GCI Update

The problem of pain

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

joeandtammyI’ve often heard worship leaders begin a service by declaring, “God is good,” to which the congregation replies, “all the time.” “And all the time,” the leader continues, to which the audience replies, “God is good.” This statement about God is, of course, true. Most Christians believe it fervently. But many, in the privacy of their own thoughts, wonder, “If God truly is good, why is there so much pain in the world?” It’s difficult to reconcile belief in God’s goodness with the presence of pain in the world, even if we believe that, in the end, our good Creator gives the kingdom of heaven as the ultimate solution to pain.

Though I can’t address all aspects of this challenging topic in one letter, here is some food for thought.

First, we note that evil, the opposite of God’s goodness and source of much of the pain in the world, originates with Satan, “the father of lies” (John 8:44). As the deceiver and destroyer, Satan is vehemently opposed to God and likes to get others to join with him—we see his tactics at work in the Garden of Eden where Satan led humankind into sin, resulting in the fall. Today, Satan continues to sow the seeds of deceit and distrust toward God because he knows the only way for us to escape evil is to respond to God’s love toward us in Jesus through the Spirit. The good news is that Satan is a defeated foe. Jesus, the Victor, conquered Satan and thus the evil he brings (Colossians 2:15). But in accordance with God’s good plan for humankind, Satan’s influence continues for a time.

Wikimedia Commons
C.S. Lewis (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Not understanding this reality, people often frame the problem of pain with questions that lead to false conclusions. For example, an agnostic might ask, “What was God doing during the Holocaust of World War II—was he taking a coffee break?” Or, “If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, why does he allow suffering to continue—and at seemingly higher levels of repetition?” In his book The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis frames the agnostic objection this way:

If God were good, he would wish to make his creatures perfectly happy, and if God were almighty he would be able to do what he wished. But the creatures are not happy. Therefore God lacks either goodness, or power, or both.

In addressing this objection, Lewis shines the light of Christ on the problem of pain. He does so out of his own personal encounter with Christ during times of suffering in which he came to understand that there is much more to the story than often realized. He learned that God is not finished with us—he has a good plan for humankind, one that makes place for pain in ways that ultimately bring forth good, not evil. Lewis addressed that plan in one of the most-often quoted passages in the book:

CS quote
Used with permission: Chris Cantrell, chronologyofchris.wordpress.com

Lewis knew that making things right in the world requires far more than magic or fairy dust; far more than making people into mindless puppets. Instead, it requires transformation of our very natures and our relationship with God. God needs to get our attention to accomplish in us the deep and lasting good that he desires for all his creation.

Sadly, some misunderstand God’s love to be nothing more than a cosmic kindness that would never allow pain. But we face pain because of God’s love, because of his ultimate plan for us—to live in relationship with him, sharing in the communion of the Father, Son and Spirit. The truth is that God is conforming us to the image of Jesus—a transformation that involves pain as we let go of ourselves, of making ourselves the center of everything, and of insisting on having things our way, and so coming to see his way is good and leads to life. So first we need to see that the love and goodness of God are more than an escape from suffering any pain.

We must also recognize that pain is not totally evil. Pain is helpful in that it is a built-in warning system that something is wrong. If living things did not have pain, they would have a difficult time surviving. Pain teaches us that we are not self-sufficient, and that we cannot always do things our way. Pain stops us from hurting ourselves further. We learn through experience that pain can be positive as well as negative.

When I go to the dentist and he numbs my mouth to do a root canal, I feel the pain of the numbing shot. But I am grateful because the minor pain I feel from the shot is not comparable to the pain I would feel if he did the root canal without the shot. The minor pain saves me from far greater pain. Moreover, I am then reminded (warned) if I eat anything shortly after the root canal, I need to chew carefully, because with all that numbness, I could chew my tongue up in the process.

Pain is real, but to think of all pain as evil completely misses the point of pain. Pain gets our attention. It opens our eyes to a reality we may be missing. It can motivate us to look at our relationship with God and ask if we are moving closer to him or farther away. Pain often helps prevent further pain. It can get us to look beyond the present and see what we need to do to stop the pain from becoming worse. Knowing that God is good, we can surmise that God’s definition of goodness includes human pain. Recognizing this helps us to see that the existence of pain in the world is not a credible argument for the non-existence or non-beneficence of God.

Pain often occurs because of wrong choices and wrong behavior. Sometimes (perhaps often) those choices are made by others and are beyond our control. But the purpose is still the same: pain opens our minds to see a new reality we might be missing. Our way does not work. Life without God is not the answer. Life without love is not the answer. God is continually getting us to focus on the answer—Jesus and his way. Jesus suffered and went through pain for us in order to help us look past the pain and toward him. The author of Hebrews put it like this; “Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted” (Hebrews 2:18).

Of course, Satan tries to keep people from responding to God’s love. One of his tactics is to lead people into believing that pain in the world is caused by the only one who can remove it. When we are tempted to ask, “Where is God?” we do well to remember that God, being omnipresent, is always with us when we are in pain. Note these words from the apostle Peter: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:12-13). And note these words from the apostle Paul: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).

Jesus said his sacrifice would set us free—free from guilt and shame; free from fear and anxiety; and ultimately free from tears and pain. Our faith and prayer has an impact on our quality of life. In the midst of our most difficult times, we can be assured that our pain is not pointless. We can trust that God has a great purpose for our suffering. Pain isn’t pleasant, but its purpose is always to get us to look to God. He promises a time when there will be no more pain and suffering (Revelation 21:4), when evil is entirely eradicated and all things are made new.

Trusting God’s greater purpose,
Joseph Tkach

P.S. October is clergy appreciation month in the U.S. Though all of us at the GCI office in Glendora are grateful for our pastors every month and day of the year, we extend special thanks this month (click on the link under “announcements,” above left).

Africa update

Baptisms in Kenya and Malawi

GCI-Kenya national director Anthony Gachanja reports eight baptisms in the Naivasha, Kenya congregation (see the three pictures below). Anthony commented, “We are thankful to God because of his grace. We are really humbled by God’s love for this church.”

baptism 1 baptism 2 baptism 3

GCI-Malawi national director Gardner Kunje reports that 26 people were baptized in a service at the Blantyre congregation. Those baptized (see picture below) attend GCI’s congregations in Mbulumbuzi, Mombezi and Mpanda. Gardner commented, “We praise God for bringing more people to our fellowship.”

baptism 4

Church hall dedicated and leaders commissioned in Kenya

Kenya 1Recently, a wonderful service was held in GCI’s congregation in Naivasha, Kenya (near Nairobi) to dedicate a new church hall (pictured at right) and to commission new church leaders. Present at the service were GCI-Africa mission developers Tim Maguire (accompanied from South Africa by Lova Rafiringason) and Kalengule Kaoma.

Tim said, “Lova and I had a truly uplifting time. We were fortunate to be at this special service. The church in Naivasha started as a three-member Bible study. That group approached GCI for affiliation after being interrogated by local police. Now, about six years later, the congregation’s new church hall was packed with over 300 people (see picture below, left). It’s amazing how powerful it is when we participate in the work that Christ is doing in communities!” During the service, Pastor Michael Thuku Boro (pictured below, right with his wife) was ordained an elder and Daniel Murange Muriuki, David Mumo Nzuki and Mark Onyango Owour were commissioned to provide leadership in their respective GCI congregations in Kabatiro, Mitamboni and Homa Bay.

Kenya 3 Kenya 2 Kenya 4

Ordinations in Cameroon

Recently, eight members from various GCI congregations were ordained as elders in a ceremony held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The ceremony was led by GCI-Cameroon president Jean Jacques Ndoudoumou. Those ordained (pictured below) were Agnes Don Balinga (Limbe congregation); Victoire Marie Genevieve Eboumbou (Douala); Rosalie Ndoudoumou (Yaoundé), Jean Zambo (Minlongo/Sianfou); Roger Kolokosso A Bediang, Jean Joel Begnikin, Joel Ferdinand Ndayi Mpinda (all from the Yaoundé congregation) and Armand Pierre Essam (South Region).

Cameroon ordinations

ORM activities

At left: Jannice and Curtis May

Curtis May, director of GCI’s affiliate ministry, the Office of Reconciliation and Spiritual Mediation (ORM), recently conducted an ORM chapter leaders’ training conference in Cincinnati, Ohio (see picture at right).

Following the conference in Cincinnati, Curtis traveled to the St. Louis area, where he met with 15 police chiefs and other officers gathered in Florissant, Missouri, near Ferguson, which has had a prominent place in the news recently. Curtis addressed various types of racism and steps that can be taken to break the cycle of oppression. Curtis shared his experiences as a citizen being confronted by police, and as an ORM director helping the Pasadena, California, police department improve their racial sensitivity and community relations. Those in attendance responded favorably, asking what they could do to strengthen relations with the communities they serve.

Philippines update

Here are links to updates concerning people and events in GCI-Philippines:

Ordination of Amis Parane during the Baguio Festival

Series on the Holy Spirit, part 5

In an essay entitled “Guidelines to an Understanding of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit,” Dr. Gary Deddo offers an incarnational, Trinitarian perspective on the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. We are publishing his essay serially in seven parts. Here is part five (to read other parts, click on a number: 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7).

The Spirit in relationship to the church

What is the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of the church, in the life of the believer? Think of times when we repent, as a whole church or as individuals. Our repentance is the result of the ministry of the Spirit who brings us the conviction of sin. Why does anyone ever repent and not hang on to their pride and remain in self-justification mode all their existence? Because the Holy Spirit works. We don’t see the Holy Spirit working in a direct way. Most of the work of the Holy Spirit is deep and internal to persons, speaking with their spirits as Paul put it (1 Corinthians 2:9-11). We don’t see the Holy Spirit acting, but we see the results at the end of the working of the Holy Spirit, like the wind.

So we see evidences of the ministry of the Spirit. When we’re hearing God speaking his word, when we’re seeing the face of the Father in the face of the Son, when we’re repenting, when we’re grasping the Word of God, when we’re interpreting the Scripture as God intends, then we’re experiencing the effects of the Spirit. But we don’t see the gears turning—we don’t watch the machine running. But we see the results, the outcome. Most of the work of the Holy Spirit, as far as I can tell, is invisible to us. What we see is the result, the effect.

The Spirit seems to deliberately not draw attention to himself. He is the shy one, the humble one, the retiring one, or as T.F. Torrance put it, the “self-effacing one.” In other words, he doesn’t show us his own face. The Spirit is not worried about that. Each person of the Trinity gives glory to the others. The Spirit has his own way of giving glory.

Even in the names of the Divine Persons, we find an asymmetry. Father and Son are mutually referential terms that speak of a concrete Father-Son relationship. Thus these terms are easier to think about than is Holy Spirit, which does not lend itself as easily to being described using creaturely terms. Has the Holy Spirit gotten short-changed once again? Maybe not. Perhaps that’s how it’s supposed to be. Maybe being given that identifying name is not a mistake. Maybe the name, the Holy Spirit, is given in order to prevent us from trying to nail down his identity in the same way we might the Father and Son. Perhaps that “inequality” is meant to lead us to identify with and pay primary attention first to the Father and Son. And perhaps by being named Holy Spirit, we are kept from merely reducing the Father and Son to creaturely definitions, thinking God is Father and Son in just the way human beings are. After all, Scripture can refer to the whole God as Spirit. The Holy Spirit reminds us of the transcendence, the sovereignty, the irreducibility of God to an idol, made by human hands or minds and imaginations.

Given the pattern and content of biblical revelation about the Spirit, we should not expect to be able to have as much to say, or be able to say in as much detail as we can say about the Father and the Son. Though we would expect some disproportion, it does not indicate inequality of importance among the Divine Persons.

Why not correct simply by focusing on the Spirit?

If we have under-represented the Spirit up to this point, not making use of what we have been given to go on, why not simply take time to shift our focus of attention to the Spirit—attempting simply to bring about a proper symmetrical balance? Why not attempt to make up for lost time, giving the Spirit his turn on stage, even if just a temporary one? The danger to watch out for in attempting to correct in this way is giving the Spirit independent consideration, somewhat in isolation from the revelation of the Son and of the Father in him.

Why is this a problem? Because the Spirit doesn’t have his own independent ministry. The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to deliver to us all the benefits of the work of Christ—the benefits he accomplished as the Son of the Father, sent from him and returning to him that we might know him. This work of the Spirit can’t be grasped apart from the working of the Father and Son. And the working of the Father and Son must include sooner or later an appreciation for the “behind the scenes” working of the Spirit. So the best way is to move in our understanding from the Son to the Father and then in a more focused way to the Spirit, bringing all three into coordination.

To be a little facetious, it isn’t as if the Spirit says, “Jesus, you did that awesome work on the cross. You took your turn and accomplished that great task. I know everyone will praise you for it, but now it’s my time to get some attention. I’m going to go off and take my turn to accomplish my own mission, and so make my own addition to what you’ve done.” That kind of thinking regards God as dividing up his work and will into a division of labor, each relatively separate from the others. But the will and working of God can’t be sliced up that way. That splits God into parts and separate roles or tasks as creatures would. It obscures the oneness of God in being and in action. A simple way to point to the unity of the working of God—while allowing for distinction of contribution to the one whole work—is to say that what Christ has done for us according to the will of the Father, the Holy Spirit does in us. That’s about the simplest way you can put it, not that more couldn’t be said, and probably should be said.

When we say that the Spirit takes all of what Christ has done for us in his humanity and delivers it to us, does that amount to little or nothing? No, not at all. From the Holy Spirit’s point of view, that’s everything! The Holy Spirit cannot accomplish his deepest work except on the basis of what Jesus, the Son Incarnate, accomplished for us in the name of the Father. They are one God. They are all together Savior. The Father sends the Son. The Son sends the Spirit. And this was all done so we might have the life of the whole Triune God over us, with us and in us.

As T.F. Torrance has expressed it, it seems that rebellious human beings can share in God’s kind of life (eternal life) only after it has been worked out in such a way that it can fit us fallen creatures. That means we first need to be reconciled to God and, second, have our human nature regenerated, sanctified, made new. And that’s what God accomplished in the incarnate Son, who assumed our human nature. He reconciled and transformed it, perfecting our human nature, so that the Holy Spirit could indwell us and make us share in Jesus’ sanctified humanity. The Holy Spirit could not come and take up residence in us (“indwell” is the New Testament word) until the Son has completed his incarnate work in our fallen humanity.

So, I don’t think we’re leaving out the Holy Spirit when we say that the Spirit takes what the Son has done and delivers and builds it into us. It would be senseless for the Spirit to say, “I need my own ministry apart from the Son.” They’re one in being. They’re one in act. They’re one in mind, one in heart, perfectly coordinated in their ministry to give us a share in God’s own eternal life, and each contributes in his own way.

The whole God is Savior God—Father, Son and Spirit. The Spirit does lead in working out in us what Christ has accomplished for us in his humanity. That’s a marvel. The Spirit does work in us in unique ways. That is why Jesus says it’s an advantage that another Comforter come to us, to deliver to us and within us his life, by the indwelling of the Spirit—the Spirit who is the Spirit of Jesus, the One who has accomplished everything for us in his human nature.

You can see the problem if, wanting to give the Spirit equal time, we were to say, “Yes, Jesus did this, but the Spirit does that,” then focus on “that” as if it were an independent mission. But there is no independent mission—the Father, Son and Spirit work entirely together in an ordered and coordinated fashion. That insight ought to guide our thinking, our explanations, our preaching and teaching about the Spirit. Describing their joint mission requires mutually referring to one another, because the Spirit is the Spirit of the Son and the Spirit of the Father. That’s who the Holy Spirit is. The working of the Spirit is to work out in us what the Son has done for us.That’s an amazing, glorious thing.

Unique manifestations of the working of God by the Spirit

As noted already, there are particular manifestations of the Spirit’s work—times and ways in which he is active at the leading edge, as it were, of what the Triune God is doing. The Spirit’s relationship to creation, post-Christ’s incarnate ministry, is dynamic and variable, rather than static, fixed or mechanical. His ministry is personal and relational. This was seen at Pentecost when the Spirit came down. No human agency initiated, conditioned or controlled that event. No believer set it up, orchestrated it, or made it more or less likely to occur. Rather, Jesus had promised its fulfillment in the name of the Father. His work, promise and sending is what pre-conditioned that mighty, longed-for event pointed to by the prophets. And Jesus indicated that this even would be at the Father’s initiative, according to his timing. The church was simply to wait. That’s it.

Why at that particular time? Because Christ in his earthly form had finished his dimension of the saving work that God was accomplishing. So of course, the Spirit was aware of Jesus’ promise. The Spirit was promised by the Son. And perfectly coordinated, the Spirit showed up on time. But notice what happened when the Spirit descended. The people started talking about the great and mighty things that God had done to accomplish their salvation in Jesus. They didn’t just focus on the immediate amazing event they had just experienced! And they related to each other in new and amazing ways, just as the Spirit was working in them in new ways. But notice they didn’t just focus on the Spirit, or their experience of the Spirit. Their view was much larger, much more comprehensive of all that God had done, was doing and would do.

Pentecost is a primary example of a manifestation of the working of the Spirit that is dynamic, variable, not static, not fixed, not mechanical, but personal and relational. In Paul’s admonitions to not quench the Spirit or not grieve the Spirit and to be continually filled with the Spirit, we also see anticipation of a dynamic interaction with the Holy Spirit. Paul is not thinking of a situation in which the switch to the Holy Spirit is sometimes in the “on” position and at other times in the “off” position. In Paul’s view, the Spirit is never completely absent as though he were a billion miles away, having nothing to do with anything and then immediately near and causing everything to happen, almost magically. The Spirit does not operate in that way. Instead, there is a real and dynamic interaction between God’s people and the Spirit. He can apparently be present in a wide array of ways, or at least in a range of ways that have a wide array of effects we can notice.

“Being continually filled with the Spirit” is a good way to understand the places in his letters where Paul talks about our relationship with the Spirit. The Spirit should not be approached as if he’s a vending machine: put in the right coins, push the right button and get your soda or your candy bar or something else. No, it’s not contractual or automatic. The relationship is not simply a matter of being “on” or “off.” It’s not a mechanical relationship. It is dynamic. It’s like the wind blowing.

Let’s look at another aspect of the manifestation of the working of the Spirit in the church—the gifts of the Spirit. These too involve dynamic interactions. So Paul encourages believers to use them in certain ways: let the person with the gift of giving, he says, give with liberality; those who give aid, with zeal; those who do acts of mercy, with cheerfulness (Romans 12:6-8). Gifts can be used well or misused. They are to be received and then used well, rightly, faithfully. That is a dynamic process, not a magical chain of effects impersonally sparked.

It’s easier to think of the working of the Spirit in mechanical terms, isn’t it? Especially if we think of the Spirit as an “it”—an impersonal power, energy, like electricity. Just on or off; here but not there; near or far. But God is not like that. And I suppose we could say that the Spirit, especially, is not like that!

There is a particular dynamic to living in the Spirit. The Spirit is living and moving—acting as an intelligent agent; interacting with us in a deep and personal way—even acting in ways of which we aren’t aware. Often, by the time we become aware, the Spirit probably has already moved on to another thing. Yes, we’ll likely recognize his activity and then proclaim, “The Spirit was working and we were blessed!” But by the time we do, the Spirit may already have moved on to another “project.” The Spirit is active and moving!

There is a variability, a change, a dynamic, an ebb and flow to the activity and manifestation and interaction with the Spirit in relationship to the Church and in relationship to the world. So we ought not think of the Holy Spirit as an impersonal force, a vending machine or conveyor belt. Another way we can think mistakenly of the Spirit is as a genie or a magician. In this case we approach the Spirit thinking, “If I’m going to be blessed by the Spirit, I’ll have to do things just right. I’m going to have to rub the lamp exactly three times and say just the right words and then the power of the spirit-genie will work for me or those I love.” But that’s an impersonal, mechanical approach that is just as misguided as the idea that we must take the initiative, believing that the working of the Spirit is unlocked (or not) by us. Unfortunately it’s not difficult to find erroneous teachings like this—ones suggesting that we should act towards the Holy Spirit as if “it” was a magical power, much like a genie. And what we have to do to get the Spirit to work in that way is to fulfill certain conditions just exactly right—then (like magic!) the Spirit somehow is set free to accomplish his ministry on our behalf.

Of course, these special techniques promoted by some for activating the Spirit don’t involve rubbing a lamp just the right number of times. Other conditions are laid out, some sequence of events under our control are specified in order to “prime the pump” or to “release the Spirit” to work. And if the Spirit doesn’t show up, the explanation will be: “You didn’t get things quite right. You weren’t sincere enough. You didn’t have enough faith. You weren’t humble enough. You were stuck in your head and thinking too much. You didn’t ‘let go’ enough to ‘let God.’” In essence, such explanations say the spirit-genie is not going to come out because you said “abracadabro” instead of “abracadabra.” Or you said it with the wrong accent! Or…, or…, or…. Any number of conditions might be specified. And each teacher of such false views will specialize in describing and prescribing exactly which conditions are called for.

Notice how these wrong-headed approaches put us in charge, making the Spirit dependent upon us with little to say for himself. Such approaches make our relationship with the Spirit one that is legal (contractual), mechanical and conditional. Like a genie or some mechanical power, the Spirit has no more choice in the matter than electricity has when you plug in your TV or turn on your lights. Imagined here is a cause-effect relationship from us to the Spirit. Only when the conditions are just right can the Spirit do its work. And when the conditions are set just right, apparently the Spirit is unable to decide, “No, I’m not going to do your bidding!” We set the agenda and the Spirit somehow comes under obligation to us!

Unfortunately, we can think about the Spirit in these impersonal ways—as an “it” rather than the very personal God that he is. Sadly, we can easily find teachers who lead us in those wrong directions. But we don’t need to go down those dead-end paths. We can have more faithful understandings that stay more closely tied to the actual teaching about the nature and character of the Spirit in relationship to the Father and Son as made known in Scripture and experienced in the church of the New Testament times.

Next time, we will look at various issues related to the Holy Spirit’s continuing ministry.

Tools for evangelism


The Love2020 website from Mission America catalogs various tools to use in equipping people to share God’s love through the simple, yet powerful pattern of relational evangelism known as prayer-care-share. To view those resources, go to http://love2020.com/love2020/.

John Halford

John HalfordAs Weekly Update readers know, it was determined that John has multiple cancerous tumors in his body. He recently underwent chemotherapy to combat the cancer, but his doctors have determined that there is no more they can do to help him. John will be leaving the hospital today to return home where he’ll be receiving hospice care.

Please pray for John and his family, placing them in God’s loving hands on this final part of what has been a long and often difficult journey. It appears that John’s entrance into his eternal home is at hand.

Cards may be sent to:

John & Pat Halford
5836 South State Road 129
Versailles, IN 47042

Charles Shelton

In July, prayer was requested for Charles (Chuck) Shelton, elder in GCI’s London, Kentucky church. Chuck recently sent in the following praise report:

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and cards. It’s good to know others really care. I had a PET scan recently and the results were good—the cancer in the two lymph nodes under both armpits is gone and the cancer in my abdomen is reduced to almost nothing! The doctors say it looks like the cancer is going into remission once again. As a result, I will not have to go through chemotherapy. They will do another scan in January, just to keep an eye on things. I thank God for his mercy and for all of you. To God be the glory!

Cards may be sent to:

Charles & Gracie Shelton
2674 Climax Rd.
Orlando, KY 40460-8939

Pastor appreciation

pastor appreciationThroughout the year, certain days, weeks and even months are set aside for thanking the moms, dads, teachers and other groups that serve us throughout the year. In the U.S., October has been set aside for churches, hospitals and other institutions to express special thanks to those who serve them as clergy.

The denominational staff of Grace Communion International extend their heartfelt thanks to the pastoral leaders (pastors, elders and pastoral care team members) who serve within GCI’s congregations. We know that your acts of service express not only your love and dedication but also the infinite love that God has for us all.

As fellow servants, we deeply appreciate your continued service within our denomination. We would not be the same without you!

As GCI continues its journey on mission with Jesus, we are blessed to have gifted men and women shepherding the members entrusted to their care. We know that your labor is not only making a difference in their lives, but also in the lives of others within the communities in which you serve. Our sincere thanks for who you are and all you do in our Lord’s service.