[Editor’s Note: This is a special-edition Staff Journal written by David Landis, one of our Governing Elders. This letter from David is the third in a series of quarterly updates from the elders as a way to create an open line of communication from the hearts and minds of the elders to you, the church.]
Greetings Grace Community!
On behalf of the elders, I am excited to write and update you concerning the happenings at Grace Community Church. It is rewarding to be a part of an elder board that is comprised of men who love the gospel, God’s truth, and our church!
I’d like to share a few highlights of what has recently happened or is upcoming at Grace:
Our annual baptism celebration was held July 21 at the Newton Pool. Praise the Lord that nineteen people were baptized that night!
The annual FEC Conference took place July 25–27 in Peoria, Illinois. Dave and Marilyn Reimer, Gene and Miriam Pankratz, Pastor Jack and family, Pastor Kyle and family, and Pastor Steve and Bobbie Friesen were able to attend.
The Marriage Conference with Bruce and Julie Boyd will be held Saturday, October 19 from 8:15am to 12:30pm in the Worship Center. Please make plans to attend if you can!
Our Amigo 21 team is taking shape and will be in Reynosa, Mexico from Feb. 29– Mar. 7, 2020. Please see Pastor Steve if you are interested.
As someone who has spent his career in education, I am happy that our pastors are “lifelong learners” and are taking steps to continue their education in ways that will bless our church. Many of you may not know that Pastor Kyle is pursuing a certificate of theology, a 27-hour program recognized by the FEC. Kyle has completed three classes and is currently enrolled in his fourth, Apologetics and Ethics, through Denver Seminary.
In addition, the elders are excited that Pastor Jack and Courtney will be able to travel to Israel on a Holy Lands tour with a group called Imagine Tours. They will be traveling with a group of pastors and their spouses from around the country from December 3–13, 2019. Please pray for Jack and Courtney that this will be a faith-building experience that bears fruit in their lives and in their ministry to Grace.
As our congregation knows, Pastor Steve Friesen will be retiring in about a year (August 2020). Pastor Steve has faithfully served Grace Community Church for 22 years and, in many ways, cannot be replaced. His unique giftings of communication, teaching, creativity, counseling, and passion for missions will be missed by all of us. The church is currently putting together a job description for a new Pastor of Counseling and Care that will post soon. The hope is that the new pastor will start July 2020, giving a chance for him to work and communicate with Steve for a month before Steve officially retires.
Finally, I wanted to remind you that Grace is part of a group of churches that support church planting called Synergy Kansas. Synergy Kansas has been meeting with a church planting candidate named Caleb Barrows who currently resides in Sterling. I have met Caleb and heard him preach and he is “the real deal” as a believer and brother in Christ. Please pray for God’s direction for Caleb and whatever part Grace Community Church will play in supporting this new church plant.