A Pastor’s Note to Grace Covenant – August 7, 2021

Jesus tells his followers “Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.” (Matthew 6.34) Still, I find I have spent a fair amount of time this Summer looking ahead, not so much to “tomorrow” as to Autumn, to September and the days that follow; and not so much with anxiety as with excitement. Each week I am reminded of the blessing it is to be part of our Grace Covenant community; and seeming every week, for some time now, God has been bringing new people and new families to be part of our community. I find that exciting. And for this (and many other things) I give thanks to God.

For those of you who are at least relatively new to Grace Covenant, I want o invite you to participate in our upcoming Discovery Class. Discovery Class is a 6 week introduction to Grace Covenant offered during the Education Hour (10am -10:55am Sunday morning) every Fall and every Winter/Spring to help those who are new to Grace Covenant to explore our history, our beliefs, our connections, and our commitments. It is a pre-requisite to membership at Grace Covenant, though there is no expectation of commitment to join the church to participate. The class is designed primarily to allow you to get to know us as a church, and to allow us to get to know you. For those interested in participating, we ask that send an e-mail to Kathy Buhl in the church office to sign up. For those who may be curious, but have questions you would like to discuss before signing up, please know I would be happy to talk with you about whatever questions you may have. Feel free to email me, or call me in the church office (757-220-0147). Or email Jack Tuttle, who coordinates the Discovery Class for us. Jack would also be more than happy to talk with you about any questions you may have.

Another thing that I am excited about is an initiative to love and serve our neighbors that we have scheduled for next Saturday, August 14. Speer-headed by Mark Mortier, coordinator of our Men’s Ministries, we are inviting everyone who is part of the Grace Covenant community to pray for area schools – students, faculty, staff, administration, etc. We want to pray for God to be at work in the schools – public schools, Christian schools, private schools, homeschool coops, etc. – and to bless the students and staff. While praying for schools can be done from anywhere, there are some who plan to gather together on various school grounds to pray. Why are we doing this? In part we see it as one way to be faithful to God’s instruction to his people who were living in exile: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” (Jeremiah 29.7) Further, it is an expression of our commitment to children and families. And, perhaps ultimately, because participating in prayer is one of God’s appointed means of drawing ever-closer to Him. While many may assume prayer is just a mere precursor to the “real work”, I am convinced that prayer IS the part of our “real work” in the Kingdom of God. So please join us next Saturday by praying for the school where your children or grandchildren attend, or for the school(s) closest to your neighborhood, or for whatever schools God may bring to your mind. Together, I hope, we will cover every school in our area with prayer. If you want to join a group that will meet at a particular school, please invite others to join you, or email Mark Mortier, who might have an idea of where an when people will be meeting. Additionally, Mark sent out a suggested prayer guide earlier this week in an to those who serve on our prayer teams. I am sure Mark would be more than happy to provide the guide to anyone who inquires.

Finally, for this note, I want to touch on our plans for resuming Sunday School this Fall. Due to the pandemic, we have not been able to offer classes for nearly 18 months! I am excited that we not only about the opportunity to resume, but by what we will be offering.

Of course, first thoughts of Sunday School are often about what we do for children. Grace Covenant has a long-tradition of excellent ministry with our children. We are looking forward to resuming our Children’s Sunday School beginning Sunday September 12. In the coming weeks our Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Starr VanWingerden, will provide an overview of what the children will be studying through the Fall. In the meantime, Starr is busy coordinating with the those who will teach. If you are interested in being involved with Children’s Sunday School, Starr tells me there are still some opportunities. Email Starr to let her know of your interest.

But Sunday School is not just for kids! As we resume on September 12, we also will be offering a class for the adults. Throughout this Fall we will be exploring the life-changing relational principles God has gifted to us through his Word, in a study called Relational Wisdom, or RW360. This class will be interactive, interspersing teaching segments from author-attorney Ken Sande, and illustrative movie clips, with discussion about the principles being presented. This is a tremendous practical course, one that will benefit not only those of us who have some challenging relationships in our own lives, but it will also equip you to encourage others you may know who may experience challenging relationships. More info will be provided in the coming weeks, but for now I invite you to check out this short intro video:

Have a great weekend! See ya on Sunday!

Grace & Peace,

W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor

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