roots

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,
 
I hope this letter finds you living in love toward God and your neighbors. We have so much to be thankful for as his people!
 
If you missed the sermon on Sunday, you can now access Living Simply (9 of 10) at our website and iTunes. I know many of you were encouraged and challenged by a sermon that addressed the role money and possessions play in our lives. It’s not always easy to know the way forward, but I trust that you’re listening and responding to God’s voice about your own situation.
 
This past Sunday we also announced that Nathan Rosentrator will be stepping down as our Youth & Young Adult Pastor at the end of May. His final Sunday will be May 28. We will be hosting an appreciation luncheon for Nathan after the service that morning. Please mark your calendars for this event.
 
As I said at the end of the service, Nathan and I recently agreed together that God is calling him to something else. Nathan believes that may be teaching and coaching in a local school, which is what he was seeking before coming to Grantham. In the meantime, please join me in praying for God’s direction in his life. And pray for our youth and their parents as they process this news.
 
I met with the Youth Commission last night to take the first steps in the search process for a new Youth & Young Adult Pastor. We are praying for God’s wisdom as we seek to have the position filled before school starts in the fall. We are hopeful that God is already at work and will lead us to someone that can help us move forward with how the Spirit is moving in our church.
 
Also, I wanted you to know that our search process for a full-time Worship Arts Pastor is in its final stages. Please pray that God would continue guiding the Worship Commission, and that his Spirit would confirm his will with us and the candidate. We should be able to share the identity of our new Worship Arts Pastor sometime next month.
 
This Sunday we will be concluding our Roots series with core value #10 that states: “We confess our dependence upon God for everything, and seek to deepen our intimacy with him by living prayerfully.”  In a message entitled, Relying on God (10 of 10), we will be reminded that we can’t live the Christian life operating out of our own strength. We need the power and presence of God at work in our lives. Through prayer we show our dependence upon his Spirit. And of course, the same goes for our life together as a congregation.
 
Finally, as we face several transitions and changes this year, may we be a church that is committed to prayer, revealing our total reliance upon God for the good things he wants to give us. I look forward to seeing you in worship this Palm Sunday. Next week I’ll be sharing more details about our services for Holy Week and Easter.
 
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 pray that you are living in love toward others as Christ loves you and gave his life for you.

If you missed last Sunday’s message, you can now listen to Greg Boyd’s message on peace and non-violence in a sermon entitled, Pursuing Peace (8 of 10). It was an honor to hear Greg share what is definitely the most challenging core value of the Brethren in Christ.

Thank you for your warm welcome of Greg’s ministry and message. The whole service was very special to me. I felt the Spirit among us from beginning to end. I hope that you were encouraged, as well as challenged, by what we experienced together.

Please join us this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as we look at core value #9 on living uncluttered lives so that we can be freed up to give to others and serve those in need.

In this week’s letter, I wanted to let you know of a few changes to commissions. As most of you know, our commissions are small teams of volunteers who help give support to church staff and the corresponding ministries (e.g. Worship Commission, Youth Commission, Discipleship, etc.). Normally we deal with any changes to commissions at Congregational Council (CC) in November, but sometimes we have changes during the year that we need to make you aware of so you can update your information and prayerfully support the people and ministries of the church.

At the last CC in November, we had not yet secured the chair position of the Youth Commission. We are happy to report that Lindsay Young is now serving in that role. The Missions, Peace & Service Commission (MPS) has some new additions as well. Otto Monroy and Madi Keaton have joined MPS. Rich Stuebing chairs the MPS.

Also, the Church Board was recently informed that Jennifer Whitcomb is stepping down due to some exciting and unexpected ways God has been at work in the life of her family. We have blessed her in their efforts to follow God’s leading into the next season of family life. We’re grateful for the time that Jennifer served our church in various ways, especially as secretary of the board.

Lori Frick has graciously agreed to take on the role of secretary. The Ministries Team (nomination committee) is in the process of recommending a person to the Church Board who can serve in Jennifer’s place until the next CC at the end of the year. We will let you know the replacement as soon as the process is complete.

Finally, I’d like to ask specific prayers for the Church Board and Staff in the coming days and months. We are working hard to discern how God is at work in our church, and how we can best be facilitators of his Spirit. A healthy, growing church our size needs strong servant-leadership, as well as organizational systems and processes that allow for efficient and effective ministry. When there are needs, we want to respond in a timely manner. You may know that the first “deacons” (servants) were called out because of an immediate need within the church (Acts 6:1-7).

It’s easy to be impatient and unintentionally run ahead of how God is leading. We certainly don’t want that. Instead, we want to be in step and in sync with God as a church. We want to move with the Spirit and keep up with where and how he is moving, because there is a holy momentum the Spirit generates within a congregation that is joyfully receiving his blessings.

To use a surfing metaphor, we want to ride the wave of his Spirit. I’ve never surfed in my life, but I have seen others do it. I don’t care much for water (except for drinking it). So, riding a wave sounds and looks a bit scary to me. It can be the same with the Spirit at work in the church. But here’s the thing… when you’re standing on a rock-solid board (Jesus) and the wind and momentum of the Spirit is propelling you across the water and waves of space and time, you can rest easy. We can trust the one who moves us forward into God’s good future.

Please pray that God will make his will known as we respond to how his Spirit is at work among us. And rejoice with us in what God is doing at Grantham Church.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

P.S. Remember that we have a Lenten Taize service tonight at 6:00 p.m.. I hope you will consider joining us for a time prayer and reflection. Stay tuned for more details concerning our upcoming Holy Week services and events.

* 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 heard from many of you that the Multi-Ethnic Kingdom series was timely and very much appreciated. If you missed any of the sermons in the last four weeks, you can listen online at our website or at our podcast via iTunes. As you know, we will continue to explore the topic, and the many issues related to racial reconciliation, in the days ahead.

I’m happy to report that the Ingathering Offering for Peace Sunday was $4,382.94. We far exceeded our goal of $2,500. 

Not only is this a sign of your generosity, it is also affirmation that you see great value in furthering the conversation through educational seminars in partnership with Harrisburg BIC and by sending members of our congregation on the Civil Rights Bus Tour. Thank you for believing and investing in work that furthers the multi-ethnic Kingdom of God! 

You may continue giving toward the offering over the next two weeks. Our Missions, Peace & Service Commission (MPS) will be meeting soon to discuss the best way to appropriate the funds. We will keep you informed on the decisions that are made and the impact that follows.

Please pray for the MPS as we patiently discern how God wants Grantham Church to be about racial reconciliation where we live and how we can faithfully respond to the current refugee/immigrant crisis. 
 
This Sunday we kick off a new sermon series called, Roots: Exploring the Core Values of the Brethren in Christ. As a historic Anabaptist congregation, Grantham Church affirms the most basic beliefs of orthodox Christianity, but we also hold to distinctives that reflect practices of the early church, and values that are rooted in three theological traditions. 

In our Roots series, we will look a bit at the history of the BIC and the core values that constitute our deepest and most central convictions. We believe that these values have never been more relevant for Christians living today within a post-Christian America.

I hope you’ll join us for this 10-week series. The series will be following the order of the values in the book, Focusing Our Faith: Brethren in Christ Core Values. We will have free copies available in the church foyer if you’d like to use it for further reading and study.

Also, please consider joining a small group if you haven’t already. Small groups make room for personal space that allows us to go deeper in conversation and study. If you’re interested in joining a small group and discussing the upcoming series, please contact Ron Burwell at rburwell@messiah.edu. Ron will help you find a small group that’s a good fit for you.

Remember that our Spring 2017 Learning Communities begin this Sunday at 9:00 am. We have three stimulating classes starting up, so I hope you’ll join one that interests you. 

Finally, we have had several requests in the past few months for a class geared toward married couples and young parents. I wanted you to know that we weren’t able to make that happen this Spring, but we will definitely be offering a class in the Fall of this year. I’m excited to announce that Dave and Lori Warren will be teaching that class!

May the peace of Christ be with you until we gather again in worship. 

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

P.S. Don’t forget that you can pick up your very own “neighbor sign” for $10 in the church office. The sign is in English, Spanish, and Arabic. It reads: “No matter where you’re from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor.” 

* 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