“A group of people who share the same interests, pursuits, or occupation, especially when distinct from those of the society in which they live.”
An artist wishing to create a sculpture must choose a medium like clay or marble over a flat, white canvas. A Shakespearean sonnet means a poem written in iambic pentameter and containing exactly 14 lines. During the Baroque period, composers used the excruciating and tedious rules of counterpoint to pen a masterpiece.
Much like the rules and structures of any art form, the creative force of a community, by definition, lies in its parameters. When referring to a physical place, a community is a specific, three-dimensional area – with boundary lines and city limits. And when a community is gathered around a common belief and mission, the idea is the same: the defining characteristics of a community is the way to maximize the potential of that group for the good of one another and of the world.
It’s a special privilege to be a part of the Grace Brethren community. Our history started in 1708 near Schwarzenau, Germany, where a small group of Christians committed to following Jesus and his Word, no matter what the cost. That passion has been perpetuated in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, believe that every word in the Bible comes from God and gives us direction and hope.
Today, the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches is part of a multi-national network of congregations whose values are defined by the pursuit of biblical truth, biblical relationships, and biblical mission. In the U.S. and Canada, the Grace Brethren movement consists of congregations in more than 250 cities, 20 national and cooperating ministries, and 20 cooperating districts. Outside of North America are more than 3,000 Grace Brethren churches, hundreds of new church starts, and an ever growing number of cooperative ministry initiatives.
The Grace Brethren community isn’t about leaving something out. It is about the restorative potential created because of and within the given limits – to let the beauty come through more vibrantly through a specific framework. It is only within the limits of a community like this that we can nurture deeper relationships, love with more focus and energy, and experience the fullness of relationships the way God intended.
Here at GraceConnect, we want to help you experience the fullness of community through the Grace Brethren Fellowship. To help you do that, we want this newsletterto be a tool and a resource to help you grow in your faith and connect with others. Even more importantly, we hope to embolden you to make use of the best resource you have: a community of believers who love Jesus, his Word, and the church.
We know that the distinctives the Grace Brethren Fellowship adheres to are not entirely comprised of dogma. We know the FGBC isn’t your only community. But that’s not the point: Within this Fellowship of common beliefs and goals are people we can encourage, love, challenge, and bless all the more because of our common ground.
So. We’re switching things up a bit here at GraceConnect. And we want to hear your ideas as we sharpen our methods. Scroll through for a short tour of what’s to come, and feel free to send us your ideas for content! (Click the button below to shoot us an email). Also, feel free to spread the word by clicking on one of the “share” buttons below.
We are excited about what this New Year has to offer, and we hope you are too!
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.