Grace Notes for October 15, 2017
Dear Grace Family,
As many of you know, we laid my grandson’s grandmother (on their mother’s side) to rest this weekend. Grace opened the doors to these strangers, and many of you came to serve and help. You stepped up to clean the church and set up chairs, were there to comfort and serve the family, brought food for the mourners, and helped with the clean up afterward. I can’t tell you how it blessed my heart to see our family pull together for people that are really completely unknown to us.
After everyone left, some of us were sitting around and talking about how sad the event was. Not just because it was a funeral, but because there was none of the joyous celebration that we get to experience because of our knowledge of what comes next. This particular family didn’t have the same personal experience with God that we do. They know the right things to say, and even believe in heaven. But I just don’t get the sense that they understand the overwhelming promise of eternity. I can’t imagine losing someone without that knowledge. Grief is hard even when you know you’ll see your loved one again. It must be impossible to bear without an unwavering belief that you will be reunited again one day.
As a family, we pulled together to love on them just a little bit, and I believe they are going to take some of Grace home with them when they go back to fight through their own feelings of loss. At some level, they have glimpsed the love of God through the people of Grace. Sometimes being a witness means just standing by and being available. You don’t have to open your mouth, or even your bible, to share Christ with someone.
I just want to thank you all for being John 13:35 Believers. That scripture says “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.”
Some time ago, our Worship Team participated in a Celebrate Recovery service. One of the people there said how much “she could tell we loved each other.” In my mind, one of the truest measures of our commitment to Christ is our commitment to each other. I know the family from the funeral yesterday also witnessed that love. So, for just a moment, they witnessed the love of Christ. I hope that burns a hunger into their hearts, and that they might come back for more.
Like any family, we may have our disagreements or quarrels from time to time. But at the end of the day, the love we have for one another is our superpower. It will give us the ability to weather any storm, answer any challenge, and step up to fulfil God’s calling on our lives as individuals, and the calling God has placed on our church. Because make no mistake… we ARE called as a church. We are called to reach out to people that are hurt, broken, afraid and damaged. And if all we can do is love them, then God will make that enough.
Be blessed, my Grace family!
The week at Grace:
- TUESDAY’S, 6:30 – 8:00 pm: Men & Women’s Bible Study.
- THURSDAY’S, 5:30 – 6:30: Worship Team practice. If you are interested in participating on the Worship team, please talk to Bobbie.
- THURSDAY’S, 6:30 – 8 pm, Youth of the Nation weekly worship service and bible study.
- October 29th is our 5th Sunday morning potluck. Bring your favorite breakfast dish and join at 8:30 am for a time of fellowship before the morning service. Our Kingdom Kids will be in service and sharing what they’ve learned and receiving awards for their work this quarter.
- Look for the Time-Talent-Treasure cards on the back table: What is your special gifting? Will you share it with your Grace family? We need your help to keep our house running smooth. Please grab a card and let us know where you might feel God’s prompting to step into a church ministry.
- We are still fund-raising for our Church Van. Can you help? Please consider a monthly pledge, or a one-time donation. Mark your offering envelope “Church Van” so we know to designate the funds appropriately.
- Tuesday, October 31st, we are holding our annual Harvest Festival from 6 pm – 8 pm. Please bring in your bagged Halloween candy to donate to the cause. There will be a tub in the Café area for your donations.
- In the next few weeks we will begin work on the Christmas production. Please see Bobbie if you would like to participate.
- When planning an event, please contact Bobbie with the date so she can make sure there isn’t any conflict with other church activities. She can be reached at 615-939-5164. Text works!
Welcome to our new Senior Pastor, Eric Domen, his wife, Raquel, and their sweet family. We feel especially blessed to have this amazing man leading our congregation. It is going to be a great season of renewal and revival and we are looking forward to a mighty move of God!
We are also pleased to announce the addition of Pastor Bobbie Frye to our ministry staff. She has been named Administrative Pastor of Grace. She will be helping us in getting organized and active in Merced and beyond! Welcome, Bobbie!