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

 

High School Winter Retreat Recap

Today’s blog post is written by one of our volunteer Youth Leaders, Jamie Kuhner, who recently joined me and several others on our High School Winter Retreat. We had a great weekend!


One of the first questions I want to ask God when I get to heaven is, “Why do children have more energy than adults?” This past weekend a group of 15 students and four adults made their way to Rock Mountain Bible College for the High School Winter Retreat. As one of those adults, I can safely say that our students do not value sleep nearly as much as I do, yet they moved through the weekend as if they were Energizer bunnies. Despite the lack of sleep, it was a wonderful weekend. Our students were joined by youth groups from the surrounding area who belong to the Allies Youth Network. Activities for the weekend included organized games, sledding, and most importantly, worshiping together and hearing from Gods’ Word.

Tre Ford, the speaker for the weekend, shared the importance of being different through the story of Nehemiah building the wall. As Christians, if we are following God’s commands, we will not blend in with the general population. Students were encouraged to be in the world and not of it, share their faith boldly with others, and be a light in the dark. Following each lesson, the churches broke up into small groups to further examine the topics.

Students felt that school is the main area where they can be salt and light (showing God’s love and enhancing those around them). This idea is easier said than done. As Tre said, we have to remember that our value is not determined by peers, but by God. When we cling to this fact, we will not be afraid to act boldly for His kingdom.

After chewing on these concepts, one student shared that they could be more open with their friends about their weekend. Instead of just saying that they were on a retreat, they could go into detail about what they learned about their faith. Other ideas included standing up for those who need it, attending FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and bringing friends to youth group.

Growing up, my youth group called our weekends away an “advance” instead of a “retreat” because you want to move forward. I firmly believe that there was life change this past weekend and our students will make moves that can further the kingdom of God.

Please continue to pray for our youth. They are not just the future of the church; they are the church right now.

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.

 

Sermon Based Small Groups

Our mission is to help more people become fully committed followers of Jesus Christ. One way that happens is by connecting with others and growing in our faith, together. Small Groups are one way to connect with others at Grace Point.

Starting this week, we’re introducing Sermon Based Small Groups – using Discussion Questions based on that weekend’s message. Our sermon series this fall is taken from Genesis 1 – 3, entitled “Scarred.” If people from your Life Group miss Sunday morning’s message, they can go to GP’s website which promises to have the audio portion online by noon Monday. On that page, you’ll also be able to find the Discussion Questions.

All new groups will be using the Sermon Based Small Group Questions and will meet for 10 weeks. We’re asking new LG attendees to commit to seven consecutive weeks. After that it’s your decision if you want to continue with your group, or opt for another group beginning in January for 10 weeks.

For existing groups, you’re highly encouraged to try it out. It would be great to get all our groups aligned and on the same page for the fall. There are real advantages that benefit the church as we all study the same passage(s). This also helps new attenders to GP – there’s no hidden studies, or feelings of being left behind. We’re all together, and it’s easy to pick up if you’ve missed a week.

If you’re not in a group, we hope you’ll seriously consider joining one. You can always email Jay Button, Pastor of Connection at groups@gracepointpa.org if you have any questions or are interested in joining a group.

Fall Happenings!

School has started, the leaves are turning – summer is gone.

Though days at the beach and beside the pool might soon become distant memories, exciting days are ahead at Grace Point. As a staff, we’re excited to see what God is going to do in our church and in our community this fall. I think you’ll want to be a part of it!

Below is a laundry itemized list of what’s happening and opportunities to connect with others at Grace Point.

Be sure to check our website and Facebook page for updates!

SUNDAY MORNINGS

  • Worship Services, 9AM and 10:30AM
  • Grace Point Kids 9AM & 10:30AM
  • Grace Point Youth Sunday Study, 10:30AM
  • Adult Bible Study, 10:30AM
  • Women’s Bible Study, starting September 11 at 10:30AM
  • Life Group Connection, September 18 at 10:30AM
  • Newcomers Luncheon, September 25 at 11:45AM
  • Barnabas Care Ministry Training, September 25 to November 13 at 9AM
  • Marriage Classes, October 23, November 13, 20, 27 and December 11 & 18 at 9AM

KIDS & YOUTH

  • Kids Club – Wednesdays starting September 14 at 6:30PM, 3 yrs. (potty trained)–6th grade
  • Youth Group – Middle/High School – Thursdays starting September 15 at 7PM
  • Youth Retreat – October 28-30
  • Seniors Retreat – November 4-6

ADULTS – Ongoing

  • Choir, rehearses twice a month, sings on Sunday once a month
  • Discover Grace Point, Saturday Edition, September 17 at 8:30AM…also offered in four one-hour sessions, Sundays, October 9-30 at 9AM
  • GP Men Breakfast, Saturdays, October 3 and December 3 at 8AM
  • Men’s Bible Studies, Mondays-Saturdays at various times and places
  • Moms in Prayer, every other Thursday morning at 9:15AM, starting September 9
  • Moms Morning Out, Wednesday mornings at 9:45AM, starting September 7
  • Newcomers’ Luncheons, Sundays, September 25 and November 13 at 11:45AM
  • Potluck & Praise Evenings, Sundays, September 18 and November 20 at 5:30PM
  • Praise & Prayer, Wednesdays 7-8PM
  • Prime Time Fellowship, various monthly events for those over 55
  • Shabbat Fellowship, 1st Fridays of the month at 7PM
  • Small Groups, various times and places during the week
  • Small Group Leadership Training, Tuesday, September 27 at 7PM
  • Women’s Fellowship, third Wednesday of every month, starting September 21, 10AM-2PM
  • Women’s Bible Studies, various days and various types
  • Worship Team (vocalists and instrumentalists), on rotation, rehearses prior to 9AM service, assists in worship on Sunday
  • Young Adult Gatherings, Wednesdays, starting September 21, 6:30-8:30PM at Elys

One-time Events

  • Men’s Tailgating Party, Sunday, September 25 at 2PM
  • Block Party for All Families, Wednesday, September 28, 6:30 to 8PM
  • “The Great Date Night,” an enjoyable evening for adults, Saturday, October 22, 7PM
  • Men’s Retreat, November 4-6 at Refreshing Mountain

Fall Ministry Update!

Dear Grace Point family,

It’s hard to believe, but summer is nearly gone, school starts in a few weeks, and fall is upon us! Though we often hate to bring the vacation season to a close, the good news is that there is a lot going on at Grace Point this fall to help you become a more fully committed follower of Jesus Christ. I am excited to share the following update to inform your prayers and scheduling.

Youth Director Search Team – As Nate Korpi concludes his tenure as Youth Director at the end of August and prepares to go to the mission field, a search team is beginning to seek God’s next leader for our Grace Point Youth Ministry. Scott Leuz will be heading the team of elder-confirmed members, who will be introduced on Sunday, August 28.

A celebration and send-off for Nate and Jendi Korpi is being planned for teens and parents in September – date and time TBA soon. We will also hold a church-wide celebration and send-off nearer the time when the Korpis leave for their missions assignment, likely in early 2017.

Youth Ministry: Our Youth Transition Team led by Bill Wright has a full fall schedule planned. Here are the highlights:

Sundays: September 11 – new Sunday morning format will kick off during second service at 10:30 am with a pancake breakfast. Beginning September 18, teens are encouraged to join adults in second service for the singing portion of worship, and then will be dismissed at sermon time to go to class, where they will discuss the same sermon topic.

Thursdays: On September 15, the GP Youth midweek program begins from 7-9 pm weekly, with a format similar to this past year: food, fun, and Bible lesson.

Retreats: four retreats are scheduled for the school year, beginning with the Fall Retreat October 28-30.

More details on youth events will follow soon, with direct communication to teens and their families.

Children’s Ministry: Cassandra DeWitt and her team are ready for a new year of ministry!

Sunday September 11 – Sunday morning fall kick off.

Wednesday September 14 – Wednesday Kids Club begins, weekly 6:30-8:00pm.

Wednesday September 28 – Block Party at 6:30 pm for all families with children through junior and senior high school. This is a great time for families who are new to Grace Point to learn more about what GP Kids Ministry is all about!

Young Adult Ministry: For high school graduates through age 29, a new weekly meeting time will be offered this fall:

Wednesdays, beginning September 21, at the home of Glenn and Lynn Ely (419 Woodhill Road, Newtown), with a light dinner at 6:30 pm, followed by Bible discussion from 7-8:30 pm. This will run for ten consecutive weeks.

Social events are also planned during the year.

8/28 – Lunch ‘n Learn: There is a place for YOU to serve and be part of what God is doing this fall at Grace Point! Sunday, August 28 following second service, join your GP staff for one hour as we enjoy lunch together and find out about volunteer serving opportunities in all ministry areas. 11:45 am in rooms A4-6.

9/4 – Bridesburg & Bolivia Missions Trip Highlights – Be encouraged as Missions and Communications Director Steve Weir calls our missions teams to share what they experienced this summer as they stepped out of their comfort zones and saw God at work. Highlights will be shared during the Sunday Service on September 4, followed by an in-depth look over lunch at 11:45 am in rooms A4-6.

9/11 – Marriage Ministry Kickoff – Learn more from Chuck Arnold, Pastor of Congregational Care, about Grace Point’s new initiative to strengthen marriages. Mark your calendars for a new marriage class that begins Sunday, October 23 at 9 am, and the Great Date Night event on Saturday, October 22 at 7 pm.

9/18 – Fall Groups Launch: Find a new group in your neighborhood. Many new groups will be “sermon-based,” that is, their discussion will follow the topics from our Sunday sermons and meet for ten consecutive weeks. The fall sermon series, also launching 9/18, will focus on foundational truths presented in Genesis 1-3.

So there you have it – something to help everyone become more fully committed followers of Jesus. Looking forward to what God has in store for us all this fall!

In Christ, Dave

VBS – Act Two

Have you ever thought about VBS as a play or a theatrical production? I see the actual week of VBS like “Act One.”  Not in the sense of what we are doing is like putting on a show, but in the sense that VBS has multiple acts, scenes, or parts.

Act One introduces the characters and the plot. Act Two is where you find the important completion to the story.

Right now we are in the intermission portion of the production.  We have completed the week of VBS (Act One) having introduced the children to the Word of Truth and having created new relationships between children, youth, and adults all involved in VBS.  This is great! This is a huge praise and boy, are we thankful for everyone who was a part of this special week. So, what happens next?

Act Two is where we follow up.  It is equally as important as Act One.  Will you follow up with a child, youth, or adult with whom you connected at VBS?  It’s easy! Maybe you can do this on a Sunday morning?  Great!  Go for it.  Maybe you don’t know how to begin, that’s where I would love to offer help.  I have postcards that could be sent.  I have email addresses that you could send to.  Let me know how you would like to follow up, and I would be more than happy to help.  Remember, many hands make easy work.

So, will you help there be an Act Two and help us reach even more in the name of Jesus Christ?

Questions, contact: Cassandra at cdewitt@gracepointpa.org

“X” Marks the Spot

Jay ended the service Sunday suggesting that, just as some at times have to dig to discover hidden treasure, sometimes we need to dig in Scripture to discover all that God has provided for us.

Some Scripture passages are simple to understand, like “The LORD is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1). It’s a simple concept on the surface, yet there is great depth in considering all the aspects of a shepherd’s relationship with his sheep.

Treasure ChestThen there’s a passage like Ephesians 1:1-14, which requires some serious work to dissect and digest. But there’s a great treasure when one puts in the effort.

Here are some ways you can dig deep in this and other passages:

  • Read the verses in different translations (the YouVersion app, or http://www.biblegateway.com are great resources)
  • Notice any phrases or words that stir your heart – this is likely where the Holy Spirit is teaching you at this moment
  • Journal on your reactions after reading
  • Write a key verse that impacts you on a 3×5 card, carry it with you, and memorize it
  • Summarize a concept with a single powerful word

Have fun digging this summer. And the best part – this treasure chest never runs out!