Monthly Archives: January 2022

Grace Covenant Men’s SIP Groups

Proverbs 27.17 says: “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

As a way to connect men to one another, and to encourage men to sharpen one another, Grace Covenant Men’s Ministry is launching a new initiative we are calling SIP Groups. The acronym SIP stands for Scripture Invitation Prayer.

The idea for SIP Groups were born out of a an interdenominational event at the Brother Bryan Mission in downtown Birmingham, Alabama, in February 2020. Participation has grown from a few to more than 50 congregations, from a variety of denominations, in 11 states, as of the end of 2021.

SIP Groups are simple. Each group will consists of 5 or 7 men. Each participant in the group will commit take one day each week, for the period of 40 days. (Groups of 5 are Monday – Friday; Groups of 7 are Sunday – Saturday.) On your assigned day you are responsible to send a simple group text, with a verse or short Bible passage, and a brief prayer related to the passage. Here are a few examples:

1 Timothy 1.8-9

“But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,…”

Thank you Father for waking us this morning and thank you for your word and law for without we would just be lost. Help those that are lost like we have been and allow us to be a blessing in others lives bless us with a wonderful holiday season and thank you for sending your son Jesus Christ to die for our sins even though we did and do not deserve it bless and protect our families in Jesus mighty name we pray amen!!!

Psalms ch 40 v 16

 “Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; Let those who love Your salvation say continually, The lord be magnified!”

 Dear Heavenly Father! We thank you for this day, for the blessings you will bestow upon us.  Thank you for your love that shines upon us in the darkest of times, we know you are with us. With your hand reaching down to us, helping us in our troubling times!! Please forgive us of our sins, let us have a  heart of gratitude putting you first in our lives!! For its in your great name we pray!

Psalm 84:10

 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

***

Lord, God Almighty, Grant that we may be given even a glimpse of your glory; let us behold your splendor, so we would be reminded that NOTHING compares with you. We thank you that you have sent your son, Jesus, in whom and by whom we see you. Thank you that in Him we will dwell in your presence forever. ~ Amen

Occasionally someone may add a comment about the verse before offering the prayer.

Good morning SIP Family!!!

 Colossians ch 3 v 16

 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God!!

 Let us lift each other up, encourage each other and pray for each other. To serve God and each other with love!!

 Our great and glorious Father!! Thank you for this day you have given us! Thank you for the love you have shown us. Dear Father . help us today to be more Christ like, to serve each other. Let your spirit be our guide, to glorify your Name in we do. It is in your great name we pray !! Amen!!

No matter what, the text message is short and simple. But, it is amazing how encouraging you will find it to be.

Those who are the recipients of these message often reply with a word of thanks, or with a comment how the verse or prayer has encouraged them on that day, or with a simple thumbs-up emoji. In this way, SIPs are connecting and mutually affirming.

Grace Covenant Men’s Ministry would like to launch our first round of SIPs to begin on February 1. To do this we would need for participants to sign up by Saturday January 29. Just click on the sign-up page link: Grace Covenant SIP Groups.

Sign up requires only two things:

  • We need your name
  • We need your cell phone number for the group texts.

Click the link and join us!

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A Pastor’s Note to Grace Covenant – January 5, 2022

Dear Grace Covenant Family,

With recent spikes in COVID cases and hospitalizations in our area, including several members of our Grace Covenant family; and with informed projections telling us that this present spike has yet to reach its peak, the Grace Covenant Session has chosen to initiate some temporary precautionary measures. These protocols will go into effect this Sunday, January 9, and run through the end of this month. They will be reviewed again by Session at our February 1 meeting. 


Chief among our temporary measures will be the postponement of the resumption of Sunday School for all ages, and the temporary suspension of nursery, Kid’s Quest (catechism), and Children’s Church on Sunday mornings.  Obviously we are concerned for the health of our children, many of whom may not have yet had opportunity to receive vaccination. But our concern is also for those who teach – and for those who coordinate these activities for our children.


Second, we will encourage intentional social distancing, as well as reiterate our present policy which strongly recommends wearing masks during our worship services. Along with that, as strongly as we affirm the importance and benefits of worshipping together, we do want to encourage anyone with underlying health issues that might compound the effects of COVID to consider worshipping with us online for a few weeks.  


Finally, a few other recommendations and minor adjustments will be made by various ministries. Most immediate among those adjustments will be the postponement of our annual Congregational Dinner Meeting to Sunday February 6. Ministry leaders will notify those involved of any other adjustments that will impact their respective schedules and activities.  


Like many of you, I have grown weary of all these restrictions and adjustments. I long for a day – hopefully a day sometime soon – when we are back on the road to normalcy.  As a Session we are not predicting anything, nor do we want to inspire fear or undue concerns.  We are simply taking some temporary proactive measures intended to protect the people in our church, with as little disruption as possible. It may prove, in  few weeks, that these temporary measures were un-necessary. Nothing would make us happier. But few things would cause us more regret than for us to take no preventative actions, then later realize we should have.  We ask for your patience with us, and for your prayers. We are always in need of wisdom, but perhaps at this time more than almost ever before.  


Speaking on behalf of all of our Elders – those presently on Session, those on sabbatical, and those who are Emeritus – I will paraphrase the Apostle Paul: We give thanks for you all, for the grace God has given you is evident, and an encouragement to us all. 


Grace & Peace,


W. Dennis Griffith, Lead Pastor

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