GCI President, Dr. Greg Williams, gives an update on Grace Communion International.
He highlights October being Pastor Appreciation month and how appreciative we are for our pastors in GCI.
We say THANK YOU for your service and sacrifice!
We have sent $23,000 for emergency needs, made available by generous donors, to help with disaster relief for members in The Bahamas and we are standing by for additional requests. We wish to express our sincere appreciation to the GCI congregations and members who have donated to the GCI Disaster Relief Fund, so together, we can assist those in need.
The following is an update from Robert McKinney, National Director, on our members in The Bahamas, following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian.
We would like to thank you for your prayers and overwhelming show of support and love during this very difficult time. I visited Grand Bahama Island two days ago and met with our pastor, Calvin Parker and a number of our members.The devastation on the island is unbelievable. About 50% of our members suffered either a major roof or flooding damage.
Miraculously, a number of our members were not impacted by the hurricane. Pastor Parker has begun to distribute funds, food and supplies to members, and they are beginning to put the pieces together again. I plan to visit Abaco next week. Our members there were harder hit than those on Grand Bahama. Most remain displaced, some living with family members, while others have moved to Nassau and have had to find housing here. We have begun to assist these members with housing, funds, food, clothing and other needs as well.
I am in the process of organizing a work crew with Pastor Charles Taylor of our Miami church to go to Abaco to help with damage to our church building and members’ homes there sometime next month. Thanks again for all the love, prayers, moral and financial support. It’s still a long road ahead for some of our members, but we know that God is with us, and your loving support reassures us that we are all in this together.
Robert McKinney, Nassau, Bahamas
GCI Disaster Relief Fund
If your congregation has a heart to help members impacted by major disasters like the one in The Bahamas, consider donating to the GCI Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund helps provide members in disaster areas with emergency needs such as food, water, medicine, clothing, temporary housing, home and/or church hall repairs, temporary local pastoral salary expenses and other emergency needs. Monies received into the Fund that are not immediately needed will remain in the Fund to be allocated in future disasters. In previous years, money from this Fund has been used to help members recover from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, storms and flooding in Bangladesh, an earthquake and tsunami in the Solomon Islands, typhoons in the Philippines and an earthquake in Haiti.
In His Grace Community Church is a congregation of Grace Communion International. Through the faithfulness of Jim and Kim Meade, the church continued to see God’s direction as a church. As the Meades transitioned into retirement, handing off the church to Grant and Kathy Forsyth, the church found the need to be a church for the community. As they stayed faithfully engaging their community, God’s faithfulness began to produce fruit. The church has grown numerically, and more importantly, grown spiritually. They continue to walk through the doors that God opens for their church and the community.
Megan M. Stapleton and Jesús A. Molina were united in marriage at 6:30pm on Sunday, September 21, 2019 in Brea, CA. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Pastor Heber Ticas and was followed by a reception with a dance. Around 250 people were in attendance.
The bride is the daughter of Mark and Anne Stapleton (San Diego, CA) and the groom is the son of Hilda Estrada (Pacoima, CA) and Jesús Noel Molina (Sonora, Mexico).
The couple resides in Pasadena, work in Pasadena and Westlake Village and attend a GCI congregation in Glendora, CA.
Ordination of Pearl Charles
Sunday August 14th was a day of special celebration. Pearl Charles was ordained an elder on the 47th anniversary of the Trinidad church. Pearl and the congregation grew up together as she joined and was baptized in 1972, the same year the church began. Pearl’s husband, Clifton, is the pastor of the church and she has faithfully served beside him as a de facto second pastor. Her ordination simply acknowledges a reality we have all experienced for a long time. Pearl has been faithfully responding to a call the good Lord has placed upon her. Our prayers are with and for Pearl as she continues to serve to the glory of our God.
Continued Prayers for Patama Banks
The following is a follow-up to our article in the last issue, from Leonard Banks, GCI pastor in Rochester, NY, on his wife Patama, who has been diagnosed with lymphoma.
Patama’s recent tests reveal the lymphoma is more aggressive than doctors initially thought. She is required to be in the hospital for four days to receive chemotherapy treatments. They will give her three weeks rest at home and then she will return to do this all over again. In all, she will have six hospital visits, four days each time. She will have three weeks rest at home in between each treatment.
Prayers for Al Nelson
Last Thursday, Al Nelson, GCI facilitator in Montpelier, VT, suffered a heart attack. His wife Arlene updated us on his condition, below.
Al had his operation on Friday. All went well. The surgeon was able to take care of all 5 bypasses, which is very good news. He’s out of the intensive care unit. They have had him up, walking and going up & downstairs. He might be coming home on Wednesday. But he won’t be back to his job, washing windows, for a few months! Thanks to everyone for their prayers. Praise to God.
We Are Not What We Experience
Many in this world have experienced horrible, almost unspeakable circumstances. They have been brought on by war, violence, illnesses, loss, and abandonment. These experiences mold us and shape us; we develop defenses in an attempt to avoid being hurt more or forget the pain we currently have. Unfortunately, the defenses don’t seem to “fix” the problem. So what do we need? Maybe the answer is simpler than we realize—maybe we need a “safe place.” But is this safe place a literal location? Or is it a “state of mind”?
Jesus came to this earth with the intention of experiencing all the evil that one could do to another. Why would he do this? Maybe it’s so we could begin to consider that God himself has experienced the worst this world has to offer…and it didn’t affect who or what he is. When he ascended to the Father, he took with him all the horrible experiences one could do to another, and he paid the price for them. He is now offering us an identity that is in his love, which has no conditions attached…It’s a “safe place to be.” This is what he is offering all of mankind. So, we are not what we experienced. It had a profound effect on us, but it is not “who we are.” We are unconditionally loved children of God in Jesus and there is no safer place. (Romans 8:17)
Prayer: Dear Father, Son, and Spirit, let me sense your presence in the midst of times of darkness and sorrow. This is not what I am…I am unconditionally loved by you.
By Mark Mounts
October 2019 Prayer Guide
Click the image below for the October 2019 Prayer Guide.