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Posted by on in Note from PJ

What kind of church does God use today to change the world? Here’s what happened soon after the church was born in the 1stcentury. 

We read in Acts 13:1-3,“Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off. 

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There is a stereotype about youth pastors in our country:  that they stay in one place briefly and quickly move on (average tenure for a youth pastor in the US is often noted to be about 18-36 months.)  We’re grateful it hasn’t been that way at Grace!  Our Senior High youth pastor, Steve McKnight, and his wife Lauri, have been investing in people at Grace for over 14 years. 

Hundreds of youth have come to know Jesus in a personal way during those years.  Families have been impacted.  Our church and community have been blessed in a huge way! 

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Posted by on in Note from PJ
The start of a new year is a great time to reflect and affirm our purpose.  To determine that our lives—by the grace and strength of Christ within us—will make an eternal difference. 
 
Our desire is that every person who is part of the Grace Church family will “exalt Jesus Christ by making disciples who Love Jesus, Grow with others, and Serve the world.”  Let’s take inventory for a moment in light of those statements.
 
Love Jesus
Jesus says clearly that this is the greatest pursuit in life, that nothing is more important than this:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).  So let’s ask ourselves…
  • Do I love him like that?  Does it show in the way I read and obey his Word, the Bible?
  • Have I publicly declared my faith in him through baptism?  (if not, you can sign up on the green card in the bulletin to be baptized on February 12!)
  • Am I consistent in gathering with God’s people for worship…a key way to express my love for the Lord?
Grow with others
Jesus’ followers knew this was central to following him.  One of the first church leaders wrote, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).  And Paul modeled and taught that we grow best in company with other Christians (2 Timothy 2:22). 
  • Am I more like Christ today than I was one year ago?  What would it take for me to answer that question more affirmatively a year from now?
  • Do I have close Christian friends who know what’s going on in my life?
  • What class and/or small group at Grace will help me to grow with others in these coming months?
Serve the world
To serve is to follow the example of Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).  We pass along the good news of his forgiveness to people in our workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and other places we frequent.  And we partner together to get the message to people in every nation of the world. 
  • In what ways have I reflected to others the compassion of Jesus these last few months?
  • Does my giving reflect my heart to reach others here and around the world?
  • Am I serving others in some capacity here at Grace or in the community?  If not, what is God putting on my heart?
If there’s some way we can assist in your journey, feel free to be in touch with one of the pastors or another Elder or ministry leader.  We’re all in process, too, and we’re looking forward to what the Lord has in store for us these coming months!  I’m glad you’re on the journey with us!
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Posted by on in Note from PJ

Need a last-minute gift idea?  Here’s one we might all consider…

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32

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Posted by on in Note from PJ

As I reflect on a calendar year that is quickly coming to a close, there are so many reasons for gratitude. Here’s just a few of the ways Jesus worked through the Grace family in 2016.

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map-footer 7393 Pearl Road
Middleburg Heights
Ohio 44130

P: 440.243.4885
F: 440.243.0297
E: gracechurch@gracecma.org