GRACE This Week

Happy Thanksgiving.

It was so good to be together on Wednesday night. The testimonies pointed to God’s faithfulness. I pray that you set a place for Jesus at your own Thanksgiving Table. I gave that challenge as well as a challenge to memorize Philippians 4:4-7 and put it up the refrigerator to shape your Thanksgiving and coming Christmas. I hope you will.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again:

Rejoice! let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent, we start our journey – counting down the days to Christmas. But, we are also beginning another journey. Starting this week, and culminating in Easter 2023, our Sunday messages will take us through the entire Gospel from Jesus’ birth to his death on the cross.

Through the months, we will look at Luke in 3 different parts: Luke, The Nativity, Luke, The Mission & Luke The Passion. You will receive a journal for each part of Luke. I want to encourage you to read the scripture selections for the week in the Journal and bring the Journal with you to take notes on the Sunday sermons on these same passages.

This Christmas, we start with Luke, The Nativity. You can pick up your Luke, The Nativity Journal Sunday Morning. You will find some familiar passages with shepherds and angels, and some more people and parts of the story you may not know.

Luke, the Doctor, describes his Gospel -“I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you.”

I invite you to investigate with Luke beginning with this amazing account of the Nativity – the birth that changed the world forever.

As I study, I am so energized and excited to preach through this rich Gospel, and thrilled to have us all studying together. There will be a “Groups Guide” available for Small Groups for each message as well.

Finally, a word from Elder Jackie Etter, the Chair of our Finance Committee:

“I shared on Sunday an important update as we move into the last weeks of the year. Your generosity has been remarkable over the last years – including both the Capital and Operating Funds. Thank you! That said, we need strong giving in December to ensure that our Operating budget will end the year in the black. You will receive your giving-to- date statement the first week in December. I am hoping that you will join me and Gary, to not only fulfill your pledge to Grace Church, but will also prayerfully consider giving an additional gift. If you give monthly, consider a “13th month” gift. If you use envelopes, this is the “GIFTS FOR THE KING” envelope in your box. Your extra gift will help us close our current operating budget gap and ensure that we enter the new year financially strong. As you know, this is an exciting upcoming year – the year we move into our new church campus in March, 2023!”

What a joy to be on the journey to Christmas with you,

Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Senior Pastor