What's New At Grace
Vision Sunday (Part 2) Recap
This past Sunday we shared the vision for how we hope to be fruitful as a church in the next year. Of course we stand behind our mission: “To Know Christ and Make Him Known,” but what is the vision for how we will carry that out? Our vision comes from 1 Peter 2. We are the priesthood of the believers which mean that if you are a believer, you are a minister.
Two Key points of emphasis from Sunday:
First, When Peter points out that we are a Holy Priesthood and a Royal priesthood, he is saying that all believers are ministers. What is a priest/minister?
Second, we spoke about being people who offer spiritual sacrifices. What is a spiritual sacrifice and how do we offer them? They are God honoring works done because of Jesus, under the direction of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Word of God.
List of spiritual sacrifices:
If God has chosen you for salvation, then He has chosen to you be a minister of His Gospel. I cannot tell you how excited I am to partner with you in the next year to build you up to be an effective minister. If you need help or have questions our job as a pastoral staff is to equip you Believer/Ministers for the work of ministry.
Ways we hope to equip:
Vision Sunday (part 1) Recap
Sunday proved to be very motivating as we listened to ministry leaders speak of the 2023 vision for their ministry! Here’s a recap and their contact info so you can jump on board their vision too!
Pastor Brent, email@example.com
The beauty of Galatians 3:28 is the verse Pastor Brent is using this year. Unity and togetherness: making note that individuality is creeping into churches and makes the people weak and easily manipulated.
Awesome ways to not be an individual: Become a church greeter, ushering, join the tech team, facilities maintenance, join a Small Group, attend Best Half monthly (if you’re in the best half of life). Attend various short term events: Man Day (May 20), a women’s event or two this year, family summer days, board/card game days, church bbqs, Men’s Retreat: Sept 8-10, Women’s Retreat: Oct 27-29.
We’re thrilled to be able to continue supporting all of our current missionaries in 2023, and even add more in the coming years. You were generous to three organizations at Christmas: $9,000+ to Wiigs in India, $4,000 to Spirit of the Season, and LOTS of warm clothes for the homeless ministry locally (and care packages were added too). The toy drive was also a blessing with 2,000 people coming onto campus for a toy, prayer and invitation, which we plan to do again.
Pastor Josh, firstname.lastname@example.org
This year the focus of Refuge will be serving in the church, and students making their faith their own. A discipleship program will go into effect with older students discipling younger, and adults discipling too. Summer Camp and the Youth Conference will be about making their faith their own. Sunday School will continue to go through full books of the Bible for a foundation of deep faith. Refuge will continue to go through topics that the students are wondering about.
How the church can help: 1) pray for them: that Pastor Josh will teach the truth, the leadership team that ministers each week, Josh’s young family and balancing it with church, the students to know God, God’s will. 2) join them: Godly men and women are needed to disciple a student. 3) join the Wednesday night leadership team: small group leaders, small group helpers, help create the youth worship team, Wednesday night babysitters for the 3-4 babies and toddlers of leaders who serve.
Eric Schlange, email@example.com
Romans 11:33-36. Eric encouraged us to grow Deep (times of worship should be spiritually formative and we should welcome that. The worship team takes the words they ask us to sing very seriously and they ask us to embrace them) and Wide (the spectrum of our worship: clapping for God, kneeling, alter calls, with freedom to express authentically).
Prayerfully consider this: where is the Lord leading you to going deeper with Him? And how is He asking you to go wider with Him? And then: show up.
Mike Kimsey, firstname.lastname@example.org
The church body is very important to Celebrate Recovery, loving and supporting everyone who comes onto campus through CR. Last year more than 15 people completed Step Studies, we had 4 quarterly trainings, we’re one of the first churches nationwide to host a CR Summit Party, some of our participants became leaders, we added live music into Friday nights. 2023 we have more than 20 people going through Step Studies, we have a 1 day training for our leaders, we have some rallies to attend, and a live summit in July. And close to Mike’s heart in 2023 is our helping with the opioid epidemic. Our Celebrate Recovery will be one of 3 organizations in our county with a standing order for Narcan. We will attend events and train people on Narcan use so that we can eliminate the overdoses in our county!
Melissa Chapman, email@example.com
Melissa encouraged us as apple seeds to get involved with spreading the love of God. The 3rd-5th Grade Sunday School classes are learning the books of the Bible, Kindergarteners just finished learning about the Fruit of the Spirit, in Junior Church they’re learning principles of God, and there are godly men and women holding the Grace church babies. 2023 includes an Easter Egg Hunt, and a possible Trunk or Treat in the Fall, an Outer Spaced themed VBS this summer, and Awana!
How do you come alongside these groups? Melissa prayed through the chairs before Sunday and asked the Lord to tug on hearts to jump into the visions heard. If your heart was tugged then or while reading this, say yes to the Lord. He’s calling you! Will you tell Him yes? Or will you tell Him no?
Vision Sunday is Coming!
Believe it or not, our church does not have the goal that culture thinks we do. Many people think that the church is merely a group of followers who assemble to sing awkwardly to a distant god who doesn’t offer the people anything in return. On top of that, they believe the church just wants your money and your service. Oh, I almost forgot, and you have to listen to a boring sermon that is based on an outdated irrelevant book and wear nice clothes to get in the door. What a messed-up way to look at God and His Church!
This Sunday we will talk about the excitement we have as we come to God’s house to worship Him. We will hear from our ministry leaders about some of the exciting things God did this past year and share in the anticipation of what He might accomplish in the next. Our purpose as a church is: “To Know Christ and Make Him Known.” What a great thing to live for. Each year we share a new vision and I won’t spoil this years for you but I will talk briefly about it this Sunday and then go more in depth the following Sunday.
Last year we had vision of becoming more passionate followers of Christ but to be disciplined and focused in our passion. We used Romans 12:11 as the basis for this vision and excitement.
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.
It has been an amazing year of watching the church grow in their passion for worshiping, obedience, serving and learning about our worthy God. I am excited for the next two Sundays. I am excited to hear from our leaders and some of the goals or ideas they have for how we will grow as a church in the next year. I am excited to share our focus for the next 12 months. God has been doing incredible things in my life and in the lives of those around me. It used to be that I would go months or even as much as a year before someone would be so excited about something that they would seek me out to share what God has done. Just in the last week 4 people have come to be excited to share the amazing things God has done and I am excited for many more stories of His faithfulness and awesomeness to come.
Join in the excitement this Sunday with me.
Awkward and Reflective. The last two Sundays those two words stuck out to me from the sermons. To say there was “awkward” for me in 2022 is an understatement. I’ve learned though that when I feel awkward it’s because I’m too focused on myself. When I’ve been fully focused on the voice of God and being obedient to what He’s saying it has just felt “different,” rather than awkward or weird. And different isn’t bad. The whole Bible is filled with “different.”
The first “different” for me was when I said yes to God telling me to attend a Celebrate Recovery Step Study. I wrote about that in July, attending because I needed to get freedom from walking in the shame of what I’d done during my childhood. My Step Study Group and my Sponsor were amazing! But still the awkward hit off and on through those months of saying yes to God (sometimes in tears). And saying yes started this glorious domino effect of hearing Him better and better each time He spoke to me again. So thankful!
Another “awkward” was when God called me to begin intercessory prayer. I wasn’t even sure what that was. But by now I’m recognizing God’s voice better, and so I began saying yes to opportunities to awkwardly pray out loud for or with people. My yes also meant there were books to read, sermons to listen to, people to learn from, prayers to pray at 2am, etc. I haven’t done it all right, in fact, I’ve said no at times too. Hint: don’t say no to God. You’ll get off track with hearing His voice, and you’ll probably get some sort of consequence for your no. Oh man, but the times I’ve said yes in this prayer area I’ve seen God do MASSIVE things!
Another “weird” was when I had a prayer of deliverance prayed over me so that agreements I’d made, generational things passed on to me, or attachments made could be removed. I’d never even heard of a prayer of deliverance, but I was needing relief from my past trying to keep me stuck. And so I plopped on the ground and had two trusted godly friends pray and walk me through it all. And when God basically said “all right, that’s it” I got up and felt like some sort of barrier had been removed. You know when you wear latex gloves and you can still feel things through them, but then you take them off and you can actually feel the things? That’s how being in relationship with God now feels…as though I took off the latex gloves. Weird, right? But also, no more weird than some of the things we read about in the Bible.
If you thought that was all enough awkward for one person, well, there’s more. In the fall I began Fitness Instructor Training with Revelation Wellness. That in and of itself was a bit weird as I don’t look like a typical fitness instructor. I had to get over that real fast because again, I’m done saying no to God. (Lord, please help me to keep saying yes!) At one point we were told to ask the Lord to help us find healing from any incorrect body image. The Lord highlighted a time when I was a child. He showed me that what happened to me during that young age made me believe I was worthless. From that moment until this fall everything that I thought, every decision I made was all through a filter of “I’m worthless.” It caused me to make some poor decisions off and on. It also meant people could easily poke that “worthless” wound and hurt me. This false belief made me feel that I had to protect myself in various ways. I cried a lot when God showed me this was the word that sin had written on me. Next, I was coached to ask Him what he actually says about me. He said, “you are PRECIOUS.” More tears. It’s taken me a bit to truly believe who God says I am, but wow, the God of the universe calls ME precious! I reject the “worthless” filter! No one can poke that wound anymore. It’s gone. I am precious. Sweet relief.
Those were the big "awkwards;" there’ve also been many small ones. If you think that it’s easy for me to do awkward or weird things that God’s telling me to do, please know it’s not. A friend reminded me that we cannot operate with a fear of man AND a fear of God at the same time. And so sometimes when God whispers to me “go tell this special message to that person,” or “kneel in worship today” I debate Him. And He reminds me that I chose to fear God (revere Him, be in awe of Him) over fearing what man thinks, and I do the awkward.
So I invite you to look back on your life last year. Was your year characterized by continually saying yes to God, even in the awkward? And how about this next year? Will you commit to saying yes to God this year, even when it's awkward? I didn’t know that’s what I’d be doing last year, but looking back makes me realize there’s no better way to live! Asking Him for more, asking Him what’s next, worshiping Him with our all, and saying yes every time.
If you’re not sure what He’s saying, I encourage you to sit with Him and ask something like: “God, what are you calling me to this year?” And then pay attention to the picture or thought or feeling that comes after you ask Him. Whatever that picture or thought or feeling was, ask Him for more specifics. Talk out loud to Him even. And weigh it against the Bible. He’ll never contradict Himself and the Bible is HIS words. If you’re still not sure what He’s saying meet with one of the pastors, or ask my husband Eric and I if we’ll help you figure it out. There’s so much MORE of God for each one of us, no matter how long you’ve been in relationship with Him. Let’s pursue more of His voice this year so that when we reflect back in December we’ll see how He gave us “life to the full” (John 10:10) in all of our circumstances in 2023.
Once the crazy schedules of Thanksgiving and Christmas have passed, you may find yourself with a moment of quiet to reflect on the last year. 2022 is just about over. Many of us will look at our New Year resolutions and consider how we measured up to living a healthier life. If you are like most people, this reflection time may be discouraging as you consider the bad eating and exercise habits through the holidays. Setting new attainable goals may be on your mind as we enter the new year.
Whether or not you took on the 100-day challenge, setting goals is important and helpful. Setting habits and creating schedules to prioritize tasks is essential to get all that is needed done each day. In the 100 Day Challenge I encouraged you to plan for success. Specifically, I encouraged you to not look at just your exercise and eating habits but also your prayer time and time reading God’s Word. If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time. Yes, perhaps you have heard me say this before, but repetition is the key to successful thinking.
As believers we must continually remind each other to focus on Christ, spend time with Him, and love others genuinely. These reminders encompass many actions and cover a multitude of situations. Although you may have heard it before, you can hear it again.
The sermons the first two weeks of the year will be on our New Hope in Jesus and how we can live a disciplined faith. Discipline and self-control may not be attractive terms to you, but believers must persevere, stay alert, and be ready to act as the hands and feet of Jesus each and every day. So, although you may have heard it before, get ready to hear it again. Let’s start this New Year off right and prioritize our relationship with the Lord and make an impact in our community for His great name.
Are you ready?
A Christmas Celebration!
I recently heard someone mention that they had the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe. As you can imagine, that got my attention. How did they do it? What made the cookies perfect? Did they add something to the Nestle recipe or did they even use another recipe to start off? Did they add more of something or take something away? It must be the butter! More butter makes everything better.
Please don’t go as far down this rabbit hole as I did. I began thinking about Christmas and all of the things that make Christmas so special. It can be a variety of things that make Christmas Special: the music or movies, the decorations or food, the time with family, the gifts, the special programs or time off. What makes the perfect Christmas? Christmas is meant to be a celebration! Do any of your family traditions leave time for celebration?
This year Christmas is on a Sunday. This Sunday we will be celebrating the coming of our Savior! Jesus is what makes Christmas so perfect, don’t miss that this Christmas. We hope many people will join us as we celebrate the coming our our savior in both of our services, 9am and 10:45am. The perfect recipe for Christmas is celebration. Don’t get distracted by all the other things, let the other things enhance the celebration of JESUS!
Are you one of those people that likes to prepare? This year our Christmas Eve service is focusing on the anticipation of Jesus. Most expecting parents will dream about what their child will be like. When they kick during pregnancy you think about them being a soccer player, a field goal kicker or a cage fighter (maybe its just the dads that think about cage fighting). If they are quiet and reserved you may dream about their intellect and how smart they will be. If they are wiggly you think about all of the adventures you will go on with all that extra energy. How did Mary feel? Was Jesus wiggly? A kicker? Calm and reserved? What is a Savior like in the womb?
This Saturday we will contemplate the mindset of a mother and father who are preparing for our Savior, Jesus, to enter the world. Join us at 6pm to share in this time of anticipation. Our service will have some songs for kids, adults, a short teaching time and will conclude with the song Silent Night as we all hold a freshly lit candle. I hope to see you there.
Another Stinky Diaper? (By: Pastor Josh)
Another stinky diaper? I just changed him. How did he fill it again so quickly? What are we feeding this kid? I didn't know a kid so cute could smell so bad!
These are some of the many phrases that are said in my household on a regular basis. Let’s face it, as cute and adorable that babies are, they sure produce a lot of waste. For those of you who have kids, or have had kids, I’m sure you can attest to this based on the number of diapers that have gone through your household. The thing is, as much stink, boogers, and waste that Judah produces, it never takes away from how much I love him.
You know what else stinks? Sin. I sometimes wonder if God looks at me and asks the same things that I ask about Judah. Another sin? He just said he changed. How did he turn back to sin so quickly? Why isn’t he feeding more on the Bible? How could one of my children stink of sin so bad?
Now, I know that God does not ask these questions, He knows everything and is not surprised by my sin. But sin sure does stink to Him. But just like a baby that grows from up and eventually doesn’t need diapers anymore, so also should we, through the process of sanctification, be creating less and less stinky diapers. When we become saved by Jesus Christ we begin the process of sanctification, this process should be ongoing for the rest of our lives. Just like a toddler going through potty training, we are going to make mistakes. We are going to stink things up every once in a while, and that is going to stink to God. We must continue to grow in our sanctification and one day that will be completed by Christ when we die, and He makes us perfect like Him.
This past Saturday our church campus was the place to be. Our entire sanctuary was converted into a toy palace, our tent was converted into a snack and drink center including an opportunity to take pictures with our three characters: reindeer, Olof (the snowman), and the gingerbread man. Our parking lot was full of greeters and the line was long but filled with joyful smiles. The best part: At each step of the journey those who visited our campus were greeted by the love of JESUS! People entered our parking lot with a wave of welcome and smile from our parking lot crew. The loving generosity of those serving coffee, hot chocolate and sweet treats, the welcoming invitation from our characters, the warm invites from our staff talking with people about our church programs...and that was all before they even got in the building.
Once in the building one of our toy guides helped each family and child pick out the perfect toy. Each engagement seeking how the Holy Spirit would guide our interactions. Would it be a sharing of the gospel? Prayer offered? An invite to our Sunday services? Or would it simply be a warm welcome and a hug? We left each encounter to our Lord. Our goal was that our visitors would see our love and know that we serve a good God.
There were many divine appointments on Saturday. I saw a handful of those families join on Sunday, I saw many warm embraces and the giving of thanks. I saw as our hosts and hostesses helped families get their kids signed up for Awana. I watched prayer take place as some of our hosts felt led. Not only that, our posting about our love for God and our love for the people has been shared, liked and commented on hundreds if not over a thousand times.
Church, I am so proud of the way you loved and will continue to love those who God puts in your path. Thank you for your giving that made this all possible, thank you for your showing up on a Thursday to setup and on a Saturday to serve. You have blessed me and you have honored the Lord well.
Our work is not yet finished. We still have an opportunity to give further. Our homeless outreach is still collecting clothes to hand out at their weekly encounters. Spirit of the Season is still looking for generous donors to help families with Christmas gifts and a Christmas dinner, and our Support Outreach Map (Paul and Caroline Wiig) are in need of donations to get their key leaders helmets to keep them safe as they drive motorcycles everywhere, to get the kids and staff sweatshirts and to provide sports equipment for the Orphanage/School in India.
Visit the map wall in the foyer on a Sunday and pick out an envelope to support one, two or even all of these opportunities this Christmas season. For those with kids, get them involved. Give them a chore or a task that they can do and encourage them to pick one of the envelopes for themselves and teach them how to be generous and sacrificial givers this Christmas.
Christmas is coming and I cannot wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus with you.
-Pastor Paul Mollett
Grace Church will be starting a new ministry of prayer for our loved ones who are enlisting into, who are already serving, or who are working on their transition back into civilian life from, the United States Armed Forces. It is our plan to adorn a wall (across from the coat hooks) with photos of them with a brief amount of information describing their status. It is our desire to keep the information current, highlighting their life events such as promotions, deployment, marriage, children, and anything else that they would like us (the church) to pray for.
Additionally, we will pray for the families who let them go.
As a woman who served in the United States Marine Corps, and a mother of a son who is currently serving in the Marine Corps, I know firsthand what it is like to be young and far away from home. I know what its like to send a child to the military and all the uncertainty their future will bring. I’ve watched my son say goodbye to his wife and 4-month-old for a deployment to the middle east. I watched him return from deployment to a child who didn’t know him and his young wife who missed him terribly. Currently he is a drill instructor and has a second child, this three-year assignment means he is off to work before the children wake up and home after they are in bed. When they say that the whole family makes sacrifices in the military, its true. Military service is demanding, it is challenging, but it is also rewarding.
The opportunity for support is endless:
We will encourage you, the church, to take a moment to view the photos and read the updates so that you can include our Service men and Women in your prayers.
We ask that if you have a loved one that would like to be included in this ministry that you contact us, and we will reach out to get started.
Finally, we ask that if you have a heart for this type of ministry, that you consider becoming part of the team. In addition to prayer, it is our hope that this team will also consider activities such as sending notes of encouragement, care packages for the holidays or any other ideas that the team has a heart for.
For more information or to get started please contact:
Or text me at (707) 245-9094
Toy Giveaway (by Melissa)
It's the most wonderful time of the year, with the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer! I love that song coming into the season of Christmas, where we as Christians can be the "Church," not a building with walls but where we shine Christ's love to those around us. So I was overjoyed when I received the phone call that we would give toys away during Christmas. Not too far in the distant past, I remember the Santa Rosa paper stating that Lake County had the 13th worst economy in CA. You and I know our county has many challenges with low-income families, homelessness, and in truth, those who have lost hope. So joining in with others this season to invite families to church and offering kids to come to Sunday School or Awana is a massive way to touch the lives of our neighbors here in Lake County. All while giving out Smiles, Hot Coco, and 1,700 Toys to those families who come to our Grace Chruch campus! Matt 5:16 says: Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. So lets you and I be the Church this Dec 3rd.
How can you help? Sign up to be a part of this crew of volunteers. We need people to interact with families, share the Gospel, and help kids select a gift. We also need people to help visitors enjoy a safe time on our campus (parking lot assistance, line management, and providing hot drinks and snacks).
Please share the Grace Church Facebook and Instagram posts about the event, PRAY, and invite others to come. Also, when inviting families, CHILDREN must be present to pick out their toys.
Office Hours: M-Th 8:30am-4pm