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

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

This past Sunday was very special as we installed Kelly Chripczuk as our new Associate Pastor. Kelly preached a message called Blessed to Be a Blessing. And then after the service, we had lunch in the fellowship hall and heard Pastor Kelly share a bit about herself and her journey to Grantham Church. It was a celebratory time together as a church family.

As I’ve shared before, but in case you forgot or missed it, Pastor Kelly will be giving most of her attention to congregational care, guiding the growth of our sermon-based small groups (discipleship/spiritual formation), and integrating new people/families into our church. She will also be assisting with teaching and preaching responsibilities throughout the year in various formats. I believe that Pastor Kelly will help us continue to grow (deep & wide) as a congregation. Pray for her and her family as they continue transitioning. May God bless Pastor Kelly and her ministry in the days ahead.

If you’d like to welcome Pastor Kelly with a quick email, or if she can help you in some way, you can now contact her at kchripczuk@granthamchurch.org.

Here is a look ahead through the rest of the summer:

  • Sunday, August 12 – Pastor David preaching
  • Sunday, August 19 – Bishop Bob Beaty preaching; baptisms at the Yellow Breeches
  • Sunday, August 26 – Pastor David preaching; monthly communion
  • Wednesday, September 5 – start of fall ministries
  • Sunday, September 9 – Streams (fall sermon series) begins

I hope you can join us for worship this Sunday morning at 10:30 am. I will be preaching a message that looks at the harmful practice of judging others and what it means to see people the way Jesus does. How do we embody what Christ taught and modeled for us? How is God calling us to welcome and befriend people who aren’t like us—to bless them and not judge/curse? And how do we free ourselves from the sin of being the judge of people? I look forward to worshipping with you and discovering more of the freedom that the Spirit offers through the love of Christ.

May the Lord help us to live in love as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, for love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).

Grace & Peace,
Pastor David

P.S. Our new projectors are being installed as I write this letter! You will most definitely notice the difference this Sunday. I’m confident that this much-needed update will enhance our experience in worship. Thank you for your patience and your support of the ministries here at Grantham Church. Your active participation allows us to continue moving forward as a congregation on mission.  

* 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 are now in the month of August, if you can believe it. I hope you’ve enjoyed your summer, and that these final weeks will be full of sunshine.
 
If you missed our worship service this past Sunday, I gave a message called The Church as Family and we then shared in communion together. We typically receive communion in our seats, or by coming forward to receive it from our pastors and deacons, but this time we had 4 round tables at the front of the sanctuary so you could come and serve each other. I invited the congregation to gather around the tables with a small group of folks (family, friends, and/or strangers). In doing this, we said that we are all family, despite our differences—we’re all equals, we all matter, and nobody is alone. 
 
Our round table communion was very meaningful. Thanks to all those who participated in this special time together. You can expect that we will do it again in the future.
 
The day has finally arrived! This Sunday we will be formally installing Kelly Chripczuk as our new Associate Pastor at Grantham Church. Pastor Kelly will be preaching and then we will eat lunch together in the fellowship hall. There will be a Q&A with Pastor Kelly during the meal. I hope you can join us for the service and the lunch.

Here is where we’re going in the coming weeks:

  • Sunday, August 5 – Pastor Kelly will be installed before she preaches; lunch in fellowship hall
  • Sunday, August 12 – Pastor David preaching 
  • Sunday, August 19 – Bishop Bob Beaty preaching; baptisms at the Yellow Breeches
  • Sunday, August 26 – Pastor David preaching; monthly communion
  • Wednesday, September 5 – start of fall ministries
  • Sunday, September 9 – fall sermon series begins

Finally, just a reminder that this Sunday is the deadline for letting the church office know that you’re interested in baptism. Please contact Jill Stauffer at jstauffer@granthamchurch.org. I’m excited to report that we already have 7 people confirmed that they would like to be baptized on Sunday, August 19. All those being baptized will also take part in our Discover Grantham Church class this fall, in order to become members of our congregation. Our membership class will begin on Sunday, September 30. More details are coming soon along with information regarding our fall ministries. Stay tuned!
 
Have a great week everybody. May God continue to bless Grantham Church in the days ahead.
 
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,
 
We’ve been getting a lot of rain in central PA, even flash-flooding. While we’ve had cooler temperatures here in the northeast, my family in Texas told me that they’ve been in the triple digits for over a week. Let’s pray for folks around the country who have been experiencing hardships due to extreme weather conditions.
 
Aside from the weather, I hope you’re all having a good summer. If you missed it, this past Sunday I preached a sermon called, Sabbath, Silence & Solitude. I shared about the true meaning and purpose of Sabbath rest, and how we should view it as a gift from God. We need the Sabbath to rest, to be replenished, to be re-centered, and to stop and reflect on what is true about God, ourselves, and our world. We cease from our labor so that we don’t become slaves to our work or our world. I hope you were encouraged by the message, and maybe went home and took a nap.
 
I want to remind you that Kelly Chripczuk begins her role as Associate Pastor on Monday, July 30. Pastor Kelly will be formally installed and then preach on Sunday, August 5. Following the worship service, you are invited to stay for a church lunch and Q&A with Pastor Kelly in the fellowship hall. Please join us for this meaningful moment in the life of the Chripczuk family and the life of our church.
 
Also, mark your calendars and join us on Sunday, August 19. The new Bishop of Susquehanna Conference, Bob Beaty, will be preaching that morning. Bishop Bob and his family moved from California about a month ago, and they are settling in just down the road in Dillsburg. I couldn’t be more pleased that he has been chosen as Bishop Ken Hoke’s successor.
 
Not only will Bishop Bob be with us that Sunday, but we will also be baptizing a small group of people down at the Yellow Breeches after the worship service. If you’re in town that weekend, you’re not going to want to miss this special time together. I’m excited for you to meet Bishop Bob, and that he and his family will get to experience baptisms at the creekwith us. Stay tuned for more info about baptisms.
 
Finally, this Sunday I’ll be preaching a message about the power and presence of God that should be experienced through friendships formed in the church. The church should be a place where we we’re open, honest (but kind and gentle), and authentic in our relationships. We’re called to genuinely care, to bear each other’s burdens, and extend grace to one another. The church ought to be a place where loneliness can’t exist. And there is no greater time for us to embody these practices as followers of Jesus today.
 
I hope to see you this Sunday in worship. We will conclude the service by sharing communion together, but we will do it a bit differently than what’s been done in the last couple of years. I expect that the Spirit will meet us in a powerful way, as we come to the Lord’s table with others who share our desire to follow Jesus and manifest his presence in the world.
 
Have a great week!
 
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,

This past weekend was a meaningful time for our denomination. As you know, BIC General Assembly 2018 was held at Messiah College. I’ll share a few personal highlights with you.

The biennial assembly began with a pre-assembly Awaken gathering of about 250 people here at Grantham Church. Awaken is a network of women and men who are committed to enriching the church’s imagination for ministry to include and provide opportunities for the women God has called to lead and serve.

We whole-heartedly support this effort at Grantham, so it was an honor getting to host such a large group of people who are committed to furthering the Kingdom by highlighting the impact and the importance of God’s call on women to serve as pastors and leaders within the church. It was good to see many of our own congregants there. And I want to especially thank our kitchen staff and hospitality team for helping make this event a success.

In the first session on Saturday morning, Pastor John Yeatts and I were invited up to the stage to talk with Bishop Ken Hoke about Grantham’s story of transition and transformation, in recent years. It was a joy getting to share what God has been doing at Grantham with all of our pastors, leaders, and delegates. If you weren’t there or haven’t seen it yet, you can watch that here. Our conversation happens about 50 minutes into the session. I hope that you’re all encouraged by what was shared in the time we had to share it.

Oh, and maybe if we ask him nicely, Pastor John will dress up as Gandalf for Trunk or Treat this year!

Another highlight for me was this past Sunday, as we worshipped together and welcomed a few assembly visitors to Grantham. Pastor Dave and the worship team skillfully led us in worship, and I was grateful for the opportunity to share my story into the BIC in a message entitled, The Brethren in Christ Difference. Thanks to those of you who shared in a special time of worship with us on Sunday.

The business of GA 2018 was spread out over the whole weekend. You can read a summary of the decisions here. Please take some time to read over those. Also, remember that all of the plenary sessions were livestreamed and recorded. You can go back and watch any (or all) of those sessions at your convenience. The login password to view the plenary sessions is BIC2018.

Finally, I want to congratulate Grantham’s quizzers for working hard to win fourth place in the BIC quizzing competition over the weekend. Those students are: Noah Bisbee, Andrew Stauffer, Benjamin Wenger, Brant Meier, Kallista Scharf. And thanks to Jill and Jeff Stauffer for the hours they have spent coaching our quizzers, and for helping them learn the Bible in a fun and festive way.

If you’re in town, please join us for worship this Sunday. I’ll be preaching a sermon called, Sabbath, Silence & Solitude. May God bless you and the rest of your week.

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’m back from a restful vacation with my family. We decided to do a “staycation” this summer instead of traveling to Texas. Unfortunately, staying in central PA didn’t give us any relief from the heat, but we did manage to cool off in the swimming pool and in places that had a well-working AC. And despite the sweltering heat, I didn’t let it stop me from grilling up some delicious Jalapeño poppers!

I want to thank Pastor John Yeatts for preaching this past Sunday in my absence. If you missed it, Pastor John shared some of his story and expounded upon the core values that have endeared him to the Brethren in Christ (BIC) over the years. You can listen to Following Jesus in Peace & Holiness at our website or on the go via our podcast.

Immediately following the service on Sunday, there was a Special Congregational Council that met to approve a new congregational secretary (Cheryl Wolf) and delegate to General Assembly (Jim Smiley). I’m happy to inform you that Cheryl and Jim were confirmed for those roles, and they’re excited about serving the congregation. Thanks to those who participated in this important part of church life.

As you know, we’re gearing up for a big weekend at Grantham Church. General Assembly (formerly “Conference”) of the BIC US, which happens every two years, is being held at Messiah College this year. GA begins on Friday evening and goes through Monday evening. The plenary sessions are open to the public. You can also Livestream General Assembly 2018 (the sessions) from computer or mobile device.

Many pastors and delegates from all over the country will be attending GA. I’ve been told that almost 600 people will be descending on us in a couple days. As is the usual practice, GA leadership is encouraging all those in attendance to worship at a local congregation this Sunday morning. And since we’re right next door, and first on the list of local congregations, we’re expecting a larger crowd in worship.

Therefore, we’re planning a robust service that accurately reflects who we are and where we’re going as an intergenerational, convergent, third way congregation. We’re looking forward to a very meaningful mid-summer worship service. Let’s warmly welcome all those who will be visiting on Sunday morning and invite them to share in what God is doing at Grantham Church.

I hope you will come a little early and join us for Sunday morning worship beginning at 10:30 am. I will be sharing a message that details my journey into the BIC and why I believe God wants to use our church and our denomination to help Christians in North America (re)discover a Jesus-looking God who is calling forth a Jesus-looking church, for such a time as this.

Finally, please pray for the entire pastoral staff and delegates who will be attending GA together. Also, pray for our denominational leadership, the sessions, the business meetings, the workshops, and all of the conversations and connections that will happen over the weekend. May the Spirit move among us and bless our efforts for the building up of his Kingdom through the BIC.

See you on Sunday!

Grace & Peace,
Pastor David

P.S. Pastor Matt Bushoven, Chrissy Hoffner, and 5 members of our youth group are on a local mission trip in York this week. They are doing various projects in an area that needs to experience the love of Jesus through their witness and their work. Please remember them in your prayers as they serve our neighbors in York. They will be returning to Grantham on Friday.

* 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