Friday, January 31, 2014

The Evangel - February, 2014

The word "evangel" simply means "Gospel." (It's where the title "evangelical" comes from - e.g., "evangelicals" are recipients and participants in the Gospel.)  Part of our mission statement is to be a church committed to "movement of the Gospel of Jesus Christ." 

The goal of February's teaching series will be to unpack that portion of our mission + vision and, as we do, grow in our Gospel understanding and living. 

The Gospel/Evangel, in short, is the announcement that God has come to humanity, in Jesus Christ, to bring a new reality of redemption and renewal. Redemption because we have rebelled (sinned) against God and are in need of forgiveness; and renewal because Jesus is Lord and, as Lord of all, he promises to set this world back to rights, forever removing all wrongdoing, pain, and death (Acts 3:18-21). The reality of this redemption and renewal is what we call the Kingdom of God; and, through the Gospel, all are welcome to come!

This is truly good news!

May we aim to base all we do on this message; and may the reality that "Jesus is Lord" intersect with every part of our life, radically shaping our desires, decisions, and actions.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Teaching Series - Why We Gather

Happy New Year Grace Church! 

We're excited about 2014 and we're looking forward to the opportunity for us to continue in the mission + vision God has given to us. As we begin the a fresh start of yet another new year, it's always a fantastic time to reevaluate things and make some new commitments, some resolutions. Keeping these new commitments aren't the easiest things to do; but personal growth and development is both exciting and necessary. And, when done in community (with accountability, support, and encouragement) these personal changes are a whole lot easier, for us, as well as for others.

So, may we be encouraged to make a 2014 commitment and resolution to give more concern and attention to coming to our Sunday Gatherings, attending a Community Group, serving at Grace Church, and doing it all with a renewed sense of intentionality.
"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching." ~ Hebrews 10:24-25
Speaking of when Christians come together, have you ever wondered why we do all the various things we do? A lot of interesting things happen when Christians come together at church gatherings, worship services, and various Christian small group meetings. To many outsiders and new believers these things (e.g., singing songs, praying out loud, listening to someone preach/teach, receiving Communion, etc.) can seem very odd, confusing, and even disturbing. And many seasoned believers have simply become accustomed to doing them without really knowing why we do them. 

So, for the entire month of January, we'll be delving into the Scriptures and pondering why we do what we do in a new teaching series entitled, Why We Gather. There are many great reasons for coming together as Christians (see #WhyWeGather); but this teaching series will be more about why we do what we do when we gather...Why do we sign songs? What is worship and prayer? Are we doing them the right way? Why are sermons important (yes, a sermon about a sermon!)? And why do we receive Communion (bread and wine) and get baptized? Etc.

The Bible, and and about 2000 years of church tradition, has much to say on these matters. We hope you can join us as we discover together, Why We Gather.

All are welcome. So, please remember to invite a friend.

Hope to see you at an upcoming Sunday Gathering