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Blog Archives: September 2014

A Word from Our Pastor

September 25, 2014
Don Ward
Wow!  Hearing Ming Tsai’s testimony yesterday was a great encouragement to me!  It is so great to see how God can move us toward Him even when we resist Him.  We have made this available to you online so you can hear it if you missed it. Here is a great question to ask people you are getting to know at GCC:  How did you come to faith in Christ? Stories are powerful and they help us get to know so much about the other person. That’s it from my desk, Don

Grow in Grace: Bible Study

September 23, 2014
Don Ward
We are going to spend a few weeks thinking about means God uses to help us grow in our relationship with Him.  I’m talking about Bible study today, and specifically that study which we do individually.  I realize I run the risk of inducing guilty groans, like the kind I might get if I ask how often you exercise a week. If we’re being honest, many of us probably don’t get as much personal Bible reading time as we know we need. God speaks through His Word.  Thus, a great way to have God speak to you is to go to the one place you can be ...

What's Worth Talking About?

September 17, 2014
Tag Tuck
We've forgotten how to have conversation. That's the conclusion I came to earlier this year when I read an article from the Atlantic about "the dying art of conversation." Staff writer Megan Garber followed psychologist and professor Sherry Turkle into the field as she researched an upcoming book: Reclaiming Conversation. Turkle has not only spent hours talking with people about conversations, but she has eavesdropped on several as well. As you may guess, she bemoans how our dependence on technology for connection has led us to do m ...

The Importance of Confidentiality in Stephen Ministry

September 16, 2014
Confidentiality is a cornerstone of Stephen Ministry because it is absolutely essential for building safe, healing, caring relationships. Stephen Ministry is confidential. Stephen Ministers don't reveal what their care receivers have told them. Not to the pastors, not to the Stephen Leaders, not to their spouses or friends, and not to other Stephen Ministers. Why? Because trust is vital for a caring relationship to be effective. Care receivers are experiencing difficulties that leave them feeling very vulnerable. Discussing their ...

A Word from Our Pastor

September 16, 2014
Don Ward
Sunday was another great and full day at GCC.  Karen and the worship team led us in worship songs and hymns that really pointed us to Jesus, Light of the world.  I was so glad to see several visiting families at church. We recognized the terrific service of Connie Harrison as chair of our Personnel Committee.  She really established helpful policies for our staff and walked our leaders through some difficult waters along the way.  Our staff received gracious and thorough annual reviews in ways that have been clarifying and helpful.  Thanks, ...

How Can We Help Young People Stay Involved in Church?

September 09, 2014
Don Ward
How can we help young people stay involved in church? The topic of this week’s blog recognizes a sad reality.  Many of the young people who are active in our church now will not be active in church or in their faith in their twenties.  This is not just a statistic for us. Statistically this is a nationwide trend. It is very personal to many of us. I have a prayer card with the names of young people who were active in their faith at GCC while they were in high school, who have walked away from their faith, at least for now. This is a ...

A Word from Our Pastor

September 09, 2014
Don Ward
Bread was the word of the day yesterday at Grace. Jesus tells us He is the Bread of Life, and that we feed on Him by believing in Him constantly. We experienced Jesus’ feeding us at the Lord’s Table. I hope you will take some time to meditate on that verse: John 6:35. Vigorous and active believing on Jesus as He is presented in Scripture feeds your soul. Take some time to look it over again and dwell on how Jesus is true Bread and how we feed on Him by faith. In Him, Don

Receptivity to Care

September 08, 2014
Most people are much more open to giving care than to receiving it. When a person is giving care, he or she is in a position of strength, stability, and authority. When a person is receiving care, he or she is acknowledging weakness, insecurity, and vulnerability. As a result, there are countless people today who, though they really could benefit from a Christian friend who would listen and care for them, instead tough it out on their own. They remain the strong silent type, or wear a smile across a face that is holding back a flood of ...

A Word from Our Pastor

September 03, 2014
Don Ward
I want to encourage you this week to think about the story of how you and Jesus got connected.  I really enjoyed preaching from the story in John 4.  Jesus was amazing with that particular woman.  She was pretty amazing, too, in that she went home right away and starting talking about Jesus.  “Come meet a man who told me everything…”.  I wonder if there were a few raised eyebrows? I’m reading a book my neighbor gave me called Fearless about a Navy Seal who was killed in action.  Most of the first part of this book is a terrific story of ...

Vision for our Youth Ministry

September 03, 2014
Stacey Powdrell
Every November and December, our staff team sets aside time to individually and collectively think and pray about vision and create goals for our ministry area for the upcoming year.  As Pastor Tag shared last month, God gave me a vision for youth ministry last winter that can be summed up in the acronym CARES, and it continues to be more than just words on a piece of paper! To refresh your memory, GCC Youth Ministry exists so 6-12th graders are able to: COME with their questions about life and its meaning, ABSORB Biblical truth and ...