GraceConnect E-News, No. 41, Week of March 31, 2014

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Persistent Love

Osceola Grace Church in Osceola, Ind. is a small church with a big challenge: among its members are at least five families dealing with long-term care situations. This unique position gives the members of Osceola Grace a front-and-center opportunity to learn and love in ways that many people never experience.
 
For years, Osceola Grace has ministered to their own members in need situations like births and deaths. “When someone would have a baby we would take meals in for a week,” said Greg Serafino, pastor. “We’re accustomed to some of that, but it’s always been short-term.”
 
Ranging from families caring for children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), as well as families with members with physical mobility challenges and immune deficiency issues, the church has rallied to provide them with hot and frozen meals, assist with transportation, and host fundraisers and concerts.

“God has been teaching us a lot about the whole concept of caring for people and what we’re responsible to do,” explained Pastor Serafino. “We are in the process of trying to learn – as a leadership group and as a church – how to care for these people in the ways that meet their needs the most.
 
 â€œI wish we could say we have it all together. We've failed in a bunch of ways and we've also helped in a bunch of ways. A number of church members are helping serve the families on their own…which is how the body should function.” 
 
The pastors at Osceola Grace are currently planning a special meeting with some of the families to try to get a more holistic idea of how to meet their ever-present needs.
 
“It might mean we have to create a team outside the pastoral staff that actually communicates and gathers information. We’re praying that we can figure out the best way to handle long-term care situations and to really be there for people where they need us. The opportunity to hear them gives us a chance to not just rebuild relationships but to grow and prepare ourselves for whatever God brings.
 
 â€œI think the one thing that I have seen that is satisfying is that several of these families come together and support each other. It’s not been a competition, but instead they communicate, ‘We understand your pain, so tell us how we can come alongside you in your time of need.’”
 
You can view the story of one of the families, whose beautiful daughter Ella (pictured at right) is suffering from SMA, and find out how to contribute here.
 

From Around the Web

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

Leadership Development

Why is humility important? Edward Waken of Valley Life Grace Brethren Church in Peoria, Ariz.  tells a compelling story about his journey to learn humility. Read it here
 

Integrated Ministries

"People might not agree with our words, but they will see that we are different. Our job is to represent Jesus to them." Watch a video by Pastor Brad Deetscreek from Grace Church about how to talk to people you don't agree with.
 

Links of Interest

Get involved! Momentum, a youth conference for students in 7th-12th grade, is this July 22-27! Click here to register or volunteer.

Find out about and join the
 Encompass Prayer Sprint! "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Pregnant, Serving, and Living in Haiti - by Amanda Damon, who has an inspiring testimony about following God's lead no matter what! She is working with CPR-3 in Haiti with her husband Jordan. 
Daniel, Kingdom of the Lord
This week's featured book

Daniel, Kingdom of the Lord

By Charles Feinberg

The Book of Daniel is unquestionably the key to all biblical prophecy.  It is the great apocalyptic book of the Old Testament, as is Revelation of the New Testament. This extensive commentary shows the necessity of understanding biblical prophecy in light of Daniel.

Regularly $14.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off!


Simply enter the code "DanielFein" in your shopping cart at bmhbooks.com. (Price is good only until midnight, April 14, 2014.)

Events in the FGBC

April 25-26, 2014 â€“ Women's Leadership Studies: Equipping Others (WGUSA)
May 19-21, 2014 – Northwest Focus Retreat, Camp Clear Lake, Wash. (FGBC)
June 27-July 3, 2014 – Encounter ATL (EWP)
July 17-21, 2014 â€“ Vision2020 DC (FGBC)
June 22-27 â€“ National Rondezvous Camp, Burr Oak State Park, Ohio (GBB)
July 22-27, 2014 â€“ Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
July 29-August 11 â€“ National Timothy Adventure (GBB)
November 11-24, 2014 â€“ Cambodia GO Team (WGUSA)

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC â€“ Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBB â€“ Grace Brethren Boys
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA
____
Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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