He is Risen! Easter was a wonderful celebration with over 900 people in person and many more joining us live streaming.
Together, we declared the truth that generations have declared before us. We declared the truth that shapes every part of who we are as a community of believers.
From our Easter Egg Hunt, Palm Sunday Services, Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service, and Good Friday Journey to the Cross Prayer Experience… to our glorious Easter Services, we made the journey to the cross and to the empty tomb to declare that He is Risen Indeed.
A special thanks to Tom Goeman and the choir for leading us; and for Kelby Dixon and the worship band leading us. It was incredibly moving to have you creatively lead us to sing the truth of Easter.
Also, thanks to the countless volunteers who welcomed, gave out Ukrainian Eggs, took photos at our photo booth and hosted at our beautiful flower cross.
And finally, thanks to our amazing Team GRACE staff who worked and led and served in so many varied ways all week!
Easter Sunday, we celebrated THE truth of our faith: Jesus was crucified, dead and buried and then on the third day he defeated death and is alive. And this Sunday, we get to apply that truth in a very practical way.
We conclude our “Questions Jesus Asked” series this week. Mark Crumpler will preach on this poignant Easter question, “Do You Believe This?”
At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus asked his friend and Lazarus’ sister, Mary this very practical question.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
On Sunday, we will sit with Mary in this question. And we will celebrate our Risen Jesus as our answer.
Because Jesus was resurrected, Jesus is with us every moment. And because Jesus was resurrected, we have confidence that death does not have the last word. We put our trust in Him, and we will live with Jesus forever. And that means that our loved ones who have gone ahead of us, we will see again one day.
At all of our services, we will “apply resurrection.” We will sing the great hymn, For All the Saints. And in between the verses, we will read the names of those who have died since last Easter in our GRACE Church Family. We will remember them and celebrate their place in the Church Triumphant. Because of Easter, we grieve their loss…but with Resurrection Hope.
Because of our confidence in resurrection, we are building a memorial garden on our new Hecktown Road campus. We remember our loved ones… and we apply resurrection, trusting we will be reunited with them one day. Our trustees will be at our “connect center” in the BECA lobby on Sunday to share information about the new memorial garden. CLICK HERE for more information.
And that leads me to the latest update from our building committee chairs. What a joy to see our new church home come to life before our very eyes. And how exciting to dream about celebrating Easter next year on Hecktown Road.
Here’s their update:
CONSTRUCTION UPDATE – APRIL 22, 2022
Construction of our new church is moving along! Despite having to deal with cold weather during the winter and an unusually wet last couple of months, the church is still on schedule to open by the end of the first quarter of 2023. The cold weather presented some challenges and added costs as it related to pouring the concrete footings of the building. And, the wet weather has caused a number of sinkholes that need repairing to continue with earthwork. Finally, the excavation work required to lay the sewer and gas lines continues to be challenged due to the discovery of quite a bit of rock that needs to be excavated in order to proceed with the trenches. Our project budget had a pretty sizable contingency in it and these earthwork issues have been funded through the contingency line items. In recently reviewing and updating the project budget, we are still projecting that the total project cost will be just over $22M.
In the next few weeks, earthwork will continue and the concrete building pad will be poured. Then, in the first week of May, the erection of steel will start and we will start to see our church rise out of the ground! It is exciting to already see the footings poured for the worship stage in our new worship space and the foundation for the perimeter of the building! During the next couple of months, it will become much easier to envision our new house of worship!
Please pray for dry weather, no additional sink holes and continued good and timely work by Serfass, our construction manager and all of the sub-contractors working on the building! If all goes well, we will be worshipping in our new church in less than a year and hopefully and prayerfully we will have already experienced our first Easter in our church!
We will continue to update you regularly in writing and in person as the project progresses!
Steve Follett and Gary Etter, Building Committee Co-Chairs
So grateful for God’s faithfulness and your continued commitment and generosity as we invite people to know our Risen Jesus!
Your pastor and friend,
Dr. Marnie Crumpler