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.

Ministry Celebration & Biz Meeting Recap

This past Sunday evening we held our Semi-Annual Ministry Celebration and Business Meeting. We celebrate what God has been doing in the life of our church! It’s always encouraging to hear how God is working in your life and helping you to become more like Jesus.

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday night:

  • Dessert is always a highlight!
  • Three people were recognized for becoming new members to the church: Gene Alligood, Kathryn & Walter Rolle. Kathryn shared briefly about how they came to Grace Point and the impact it has had in their life and their family.
  • Bill Wright, Director of Administration shared a financial update; giving is below budget and expenses. New giving methods (give by text, debit cards, and giving by kiosk) are coming soon. Bill also shared that over $830,000 has been given – across all accounts, including the General Fund.
  • Chuck Arnold, Pastor of Congregational Care, updated us on the Care ministries and the new Marriage, Family, & Relationship ministry that has had a strong start.
  • Dave Wolf, Senior Pastor, shared an update on our Strategic Goals, and how the staff have been working on an updated foal for 2017-18, with three strategies to meet that goal. Stay tuned for more info!
  • We also heard updates from Missions and the Youth Transition Team.
  • Scott Leuz, Elder and Chair of the Youth Director search team, announced that the team has narrowed the search down to three candidates and have handed the process over to the staff. The ministry staff will now review resumes, doctrinal statements, philosophies of ministry and lots of other documents & recordings.
  • Dave Crist and Laura Schlenker were recognized for their service as staff members – each serving over 20 years!
  • Glenn Ely, Elder Chair, reminded us of the new Elder candidate process, and members voted for the two candidates. Dave Kneller and Rich Speeney both received unanimous positive votes. (The Elders will now meet, weigh the vote of the membership, and if they are still in unanimous agreement, Dave & Rich will become elders – starting their terms July 1.)

Thanks to all who came out!

GP Kids Parenting: Bullying

This is a big day as we start our online parenting class. At least once a month, we will be offering a Christ-centered, online parenting class/resource.  We want to partner with you and support you in your efforts to raise fully committed followers of Jesus Christ!  These “classes” will be usually five minutes or less, and we hope they will encourage you as parents and families!

We’re jumping right into a topic that you’ve probably already experienced with your child or know is on the horizon-bullying.

If you stop long enough to think about bullying you might have flashbacks to something you’ve experienced. It’s one thing for us as adults to remember those difficult encounters, but another one entirely to think about someone picking on our own kid.

When our child experiences bullying, we’re ready for the gloves to come off because, let’s face it, nobody messes with MY child! We also know fighting our children’s battles doesn’t help them in the long run. They need to experience difficulty, so how do we figure out when to step in and when to let them handle it?

Check out this incredible video that will help equip you to begin the dialogue with your child about bullying.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/73132864

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.

 

Same Mission – New Look!

Maybe by now you’ve noticed that we’ve updated our website. It has an exciting new look with some new features – including being more mobile-friendly.

You might be thinking, “Why did we need a new website? What was wrong with the old one?” Well, nothing was wrong with the old one – and that’s often the case when it comes to technology and the “Inter-webs.” We’re just updating it with a fresh new look!

Our website serves many purposes, including being “the front door to our church, before the front door.” Many times people will visit a church’s website before they even think of visiting in-person. The same is true for our church. Guests will often have questions like, “What can I expect? What’s it like? What programs do they offer?” Our website answers those questions and more, and gives guests a sneak preview of our church!

Our main website’s primary audience is those looking for a church – those who may be new to Grace Point, future attenders, or those just checking us out.

Our blog (this website) is for those of us that are already “in the know” and may be serving in a ministry. You’ll see a menu option above that says, “Ministry Tools” – this is where you’ll find the Building Use Form (a.k.a. Room Reservation form) and Foyer Table Reservation form. More tools will be added soon, so be on the lookout!

For now, bookmark this site (http://blog.gracepointpa.org) and share our new website with your Facebook friends, neighbors, and others who you’d like to invite to Grace Point.

GP Kids – Important Tel Hai Camp Info

Dear Families and Friends of Grace Point,i-bdvmq8z-l

I am writing today to share with you about Tel Hai Adventure Camp week.  Over the past 11+ years that I have been at Grace Point, Tel Hai has been a highlight of ministry for GP Kids.  This away-camp week for students 8-11 years old began as a thriving opportunity for our families to send their children to a Christian camp.

Similar to many ministry endeavors, the week has had high points and low points throughout the time Grace Point has led it.  At its start, about 14 years ago, we had nearly 50 kids from Grace Point and our local area that would attend.  The week served not only our students, but local children from Honey Brooke who wished to attend, so it became an outreach opportunity as well.  Over the years, while I have led the camp, I have taken time each year to pray over and evaluate the program.  This year, when our Tel Hai leadership team (comprised of both Grace Point and Crossing Community Church leaders) evaluated the program, it became clear that God was indeed directing us to reconsider leading this program.  After much prayer, I brought these considerations to both the staff and elders and decided, with their feedback, that we would not move forward with offering and leading Tel Hai Adventure Camp as a Grace Point sponsored ministry.

i-cgp8m3b-lHere are some factors that brought us to this decision. Of the 130 kids who attended Tel Hai Adventure Camp week this year, only 8 of them were from Grace Point.  Another few students were from Crossing Community Church, but the majority of the children were from the local area of Honey Brooke, PA.  While I loved the opportunity to outreach to the Honey Brooke area, it became clear to me that continuing relationships with those students we did reach was difficult due to our removed location in Newtown, PA.  And despite our efforts over a number of years, we have not seen the number of GP children increase. In a nutshell,  the amount of time, energy, effort and finances it takes to make this one week happen were a cost outweighing the gain.

I realize this ministry has become very dear to the heart of the many leaders and students who have been a part of it, and I assure you much prayer and deliberation has gone into this decision.  I, myself, am sad to close this door.  However, I am, at the same time, excited at what we will see God do in children’s ministry at Grace Point with more time and energy to invest here.

You may be asking yourself, what’s next then?  What could we offer by way of the camp experience some students will miss?  These are important questions I want to answer for you.  Our efforts will be poured back into the overall ministry of GP Kids at Grace Point.  It is my prayer to see the freed up time, leadership and finances used to further the ministry within our program here where the impact can be greater and lasting. Beyond that, I have begun researching other camp experiences that Grace Point would recommend for families.  We will not look to lead a week of camp as we did with Tel Hai, but we do want to offer options and opportunities that may serve you well.  To check out some camp opportunities and further updates, please use this link: https://gracepointonline.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/elementary-and-family-camp-ideas.pdf.

I care deeply about your family and any questions you might have.  Please email me questions at cdewitt@gracepointpa.org.

In love and prayer, Cassandra DeWitt

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

Happy New Year

Every year individuals make a list of changes that they want to make in the new year. By February most of the desired changes fade away. Failure to bring about change occurs because there is no significant foundation for the desired changes. Real change comes about when the person has a solid foundation to support the desired changes.

The foundations for change include:

  1. Motivating godly lifestyle changes. A person’s relationship with God gives them a special identity and a particular purpose for living. Ephesians 4:1
  2. Specifying what needs to change from the inside out. Ephesians 4:22-24
  3. Pursuing accountability from supportive relationships. Hebrews 10:24-25

In October of 2016 Grace Point started a Marriage, Family, and Relationships ministry. The purpose of this ministry is to bring about the desired changes that will strengthen marriages, families, and relationships overall, using the foundations listed above.

Starting Sunday, January 15, we will address the topic of “Safe Haven Marriage.” Together we will explore the foundational concepts of having a safe haven marriage. These classes will take place at 9am in room A-1 on January 15, 22, 29, February 12 and 26.

In March, we will explore the topic “Entering the World of Adolescence.”

In April and May, we will explore the topic of Personalities and Relationships. The Myers Briggs Personality profile will be available for individuals to complete prior to the first class in April.

As we enter 2017 may we work together to bring about godly changes in our marriages, families, and relationships.

A More Meaningful Christmas

Christmas is rushing towards us like a diesel train. It will be here before you know it. Then it will be gone as fast as it came. Christmas is a time of joy and frustration. A frenzy of preparations and merry-making, followed by weariness and even emptiness: Is that all we get? And that’s a shame.

Here are some ideas borrowed from FamilyLife that can help you make you and your family’s Christmas more meaningful, memorable.

  1. Talk about the names of Christ: There’s nothing more meaningful at Christmas than learning more about Jesus Christ, the Savior whose birth we celebrate. For He is so much more than a baby in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. In fact, Jesus is known by many other names in Scripture … and in the Christmas hymns we sing. He is the “King of kings,” the “Redeemer.”
  2. Conversation starters: Download this PDF with a list of questions to talk to your family and friends about Christ and Christmas. You may work these into normal conversation, but often they work best as part of a Christmas party or formal celebration with your family. You might pose a couple of questions to the group, asking everyone to answer one or both of them. For young children, be sure check out the “Questions for Kids” section.
  3. Share stories about how God has worked in your life: Ever told your children the story of your salvation; meeting your spouse. Use the holidays to share your personal stories about faith and life change.

Marriage Matters – Seven Habits

I love the Christmas season. It gives me a time to slow down and reflect on the many blessings that God has provided for me during the past year. It also gives me a time to take a look forward and see how God will use me in the coming year.

As I reflect on 2016 at Grace Point, we have seen many changes, new staff members, new direction for our programs. In October we began a new ministry entitled Marriage and Family Ministry.

In October we took a look at the topic of relationships and all the variables that come into play. In November we explored the topic “Building a Marriage that Lasts.” In December we will explore the topic; “The Seven Habits of a Healthy Marriage.”

Come join us on December 18th at 9:00am in Room A1 as, together, we explore this important topic.

December’s response question: What is your favorite Christmas memory or tradition?