As you read this, our GRACE group is flying home from Tel Aviv to Newark. We have had an amazing trip walking in the footsteps of Jesus and seeing the Bible come alive. Thank you for your prayers. I hope many of you will hear stories from our group which will make you want to take a trip to the Holy Land! I hope GRACE can take another Holy Land trip in the next couple of years.
Right before I left for the trip, I asked our administrative team to give me a list of all our GRACE active members and participants. I took that list with me and prayed for each one of you. You may have been prayed for while I was looking out over the Valley of Elah, or while I was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane or walking down the Mount of Olives. I may have prayed for you at the Pool of Bethseda or on the Via Dolorosa or at the Western “wailing” Wall or on the Temple Steps. You could have been prayed for in Bethlehem at the Shepherd’s Field, or at Caesarea Maritime or Nazareth. I may have prayed for you on the beach at the Sea of Galilea or at Caesarea Philippi, Capernaum or at the Jordan River.
Everywhere we went, I took that list and had a few minutes to pray for you. I prayed that as we were following in the footsteps of Jesus, you would follow in the footsteps of Jesus in your life. If I knew them, I prayed specifically for things that were going on in your life.  It is an incredible gift to be your pastor and I found myself filled with gratitude for the group of people that God by his grace has made GRACE Church.
It will be good to be back with you on Sunday. Don’t forget to give extra time to get to BECA on Sunday Morning due to Runner’s World. See below for more specifics. We will be continuing in our 40 days series. This week, Mark will be preaching MADE TO BELONG as we look at God’s plan for us to be a community. We’ve lived that this past 2 weeks in the Holy Land, growing in our friendships and in our commitment to Jesus Christ. And that is God’s plan for us as a church family.
Jesus had this to say about our relationships as believers in John 13: “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples-when they see the love you have for each other.”
I continue to hear good things about our 40 days small groups and I hope you are keeping up with your daily readings. We have been reading on our trip. Steve Follett even got a chance to read a chapter floating in the Dead Sea. I thought you’d like to see that! See you Sunday!
Your pastor,

Dr. Marnie Crumpler, Senior Pastor