From Pastor John 1-9-18

 Today was a first for me. I squished an avocado in my coat pocket. Messy. Not how I wanted to start the morning, not how I envisioned being relentless and victorious in getting things done. Worse things have happened to me, but sometimes we reach a tipping point. You know, that one more thing that piles onto the load of mistakes/failures/junk/guilt/disappointment that we carry around. But a life of faith gives you a way to trudge through what the day and the world throws at you. I am reminded of the Christmas scriptures in Luke, “For nothing is impossible with God” Luke 1:37. May you persevere in prayer and know that God is right there in your moments of weakness.

Pet Blessing & Fall Fun Festival 2017 – Alison’s Blog

GRCC’s annual Pet Blessing and Fall Fun Festival took place this past Sunday, October 29. Though it was a cold afternoon, many people came by with their pets to enjoy hot soup, fall fun activities, trunk or treating, and some great fellowship! We had in attendance both church members and people from the local community

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The last two XGen Sundays, I have been blessed to share a children’s moment with our youth. These occasions have been especially dear to me because the messages were about having conversations and processing our thoughts and feelings together as a family. I truly believe that these are some of the greatest gifts we can give to our kids.

August and September

If you have asked me any time since July how I’m doing or what’s going on with me, I probably said something like, “Good, a little stressed. Getting ready for fall is my busiest time of year.”

Today, “getting ready for fall” season is officially over and “actual fall” season has begun! Genesis, Chi Rho, and CYF youth groups have all had their kickoff events, our youth have been promoted and blessed into their new school year, and our new “Sunday School Central” program is one Sunday down!

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A Sweet Day at the Ice Cream Social – Alison’s blog


GRCC celebrated its annual ice cream social on Sunday, August 13. It was a full morning: in the worship service, some of our youth shared some songs and stories from their time at camp this summer. Then, we shared a blessing and well wishes with dozens of youth and school teachers/school employees during our annual back-to-school Backpack Blessing. Later in the service, we heard a special message by the Reverend Steve Bentley, Regional Associate Pastor for our denomination office who spends his entire summers at Camp Christian. After the service ended, people headed in droves next door to the Multipurpose Room, where they feasted on hot dogs, sloppy Joes, chips, fruit, salad, desserts, and, of course, homemade ice cream! Our ice cream angels really outdid themselves this year: 10 individuals and families made 15 different types of ice cream; including 6 vanilla varieties, chocolate, peppermint, cherry, French vanilla, lemon custard, Dreamsicle, pineapple, peach, and chocolate strawberry. Needless to say, we did not run out! This year, everyone had the opportunity to vote for their favorite ice cream, and the winners in each of the 3 different categories were: Tim Mitchell (vanilla), Jim Johnson (chocolate), and a 3-way tie for the “Flavored” category between Bonnie Nicklaus (Dreamsicle), Michael Bougher (pineapple), and Bob and Shirley Schuneman (peach).

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Mission Trip 2017 – Alison’s Blog

Wow! Can you believe it’s July 20 already? Where has the summer gone?


I feel like I’ve been on hiatus from most sources of communication. Social media, blogging, and emailing for church purposes have definitely been on the back burner more than usual for me lately. As most of you will know, I returned from Indianapolis on July 7 after our youth mission trip, and then jumped with both feet into Community VBS mode, which took up most of my time and energy for the next week and a half. As of last night, it’s over! It was a really good week and I’ll be happy to share more about VBS soon. But today is for breathing, relaxing, resetting, and thanking God for an amazing July.

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Not About Me

Grateful and joyful are the words that come to mind when I think about our 2nd “kickoff” to Summer Sunday School (the 1st kickoff was last Sunday, but since all of our 4-11 year olds must have been traveling for Father’s Day, we’ll call this week our 2nd kickoff).

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Summer Sunday School – Part 2 – Alison’s Blog

This summer in Sunday school, the kids will be exploring the concept of stewardship. This topic may be a little tough for some of the young ones to understand, but I hope that it can be an opportunity for all of us to learn something together! Here’s a quick summary of what the summer should look like:

Age 4-5th grade: Will be exploring giving, saving, spending, and earning through activities, crafts, games, etc. They will work in small groups on s Read more…

Summer Sunday School! – Alison’s blog

Summer is a glorious time. I was just fully appreciating this morning what a blessing summer really is. Already this summer I’ve gone to a couple of cookouts, my sister-in-law’s baby shower, a couple of graduation parties, my friend’s wedding, and taken a family trip to visit my sister in Nebraska. Tomorrow Ryan and I will be going to a 3rd birthday party for the son of some great friends of ours. As I write this, I realize that all of these have involved two things that bring me tremendous joy: being outside in the fresh air and sunshine, and spending time with people I love through celebration. Whether it’s been family, in-laws, friends, or the people of GRCC (I’m counting our May 28 outdoor worship and picnic as one of the cookouts!), it’s a huge joy to have people in my life that I can celebrate with!

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Pastor John on the Engaged Disciple

Friends, here are 4 areas to challenge us in our path of life in Christ: what are your thoughts about these?