GraceConnect E-News, No. 7, Week of August 5, 2013
The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Summer is winding down. In some areas of the U.S., classes began at some schools this week. Practice for fall sports is underway. The end-of-summer tradition of prepping for a new season of life has begun.

For the staff at GraceConnect, it is no different. We took a break from the newsletter last week as the national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC) was held. (Welcome to some of the new subscribers we gained there!) We're gearing up with the fall with new stories and video clips gathered from around the FGBC.

Fall is often a time when programs designed to help people connect within a congregation begin. That was the case at this time last year at the Grace Brethren Church in Wooster, Ohio (Bob Fetterhoff, senior pastor) as they realized there needed to be another way to help people feel supported personally and spiritually. Pastor Steve Kern, who coordinates the small group program at Wooster, talked in April with GraceConnect intern, Andrea Skowronski, about their efforts to encourage spiritual growth and fellowship at Wooster. Originally posted to last spring, it is a story that is still important in late summer.

This week's featured product is Astronomy and the Bible. Regularly priced at $14.99, the book is 50% off only for subscribers of GraceConnect eNews! This handy resource answers intriguing questions about astronomy and science. It's easy-to-read format answers questions that range from "How is the date for Easter determined?" and "What objects make up the solar system?" to "Do stars evolve?" and "Can astronomy lead a person to God?" This book is a great reference for any student of science and the Bible.

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 and ministries within congregations of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.

Grace Groups Provide A Sense of Belonging

Grace Groups at the Grace Brethren Church, Wooster, Ohio, often gather to do ministry together.“People are now aware of each other’s needs and feel a sense of support for other people as well,” reports Steve Kern, associate pastor of spiritual growth at the Grace Brethren Church in Wooster, Ohio (Bob Fetterhoff, senior pastor).

What brought about this change? Kern credits it to the creation of Grace Groups, which began in the fall. According to Kern, Grace Groups are “essentially home study groups, but with not just the study as the emphasis. It would also be on connection, on the fellowship aspect, and then with an outreach element as well.”

“We have about 18 Adult Bible Fellowships (ABF) meeting on Sunday mornings, impacting about 500 lives on any given Sunday,” says Kern. “Meanwhile, we still have hundreds of other people who are not involved in an ABF, and our concern over the years has been that they become involved in some sort of group experience.”

So far, the result has been extremely positive. “We currently have 19 Grace Groups with 185 people. Of those 185, more than 100 were not part of our ABFs in the past, or haven’t been recently,” Kern reports.

Read the rest of the story here.

#Vision2020South in the History Books

An easy way to capture the essence of the national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches last week in Atlanta, Ga., is to check out the photo wall on The wall captured every Tweet and Instagram message sent during the week that included the hashtag #vision2020south. It picked up images of worship celebrations, significant phrases from speakers, glimpses of the Mobile Learning Labs, and other activities surrounding Vision2020 South. The conference met from July 26 through July 31 at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead Hotel and Conference Center on the north side of Atlanta.

Other reports from throughout the week may also be found at

In addition, video reports shown throughout the week are now posted at 
Videos Highlight Mobile Learning Labs at Vision2020 South (recaps of Mobile Learning Lab programs that were shown on Sunday and Wednesday of conference). New FGBC executive director (moderator) Bartley Sawatsky gives a video tour of the site of next year's conference, Vision2020 DC, in Washington, D.C. Site of Next FGBC Conference. The 2014 conference will be July 17-21 at the historic Shoreham Omni in Washington, D.C.

Four new churches accepted as new members of the FGBC. They include: 

Additional photos from the week may be viewed in the Vision2020 South album at GraceConnectUs on Facebook.
Astronomy and the Bible
This week's featured product

Astronomy and the Bible

By Donald B. DeYoung

Regularly $14.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off!

Simply enter the code Stars in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, August 13, 2013.

On sale now!

Astronomy and the Bible is a 155-page paperback which answers 100 intriguing questions about astronomy and science.

Written by Grace College professor Dr. Don B. DeYoung, it is subtitled Questions and Answers. The questions range across subjects such as the earth and the moon, the solar system, the stars, galaxies and the universe, and general science. Published by BMH Books, Winona Lake, Ind., the book includes a new, helpful series of seasonal star charts for the Northern Hemisphere, along with a general and a scripture index.

Astronomy and the Bible’s question-and-answer format makes it a practical tool for the classroom and home school. About the book, Christian Retailing magazine commented, “How refreshing and rare to find an astronomy book where God’s Word, not scientific theory, finds pre-eminence.” Bibliotheca Sacra described the book as “Truly a veritable goldmine of easy-to-understand information about astronomy and earth history.”

DeYoung has taught at Grace College since 1972 and is known internationally for his work in creation science. He is president of the Creation Research Society and is the author of 17 books, including Pioneer Explorers of Intelligent Design, also published by BMH books. 

ISBN: 978-0-88469-267-6

Events in the FGBC

August 5-10 â€“ Student Athletes and Leadership return (GCS)
August 14 â€“ Day of Caring, Fort Wayne TinCaps game (GCS)
August 16 – New Student Orientation at Grace College Fort Wayne (GCS)
August 17-19 – Welcome Weekend at Main Campus (GCS)
August 19 â€“ Classes start at 6 p.m. (GCS)
August 24 â€“ SAB Beach Day! (GCS)
September 4-16 â€“ Argentine Ministry Trip (WGUSA)
September 18  â€“ Super Wednesday (GCS, CEN)
October 7-9 â€“ Central Focus Retreat (FGBC, location to be announced)
October 21-23 â€“ East Focus Retreat (FGBC, location to be announced)
November 5  â€“ Super Wednesday (GCS, CEN)
January 27-29, 2014 â€“ Southwest Focus Retreat (FGBC, location to be announced)
January 29-31, 2014 â€“ Fellowship Council (FGBC, location to be announced)
July 17-21, 2014 â€“ Vision2020 DC (FGBC)
July 22-27, 2014 â€“ Momentum Youth Conference (CEN)

CEN – CE National
FGBC â€“ Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GCS  â€“  Grace College & Seminary
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA
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