Resources to Find Healing from Abuse

To find out more about the ministry of Transformed By Grace, visit their website at: www.transformedbygrace.org

You can also follow on their FaceBook page at Transformed By Grace, Inc.

Sylane Mack’s books are all available on Amazon and Kindle:

Convinced! – Sylane Mack’s autobiography, or as she calls it, “God’s transforming love story written in my life.”
This is also available in Spanish: ¡Convencida!
Grace Moments – a daily journey with God – is a daily devotional with reflective journaling pages.
Grace Moments – travel version – the same daily devotional, but without the journaling pages to make it easier to pack.

Other related books:

Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend

Cry of the Soul by Dr. Dan B. Allender & Dr. Tremper Longman III

Healing for Damaged Emotions by David A. Seamands

The Healing Path by Dan. B. Allender, Ph.D.

When Life Isn’t Fair by Dwight Carlson, M.D. and Susan Carlson Wood

When God Doesn’t Make Sense by Dr. James Dobson

To explore other counseling options, please contact our Pastor of Congregational Care, Chuck Arnold.

Hope is available for you in Christ! Please let us help you.

 

ReVision Survey Results!

Since September 2017, our elders and staff have been working on a major project: updating our church vision statement. Vision statements have been very powerful in the journey Grace Point, as evidenced by our most recent vision which led to the establishment of a partnership with Unidos en Cristo Church in Bolivia and the planting of Restoration Church in Levittown.

On January 14, we conducted a survey at the end of our worship service, collecting demographic data and seeking the input of our church family regarding what you perceive to be our strengths, areas for improvement, and ideas for the future. Our response rate was over 75%, which is fantastic – thanks to all who participated!

Below you will find some of the most significant findings from the survey. This data, as well as much more, has been reviewed by our ReVision Team and is being considered as we begin the formation of our new vision statement.

Next steps:

  • Elders and staff will review and refine the draft statement at our retreat April 6/7.
  • We will seek feedback on the statement from focus groups in the weeks to come.
  • We anticipate a finalized vision statement and resulting staff goals/objectives to be formulated by July 1.

Integral to this process has been the work of three Grace Point attendees who are skilled in data collection and tabulation: Paul Benchener, Dan Hughes, and Tom Nolte. We also wish to thank two individuals who are “on loan” from Crossing Community Church who have also volunteered their expertise: Larry and Cindy Newman – thank you for your heart to build the Kingdom!

And a reminder of who comprises the ReVision Team – feel free to talk with them at any time if you have comments or questions: Glenn Ely, Scott Leuz, Rich Speeney (elders), Steve Weir, Joan Zeberlein, and Dave Wolf (staff).

Your prayers for this ReVision process continue to be appreciated and impactful!

And now, some key findings:

Grace Point Survey ResultsGrace Point Survey Results2Grace Point Survey Results3Grace Point Survey Results4Grace Point Survey Results5Grace Point Survey Results6Grace Point Survey Results7Grace Point Survey Results8Grace Point Survey Results9

 

Strengths

  1. Preaching/Sermons
  2. Church Culture
  3. Worship/Music
  4. Leadership
  5. Christ-centered
Opportunities

  1. Millennials
  2. Unaffiliated
  3. Surrounding townships
  4. Families
  5. Religious Identity
Weaknesses (Areas to Improve)

  1. Assimilation/Getting to know one another
  2. Greater outreach
  3. Music ministry
  4. Preaching
  5. Parenting
Threats

  1. Millennials hard to serve
  2. Church membership dropping rapidly
  3. “Competition”
  4. Doubt

Tenacious Love Resources

Below is a sampling of many resources available to help us learn how to balance truth and grace.

Responding to a gay family member or friend:

Compassion without Compromise (How the Gospel Frees Us to Love Our Gay Friends Without Losing the Truth) by Adam Barr and Ron Citlau

Messy Grace (How a Pastor with Gay Parents Learned to Love Others without Sacrificing Conviction) by Caleb Kaltenbach

Someone I Love is Gay (How Family & Friends Can Respond) by Anita Worthen & Bob Davies

When Homosexuality Hits Home (What to Do When a Loved One Says They’re Gay) by Joe Dallas

 

Understanding homosexuality, for teens:

Living in a Gray World (A Christian Teen’s Guide to Understanding Homosexuality) by Preston Sprinkle

 

Biblical understanding of homosexuality (written by individuals who experience same-sex attraction):

Is God Anti-Gay? (Questions Christians Ask) book by Sam Allberry

Is God Anti-Gay? Sam Allberry message delivered at the Village Church in Texas

Navigating Sexual Sin to Find Your Identity in Christ, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield Focus on the Family broadcast 1/2017

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert (And English Professor’s Journey into Christian Faith) by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Through the Bible in 2018!

Your car won’t run if you don’t give it the right fuel. Neither will your spirit.

For decades now, I’ve made it a habit to read through the entire Bible in a year. While it’s great to spend time in the Bible looking at passages that child with Bibleaddress my immediate needs, it’s also important to get the “Big Picture” and read ALL the parts that I might never choose left to myself. God has something important to say to me there, too.

This year I’m choosing a new plan I haven’t done before, thanks to the many plans available on YouVersion – if you don’t have the free app yet on your device, check it out here.

Here are quite a few options to read through the Bible in 365 days.

If you need help narrowing the choices, here are my top picks:

YouVersion_Promo_Materials_157x157Whatever plan you choose, and whether you go through the entire Bible in 2018, or even a portion, it’s a great practice to start your day spending time with Jesus, listening to Him speak into your life.

One further note – this Wednesday I will begin weekly posts to my personal blog, to provide a mid-week spiritual check-in, as well as an opportunity for interaction for others in our church family. It’s easy to come on Sunday, worship, and leave not having really connected with others. I want the blog to be an online opportunity for mutual encouragement and conversation. Find it here.

Happy New Year – and may you enjoy many meaningful moments with God in 2018!

Welcome again to Christmas!

Welcome again to the Christmas season! With Thanksgiving so early this year, I’ve been catching myself this past week thinking it’s already December, but in fact November has lingered. Now that the Advent season has truly arrived, I hope you’ll engage in these exciting opportunities this month:

Sunday Mornings in December – We will continue our series “The Heart of Christmas,” THC_title_slidelooking at four different types of hearts God came to visit that first Advent, and still visits today. This is a great time of year to invite friends who normally don’t attend Grace Point!

Christmas Eve – On Sunday, December 24 we’ll offer three identical family services at 10:30am, 3:30pm, and 5:00pm. There will be NO 9:00am service. Christmas Eve Services will include carols, special music, and candle lighting. Nursery will be available for infants and toddlers at all services.

Christmas Offering – This year’s Christmas Offering will be used in two key ways. The first is to bless our missionaries by sending each missionary family a Christmas/year-end gift. Each of our missionaries has expressed a decrease in their overall financial support, and we hope this special financial blessing will be an encouragement to them. By supporting our missionaries, we are giving to those planting new churches, mobilizing new missionaries to serve overseas, assisting troubled youth in Bucks County, spreading the gospel in local schools, reaching Muslims in remote parts of Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Central America.

The second half of our offering will be given to support our General Fund, the primary means by which we fund our ministries and offer outreach events like One Winter Night.

Contribute throughout December marking your check and/or envelope as “Christmas Offering.” All offerings collected on Christmas Eve will go toward our Christmas Offering unless otherwise designated. You may also give online: http://giving.gracepointpa.org

I also want to take a moment here to say thank you for your generosity as we collected $9,630 for our Thanksgiving offering to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.

Sunday, December 31 – There will be ONE SERVICE ONLY at 10:30am, an opportunity to look to the Lord as we begin a New Year. Children’s classes will meet as usual through sixth grade; there will be no Adult Bible Study.

Jesus set aside His glory to enter our world 2,000 years ago so He could love on hearts like yours and mine. Our leadership team at Grace Point is praying that your heart is drawn ever closer to Him during this very special season!

In Christ,

Dave Wolf
Senior Pastor

June Ministry Celebration recap

On Sunday evening we held our June Ministry Celebration and Business Meeting. It was an encouraging evening celebrating what God has been doing at Grace Point!

Here are some of the highlights:

  • We celebrated those who have taken the step of baptism this past year, by re-watching the video of Craig Stranahan being baptized in December!
  • Josh DeLeo was recognized for his faithful service in the A/V area, as he is stepping down to devote more time to his family.
  • Three staff members were recognized for their loyal service: JoAnn McDowell (17 years), Darrell Benjamin (15 years), and Steve Weir (15 years). Kudos to each of these special people for their vital contributions to our church family!
  • The Youth Pastor Search Team, and in particular Scott Leuz who served as chair, were recognized for their hard work in helping us find our new Youth Pastor, Greg Shelton. The Youth Transition Team was recognized for doing a great job keeping GP Youth going strong over the past year, thanking point person Bill Wright, along with Martin Hack, Matt Gibson, and John Kindred. And we celebrated the news that God provided a buyer for the Sheltons’ house in just over a week!
  • Charlie and Shirley McDonough were welcomed as new members to the church.
  • We heard a testimony from Julia Bonner, who took the three month “tithing challenge,” and shared how much God taught her through that experience.
  • Bill Wright, Director of Administration shared a financial update. Although giving is under budget, expenses have been less than giving and so we expect to end the fiscal year in the black – praise the Lord! For the first time in several years, giving has not declined from the past year but has leveled out. In addition to general fund giving, we have seen generosity demonstrated in special ways such as the Christmas and Easter offerings. Thanks to all who are practicing steady stewardship and gutsy generosity!
  • Dave Wolf, Senior Pastor, gave an update on the work staff is doing to develop strategies, goals, and objectives to address a central issue: helping people move from being me-centered to Christ-centered. The staff’s proposed goals and objectives will be reviewed by the elders later this month.
  • Glenn Ely, Elder Chair, led us in a vote that unanimously approved the 2017-18 budget, two new Management Committee members,
    • Treasurer: Tom Ames
    • Member-at-Large: Jan Haas
      and two other vital serving roles:
    • Church Clerk: Lynne Holmes
    • Head Teller: Dave Hefty (second 3 year term)
  • Glenn gave two elder updates: Jim Weber and Keith Brown will be observing a sabbatical year beginning July 1; and our two new elders, Dave Kneller and Rich Speeney, will begin their terms July 1. Jay Button is also planning a three month sabbatical, to begin in late August, pending final elder approval this month.

Praise the Lord for His work among us!

Receiving God’s Love

Use the Scriptures below to take time this week to marinate in God’s love, His LOVE IN ACTION as demonstrated through the suffering and death of Jesus Christ for you – because God wanted to close the gap of separation caused by our sin and failures.

Our love for God is fueled by His love for us!

Scriptures from the 4/9/2017 message:

1 John 4:19

1 John 4:7-10

1 John 4:16-19

John 15:13

Romans 5:7-8

Accounts of Jesus’ trial, suffering, and death:

Matthew 26-27

Mark 14-15

Luke 22-23

John 18-19

Other Scriptures about God’s Love:

Ephesians 3:14-19

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

 

Use Your Clout – Stop Exploitation

At the end of Sunday’s message on Confrontation, an opportunity was mentioned to Raised From Ruins“use your clout to help someone out.” We are privileged to live in a country where we can petition our law-makers to encourage them to do the right thing. Please consider using your voice to help those who are being exploited.

The following information on the progress of PA Bill 851, the Safe Harbor Act, is copied from the website of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, dated November 2016. You can find more details about Bill 851 here.

The 2015-2016 session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly officially closes on November 30. Here is the status of the several high priority bills that were on the legislative agenda of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.

Human Trafficking – Senate Bill 851 would have ensured that juvenile victims of human trafficking are not prosecuted as criminals and that support services are made available to them. No action was taken by the end of the session, but legislation may be reintroduced next session.

 

How to write a letter to your PA State Senator, to encourage him or her to reintroduce and pass this legislation:

To find the name and address of your State Senator, please visit “Find Your Legislator” and fill in the relevant information.

Click on the name of your Senator to be taken to their personal page.

You may email your Senator by clicking on the image of the envelope under your Senator’s picture.

If you prefer to mail a letter, you can find your mailing addresses for your Senator’s offices listed on the lower, left-hand side of the page.

You may also want to contact Senator GREENLEAF who was the prime sponsor for this bill.

In your letter, let your Senator know you support them in doing all they can to stop the exploitation of innocent victims.

 

Looking forward to 2017!

Dear Grace Point family,

As we close a chapter and enter a new year, we can be encouraged at all the spiritual New Yearactivity we saw in the closing months of 2016: three men entered into relationship with Christ, one of them followed with baptism, and we saw a surge in individuals and families indicating a desire to make Grace Point their church home –over 50 adults plugged into GP in 2016. Helping more people become fully committed followers of Jesus Christ – that’s what GP is all about!

In addition, you showed gutsy generosity in our special holiday offerings: Thanksgiving brought in $4,996, which supported our Bolivian friend Stefany Gomez in completing her Leadership Development program, and our missionary friends the Martins, who faced an unexpected tax bill. Our Christmas offerings totaled $31,659, providing support to our partner church in Bolivia as they pursue a building expansion project to meet the needs of their growing church; and churches in the heart of the Syrian refugee crisis, as they continue to provide for the needs of displaced people.

And while we’re on the topic of generosity, on behalf of the staff I want to express deep gratitude for the staff Christmas gifts we each received. Thanks to all of you who gave – you made Christmas very special for staff and their families.

As we now look ahead to 2017, we applaud the youth transition team who is doing a great job leading our students as we continue our search for a new Youth Director/Pastor. The latest update is that our hard-working search team will conduct Skype interviews with six candidates next week, from which they will identify 2-3 top candidates. From there, staff will get involved to narrow the field to which candidate(s) will come onsite for final interviews with staff and elders. Please continue to pray for God’s leading and timing in this important decision.

I am personally excited about the new sermon series we began Sunday, “Raised from Ruins.” The book of Nehemiah is a masterpiece on leadership, and I pray that God uses it in our lives as individuals and as a church to prompt us to make a lasting difference in our respective spheres of influence.

As Nehemiah was moved to pray, I hope you will join a church-wide prayer effort asking God to use Grace Point to help more people become fully committed followers of Christ. We will provide a prayer guide this Sunday, when 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting begins. The staff and elders value your prayers to guide our decisions and bring about all the good that God has in mind for us.

Looking forward to seeing God do far more abundantly than all we ask or think, so that He may get ever more glory through His church in 2017!

In Christ,

Dave