We will take some time to catch up as is our custom, but we will also have two presenters for our gathering:
Our guest speaker will be Phil Sparling who is the Pastor of Auburn Grace Community Church in Auburn, Calif. and is the new Executive Director of the Charis Fellowship for the next three years. Phil will be with us to continue building relationships, share his vision and plans for upcoming conferences and more.
Our second presenter is from our region and is from our host church for the day — Bob Wriedt, Pastor at Grace Community Church Seal Beach. He was asked to share at the summer Access Conference and gave a challenge about “How Do We Cooperate Well.” This challenge was worth hearing again (or for the first time) and might have even more teeth as we strive to live it out in our region. You can see the talk online at https://vimeo.com/350136796 and Bob’s presentation begins at the 4:23 mark. Bob is going to reprise and refine this message and give us some tangible questions to wrestle with for our regional network.
We will also be challenged by our own Missional Advocate: Ed Waken. Ed is a church planter, professor and author from Valley Life Church in Peoria, Arizona and he will be sharing about the Fearless Spreading of the Gospel and sowing Gospel seeds!
After our morning together, at about 11:30am, we will have LUNCH – provided for by Grace Seal Beach
In addition, over the summer there have been a variety of conversations in our region and our fellowship about how our churches ought to relate together especially in light of theological diversity. We will have an optional extended conversation about the particulars and an opportunity for feedback from 12:30-2:00pm.
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.
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.
Over this summer, CE National’s Operation Barnabas summer ministry teams with 61 students from around the USA took on California! These teams were all over SoCal (and even off to NorCal) and made a big impact on our churches, leaders, students and communities! Check out the website for pictures and reports. THANK YOU to CE National and Operation Barnabas for your Impact!
Also, if your church was impacted, your students can apply to be part of next year’s team! Operation Barnabas is a three week high school summer ministry training program equipping students to live on mission through evangelism training, character development, and servant-leadership. More details for 2019 here