Fall is a perfect time of year for new beginnings. We hope you will prayerfully consider joining or rejoining a Home Group this fall.
Home Groups - Fall 2012 Session will meet on various nights of the week for 10 weeks beginning the week of September 23rd and ending the week of December 9th. Registration for the Fall Session opens August 26th and will close on September 22. The 2012 Winter Session will open registration in December. Click Here to sign up for the Fall Session.
Home groups are a core part of our community at Grace. We believe that being invested in a small group of believers who are committed to growing together in Christ is crucial to the maturing of our faith. We see this pattern of relational, small-group discipleship practiced throughout the New Testament.
Jesus’ final command to his disciples was to “make disciples of all nations” by “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you (Mt 28:18-20).” Notice that his command is not merely to make “converts” who know some facts about Jesus, but rather to make “disciples” (committed followers) who are continually learning how to trust Jesus, walk with him, grow in him, and live in obedience by God’s grace to all that he commanded.
As we follow Jesus’ own pattern of making disciples, we see that his strategy went beyond large group, class-room settings to more intimate relational settings. Within his larger group of disciples, Jesus chose a small group of twelve men, and his discipleship involved extended periods of teaching, interactive discussions, and “on the job” ministry training. Not only did He teach His disciples; he prayed with them, counseled them, ministered side-by-side with them, sometimes rebuked and other times encouraged them, and sought by every means and in every opportunity to “build them up” in the faith.
After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, we see that His disciples followed the same pattern of ministry. The early church’s ministry was marked by a well-rounded approach to ministry, including teaching, fellowship, sharing meals, praying together, and worshipping both publically (in the Temple) and in more intimate house settings (Acts 2:44-46). Rather than depending solely upon “professional ministers,” the early church understood that every believer was given gifts for ministry, and only as every member exercised his or her gifts with a goal of building up other believers did the Church experience the growth (spiritually and numerically) that God intended (Eph. 4:11-16).
In light of this, while we value Sunday morning sermons and services, we believe that authentic discipleship can only be fully achieved in the context of small group ministries, where we share our lives together, study God’s Word together, and use our unique gifts to encourage one another in Christ. We encourage all church members to be active in these small group ministries as an important part of the discipleship process.
Birth Choice is looking for volunteers to work with clients, run parenting classes, and serve as male mentors for the "Dad's Project" program. They also have a mobile unit and are looking for volunteers to travel throughout Orange County as they bring services to the streets. The volunteer training is a 3 day intensive course, running May 17th through May 19th from 10am to 5pm. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Julia Smart at Julia@birthchoiceclinic.org.
We invite you to share in the privilege of joining with our church family to pray for the needs of our church, our community and the world.
The Prayer & Counseling Room, which is located on the north side of the Sanctuary, is available after the service each Sunday for people to pray with you. On Wednesdays, the Grace Prayer Group meets in the High School Room and is open to everyone. Contact Janet at email@example.com or Larry Love at firstname.lastname@example.org. To join the E-mail Prayer Network please contact Monica at email@example.com. Visit the "Prayer" section of the Grace website for more information.
The Women's Retreat was held at Aldersgate Retreat center in Pacific Palisades last weekend with the theme 'Ashes to Beauty.' And beauty it was. The location was a unique old house which has been used as a retreat center for a century, with a chapel on the small property. It was warm and charming with traditional wooden pues, a fire place, and barn doors opening up the space completely. Every detail was thoughtfully considered by the retreat committee: Lara Mellema, Rosie Smart, Kim Powell, Leslie Casserly, Jackie Flora, Carrie Paschall, Susan Neidwick, and Hailey Dawson - THANK YOU! We were welcomed with fresh herbal water, cookies and smiling faces. There were gifts on each bed, a handmade journal, pillowcase and sweet treats. All of these details set the stage for an amazing weekend resting in the love of God and each other. Read More...
Many of our Women's Bible Studies are starting this week, and if you happen to be at church, be sure to stop by the foyer and grab a copy of the new "Women of Grace" newsletter. Or you can CLICK HERE to view the newsletter online. Enjoy!