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Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4/18/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4/18/19

This Thankful Thursday is Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday has always been an odd word to me. It makes me wonder, “what does Maundy really mean?” So I googled it and found an answer on Wikipedia that boils down to this: Maundy comes from a Latin word, mandatum, that means command. During the time that Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, he was living the action and new commandment: to live a life based in love.  

This action of service at the Last Supper was followed by Good Friday, the day of ultimate sacrifice and ultimate love by Christ Jesus. Each of humans deserve to be the one hanging on that cross. We in our human state, make mistakes, unwise choices, and unhealthy actions. Despite all of this and more (and maybe because of all of this and more), God calls to us through Christ Jesus. Accepting us where we are. Loving us too much to allow us to stay there. Challenging us to grow into a life greater that we could ever imagine.

For some, the unknown of a life greater than we can imagine paralyzes them. It keeps them from breaking out of the routine of a life they know. Living in that space of comfort and known impact reduces the opportunities to experience multitudes of joy. A baby step of change can have a ripple effect on your awareness of your abilities, the love in your life, and your joy!

Increasing your gratitude is one way to make a baby step change. I know some very grateful people, but even they would say there are more places in their lives they can express gratitude. I challenge you to express gratitude to someone each day this week. “Thank you” goes a long way.

And may I suggest your gratitude for today be lifted to God in thanks for the gift of salvation through His Son, Jesus Christ, who took our place on the cross so that we may have eternal life with our Heavenly Father. So grateful – thank you Father!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15, or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Our Maundy Thursday Lenten Worship is tonight at 7 PM in the Sanctuary. Message is from the Cross Purposes series: Crosshairs. (April 18)

 

Easter Celebrations:

Easter6 AM Sunrise Worship in Gravel Hill Cemetery (if bad weather, held in Sanctuary)

8, 9:15, & 10:30 AM Special music from Kidz Choir, combined Musical Choirs, and Bobby Gernert

9:10 AM Christian Education

Thankful Thursday 4/11/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4/11/19

This Thankful Thursday lands us a week away from Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday is when the Last Supper occurred. The disciples gathered with Christ. Christ served each of them by washing their feet, a job reserved for the lowly servants of the house.

When I think of people who have had a great impact upon me, they take on tasks that serve others without the intent of being “repaid.” The actions taken are done so out of love. The time and thought put into thinking about where I (or the other person they are serving) may need assistance and then transferred into action to fill the need comes from this place of love.

In John 3:16 we hear from our Heavenly Father: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Christ came in love for you and for me. God loves us so much!

I’m so thankful for the undeserved and unconditional love that is freely available for me and for you!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Our Maundy Thursday Lenten Worship is at 7 PM in the Sanctuary. Message is from the Cross Purposes series: Crosshairs. (April 18)

 

Easter Celebrations:

6 AM Sunrise Worship in Gravel Hill Cemetery (if bad weather, held in Sanctuary)

8 AM Special music from Adult and Kidz Choirs

9:10 AM Christian Education

9:15 AM and 10:30 AM Special music from the combined choirs and the Praise team

Thankful Thursday 4/4/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 4/4/19

As we walk through this season of Lent, we work on our relationship with the Holy Trinity while simultaneously working on our relationships with others. This is both exciting for the opportunities before us and frustrating with the setbacks, bumps in the road, and surprises beyond our expectations that arise. Encouragement comes in Joshua 1:9 to “be strong and courageous” as we walk through our days.

These challenges offer the chance to grow in maturity. In Hebrews 6, we are called to move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward toward maturity. We will face tough issues. With God as our guide, we will in our human imperfectness grow steadily towards Christ likeness.

I saw a quote on Facebook this week that has stuck with me: “You will never look into the eyes of someone God does not love. Always be kind.” We are all His creation. Keep going towards His calling for your life. Working for His glory to shine.

Through these efforts we mature. We grow in hope, grace, and love. Grateful for the growth moments and cheering you on in yours!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Lenten Worship Services are on Wednesdays at 6:45 PM in the Sanctuary with the series: Cross Purposes. (April 10)

On Saturday, April 13th at 9 AM, you are invited to the Bunny Brunch at Gravel Hill.

Kids (walkers to 3rd grade): Bring your Easter baskets for the Egg Hunt

Parents: Bring your cameras

Everyone bring your appetite for a delicious breakfast!

Deadline to sign up: April 8th.

 

Maundy Thurday Service is April 18th at 7 PM in the Sanctuary.

Thankful Thursday 3/28/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 3/28/19

On this Thankful Thursday, the weather is beginning to warm. The sun smiles its rays upon the central PA. The birds chirp their songs to the world. Lighter and fresher dishes adorn local menus beckoning us to taste them. And the winds bring smells from afar calling our thoughts to the distant and the possibilities. Our senses awaken as time marches forward into spring!

This awakening not only happens in the physical sense, but also through the intentional process of Lent. When we empty a space in our lives and pause to reflect, we look at where we have been, what impact we have been used to make, and the direction our current focus is taking us. The key with reflection as a Christian is to remember whose we are. In remembering that key point, we look to our Father for the guidance of our lives and His will for their direction.

We may not know the path we will take, but we do know that it will be for the glory of God. To know I can be used in a way that glorifies Him is beyond anything I can imagine or create at my mere human level. I am SO grateful to say I am a child of God. And I love that I can celebrate my many brothers and sisters in Christ being used for glory too!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Lenten Worship Services are on Wednesdays at 6:45 PM in the Sanctuary with the series: Cross Purposes. (April 3 & 10)

On Saturday, April 13th at 9 AM, you are invited to the Bunny Brunch at Gravel Hill.

Kids (walkers to 3rd grade): Bring your Easter baskets for the Egg Hunt

Parents: Bring your cameras

Everyone bring your appetite for a delicious breakfast!

Deadline to sign up: April 8th.

 

Maundy Thurday Service is April 18th at 7 PM in the Santuary.

Thankful Thursday 3/21/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 3/21/19

It’s the first full day of spring! The day is wrought with possibility and hope. Spring also shares a rise in energy levels giving us the fuel to tackle the tasks before us.

Spring cleaning of our rooms clears the dust, dirt, and debris to make space to move, rest, and be. It also takes some mental work to decide what we allow in each space (and what we keep out of each space)! Doing the mental work frees us to have a quick response when we decide in-the-moment if a particular item will “make the cut” to be a part of the space or not.

As we stand before the task of spring clean our spirit, Paul shares: “If we live by the Spirit, we must also follow the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25) This thought follows a list of the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control) which have no law against them. To gain these fruits, we must clear practices from our lives  that oppose these fruits (sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing – Gal. 5:19-21).

Each of us has work ahead. All at various stages in the physical, mental, and spiritual realms we are to encourage each other. Pursue the fruits of the Spirit and the “grace space” in your rooms. Tackling these tasks is hard work and sometimes daunting, but as Timothy reminds us “God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgement.” (2 Tim 1:7)

I thank God for the encouragement He provides us through the Bible, the possibilities of where He can take my life when I turn to Him, and the ability one day to be in eternity with Him. These “grace space” moments are lights in my life for which I am so grateful. Before you spring clean your space, take 5 minutes to find encouragement, direction, or hope in God’s word. It will fuel you like no other.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

3Js 3.22.19 offer

One purchase, double the fuel: you & the Caring Cupboard! Tomorrow only (3/22): Swing by 3J’s Coffee Shop in Palmyra and support the Caring Cupboard. Purchase a coffee drink, mention the Gravel Hill Spring Trail Run, and $1 of your purchase goes to the Caring Cupboard!  Thank you 3 J’s!

Gravel Hill Spring 5K is a walk/run this Saturday, March 23rd. Learn more: click here. Packet Pick up in Holy Grounds beginning @ 9 AM on Friday, March 22 or 7:30 AM Sat, Mar. 23.

Chicken Pot Pie DinnerSaturday, March 23rd is also the date for the 8th annual Pot Pie Dinner! Sign up to eat in (4 PM – 7 PM in Fellowship Hall) or order take out.

Thankful Thursday 3/14/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 3/14/19

Have you been outdoors today? Those lucky enough to step outside experience the kiss of the breeze and warmth of the sun touching their face while hinting at warmer weather. When you pause long enough to draw in a deep breath, your lungs fill with crisp refreshing air. Today whispers of spring, warmth, and life gently urge each of us to greet the day and the small moments awaiting us.

The gorgeous sunrise that welcomed us into our day is just one of the moments carefully and skillfully crafted for us to enjoy. The gaggles of snow geese flying overhead raise a cacophony that beckons our eyes to the sky. The tiny sprout pushing it way up through to the sun reminds us that we too are growing. Looking to the Son for guidance and direction is the best place to look for fulfillment in life .

I thank God for the gifts of these small moments. The joy in my heart radiates through the smile as I soak in the surrounding goodness. And I am grateful.

Take a moment. Look around. Soak up the goodness that surrounds you at this moment. And feel the joy filling you as you connect with these gifts.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Gravel Hill Spring 5K is a walk/run on Saturday, March 23rd. Learn more: click here. Sign up: Register here!

Chicken Pot Pie DinnerSaturday, March 23rd is also the date for the 8th annual Pot Pie Dinner! Sign up to eat in or order take out.

Thankful Thursday 3/7/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 3/7/19

The season of Lent. Defined by www.merriam-webster.com as: the 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday to Easter observed by the Roman Catholic, Eastern, and some Protestant churches as a period of penitence and fasting. Lent is derived from words meaning spring. This 40 day window is a focused gift.

For those choosing to receive the gift, they will go through intentional work to create space in their lives as they keep their eyes focused on Jesus Christ. The space created may come through a physical atmosphere or it may be a time frame scheduled into one’s day allowing mental focus in one area.  Creating the space allows room for the Holy Spirit to enter into your life. When the Holy Spirit has room to move in your life, a shift begins to happen.

When we look through space to the light of God, He highlights the dust particles of our lives. This dust from the positions of comfort softly frames the intangibles one inspects and cleans in their lives. Through our free will of coming to the Father through penitence and fasting, we offer the space for transformation from the Father to become more Christ-like. This spiritual “spring cleaning” prepares us for Easter and the story of our salvation.

Lord, thank you for the opportunity to draw close to You. Guide me as I make space for You to move in my life. May Your Will be done. Amen.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Gravel Hill Spring 5K is a walk/run on Saturday, March 23rd. Learn more: click here. Sign up: Register here!

Chicken Pot Pie DinnerSaturday, March 23rd is also the date for the 8th annual Pot Pie Dinner! Sign up to eat in or order take out.

Thankful Thursday 2/28/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 2/28/19

During this month of love and on this day of thanks, we pause to meet and express gratitude for the Gravel Hill staff. They welcome each of us as we walk through the doors. As we move into Gravel Hill to open our thoughts and spirit to draw closer to our Heavenly Father, the staff has worked diligently to prepare a meaningful worship experience, provide a clean facility, and create connection opportunities for those gathering to become engaged.

Gravel Hill Staff

Each person gathered in these pictures fill their role with a servant’s heart. Many of you have met or seen Pastor Doug, Pastor Shawn, or Visitation Pastor Joe. There are several others who are working behind the scenes to prepare and provide for you. Let’s meet them.

Sundays

Sunday mornings offer a range of opportunities to worship God, learn about Him, and serve others for His glory.

Joyce Lochinger

Joyce

The worship experience is blessed by the creativity of our worship leader, Joyce. She gathers information from the pastor for the message being shared, prepares the media, coordinates information with other staff, and practices with the praise team to provide a meaningful experience for you.

Gravel Hill - Shauna

Shauna

Our Education Minister, Shauna, works to provide content for the Sunday school classrooms, leaders for those classes, and is present each week. She  offers a friendly hello and direction (if needed) to all who arrive to learn about God. The young ones recognize her warm greeting and reciprocate with a smile, giggle, or wave.

 

Tony Rose

Tony

Look behind the drums on a Sunday morning and you may see Lay Mobilizer, Tony. While he is serving through his drumming talent, volunteers are also serving in the Holy Grounds, one of the many connection opportunities Tony organizes for living out God’s call on your life. (Check the Sunday bulletin and Beacon newsletter for more opportunities.)

 

 

 

Weekdays
Dawn Schaffer

Dawn

If you have ever called the church to book a space, ask a question, or get some help, chances are you have gotten to speak with our Business Administrator, Dawn. She handles the flow of facility information. Dawn directs questions and information to the proper places while managing the day to day on site workings and gracefully troubleshoots any snafus that may arise.

Katie Landis

Katie

Our Social Media Manager, Katie, connects Gravel Hill with the digital world. From the website to Facebook to Twitter (check our connections at the bottom of the page), look for weekly posts. And your email can get our monthly newsletter, The Beacon, and/or our weekly Sunday bulletin, Hill Highlights. Click here and scroll down to the form to sign up for your inbox to get some of these Gravel Hill goodies!

These are some of the many faces greeting and serving you at Gravel Hill. And we are grateful for them!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Gravel Hill Spring 5K is a walk/run on Saturday, March 23rd. Learn more: click here. Sign up: Register here!

Chicken Pot Pie DinnerSaturday, March 23rd is also the date for the 8th annual Pot Pie Dinner! Sign up to eat in or order take out.

Thankful Thursday 2/21/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 2/21/19

As I look outside my window, I am thankful to see the sun shining. But I also reflect on yesterday, a day filled with snow, sleet, and more causing most of our family to hunker down inside together. In each of these scenarios, I see the family members surrounding me (physically when they are home asking what’s around to eat and mentally as they are each following the schedules of their day.) These people are a gift.

Thankful Thursday Heart

Both in our time together and our time apart, I know that they are going to be there for me and I for them. The comfort this knowledge brings is also a peace and a confidence. Regardless of the circumstances the love that comes from these relationships sustains the ups and downs of life.

Do those special people in your life know that you are grateful to have them there? Today is a great day to send them a quick text, pop a hand written note in the mail, or cook their favorite meal for them. Let them know you are thinking of them. Let them know how much they mean to you.

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Gravel Hill Spring 5K is a walk/run on Saturday, March 23rd. Learn more: click here. Sign up: Register here!

Chicken Pot Pie DinnerSaturday, March 23rd is also the date for the 8th annual Pot Pie Dinner! Sign up to eat in or order take out.

Thankful Thursday 2/14/19

By | Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday 2/14/19

On the day of celebrating love, many debate the greatest love story ever. Top ten lists rank books, movies, history, or even news headlines that have “the greatest love story ever”. As I search these lists, one story is blatantly missing: God’s love story.

His written love letter in the form of the Bible offers us the full impact of this story AND its capacity to encompass whatever we bring to God and lay before Him.  He has prepared the way for us to come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. He is waiting to welcome us into His loving arms.

Thankful Thursday Heart

The greatest love story ever is happening right now. God is here for you. God transcends time and space. The gift of free will allows you to choose where and when to turn toward Him, but you can not hide. Because where you go, He is there.

When you are ready, you can turn to God in prayer or spend time with Him in the Bible. Pause and notice the blessing of His gifts for you: the ability to hear, think, speak, and breathe. He has placed different people in your life to support, encourage, comfort, and challenge you on your life’s journey.

God knows what you need. Turn to Him. He is waiting for you to experience the greatest love story ever.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Blessings to you!

Experience Opportunities:

All are invited to worship this Sunday at 8:00, 9:15 or 10:30 AM. If you would like to know more about these services, click here. Can’t make it to worship? Or want to revisit a message that really spoke to you? Check out our Sunday Sermons.

Gravel Hill Spring 5K is a walk/run on Saturday, March 23rd. Learn more: click here. Sign up: Register here!

Chicken Pot Pie DinnerSaturday, March 23rd is also the date for the 8th annual Pot Pie Dinner! Sign up to eat in or order take out.