I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel - Sermon Clips

Preach the gospel for it is the power of God for salvation to EVERYONE who believes.

Is the gospel powerful enough to save? Then share it.

Would you be willing to die for the gospel? If so, are you living for it?

Clips from I Am Not Ashamed: Living with True Gospel Confidence.  View the full sermon here.

From Pastor Peter 4/26/13

Dear Grace Family,

This Sunday

In his sermon last week, Ryan preached about Gospel confidence, challenging us to share the Gospel with others and rely on it to fuel our daily life in Christ.  This begs the questions:

·       What happens to those who don’t believe?
·       What if you choose to reject this free offer of God?

This Sunday we’re going to answer that question from Romans 1:18-23.  We'll see the consequences of rejecting the Gospel, the free offer of God.  To get ready for Sunday, read Romans 1:18-23 slowly and prayerfully several times over the weekend.

InFellowship Pics - Last Call!

Last week was a huge success in getting people's pictures for our new church database and online directory.  Questions were answered, lines were short, pictures were taken, and a little fun was had, too.  {;-)  Didn't get down there last week?  I don't mean to make you feel like you're missing out but...you're kinda missing out.  Good news, though.  We're taking pics this week too!  Make plans to stay just a little bit after church this week to get your mugshot taken, and maybe have a little fun with us, too.  We'll tell you everything you need to know on Sunday.  Oh, and while you're thinking about it, why not take a few short minutes and set up your InFellowship account now?  Click HERE and you'll be done in two shakes of a lamb's tail (Dad used to say that.  It means it's fast.  I think).

"Connect" on Sunday, May 5th

I'm excited to announce something brand new to GFC.  Introducing "Connect," a gathering especially for you if you're new to GFC Newport.  I'd love the opportunity to meet you, introduce you to some other ministry leaders, and give you the chance to mingle with others who are new to Grace like you.  And...lunch is on us!  It all takes place on Sun, 05-May.  Click HERE to RSVP.  That'll help us know you'll be there so we can be sure to have enough food and plan accordingly.  I hope you'll join us!

Parent-Child Dedication

Have you had a baby?  Sunday, May 12th, we'll take part of our worship service to celebrate the babies God has blessed our church family with.  Click HERE to register your child (age 2 and under).


It's time to register your kids for Vacation Bible School, as it’s less than 8 weeks away!  VBS will be held at the Florence Campus on June 17-21.  To register your children, Click HERE!

See you on Sunday!

Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

Come to "Connect"

New to Grace Fellowship Church I Newport?

(I mean, let's face it.  We're all pretty new.  We've only existed since January.)

Sigh...true...the smell of popcorn while we worship is new to all of us.

But perhaps Grace Fellowship Church is entirely new to you, and our Newport Campus is pretty much your first exposure to Grace.

Well...then this is for you.  {;-)

We're calling it "Connect."  Right after church on Sun, 05-May, head downstairs to the Community Center in the Newport on the Levee Building (it's on the Riverwalk Level - same level as the AMC ticket booth - opposite Gameworks).  You'll get to meet Pastor Peter, some other ministry leaders, and mingle with other newbies like you.  We'll even feed you lunch...fo' free (can't beat that).

It's never too late to let us know you're coming, so click here to RSVP and that will help us get a general headcount.

Got questions?  Email MeganFaulkner@graceky.org, or call 859.371.7880.

Hope to see you there!

GoLocal Recap

Grace Fellowship Church is actively involved in missions.  Some international, some domestic and much through our day-to-day lives.  We recognize that many of us don't get to interact with the ministries we partner with.  So, we decided to have the GoLocal missions night, which featured ministries that we partner with here in the Northern Kentucky area.

The evening proved to be fun, educational and full of passion.  We'll let some of the attendees tell you their personal highlights:

My favorite part was hearing the Pure Life founder's story, and how God turned brokenness into a ministry.

It was neat to get to know the people running the ministries.  Their passion was impactful - each one was really excited and has specific vision and insight from God on their particular ministry.

It was so clear that these ministries line up with who we are.  It just makes sense that we partner with them.

All of the ministries are about evangelism and discipleship at their core.  I love that!

A passion to make disciples of Jesus Christ. That was what I kept hearing and seeing from the different booths and speakers. It was amazing to see how passionate and compassionate the leaders of the different ministries were. It was helpful for me to see how these people were loving others in their context, whether it was serving men and women with drug additions, coming along-side of abortion-minded mothers, or training church leaders in the urban community to know how to use their bibles to show others the hope of the Gospel. I wish I could have heard and spoke with all of the ministry leaders and heard their stories, but it was good to get a glimpse of what God is doing in our area.

And, in case you didn't get to make it out, here's a little peek.

Thanks to  our own Melissa Talbert and Lauren O'Keefe for taking these shots of the event in action.

Why I’m Glad Paul Couldn’t Get to Rome

I’m Italian.  Kinda.

I’m really an American.  I was born & raised in New York City and, last I checked, it’s the great American melting pot.  Still, Italian heritage isn’t something that Italian-Americans shed too easily, so there were (and are) many aspects of my life that have Italian written all over them.

I’m one of those people who speaks standard, American English, but insists on saying certain words in Italian (Sarah makes fun of me all the time).  It’s usually foods.

Mozzarella.  I say it like an Italian, and so do most members of my family.  We’re not snobs.  We just wanna say it…I dunno…right.

Ask me to say ricotta sometime, and listen to how I instantly respond.  Fair warning—I may, in turn, ask you to say “sfogliatelle” (it’s a pastry).  {;-)

We don’t cook with tomato sauce out of a jar unless we made it fresh and put it in there ourselves.

I talk with my hands.  Wanna shut me up?  Handcuff me.

Oh, and we’re not shouting.  We’re just talking.  What – you gotta problem wit dat?!

I could go on.

I’ve never been to Italy, but hope to get over there someday.  In Romans 1:8ff, we read that despite Paul’s desire to visit Rome, he was unable to do so at the time he was writing his letter. 

I want to go to Italy, but as a tourist.  I want to be among people who appreciate my proper pronunciation of Italian cheeses and such.  Paul’s desire, however, was rooted in a desire to minister to, encourage, and engage in fellowship with Christians who were in Rome at the time.  He was eager to preach the Gospel to them (Rom. 1:15), but it’s not that he just hadn’t gotten around to it, or needed to bone up on his Italian.

(Hey…Pauly boy.  Listen.  It’s moots-a-rrrelll-a.  Roll the R.  I can’t really explain how.  You just…you just do it.  C’mon.  Moots-a-rrrelll-a). 

The Greek word in Rom. 1:12 translated “prevented” or “hindered” is used elsewhere in Scripture as “forbidden” or “restrained.”

He strongly desired to go but was prevented from going.

God is sovereign.  He has a LOCK on everything in that He Limits, Orders, Controls and Knows ALL things.  What prevented Paul from going to Rome?  The question isn’t what, but who.  The answer is God.  He used circumstances in Paul’s life to prevent him from going to Rome…and I’m glad He did.  You & I benefit directly from Paul having never spent the time there he wanted to.

You know what Paul did since he couldn’t get over to Rome?  He stayed in Corinth.  While there, he took out his pen, put it to the paper, and wrote a long letter to the Christians in Rome under the inspiration and guidance of God the Holy Spirit.  That which he could not impart to them in-person, he had no choice but to put in writing, and write he did.  He didn’t know his audience very well, so he left no stone unturned.  He introduces himself, lets them know he wishes he could be with them, and gets right to it.  He digs deep wells of doctrine from which he’ll draw from to teach the truth of the Gospel for over 65% of the letter, and finally gives practical application in what we know as the latter 5 chapters.  This is the providence of God at work in Paul’s life some 2,000 years ago, and we’re blessed by it today.

In Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology, he defines the providence of God as follows:
“God is continually involved with all created things in such a way that He (1) keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which He created them; (2) cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do; and (3) directs them to fulfill his purposes.”  (emphasis mine)

The very existence of Romans in our Bibles is a huge testimony to the providence of God.  I wonder what God is doing in our lives, in our relationships, in our Small Groups, on Sundays at GFC Newport, through seemingly ordinary, perhaps even mundane circumstances, all to bring about a greater good that you & I can’t even fathom now, but perhaps will see clearly in the rear-view mirror later on.

I’m glad we’re on this ride together, and can’t wait to look back with glad hearts on what God is doing among us for His glory and our good.

Cíao,                   (like this…“chow”)                  {;-)

Pastor Peter

Thanks to Bill HR for the mozzarella image.

From Pastor Peter 4/19/13

Dear Grace Family,

Our journey through Romans continues!  Ryan Fultz, our Dir. of High School Ministries at GFC Florence, will be opening the Word for us this week, preaching a sermon from Rom. 1:14-17.  It's rare that I hear the sermon before Sunday morning, but this one I did and it's excellent.  I'm so excited to hear it again with you!  Think about meditating on those verses in preparation for our time together on Sunday.  You won't regret it.

We're going live with a new online photo church directory.  No worries...we've got it set up to be completely safe & secure, and you're in the driver's seat.  You can opt-in or out anytime, as well as decide what information you want displayed to our church family.  We're pretty excited about it.

Here's the deal.  If there's one thing I've learned from 10+ years in vocational ministry, it's that photo directories work much better with photos than they do without (seriously, it's true).  Instead of asking you to take a photo of yourself, or upload a photo that's just the right size, blah-blah-blah, we've made it super easy.  We're going to take the picture for you (just a simple head shot, really).  We'll tell you everything you need to know on Sunday.  For now, if you could plan on hanging out after church for just a bit so we could get your mugshot, we'd appreciate it.  We'll be doing it this Sunday and next, April 21 & 28.  Thanks much!

I love, love, love being a part of all that God is doing at our new campus, and am thankful you're a part of it with me.  What a mighty God we serve.

Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 4/12/13

Dear Grace Family,

Thanks for the great response to the sermon last week!  I've enjoyed communicating with different ones of you re: Bible Reading plans.  I'm convinced that a Bible Reading Plan is what is best for just about every growing Christian.  Read it straight through from Genesis to Revelation, or chronologically, or some OT+ some NT. Do it in a year, 5 years, 2 years - whatever floats your boat.  It's just a matter of finding one that's right for you.  Remember - I stand ready to help, even if that means making a customized plan just for you.  Just let me know.
This Sunday we start a new sermon series through the book of Romans!  I hope you're as excited as I am.  If you haven't done so already, consider taking some time between now & Sunday to (re)acquaint yourself with the book.  It's going to be a great sermon series that I'm excited to go through with you both from the pulpit and the pew.

Last night at Small Group, we talked about how excited we all are for the ‘Go Local’ Night coming up this Thurs., April 18 6:30-8:45 p.m., at the Florence campus.  We’ve had foreign missions cultural nights, but this is the first time we've dedicated a night to showcase all the local ministries we partner with.  God is doing a great work – and you’ll see where 20% of our financial giving goes to.  Who knows?  Perhaps you'll learn of a ministry partner of ours that you can serve with your God-given gifts and talents.
    • There will be childcare for infants through age 3, and a fun movie night for children 4-11.  Middle school and up can join in with the adults and learn about the local ministries.
    • Please RSVP HERE so we can plan appropriately, particularly for childcare.

See you on Sunday!
In Christ,

Pastor Peter

Small Group: They Cleaned Our Bathroom

Hi There.  Renee here.  I have something that I can't help but tell you about small groups at Grace Fellowship Church.

They changed my life.

I mean, God changed my life through the vehicle of small groups, of course.

My husband and I had been part of a parachurch organization that seriously rocked.  That organization taught us to take our walk with God very seriously.  We started to believe that we'd never experience that depth of challenge and the richness of teaching in the local church.

Fast forward a bunch of years.  We ended up at Grace Fellowship Church after years of hunting for a church.  Years.  Dry and painful years.  Some folks introduced themselves to us on a Sunday morning and invited us to their small group.  We decided to go out and try one.  I'm going to be honest.  It was real awkward for us the first time.  Showing up at a stranger's home.  Sharing details of our lives with people we had never met.  Awkward in such a good way.  We stayed.

Over the years, we have had people from our small group bring us meals when were sick. We've brought them meals when they've similarly been in hard times.  People from our small group came and  cleaned our yucky-dirty bathroom when I couldn't get out of bed for months because of a crazy pregnancy.

I have been involved in and witnessed what it means to bear each other's burdens. The messy stuff alongside small group members...encouraging them to seek counseling, through miscarriages and through adjusting to motherhood.  The real stuff of life.

Sheryl Crow opens one of her songs, "This ain't no country club...this is LA."

Small groups ain't no country club.  It's the real, gritty, tangled stuff of life.  For me, it has meant opening up and sharing my story to encourage others.  It has meant putting people in the middle of the room in a chair and putting our hands on them and praying fervently for them as they endure trial.

It's so worth it.

Now, we receive calls from people looking for a small group to join.  I'm so sorry if you're on the other end of the line and I exuberantly run you over with a million reasons why small groups are awesome.  I'm trying not to do that (it's hard to not express it, you know?). For me, small groups haven't been just some side part of our Grace Fellowship Church experience. They've been very much at the core of our life-with-God experience.  I mean, the teaching from the pulpit is fabulous, but getting to walk that out in our daily lives is where it's really at.

Small group has been what's rocked my world about the local church.  Oh, wow, this stuff the Bible talks about is for real.  There are people that actually practice it!

So, in short: you need to go to a small group if you haven't already.  And stay long enough to be hurt.  Then, keep going.  Get into other people's lives.  Text them an encouraging verse.  Let them know you're praying with them.  Go clean their bathroom.  It's so worth it.  But, don't just take my word for it: the Bible calls us to.

For more info, check this out.  Or, pop over to Facebook and leave us a message.

From Pastor Peter 4/5/2013

Dear Grace Family,

I’m excited to open the Word with you this weekend!  We’ve got one more message in our “What’s The Bible All About?” series.  

I want to take this time to speak to you about how you might read & apply the Bible in your everyday life.  God-willing, the sermon will be broken up into three parts as we look at what the Bible is, why we should read it, and how we might go about it.  

Whether you’re an avid reader of the Bible several times each day or have yet to really crack it open outside of church, I hope God encourages & equips you from His Word during our time together this Sunday.

We’ll look at several different verses together, but I’ll spend a good amount of time walking through two key verses in 2 Tim. 3:16,17.  

Meditate on those verses, or read the whole book of 2 Timothy a few times between now & Sunday (it’s only 4 chapters long). 

See you then!

In Christ,

Pastor Peter

Serving in Small Group: Meals

We're kicking off a series on serving in Small Group here on the blog.  We'll have a few guest posts, some encouragement, some crazy stories and well, some ways for you to jump in and be blessed by being a blessing to those in your small group.  Please hop on over to the Facebook page and let us know of situations where you've done what we're talking about, and how you were blessed.  So, without further ado, here's a guest post from Lauren, a small groupie (is that a word?!) at Newport.

Hello!  I'm Lauren and I'm here to share a great way to show love to those in your small group by bringing a meal.

I have been blessed countless times by the people in my small group bringing a meal to my family. After each child I have had, a large group of people has brought meals to my house and sometimes enjoyed the meal with us.  It's a sweet time of letting someone else hold the baby while I eat with both hands! Making meals for the people in my small group has helped me get to know them, and they are so grateful that I feel like the one being blessed. Meals are helpful whether it's for someone with a new baby, a new home, someone who has experienced a loss, or just because making a meal lets a family know how much you care and is a tangible way of coming alongside one another.  
Yep...there can be some uneasiness in bringing a meal to a family you don't know that well. What if they don't like it? What if they are vegetarians or can't tolerate gluten?

I've been there, but don't fret! There is a helpful website called Foodtidings.com that you can use to help schedule the meals, remind people of the date they signed up for, and it even has a section about food allergies, likes and dislikes.  You only need to ask a few questions to make the scheduling and meal-making worry-free.
So begin by asking:

  • How long would meals be a blessing to your family? 2 weeks, 4 weeks, etc.
  • How frequently would you prefer the meals?  Every day, every other day, only weekdays?
  • Does your family have any food allergies?
  • Is there anything your family doesn't eat?
  • What is your favorite take-out place? And what would you order?
  • When is the preferred time of drop-off?
Once you have complied the answers, head on over to www.Foodtidings.com and create a free account. They even have a blog with meal ideas! The website is super easy to use. When you have filled out the information, it's a cinch to email it to others in your small group...or put a link up on Facebook. The site sends a reminder to those who have signed up and that's it!  In 10 minutes you can create a plan and spread the word about how to bless a family in your small group!

And as a bonus, here's a super easy dinner idea here is my Chicken Pot Pie recipe: (it's nothing fancy but totally looks homemade!)

2-3 cooked chicken breasts, cubed or shredded
1 C. Milk
2 cans of Cream of Potato Soup
1 small bag of mixed veggies (peas, carrots, green bean, corn etc.)
1 box refrigerated pie crust

Let pie crust sit on counter for 20 minutes. Mix milk and soup in a medium sized bowl. Add chicken and veggies. Season with salt and pepper or Nature's Seasonings. Unroll one pie crust into a pie dish and fill with filling. Place the second pie crust on top and crimp the edges. Slit the top for steam to escape. Place the pot pie on a foil lined baking sheet to catch the bubbly goodness.
You can bake it at 375º for 45 minutes or if your're delivering it in the early afternoon, just include the baking instructions and they can have it hot out of their oven!

(That's a picture of Lauren's Chicken Pot Pie above...looks delicious, right?  She promises it is easy.  Try it out...and bring it to a small groupie that would be blessed (who wouldn't?!) and let us know how it went, here.) 

Eric Metaxas Bonhoeffer Tour Video

Sunday, April 7 from 6:00-8:30 pm at the Florence Campus.  
Childcare is not provided. 
Please click here to register so we know how many to plan for. 

Pastor Brad shared about Eric Metaxas' Bonhoeffer as recommended reading a bit back.  Many of us have picked it up and devoured the deep read.  Wow.  Is Bonhoeffer's life humbling, or what?!  One of the big take-aways from the biography has been how quickly a society can overtly turn against Christianity.  Over the span of 10 years or so, things were drastically different in the context that Bonhoeffer sought to preach within.

"There are a lot of parallels to the German church in the 30s."
"What does it look like when a man turns himself totally over to the Lord in the midst of a dark time?"
-Eric Metaxas

Check out Metaxas' video invitation here but note that we won't have a Q&A because we'll be watching by video.
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