GraceConnect E-News, No. 32, Week of January 27, 2014

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
The 40-day Challenge, part of the ReMARKable women series by Goshen Grace Community Church, kicked off the evening of January 24 with joyful worship.

Goshen Grace Kicks Off 40-Day Challenge

Last Friday evening, despite fierce gusts of wind and deep snowdrifts over the roads, more than 350 women gathered at Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Goshen, Ind. (Jim Brown, pastor).
 
It wasn’t a typical church service. For starters, the band, the leaders, the congregation were all women. They played games. They sang loudly, hands outstretched. They laughed a lot. 
 
If you had been there, at one point during the evening you would have seen each of them turning to the woman next to them with a red-inked thumb and press it into her palm.
 
“Having believed, you are MARKED in him,” they recited to her. 
 
These symbolic words marked the beginning of the 40-day challenge; part of an initiative by the Goshen Grace Community Church called ReMARKable Women, based on the words of Ephesians 1:13.
 
 â€œIn times past, people used to mark a clay seal with their fingerprint to authenticate the enclosed document,” explains the ReMARKable Women website.  “The fingerprint was used as a very personalized signature.  When God marks us, it’s as if He leaves His fingerprint or ‘signature’ on us that says, ‘YOU are mine.’”
 
“We ask women to set aside just 40 days two times a year to purposefully focus on their relationship with God,” explained Shali Yoder, director of women’s ministry at Grace Community and of the ReMARKable Women program. “So often if we are not intentional about moving forward in our faith, it simply does not happen.”  During the 40-Day Challenge, women have the chance to encourage each other through weekly challenges, varied contact with a challenge group and prayer partner, and three large-group events. 
 
“It’s helpful to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s going on,” noted Shali. “It is a branch-off of the thinking that originated with Jim Brown (creator of Fight Club), 10 years in the making.”
 
The 40-Day Challenge first launched last February and this past Friday, January 24 kicked off its third round.

From Around the Web

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

Leadership Development

Five Things You Need To Know About Youth Ministry by Dan Constantino, youth pastor at Goshen Grace Community Church


Integrated Ministries

The Start of Something New, an update from Scott Feather, senior director of relations for CPR-3, a faith-based organization who serves in crisis, catastrophe and extreme poverty through relief, rehabilitation and development. 
 

Church Planting

Snow Will Not Prevail against His Church: a heartwarming update from SEEDNet on their church planting efforts in low-income apartment complexes across Ohio. 
 

Links of Interest

"Get connected, stay connected, and do whatever it takes to build up unity, fellowship, relationships, and networks that are going to help you in your ministry." Don't Go Roguea blog post by Andrew J. Wood, youth pastor at Grace Church in Mississauga, Ontario, recounting a trip to Grace Church (Bath Campus) and what he learned about the importance of building good connections for a successful ministry.
 
Also, check out The 533 Challenge, a prayer opportunity for the nations sparked by Encompass World Partners. The challenge was featured on The Joshua Project also. 

Training Students to Follow God's Call

Grace Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Sebring, Fla. (Dr. Randy Smith, pastor), hosts Great Commission Bible Institute, a year-long program that takes a group of 12-15 students through the Bible.
 This video, produced by the church, introduces David and Kirsten Nickisch (site coordinators), Peter Pieringer and Ashley Campbell (resident assistants), and current students Alana Krieder, Braydan Gibson, Carrie Russell, Kris McKinney and Pearce Perry as they talk about their individual GCBI experiences.


For more info visit www.gcbi.net, and also subscribe to the GCBI Media channel to stay up to date with their "One Hour. One Book." teaching series.

A Day for Churches "In Cement"

CE National is hosting a day designed especially for leaders of established churches. The upcoming Super Wednesday program on February 12, 2014, will feature Knute Larson, former Grace Brethren pastor, leader, and long-time pastor of the Chapel in Akron, Ohio. During "Loving Church Boards, Changes, and Dreams, he will provide practical tips for boards and staff to "establish change in an established church already in cement in many areas."

For more information, including fees, registration, and schedule, see superwednesdays.net.
Antioch Revisited
This week's featured book

Antioch Revisited

By Tom Julien

This is the fictional but true-to-life story of a missionary “John” and how he comes to the ministry-changing conclusion: “Missions is not what the church does for the missionary but through the missionary.” The book also includes a manual and four-part plan for church missions committees or individuals.

Simply enter the code "missions" in your shopping cart at bmhbooks.com. (Price is good only until midnight, January 28, 2014.)

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 16, 2014 â€“ Prayer Sprint Begins (EWP)
March 17-19, 2014 â€“ South Focus Retreat, location to be announced, (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)
July 22-27, 2014 â€“ Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
November 11-24, 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
____
Send events for the calendar to lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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