2017 Annual Report
Dear Grace Church Family,
This letter to our Grace Church (GCD) Body will do double-duty: it is my contribution to our January Graceful Living and also our 2017 Annual Report. In Graceful Living it will introduce a new format you’ll see in our printed Annual Report, and in that document it will introduce similar letters from other ministry leaders that give praise to God for all He accomplished here in 2016.
I’m deeply grateful to God for the competent, capable, committed staff He’s called to serve at GCD.
As 2016 began, a season of conflict in our Body was coming to a climax, then moving toward resolution. It was a painful season that continues even now to be marked by sorrowful relational unease with some old friends we still love dearly and pray for consistently. Another challenging development of this time was our separation from two beloved staff members. We remain grateful to God and to each of them for their faithful service here, yet we’ve also seen our Father fill these vacancies with refreshing contributions by others already present among us. First, under the diligent, loving administration of our Deacons, this Body has taken on care of our buildings and grounds, offering their service in areas of gifting and interest—from mowing to snow-removal, HVAC-servicing to fire-hydrant-flushing! We’ve even renovated our Fireside Room wholly by volunteer contributions and labor! Second, our corporate worship planning and implementation are being led by one of our pastoral staff with great interest in this core activity of body-life and musical gifts sufficient to the tasks. A different staff member is leading our choir and orchestra to complement our corporate worship, and is doing so with joy and unique expertise. Only a sovereign, loving God could orchestrate such cooperation in worship, such unity from diversity. The Elders plan to continue these arrangements for the foreseeable future.
Beginning in September, we restructured our staff into three teams: a Preaching Team (PT), a Worship Team (WT), and an Administrative Team (AT). I lead the PT. It includes Ray Glinski, Dan Brendsel, Nick Conner, and Todd Walker. With Elder approval, we decide on the Book or subject we’ll preach in our AM and PM services and the break-down of each Book into preaching passages. We then discuss these passages weekly toward enriched and unified exposition. The WT, led by Dan Brendsel, includes the PT plus Bob Ewoldt (Choir) and Mike Bentz II (Audio/Visual). The AT is led by our Staff Manager, Nick Conner, and includes Darline Jillich, Heidi Ansiel, Michelle Butler, Bob Ewoldt (Business), Janice Gilmour, and myself. We coordinate Church operations, communications, and calendar.
Our aim in this, and all we do, is to press on in pursuit of our Vision Prayer: to ask, seek, and knock for God to develop us into a community of worshipers that bears much fruit as we live and proclaim the gospel with authenticity and passion. May He answer this prayer,
To the praise of His glorious grace,