Grace For You (G4U) class starting THIS SUNDAY!

Grace For You (G4U) is a 3-week class for those who are new to GFC.  It's different from "Connect" in that it's a more detailed, granular look at biblical doctrine that defines what we believe, and why we do what we do honor the Lord as a church.  You commit nothing by coming to the class, but you'll have the opportunity to complete a membership application and join the church at the end of the class, if you want.

Planning on coming?  Click HERE and help us plan by letting us know.  Hope to see you there!

Come to "Connect"

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 Sunday, February 9th, head downstairs to the Community Room 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' 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, or call 859.371.7880.

Hope to see you there!

From Pastor Peter 25-Oct-2013

Dear Grace Family,

Thank you

I wanted to take a brief opportunity to share a word of thanks to SO many of you who have offered some of the most encouraging words regarding my sermon last week on homosexuality and how we are to respond.  Being a part of such a Word-centered and responsive church like GFC is good for my walk with Christ, as your desire to walk closely with the Savior and be more like Him serves as an encouragement for our family as well, both personally & ministerially.  May God continue to use the preaching of His Word for His glory at our church, and may we continue to be found faithful as we seek to walk in a manner worth of our calling as adopted sons & daughters of the Lord (Eph. 4:1).

I Miss You!  :(

One last Sunday, friends, and then I'm looking forward to worshiping with you once again and preaching live next week at Newport.  Preaching at Florence and the travel I've done over the past week (some work-related, and some getting to see some family while away) has been busy, but very sweet.  The conference I attended was very helpful and encouraging, offering fresh insight into the Word for me as a leader and as a child of God.  Thank you for praying for this time, and know that I can't wait to see you again face-to-face!

This Sunday

We’ll keep building on the foundation we’ve laid so far, as Pastor Brad gives us some strategies for staying sexually pure in a sex-saturated society.  The strategies will apply to all of us, but there will make special application to those of you who are not married, as it’s become more difficult harder to stay sexually pure today.  To get ready for Sunday – read Ephesians 4:17-20 and 5:1-7.

Also, thank you so much for the great response from so many of you regarding God’s call to invest your money into your local church and what God is doing in and through us.  A lot of you that are new to the church have jumped in and started giving for the first time, as well as dozens more of you that have taken that step to sign up for an EFT.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  If you’ve been praying and you’re ready to sign up for an EFT (Electronic Fund Transfer) you can do so by clicking HERE.

Also, if you're considering supporting Kingdom work done at GFC, please know that we try to make wise use of the money you give, most notably by not spending it all on ourselves.  Most churches our size spend 90% of their budget on salaries, wages, benefits, plus facilities, and the remaining 10% goes to fund all of their ministries – including missions.  Not so at Grace!  This year only 47% was spent on SWB (salaries, wages, benefits), and another 21% was allocated to missions, leaving another 32% for ministries and facilities.

We’re also working hard to knock out that facility part.  Our goal is to have this facility paid off and to be DEBT-FREE by 2020 – in 7 years!  And we’re on track to do that by paying an extra $150,000 every year towards reducing our debt.  If we’re able to do that, we’ll be debt-free by 2020.  But to do that we need you to give generously and sacrificially.  Would you consider giving a special gift towards debt reduction that would help us pay the extra $150,000 this year?

It's a joy to be in the same church body as you.  What an even greater joy it will be to be in the same church building as you next week!  I look forward to seeing you then, and will be thinking about and praying for you this Sunday and in the days ahead.

Much love,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 18-Oct-2013

Dear Grace Family,

This Sermon

7 days ago wasn't just your typical Friday.  It also happened to be "National Coming Out Day."  It's a day that people publicly & corporately celebrate identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.  It's not new, either.  This is actually the 25th year that the 11th of October has been used to celebrate people identifying themselves in such a way.

Our sermon series is entitled Holy Sex: Sexual Purity in a World Gone Mad.  One of the clearest signs of the madness of our lost world can be seen in the advancement of the homosexual agenda in our culture.  This Sunday we'll look to the Scriptures to see what God has to say, not only about the homosexual, but about all Christians and how the Lord would have us respond in a way that is pleasing to Him.  May God use our time together to take us back to the hope and help all Christians find in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the power of God unto salvation and holy living.

Also, I'll be waving around a book I highly recommend reading entitled Out of a Far Country.  I only came across it a few weeks ago so when I preached this sermon at Florence last week, we weren't able to offer it in the Resource Center.  However, we were able to get our hands on a few copies to offer at our Resource Center this Sunday in time for this sermon, so consider picking up a copy or ordering it online.  It was a GREAT read, both teaching and reminding me of truth as I learn of how God worked in this man's life.

I won't be with you this Sunday as I'm in New York City officiating a wedding for a former student and friend of mine.  Afterward, I head off to a conference in Chicago.  Please pray for both of these times; that I would preach a clear Gospel message at the wedding, and that I'd learn all that God has for me at the conference next week.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

Spencer Settles on Glory Awaits

We asked Spencer Settles, our campus music leader, about a new song that we started singing this weekend, Glory Awaits.  Listen to the song here.  Why are we singing this song in worship of God, among so many others to choose from?  Here's what Spencer had to say.

I wanted to do Glory Awaits as soon as I heard it.  It is a simple but extremely encouraging song reminding us that this life, full of sorrows and trials as it is, will give way to a glory only as yet imagined by those on this side of heaven.  It brings to mind this Scripture:

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed 
day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory 
beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that 
are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the 
things that are unseen are eternal.

From Pastor Peter 11-Oct-2013

Dear Grace Family,

This Sunday!

How do we get out of sexual sin?  How do we get out of any sin?  Last week we’re in Romans ch. 1, where we looked at the slippery slope down into sexual sin that starts with suppressing the truth, not glorifying God, not being thankful, and not being careful with where your thoughts run. And then… it’s light’s out.  Your foolish heart will be darkened – and you’ll start going places you never intended to GO… becoming someone you never intended to BE.  How can you get OUT of sexual sin if you’re already in it?  And what does the closest ‘Exit’ look like?  There’s hope!  That's what we'll see this week.  

I'll miss being with you this Sunday as I'll be preaching at our Florence campus.  I'll be praying for you, friends.  Please pray for me as I preach!

Love and thanks,

Pastor Peter

[REVISED] From Pastor Peter 04-Oct-2013

(Revisions below.)

Dear Grace Family,

A Note from the Elders

Click HERE to read a note from the Elders about one of the recent changes made to the Youth Ministry at our Florence campus.

Giving Update from Pastor Brad - click HERE

Baptism Class - 9 AM THIS SUNDAY!

Have you been baptized since you've become a Christian?  If not, then this class is for you.  Come to our very first Baptism Class at GFC Newport.  This informative class will be helpful for anyone who wants to learn about what the Bible says about this ordinance, and will better help you to assess if baptism is for you (hint...if you're a Christian and haven't been baptized, it is most definitely for you). :)

Still not sure?  Got questions?  Wanna learn more?  You don't commit to anything by coming to the class, so stop by on your way to church and learn.  NEXT SUNDAY (06-OCT) at 9:00am in the Levee's Community Room (directly across from GameWorks).  Oh, and if you already know you'll be joining us, let us know by clicking HERE.

Pray for our Small Group Service Projects!

Two of our Small Groups took advantage of some opportunities to reach out to our community!  Some members of my Small Group joined me in Covington where we set up the Prayer Stand and offered to pray with anyone who was willing.  We spoke with 15+ people in just two hours!  I look forward to passing on those prayer requests to our Small Group when we meet next.  Please pray for the people we got to interact with in our time there.

Zach & Kelly Lux's Small Group will be serving in the Newport Intermediate School on 4th Street tonight.  This week, the school sent home invitations to students to come back to the school tonight for a reading workshop where our folks will have the opportunity to come alongside students & parents to help them in their reading practices at home.  A local pizza store will be hooking us up with pizza at an incredibly low price, and Kona Ice will be donating some tasty treats as well.  Please pray for the time these folks will spend with parents and students, and for how God may use this to open doors for future outreach opportunities.

Sermon this Sunday: Back to Romans!

This Sunday, Pastor Brad will help us understand how it is that so many people – both inside and outside of the church –  end up taking this good gift of marriage, sexuality, and gender and make such a mess of it.  To get ready for Sunday, read Romans 1:18-32.

See you on Sunday,

Pastor Peter

Counting People 'cause People Count - Thanks!

I worked part-time (and eventually full-time) as a Database Manager for a company back in college.  Maybe that's where it started.

I also worked as a 401(k) Consultant for awhile and had to understand the little details of record keeping for my clients so I could speak with HR people and help them manage their plans for their employees.  Maybe that's where it started.

I also used to sit in front of the front-load washing machine in our apartment building as a kid and watch it run through a complete cycle for about twenty-five minutes straight as if it were a TV.  (Ask Mom.  I really did.)  That's kinda weird.  Maybe that's where it started.

I'm talking about my geeky side.  I do have one (act surprised).  My eyes light up when I see a spreadsheet, particularly if it has a pie chart.  I get butterflies in my stomach if said sheet and/or pie chart is in color.  There's just so much you can learn from it!

I did a geeky happy dance on Monday in my office (video here) because we had the highest Connection Form participation ever.  96% of our folks filled out Connection Forms this past week.  That's huge!  Why?

We count people because people count.

Is it all about the numbers?  Not really...but kinda.  Those Connection Forms help me to better shepherd the flock by seeing who is new among us, where we're drawing people from, and how we can best minister to them.  It helps me "close the back door," which is church-speak for not just knowing who walked in one day, but also seeing if they stay and where they are in their walks with the Lord.

Are they a "one-timer," never to be seen again?

Are they a "SMO" (Sunday Morning Only)?

Are they connected to a Small Group?  Are they serving?

These don't tell you everything about people, but they're very helpful indicators as to how people are doing, and how we're doing as a church.

Sooooo, I just wanted to take this time to say "thanks."  You taking a minute or two each Sunday to fill that thing out, tear it off and pass it on may seem a bit tedious or pointless on a Sunday morning, but I can't tell you how helpful it is for me on Monday morning, especially when the number of forms received is as close to the head count as it was this past week.

Wanna read a little more?  Here's a link to a helpful article I read recently re: this topic.

Thanks again, friends.  Keep up the great work.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter  

(Imaged used with permission via Creative Commons)
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