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Blog Archives: April 2018

We Don't Exist For Ourselves

April 24, 2018
Don Ward
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 that by putting it down on paper, we better do all we can to make this happen, or ...

Word of the Week

April 24, 2018
Don Ward
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 trip. Steve is a retired PCA pastor with many years’ ...

Modgnik Update

April 19, 2018
Sean Smith
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 and talks of Jay Miller, who was the speaker for ...

Word of the Week

April 19, 2018
Don Ward
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 vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any ...

Letter from Sean

April 12, 2018
Sean Smith
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 harder than we could have ever known without ...

Word of the Week

April 12, 2018
Don Ward
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 to lead Bible Study in the jail. It wasn’t every ...

What's It Worth?

April 05, 2018
Tom Breeden
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 had to. And when I finally had my tickets, I ...

Word of the Week

April 04, 2018
Don Ward
Word of the Week: Grateful Easter is always an exciting time of year for pastors and church leaders. I didn’t know what to expect knowing that many schools were out for Spring Break. I was grateful. It's not just numbers, but the people God brought, whether members, regulars, or guests. I was grateful for some good conversations with people on Easter. One member brought an international guest who may attend Christianity Explored. I talked to a number of other guests and new regular attenders and enjoyed that time. I saw some old friends who ...