GCI Update

Welcoming New GCI Board Members

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Not too many people get excited about governmental structures and systems. Who recalls civics class as the most scintillating of your educational journey? I suppose that I am a bit nerdy when it comes to church government, and I will do my best to make this article more exciting than the dry class lectures you may dimly recall.

In Grace Communion International we are “Board Governed.” The GCI Denominational Board of Directors are a diverse group of elders responsible for overall stewardship of the Church and the appointment and oversight of the President. The President is responsible to the Board for the general management of the Church, with the help of other officers, managers, and staff to carry out day-to-day operations of the church. (This is the short version for the civics test.)

The Directors operating according to the organization’s Articles and Bylaws have 3 fiduciary responsibilities mandated by law: duty of care, duty of loyalty, and duty of obedience.  Board directors are called fiduciaries because they are legally responsible for the high-level oversite of a nonprofit entity ensuring that support is raised and resources are spent well in support of its mission.

Duty of Care

Duty of care means that directors are required to give the same care and concern to their board responsibilities as any prudent and ordinary person would. Board members must be active participants in board meetings and committees. Working with other directors, they actively advance the mission of the Church. They fulfill their responsibilities by overseeing and monitoring the Church’s activities, including strategic planning, finances, audits, board director development, and recruiting to ensure the Church’s long-term goals are achieved.

Duty of Loyalty

Duty of loyalty means that board directors are required to place the interests of the Church ahead of their own interests. Board members do not serve on the board for personal gain but for the benefit of the organization. They must be loyal to the organization by appointing qualified and loyal members to replace themselves as they rotate out of their positions so that the Church successfully operates as a healthy entity in perpetuity.

Duty of Obedience

Duty of obedience means that directors must ensure that the church is abiding by all applicable laws. The duty of obedience also means that directors carry out the mission of the Church.

Board Officers

The Board appoints “officers” to administer the operations of the Church.  The Chair, Vice-Chair, President, Chief Financial Officer, and the Secretary of the Board serve in this capacity.  Currently, these positions are filled by Dr. Joseph Tkach, Dr. Randy Bloom, Dr. Greg Williams, and Mathew Morgan, respectively. Dr. Williams and Mr. Morgan serve as ex-officio Board Directors in our governance structure, which means they serve as Board Directors as long as they hold their current positions.

Administration  

Under the Board’s oversight, the President, working with other officers and managers, provides direct management and administration to carry out the Church’s mission and is a steward over the administrative functions and day-to-day management of the Church.

In our governance framework, the President, under the supervision of the Board, provides oversight of Superintendents in the US and abroad, providing worldwide focus and collaboration in pursuit of the mission of preaching the gospel and caring for the church.

Board directors and officers carry weighty responsibilities for the care and welfare of the denomination and must have specific requirements necessary to serve. In addition to a willingness to shoulder the duties mentioned earlier, a director must be an ordained elder in GCI, have relevant advanced education, a willingness to work together with other directors to advance the mission of the Church and be nominated and selected by the Board.

It is my pleasure and joy to share the news that Celestine Olive and Jennifer Gregory have been nominated and elected to serve alongside the current Board Directors (Chair Dr. Joseph Tkach, Vice Chair Dr. Randy Bloom, CFO and Secretary Mathew Morgan, GCI President Dr. Greg Williams, Dr. Russell Duke, and Pastor Tommie Grant).

It is a “Welcome back” to Celestine, as she has served a previous term on the Board. She is now retired from GCI employment and serving actively as an elder in the Lancaster, CA, congregation. (see her attached bio)

Jen will be coming on as a Board Director for the first time. She serves side by side with her husband Anthony as they pastor the Grove City, OH, congregation. Welcome Jen! (see her attached bio)

I think we all can appreciate the quote from the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

It brings me great joy to have the presence and voices of Celestine and Jen on the GCI Denominational Board of Directors.

I would be remiss not to mention that Dr. Charles Fleming and Elder Wendy Moore just completed their terms of service and have cycled off. A big thank you to Charles and Wendy for their dedicated service.

Please pray for the health and wisdom of the GCI Board of Directors, and that the Lord will continue faithfully guiding our journey forward.

 

Greg Williams

We Are GCI Series – Heber Ticas

We Are GCI Series is a collection of videos in which various GCI family members are highlighted.

In this episode, GCI President Dr. Greg Williams interviews Heber Ticas, GCI Superintendent of Latin America. Together they discuss Heber’s journey into GCI and service within the organization.

GCI 2021 Denominational Celebration

Registration Opens December 1!

Check out the link below to view the schedule, pricing, and more information on educational opportunities, youth activities, and local attractions.

2021 Denominational Celebration

 

 

2020 Healthy Church Photo Contest

Photo Contest Extended!

Did you miss your chance to submit photos to last year’s contest? This year, we are accepting photos of GCI events and services from 2015 through 2020. So, collect your throwback photos, or snap some new shots, and submit them to enter our 2020 Healthy Church Photo Contest.
Individual prizes include up to $150 in GCI Spreadshirt Web Store credit. The contest ends December 2.
For more information go to https://resources.gci.org/photocontest

Death of John Moskel

It is with sadness that I pass along the news that John Moskel died Tuesday, November 4. John seemed to be recovering well from a recent health setback, so his death came as a shock to his son Jesse and all those who loved John. John served many years as a GCI pastor, beginning in 1991 in Buffalo, NY. He then went on to pastor congregations in Olean, NY, Augusta, GA, and Orange, SC, and ended his pastoral duties in Columbia, SC, in June 2015.

Further details and his obituary can be viewed here.

Let’s pray for John’s loved ones as they grieve and say goodbye for now.

In the Resurrection and the Life,
Anthony Mullins
Regional Director USA, Southeast

 

Death of Horace Cooley

Billy Cooley, Pastor in Fayetteville, NC, shared the sad news this his older brother Horace passed away due to complications with COVID-19. Please remember the Cooley family in your prayers.

Cards may be sent to:

Billy & Carolyn Cooley
5373 Pringle Way
Hope Mills, NC 28348-5203

 

A “Praise God” Month for the Shallenbergers

 

October was a special “Praise God” month for Regional Director Rick Shallenberger and his wife Cheryl. Rick had the privilege of officiating at his son Lucas and Sydney’s wedding on Saturday, October 3. Because of Covid-19, the wedding party was limited and there were 19 people at the wedding. This made the entire weekend more intimate and special. Here is a picture of the couple’s “First Touch” as they read letters to each other. The wedding venue was in Big Butte Resort just off the Blueridge Parkway an hour outside Asheville, NC.

Three weeks later, Rick and Cheryl (Pop Pop and Mammy) welcomed their third grandchild. Grayson Bradley Elliott was born on October 28 to Kayla and Chris. Granddaughters Oliva and Cora are often heard to say, “He’s so cute.” The girls are adjusting well to the arrival of their brother.

Prayers for the Philippines

People in the Bicol area had not yet recovered from the Category 5 Typhoon Rolly (local name), which hit less than 2 weeks ago, when we were visited by another destructive typhoon, Ulysses (local name), which caused heavy flooding in many areas in the South of Luzon, in Metro Manila, and areas in Central Luzon.

Typhoon Ulysses is not as strong as Typhoon Rolly (which was a Category 5) but it brought heavy rains, which resulted in heavy flooding.

I pray this will be the last for 2020. This year has been a very challenging year but through it all, we see God’s mercy and grace.

Belinda Natividad
Office Manager, Philippines

Ride & Seek Trunk or Treat in Surrey Hills, Oklahoma

One of our largest community outreaches the past few years has been the Surrey Hills Trunk or Treat.  We had over 2,000 people last year, but knew it would not be a safe event to repeat during this pandemic. So the GC Surrey Hills team put our heads together and came up with a socially distanced version we christened the “Ride & Seek Trunk or Treat.” This was a neighborhood event that the whole community came behind, with eight local financial sponsors.

We had 10 neighborhood families set up trunks throughout the neighborhood, each with a social-distance-friendly way to dispense candy to kiddos that came through. We had trunk competitions and a digital costume competition for different ages with prizes and trophies.

We always talk about how important it is to find and get to know your target neighborhood. After spending years getting to know our neighbors, here are a few things we’ve learned:

  1. They always show up in a big way. It reminds me of that old saying from the movie Field of Dreams, “if you build it they will come.”
  2. If we love their kiddos well, the parents are all in. Our events are always family-friendly and encourage families to come out together and enjoy a multi-generational experience.
  3. The adults in the neighborhood LOVE a good competition.

So, with these things in mind, we knew we had to make this special and fun.  Instead of simply giving them a list of addresses for each “trunk station,” we decided that we would instead give them clues they would have to decipher to find each location. Bring on the competition! This made the entire event much more challenging. We released a printable “blackout card” for people to bring with them to each station and they would get a special mark on those cards as they found each one.

The first 10 families to successfully complete the hunt and return to our “home base” at the church property with their blacked-out cards received grand prize packs. We also had completion prizes for everyone else. Pastor Joe, and his wife Megan along with Nikki and Matt Payne, and others, staffed our home base station and enjoyed a bit of costuming themselves.

It was a wonderful time and we had a great turnout. We had at least 400 participants, but I believe even more participated and chose not to compete. God continually moves and leads us to love our community well, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Thinking outside the box has become a new way of life for us.  Living in the “uncomfortable” to meet, love, and serve our brothers and sisters in Surrey Hills where they are has been a great blessing.  We are so blessed to be able to join Jesus in his works as we participate in what he is doing in Surrey Hills. We are excited, we are humbled, we are thankful, we are loved. We are GCI.

Ceeja Malmkar
Love Avenue Champion
GC Surrey Hills

 

Community Care Day at CenterPointe Church in Ohio

Early in October, our Love Avenue team held their first official activity since being reorganized as “The Love Avenue.”

We planned a neighborhood trash clean-up and school-supply-box give-away in our immediate neighborhood surrounding CenterPointe Church (GCI Grove City, OH) as a way to show love to our neighbors while still honoring safety concerns due to Covid-19. Teams of two or three people canvased the neighborhood cleaning up trash and handing out school-supply boxes to adults with children at home. We did not go door-to-door but approached people who were out in their yards as it was a beautiful fall day.

Some of our notable experiences:

  • We were able to catch a father who was cooking in his backyard. He was so gracious!
  • The first couple driving by slowed to ask if we were picking up litter. We said yes, and she said thank you, as they were getting older. They also offered to donate some men’s suits and gave us their contact info.
  • I didn’t see any children out, but [being a resident of the neighborhood] I enjoyed leaving boxes on the doorsteps where I knew children lived knowing that the boxes would be a surprise blessing to them.
  • One pair said that when they were on their way back, they saw two boys on a porch. The boys were on the porch going through the school supply boxes they had received. They were excitedly talking about what they had and what they’d be able to do with their gift.

Although only two CenterPointe members live in the neighborhood, everyone who participated felt more connected to the community in which we worship. The Holy Spirit was working to open not only the hearts of our neighbors but our own as well. Praise God!

 

Jen Gregory
Co-Pastor, CenterPointe Church

 

Update from Honduras

Honduras is reeling from the latest storm. The Town of “La Democracia” outside of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, flooded again. People are either in shelters or in the streets. Our church building has been flooded for some time now and many of our members are still displaced.

We pray that the rains subside so it can dry out and folks can go back and assess what is left of their home and belongings.

Please continue to pray,

Heber Ticas
Superintendent of Latin America

Devotional: The Ripple Effect

Sitting beside the pond the day after my son’s wedding, I was thinking about how beautiful the wedding was, how thankful I am for our new daughter-in-law, and what a blessing it was that God brought them together. While praising God I saw this reflection and told God I wanted to be the perfect reflection of Christ—living as he lived and loving as he loved. And then I noticed the ripples.

The ripples were caused by a stream cascading down the hillside and entering the pond. The stream prevents the pond from becoming stagnant and potentially lifeless. My mind whirled with spiritual lessons from this image and those ripples. Let me share a couple of them.

  • If I want to reflect Jesus, I need to walk as he walked—1 John 2:6. I will never perfectly reflect him; my life will always have ripples.
  • I don’t need to be discouraged by the ripples. They are part of growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord—2 Peter 3:18.
  • The source of those ripples is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin, righteousness and judgment—John 16:8. He continually points me to the source of the streams of living water—John 15:26.
  • The stream of living water that gives me life and prevents me from becoming stagnant comes from believing in Jesus—John 7:38-39.
  • The stream is something to thirst for—Revelation 21:6-8.

I realized that I often focus on the ripples in my life as a negative—a constant reminder that I don’t reflect Jesus perfectly. But that day on that hillside, looking at this scene, I believe God wanted to show me a different view. I do reflect Jesus, even with the ripples. My reflection may not be a perfect reflection, but it is still beautiful. I am a work in progress as God makes me one of his masterpieces. And maybe, just maybe, the ripples are caused by the Holy Spirit convicting me so I continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for including me in your work and allowing me to reflect your beauty –  ripples and all. Amen.

 

Lord, bring on the ripples,

 

Rick Shallenberger
Regional Director USA, North Central

 

 

Meet Tracy Winborne

Click the image below to view and download this month’s profile PDF.