Come & Drink Crusade – Nassau, Bahamas

Register Now!

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.”

You are invited to join us for four days of celebration, fellowship and Christian outreach at our 12th annual Come & Drink Crusade.
It takes place at Courtyard by Marriott, Junkanoo Beach, downtown Nassau, Bahamas, October 11-14, 2019. This hotel is the ideal site for a fall get-together for the entire family. Rooms rates are $160.00 per night double occupancy, all taxes included. Space is limited, so register today.
For more information, email Robert.Mckinney@gci.org or call (242) 424-4062.

Church on Staten Island Recognized for ASL Service

Image courtesy of Annalise Knudson/Staten Island Advance
Image courtesy of Annalise Knudson/Staten Island Advance

Congratulations to our congregation on Staten Island, Hands for Christ Community Church. They have been catching media attention and praise for their Sunday services which are led fully in American Sign Language (ASL), with a voice translator. The following is a write up from Pastor Mary Bacheller.

Spectrum News NY1 (the local TV station) called to ask if we could be interviewed for their show. We agreed and they came and loved our services. They would like to come back another time as well. They captured the essence of our services. Even though attendance was down a bit, we did have a new family join us. I am asking the station to provide a link or DVD /CD with closed captioning on it so that I can send it to all of the deaf on the island as a promo piece and invite them to services.

For the video and accompanying article by the local news station, please view this link: https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2019/08/06/staten-island-church-is-a-sign-of-faith

Eagle Rock Second Annual VBS

This summer, Grace Communion Fellowship in Eagle Rock, California hosted our second annual Vacation Bible School. What a blessing it was to see new and familiar faces-both for the staff and kids!

Our theme this year was “Into the Wild” accompanied by the motto, “Zoom in-Focus on Jesus!” The kids dove deeper into knowing who Jesus is by reenacting stories in the Bible. They wore costumes and were given scripts to read. Their joy in doing this allowed them to remember what God has done for us. Our church hall was transformed into a jungle, and we felt the Spirit’s presence and love throughout.

Our church will always be grateful for God’s blessings over the week of VBS. We have witnessed his hands move and provide for everything that we need. We have seen the Spirit’s leading and guidance ever since the preparation stage. We thank God for the people who have been praying with us, who have supported and given their resources, time, and gifts. We thank God for the staff who volunteered to serve the children in multiple ways for a whole week. God used their presence to reach out to the children in our community. We thank God for the parents, grandparents, and friends who invited the children to come. It takes a whole village to have a VBS and we thank God for the people he brought this year.

A normal day in VBS looked like: worshipping through dancing and singing, making animal crafts, playing jungle- related games, eating, hearing the stories of Jesus’ life, and a lot of laughing and playing with balloons. Some of the week’s highlights included: watching a series about knowing who we are in Christ and encountering God in this wild world, dancing, and being interviewed. In the interview, the kids were asked what their favorite animal was, their favorite part of VBS, and something they have learned throughout the week. The kids also had a photoshoot with their chosen stuffed animal and they had the chance to take photos for the other kids. The photos they took were used to enter into a contest to win two free tickets to San Diego Zoo Safari Park!

Sunday, culminated for the kids with a celebration of the week. We heard testimonies from both campers and staff. We sang worship with our parents, grandparents, and friends. We then shared with the congregation the awards they were given throughout the week, like being the most energetic worshipper, best hugger, and best in crafts, among many others. The congregation also voted for the best photo and we revealed the top three photographers. Throughout the worship service and the week of VBS, we were celebrating and feasting to proclaim our gratefulness to God’s faithfulness, which was evident this year.

Glory to God alone,
Hazel Tabin

Encounter Night at Grace Communion Baguio

This article was originally published on the Grace Communion International – Philippines website.

Grace Communion-Baguio has a story to tell . . . none can compare to The Author. It was a divine proposition that cannot be put aside, a once in a lifetime opportunity of the now in response to longing hearts.

The birthing of the idea and its fruition into reality is another story for the books, a transforming journey in itself for each individual participant, to those who took off their sandals in the Presence of The Holy One.

Hunger and thirst were so evident in the free expression of singing and dancing, hearts in reverence to the Person of each song sang in abandon. Such declaration addressing The One who wakes us, tuning hearts into his beat! And so, “this is living now” as we “wake up knowing there’s a reason.” There is no time to waste, this is the “best time of our lives as we encounter your love again.” We can choose to live kingdom life even here and now. In him, “blind eyes are opened, strongholds are broken” as we live by faith. What sustains us? It is “His love that never fails, never gives up and never runs out” on us.

Along the way, GCI Youth Ministry (GYM) Baguio was officially launched and introduced by Jep Parcasio as a resource for the young people. There were eighty-six invitees and guests. The youngest was four in age who sang and danced and listened with joy. Articulated needs in the connect cards show a significant number wanting to be part of a church, attendance in a Bible Study group, campus ministry and requests for prayer and counseling

Everyone could not get enough from singing incognizant of The “river where goodness flows, fountain that drowns sorrows, ocean deeper than fear” where “we come alive” in his presence. The atmosphere was richly blessed, filling each heart for a personal encounter of his great love. Again and again, we invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit, for where the Lord is, “dry bones awaken.”

During the devotional, Pastor Joseph spoke of Saul’s encounter of Jesus. Choose to heed David’s prayer in Psalm 34:8 (The Passion Translation) saying, “Drink deeply of the pleasures of this God. Experience for yourself the joyous mercies He gives to all who turn to hide themselves in Him.” Jesus brings about transformation and changes lives!

In prayer, we request for enabling so Jesus can be the center of our lives, this is our stand: “With arms high and heart abandoned, in awe of the one who gave it all.”

Approaching the end of the activity, it was a lullaby to the soul to be reminded of God’s reckless love, “overwhelming, never-ending, chases me down, fights ‘til I’m found. . .”

Our response: there is only one way and that is J E S U S! We are all living for HIM.

Leaving is difficult when there is more to anticipate. Guests were given lanyards as a memento. His promise is to bring us from glory to glory! Church members who came to support alongside the worship team and worked behind the scenes had their fill and went home in abundance. Also, there were silent forces who gave for the cause of the Lord and are known and will be rewarded.

The event was held August 2, 2019 at the Function Hall of Gestdan Centrum, Baguio City.

All praise and honor belong to our Triune God!!! – Auey Parcasio

Disaster Relief – Hurricane Dorian Wreaking Havoc in The Bahamas

hurricane aerial viewThe following is an update from Charles Fleming, Mission Developer, on our members in The Bahamas, in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

I spoke with Robert McKinney, National Director for the Caribbean, and his wife Tania, an hour ago. They are fine as are the brethren on Nassau. Abaco is a different story. All communications have been cut so they only have a few details as Dorian continues to inflict damage. Tania says houses there have been flattened. Not just roofs off, but solid cinder block homes have been leveled. Relatives of a member lost their home and have been moving from one evacuation center to another as they have been compromised. In some places, flooding is 10 feet deep. Freeport is also experiencing the worst of the storm. Robert spoke to his sister who said all their relatives including Robert’s mother are okay.

The recovery is going to be very challenging. Tania mentioned that Abaco is the 3rd largest economic center on the island.

I have seen two heartrending videos on YouTube of people surrounded by water desperately praying as they recorded the carnage. Robert asked me to say thank you for all your continuing prayers. Tania said that prayers are what has been making a difference for everyone.

In prayer,
Charles


Additional update from Robert McKinney:

Family and friends, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief and shout a collective Hallelujah as Dorian makes his way out of our waters. I am happy to report that as far as we are aware, all my family members and all our brethren in Freeport, as well as in Moores Island, are well. Now begins the task of picking up the pieces and rebuilding. I encourage us all to assist in whatever way we can. Stay strong in the Lord, and may our faith always rest in His mighty power.

_____________________

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.

Individuals who wish to donate may do so at www.gci.org/disasterrelief

If your congregation would like to donate out of local church funds, you may do so at www.gci.org/go/chdonate

If your congregation prefers to send a check, make it out to Grace Communion International, indicating on the memo line that the donation is for the GCI Disaster Relief Fund. Send the donation to:

GCI Disaster Relief Fund
Grace Communion International
3120 Whitehall Park Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28273

ACCM Christian Leadership Intensive

Would you like to take a step toward becoming a healthier leader in Grace Communion International?

Consider attending the ACCM Christian Leadership Intensive in Hickory, North Carolina, on August 30-31. This two-day intensive has been carefully crafted for ministry leaders, pastors or any GCI member who desires to take a deeper dive in leadership from a Christian point of view. Grace Communion Hickory will be the host church for this training event.

GCI President Greg Williams, wrote about ACCM, “I have used and taught the ACCM material and in my opinion they are outstanding. These classes help fulfill the ongoing educational pathway for our bi-vocational pastors, so please take advantage of this opportunity.”

If you have any questions, contact Anthony Mullins at anthony.mullins@gci.org.

Come & Drink Crusade – Nassau, Bahamas

Register Now!

“Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.”

You are invited to join us for four days of celebration, fellowship and Christian outreach at our 12th annual Come & Drink Crusade.
It takes place at Courtyard by Marriott, Junkanoo Beach, downtown Nassau, Bahamas, October 11-14, 2019. This hotel is the ideal site for a fall get-together for the entire family. Rooms rates are $160.00 per night double occupancy, all taxes included. Space is limited, so register today.
For more information, email Robert.Mckinney@gci.org or call (242) 424-4062.