GraceConnect E-News, No. 26, Week of December 16, 2013
The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Lighting the Way
When my husband and I moved into our home, the front room did not have a ceiling fixture. Light came from occasional lamps around the perimiter or the west-facing large bay window. Since we've used the room for dining, we've hosted many a dinner party with low-light ambiance as the sun set on a glorious summer day.
As I planned for a winter family gathering, I realized we really needed a light in that room. Instead of calling an electrician to rewire the room, the solution might be a swag lamp -- a contemporary nod to the staple of many homes in the 70s and 80s.
Finding a suitable swag lamp -- within our budget -- was another challenge. Eventually, my husband rewired a chandelier with the correct length chain and cord. A friend climbed the ladder and installed the proper bolt in the cathedral ceiling. We carefully placed the chain on the hook and plugged the cord into the receptacle that was controlled by a wall switch. Voila! There was light!
That story came to mind as I prepared this week's eNews. The residents in a number of low-income apartment complexes impacted by the SEEDnet church-planting ministry must feel like a new light has been installed over their homes. Nathan Wells, Andy Shank, and others are working to bring the life-changing light of the gospel to multi-family residential communities -- many of them often darkened by rampant sin as a result of lifestyle choices. In From Darkness to Light, you'll meet Walter, a battle-tested warrior for Jesus who is beginning a new ministry in yet another apartment complex.
Elsewhere in the eNews, check out the new feature, From Around the Web, that highlights random posts and information from Grace Brethren congregations in North America. (If you'd like this type of news on a daily basis, come "like" the GraceConnect Facebook page, where news, photos, and prayer requests from churches are regularly shared.)
Check out this week's featured book, the popular The Early Earth by Dr. John C. Whitcomb. It's one of the most illuminating books that defends biblical creationism. Don't forget this week's People news and Events in the FGBC, too. -- Liz Cutler Gates, editor
From Darkness to Light
One out of three families in North America live in multi-family housing, according to Nathan Wells, a Grace Brethren church planter in northern Ohio. He says that ten percent or less of those people have a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.
â€œThis is an area of our society and our world that has been neglected long enough. We cannot afford to just keep sittinâ€™ on our hands,â€ he adds. â€œWeâ€™ve got to take Jesus to these places and saturate them with the Gospel of Christ.â€
Enter SEEDnet, a church-planting effort that targets Spiritually, Emotionally, Economically, Developmentally oppressed areas (SEED). It has seen a number of churches planted in low-income apartment complex, bringing light into a world that was once darkened by addictions and abuse and the rampant sin because of lifestyle choices.
Walter, a battle-tested warrior for Jesus, is one of the church-planters with SEEDnet. (That's him in the photo at right.) He grew up in Lorain, Ohio, lived the street life for years, was in prison several times but Jesus got a hold of him. He has battled addiction, a difficult marriage, and racism but Jesus has not let him go.
He has started working a new apartment complex with the goal of planting a church in it and has made some good contacts. Pray for Walter because heâ€™s a natural evangelist but consistently has to battle difficulties at home and in the streets -- not long ago someone pulled a knife on him but God gave him the peace of mind to de-escalate the situation. Praise God for His mighty work in Walter!
Learn a little more about SEEDnet in this video, which was produced by Grace Church, a Grace Brethren church in Wooster, Ohio (Bob Fetterhoff, pastor).
From Around the Web
The Grace Brethren movement is rooted in a group of people that liked to communicate -- they were a spiritual family. As the Brethren emigrated to America, they set up printing presses and established regular print publications. (Many of them now are available in digital format at the Brethren Digital Archives. Dating back to 1850, these publications contain a wealth of theological, genealogical, and historical information.)
Twenty-first century Brethren are no different -- just the methods have changed. Today's church announcements are posted to the Internet. Rather than using ink and paper, a pastor's sermons are "published" on Vimeo or YouTube as videos or written as blogs.
At GraceConnect, we want to help you connect with Grace Brethren ministries around the world. Each week we will feature a few random links that might be of interest to people in the FGBC. Here are this week's selections:
News from Bangui and the C.A.R.: Missionary Evacuation and a Country in Crisis
Pastor, professor, and author Ivan H. French of Winona Lake, Ind., died Thursday, December 12, 2013, at Grace Village Health Care Facility, Winona Lake, Ind., at the age of 88. Services are Friday, December 20, 2013. Click here for more information.
This week's featured book
The Early Earth
by John C. Whitcomb
First published in 1972, The Early Earth has established itself as one of the most illuminating books defending biblical creationism. Newly revised in 2011, the 176-page paperback is a companion to John Whitcombâ€™s The World That Perished and includes dozens of updates and recent citations that strengthen Whitcombâ€™s stellar defense of biblical creationism.
Organized into five sections, the book includes more than a dozen special illustrations and explanations that will be of interest to both mature and younger readers. They include interesting sidelights on such subjects as whales, the duck-billed platypus, dinosaurs, bacterial flagellum, and more.
In addition to an 11-page bibliography reflecting the latest scientific information from books and journal articles, the revised version also includes extensive subject, author, and scripture indices.
Regularly $18.00, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off plus FREE shipping!
Simply enter the code "earth" in your shopping cart at bmhbooks.com. (Price is good only until midnight, December 24, 2013.)