumstances but to change us through our circumstances.
At the expound service on Wednesday, March 19, Operation Christmas Child presented an award to Calvary in recognition of twenty years of involvement with OCC. After a time of worship, Pastor Nate Heitzig shared about Calvary's work with OCC before a short video played, highlighting Calvary's participation in the shoebox ministry over the years. Then OCC Albuquerque area coordinators Steve and Pinky Halama presented the award to Pastor Skip Heitzig before he began our study through the book of Numbers.
The ladies of she Ministries gathered in the HUB for their second DIY Day of the semester on Tuesday, March 18. Natalie Wylie and Bekah Lusko led the women in a time of worship before the teaching. Shaena Crespo shared a devo called "The God of Bad Days" from Genesis 16:7-10, teaching them about one of the many names of God: El Roi, the God who sees. Janaé Heitzig, Karen Puccini, and Susan Padon helped the ladies to assemble their DIY craft—upcycled tin cans. Once again, they were encouraged to use their crafts as a means to share the gospel with others.
Challenge Men's Monthly Rally
Packing the HUB once again, Challenge Men were presented with a message on submission at their Monthly Rally on Saturday, March 1. After Pastor Nick Crespo led a time of uplifting worship, Pastor Neil Ortiz interviewed leader Monte Olivas about how Monte's life has changed in view of what submission to God means. Then Pastor Jered Grebe shared a message from 1 Peter 3:1-12 titled "Submission as Power." The men enjoyed delicious breakfast burritos and hot coffee while sharing in a time of encouraging fellowship and lively discussion.
she Ministries hosted their first DIY Day of the new semester for their Live Brilliantly Bible study on Tuesday, February 25. Georgia Hook delivered a short devotion from Isaiah 30:15-18, giving the ladies a helpful formula for repentance and rest. She exhorted them to gain strength from quietness and trust in the Lord. Lenya Heitzig, Janaé Heitzig, and DeNicka Arrellin helped the ladies to assemble the DIY craft, which were Tussie Mussies, decorated cones filled with gifts. It was a fun day for the ladies as they encouraged one another with Christ's love.
Battle Drums Worship Concert
The Battle Drums Worship team led us in an evening of powerful and uplifting worship to the Lord on Wednesday, February 19. Throughout the night, they played several new, original songs and shared the meanings behind them. Pastor Skip also delivered a short message on worship, encouraging us to sing a new song to the Lord—one that is meaningful and fresh. He also reminded us that worship to the Lord is not just something we do during a service, it's a lifestyle. It was a special, beautiful night as the body of Christ gathered to exalt the Lord Jesus!
Guest Musician: Dennis Agajanian
We were pleased to welcome one of the world's best guitar players as our guest musician during the weekend services February 15-16. Donned in a cowboy hat and boots, award-winning musician Dennis Agajanian brought a rousing round of music to each of the services. Continuing the Rock Solid series, Pastor Skip then shared an insightful message called "How to Attract Flies" about how Christians ought to treat one another. As always, we were delighted to witness Dennis's fast flat-picking and joyful countenance as we were amazed by his musical ability.
Valentine's Day Movie: The Princess Bride
Calvary Nob Hill opened its doors for a special Valentine's Day movie on Friday, February 14. Moviegoers enjoyed a screening of The Princess Bride, the classic and beloved fairy tale about the adventures of Buttercup and Westley. Before the movie, winners were announced for a drawing: Vince and Yvette Harrison won Cutest Couple, Jasmine Gallegos won Most Eligible Bachelorette, and Lincoln Mark won Most Eligible Bachelor. The Lobo Theater was packed as many enjoyed popcorn and drinks and captured memories at a photo booth.
Live Brilliantly: 1 John, Season of Love
On Tuesday, February 4, she Ministries began the spring semester of their Bible study, Live Brilliantly: 1 John, Season of Love. The she Ministries team warmly greeted the ladies before an uplifting time of worship, led by Ryan and Natalie Wylie. In a short devotion, Lenya Heitzig reminded the ladies of God's unconditional love. A handful of volunteers then participated in a fun, creative skit called "In Cinderella's Shoes." Finally, ladies from the leadership team each took time to share some practical ways to show love to others.
Challenge Men's Monthly Rally
Kicking off 2014 with a fresh format to their Monthly Rallies, Challenge Men packed the HUB for the first rally of the year on Saturday, February 2. KevinLee Toddman emceed the event and was interviewed by Dave Slade. Pastor Eric Lamb then spoke about Renew Ministry and how it can be an asset and tool for men to become godly. Finally, Pastor Neil Ortiz delivered a message from 1 Peter 2:18-21 about submission entitled "Retaliation Costs. Righteousness Pays." They also enjoyed delicious breakfast burritos and coffee over a lively time of worship and discussion.
she Ministries Volunteer Night
Volunteers for she Ministries gathered at Calvary Nob Hill in the Lobo Theater on Tuesday, January 28, for a fun night to fellowship and enjoy the film Pride and Prejudice. The ladies snacked on popcorn and candy before participating in a homemade slipper contest that showcased their creative talents. Winners were awarded with she Ministries tote bags. Lenya Heitzig and the leadership team provided updates about their upcoming events, then ended the night with the movie.
Calvary Chapel Tohlakai Outreach
On Monday, January 20, a handful of Calvary members headed out to the Navajo reservation to participate in an outreach, assisting Calvary Chapel Tohlakai by delivering wood to be used for a sheep pen (a way to help support and sustain the church and some families), appliances, and clothes. The volunteers were delighted to spend their day helping Pastor Landoll Benally, who expressed his appreciation for their selfless service.
Skeptic Initiative Roll Out
The Spectrum High School Ministry kicked off their new, six-week series called Skeptic Initiative on Saturday-Sunday, January 18-19. After a time of passionate worship, Pastor Jesse Lusko explained the reason for the new series—to confront objections and welcome doubters. He delivered a message addressing the question, "Does God Exist?" In a brief interview, Jesse sat down with Bruce Kemmel, Ph.D., who shared his testimony and his search for answers about God's existence. Then Jesse closed the service with a live Q&A, answering a variety of questions from the audience.
Expound Communion Service
During our expound Bible study on January 8, Calvary Albuquerque celebrated a special time of Communion, remembering Jesus' sacrifice for us. The service opened with a powerful time of praise music led by Battle Drums Worship. As we studied Numbers 8-9, Pastor Skip demonstrated the beautiful portrait of Jesus provided in the Passover. We finished up the service by taking the Lord's Supper, remembering the suffering and death of Jesus as payment for our sin.