This Is How We Do at Evident Grace

This-is-How-We-doWith so many thinking that there is a church on every corner, it is fair to ask why any young church should exist. Because of that, a purposeful church should have a purposeful rationale for its existence. Otherwise, just let some other church do the job. So, in light these truths, Evident Grace launched based upon these verses:

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has been made evident, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 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.

In summary, Evident Grace exists because God’s grace made evident in our lives enables us to make God’s grace evident to the world.

But practically, what does that mean for us? How does a church live out that mission specifically for the Spotsylvania/Massaponax community? So, to put boots to that missional ground, Evident Grace lives out these 3 missional pillars: Community, Worship, and Service. That means that everything we do should…

We desire to deepen our ever-growing community,

We desire to focus on growing in and reflecting on the worship that we enjoy each Sunday,

And those things should enable our church to grow in service to each other and our community.

We have activities like (eg)Groups and studies for our men and women for community, worship, and service, but even with that, people still wonder what the actions are that each person should work towards for those missional pillars. Well, we want to help and make those things crystal clear. If we are going to make God’s grace evident through community, worship, and service, this is how each person can do that. They can,

Invite Eagerly: which means we will live lives constantly aware to invite people to both become a part of Evident Grace and to begin a relationship with Jesus.

Pursue Purposefully: which means that we will make a point to always greet new visitors and to meet with each other with the purpose of getting to know each other better and to enable each other to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Serve Selflessly: which means that we will serve however and whenever the church needs and according to the gifting that God has given us.

Give Gladly: which means that we will demonstrate our thankfulness to God for all that we have by giving financially to support the mission and work of the church.

This mission, these pillars and these distinctives are much of why and how EG is going to show the grace of Christ to the Spotsylvania/Massaponax area.

If you are new or curious about Evident Grace, please worship with us at 10:30 on Sunday. We meet at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes or you could just contact us at egfellowship@gmail.com.

If you are already a part of Evident Grace, let’s get together to talk about these things so that we can pray and dream about what God might do among us.

Taste and See if You Like Evident Grace on 09/12

taste_and_seeHave you ever been to a restaurant and seen a dish on the menu that interested you? Of course, but the way most restaurants work is that you don’t get a taste ahead of time to find out if you really like it. Your choices are either taking a risk and ordering the dish or skipping it for something that you know you will like. The problem is that you will just never know if the dish you skipped was good or not.

Churches can be the same way. Maybe you like the service or you like an event that they hosted, but often, there is not any venue where you can find out more about the church. Most folks have questions that they would love to have answered, but where can you do that with a church?

Well, Evident Grace will be hosting a “Taste and See” get together Friday, September 12th at 6:30pm, for anyone who would like to know more about the church. The idea is for Gordon, the pastor, to spend some time presenting the history and vision of the church, coupled with a hope for where Evident Grace might be going. Jeremy, our pastoral intern, will be there as well, so hopefully, between the two, most of your questions can be answered. There will be plenty of opportunities for Q & As, and as any good event should have, there will also be food.

This will be a completely non-pressure, casual get together much like friends discussing something they like or want to know more about. There will be none of this, “What will it take to get you in this car today?” salesmanship. In fact, it will be a great, low-key event to bring a friend.

If you would like to join us, we will have childcare, and we will kick off at 6:30pm. We will go as long as folks are interested, and you can head out whenever you want or need. We will be meeting at the Curtas home at

6601Turkey Run Drive

Fredericksburg, VA 22407

If you have questions or would like to confirm, contact Gordon at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com or call him at 919-412-8161.

Evident Grace Launches New Childrens Program

brochure-kidsEvident Grace values teaching our children, so towards that end, we have waited to establish a few of our programs until we knew that we could do them faithfully, safely, and consistently. We are excited to announce that this Sunday, we are going to be able to launch just the program that fits that description.

This Sunday (June 1), we are going to launch a children’s teaching time during the sermon. We are going to be able to offer programs for ages 2-5. The summer themes will be:

Toddlers: God’s people (Abraham, Moses, etc)

4-5 yr. olds – God keeps His promises (Noah, Hannah, Adam & Eve, Samuel, Isaiah)

The practicality of it will look like this:

Drop off: The Children’s Teaching Time will start after the song just before the sermon starts.  Gordon will make an announcement letting everyone know that its time.  There will be someone at the information desk at the top of the elevator to check your children in and to take them to their classroom.

Pickup time: Parents can pick up their children in the same way they do for nursery with parents picking up their children after the service.

We are excited to announce this and would love any and all prayers. This launch of a time of teaching for children is a huge step of maturity for us as a church.   We are thankful that we have moved to the point where we can offer it and offer it well.

For any questions, please call 919-412-8161 or email the church at egfellowship@gmail.com.

 

Celebrating the Lord’s Supper at a Family Table

At Evident Grace, we hold the Lord’s Supper in high esteem just as our parent churches do and the first church did.  We do our best to apply wisdom in the “as often as you gather” nature of the meal.  In doing that, we want the Supper to encourage us when we are down and continue to bolster us when we are up.

The meal is that kind of gift from God.  We come by faith, and we leave with faith strengthened.

This week (1/26), we will enjoy the Supper in a new way.  The elements will be the same, but the form will be different.  Here is how.

The early church often took the Lord’s Supper as a meal sitting at a table together, so we are going to seek to replicate that.  In the middle of our worship space, we will use tables to form a Roman cross.  The tables will extend across the front of our space between the chairs and the stage.  Then, the tables will extend down the middle of the chairs to form the cross.  Then, setttings will be placed at each chair with the choice of wine or juice, and each will have a separate bulletin for the Lord’s Supper meal.

After the sermon, we will sing one song and invite all families to get their children out of the nursery so that all can be a part of the Supper.  Then, following that song, we will leave our seats and gather at the table.  We will sing a few songs acapella, pray, break the communion bread, and enjoy the Lord’s Supper meal for God’s family.

The form we take and the frequency we take the Lord’s Supper does not add to or detract from the value of Communion.  God alone gives the meal meaning and significance.  But this form will get us a chance to celebrate at a table, side by side, much like many other Christians have throughout the years.

Please join Evident Grace this Sunday at 1030am at the comedy club Liberty Lanes.  I pray you can come as you are and leave encouraged.  If you have any questions about this or any other part of Evident Grace and her services, please contact Pastor Gordon at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com.

Sunday Dec 8th will be a Day of Celebration at Evident Grace

celebrateThis Sunday (December 8th) is going to be an incredible day of celebration and thanks in the life of Evident Grace Church, and we want to make sure that all of you are invited.  Here is the lineup:

At 1030am, we are going to kick off our “More than Gifts” Advent series.  This will be a series of 4 sermons where we explore the depths of the gift of Jesus.  During those sermons, we hope to instill an ongoing hope of God’s active involvement in our lives.  We also hope to see that hope manifest itself in our families, in our church, and in the community around us.  The services will also find us singing some wonderful traditional Christmas tunes, and as always, Evident Grace will mix in some holiday tunes in our church’s distinct musical style.

During that service, we will have nearly 40 people taking membership vows.  A membership vow is a promise and testimony before God and the church of a person’s faith in Christ and of a commitment to serve at Evident Grace.

Have you ever wondered what the purpose of church membership might be?  Have you ever wondered why people still do it?  We are hoping this portion of the service will be both an act of worship for these folks and an answer to your questions.

Because we have so many people taking vows, for this one service only, we will not be able to offer a nursery for your children.  Again, this is for this one service only.  We’ll have our rocking nursery back up and running next week.  Don’t worry.  We do not mind at all if children are in the service, and noise does not bother us, so show up and bring your kids.  It’s all good.

Then, as if the day could not get any better, after the service, we will kick off our First Annual End of the Year Celebratory Luncheon.  Since we meet at the Liberty Lanes Comedy Club, we are able to turn that room into a great space to eat with great food, tables, table cloths, and centerpieces.  It is going to be a wonderful meal and time of hanging out.  If you would like to bring food to the event, there is a sign up here.

Whew, when we go, we go big.  What a beautiful day.  Please worship with us on Sunday.  Bring lots of friends.  And even if you can’t provide food, please come eat with us.

You can find directions to our worship space here, and we kick off around 1030am on Sunday.  See you then.

C’mon and Sign Up for our First Annual Bonfire & Chili Cook-Off

chili-cookoffIt is incredibly cold outside, and we need to hang out.  In fact, if we are going to hang out while it is freezing outside (actually the low for Saturday is only 48), we might as well have some chili.  So, with all of that, c’mon out to Evident Grace’s First Annual Bonfire & Chili Cook-Out.

We will be meeting Saturday, November 16th, at 5pm at the home of Chuck & Sarah Middleton—5523 Whelan Way, Parlow, VA 22534.  And we already have a signup started.  You can find it at http://bit.ly/17RzBf8.  As you look over it, we still have a few items that need some contributions (especially drinks).

So, let’s make some incredible chili, let’s grab warm clothing, and invite lots of folks to c’mon out.  It should be a blast, and hopefully, it will be the first of many to come.

 

Week 3 Resources (and more) from “Come on Back” at Evident Grace

awesomeThis past Sunday, in sermon #3 from our “Come on Back” series on the book of Joel, we looked at the greatness and awesomeness of God.  This thought encapsulates that sermon well:

“We should rightfully proclaim the holiness and righteousness of God as well as the mercy of God. We will not give side glances to God’s holiness and hatred of sin and only speak of God’s forgiveness through Jesus. And we will not give side glances to God’s forgiveness through Jesus and only speak of His holiness and hatred of sin. This full picture of God’s character is what makes Him awesome and great. He is both holy and forgiving.”

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 devotional #1 it on Amazon Kindle, you can find it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FI1SXOG

The second sermon devotional from 10/06 can be downloaded for free at https://gumroad.com/l/APiY (just type in $0.00 at checkout).

If you would like devotional #2 on Amazon Kindle, you can find it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FNTDCF8

If you would like audio #2, you can find it at https://gumroad.com/l/DONZY (just type in $0.00 at checkout).

If you would like devotional #3 from 10/13, you can download  it for free at https://gumroad.com/l/JAAD (just type in $0.00 at checkout).

If you would like devotional #3 on Amazon Kindle, you can find it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FUOEXEA

Resources for our Come on Back Series

study_of_joel-tall-black-taglineThanks to everyone for the tremendous launch of our “Come on Back” series on the book of Joel.

In our second sermon in the series, we explored this Big Idea:  True Joy is Calling out to the Lord.

All of us cry out in some way.  We either cry out in need or we try to present ourselves as someone who doesn’t need help.  Both are cries of help.  But true joy is calling out to the Lord, and even better yet, true joy is being heard.

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 devotional #1 it on Amazon Kindle, you can find it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FI1SXOG

The second sermon devotional from 10/06 can be downloaded for free at https://gumroad.com/l/APiY (just type in $0.00 at checkout).

If you would like devotional #2 on Amazon Kindle, you can find it at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FNTDCF8

If you would like audio #2, you can find it at https://gumroad.com/l/DONZY (just type in $0.00 at checkout).

Resources and Info Available for Community.Worship.Service

community worship service darker

Evident Grace is in the middle of a sermon series where we hope to spend a week focusing on each of our three missional pillars:  Community.Worship.Service.  Our desire is 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.

So far, we have looked at Community and Worship.  You can find devotional pdf’s for each 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.

Sunday, September 22nd, we will focus on Service and will make resources available for that pillar as well.

To create a conversation around these topics, we are having Partnership Gatherings at two times and in two locations.  Our first will be Friday, September 20th at the home of Pete and Pam Griffin from 7pm – 10pm.  Our second will be at the Evident Grace offices from 9am – 12pm on October 5th.  These will be casual get togethers 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”.

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.

Evident Grace Partners to Bring Matthew Smith in Concert, October 18th

matthew smithOne of the defining characteristics of the worship at Evident Grace is our music.  No, we aren’t defined by bombastic lights and sound, but instead, we aim to be defined by biblically-based music with a great spiritual depth and history.  We choose our songs according to the themes related to our sermon passages looking for songs that both prepare and deepen the experience of our souls.

Because of that, we are part of the hymn re-write movement.  Many of the songs we choose are great hymns of the church either presented as they were originally written or re-interpreted for our present context (often with guitars, mandolins, and varied percussion).  We are also writing and re-arranging songs for our present context.

At Evident Grace, we want to honor the musical heritage of the church past while representing the church present.

Because of these convictions, we are eagerly partnering with New Life in Christ Church in Fredericksburg and Hope of Christ Church in Stafford to bring Matthew Smith in concert.  Matthew Smith and his work with Indelible Grace are at the forefront of the hymn re-write movement, so this concert will be both worshipful and instructive for us.

This worship event will kick off on October 18th at New Life in Christ Church at 7:30pm.  Tickets are $5 for individuals and $15 for families if you pre-purchase.  The day of the event, tickets are $7 for individuals and $20 for families at the door.

New Life in Church is located at 11925 Burgess Lane in Fredericksburg, VA behind the Spotsylvania Mall.

If you would like more information or would like to purchase tickets, call 540-786—4848.  We can’t to worship with all of you at this great event.

If you would like to know more about Evident Grace’s worship, we meet each Thursday from 6:30pm – 8:00pm for a music circle at Carme Espresso.  All are welcome.