In May, our Grace Leaders Network gathering will spend some time focusing on pornography, especially on how to help those we are leading (and ourselves) have hope there is to see change and restoration in this area.
Our guest speaker will be Jerry Davelaar (MA, M.Div.), a member of Grace Community Church of Seal Beach who works in private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist. Jerry spent 15 years as an associate and senior pastor prior to returning to his work as a therapist. He has been married to Jean for over 40 years and they have three married children and five grandchildren. You can read more about Jerry here.
We will also have time to fellowship, pray and some personal testimonies from other leaders in our region! We hope you’ll put this on your calendar now:
A story reposted here from Grace Connect about one of the ladies from our network of churches!
One of the many ways Jesus connected with those around Him was through sharing a meal together. He would often be found eating inside the homes and at the tables of sinners. One of His last acts of ministry before heading to the cross was what we call the Last Supper (Luke 22:7-23). He invited His disciples to come to the table to share a meal together before His final act of love here on earth.
Come to the table, is Donna Najera’s of Grace Church of Simi Valley’s (Jordan Bakker, lead pastor) slogan for her Instant Pot and meal planning ministry called Cooking with Donna. A Christian of 30 years and part-time staff member at Grace Church, Donna received an Instant Pot as a gift in September 2017. When Donna finally worked up the courage to use her new device, she realized how easy it was to cook delicious and healthy meals in minutes which then allowed her to spend more time with her family – and less money in the process! Little did she know that this household appliance would lead to many opportunities to share the Gospel and the love of Jesus with near to a hundred people over the last year.
It’s that time of year…to renew your membership to our networks– as leaders and as churches!
Membership to the Grace Leaders Network is open to all church and ministry leaders in harmony with the Grace Churches Network. For only $25 annually you can support our network to bless you and other regional leaders.
We request (per our bylaws) that each church which is a member of the Grace Churches Network contribute annually a fair dues amount. Annual dues are only $1 per Church Member.(Note: The National Charis Fellowship dues are based on another figure.)
CONGRATULATIONS and BLESSINGS to one of our network churches on a huge milestone!
This year marks 75 years of Grace Community Church in Seal Beach. From 1944 to 2019, God has used the church to serve each other, our community, and the world. To recognize this milestone, we’ll be celebrating together with a commemoration ceremony and a reception to follow on March 24 at 5:00 PM.
GRACE COMMUNITY CHURCH OF SEAL BEACH 138 8th Street Seal Beach, CA 90740 GraceSealBeach.org
I am not yet the grizzled veteran that I hope to become, but I have been around the block a few times. Forty-one years serving a single congregation gives me some practical insight into ministry. So let me tug on my suspenders and offer a couple lessons that I have learned along the way.
Lesson One: Your elders can be your ministry lifeline. When I arrived at my present church we had a dysfunctional Official Board system. The only thing good about it, was that it was so bad everyone knew we needed to find something better. We set out to design and then implement an Elder Board system. God was gracious…
One of the hidden gems in our Network is a small but mighty church in southwest Riverside County called New Hope Community Church. Planted a couple of decades ago by Chris & Jan Suitt, it has a variety of unique outreaches and opportunities to spur us on as leaders. For our April Grace Leaders Network gathering we will have the chance to learn about two of these items:
Jesus said “a time has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
So we will have this be our main topic of the March Gathering- a worship conversation with two of our very own accomplished worship leaders:
Over 150 individuals from the LA area, as well as staff members from CE National, were in attendance at the Dedication. The event also highlighted other ministries of CE National including Urban Hope Philadelphia, the SUM (Students in Urban Ministry) program, City Life and Operation Barnabas summer ministry teams.
Looking into the New Year, we are excited to share the plans for our first Grace Leaders Network Gathering of 2019! We will visit the revitalized Grace Church of Rancho Cucamonga and hear from Pastors Eric Durso and Michael Sciarra, Jr. about the latest!
Our main topic of the day will be the Fearless Spreading of the Gospel presented by church planter, speaker and author Ed Waken. Ed planted one of our network churches– Valley Life in Peoria, Arizona and international trainer in Evangelism. We look forward to learning together.
Grace Leaders Network Gathering Tuesday January 8 10 AM – Lunch @ Grace Rancho Cucamonga 5719 Beryl Street Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737
Don Hocking With The Lord
On Christmas Eve, Don Hocking longtime leader and missionary and founder of Grace Bible Mission in Cameroon came face-to-face with His Savior. We received the following info from his son, Pastor Tom Hocking (Bellflower Brethren):
“My Dad slipped into Jesus’ presence at 10:45 PM last night, shortly after I visited him and Mom after our Christmas Eve service. I’m not sure if he was aware that I was there but I prayed with him and encouraged him to stop struggling and rest in Christ. I returned to their room after he passed until his body was removed by Forest Lawn personnel around 2 AM. I went to Forest Lawn and made the following arrangements for his services:
Visitation: Room A/B @ Forest Lawn Long Beach [1500 E. San Antonio Drive, LB, 90807] from 2-5 PM on Sunday, January 6.
Graveside: Forest Lawn Long Beach [1500 E. San Antonio Drive, LB, 90807] at 9:30 AM on Monday, January 7.
Memorial: Worship Center @ Bellflower Brethren Church [9405 E. Flower St., Bellflower, 90706] at 11:00 AM on Monday, January 7.
Lunch Reception: Fellowship Hall @ Bellflower Brethren Church [9405 E. Flower St., Bellflower, 90706] at noon on Monday, January 7.
It’s the end of the year…you can make our network GO with your donation now…or anytime! We have an online way for you to give (hit this link and scroll toward bottom of the page) or you are welcome to send a check to “Grace Leaders Network,” Attn: Mike Jentes, E. 6565 Stearns St., Long Beach, CA 90815.
Grace Brethren CIF State Champions
Our congrats to our own Grace Brethren Lancers who won their first CIF Football State Championship on Dec. 14! Grace Brethren High School is a ministry of Grace Church, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Simi Valley (Jordan Bakker, Senior Pastor). Congrats to Coach Josh Henderson and all of the Lancers! Read article on the game from Los Angeles Daily News.
Upcoming Women’s Leadership Classes
The Center for Women’s Leadership Studies at Grace Theological Seminary in partnership with Women of Grace USA presents two class in SoCal– in Spanish and English. Visit our webpage for more details
Focus Retreat Registration Details and Input Needed
What you like to talk about? We will be contacting leaders like you from your region and asking them to speak into the types of topics and issues relevant to our churches. This feedback will guide the focus sessions. This is your chance to set the agenda.