121 Advent is for kids too!
Here is the link to the Advent Conspiracy video we watched together in Sunday’s service!
Consider having a conversation with your family about “doing Christmas differently this year.” Here are some discussion questions you might use to engage your family in the decision:
- What do you like, or not like about the idea of giving each other fewer presents this year?
- What are different kinds of gifts we could give to one another that don’t cost a lot of money?
- What activity could we do together to make a memory that lasts longer than a physical gift?
- How could we collect the money we save from shopping in a visible way (maybe a container in the kitchen) to give toward clean water for people in need?
There is an amazing wealth of riches available to us when we belong to Christ. To explore in more detail, check out this extensive post.
As you read, I encourage you to pause, note, and marinate on any riches that particularly grab your attention. God may be opening your eyes to a treasure He has provided to meet one of your needs!
And don’t forget to mark your calendar for our Connection Picnic on Sunday September 9! An opportunity to take another step toward belonging at Grace Point.
Here are a few ideas to “make neighbor a verb, not a noun!”
- Donate to the Levittown Salvation Army Back to School project, or volunteer to be a shopping buddy
- Volunteer at Sunday Breakfast Thrift Store or Rescue Mission – opportunities to build bridges and bring hope to people in need
- Check out the opportunities at Seeds of Hope Ministry in Camden NJ, including “She Has a Name,” a ministry to female drug addicts which has been highlighted at a previous GP Women’s Ministry event
- Get involved volunteering at a local food pantry or donating food
Don’t know where to plug in, but know you have a heart for Urban Ministries? Come to our Urban Ministry Interest Gathering in August, led by Steve Weir (Pastor of Missions & Communication): click here to sign up.
Today we closed out our current series on the Pain of Life, which comes after messages about offering grace and truth to those who may think and live very differently than we do.
These have been some challenging topics, and we realize they may have raised more questions.
The leadership of GP would like to hear what is on your heart, what topic(s) would you like to see addressed from God’s perspective?
Take a moment and fill out the form to submit your questions and/or topics.
You can also follow on their FaceBook page at Transformed By Grace, Inc.
Sylane Mack’s books are all available on Amazon and Kindle:
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.
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
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 address 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:
- This is the plan I’ve used for many years, which takes a portion from the Old Testament, a portion from the New Testament, a Psalm, and a Proverb.
- Here is the plan I’m going with this year – still some variety each day, but through the entire Bible in 15 minutes a day.
- And another option that I think looks really good.
Whatever 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!
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw
Most of us have probably heard that quote before. As adults, we can forget how important playtime is to kids. We live in a time of rushing and busyness: rushing to get from place to place and rushing our kids to grow up. Sometimes we forget to let our child just be a kid.
Take a few minutes and check out this month’s parenting class on playtime. We explore why play is so important for our kids. Later this month, we will dig deeper and explore creative ideas for kids and suggestions for parents.
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!