GraceConnect E-News, No. 64, Week of September 8, 2014

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Members of New Horizon Community Church in Winona Lake, Ind., aren't afraid to ask tough questions about the Bible.

Questions Welcome

Sunday mornings at New Horizon Community Church, a Grace Brethren church in Winona Lake, Ind., are a little different than your average day at church: the worship music is simple. The main portion of the service is often presented in unconventional formats.  And every Sunday evening, some of the congregation regathers for Sunday sermon discussion – a chance for people ask questions about what they heard that morning.

There are often a lot of questions.
 
“I would say that this generation of people – people currently in their twenties and thirties -- if they are skeptical about the church, it’s because the church isn’t answering the questions that they are asking,” says Scott Barger, pastor of New Horizon.
 
Barger, along with his congregation, values a relentless pursuit of truth and views asking the tough questions about faith as an essential part of the process. The members of New Horizon are theologically and politically diverse, and include people who have serious doubts about their faith. In fact, the tagline on the church website reads, “New Horizon is a good church for people who don’t like church.”
 
“I don’t understand why [Christians] sometimes discourage people from asking questions,” Barger notes. “As if God can be defeated by a question!  The people that I’m trying to reach have very significant questions about the Bible and need to be allowed to ask.  They need to own it themselves and discuss it themselves. So I try to give sermons that are as question-provoking as possible.”
 
The existence of a tight-knit, loyal community as a “safe space” for believers to find answers is the other aspect of “doing church” that Barger considers important.
 
“I can’t let go of the idea that the people in the church are my friends,” he says. “And that I can be involved in the positive change of the life of a friend,” he says.  That’s how I assume church should be.”

“When I think that God uses me…to talk about the Bible, and that that conversation changes the lives of people around me…wow, right? Who else gets to do that?” 

From Around the Web...

Here are a few links from Grace Brethren churches that you might find of interest…

This past week, Tim Sprankle, pastor at the Grace Brethren Church in Leesburg, Ind., met with Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, for a discussion about pastoral ministry. He will be posting about his discussion with Peterson over the next several days on his blog. Read the first part of the story here and stay tuned for the whole story!

Capital City Grace Church in Columbus, Ohio (Eric Miller, lead pastor) has a new website! Click here to check it out!

According to the Encompass World Partners Twitter account, the staff at Northstar Outdoor Adventures in Japan has started a new church in the community around them. Find out more about Northstar Outdoor Adventures by clicking here
 
Heroes Who Live One (Volumes 1, 2, and 3)
This week's featured book

The Pastoral Epistles

I Timothy, II Timothy, Titusk

By Homer A. Kent, Jr.

311 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-88469-075-7

Regularly $18.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off!

Simply enter the code 50OffKent in your shopping cart at bmhbooks.com. (Price is good only until midnight, September 16, 2014.)

On sale now!

This treatment of the pastoral epistles is one of the best available. It is not the deepest in regards to the original languages. It doesn't cover every available nuance and theory, but it is the easiest to use and the best at making what is important to ministry clear. I have used it in my ministry and would recommend it to any pastor, SS teacher or Bible student that wants to understand the importance and insights of the pastoral epistles. -- a reviewer on Amazon.com.

The New Testament books of First and Second Timothy and Titus form an inspired handbook on pastoral theology. These vivid, intensely human letters provide practical help for each believer in his or her daily walk. In them is instruction for the pastor in his role in the church and in his personal relationships with its members. Members are also instructed as to what the New Testament church should be and what responsibilities individuals may assume.

Dr. Kent has provided a careful and detailed exegesis, and deals as well with the problems that occur in interpretation and background. He presents the content in a readable, yet scholarly style.

This revised edition of The Pastoral Epistles is well suited both as a text for classroom use and as a commentary for pastors and lay people. It is by far one of the most useful works on the pastoral epistles.

Order Now! Simply enter the code 50OffKent in your shopping cart at bmhbooks.com. (Price is good only until midnight, September 16, 2014.)

Events in the FGBC

September 15-17 – Northwest Focus Retreat, Camp Clear Lake, Wash. (FGBC)
September 19-20 – Women and Scripture Class, Winona Lake, Ind. (WGUSA)
October 6-8 – Central Focus Retreat, Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon, Ohio (FGBC)
October 17-19  Leadership Summit, Columbus, Ohio (WGUSA)
October 20-22  – East Focus Retreat, Holiday Inn and Suites, Ocean City, Md. (FGBC)
November 11-24 – Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)
January 26-28, 2015  –  Southwest Focus Retreat, location to be announced (FGBC)
March 16-18, 2015 – South Focus Retreat, Florida FFA Training Center, Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
June 21-27, 2015  Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario (GBC)
June 21-27, 2015 – Encounter Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
July 14-19, 2015 –Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN)
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC)


FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBB – Grace Brethren Boys
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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