From Pastor Peter 05-June-2015



We’re moving out this Sunday!
As you know, this Sunday marks the last Sunday we’ll hold worship services in the movie theaters.  After church this Sunday, we’ll pack all our things up in a truck and haul them back to the Florence campus while we prepare to launch in Fort Thomas in September.  Thank you SO much for the great response to our “all-call” for help in packing last week.  We have plenty of people signed up and are looking forward to serving together, and then enjoying Dewey’s Pizza together afterward.

LaRuffa Family Sabbatical
This Sunday also marks the last Sunday I work before I go on my Sabbatical.  I’m very much looking forward to this extended time to unplug, refresh, and recharge on many different levels, and am very grateful ours is a church that offers me the opportunity to do this.  Our family will spend some time on the road, some time visiting family, and some time at home enjoying each other.  We’re very excited as to how the plans have shaped out.  Please pray for this special time for our family.  I look forward to returning to work on Sun, 09-Aug.

Updates over the Summer
Todd Richmond will serve as Project Manager in my absence, and will be sending out updates re: how things are progressing as we work towards our launch in Fort Thomas.  Keep an eye peeled for that via email, social media, and/or the like.

Social Media Merge
Speaking of social media, we’ve merged our social media channels on Facebook and Twitter.  Please be sure to “like” the Facebook page entitled “Grace Fellowship Church,” and to follow @GFC_KY on Twitter so you won’t miss a thing.

Sermon This Sunday
We have the privilege of hearing from Dr. Heath Lambert this Sunday.  Heath is the Executive Director of the Assoc. of Certified Biblical Counselors, as well as Assoc. Professor of Biblical Counseling at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He’s a great friend of Pastor Brad & Grace Fellowship Church, so please pray for him as he opens the Word with us on Sunday.

Have a great weekend!


God bless,


Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 29-May-2015



Dear Grace Family,

Next Sunday – ALL HANDS ON DECK!

We need your help packing up to move our stuff out of the theater after church next Sun, 07-Jun.  After we finish, we’ll load and unload elevators, make trips to loading docks, and load up our stuff in a truck.  Note: we only need help on the Newport side of things (others will unload at Florence).  Please consider hanging around after church and helping us out!   Dewey’s Pizza lunch will be provided for all who lend a hand once all the work is done.

Finishing Touches

I spent a few hours yesterday in Covington, staring at paint colors, flooring samples, and thinking WAY outside the box with some folks who are WAY more talented in these areas than I am.  I’m thankful for Douwe & Marcie Blumberg, Bob Smith & Todd Richmond for their help and input.  I think we all left the meeting very excited about what was decided, clarifying many different details to make the best use of our space in Fort Thomas in the Fall.  I can’t wait to see it!



This Sunday

We're continuing our “Church Matters” series this week with a message about church discipline entitled The Church and its Most Neglected Love Language.  Despite the fact the Bible speaks clearly about this necessary practice among believers, not many people or churches practice it.  We do.  Why?  How is this ‘loving?’  I’m excited to hear from Pastor Brad as he opens the Word with us on Sunday.

See you on Sunday,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 22-May-2015



Dear Grace Family,
This Sunday we'll hear from our Director of High School Ministry, Ryan Fultz, about the Church and the Fall.  If we are going to be excited about the Gospel and taking it to our community, we must come to terms with sin and our own depravity.  Without the Fall there is need no for a savior and without sin we don’t need grace.  May God use this Sunday to help us see him more clearly and love him more fully.
Elders' Forum: Newport Campus Recap
Be sure to get updated on news from the great Forum we had last Tuesday night as we rolled out the new direction for our campus. Thank you to everyone who turned out and asked so many great questions.  View the Recap HERE.
In Christ,
Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 15-May-2015


Grace Family,

This Sunday we're excited to kick off a new sermon series we’re calling ‘Church Matters’ that will take us all the way through the summer.  This series also has some amazing guest speakers who are some of the people that have impacted the life of our church leaders and church family. More info about the series HERE.

Elders' Forum: Newport Campus Recap
Be sure to get updated on news from the great Forum we had Tuesday night as we rolled out the new direction for our campus. Thank you to everyone who turned out and asked so many great questions.  View the Recap HERE.

A word from Todd Richmond, Director of Missions: 
In hindsight, we realized that at the Forum we dropped a pretty big surprise on you [Newport taking a sabbatical over the summer and worshiping at the Florence Campus] right at the end of the meeting without time for good dialogue on that topic.  Please forgive us.  Although we do believe that the pros outweigh the cons, we are very aware that we are not all knowing or all wise.  So if you have helpful thoughts or comments regarding this, please either email me toddrichmond@graceky.org or call me at the church.  [Peter is currently on vacation.] We do want to hear from you, particularly on this topic.  Thanks, Todd Richmond!

Our best days are ahead of us because God is still leading us.

Love in Christ,

Peter

From Pastor Peter 8-May-2015



Dear Grace Family,

This Sunday I’m excited to open the Word as we wrap up our “Basic Equipment” sermon series.  I’ll be preaching on prayer, but specifically what it looks like to pray with the heart of a child.  Of the many ways the Word of God refers to believers, the term used most often is “children,” reminding us of our relationship to our heavenly Father as His adopted sons and daughters.  How ought this affect our prayer life?  Why is this so important to remember as we pray?  I hope God will use our time in the Word together to show us just that.


An important Elders’ Forum is coming THIS TUE, 12-MAY, 7p at the Florence Campus!  I trust you received my email last week re: exciting changes we’re about to make concerning our Newport Campus.  I hope you’ll join us on Tuesday night to hear all the great details, and to engage in dialogue with us about these exciting next steps for our church.  Childcare will be provided, so help us prepare by registering HERE.  Hope to see you there!


Have a great weekend!

Love in Christ,
Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 1-May-2015



Dear Grace Family,

! NO SERVICE AT NEWPORT THIS SUNDAY !

This Sunday, we'll worship together with the rest of our church family at our Florence campus, celebrating new life in Christ. It'll be a great time hearing how God has worked in the lives of our brothers & sisters to draw them to Himself.  I'm especially excited to be baptizing four of our own from the Newport campus:

Sean Barry - 1st service (8:15a)
Will Klostermann - 2nd service (9:45a)
Hannah Beal - 3rd service (11:15a)
Mark Pepper - 3rd service (11:15a)

Save the [NEW] date for our Elders' Forum on Tue, 12-May.  We were unable to provide childcare on the original date, so thought it would be best to move the Forum to a different day & time.  Hopefully you received my email about some exciting changes concerning the Newport campus (if you haven't, please drop me a note HERE and I'll send it to you right away).  Join us to learn more, to talk together, to hopefully leave excited, with loads to pray for and look forward to.

Here's a unique opportunity to serve the Newport community.  Perhaps you've heard me mention the "Game Changer" nights at Newport Intermediate School (1 block south of the Levee).  It's an after-school event held this Wed, 06-May, 5p-7p at the school. Our church provides pizza and serves in any way we can on that evening. It's a great time to engage with families from Newport, as well as to encourage staff & faculty within the school.  Consider joining me and others as we lend a hand and seek to be good neighbors to kids, parents & teachers.


God bless,


Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 24-Apr-2015



Dear Grace Family,

Please pray for me!
I'm preaching at a retreat for high school seniors at the Catholic school I attended as a teenager.  I'll spend the weekend leading a Small Group, serving in any way I can, and preaching.  If you care to pray at a specific time, I'll be preaching the Gospel at 11:00a tomorrrow (Sat) morning to all in attendance - students, staff & other alumni.  Pray, pray, pray for the Word as I preach it, for the conversations I'll have with others, and for whatever I can do to be salt, light, and a faithful witness to those there.

PIT Crew Emails
By the way, did you know Pastor Brad & I send out PIT Crew Emails about once each month?  "PIT" stands for Pastor's Intercessory Team.  By joining the team, you receive emails from us with prayer requests for us re: ministry, family & personal life.  If you're interested in joining this team, send me an email and we'll get you subscribed.


Important Elders Forum - Save the Date!
As you know, a team of Elders & staff have been meeting regularly, prayerfully considering what might be the best "next steps" to take for our church in Newport.  This past Monday, I presented the fruit of our labors to the Elders at large, and it was unanimously approved.  So...now it's time to roll it out and get moving together.  Especially after the great turnout and spirited dialogue we had last time, I think the best way to do that is to have a Forum on Mon, 04-May, 7p at the Florence Campus.  More details to come, but do save the date for now.

This Sunday, Pastor Brad is back in the pulpit talking about the next piece of "basic equipment" needed to live the Christian life; scripture memory (particularly longer passages of Scripture).  Similar to last week, get ready for an emphasis on answers to "why" that we hope will motivate us all to make the practice of working to memorize larger passages of Scripture a part of our spiritual diet.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for praying.


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 17-Apr-2015



Dear Grace Family,

Thanks for Praying!
We had another prayer meeting on Monday night, specifically focusing on praying for the sick among us.  After praying prayers of thanksgiving & praise to God, we took some time to jot down some general things we should be praying for when it comes to those who are afflicted with illness.  We put them on the whiteboard and used that as a foundation upon which to build our prayers upon.


Afterward, we split up into smaller groups and prayed for individual’s needs, learning more about how we can pray for them specifically.  What a sweet time of learning more about one another’s needs.  Thank you for praying, thank you for letting us pray for you, and thanks for continuing to lift up one another as often as the Spirit reminds us.



This Sunday
We’re going to take a look at some more “Basic Equipment” for living the life God has called us to live in Christ as we look upon the Word of God.  I hope to give you a measuring stick to answer the following question: Do I have a diet of God’s Word feeding me?

Now, I just Googled “Bible Reading Plans” and came up with over 4.1 million in 0.31 seconds (click HERE and see if you can beat me).   I’m convinced, however, that people don’t stop consistently reading their Bibles because they forget how.  I think they forget why.  While I hope to give you some practical help, I want to focus on the why, and give us some things to look for in each of our lives to better assess whether or not we’re being adequately fed by God’s Word.  We’ll look at several Scriptures, but will spend a large portion of our time looking at portions of John 4:1-42, so consider reading through that before coming to church on Sunday.

Have a great weekend!


In Christ,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 10-Apr-2015


Dear Grace Family,

What a great time it was to celebrate the resurrection last Sunday!  I hope you were as blessed as I was, and left rejoicing and thinking of ways our risen Savior changes the way we live right here and now.  Plus, it was great to have so many among us, both first-time guests and visitors from our Florence campus.  Thanks for inviting folks, lending a hand in serving, and helping to make it a very special Easter Sunday indeed.  Now that it's passed, click
 HERE and check out some Easter follow-up ideas you might find helpful.




Prayer Meeting on MON, 13-APR, 7p at Florence Campus (optional 6:30p dinner)
I hope you'll join us for our corporate prayer meeting Monday evening.  Taking a clue from Jesus' life and imperatives we find throughout the Scriptures, we're going to take some time to pray for the sick among us.  Join us as we pray for endurance, strength, patience, perseverance, and healing for folks who need it most.  

In an effort to make attending easier, we thought we'd help bear that burden by providing an optional dinner for you & your family, if you're interested.  Also, we'll watch the kiddies for you if they're too young to participate with us (but that's your call, as they're more than welcome to join us).  Please click HERE and register for dinner and/or childcare so we can get a good headcount for both.




We're starting a new sermon series on Sunday called "Basic Equipment for the Christian Life," a series designed to give us a starting point in having the courage & confidence we've been speaking about in recent weeks and months.  Check out what's coming up over HERE and pray for our time together.


See you on Sunday,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 3-Apr-2015


Dear Grace Family,

I'm excited to celebrate the Resurrection with you on this Easter Sunday!  Please pray for me as I seek to preach a sermon that exalts the Lord Jesus Christ and draws people unto Him.  Pray for my children's sermon as I love dedicating a little time to some of the youngest among us on these special days (Children's Ministry will be provided for children 4 & under).  Pray about who to invite as there's still plenty of time!  (I blogged about it HERE yesterday).  Pray that we'd all be stirred afresh by the glorious, stunning truth of the Resurrection, and may we never grow used to that which literally changed the world forever.

Want some more ways to be intentional this Easter?  How 'bout 10 right over HERE.

Save the Date for our next Prayer Meeting - Mon, 13-Apr, 7p (optional 6:30p dinner).  Childcare will be provided.  More to come but for now, mark it down on your calendar and consider joining us as then as we continue to grow as a church in corporate prayer.


Hope you're looking forward to the celebration on Sunday.  See you then!



Because He lives,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 27-Mar-2015



Dear Grace Family,

Easter is coming...who will you invite?  Last week I took a few minutes to share something from John 4 with you.  In light of what Christ has done for you to whom will you run to and say "Come & see," hoping the Lord will use your invitation & testimony to spark belief in someone who needs Christ? (John 4:39-42) I invited someone this week and will look to follow-up with them as Easter draws nearer.  I hope you will, too!  Also, HERE are some more ways to be intentional as we prepare to celebrate together.

We need to beef up two important Serve Teams at our church - our Welcome Team and our Hospitality Team.  Our Welcome Team serves in a variety of ways to be some of the first impressions of our church to guests.  Our Hospitality Team prepares and brings breakfast on a rotating basis for those who serve early & often.  I'll say some more about this on Sunday morning, but will you prayerfully consider joining either or both of these teams?  Many hands make light work, and both teams are somewhat minimally intrusive as to the effects it has on members of these teams, so long as we have a decent number of people to work with on a rotating basis.  If you have any questions, drop me a note and I'll get you all the information you need (I'm at peterlaruffa[at]graceky[dot]org).

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


Love in Christ,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 20-Mar-2015



Dear Grace Family,




Baptism Lunch & Learn @ Dewey's Pizza.  Baptism services are one of our greatest times of praise & worship as a church family.  Interested in being baptized?  Come get information that will help you learn if this is the time for you to be baptized.  We'll look to the Bible (duh), but also talk about how we roll at Grace when it comes to baptism.  Remember - coming to the meeting locks you into nothing more than a free lunch. Hope to see you there!


#GoBoldly was a hit!  I couldn't be happier to see so many gathered at our church-wide gathering last week as we went boldly before the throne of grace praying for unengaged people groups and our missionaries; those that are on the field and those that have yet to be sent or even named.  I love to see what God is doing among us in developing a culture of corporate prayer like this.  If you missed out, save the date for our next Prayer Meeting: Mon, 13-Apr.  Hope to see you there!

Who will you invite to our Easter Celebration?  Believe it or not, Easter is only two weeks from this Sunday!  Who will you invite to church on Easter?  I hope you'll think & pray about this and look for an opportunity to ask someone to join us in celebrating our risen Lord.  I'll talk a bit more about this on Sunday.


See you then,

Pastor Peter

From Pastor Peter 13-Mar-2015



Dear Grace Family,

Our Elders' Forum was great!  What a great time of open, spirited dialogue.  I highly value times like those as I believe they can be beneficial for all involved.  Thanks so much to all who came out.  I look forward to the next time we can spend together like that.


Baptism Lunch is next Sun, 22-Mar, after church @ Dewey's Pizza.  If you've not yet gone public with your faith by being baptized, I'd love to talk to you about that.  We have a baptism service planned for Sun, 03-May, so let's talk about what the Bible says about baptism, how we roll at Grace when it comes to baptism, and consider if this might be the time for you to be baptized.  Coming to the meeting locks you into nothing more than a free lunch. Hope to see you there!

This Sunday, Pastor Brad takes us back into Romans 9, talking to us about the biblical balance we cling to as we look at these important doctrines of God's sovereign grace.  It's going to be a great message that will center us as a church as we love the truth of God's Word, even when it's hard or not completely understandable.  How are you doing with that?  How much does your love for God and His Word depend on your complete understanding or absolute comfort with what you read?  Important things to think through, friend.  May God bless us as we consider these and other things in our time together on Sunday.


See you then,

Pastor Peter
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