God is always inviting people to be a part of his work in the world. The book of Nehemiah gives us an in-depth picture of a leader who said yes to that invitation. God gave Nehemiah a burden and it broke his heart. But he didn’t just weep, he prayed and then acted. Through all kinds of opposition, Nehemiah led an amazing re-building project – in the walls of a city and in the hearts of the people.
Tomorrow, I begin a new series walking through the book of Nehemiah called REBUILD with the first message “The Burden of Leadership”. To get ready, you can read Nehemiah 1 and 2. How is God inviting you to be a leader? How is He inviting you to join him in His work? We are going to learn a lot from Nehemiah as we listen for our own Nehemiah calling.
On this Memorial Day Weekend Sunday, we will also remember those leaders who made the ultimate sacrifice preserving the freedoms of those behind them. At our 11 am service, we will baptize one of our newest GRACE little ones.
This is the last week you will need to register for IN-Person Registration, so go ahead and do it for the last time – RESERVE YOUR IN-PERSON SEAT HERE.
Beginning next Sunday, June 6th,
1) No in-person registration required.
2) Outdoor Sunday Coffee Fellowship is back. Join us between the 8:30 and 9:45 service AND between the 9:45 and 11:00 services outside to connect and have coffee and snacks. You’ll see our “outdoor lobby” on the auditorium side of BECA.
3) GRACE KIDS is back. When you arrive on Sunday, head to Check-In. Birth – PreK kids will head straight to their rooms. After check-in, kids from Kindergarten- 5th grade will start in worship with their families.
First, this week we welcome Pastor Manuela back from her study leave. I always marvel at the way God continues to build our GRACE Team. I want to formally introduce you to several of our new team members.
As I mentioned last week, I am happy to welcome Ben Kraihanzel as our GRACE Kids Director. He grew up in Bethlehem and went off to Eastern University College where he played baseball and received his degree in Youth Ministry and History. Ben is newly married to Jess, also a Bethlehem native. We are excited to have Ben and excited for this new addition to our Next Generation team, led by Taylor Shade.
I am also happy to welcome our new Creative Director, Matt Llinas. His responsibilities will include all of our communications efforts as well as guiding our Sunday morning visual experience. Matt graduated from CUNY Baruch College with a BBA in Marketing and is also fluent in Spanish. He brings experience working with the Luis Palau Association, as well as other churches and companies in graphics, production, social media, marketing, and advertising. He is already making an impact here at GRACE.
As God brings people to us, He also calls people away. Brant Lingle, our Executive Director, has been acting as our Part-Time Executive Director as he transitions to a new role and as we conduct our search for a new Executive Director. I am grateful for Brant, as he helped guide us through a difficult COVID season and helped us with our transition in this role. I am also excited for him as he fulfills his own goal of heading up a non-profit. I am also thrilled to tell you that we have a person who will assume this role in the Fall. And we will be able to share details soon.
Building our GRACE Team is one of the most rewarding parts of my role, and I told one of our staff members that I was excited that we were finally going to be fully staffed. The very next day, Adam Johnson let me know that after being at home for 2 weeks for vacation, he feels God is calling him to “return home”. Adam has made such a difference in his short time as our worship leader. Many of you only know “2-D” Adam, seeing him lead online or from a distance. But I am grateful for him as not only a worship leader, but also a brother in Christ. He has guided our worship and production teams through one of the most challenging seasons I can imagine. I know God sent him here and I am sad that he is being called away. Be in prayer for Adam and Kayla, and their precious daughter, Jo as they make this transition and head home to their extended family in Tennessee. We have already started the search for an interim worship leader, and we are greatly blessed to have a worship team that will keep leading us into the presence of God each week. I know you join me in thanking God for him and thanking Him for his ministry to us!
God is faithful and continues to lead us. I am grateful for his sovereign hand.
See you tomorrow! Your pastor and friend,
Dr. Marnie Crumpler