Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,
 
How is it going this week with praying for your enemies? If you missed the message on Sunday, we continued with our fall sermon series, Streams: Embodying the Beliefs & Practices of the Brethren in Christ.

This past Sunday we looked at our first stream in a sermon entitled, Anabaptism: The Way of Peace (2 of 6). I challenged us to embody the way of peace set forth in the teachings of Jesus by praying for our enemies. I hope that you’ve been intentional with “walking it out” this week. As Pastor Kelly said, let us know what that experience has been like for you. What is God showing you?
 
Our Streams series continues this Sunday with a look at our next historic stream, Pietism: The Way of Renewal. Just as we did last week, I’ll begin by defining and briefly sharing some history of pietism, particularly as it led to the birth of our denomination. What is pietism? How does it fit with Anabaptism?

Also, we will look at how Christ and the Scriptures reveal that our faith should be full of life-changing experiences with God—experiences that lead to spiritual fruit in our lives. We will see how true piety is born of the Holy Spirit, and how this empowers us to experience real, meaningful change.
 
Furthermore, I’ll share how we’re designed to live out of both sides of our brain. The left side of our brain is for analytical thinking, logic, law, mathematical equations, etc. It’s a much-needed part of us, for sure. But sometimes we tend to neglect (or even suppress) the right side of the brain that God made for creativity, imagination, spontaneity, beholding beauty, and for expressing our feelings. This is what we’re describing today when we talk about expressing our “heart” in life and worship.
 
So, this Sunday I’ll help us to see how we’re unable to fully worship God and have a living relationship with Jesus when we’re only operating out of one side of who we are. Even now, I’d like to encourage you to begin preparing your heart and mind for worship this weekend, as we consider how God is calling Grantham Church to fully embrace pietism in what has increasingly become a left-brained society and culture.
 
Finally, it’s not too late to join a sermon-based small group for this fall season. As I’ve said before, we want to be intentional with our small groups at Grantham. In time, I hope that we will see the majority of our congregation engaged in a “personal space” where we can discuss what is being taught from the pulpit, hear God’s voice together, apply what’s being learned, and openly share life with one another in close-knit community.

Please contact the office if you’re interested in joining a group this fall. Thank you for working all of the spaces as we seek to be fully-formed disciples of Jesus.
 
See you this Sunday!
 
Grace & Peace,
Pastor David
 
P.S.   Want to help those who have been impacted by Hurricane Florence? WHTM ABC 27 out of Harrisburg, PA will be airing a telethon today to benefit the Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS). The MDS phone number (1-800-241-1111) will be displayed on air throughout the day and WHTM will be reporting live during their morning and evening news programming. A generous donor has pledged to match up to $20,000 in donations on the day of the telethon. Additional matching support is being pursued. A similar telethon was held last year and raised more than $100,000 for the MDS response to the 2017 hurricanes. Your support could help MDS surpass last year's total. Call 1-800-241-8111 to make a telethon contribution, or give online. Donate now to help with the response and recovery efforts!

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,
 
We have successfully launched our Fall 2018 Ministries at Grantham Church!
 
We began our new Streams sermon series this past Sunday. If you missed the first installment, you can listen to One Church, Many Expressions at our website or podcast. Remember, the sermon and other worship resources (including small group discussion questions) are posted online every Monday afternoon. I encourage you to stay connected and engaged through the entire series. If you haven’t joined a sermon-based small group, but you’d like to do so, please contact Pastor Kelly (kchripczuk@granthamchurch.org).
 
Jesus prayed that his church would be one, so why are there so many denominations today? In the intro to our six-week series, I invited us to see how there have been multiple expressions of the church since the very beginning. It’s good for us to see how God uses our differences to further the gospel of Christ. And before we reflect on our own distinctives in this series, I wanted us to see where we fit in the larger church, and how we should view other Christians who don’t believe, worship, and live the way we do—lest we become arrogant or sectarian in the way we live out our faith.
 
This coming Sunday we will begin surveying our historic streams by first looking at Anabaptism. As I will say in the sermon, this first stream really sets us apart from most denominations in America. This is where we receive our peace heritage and Jesus’ command to love our enemies and live non-violently in the world. So, we will start with a little history, examine the words of Jesus, and think about what it means to love like Jesus and live peacefully toward our neighbors and enemies today. And then Pastor Kelly will come up and give us some practical ways we can embody the message in the week ahead.
 
Once again, I’d like to remind you to take your Fall 2018 Ministries brochure and pray over the ministries and the people involved. You can do that individually, as a family, in your small group, etc. I believe that God wants us to partner with him in what he wants to do this fall by being intentional in prayer. Let’s ask the Spirit to move among us in powerful ways, to provide for our needs as a church, and to further the Kingdom of God through us, so that we can deepen our discipleship and reach others with the gospel of Christ.
 
Finally, our Discover Grantham Church class starts on Sunday, September 30. If you’re interested in learning more about Grantham, becoming a member, and/or being baptized, please contact the church office (office@granthamchurch.org). Also, please pray for all those who will be taking the class. We will be receiving new members and presenting them to you later this fall.
 
May God continue to bless Grantham Church, as we remain humble, teachable, and ready for whatever comes our way. Stay hungry, my friends.
 
Grace & Peace,
Pastor David

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,
 
I hope you all had a great summer. It’s time for our fall kickoff at Grantham Church!

  • Wednesday, September 5 - start of fall ministries
    • Eat & Run – 5:00-6:15 pm;
    • Builders Clubs (children) &  Day by Day (youth) from 6:15-7:30 pm
  • Sunday, September 9 - start of fall sermon series - Streams
    • Fall Learning Communities at 9:00 am
    • Monthly Taize service at 7:30 pm in sanctuary – every 2nd Sunday 

You can now access our Fall 2018 Ministries brochure online at our website for more detailed information.
 
This Sunday is the start of our fall sermon series, Streams: Embodying the Beliefs & Practices of the Brethren in Christ. You may remember that we did our Roots series in the spring of 2017. In that series, we looked at our ten core values. In our Streams series, we will look at the theological traditions that have shaped who we are today.

Here is a summary of where we’re going in the next six weeks:

The Brethren in Christ (BIC) has a rich blend of theological traditions that make us who we are today. Specifically, our beliefs and practices are shaped by four streams within the wider Christian community: Anabaptism, Pietism, Wesleyanism, and more recently, Evangelicalism. And as Luke Keefer Jr., a BIC historian and theologian, once wrote: when we blend multiple traditions, each are impacted by the other. So, like a mixed fruit drink, we must harmonize these streams to create a unique ecclesial flavor. Streams is a series that surveys the theological heritage of the Brethren in Christ and calls us to embody certain beliefs and practices that can guide us in the way of Jesus—empowering us to be the difference the world needs to see in the church today.

I hope you will join us September 9 – October 14 as we look at how we can adopt a vibrant faith that reflects the heart of Jesus and the beauty of his gospel, for such a time as this.
 
Please consider how God is calling you to engage at Grantham Church this fall. Are you working all of the spaces in the church? Remember, being an integral part of the church means that we’re not only attending worship in a public space, but that we’re also working the intimate, personal, and social spaces as well. It may be that God wants you to commit this fall to growing through a learning community, a bible study, or a small group.

Our small groups are our primary vehicle for discipleship and building community at Grantham. I encourage you to go deeper with the content of the sermons as you share life with other disciples. Contact Pastor Kelly if you’re not a part of a sermon-based small group, but you would like to be. New groups are forming now!
 
Is God calling you to serve in some way? We need volunteers in our children’s ministry. Interested in being a greeter, an usher, or serving at Eat & Run? There are all sorts of ways that you can serve the church, and help us meet people’s physical and spiritual needs, as we continue growing as a congregation. What is the Spirit nudging you to do? Where is the Lord calling you to give your time, money, and energy this fall? How is he wanting you to deepen your commitment to serving him through Grantham? Think about it, pray about it, and cheerfully commit so you can reap the reward.
 
Finally, I want to invite you to take a fall brochure and pray over the ministries of Grantham Church. Would you be intentional in doing that over the next few weeks? I believe God wants to do some exciting things this fall. May we faithfully go to him in prayer and continue believing that God can do infinitely more than we could ever ask for or imagine, for the glory of Christ and his Kingdom.
 
I’m proud to be your pastor, Grantham Church. Let’s press on in fall 2018!
 
Grace & Peace,
 
Pastor David
 
P.S. There will be a Young Adult Picnic immediately following the service this Sunday. Last year we had well over a hundred college students present! And we’re expecting another large crowd of students. Pastor Matt tells me that college students and young adults are all welcome to attend. If you work with college students and young adults, or you’re interested in doing that in the future, you’re also invited to attend the picnic. Come, and let’s love on our young people and bless them at the start a new season!

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

What does the New Testament tell us about the return of Christ? And what difference does it make for us in the present? That’s what I addressed this past Sunday in a sermon called, Metaphors of Hope: The Second Coming in Christian Imagination. I covered a lot in one message. So, if it helps you, you can go back and listen again, and/or view the sermon slides under Worship Resources.

Remember, if you ever miss a message, the sermons are posted on our website and the Grantham Church Podcast on Monday afternoons.

This coming Sunday I plan to further explain our Christian hope in the resurrection of the dead in a message entitled, Heaven is Not Our Home (And Why That’s a Good Thing). I will seek to dispel popular misconceptions about heaven, which has been furthered through books, movies, hymns, and modern worship. I want to help us see the difference in heaven as a present reality, and in the new heavens and earth (Rev 21), which is yet to come. Because as biblical scholar N.T. Wright has said, our hope isn’t in life after death, but in life after life after death.

Nevertheless, I do want to assure followers of Christ that we can live life without fear of death—for to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. Therefore, we can live with peace and joy knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ. I hope you can join us this Sunday as we celebrate life in the here and now, and the hope of life in the hereafter.

It’s a little hard to believe, but we’re about to be in the month of September! That means that fall kickoff is right around the corner.

  • Wednesday, September 5 - start of fall ministries
    • (This includes Eat & Run, Children & Youth, Small Groups, Choir, etc.)
  • Sunday, September 9 - start of fall sermon series - Streams
    • (Learning Communities at 9:00 am & Monthly Taize service at 7:30 pm in sanctuary – every 2nd Sunday)

Our Fall 2018 Ministries brochure will be available this Sunday in mailboxes and Welcome Centers. Pick one up for detailed info about our ministries.

Finally, your staff is very excited about what we believe God wants to do at Grantham this fall. I want to encourage you to prayerfully discern how the Spirit wants you involved in the various “spaces” of the church. Where is he calling you to participate and receive spiritual nourishment? Also, where is he calling you to give and serve? Is he calling you to help with the children or the youth? Is he calling you to join the choir? Maybe he is calling you to get involved in a small group. Whatever he is calling you to do, I invite you to commit to being an active member of your church family.

May God continue to bless Grantham Church as we keep Jesus at the center of our lives and the heart of our mission.

Grace & Peace,
Pastor David

P.S. You may have noticed in the bulletin that our giving is up significantly from last year. It’s obvious that people are giving more, and that more people are giving. Thank you! It is important to note that while we do experience spikes and valleys through 52 weeks of the year, if we continue on the current trend, we will not only meet our needs, but we could possibly have a surplus going into 2019. This is very exciting! Thank you for your generosity and your invested interest in furthering the Kingdom through the life and ministries of Grantham Church. God is at clearly at work in our congregation, as is most evident in recent additions to our church staff, the multiplication of our small groups, and 11 baptisms in the creek. Thank you for all you do to help us move forward as a congregation!

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

We had a spectacular day of worship this past Sunday! We sang heartily together, we prayed, we blessed our students and teachers, and we heard Bishop Bob Beaty deliver a message on being open to seeing things the way Jesus sees them. If you missed Bob’s sermon, you can listen to Do You See What I See? at our website or via the Grantham Church Podcast on iTunes.

Following the worship service, we witnessed the baptisms of 11 people in the Yellow Breeches. Check out our Facebook page if you’d like to see some pictures of the event. Also, be sure to “Like” our page so you don’t miss anything in the future. Remember that you can see who all were baptized and read their testimonies in the insert from Sunday’s bulletin, or read them here.

This intergenerational group of disciples will take our Discover Grantham Church class beginning Sunday, September 30. They will be formally presented to the congregation as new members later this fall. If you’re interested in learning about Grantham Church and/or you’re thinking about becoming a member of our congregation, please contact us at office@granthamchurch.org so we can reserve a spot for you.

Our official Fall Kick-Off is right around the corner! Mark these dates on your calendar:

  • Wednesday, September 5 – start of fall ministries
    (This includes Eat & Run, Children & Youth, Small Groups, Choir, etc.)
  • Sunday, September 9 – start of fall sermon series – Streams
    (Learning Communities at 9:00 am & Monthly Taize service at 7:30 pm in sanctuary – every 2nd Sunday)

Our Fall 2018 Ministries brochure will be available this Sunday. They will be placed in mailboxes and at the welcome centers. The brochure will contain everything you need to know about what is happening this fall, including a slight time change to Wednesday evening ministries/events, and information about our fall sermon series.

Also, this Sunday you will receive an insert in your bulletin about another fresh launch to our sermon-based small groups. I want to encourage you to join a group this fall, if you’re not already in one. Our small groups are becoming a vital part of the congregational life at Grantham Church. We want this “personal space” to be our primary vehicle for building relationships and making disciples. We currently have 16 groups, and we’d like to see that number go up, as we seek to have the majority of our congregation regularly sharing life with each other according to the model Jesus left us.

If you’re interested in joining a small group, please follow the instructions in your bulletin insert this Sunday, or contact Pastor Kelly at kchripczuk@granthamchurch.org.

Finally, I hope you can gather with your church family in worship this coming weekend. I’ll be sharing on an what I think is an oft-misunderstood topic: the Second Coming of Jesus. What does the New Testament teach about the future of the planet and of the cosmos? And what difference does (ought) it make for our lives in the here and now?

Please join us for worship at 10:30 am. We will end the service with communion. Until then, may you know the joy of the Lord this week, and share that joy with all you meet.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,
 
Jesus told us that we shouldn’t judge other people (Matt 7:1-5). The NT makes it clear that our calling is to live in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us (Eph 5:1-2; 1 Jn 3:16). And we can’t judge others and live in love at the same time. I hope that you're talking to the Spirit about these things and that you’ve been intentionally monitoring your thoughts toward others this week.
 
In last Sunday’s message, Denouncing (Your Inner) Judge Dredd, I tried to clarify that there is a difference in judging people and judging (discerning) things that are good and evil (Matt 7:16-20). While it’s right for us to discern that certain attitudes, actions, and behaviors aren’t appropriate for followers of Jesus, we must be careful that we don’t become the judge, jury, and executioner of others made in God’s image. We mustn’t assume we know what is in a person’s heart (motives), or that we fully understand their situation and circumstances. We mustn’t act as if we see and know all that God sees and knows.
 
I said that when we do this, we take from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which was forbidden to us. Not only is this damaging to others, because we’re cursing instead of blessing them, but as we see in Genesis 3, it exposes our own nakedness and sin. It becomes about us trying to gain our worth by diminishing the worth of others. Think about this, folks. When sinners pass judgment on other sinners, everyone loses. You may feel better about yourself in the moment, but you are over time hardening your own heart toward God’s Spirit and those he calls you to love.
 
That is why Paul says that we should think of ourselves as the worst of sinners (1 Tim 1:15). Yes, we’re called to be saints (holy ones), but we never forget that we’re all broken and not as we should be. We’re all a work in progress (Phil 3:12). Therefore, if we want to live in love toward others and know the peace and freedom of Christ, we must remember who we really are and who God is—revealed in the loving character of Jesus. May God help us to ascribe unsurpassable worth to others, so that our own souls might be filled with a greater knowledge and experience of his love for us.
 
I hope you will join us this Sunday at Grantham Church. We will have a School Bag Dedication as we pray for all of our young people returning to school. Students of all ages should bring their school bags or backpacks with them to worship. Also, our new Bishop, Bob Beaty, will be bringing the message. Please come and meet Bishop Bob and his family. Oh, and just so you know, the Beaty family recently moved to Dillsburg from California, and they are still looking for a church family!
 
Finally, we will be baptizing 11 people in the Yellow Breeches after the service on Sunday. We plan to meet at the creek as soon as our worship service is over. However, if we end up getting more rain and the creek is not safe for baptizing, we will be baptizing in the sanctuary. Whether we’re outside or inside, it will be a special time together as a church family.
 
See you on Sunday!
 
Grace & Peace,
 
Pastor David
 
P.S. Stay tuned for our Fall 2018 Ministries brochure! The brochure will contain everything you need to know about what is happening this fall, including information about our fall sermon series. We will be making those available to you next Sunday, August 26. Look for them in your mailbox and/or at any of our welcome centers.

* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at office@granthamchurch.org