• 434-975-2259
Header Image

Blog

May 2018
May 2018
By

You find yourself fishing out in the ocean, miles off the coast. The water has been choppy but so far you’ve managed. After a few hours, you start to realize your toes are wet. Maybe water splashed over the sides? Soon the icy water is up to your ankles. Now you know something’s wrong. There’s a hole in your boat – and it’s starting to sink.

What do you do? You have two major options. You can bail the water out or you can plug the hole. If you bail the water out, more will keep coming in. If ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

Word of the Week: Missions

The Word of the Week is Missions! For as far back as GCC missions goes, Fleming Straughan has been our chairman. If you grab Fleming for a bite to eat, he will no doubt talk about Ireland and missions, and you will sense that he is passionate about missions anywhere, everywhere, at all times. I appreciate Fleming stepping up to lead us all these years. Every missionary Grace supports knows exactly who he is!

This year, at the elders' direction, the missions ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Of the 600 plus Jewish laws, Jesus chose these two as the greatest – and they are both relational.  Our relationship with God, and our relationship with others. Does ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

Word of the week: Relaxed

For many of our members, summer is a more relaxed time. There are planned trips and vacations. Students are off from school, and our teachers have a precious few weeks to regain their balance. Attendance is a bit lower, and volunteers are less available, so our church has a more relaxed schedule as well. We trim back to just a 10:30 service after Memorial Day weekend, and the church schedule feels relaxed to me.

This schedule creates an opportunity and let me ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

You’ve just moved to a new city and everything is, well, new. All of the restaurants are new to you. The back roads and short cuts are completely foreign to you. Finding a new barber is no small task! If this place is going to become home to you, what are you supposed to do? The easiest thing to do would be to ask someone who knows. If you want to get to know a new place, ask someone who’s been there for a while.

GCC isn’t totally new to mercy ministry, but we are renewing our efforts and ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

Word of the Week: Bang!

Hi Church,

As we move toward a more relaxed summer schedule of one service, more free time for fellowship and family activities, it seems like we are going out with a BANG!  The church calendar is full of things from men’s and women’s events to youth group’s goodbyes to Sean and Gabby Smith. The men and boys go to Fredericksburg on Saturday, the ladies have a brunch the following Saturday, and on it goes. Just as school ends we have the Malawi Talent Show (June 9th at ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

What is mercy ministry? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Have you wondered why the Church engages in such an activity or considered how this involves you personally? If you have – or if you just like reading pithy blogs – hang around for a few minutes.

At the most basic level, mercy ministry is helping people with a practical need in the name of Jesus Christ. This can take on many forms and can be achieved in a variety of ways. It may involve providing a meal or paying an electric ...


May 2018
May 2018
By

Word of the Week: Celebration

Why is it that spring is always the time of such awesome celebrations? There is the whole wedding thing where so many people choose the warm season of the year to get married, so our mailboxes are full of “save the date” cards. Then there is the graduation thing - high school and college students are getting ready to finish one season of life and start another. Those seasons end up touching our Grace family as well. We see young people that some of us have known ...


April 2018
April 2018
By

We don’t exist for ourselves

As those so extravagantly loved, we exist for our neighbors and for the world. We are the light of the world. We make room for guests. We care for others while expecting nothing in return.

Purpose and vision documents always present an interesting tension. If they are good documents, they present something of a soaring hope and dream. It’s our way of saying, “We’ve always dreamed of being a part of a church like these words.” The tension on the other side is ...


April 2018
April 2018
By

Word of the Week:  Malawi

Whew! This past weekend we had our Marriage Conference that gave us time to practice our talks for the Malawi Marriage Conference that we will present in two locations in Malawi Africa in July. It was tiring and fulfilling! While we are there we will be doing as many as 12 talks to 400 or more pastors and spouses. This weekend gave us a great chance to roll out six of the talks. As some of you know, Steve and JoAnn Hohenberger will be joining Caron and me on this ...


April 2018
April 2018
By

This past weekend ten high schoolers, Gabby, Randy Sawyer, and I had a chance to go on retreat to Rockbridge Young Life camp and it was a blast! The weather was incredible, the time together was very refreshing and the camp site was surrounded by the beauty that God has created in the mountains.

We had a great time playing ultimate Frisbee, eating pretty good food, and just enjoying being together in a beautiful place. One of the most beautiful things about the weekend was the time of worship ...


April 2018
April 2018
By

Word of the Week: Hustle

In sports, hustle is a good word. To describe an athlete as someone who makes a lot of “hustle” plays means that they are people who give much more than average effort. They dive for lose balls, sprint when other players are fatigued and slowing down. Crowds go wild for hustle plays!

Is there ever an occasion for a hustle play for believers?  Here is an unusual line from the Apostle Paul:

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in ...


April 2018
April 2018
By

Dear Grace,

I want to start by saying thank you all for your support, prayers, and for coming alongside of Gabby and I in ministering to the youth here at Grace. It has been a huge blessing and privilege for me to get to know each of these students and build relationships with them. Both Gabby and I have felt loved, encouraged, and cared for from the moment we got here and we can’t thank you enough for that.

Moving to a new place far away from family has not been easy. It has been a lot ...


April 2018
April 2018
By

Word of the week: Small

Start small. Have you heard that advice? It’s often the correct advice. Sometimes, we try big audacious things and get our breath taken away, and sometimes we don’t get started. Lately I’ve seen God at work in small, quiet things. Some of those small quiet things have grown larger and louder. I think of my friend and fellow Gracian Joe Varaksa. He started dipping his toes back into his ministry gifts with things like preaching in small churches. He started volunteering ...


April 2018
April 2018
By

Tickets for Hamilton went on sale at the Kennedy Center last week and to say that I was excited is an understatement.

How excited, you ask? I had been checking their website daily for months for an announcement of when tickets would go on sale. Then I put the date on my calendar so I wouldn’t miss it. When that day finally came, I was on their website waiting for the exact minute to strike. I waited in a digital line for six hours to get my chance – and I was prepared to wait even longer if I ...