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Blog Archives: January 2016

Modern Day Slavery

January 27, 2016
Leslie Velasquez
We’ve spent this month thinking about the image of God - how God imprinted his image on men and women, and gave them a worth and value that cannot be erased.  We’ve explored applications of this scripture truth to race and human life in sermons and articles.  We invited Leslie Velasquez to unpack one outworking if Imago Dei - the issue of modern human slavery. -- Don Ward My dear church family – Do you know that slavery is illegal in EVERY nation?  Did you know that an obscure little place called Mauritania was the last nation to declare ...

Word of the Week

January 27, 2016
Don Ward
Disruption Over a foot of snow is beautiful, magical, and a huge disruption. Countless meaningful activities were planned at GCC this past weekend, and we are only one of many, many churches in the area. Several small groups were volunteering at Spring Hill Baptist for PACEM on Monday (a ministry to the homeless that uses church buildings and other facilities for housing during the winter months). All of that had to be moved around and plans changed in an instant. Many of you have children at home that you planned to have in school this ...

The Future of Grace Community Church

January 22, 2016
Don Ward
This is a little bit of a “state of the church” article. Occasionally I get the questions, “Where is Grace Community Church going?  What’s the plan?”  Of course, we have a mission and vision statement, and we are working hard to make “discipleship through relationship” more than a catch phrase.  Good things are happening on many fronts.  But what are our future goals and plans? The elders of the church are asking the same question right now – “Where are we going?”  They see some things we used to do that we don’t do now.  They see some things ...

Word of the Week

January 22, 2016
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Snow Well, by now, everybody is talking about it. By tomorrow, we are supposed to be enjoying it.  I’ve lived through plenty of Central VA snowstorms that never panned out.  I’ve also been through storms that shut things down for days. This is predicted to shut things down for days - or, maybe only a day or two if it doesn’t pan out. Many things were planned for this weekend. If the storm pans out, they will all be cancelled. If it doesn’t, perhaps we will clear things enough to at least have a worship service on Sunday....

Race, the PCA, and Grace

January 15, 2016
Tag Tuck
So what if we are part of a denomination? Does that really matter at all when there are so many problems in the world? What about racial reconciliation? Does being part of the PCA (Presbyterian Church in America) help with that? The answer to that is yes. This past summer at the PCA General Assembly, the annual national gathering of teaching and ruling elders, we worked on the problem of racial reconciliation on a large level. How? Two pastors from Mississippi brought forward a personal resolution to the body. In it they confessed that ...

Word of the Week

January 13, 2016
Don Ward
Word of the Week: One Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one – “we” meaning all of us Christ-followers.  We face a hard reality that we aren’t there yet, and in fact it seems that we are anything but “one.”  There are racial divisions and denominational differences.  Hey, even at GCC we aren’t “one” as Father, Son, and Spirit are one.  I know people that don’t like each other very much at the same church!  It’s hard work being one! It’s painful!  It makes me see I’m not as much like Jesus as I thought I was. It’s a ...

The Odd History of Race and the Church

January 06, 2016
Don Ward
In whatever manner you process the events that transpired in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, Maryland after the deaths of two black men, I think we can all agree that racial tensions are higher than they have been in a while.  The shooting at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina brought out both the best and worst in America.  The best was the overflowing love and support for that church and community.  The worst was the backlash at efforts to remove the confederate flag from public places.  Racial issues seem to ...

Word of the Week

January 06, 2016
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Bustle Bustle - we are all “bustling” around this week.  Did you feel like you went from zero to 120 mph in a few seconds?  Holiday time around Christmas is either vacation, or painfully slow at many work places.  And then, the first Monday in January hits and BOOM!  It’s go, go, go!  Some kids had tears as they went back to school. Some teachers did as well.  I felt my own stress level rising as I became aware of all I need to do.  Time to take a break for five minutes, and seek peace through Christ again!  He can give us ...