The Cross Before Me

A reflection for Good Friday By Tim Sitterley, U.S. West Regional Director. Many years ago, while visiting a small New England church, I was somewhat taken aback by the odd arrangement of lectern and cross on the raised pulpit. Crosses of all sizes are a common image in a Christian church adorning walls, stained glass windows, hymnals and lecterns. But in this church the cross that immediately caught your eye was an eight or nine-foot-tall, roughhewn timber cross mounted directly in front of the lectern. To see the congregation, the speaker would have to look around the massive upright beam…as was also the case for the congregants to see the speaker. As one who often finds himself standing behind a lectern preaching to a room full... Read the article

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Palms and Colts

 A reflection for Palm Sunday By Bill Hall, National Director, Canada Back in February 2010, my wife, son and I had the opportunity to be in Vancouver Canada for the 2010 Winter Olympics. We were there on a whim. We hadn’t planned on going, but at the last moment called some old friends who lived there and asked what they were doing during the Olympics. They told us that they had tickets for some of the events but at the last moment their oldest daughter couldn’t get away from work to attend with them. So they had a few tickets available if we wanted to come and stay with them. The Vancouver Olympics was one big celebration. The downtown core of the city was closed off to traffic and we spent many hours just walking around... Read the article

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Big Sandy Avenue Champions

The Faith, Hope and Love champions are leaders I can trust to take responsibility for the work of an avenue without a lot of management by me. By Jerome Ellard, Pastor As a pastor, I used to think that I needed to be the sparkplug for everything that was going on in the church. Of course, I had good people who could handle worship leading, conduct Bible studies, and handle the day-to-day finances, etc., but I felt that I needed to be the one to think up the next event or to organize the next special service, potluck, outreach or meeting. Sounds like a recipe for burnout, doesn't it? Thankfully, Grace Communion International has discovered what we call the Avenues—Faith, Hope and Love Avenues, to be specific. Maybe "inspired"... Read the article

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Discipleship: When Is Enough Enough?

The relational side of being and making disciples. By Anthony Mullins, U.S. Southeast Regional Director One of the better recent inventions for my personal health has been smartwatches that also act as a pedometer. There is something about seeing my step count climb upwards to propel me toward a daily goal of walking at least 10,000 steps (approximately 5 miles). Since COVID-19 became an ever-present reality in early 2020, I have consistently walked 30 miles each week. It has been an important step, pun intended, toward better overall health. However, as wonderful as walking has been to my personal revitalization, it occurred to me that I needed to add cardio for a robust and holistic exercise plan: cardio is good for an elevated... Read the article

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New Connect Group Curriculum

  On Being is a four-part interactive connect group curriculum, designed for biblically-based, dynamic discussions around being a disciple. We will be rolling out a different curriculum quarterly throughout 2021. The four curricula are: Being a Neighbor, Being the Church, Being with Jesus, and Being with the Bible. Each curriculum has a Facilitator Guide and a Participant Workbook. Facilitator Best Practices – The introduction was developed to assist leaders in the formation and facilitation of their Connect Group. It also explains the format of the curriculum within the series, as well as an appendix with icebreakers and other resources. Facilitator Best Practices - Full Color Download Facilitator Best... Read the article

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The Power of Belonging

A Faith Avenue Overview By Michelle Fleming, Media Director Belonging is a primal human need to be a part of something bigger than yourself; it is positioned right at the center of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. When I think of what it means to belong, I think of acceptance, my unique qualities being seen and appreciated, the insta-bond that often happens in dorms, soaking up the joy and laughter that permeates any kind of reunion, and being with my Connect Group. Belonging does not develop from finding a group with whom you have everything in common; it occurs when we experience acceptance for our authentic selves. I believe we can experience this most richly in our relationship with God—a God who created us, rescued us, and call... Read the article

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God’s Great Saving Act

A triduum is a religious observance that lasts three days. The best-known example of this is the three days from the evening of Maundy Thursday to Easter Sunday. Called Paschal or Holy Triduum, this one event is the not only the center of the Christian year, it commemorates the great saving act of God. The Bible is full of mysteries; the story of Jesus is full of mysteries. How did God become human? What does it mean to be fully human, and fully divine? Why did Jesus have to die on a cross? Why did he have to spend time in a grave? What did God accomplish in Jesus’ death? What does it mean that death has been conquered? These are mysteries that humanity will continue to ponder, to research, to discuss. The apostle Peter said of these... Read the article

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