GCI Update

Only One Agenda

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

The GCI National Advisory Council for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (U.S.) has been doing good work for our denomination. For this month’s presidential letter, I have invited the Council’s co-facilitator Jeff Broadnax to give us a timely update. (Dishon Mills is the other facilitator.) Much of the Council’s work is done behind the scenes, so it is appropriate to provide an overview of their focus and list the action steps that have been taken. I thank Jeff, Dishon, and the Council for helping us tackle the societal challenges that easily divide. They do this with the posture of beginning with Jesus, seeing Jesus in the process and knowing that all things wrap up in him. Jesus is truly the one agenda.


Pentecost represents God’s intentional declaration of racial, ethnic, gender, and generational diversity and inclusion within his kingdom mission. The church celebrated Pentecost last month so it is timely to give an update from the GCI National Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the U.S.

We continue seeking the Lord’s discernment for ways GCI can reflect the unity and diversity of the Triune God in a fractured nation. In the U.S., the racial, religious, socio-political divisions have metastasized both in our citizens and within the Body of Christ to the point that even the terms diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) create inner conflict for many. Some in GCI have wondered if the denomination has become political or taken our eyes off Christ to embrace a secular agenda by using DEI language.

The answer to all those concerns is a resounding NO! The Council has only one agenda, his name is Jesus! But Scripture does charge believers to be awake and have the eyes of their hearts spiritually enlightened (Eph. 1:17-19).

God’s desire in Jesus’ reconciling work is to end the hostility of “us vs them” thinking, and be committed to making this message known through the church (Eph. 2:15b-16, 3:10).

To that end, here are highlights of what the Council has been up to since 2020.

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Devotional—God Is in the Streets

Editor’s Note: For our Ordinary Time Devotional series, you will be hearing entirely from young authors. They will be sharing their perspectives on the theme, “God is in the streets.” Enjoy reading how the next generation of emerging GCI leaders experiences God outside the walls of the Sunday church gathering.

Woman waiting for public transport on bus stop looking at phone

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT

As someone who does not have a driver’s license yet, I am forced to walk or take public transportation. This includes times of waiting—for the bus, for the next stop, and for fellow travelers to get on or off. I am a person who does not like waiting and gets annoyed by the time wasted. In my hurry and frustration, I fail to appreciate what’s in front of me.

I wonder if we have the same approach to God’s timing. We have been so used to fast-paced living that we forget our God is not in a hurry. Our Savior entered the world as a baby. He could have saved us in a second, but he waited twelve years to even start his ministry (Luke 2:49). We also see in creation how God makes beautiful things in his time through seasons, towering trees that were once a seed, and mountains formed by the slow movement of tectonic plates.

May we remember that our God is working in every moment, even those that feel futile. May we surrender to our God who holds everything together when we don’t see what’s ahead of us. Lastly, may we be present to a God who is already present with us.

Prayer: Father, Jesus, and Spirit, we thank you that you are with us. Every breath we take is a gift from you and a reminder of your involvement in our lives. Lead us to be still and know that you are at work. Guide us to rest in you so that we may enjoy your presence as you do with us. Amen.

Hazel Tabin
Pasadena, CA, US


GCI Buzz—What is an Avenue Champion?

We need all three Avenues to collaborate to be a healthy expression of the church. We’re healthiest when we are worshipping Christ together (Hope), building relationships in connect groups (Faith), and letting the love of Jesus flow out into our neighborhood (Love).
This month’s GCI Buzz defines the word “champion” and contextualizes the role within GCI culture. #gcibuzz
Check out the full PDF here.

Celebrate Our Graduates!

Leeuwarden, Netherlands

On 5 February 2023, the GCI congregation in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands celebrated its 10-year anniversary. We thanked and honoured God with exuberant songs, in a service led and provided by the women of the congregation. Seventy-five people attended, including several guests.

Pastor Makoti

Pastor Matendo Makoti explained that we should never be discouraged. God’s work is sometimes slow with setbacks and successes, but always know that your efforts are not in vain in the Lord! “But let us give thanks to God, who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Together with me, Pastor Matendo Makoti stood at the cradle of the congregation. We are also very grateful for the wise counsel and support from Santiago Lange, the then mission developer from Germany.

At the end of 2011, I met Matendo, his family, and his brother-in-law, Kuba Kone. They had come to the Netherlands from the refugee camp in Kenya, under the resettlement programme. They were settled near Leeuwarden. Leeuwarden is a city/municipality in the province of Friesland.

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Prayer Guide—July 2023

Join us in communion and corporate prayer this month as we thank God for the good work he includes us in.
“We want to go to God for answers, but sometimes what we get is God’s presence.” ― Nadia Bolz-Weber
Click the here or the image below to download and print the July Prayer Guide, as we celebrate how God is working in and among our fellowships. #WeAreGCI

The GCI Swag Store Is Now Open

GCI Gear is Here!

We are excited to announce that GCI clothing and accessories are now available as part of our Denominational Celebration! Represent our fellowship and reflect your personal style. Shop now, by clicking on the image below.

We chose the vendor for our on-demand store based on their high-quality and ethically sourced items, as well as their ability to ship internationally. However, please note that the shipping costs are per item. You can get detailed shipping information here.