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Ceres church stresses sports as a mission
• Valley Christian pastor invites kids in sports attire
Valley Christian Center
Pastor Chris Henry of Valley Christian Center in Ceres, invited families to bring their children dressed in their sports attire for the Feb. 23 church service. He said children can use their sports involvement as a way of spreading the Christian message of love and forgiveness.

For years, Christian families have been in conflict between time spent at youth sports programs and their own church services. But at the Feb. 23 service at Valley Christian Center in Ceres, Pastor Chris Henry took a different approach by inviting families to bring their children dressed in their sports attire

During the service over 20 children and teens came forward wearing their team jerseys, karate gis, and dance/gymnastics uniforms. He then commissioned them as “ambassadors” of the love of Jesus to their respective teams and groups, encouraging them to show the highest form of sportsmanship by caring for and honoring their teammates above themselves.

Involved in the commissioning was Cade Cowell, a Ceres High student who recently signed with the San Jose Quakes, a professional soccer team. Henry offered prayer over Cowell and asked God to use his amazing platform to positively influence the lives of young athletes, as well as fellow professional athletes. Henry was Cade’s youth pastor for four years before becoming lead pastor at Valley Christian Center in downtown Ceres.

“It’s our responsibility to inform every kid and every teenager who comes through our doors that everywhere they go, God is going before them and with them,” said Pastor Henry. “We want to equip them for every good deed and every encouraging word they can offer someone they practice and play with every week.”