ADVANCE
Our mission is to love and serve our community and world with the good news of Jesus Christ, bringing people together across the lines of race and class to worship and follow Jesus.

ADVANCE Letter from Pastor Seda

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Dear Grace Church Family,

Our mission at Grace Church is to love and serve our community and world with the good news of Jesus Christ, bringing people together across the lines of race and class to worship and follow Jesus.  Our vision is God’s vision for His church, nowhere more clearly described than in Revelation 5 and 7 where God gives John a vision of His redeemed people – people from “every tribe and language and people and nation” gathered as one people in worship.

I wish I could say this has always been the vision of Grace Church but it has not.  However, in His own time and way the Lord opened our eyes and over the past years Grace has become a remarkably different church!  It has been something of a “mountain top” experience with the embracing of this vision, bringing Kenny Foster on staff, birthing Grace For Dover, and most recently welcoming the Korean congregation as a part of Grace Church.  People from many nationalities and cultures gather each Sunday morning to join their hearts and voices in joyful worship, literally singing in various languages.

But God is calling us to move forward.  It’s as though God were saying to us, as He did to the children of Israel, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain.  Break camp and advance …” (Deut. 1.6,7).  And we’re ready to do so!  We want to advance God’s mission by deepening and broadening our ministry both inside and outside our church.  We want to make more room so that we can gather more of God’s diverse people for worship, fellowship and spiritual growth.  We want to add a Korean pastor to our staff.  We want to strengthen our Diaconal ministry as we draw the hurting and the marginal of our community into this fellowship.  We want to deepen our Christian education and discipleship.  We want to help fund a down payment for Martha & Mary’s Place, a ministry here in Dover to abused women; we want to help launch the Daughters of Bulgaria Rose Garden Project, a ministry to women caught in the web of the sex-trafficking industry; and we want to fund one year’s salary for a new director for Grace For Dover, a multi-faceted ministry to the needy and hurting throughout our community.

Needless to say, this will be a significant challenge in many ways, not the least of which will be the financial one!  To advance this vision we will need approximately $2.3 million, most of which we want to gather in “increased giving” over the next three years.  We will begin with site improvements in 2016 and, Lord willing, begin and perhaps even finish building construction in 2017, enabling us to have a new sanctuary, a large common area, and the use of our existing sanctuary for expanded ministry space.  We’re already in search of a part-time Korean pastor (for which we already have funds in hand!) and as funds begin to come in come January, we will begin to fund the other ministry projects inside and outside Grace.

Is all this possible?  Well, the session has looked prayerfully, long and hard, and we believe that if the Lord moves our hearts to embrace and advance this vision, it will happen.  Furthermore, I’m confident that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine …” (Eph. 3.20).  I believe these words of Paul are often wrenched from their context and applied to all sorts of inapplicable challenges but such is not the case here at Grace!  The entire context of this expression of confidence is Paul’s call for the church to be a community of reconciliation where the walls of racial division and hatred are broken down by the power of gospel to the glory God – something very badly needed in our day!  That is what we are about here at Grace.  So as I look at the daunting challenge before us both spiritual and financial, I say with Paul, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.”

So, in light of all this, I urge you to carefully review the materials you are receiving as we begin this capital initiative.  Begin to pray right now about the extent to which God wants you to stretch to help ADVANCE the mission here at Grace.

In His Grace,

Jonathan Seda