GraceConnect E-News, No. 14, Week of September 23, 2013


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
In this week's eNews: 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).

Retreat = Changed Lives

Wanting to plan an exciting, life-changing event for kids in their churches, youth pastors Brad Isch and Nick Cleveland, put their heads together and laid out a crazy plan -- host a water park retreat…in the winter! That year, the first Kalahari Winter Retreat was held with 300 students from their own churches – Grace Community Church, Fremont, Ohio, and Grace Brethren Church, Wooster, Ohio. Nine years later, this unique winter get-away has grown to more than 2,000 students and youth leaders from 25 plus congregations in the Midwest.

Utilizing the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, a state-of-the-art conference center that boasts the largest indoor water park in the United States, the retreat now attracts student ministries from all over Ohio and Indiana. High school and middle school students, as well as youth leaders, enjoy sessions from well-known speakers and worship bands, the excitement of a large group atmosphere, and of course, some amazing water slides.

It’s also become known as a place where lives are changed – one of the original goals of the event. Just in the last three years, more than 1,000 students have made a first-time decision to follow Christ.

Click here to read more about the Kalahari Retreat ... or to add your own memory to the conversation!

Glorifying Christ in Athletics

“Sports either bring out the best or the worst in you – and people are watching.”

Ivan Schuler (pictured at right), former Grace College athletic director and assistant basketball coach in 1977, was inspired to write a devotional for athletic teams called “Huddle Time” after watching athletic programs at Christian schools.

“I was concerned that some of the things that I was seeing weren’t glorifying Christ,” he said. “I thought there is a real need in the Christian realm to help coaches and athletes have a good testimony.”

The devotional, written in 2000 for athletes and coaches, was inspired by Coach John Wooden’s renowned pyramid of success. Schuler sought an organizational model that could be used to illustrate the different devotional concepts that he was trying to convey to the players while he was coaching.

“There are a lot of similarities between being on God’s team and being on an athletic team,” Schuler continues.  â€œI think what I tried to do is show those similarities and relationships,” he said. “It uses a practice theme as an analogy to how to study the Bible, and it’s a very nonthreatening way of sharing the gospel.”

Schuler used this tool while he was coaching at Biola University and Grace, and has distributed it to athletes and coaches over the years. He gave a copy to star athletes like Shanna Zolman, star athlete at the University of Tennessee and later a professional basketball player for the Tulsa Shock who, after reading the devotional, purchased more for her entire team.

“There’s been lots of feedback on how people who used the devotional appreciated being able to grow spiritually as well as physically and mentally while being part of an athletic team,” Schuler says.

To obtain a copy of this devotional and a supplement for coaches, contact Schuler directly at or by calling 1-574-269-0673. The cost for both is $8, which includes shipping and handling. â€“ by MariJean Sanders


Congratulations to Pastor Javier and Pilar Forero. On Monday, September 23, at 9:13 a.m., they welcomed their daughter, Ellie, into the world. (That's her in the photo at right.) She weighed 8.5 pounds and was 20 inches long. Javier leads Iglesia Comunal La Esperanza in Valrico, Fla. Ellie, which is Hebrew for "consecrated to God" joins siblings Mateo and Abbie at home. (Send a note of congratulations to the Foreros.)

 At the Winona Lake, Ind., Grace Brethren Church (Bruce Barlow, lead pastor), three young men were recognized on Sunday as newly-licensed elders. (They recently were examined by the pastors in the Heartland District of Grace Brethren Churches.) In the photo at right (taken during the church's Living Room service, Nick Deck, Aaron Scantlen, and Tim Wright (all kneeling) are prayed for by Jay Bell, Kip Cone, Tom Julien, and Dean Avey. (Send a note of congratulations to Nick, Aaron, and Tim.)

Submit your news about job changes, marriages, births, retirements, 
deaths, etc., to

Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace
This week's featured book

The Gospel of God's Grace

Alva J. McClain, author; Herman A. Hoyt, editor

Regularly $14.99, now available for GraceConnect eNews subscribers ONLY at 20% off plus free shipping!

Simply enter the code "Romans" in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, October 1, 2013.)

On sale now!
This classic resource on the book of Romans is the result of more than 40 years of study, teaching, and preaching by the founding president of Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Ind. This volume, outlined by McClain's student and, later, colleague, Dr. Herman Hoyt, demonstrates McClain's fine grasp of the significance of the biblical teaching about the Kingdom of God.

Romans is outlined in easy-to-follow sections, each dealing with a specific subject, answering a great question, and presenting a clear revelation of God. The text tackles topics like condemnation, salvation, vindication, and exhortation.

Romans, The Gospel of God's Grace not only provides a detailed study of the doctrines addressed in Romans, it provides a general survey of the epistle. It's an important book that should be in the library of every serious Bible student.

Regularly $14.99, buy now at 20% off plus free shipping!

Simply enter the code "Romans" in your shopping cart at (Price is good only until midnight, October 1, 2013.)

Events in the FGBC

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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