The Edgehill Community Church (GCI) LiLY Conference was held April 26-28, 2019. The Conference was a huge Holy Spirit-filled success. Ninety women and teens came to the Embassy Suites in Beachwood, Ohio, and experienced our theme “Joy Intact” based on Romans 15:13: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The praise and worship during the weekend was powerful and transforming. We spent time journaling and getting to know each other.
We were reminded that we are God’s masterpiece with a story of our own to tell by Vicki Hart from Cincinnati. While Gail Dudley of Columbus spoke of how we should place ourselves in a position to be ready to receive an abundant life, by being full participants in what God is doing and clothing ourselves with strength, putting on clothes of praise, shaking off the dust, rising up, sitting at his throne and freeing ourselves through Christ Jesus.
Tammy Mason Johnson of Cleveland led our teens the entire weekend in getting to know what it means to have “Joy Intact” with Jesus as the focus. On Sunday Tamar Gray, Assistant Pastor of Edgehill Community Church, wrapped up the weekend with a reminder of things that block our joy and how to recognize and avoid these pitfalls.
Next year’s LiLY women’s conference will be April 24-26, 2020. We are excited to see what God has in store for us.
Dedication of Ghana Church Auditorium by Dr. Greg Williams, GCI President
On Resurrection Sunday, April 21, 2019, history was made when the President of Grace Communion International, Dr. Greg Williams, unveiled the commemorative plaque to officially dedicate Ghana’s GCI Church Auditorium on the church’s 15-acre property at Kutunse, 20 kilometers north of Accra, Ghana’s capital city. The facility, which was started in the early 1980s as a small meeting place for Spokesman’s Club, has undergone several changes, climaxing in its current two story 1,000 seater capacity form. It was funded from donations from our members in Ghana and from resources of the national church.
Pastor Williams, in dedicating the facility prayed for God’s blessings on the members who would use it for God’s glory. He was assisted by Pastor Kalengule Kaoma, GCI Superintendent of African Missions and me.
Prior to the dedication, Pastor Kaoma officially unveiled the GCI Africa cloth which was “outdoored” and used for the Resurrection Sunday service, which was attended by 585 members (including 104 children). 374 members participated in the Communion service that was led by Pastor Takalani Musekwa.
Crossing Borders provides twice-a-year mission trips into Mexico. Here are some important reminders and requests:
We have openings for anyone age 15-99 to come along on our summer mission trip to Mexico. Our 27th trip will be June 22-30. Please consider for yourself and let others know about this opportunity. Details at: www.cbmission.org
We are in need of a camp host(s) for the summer trip — one or two people to stay at camp on the U.S. side of the border and cook meals and do some laundry. Very important support for the mission trip! Let us know of anyone interested and we can discuss in more detail.
For our winter trip Dec. 6-9, we are in need of additional shoebox gifts for the children in Mexico. We thank God for those in various churches, clubs, school groups, neighborhoods who send/bring us shoebox gifts every year. But our number of boxes has decreased lately, and we could use an additional 400-500 boxes. Could you organize a group to pack and send gift boxes that we hand-deliver to needy children in Mexico? For more info, click on Shoebox tab at: www.cbmission.org.
Feel free to call Lee Berger with any questions: 903-746-4463
Greetings from our brothers and sisters in Africa!
Greg Williams, GCI President and Mat Morgan, GCI Secretary-Treasurer recently participated in the West African Leadership Conference held in Accra, Ghana. Formal meetings were attended by Kalengule and Nsama Kaoma, Superintendent of Africa, Emmanuel and Margaret Okai, Regional Director of West Africa, Gardner Kunje, Regional Director of Central Africa, Takalani and Margaret Musekwa, Regional Director of South Africa along with other pastors, spouses and members from West African
What a privilege and blessing to see how devoted GCI members are participating with Jesus in this part of the world where exciting things are happening! While there, we shared and learned from helpful presentations on the theme of “healthy church,” and participated in lively worship with our brothers and sisters from West Africa, including Ghana, Benin, Liberia, Nigeria and Togo. Some members from other West African countries were not able to attend due to visa complications, cost and other travel realties. Although absent, they remain in our thoughts and prayers.
President Williams, Superintendent Kaoma, and Regional Director of West Africa, Emmanuel Okai dedicated a new church building in Katunse, just outside Accra, that also served as our meeting place part of the conference. The building is beautiful and modern, sitting on about 15 acres of land that also contains a school, a soccer field, apartments and other church support facilities. Papaya, coconut and other trees populate the property, which is dotted with healthy goats and chickens.
We are happy to report that the members in Ghana are enthusiastically participating with Jesus in sharing the gospel as a vibrant and healthy expression of him. The Katunse church is a shining example of a healthy church that is developing leaders, planting churches and has developed a local financial infra-structure that supports Gods’ work in that region. They are planting new congregations around Accra. Eight of 11 churches in Ghana now have their own buildings. We thank God for what he is doing through his servants in this area and for their example of living and sharing the gospel in this healthy church environment.
After the conference ended, we were able to visit the newly planted Cape Coast church facility and pray with pastor Pastor Isaac Bright Buckman and his wife Lois, Deacon Earnest Dadzie and his family, and Mr. Sam Ofori. They are celebrating their new building, still under construction, and looking forward to sharing the good news about Jesus in this community, not far from the infamous slave castles.
Thank you for your prayers for our brothers and sisters who live so far away, but who we are closely connected with through the love and hope that comes only from Jesus. We are all GCI!
Asia Superintendent Eugene Guzon together with Regional Director for the Indian Subcontinent Daniel Zachariah flew from India to Kathmandu and Taplezung, Nepal, for pastoral visits and a series of meetings with ministry partners there. Over the last 15 years, our denomination has been involved in some medical outreach work, children’s ministry and leadership training with a ministry partner in Kathmandu.
Opportunities for participating in God’s work in the Indian Subcontinent are being explored to deepen our relationships and strengthen our participation in living and sharing the gospel in Nepal.
Prayers are needed for the work in Nepal to thrive and for the encouragement of Christians even in the face of mounting challenges. We ask for prayers for wisdom, protection of Christian leaders and members.
Hyderabad leaders meetings and Easter celebrations
Superintendent Eugene Guzon visited Hyderabad, India, for a Good Friday service and Communion, leadership meetings and an Easter celebration from April 18-21, 2019.
He was assisted by Regional Director Daniel Zachariah, who organized personal and group meetings with the Hyderabad leadership team on Saturday, April 20.
The Easter celebration was very encouraging as 52 members and guests enjoyed excellent breakfast meals together, the warm fellowship and worship.
Prayers are requested for the continued health of the congregations in India, and for guidance and direction of pastoral teams as they conduct their strategic planning and leadership training in the next few weeks.
The following article was originally published in Life Together, a GCI Australasia, newsletter written by John McLean, Superintendent of Australasia.
Earlier this year we had another wonderfully constructive and successful national—now Australasian—pastors conference. We are blessed with an outstanding group of pastors and ministry leaders in our region. It was a delight to share fellowship, friendship, learning and discussion together.
We welcomed Dennis and Sue Richards and Rex Morgan from New Zealand to the group. We also celebrated Mohan Jayasekera’s retirement, honouring and thanking Mohan and Nihara for their many years of faithful, dedicated service across several different countries, and often in trying and difficult times. Peter Edalere will take the reins as pastor of Perth, and Peter and his wife Shehana attended their first conference with us.
The theme of the conference was “Healthy Church,” and we spent considerable time in discussions around themes that both feed and implement this vision, seeking to further develop congregational environments of faith, hope and love.
We also discussed dealing with change, and followed up on child safety matters and pastoral supervision. These latter two were recommendations coming out of the recent Royal Commission in Australia. Daphne Sidney is already doing excellent work with the child safety policies and protocols, and has the role of ministry supervision as well.
Below is a report written by Hazel Tabin about a leaders retreat for her local congregation, Grace Communion Fellowship.
Last March 15-17, fifteen leaders from our church reserved time to enjoy the Spirit’s presence with one another. We went to Pine Mountain Club, a great place to retreat from the busyness of the city. Turning off our phones and intentionally being present allowed us to see the beauty of community.
On the first night, we focused on praising God through prayer, Scripture reading, and singing songs. It was a sacred and honest space to come just as we are and worship God with our whole beings.
The next day, we feasted during breakfast, which helped us become ready for the whole day. We started with worship and a devotional from 1 Peter 5:1-10, then we took the 5 voices assessment, which helped us understand one another’s strengths. We then discussed how we could implement scriptural reading in our church as well as strategies in which we could connect with our communities. Next, we washed each other’s feet and heard a message about humility and serving like Christ. Lastly, we had communion and each prayed in the process of taking the bread and the wine. At the end of the day, we laid hands for each other and lifted them up along with their families, their work, and any prayer requests they had.
This retreat was a refreshing time for the leaders of our church as we rested and were reminded why we are serving—because of the immense love we have tasted and seen from our Triune God, which we are compelled to share with others.
This article was originally published in GCI Philippines Newsletter, written by Pastor Romy Pusta, Senior Pastor, GC Tagbilaran.
In February, Mrs. Margie Bahinting was commissioned as District Pastor for Central Visayas. As part of her plan to visit the churches she oversees, she visited Grace Communion Tagbilaran on April 6-7.
She delivered an inspiring sermon “Standing on the Promises” to 47 attendees coming from different parts of Bohol. A potluck lunch provided a “love” venue for extended fellowship and bonding among those present. The District Superintendent was also able to meet the Grace Communion Tagbilaran pastoral team on her arrival, April 6.
Margie emphasized that we are all called to be leaders and God has equipped us to be so through our Experiences, Qualifications, Unique spiritual gifts, Interests and Personalities. The visit was a promise fulfilled and much appreciated by the Boholano brethren.