Dear Grace City Church,
I hope this finds you well and that you've been able to enjoy some downtime over the past few weeks. Earlier this month Natalia and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary with a trip to New York and were then able to explore the Thousand Islands area with Zara and Joshua. We've loved having lots of family time together over the past few weeks, and are grateful to the church for understanding our need for rest as well. We're also thrilled to say that our family will be growing even more as Natalia is pregnant and will be due this February!
With that said, we've also known challenging times during the past few weeks and have heard stories of others in the church who have known the same. Friends, whether it's in celebration or in trials, we can press forward knowing our God is faithful. Romans 8:31 reminds us that, "if God is for us, who can be against us?" God has given His very best in giving us Jesus. As we head into the coming months together, let's trust that our God is with us, our God is for us, and our God will continue to show us grace upon grace as we aim to help people follow Jesus, raise leaders, and start churches.
Here are some key details about the weeks ahead:
Launching into September at the Ottawa Art Gallery
Our Sunday services start again on Sunday, September 2nd at 10:30am with a service at the new Ottawa Art Gallery (AOG). The AOG is a stunning facility and is located close to the Shaw Centre (here's a map link). The gallery is also free to visit, so plan some extra time after the service to explore their exhibits. We'll be back at the Shaw Centre the following week on September 9th.
We're also planning to have bring-and-share lunches after our services in September. In the past, we've found these lunches have been key in helping us reconnect with each other following the summer break, and helping newcomers get to know people in the church. We'll post more information soon about the lunches, but please plan on attending as many as you can!
Sharing church news
We've been working on a number of ways to communicate key information to the church and we hope at least one of these ways will serve you well.
Text Updates // We are relaunching our text message system with a new provider and hope the new system will prove more reliable. We will be moving away from weekly text updates and will instead use the text system for key, church-wide information such as venue changes and other key announcements, etc. To opt-in to receive these messages, please send your name to 613-800-6195.
Email Newsletter // We are also introducing an email newsletter that will carry the same information. To subscribe, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to our email newsletter list.
GRACECITY.CA/NEWS // And finally, we have added a news section to our church website at gracecity.ca/news We'd encourage you to bookmark that page and check it for updates.
When it comes to how you receive news, please choose the ways that work best for you. We'll do our best we can to keep you updated with key info about what's happening in the life of the church.
Week of Prayer
Once again this year we will be having a week of prayer that will help us launch into the fall semester. These times of church-wide prayer have been very special throughout our short history as a church. They allow us to enjoy time with God before we spend time for God. Anything truly good and lasting in our church will not come about solely through our own efforts, it is God who causes true growth. Prayer is how we enjoy hearing Him speak to us and us to Him.
As part of our week of prayer, there will be a church prayer and worship evening on Wednesday, September 26th from 8-9:30pm (venue TBC) and a prayer morning before our Sunday service on September 30th from 8:30am - 9:30am. All are very welcome to attend.
And finally, we are very excited to be launching our Life Groups this fall across the city. Groups will start the week following our week of prayer, which will be the first week of October. Plans are still being finalized, but we'll be in touch with more information about group leaders, times and locations as soon as possible.
Church, we love being on mission in Ottawa with each of you. We're excited for this year and all that God is going to do in us and through us. As always, if we can serve you in any way please let us know.