Resources from Grand Parkway Staff | Week of April 12, 2020

People of the Parkway,
I want to encourage you to take just a few minutes to explore the resources provided below.  There is something for everyone so don't miss what might be for you.

Wade Burgess
Executive Pastor

To stay up-to-date throughout the week, you can follow us on social media:

Grow: In our Good Friday Service, Neil mentioned The Heidelberg Catechism of 1562. If you are curious about a modern use of a catechism, take a look at The New City Catechism. It is only 52 questions, is free as a phone app, and includes Scripture readings, short prayers and devotional commentary as well as kid-friendly songs designed to help children memorize each question and answer. 

Do: Second Mile is in need of individuals to volunteer in their food warehouse. Sign up for a two-hour commitment here.

Pray: Click here to see some current prayer needs of our mission’s partners.

The more we act like Jesus, the better we will experience community. In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Then, in John 13, Jesus teaches his disciples once more about love and being a servant by washing the disciple’s feet. Jeremy Treat, in his book called The Crucified King, says that Jesus’ reign can be summarized by three words: compassion, shepherding and service. Whereas Herod’s reign could be summarized by fear, uncontrollable desire and domination.

Think about it: Jesus reigned by serving! And by serving those closest to Him, He developed a community of transformed believers that changed the world. This week, ask Jesus to open your eyes to all the opportunities you have to serve those closest to you and for the grace to do it.

We have been given the honorable task to lead our families. During the COVID-19 stay-at -home order, many of us are faced with new challenges as we lead our families. In his book Covenant Marriage, Gary Chapman describes what he calls the,“daily minimum requirement” for leading your wife, which, in turn, impacts your whole family. He says…

Here is what I call the “daily minimum requirement”: “Tell me three things that happened in your life today and how you feel about them.” Based on a survey I conducted, my conclusion is that 50 percent of the married couples in this country do not meet this daily minimum requirement. When I share this idea with couples, someone in the group will say, “Oh, we already do that,” or “I’m sure we share at least three things with each other every day.” So, I probe. “Great. Share with the group the three things you shared with each other today,” to which they typically respond, “Oh. Well, we didn’t have time to talk today; we had to come to this meeting. You know you have to rush to get here on time.” I say, “Fine. Share with the group three things you shared with each other yesterday.” “Well, uhh. Last night was PTA meeting, and we never have time to talk on PTA night.” “Fine. Share with us the three things you shared with each other the day before yesterday.” “Well. That was soccer night. We don’t ever get a chance to talk on soccer night, especially when we lose.” You, too, may come to the realization that you may not be meeting the daily minimum requirement.

It sounds so simple—even logical—to safeguard your marriage by having short daily conversations with you wife. Men, are you up for the challenge?

After Jesus’ resurrection, He intentionally and graciously lingered on earth, showing Himself to various people and sizes of groups, leaving no doubt that He was the promised Messiah and that He was alive. About 40 days after He rose from the dead, He ascended back to Heaven. About 10 days after that, the promised Holy Spirit—God IN us—showed up in power, and then the ripple effect continued that would ultimately find you and me splashing around in this forgiveness, grace and purpose.

These days after Jesus ascended were critical days. The apostles and the rest of Jesus’ disciples were in the midst of an upheaval of their faith and how they would gather, how they would be structured, how they would endure persecution and how they would be redefined by their love affair with the Risen Savior. Not everybody at their former “church” (temple) agreed that Jesus was the Messiah, so meeting there became untenable. Different reasons, but we also find ourselves in an upheaval of sorts, where gathering is also untenable. It seems to me that it might be interesting, and even challengingly strengthening, to read how the early Church got things sorted in the midst of the upheaval. I’d love for you to join me in a slow and steady reading of the book of Acts, which is the book in the Bible which tells the story of the early Church and the spread of Christianity. As providence would have it, if we begin the readings today, we’ll complete them 40 plus 10 days later, when Pentecost (the coming of the Holy Spirit) would have taken place after the Resurrection. 

If you’d like to join along, you can find the She Reads Truth five-day introduction to Acts HERE, and then the 42-day reading plan for the book of Acts HERE. Maybe for the first time, as you read this book, you’ll feel a little more connected to the uncertainty and conflict and fear and excitement that swirled around this remarkable beginning of the Christian Church.

For all parents: This Sunday, we will be having small groups using Zoom for 5th–12th grade. They can join the meeting by clicking the link below, and they will be put into their small groups from there. Our hope is that this helps the students stay connected to each other and their small group leaders. 

Join Zoom Meeting HERE 

Meeting ID: 952 4508 6736
Password: 001431

Reading plans: We’ve invited and challenged your student to join us in Bible reading plans. You can download the free He Reads Truth or She Reads Truth in your app store and sign up for this plan. 

We will be studying the book of Philippians for the next two weeks. The letter to the Philippians is Paul’s warmest and most personal epistle. Paul wrote to the church at Philippi while he was imprisoned in Rome, thanking them for the kindness they showed him and sharing a surprising truth—despite his chains, he’d found a reason to rejoice. Suffering can be expected in the Christian life, but because Jesus humbled Himself by becoming human and dying for our sins, we can rejoice in all circumstances. This is the message that permeates the book of Philippians. Join us for this two-week reading plan, as we encounter the Savior who makes this unexpected, unrestrained joy possible.

For parents of Students: As you know, our church’s Sunday worship service is now being streamed on YouTube at 10:00am. The discussion for this weeks Zoom meeting will be based on that day’s sermon.

For your Student: As we continue social distancing and being unable to meet in person, keep a look out on our social media for ways to engage with us. Reach out to us and your small group leaders. We miss you guys and want to hear from you!

For Bridge parents: Currently with Bridge students, we’re working our way through the Old Testament. This week we will begin looking at Obadiah and his vision of future justice. We will be discussing this story more during our small group Zoom meeting, so please be sure your student watches the lesson beforehand. The lesson will stream on YouTube at 7pm on Wednesday (and will be available to watch afterward, if you don’t watch it at that time). Here is the discussion guide.

For Bridge students: Hey Bridge kids, check out our Bridge FB page (with your parents permission) to hear more from Mrs. Courtney! 

Moms and Dads, we know the struggle is real and the days are long. We don’t want to add a lot to your to-do list, but we do want to say that you’re doing a great job—hang in there! Here are some ways to connect this week:

For Rainbow Kids (Pre–K/Kinder) and Kids at the Park (1st–4th Grade): We will be hosting zoom calls this week. Please check the email that was sent by Jana on Monday (This Week at the Park | April 13) for times and links.

For the Family: We will join together again for a YouTube lesson that will stream at 7pm Wednesday night. Mrs. Jana and Mrs. Krista will be joining in the live chat! If you can’t make it, you will still be able to watch the video later. HERE is a Family Worship Guide you can use as you watch it.

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