A Great Reminder in the Midst of Seeming Chaos

Unless you live under a rock (not judging you if you do), you’ll know that the news and media outlets are chock-full of headlines regarding growing tensions between North Korea, the United States, and the United Nations.

Regardless of whether or not we believe they should be met with “fire and fury,” I feel we have a responsibility as followers of Jesus. Pray. Do not fear. Trust God.

As you may know, Grace Point is part of Converge, a network of churches working to start and strengthen churches together. Converge’s president, Scott Ridout, recently published a great reminder for us all regarding the current global political scene.

It’s worth the read. Find it here.

Fostering Secure Attachments

I often wonder what the world will be like 10-20 years from now. I do know that if major Family Life changes are not addressed the future will be very difficult. Children need strong attachment bonds in order to develop into healthy adults.

This is a message to all the parents on how to develop healthy attachments in your family:
1. Spend “one-on-one time” with each of your children. Enter into their world. Get to know what makes them special.
2. Children react differently to emotional issues. Help your children get in touch with their emotions by putting words to what they are experiencing.
3. Provide your children with an environment that is predictable and consistent.
4. Create a stable family life by balancing work with family time. Establish rituals and traditions.
5. Establish a self-care system for your spouse and you. Parent’s emotional state influences your children’s development.

Looking ahead, Grace Point will resume the weekly marriage and family classes on September 10th at 9 am in rooms A1 -2. In the fall, we will concentrate on the topic “Life Change: addressing all the issues that keep up from having meaningful relationships with God and others.”

Please contact Pastor Chuck for specifics.

Starving for Relationships

I grew up in Union City New Jersey in the 40’s and 50’s. My family lived in what was known as a “cold Water Flat.” We walked a half mile to school each day (no school buses). We had lots of friends and knew the parents and siblings of each of our friends. We did not have air conditioning, color TV’s, or any of the fancy gadgets that are part of our culture today. After school, we could be found outside playing a variety of sports and would only come home for supper. What we did have is a loving family and a very stable environment. Words such a divorce, depression, boredom etc. were never part of our vocabulary.

Today our children are struggling with so many issues. 40% of today’s children live in a home without a father present. This effects their relationships with others and God. One in three girls are sexually abused by the time they are 18 by someone they are supposed to be able to love and trust. The divorce rate is over 50%; combined with separations, over 70% of marriages have failed. Families are on the move; so, friendships come and go. 56% of children under the age of 6 have both parents working outside the home (19% in the 50’s). Alcoholic homes affect 26 million children.

All of the above dictates how children (especially teens) will function in today’s world. They learn to escape through the internet, drugs, alcohol, sex, and basically avoiding meaningful relationships.

Every child needs and deserves at least one person in their life who is crazy about them and can confirm their personal value and worth.

Looking ahead, Grace Point will resume the weekly marriage and family classes on September 10th at 0900 in rooms A1 -2.

In the fall, we will concentrate on the topic; “Life Change”: addressing all the issues that keep us from having meaningful relationships with God and others.

GP Kids Parenting – Importance of Play

“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.


Staying Connected During the Summer

Summer is here and vacations are in full swing!

While we and our families are heading to the beach, the boardwalk, and other great destinations, there’s a lot happening at Grace Point this summer. With VBS quickly approaching and Greg Shelton (our new Youth Pastor) and his family soon to arrive, you won’t want to miss a thing!

Here are a few ways that you can stay connected:

  1. Subscribe to our GP News List – This is the primary way that we send out announcements and other key news items. You can sign-up for GP News or any of our other email lists using this form.
  2. Listen Online – Each week (typically on Mondays) we post the messages
    Watching Jesus in His every day life helps us find Him in ours.

    from our Sunday morning services on our website. You can stay current with our current series, Every Day Jesus, and listen while your cycling down the boardwalk, sunbathing, or watching the kiddos in the pool!

  3. Follow us on Facebook – On our Facebook page, we’ll often post updates, events, pictures, and other encouraging posts to help you along the way in becoming more following Jesus.
  4. Follow our Blog – You’re here already! Great!
  5. We’re also on InstagramFollow us on Instagram for updates and pictures of encouragement and events.

Know that our staff are praying for you and your families this summer! Have a great week!

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!

Your Husband Needs to be Cherished Too

When I meet with a couple for marriage or pre-marriage counseling I talk about the husband’s role in cherishing their spouse or future spouse. I also share with the wife or future wife the importance of valuing her husband. In today’s society, the issue of a wife cherishing her husband is rarely addressed.

A man is a person with feelings and a heart that can be broken. He is a person who experiences life much deeper than what we can see on the outside. Husbands long for their wives to connect with them at a deep level. Not only do they ask for respect but they want their wives to encourage their spirit. A wife embracing her husband is not just a matter of tolerating his behavior, but truly valuing the makeup of his personality and the positive things he has to offer.

As I talk to men I have learned about a few issues that they want their wives to know.

  1. Stop nagging
    It doesn’t matter what words are coming out of her mouth, most of the time a husband hears, “You are not good enough.” Proverbs 27:15 says, “A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike.”
  2. Verbalize your appreciation
    Wise words build up. Learn ways to encourage your husband. James 3:3-5 reminds us of the power of the tongue.
  3. Connect with him emotionally
    Support him with your presence. Make him feel important. It’s not easy for a man to expose who he is underneath his tough exterior. He would be willing to do so if he can trust you to take care of his heart and not take advantage of it.

In September of 2016 Grace Point started a new ministry focusing on Marriage and Family issues. During the summer months, I will be putting together various seminars on the topics of marriage, relationships and family issues. These Sunday sessions will begin on September 10th at 9am.

If you have a specific topic you would like to see addressed, please contact me this summer. My email is: carnold@gracepointpa.org.

Have a wonderful summer with your family and friends!

Conversations Through TV Shows and Movies

This month’s video is on prompting conversations through TV shows and movies!

Television shows and movies are just two media forms that kids watch. Beyond that, network and cable television, DVDs, and online streaming providers increase access to media for our kids. This is the world they live in, and it’s likely not going to magically disappear. Rather than fearing what they could be exposed to, commit to teaching and training your child in the why—why it’s important to learn what is okay to watch and what isn’t.

Bob Waliszewski, the author of the book Plugged-In Parenting, offers a few ideas for parents who wish to take a proactive approach to the media. Waliszewski suggests having an honest and ongoing discussion with your child about the importance of protecting their minds.

In that conversation, you can talk about how the Bible encourages people who follow Jesus to guard their minds and hearts. Proverbs 4:23 says, “More than anything you guard, protect your mind, for life flows from it” and Jesus taught in Matthew 15:19 that “out of the heart come evil thoughts . . .”

The goal is to raise children that will begin to sense that conviction in their souls when they aren’t with you—and make good and wise decisions on their own that carry into their teenage years and adulthood.


I’m praying for you and your family. We are in this together!

Cassandra DeWitt

Fun Ways To Study Scripture With Your Child

Raising our children to pursue a personal relationship with God is something every Christian parent wants, but statistics show that only five percent of teens study the Bible on their own on a daily basis. And, just over half of teens say they read or study their Bible away from church.

That said, I’m happy to tell you that YOU can influence your children to be one of the five percent who study their Bible every day. How? By getting creative, that’s how!

For ways to make studying scripture with your kids more fun, check out this months online parenting class. It will give you a good start towards making positive changes in your home in this area.

I hope you find this lesson helpful. You are always welcome to email me with any prayer requests your family may have. I truly enjoy serving your family.


Sincerely,  Cassandra

Helping Your Child Overcome Separation Anxiety

Parents, either you’ve already experienced separation anxiety, you’re in the middle of it, or it’s on the horizon. To be honest, I’m in the middle of it with our two-year old. Can I hear an amen, Lord help us?!

What is Separation Anxiety? Pediatricians help us understand that separation anxiety is so tough on kids because they don’t understand object permanence. A child realizes Mom is gone, and what they think is, “Oh my gosh, MY MOM IS GONE,” like…forever gone.


It’s why we play hide and seek or peekaboo with little ones. We want to reinforce the idea that even though you can’t see an object, it doesn’t mean it’s gone. The fear produced over this misunderstanding is what we call separation anxiety. It creates anxiety in our children, and much of the time, an anxiety in us as parents.

Take some time to check out this month’s video to see how we can deal with anxiety. Later in the month we’ll look at some practical tools for how to help your child conquer separation anxiety.