SonRise’s Backpack Ministry Wins Local Award

Due to the generous tithes and offerings from SonRise’s members, 342 local students within the Milford & Mariemont School Districts don’t have to go hungry on weekends. This generosity has led our Backpack Ministry to become the recipient of an excellent award from the Milford Miami Township Chamber of Commerce… but we’ll get to that shortly. If you’re unfamiliar with SonRise’s Backpack Ministry, let us provide a quick summary for you.

On Thursday evenings throughout the school year, volunteers from SonRise Church gather at our PEACE center, located in the old Milford shopping plaza. It is at SonRise’s PEACE center where volunteers are passionate about being the hands & feet of Christ to individuals in our community. During this gathering, 342 black plastic bags are each filled with 2 juice boxes, 2 snacks (cheese crackers or pretzels), Ramon noodles, box of Mac n cheese, pop tart, ravioli, and a fruit cup. The food items cost nearly $4,200 a month and are purchased through SonRise’s PEACE fund, thanks to the generosity of SonRise’s members. Filled bags are then loaded and delivered to the following schools:

backpack noodles

  • Boyd E. SmithElementary
  • McCormick Elementary
  • Meadowview Elementary
  • Milford Junio High School
  • Milford Preschool
  • Mulberry elementary
  • Pattison Elementary
  • Charles Seipelt Elementary

On Friday afternoons, teachers place the food-filled bags into needy students’ backpacks. These bags then go home to families who are struggling to make ends meet.  SonRise is passionate about meeting this extreme need that many people don’t realize exists.

Excitingly, word has spread around town about SonRise’s Backpack Ministry.  Boy Scout & Girl Scout Troops, Live Oaks Career X-Program, Live Oaks ROTC and many other organizations frequently enjoy volunteering at our PEACE Center. Working together, our efforts have been recognized by Milford Miami Township Chamber of Commerce through their award of excellence.

backpack serve

On April 25th, Milford Miami Township Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2018 Dinner of Excellence. SonRise’s Backpack Ministry Coordinators, Randy & Robin Hill, were invited to represent SonRise’s Backpack Ministry. At this event, the Backpack Ministry was nominated for the 2018 Don & Jean Ackermann Business Partners in Education Award. This award is given annually to an organization who best enriches the lives of students and serves as an example to all. The Backpack Ministry was nominated for this award by Boyd E. Smith Elementary, Meadowview Elementary, Charles Seipelt Elementary, McCormick Elementary, and Pattison Elementary. We are thankful to announce that not only was SonRise nominated for this award, but SonRise won the 2018 Don & Jean Ackermann Business Partners in Education Award. 2018 award

Robin Hill, Backpack Ministry Coordinator, accepting and thanking the crowd for the 2018 Don & Jean Ackermann Business Partners in Education Award.

A Milford Elementary spokes person expressed, “All of the elementary schools in the Milford Exempted Village School District would like to recognize SonRise Church, especially the Backpack Ministry Coordinators, Robin and Randy Hill, and sincerely thank them for introducing this much needed endeavor to the district. Milford Elementary School are proud and thankful to have SonRise Church being recognized as our Business Partner of the Year.”

To those who frequently give of their time, talents, and resources at SonRise Church we want to say THANK YOU! It is generous people like you who are making a difference in our community. Please be in prayer for SonRise’s Backpack Ministry and that it continues to make a mighty impact in our community. For additional information on SonRise’s Backpack Ministry, please click HERE.



The C3 Conference Made a Huge Impact On SonRise Staff & Volunteers

When you attend any type of business conference you can experience something called “information overload” and leave mentally and physically drained. In fact, usually you’re more exhausted after attending a conference than you would have been working your typical work week. Many conferences leave individuals unfulfilled, with the most satisfying moments of the conference being the breaks for snacks, coffee and hot meals. I am pleased to say that SonRise Church staff & volunteers left a recent C3 Creative Church Conference at Fellowship Church in Dallas, TX. filled with energy, excitement and a passion for new ways we can further our church’s mission.

FullSizeRender 4

There was no doubt that the Holy Spirit was alive and very present at the C3 conference. Imagine a room packed with thousands of church leaders, staff and church volunteers from all over the world praising our Lord and Savior. The unification and shouts of admiration for Jesus were overwhelming. God was speaking to each one of us there, and when the Lord speaks, it is a beautiful thing! It is the voice that stirs a fire within to accomplish whatever the Lord lays on our hearts. When I say a fire, I don’t mean a campfire that you roast marshmallows on; I mean a wildfire that can be seen for miles and miles!FullSizeRender 3

Some of the world’s best preachers spoke at this event, including the host and founder of C3, Ed Young, along with Judah Smith, Jack Graham, Steve Kelly, Steve Green, Rich Wilkerson Jr. and Johnny Hunt. To say that the speakers were phenomenal is an understatement. Beyond the incredible speakers, the behind the scenes volunteers—the parking lot team, door greeters, trash collectors, coffee baristas, etc.— transformed C3 into something beyond imagination. Not once did our staff open a door for themselves. At every turn, we were greeted with a smiling volunteer who was dedicated to doing whatever it takes to share the love of Christ.

SonRise’s staff & volunteers left this event highly motivated, encouraged and ready to implement new practices in order to reach those in need of Jesus Christ. On the plane ride back, each one of us was focused on drafting the new and exciting processes and practices the Lord placed on our hearts.  Below you’ll find responses from SonRise’s staff & volunteers regarding their experience at C3.


“C3 was a terrific experience! Everyone made us feel welcome, from the parking team to the ushers and everyone in between. The App Sessions were filled with practical information that we will be able to use to help make the SonRise experience even better! This was one of the best conferences I have ever attended.”

-Ken Dorhout, Serve Team Leader

“I’ve never experienced the strength of God’s presence like I did at C3. It was unbelievable and like nothing I’ve ever encountered. If you didn’t leave the conference with a fire burning within your soul to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, you had to have been sleeping. God spoke and made it clear that it’s time to reach our full potential and give our best to the Lord (no matter the position you serve in), which in return, will help further his Kingdom!”

-Alison Wiegand, Communications Director


“The C3 Conference was outstanding! A beautiful mix of worship and training. The App Sessions were well designed and created an experience that allowed me to really dig into how the different crews and teams came together to make it all work so well. The speakers were influencing, poetic, and wise. I am more than thankful for the opportunity to attend! Thank you SonRise!”

-Kevin Walter, Creative Team Member


“If I could choose two words to describe last week – energy and excellence. Everywhere you looked, energy emanated, from the parking lot to the messages to the greeters as we left. One of the phrases they kept repeating was, ‘We serve an excellent God, why should we give Him anything less?’ We should be excited about the opportunity to serve an excellent God. If we who know and follow Him are not excited and doing our best to serve Him, how can we expect to reach those who don’t know Him? There is still so much I am reviewing and rereading, but those were the standout takeaways!”

-Rachel Celenza, First Impressions


“Last week I had the unbelievable opportunity to attend the C3 conference. I was so moved by the worship and the phenomenal visual creativity that accompanied it. In addition to the worship, the sermons had such a fundamental impact on me. One of the speakers said something that got me thinking about the difference between the “Not Here’s” and the “Not Yets.” My prayer for SonRise is that we continue to love those who are no longer with us, but we press on to reach the “Not Yets.” Those who are still searching for the redemptive power of Christ… “

-Danny Drummond, Worship Leader


“When serving in ministry, it can be easy to feel on an island with your wins and challenges.  Attending C3 and being surrounded by people who are experiencing relatable journeys was refreshing and uplifting; it was a great reminder that at the end of the day, we are ONE Church with the same goal –> helping people take those steps towards and with Jesus.  The opportunity also gave me a chance to get to know others at SonRise better — praise breaks, spilled coffees (plural!), getting lost on Dallas highways, and more — and I’m proud to serve alongside them.”

-Jerran Orwig, Uprising Leader


“The 2 days were packed with ideas to make our Family Ministries more exciting! I also loved hanging out with the SonRise Team! Lastly, I love when I can get away with other church folks and help pour into each other while refining our vision”
-Mark Urton, Family Pastor


Please join the staff in prayer that the information that was shared will bring many blessings to the SonRise family as we seek to obey and serve our Lord.


70 Families Recieve Special Gift For Thanksgiving

With age comes wisdom. So when people proclaim that the giver actually receives more than the receiver, it’s naturally hard to grasp at first. The reality is, SonRise Church’s members were recently blessed when they decided to provide 70 complimentary Thanksgiving meals for struggling local families. Each family was given a large frozen turkey, green beans, yams, potatoes, cornbread, cranberries, stuffing, corn and a chocolate cake! We even had our little ones make homemade Thanksgiving cards.

SonRise’s volunteers personally packed and delivered the meals to each family’s front door. However, solely ringing the doorbell and leaving wasn’t on our agenda.  Instead, our church family asked local families ‘How can we be praying for you?’.  We understood that God was using our church to fill bellies while also uplifting spirits this Thanksgiving. We wanted our community to know that we care not only about people’s physical needs but also their spiritual needs. It blessed us to be able to share the most powerful tool, which is PRAYER!

Delivering meals
SonRise volunteer, Steven Nelson delivering Thanksgiving meal to Alesha and her family.


So how was this event a blessing for its volunteers? Check out what a few of our volunteers said below. Event Coordinator Randy Hill stated “I have always felt it is better to give than receive. I receive extreme joy from serving and am so grateful for SonRise.” James Dick, a SonRise Church volunteer, expressed, “I’m serving at this event today in order to help people that need to be loved on. I love our community, and God clearly tells us that we need to bless others. I’m here today to bless someone else.” Becky Drummond, another volunteer, said, “During this time of year we want everyone to know that they are loved and cared for. I’d like to be a small part in blessing someone else’s life.”


We wish we could share all of the testimonies from our volunteers at our Thanksgiving Outreach. However, please know that God is using the local church in order to do wonderful things in your community. SonRise Church won’t stop sharing the love of Christ and is on mission to help others take their next steps with Jesus… even if that means serving one turkey at a time!


How God is Using SonRise Church at Mariemont Elementary

Opening a tangible thank you note these days is rare, that is, unless it’s from a baby shower, wedding, etc. So the fact that a thank you note ended up on our Administrator’s desk at SonRise Church caught us all by surprise. The gold & royal blue letter was from Mariemont Elementary. What could they possibly be writing us about? Here’s what the letter said:

” Dear SonRise Church,

We cannot thank you enough for all the wonderful things you do for our schools.  You have welcomed us into your building on numerous occasions and go out of your way to accommodate our needs. Every Friday, students in need are eager to visit the office to pickup food for the weekend. I wish you could see the joy on their faces.

IMG_6184I want you to know that we used your generous donation last spring to fund scholarships for district summer camps. Many students who never get to participate in things like this enjoyed piano camp, dance camp, rocket class & sports camps. It was awesome to see these kids having fun and learning along with other kids.

Please know that you are making a tremendous impact on our community. We feel your love and support in our schools.

Thanks so much!

Mariemont Elementary ”


Wow! Praise God! In a world where it feels as if we are bombarded with one depressing story after the next, we are choosing to rejoice about the good things that God is doing in our own backyard. At SonRise Church, generosity isn’t foreign to us. Instead, generosity is one of our seven values.  We will lead the way with irrational generosity. We give up things we love (time, talents, & resources) for things we love even more (our mission). We go above and beyond to give sacrificially to the work of God, because we believe we are blessed to be a blessing.

Some ways we’ve tried to be a blessing to Mariemont Schools is by opening our facility for their students & staff to use for retreats, conferences & learning seminars. We also collected a special offering last Christmas, known as the Legacy Offering, in which a portion of the offering ($2,000) was donated to Mariemont Schools. We wanted to give back to Mariemont Schools, because they graciously allowed us to use their facility when we didn’t have one. We’re so thankful that our donation was used to bring joy to some local students during the summer camps that they attended.

That’s not all. Through our Backpack Ministry (which exists to provide 300 local elementary students take-home meals for the weekend), we are able to feed 20 students from Mariemont Elementary every weekend.

To our church family, we’d like to say thank you for your generosity. Your time, talents & resources are making a mighty impact for Christ in our community and world. Let’s make a positive story go viral; please share the good news of what God is doing in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Fall Festival 2017- A Night To Remember!

This past weekend, the SonRise community celebrated the great autumn season with its first Fall Festival. The free event included free food, live music, bouncy houses, games and prizes. Families from all across Cincinnati participated in the event, which was designed for an opportunity just to come together, enjoy fellowship and the wonderful weather.



“This is a connect event,” said Family Pastor and event organizer Mark Urton. “This is a chance to connect together and just have fun. We want people to come, stay and hang out.”

And the event definitely hit its mark.


Many of the families who came weren’t church members, but instead people who heard about the event either through flyers that went out to schools, social media, through friends, or even just the rock and roll sounds of worship leader Danny Drummond. This included Shannon, who attended with her kids because of an invitation sent through Milford Schools.

“Everything about this event is great,” she said. “My kids are having a great time with everything.”


Of course, the Fall Festival couldn’t have taken place without the countless amazing volunteers who were passionate about serving at the event. SonRise’s volunteers helped with serving to sign people up, whipping up cotton candy and running the many inflatables that so many kids enjoyed.

“Being a Christian, it’s our job to serve others,” said Paris Cox, who served at the Welcome Table. “We want to help other people love and be a part of the church.”


All told, 250+ people registered and made the most of the beautiful fall weather. It’s definitely an event SonRise will look to continue next year.

Volunteer of the Month: Bob Welch

If ever there was a model of the humility and commitment that servant leadership requires, Bob Welch is that person.

SonRise Church would like to recognize Bob as this month’s Volunteer of the Month. He has been a part of SonRise Church for ten years, serving in just about every capacity possible. Whether he’s helping out in the parking lot, greeting members at the door, collecting communion or helping new families find their church home, Bob does whatever SonRise Church needs to function at its best. Parking lot

In addition to meeting whatever need SonRise has, Bob has been quick to take on leadership roles, bringing stability to the church and how it operates daily. Bob’s official role at SonRise is leading both the Connect and First Impression teams. “I love being a part of the SonRise family, and I want to give back as so many have given to me,” Bob said about why he serves at SonRise.

As a part of the First Impressions team, Bob said his goal is to “help new families walking through the door feel welcome and loved and, hopefully, want to take a step closer to knowing Christ.” Because of Bob and his team, many have come to find a place to worship and fellowship within the walls of SonRise Church.

One thing that’s clear about Bob is that he allows God to use his gifts and talents to bring others closer to Christ. Although Bob spends countless hours helping SonRise grow, it’s his daily life where Bob really makes the most of each and every hour. On a typical day, Bob wakes up at 4:45 a.m., goes to work where he starts the day with a workout class. After work, you might find Bob refereeing soccer or going out to a movie with his wife.

Still, it’s at SonRise that Bob really feels connected and at home. “I love being a part of the SonRise family,” Bob said.

SonRise Church is thankful for Bob’s willingness to live out the SonRise mission of helping others take next steps with Jesus. If you see Bob around church, make sure to greet him with the kindness he shows so many every Sunday.

16 Children Recently Prayed To Receive Christ

God has worked in miraculous ways this summer at SonRise’s Elevate Basketball Camp and Camp Hoopla, with 16 campers praying to receive Christ! Summer time can be an extremely busy time for families. And, despite the business of the season, God did incredible things at two of SonRise’s summer camps that is worth sharing.

Elevate 2017

Earlier in June, dribbling, dunking, and scoring points at SonRise’s Elevate Basketball Camp wasn’t all that God had in store. In fact, God worked in extraordinary ways by bringing a multitude of 1st-7th graders into our facility to learn proper basketball techniques.  Nine of those campers left with the ultimate trophy: receiving Christ!  READ MORE ABOUT ELEVATE


Last week, however, seven children left Camp Hoopla having prayed the salvation prayer. We are overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness that God utilized multiple volunteers, creative decorations, energetic music, crafts, games and more to speak into the hearts of multiple children. That’s not all. God did more than just save seven souls at Camp Hoopla. In fact, Camp Hoopla campers raised $150 in three short days for Cure International. Cure International is a non-profit organization that operates charitable hospitals and programs in 29 countries worldwide where patients experience the life-changing message of God’s love for them, receiving surgical treatment regardless of gender, religion, or ethnicity.

Hoopla Jumping

SonRise Church is thankful that our two summer camps helped multiple children take next steps with Jesus. Please help us share the great news of what God is doing in our church, community, and world.






Volunteer Of The Month: Paris Cox

SonRise Church would like to recognize Paris Cox as our next Volunteer Of The Month. We have selected Paris because of his faithfulness in volunteering at multiple outreach events, gatherings, and functions at SonRise Church. Not just that, Paris has recently taken on a larger commitment by overseeing our Life Group Ministry at SonRise. Paris Cox

At SonRise we believe that life is not meant to be lived alone. We have been created to experience life with other people. That’s why at SonRise, we encourage you to join a Life Group. In this smaller group setting, you’ll hang out, study the Word and pray together. The goal of joining a group is to grow in your walk with Jesus while surrounded by people who support you in your journey. Therefore, Paris plays a huge role in managing a ministry that means so much to us.

In an interview with Paris, we asked him his plans for our Life Group Ministry, and he expressed, “My plans/goal for life groups is to help maintain and grow the overall experience of being in a life group. I’ll do this by providing new tools and teaching ideas for the current leaders. In addition, my goal is to add new leaders and help attendees find a group that’s right for them.”

We also asked Paris, ‘Why do you serve at SonRise?’ He stated, “I love God and His son Jesus Christ, and all that His word has done for me in my life! And that’s why I enjoy serving at SonRise. It’s quite rewarding for me to see others grow and experience the joy of the Gospel.”

Outside of faithfully volunteering at SonRise, you can find Paris jogging, hiking and listening to music. For his career, Paris provides wireless support as an IT for Executive Jet Management, helping pilots, flight attendants, aircraft mechanics and office employees.

Although Paris lives a busy life, we are thankful for his willingness and dedication to helping SonRise attendees — as well as our community and world — take next steps with Jesus. Paris plays a crucial role in helping make SonRise Church not just a place to go but a home for so many. If you are interested in finding a life group or becoming a life group leader, please contact Paris Cox at .

9 Accept Christ @ Local Basketball Camp

Dribbling, dunking, and scoring points at SonRise’s recent Elevate Basketball Camp wasn’t all that God had in store. In fact, God worked in miraculous ways by bringing a multitude of 1st-7th graders into our facility to learn proper basketball techniques.  Nine of those campers left with the ultimate trophy: receiving Christ!

SonRise Church’s mission is to help people take next steps with Jesus Christ. This means it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from or what you have or haven’t done in life. We want to help you connect with God and grow in your relationship with Christ while serving God and others. In honor of this, we want to celebrate the nine salvations that just occurred at our Elevate Basketball Camp.  God is doing incredible things at SonRise!  Elevate 2017

SonRise Church values intentionality, because intentionality enables excellence. We pray, plan, invest, create and serve to fulfill our mission. It is for this reason that we saturate everything we do in prayer. Although regular basketball camps are fun, we wanted ours to shine God’s truth and love to our campers. Through our intentionality in sharing the gospel and basketball techniques at Elevate, nine children now have a permanent home in heaven.

This is what it’s all about folks! We are ecstatic that nine children were saved at Elevate Basketball Camp!  Please be praying for our upcoming Camp Hoopla so our church can make a mighty impact on even more children. As always, feel free to share this amazing news with others!