GraceConnect E-News, No. 83, Week of January 19, 2014


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

Working in Tandem 

A thriving church often places a lot of emphasis on community – how well the members work together to serve one another and others outside the church.
Grace Brethren Church in Ashland, Ohio (Dan Allan, senior pastor) is no different.

Two years ago, Ashland Grace Brethren members Bob and Lisa Kieffer accepted an assignment as overseers at the
Château de Saint Albain, France, through Encompass World Partners.
The Chateau is a literal castle on a hill outside of the village of St. Albain, France. Purchased in 1964 under the leadership of missionaries Tom and Doris Julien, the Chateau began as a place for building ministry bridges with the people of France. It has since evolved into a retreat center used by evangelical churches and individuals from all over Europe. As the Kieffer’s assignment neared its end, Encompass began to look for replacements.
Around the same time, Ashland members Bruce and Karen Beck, owners of The Olde Stone House Bed and Breakfast in Mansfield, Ohio (since closed), were on an extensive cross country tour of America on their tandem bicycle. They came through the experience believing that God wanted them to be open to a change when they returned.
The call for change came even sooner than they expected.
“The week when [The Becks] got back was a week when we had a specific prayer emphasis to find a replacement couple to step in for Bob and Lisa,” explained John Ward, director of mobilization at Encompass.

“By Thursday of that week, they had called me asking about it.”
The Becks traveled to The Chateau in November for an exploratory trip and made the decision to accept the position. Previously, the couple, with their bed and breakfast experience, had advised the Kieffers as Bob and Lisa prepared for their term at the Chateau. Bruce and Karen never dreamed of having the same opportunity just a few years later. (In the photo above, Norm Johnson, missions pastor at the church, introduces both couples during a service.)
“It really was an answer to prayer,” said Ward. “We’re very appreciative for a church like Ashland that sends two of their couples to step into this role.”
Whether as a couple working together to run a retreat center, a family helping another family prepare for ministry work, or a church working with a missions organization, working in tandem is paying off in glorious returns for God’s kingdom. Keep the Becks in your prayers as they set their sights on a March an arrival date, and are raising support and prayer partners.

To learn more or donate toward the Beck's new ministry, click here. Send them a note of encouragement at

Send us your story ideas!

[Your Turn]

Read: For a little more background about the Château de Saint Albain, check out this article, which also includes prayer requests and ministry opportunities. Also checkout the Facebook page for the Chateau here.

Pray: This weekend is the Kalahari Retreat, where hundreds of youth will be immersed in God's word during a refreshing weekend at the Sandusky, Ohio, water park. Say a quick prayer that God would be present through the words of the speakers and the actions of the leaders and youth. 
What is one way you have seen God's people working in tandem this week? 

Hashtag #GraceConnectsUs on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for a chance to  be featured in our newsletter! 

"Out of His fullness we have all received grace..." -- John 1:16a
[Leaders's Corner] 

Alan Hirsch, speaker at the 2015
Flinch Conference (national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches), has coauthored a book, The Faith of Leap: Embracing a Theology of Risk, Adventure, and Courage, which explores, "the nature of adventure, risk, and courage and the implications for church, discipleship, spirituality, and leadership." It is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle editions.

Events in the FGBC

January 23-24 – WLS Class: Spiritual Formation, Long Beach, Calif. (WGUSA)
January 23-25  Kalahari Winter Retreat, Sandusky, Ohio
January 26-28 –  Southwest Focus Retreat, The Oaks, Lake Hughes, Calif. (FGBC)
March 16-18 – South Focus Retreat, Florida FFA Training Center, Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
March 20-21 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Frederick, Md. (WGUSA) 
April 24-25 – WLS Class: Women and Scripture, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (WGUSA) 
June 21-27, 2015  Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Ontario (GBC)
June 21-27, 2015 – Encounter Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
July 14-19, 2015 – Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CEN) 
July 23-26, 2015 – Flinch Conference (national conference), Newark, N.J. (FGBC) 

CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to
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