GraceConnect eNews, No. 140, Week of February 22, 2016

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
The people of Community Grace Church in Greencastle, Pa., needed a church building. So they prayed for one -- and God answered.

God's Gift: A New Building


“They told us ‘We just want to give you the [church] building,’” said Denise Hutchinson, wife of Paul Hutchison, pastor of Community Grace Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Greencastle, Pa.  “People ask us how it happened. It’s God connecting people.”
 
For the Hutchison’s, the donation of a church building was not just an answer to prayer. It was a testimony to God’s ability to provide in miraculous ways and an opportunity to share that with others. So how did it happen?
 
The story begins with Denise’s unlikely friendship with a woman she met through Denise’s catering company.
 
Within a matter of time, the Hutchison’s received an invitation to tour nearby St. Stephen’s church, where this woman was a member. The implication was that the St. Stephen’s congregation wanted to make a business deal involving the building.
 
A group of about 30 members of Community Grace, including the Hutchison’s, visited the facility. At the end, they asked their hosts if they wanted to rent, lease, or sell the building.
 
The response was surprising. Some term it miraculous. The St. Stephen’s building would be donated to the Grace Brethren group, recognizing the two shared a similar mission and it was a resource St. Stephen’s no longer could use.
 
The 7,000 square foot building has plenty of space to grow; the current congregation consists of 75 members and the “new” church sanctuary can hold 250.
 
The classroom space will allow for expansion of Sunday school classes, more community activities, and more concerts on site.
 
Once inside, the leadership realized the previous congregation had left everything in the facility for their use, including antique silver communion trays with glass cups, Depression-ware glass vases, and a glass-encased quilt from 1857 with the signatures of the original church members.
 
The facility is located on Buchanan Trail just four miles west of Greencastle, where Community Grace Church currently meets. It sits on one-fifth of an acre in a park-like setting. This provides the necessary room for the church hold outdoor events on-site, such as the community egg drop during the Easter season, which attracts approximately 6,000 visitors each year. 
 
The legal paperwork is expected to be completed this week, but Community Grace Church now has use of the building.
 
In the weeks since they took possession, Community Grace has painted, installed carpet, rearranged the pews, and begun kitchen renovations in anticipation of holding its first service there on March 7, 2016. -- by Grace Beight


[Connect:]
Click
here to send a letter of encouragement to Pastor Paul and the congregation of Community Grace Church. 

(Editor’s Note: Grace Beight is an intern at GraceConnect. She is a senior at Grace College and is from Amherst, Ohio.)
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[Your Turn]


[Listen:]

Real Men Connect is an online Christian discipleship community specifically for men. Recently, Jim Brown, pastor of Grace Community Church in Goshen, Ind., appeared on their podcast series, speaking about four critical areas of growth for every man. Click here to find out more and listen to the podcast. 

[Watch:]

"Encompass is not opposed to taking risks, and knowing that in order to share the gospel, sometimes we have to do things that are scary, which creates a strong dependence on Christ."


Encompass World Partners' latest video takes a look at the passions and motivations of those involved in the ministry. Click here to watch the video. 

[Read:]

The aim of Engage Through Grace, a blog of Grace Church of Lititz, Pa. (Ivanildo Trindade, lead pastor), is to tell stories of their missions partners, and posts "stories of compassion." Their latest post, In It to End It, was written by Alyssa Weaver, interim coordinator of local and global outreach at Grace Church. Recounting her experience in Peru with the horrifying realities of poverty and child trafficking, Alyssa offers ideas for action. Click here to read the post.  

Events in the FGBC

February 26-27, 2016  WLS: Women and Scripture (Spanish), Tampa, Fla.  (WGUSA) 
March 14-16, 2016  South Focus Retreat (FGBC) 
March 14-15, 2016   CELS CE Leadership Summit, Philadelphia, Pa. (CEN)
April 8-9, 2016  WLS: Spiritual Formation, Winona Lake, Ind. (WGUSA)
April 21, 2016   Day Away: North of 55Hagerstown, Md. (CEN)
April 22, 2016   Day Away: North of 55East Earl, Pa. (CEN)
June 13-17, 2016   Encounter SoCal (EWP)
June 19-25, 2016  The Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Canada (GBC)
June 22-28, 2016  Mission Trip to Haiti (WGUSA)
June 27-July, 2016  Encounter Atlanta (EWP)
July 4-10, 2016  StreetWise (formerly Crosswalk, Philadelphia, Pa. (CEN)
July 22-25, 2016  Margins Conference (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 lcgates@bmhbooks.com.
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