“When I first moved here, I was afraid to get involved because I wasn’t sure how long I would stay here. I am so thankful that I didn’t let fear stand in my way because being a part of our church & neighborhood has made us realize that Surrey Hills is home to us.”
Check out this GCI Profile to get to know Chloe Parker, GC Surrey Hills, Ministry Intern. To read her full profile, click here or the image below.
Our GCI congregation in La Huaca, Peru has been going through a renewal process in all aspects. Juan Carlos Florian faithfully pastors the congregation. Juan Carlos along with a team, have been actively engaging their community. They experienced growth to the point that they were no longer able to accommodate those who were visiting their church.
They started an expansion project in their facilities. With the help and dedication of members and even those in their community, they were able to enlarge their building and increase the capacity. This past weekend, with thanksgiving, they rededicated the facilities for the ministry of the gospel. Pastor Ruth Nieves from Piura and Pastor Jose Kasum from Lima joined them.
The renewal of their facilities is not the only renewal that this congregation has been experiencing. They have also been experiencing a missional renewal. Pastor Juan Carlos has attentively participated in the Team Based—Pastor Led equipping that regional directors Hector and Paulina Barrero have been offering online. Their missional endeavors have borne good fruit. This past weekend, they not only dedicated the renewal of the building to the Lord, but they also participated in the dedication of the lives of four brothers and sisters to the Lord through the sacrament of baptism.
Pastor Juan Carlos and their congregation solicit the prayers of the greater GCI family as they continue to participate with Jesus in what he is doing in their community.
By Heber Ticas Pastor & Superintendent Latin America
On October 14, GC Woodbine held a Neighborhood Fun Day. This was the third such event that we have held for our community. We were excited to see more people come out to this event than our previous ones. It seemed that everything came together to make for a really fun “Fun Day”! We estimate that more than 100 neighbors attended.
Pastor Calvin and his lunch crew served around 120-130 meals. A local hunting club organization blessed us by donating baked beans and slaw for the event. They even “donated” one of their workers, Mr. Gary, to help us prepare the meals. Gary ended up behind the grill for a great part of the day and seemed to really enjoy himself.
The pony rides and bounce houses for the kids were well received, but it seemed to me one of the activities that generated the most excitement was the playing of musical chairs! We also enjoyed offering face painting, and some of the kids got multiple paintings! We had a prayer tent where people could request prayer. I especially enjoyed that as one teenager came by and started asking some very probing questions about some issues from the Bible.
We held a raffle in which 26 families participated. With the raffle, we requested some contact information that people might be willing to volunteer. Through this information, we have sent follow-up invitations to church.
GC Ladson Church had a wonderful community event in our neighborhood in the form of a Fall Festival. Approximately 80 church members and neighbors enjoyed a variety of activities and good food.
Church members prepared pots of chili and participated in a cookoff. Adults and children made s’mores around the two firepits. This was probably our biggest hit for guests and church members.
We all enjoyed lively conversations, and many of the children watched a movie in the outdoor theater. We invited our guests to attend our church services the next day, and two families attended! We hope our church made a lasting impression with our neighbors and community, and we plan to continue our outreach efforts to bring Christ’s love to all.
Mary Robinson, Love Avenue Champion Ladson, SC, US
Praise God from whom all blessings flow! GC Pasadena celebrated its 10th church anniversary on October 22, 2023. Nearly 100 people came to worship and celebrate with us. We had a different flow of our worship service since we included special music and video presentations of church photos and greetings from Pastor Glen Weber and Pastor Bermie Dizon, who spoke about how this church plant started.
We were blessed to have Dr. Dan Rogers as our guest speaker. He shared about living and sharing the gospel as a church community. We prayed and honored visiting pastors of other congregations for Pastor Appreciation Month.
After the benediction, we enjoyed a variety of meals brought by the members. Last, we had a short program that consisted of GC Pasadena’s women and young adults dancing, and guests joined in. It was definitely a joyful celebration, and we thank God for this milestone!
This GCI Buzz is part 3 of our 3-part Ministry Rhythms series. In this Buzz, we define missional rhythms and show how they are essential for church health. In case you missed it, here are part 1 and part 2.
Click here or the image below to view the entire Buzz. #gcibuzz
Editor’s Note: For our Ordinary Time Devotional series, you are hearing entirely from young authors. They are 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.
It’s inspiring to see God work his infinite power. For me, it’s also in the little things that I get to see God and experience him on a daily basis. I usually take time to acknowledge God’s presence, saying a little thank-you prayer while waiting for my daughter at the after-school pickup. Just as I am looking for a parking spot, on numerous occasions one is provided for me. Hallelujah!
Then there are the not-so-good times. Even though it may not be easy, being rooted in Christ helps us see past the adversities.
I am reminded of the Bible verse Acts 17:28.
For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
Prayer: Oh wonderful, triune God, you are in all things! In you, we live, move, and have our being. Thank you for being the center of the center of our daily lives. Amen.
With the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas that began on October 7, many people are concerned. Some Christians may wonder what the prophetic significance of this war is. Is this something we need to be overly concerned about as we await Jesus’ return? Are end-time events unfolding in front of our eyes? There is much to consider.
Let’s put this conflict in perspective. Understanding that there are 32 ongoing conflicts in the world right now—ranging from drug wars, terrorist insurgencies, ethnic conflicts, and civil wars—gives a global perspective. This confirms the teaching of Christ in Matthew 24, where he says, “there will be wars and rumors of wars.” The ongoing division and resulting warring disposition of humanity is strong evidence of the fall and the brokenness in our nature.
As Christ followers, should we be aligned with Israel and seek their eventual victory? Certainly, we want the killing to stop and peace to come. But because we are Christ followers, we should be aligned with his universal atonement and be for all people, desiring goodness for all—Israel and Hamas, Ukraine and Russia, Nigeria and Boko Haram, both sides of the civil war in Myanmar, and on and on. Jesus died for all, and Jesus wants all to be saved. I believe that as Christ followers, we join Jesus in weeping over the hatred and needless bloodshed in all places around the world.
An ex-military building contractor that I know in my hometown is a sincere believer, and he continues to quiz me on what is happening to Israel. He peppers me with questions like, “Is the king of the north moving on Israel? Who is Gog and Magog, and how do they come into play?” I’m not that guy who sits with my Bible opened to the book of Revelation with all the newsfeeds open at the same time trying to match current events to Bible passages. Good luck with that. However, I assure my friend that if these truly are the final events to human history, which would indicate Jesus is returning, I am all in. In fact, there is nothing I am doing in my human life of such importance that I should desire a delay of his coming for one more minute. I tell him I trust that Jesus has everything in control and nothing this world does or doesn’t do will advance or delay his coming. What we do know is that he will come at the right time—in his time.
We are fast approaching the end—of the liturgical year, that is. This Sunday, November 26, is Christ the King Sunday, which marks the end of Ordinary Time and ushers in the Advent season. We celebrate Christ’s messianic kingship and sovereign rule over all creation. The meaning of the celebration can be summed up in this collective prayer.
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Considering world events, I pray that Christ the King Sunday will be especially meaningful as we celebrate in our GCI congregations around the world.
Grace Communion Glendora held its third carnival for the surrounding neighborhoods on October 14. More than 200 children, almost 200 adults, and 33 volunteers enjoyed the games and refreshments. The carnivals have helped our congregation become known in the area, and we see several families returning for the events. Some expressed appreciation that the carnival provided an opportunity for families to get away from their electronic devices and do something together as a family.
The carnivals have given us many contacts in the community and have allowed us to use email lists to invite neighbors to our smaller events, where there is more opportunity to build relationships. As we walk the neighborhoods distributing fliers, we see and greet families who know us!
These activities, in addition to being outreach events, also help bond members together as we work together. This will be helpful as the Monrovia congregation merges into ours in late November, and we will join forces to present our second annual living nativity this December. The merger will mean that we have more people to help reach the neighborhood in our mission.
By Mike Morrison, Associate Pastor Glendora, CA, US