GraceConnect eNews, No. 124, Week of November 2, 2015


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

A Common Identity

Delegates from around the world have been meeting this week in Bangkok. Thailand, to consider, improve, and endorse the Charis Commitment to Common Identity. This was the the culmination of a three-year effort to create a truly global expression of common values and beliefs of the Grace Brethren movement.
On Wednesday, after several days of discussions in English, French, and Spanish, the delegates voted unanimously to approve the document. In the video above, Bartley Sawatsky, executive director of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, shares what that means for Grace Brethren churches in North America.
The full text of the document is expected to be released late Friday afternoon local time. Check or (which is also available in French:, and Spanish: Reports from the week may also be found there.

Photos and video from the week may be viewed at

[Your Turn]


The Grace Brethren Church in Chico, Calif. (Matt Raley, lead pastor), recently brainstormed a new series of promotional materials for their church. 

"We realized that our church is not best described by what our people do, but who our people are," writes director of operations Christopher Raley. "And so the I am Here series of brochures was born. As the material was written, two themes emerged. The first was alienation. We had all, at some point, felt on the outside of church life because of sin, circumstance, inadequacy or a combination thereof....The second theme that emerged was that we had found a place in Chico Grace Brethren where we didn’t have to conform to an aesthetic but were given the grace to allow Christ to conform us to Him. In telling visitors who we are, we are giving them a chance to step forward with their sin, pain, and circumstance and say, “I am here too.”

Click here to read more, as well as a few of the featured testimonies below:  

I am Here 
My Life is a Testimony 
Building a New Community in Christ 

“Today I repent and pledge to remember the millions of my brothers and sisters who are imprisoned for Christ. I pray for them as if their wounds were carved in my own body.”

Pastor Ivanildo Trinidade of Grace Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Lititz, Pa., spends some time reflecting in his post, Serving the Persecuted Church: a Meditation on the Plight of Those Who Suffer for Christ. Click here to read more. 
[Leader's Corner:]

In his October 26 episode of the Leader2Leader podcast, Scott Feather talks about the "we" factor in leadership and the power of moving from "I" to "we." Click here to download and listen to the episode (free from iTunes): "From I to We." 

Scott is the pastor of Gateway Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Chester County, Pa.

Events in the FGBC

November 2-6, 2015 – Charis International Leadership Encounter, Bangkok, Thailand (EWP)
November 13-14, 2015  WLS: Women & Scripture, Elizabethtown, Pa.  (WGUSA)
January 15-16, 2016 – WLS: Women & Scripture, Ocala, Fla.  (WGUSA)
January 22-24, 2016  Kalahari Retreat, Sandusky, Ohio (FGBC)
January 25-27, 2016  Southwest Focus Retreat (FGBC)
January 27-19, 2016  Fellowship Council (FGBC)
March 14-16, 2016  South Focus Retreat (FGBC) 
March 14-15, 2016   CELS CE Leadership Summit, Philadelphia, Pa. (CEN)
April 21, 2016   Day Away: North of 55Hagerstown, Md. (CEN)
April 22, 2016   Day Away: North of 55East Earl, Pa. (CEN)
June 19-25, 2016  The Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Canada (GBC)
July 4-10, 2016  StreetWise (formerly Crosswalk, Philadelphia, Pa. (CEN)
July 22-25, 2016  Vision Toronto (FGBC) 
July 26-31, 2016  Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)
October 16, 2016   Day Away: North of 55, Dublin, Ohio
November 20, 2016   Day Away: North of 55, Duncansville, Pa. (CEN)

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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