Winona Lake Church Debuts ‘First Sunday Learning Community’
As part of its emphasis on seeking to be an equipping church, Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church has announced a new series of learning opportunities that are free and open to the public, beginning this Sunday, October 2 at 6 p.m. at the church’s building located at 1200 Kings Highway, Winona Lake.
Beginning Sunday, October 2, the first Sunday night of each month (except November and January) will feature multiple opportunities to learn, to grow, to develop gifting, and to be better equipped for Christian living.
A coffee, fellowship, and get-acquainted time will start the evening at 6 p.m. in the courtyard. Then breakout groups will form for 75 minutes of interactive learning and application. All are welcome to participate without charge. Childcare for children up through age five will be available.
Opportunities for October 2 include:
“How to Put Together a MAP (Ministry Action Plan)” led by Tom Julien. Designed for anyone who leads a ministry in the church (or wishes to in the future), this session focuses on the scriptural and practical guidelines for leading a ministry in a way that really gets results. The facilitator, Tom Julien, is a former missionary to France, former executive director of Grace Brethren International Missions, an author and teacher, a member of WLGBC’s pastoral staff, and he is helping to lead the Leadership Development portion of the Commitment to Common Mission for the FGBC. This ongoing session will be offered each of the First Sunday sessions.
“Biblical Principles for Handling Credit and Debt Management” will be led by David Jones. What does the Bible say about credit? What does it say about debt? Is there “good debt” and “bad debt?” What if I’m drowning in debt? David Jones, who has worked with Lake City Bank in wealth management for 11 years and is also a seminary graduate, brings his unique combination of scriptural knowledge and personal money management skills to provide helpful guidance. In future First Sunday sessions, David will offer additional topics on the Bible and finances.
“The Old Testament Book of Jonah” is led by Dr. Tiberius Rata. Rata, chair of the Bible department at Grace College and Seminary and an effective and frequent preacher at WLGBC. Dr. Rata says, “I am going to do an overview of the book of Jonah including the history of interpretation, exegetical insights, theological reflection, and present-day application.” This session is offered in response to the request for more learning opportunities based on specific books of the Bible.
A “ Leadership Academy” will be led by WLGBC’s lead pastor Bruce Barlow and church moderator Terry White for those wishing to study leadership styles, issues, and how they relate to the church. Topics in this first session will include “A definition of leadership,” “What kinds of leaders does this church need?”, “What is the difference between management and leadership?” and more. Pastor Bruce Barlow is a Grace College and Seminary graduate who leads the pastoral and church staff. Terry White is the publisher of BMH books and is completing an advanced degree in Organizational Leadership. This is an ongoing session, offered each First Sunday.
“I Taught It – But Did They Learn It?” is a stimulating session led by Dr. James Bowling of the Grace College education and institutional effectiveness faculty. Bowling says, “Working with a group of children, teens, or adults in a teaching setting is not easy work. It seems there are always those times that you walk away from a teaching session and you wonder if it connected with them, if they ‘got it’. There are ways of teaching and learning that increase the likelihood that your target group has learned the material, will remember the moral of the story, can tell someone else what they learned that day, and/or apply the concepts to everyday life. This session will give you some of those tools to help you teach and to help them learn.”
“Making a Difference in Our Community” will be led by Jesse and Gladys Deloe. Based on the book Generous Justice; How Grace Makes Us Just by Tim Keller (available from bookstores, Amazon, and on Kindle), this is the first in a series that stretches through all First Night sessions. Gladys Deloe, founder and CEO of Grace In Action USA, a cooperating ministry of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, asks, “Are there neighbors in Winona Lake whose needs we overlook? How can WLGBC make a difference? This course explores biblical teaching on social justice and what’s being done in our community. We will develop plans to make a lasting difference by integrating good deeds and the gospel in our community outreach.” The first night’s session is entitled “What is Doing Justice?—a Biblical Perspective.”
“Studying God’s Word…Digging Deep and Finding God!” will be led by Dr. Mark Soto. Soto is a popular teacher in the Grace College and Seminary Bible department, a former pastor and church elder, and student of God’s Word. He says, “We will look at ways to study the Word of God that will help you find God in the text and grow in your relationship to and with Him.”
“Dealing with Annoying People: Understanding the People in Your Life that Drive you Crazy” will be led by Dr. Christy Hill. Dr. Hill teaches at Grace College and Seminary and is in frequent demand for her retreats and teaching sessions on spiritual formation, women’s ministry, and other topics. About the October 2 session, she says, “We’ll look at social styles/personality traits and recognize some valuable lessons about living and working in a way that promotes the biblical mandates of love and unity.”
No pre-registration for the First Sunday Learning Community sessions is necessary, although for logistics purposes it would be helpful if those planning to attend could e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate the number of people from each family unit planning to attend each session. For further information call the church office at 267-6623.