Thursday, September 13, 2007

moving toward the Fall Kick-Off

All-church email sent today . . . make sure you read the bottom stuff about helping the Iunkers . . .

Beloved Family of Grace,

Our 2007 Fall Kick-Off is just days away. If you have not yet registered, we'd like to hear from you RIGHT NOW. You can respond to this email or call the church office (543.2358) and let us know you're coming. Here are some details that you need to know as we approach Sunday.

Who are you inviting? It's not too late. . . in fact, now is the perfect time to invite those friends, family, neighbors, co-workers and classmates. Many of them will have received an invite mailer in their mailbox and may have noticed the big banner over Higuera. Pray first and then go for it. Leave the results to God. Invite them to sit and eat with you. We've attached an invite card that you can print or email.

What to Wear and Bring: Dress for the day is very casual. Our staff is free to wear shorts and flip-flops and so are you. Chair seating and lots of shade will be provided. If your family would prefer to sit on the grass under the trees, bring your own beach chairs and/or blankets. As in past years, we will have the slip-and-slide going, so bring those swimsuits for the kids. Also, this year, we will have a tie-die activity center as part of our fun zone. If your children wish to participate, bring a plain white t-shirt for them.

Parking & Arrival: Plan to be early for our 10:00 AM Worship Service. We really want to encourage you this Fall to park in the Morro/Pacific Street Parking Structure in order to free up the lot and street parking for visitors, guests, the elderly and those with special needs. Start this Sunday and make it a habit. I have requested that our staff and leadership lead the way in this. You will be warmly greeted by our Welcome Team at various points between the park and the parking structure. Our Welcome Team will fill out a name tag (red for guests less than one year, gold for regulars) and they will hand you a worship folder. This year our Life @ Grace has information for the day on its cover. Find a place to sit and greet those around you, looking specifically for those red name tags. A baby changing station will be located close to the public restrooms. New moms, you are free to hang out there, if you prefer. To minimize distractions, we ask that you keep your kids away from the playground during the worship service. They will have the remainder of the day to have fun and enjoy the park.

Worship Service: Worshipping outdoors is so fun, but can also be quite a challenge. Be praying for this crucial time. The Worship Service should be just over an hour. In the first part of the message, I will have an activity to engage the kids. I will be asking several 2nd - 6th graders who can read to participate in a specific way. Help me by prepping your children in that age range. Sound gets lost in the outdoors which means we need to really sing out. Let's let the neighbors and passers-by hear our praise to the Lord. My message for the latter half of Ephesians 2 will kick off our Fall series entitled, What in the World is the Church? After the service, please pick up your chairs and stack them in the designated area.

Lunch: Our food line went so fast and smooth last year that we decided this year to let everyone eat at the same time, rather than encouraging visitors/guests to eat first. Instead, we want to make sure that no red name tags eat alone. If you haven't pre-purchased your lunch ticket, you will do that first. Then you will proceed through the food line. Use the lines to chat with others and welcome those visitors and guests. Invite guests to come and sit with you. A blue grass band will be providing musical entertainment during lunch.

Fun Zone and Afternoon Activities: After lunch, we encourage you to stick around, wander the park and have a good time, even if you don't have children in the fun zone. Senior Saints, we want you here with us. There will be fun activities for all ages to watch and play throughout the day. The afternoon is a great time to engage those around you in deeper conversation, especially those with red name tags.

Many thanks in advance to those who are pitching in to make this day possible. This event is so big that it takes all of us to pull it off. Be talking it up with others and praying it up with the Lord. Let's pray that all feel welcomed, included, encouraged and challenged. Most of all, let's pray that the Lord is lifted high.

Finally, on an unrelated but vitally important note . . . some of you may not yet be aware that Lance Iunker was severely injured in a military accident in Iraq earlier this week. He is doing well and a full, but long, recovery is expected. I have and am posting updates from the family on my blog at . Click there for more details. Many have inquired how we might help the Iunker family during this difficult time. The most helpful thing you can do is pray. If you wish to help financially toward their travel and other needs during this time, you may: 1.) Give to our Benevolence Fund. This fund is designated to help those in need in our church family and in the broader community. We are now in the process of putting together a disbursement from this fund for the Iunker family. In this case, your gift will be tax-deductible, provided you do not reference the Iunkers name on your check. 2.) Give a gift directly to the Iunkers. In this case, your gift will not be tax- deductible. Unfortunately, IRS laws do not allow tax deductions for designated giving directly to the Iunkers. If you have any questions about these matters, please call our accountant, Paula Richardson at 543.2358. Thanks for your care for the Iunkers during this challenging time.

We'll see you Sunday!

Because of and for the Gospel. . . Pastor Tim

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