Monday, August 31, 2009

Top Ten Fall Prayer Requests

Over the summer months of June, July and August, we as a ministry prayed for 10 specific prayer requests. It was exciting to see how God answered including:

The hiring of Gabe Pethtel as secondary principal at Lititz Christian School and Kimberly Taylor as Director of MorningStar Childcare and Academics; Seeing 231 students enrolled at the beginning of the school year; a 3% increase in offerings over last summer; Seeing the beginning of promotion for our Fall Connect Campaign; Seeing all of our teens return safely from Ireland, Operation Barnabas, and Momentum Youth Conference; Receiving all approvals granted for our foyer renovation and expansion; Seeing a 17% increase in Sunday morning attendance over last summer; and seeing the launch of our new school website and church logo. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us.

Tomorrow begins a new fall quarter and below are the Top Ten Prayer Requests for our ministry for September, October and November. I hope that you will pray for these weekly, if not daily, as nothing of eternal importance happens apart from prayer!

To see 100 Connect Groups active during our Fall Connect Campaign

To launch of our new church website scheduled for October

To see MorningStar Academics and Childcare pass their state inspection in September with flying colors

To see 100 people baptized on November 15

That June 20, 2010 would be open for a “big event” at Clipper Stadium (baseball schedule for next season is set in November)

To be at or ahead of budget in the General Fund on November 30th

To average 1600 on Sunday mornings over the 13 weeks of Sep, Oct and Nov

To see our educational ministries (LCS and MS) bring in $75,000 in fund-raising and donations

To see the outer shell of the café/office expansion completed prior to winter

To see each one in our church family be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that we will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might (Colossians 1:9-19)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Welcome David Felty - Interim Worship Arts Director

In my blog yesterday I shared with you that our Worship Arts, Director, Matt McElravy, will be leaving us with his last Sunday leading worship here at Grace Church being September 13th. I also shared that over the next 6-months, David Felty (pictured) will be filling the Interim Worship Arts Director role as we look to us this time evaluate and set our strategy to fill this role permanently.
Now, let me tell you a little bit more about David Felty. David was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in Hershey, Chocolatetown USA. He is a graduate of Grove City College with a BA in Religion. David’s favorite vacation spots include Jamaica and Disney World and his hobbies include playing golf and watching Penn State football.

David’s Broadway and National Tour credits include Frank Wildhorn’s The Civil War, Schonberg and Boubil’s Les Miserables (Jean Valjean), and American Rhapsody a Gershwin review. David has appeared on Star Search in two categories and was a guest on Nashville Now on CMT, and has done various recordings and TV appearances. You may have seen David recently on stage at Sight & Sound in Lancaster, PA. There he appeared in Ruth (Boaz), Daniel (Nebonidus), Miracle of Christmas (Mary’s father), and In the Beginning (Lucipher/Satan). David spent two months in Florida this past spring performing the role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables at the Actor’s Playhouse in Coral Gables, Florida.

David is married to Jennifer, a Lancaster County native, who has a Bachelor’s
Degree in vocal performance from Houghton College, NY and a Masters’ of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Penn State. Jennifer is currently the head of the music department at Lititz Christian School.

Jennifer has performed in numerous musicals as well as opera productions. Her Regional favorites include Smoke on the Mountain (Denise), Sanders Family Christmas (Denise), My Fair Lady (Eliza), Carousel (Carrie), Pirates and Pinafores (Mabel and Yumyum), and singing while playing the banjo, fiddle, and upright bass at the Grand Ol’ Opry and accompanying TV program Opry Backstage.

Jennifer currently maintains a private voice studio and. Her voice students can be seen on TV, Broadway, National Tours, college stages, as well as local theatres: Fulton Opera House, Dutch Apple, and Sight and Sound. Jennifer and David also have an amazingly talented little five-year-old named Noah who is also a singer

David currently has one cd available: Fill Me With Your Grace with a Broadway Bonus cd which includes “Bring Him Home.” You can visit David and Jennifer’s website at We are excited about the elements that David will bring to our ministry in the Interim role. Please be praying for he, Jennifer, and Noah as they transition into this role. David will start his role on Monday, August 31st.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Staff Transition

Over the last several years we have enjoyed the ministry of Matt McElravy (pictured) who has served as our Worship Arts Director here at Grace Church. Matt began his relationship with us as an intern under Bryan Nelson. He was then hired part-time to oversee music under Bryan’s leadership. When God called Bryan and Lisa Nelson to Topeka, Kansas, Matt stepped in as our Interim Worship Arts Director and within a few months was offered and accepted the permanent position. Matt had some very big shoes to fill in following Bryan, and as a young man right out of college, Matt did a tremendous job in leading us into a more meaningful worship ministry.

It is now time for a new chapter in Matt’s life. As a young, single man, Matt is ready to embark on some new challenges and, as a result, has submitted his letter of resignation. Matt’s final Sunday with us as our Worship Arts Director will be September 13th.

Matt’s passion to lead worship has been very evident and has been used greatly by the Lord here at Grace. His musical abilities and knowledge amazed us all. And over the last several years we have had the privilege of being greatly ministered to by the original songs that Matt wrote and shared with us here at Grace Church as part of our week to week worship. We are very grateful for the part Mat has played in the life of our church as well as the role Grace Church has played in Matt’s life. Below is part of Matt’s letter to Pastor Tim Auld, our Executive Pastor, notifying us of his resignation:

“I wish to thank you, Pastor Scott, and the rest of the family here at Grace for their understanding, support, guidance, and love during these past two and a half years, and particularly during the past few months as I have been wrestling with this decision. I have always been able to count on your support, and for that, I am grateful beyond words.”

As saddened as we are to see Matt leave, we are equally as excited to announce David Felty as our Interim Worship Arts Director beginning the first week of September. He and Matt will overlap for about 2 weeks to help in the transition. This Interim position is beginning as a 6-month position as we look to evaluate and set our strategy to fill this role permanently.

Most of you are aware of who David is as you have seen him sing several times in recent months here at Grace on Sunday morning. David has amazing vocal and acting talent. In my blog tomorrow I will share with you more about David’s accomplishments. David is also married to Jennifer, who is the head of the music department at Lititz Christian School and who has sung and acted many times on Sunday mornings at Grace as well.

Please be praying for both Matt and David as they transition into these new roles and as they began these new chapters in their live and ministry. Please also be praying for our ministry overall as we seek God’s guidance for the filling of this permanent position.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Foyer Renovation and Expansion Project FAQ - Part 3

How will we be funding this project? We are thankful that we have over $1.2 million dollars in cash that we can use as the bulk of payment for this project. The Elder Board has voted unanimously to recommend to the church that we finance the remaining portion (up to $760,000.00 maximum) over the next 5 years at an interest rate not to exceed 5.75%. If not another penny came in to this project, we would be able to pay this amount off in 5 years using monies currently in our budget (we continue to pay a portion of our former mortgage to ourselves). It would be our prayer and our anticipation that through additional giving to the building fund we could pay this loan off within the next three years.

What bank will we be using for this financing? We are currently in negotiations with two institutions. One is local (Fulton Bank) and the other is through the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation (GBIF). Both of these institutions are eager to help us with this project and our offering very competitive rates and terms.

Why would we choose to expand the project and finance a portion of the cost? We feel that we are in a very good setting to do this for several reasons. First, we are very strong as a ministry financially at this point (which we praise the Lord for) and giving continues to increase. Second, interest rates are very low at this time. Third, there is likely to never be a time again in the near future when construction costs will be as low as they are now. With the rise of oil prices, pricing for paving will also be rising in the very near future as well. Fourth, beginning January 1st, building codes will be changing and if we wait until after that time to start construction we will most likely need to update our facility with a sprinkler system that would be very costly. And finally, because we have been paying ourselves in our yearly budget from the monies used for our previous mortgage, we can do this financing with monies that are already currently in our budget.

Will there be opportunity for our church family to give toward this project? Yes! The Building Fund remains open and can be given to at anytime. The more that comes into this fund, the less we will have to finance and the quicker we can pay off any financing we encounter. We do ask that all giving to the building fund be above and beyond your regular giving to the church so that our present ministry does not suffer financially during this project.

When will construction begin on this project and how long will it take? We have planned Sunday morning, August 30th, for there to be a ballot vote of the congregation to approve this project. All members and regular attenders who are age 16 or older are encouraged to participate. We are tentatively planning to hold a ground-breaking ceremony led by Pastor Tim on Sunday morning, September 6th. This brief ceremony would occur between our first and second service (9:45-9:55) and then be repeated in between our second and third services (11:15-11:25). Construction would then begin as soon as possible. The entire project could take up to 6-months to complete.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This morning as I walked out to get into the car to come to work, I saw the thick black clouds of smoke filling the sky. Something was definitely on fire and its source seemed very near our church. Actually, it was the barn that sits next to the church. In a matter of minutes the blaze took the barn to the ground as fire-fighters worked to contain the flames. You can see a picture of the blaze at the following link from WGAL:

Once the flames were out and things were just smoldering, I walked up to the scene to talk to the firefighter in charge and let him know that we had bottles of cold water here at the church and that all emergency responders were welcome to use our restroom facilities or just spend a few minutes inside in the air conditioning.

We are also trying to make contact with the owners of the property so that we can offer them any assistance they might need as well. Please be praying for our neighbors. Please be praying for the firefighters. As we saw in our series in Esther, God is always working behind the scenes so please also be praying that would use GRACE church to be able to share the GRACE of God.

Foyer Renovation and Expansion Project FAQ - Part 2

What will be the ministry usage of our new café addition? The main purpose of our café will be to provide an area where people who are coming to Grace Church to worship can also spend time getting to know each other and connecting with others. Currently we have no such place. Other than bumping into each other in the lobby in between services, there is really no area where people can meet people and spend time sharing and developing relationships. This addition will also provide us with the largest room in our entire facility (with the exception of our auditorium/gymnasium) for larger events and programs, key of which will be a place where our entire youth group (who have far outgrown their current room) can gather for their main youth night on Wednesday nights. This café can also be used for special events of all kinds. The café will also allow us to provide a place in the mornings and during the day where the hundreds of parents who bring their kids to MorningStar Childcare/Academics and Lititz Christian School can spend time which will provide us with even greater opportunity to make a ministry connection with them. We would also like to see in the near future the ability to be able to open our café up during the day to our community who could use it to hold meetings or spend time away from the house or the office in an environment that gives them a “first touch” with Grace Church. These are just some of the ways we can utilize this new room. As you can see, the ministry opportunities for this expansion are seemingly limitless

How much will this renovation/expansion project cost? The total price of the project is $1,950,000. Along with all that is listed above, this figure includes upgrading the existing HVAC system; renovating the existing office area to prepare and change for the new office and café addition; and monies for two additional water and sewer EDU’s now required by the township after reviewing our current usage. In light of the anticipated rise in energy costs, this figure also includes a geothermal heating and air conditioning system which is more costly at the forefront but over time will provide better efficiency and lower energy costs. This figure also allows for unexpected overages and change orders. Lord willing, the total cost when finished will come in under this amount.

Why is the price higher than the one million figure we originally set as a goal? When we first started talking about this renovation/addition as part of our 5-year vision plan, the original goal was to renovate the lobby and build a café for a cost of around 1 million dollars which we would have in cash. Please remember that this was just that…a goal. But as you can see from the above listing of what this project includes, it ended up being more extensive than we originally were thinking. Along with the renovation of the existing foyer and the new café, we have also added to this project an office expansion and additional parking (both of which are real needs in our ministry as our staffing and congregation continues to grow). This project also is including some needed HVAC upgrades in our existing office and foyer area. Being that construction costs are so low right now, it is the conviction of our Elder Board that we will have no better opportunity to make these extra additions at the best price possible than we do right now.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Foyer Renovation and Expansion Project FAQ - Part 1

How does this project fit in to our Five Year Vision Plan as a church? Our 5-year vision plan included multiple services as one of our five key areas believing that we would reach far more people by continuing with our present worship auditorium with multiple services than we would in building a new and larger auditorium. Instead of spending $20 million dollars or more on a new auditorium, we felt that we could best reach our “meeting and moving” goals with two smaller projects, one of which being a renovation of our current lobby with an expansion of it that would serve primarily as a café.

What does this foyer renovation/expansion project include? This project includes four major areas…the renovation of our existing foyer; a café addition; an office addition; and some other miscellaneous areas. The main specifics of these four areas are listed below.

Existing Foyer Renovation:
Ø Lighting upgrade
Ø Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) upgrade
Ø New floor covering
Ø Relocation and redesign of information center
Ø Renovation of existing maintenance and coat rooms into a large meeting room

Café Addition:
Ø Over 4800 square feet of single-story open café area
Ø Additional men’s and women’s restrooms
Ø Family restroom with exterior entrance door for outdoor special events
Ø Concession area for outdoor special events
Ø Interior vending area
Ø High performance ceiling distributed loudspeaker system
Ø Ceiling mounted plasma displays and wireless internet access
Ø Energy efficient building design
Ø Energy efficient Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems

Office Addition:
Ø Over 1500 square feet of single-story multiple office space
Ø Energy efficient building design
Ø Energy efficient Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems

Miscellaneous Areas:
Ø Energy efficient HVAC systems (existing offices and foyer)
Ø Wireless internet coverage for entire facility (church and school)
Ø Additional parking areas and existing parking area upgrades

Friday, August 21, 2009

Foyer Renovation and Expansion Project

Back in February I shared with you the 5-year vision plan for Grace Church which included a renovation of our current foyer that included a café expansion. For the past 6 months, the Foyer Renovation/Expansion Committee and our church Elder Board have been working very hard to put together a project that would meet the needs of our growing ministry and prepare us for a future of meeting as many people as possible right where they are and helping to move them to where God wants them to be. We have shared with you already the building concepts and plans of this project and now we are ready to present to you all of the information in anticipation of the congregation approving this project and its funding on Sunday morning, August 30th.

When we first birthed this idea as part of our 5-year vision plan, the goal was to be able to do this foyer renovation and café expansion with cash we would have on hand from paying ourselves since we retired our last mortgage over 3 years ago. Had we stayed with just a renovation of the foyer and the addition of a café, we would have reached that goal. However, as we went through this process we saw other areas of need including updating our HVAC systems; more office space; more parking spaces, etc. We also are being required by the township to do additional items including a sidewalk along Arrowhead Drive and two additional water and sewer EDU’s. It was also decided that for efficiency and anticipated hikes in energy costs, it would be well worth our while to pay more up front for a geothermal heating and air conditioning system. All this resulted in a final price that exceeded our current cash on hand by around 40%. It is the Building Committee and the Elder Board’s conviction that now is the time to accomplish all of this in light of the fact that construction costs will most likely never be as low as now.

As a result, this project calls for us to finance up to $760,000 on a five year note at a rate not to exceed 5.75%. Why finance? Along with the low cost of construction rates, we also are seeing very low interest rates. Because we continue to pay ourselves a portion of the amount of our former mortgage payment, we can pay off this loan in just 5 years using monies that we are already paying ourselves in the budget (perhaps sooner dependent on additional monies coming into the Building Fund). The bottom line is that we can do this entire project and pay for it with the cash we have on hand and monies that are already in our budget. After much prayer, planning and discussion, the Elder Board has unanimously approved bringing this plan to the church for congregational approval believing that this is a very sound plan that will allow us to continue to meet and move people who desperately need to know Jesus.

A packet including a 3-dimmensional drawing of the proposed additions and a 4-page Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) sheet was mailed out to the church family this week and sent to those who receive my Pastor’s E-mail Updates. In next week’s blogs I will highlight the main pieces of information from this packet. This Sunday at Grace there will be several opportunities for you to learn more and to have questions answered. As a Building Committee and Elder Board, we are very excited about how God has led us and we look forward to seeing construction beginning as soon as possible to the glory of God!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Grace Logo

This Fall we will be looking to officially launch our new website here at Grace Church and a new branding logo that we are very excited about. You will begin to see our new logo (pictured above) phased in over the next couple of months. We have put a lot of time and thought into this design. We like it for several reasons among which are:

It has a more contemporary feel to it in design and in colors!

The symbol can be used with the words "grace ministries" or it can stand alone!

The symbol gives us a "G" standing for "grace" and is designed with an arrow to show our purpose as a ministy which is to meet people where they are and help move them to where God wants them to be!

We are using the word "ministries" instead of the word "church" because we are much more than just a church. We are also an educational ministry and will soon be looking to launch satellite campuses in other locations!

I am very thankful for all the work that Tim Auld, as our Executive Pastor, and Megan Wilkerson, as our Office Manager, put into the process of this design. I love it!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Wardrobe for September - Part 2

So here it is…the shirt that someone found on ebay and showed me so I could buy and wear it for our September Touchdown Jesus message series! Boy is this tempting!!!!

But this got me thinking in a capitalistic type of a way. I know that there are many of you out there who would love to see me preaching on stage on a Sunday morning in a dreadful jersey that I’m sure would make my skin crawl just to put it on. But with my tuition bills coming in regularly from my daughter being in college, and realizing that next year I will have two kids in college at the same time (OUCH!), what if I auctioned my wardrobe off for the month of September to the highest bidder?

Here’s how it could work. Each week, people could bid. They could act individually or go together as a group. By Friday the highest bid is awarded the right to provide the shirt or jersey for me to wear that Sunday. Whatever team they provide, I would have to wear. All the proceeds would then go as a scholarship toward my daughter’s college tuition.

But wait…there has to be some minimums put in place here. I mean this is asking an awful lot of me. For example, there would be a $1,000 minimum to win a week’s bid for providing a jersey for me to wear with the following exceptions for the teams I loathe:

$1,500 minimum to wear a Dallas Cowboys Jersey

$2,000 minimum to wear a Notre Dame University Jersey

$2,500 minimum to wear a Philadelphia Eagles Jersey

$3,000 minimum to wear a Baltimore Ravens Jersey

$3,500 minimum to wear a Denver Broncos Jersey

$4,000 minimum to wear a University of Michigan Jersey

$4,500 minimum to wear a Pittsburgh Steelers Jersey

$5,000 minimum to wear a Penn State Jersey

ACTUALLY, I’M KIDDING ABOUT THIS! Well, to be real honest, my wife nixed the idea. She said I could only do it if the proceeds went to the church. Forget that! I’m not putting on any of these types of horrific jerseys unless it benefits me personally!!!

So, I guess I’ll just have to spend the $15 and buy the “Jesus is a Cleveland Fan” T-shirt shown above! It won’t help my paying for my kid’s college but it will sure make me feel good! After all, I can always alternate between it and my Ohio State University jersey week to week!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Wardrobe for September - Part 1

As you know, I have been known to dress differently at times on a Sunday morning depending on the theme of the day. To me, effective communication is using everything at my disposal to keep people visually focused in this visually stimulated culture in which we live. In fact, over the years I have dressed up in a variety of ways including :

Robin Hood
A European Fisherman (pictured)
A Papua New Guinea Native (pictured)
The Pope (pictured)
A Smurf
A Hobo
A McDonald's Manager (pictured)
Super Man
A 1960’s Hippie
A 1970’s Disco Guy
A 1980’s Miami Vice Character (pictured)

But tomorrow in my blog, I will show you the shirt that I think I should get and wear each Sunday in September for our upcoming Touchdown Jesus message series which kicks off September 6th. For this series, everything about the morning will have a football theme. We encourage all of you to do all of the following:

Be sure you are here every Sunday! You won’t want to miss a week. From the moment you arrive you will get the football feel as you see pre-church tailgate parties going on in the parking lot. As you enter the lobby, you will enter the “red zone”…the last 20 yards to the end zone and you will cross the goal line as you enter the auditorium.

Come early on Sunday and plan to meet some of your friends in the parking lot for your own pre-church tailgate party. Pull out the doughnuts or fire up the grill with some breakfast sausages. Bring a thermos of coffee. Turn on some music and thrown some ball around. If we can get excited about going to a football game, why can’t we get excited about going to church! After all, the local church is the hope of the world because we have the only message that can change someone’s eternity.

Invite everyone you know to attend. Along with the fun football theme, we will take the entire month to study the parable of the four soils told by Jesus. This is a very important teaching of Christ that we desperately need to understand. We will see that just because someone has heard the gospel, or even prayed a prayer, doesn’t necessarily make them a true child of God. Through this parable we will be able to see if we are simply “playing church” or if we truly have a life-changing relationship with Jesus.

Finally, pull out all of your football accessories. Whether it’s high school, college, or the NFL, if you have a jersey, shirt or hat of your favorite team, wear it each Sunday that month. You a follower of the Green Bay Packers? Then put on your cheesehead and wear it. This is your chance to show your team’s colors each and every Sunday in September.

Tomorrow I will share with you the shirt that I think I should wear all month.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Next 10 Months at Grace

The next 12 months (September 2009 through June 2010) here at Grace Ministries ought to be amazing months. Below are just some of the very real possibilities that we will see taking place that will help us to more effectively as a ministry meet people right where they are and help move them to where God wants them to be:

The main area of our existing church office will be renovated beginning this week to allow for additional offices to be built-in to our already existing structure.

Later this month another exciting year of impacting the lives of students and families begins at Lititz Christian School and MorningStar Childcare and Academics.

Our educational ministries have already launched their new and exciting website. In the month of September we will be unveiling our new church website and ministry logo.

This September will be groundbreaking on our café/office expansion and the fall and early winter months will see the completion of our foyer renovation and expansion project.

This fall will feature our connection process as we give opportunity for the many new people to Grace to get better plugged in through a Ten Minute Party (Sept 13); Lunch with Pastor Scott (Sept 27); and our Connection Classes beginning in October.

This fall will also feature a Connect Group Campaign as we strongly encourage everyone who is part of Grace Church to sign up to be part of a Connect Group for 8 weeks. During this time we will study Ephesians 1-3 on Sunday mornings in a series called, “Grace Matters” which will include an overview on Sunday mornings and a time of digging deeper into the passages application points in a small group environment.

We are signaling out the entire 2010 calendar year to be a Year of Prayer here at Grace Ministries. We will begin the year with a message series on prayer. We will return to that theme on Sunday mornings in July and end the year with a large New Year’s Eve Prayer Service. We will also be having a “Prayer Challenge” each month as together as a church family we make prayer the emphasis for an entire year throughout our ministry.

In June 2010, Operation Barnabas Orientation will be back here at Grace and as a part of having these 100 ‘cream of the crop’ teenagers from all over the country with us for 10 days, we will be looking to pull off the biggest event in the history of our church. We have already reserved Clipper Magazine Stadium for a Sunday in June as we look to touch 10,000-15,000 people in one single day.

2010 is also the year slated in our 5-year vision plan to launch a regular Saturday Night Worship Service that would be identical in content (but more laid back in format) to our Sunday morning services. Our plan is to being with a pilot series early in 2010.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Grace Church...A Love Letter

Last week I received the most wonderful e-mail from a first time guest at Grace Church. It underscores the importance of every individual person in the church and it sure does remind me that the local church is the hope of the world! It is a little longer than my normal post, but you are going to enjoy reading it!

Pastor Scott,

Thank you so very much for the warm welcome and I must say that the service most definitely spoke to me!!

I have been "saved" since 2002 and have attended (name removed) Church since that blessed day, but due to many challenges I've faced internally at (name removed), I had not been getting "fed" there for quite some time. I had been "hurt" and struggled since then to take the step in faith and visit other churches in the area... in order to get back on track with my relationship with God.

Months had passed and I had just stopped going anywhere for "Corporate" gathering/church/worship, due to feeling incredibly uncomfortable making the step alone. I had managed to attend a service at (name removed) Church, with a co-worker. Although this it was a fine church on their own accord... it was just not an environment that I felt led to go back to.

I had been tossing the idea of attending Grace for another few months, hearing about it through my work. When I looked at your website it seemed to have all of the same type of ministries that I have been accustomed to... most importantly, your kid ministries. You see, I am a single mom of 2 boys, ages 9 & 10. It is my foremost job to make sure that whatever church I choose, suits them as well!!

During my time of mulling over whether to visit Grace, God placed it on the hearts of two friends of mine that the best way to "help" me was to attend with me, so I wouldn't be scared. So, we made it a point to set a date, on a weekend that I didn't have my boys... which just so happened to be this past weekend.

Well, Sunday came and my one friend met me in the parking lot and we found seats in your 10am service. My other friends was running late so the friend sitting with me left me at the seats and went out to the lobby to find her. While I was sitting there alone, there were 2 young girls (I would put them around 17), that came and sat beside me. The one girl was very energetic and sweet, striking up a conversation with me about how long I've been coming or was this my first time, asking my name and so on. From what I gathered from her demeanor, she was genuinely sincere. I told her all about being a newbie, and then my friends found their seats and the service started.

The service, as I stated above, spoke to me and through me, to my very inner soul!!! I have felt so far from the love of God, for so long... I kept questioning his presence in my life. What I learned through your sermon, was that just because you don't see him... doesn't mean he's not there. I knew that with my head, but my heart had felt otherwise for quite some time now. I really like the correlation that God was never mentioned in the book of Esther, but you can sure see that he was a huge part of it! I hadn't looked at the last year & a half of my life like that before, but it has certainly given me back the "hopefulness" that I've been known to possess.

After the service, the young gal turned to me and asked what I thought. I told her that the service was written just for me! She then asked how her and her friend could pray for me this week. I WAS DUMBFOUNDED!!!! Here a sweet young girl, seemingly popular (since a bunch of people came in and hugged her as they were walking in to find seats prior to service) thought enough about "others" (namely me) to ask if she could pray for me. I've never been welcomed so warmly to anywhere in my life!!!! What a blessing!! I told her that indeed my request is that I make a wise choice in picking a home church, for the sake of my 2 boys. I told her that my boys were very apprehensive to go "church shopping" with me and left it up to me to choose the "right" church for all of us!

I then went to the information desk and received my "gift" and asked about the kid ministries. The gal there was very nice and actually left her post to give me a tour. Then comes yet another blessing! As I stood there in Elevate, talking to one of your volunteers... a woman called out to me "You're (name removed) mom, right?". I said yeah and scratched my head, trying to place her familiar face. Here, it turns out that her sons have been in the same classes at school as my 2 boys. How cool is that? As I stood there chatting with her, I told her the reluctant nature of my boys to change and she suggested that we buddy up her boys with my boys… if I was able to attend first service next week (this Sunday) with them.

I left the room feeling overwhelmed and met my friends in the hallway and broke down sobbing uncontrollably. I thanked them right then for coming with me and told them, I would've never attended if they hadn't been there to support me. They cried with me and I left the building feeling the best that I have felt in the last 2 years!!!!

The only way that I can describe the experience is to say that it's similar to getting a love letter, specifically tailored to me!! God had a solution to EVERY worry that would’ve kept me from returning. In addition to the elated feeling I felt leaving Grace on Sunday, I was able to have a most remarkable conversation with my boys that evening, that made them EXTREMELY excited to visit and see for themselves, this Sunday!

Words cannot describe the tremendous blessing which took place in your house of worship, but I am very thankful, to you, your staff, and your volunteers for allowing God to use you in a VERY profound way! After feeling so far from God and being mad at him, He managed to show me His Grace, once again… at “Grace” Church. Ironic, huh? Thanks for taking the time to read this rather lengthy e-mail. I just wanted to know that the Grace family IS making a difference!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today I take my daughter, Joy, back to college for her sophomore year as an education major at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA! It sure has been great having her home this summer! It seems like just yesterday that she and I were playing in the sand on the Florida beach when she was just a baby (Yep, that picture is really her and me! Was I a hunk or what?).

What is really weird is realizing that at the end of this month my son, Jonathan, starts his senior year in High School. Next year at this time we will be taking them both to college at Liberty.

You know what that means...


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Staff Prayer Walk

If you have attended Grace long enough, you should be able to fill in the blank, “Nothing of eternal importance happens apart from __________!” Of course, the answer is PRAYER. At our last Staff Meeting our entire staff participated in what we call a “Prayer Walk” through our building. Why? Well, think of it this way, In Joshua 1:3, God made this promise to Joshua,

“Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you….” (Joshua 1:3 NASB)

NoW obviously this promise was concerning the Promised Land that Joshua would lead Israel in conquering. But in a very real way, I think the same is true concerning the wonderful facility God has given to us here at Grace. I think it is safe to say that every place that our feet walk within our facility is a place that God has given to us. So, as a result, we spent an hour doing a prayer walk as a staff through our facility.

Now what exactly is prayer walking? Prayer walking is targeted prayer as you ask at the place of need (in this case, it was the location of our educational ministries). Prayer walking is intercessory prayer which is praying on behalf of others (in this case we prayed for the students, faculty and staff of our educational ministries). In groups of three and four we walked through the areas that are the main usage areas of Morningstar Childcare and Academics as well as Lititz Christian School.

The emphasis was on praying not walking. Even as we walked in between areas we stayed focused on praying and on listening to the Holy Spirit. The key was to stay focused for the entire hour on one thing….interceding on behalf of our educational ministries. That is why we didn’t even take our cell phones along with us.

We began our time in each room by quietly praying, “Holy Spirit, what do you want our group to do in this room?” We also tried not to do the same thing in each area. We wanted to be creative as the Holy Spirit led us. For example, sometimes we prayed silently. Sometimes one person prayed. Sometimes everyone was part of a specific, short, conversational prayer. Sometimes we prayed while standing. Sometimes we prayed while seated at a desk. Sometimes we prayed while kneeling. Sometimes we prayed while touching the teacher’s desk, a student’s desk or the door to the room. Sometimes we just stood silently before the Lord. Sometimes we sang a song of worship as a prayer or prayed a passage of Scripture. We prayed for each administrator, faculty and staff member of our Educational Ministries. We prayed for each student and each family represented by our students.

Then, inside each room, there was a card. Before we left the room, we each wrote a note on the card to the teacher of that room. These cards will be given to the teachers in these rooms when they return for the new school year so that they know that we prayed for them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In The End, GOD WINS!

The big day final arrived in Persia. This was the day that Haman had planned for the extermination of every Jew in Persia. But now that Haman was dead (see earlier week’s blog postings for the full story) there was a much different outcome. According to Esther chapter nine, when the scheduled day came, the Jews were invincible. They had prepared to fight and everyone feared them. Even the Persian leaders helped to defend the Jews. In Shusan alone, over 500 enemies of the Jews were destroyed including 10 sons of Haman. Though they were allowed, the Jews did not take any of their enemies’ plunder. It was obvious that they were not fighting for material possessions but rather for survival.

The king feared that if Shusan had 500 enemies of the Jews, there must be others so he asks Esther what she would like him to do. Imagine that, the king is now consulting Esther. Proverbs 31:10, 11 is true, “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her…” Esther asks the king to give a one-day extension to hunt out the remaining enemies of the Jewish people and to allow the 10 sons of Haman’s bodies to be displayed publicly (impaled) as a visual warning. The king concurs and the next day another 300 enemies were killed in Shusan and 75,000 enemies were killed over the 2 days throughout the entire 127 provinces of the kingdom.

And as should be the case when God shows Himself strong, a great celebration occurs. Mordecai proclaims a national 2-day holiday to commemorate this triumph. The feast was called Purim and it included giving gifts to each other and to the poor. The feast was so named because the word “Pur” means “lot” and Haman cast lots to determine the day of execution. The feast is still celebrated among Jews today and it includes the reading of the book of Esther. Little children and adults dress up in costume. People boo and jeer when Haman’s name is mentioned. People clap and cheer when Esther and Mordecai’s names are mentioned. When Mordecai established this holiday is was also to include a time of fasting, symbolizing their fasting before Esther approached the King.

What a story this has been. But let me end by reminding us of some principles that we see in the story that are as relevant and applicable to us today as they were back then:

God is always at work orchestrating the details of our lives! God is at work even when his timing seems absent. God is at work even when evil seems to be winning.

The people God uses are usually unexpected! That was true of David, Moses and Rahab and it was certainly true of Esther, a Jewish orphan.

God is never absent! Even though the book of Esther never mentions His name, God’s hand and plan is visible on every page of its writing.

In the end, God wins! The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes it (Proverbs 21:1)!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dancing in the Streets

When the Jewish people living in all of the provinces of the Persian Empire read the decree which had been sealed by the King, there was much sorrow in the land. Weeping, mourning and fear plagued every Jew as they knew that on a certain day, all of them, men and women, young and old, would be killed due to the diabolical plot of Haman. But then God used Esther and Mordecai in amazing ways and soon a second decree went out that would give the Jewish people the right to defend themselves and to take for themselves the possessions of anyone they killed who was trying to harm them on that impending day. Esther 8 tells us that when the second decree was read, there was shouting and rejoicing in the streets of Susa. The Jewish people were now filled with joy and gladness because the insurmountable wall that they were facing had come down.

Today, there are many believers who are facing one of those walls that seem insurmountable. It may be a financial wall as our economy swoons. It may be a marital wall as relationships that once were characterized by love and acceptance began to crumble. It may be a wall dealing with a rebellious child. It may be a wall of pain and disease or a wall that recently had you standing next to a freshly dug grave. All too often I watch believers come up against these walls and ultimately become angry at God and walk away from trusting Him. They forget four principles we learn from Esther:

No wall is too insurmountable for God!

Even when you are facing your wall, God is at work behind the scenes!

God’s timing in bringing down your wall may not be your timing, but it will be perfect timing!

One day you will once again be dancing in the streets!

That was sure true of the Jewish people back in Esther’s Day. It is also true of us today. Even the greatest wall we have ever faced, the wall of sin, falls into these truths. That wall was insurmountable to us. We were sinners, and as a result, had been condemned to an eternity without God in hell and there was nothing we could do about it. But God was working behind the scenes. And when the fullness of time came, God sent His only begotten son, Jesus Christ, into this world, born of a virgin. He died in our place on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin and that sacrifice satisfied the wrath of God toward our sin. He rose again from the dead to prove that He was exactly who he claimed to be, the only way to the Father. And when we put our faith in Him and trust His death and His resurrection for the forgiveness of our sin, we are forgiven. We are given eternal life. We become children of God and one day we will dance with joy on golden streets.

So, if you are facing a wall today as a follower of Jesus, don’t give up. Keep trusting the God who is bigger than your wall, who right now is at work behind the scenes and whose timing is perfect. And one day you will once again find yourself dancing in the streets.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Ministry M.V.P.

One of the main reasons why Grace Ministries is such an amazing place is because of the staff that God has allowed us to put together. From pastoral staff to ministry staff to support staff to our educational staff, God is allowing us to put together a ministry “dream team” of sorts. Each of these individuals are very passionate about our vision. This isn’t a job to these folks, it is a ministry with eternal issues at stake. After all, the local church is the hope of the world.

But every once in a while I see one of our staff members go above and beyond in even a more amazing way than usual. Recently, I have watched our Director of Student Ministries, Doug Kegarise, (pictured) do that very thing. Earlier in July, Doug took our student leadership team on a mission trip to Ireland where they spent time with the Beckers, who are missionaries in Dublin supported by Grace Church. Doug was home for just one weekend when it was time to load up the busses and take 95 of our teens and youth leaders to the Momentum Youth Conference at Robert Morris University near Pittsburgh.

If you have ever been to Momentum, formerly called BNYC for Brethren National Youth Conference, then you know how amazing, but how utterly draining that week of ministry is, especially when you are in charge of the largest youth group in attendance as Doug was at this year’s Momentum Conference. So you can begin to understand, especially since it was right on the heels of the Ireland trip, why Doug would be physically, emotionally and even spiritually spent after returning home from these two trips.

But Doug’s first day back in the office after Momentum included hearing of a challenging incident involving one of our teens. As a result, Doug loaded up the van again and took off on yet another overnight trip in order to be a ministry in the life of this teenager and his family. Folks, that’s going the extra mile. That’s a man who sees youth ministry as something far more than just a job. But that wasn’t it. Less than a week later, Doug loaded up the van once again and headed to Columbus, Ohio to pick up the teens from our church that had spent the summer on Operation Barnabas to bring them home.

What a month of July for Doug, wouldn’t you agree? Folks, listen, all of our staff are amazing but since I am a big sports junkie, I would like to take this time to publicly award Doug with the Grace Ministries Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for the month of July. What does he get as a result? He gets mentioned in my blog! It’s not much of a prize but it’s all I got!

But the bigger reward for Doug would be having all of you showing up at our Outdoor, Youth-Led Communion this Sunday night, August 9th, beginning at 6pm here at the church. Come be led by our teens in the ultimate of worship in the midst of God’s creation and see Doug’s ministry first hand as you hear our teen’s testimonies of how God has used all of these trips in their lives and how God is using Doug and Grace Student Ministries to meet hundreds of teenagers right where they are and help move them to where God wants them to be!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Make Some Serious NOISE

I have to be honest with you. When we planned our message series through the book of Esther, we really saw it as a simple summer series to kind of keep things maintained until fall rolled around and we were ready to once again ramp things up. But to our amazement, surprise and delight, God has used this series in ways we never imagined. As we have looked at this book that never mentions the name of God, never gives a title for God, and never even uses a pronoun referring to God, we have seen over and over the powerful principle that God is always working behind the scenes. He may be invisible, but He is always at work. The feedback we have received verbally and in writing through this series has exceeded any previous series I can remember.

And now this Sunday we bring it all to a close and we are going to do so in a very unique way. We are going to wrap up our message series in Esther by asking those in attendance to make some series noise throughout the message. We are going to be experiencing a little bit of the Jewish feast of Purim. The term “Purim” comes from the word “Pur” which means “lot”. Remember that in the story, Haman used lots (the “Pur”) to determine his “lucky day” for the extermination of all Jewish people in Persia.

This Jewish feast of Purim is a yearly remembrance and celebration of how God used both Esther and Mordecai to save the Jewish people. It includes fasting since Esther and all the Jews fasted for three days prior to the queen risking her life by going before the king unannounced. It also includes gift giving as well. But one of the most unique parts of this celebration is the reading of the story of Esther. But as the story is read, the people participate. Every time the name of evil Haman is mentioned, the people boo and hiss. In fact, the children use chalk to write the name “Haman” on the bottom of their shoes so they are walking on their enemy. But every time the name of Mordecai or Esther are mentioned in the story, the people applaud and cheer. Well, we are going to do some things along the same line Sunday that I believe will allow us to never forget this amazing story showing that God is always working behind the scenes.

As I retell the story of Esther in our closing message Sunday, we need you to make some serious noise. Here’s how. Every time I mention the name of Haman, we need you to boo and hiss as if your arch rival in football just scored a touchdown. Along the same lines, every time I mention the name of Esther, we need all of you to applaud and cheer as if your team just scored the winning touchdown. And now comes the clincher…we will be giving everyone who attends this Sunday a type of “noise maker” as you enter the service. Every time I mention the name of Mordecai (and only when I moention the name of Mordecai), I need all of you to use your noise makers and literally make some serious noise.

It will be different that anything you have ever done in church, but if we can scream and cheer our heads off when our team makes the big play or wins the big game, shouldn’t we be just as revved up over the spiritual heroes of the Bible? So come to church this Sunday here at Grace and be ready to make some serious noise.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


As I look back over my 44 years, there are certain quotes that I have either heard or read that have stuck with me like glue. These aren’t just clever statements, they are bits of truth that have become a major part of my ministry philosophy. Here are a few of them:

Just because it’s Christian doesn’t mean you have to settle for mediocrity…shoot for excellence in everything you do.” (This was a quote I heard often in the band room during my high school years that came from Mr. Don Bechtel, my High School band director at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in Stow, Ohio)

Nothing of eternal importance happens apart from prayer.” (This quote I heard literally hundreds of times during my four years of college coming from Dr Jerry Falwell, founder and chancellor of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia)

If you’re going to understand the Bible theologically, you must first understand it grammatically.” (this quote came from Dr. Paul Fink, my Inductive Bible Study and Homiletics professor at Liberty University who taught me how to study the Bible)

If you’re going to err, err on the side of grace.” (this quote was spoken often from Steve Peters, my mentor in ministry, pastor of Community Church in West Milton, OH were I spent my first 8 years of full-time ministry after graduating from college)

If God be your partner, make your plans large.” (This quote comes from the old time evangelist, D.L. Moody, founder of Moody Bible Institute...pictured above)

The local church is the hope of the world.” (this quote comes from Bill Hybels, one of my favorite authors who is also the pastor of the Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois, and founder of the Willow Creek Association)

We count people because people count.” (this quote is in Rick Warren’s best selling book, The Purpose Driven Church…Rick pastor’s Saddleback Church in La Mirada, California)

Leadership is disappointing people at a rate they can stand.” (this is a quote I heard John Ortberg share it at a Willow Creek Leadership Summit…John is also one of my favorite authors who pastors the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in San Fran Cisco, California)

If you’re going to reach people that no one is reaching, you have to do things that no one is doing.” (this quote comes from Craig Groeschel, pastor of in Edmond, Oklahoma and author of the book, It)

For the Christian, the best is yet to come.” (I have no idea who coined this quote…I’m sure it is not original, but I use it on a regular basis so I’ll take credit for this one for now)

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Some Ministry Rewards Happen THIS Side of Heaven

The truth is that we will never really know the total fruit and impact of our ministry until we get to heaven and God rolls back the eternal curtain and we get to see all the ways that our service and labors of love were used by the Lord to make an eternal impact in the lives of people. But there are also those wonderful times when we get to see some of that impact now and it is those rewards that keep us going in ministry in spite of all of the challenges and, well, I’ll just say it, in spite of all of the crap we often have to endure, especially in church work. Last week I got to experience two such rewards that have me humbled and elated.

Last Tuesday Laura and I drove out to Columbus, Ohio to pick up our son, Jonathan, who had spent the summer on Operation Barnabas. We had to pick him up between 7-9am on Wednesday so we went out the night before and had dinner with a family that I lived with while in Ohio during the summer before my junior and senior years of college where I served as the summer intern youth pastor at Community Church in West Milton. They had a son named Sean who was in 7th and 8th grade when I lived with them. Sean was in many ways a wall-flower back then. But during those summers and the following years as I served as the full-time youth pastor at the same church, Sean really came out of his shell. He went on to attend Liberty University as a Youth Major and during his last two summers of college he interned under me at the church. When I then went from youth pastor to associate pastor, Sean took over as youth pastor and led the youth ministry into heights I only dreamed of when I had oversight of it.

Today Sean (pictured above) is the Vice President of a great ministry based in Columbus called Finish Line Ministry. Laura and I have financially supported him and his wife, Danette, over the past 10 years of his ministry with Finish Line. Sean not only runs the ministry operations, but he also speaks all over the country and heads their ministry in Malawi, Africa where he has travelled eleven times training African Pastors. Laura and I spent Tuesday night at Sean and Danette’s house and had a very special time seeing his ministry and just catching up on what God was doing in their life and ministry. At breakfast the next morning, Sean very genuinely shared his thanks to us for the impact we have had in his life over the years and told us that in a very real way, the thousands of people his ministry is impacting in America and Africa are a direct result of our impact on his life years ago. Wow! Some rewards really do happen this side of heaven.

Then, as we travelled home from Columbus we listened to our son talk about his summer ministry experience on Operation Barnabas. I have seen many teens go on similar programs and most of them returned talking mainly about their experiences and the relationships they built while they were gone. Jonathan talked a little about that, but the majority of his comments were describing the spiritual impact the summer had on his life…what he learned and how he has changed. I heard him share items of spiritual maturity that I don’t often hear out of the mouths of adults. Between our time with Sean and our drive home with Jonathan, my cup was running over this side of heaven!

Monday, August 03, 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around

As we saw in last week’s blog, Haman, the villain in our study through the book of Esther, has had a very promising day turn very bad (be sure to read last week’s postings for the full story). But as chapter 7 opens, it is about ready to get even worse. At the request of Esther, Haman attends a second banquet with just himself, the king and the queen. For the third time, the king asks Esther to make her request, whatever it is, and it would be granted. Esther passed on the first two opportunities but now she senses that the timing is right. Ecclesiastes says that there is a time for every event under heaven…a time to be silent and a time to speak. Never underestimate the power of timing.

Esther’s request is that her life and the life of her people be spared. She informs the king that her and her people have been sold to be destroyed and annihilated. The king, having no idea that this had anything to do with Haman, asks who was responsible for this scenario. The queen identifies Haman who the Bible says is “terrified,” a word that means “dumb-founded.” He was shocked as he was in no way expecting this banquet to bring about this declaration. Talk about a bad day…but it is not over yet. The king is so outraged that he goes for a walk in his garden to consider what to do. While he is gone, Haman takes this opportunity to plead with Esther to intercede on his behalf. When the king returns and finds Haman fallen before the queen he assumes he is intending to harm her and calls for Haman’s immediate execution, seen by covering his face.

In enormous irony, Haman is hanged (impaled) on the very gallows he had built the night before for Mordecai’s execution. The king then gives all of Haman’s estate to Esther. I wonder what Haman’s wife thought about that. By the way, it was normal for the king to take as his own all of the estate of his deceased enemies. Esther tells the king about her nationality and her adoption and she brings Mordecai before him. Realizing Mordecai’s character and loyalty, the King promotes Mordecai to Haman’s previous position and puts him in charge of Esther’s estate. Realizing the decree against the Jews was still in effect, Esther again goes before the king uninvited asking to reverse the decree. The king reminds Esther of all he has done for her and Mordecai. This was not to say that she was expecting too much but to give her confidence that he would continue to take care of her.

It was impossible for the king to overturn the decree that had been written in the law of the Medes and Persians (see Daniel 6:8, 12, 15). But the king agrees to sign another decree that would in essence nullify the first one and he gives Mordecai the task of writing the decree. So Mordecai sends a letter from the king throughout all the provinces stating that Jews could defend themselves and take for their own the possessions of anyone they kill who was trying to harm them. This second decree written in the 3rd month would give the Jews nine months to prepare before the day of extermination in the 12th month. The results were three-fold. First, Mordecai becomes a hero! Second, all Jews celebrate! Third, instead of killing Jews, people become so respectful of Jews that many of them convert to Judaism themselves. Next week we will see the conclusion of this wonderful story as we get a little taste of the feast of Purim right here at Grace!

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Happy Anniversary Grace!

Today is the first day of August! It was five years ago today that I started as the new Senior Pastor here at Grace Church in Lititz, PA. Where has the 5 years gone? Five years ago my daughter was entering 9th grade and my son entering 7th. Today, my daughter is heading into her sophomore year of college and my son is ready to begin the milestone of his senior year of High School. But as the time has flown by, God has done some wonderful and amazing things here at Grace Ministries. Would you allow me to reflect on just a few of what I see as the greatest accomplishments we have seen together over the last 5 years?

GROWTH: Five years ago our fiscal year average Sunday morning attendance was 711 which included the timeframe from July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004. Over the past fiscal year that just ended June 30, 2009, we averaged 1,426 on Sunday mornings. That means that we have grown over 100% in the past 5 years or an average of more than 20% per year.

STAFFING: One of my most pressing goals when I started five years ago was to put together a “dream team” of sorts when it came to staffing. There have been a lot of changes in faces over the last 5 years. In fact, we only have one ministry staff member who is still in the same position today that they were in five years ago when I started. But I am thrilled with the team God has brought us to serve him and each other here at Grace.

ONENESS: I’m not sure how much it was noticed outside of the employees, but 5 years ago we were really three ministries (a church, a school and a daycare) that shared one building but frankly, didn’t always get along real well. That has changed. Today we are one ministry that includes a church, a school and a daycare, all going the same direction.

PURPOSE: Over the past five years we reinvented our purpose as a church and it has become our driving force. I think just about anyone who attends Grace for any length of time can tell you why we exist or at least get out the two key words…“meeting” and ”moving”. What is Grace all about? We are all about meeting people where they are at and moving people to where God wants them to be.

VISION: We have been able to crystallize our 5-year vision plan as a church and focus our priorities on five areas…Multiple Weekend Services; Satellite Campuses; Small Groups; Children’s, Youth & Educational Ministries; and Missions. And now we have specific plans, goals and directions for each of these 5 areas that we are moving toward.

ELEVATE: We were able to re-invent our Children’s Ministry over the last five years to give us an up to date and exciting program called Elevate that is making a huge impact.

CONNECTION: We have made major strides to become a church of small groups with the goal to see everyone who attends Grace becoming an active part of an effective small group where they will become connected as they grow spiritually, are discipled, are cared for, and have the opportunity do this thing called the Christian life together.