Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

This past Sunday we concluded our Inherent Worth series for the month of January. I want to thank our Peace & Social Justice Commission and the series task force for the work that was done to raise awareness and call our church to action. So far, we have received almost $7,000 in our Peace Sunday offering! I know it has been a challenging month, but our giving indicates that the Spirit has been at work in our hearts. I’m excited about how our giving will help three local ministries: Women At Risk, Intl., She’s Somebody’s Daughter, and Peace Promise. Thank you for your generous support of Kingdom work in our own backyard.

There are a few final things I’d like you to know about this series. If you weren’t able to give and would like to do so, you can still do that by using the Ingathering Offering envelope (in the pews) during our regular offering on Sunday, or drop your gift off in the church office this week. Also, if you didn’t get a chance to fill out a response card, you can stop by the church office and fill one out. And lastly, please pray for our Peace & Social Justice Commission as they collect your response cards and discern how God is leading us on from here. We’re already gaining some clarity as to how God wants us to respond to needs within our congregation.

Stay tuned for the next Peace Matters newsletter for a follow-up to the series, which will include suggested resources and insight into how God has been working through our efforts to shine light in the darkness.

Our next series is a few weeks away. I’m excited about giving more attention to Lent this year in a series called, 40 Days in the Desert: Faith Formed in the Wilderness. In this 6-week series leading up to Easter Sunday, we will look at how Jesus was shaped by his desert experiences and how this time of testing impacted his faith and mission. Each week we will begin in the desert and then jump forward to reflect on a future episode in Jesus’ life and ministry. What are some of the lessons we can learn from Christ’s example? How does God want to form our own faith for the journey ahead?

In 40 Days in the Desert, I’m inviting us to develop a faith that’s been formed in the wilderness. Please mark your calendars for these Lent to Easter events and services:

February 14 - Ash Wednesday Services at 7:00 a.m. & 6:30 p.m.
February 25 – March 18 – Lenten Taize Services, Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m.
March 25 – Palm Sunday | Tony Campolo (guest speaker)
March 29 – Maundy Thursday, meal at 5:30 p.m., footwashing at 6:30 p.m., communion at 7:00 p.m.
March 30 – Good Friday Service at 7:00 p.m.
March 31 – Easter Egg Hunt at 9:30 a.m.
April 1 – Easter Sunday Worship Service at 10:30 a.m.

This Sunday you will find an insert in your bulletin that further describes the focus of our upcoming Lent series and an invitation to join a sermon-based small group for the spring semester. In the sermon this weekend, we will revisit the importance of “personal space” for discipleship and building community, and how being a part of a small group at Grantham can benefit you and our congregation. I hope you will join us for worship this Sunday as we consider how Jesus had a small group and why we also need to engage in this way for our spiritual formation.

Finally, I wanted to let you know that the board has approved my request to bestow the title of “Pastor Emeritus” on John Yeatts. As you know, Pastor John has been serving as our Congregational Care Pastor since the fall of 2016. In the years ahead, Pastor John will continue to serve the congregation on a volunteer basis and will provide care when and where he is able. In anticipation of hiring a full-time Associate Pastor, and out of appreciation for John’s service to Grantham Church, I’m very happy for John to be given this honorary title. I know that he will continue to bless us all by his service among us.

May God continue to bless Grantham Church as we continue pursuing Christ and more of his Kingdom in 2018.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

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