Evident Grace Begins a New Series on the Gospel of John Entitled Definition on February 1st

Definition of our church - JohnSunday, February 1st, Evident Grace is launching a new sermon series entitled, Definition, a study of the Gospel of John.

Why call the study Definition? Well, so many look at Jesus as an example of how to live, and while Jesus is that, He is so much more. You see, the book of John was the last written Gospel, and one of its intentions was to better define who Jesus is. After a generation of believers, people still had a questions about His person, His character, and His purpose. The Gospel of John wanted to clarify those things.

In light of that, Definition is the perfect book for not only Evident Grace to study, but also for our community to experience. After nearly two years, EG needs to better understand Jesus. We need Him to more greatly define our lives and our church. And the Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg area needs Him better defined as the realities of our communities are moving so many towards wrestling with who He is and How He might impact our lives.

So, as always, we invite you, and we encourage you to bring friends to this series, specifically to its launch on February 1st. Each Sunday at 10:30am, Evident Grace offers a casual environment designed to take Jesus seriously. To enable that, we meet at a central location for our area at the comedy club above the Liberty Lanes bowling alley. We offer a welcoming community for singles, marrieds, parents with kids, and retirees. Our music represents this generation while honoring the generations past. We have designed a wonderfully fun and safe nursery that also includes a separate teaching time for children aged 2-5. Our newest Sunday School for grades 1-5 meets from 9:15am to 10:00am.

If we can greater clarify who we are or why we are pursuing greater Definition, contact us here or call us directly at 919-412-8161. If you would like to find out more about Jesus or if you would like to get a sense of what our services are like, call us or check out the worship section of our website. 

Thanks for considering us, and we can’t wait to welcome you.

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Evident Grace Launches New Children’s Programs January 11th

Elementary school class outsideTeaching our children is one of the valued distinctives that we pursue in our ever-growing community at Evident Grace. In light of that, we are excited to announce that on January 11th, Evident Grace will be offering children’s teaching programs ranging from infant to Grade 5. Here is how we are going to do it.

From 9:15am until 10:00am, we will be launching our first Sunday School for Grades 1-5. They will be meeting in our conference room, upstairs in our meeting space above Liberty Lanes. During that time, and over the course of the next 13 weeks, they will be studying the books of Exodus and Leviticus.

During our 10:30am worship service, we offer a nursery for newborns up until age 2.

Then during the sermon until the end of our service, we offer an age specific teaching time for ages 2-5.

To insure you of any concerns, all of our childcare workers have been thoroughly trained and their backgrounds checked.

Evident Grace’s Missional Pillars are Community, Worship, and Service. The expansion of our children’s ministry aligns with all three.

Teaching our children builds a community for our kids and enables our families to make new connections and build relationships.

Teaching our children enables worship as our kids learn more and more about the church, the scriptures, and Jesus.

Teaching our children enables service as we desire to offer our children’s ministries to the entire Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg area.

You can find Evident Grace each Sunday as we meet on the top floor of the Liberty Lanes facility. The Sunday School starts at 9:15am, and worship begins at 10am. You can find directions here.

If you want to learn more, just call Evident Grace at 919-412-8161 or email us at egfellowship@gmail.com

 

 

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.

Evident Grace Fellowship Launches a New Series Journey to Worship, a Study of Ezra

ezra imageExcitedly, on Sunday, September 7th and continuing until the holidays, Evident Grace Fellowship is launching its new sermon series, Journey to Worship – A Study of Ezra. Why would a young church, or any church for that matter, endeavor to study, what for some might be, an obscure Old Testament book? There are several reasons.

Ezra is a book about a community returning to their homeland to reestablish the worship of God after a period of time where worship had been forbidden. Those that remained at home must now integrate with those returning, and both communities have to manage lots of hopes and expectations. Each hopes for a vibrant life of worship. Each knows their own expectations, but they don’t know what to expect from each other.

What an incredibly practical book to study for a young church like Evident Grace Fellowship. We have been meeting for a year and a half. We are a community gathered from many different backgrounds. We too have expectations, and we too are learning to grow and learn as a new community with a new identity. And we are just like Ezra, God is making something beautiful and united out of gathered communities.

Also, as new people visit us and join our community each week, this study will be ideal for them to walk through with us. We are going to see, in real time, the events of the worship in Ezra’s time, and we will have so many things to learn from: the good, the bad, and the ugly. (This is your invitation constant reader. Please join us.)

Also, the events of Ezra and its companion book Nehemiah, are the final historical events in the Old Testament that lead up to the work of Jesus. It is an anticipatory historical account. We can look at those days, on this side of Jesus work, and learn so much about the joy promised to a community who now fully understand Jesus work. In that, we as a community can grow in greater worship and commitment to God and to each other.

So, why study this book? Ezra was living on a hope promised. We are living on a hope fulfilled.

This study should take us up to the 2014 holiday season. The good thing about Ezra is that you can join it at any point and time and not be lost, but we encourage you to join us for worship on September 7th to experience our series launch. We meet each Sunday for worship at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes, and you can find directions here.

Come as you are. We are neither formal nor casual. And if you desire, we have both a nursery, and we also offer an individual teaching time for children aged 2-5.

Entering into Hurt

hugI had a wonderful conversation with someone from EG this week, and we were discussing how many churches (and our denomination specifically) have a hard time comforting and caring for folks when they suffer. He described it in this way.

Most churches do not know how to enter into people’s hurts.

What an incredible statement…and sadly true. We spent the next hour or so discussing the problem. We came up with an analysis, and I hope in this small post to begin to move us towards addressing how poorly churches (including ours at times) enter into grief. In our discussion, church folks typically respond to hurt, harm, and grief in one of three ways.

The Reformed community says: God is sovereign.

The non-Reformed community says: God has a purpose and plan in everything.

And the non-religious response says: It is what it is.

Each one of these is a simplified expression of deeper truths. Unfortunately, they all shut down conversation.

God is sovereign means that we shouldn’t ever dare question what God is doing.

God has a purpose and a plan in everything means that if you wait long enough, either something good will happen or you will figure out what God is trying to teach you.

It is what it is says you aren’t in control of much is this world so why keep talking about it.

I think Evident Grace must be a church that offers more. But what more is there? Well, outside of scripture, we don’t know the mind of God, so assuming on our part or anyone else’s why things are happening is rarely helpful and many times dangerous. So, let me offer a few things that we can do as a church to meet people in their need.

Weep with the weeping – Throwing a party and showing joy when people rightfully have events of joy is great, but we also need to comfort by crying when people cry. So much of grief is the struggle of feeling alone. An appropriate arm of comfort and a shared cry go so much further than empty platitudes.

Be Hospitable – Hospitality is both the opening of our homes to people hurting and the meeting of practical needs to those in need. Hospitality is the meeting of simple needs like clothing, food, and warmth when grief is so great that those needs are neglected.

Neighbor – Neighboring is the constant awareness that you are near to do either of the above two. Neighboring is the offering of one self to another for love and friendship.

While there are other ways to enter grief (feel free to offer some), growing in weeping, showing hospitality, and neighboring communicate care and love to the hurting and represent the love of Christ well.

Christ wept with us and for us.

Christ was hospitable by meeting our need.

Christ was our neighbor because He came to us in our hurt.

Let’s pray God grows this in us more and more, so that at least one person will feel comfort and believe that someone has entered into their grief.

 

 

Life Together Series Launches 07/27

life togetherAs Evident Grace moves into the second half of summer 2014, we are launching a 6-week sermon series entitled “Life Together” on July 27th.

“Life Together” will give a clear picture of what it looks like for us to live out our 3 distinctives: Community, Worship, and Service.

Our series is going to give us the opportunity to explore these “Life Together” distinctives in two different ways.

We are going to explore Community, Worship, and Service by celebrating.

As we study the scriptures, we are going to see that celebrating what God has done is essential to our Community, Worship, and Service. This way, we can speak of the Community, Worship, and Service milestones that God has given us in the past year and half, and we can study and pray specifically about where we might go next.

We have only scratched the surface of the depth of Community, Worship, and Service that we hope for at Evident Grace, so seeing those things as they are presented in scripture and thanking God for what He has done, puts us in the perfect place to pray, plan, and prepare for what comes next.

Celebrating is essential for our “Life Together”.

We are going to explore Community, Worship, and Service by growing in Biblical leadership.

As we study the scriptures, we are going to see that growing in Biblical church leadership is essential to growing in Community, Worship, and Service. The scriptures devote a great amount of time discussing what local church leadership looks like with elders and deacons, so we must understand the scriptures well as we move towards recognizing, training, and installing that leadership.

Multiplied and mature church leadership enables our people to be led well and mobilized well.

Biblical Leadership is essential for our “Life Together”.

Join us as we study and do “Life Together” beginning July 27th. You can find directions to our service as well as many other details about Evident Grace at www.evidentgrace.com.

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.

 

(EG)Groups Launch – Needs Discovered, Talents Uncovered

egg groupsFoundationally, Evident Grace is about understanding and displaying Christ in worship, community, and service.  While every aspect of our church is geared towards that, our (EG)Groups are one of our most vital elements.

Towards that end, we will be launching 3 (EG)Groups over the next 2 weeks, and we will be continuing our study of what a Gospel-Centered community looks like.  Our goal in these groups is threefold:  we want to reflect on the worship that we enjoy each Sunday, we want to deepen our ever-growing community, and we want to enable our church to grow in serving others.

Hopefully, as these groups gather, each will discover a unique way to serve the larger communities in which we live.  This will be based on the needs discovered in each group and met by the talents uncovered within each group.  With that, our groups will have a three-fold, Gospel impact within Evident Grace and to the places we live and go each day.  People attending can let others know about the needs that they experience in our community, and then we will help folks discover their talents to meet those needs – all the while studying and having a blast together.

So, this is how you can get involved.

We will have one meeting at Evident Grace in our worship space this Sunday evening (Feb 9) at 530pm led by Pastor Gordon Duncan.  You can contact him at jgordonduncan@yahoo.com for more details.

We will have another meeting on Wed (Feb 12) at the Murray home in the Lee’s Parke community led by Matt Murray beginning at 7pm.  You can contact him at mmurray77@gmail.com.

And one more will meet at the Tosh home in the Fawn Lake community on Sunday evening (Feb 16) led by Paul Jany.  You can contact him at pfjany@gmail.com.

If you are at all interested, please contact these leaders.  We hope you can relate to where these groups are going, and ultimately, we hope they have such an impact on you that you see them as something significant in your life.

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.