GraceConnect E-News, No. 23, Week of November 25, 2013

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Cultivate Thankfulness

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. (Colossians 3:15-17 MSG)

As we lead off this week's newsletter, we want you to know we are thankful for you, the reader of GraceConnect eNews. We know you are a vital part of your local church and committed to letting every detail of your lives -- words, actions, whatever -- be done in the name of Jesus Christ. Your interest in GraceConnect eNews tells us that you are also devoted to a larger movement of believers -- the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. We are grateful for your interest in the FGBC and it is our promise that we will continue to bring you encouraging and uplifting stories of what God is doing in Grace Brethren congregations.

For daily news in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, keep an eye on GraceConnect.us, the news site hosted by the Brethren Missionary Herald Company. If you see breaking news or have a story to share, email lcgates@bmhbooks.com.

If you enjoy this newsletter, would you forward it to one friend within your church and encourage them to subscribe? It's the best way to stay connected with news, ministries, and events within congregations of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC).

Anticipating A New England Harvest

“I once heard someone refer to New England as the ‘graveyard of pastors,’” said Jack Brown, founder and current pastor of North Shore Bible Church (NSBC), a Grace Brethren congregation in Cape Ann, Mass. (That's him in the photo below.) “We started with a mind to plant churches in New England on Cape Ann and the north shore of Boston.”
 
The church is rooted in an April 2000 meeting, when a group of about 25 people met to discuss the potential of starting a new church that was committed to the sufficiency of the Bible. As they met weekly for worship and prayer, God prospered that small group. It was not long before they outgrew their meeting place. Then, the Lord opened up the doors of the Cape Ann Food Pantry, which became their meeting place for a number of months before moving to their current location in Essex in February of 2002.

Pastor Jack BrownNow they are going even further.

“We just initiated GROW New England – a church planting ministry,” explains Brown. “Over the next year and a half, I will be backing down role as pastor, and spending more time recruiting potential church planters. Dana Moore will begin to transition into a new role as senior pastor of NSBC.

“New England is such a needy area,” Brown continues. “You’ll only find one or two evangelical gospel preaching churches. Many are very liberal. He says that in 2009, New England was noted as the most pagan area of the United States of America.

“I’ve been in New England for 17 years, and I truly believe more than ever that the fields of New England are white unto harvest…and so we are looking to reap that harvest by planting churches on Boston’s north shore and throughout New England as God would allow us.” 

People

Roger L. Stichter (in photo at right), professor of accounting at Grace College and a member of the Indiana CPA Society (INCPAS) since 1984, received the Outstanding Educator Award from INCPAS during an awards program on November 15.  This award recognizes an accounting educator who has made significant contributions to accounting education and to the CPA profession. 

“I realize that getting this award doesn’t make me a better teacher,” said Stichter. “In a lot of ways this award is simply affirming that I’m doing what God has called me to do, so I am honored to receive the award.”

The accounting program at Grace College continues to grow — in the 2013-14 academic year over 50 students will be majoring in accounting. Grace college scored 10th nationally out of 793 institutions for 2011 in first-time CPA Exam pass rates. (Click here to learn more.)

The Center for Women's Leadership Studies announces the first WLS certificate recipient. Cindy McDonald, Milford, Ind., has completed six Continuing Education Units through the classes offered jointly by Women of Grace USA and Grace Theological Seminary. Click here for more information on the certificate in Women's Leadership Studies.

Encouraging Love

GraceConnect eNews is just one platform of the Brethren Missionary Herald that is designed to encourage a new passion to know, love, and serve Jesus Christ in North America, and in particular, among the people and leaders of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC). We’d like to see that passion expressed and nurtured in partnership with Grace Brethren people and congregations from ‘sea to shining sea.’

Our priorities of communication, conversation, and conservation continue to position us to be readily adaptable to new communications platforms as they emerge. The role of GraceConnect is perhaps best spelled out in the paraphrase of Hebrews 10:24-25 in the Message: encouraging love, helping out, and worshiping together.
 
It is our desire to encourage love through strengthened relationships between the people and churches of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. We’ve partnered with Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches leadership to provide on-site reporting from conferences and Focus Retreats. We do our best to provide complete news and feature stories from Grace Brethren churches and ministries, whether in print or online. Communication is key in encouraging love, letting needs be known (helping out), and even worshiping together.
 
As this season of Thanksgiving is upon us, would you consider a financial partnership with GraceConnect and the Brethren Missionary Herald Company? Your support will allow us to continue telling the stories of the FGBC in this newsletter; at the online news site, graceconnect.us; and in GraceConnect magazine.

Your gift would help ensure that we could continue to provide news and information at no cost to our readers. A contribution of $100 would subsidize costs related to maintaining a consistent online presence. To make an online, tax-deductible donation of any amount, go to graceconnect.us and click on the “Donate Now!” button. 

Thank you, in advance, for your support!

Events in the FGBC

January 27-29, 2014 â€“ Southwest Focus Retreat, Oaks Conference Center (FGBC)
January 24-25, 2014 â€“ Biblical Foundations of Leadership, Long Beach, Calif. (WGUSA)
January 29-31, 2014 â€“ Fellowship Council Meeting, Seal Beach, Calif. (FGBC)
March 17-19, 2014 â€“ South Focus Retreat (FGBC, location to be announced)
May 19-21, 2014 – Northwest Focus Retreat, Camp Clear Lake (FGBC)
June 27-July 3, 2014 – Encounter ATL (EWP)
July 17-21, 2014 â€“ Vision2020 DC (FGBC)
July 22-27, 2014 â€“ Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
October 28-November 9, 2014 â€“ Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC â€“ Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA

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