Yearly Archives


Stories from Art of Giving

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I was blown away when one of our volunteer staff walked in with two amped up bicycles. I asked if he wanted for people give a donation for those, or what? He said, “No, that’s fine just give them away!”  Not a few minutes passed by when a group of girls from Bridge of Hope came in and asked, “How does this shop work?” We said, “Just shop for anything you want for free and give it to someone else”. They said, “Anything?! even these bikes?” We said, “yes”. Their eyes lit up, big smiles on their faces and took the bikes. They couldn’t wait to get the bikes home as a gift to their families.

A man came in and asked how the boutique worked. We said, “Just shop for anything you want for free and give it to someone as a gift”. We had also been sharing with people that there was a needy family, and that if anyone cared to make a  cash donation, it would go to that family. This man said, “I don’t have any money, but can I get something from here and donate it to the needy family?” He was elated to have it gift wrapped and went on to make a card for the package too. He later brought a friend back with him and showed him around the boutique, and his friend also shopped for a donation for our adopted family!

I noticed a young man come in who was studying a crafty little suitcase filled with hand creams inside and cute silverware decorating the top. He looked at it for quite some time and compared it to other items. He finally decided on it. I asked him who it was for and he said it was for his Mom. He also went and made a handmade card and proudly came back to have it gift wrapped.

One of our new volunteer staff guys came in and picked out a crockpot and said, “Can you save that for me?” I said, “Sure”. He then helped out the guys outside with set-up and later came back and asked if he could have it gift wrapped. He told me it was for his sister. He told me her husband had just left her and taken everything including her kitchenware.

Thanks so much for welcoming some of our refugee friends to Art of Giving. They had such a great time and kept thanking me for bringing them. They were inspired by the art and spoken word, in addition to the live music and new friends that they made. I’m also thankful that they got two free bikes for their families! They were so excited about that and shared that they had been wanting a bike for the longest time, but didn’t have the resources to get one.

Our small group hosted one of the adopted families from Afghanistan. It was a mom here with her children, but her husband has been stuck as a refugee in Turkey for the last 2 years. The family invited 3 friends to come with them- all from Afghanistan. We had dinner, sang carols, read the Christmas story and gave them gifts. One of the most interesting things to see was how much they seemed to enjoy decorating the Christmas tree. It was a great night! They were invited back next week to our Christmas party beach bonfire & campout.  It will be interesting to see what God does through this small beginning, but, It was great.


If you have a story to share, send it to and we’ll post it here.

The Story of Christmas

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Luke 1:26-38

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[a] the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

Luke 2:1-20

The Birth of Jesus

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.(This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,     and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.



7 verses on giving

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How we should give:

2 Corinthians 9:6-7

The Cheerful Giver

6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Matthew 5:42

42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.


Luke 6:38

38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Romans 8:32

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Matthew 6:2-4

2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.



How God gives to us:

Matthew 6:26-29

26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

Deuteronomy 11:13-15

13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul— 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

5 things to pump you up for the Art of Giving

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Got a case of the Mondays?

Here are 5 things that will pump you up for the Art of Giving this Sunday evening.


1- The Sounds of Urban Rescue:

Plug in your headphones and take a 15-minute break (maybe even longer) to enjoy a free song preview from each of their albums : here. You’ll catch lead singer Jordan Frye on the main stage at Art of Giving. Keep the fun going by visiting Gill Sotu’s site for a preview of his spoken word talent.



2- Yummy bake-off inspiration:

Want to join the bake-off fun, but not much of a cook? Here are 10 easy holiday recipes that you (yes, even you) can manage. We also love this 15 minute (no-bake, vegan) Pumpkin Pie from our good friend Alicia. Find a recipe you love? Bring a platter of it this Sunday to enter the bake-off. People will ‘vote’ for your treat through their purchases, so be sure to send your friends to the treats table to ‘vote’ for you.



3- Giving to the Gift Exchange Boutique and de-cluttering your home:

Simplify your home by letting go of those things that you kind of love, but don’t really need/use/want/have space for. Not sure where to start? Blogger Dave Bruno simplified his life by reducing his possessions to 100 things to break free from consumerism. He lived with 100 personal possessions for a year in order to form new habits of consumption, and his story will inspire you to clear your clutter!



4- Our vendors Cyber Monday deals:

Yesterday Derrick said, “If you could see the faces of the children and workers who worked to create that $5 sweater you couldn’t pass up, would you still buy it?” That got us thinking….

You can fight back against poor working conditions by not supporting companies that utilize cheap labor by choosing to spend your Christmas cash on vendors who use their profits to make the world a better place. We’ll have  a number of opportunities to shop these small businesses at our Common Good Market on Dec. 8 at the Art of Giving. If Cyber Monday has you in the mood for shopping, you can browse these vendors (and their great causes) here.

Youme Clothing : Rags to Resources (code: YOUME2013  get’s you 10% off)

Krochet Kids : Empower people to rise above poverty (20-50% off sitewide today!)

Boutonne (code: HOLIDAY13 get’s you 10% off today!)



5- Inviting a friend:

We’re not the only one’s excited for the Art of Giving, The San Diego Reader and Union Tribune have it on their watch list for weekly events to attend in San Diego. Use those event listings to invite your friends, or invite them on our Facebook event.


Questions regarding the Art of Giving can be directed to

A Few of Our Favorite Things…

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For many, the Christmas Season can be a time well spent with family and friends, feasting and making memories. This past week, we asked several members of the MosaicSD community to share a few of their favorite things.


Justin Halbert

My favorite Christmas tradition is….
Opening presents!

I love to cook/bake….
Tamales. The process is long but the end result is worth it.

My resolution will be….
Eat healthier, take more risks and step out in faith more.

I love spending time with…
My family. This will be our first Christmas with our baby girl, Essie.

My favorite Christmas movie is….
“The Christmas Story”


Kyle Stewart

My favorite Christmas tradition is….
Going home to my parents in Northern California, and knowing what an actual cold winter night feels like.

My favorite childhood gift was….
A Sega Dreamcast and a special edition copy of U2’s “Joshua Tree.” Well…actually…. my favorite childhood gift wasn’t mine; it was my mom’s. My dad got her a black lab puppy. She was the greatest ball of energy, and we named her Lucy.  

I love to cook/bake….
Cook? Bake? Funny. When I was a barista at a coffee shop up in Encinitas, I used to make a mean Peppermint Mocha Latte – latte art and all.

It’s not Christmas without….
A dozen or so family members coming over on Christmas day to enjoy a feast, presents, and my mom’s hot apple cider.

Cindy Stallo

Cindy b&w

My resolution will most likely be….
Slowing down and taking more time to just “be.”

Favorite Christmas movie is….
“National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.”

Favorite Christmas memory is…
Seeing my grandpa dressing up as Santa, which made my brother cry. I think I liked that a little too much.

Marc Wallis


My favorite childhood gift was….
A Ninja Turtles costume, complete with nun-chucks and a turtle shell.

My favorite Christmas tradition is….
Decorating the tree.

My favorite Christmas movie is….
Three way tie between “Home Alone,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Erin Pechtel


My favorite Christmas memory is….
The year my dad got our dog a doggie bed. She didn’t want anything to do with it. He made her lay on it and said, “you’re gonna lay on this, and you’re gonna like it!” Now, we say that phrase all the time, and just laugh. 

There’s nothing more important than….
Slowing down enough to remember what its all about.

My favorite childhood gift was….
A white bunny that I named Glory One.

During Christmas, I love to sing….
I don’t love Christmas carols … yikes

I love to cook/bake….
Every year, using our great grandmother’s recipe, I love baking shortbread cookies with my mom and sister.

My favorite Christmas movie is….
“Rudolph” ….hands down. My favorite character is the little, blonde elf with nice bangs, the one who wants to be a dentist.

Mark Bell


My favorite Christmas tradition is….
Reading “The Christmas Story” before opening presents on Christmas morning as a family.

There’s nothing more important than….
Jesus, family & friends.

My favorite childhood gift was….
A Train set.

I love to cook/bake….
Red and Green Christmas Cookies

My favorite Christmas movie is….
“A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Laurel Miller

My favorite Christmas tradition is….
Setting up for Christmas while drinking apple cider with Derrick.

My favorite Christmas memory is….
Visiting candy cane lane — the neighborhood with all the best lights — every year as a family.

There’s nothing more important than….
Taking several nights just to sit in the glow of Christmas tree lights and reflect on the year.

My favorite childhood gift was…
My very own phone number in middle school.

During Christmas, I love to sing….
Along to whatever the Pandora Christmas station plays.

My favorite Christmas movie is…
“It’s a Wonderful Life.”


Cori Dunton


During Christmas, I love to sing….
The Zoey Deschanel and Leon Redbone version of “Baby its Cold Outside.”

I love to bake….
Peppermint chocolate chip cookies, I can never get enough of them.
It’s not Christmas without….
A chill in the air and the smell of the Christmas tree in the living room. 
There’s nothing more important than….
Taking time to stop, be still, and appreciate the beauty of this season. 
My favorite Christmas movie is….
“Elf,” and I’m pretty sure I have every line memorized.

Five Question Friday : V. 1

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with Annie Jolley of Plant With Purpose



This week, MosaicSD caught up with Annie Jolley, outreach coordinator at Plant with Purpose, in preparation for Art of Giving on December 8. Plant with Purpose is a nonprofit headquartered in San Diego and just one of the many exciting Art of Giving vendors you’ll find in the Common Good Market.


Annie is a wonderful part of our community at Mosaic. We asked her everything from telling us more about the organization she works for, to who she’d like to go on a road trip with from her staff (spoiler alert: some of you might know her from ServeSD).


MosaicSD: What do you like most about the community in San Diego?

Annie Jolley: I love the variation within San Diego. It’s an easy city to live in, but still surprises you with its many neighborhoods and cultural pockets of great food, music, & people. The community here is both attuned to justice issues and fantastically creative – a good combo, if you ask me.  


MSD: Tell us about Plant with Purpose.

AJ: Plant With Purpose is a Christian nonprofit organization that reverses deforestation and poverty around the world by transforming the lives of the rural poor. We are based in San Diego but work internationally in over 330 communities in six countries. Plant With Purpose empowers farmers around the world to heal their land, feed their families, and live with God-given hope and dignity. 


MSD: What does giving mean to you?

AJ: Giving means being cognizant of the fact that our resources & talents are gifts of grace. Since Christians understand they are temporary loans, we’re particularly responsible to use them in a way that imitates God’s kingdom on earth. 


MSD: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?

AJ: Work hard, stay humble.


MSD: If you had to go on a road trip with one member of your staff who would it be and why?

AJ: I’m pretty certain Kenzie Klinger and I would car-dance the entire trip. Then again, an all-staff road trip would be all kinds of hilarious.  


Thank for chatting with us, Annie! And just for fun, let’s play some word association. What the first thing that comes to mind when you think of….





-San Diego

California burritos


# (hashtag)

-Derrick Miller

fire! (Derrick is a full-time firefighter at Station 12. Don’t worry – Annie doesn’t want to get rid of him!)


For more information about Plant with Purpose check out their website here. To learn more about Art of Giving, or to invite your friends and family visit the event page on Facebook.

Maximize your potential with individualized strengths coaching at Weekend Advance

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weekend advance

Great leaders are not born – they are created. This can either give us the confidence to take on the world, or leave us feeling like we don’t know where to begin. This is where Weekend Advance at MosaicSD comes in.

We were all uniquely designed, crafted by the hands of God, and He equips us all with a specific set of strengths. To dig deeper and find out what those strengths are, how they work together and how they can improve teamwork, join MosaicSD and leadership coach, Mike Dauphinee September 27 and 28. Uncover your talents with Gallup Strengths Finder to learn how you can lead with strength.

Weekend Advance is an interactive experience that will help you develop a better understanding of yourself and those you serve with while you also develop a support system that will help nurture and unleash those strengths. Speaker Mike Dauphinee will facilitate discussion and exercises to help you understand how your strengths work within the context of the teams.

To attend, register using your inFellowship account (or create one here). Registration cost $40 and includes materials, food, swag, and test code to Strengths Finder. If you’ve already taken the strengths assessment, registration cost is $30 – don’t worry, you still get the swag! More details including specific times and location can be found on the Weekend Advance event page at


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ERWIN McMANUS guest speaking at MosaicSD 9/15

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You were in God’s imagination before you were ever born. All the talent, gifting, and creativity you possess was placed in you by God Himself. Can you imagine the things you could do, the impact you could have on the world, if you tapped into the dreams God has for your life?

This series follows along Erwin McManus‘s book, Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul. It is for those who are ready to join an uprising erwin_headshot_master-e1331609632722that will change your ordinary life into an extraordinary one. Erwin McManus is the founding pastor of Mosaic, and we are excited to hear him speak at the San Diego campus for the first time ever!

In Uprising, Erwin McManus boldly invites you to join the revolution. He illuminates the desperate heart cry of every human being -“I want to live!”- and then serves as a guide on a quest to answer that cry.

Find your true purpose and destiny in the pursuit of the passion and character of God. Be a part of a revolution that changes a life of imitation and mediocrity into one of passion and character… a radical revolt that will forever change the world!

Join us September 15th to hear Erwin McManus speak, and begin an Uprising in San Diego. Books will be available for purchase at MosaicSD for $5 starting Sept. 8 at the Community Groups tent. You can also follow along online and join a book club to dig deeper into each week’s message.