Easter Greetings & Activities

Dear Grace Point Family,Easter Flowers

The world is slowly shifting once again from gray-brown to Technicolor! I love Spring! As life begins to burst around us, we are reminded of our Savior bursting free from the tomb. I hope you will join us in these opportunities to celebrate:

Pray and Invite
Pray for neighbors, friends, and co-workers you might invite to join us at Grace Point on Resurrection Day – that they will witness our worship, have ears to hear the Good News of Christ, and respond to God’s gift of forgiveness and eternal life.

Passport to the Cross: Your Guide to Understanding Good Friday
On Good Friday, April 19, beginning at 6:00 pm, we will host a new experience to help us appreciate more deeply the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. As groups we will visit three stations that remind us of key events of Passion week, culminating in a time of reflection together in the Commons. Help your children experience the meaning of Good Friday for the first time, or come for your own refresher. Childcare is available for children under four years old. Register at http://gracepointpa.org/events for this unique experience.

Celebrate Resurrection Day
On Sunday, April 21, 9:00 and 10:30 am, we will celebrate Christ’s victory over death with powerful music and a continuation of our sermon series called “Crushed for Us, Raised for Us.” If you are bringing guests on Easter, please attend the service with them and help them feel welcome. Because we expect a large crowd, we will also provide overflow rooms for both services to make room in the Commons for guests. Children’s programs (Nursery through 6th Grade) will be available in each service.

Support our FOCUS Process
This year our Easter offering will fund survey trips for our GP FOCUS Process. I am excited to see where God directs us for greater impact as we endeavor to work together on a church-wide missions project. To learn more about the FOCUS process and the survey trips, please refer to this document. Please consider contributing financially toward the trips, and continue to pray for this important decision. I encourage you to continue pursuing steady stewardship with your tithes to our General Fund, and consider this an “above and beyond” gift demonstrating gutsy generosity. (When donating online or via check, be sure to mark your gift “Easter.”)

May you be filled with hopeful expectation, as we look to Christ for new life in this special season!

Celebrating with you,

Dave Wolf
Lead Pastor

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

Missions Sunday – Recap

A few weeks ago, we hosted a special missions-emphasis Sunday at Grace Point. It was awesome! We had 13 of our global partners present who represented a variety of ministries, from ministering to our nation’s military personnel to mobilizing new teachers to serve in schools around the world, from working locally in Lower Bucks County with troubled and at-risk youth to working in the Arabian Peninsula.

The energy on Sunday morning was inspiring! Compassion’s Virtual Reality tour of Haiti was neat. (Not for those who get motion sickness, though!) To see folks chatting and meeting our global partners in the foyer was also a great encouragement, knowing that relationships were being developed or started. Relationships that would lead to prayer support or financial support.

In The Commons we had flags from all over the world – each one representing a country where either used to have or currently have a missionary serving. We also got to hear from a small sampling of our missionaries about a life lesson they’ve learned from working on the mission field. It was encouraging to hear and see that missionaries are normal people, like you and me. And they face some of the same kids of things we do…just in a different country.

Really, that’s why we do missions Sundays. To build relationships, hear how God is at work around the world, and to be reminded that missionaries are just like you and me.

What was your favorite part of our Missions Sunday?

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

 

Three New Ways to Give

At Grace Point, our mission, together as a church, is to “help more people become fully committed followers of Jesus Christ.” There are a number of ways that we can partner together to accomplish that mission. It could be serving in a ministry, praying for our missionaries, or giving to support the ministry at Grace Point.

Our General Fund is what we use to pay the electric bill, pay our staff, support our missionaries, and order supplies for our kids and youth ministries. All of these things (and many more) are crucial to helping more people become fully committed followers of Jesus.

Today in the services, we announced three new ways that you can give towards to the General Fund and support the work at Grace Point.

  • Debit Cards – You can now give via our Online Giving site (http://giving.gracepointpa.org) using your Debit Card. You can give a one-time gift or setup a recurring gift using your ACH info (routing & account numbers) or your debit card.
  • Give by Kiosk – On Sunday mornings we will have a special location in the foyer where you can give using your debit card at our new kiosk. In seconds you make a secure gift and print a receipt!
  • Give by Text – For many of us, our smart phones dictate our schedules, our work, and our social lives. You can now give by text! Simply text “gracepoint” to 73256 and you’ll be able make a secure gift. It’s fast and easy to use!

Regardless of how you give at Grace Point, it is an act of worship – prayerfully, giving back to God from what He has given to us.

If you have any questions about the above ways to give, general questions, or how to give via stock donations, contact our church office at 215-968-2354.

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

Family Advent Opportunity

2016-advent-guide_from_village-church-1What is advent? Google search says, “the arrival of a notable person, thing or event.

For us as believers, it is even more significant. It is the celebration of the arrival of God’s Son, Jesus, the most notable person there is and has ever been.

In the weeks and days that precede Christmas, Advent, we can set aside time to pause and reflect on the birth of Jesus. As families, we want to encourage you to take a little time to consider what you want this season to be for your family. Making a plan for the time you want to set aside is key to sticking to the plan. So, go ahead, pick a time. Great. (thumbs up!)

Now that that’s done, we have something that could be a help as materials for that special family time. Click here. This link will take you to a five-week Advent Devotional Guide. You can print it out, or use it online. The materials give you a way to prepare for your devotion time, a family portion to help you facilitate your time with questions and ideas, as well as, songs to go along with the Advent celebration. While the family portion is geared more towards preschool and elementary aged children, consider having older children use the “Personal-Study” to work through in place of reading the family commentary and then talk about what you have learned together after you have finished.

We hope you and your family will join us as we focus on Jesus’ birth over the coming weeks.

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.

Summer Playlist

One of my favorite things about warmer weather is driving with the windows down and my favorite tunes playing on the car radio (sometimes louder than it should be). Backyard BBQs and summer parties tend to be a whole lot more enjoyable with some “tunes.” I love music.

NEEDTOBREATHE - Hard Love
NEEDTOBREATHE – Hard Love

Music has always resonated with me, and helped me to come to terms with some of the darkest times of my life. The song, “In Christ Alone” has a special significance for me. Music can help us relax, process, or simply “be still” in the midst of life’s storms. That’s one of the reasons I love that we incorporate music into our worship services.

This summer, I’m spending a lot of time with NEEDTOBREATHE‘s latest album, “Hard Love.” It came out while I was away from home, and so track 8, “Be Here Long” means a lot to me. The chorus goes like this:

Close my eyes and think of you
Go to sleep and dream of you
We don’t get to be here long
I gave you the best of me
Loved you more than anything
But we don’t get to be here long

At the risk of sounding all mushy, it made me think of my wife and my boys when I was 3,000 miles away.

What songs have meaning for you? What are you listening to this summer?