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Planning Team Update

Planning Team Update: 11/13/16

The Planning Team is encouraged to see many of the goals and plans set earlier in the year coming to fruition. Here's where we are so far:

  • Missional Living (Community, Care, Outreach)
    • Stories & Opportunities are now regularly incorporated into services
    • Saturate workshops
      • Staff and leaders attended two workshops earlier this year.
      • Grace hosted a Saturate workshop in October (with Jeff Vanderstelt then sharing the message on Sunday)
    • Upcoming Equipping and Training
      • Shepherding Workshops on 11/16 & 11/19.
      • More classes and training being planned for early 2017.
  • New Structure and Budget set in September
    • Created Lead Pastor profile for Search Team
    • Job Descriptions being reworked over fall / winter to incorporate vision and goals.
  • Reconnecting and Expanding Network
    • Continuing to work more with Grace Blue Ridge in Hendersonville and Grace Foothills in Tryon.
    • Beginning to collaborate with several local churches; loking for ways to work together.
  • Commitment to ongoing church planting
    • After much prayer and discussion, Session approved Brian Land to plant a church in Brevard. Official time table TBD.
    • Brian will begin forming core group and initial plans but will REMAIN teaching pastor at GCC until a new Lead Pastor joins us.
    • Please keep in mind, we are not looking for people to attend new plant out of convenience (location) but rather commit to the vision for reaching Brevard and surrounding community.



Planning Team Update: 9/25/16

The following items were discussed at the Congregational Meeting on 09/18.

  • Denomination Decision - Grace will remain in the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA) and will be planting an Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC).
  • Budget Update - Finance Committee has approved a $1.525 million budget for the 2016/2017 fiscal year.
  • Saturate Conference in October with Teaching Pastor, author, Jeff Vanderstelt
  • Leadership Retreat for Elders and Deacons - Transitional pastor, Tony Giles will lead elders and deacons in a one-day leadership training retreat October 15th



Planning Team Update: 7/31/16

gilestony2It was recommended by Grace’s advisory board to consider a transitional pastor to serve for a period of time with the purpose of shepherding, officer and leadership training and preaching occasionally. After considering a few recommendations Grace’s Session made the decision to hire Tony Giles as our transitional pastor. Tony is an Assistant Pastor with Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Franklin, TN. Cornerstone is committed to serving other churches and ministries and is supportive of a portion of Tony’s time being spent with Grace. Tony spent the last week meeting with both staff and elders. His next visit is planned for August 11 - 19 where he will continue to meet with staff, elders and key leaders.

Tony will be available in Room 304 between services and during the 10:30AM service on Sunday, August 14 to meet the Grace body. Please plan to stop by that morning to meet him.

Tony is a native of Nashville where the Lord captured his heart as a senior in high school and began to gently and thoroughly re-orient his life around the gospel. Seven years later with a degree from Vanderbilt University, and three years of ministry with Young Life, he headed south with his new bride, Mary Lynn to Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. They made their home in Charlottesville, Virginia for the next 24 years where he fell in love with the church as both Associate Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church and Director of Undergraduate Ministries at the Center for Christian Study. He returned to Nashville in 2008 and served as interim Senior Pastor at Christ Community Church (Founded by Scotty Smith) in Franklin, TN. He currently serves on staff as Assistant Pastor to Nate Shurden at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (PCA) a relatively new church plant established in 2010 in Franklin, TN as a “granddaughter” church of Christ Community Church.

Tony’s ministry through the years has revolved around shepherding, spiritual formation and leadership development. The two great surprises of his life: the lavish grace of the gospel and that he finds himself a pastor. Tony and Mary Lynn have two adult daughters, Rebecca Giles and Mary Grace Bundrick.

Tony Giles, introduced on July 31, will be serving as a transitional pastor for Grace. Below is an article he wrote for his congregation and was printed in their bulletin last Sunday, July 31. It explains his church’s desire to serve the larger body of Christ as well as his role and purpose with Grace.

Connections are not just for job leads. The best connections are a partnership of sorts, offering support, direction, insight, and perspective.

That’s some of what we mean when we say that we are a “connectional church.” We are not alone on an island but part of an ecclesiastical family connected in substantial ways. Here are four.
Identity: the people of God, the body of Christ and the fellowship of the Spirit
Convictions: the Scriptures and the Westminster standards
Mission: the Great Commission and the glory of God
Message: the Gospel of Jesus Christ

The leadership at Cornerstone has graciously agreed to connect to one church outside the bounds of our Nashville Presbytery for a season. Grace Community Church in Mills River, North Carolina – just south of Asheville – is a 24 year-old church currently navigating through difficult waters and decisions to move forward. They have invited an outside voice into their midst to serve as a rudder while they search for a new pastor. And no, that will not be me.

But at their invitation, I have agreed to spend approximately one week a month for the next 6 months coaching ministry leaders and guiding the session and staff through difficult circumstances. In fact, I’m writing this from a hotel room in Arden, NC with a week full of appointments designed to listen and learn before proposing critical and strategic “next steps” for the church. My return trips will be to help the leadership implement some of those measures to do all that we can to insure that when the next pastor arrives, Grace Community is a gospel healthy community.

Until then, please pray for my time with a very gifted staff and very godly, gospel-centered group of elders. And for me as I preach from Ephesians 3 and 4 this morning. All these “connectional churches” are but a subset of God’s new society – formed by Him for His purposes and our good. That’s a project that he is committed to completing by fulfilling his promise and manifesting his presence. That’s just what he is doing today in Asheville, North Carolina and Franklin, Tennessee and many other gatherings in between.

*Edit: Tony had the opportunity to meet many of the Grace body on August 14. Thanks to everyone who took the time to introduce yourselves and welcome him to Grace.