Coming this fall…
September 3 – Blessing of Work **bring a tool (computer, piece of chalk, carpentry tool, pencil, cake pan, stethoscope, etc.) from your trade for a special blessing**
October – A Nourished Life, following the pattern of Jesus
After the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, the first century faithful were trying to figure out what the Gospel meant for their local context. There was uncertainty in the church‘s relationship to Hebrew Scriptures, new believers, and the society at large. Sound familiar? While the context is different, the questions for the church are similar today. So, like Paul, John and Peter, our leaders are going to write letters encouraging and exhorting our congregation on the Gospel’s implication for our church today.
Prompted by letters, teaching and articles (see below), there will be an opportunity after each worship service to reflect (personally or in small groups) on the role of our church in society today.
After the benediction, congregants will have two options for continued engagement… 1) council members and ministry team leaders will informally gather small groups and facilitate conversation out of questions presented, 2) others can take the time to personally reflect/journal on the questions either on the paper form provided OR in an online google form, these would be submitted to leadership for consideration and one-on-one follow up conversation if desired by either party.
Our hope is that this will get our creative juices flowing and our minds dreaming about the future of ministry at Grace. It will also give church leaders a chance to hear our concerns and hopes for our future life and work together.
Weekly Online Reflection
Want to reflect on the weekly questions offered in worship? Click the links below to response form…
(discontinued due to lack of interest)
Curious about the church in today’s society?
Read what our leadership is reading. Each Sunday, in the Grace News and below an article will be provided. Articles will support reflection time after service each Sunday.
July 2 – Letter from Pastor Mandy; This Killed Kodak and It’s Coming to Your Church
July 9 – Letter from Dora Winchester; 10 things that demonstrate that the world you grew up in doesn’t exist
July 16 – Dale Reed; Revitalization of Existing Churches
July 23 – Desiree Reed; How Christians can be inviting without being irritating
July 30 – Ann Boyd; 4 Steps to Become and Urban Missionary
August 6 – Brian Grant; Rethinking Outreach
August 13 – Chris Hagberg; Inviting without being irritating
August 20 – Ecuador Team; 5 Reasons our church stopped doing ‘come and watch’ events
August 27 – Danny Quezada; Missional and Attractional
God is on a loving mission to share his glory and goodness with all people, and he has given you his power to join in. Today is Pentecost. We remember and celebrate that God’s Spirit lives in each of us.
During the month of June, we are going to consider the various gifts of the Holy Spirit, explore how God’s Spirit worked in the early church, and discover together how he is working in and through our local congregation. So, what’s your superpower?
The minor prophet Habakkuk lived in a time of great political upheaval.
During the month of October, we looked to this ancient source for wisdom in modern times. It applies more today than ever. Give a listen below…
WANT TO DO SOMETHING? 18 ideas on words and works of grace
Many thanks to HNPCA.org for the “Hate has no home here” campaign. If you are interested in getting involved and getting a sign, please visit their website.
THE COVENANT COMMUNITY BIBLE EXPERIENCE
Read big. Read real. Read together.
The Evangelical Covenant Church is excited to announce a Covenant-wide effort launching in 2016 to be “People of the Book” together! Our local congregation had the opportunity to be a test church a few years ago. We loved it, and now we get to join others in our denomination who will experience “The Books of the Bible” for the first time. See below for more info (readings begin in July).
Get connected to digital resources including e-book version, MP3 Audio version, children’s version and MORE! Our campaign start date is July 11, 2016.
And yes, there is a FREE app for that.
- July 10 – Kick off on Sunday
- July 11 – Begin Week 1 daily readings, 30-minutes, 5 days/week
- July 17 – Interactive worship with quiet reading space (if you need to catch up!), conversation groups, community art project, scripture improv, Q&A with Pastor Mandy.
- July 18 – Begin Week 2
- July 25 – Begin Week 3
- August 1 -Begin Week 4
- August 8 – Begin Week 5
- August 15 – Begin Week 6
- August 22 – Begin Week 7
- August 29 – Begin Week 8
- September 4 – Wrap up
IS THAT YOU, GOD?
When do we know God is leading/speaking/comforting us? Could it be our own wants/ideas/feelings? Even other spirits? Beginning May 15, we will explore scriptures and personal stories that will help us discern God’s Spirit.
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus says, “whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (Jn 6:35). Jesus invites us to a nourished life.
At the Last Supper, Jesus takes bread, he blesses it, breaks it, then gives it away. As he did this, he said, “This is my body given for you.” Jesus identified his life with the bread of the Last Supper. In his life, he was called (taken) and blessed by the Father; in his incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection he was broken and given away.
To be a Christian is to identify with Christ. So, God uses this same four-fold process in us: we are taken (called/named); we are blessed; we are broken; and, we are given away.
In November, we are introducing a new discipleship framework based on these themes, asking this: How does God use these “acts” in my life to form me into Christlikeness? On this page, you will find resources to help you be formed into Christ’s image. May we together be nourished into his image.
Nov. 1 – Nourished disciples are taken.
Nov. 8 – Nourished disciples are blessed.
Nov. 15 – Nourished disciples are broken.
Nov. 22 – Nourished disciples are given away.
Jesus talked much about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions. (Howard L. Dayton, Jr., Leadership, Vol. 2, no. 2.)
Join us this October as we explore the grace of giving.
Oct. 4 – Purpose of Generosity
Oct. 11 – Power of Generosity
Oct. 18 – Blessings of Generosity (featuring our own Steve Dawson, President of National Covenant Properties)
Oct. 25 – Plan for Generosity (welcoming Ann Wiesbrock, President of Covenant Trust Company)
We don’t go to church. We are the church. Whether you are a business man, stay-at-home parent, a mechanic or a student, Christianity matters to your daily endeavors. Join us on Sundays in September as we explore our 9-5 faith.
- 9/6 – Mark Washington, National Coordinator of InterVarsity’s MBA Ministry, on Faith@Work.
- 9/13 – Why your work matters to God
- 9/20 – Why God matters to your work
- 9/27 – Panel Discussion on faith in the workplace
We will consider our human sexuality and the Christian faith at Grace beginning Sunday, May 3. The Apostle Paul calls us to
continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Phil 2:12-13)
Together, we will seek to bring God’s truth and grace into our understanding of human sexuality. We are not seeking to develop a church wide policy or determine denominational loyalties. Rather, we trust that God’s Word – written in the Holy Scriptures, lived in Jesus Christ, and discerned through the Holy Spirit –
is the living and active word of God judging the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Heb 4:12).
And as we wrestle together with God’s Word and our realities, we hope that God will work in us to fulfill his good purpose.
The Evangelical Covenant Church
- A Covenant Resource Paper is a teaching document designed to provide context and clarity for Covenant churches on critical issues of concern in matters of faith, doctrine, and conduct.
- The ECC’s Resolutions – The Christian Action Commission (CAC) prepares resolutions on ethical and political issues and recommends particular actions informed by biblical perspective. In the tradition of the Covenant, these resolutions are not binding. With the Covenant’s long-standing emphasis on freedom in Christ as one of our core affirmations, individual churches and church members are free not to abide by resolutions. But they still carry significant weight. For one, if adopted by delegates they represent the majority opinion of the Annual Meeting, the highest decision-making body in our denomination.
- Covenant Ministerium – Human Sexuality Guidelines for Pastors to which our pastor adheres
- Theology of Singleness
- Divorce and Remarriage: An Occasional Paper and Policy Statement
- Tony and Peggy Campolo – Gay Debate – a ten minute video where husband and wife walk hand in hand without seeing eye to eye.
- Our reading of the bible can and does lead to different theological and ethical interpretations. ECC Affirmation video on Centrality of the Word of God.
- When we disagree, Freedom in Christ is something we offer others, not something we claim for ourselves. ECC Affirmation video on Freedom in Christ.
Pastor Mandy’s Sermons
- The Book on Sex… and Other Things – 5/3/15
- Sex is Good – 5/10/15
- Sex and Sin – 5/17/15
- Sex and Jesus (pt. 1) – 5/23/15
- Sex and Jesus (pt.2) – 5/31/15
- Sex and Grace – 6/14/15 PLEASE NOTE: Pastor Mandy misspoke in this message – 3.7-5% of people identify as LGBT (3.7.5% are not born with same sex orientation). Same-sex orientation is thought to be a complex combination of nature and nurture. this is corrected in the sermon on 6/21/15
- Sex and the Church – 6/21/15
Books to Read
Redeeming Sex: Naked Conversations about Sexuality and Spirituality by Debra Hirsch (IVP) – a holistic, biblical vision of sex and gender that honors God and offers good news to the world; according to Pastor Mandy some parts are shocking, but it will make you think.
Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views by Robert Gagnon and Dan Via (Augsburg) – the most concise, yet thorough biblical study of the traditional and non-traditional views Pastor Mandy has found. A must read!
The End of Sexual Identity by Janell Williams unpacks sexuality from an anthropological and Christian perspective. Williams says sex is too important to define who we are.
Changing Our Mind by David Gushee is a helpful exploration of homosexuality and Christianity from an Evangelical Christian ethicist.
Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality by Wesley Hill is the story of one gay Christian’s wrestling with and embrace of chastity.
Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gay-vs.-Christian Debate by Justin Lee is one gay Christian’s memoir and call for people on both sides of the debate to respect, learn from, and love one another.