GraceConnect eNews, No. 185, Week of January 2, 2017

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Missing the holiday season already? Here's one last Christmas story to warm your heart as we face a new year full of new challenges, joys, and opportunities. 
 
Happy New Year from GraceConnect!
For the last five years, Grace Fellowship of Kent, Wash., has presented a Christmas play with the help of a troupe of professional actors from Taproot Theatre.
Christmas Days and Christmas Plays

Every church has a method of portraying the Christmas story on the stage of their sanctuary. Be this stage big or small, congregations use the holiday to bring it to life with the story and celebration of Jesus’ birth, often in unique ways. A Christmas flight, a holiday in a Bethlehem inn, and a conversation with the angel Gabriel and his eager partner, Harold… all stories told with fresh perspective and new angles into God’s messages to man.

At 
Grace Fellowship, a Grace Brethren church in Kent, Wash. (David Marksbury, pastor), members go all out to bring Christmas cheer to their community, with help from a troupe of professional actors from Taproot Theatre. Taproot, a forty-year tradition in the Seattle area, does a traveling show and has been a seasonal blessing to the congregation for the last five years. The company brings the actors, props, and costumes to the church for a Christmas play. The church provides the stage.

Founded in 1976 with the values of faith, people, and a celebration of theater, the Taproot Theatre Company has become Seattle’s largest mid-size company. They serve Grace Fellowship and many other congregations through their church touring programs as well as other programs for schools and communities.

“They have all been well-performed and fun,” church elder Kristopher Galvin comments on the performances at Grace Fellowship. “Each of these has had a message about God’s love for us and our relationships with other people. We host the play (at no charge) with a dessert social and holiday music for the neighboring community about a week before Christmas. Folks in our church take the opportunity to enjoy the time with friends and their extended families. They are invited to return for our Christmas services.”

Grace Fellowship has been serving the city of Kent for 50 years and connected with Taproot by responding to one of their brochures. Galvin and his family had attended Taproot performances in the past and were excited to share the experience with their church family. He has handled the publicity for the Christmas play and associated activities in those years, with members of the congregation prepping the facility to host the larger-than-typical crowd, along with providing delicious Christmas treats. It's just another way for Grace Fellowship to act out their message of welcoming all who desire to know and experience God. -- by Haley Bradfield    
 

[Connect:] Click here to send a note of encouragement to Galvin and the members of Grace Fellowship.
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[Your Turn]


[Pray:]

"We planted our first church 10 years ago. Now we have 35 church plants in different phases in 6 different states regularly ministering to over 500 people each week. But this comes at a cost...

It’s all very unsettling. We immediately feel our vulnerability and understand the fragility of life... We can relate to the unsettling vulnerability and the protective hand of God that Joseph must have felt in Matthew‬ ‭2:13-14‬." 

Click here to discover how you can pray for the ministry of SEEDNet, a church planting Spiritually, Emotionally, Economically, Developmentally Oppressed areas.

[Be Inspired:]

This past December, The Ashland Source, Ashland, Ohio reported on a heartwarming story about a needy family who received a free car from Bill Harris Auto, a car dealership in Ashland, Ohio. The dealership is owned by Scott Harris, who attends Ashland Grace (Dan Allan, pastor), along his brothers.

Click here to read the article, and here to watch a video of the presentation.

[Share:]

Do you know of an individual, family, or leader in your church with a unique or exciting story about how God has worked in or through them to transform their church or community? Send us your story ideas by 
clicking here!
 

Events in the FGBC

January 20-21, 2017   WLS: Principles of Effective Bible Study, Orange, Calif. (WGUSA) 
January 21, 2017   Walk Through The Bible - NT Seminar, Wrightsville, Pa. (SGCC)
January 27-28, 2017   WLS: Women & Scripture (Spanish), Bellflower, Calif. (WGUSA)
January 28, 2017  Connect & Equip SoCal, Regional Mission Conference, Orange, Calif. (EWP)
January 30-February 1, 2017   Southwest Focus Retreat  (FGBC)
February 24-25, 2017   WLS: Spiritual Formation (Spanish), Tampa, Fla. (WGUSA)
March 13-15, 2017   South Focus Retreat Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
March 17, 2017   Day Away - North of 55, Ashland, Ohio (AGBC)
March 17-18, 2017   WLS: Women & Scripture, Roanoke, Va. (WGUSA)
March 25, 2017  Connect & Equip East: Regional Mission Conference, Parkersburg, PA. (EWP)
April 7-8, 2017   WLS: Spiritual Formation, Frederick, Md. (WGUSA)
April 28-30, 2017 –  Hispanic Summit,  Atlanta, Ga. (WGUSA)
April 28, 2017  Heritage Event, East Earl, Pa. (CE)
May 22-24, 2017   Northwest Focus Retreat, White Pass, Wash. (FGBC)
 
AGBC – Ashland, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
SGCC – Susquehanna Grace Community Church, Wrightsville , Pa.
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

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