Remembering 9/11

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

It is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since that awful day we remember as 9/11. All of us old enough to have experienced it remember where we were and what we were doing as the tragic events unfolded. On that fateful morning, the World Trade Center Towers had been destroyed, the Pentagon had been attacked, and another airliner with many passengers had crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives in these coordinated and brutal acts of terrorism. And many more thousands were left grieving the loss of their loved ones – emotional scars they still bear to this day.

I didn’t personally lose anyone in the 9/11 tragedy. But I felt as if I had. And even those of us who were far removed from the horror knew that life would never be the same again. And it hasn’t been, has it?

We saw both sides of human nature. In the aftermath of the ruthless cruelty of the terrorists we began to hear many stories of courage and self-sacrifice. Heroism side by side with evil: the contrast and contradiction is hard to understand. But it reminds us that we are, when all is said and done, made in the image of God. And it is through the person and work of Jesus, the Son of God incarnate who has taken our evil upon himself, that ultimate healing will come. So, though evil continues, in faith we look to the day when all this horror will be just a distant memory. And as his followers, we seek to share in what he is doing.

However, this Sunday the horrors of 9/11 will not be a distant memory for many thousands of people. So I want to ask our congregations to be sure to remember them in our prayers this weekend. And if you, personally, know someone who lost a loved one, or whose life was shattered by those events ten years ago, why not call them, or send them a personal note? Let them know that they are not forgotten and that you are praying for them.

In the last Weekly Update, I noted the destruction caused by Hurricane Irene. We learned this week that some of our members in the U.S. experienced significant damage to their homes. Among them were GCI Pastor Al Nelson and his wife Arlene, who live in Vermont. Irene left 17 inches of water standing on the first floor of their home. Also, two of their vehicles were destroyed. Insurance covers the vehicles but not the house. They are seeking financial help through FEMA. Al’s brothers are helping him rebuild. Al figures that the house won’t be back to normal for six months. In the meantime, he presses on in serving the congregation that he pastors. Please pray for Al and Arlene and others affected by this tragedy.

In this issue, we share exciting news about our new church plant in Los Angeles. We also feature a video of a discussion I had with Dan Rogers concerning the importance of church planting for GCI. Also check out reports on the 50th anniversary of our Elkhart, IN congregation, the commissioning of John Pairitz as the new senior pastor in our Michigan City, IN congregation, and the Caribbean Women’s Conference.

Let us, in prayer, fight together the good fight of faith. Please join me in praying for several mentioned this week (see the links under Prayer and Updates).

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach

 

 

Tragedy and Celebration

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Hurricane Irene has left a long trail of destruction and death through the Caribbean and along the U.S. East coast into Canada. Initial reports from Charles Fleming indicate that our members in Haiti and the Bahamas suffered only minimal damage, and so far our U.S. district pastors are reporting that our members along the East Coast were also spared the worst, though some members had to evacuate their homes, and are experiencing continuing power outages.

We are united in support and prayer for all those affected by the storm who are grieving the death of loved ones and enduring the loss of property.

Even in the midst of tragedy and pain, life moves on. This week we celebrate with Scott and Barbara Wertz the birth of their first grandchild (Scott is a long time employee in our Glendora home office) and rejoice in milestone anniversaries of our Exeter, England and Salt Lake City, Utah churches.

Once again we’re reminded that life continually brings both tragedy and celebration. In both, we look to God’s promises to use all of life’s circumstances for our ultimate good.

Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach

Sharing what God is doing

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We hope you enjoy our new Weekly Update. We continue to make improvements based upon your suggestions, including the new archives feature, which makes it easy to find past articles (see the link above). Thanks for the suggestions.

We email Weekly Update to our pastors in the U.S., and our Mission Developers and National Directors elsewhere. We encourage them individually to forward the email to others. Weekly Update can then be viewed by all at update.gci.org/. You may wish to link that site on your social media (such as FaceBook). Let’s share the good news of what God is doing!

This issue of Weekly Update contains the following:

May you realize God’s blessings! And remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach

August 17, 2011

From the President

Report on the Ottawa conferences

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Last week I was in Ottawa, Canada, for two conferences. Pastor Bill Rabey did a super job coordinating both.

First was the International Mission Developers’ Conference, attended by 25 elders and wives from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America (see picture below). We discussed the advance of the gospel through GCI in many nations of the world.

Following that was the Canadian National Conference for pastors and elders and spouses. It was led by Canadian director Gary Moore and included presentations on Trinitarian Theology from Dr. Elmer Colyer (his presentations will eventually be placed on our website). In a church service after the conference, we ordained Fraser Henderson as an elder. It was particularly special because his parents, who had attended the Canadian conference, were present.

Mission Developers’ conference

 

This issue of Weekly Update includes the following:

  • A very moving video that tells the story of the 87 congregations in Mozambique, Africa that have recently affiliated with us.
  • Reports from GCI Generations Ministries camps in North Carolina and Louisiana.
  • Information about the commissioning of a new GCI pastor in the Philippines.
  • The launch of a new website for GCI Church Multiplication Ministries.

We have a number of urgent prayer requests this week. First, please pray for the family and friends of Angelica Recendiz. Her son Hector Espinoza, who committed his life to Christ at our Southern California camp, was killed a few days ago in a gang-related shooting (click here for details). Please also pray for the friends and family of Fred Bailey, one of our retired pastors. I was saddened to learn of his death (click here for details). And please pray for Marj Friddle, wife of retired pastor Jim Friddle. Marj entered the hospital this week to be treated for colon cancer (click here for details). Also click here for a corrected address for Jana (Kissee) Jones (we’re praying for her healing from thyroid cancer).

You’ll note in some of the posts that comments appear from Weekly Update readers. You may comment on any of the posts by using the “ADD A COMMENT” feature below each one. Comments are posted at the discretion of the moderator. To comment on my cover letter, click on the letter heading at the top of the page. That will take you to the Weekly Update blog, where comments may be posted.

Let us join in prayer with those who grieve and suffer, as well as with those who rejoice. And let us pray for God’s direction and power in all aspects of the gospel work to which we are called. Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach


The current version of this update is available online at update.gci.org where you may view and print the update.

You are receiving this email because you subscribe to the Weekly Update from Grace Communion International. If you no longer wish to receive this, please contact church.administration@gci.org. To send articles and photos, write toWeeklyUpdate@gci.org

Copyright © 2011 Grace Communion International

Report on the Ottawa conferences

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Last week I was in Ottawa, Canada, for two conferences. Pastor Bill Rabey did a super job coordinating both.

First was the International Mission Developers’ Conference, attended by 25 elders and wives from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, North and South America (see picture below). We discussed the advance of the gospel through GCI in many nations of the world.

Following that was the Canadian National Conference for pastors and elders and spouses. It was led by Canadian director Gary Moore and included presentations on Trinitarian Theology from Dr. Elmer Colyer (his presentations will eventually be placed on our website). In a church service after the conference, we ordained Fraser Henderson as an elder. It was particularly special because his parents, who had attended the Canadian conference, were present.

Mission Developers’ Conference

This issue of Weekly Update includes the following:

  • A very moving video that tells the story of the 87 congregations in Mozambique, Africa that have recently affiliated with us.
  • Reports from GCI Generations Ministries camps in North Carolina and Louisiana.
  • Information about the commissioning of a new GCI pastor in the Philippines.
  • The launch of a new website for GCI Church Multiplication Ministries.

We have a number of urgent prayer requests this week. First, please pray for the family and friends of Angelica Recendiz. Her son Hector Espinoza, who committed his life to Christ at our Southern California camp, was killed a few days ago in a gang-related shooting (click here for details). Please also pray for the friends and family of Fred Bailey, one of our retired pastors. I was saddened to learn of his death (click here for details). And please pray for Marj Friddle, wife of retired pastor Jim Friddle. Marj entered the hospital this week to be treated for colon cancer (click here for details). Also click here for a corrected address for Jana (Kissee) Jones (we’re praying for her healing from thyroid cancer).

You’ll note in some of the posts that comments appear from Weekly Update readers. You may comment on any of the posts by using the “ADD A COMMENT” feature below each one. Comments are posted at the discretion of the moderator. To comment on my cover letter, click on the letter heading at the top of the page. That will take you to the Weekly Update blog, where comments may be posted.

Let us join in prayer with those who grieve and suffer, as well as with those who rejoice. And let us pray for God’s direction and power in all aspects of the gospel work to which we are called. Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach

On mission with God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I greatly enjoyed our recent U.S. regional conferences held in Dallas and Orlando. The theme of these conferences is “On Mission with God.” Many mentioned that the training provided is starting to ‘click’ for them. They are excited about applying what they are learning.

This week I am in Ottawa, Canada for a conference of our International Directors and Mission Developers. Please pray for God’s guidance as we seek his will for our journey forward as a fellowship on mission with God around the world.

In this issue of Weekly Update (click on the links at left), you’ll find reports on the recent regional conferences, on our SEP Florida camp, on the awarding of diplomas from Grace Communion Seminary, on Gary Moore’s recent trip to South Africa, and on the ministry coach training provided by U.S. Church Administration and Development.

In all of these denominational ministries, our goal is to equip our churches for their sharing in God’s mission to the world. Thanks for all that you are doing! And may we all remember that prayer, both individually and together, is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach

 

August 10, 2011

From the President

On mission with God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I greatly enjoyed our recent U.S. regional conferences held in Dallas and Orlando. The theme of these conferences is “On Mission with God.” Many mentioned that the training provided is starting to ‘click’ for them. They are excited about applying what they are learning.

This week I am in Ottawa, Canada for a conference of our International Directors and Mission Developers. Please pray for God’s guidance as we seek his will for our journey forward as a fellowship on mission with God around the world.

In this issue of Weekly Update (click on the links at left), you’ll find reports on the recent regional conferences, on our SEP Florida camp, on the awarding of diplomas from Grace Communion Seminary, on Gary Moore’s recent trip to South Africa, and on the ministry coach training provided by U.S. Church Administration and Development.

In all of these denominational ministries, our goal is to equip our churches for their sharing in God’s mission to the world. Thanks for all that you are doing! And may we all remember that prayer, both individually and together, is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach

 


The current version of this update is available online at update.gci.org where you may view and print the update.

You are receiving this email because you subscribe to the Weekly Update from Grace Communion International. If you no longer wish to receive this, please contact church.administration@gci.org. To send articles and photos, write toWeeklyUpdate@gci.org

Copyright © 2011 Grace Communion International

August 3, 2011

From the President

Outreach & Church-Next Training

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As you will see from the reports in this issue of Weekly Update, summer is a busy time for our churches and denominational ministries. Many churches are involved in community outreach, camps and mission trips. This summer the denomination is hosting training conferences around the globe. In all these activities, we seek to participate with Jesus in the ministry that he is doing in the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Father’s mission to the world.

Our denominational training programs help equip our members for ministry with Jesus. As an example, note the announcement in this issue concerning Church-Next Training. This event, being held in October in Glendora, CA, equips prospective church planters, church planting teams and pastors who wish to re-plant an existing church. I’ll be one of the presenters, along with Dan Rogers, Randy Bloom and others. Be sure to let Randy know right away if you are planning to attend.

Please pray for one another, for our congregations and for GCI events like our camps, mission trips and training conferences. Always remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach


The current version of this update is available online at update.gci.org where you may view and print the update.

You are receiving this email because you subscribe to the Weekly Update from Grace Communion International. If you no longer wish to receive this, please contact church.administration@gci.org. To send articles and photos, write toWeeklyUpdate@gci.org

Copyright © 2011 Grace Communion International

Outreach & Church-Next Training

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

As you will see from the reports in this issue of the Weekly Update, summer is a busy time for our churches and denominational ministries. Many churches are involved in community outreach, camps and mission trips. This summer the denomination is hosting training conferences around the globe. In all these activities, we seek to participate with Jesus in the ministry that he is doing in the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the Father’s mission to the world.

Our denominational training programs help equip our members for ministry with Jesus. As an example, note the announcement in this issue concerning Church-Next Training. This event, being held in October in Glendora, CA, equips prospective church planters, church planting teams and pastors who wish to re-plant an existing church. I’ll be one of the presenters, along with Dan Rogers, Randy Bloom and others. Be sure to let Randy know right away if you are planning to attend.

Please pray for one another, for our congregations and for GCI events like our camps, mission trips and training conferences. Always remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach

New Weekly Update format, completion of annual external audit

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Wong Tian Yu, son of our Malaysian national leader, Wong Mein Kong and his wife Chew Yeng. Mein Kong wrote on Friday, July 23:

I am writing this through the pain, grief and numbness from news that my son Tian Yu died this evening, July 22, in a plane crash while flying one of his students in Philippines. They are still searching for his body in the crash.

I will be flying to Manila tomorrow to meet up with my wife, Chew Yeng, and our daughter, Xiao Qing. They happened to be in Manila for Qing’s business trip this past week. Last Saturday, when Yeng arrived in Clark airport Tian was there to meet her. He took her on a flight Sunday morning and later accompanied her to Manila so she could stay with Qing. Yesterday (Thursday), Tian came to visit them in the hotel in Manila and stayed till this morning when he went back to his flight school to work. Then this evening the school called the hotel with the tragic news.

Please pray the Lord will give our family the strength as we go through this trying period.

Thank you for your love and concern and prayers.

Eugene Guzon wrote a beautiful tribute to Tian Yu for the GCI-Philippines website. Click here for the link. I hope you will take a moment to read it. Please join us in praying for the Wong family.

New Weekly Update format

This week we’ve launched our completely redesigned Weekly Update. Over the past year, our IT department has worked with the President’s Office and Church Administration to bring the Weekly Update into a cleaner, warmer and we certainly hope a more useful format.

Each new edition of the Update will include a cover message from me and have links along the left column to news from around the world, announcements, questions and answers, information from Church Administration and Development, prayer requests and updates, and other features. To read any of these, you can simply click on the links that interest you. In this way, the Weekly Update is designed to serve as a “one stop shop” for accessing GCI information and resources. We hope you find this helpful.

Besides being easier to read and providing an easy way to find information you need or are interested in, the new design will also reduce the number of email formatting problems many pastors have experienced with the Update. We will also be able to include more information and pictures in the Update without burdening those with slower Internet connections.

The Weekly Update is emailed each week to all U.S. Pastors and the International Mission Directors. It is then posted online at update.gci.org where anyone can read it.

If you have a need to share the Update with others, you can give them the link above, or forward your email copy to them. You can also print out the pages you want to give others. With the new format you can print only one page at a time, so you only need to print the ones you need.

We’d love to hear what’s happening in your church! If you’d like to submit material for publication in the Update, just email it to WeeklyUpdate@gci.org.

Annual external audit complete

I am pleased to report that the Grace Communion International annual external audit for 2009-2010 is complete, and that we received a clean report. Capin Crouse, a national auditing firm specializing in audits for non-profit organizations, has been the Church’s auditor since 2007. We are pleased to have them as a financial accountability partner as we strive to be good stewards of the funds we are blessed to receive in support of the gospel. The audit report is available to all members in good standing upon written request to the Treasurer’s Office at P.O. Box 5005, Glendora, CA 91740.

Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.

Love from my family to yours,

Joseph Tkach