From Pastor Peter 31-Jan-2014




Dear Grace Family,

THIS SUNDAY: Under grace instead of under the law 

This Sunday, Pastor Brad will be helping us understand what it means to be "under grace" instead of under the law.  In order to do that, we need to understand the real purpose of the law & why God gave it to us in the first place.  We'll be jumping back & forth between Romans & Galatians, so get ready to flip or click away as we dig deep in God's Word together.


Also, Pastor Brad says this would be a great message to invite someone who may not really understand what it means to be saved by grace.  Does someone come to mind?  Pray & consider inviting them to church with you this Sunday.

New Hope Baby Bottles – Don’t forget to bring back your New Hope baby bottles this Sunday, stuffed with money (yes, they accept checks as well as bills and loose change).  This fund-raiser makes a huge difference for their ministry the rest of the year.  Let’s put them in great shape for a great year of ministry opportunities.  Learn more about New Hope Center, including additional ways you can pray, support & serve by clicking HERE). 


Super-Bowl Halftime DVD

If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl (especially with a group of friends who might not all be Christians), stop by our Resource Table on Sunday and pick up a FREE DVD that was designed to show during half-time (only 20 min. long).  It features Pastor Mark Driscoll interviewing the Seahawks’ Quarterback, Russell Wilson, and other Seahawk players and coaches who love Jesus Christ.  You can also download the interview or preview it yourself HERE.

Ken Ham/Bill Nye Debate - THIS TUESDAY, 04-Feb - watch w/ us at GFC Florence!

We're excited to be hosting the event via live stream at the Florence campus!  Consider joining us at this FREE special event. Please click HERE to let us know you're coming so we know how many to prepare for.


Have a great weekend.  See you on Sunday!


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 24-Jan-2014




Dear Grace Family,

Great to be back in Romans!

How great was it last Sunday to be back in the book of Romans together?  On Sunday, we'll say in Romans 6:1-14.  focusing specifically on verses 11-14 as Pastor Brad shows us a biblical strategy for fighting sin.  Consider preparing yourself in the Word by giving those verses a re-read over the weekend.

A very good busy...thanks!

Last weekend we DOUBLED the amount of people who are wanting to have a conversation about how they can help us "grow deep" in an area that's very important in the life of any growing church: serving.  There are MANY names to work through, but this is one of my favorite types of busy; working with the different people to equip & engaged them in ministry so the body of Christ functions better as a whole.  I can't wait to speak with you soon.  Missed last Sunday?  Feel a little out of the loop?  Our Forum Recap might help a bit, or you can always drop me an email at peterlaruffa[at]graceky[dot]org and I'd be happy to explain.






Ken Ham/Bill Nye Debate - Tue, 04-Feb - watch w/ us at GFC Florence!

You've probably heard about the historic debate coming up between Ken Ham & Bill Nye "The Science Guy" on Tue, 04-Feb.  We're excited to be hosting the event via live stream at the Florence campus!  Consider joining us for this special event. There's no cost to attend, but please click HERE to let us know you're coming so we know how many to prepare for.





Looking forward to worshiping together on Sunday.  See you then!


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 17-Jan-2014




Dear Grace Family,

Back to Romans This Sunday!

This Sunday we’re jumping back into the book of Romans, picking up where we left off in one of the greatest chapters in all of the Bible – Romans 6.  Consider preparing yourself in the Word by reading Romans 6:1-14.  It’s great!  I hope you're as excited as I am to get back into the series we enjoyed so much last year.

January Forum - Thanks for coming!

62 of you joined us at our Forum on Monday where we looked ahead to 2014 in prayer and planning.  That's more than we've ever had before!  I'm so grateful to be part of such an enthusiastic church family.  If you missed it or just want to review what we covered, check out my recap HERE.

Starting Sunday: Same Sermon at BOTH Campuses

At long last, both Florence & Newport campuses will be hearing the exact same sermon every Sunday!  We'll still do our own thing a few times each year on special Sundays (holidays, Concerts of Prayer, etc.), but we're looking forward to this change to continue to unite our two campuses.  It's an important move in continuing to make Grace Fellowship "one church in two locations."  Many thanks to Lee Nordine, Bob Smith, and many others who worked hard to get us to be able to do this.  Please pray it goes well!

Married Couples Dinner Dance

We're holding our 3rd Married Couples Dinner Dance on Fri, 31-Jan.  The deadline for registration is Monday, 20-Jan.  Registration details are HERE.

Thank You for Your Giving!

By God’s grace, and your sacrificial giving, we finished the year $154,000 over budget.  What an answer to prayer!  But God uses people to answer prayer, so thank you for investing your money into what God is doing in and through us here at Grace Fellowship!

Looking forward to being back with you on Sunday.  See you there!


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

Jan 2014 Forum Recap



Monday, January 13th, 2014's Forum featured five sections: thanking God, defining Grow Deep, Outreach, Prayer and Serving.  We live tweeted some take-aways as the meeting happened, but we wanted to fill you in if you weren't able to attend.


Thanking God.
Here's a selection of the things we celebrated God doing in 2013:
  • Feeling like this campus is a place where I can fit in
  • Being able to invite neighbors because the location is closer to home
  • New/different opportunities to serve
  • Conversations with folks in and around the Levee, inviting them to church
  • Bonding through doing this startup together
  • Baptisms
  • Connect
  • Grace4U
  • Systems in place for doing theater church
What else are you thankful for God doing in and through Grace Fellowship Church Newport?  Hop on over to Facebook and let's celebrate it together!

Grow Deep.
We talked "Grow Deep" and how we're defining it.  Some of you said that Grow Deep means:
  • Picking core areas and developing those until we're good at them instead of trying to do everything
  • Jeremiah 17:8, Psalm 1
  • Bearing fruit, not sitting idle
  • Living life like God is who He says He is and means what He says
Making an effort to "Grow Deep" in 2014 means we'll look at what God has started among us over the past year, and prayerfully seek to deepen our roots in order to continue to establish healthy, long-lasting, fruitful ministry at GFC Newport.



Outreach.
We considered some of our outreach opportunities and considered how we might Grow Deep in making them more gospel-centered.  How can we use the opportunities we have to help kids read, or distribute Thanksgiving meals, or deliver Christmas gifts to connect the recipients to the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  We talked about how we might be more intentional about some of the opportunities that we have.

Prayer.
How often do you pray specifically for GFC Newport?  The Old Testament is full of people who had forgotten the Lord's great work among them, and it effected them greatly (Psa. 78:9ff).  Let's not forget God's faithfulness to us in providing for us a place to hold worship services when our church body prayed and fasted together.  Let's grow deeper in our prayer life as a church.  Let's cry out to God together in thanksgiving for what He's done among us, and asking Him to specifically bless us for His glory!  Look for one thing each month for us to focus our prayers towards as we pray for God to continue to build His church here in Newport.

Serving.
In Romans 12:1-8, Paul exhorts the Christians in Rome to present their bodies as "living sacrifices" and says this is their reasonable, logical, worshipful response to the fact that they've received mercy from God.  The motivation to live the Christian life is rooted in the Gospel; the fact that we've received mercy (we're not getting what our sins deserve) and grace (we are and will continue to be treated as heirs to the Kingdom of God).

What if we really considered, really understood the picture God paints for us in His Word of being a body?  What would God do among us if we really understood what that meant?  Are you convinced that you're a necessary part of the body?  God says you are!  And without you, the body suffers.  If this strikes you, let's talk about it some more!  Drop me a note and I'd love to talk about what that might mean for personally.  No commitment yet - just reach out to peterlaruffa[at]graceky[dot]org, or call me at (859) 371-7880 and we'll talk or set up a time to meet.

The turnout at this Forum was our best yet.  Thanks so much for coming out to talk!  More to come.


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 10-Jan-2014




Dear Grace Family,

Dinner & Forum THIS MONDAY, 13-JAN, 7 PM at FLORENCE

Hopefully you saw my post earlier this week re: the upcoming Forum.  I'm looking forward to explaining what I hope "growing deep" practically looks like for our church in 2014, and would love, love LOVE for us all to be on the same page as we move forward together.  Please join us!  Childcare will be provided (register HERE).

Also, if it will help you to not have to worry about dinner that night, we'd love to have you eat with us!  Join us for pizza at 6:30 before we begin the meeting begins at 7.  Just let us know and we'll count you in!

This Sunday: Concert of Prayer!

If you were with us last week, you'll recall one of the "big rocks" I spoke about was God-focused Praise & Worship.  We believe corporately praising our God is such a vital part of our life together as Christians, we occasionally dedicate an entire Sunday to doing just that - singing praises to God, reading Scripture about God, and praying aloud to God.  We're blessed to have, not simply an accomplished musician, but a man who is very well-versed in the Scriptures who leads us in praising God every week; Spencer Settles.  He'll be leading our Concert of Prayer on Sunday, so come ready to rejoice in our great God, and sing praises that are due His Name.

Duty calls

I'll miss being with you on Sunday as I'll be preaching at our Florence campus.  I look forward to seeing you at the Forum on Monday, and then worshiping with you at Newport once again next weekend (and for many more thereafter as I'm not preaching elsewhere again 'til mid-March).

Enjoy praising our God together on Sunday!


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

January 13th Forum


January 13th, 2014
7pm - 8:15pm
at the Florence Campus (in the "Upper Room")
Light refreshments & optional pizza dinner provided

Sign-up if you need childcare here.

Grow Deep.  That's our vision for this year.  Sounds good, right?  Sure.  I mean, how can you argue with "growth" and "depth?"

Here's the thing: people don't grow in "fuzzyland."  It may sound nice, but what does it mean for you as an important member of the body of Christ at Newport?

A pithy line in a Sunday sermon doesn't bring about change.  God does.  He grows us and He honors our efforts as we seek to keep in step with Him (Gal. 5:25).

I'm looking forward to this opportunity to present to you what I hope "grow deep" looks like for us as a church throughout 2014.  These will be the practical steps I'd love for us to take as a church (all stuff I never could fit into one sermon).  I bet you have ideas, too, and I'd love to hear them!  Let's spend this time together prayerfully looking ahead at the year to come, and praying for God's blessing as we seek to walk with Him.

NEW!  Would it help your family if we provided a pizza dinner for you that evening?  If that would serve you by giving you one less thing to worry about, I'd be delighted to share a meal with you.  Just quickly fill out this form and we'll count you in.  (Dinner served at 6:30; meeting starts at 7).

I hope to see you there!


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 03-Jan-2014




Dear Grace Family,

Happy New Year!  Whether you were up late ringing in 2014 or simply woke up to it, I hope this past week was a blessed one for you as we begin another calendar year serving our great God together.

This Sunday

First, I asked you to please pray for my sermon this Sunday, and I want to thank you for responding like you did.  Several of you have followed up with me and asked for more specific ways to pray.  What a joy it is to serve as an under-shepherd to a flock of such responsive, loving, prayerful folks like you.  Thanks again!

This is an important Sunday for us as a church as I'll seek to use it to preach a vision-casting message for us as we move ahead into 2014 at GFC Newport.  If it were possible, I'd take all that's on my heart and preach it over the course of 2-3, maybe 4 Sundays.  But God has other plan (better plans) and I have two opportunities, one of which is this Sunday.  Please pray for me as I continue to prepare to open the Word with you at church on Sunday.

Save the Date - GFC Newport Forum on Mon, 13-Jan!

I said I have two opportunities to cast some vision.  The first of which is this Sunday, and the next one will be at our next Forum on Mon, 13-Jan, 7 PM at the Florence campus (light refreshments and childcare will be provided).  At that meeting, we'll discuss important practical points of application from this sermon, and hopefully flesh out a bit of what I hope God will do among us this year at GFC Newport.  I'd love it for as many people to be there as possible, so please make every effort to have at least one member of your family present to better understand some of the ways in which I hope to "grow deep" together throughout this year.

Stay warm.  See you on Sunday!


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter
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