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Weekly Newsletter 10/27/2022

Greetings!

1. This past Sunday at the evening service at GFC we had a new group of brothers and sisters join the church. I will remind you that it is important for many of the new members to get used to the flow of things and become functioning parts of the body of the church. For this to occur, it is imperative that we participate in this via prayer, inviting them to our house, visiting them (if you can’t accept them yourselves then ask to come to their house 🙂 ), offering help, inviting them to home groups, or spending a weekend together. Further down in the letter you can find the pictures and names of the new members.

2. This week many people around us will be celebrating Halloween. Some are asking for our stance on this holiday. What do we recommend? How should we react and behave during this time?

“Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20)

This holiday shows how quickly standards among believers become muddied up. Perhaps this happens because of a lack of knowledge or perhaps from a lack of strong convictions. Let’s try to clarify the situation.

This holiday began by mixing the Christian holiday of All Saints Day (celebrating martyrs and the saints of the past) with the Celtic festival of Samhain which was dedicated to dead spirits. When these two holidays were mixed, during the celebrations there were young hooligans walking around houses and demanding treats for their parties, and if they didn’t receive any, the people risked some sort of retaliation, hence trick-or-treat.

We don’t have anything in common with this. This holiday has Satanic roots. But this is a special time for prayer and spiritual fighting. We don’t celebrate this holiday because we believe in the reality of demons and the realm of unclean spirits (1 Cor. 10:19-20 – an idol is nothing but those participating in these things can serve demons).

“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5). We need to remember this important principle in Scripture: a free conscience and a genuine desire to please God when choosing whether to participate or fully abstain from this holiday (14:6).

Are there any suggestions or specific advice? Yes, here are a few:

  • – Gather some friends at your house to spend the evening of the 31st in prayer (you can do this with your family or small group).
  • – We don’t recommend walking around with your kids gathering candy… By this you are actively supporting the thrust of this holiday (celebrating the powers of evil).
  • – If you still want to celebrate something with your kids, celebrate Reformation Day. We talk a lot about the Reformation and about the time when Protestantism was born, but very few kids (even adults) know what happened 500 years ago in Europe. Prepare an abstract or a trivia game on the topic of the Reformation.
  • – Spend this time for evangelism. At a minimum you can write a short message on your door that you don’t celebrate this holiday but that you’d still like for the people to receive a present, and then you can leave some gospel tracks for them. Depending on the neighborhood and your heart’s desire, you can even give out candy along with gospel tracks to those who come and knock on your door. It’s an opportunity to share with kids about the reality of death, evil, and that Christ came to free us from the slavery of sin.
  • – If you are pressured to wear a costume at work or at school, consider this to be an opportunity to show that you are different and your faith in Christ is real. It’s an opportunity to explain the Gospel to others.
  • – This is a good opportunity for parents to explain to their kids the reality of the spiritual world, the reality of the powers of evil, and to direct them to Christ.
  • – In either case, remember that every believer in Christ is under His protection and we have nothing to fear. Christ has already conquered the powers of evil on the cross and we, His people, have the promise of His protection (Ps. 91:9-10).

3. A prayer request: The Elder Board will be going on a retreat from Sunday evening to Tuesday evening. This is a special time for prayer and studying Scripture which will help the Elder Board to properly assess where we are as a church and in what direction God wants us to be moving. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would fill us with power, wisdom, and grace in the guidance of the church.

Continue supporting the churches working among the people who have suffered from the war in Ukraine: https://gfchurch.com/ukraine/

The Scripture memory text – Lamentations 3:21-23

21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Below are the services and meetings for this weekend:

Thursday (6:30 PM) – Children’s Bible School (open to all but required for parents), followed by Bible Study (Proverbs) for the whole church at 7:30 PM.

Friday (7:00 PM) – United Worship Night; part of the PCSBA conference; service in English (open to all).

Saturday (5:00 PM) – PCSBA combined worship service with Communion (in Russian; open for all).

Sunday services:

  • – Worship Service in Russian at 9:00 AM
  • – Worship Service in English at 11:15 AM

Upcoming Events:

  • – November 4 (6:30 PM)– Women’s prayer night on the topic of “Practical Evangelism in the Life of a Christian Woman” (open to all women and young girls from 9th grade and up)
  • – November 13 (6:00 PM) – Family Evening Service

On behalf of the elders of GFC

Timothy, Inna, and David Akrachkov
Alexandr and Anastasia Botnari
Karina Genrik
Vitaliy, Kateryna, and Evelina Gubceac
Angela Kislitsa
Boris and Heli Korpela
Oleksandra Lastivka
Svetlana Leschinsky
Oleksii and Olesia Nahorniak
Stella Nedorezov
Andrii and Olya Novichkov
Lyubov Ryzhov
Marina Sentsova
Jacob and Svetlana Voronin

* No photo included, but also accepted as a new member is Aleksandr Amelchenko

Donations

We are very grateful for your willingness to financially assist the work of God. It is especially important during the time of trial.
You can do it in several ways:

CHECK

Write a check to Grace Family Church with your indicated amount. Send it by mail to the church address
Grace Family Church,
7031 Watt Ave, N.Highlands, CA, 95660.

Bring the checks to the church campus and drop them into the mailbox located on the wall of the church building at the entrance to the office.

CREDIT CARD

Donate online via internet using PayPal or a credit card – click Donate button below

VIA ZELLE

Sign on to your online banking.
Select send money with Zelle.
Add [email protected] as the recipient Enter your amount and send

All donations are tax deductible. God bless you!