“LIVING AND SHARING THE GOSPEL”
September 30, 2018
– Call To Worship –
“You Are Worthy”
“We All Bow Down”
“Salvation Is Your Name”
Prayers of Intercession
SERMON: Pastor David Perry
NEEDED – A LIFE EMERGENCY PLAN
Worship God in Spirit and Truth
Grow in His Grace and Knowledge
Share the Love and Hope we have in Christ.
Grace Communion International – We are an international Christian fellowship, on mission with the Father, Son and Spirit, living and sharing the gospel in ways that birth all kinds of churches, for all kinds of people, in all kinds of places. As an international Christian fellowship, we have about 50,000 members formed into 900 churches spread across 100 countries.
For your steadfast love
is before my eyes, and I
walk in your faithfulness.
This week’s “From the President” is by GCI Vice President, Greg Williams.
Dear Sisters and Brothers:
Greg and Susan Williams
GCI is blessed to be a diverse mix of people who are growing in unity. “Unity in diversity” is God’s idea. It is his purpose to make all people groups (with their diverse cultures, ethnicities and races) one family in and through Jesus. For GCI to realize its Healthy Church vision, we must all cherish and make more room for this diversity, while strengthening our unity. It was toward those goals that 52 GCI members from all five GCI-USA regions, gathered recently in Columbus, OH, for Together in Christ (TIC) 2018. The group was a marvelous mix of pastors, ministry leaders, pastoral residents and interns. Voices young and old spoke into the discussions from the vantage point of their life experience and contexts. All the discussions were seasoned with the grace of Christ that has transformed the participants. Below is a picture from the summit (for additional pictures and a video, click here).
My participation at TIC 2018 was largely as an observer and listener. Here are some of the important insights I gleaned:
- We need to understand that the love of Christ is the fuel that drives us toward understanding people who are not like us, and then brings about genuine harmony in the relationship. I applaud the TIC planning committee for using 2 Corinthians 5:14 and the verses that follow as the guiding text for the summit.
- We need to embrace the reality that God has called us to be reconcilers. As the apostle Paul notes in 2 Corinthians 5:18, we have been given the ministry of reconciliation, which means joining, by the Spirit, with Jesus in his ongoing ministry. To reconcile means to restore relationship. We do this through acts of love, including listening to understand. We move toward reconciliation by offering olive branches and through other ways of being proactive as peacemakers. Reconciliation typically takes time and many patient encounters. Guess where the needed patience, love and peace come from—that’s right, from the Great Reconciler himself!
- We need to create a culture of small groups. The summit participants were energized by lively small group dialogue. Notice I said “dialogue”—it was not mere chit-chat or surface conversation. But it wasn’t argument or debate that results in winners and losers. The dialogue in small groups at TIC was authentic exchange grounded in mutual respect with loving support. The summit participants agreed to be agents of change by bringing this type of dialogue home to their local congregations and other groups. A culture of small groups provides safe places where challenging social topics can be addressed in light of the person and presence of Jesus, and within the intimate circle of the church. That is quite a contrast with the contentious, open-ended exchanges often seen in social media.
- We need to learn from each other. We saw a great example of this following TIC 2017 (held in Atlanta) with the birth of Kaleidoscope in Waltham, MA (Boston area)—a fun workshop environment that celebrated the various people groups in that community, allowing each group to learn about one another (click here for an earlier Update report on that event).
- Generations Ministries (the sponsor of TIC) plans to continue TIC summits and related events as GCI continues to promote healthy cross-generational, cross-cultural relationships. The participants at TIC 2018 were asked to consult with their Regional Pastor about pursuing similar summits closer to home. GenMin National Coordinator Jeff Broadnax is already working with GCI Regional Pastor Mike Rasmussen and the leaders in his congregation to make Oklahoma City, OK, the site for TIC 2019. Please keep our planning committee in your prayers, asking God to help GCI continue growing as a faithful witness to the kingdom of God (concerning the nature of that witness, be sure to read the third and concluding part in Gary Deddo’s essay, “The Church, the Kingdom and Human Government”).We invite you to continue watching the GCI website, Update, and Equipper, for the inclusion of the great variety of faces that make up our church around the world. We truly are a diverse, international communion of grace—unity in diversity. We are GCI!Together in Christ,
Health Update from Carn Catherwood
Carn was the first pastor of our denomination’s church in Indianapolis in 1962. He is known and loved by many in central Indiana.
For the past four months, I’ve had a spate of serious health issues. But now I can report some very good news. Over three months ago, I was diagnosed with a large tumor in the upper colon. In mid-May my Gastro-Enterologist performed major abdominal surgery to remove it. The procedure required a re-sectioning of my colon. Thankfully, the tumor, though large, turned out to be benign. Because of the complexity of the surgery, I was in the hospital for 11 days.
Barely three weeks later, probably because of the shock caused by the surgery to my system, I had the worst Afib/Heart Flutter episode I’ve ever had (I’ve had them periodically for over 30 years). One night my heart-rate was so rapid and irregular that I fainted—my tail-bone was cracked when I hit the floor. My wife Joyce took me to the ER, and as soon as I sat down on a bed my heart rate plummeted to zero, which meant that I had no pulse and was only a few minutes away from dying. A little Asian nurse did CPR compressions on my chest for several minutes and managed to get my heart started again twice. But as soon as it began to beat, my heart rate shot up again. My Cardiologist ordered an emergency heart ablation which was performed the next day. During an ablation a catheter is used to burn away the tissues of the heart that contain defective nerve pathways that cause the heart circuits to misfire. It’s a procedure with some risk and isn’t always successful. But mine was. Praise God.
After eight days in the ICU, I was released, feeling pretty beat-up and shaky. Slowly, my strength has been coming back. Today, three months later, my heart is beating normally and my Electrophysiologist feels the procedure was a success. There appears to be no lasting damage to my heart and the Cardiologist states it should keep me going “until you’re at least 100” (his words).
I am grateful to God for his love, his amazing grace and his presence during those crazy, very scary moments. To him be all the honor and the glory. My sincerest thanks to all of you for your love and prayers.
Cards may be sent to: Carn and Joyce Catherwood, 3941 Andrew Avenue, Denton, TX 76210-3234
Prayers for our Country and Pres. Trump
Prayers for the Body of Christ World Wide
Prayers for our Persecuted Christian Brothers & Sisters.
For Those Who Suffered & are suffering from Hurricane Florence
Mary Coffey, prayers for healing, strength & encouragement.
June Perry – Still hospitalized with infection and fluid build-up in lungs
Bill Whitt (GCI Indy) Recovery from allergies
Haiti – That peace and calm can return to the beautiful people of Haiti.
GCI Conference Oct 13-17 – held in Charlotte, NC – will include the passing of the baton from Joseph Tkach to Greg Williams. Additionally most of the GCI international Mission Directors will be there for meetings. Prayers that all goes well and the international leaders have no delays making the trip.
Anita Franz – Recovery from lumbar and sciatic issues – very painful
Anthony & Jane Gachanja – (GCI National Ministry Leader in Kenya) They live in Nairobi, Kenya, Africa…prayers for blessings and protection as they minister to the beautiful people in the GCI churches in Kenya.
Hector & Paulina Barrero (GCI Mission Developer/Coordinator for Columbia & South America) For blessings, protection and inspiration as they minister to others.
Eugene & Lulu Guzon (GCI Mission Developer/Coordinator for Philippines) Prayers for wisdom, inspiration and safety as he travels, serving the Philippines
Kalengule & Nsama Kaoma (Lusaka, Zambia, Africa) Prayers for wisdom & protection as he oversees Africa as GCI Mission Developer/Coordinator.
Joseph & Georgette Franklin, Our Haiti Church & School – Prayers for joy, safety & blessing & provision. The school year is to begin late Sept.
Joe & Tammy Tkach & Greg & Susan Williams – Protection, safety, wisdom & encouragement
Prayers for Divine Appointments to touch others with Jesus’ life & love