Where are we located?
Grace Church is located at 360 Hopkins Road in Kernersville, NC.
Grace Church is located at 360 Hopkins Road in Kernersville, NC.
Check here for the church calendar and the most current updates and resources at Grace Kernersville.
Rooted in Christ and the Jesse Tree ornament project resume this Sunday for primary ages. Read more here...
Grace Presbyterian Church longs to make the amazing grace of the good news of the gospel known. As we look at the brokenness around us, in our relationships, work, world, and even our own hearts, we oftentimes are left asking, Who will make this right…who can make me right? The good news is that though we are unable to fix, mend, and heal, God is both able and willing. GPC is not a place of people who have it together, but rather a place of those who are seeking God’s amazing grace.
Wherever you find yourself in this journey, we will walk with you as God transforms us together and magnifies his grace in and through us.
Pastor Randy Edwards
Over the past two years, the older primary aged children have been working on an Advent Christmas project. They have been making Jesse Tree ornaments for their own Jesse Trees.
The Jesse Tree is a medieval motif which potrays the prophetic promise that from the stump of Jesse and new shoot would grow. The Jesse Tree depicts the descendants and sometimes even ancestors of Jesse to recognize their fulfillment in the true Son of David, Jesus.
Here is an example of a Jesse Tree taken from a 12th Century codex held in the library of the Lambeth Palace.
The Jesse Tree Ornament Project is coupled with Rooted in Christ so that students hear and see the single story of the gospel. The ornaments themselves are hung each day in Advent in much the way an Advent Calendar works. Each ornament signifies a specific Old Testament event, theme, or person which points to the coming of Messiah, the Christ.
Because we were unable to continue our project through the pandemic, children will be meeting each week instead of monthly as before. This will allow the children to catch up and finish their ornaments by Christmas.
For those unable to attend on Sunday morning, both the teaching time and the instruction on how to make the ornament will be videoed and posted online each week. You may pick up a packet from the church office the week prior to that week’s lesson, just let Pinkney Greene or Jennifer Edwards know that you are wanting one.
Here is this week’s lesson and the instructions for making the Moses and Ten Commandments Jesse Tree Ornament.
A link for this week’s lesson and questions may be found HERE.
A link for instructions on how to make a Jesse Tree ornament may be found HERE.
Grace is currently planning to resume indoor worship on Sunday, October 18 at 11:00am. At this time, we plan to limit space to 50, and we ask that you wear a mask and practice social distancing in the same manner as we have been practicing so far. Please sign up before hand via the Church Center App HERE.
In addition to the indoor service, Grace will offer Rooted in Christ for children grades K-6 in the Fellowship Hall. You may read more about this opportunity in This Week at Grace Kernersville.
Sunday School at 10 will continue as a hybrid class in which we will offer as both in-person and through Zoom.
The 11am service will be live-streamed and we will continue to offer the Lord’s Supper each week as we have the picnic shelter.
By October 18, it will have been 31 weeks. By most counts only five weeks shy of full term for many humans. This will be a big step and full of emotion for me personally. Let’s continue praying for one another for strength, protection, and wisdom.
The annual Will King Hughes Memorial Blood Drive will be hosted by Grace Kernersville on October 3 from 9:00am to 1:15pm.
You may schedule your appointment HERE or by going to redcrossblood.org. Enter the zip code 27284 and scroll down to Grace Presbyterian. We hope to see you there. Remember, you are giving the gift of life for those in need of transfusions or blood products.
You can read more about Will at the Will King Foundation website HERE.
If you’ve driven up Hopkins Road this weekend, you may have noticed a change as you’ve come to the church building. Grace has a new street sign! This has been close to a five year process, and I am very pleased with the outcome
The new church logo design captures the church facade, the peak roof, the copula, and the cross. Many visitors make comments about the building. They note how the building looks welcoming and inviting. People note how the sanctuary is central to the building’s design. No one, be they children or youth, are far from what is central: worship.
The church has been described as looking like and airplane or boat, and it is true that we are a vessel in which we travel from judgment into joy. We are a lighthouse to the community which the copula pictures for those who drive by along Hopkins each evening as light shines through the copula’s oculus. Lastly, the cross is at the center and is exalted to the highest place. Grace is and Grace desires to be all about the cross.
Prominent on our sign is the word, “Grace.” Grace is all about grace! Our mission statement reads: “Grace Presbyterian Church longs to see the grace of God magnified as He transforms us into: a community that worships, witnesses, and walks in love.” Grace is central; the grace of God is magnified.
In addition we also chose “Kernersville.” This is not to the exclusion of those who don’t live in Kernersville, but sets us apart from all the other “Grace” churches in our area. In addition, our church website and social media accounts identify us as Grace Kernersville. When I identify which Grace church we are, I usually find myself saying: Grace in Kernersville. We are about Grace, and we are in Kernersville. We are here to stay with Kernersville. Incarnational ministry is in our DNA. That Jesus Christ came to dwell among us is a truth reflected in how and why we do the ministry which we do.
So, here’s, Hello to you, Grace Kernersville!
Through the month of September Grace Kernersville will be transition its Church Data Management software to Planning Center. Planning Center will allow us to more efficiently track and maintain membership information, plan worship services, process online giving, sign up for events, and manage ministry teams and groups within our congregation.
In addition, an online Directory is available. Over the next week, the leadership will be contacting the congregation about how to login and download the smartphone app, Church Center. You may view Grace Kernersville’s Church Center Site HERE.
There are couple of exciting things happening which I’d like to let you know about.
Firstly, Michael Kuehn is releasing a new EP on Friday, August 21st, and Grace Kernersville will be hosting a release concert at 7:30pm followed by a discussion with Michael about his music and the EP. I know you’ll enjoy seeing Michael and will love hearing his music. Here is the link to the livestream: Good and Glory EP Release.
Also, Jennifer Edwards has installed a tapestry weaving exhibit for Ordinary Time titled, Woven Together. You may read about the weavings and the process in making them on her blog HERE and HERE. As you may recall Jennifer used articles of donated clothing to make these weavings. In so doing she has visual captured the way lives are woven together. She has third and final post explaining the tapestries to come out soon. Have a look at images below.
This Sunday, Grace Kernersville begins a new series on the Psalms. In this series we will be looking at the prayers of the Psalter and how these Bible prayers can become the language of the heart. In them we discern an ongoing dialogue between the psalmist and God, between us and the psalmist, between the psalmist and their own circumstances, and even between the psalms themselves. In this ongoing dialogue, we are given the tools to chart a course through our circumstances, feelings, and experience into a walk with God through life. A walk that is entered into by faith.
In the Psalms, we keep company with the righteous whether that is David, Moses, Asaph, Solomon, the sons of Korah or countless unattributed authors. It is good company. and though the circumstances, language, and metaphors are a bit different than our own, we hear in their voices the same fear, confusion, need, gratitude, and thanksgiving.
Grace Kernersville resumed gathered worship in a modified way this past Sunday. This was the first time since March 22 we had physically gathered for worship, and it was the first time since February that we had received the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. It was a morning of expectation, and I sensed deep appreciation among those gathered for the opportunity, and our worship was full of gratitude.
Yet, there was a tinge of sadness. Our numbers were limited to under thirty people. We were socially distanced and masked. We were outside in the morning heat in our picnic shelter and not in the climate controlled building worshipping in the comfort of our sanctuary. The elements of the Lord’s Supper were one of those single, prepackaged, shipped-in-box-of 250 MRE’s. It all, we all, didn’t look like much. Yet, on the other hand, it seemed to be just about perfect.
As I am wont to do, the clause, “it doesn’t look like much” got me thinking and I turned it into a poem which I posted earlier this week on my personal blog. I think it important for us to look closely at the gap between what we want and long for and the disappointing reality which we are oftentimes offered. This space as one other pastor has said is the gap where the grace of God stands in stark contrast. It is the gap wherein the gospel fits, bridges, and shines. The grace of God on one level may, at first glance, not look like much, but for those who look closely it is far greater than we dare hope or even can imagine.
I share the poem here together with a recording of me reading the poem.
You may listen to me read the poem via the player below.
It doesn’t look like much, no high altar,
No stained glass; it’s just a picnic shelter:
With a concrete floor and wooden tables.
It may not have looked like much,
But God first spoke, first reached with hands to touch
Us in a village stable.
We don’t look like much, not more than thirty
In our number gathered on a Sunday,
Scattered here to hear of Him who freed us.
They may not have looked like much:
Uncouth, unschooled yet bold in the clutch—
All knew they’d been with Jesus.
This doesn’t look like much, this plastic cup
Of juice, this tasteless bread, on which we sup,
Sealed in cellophane for distribution.
It may not look like much,
But the wicked and proud ne’er fed on such
A feast of absolution.
Yes, it isn’t much, only bread and wine
Bur it’s more than food on which we dine
It speaks pledge through sign, by words unspoken.
It may not look like much,
But here is promise more than enough:
He still loves and is for you, broken.
© Randall Edwards 2020. This poem is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and my blog (backwardmutters.com).
Psalm 6 is an Ordinary Prayer. It is not one of the happy ones. It speaks of an incredibly common and poignant moment of human experience, a moment of vulnerable sadness. Basically, the psalmist is saying, “I’m falling apart.” That about sums it for me sometimes. It may be that the only thing you feel like you are able to do is just keep it together. In these moments, crying out is what one does. The question is do you have an assurance that there is anyone to cry out to?
Commentator Dale Ralph Davis has this to say about the Hebrew name for the Lord, YHWH (The Way of the Righteous in the Muck of Life). He writes that when the Lord gives his name to Moses, he isn’t saying something about his being, “I will be what I will be.” Rather as Davis says, “he is talking about — ‘But I will be with you’. So Exodus 3:14 means ‘I will be present is what I will be.’ In light of verse 12, God does not here stress his being or existence so much as his presence. And ‘Yahweh’ captures and summaries that thought — he is the God who will be present to all that his people need him to be. ‘Yahweh’ means the God who is present to help.”
So, in keeping with Dr Davis’ input, rather than using the title Lord, I am choosing to use the personal name of God — whose name that means “the God who is present to help.” Below is my paraphrase of Psalm 6. I hope you can make use of it as a prayer. But more so, when it feels like your life is turned all upside down, you will know that Yahweh is present to help.Yahweh, don’t speak hard to me when you’re mad, or jerk me up when you’re rightly upset. Please give me what I don’t deserve, Yahweh, for I am withering; I need gathering up, Yahweh, for my resolve is shaken. My life is turned all upside down. But Yahweh? When? O when? Over here! Yahweh! Rescue me! Rescue me because your love never gives up. Who remembers you when they are dead? Who praises you from inside a coffin? I am so tired…so tired of crying; Every single night I set myself afloat in a river of tears; my mat is wet with wailing. My eyes can’t cry anymore tears I’m so sad; I can’t see for all the enemies around me. Get away! You who think its your job to do evil, For Yahweh has heard my cry, Yahweh has taken up my cause. Every one of them! Their faces will blanch white and their knees will knock, They’ll turn and run away at the first sight. © Randall Edwards 2020. This paraphrase of Psalm 6 is for Christ’s church. If it is helpful, please feel free to copy or reprint in church bulletins, read aloud, or repost. I only ask that an attribution be cited to myself (Randall Edwards) and my other blog (backwardmutters.com)