Friday Fun: Hand Raising in Worship

Last Sunday in the close of the service I made some brief light hearted comments about hand raising in worship.  It's obviously a delicate and personal topic.   My visits to other churches this past summer got me thinking about how every church has a unique culture.  GraceSLO is no exception.  Our 80+ year history, our congregational make-up and our more formal/traditional church building are all factors which feed and influence our GraceSLO culture.  

While I think we're becoming more free and expressive in our worship together, we're still stiff and staid compared to most other churches in our community.   My comments were intended to nudge us just a bit and to give permission for a bit more freedom, emotion and expression.  

Of course there's a danger that hand raising becomes a measure of spirituality and something people feel pressured to do. We don't want that!  But our current situation is such that for many it feels odd and inappropriate to raise their hands in worship.  We're aiming for a grace-drenched freedom for all.  I don't think we're there yet.  

To continue our light-hearted contemplation of these issues, enjoy this hilarious bit by commedian Tim Hawkins . . . 

 



Sanctity of Human Life: Have you heard of Lila Rose?



The Gospel Transformation Bible

 

In yesterday's message entitled, "What's the Bible About? (Listen HERE), I mentioned the Gospel Transformation Bible as an excellent resource to help you read and understand the Bible as God's Gospel Story with Jesus front and center stage.  

Here's a link to the introduction and sample, as well as the article I referenced by Bryan Chapell.  Well worth your time and attention. . .  

http://www.wtsbooks.com/common/pdf_links/gtb.sampler.pdf

 

Here's a video introducing the Gospel Transformation Bible . . . 

 

 

 



Elder Ministry Assignments

Perhaps it's due to a lack of intentional communication, but there's always a little mystique surrounding the Elders at GraceSLO and what exactly they do.  We don't want it to be this way.  We want to communicate better.  So here's some information you may not be aware of . . . 

Did you know that each of our elders is assigned to a specific area of ministry where they partner with one of our Ministry Staff?   Yep, it's true.   In this way, our elders are spread out across the ministry of GraceSLO.  Once a month at one of our two meetings, each elders gives a brief report about what's happening in their area of ministry.  

Here's some more information about Elder Ministry Assignments including current assignments, lifted from an internal document we use to guide the process.  If you have any questions about any area of our ministry, please feel free to contact the elder working or the ministry staff member working in that area. 

Also, we've recently updated the Leadership page of the website with these Elder Ministry Assignments.  


Goals & Objectives of Elder Ministry Assignments

  • Partner with ministry staff/chairpersons as they give leadership and direction to areas of ministry.
  • Support ministry staff/chairpersons in their roles.
  • Represent ministry staff at the elder level.
  • Connect Elders to practical ministry.  
     

Practical Expectations of Elders Assigned to a Ministry 

  1. Pray daily for ministry/leadership board and the staff person/chairperson/team. 
     
  2. Connect weekly with ministry staff/chairperson  person via email, phone calls and face to face time to share burdens, joys, God at work, needs, and vision. 
     
  3. Attend consistently Ministry Board / Leadership Meetings with elder reports given to communicate elder vision. 
     
  4. Report monthly at Elder Board Meetings with ministry reports given to communicate ministry/leadership board happenings, needs and direction. 
     
  5. Be available “go to guy” for ministry staff person/board chairperson for special tasks and urgent needs, and personal stuff, as needed.  



2013/2014 Elder Ministry Assignments


Areas                                                Assigned                           Key Partners

Elder Chair                                       Wayne Brown.                 Pastor Tim, Debbie Johnston

Finance                                             Steve Potratz                   Pastor Tim, Shane Williams
    
Facilities                                             Rick Ernstrom                   Dave Gray, Debbie Johnston

Missions                                              Wayne Peterson            Pastor Al

Worship Min.                                     Jeff Mundorf                   Pastor Al, Scott Head
 
Children & Family Min.                    Todd Talley                       Pastor Ken, Debbi Weeks, Dori Iunker

Student Min.                                      Dave Burns                      Pastor Brandon, Nick Shorts

College Min. / Growth Groups       Jon Miller                         Pastor Jeff

Covenant Membership                   Scott Morton                  Julianna Cementina



follow up resources + Al Mohler

In our 10.13.13 message entitled "His Discipleship Training",  I referenced and encouraged you to read Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's interview with The New Yorker . . .  CLICK HERE to read. 

In our 10.20.13 message entitled "His Teaching on Marriage",  I referenced and encouraged you to read the GraceSLO Commitment to Preserving Marriages that is part of our Covenant Membership materials. . . CLICK HERE to read. 

Earlier this week, Pastor Jeff also pointed me to a speech that Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Seminary, gave just this Monday, October 21 at Brigham Young University.  

(Why is Al Mohler speaking at BYU?   You'll have to check out the speech to find out and how masterfully Mohler handles the challenge!)  

Both Jeff and I thought the speech had great relevance to the subjects we've been looking at in First Peter and the Gospel of Mark including marraige and religious liberty.  The speech is a bit heady, but worth the effort. . . .  CLICK HERE to read.  

Here's my favorite and most provacative part of the Mohler's speech, but you need to read it all . . . . 

This is what brings me to Brigham Young University today. I am not here because I believe we are going to heaven together. I do not believe that. I believe that salvation comes only to those who believe and trust only in Christ and in his substitutionary atonement for salvation. I believe in justification by faith alone, in Christ alone. I love and respect you as friends, and as friends we would speak only what we believe to be true, especially on matters of eternal significance. We inhabit separate and irreconcilable theological worlds, made clear with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity. And yet here I am, and gladly so. We will speak to one another of what we most sincerely believe to be true, precisely because we love and respect one another.

I do not believe that we are going to heaven together, but I do believe we may go to jail together. I do not mean to exaggerate, but we are living in the shadow of a great moral revolution that we commonly believe will have grave and devastating human consequences. Your faith has held high the importance of marriage and family. Your theology requires such an affirmation, and it is lovingly lived out by millions of Mormon families. That is why I and my evangelical brothers and sisters are so glad to have Mormon neighbors. We stand together for the natural family, for natural marriage, for the integrity of sexuality within marriage alone, and for the hope of human flourishing.



Between Sundays | 09.25.13

Beloved Family of GraceSLO. 

Our 10th Annual 2013 Fall Kick-Off is just a few days away.   Afterward each year, our staff asks together,  "It’s a ton of work, is it worth it? Should we do it again next year?"  Every year, we answer with an enthusiastic, and unanimous, "Yes, it’s worth it!  Yes, we must do it again!" 

Why?  

As we head toward Sunday together, here are 4 reasons why we're committed to and excited about this year's Fall Kick-Off and why we think you should be, too . . . 

 

  1. The FKO is a time to worship Jesus, the Lord of creation in His creation . . . together.  It’s the one time a year when our whole church gets to worship together in one service.  That's special.  Enjoy it on Sunday. 
     
  2. The FKO is an exercise in stretching and serving together.  This event takes the work of many hands.  Our staff couldn't pull this off by ourselves.  It’s good to stretch and serve beyond ourselves!   Hopefully, you've found your place to serve.  Think about all the work that goes into the FKO this Sunday.  
     
  3. The FKO is an opportunity to welcome new freshmen and other visitors.  Since WOW events now also take place on Sundays, this week is the first Sunday freshmen come to church after arriving in town.  And we have lots of other visitors at FKO, because an outdoor service and the other fun stuff of the day, just makes it less threatening to come to church.   We've done lots of advertising including a downtown banner over Higuera and advertising on Facebook and in the Mustang Daily.  Still the reason most people will come is because they've been invited by a friend.   Now is the perfect time to be bold and invite some friends of yours.   Be sure to welcome and meet someone new on Sunday.  
     
  4. The FKO is a chance to be the church . . . the people of Jesus fellowshipping, reaching out, loving and having a great time together. As we'll think about on Sunday, Jesus calls us to love one another and enjoy life together.  This day is a chance to relax and do that.  So don't rush off after the service, but make a day of it.   Settle in.  Connect.   Build some relationships.  Go a little deeper with someone.  Have some fun.  Enjoy all the kids of GraceSLO.  

 

Did you miss last Sunday?  Enjoy a preview of the Fall Kick-Off in this video compliments of Jack Hutchinson.  (CLICK HERE to watch!)

Here's some other details you need to be aware of:  

  • Getting here and parking:  Our staff learned just this week (really!) that there's a  Savor the Central Coast Run happening that morning downtown.  There will be several street closures including Higuera, Monterey and Marsh.  If you're coming from Cal Poly, Los Osos, Morro Bay or the north side of town, we recommend you exit at the Marsh street exit and come up Pacific Street.  We encourage you to park in the parking structure at Morro and Pacific streets.  It’s just a short walk to the park.   We encourage regulars to arrive early to help welcome newcomers.  Service starts at 10:00 AM. 
     
  • Seating:  We will have 800 or so chairs for your convenience.  You may also bring lawn chairs and/or blankets for seating on the grass.   We're asking parents to keep their kids out of the playground during the worship service.  Prepare your kids ahead of time.  There will be an outdoor nursery area to accommodate all our families with new babies.  For everyone’s safety, please leave your pets at home.
     
  • Worship Service:  I am working hard on a message that will engage the spectrum of GraceSLO and visitors.  The title of the message will be "What's a church really supposed to be?", based out of John 15:4-17.   Like in past years, there will be some illustration or exercise that will involve kids on stage.   All songs and Scripture will be included in the worship folder.  
     
  • Lunch:  Lunch will be delicious chicken, beans, salad and desert and will be served for $5/person or $25 max/family.  First time visitors eat free and first if they fill out a visitor meal ticket.  If you've brought visitors, feel free to eat first with them.  
     
  • Fun:  Fun begins at 12 noon and continues untill 2:00 PM-ish.    There will be lots to do and see in the park, so be sure to make the rounds.  Justin Hooper and his new band, Simple Parade will play in the gazebo from about 11:45 to 12:45. 

Thanks, in advance, to all who are making the day a reality.  Invite and pray before.  Enjoy during.  Our family can't wait.  See you then.  

Trusting Jesus with you . . . between Sundays . . . Pastor Tim



2013 Fall Kick-Off

Join us this Sunday in Mitchell Park at 10:00 AM for our 2013 Fall Kick-Off.   Here's a peek at what you can expect. . . 

 



Between Sundays | 9.18.13

Beloved Family of GraceSLO, 

 
Did you notice the new subject line in this email?  It represents a fresh focus in these emails to you, our church family at GraceSLO.   Following Jesus is not just something we do on Sundays, but something we do all day every day in every area of our lives.   And yet life is hurried, and busy and filled with stress. How easily Jesus gets shoved out of the center of our lives and thoughts!   My hope is that these emails serve as a mid-week call to reconnect with Jesus, ground ourselves in His Word, and follow Him by faith. My aim is to remind you of things we thought about together in the Sunday past and to get you thinking about some truths we'll consider in the Sunday coming.  Thus the title . . . "Between Sundays."  We'll see how it goes and hopefully you can give me some feedback along the way.  
 
Last Sunday we talked about how we're all spiritually desperate, broken and hungry. Jesus is hope for our desperation, healing for our brokenness and satisfaction for our soul hunger.  (LISTEN TO LAST WEEK'S MESSAGE HERE!) This is what the cross and resurrection are all all about.  And more is coming.  So, my prayer this week is that we'd be coming to Jesus, individually and as families, desperate, broken, and hungry . . . even amidst the madness and trials of life.  When we do, we are drawn toward one another and He meets us.  
 
This Sunday we'll talk about two barriers which keep us from connecting with Jesus and following Him by faith. . . . unbelief and distraction.  We'll look at another big chunk of text from Mark 8:10 to 9:13 and see how these verses fit together.  (READ THIS WEEK'S TEXT HERE!).  I hope you'll take a look at the text ahead of time, either individually or with your family.  The title of Sunday's message is "His Glory."  I hope you can worship with us and invite a friend.  
 
Next week, Sunday, September 29, is our 2013 Fall Kick-Off where we'll worship together in one family service in Mitchell Park at 10:00 AM.  Lunch and fun will follow.  It's going to be great day of fellowship and fun.  A chance to "turn the church inside out to bring the outside in."   I hope you're praying over friends you might invite. We're still looking for help. (Sign up here)
 
Growth Group enrollment is happening NOW, both online and in the Courtyard on Sundays. Growth Groups are the way to connect at GraceSLO and we're encouraged by the new groups that are forming.  Whether you are new or have been attending for a long time, we urge you to commit to a Growth Group.  (ENROLL ONLINE NOW!)  
 
 
May the Lord bless you today . . . between Sundays . . . Pastor Tim


Annual Meeting +

We had a great 2013 Annual Report last Sunday evening, June 2.   The Ministry Center was packed!   It was so encouraging to see so many committed and excited about GraceSLO.   The highlight of the evening for me was renewing our commitment to one another through a together reading of our GraceSLO Covenant.  There's nothing like being there LIVE, but we still want to put the information into your hands, so here's links to the written report and audio from the evening . . .

For the 32 page PDF of the written  2013 Annual Report CLICK HERE.

For the audio of our 2013 Annual Report CLICK HERE.

 

Want to know how we ended the fiscal year?  Read the report (I'll give you a hint, the number is green!).

Want to know what our budget for the 2013/2014 fiscal year starting June 1 is?  Read the report.

Want to know what our sabbatical itinerary?  It's in the report. 

Want to know what I've learned and am still learning in 10 years at GraceSLO?  Read the report.

Want to know what are my 10 highlights in my 10 years at GraceSLO?  Yep, it's in the report. 

Want know what I'm thinking regarding the future of GraceSLO?  Read the report.

Want to know what staff highlights of all our ministries at GraceSLO?  It's in the report. 

I hope you'll take the time to read the Annual Report.  It contains all sorts of information you won't get anywhere else or any other time at GraceSLO.

Oh yeah . . . I'm now officially on my summer sabbatical and so this will be my last post until the Fall.  In the meantime, I'll be praying for GraceSLO.   I hope you'll pray for and come alongside Pastor Ken and Pastor Jeff as they give leadership to the church together.   Have a great summer.  See you in September. 



The Gospel Coalition





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about

  • Life Together is the ongoing contemplation of our life together at Grace Church, San Luis Obispo, through the eyes of current Lead Pastor Tim Theule. 
  • Tim and his wife, Susie, are the delighted parents of four great kids, Sage (17), Eden (15), Zeke (10) and Haaken (8).  They have lived here on the Central Coast of California since early 2003. 

  • The title "Life Together" is borrowed from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's excellent little book concerning the joys and challenges of real Christian community, which bears the same title.

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