GraceConnect E-News, No. 21, Week of November 11, 2013

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

A Tribute to Veterans

Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. and Remembrance Day in Canada -- both set aside to honor the men and women who served in the military.

This week's eNews includes a report on one church that has found a way to celebrate veterans. Each November for the past ten years, Grace Polaris Church, a Grace Brethren congregation on the north side of Columbus, Ohio, has honored veterans with a special program. This year, it was on November 2, when nearly 1,000 attended a patriotic concert followed by a slice of all-American apple pie. It's not only a way to thank the men and women for their service, but also an opportunity to share the love of Jesus Christ with them.
You might also want to check out the tribute to the Grace Brethren military chaplains written in 2010 by Dr. John Schumacher, the endorsing agent for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. It was first published in FGBC World magazine and we've included an excerpt today on graceconnect.us in honor of current military chaplains.

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).

Apple Pie and a Thank You!

Who doesn’t love apple pie? Who gives away hundreds of pieces of the sweet treat? Members at Grace Polaris Church do, especially when it honors the men and women who have served the U.S. in the military.

Each year, Grace Polaris, a Grace Brethren congregation on the north side of Columbus, Ohio (Mike Yoder, lead pastor), honors military veterans with the Legacy of Honor program. Legacy of Honor, which marked its 10th year on November 2, brings in nearly 1,000 patriotic people with one goal – to celebrate America and the liberty that they have the privilege to enjoy. Over the years, they have emphasized different eras – World War II, Vietnam, military families, etc. “This year it was just to celebrate our nation at a time when politically things are so difficult and full of turmoil, said Wes Turner, organizer and master of ceremonies.

In addition to the 700 attendees, almost 175 people were involved in the presentation of the program. The aim of the annual event is to salute those who have sacrificed so that all Americans can live in freedom. It also provides an opportunity to present attendees with God’s Word and establish friendships that may bring them back to Grace Polaris Church in the future.

“In this year’s special highpoints we had ‘Charge to the Troops’ provided by motivational speaker U.S. Army Ranger Gary Horton via video from his home in Louisiana,” noted Turner. “He gave a strong spiritual message aimed at repairing fragile men who have experienced combat. Our featured veteran this year was Bob Walz, decorated WWII soldier who was at Normandy, Battle of the Bulge, and served with General George Patton. He was honored as part of the Red White and Boom Independence Day Celebration in Columbus this year.”

The original mission ten years ago was two-fold: provide a proper welcome home for the guys from Vietnam whom were never quite received back into society the way other veterans have been and introduce the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ to those who had never heard or had strayed from it. Dr. Mike Anthony, a local dentist, Vietnam veteran, and church member, initiated the event with the help of other veterans in the congregation.

“About 30 veterans from Grace Polaris were here to help facilitate the parking, set up and tear down, and meet and greet at the door,” said Turner, who served in the U.S Army from 1966 to 1969 and now works in the church’s copy center. “I was involved in entertainment for almost 30 years, performing, writing, producing, promoting, etc. Once I started attending the monthly Grace Vets meetings as a Vietnam-era veteran, it was a natural progression to move into the producer/MC role,” said Turner.

Two other features of Legacy of Honor are the before and after event activities. This year, prior to the program, folks were welcome to browse the biggest personal military memorabilia collection in Ohio, provided by Bob Croce, a member of the Ohio National Guard. As they left the event, every person in attendance was provided a complimentary piece of apple pie – a tradition that has become a staple of the event. Congregation members provided 150 pies to be distributed.

From the Columbus Composite Civil Air Patrol Squadron who provided the flag ceremony, as well as music from a high school choir, Grace Polaris Men’s chorus, Todd Hughes (with a rendition of God Bless America for a finale), and Heidi Turner (Wes’s wife and part of the worship team at Grace Polaris) and the Grace Jazz Combo presenting a min-USO show, there was never a shortage of flag-waving patriotic enthusiasm. Through music, media, and drama each year’s program is laid out for people who love their country and their freedom.  – By Julia Marsh

People

Jack Brown, pastor of North Shore Bible Church (NSBC), Essex, Mass., has announced that he is stepping back from his position. Beginning in January, he will becoming bi-vocational in order to give more time to develop GROW New England.

Dana Moore will join him on staff, eventually transitioning to the role as senior pastor of NSBC. Brown also plans to continue working as a real estate sales agent in order to supplement his income.

Brown will begin to travel more in 2014 to share the ministry of GROW New England with the body of Christ around the country, as well as visiting Bible colleges and seminaries to recruit potential church planters for New England.
The Freedom of God's Sons: Studies in Galatians
This week's featured book:

The Freedom of God's Sons

by Homer A. Kent, Jr.

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Paul's Epistle to the Galatians stands with his Epistle to the Romans as influencing Christian thought and history perhaps more than any other New Testament book. It is conceivable, humanly speaking, that Christianity might have become merely another Jewish sect if the argument of Galatians had not become the prevailing view of the church. In the days of the reformation, this epistle had great influence on Martin Luther and his lectures on it in 1531 are still preserved. Its significant is no less today, for the threat of human works as an alternative to the saving grace of God still lurks in the hearts of men and seeks to turn them from the gospel of Christ.

Regularly $8.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off plus FREE shipping!

Simply enter the code "freedom" in your shopping cart at bmhbooks.com. (Price is good only until midnight, November 19, 2013.)

Events in the FGBC

November 15-16, 2013 – Women's Leadership Class, Wooster, Ohio (WGUSA)
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, 2013 â€“ Encounter ATL (EWP)
July 17-21, 2014 â€“ Vision2020 DC (FGBC)
July 22-27, 2014 â€“ Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)

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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