|Connecting People and Churches of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches||Wednesday, May 22 2013|
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:59
VisionIndiana, a church-planting initiative in the Hoosier State which was birthed under the direction and guidance of VisionOhio personnel, had its initial formation meeting on Saturday, February 11, meeting in Winona Lake, Ind.
Some 12-15 pastors, church leaders, and current church planters met at The Hub, the community/youth facility of the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, to pray together, to discuss how God is moving in individuals to church-plant, and to formulate next steps to build fraternity and encourage church-planting in northern Indiana.
Relationships were formed and strengthened through bowling together as a first activity, followed by some inspirational and instructional sessions led by Tony Webb and Ron Boehm of VisionOhio. At the conclusion of the day, a number of action steps were solidified, including the creation of a VisionIndiana Facebook page, which is now operative under the direction of Aaron Scantlen of the Winona Lake church.
Participants in the day’s discussions came from South Bend, Leesburg, Columbia City, and Winona Lake.
Specific plans were formulated to visit, encourage, and pray for current church planting efforts in the South Bend, Fort Wayne, Howe, and Winona Lake areas, including visits to encourage and support those currently involved in gathering groups of believers in preparation for potential church plants. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for Saturday, April 28. Discussion also centered on how to incorporate the momentum and information from Go2’s current emphasis on “Circles of Grace,” as church-planting plans develop.
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:51
Encounter Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Dublin, Ohio, has announced that the church is launching its first church plant.Sean Spoelstra, pastor of
“For more than three years I’ve said, ‘I don’t know who or where or when, but we are committed to planting a church and are putting five percent of our offerings aside to prepare for it,’” Spoelstra recalled on January 29 as he introduced Mark and Kristin Artrip as the couple who will be the first to lead a church plant out of Encounter Church.
The announcement came as Encounter celebrated its third anniversary of holding Sunday morning services and Spoelstra was teaching on the church’s core value “Multiply,” which has church planting as a major component.
The Artrips will move to Hilliard, Ohio, on the northwest side of metropolitan Columbus, to begin a new Grace Brethren work. Mark is currently the youth pastor at Grace Church in Powell, Ohio.
“Mark is committed to finishing well at Grace Church and plans to come over to Encounter at the end of this summer,” said Spoelstra. “He then will be a leadership resident with us for approximately six months, teaching, training, praying, dreaming, and preparing his ministry team to launch Movement Church in the Spring of 2013.”
Friday, 16 March 2012 14:53
The success of Grace Brethren Canada has been undeniable in seeing four Grace Brethren churches planted north of the 49th Parallel in the last 14 years. But the need for American congregations to partner with them has never been stronger.
Canada is home to 33 million people from around the world, but yet the numbers that would call themselves evangelical Christians are miniscule relative to the United States. Put simply, Canada needs Jesus.
Over the years Grace Brethren Canada has relied on the partnership of congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches to carry forward the mission. Short term teams have been integral to the launch of all four churches. The power of scores of hands reaching out and touching people’s lives in the name of Jesus speaks volumes to Canadians about the love of God for them. People see Christians from faraway places working with a shared passion for the lost and for Christ. This speaks louder than any soapbox preacher ever could.
This summer, two “Great Canadian Adventures” are scheduled. The earliest, July 8-13, will be in Medicine Hat, Alberta—home of Canada’s newest Grace Brethren church, Grasslands Church. It launched in September of 2011, and the congregation and its city could be eternally impacted by a dedicated group of people who partner with the church’s many new and growing Christians who need to learn how to serve with love.
Later this summer, August 5-10, the event returns to Surrey, British Columbia (in the Vancouver area), to join Community of Hope in breaking up the hardened earth in a diverse multiethnic community. People there are from some of the most unreached people groups in the world and need to see Christ’s love before they can be taught Christ’s love. The Adventure will be instrumental in helping Community of Hope increase its ability to impact and love their community.
To learn more on how to participate in either of these affordable, but challenging, missionary opportunities, check out canadianadventure.org on the Web. Together Christ can do more in Canada than we could ask or imagine!
Friday, 16 March 2012 14:47
Vision2020 West, the annual conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, will celebrate Grace Brethren works related to integrated ministries, church planting, and leadership development when it gathers this summer in Indian Wells, Calif. Organized around the Commitment to Common Mission, the week will focus on the topics of Church Planting, Leadership Development, and Integrated Ministry.
Friday, 16 March 2012 14:27
Barbara Moore wants to be sure the children of Rittman, Ohio, learn about Jesus. For that reason, she’s been involved in a released time Bible education program in the northeast Ohio city. RittmanCARES is designed for students in grades 1-5 and allows them, with parental permission, to be escorted to a nearby church for a Bible lesson taught by volunteers.
(There is a companion E.P.I.C. program for young people in grades 6 and 7, according to Pastor Bud Olszewski, pastor of the Rittman Grace Brethren Church, who has also chaired the Rittman Released Time Bible Committee),
“We have a lot of students who have never heard of the Bible, who don’t know what a Bible looks like, or who don’t know what ‘chapter and verse’ means,” she says.
A retired teacher and a member of the Rittman church, Barbara served as volunteer coordinator during the first three years of the program.
“This is huge in that she secured all the people who make it work,” says Pastor Bud. “Barb is so positive and persuasive and has really built the stability and the personality of the program.”
In fact, Barbara stressed that the travel time between the school and church was as important as the time in the classroom. She tells the volunteers that it most exciting “that you are going to give a child sole attention for five minutes during that walk time.
“A lot of our students in Rittman never have that time with an adult,” she acknowledges.
Each week, nearly 300 students make the trek across the street for the classes, according to Barbara. At the same time, the volunteers are becoming acquainted with the young people and learning how they can better pray for them.
“Our church has learned more and more about the children in Rittman,” she stresses, “because we’ll bring to them the concerns that we have as part of their prayer time. And they are very excited about being involved in the children.”
Barbara says the program is a success because of the support of district administration. When coupled with the involvement of area churches and volunteers, “these partners working together have meant so much to our children in Rittman,” she concludes.
More stories of people in Grace Brethren churches:
Heartbroken -- Chris Springer
Powerful Prayer -- Earl Goodman
Following The Call -- Shane and Cheryl Edwards
Following God's Leading -- Cami Berkey
Tool Time -- Butch Owens
Joining the Family Reunion -- Roger Fry
Language Lessons -- Vicki Johnson
A Tongue-and-Groove Match -- Laura and Einer Teng