Grace and Truth
I recently picked up a book in which I am finding some excellent insights. The book, written by Andy Stanley is titled Deep and Wide. The focus of the book is how the church must function if it is going to reach the lost, the disillusioned, the disenfranchised of our society. In other words how do we reach most of the people we work and play with each day? One of the insights he develops is the interpretation of a text that describes Jesus. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14, italics are mine.) Three verses later John writes: “For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. (John 1:17. italics are mine again.”)
Stanley suggests that in a very simplistic way we find many churches in one of two categories: Grace Churches or Truth Churches. Yet in John 1:14 the Apostle says that Jesus was full of both. Truth churches tend to see most issues of life in a black and white fashion. There is right and there is wrong and there is very little gray. In this realm one is either good or bad, right or wrong, sinner or saint. Grace Churches tend to see very little as black and white. There are a lot of gray areas. These churches are accused of watering down the gospel, or of “making light” of sin. These two churches often throw stones at one another. The Grace church says that the Truth church is too rigid, unforgiving, and judgmental; while the Truth church charges that the Grace church has watered down the gospel and abandoned the authority of Scripture.
Rev. Stanley insists that today’s Church must be full off Grace and Truth and that is where things get messy! (Read on) In Grace and Truth Churches we don’t set precedents but look at each individual and each situation to figure out what Jesus would do. Fairness goes out the window because we do not treat each person or circumstance the same. When Jesus healed the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda he passed many described as blind, lame and paralyzed. (See John 5: 1-9). When he forgave the woman caught in adultery, Jesus did not say she was sinless, but he showed her grace and gave her what she did not deserve —Forgiveness. The New Testament is full of examples of unfairness - can you think of some? Andy Stanley suggests the Churches that are full of grace and truth will be accused of unfairness or inconsistency. I believe we should be more concerned about people than policies and budgets. I have known churches that had money in the bank but because their “benevolence budget” had been spent, sent people in need on down the road. Following Jesus is messy, complex, and downright challenging. Rules, budgets, and policies can be helpful, but may we not put them before people. I hope that our churches will wander into the messy areas where Grace and Truth are practiced.
Do We Need a State Ministry?
Over the next two years our National Ministry will be restructuring. Some have questioned whether a State Ministry like the Church of God in Michigan is necessary. Each month in eAction I will be sharing some of the services provided to our Ministers, Spouses, Families, and Churches. I confess after serving our State for 17 years, I am unabashedly biased about what we do. Leaders across the state at some point will have to decide whether or not to agree with me. These services are available because our congregations across the state give to the State Ministry to support their fellow congregations and ministers across the State of Michigan. So here we go…. What are those ministries the Church of God in Michigan provides?
- We provide hundreds of years of experience through our Regional Pastors, Children and Youth Ministry to support pastors and congregations across Michigan.
- We support Church Multiplications with our various partnerships with Healthy Growing Churches and other like entities.
- We have a proven plans to help churches that need to “Turn Around” and begin new life-cycles.
- We provide support for Ministry Wives through an annual Retreat.
Check in next month for more… or read the list.
Rev. Krystal Kotesky's Ordination - June 3, 2018
Rev. Krystal Kotesky was ordained Sunday June 3 at Baroda Church of God Stevensville Campus. Speaker for the even was Rev. Kevin Kuehne, a mentor and friend. Worship was provided by Sara and Jim Sirks. Other pastors in attendance to support her ordination were, Marc Danapolis, John Davey, Jerry Lyon, John Baird, Andy Hannich, Bill Jones, Jim and Sheryl Blake, and Herb Smith. We are excited about Krystal’s enthusiasm and passion for ministry. May the Lord richly bless all she does for the His Kingdom!
Ordination Service for Diane Hall
June 10, 2018; 4:00 p.m.
Holbrook Avenue Church of God, Flint, Michigan
Celebrate the Retirement of Pastor John Mellish
Sunday, June 10, 2018; 3:00 p.m.
Together let's honor and celebrate the reitrement of our beloved pastor who served in ministry for more than 40 years.
NorthernLight Church, 115 Cobb Street, Cadillac, Michigan
Celebration and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Fred L. Davis
September 22, 1930-June 1, 2018
Sunday, June 10, 2018; Family Hour at 4:00 p.m. and Legacy Celebration at 5:00 p.m.
Community Church of God, 565 Jefferson St., Ypsilanti, MI 48197; 734-483-1955
What great memories we have of our State CWC Convention on April 27 and 28. We met at the Holiday Inn, Midland. Before the Convention we had our State CWC Board of Directors and State Board meetings on April 27th.
Rev. Mary Stephens was our keynote speaker. Mary is a very personable and an energetic speaker. Tonya Henry as our worship Leader. She led us in praise and worship and prepared us for our speaker. Emily Clark, former Associate Pastor at Wounded Knee, gave her moving testimony.
Friday night offering was for Children of Promise and our Livings Links.
The total will tell you how caring our CWC women are:
Children of Promise $759.67
Living Link - Critser $569.33
Living Link - Mishell $702.33
My next project will be updating our State Directory.
With summer weather we start thinking about camp meeting. Here are the dates for Warner Campmeeting July 13-21, 2018 and St Louis 125th is August 2-10, 2018. Also at St. Louis Campmeeting will be our auction Wednesday afternoon. Items to sell are welcome.
August 7 will be the Board of Directors meeting at St Louis Camp Meeting, and August 8 will be the State Board of Directors meeting also at St. Louis Camp Meeting.
October 10-13, 2019 plan ahead for the Church of God Women’s Convention at Myrtle Beach.
Blessings, Connie Mashue CWC State President
Thursday, June 7, 2018; 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. (Morning coffee & noon luncheon included)
The Postma Center of Pine Rest
300 68th Street S.E., Grand Rapids, Michigan 49548
Presentation by Rev. Liz Testa
Coordinator for Women's Transformation & Leadership, Reformed Church in America
Remarks by: Dr. Mark Eastburg, Pine Rest President & CEO and Rev. Karl Van Harn, Pine Rest Director of Pastoral Services & CPE
In 2013, a partnership was formed with the state ministries in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, and Healthy Growing Churches. The purpose of this partnership was to spark a multiplication movement that would see disciple making to a third and fourth generation of reproduction and churches that plant churches.
We are finally getting traction! We are seeing more and more pastors focused on disciple making. We also have several churches that are strategically answering the question, how will our church multiply?
We are also working hard to expose pastors and church leaders to the multiplication conversation. One of the ways we are doing that is hosting what we call Discovery Day. Discovery Day is designed to help you explore a potential calling to be a church multiplier and provide an overview of church multiplication. We will wrestle with questions like what is church multiplication? Am I called and wired to be a church planter? The goal of Discovery Day is to help pastors and church leaders gain greater clarity on what it could mean for them or their church to multiply.
Join regional leaders and pastors from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana for a day of discovery on Thursday, June 21st.
Register here by clicking this link.
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: FREE ...but you need to register.
Location: Meadow Park 2425 Bethel Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220
We are strongly encouraging all of our ordination candidates to attend the June 21 in Columbus, Ohio. We hope you will plan to be around!
It is always exciting to see some families come back to Warner year after year. It is even more exciting to see new folks come and enjoy the Warner experience. The welcome mat is out for this year’s 126th camp meeting July 14 to 20 – and you and your family are most welcome.
We have an All-Star cast of leaders coming our way.
Jay And Laura Lafoon bring a different twist Saturday evening, Sunday and Monday. Their nationally celebrated marriage and family ministry will blend music, comedy, laughter and wisdom from the Word of God to create a unique family camp experience. Monday’s activities will focus on strengthening intergenerational connections. More info about the Lafoons is available on their website
Kevin Perthius will round out Monday’s family camp and be the camp evangelist for the more classic camp meeting continuing Tuesday through Friday – with worship gatherings, conferences, youth and kids events. Kevin is the campus pastor and dynamic young leader St Joseph First Church’s Benton Heights campus. He has led in turning-around a church – and now in reshaping a community.
Rachel Green is a singer/songwriter and worship leader. She leads worship at the Berrien Community Church in Bridgman, Michgian. She and her husband Joe have three young sons. Joe is a rep with Thrivent Financial which is serving as co-sponsor for the family camp events with Jay and Laura Lafoon.
More information is available at Warner Camp for family camp/campmeeting events as well as registration, RV camping and other housing opportunities.
This year’s camp schedule includes 5 resident camps throughout the summer for kids and teens from third grade grads through new high school grads. Camp is always filled with challenges, fun, stretching and growing. The climbing wall, zip line, high ropes adventure course and the iceberg are just a few of the fun things at Warner Camp.
Warner Camp in southwestern Michigan has long served as the home base for youth camping for the Church of God in Michigan. We believe summer youth camps can be the best week of summer for hundreds of kids. We encourage you and your church to help make it possible for some kids and teens to go to camp this summer. Some financial assistance is available through the camp as well.
Registration may be completed on line. More info is available there too including an awesome video that you can share at your church as well as the social media.
Listen to three pastors giving their experience with 3C.
Heritage Church is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the International Fellowship of Chaplains, Chaplaincy Training Course from November 5-9, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This training will allow those who are in need of credentialing as a Chaplain, or those who have a desire to become a Chaplain to apply to the IFOC for licensing and credentailing following the training. The cost of this training is only $300 if pre-registered by September 28, 2018.
The IFOC Chaplaincy Training Course is offered for Emergency Service Personnel, Law Enforcement, Industrial Chaplains, and those who wish to become Chaplains and includes training in:
- Critical Incident Stress
- Grief and Loss
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Human Trafficking
- Spirituality and Trauma
- Worker Burnout
For further information about this training you can contact Dave Mansfield at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the church at (586) 997-9490.
To register for this training you can to the IFOC webpage.
2019 Barbados Mission Work Camp
January 5-15, 2019 - Silver Sands Church of God
Cost: $995 plus airfare ($1,050 after August 1st)
This BMWC will include:
Life together with the Bajan people
Work on the new Silver Sands Church
Worship and fellowship with the church people
Lodging at the Round Rock Apartments by the Sea
Final three nights at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort
Three days of free time on the island
Basking in the warm, breezy, tropical Barbados climate
---Limited to 20 people---
**REGISTRATIONS ARE COMING IN**
**Visit our website for more info**