Kerry Magruder Ordination

On Sunday, February 9, we had the privilege of ordaining Dr. Kerry Magruder during our worship service at GC Surrey Hills, Oklahoma.

Dr. Magruder serves as Chair of the History of Science Collections, Associate Professor of Bibliography and as Associate Professor of the History of Science at Oklahoma University (OU) in Norman, Oklahoma. Kerry joined the faculty at Grace Communion Seminary this semester and is currently teaching our class on Trinitarian Perspectives on Faith and Science.

Kerry and his wife Candace have been a part of our congregation in Oklahoma City the past three years. We are excited to have them as part of our church and seminary families and look forward to gleaning from Kerry’s education and experience.

He deeply loves God and is especially gifted at explaining the beauty and depths of Incarnational Trinitarian theology.

Michael D. Rasmussen
Superintendent, North America & Caribbean
Regional Director, Central US

Carolyn Cooley Ordination

Carolyn Cooley was ordained as an elder and commissioned as an Assistant Pastor in Grace Communion Fayetteville (North Carolina) on Sunday, February 23, in front of a large gathering of family and friends.

Those friends included GCI pastors and members from congregations in Raleigh, Wilson, Hickory and Wilmington, North Carolina. Carolyn’s husband, Pastor Billy Cooley, led the ordination ceremony and invited all ordained elders to the stage to participate in laying on of hands and prayer. This celebration brought particular joy to acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s good nurturing work with, in and through Carolyn.

 

Anthony Mullins
GCI Regional Director, Southeast
Pastor, Grace Communion Hickory
Podcast Host, GC Podcast and Gospel Reverb

GC Cleveland Outreach

In early March, before quarantines were set in place, Grace Communion Cleveland Men’s Ministry Team went to the City of Life Mission to serve a meal. Our church purchased the ingredients and the men prepared and served the meal with the assistance of the kitchen staff. They served two groups of about 50 people. We look forward to what is next for our Cleveland, Ohio men’s group.

We are also celebrating partnering with Fairfax Elementary School in our church community to provide a meal for another shelter we support. Church members did the cooking. The teachers and staff donated $211 to provide a St. Patrick’s Day meal of corn beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes and dessert for about 50 women and children who live in the shelter.

We are praying for our next steps and for all that is done. To God be the glory!

Tamar Gray
Pastor
Grace Communion Cleveland

GC Urdaneta Celebrates its Golden Anniversary

The following article was originally published on the GCI Philippines website. Click here to view the original article.

Like gold, Grace Communion Urdaneta has proven its malleability as it withstood challenges and embraced victories leading to the celebration of its 50th founding anniversary March 1, 2020. True to its theme “Celebrating God’s faithfulness: Past, Present, and Beyond”, our congregation in Urdaneta (Philippines) gave all the glory not on its ability to adapt nor its resilience but on God’s faithfulness to the church.

The 142 participants coming from seven congregations all over Luzon: Manila, Cabanatuan, Binmaley-Mangaldan-Lingayen, San Carlos, Curva, Santo Rosario, and Baguio, together with the host church enjoyed the bright sunshine, scenery and sun-warmed sand as they joyously commemorated the founding at PTA Beach Resort, San Fabian, Pangasinan.

The festivity started with praising the Lord through hymn singing followed by a short devotional from one of the District Directors of Northern Luzon, Pastor Adonis Caguioa, emphasizing that the Father rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferring us into the kingdom through the Son with whom we have redemption. He emphasized the continued faithfulness of the Lord in the church’s spiritual journey.

The National Director and Asia Superintendent, Dr. Eugene Guzon, delivered the message focusing on the faithfulness of our Lord who is at work in our lives and the church from the very beginning up until now as we continue to participate in his work. A short message of gratefulness was given by Grace Communion Urdaneta Senior Pastor, Dr. Napoleon Meimban, which then led to the commemoration of the Lord’s Supper.

To encourage the church and to attest to God’s faithfulness, Abraham Ortiguero, son of the late pastor Pedro Ortiguero, gave a testimony on how the church started and his journey through the transition. Antonio Beatriz, a pioneering member of GC Urdaneta and now a member of GC Pampanga, also shared his experiences when he was still with the congregation, with some anecdotes making the members laugh.

Brief meeting of pastors and pastoral team members during the anniversary.

Catching-up, fellowship, and numerous chuckles accentuated lunchtime as everyone shared a sumptuous buffet. A brief meeting of the pastoral teams of the different congregations present came about after lunch to keep everyone updated on the direction of the church. Dr. Eugene Guzon facilitated the meeting.

Baptized during the 50th church anniversary namely Richelle Condrillon and Chantal S. Bolisay of Grace Communion Cabanatuan, and Brian Torio of Grace Commmunion Binmaley.

Before diving into the nearby beach to enjoy the waves, the participants took part in a group photo to memorialize the event. And to cap the glorious occasion, three were baptized: Richelle Condrillon and Chantal S. Bolisay of Grace Communion Cabanatuan, and Brian Torio of Grace Communion Binmaley.

It was a golden moment for everyone witnessing the celebration knowing it is the Lord’s faithfulness that made the church reach 50 years and will make the church reach beyond.

By Rachelle Flores Garcia

2020 Denominational Celebration Announcement

It is with a heavy heart that I announce the postponement of the 2020 Denominational Celebration in Charlotte. We have deliberated among the Managers, sought counsel from our Superintendents, and been in constant prayer. So, in the best interest of our global family, we have determined that postponing the gathering to July 2021 is the right thing to do.

We have included a letter from Pam Morgan, Operations Coordinator, explaining the details for all who have registered and the procedures for getting your refund. We are extremely grateful to the 900 plus people who registered early and displayed enormous enthusiasm about coming together to celebrate the hope we have in our Lord Jesus. Please hold onto that enthusiasm and we will celebrate with exuberance in 2021.
To give you further input as to why we have made this hard decision, allow me to share insights from three of our Superintendents.

“The Denominational Celebration is about four months from now. In between, some countries will hit their peak of coronavirus infection while some will be at the tail end of infections and others will have just recovered. The global bell curve will cover all of us to one degree and another. What will follow, as you know, are the effects of this aftermath. There are too many uncertainties with this rapid spread of Covid-19. With the current situation, attendance for the July 2020 Denominational Celebration will be negatively affected. Therefore, calling off 2020 celebration to July 2021 has more probability for Covid-19 to have run its full course. Your hard work with Home Office managers is appreciated.” – Kalengule Kaoma, Superintendent Africa

“Today we have entered our Church fast here, and our love and prayers are with you and the Home Office, trusting He will guide you in all things. It’s just a month ago that you and Susan were in Australia, and all the members were so encouraged by your presence and your messages of love, faith and hope – the grace of Jesus. We did not realise what was ahead at that time, but more than ever before, as the normalities of life are being stripped away with the uncertainties and ever-increasing restrictions over our lives, we hold on to the assurance of where our lives are anchored, in the love, faith and hope we find in Him, the true Vine – can’t help thinking of how we are all attached across many miles, and one in spirit in Christ. Since my last update, the number of infections has almost tripled, and we see the beginnings of the spike in Australia now. Travel bans are in place indefinitely, with estimates ranging from anywhere up to 6 months for things to be cleared. It’s difficult to pin a timeframe, but we are praying for God’s intervention and our prayers are with you all, for His love, guidance and protection as we face these challenges together.” – Daphne Sidney, Superintendent Australasia

“Some years ago, we had to cancel an All-African conference on short notice due to a threat related to terrorism. Many of our delegates had saved their own money in order to buy their airline tickets and were not able to get a partial or a full refund. The estimate at the time was that maybe as much as $40,000 had been lost collectively in airfares for African delegates. I don’t know where everyone is re whether tickets are bought already or not, but, perhaps, the more notice given, the greater the likelihood of some kind of refund; or, if tickets not bought yet, then not much spent internationally so far? Just to say that since the last update, the situation in Europe has intensified, and a complete lockdown is planned in some areas for up to three months at least. This makes advance planning of any sort extremely difficult.” – James Henderson, Superintendent Europe

These accounts paint a very clear picture that the responsible decision is to postpone. In my thinking, how could this gathering be a true, impactful celebration if so many of our international brothers and sisters were unable to participate? Therefore, we will continue to plan for an amazing, inspirational denominational event with the caveat that it will take place in July 2021 and the expectation that we can meet as a collective family.

We apologize for any inconveniences this has caused you, and we appreciate your patience. Thank you for your prayers and your faithful support during this long season of challenge, and may we all continue to rest in the assurance we have in Jesus.

Greg Williams
President Grace Communion International

 

Click here for refund information

GC Cleveland Commissions New Youth Leader

Grace Communion Cleveland (GCCLE) is pleased to announce the commissioning of our new ministry youth leader, Sarah Bowland. We would like to thank Renee Overton for her years of service as she will be moving into a new ministry position.

We are rejoicing together as the Lord creates new pathways in ministry for our leaders in GCCLE. Congratulations!

 

Tamar Gray
Pastor
Grace Communion Cleveland

GCI Singles, “Set Apart” for Conference 2020

After three years since the last reunion, GCI Singles from all over the Philippines converged again for the Singles Conference 2020, this time in the beautiful Anda de Boracay, Anda, Bohol. The resort views a long stretch of shoreline with fine white sand comparable to the powdered sands of Boracay Island. Far from the crowded tourists, Anda is located two hours away from Tagbilaran City and an hour away from the famous Chocolate Hills. Forty-three men and women came from the different parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao to enjoy the three-day conference that was hosted by a team of organizers led by Sarah Bahinting.

This year’s was theme “Set Apart,” the event focused on the singles’ identities as the Father’s beloved in Jesus Christ and individuals called into communion with him and for his purpose based on Deuteronomy 14:2. The guest speakers were Steve and Jan Hobson -missionaries and professors of IGSL (International Graduate School of Leadership) and our very own GCI Pastor Rex Dela Peña.

The conference kicked-off with praise and worship followed by some fun icebreaker games which were facilitated by Pastor Andrew Rota of GCI Mactan. The singles then were asked to creatively portray how singleness is perceived and treated in their family, church and community in the evening of the first day. This activity was a prelude for serious topics discussed the following days, which were given by the competent guest speakers.

The Hobsons discussed different views concerning marriage and family. They contrasted the different narratives from modern culture, the old covenant and the contemporary church with the new covenant narrative, which reflects the overarching view of the storyline of the Bible towards singleness. They also discussed the myths of singleness in society today. As a fitting conclusion, the speakers pointed out that as Christians who love God, he must be the main goal or focus of everything. He is the ultimate reward and nothing else. The wonderful couple also offered to give a special one-on-one time for counseling for those singles in need.

In the third session of the conference, Pastor Rex de la Peña spoke about biblical stewardship as part of a broader call to loving God and fulfilling his purpose. Furthermore, he imparted a holistic view of stewardship which includes everything – one’s own life, time, relationships, the workplace and finances, and stewardship of the gospel. He also encouraged the participants to know their spiritual giftings to help in building the church up and fulfilling God’s mission.

Participants had the chance to relax and have a fun time as they all dressed up for a Havana-themed mingle event on the last night. They took delight in the live music floating in the air as they danced with their friends and participated in amusing games. Some of them also got to show their talents as they performed with the band.

To cap the conference, a Question and Answer forum was held followed by a Communion, which pictures the beautiful union between Christ and His Bride — the Church.

Overall, the conference was an eye-opening opportunity for many. The environment gave the participants hope, confidence, and a deeper meaning and view of singleness.

 

Blessings,
Kae Domoguen

 

Tornadoes in Tennessee

You may have heard about the tornado that passed through Nashville in the middle of the night. I spoke with Pastor Linda Rex and she was awakened by her son and the sound of a tornado siren in the 3 am hour this morning. Her family is OK and she has contacted almost all the affected members and everyone seems to be fine – thank you, Lord! The tornado came within one block of a GCI member and near the church building itself, but there’s no damage. There are two reported casualties in the city of Nashville, over 100 wounded and many buildings destroyed.

Be in prayer for those who have experienced death and loss in the city and that our GCI congregation can be a place of hope for those who are suffering.

Blessings,

Anthony Mullins
GCI Regional Director, Southeast
Pastor, Grace Communion Hickory

Chapel for Taal Volcano Refugees

 

The following article was originally published on the GCI Philippines website. Click here to view the original article.

The weather was perfect last Saturday, February 29, for an outreach to the Taal Volcano refugees camped at an elementary school in Barangay Aya, Talisay, Batangas. Several teachers and staff from the Ambassador School for Children (ASC) led by Teacher Adora Barnachea joined our team from Grace Communion Calamba to bring joy and some necessities to around 285 refugees from the Taal Volcano Island who were displaced by the eruption.

Upon arrival at 11:00 a.m., the teachers were assigned a room to conduct a “children’s chapel.” At around 11:30 a.m., more than 20 kids came pouring into the room after they were dismissed from their regular classes. They were treated to fun and educational lessons including prayer, Bible stories and games. School supplies and snacks were also given and much appreciated by these kids whose education was disrupted by the eruption.

Meanwhile, the rest of us set up tables near the tents and ministered to the adults and very young children who were not of school age yet. Teacher Adora’s daughter and her friend, who are both medical students, took the vital signs of some of the adults, while some of our Grace Communion Calamba members conversed and prayed for the needs of a number of evacuees. Relief goods consisting of diapers, underwear, blankets and even more school supplies were also distributed, including a mattress for a senior citizen.

Before 2:00 p.m., it was time to say goodbye to the people that we have come to know and love, having visited them several times this February. We gathered to say a short prayer and thanksgiving for what the Lord has done on this day. I saw grateful hearts not only from the recipients but also from the donors and care-givers who were able to share a part of themselves that day.

Blessings,
Pastor Reuel Avila
District Director for North Calabarzon