Evident Grace’s First Annual End of the Year Celebratory Lunch on Dec 8

celebration mealEvident Grace is excited to announce our First Annual End of the Year Celebratory Lunch.  We are going to launch this incredible event directly after our worship service on December 8th.  We should begin eating around 12:30pm.

Why should we do this?  Well, it is the end of the year, and we have a lot to celebrate.  Amazingly, we began meeting as a small group on Sunday evenings in January of last year, so we have been meeting in some form or fashion for a year.  By the time we have this lunch, we will have been meeting for services for almost 9 months, and we also want to celebrate the many service opportunities that have come our way.

But more than anything else, we should thank God for what He has done among us, and a celebratory meal sounds like just the way.

Any and all are invited, but we would love for folks who attend to help out by bringing incredible food.  There is a signup at http://www.perfectpotluck.com/meals.php?t=FQGI4376 and you can keep food warm or plug in anything you might need in the bar area across from the elevator.

I also hope this meal can serve as a time where we can talk about the past year, give thanks to God, and also give a picture of what next year might look like, so come on out, invite tons of folks, bring food, and how up with hearty appetite.

I love you guys.

Gordon

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Blessing Bags

blessing-bag-1Ladies, we have talked a bit about how Evident Grace could help out and serve the very large homeless population that is around the bowling alley where we meet.  It is hard to know what to do when someone is standing outside your door while you are at a stoplight.  In fact, it can be pretty scary or even awkward.

Lots of thoughts go through our heads:  “Should I give them money? Should I take them out for a meal? Should Ii just ignore them?” In light of so many around us, and in light of Evident Grace’s mission to serve the community, we thought we should try to put something together.

In light of all of that, Amy Duncan has been speaking with Heather O’Hara from New Life in Christ (NLIC)  about what we might do, and they thought it would be good to gather our resources and put together something called “Blessing Bags”’.  Basically, a Blessing Bag is a ready-made gift to give to someone in need with a few basics like water, gum, a few toiletries, and some food contained in a Ziplock bag easily stored in your car.

The ladies of NLIC have graciously opened up their monthly women’s breakfast this coming Saturday, October 19, for all of us to gather and work on assembling these bags together.

This is a great opportunity for us to physically share the love of Christ with someone in need, so let’s gather EG there in full force. Please invite friends to come along. Also, this is a great activity for moms & daughters to do together. So please join us!

Below you will find a link to the sign-up of what is still in need to help complete these blessing bags. If you are unable to attend you are welcome to sign up for something and drop it off at NLIC or at my apartment anytime this week.

http://www.timetosignup.com/nliccwm/signupsheet/18164

Thoughts on Worship in Song

crowd 4 editAs always, I had a blast on Sunday.  One of the wonderfully redemptive things that I see God doing in us at Evident Grace each week is pulling together all of our various backgrounds, talents, and commitments and creating a unified desire to see God’s people worship.  We can see this step by step as we prepare each week.

On Thursday, we run through our songs for Sunday for the first time.  We then find spots that need more attention, and we run through them again.  We add textures and agree on moods for different portions of the songs.

Sunday run-through is a complete 2.0 where we remember what Thursday sounded like, and then either add new elements or reinforce ones that we agreed on in practice.

And then, as our service begins, God creates something altogether unique for that moment as the voices of the people unite with the Holy Spirit to create praise to Jesus Christ.

Our songs are not and never should be about perfection (they can’t be if I’m the music leader).  They are about making every effort of faith to lead the people of God in praising Him through song.  The Holy Spirit meets us, guides us, and transforms all of us in this wonderful moment.  Thanks for being a part of that.

I love it, enjoy it, and take great comfort in what God is doing through our efforts.

Details about our (EG)Groups Launch

egg groupsEvident Grace Fellowship is ridiculously, insanely, and lots of other adverbs excited to announce our Evident Grace Groups (EG)Groups for the Fall of 2013.

While we may be meeting in what appears to be traditional small groups stylings, (EG)Groups are intended to do much more than just get the church together in smaller settings (though that in and of itself has great value).  Our hope is that (EG)Groups enable us to live out our commitment to Community.Worship.Service. in a greater and deeper capacity.  Here is how.  Our (EG)Groups will give you the opportunity to do several things:

Our gathering will deepen and grow our community as we get to know and care for each other. 

Our gathering will extend and develop our worship on Sundays into the day to day of our lives.

Our gathering will help us discover areas of service both within EG and outside our community.

We are going to launch in the Fall with two groups (details below), and prayerfully look towards multiplying these in January.  The plan is to meet up until Thanksgiving, and then we will take a break so our efforts can be joined as one in service to our neighbors and community throughout the holiday season.

As we walk in this, we ask three things of you.  We ask that for a commitment to these three things:

Let’s commit to gather together.

Let’s commit to grow together.

Let’s commit to go and serve together.

So, towards that end, here are the details of our two groups:

The Jany (EG) Group will launch on Sunday, October 6th from 6:00pm – 7:30pm.
The Murray (EG)Group will launch on Wednesday, October 9th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

Each group will discuss how often they will meet at that first gathering, and each group is going to be working through a study called “Gospel-Centered Community”.  Though you won’t need it for the first get-together, we encourage you to purchase the study guide for that study here.

Here the particulars for each group:

The Jany Group will meet at 5820 E Copper Mountain Dr.  If you want to bring your children, the Jany Group will have childcare just around the corner at 10509 Edinburgh Dr.  They just ask that you try to drop the kids off at 5:45pm.  They will have 2 babysitters for childcare and ask for a $5 donation to contribute towards paying the babysitters.  This week, they will have chicken nuggets and fruit for children to eat for dinner for those who would like to have their children eat dinner there.  Families are welcome to bring alternate food for their children if they would prefer. They are just asking that any food that will be shared be tree nut free, as we have children that are “go to the emergency room” allergic to tree nuts (peanuts are ok).  If you could, would you RSVP to them at pjjany@juno.com

The Murray group will meet at 9549 Evergreen Circle.  If you want to bring your children, the Murray’s will provide a room in their house for the kids to play.  At this first study, the Murray’s will provide coffee and cupcakes.  If you are going to be able to attend, please RSVP to littlecap25@hotmail.com

Please know that all are welcome whether you RSVP or not, but respond if you can.  Also, please feel free to invite in friends and bring visitors.  All are welcome.

Resources for our “Come on Back” Series on the book of Joel

Joel 1.1-12 coverThanks to everyone for the tremendous launch of our “Come on Back” series on the book of Joel.

In our first sermon in the series, we explored this Big Idea:  Mourn for your sins before you have to mourn for your sins.  In it, we looked at the context of the book of Joel and looked at the prophet’s call for the people of God to weep and mourn.  That may seem like an odd message for our day, but as we discovered, the book and its message are amazingly practical.

What we hope is that we can continue the conversation that was begun on Sunday throughout the week.  So whether you were able to make it or not, we want to help you and your family dig a bit deeper.

Towards that end, you can download the first “Come on Back” devotional pdf for free at https://gumroad.com/l/piQu (just type in $0.00 at checkout).

If you would like it on Amazon Kindle, you can find it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FI1SXOG

Evident Grace Offers Men & Women Events 9/27 & 9/28

men and women eventEvident Grace is excited to offer two distinct opportunities this weekend for encouragement and friendship for our women and men.

On Friday evening (9/27) at 7:30pm, at Amanda Murray’s home, we will be launching our first kafasoto event.  kafasoto is the Greek word for a trellis that supports a vine.  That’s what we hope for at Evident Grace Fellowship for the women.  We hope to create a structure to encourage and support women in their growth in all areas of their lives.  You don’t have to bring anything but yourself, but you are always welcome to bring a friend.

Then, on Saturday morning (9/28) at 7:00am, at the Evident Grace offices above Liberty Lanes, the men will be hosting their next Bushiban event.  What is Bushiban?  Well, in Japanese culture, the Bushido was the school for Samurai.  The Bushiban was their home.  Bushiban is going to be the home where our men have a place to be honest, to be encouraged, and to find brothers.

We hope to see you at these events.  We hope they are fun and an encouragement to you.

Come on Back with Evident Grace Fellowship

study_of_joel-tall-black-taglineBeginning September 29th and running until the end of November, Evident Grace Fellowship is going to be studying the book of Joel.  You might ask,

“The book of what?  “Why in the world would you study that?”

Well, Joel is a wonderfully unique book in the Old Testament with special ties to the New Testament and the formation of the church.  In it, the prophet Joel urges, exhorts, commands, and pleads for folks to come on back.  Again, you might ask,

“Come on back to what?”

Well, as it was true for the people of Joel’s day, the call to “come on back” is relevant for today as well.  We are being called back to God.  Everyone is being called.

The people of God need to come back to God in many ways.  We need to come back to God in honesty and repentance.  We need to come back to Him in worship and service in the church.  And the world needs to come back to Him in cries of faith.

And joyfully, we will celebrate God’s enabling of us to come back to Him through the wonderful work of Jesus Christ.

Please join us at Evident Grace these next two months as we pursue Joel line by line and word by word.  And as we do it, and as you join us, we trust that God will bring all of us together back to Him in joy and worship.

If you would like to know more about Evident Grace, you can find us on the web at www.evidentgrace.com, on our blog at https://newspotsylvaniachurch.wordpress.com/, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/evidentgracefellowship.

And if you would like to speak to someone personally, don’t hesitate to contact Pastor Gordon at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com or at 919-412-8161.

We are looking forward to being brought back together.

Resources for Community.Worship.Service with Opportunities Coming Up

service logoEvident Grace recently finished a sermon series where we hoped to focus on each of our three missional pillars:  Community.Worship.Service.  Our desire has been to reacquaint our members and introduce the Spotsylvania, Massaponax, Fredericksburg areas to what we hope and pray God will do with us and through us.

To help towards those goals, you can find devotional pdf’s for each of Pillars at the following venues:

Community:

Kindle
Free PDF Download – Just type “$0.00” in at checkout.

Worship:

Kindle
Free PDF Download – Just type “$0.00” in at checkout.

Service:

Kindle

Free PDF Download – Just type “$0.00” in at checkout.

We have also created one concise edition covering all three if you would like to explore our mission that way.  You can find the concise edition for all 3 Pillars forK

Kindle

Free PDF Download – Just type $0.00″ in at checkout.

 

To create a conversation around these topics, we are having a Partnership Gathering at the Evident Grace offices from 9am – 12pm on October 5th.  This will be a casual get together with lots of time for discussion, questions, praying, and dreaming.

And as we bring this season of missional focus to a close, Evident Grace will launch a brand new sermon series on September 29th entitled, “C’mon Back – A Study of the Book of Joel”.

study_of_joel-wide-black-tagline cover photo

As always, we want to assist, help, serve, and encourage you in any way.  If you would like to contact us, you can contact Gordon, the pastor, at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com or at 919-412-8161.

Questions and Answers for Our Upcoming Partnership Gatherings

qandaEvident Grace is excited to launch two Partnership Gatherings in the coming weeks.

Our first will be hosted by Pete and Pam Griffin at their home on Friday, September 20th from 7pm – 10pm, and the second will be at the Evident Grace Conference Room at the Liberty Center on October 5th from 9am – 12pm.  As we have made these announcements, we have received lots of exciting questions, so we thought we would attempt answer some of them here.  It’s Q&A time.

Question:  What exactly is a Partnership Gathering?

Answer:  An Evident Grace Partnership Gathering is similar to a church membership class in that it intends to reacquaint and introduce the church to people who are interested in deepening their commitment to or understanding more about Evident Grace.

Question:  How is a Partnership Gathering “like” a membership class?

Answer:  The similarities are that, just like a membership class, we will discuss the history, mission, ministries, and hopes of the church while providing lots of time for getting to know each other and answering any questions.

Question:  That sounds great.  How is a Partnership Gathering different than a membership class?

Answer:  Typically, membership classes are just that:  a class.  Most churches have a class structure or a Sunday School type setup where perspective members attend for about 50 minutes at a time for several weeks.  Our gatherings are standalone meetings that are more casual in nature and intended to provide a greater social setting where folks can eat, drink, interact, and get to know each other.  Here, we will be able to sit around a living room or a table and have more of a two-way conversation.

Question:  Then, why aren’t we just doing Membership Classes the old-school way?

Answer:  We aren’t doing membership classes in a traditional style for several reasons.  First, please know that we completely respect the traditional form of membership classes.  We might have them that way in the future; who knows?  But right now, we are having Partnership Gatherings in this style purposefully.  We want folks to feel comfortable, and these venues provide that.  We want folks to get to know each other while getting to know Evident Grace better.  We want lots of interaction, and we want to provide a venue for growing in partnership with the church that is less academic and more relational.

Question:  Should I plan on going to both of the Partnership Gatherings?

Answer:  We would love for you to go to both Partnership Gatherings, but each is designed to be similar in structure and content.  You are more than welcome to be at both so you can meet as many people as possible, but if your calendar doesn’t allow it, then one would do just fine.

Question:  Will there be childcare at our Partnership Meetings?

Answer:  Families with infants have said that they will bring their children with them which is completely encouraged, but we will not have a structured childcare for toddlers and other children for our September 20th meeting.  We are presently working on childcare for our second get together on October 5th.

Question: Is there a plan for children who would like to become Partners with Evident Grace?  

Answer:  Yes, we have a wonderful set of get togethers that we are planning for children that we will announce soon.  We know that there are many children who would like to publicly profess their faith, partner with the church, and even take the Lord’s Supper for the first time.  We encourage that and want to help out.  We can’t wait to make that announcement.  Look for it soon.

Question:  If this a casual get together with food, do I need to bring anything…and, is there a meal provided?

Answer:  Our get together on September 20th will not be a full meal, but believe it or not, Pam Griffin has agreed to provide all the food.  However, we would encourage you to bring something to drink or a small snack of some sort to share if you would like to help out.

We hope that these Questions & Answers help fill in some of the blanks about our upcoming Partnership Gatherings.  If we have overlooked any questions that you might still have, do not hesitate to contact Pastor Gordon at 919-412-8161 or email him at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com.

We can’t wait to see you Friday night.  Thanks.

Preview for This Sunday at Evident Grace: Worship

worship logoThis Sunday, Evident Grace will spend the entire service pursuing the second of our three missional pillars:  Worship.  Here is a taste

Timothy 2:13 Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

This is our worship, Gang.  We worship Jesus, we lift Him up, and our hearts cannot wait for His return.  Why?

Because Jesus gave Himself for us.

He redeemed us from all sin and lawlessness.

He purified us for Himself.

He transformed us from aliens and strangers and made us His people, His own possession.

And He took our hearts that were hell-bent on sin, and He transformed us and gave us a new desire, a new zeal:  we now, by His grace made evident, worship Him by zealously imitating Him and obeying and doing good works that God the Father finds acceptable.

That is the vision of worship that I pray God gifts us with at Evident Grace.  Join me in praying that right now and continually as we go forward.

We hope you join us this Sunday at 10:30am.  We meet at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes.  Come as you are.  That’s always how God begins His work in us.