GraceConnect E-News, No. 77, Week of December 8, 2014

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
The Grace Brethren Church in Rittman, Ohio.

Where We Stand

Each year, at the national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches delegate and approve “Resolutions for Social Concerns,” which are adopted by the fellowship and printed in the Grace Brethren Handbook each year.  
 
Bud Olszewski, pastor at Rittman Grace Brethren Church, remembers being approached by some of the members of his congregation, asking about the resolutions and about the position of the Grace Brethren Fellowship on those issues. So Olszewski decided to prepare a sermon series about it.
 
Starting in September, Olszewski began preaching each Sunday on the resolutions, covering topics such as religious freedom, relationships and sexuality, prayer and persecuted church, voting, integration, and a final sermon encouraging the congregation to spend time with Jesus, fellowship with the body of Christ, and share the gospel with others.
 
“The neat thing about [the sermon series] is that it allowed an opportunity to address the culture and clearly state where we stand,” he notes. “It also happened to lead up to this year's elections.”
 
He finished the series a few weeks ago.
 
“I’ve been getting good feedback. I’ve had people in their 60s and 80s be very appreciative of it -- some of those people who think society is going the wrong way. And people in their 20s and 30s know that’s where we should be but didn’t know why. I’ve had young mothers and men who are executive leaders each come up to me and say they are really glad to have a scriptural background for why we do or do not believe in certain things and trying to bathe all of it in grace.

“Sometimes when we’re older we feel like ‘everybody knows that’ but we need to win the next generation every ten years or so and help them understand the clarity of what God is saying and also why he is saying it.”
 
Olszewski said it is probable that he will do a similar sermon series in a few years.
 
“These issues are things that national fellowship deems as important and they play out in our communities as well. Making sure we understand them helps connect to the culture today.” 

From Around the Web...

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

Grace Church (with three campuses in Ohio: Bath, Medina East, Norton) music program has launched a new blog, Grace Church Music, "striving to create a moment where your heart can connect with God's heart." On the blog, you can find music downloads from live performances, thoughtful blog posts and resources for creating worship music in your own church. Click here to visit the blog!
 
The book of Exodus tells the story of a mighty God taking His people from bondage and into His presence, a beautiful motif of salvation and redemption. Pastor Randall D. Smith of Grace Church, Sebring, Fla., lectures in the One Hour, One Book series hosted by the Great Commission Bible Institute (GCBI).  Watch his lecture on the book of Exodus by clicking here or watch below. 
 

 
A few weeks ago, we offered you the chance to take The Culture Testa free, five-minute tool for learning your primary culture type - guilt, shame, or fear. This 25-question test will help you understand global cultures and how you operate within your own cultural context. (Click here to take the test.)

Jayson Georges, creator of The Culture Test, recently published The 3D Gospel: Ministry in Guilt, Shame, and Fear Contexts. If you or someone you know plans on teaching about God's redemption over guilt, shame and fear (in a sermon, missions training, Sunday School, or any other applicable context), you can receive a copy of the book for free by emailing jasangborges@gmail.com.

Events in the FGBC

January 16-17 WLS Class: Soul Care, Winona Lake, Ind. (WGUSA)
January 23-24
– WLS Class: Spiritual Formation, Long Beach, Calif. (WGUSA)
January 23-25  Kalahari Winter Retreat, Sandusky, Ohio
January 26-28 –  Southwest Focus Retreat, The Oaks, Lake Hughes, Calif. (FGBC)
March 16-18 – South Focus Retreat, Florida FFA Training Center, Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
March 20-21 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Frederick, Md. (WGUSA) 
April 24-25 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (WGUSA) 
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) 

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

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