Happy Birthday Jesus

birthday giftMany years ago, Grace Church’s founding Pastor, Dr. Jerry Young, challenged the congregation to re-consider the meaning of Christmas, as our culture continued to steal the significance of the holiday. As a pro-active response, the Birthday Gift for Jesus was developed to promote a renewed focus on honoring Jesus and celebrating his birth. As with any birthday gift, our missions team has sought to keep the focus of this on something really special to the heart of the gift-receiver, Jesus. Through the years this gift has impacted Navajo tribes in North America, hundreds of orphans in the Central African Republic, remote communities of the poor in Cambodia, and ministries in Philadelphia and Haiti – all in the name of Jesus Christ!

This year’s Birthday Gift for Jesus will be given, in its entirety, to compassion ministries. Another unique twist is that this year’s gift will be split in half – 50% will go to global compassion projects, and 50% will go to local compassion projects!  During the next few weeks, we will be posting more about the partnerships and projects that will benefit from these gifts.

We encourage you to give generously! Gifts will be accepted throughout the month of December!

COMPASSION SUNDAY!

We wish you and your family a GREAT Thanksgiving and hope we will see you here THIS Sunday morning for a fantastic morning of compassion! Our services are at 9 and 10:45. What’s all this fun stuff? Come and see!

20131127_144035

20131127_143519

20131127_143607

20131127_143635

20131127_143905

20131127_144152

Engage Through Compassion

Compassion_jpg_opt462x311o00s462x311

If you’ve been at Grace Church the last few weeks, you’ve seen displays designed to “prime” your thinking. We’ve asked you to consider how much your family spends on groceries each week? And to think about what you spend on household entertainment, coffee, eating out, and cell phones each year? We’ve exposed staggering statistics on children all over the world, including in our own nation, who are being neglected, abused, and forced to suffer, innocently. And we’ve shared data about how “average” people live in our world – so differently than us, and how homelessness is an issue across our nation, our state, our county, and even our immediate community.

Why?

At Grace Church, we believe it is OUR responsibility to do something. Every single one of us has a responsibility, in obedience to God’s Word, to do SOMETHING.

On Sunday, December 1, we will focus our entire morning on compassion, particularly focusing on children. Our goal is to provide you with opportunities to DO SOMETHING!

You can expect:

–          A worship service focused on our biblical responsibility to be involved in compassion

–          An introduction to families who have been examples of compassion, through foster care and adoption

–          A ministry fair with organizations who rescue and protect children, who are anxious to provide you with opportunities to be involved

–          An overview of the 2013 Birthday Gift for Jesus, which will focus on ministries who focus on compassion

“Speak up for the people who have no voice, for the rights of all the down-and-outers. Speak out for justice! Stand up for the poor and destitute.” Proverbs 31:8-9 (Message)

26351  7

Go Grace Kids!

As I returned to my office one afternoon this week, this PILE struck my eye! These are Operation Christmas Child gift boxes that will go to boys and girls all over the world who are living in poverty. Check this out:

Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.

Way to go GRACE CHURCH! And thanks for leading the way, GRACE KIDS!

20131122_124823 (3)

Have you adopted or fostered? Know someone who has?

Sunday, December 1 is compassion Sunday at Grace. The entire morning will focus on our biblical responsibility to care for “the least of the these” (check back for more details next week)!

As part of the services that morning we will be recognizing families who have shown such compassion through adoption or foster-care with a special gift and time of prayer. If you know anyone who has adopted or been invovled in fostering (past or present), please invite them to our 9 or 10:45 a.m. services!

Invitation

1-Day Missions Trip: Urban Hope, Philadelphia

This past Sunday, a group of 5 teens and 6 adults from Grace Church headed down the Turnpike to minister in Philadelphia at a place called Urban Hope. Grace Church has partnered, significantly, with Urban Hope and its parent ministry, CE National for many years and many in our church have had their first major exposure to cross-cultural relationships and ministry there.

Our group arrived in time to enjoy lunch with the Urban Hope Community Church, then were prepped for their ministry involvement in Kingdom Kids, a church service for kids in the surrounding neighborhoods. They walked around the neighborhoods with UH staff to children to the program, enjoyed the program with them, then walked them home.

Team members are often suprised by the way neighborhood kids beg their parents to go to UH, the sound of 100 children worshiping Jesus together, and the level of heartbreak children seem to exhibit when the service is over! These suprises also lead to significant impact, as team members consider some of the challenging realities for children in these tough neighborhoods, including violence, drugs, and other crime. Yes, just down the road, there is an entirely different world, that needs Jesus as much as our neighbors here and all over the globe!

Have you considered what God might teach you on a short-term experience? In a cross-cultural context? If a day-trip to Philadelphia sounds like your “next step” then mark your calendar for December 15 when we will send our next team. We are also looking into weekend and week-long experiences at Urban Hope in 2014. Stay tuned!

UrbanHope11.13.2 UrbanHope11.13.3 UrbanHope11.13

Salt and Light in Lititz

Grace Church is planning a Christmas Gift Wrapping Outreach to our community. This is an outreach event that will take place in downtown Lititz, at two locations on Saturday 11/30
from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Grace Church will provide gift wrapping at no charge,
without soliciting or accepting donations, as a Christmas gift to the community. Every wrapped gift will also come with an invitation to attend Grace Church in December and for the Christmas Eve Services.

Volunteers are needed to wrap, greet, and roam, and donations of bows, ribbon, tape, and scissors are being collected. Please stop by the lobby table next Sunday if you’re interested in helping out or donating!