Grace Connects

Hi everyone!

While we are staying home and practicing 'social distancing', we are reminded that Social distancing is nothing new to the Church. This week, Grace is reconnecting to God by “Seeking Him through Hymns”.Study the message and meaning of Zion’s hymns with your friends and/or families. The goal is not only to understand the message, but why we sing them together.

Throughout the week, share some of your favorite hymns and a brief message of encouragement to someone you know. Think of hymns that have special significance to you and share a version from YouTube via text or on your social media accounts. If you have children or teens in your life, ask them to share songs that they listen to that help them feel better and offer to listen to it together. You can use this to open the door to sharing your hymns and why they help you feel better and connect to God.

Questions to consider and discuss:

- What is the overall meaning of this hymn?

- What scriptures does this hymn tie to?

- What scriptures could have influenced this hymn?

- How could using these hymns bring us closer to God?

Stay safe Grace & be blessed!

Brighter Days with Grace

As we look for ways to stay connected while social distancing, we are inviting our Grace family to share a moment that has brightened your day these past couple of weeks. We’re calling it “Brighter Days with Grace.” It could be a funny story, a pet, a picture of nature, a family TikTok, —whatever has lifted your spirits and might offer some inspiration to others. When you share it on social media, tag Grace and add the hashtag #BrighterDayswithGraceChurchRaleigh.

Matthew‬ ‭9:36‬ ‭NIV‬‬ “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

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Matthew‬ ‭25:14 ‭NIV‬‬ “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability.”

When reports of the Coronavirus initially came to my attention, I didn’t think it was something to be concerned about. At first, it was a new disease in China and there were warnings about traveling to or from the area. I had no plans to travel there and thought it wouldn’t affect me, so I kept it moving. Weeks later, we were in the midst of a global pandemic, a national crisis, and a state wide “Stay at Home” order. Surprisingly though, most of these events didn’t interrupt too much of my day-to-day life. I work fully remote at home and my kids are pretty self-sufficient. Aside from my new “co-worker”/hubby sharing office space, some limitations on places that I could go and availability of some items in the stores, the pandemic felt more like a big inconvenience than a national emergency. Our house was pretty well stocked so we just had to wait it out. And that was the plan: sit and wait for this to pass. But then God spoke. He pointed out how unconcerned or #unbothered I was by the current climate. My response? Lord, you’ve provided me & my family with everything we need. I trust you and know we’ll be alright. Why should I worry or be concerned? Then God reminded me of my prayers to become a “lender” and not to be a borrower and said how troubling it was that I wasn’t concerned about how others were doing. Yes, I was fine, but many others were not. I had the ABILITY to help someone but my response, instead, was “I’m good”. Needless to say, that humbled my heart and I asked God to help me become aware of opportunities to assist someone else. Of course, He did.

Though we may not be healthcare workers on the front lines combating the disease, we have other Abilities that enable us to help our neighbors, even from a distance. We can pick up items for our elders during our trip to the store and leave it on their porch. We can call a single friend to keep them encouraged. We can provide a virtual story time for kids with single parents. When Jesus saw the condition of the crowds of people around him, he had compassion for them and didn’t neglect their physical needs along with the spiritual. The scriptures teach us that everyone is given according to their ability. Take a moment to assess your ability. Ask God, what’s your Response-Ability in this crisis?

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