Blog Posts
2019 Year in Review
2019 Year in Review

Graceway Baptist Church • January 03, 2020

January


On January 26th, we hosted a Family Fun Night, where we entertained and encouraged one another with musical selections, speeches and activities. Fun was had by all!



Our Annual General Meeting was held on January 27th, where we planned our ministry and budget for the year ahead.


February


In February, five church members attended the Biblical Counseling Training Conference in Lafayette, Indiana. They enjoyed being equipped to better minister the Word of God to one another.



On February 23rd, the married couples of Graceway enjoyed a Couples' Banquet.


March


At the end of March, Kevin Brosnan of Baptist World Mission brought some challenging messages at our annual Missions Conference.



April


In April, an opportunity to purchase property reminded us of our dependence on the Lord. We began meeting on Sundays at 9:00am for a Morning Prayer Time to seek the Lord's face and ask for His wisdom and provision. Although God led us away from that opportunity, we continue to meet each Sunday morning to pray together in preparation for our services.  


On Good Friday, we gathered to worship and remember the cross of Christ and His great sacrifice for us. On Resurrection Sunday, the choir led us in praise as we celebrated the life we have in Christ because He rose from the dead.


May


In May, we celebrated some personal milestones as the Andres' celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. We also held a baby shower as we welcomed a new life, Brinley Dreise. 


June


June was a busy month beginning with the Downtown Milton Street Festival, where we distributed hundreds of flyers, promoted the upcoming Vacation Bible School, and talked to those who stopped by the Graceway tent.  



We also celebrated the marriage of Michelle Gill and James England with a wedding shower.


Our men's ministry was restarted in June with a Men's Breakfast. Many men also contributed to our summer Church Work Days (one in June, July and August) where we cleaned, painted, upgraded trim and replaced ceiling tiles.  


Recognizing the need for growth in leaders at Graceway, a group of men committed to a Leadership Development Process and began meeting on Sunday afternoons every 2-3 weeks. This is vital for our future and these sessions continue.


July


July was dominated by preparations for The Incredible Race Vacation Bible School. Once again, 30 volunteers had the opportunity to use the facilities of The Dance Shoppe at 725 Main St to minister the gospel to over 100 kids using drama, games, songs, snacks, lessons and crafts.



August


Our annual Church Picnic was a follow-up event to Vacation Bible School and we were blessed to have a good number of VBS families join us for burgers and hot dogs.  It was a beautiful day and some enjoyed water games, while others chatted and got to know people from the community.


September


Thanks to Leonie Raynor and others, our Jr Church program was given an overhaul in September. This was helpful in making our program more effective in ministering the gospel to our children and better utilizing our volunteers.


Pastor Mark Logan joined us for our 37th Church Anniversary where he brought us much needed reminders of the work of God in other places around the world where our Christian brothers and sisters do not enjoy the freedoms we have here.


October


October was perhaps the most momentous month at Graceway since its beginning. After serving as the founder and senior pastor for 37 years, Pastor Walt Isaak handed over the reins to Pastor Scott Ashby at his Ordination Service on October 27th. After defending his statement of faith and call to ministry before a council of visiting pastors, Pastor Scott was recommended to the congregation and was confirmed unanimously to be the Lead Pastor of Graceway.



Truth & Treat Night was held on October 31st as an alternative to Halloween activities. Kids enjoyed an evening of games, pizza, candy and a movie.


November


November was a quiet month after the busyness of the ordination, but the weekly ministries of Sunday School, Junior Church, Kids 4 Truth, Thursday Bible Study and Youth Nights continued. We are grateful for the ongoing, consistent ministries of our teachers and leaders.


December


Christmas is a busy time of year, but the Graceway Choir found time to prepare a few songs to celebrate the birth of Jesus. We then took these songs to Seasons Retirement Home where we enjoyed singing some of the songs of the season with the residents. 


On Christmas Eve, gathered to sing carols, hear preaching, and give thanks for the coming of Christ.  


On December 27 and 28, 16 men contributed to reconstruction of the platform in order to be better stewards of our space. This was a preparation project for the larger renovation phase coming in a few weeks where we will remove the office and build two new classrooms in the balcony.


Other Ongoing Ministries


While it's impossible to mention every aspect of the ministry of Graceway, we are grateful for those involved in the Women to Women Ministry (formerly Ladies' Breakfast), the monthly Doctrinal Workshops (where we are working to improve our Statement of Faith), and Teacher Training sessions (where we are equipping both new and experienced teachers to be more effective in the classrooms). We regularly pray for and support our missionaries around the world.  We continue to work, behind the scenes, through the IgniteUS process, seeking to stay focused on our mission to make disciples. Some are involved in the one-on-one ministries of counseling and the Foundations discipleship course.


May God be praised for His faithfulness in 2019! We look forward to His faithfulness in 2020.

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Community: Gospel Engagement
Community: Gospel Engagement

Graceway Baptist Church • June 07, 2019

If we are going to be healthy and growing in our spiritual lives, we are called to make full use of what some in church history have called the "ordinary means of grace." The ordinary means of grace include the Word of God, prayer and the fellowship of God's people. 


They're called ordinary in that they are not spectacular shock-and-awe signs and wonders. People today normally do not grow in their Christlikeness through some kind of Damascus Road experience of a light shining from Heaven and knocking them to the ground. Rather, we have been given fairly ordinary disciplines of reading and meditating on the Bible, communicating with God in personal prayer, and breaking bread together in regular fellowship with other believers. 


At Graceway, we value and encourage those ordinary means of grace, including that of fellowship in a local body. According to our vision statement (and God's Word), growing in the gospel requires us to be engaged with the gospel and in community with other followers of Christ. 


When we meet together regularly, we worship together corporately, celebrating what Christ has done and will do. We open ourselves up to the ministry of the Word by the leaders God has appointed over us and by the fellow believers in our local body. The Word in community feeds our soul, corrects our viewpoints, and strengthens our faith. 


In turn, our presence and participation in the corporate worship of God's people and the encouragement of God's Word contributes to the spiritual growth of our brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. It also speaks to unbelievers in our midst, of the joy and forgiveness available in Christ.


This weekend, do you plan to part of the community of God's people? Let's engage one another with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

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Loving Truth.  Loving Others.
Loving Truth. Loving Others.

Scott Ashby • March 08, 2019

One of our theme verses at Graceway is John 13:35: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.


This new “commandment” is stated as an imperative, a direct order. But in reality, it’s simply a logical response to the love of Christ for us. Christ’s summary of the law in the two greatest commands (“Love God. Love your neighbour.”) also reflects the connection between the love of God and the love of people. I John 3-4 unpacks this principle more extensively.


Over the next few weeks, I’d like us to consider the implications of the phrase that we’re considering our Passion Statement: Loving Truth. Loving Others. Four simple words. A lifetime of powerful and convicting application. Application that is only possible by God’s grace and the heart-molding work of the Holy Spirit.


The phrase, loving truth, emphasizes that we value doctrine and biblical accuracy. Truth about God is the most important category of truth in the universe. If we get it wrong, we get life wrong. We are stewards of the Truth that God has given us in inspired scripture. If we don’t love truth and the God who revealed it, we will not defend it. We will not study or proclaim it. And we will lose our way, floundering through life along with the rest of lost humanity. So, by the grace of God, we desire to cherish truth, understanding that a love for truth will always be rewarded in the end. Ecc. 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.


Loving others is a condensation of the commands to love our neighbour (Matt. 22:39) and love the brethren (I John 3:14, 16). This is very easy to say, yet so difficult to comprehend and obey. Especially, when we consider that Christ considered these characteristics to be heart motivations, not merely obedient actions out of fear of retribution. One of the greatest aids to our comprehension of these commands is to look to Christ and the model that he provided (Phil. 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.) In other words, look to Calvary for an understanding of love.


Together, the sentences indicate that love involves speaking the truth graciously to one another, even if it hurts. Note the absence of self. We speak truth out of love for others, never for our own gratification. Love requires humility.


The phrase order is important. If our love for others is not founded upon truth, we will simply be the “blind leading the blind” (Matt. 15:14). If our love for truth is not expressed out of love for others, we will be ineffective and misrepresent God’s grace. As Warren Wiersbe has put it: “Truth without love is brutality, and love without truth is hypocrisy.” (Eph. 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.).

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