Our current coordinator with the Networks, Mike Jentes is transitioning to North Carolina later this month (read his announcement here). The Network has asked Mike to share a bit from his heart as he transitions off to North Carolina.
Two items from Mike: 1) His library of books is up for grabs at the Tuesday meeting, so bring a box and fill it with some good books! 2) If you can help with some muscle for moving, there is need for help on Monday 1/6 from noon-6pm, Tues 1/7 from 3pm-8pm and Wednesday 1/8 from 9am-5pm. Contact him directly at cell 714 -3three0 -632O.
We invite everyone to stay for Lunch at Los Altos Grace after our Tuesday Gathering for Carnitas Tacos made by our own Phil Helfer!
In our ministries and in our lives we face the reality of death and dying. These seasons are a special space for God to do work in people’s lives. At our November 12, 2019 Grace Leaders Network Gathering, Dr. Don Shoemaker gave a short presentation on the topic with a Q & A conversation which followed.
Our presenter, Dr. Don Shoemaker has been a minister for almost 50 years and was the senior pastor at Grace Seal Beach from 1984-2012. A graduate of Grace Seminary (M.Div.), Fuller Seminary (Th.M.), and American Baptist Seminary (D.Min.), Don brings his wise and friendly personality into his ministry here at Grace and as Senior Chaplain of the Seal Beach Police Department. Prior to serving at Grace, he was on the biblical studies faculty at Biola University. He has been married to Mary for over 50 years, and they have two adult children and six grandchildren. You can see more about Don online at DonaldShoemakerMinistries.com/
“I am in it for the long haul. If God called me to care for these people, I was going to be faithful,” says Eric Durso, who is now the lead pastor of Grace Rancho, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., as he reflects on God’s faithfulness to the revitalized church over the last year.
The congregation of Grace Rancho (formally known as Grace Fellowship of Alta Loma) is a product of what churches within the Charis Fellowship are known for: caring for one another, training leaders, and mobilizing existing churches to plant new fellowships.
Three years ago, Grace Fellowship of Alta Loma had become a struggling congregation. Simultaneously, the pastors of Grace Church of Simi Valley, a Charis Fellowship congregation in Simi Valley, Calif. (Jordan Bakker, senior pastor) began praying about expanding their ministry with the possibility of either planting a new church or rejuvenating an existing one.
In early October of 2017, Simi Valley was invited to attend a meeting of the Southern California-Arizona district ministerium (now operating under Grace Churches Network) to discuss the plans of Alta Loma after Roy Halberg’s (the lead pastor at the time) retirement. At the meeting, Roy expressed that the church needed to be revitalized. Upon hearing this statement, the pastors of Simi Valley felt as though God had answered their prayer to rejuvenate an existing church.
It was shortly after the conversation with Alta Loma that Eric Durso was commissioned to take on the task of restoring the church back to health. Eric began praying every day about the mission that was laid out before him and some members of Simi Valley became interested in joining Eric in the process.
Thanks for your participation this year in our Grace Leaders Network Gatherings around our region. As a quick recap:
September 2018 – We had a conversation with Tom Avey from the Charis Fellowship, Nathan Bryant from Assist Church Expansion and interacted with our national Position Statements at Grace Church of Orange.
November 2018 – A trip to Grace Fellowship in Cherry Valley was highlighted by an excellent challenge about Grandparenting from Larry Fowler (Legacy Coalition) and Steve Williams !
December 2018 – Was an attempt at bowling, but we “spared” our time with some conversation with those who showed up. Plus our friends at Grace Brethren Simi Valley High School won the State Championship in Football!
January 2019 – Was our first visit to the Revitalization project at Grace Church in Rancho Cucamonga with a “Wildfire” presentation about prolific sharing of the Gospel from our own Missional Advocate Ed Waken. Many of us gathered for the FOCUS Retreat at the end of the month at a great retreat center in the Santa Monica area.
February 2019 – We took a break.
March 2019 – Had us at Grace Long Beach for the first time in a long time and we were challenged with a Worship Conversation by worship leaders from our network.
April 2019 – Was a trek toward the poppies and Canyon Lake to visit New Hope Church and Hope Learning Academy for at-risk high schoolers plus hear some stores from Israel.
May 2019 – Closed our year with a much needed conversation about lust and pornography plus how we battle and minister in the quaint quarters of Grace Community Church in Seal Beach.
The Eagle Commission serves as a strategic link between the people of Charis Fellowship congregations and its representative military chaplains around the world. The Eagle Commission offers the means to express support of the chaplains and their ministry and to keep updated on their latest news and prayer requests.
The Eagle Commission is producing a series of videos for use in churches and on its website about the ministry of our chaplains.
Our first video is linked to Memorial Day and is ready for your church to use on Memorial Day weekend. It focuses on one aspect of chaplain ministry — that of providing pastoral care and ministry in the midst of combat when a service member is killed in action (KIA). Army Chaplain Billy Graham tells his story of ministry in Iraq in spring 2003 when one member of his unit is killed. The story is crafted in such a way as to remind all of the need to pray for our chaplains but also to remember that the sacrifices of our service men and women secures our religious freedom here in the states.
Grace Brethren Church in South Pasadena, Calif. (Terry Daniels, pastor) is on the South Pasadena Preservation Foundation’s first historic church tour tour on Sunday. The tour is noted in the Pasadena Star-News among things to do this weekend in the region. A portion of the story appears below. Click here to read the complete listing.
Architecture of Faith: South Pasadena Preservation Foundation’s first historic church tour from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. The tour will include Grace Brethren Church, Calvary Presbyterian Church, St. James Episcopal Church, South Pasadena Christian Church, Holy Family Catholic Church …
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: