SUNDAY 6TH SEPTEMBER

We meet Bradley Hall at The Maynard School to explore the claims of Christ together.

Coffee served from 10.00am. Church service from 10.30am-Midday.

During this service we will be giving thanks for the recent birth of four children and praying for their families.

Further information about our Sunday gatherings here.

SUNDAY 30TH AUGUST

This weekend our Community Groups are taking the opportunity to get away together for the bank holiday weekend. We’re not meeting at The Maynard School.

Our next Sunday gathering will be on Sunday 6th September.

  • Coffee from 10.00am.
  • Church service from 10.30am-Midday.

We’ll be giving thanks for the birth of several new children in recent months.

 

ADJUSTING SUNDAYS

On July 4th our Senior Leadership Team shared four priorities for the next 12-18 months. Here’s the fouth:

Sunday Meeting Tweak

As well as having a week of prayer, and spending a term focussing specifically on the life of Jesus, we are looking to make some practical adjustments to how our Sunday service runs.

We believe it is helpful to have most of the explanation before most of the participation.  We also believe it is important to have things done, “decently and in order,” (1Cor14v40) so that people can understand and participate in what we are doing.

This is a relatively small change however it will impact the experience for the whole Church family. In light of this we have communicated early, invited dialogue and will be looking for feedback in the autumn term.

We are now trialling the following tweak:

Meeting

LEADERSHIP INVESTMENT

On July 1st our Senior Leadership Team shared four areas of focus for the next 12-18 months. The third of these concerns Leadership Investment.

At Grace Church our Leadership Team is very much a work in progress and an area of Church life which we are particularly investing time, energy, and resources.

This evolution includes the following steps together:

Phil Annetts, Stu Alred, Rob Willmott and Jon Bishop have formed an ‘Acting Senior Leadership Team’.
Ben Homer is now on staff ‘full time’ giving him an additional day to work on and support our pastoral projects.
Dan Roach has been appointed Chair of our Stewardship Team. (Trustees)
Fi Salter is taking the lead with our Pastoral Support Team.
Stu will be starting a part time MA in Theology at Trinity College Bristol.
Jo Todd has ‘finished her season’ as children’s worker after a superb contribution with us.
Dave Bish is working with us until early Summer 2016. He and his family are exploring new opportunities for ministry elsewhere.

We have a superb team of hardworking and humble leaders and I expect us to grow together in depth and breadth over the coming months. Supporting, empowering and investing in our leadership will be a particular area of focus for Grace Church in the next 12 months.

EXPLORING COMMUNION

At our Church Together evening on Wednesday 1st July our Senior Leadership Team shared four areas of focus for the next 12-18 months. Here’s the second:

As leaders we have been asking the question, “how do we help people meet and experience God at our Sunday gatherings?”

We believe that through Jesus, by the Holy Spirit, that God’s arms are wide open to whoever would respond to him. We want our Sundays to represent this message as well as we can.

Over the last few years I have observed how different Christians relate to and sense God’s presence in different ways. The Holy Spirit dwells in all Christians, but He gives different gifts and enables people to enjoy Him is different ways.

Gary Thomas, in his book Sacred Pathways, identifies those who sense God in nature, senses, traditions, silence, action, caregiving, adoration, and the intellect. We respect and honour all of these preferences.

On Sundays particularly we want to create an environment whereby whatever background, denomination, gift or talent, anyone can find a place of deep spiritual nourishment. With that in mind we have decided to explore the area of Communion (or The Lord’s Supper).

“He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.” Luke 24v35

“They devoted themselves… to the breaking of bread.” Acts 2v42

As a leadership we will be spending time in study, discussion and theological reflection. We’ll present papers, invite open discussion, walk through a teaching series and finally consider how to make ‘Communion’ with Christ more central to Church life.

THE GOOD GOD

Over three Sunday evenings in July we’re lifting the mystery and seeking to understand and enjoy God as Trinity.

Our Ministries & Training Coordinator Dave Bish will guide you through this often bewildering area of the Christian faith.

No prior study is necessary. These are stand alone evenings, considering Trinity from three different angles.

  • 7.30pm-8.45pm, Sunday 12th, 19th, 26th.
  • Grace Church Office, King Street, EX1 1BQ.

 

OUR DEEPEST PASSION

On July 1st our Senior Leadership Team shared their four areas of focus for the next 12-18 months. Here is the first:

At Grace Church Exeter our stated vision is:  “To see people exploring, experiencing and expressing God’s goodness across our city.”

A great question to ask is: why is this our vision?

  • Why is it important that the Church honours time and space for exploration?
  • Why should we change Church practise, priorities and style for the sake of others?
  • Why should we be concerned to grow spiritually?
  • Why should we honour, encourage and strengthen people with different preferences, gifts and denominational backgrounds?
  • Why do we care about our city and not just the Church?
  • Why do we think every area of life has intrinsic value and potential?

We think all of these questions are answered essentially in the life of Jesus Christ. In the Bible Jesus is described as the Chief Shepherd and cornerstone. He is our inspiration and the one Christians are learning to follow.

In the coming year we want to focus on the ‘heart of the issue’. We want to shift our emphasis from the what/how to the why. We want to remind people and explain our deepest passion: Jesus.

The life of Christ will be the particular focus of our autumn preaching series though this priority will shape all that we’re doing.

It will be our prayer that we see more people exploring, experiencing and expressing God’s goodness across our city.

SUNDAY 12TH JULY

Sunday Gathering. 10.00am-Midday, Sunday 12th July, The Maynard School, Spicer Road, EX1 1TA.

We meet in the Ryan House building next to the on site car park.

As a church we warmly welcome you as we explore the claims of Christ together.

Our meetings are open to all and intended to be accessible. Our dress code is informal. If you have any questions please feel free to contact our team in advance.

Our order of meeting is as follows:

10:00am     Tea & Coffee

10:30am     Worship

Children go to groups (0-11 years)

News and Prayer

Bible Reading

Message – Dave Bish speaks in our series EVERYDAY CHURCH from 1 Peter 4

Worship

12:00pm     Meeting ends

 

SUNDAY 5TH JULY

We want to say thank you to all who have made Grace Church Exeter possible in the past year. So we’re heading out to Luppitt Village Hall on Sunday 5th July.

No meeting at The Maynard School.

Programme

11.00 Arrive.

11.45 Thank you from the leaders.

12.00 Picnic, games and activities.

15.00 Finish and depart.

Please bring

Please bring a picnic.

Indoor and outdoor games.

Thank you cards.

Friends from your Community Group.

Directions to Luppitt Village Hall, Honiton. EX14 4RT.

Follow the A30 out of Exeter towards Honiton for 15 miles.

Drive past Honiton and take the left turn signposted to Luppitt.

Follow the signs to Luppitt for 3 miles.

Once you get into the village the Village Hall will be on your right.

Free car parking is available at the Hall.

The whole journey takes approximately 30 minutes from when you get on to the A30.

FRESH VISION FOR CHURCH

Annually, between April and July, our leadership teams participate in a season of review, reflection and discussion to work together to agree key areas of focus for the year ahead for our Church Family. We will be sharing the results of this process at our Church Together Prayer Meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 1st July at The Maynard School, and in four following blog posts.

As a Church Leader I would see this as one of the most important processes for the health of our Church. Many hours are spent, tough decisions are made, faith is required, resources are aligned and hopefully success will be experienced.

Personally, I prepare for this season through private prayer, silence and solitude. I would normally go to a place of outstanding natural beauty and lay before God all that is on my mind and heart. I tend to wait, listen, sense and write anything that I discern as helpful.

At this time of year I ask our for attendance figures, giving reports, guest card responses, ministry reports and for opinions of a variety of key leaders to help me form a picture of overall Church life.

Our Senior Leadership Team spends a day apart together. On this time four additional people invited. We share, discuss, listen, debate and look for convergence together. Our Wider Leadership Team was invited to bring input and feedback adding multiple perspectives and insights.

I also seek input from those who care for our Church, who are outside our Church. I speak to Matt Partridge on a regular basis and would run most things past Matt inviting comments, feedback and shape to key decision moments.

Our aim is to ‘hit the ground running’ in September with clear areas of focus, teams pulling in the same direction, resources in the right places and a sense of anticipation at what He might be pleased to do at our local Church.