Each year, at the national conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches delegate and approve “Resolutions for Social Concerns,” which are adopted by the fellowship and printed in the Grace Brethren Handbook each year.
Bud Olszewski, pastor at Rittman Grace Brethren Church, remembers being approached by some of the members of his congregation, asking about the resolutions and about the position of the Grace Brethren Fellowship on those issues. So Olszewski decided to prepare a sermon series about it.
Starting in September, Olszewski began preaching each Sunday on the resolutions, covering topics such as religious freedom, relationships and sexuality, prayer and persecuted church, voting, integration, and a final sermon encouraging the congregation to spend time with Jesus, fellowship with the body of Christ, and share the gospel with others.
“The neat thing about [the sermon series] is that it allowed an opportunity to address the culture and clearly state where we stand,” he notes. “It also happened to lead up to this year’s elections.”
He finished the series a few weeks ago.
“I’ve been getting good feedback. I’ve had people in their 60s and 80s be very appreciative of it — some of those people who think society is going the wrong way. And people in their 20s and 30s know that’s where we should be but didn’t know why. I’ve had young mothers and men who are executive leaders each come up to me and say they are really glad to have a scriptural background for why we do or do not believe in certain things and trying to bathe all of it in grace.
“Sometimes when we’re older we feel like ‘everybody knows that’ but we need to win the next generation every ten years or so and help them understand the clarity of what God is saying and also why he is saying it.”
Olszewski said it is probable that he will do a similar sermon series in a few years.
“These issues are things that national fellowship deems as important and they play out in our communities as well. Making sure we understand them helps connect to the culture today.”
This story first appeared in GraceConnect eNews. To subscribe to the weekly e-newsletter that includes news and information from congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, click here.
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