GraceConnect E-News, No. 13, Week of September 16, 2013
The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
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Gardening By Faith

The 50-by-80-foot strip of land sat neglected until the La Loma Grace Brethren Church, Modesto, Calif., took a leap of faith and planted it with a community garden. “It was an eyesore with people in the community, and people are ecstatic that someone is putting it to good use,” says Pastor Joel Richards.

The Modesto Neighborhood Community Garden Project is located on the north side of Modesto, about a mile from the church, and is situated on city-owned property.

“The goal was to put Christians with community people,” said Richards. “We had over a hundred volunteers that weeded and tended the garden. About 30 were from the church, and the rest were volunteers from the community.”

The idea for a garden was born as outreach teams at the church brainstormed ideas for the coming year. Team leaders had talked to a neighbor who expressed that a community garden would be a beneficial addition to the neighborhood. The church decided to explore the possibility, and, literally, dug in.

They planted traditional crops: corn, squash, watermelon, cantaloupe, okra, eggplant, and peppers. “Everything that was grown was given away to whoever wanted it,” says the pastor.

“The garden breaks down all kinds of barriers,” explained Richards.” It’s been a phenomenon. Almost miraculous. The guy right across the street from the garden donated water for us to use one day a week. My son worked side-by-side with a man covered in tattoos and earrings, who helped us dig a water line. I was hardly ever there that someone didn’t stop by and ask about what we are doing, or offer to help in some way."

 â€œThe neighbors have said they’ve seen more families on the walking path that runs behind the garden,” he added.

By now most of the crops are harvest and cleanup has begun in the garden. Plans are in place to plant the garden again next year. – MariJean Sanders

Intentional Friendship

It's an inspiring story. A young man witnesses to his friend, who becomes a Christ-follower, and then the young man baptizes his friend at the annual youth retreat. Dave Pacheco, youth pastor at the Grace Brethren Church in Delaware, Ohio, had a front-seat view to this story and he picks it up from here:

Nate Schneider and Brendan Mercier were two normal 8th grade kids who ran track at Buckeye Valley Middle School in the spring of 2012. They were friends, great friends. Nate knew Jesus and was active in the youth ministry at Delaware, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church (DGBC). Brendan did not know Jesus.

One of their track coaches was Alex McCue, the pastor of middle school ministry at DGBC. Alex talked with Brendan throughout the spring, and so did Nate. At the beginning of their freshmen year at Buckeye Valley High School, Nate invited Brendan to DGBC High School Lakeside Retreat over Labor Day Weekend.

This was the first event Brendan attended at DGBC. Throughout the course of the retreat, Brendan again heard the gospel of Jesus shared. Nate pulled Brendan aside for a conversation about Jesus, and where Brendan's heart was. Brendan came away from the retreat understanding the gospel.

Brendan came to church and youth group at DGBC throughout his freshmen year of high school. However, it was not until the end of his freshman year, at the DGBC summer camp Operation Everything, that he gave his life to Jesus.

Read the rest of the story at


Russ OgdenLongtime Grace Brethren pastor, William Russell “Russ” Ogden (pictured at right), of Winona Lake, Ind., died Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 1:15 p.m. at Grace Village Health Care of Winona Lake at the age of 88.

He served the Lord through the Grace Brethren Church for 50 years. A memorial service will be held Saturday, October 5, in Winona Lake, Ind. Read more.

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The Perfect Shepherd
This week's featured book

The Perfect Shepherd

By John J. Davis

Regularly $6.50, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 50% off!

Simply enter the code "lamb" in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, September 24, 2013.)

On sale now!
In all the poetry of the world, there is no passage that equals the charm, beauty, and warmth of the Twenty-Third Psalm. It has dried many tears and comforted troubled hearts throughout the ages.

In order to fully appreciate the beauty of this inspired poem, however, one must understand the ways of both shepherd and sheep in Palestine. This little volume is designed to take a look at the six verses of the Twenty-Third Psalm against the background of both ancient and modern Palestine. The habits of both shepherd and sheep are carefully studied in order to capture the full message and application of this delightful psalm.

Drawings and photographs help the reader visualize the situations discussed. But the goal of this study is not merely to glean information about shepherd and sheep, but to better understand the ministry and the majesty of the Shepherd of our souls, the Lord Jesus Christ.

This book is an excellent resource for personal or group Bible study.

Regularly $6.50, buy now at 50% off!

Simply enter the code "lamb" in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, September 24, 2013.)

Events in the FGBC

September 18  â€“ Super Wednesday (GCS, CEN)
September 29 â€“ Prayer Sprint (EWP) through October 28
October 7-9 â€“ Central Focus Retreat (FGBC, Maumee Bay State Park, Ohio)
October 21-23 â€“ East Focus Retreat (FGBC, Ocean City, Md.)
November 3 â€“ Day of Generosity (EWP)
November 5 – Super Wednesday (GCS, CEN)
November 15-16, 2013 – Women's Leadership Class, Wooster, Ohio (WGUSA)
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
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC â€“ Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GCS  â€“  Grace College & Seminary
WGUSA â€“ Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to
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