Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Email to Grace Missionaries

I sent the following email to our Grace missionaries today. I am trying to email them updates every so often. Many of them have described feeling disconnected from Grace. Email a missionary today!

Dear Grace Church Extended Missionary Family,

I am thinking about and praying for you on this cloudy February morning as we quickly move toward our Annual Missions Conference together. I have been wondering what year the first Grace Church Missions Conference was held? Perhaps, our longest missionary, Ruth Salvador, can tell us?

We are looking forward to having a number of you with us for that week beginning February 27. The rest of you we will miss, but remember, as we refocus on our global calling. I thought all of you might appreciate a preview of what will be happening that week, so I have attached our 2005 Missions Conference Brochure.

In light of this years conference, I am most excited about the four short-term trips that are taking shape for 2005. I believe that sending teams of Grace folks around the world is the best way to ignite a passion for missions in a local church. That's what happened to me when I travelled to Kenya on a Jesus Film Summer Project back in 1987!

I thought, too, I would throw out a few other things that are happening around here at Grace and in the life of our family. . .

1. Last weekend, we had best-selling author Randy Alcorn with us. Randy preached in our Sunday Services, but also was the keynote speaker for an equipping seminar entitled "Getting Ready for Heaven" that was intended to set the tone for a county-wide Evangelical outreach happening this Spring. Beginning Easter Sunday, nearly 50 evangelical churches will preach a 4 Sunday sermon series centered on the topic of heaven. Each pastor will use the same message titles, but prepare their own message underneath the titles as the Lord leads. The Heaven series will be promoted using a variety of media outlets. Steve Potratz, CEO of the Parable Group and a Grace Church member is spearheading the whole campaign. Be praying for a mighty work of God here on the Central Coast this Spring!  Randy's seminar and Sunday messages are all available for download on our website at It is so much fun to minister in a community where stuff like this happens!

2. Grace Church has also been privileged to give more than $65,000 toward tsunami relief in East Asia! The Elders designated $50,000 from surplus funds and the congregation has contributed another $16,000+. What a privilege to help those in need and be apart of God's work in that tragedy-stricken part of the world.

3. We continue to experience slow but steady numerical and financial growth here at Grace. We are growing in every age/stage group from young families to older seniors. We are working hard to "make a large church feel like a small church." There are 15 sermon-based Growth Groups meeting this winter and in 2005 we are aiming to see the number of Growth Groups double to 30. We are evaluating our staffing needs as we move forward into all that God might have for us.

4. Personally, it is my joy to inform you that Susie and I are expecting our 4th child in September. As if our lives aren't crazy enough, the Lord is leading us to deeper water! His grace is sufficient. I have been reflecting on God's work in my life and I am convinced His desire has been to move me from order to chaos! Does that resonate with any of you? Someone, please say "yes!" We are excited about this new little gift from God. We would especially appreciate your prayers over the next 6 weeks or so. Susie is very sick and for the most part immobilized in her first trimester of pregnancy.

I think I will end this update here, because they tell me if emails are too long nobody reads them. I hope you've gotten this far and that the news is helpful for you in keeping connected to all that's happening here at Grace. We love you and give thanks for your ministry and your example. Thanks for taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth in obedience to the Lord's great co-mission.

Because of His Grace,

Pastor Tim Theule
Lead Pastor
Grace Church, SLO

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