But Wait, There’s More!

Dear Friends,

“It’s that time of year again.” That phrase conjures up very different emotions in us, depending on what season it is. Time to pay taxes? I admit to having less than positive emotions. Time to plan that annual vacation to our favorite hideaway? Now, I’m excited! The reality of that phrase, however, also compartmentalizes our way of thinking, so much so that we risk failing to embrace a holistic view of how all things work together.

Case in point, “it’s that time of year again” here at Grace. February is the season we turn our attention to stewardship. It’s when when we set our annual operating budget and collectively pray for God’s guidance and our response to give financially to the life and ministry of Grace. What emotions are stirred when you consider the reality of stewardship in your life?

Stewardship is an outpouring of our thankfulness and love for Jesus. Stewardship is part and parcel of a life of discipleship. It shapes us to make Jesus visible. However, like anything else in life, stewardship takes practice. Our faithfulness in giving of our time, talent, and treasures propels us to regularly practice being obedient to God. My hope for all of us is that we will be called more deeply and fully into this life of rich discipleship.

Therefore, I ask you to consider another phrase: “But wait, there’s more.” It is such a hopeful expression. You see, I am convinced that stewardship is not simply an annual resolution, but instead it’s a tangible expression of obedience to the Lord, which is precisely why we will spend this month exploring the “more” of stewardship.

Friends, we have been invited on the most exhilarating journey in the history of the world. When we LEARN more of who Jesus is, we also learn more of who we are in Him. When we courageously FOLLOW where He leads, we experience the outpouring of His deep love for us. When we SHOW others His love through our hospitality and generosity, we participate in His Kingdom vision. When we TELL others who Jesus is, in and through our obedience, we become conduits of hope where we live, work and play.

The significance of this time of year cannot be stressed enough, both for our spiritual maturity and the future of Grace. I ask you to join me in deep prayer through the month of February. Pray for the Lord not only to remind us of His “more” in our lives but also to convict us to faithfully respond. Pray for the Holy Spirit to stir within each of our hearts an undeniable hunger and thirst for His righteousness.

I look forward to growing and giving with you.

Peace,

Trey H. Little

So, what now?

We are asking you to consider the truth about generosity this season.

We are asking you to continue or perhaps for the first time support the ministry and operations of this church.

We are asking you for your prayers and contributions so we may make Jesus visible across the street and around the world.

LEARN

2 Timothy 3:10-17

A Final Charge to Timothy

10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

I am living to make Jesus visible as I LEARN who Jesus is.

How am I spending time each day in prayer and the Word?

How am I learning about who Jesus is and the impact of His life?

 Listed below are some ideas on how you might LEARN more about Jesus:

  • Join a women’s bible study: Inspire, Women of Grace or Young Moms are all easy entry places and meet on different days and times of the week. All levels of spiritual development are welcome…we’re all on a journey to learn more!
  • Try a class on Sunday morning, here are two options:
    • There are multiple classes that meeting on Sunday morning that are more age based, those are listed on the website.
    • “Farm to Table” is an ongoing class that explores the meaning of scripture by dissecting scriptures using alternative words, root words and conversation—a process called PONDER. It’s a stand-alone class and a great way to learn more about the Bible.
  • Read the Bible. Try a daily habit of diving into the word for a few minutes to see what God reveals to you through scripture.  

STORY OF GRACE: Learn Who Jesus Is…

During worship on February 2, Terry Looper and Jenny Gottschalk spoke on how learning who Jesus is has transformed their life of faith and been a spring board for being in deeper, more fulfilling relationship with their Lord and Savior. Terry spoke to his own devotional practices and the value of his small group community in helping him orient his life and practices around a pace that is sacred and sustaining. Jenny reflected on feeling spiritually dry and not knowing how to change that until she discovered formative spiritual practices through the Spiritual Formation cohort that provided nourishment from living waters. These stories are examples of how learning who Jesus is can be the first step in a life of rich fellowship with the Lord. We hope their stories will encourage and challenge you in your own walk of faith!

Click HERE to hear their message!

FOLLOW

John 15:1-17

The Vine and the Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

I am living to make Jesus visible as I FOLLOW where Jesus leads?

How am I living in obedience to who and where He has called me?

Listed below are some ideas on how you might better FOLLOW Jesus:

  • Daily prayer will strengthen your relationship with Christ and allow you in the stillness to also hear His plan for you. Spending just a few minutes a day in prayer is a great start to a fruitful prayer life.
  • Listen and act on what God is telling you. Gentle nudges and bold signs can be abundant if you are willing to listen and act.
  • Be in the word of God. Read it, live it, share it.
  • Be present in worship to show your gratitude for all He has done. What a better time to praise Him which in turn will fill your heart and want to follow more.

STORY OF GRACE: Follow Where Jesus Leads…

Today during worship Liz Maberry shared her journey of learning who Jesus is in and through the life of her son, Truitt. As she wrestled through deep questions of who God is, God revealed Himself to Liz through the miracle of Truitt’s life. Faced with more health challenges than most of us will ever experience in a lifetime, Truitt’s 10 years has been laced with pain and healing, held together in a tension that only God’s redemptive plan can narrate. Liz’s testimony reminds all of us that God is present and active in the midst of impossible situations. God is healer and comforter in the midst of brokeness and darkness. As we take each step forward in faith and decide that regardless of circumstances, we will be FOLLOWERS of Christ, He meets us and leads us, as He has met and led Liz. Her story draws us to the words of John 15: If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. Praise be to God for the powerful witness of healing and redemption that Liz testified to this morning!

Click HERE to hear the message!

Show

Micah 6:6-8

With what shall I come before the Lord
    and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
    with calves a year old?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
    And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
    and to walk humbly[a] with your God.

I am living to make Jesus visible as I SHOW how Jesus loves?

 How am I serving others through generosity and hospitality?

How am I making a difference in the world around me and afar? 

 Listed below are some ideas on how you might better SHOW how Jesus loves:

  • Invite a friend or co-worker to an event at church or to worship—most people unsure of “church” are waiting to be asked
  • Help a friend move, cook dinner for someone, drop a gift off for someone having a hard day or buy the coffee for the person in line behind you
  • Volunteer—there are host of opportunities at Grace—cook food for people in crisis, help at the Food Bank, mentor a student in school, be a Crew Leader for Vacation Bible School…possibilities and the needs are endless.

If you’d like to talk with someone about volunteering and getting involved in something that is right for you, contact Beth Craig.

STORY OF GRACE: Show How Jesus Loves

In worship on Sunday we were blessed to hear from David and Cathy Finck on how living a life of discipleship helped them to reach out and show God’s love in a very practical, tangible way to a family of girls in their neighborhood in need of a home. Their story inspires and challenges each of us to ask where God is calling us to show his love to those around us.
We also had the pleasure of seeing how Keeke Russo’s walk of obedience to Christ led her to begin Young Mom’s Bible Study, the Foundations Sunday School Class, and Monday night Marriage Ministry Family Matter’s to offer places for community and growth for others. She encouraged each of us that everyone is hungry for community and longing to belong. How can we reach out to our neighbors, to our co-workers, to those we interact with to invite them into the Gospel story and a life of rich community together?
As we learn who Jesus is, as we seek to follow where He leads, how is He asking us to take the next step of obedience and show others His love?

Click HERE to hear their messages.

Tell

2 Corinthians 5:11-21 

The Ministry of Reconciliation

11 Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade others. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to take pride in us, so that you can answer those who take pride in what is seen rather than in what is in the heart. 13 If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:[a] The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

I am living to make Jesus visible as I TELL who Jesus is?

How am I sharing the gospel where I live, work and play?

What am I saying to reflect the love of Jesus? 

  • Demonstrate kindness, goodness and faithfulness to those around you—your family, neighbors and friends
  • Don’t be afraid to share your story with others-share your church, share what your relationships and friendships mean to you
  • Be bold in sharing how Jesus has played a role in your life, how prayers have been answered, how worshipping or serving has moved you.

STORY OF GRACE: Tell Who Jesus Is

Click HERE to hear the message.

The Numbers.

Our stewardship campaign is for the operating budget for 2020. Commitment Sunday is on February 23. Our overall goal is $4.4 million which will provide for our projected annual operating budget of $4.3 million and a surplus to set aside for future needs.

The pie chart below represents session approval of how our budget is divided based on our church strategy. Personnel expenses, which are approximately 57% of our annual spending, are included with each department’s spending.

You were created to be generous.

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:11

There are 3 Ways to Give:

  1. Commit your pledge in worship on Commitment Sunday, February 10 at any worship service.
  2. Mail your pledge card to the church prior to February 23.
  3. Make your pledge online anytime by clicking HERE.  (Note: You must be logged into your account to be able to pledge online.)

There are multiple ways to fulfill your commitment to Grace:

  • You may place cash or check payable to Grace Presbyterian Church into the offering plate or send it by mail.
  • Use the Grace website “Give Online” tab at the bottom to make a recurring or onetime credit/debit card or electronic check payment.
  • Set up Grace as a payee through your online banking institution to make scheduled donations that fit your timing and your budget.

Remember to please specify how your gift should be distributed between the operating budget, READY capital campaign, and/or another designated purpose.

Download Pledge Card