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Director of Student Ministries Hiring Update

Introducing: Ben Akers…our New Director of Student Ministries!

It was our joy to announce during Vision Night (click here to hear the audio) that Ben Akers has accepted our call to be the next Director of Student Ministries at Grace! At the end of March, Ben will finish his internship at Pleasant Valley Community Church (Owensboro, KY), with an anticipated arrival to Grace some time in April.

Ben graduated from Boyce College in 2018, with a degree in Family Ministries (Youth Focus). Upon graduating, he became the Student Ministry Assistant at PVCC (a fellow Sojourn Network Church). Ben has always had a passion for student ministry due to the impact youth ministry had on him. Ben shows a strong passion for the Word of God as well, and you can hear a bit of his heart for students to know the Word from a recent lesson he taught (click here to hear Ben’s lesson).

Ben married Amanda a little over two years ago and their daughter Paxton was born just over two months ago. Amanda is originally from Owensboro (thus bringing Ben to the area) and works as a metallurgist, while also volunteering at the church. They also have two dogs, Deacon and Tozer. They also cheer for the Toronto Raptors, which for the life of us, we can’t figure out why!

Pray for the Akers as they begin this transition. They will be looking for housing, as well as Amanda will be looking for employment in her field. We’ll be sure to point them out if they are up in the area for a visit before their full-time arrival in April and are also looking at some creative ways to help us get to know them better even before their arrival.

Ben Akers Sample Youth Lesson

Below is an audio file of Ben Akers teaching the youth in Owensboro, KY (where he is finishing up an internship with his local church). Give it a listen and be encouraged!

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GIPE Family Sabbatical Update

 

The Gipes will be on sabbatical the months of March and April. Plans are coming together for their time “away”. They will officially be on sabbatical from all day-to-day ministry responsibilities from March 3 to April 26. They plan to spend some time in Florida (their happy place) and perhaps California to be with family, rest, recalibrate, and then re-enter ministry with a renewed energy in May. Keep watch here for more thoughts from Marshall and Becky on what they plan to do, how they plan to intentionally “unwind” and how the Lord is leading them to search their souls in an intentional way during the 8 weeks.

Gipe Sabbatical, from Grace’s Perspective

While Marshall has posted some thoughts about his sabbatical, <click here to see them> as well as some of their plans, goals and details, we thought it would be a good idea to also share a little about how the sabbatical might effect Grace and what our goals might be as we experience it.

With only two guys on staff, can we afford to have someone go on sabbatical? How are we going to make sure things are covered while one of our pastors is away?

• Pulpit help. The elders have reached out to Chris Cobb (one of the pastors at Bible Fellowship) and asked him to come preach a couple of sermons during Marshall’s sabbatical. At the same time, both Jason Kerns and Michael Coate plan to preach a sermon while Marshall is on sabbatical. This means that Danny’s “preaching load” will be reduced some while Marshall is away, freeing him up to focus on some of the administrative details Marshall normally tackles.
• “Lori help.” We are thrilled with the way that Lori Palmer has stepped in and helped make the office flow. Upon returning this week from “fun in the sun (with Mickey),” the plan is for Lori to shadow Marshall in February and learn many of the day to day details that Marshall has had on his plate. This is even with the view that when Marshall returns, some of those things may continue to be tackled by Lori, allowing Marshall’s attention to go toward other ministry needs.
• Akers Arrival. As announced <link provided> it is our hope that Ben and Amanda will be arriving here at Grace in April. The sabbatical provides the perfect time for him to arrive, start getting to know people and feel his way around a bit, before the office kicks back into full motion.

Looks like the Gipes are in town for some of the sabbatical. What do we do if we see them?

• Avoid Eye Contact. (Just kidding.) The Gipes are not taking a sabbatical from being our friends or family, just simply a sabbatical from the role of shepherding. So, catch up about their trips, about the kids and go ahead and make fun of Marshall a little (he likes it). Just try to avoid talking about “church issues” or trying to pry administrative details from him. (Call the office to ask for a phone number of someone in the church, rather than bumming the number of of him, for instance.)
• Will they be attending Grace during their sabbatical? Probably not. But that’s no offense to Grace, nor should it be read into. Actually, their traveling schedule has them out of town every weekend except (maybe) three. Therefore, they usually won’t be in the area on a Sunday, and when they are, they are going to take advantage of visiting a couple churches in the area that friends attend, yet they never get to fellowship with.

How can we pray during the Sabbatical?
• Safety and health for the Gipes during this time.
• Pray that the Gipes experience rest, renewal and even repentance where necessary.
• Pray for Jim Cofield (CrossPoint Ministries) as he leads Marshall and Becky through their sabbatical.
• Pray for the elders and staff as their load increases, and for those who also help out in unique
ways.
• Pray that Marshall would be encouraged both by his “replace-ability” (the Lord builds His church, not Marshall) as a pastor at Grace, but also would rejoice in his unique calling there.
• Pray that Grace would see in fresh ways how the church is more than any one person’s ministry, yet also rejoice in the unique role He has given each of us at Grace.
• To that end, pray that the mission of Grace would continue to move forward even as we experience a unique season.

Anything else you can do?

  • Probably, but we’re not thinking of it right now. Feel free to ask questions, look around, see what we’re missing and help us clarify anything that doesn’t make sense

Announcements for January 27

The information that follows is meant to serve any and all that are ‘formally’ or ‘informally’ a part of the family of Greenville Grace Church. If this is applicable to you, read on! If you’ve found us by ‘mistake’, please, read on, but also know that we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you visit us! We hold 2 services each Sunday at 9 and 11am at 4805 SR 49 S, Greenville, OH. We would love to get to know you!

Today’s Text: Psalm 23 Preacher: Dave Owens (associate director . Sojourn Network)

PORTERBROOK | Join us for our next discussion! The February topic is Living the Cross and Resurrection. We will be meeting to discuss the unit Saturday, February 9 @ 7am in the back big classroom at the church. Childcare will be available. To get more info or for instructions on how to download the material ($30/unit) go to www. greenvillegrace.org and click on the Porterbrook banner image at the top of the page.

VISION NIGHT | Join us tonight at 6pm for our annual Vision Night. This year we will be celebrating what God has been doing here at Grace. We will be taking a look at some past, present, and future blessings. You won’t want to miss it!

ELEVATE SUPER BOWL PARTY | All Elevate students (7-12th grade) join the staff for a Super Bowl Party next Sunday, February 3rd, beginning at 6p until end of game (10ish). Girls bring a dessert & drink, guys bring chips & a drink. We will provide pizza. Questions contact Zach Fisher 937.417.8035

GRACE MOMS | Mom of kids ages 6 & under? Want to connect with other moms in the area? Need a break from your kids to learn more about Jesus? Come join our Grace Moms group that meets the first Wednesday morning of every month. Their next meeting is Wednesday, February 6 at 9:30a. The next topic: What does the Bible say about Widows & Orphans? Questions or just want to know more about Moms Group contact Rachel Wooten 937.621.2989, Kellie Eikenberry 937.621.2057, or Autumn Perkins 765.305.2277.

LADIES’ STUDY | Beginning February 11, we will offer an 8-week ladies’ study on Jen Wilkins’ books “None Like Him” and “In His Image”. The study will meet on Monday evenings (7-8:30) and Tuesday Mornings (9:30-11). Childcare is provided for both times. Cost for the books is $20. Sign up at the Welcome Center or at www.greenvillegrace.org by Next Sunday, February 3rd. For more information or questions contact Charity Wright 937.423.4771

MEN’S STUDY | Beginning February 11-April 15th, we will offer an 10– week men’s study on Heath Lambert’s book “Finally Free”. The is study is open to men of all ages from Jr. High to adult. The study will meet on Monday evenings from 7-8:15. Cost for the book is $20. Sign up at the Welcome Center or at www.greenvillegrace.org by Next Sunday, February 3rd. For more information or questions contact the office at 937-547.0065 or office@greenvillegrace.org

WINTER WEATHER POLICY | During the winter weather we will plan to have service unless we are under a Level 3 Snow Emergency. Please make the decision to attend based on your location and what is best for your family during Snow Emergencies.

OLD STORY NEW | This week’s lesson: Lesson 60 (Believe and Confess) Your child’s Children’s Church teacher will spend time working through the basic storyline of this week’s lesson. The lessons in Old Story New (the book all of our classes use) are broken into 5 days to help facilitate a consistent, Gospel-centered family devotion time in your home. Copies of the book are available at the Welcome Center or by contacting the church office @ 937.547.0065.

CASTINE FOOD BANK ITEMS FOR JANUARY | Soup Beans & Rice
FINANCIAL GIVING | Average thru 1/20/2019— $5392 | 2019 wkly need — $8060

Come to Vision Night!

Our 2019 Vision Night is on Sunday, Jan 27 @ 6p.

Please bring a dessert and join us for a night of celebration!

We will have the Associate Director of the Sojourn Network (Dave Owens) here as well as some elders from Gospel Community Church (our recent church plant in Troy, OH). There will be ample time for you to reconnect with some of the folks from GCC and to get to know Dave as well. Please come!

You will hear from the Elders about what happened in body life in 2018, how we sit financially, what the Lord did through your generosity in 2018, and what we are excited about in 2019.

Right before desserts, Danny will lead a panel discussion with Dave Owens (associate director of the Sojourn Network), Jason and Jodi Bradshaw (church planters that we sent out in 2017 to Troy, OH), and Marco and Lisa Rankin (church planters in-waiting that we would love to see the Lord send out to Richmond, IN when they are equipped and ready).

If you’ve got a question that you would like to have Danny ask these couples (one or all) please email them to him at danny@greenvillegrace.org.

To be prepped and ready for the meeting:

  • grab a Grace Report from the table at the back of the auditorium this Sunday and give it a “look-over” (its a quick read)
  • click here to head on over to our blog and read some thoughts from Marshall and Becky about their upcoming sabbatical. (they wont be sharing specifically about it, but this article will help you interact with them about it if you’d like..and please do!)
  • Bring a dessert…and don’t feel pressure to bring something fancy! The fellowship is the main thing, not the presentation of your lemon-lime kiwi infused cheesecake bites.
  • Bring the kiddos. There will be childcare, and we don’t want those small ones to become big reasons that you don’t come!

We will see you Sunday evening at 6p!

Gipe Sabbatical Summary (“deep thoughts by Marshall”)

General Stats:

This summer marks the following family “milestones”:

24th anniversary for Marshall and Becky (August)

9th year at Greenville Grace (on April 16th)

Rhett is in his first year of travel with the Northwood University baseball team

Halli graduates from High School in May

 

Sabbatical Dates:

March 3 – April 26 (8 weeks)

 

Is there any significance to the timing this year? Is this some sort of emergency?

[from Marshall] The short answer is “no”. The longer (and more vulnerable) answer is, “not yet”. While we aren’t in crisis, given the transitions the church and our family have gone through both recently and over the last eight to ten years, I (and the elders) feel I’d benefit from some preventative time to “search the contours of my soul” a bit more intentionally, so that burnout is avoided. The elders are not concerned and neither is Becky, or even me. In Danny’s words (that I feel are accurate), some dash-lights are flickering and it would be good to get some time to discern through which ones are on and how the Gospel can be applied to them! I am not broken, but rather need some space. My personality type plus my position of being over much of the daily and weekly administration at Grace have me in a place that makes it difficult for me to dive too deeply into heavier soul matters for very long. This break from the day-to-day will serve myself and Becky by giving us time and space to simply abide in Christ. John 15 makes it clear that unless our doing for Christ flows from our abiding in Christ, we are wasting our time, robbing ourselves of joy, and actually working destruction in our souls. It will be good for me to step away for a time….to just take time. To take some time to process through the last eight years of the goodness of ministry here at this amazing church called Grace that shepherds me more than I shepherd her.

 

Are you leaving?

Yes. But only for 8 weeks. Some of you know that I have recently begun to sub-contract design hours back to the landscape company I was once a part of, and that just this new year took a few hours away from my week at Grace to do more in that arena. Please know, the addition of those hours in design is not part-one of me stepping away, and this sabbatical part-two. When Becky and I prayed through the decision to pull back a bit at Grace and take on more design time, the Lord made it very, very clear to us that we are called to serve here at Grace…first. To step away, at this juncture, would feel like disobedience to Him. These feelings from the Lord simultaneously thrill and settle us as we love serving at Grace and we love her people more than we ever thought we could. We are as excited about the returning in 8 weeks as we are about the leaving.

 

Why are you excited to be on sabbatical?

[from Marshall] A few reasons.

First, we won’t be unsupervised and walking through the time alone. Jim Cofield (of CrossPoint Ministries) will be helping Becky and I make the most of our time and encouraging us to keep our expectations realistic. Jim has helped us a church in the past and he and I get along very well…it will be a joy to have him as a source of wisdom, counsel and perspective during the eight weeks!

Second, my own soul. I plan to dig into the book of Isaiah. The Lord has repeatedly brought the book to mind and across my path recently and I am excited to have the time to see what the Lord has for me in it. I hope to see more of God’s faithfulness to His people, faithfulness to His Word, and faithfulness to His character…even when His people are not faithful to Him, His Word, nor His character. I am looking forward to time. Time alone…with God…not for a study, not for a sermon, not for a class, not for a counseling appointment, but for my own soul. I have begun praying that the Lord would use the 8 weeks to foster a deeper hunger for His Word, His people, and His character in my soul, my home, and my future ministry. I pray that I can see His goodness more clearly and apply it to my own story more clearly…and carry that freshness, patience, and hope onward into what the Lord has for us. Join me in praying to those ends.

Third, we are stepping into a new phase of parenting. It’s trite and I often hated hearing it, but they do “grow up so fast”. Parenting for us has (nearly and fully) transitioned from relationships of control and indoctrination to relationships of influence and investment. This is both exciting and…well, a little intimidating. This time away will allow for us to more intentionally seek the Lord in how best to adjust to our new phase in ways that allow us to be more effective ambassadors for Christ to our children. Pray for us as we take time to consider these things in our souls, in our schedules, and in our home. Halli heads off to Wright State in the fall (she will commute but may stay with grandparents in Clayton through the week some) and Rhett (if his college/baseball schedule holds) may only be ‘home’ for 2 months in 2019. Absolute.Craziness. Becky and I hope to use the time to begin to set new rhythms of “normal life” that mesh her (and my) full-time work schedules together to the end of capitalizing on our days together in more intentional ways that can set new patterns for us going forward. I plan to design (some) of the days she works and we will use the other days to just enjoy each other, be it in travel or folding laundry.

And lastly, travel. The break will allow us to travel to watch Rhett play baseball in Florida (our happy place) during his first season as a college athlete. We plan to head out west to CA to attend a nephew’s wedding in April and while there reconnect with many friends there that I’ve not seen in over 10 years. We have a quiet place arranged to stay at while in Florida, as well as in California (through some very, very gracious friends) that will allow for extended periods of quiet…and when in town, plan to conduct our days at a much slower pace…which we also hope to carry on into future ministry and life. All of this, even though we will miss you terribly, thrill us and make us excited for how the Lord will bless the time you’ve given us. Thank you.

We praise God for you when He brings you to mind…which is often.

 

What is Grace going to do during the sabbatical?

Adjust: Lori Palmer will take on much of what Marshall currently does in the week-to-week, and use the time of him being gone to plan ways to keep it off his plate when he returns. Lori was hired with the intention of her being more “executive” in role rather than “administrative”. She has proven very capable and we are excited to see how the Lord will use the sabbatical period to grow her in the ability to transition from “leading herself” in admin to “leading others” in it. Danny has invited other elders and local pastors to preach so that he is a bit more freed up to minister to those that need it. He plans to preach about 50% of the Sundays instead of the more normal 75%. This gap will allow him to be more present with the ministry needs that come up along the way.

 

How can we pray during the Sabbatical?

Marshall and Becky: Pray that their schedule (and their souls) allow for rhythmic periods of intentional rest for the purposes of understanding themselves and knowing their God more deeply. Pray for safety as they travel. Pray for the ability to “be all there” where they are, and when they return, to “be all here”.

Grace Church: Pray that we feel the difference of the Gipes being gone, and respond in life-giving ways when things feel different. Pray for discernment and energy for Danny and Lori as they work together as a “skeleton staff” during the weeks of sabbatical.

 

Announcements for January 20

<small><em>The information that follows is meant to serve any and all that are ‘formally’ or ‘informally’ a part of the family of Greenville Grace Church. If this is applicable to you, read on! If you’ve found us by ‘mistake’, please, read on, but also know that we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you visit us! We hold 2 services each Sunday at 9 and 11am at 4805 SR 49 S, Greenville, OH. We would love to get to know you!</em></small>

Today’s Text: Hebrews 1:7-9 Preacher: Danny Wright (teaching pastor)

PORTERBROOK | Join us for our next discussion! The February topic is Living the Cross and Resurrection. We will be meeting to discuss the unit Saturday, February 9th @ 7am in the back big classroom at the church. Childcare will be available. To get more info or for instructions on how to download the material ($30/unit) go to www.greenvillegrace.org and click on the Porterbrook banner image at the top of the page.

VISION NIGHT | Join us next Sunday, January 27th at 6pm for our annual Vision Night. This year we will be celebrating what God has been doing here at Grace. We will be taking a look at some past, present, and future blessings. You won’t want to miss it!

GIVING STATEMENTS | Be watching your email inbox for your yearly giving statement. They will be emailed to you beginning in early to mid January.

LADIES’ STUDY | Beginning February 11, we will offer an 8-week ladies’ study on Jen Wilkins’ books “None Like Him” and “In His Image”. The study will meet on Monday evenings (7-8:30) and Tuesday Mornings (9:30-11). Childcare is provided for both times. Cost for the books is $20. Sign up at the Welcome Center or at www.greenvillegrace.org  through February 3rd. For more information or questions contact Charity Wright 937.423.4771

MEN’S STUDY | Beginning February 11-April 15th, we will offer an 10– week men’s study on Heath Lambert’s book “Finally Free”. The is study is open to men of all ages from Jr. High to adult. The study will meet on Monday evenings from 7-8:15. Cost for the book is $20. Sign up at the Welcome Center or at www.greenvillegrace.org through February 3rd. For more information or questions contact the office at 937-547.0065 or office@greenvillegrace.org

WINTER WEATHER POLICY | During the winter weather we will plan to have service unless we are under a Level 3 Snow Emergency. Please make the decision to attend based on your location and what is best for your family during Snow Emergencies.

OLD STORY NEW | This week’s lesson: Lesson 59 (Abraham: Father to All by Faith) Your child’s Children’s Church teacher will spend time working through the basic storyline of this week’s lesson. The lessons in Old Story New (the book all of our classes use) are broken into 5 days to help facilitate a consistent, Gospel-centered family devotion time in your home. Copies of the book are available at the Welcome Center or by contacting the church office @ 937.547.0065.

CASTINE FOOD BANK ITEMS FOR JANUARY | Soup Beans & Rice
FINANCIAL GIVING | Average thru 1/13/2019— $5905| 2019 wkly need — $8060

Gipe Family Sabbatical Update

The Gipes will be on sabbatical the months of March and April. Plans are coming together for their time “away”. They will officially be on sabbatical from all day-to-day ministry responsibilities from March 3 to April 26. They plan to spend some time in Florida (their happy place) and perhaps California to be with family, rest, recalibrate, and then re-enter ministry with a renewed energy in May. Keep watch here for more thoughts from Marshall and Becky on what they plan to do, how they plan to intentionally “unwind” and how the Lord is leading them to search their souls in an intentional way during the 8 weeks.

Come to Vision Night…(there will be cake!)

Our 2019 Vision Night is on Sunday, January 27 @ 6p. Please bring a dessert and join us for a night of celebration! To get you prepped, grab a copy of the (new and improved) Grace Report from the Welcome Center or the tables at the back of the auditorium.  We will have the Associate Director of the Sojourn Network (Dave Owens) here as well as some elders from Gospel Community Church (our recent church plant in Troy, OH). We want to celebrate what the Lord did through your generous giving in 2018 and allow time for you to connect with the visitors and each other. Please bring a dessert and come!