8 MAR 2017
This Week at Grace

Celebrating Grace's Witness
Friends of Grace,
 
As I sat down this morning to write my weekly words for you, I have been excited at the strong movement of the Holy Spirit in this place! In my short time here (two months), I have seen Grace UMC as a vibrant place of welcome, not just on Sunday, but seven days a week. On any given day, people of all backgrounds come to Grace to be fed, to worship and to serve. In worship together we have praised God and remembered our call to go out into the world. And we have!

Just this weekend we will send local missionaries out onto the streets of our community to offer food, clothes and hygiene products to our brothers and sisters in need through our H.E.L.P Ministry. But we will not stop at meeting the physical needs of those we meet. We will listen and pray for those people we meet, and share the Good News of Christ's love and grace with them. When we return to worship on Sunday we will lift up these concerns by name as we remember that the commonalities we share with our Creator are greater than economics, background, race, gender or sexuality.
 
However, Grace won't even stop there with sharing Christ's transforming love! In two weeks, we will feed farm workers who are fighting for fair labor practices as we host a dinner for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. We will break bread with our brothers and sisters from Florida and offer them a meal and prayers for their journey home.
 
This work of Grace excites me! And our embrace of a new model of ministry that connects us with community ministries and global entities gives me hope for the future of the UMC. I believe the Holy Spirit is working in the life of this historic congregation to lead the church in a holistic and sustainable expression of faith based in the community where we live and serve.
 
With this on my heart, I came across some words this morning that wounded my soul. Dr. Timothy Tennent, President of Asbury Theological Seminary, offered a critique on his blog  of the recent Commission on a Way Forward meetings that have been hosted here at Grace UMC. In forwarding his point, he felt it necessary to include the following:
 
One of the ironies of the Commission is that they met this past week at Grace United Methodist Church in Atlanta. There are few greater symbols of our plight than the history of that historic church. It was once a place where evangelical faith rang forth under the ministries of faithful pastors such as Cecil Myers and Sam Coker. I know, because I came to personal faith in Jesus Christ in that sacred sanctuary. It was my home church growing up. In the last few decades it has dwindled down to a mere shell of its earlier vibrancy.
 
I am sad that Dr. Tennent views the work of this great community of faith as "a mere shell of its earlier vibrancy." His words express not only an extremely unfair view of the new things God is doing in this place, but also an absence from the worshiping congregation that was formative to him. As your pastor, and as one who wholeheartedly embraces our core values to offer intentional welcome and far-reaching witness in our world, I will be offering Dr. Tennent an invitation to come and see what God is doing in this place. I also want to honor his concerns about our vibrancy and assure him that our ministry of evangelism is strong and thriving. To that end, Dalton and I have given a gift to the evangelism ministries of Grace UMC in honor of Dr. Timothy Tennent.
 
God is doing great things in this place! I invite you to be a part of spreading our witness to the surrounding community and the world. Today, there are four (4) concrete ways you can do this:
  • Join the work of the H.E.L.P. Ministry on Saturday, March 11th
  • Volunteer to serve a meal to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers on Friday, March 17th
  • Make a donation to Grace UMC to support our ongoing efforts to live into the great vision God has set before us
  • Invite friends to worship this Sunday to experience the love of God through the welcoming congregation of Grace UMC
 
Peace,
Pastor Stacey

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The Vision at Grace
To feed our surrounding community, spiritually and physically, while reaching outward with God's love and intentionally welcoming all in the name of Christ.

Calendar


Saturday, March 11
HELP Ministry, 9am, Middle Parking Lot 

Sunday, March 12
Young Adult Brunch, immediately following worship, Ponce City Market

Tuesday, March 14
Needles and Prayers, 7pm

Sunday, March 19
Young Adult Brunch, immediately following worship, Ponce City Market

Church Council Meeting, 12:30pm, Training Room  

Sunday, March 26
Young Adult Brunch, immediately following worship, Ponce City Market

Tuesday, March 28
Needles and Prayers, 7pm

Sunday, April 2
Young Adult Brunch, immediately following worship, Ponce City Market

Friday, April 7
"If There Be Any Sorrow: A Concert of Choral Music," 6:45pm dinner + talk (Fish Fry) | 8pm, concert, Sanctuary


Ministry Spotlight

LENTEN CARBON FAST
Looking for a meaningful way to engage spiritually, intellectually and physically during Lent this year? Consider focusing on God's creation during Lent and walk on a spiritual journey connecting Jesus' footprints in the desert to our carbon footprints on earth.

The fast details will be distributed via weekly emails. To participate in this fast, email candlerkeepers at gmail.com

DINNER WITH THE CIW
Friday, March 17th, 6-7:30pm
Grace continues our exploration of food and faith as we share table fellowship with members of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) on March 17.

The CIW is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in the fields of social responsibility, human trafficking, and gender-based violence at work. Whether you volunteer to cook/serve dinner, or you just commit to sharing a meal and conversation with these guests, you are sure to enjoy this evening of fellowship and learning.

We need your help! Please contact Calissa Dauterman (cdauterman at graceonponce.org) to learn more or to get involved.


Congregational Care

PRAYER REQUESTS
Please remember in your prayers all who are experiencing health issues/recovering from them:
  • Marilyn Altman
  • Johnny Chappell
  • Jane Gable
  • Betty Nash
  • Shawn Stephens


Sharing Our Gifts
Give to Grace. Safe, secure, one-time or recurring, tax-deductible giving is available by visiting www.graceonponce.org/donate or by scanning the below QR code.

Your gifts make a difference in the lives of our church and community.

And remember that Grace's financial documents are open and available. Simply email our financial assistant, Nora Harris (nharris@graceonponce.org) with any questions you may have.

Thank you for your faithful support of the work that God is doing through Grace Church!



GRACE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
458 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
404-876-2678

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