GRACE This Week

I want to start up with a very important update from our Building Committee. More about an exciting Sunday after this update…


October 22, 2021

Quite a bit has transpired since the last update towards the end of June. You are aware that we selected a site contractor, the existing building was removed from the property, and we conducted a “groundbreaking” ceremony in the middle of August with over 400 of our congregation in attendance! 

Since that time, the design and construction drawings for the building were completed by our Architect, Mann Hughes, and submitted to Serfass in August so that they could solicit bids from the various subcontractor trades and develop a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) to build the church. We received the GMP in mid-September with a lot of backup detail and as you might imagine given our current economy, the prices came back significantly higher than our last construction budget in October 2020. Since receiving the GMP, Mann Hughes, Grace Church and Serfass have been working on “value engineering” (VE) to get cost to a more affordable level. The team carefully evaluated each VE item against our project goal of balancing cost, function, and aesthetics so as not to detract from the long-term quality of our new church. Although the teams’ collective VE efforts to date were successful, we are still quite a bit over our previous estimates and will need to find ways to close the gap with a combination of more capital contributions, continued VE work and appropriate bank financing. We can do this!

Although we signed the GMP on October 14th, the team will continue to work diligently to reduce project costs. In the meantime, we are still awaiting final approval of the Sewer Permit from the PA DEP (Department of Environmental Protection), which is necessary to allow us to move forward with earthwork operations. Although we received approval from Bethlehem Township for this in the Spring, we have been waiting for the DEP to sign off since May. Based on our recent outreach to DEP, we are hopeful that their approval is imminent, and we can start earthwork in earnest.

Please pray for a quick resolution to the DEP issue and for continued success with incorporating VE opportunities! We have a magnificent team working on this…Grace Church staff and Building Committee, our Lead Team, Barry Isett and Associates, Mann Hughes Architects, Lehigh Valley Engineering, Serfass Construction and Collier’s Engineering. Pray for wisdom, guidance, and faith that we can close the gap with additional funding and successful VE opportunities. It is so exciting to see God’s hand in all of this!


Building Committee – Gary Etter and Steve Follett, co-chairs, Mike Butz, Brad Chamberlain, Bill Clark, Keith Krenz, John Lewis, Jeff Mohler, Nora Reilly, Jim Rowland, and Peter Young

I am so grateful for the efforts of all the teams that have used their gifts and talents to get us where we are. And most of all, grateful to the Lord for his guiding hand and his faithfulness! To God be the Glory! Continue to pray as we move forward with the vision to SHINE the love of Jesus to the Lehigh Valley for generations and for good.

You will be hearing more in the next few weeks as we address some of the challenges mentioned in the update.

SUNDAY- NEW SERIES and Communion and Baptism

Sunday, I launch our new sermon series “Dear Church”. We will be spending the next few weeks in perhaps the most confusing and mysterious book in the Bible – Revelation. You may be intimidated by this book. You aren’t alone. Preachers and scholars have certainly been. Honestly, I haven’t preached out of this book but a handful of times. But it is worth our study. Revelation starts with letters to 7 churches. The 7 churches are all in Asia Minor( modern-day Turkey). And the letters, from Jesus, to each church follow a pattern: There is a praise for the church, there is a problem and there is a promise. You might be surprised that these letters, written so long ago, are so relevant to today. What did God want to say to the churches then… and what does he want to say to us?

We will start with the letter to the church in Ephesus. Jesus says… You’ve endured. You’ve done good deeds. You’ve worked hard. You’ve persevered. But… you’ve forsaken your first love.

Your first love. To get ready for Sunday, I want you to think back to when you first met Jesus – when you first knew that Jesus loved you and gave his life to you. What was it like then? And what is your faith like now?

It’s not a usual Communion Sunday, but I want us to take communion together as we recommit ourselves to Jesus, the One who gave His life so we could have ours. So, if you are worshipping at home, please have your communion elements ready. Also, at our 11 am service, we will baptize one of our newest GRACE little ones.

Also, if you aren’t part of a group, or you want to dig into our series, consider joining a DEAR CHURCH Small Group. Groups start this Sunday afternoon at 5 pm, via Zoom. See details below.

Can’t wait to see you Sunday. It is a joy to be…

Your pastor and friend,

Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Senior Pastor