A Pastor’s Note to Grace Covenant – January 22, 2021

Dear Grace Covenant Family,

On Sunday afternoon/evening, January 24, we will be holding our annual congregational meeting. This is an important gathering for the life of the church. Not only will we present the budget for the coming year, this year we will also be electing new Deacons to serve and lead our church in ministry of mercy and stewardship of the church’s resources.

Three candidates have completed the Officer Training, and successfully completed both written an oral examinations about their understanding of the Faith and the responsibilities of Deacons. All three candidates – Daniel Malone, David Hoffman, and Jim Becraft – have been members of Grace Covenant for some time. While the Session is commending these men for your consideration, it is only the affirmation of the congregation that decides whether any, or all, of these men will be ordained to the office of Deacon. So we ask that you prayerfully consider each candidate, and vote as your conscience leads. The candidates are not running against one another. You are free to vote for all, some, or none, as you feel led. Election to become a Deacon requires a majority of church members voting at this congregational meeting.

Our meeting this year will be held online, via Zoom, from 5pm to 6pm on Sunday evening, A link to join in the meeting can be found in this weeks Grace Notes. While for many of us the thought of yet another online meeting may not sound particularly exciting, I want to re-emphasize the importance of this meeting, and the importance of your participation, especially for the voting for the new Deacons. We will need a quorum – a minimum of about 45 church members for an official vote. We will launch a digital poll near the beginning of the meeting, and it will be closed around 5:30. Members can cast their votes at anytime during the time the poll is up. For couples who are sharing a screen, at least one of you will also need to sign-in to the meeting on your phone or tablet, or some other computer, to vote, as Zoom will only allow one vote per device. We’ll explain all of this again on Sunday evening. Chief thing now is that you pray about who you will want to serve the church as Deacons, and that you join us for at least part of the time on Sunday evening.

Second, I want to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to join us for our upcoming Discovery Class. While Discovery Class is designed to introduce the beliefs, values, and history of Grace Covenant to those who are new to the church, it is also open to anyone, even long-time church members, who want to connect with others, and who would enjoy a refresher discussion about our Faith and values. For those who are not yet members of Grace Covenant, but who feel that this is where you want to make your church home, the Discovery Class is a pre-requisite to becoming a member; however, participation in Discovery Class does not require a commitment to join the church. For some, it is through participation in the Discovery Class that will help determine if Grace Covenant is the church you want to call home. Our next Discovery Class begins next Sunday, January 31, and will be held over the next 6 week, via Zoom. To sign up, or if you have questions about Discovery Class, we invite you to email Kathy Buhl, at the church office.

I want to express my thanks to everyone who has signed up to serve our neighbors-in-need, through the Community of Faith Shelter. Grace Covenant’s week to serve is now upon us – beginning early next week, on January 26. Special thanks to Fran Geissler, Steve Geissler, and Peter McHenry, for taking the lead and coordinating our participation this year. But I am thankful for all of you, and the great response you have demonstrated to this ministry. And if you have yet to sign up, it’s not too late. The response has been great, but we still have a few service times yet to be claimed. The link to sign up can be found in Grace Notes.

Another area of service to our community is through participation in the Baby Bottle Drive we do each year in support of, and partnership with, CareNet Peninsula. As followers of Christ we recognize the sanctity of life. The staff and volunteers at CareNet are on the front lines, loving and ministering to young women and teenage girls who sometimes have nowhere else to turn. The Baby Bottle Drive is just a simple way to support this ministry financially, and to prompt us to pray. As with other items I touched upon in this note, details can be found in the Grace Notes. But I wanted to take the time to highlight it, just to reinforce how important your participation is, and to say thank you for caring.

Finally, I’ll wrap up this note with a reminder that we are resuming our study of the Book of Romans on Sunday mornings. This Sunday we pick up with Romans 12.3-8. I have enjoyed our study of this magnificent letter, and I have been gratified by the many expressions of enjoyment you have shared. For those interested, I have written up a brief intro and overview of the study series we will engage these next few months, When In Rome: Living Out What We Really Believe, including a few recommended resources and the renewed challenge to read through the Letter to the Romans as we study it this Winter and Spring.

Grace & Peace,

W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor

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