UPDATED - JULY 16, 2020

July 19 In-Person Worship Services

Dear Church Family,
 
Words can only begin to express the joy of being able to gather together as a church family these past two weeks. From these limited gatherings we have learned much and we will continue to learn and put into practice all the measures that we can in order to be as safe as possible as we continue to gather together as the Lord allows. 
 
Thank you church for all of your love and support and patience during this season. Our Savior is at work growing us in love, grace, and unity, and we thank him for that. 
 
This Sunday we will be opening up our worship service to any who would like to attend. Please register by clicking the link below. We will still need to pay close attention to our numbers so as to be able to ensure proper social distancing. 

Sign Up for the July 19 Worship Service here >>
 
If we see that our numbers are getting too large we will plan to have two services. But for now we believe one service will be sufficient. 
 
Also, please don't forget that masks are required in the building at all times, doors will open at 10:00am, and that the ushers will show you to a seat.  
 
We understand that many are still unable to attend. We will continue to live stream the service both on our YouTube channel and on Facebook live. You can find the recordings of all our services and Bible studies on our YouTube Channel.
 
Please know that we care deeply for you and are praying wholeheartedly for you and for the day when we can all gather together again. Please continue to pray for us and for one another. Praying for the glory of God to be revealed in every situation and in each of us.
 
Your Pastors


UPDATED - JULY 1, 2020

July 5 and July 12 In-Person Worship Services

Church Family,

This is our plan for the next two weeks and then we will reassess.

Those of you with last names A-L are invited to join us in-person this Sunday, July 5 at 10:30am for worship service.

If you are planning to attend please use the link below to sign up for you and your family. The attendance count will help us plan as we make preparations for Sunday morning.

A-L sign up here (one submission per household):
Please sign up by Friday, July 3 by 6:00pm.
Sign up for July 5 >

Those of you with last names M-Z are invited to join us next week on July 12

M-Z sign up here (one submission per household):
Please sign up by Friday, July 10 by 6:00pm.
Sign up for July 12 >

Please remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing inside the building. We also ask that you arrive early so our ushers can seat you before the service starts.

If you are not planning to attend then you do not need to sign up. Our worship service will continue to be available to view on our live stream:

https://www.youtube.com/c/GraceBaptistChurchBowie/live

We are eager for the day when our entire church can reunite. Until then, we look forward to worshipping with those of you who can join us this Sunday! 

Your Pastoral Team

 

UPDATED - MAY 22, 2020

Plans for Gathering Corporately

Dear Church Family,

As our government continues to work through the process of reopening our community for public gatherings, and in light of the President’s latest directive today regarding the essential nature of religious organizations, we want you to know that the elders of Grace have already been prayerfully planning what regathering will look like for our church family. For the past several days we have been talking through a process for regathering that will be the safest and most beneficial for us as a local church family, and we feel it is best to stay committed to that process. To be sure, regathering will occur in phases, beginning with meeting in-person for Sunday worship gatherings.

Below you will find a short survey that will help us plan for the future regathering of our church. We appreciate you taking a moment and filling it out for your household.

Take the survey: https://forms.gle/ugTVRaM6MxrccKDN6

We care deeply about your well-being and have already begun to prepare for gathering by providing a clean and safe environment for you and your family. Here are some of the steps we are taking to ensure that the church building is safe.

While we maintain a regular system of cleaning and disinfecting, we are tailoring the cleaning to respond to needs associated with COVID-19. Here are some of the enhanced cleaning procedures we have implemented so far:

1. UV Lights in A/C systems: We have had installed a system of ultraviolet lights and oxidizers in the HVAC systems in the entire building. These units kill airborne viruses and help to prevent viruses on hard surfaces.

2. Increased cleaning of worship areas and bathrooms: We use commercial/hospital grade disinfectants to clean, spray, and disinfect these areas. We will clean, spray, and disinfect before, between, and after each worship service.

3. Focusing on “high-touch” areas: We will disinfect these areas multiple times before, during, between, and after each worship service.

4. Sanitation stations: Sanitation stations will be placed at each entrance/exit and throughout the facilities.

5. Closure of unused areas: Certain areas of the building have been closed off. This will limit the areas we have to disinfect during our scheduled service times.

As we move further into the calendar year and as the regulations and guidelines change, we will adjust as needed. We will take the necessary steps to help protect our church family during these times. We want you to feel safe and protected when we eventually enter and use the facilities.

We pray towards the day when we can all gather together again safely in love and unity. And we ask and pray that everyone will do all they can to stay connected to the body of Christ locally as we continue to navigate our way through this unique time. We will continue to live stream our Sunday Morning Service (10:30 am), Wednesday Prayer Meeting (7pm), and Tuesday Bible Study (10:30 am). In addition, we look forward to offering a few more virtual classes this summer for adults, including The Gospel Project. This is also a good time to consider joining a small group for connection to one another and God’s word.

Thank you church for your continued prayers, support, and patience with us as we navigate this challenge together. May God be glorified in all we do.

Your Pastoral Team

Again, please take a moment to fill out our congregational survey: https://forms.gle/ugTVRaM6MxrccKDN6


UPDATED - APRIL 15, 2020

Food Drive for Bowie Food Pantry

We're hosting a food drive for the Bowie Food Pantry at Jireh Place. We'll have a trailer and the church pick-up truck parked in the front where you can pull up and drop off your food items.
 
Volunteers will be there to assist with drop off as well. We'll follow all the rules of social distancing, wearing of masks and gloves. Also, all the GBC pastors will be there to say hello and thank all those who will be dropping off.
 
The drop off dates and times at Jireh Place:
 
Sunday, April 19, 3-5 PM
Tuesday, April 21, 5-7 PM


The pantry needs:
Soups, beans, spaghetti sauce, canned meat—like chicken or tuna, dry pasta, tuna, peanut butter, healthy snacks.

Please share this info on social media so we can have a great turnout to support this local ministry that is doing so much good in our community.


UPDATED - APRIL 10, 2020

Easter for the Church Scattered

UPDATED - APRIL 8, 2020

Updated Prayer List

Dear Church Family,

Here is a link to an updated list of prayer needs. There are some urgent needs so please be praying for one another! You can join the church in prayer at our Prayer Meeting on Wednesdays at 7:00pm on our livestream.


UPDATED - MARCH 27, 2020

Devo - We All Want Good News

UPDATED - MARCH 26, 2020

Services and Children's Ministry

Dear Church Family,

It has been a blessing to see you continue to be the church to one another even as we are scattered. We face an uncertain future, but we know that God is holding us in the palm of his hand. In light of this uncertainty we wanted to make you aware that all of our physical gatherings for church services and ministries will be suspended indefinitely. We will continue with live streaming of our services through the church website. Please continue to check your e-mail and the website for updates. 

The church leadership is continuing to find unique ways to stay connected and to keep Christ and the gospel at the center of our church family.

We will continue to live stream our Sunday morning service at 10:30 AM and Wednesday evening prayer meeting at 7 PM. 

Pastor Brady will continue the Ambassadors’ Bible Study for anyone interested on Tuesdays at 10:30 AM. 

Pastor Bill will be doing a video Bible Study with the 24/7 high school group on Tuesday evenings at 7 PM.

CHILDREN'S MINISTRY

Our children’s ministry team and the Awana leadership have been working hard on a plan to keep children connected and to continue to study and memorize God’s Word. Please look for e-mail communication to come from our amazing Awana Commanders, Eric and Candi Jewell, in the next week or so.

For Sunday mornings, there are lessons that are available each week for children’s Sunday School from our curriculum provider, Lifeway. If you did not receive the e-mail from Pastor Jamie last week regarding this, and would like to, please e-mail him at jmiller@gbcbowie.org so you can receive the lessons starting this weekend. 

Also, children’s church will be recorded each week and available for families. A devotional sheet will be provided that your child can print each week and save for when we gather together again. You can find the devotional sheets here. Children will receive CC shares for completed notes and for completed devotionals. Here is the link for the children’s church message this week, titled Fear of the Unknown. Each of these children’s services will be about 30 minutes. Please remember that we are here for you as you disciple your children and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. Let’s not let staying home result in idleness, but rather, let’s continue to disciple our children, teaching them God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

Church, we continue to pray for you in these trying times. May you find the peace of Christ, that passes all understanding, to be your sustaining grace each day.

Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jamie


UPDATED - MARCH 23, 2020

Church Office Closed starting March 24

Dear Church Family,


As we continue to submit to the requests of the governor and to love our community and staff well, the church leadership has decided to close the church office starting tomorrow, March 24. While you will not be able to physically come into the church, you can still call and e-mail the church office. The office phone will be redirected to our church secretary, Kristen, during regular office hours. She will continue to respond to e-mails. If you have financial questions, Mike Beckman can still be reached through his phone or e-mail, and the pastoral staff are always available through their personal cell phones and e-mail. 

While much of our staff will be working remotely, we still plan to continue to provide live streams for the following times:


Sunday Morning Worship Service:  10:30 AM
Tuesday Bible Study:  10:30 AM
Wednesday Prayer Meeting:  7:00 PM


If you have been dropping off your offering checks in person, you can still do that through an external mailbox that we have mounted on the wall outside of our main foyer doors. You can also mail your offering or switch to giving online. Thank you church for your continued love and support during this time, and we are praying for you as you continue to shine your light at home and in your community as ambassadors of Christ.


Your brothers in Christ,
The Pastoral Staff


UPDATED - MARCH 20, 2020

Church Office Closed starting March 24

UPDATED - MARCH 18, 2020

Services and Giving

Dear Grace Family,
 

We are witnessing something that is unprecedented in our lifetime. The Coronavirus continues to strip away every aspect of normalcy. Millions of Americans are being adversely affected by the increasing shut down of businesses, restaurants, and every day activities. Understandably, this has led to many of us feeling an elevated sense of stress and anxiety over the impact this crisis will have on our personal lives.

 

Perhaps most striking is the current emergency order prohibiting groups like our church from gathering to worship. The fundamental nature of any church is their ability to gather and worship. To suspend the gathering of our church is an extraordinary measure meant to show love to one another and to our neighbors as we seek to limit the spread of this virus among us.

 

The leaders made the difficult decision to cancel our worship service on March 15. We want to share with you that we will also be canceling our worship service for the next two weeks, March 22 and March 29. Stay tuned for updates on future weeks.

 

As you can imagine, this will be a difficult challenge for our life together as a family. This is why we offered a live-stream of our entire Sunday service this past week. The leaders believe this is a God-honoring and creative way for us to stay connected as a church even when we can’t gather. We were able to sing, pray, and listen to God’s Word together. We had over 300 users logged in on Sunday. We estimate that to be somewhere between 600-1000 people who joined us online. I have heard numerous stories of church members and non-church members watching and being encouraged by the service. While it in no way replaces meeting together physically, we can continue to meet virtually as we patiently wait for the day where we can gather again in one accord.

 

One of the most significant ways this crisis can impact our church is in the area of giving. While more people have chosen to give online recently, 73% of our congregation still gives by cash or check. We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of our entire church family regardless of the giving method. However, if we do not gather, the majority of our church members are not able to give in their normal way.

 

For instance, this past Sunday, the giving that came in online and by mail ended up being $20,000 dollars less than our need for the week. If this were just one Sunday, that would not be too concerning. But if we are not able to meet for several weeks or more, this could have a debilitating impact on our church’s mission to shine the light of Christ both locally and globally.

 

As I shared this with a few church members, they encouraged us as leaders to articulate this need to our church family sooner than later. They were confident, as am I, that our church family will rise to the occasion and exercise faith knowing that God is our ultimate provider.

 

While this is a challenging time, it is also an incredible opportunity for spiritual growth. We can learn together that whether in times of prosperity or adversity, “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). How exciting would it be to see God work through his people in such a time as this so that God’s Word can go forth from Bowie to the nations. What a joy it will be to keep meeting spiritual and physical needs as a tangible witness to the grace of God at work in our lives.

So what can you do? If you normally give by cash or check, would you consider mailing your contribution or dropping it off in person soon? If you would prefer to give online, you can go to our giving page at gbcbowie.org/give and follow the simple steps listed there. If you need help with this, you can call our Business Administrator, Mike Beckman at 240-898-2059. He is ready to help walk you through the steps of setting up a giving account online. If you are concerned about fees, please know that if you give electronically through your bank account, the fee is less than 1%. We highly discourage giving by credit or debit card (over 3% fee).

 

I acknowledge that we are living in a time of great uncertainty. Some will lose their jobs and others will have their hours drastically reduced. Financial strain might become a reality for some of us. Know our church stands ready to help through our benevolence ministry. Please reach out to the pastors if you have need.

 

Over the last twelve years serving as a pastor at Grace, I have been constantly amazed by the generosity and love of this church. I can say without hesitation, you are the most generous and loving church I know! God is greater than the Coronavirus. In a very real sense, we can say like Joseph, what the coronavirus meant for evil, God meant for good. Who knows how God will show his superior power and glory through this crisis. Let’s continue to bring glory to God by making fully devoted followers of Christ who passionately love God and people. By God’s grace, this is still possible.

 

Waiting in Hope,
Pastor Mark 

 

UPDATED - MARCH 27, 2020

Devo - We All Want Good News

UPDATED - JULY 16, 2020

July 19 In-Person Worship Services

Dear Church Family,
 
Words can only begin to express the joy of being able to gather together as a church family these past two weeks. From these limited gatherings we have learned much and we will continue to learn and put into practice all the measures that we can in order to be as safe as possible as we continue to gather together as the Lord allows. 
 
Thank you church for all of your love and support and patience during this season. Our Savior is at work growing us in love, grace, and unity, and we thank him for that. 
 
This Sunday we will be opening up our worship service to any who would like to attend. Please register by clicking the link below. We will still need to pay close attention to our numbers so as to be able to ensure proper social distancing. 

Sign Up for the July 19 Worship Service here >>
 
If we see that our numbers are getting too large we will plan to have two services. But for now we believe one service will be sufficient. 
 
Also, please don't forget that masks are required in the building at all times, doors will open at 10:00am, and that the ushers will show you to a seat.  
 
We understand that many are still unable to attend. We will continue to live stream the service both on our YouTube channel and on Facebook live. You can find the recordings of all our services and Bible studies on our YouTube Channel.
 
Please know that we care deeply for you and are praying wholeheartedly for you and for the day when we can all gather together again. Please continue to pray for us and for one another. Praying for the glory of God to be revealed in every situation and in each of us.
 
Your Pastors


UPDATED - JULY 1, 2020

July 5 and July 12 In-Person Worship Services

Church Family,

This is our plan for the next two weeks and then we will reassess.

Those of you with last names A-L are invited to join us in-person this Sunday, July 5 at 10:30am for worship service.

If you are planning to attend please use the link below to sign up for you and your family. The attendance count will help us plan as we make preparations for Sunday morning.

A-L sign up here (one submission per household):
Please sign up by Friday, July 3 by 6:00pm.
https://gbcbowie.elexiochms.com/external/form/87710ecf-bc9a-40e3-811a-9ce158449cf6

Those of you with last names M-Z are invited to join us next week on July 12

M-Z sign up here (one submission per household):
Please sign up by Friday, July 10 by 6:00pm.
https://gbcbowie.elexiochms.com/external/form/e8996980-6a35-47a7-adb1-42de3a3bd841

Please remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing inside the building. We also ask that you arrive early so our ushers can seat you before the service starts.

If you are not planning to attend then you do not need to sign up. Our worship service will continue to be available to view on our live stream:

https://www.youtube.com/c/GraceBaptistChurchBowie/live

We are eager for the day when our entire church can reunite. Until then, we look forward to worshipping with those of you who can join us this Sunday! 

Your Pastoral Team

 

UPDATED - MAY 22, 2020

Plans for Gathering Corporately

Dear Church Family,

As our government continues to work through the process of reopening our community for public gatherings, and in light of the President’s latest directive today regarding the essential nature of religious organizations, we want you to know that the elders of Grace have already been prayerfully planning what regathering will look like for our church family. For the past several days we have been talking through a process for regathering that will be the safest and most beneficial for us as a local church family, and we feel it is best to stay committed to that process. To be sure, regathering will occur in phases, beginning with meeting in-person for Sunday worship gatherings.

Below you will find a short survey that will help us plan for the future regathering of our church. We appreciate you taking a moment and filling it out for your household.

Take the survey: https://forms.gle/ugTVRaM6MxrccKDN6

We care deeply about your well-being and have already begun to prepare for gathering by providing a clean and safe environment for you and your family. Here are some of the steps we are taking to ensure that the church building is safe.

While we maintain a regular system of cleaning and disinfecting, we are tailoring the cleaning to respond to needs associated with COVID-19. Here are some of the enhanced cleaning procedures we have implemented so far:

1. UV Lights in A/C systems: We have had installed a system of ultraviolet lights and oxidizers in the HVAC systems in the entire building. These units kill airborne viruses and help to prevent viruses on hard surfaces.

2. Increased cleaning of worship areas and bathrooms: We use commercial/hospital grade disinfectants to clean, spray, and disinfect these areas. We will clean, spray, and disinfect before, between, and after each worship service.

3. Focusing on “high-touch” areas: We will disinfect these areas multiple times before, during, between, and after each worship service.

4. Sanitation stations: Sanitation stations will be placed at each entrance/exit and throughout the facilities.

5. Closure of unused areas: Certain areas of the building have been closed off. This will limit the areas we have to disinfect during our scheduled service times.

As we move further into the calendar year and as the regulations and guidelines change, we will adjust as needed. We will take the necessary steps to help protect our church family during these times. We want you to feel safe and protected when we eventually enter and use the facilities.

We pray towards the day when we can all gather together again safely in love and unity. And we ask and pray that everyone will do all they can to stay connected to the body of Christ locally as we continue to navigate our way through this unique time. We will continue to live stream our Sunday Morning Service (10:30 am), Wednesday Prayer Meeting (7pm), and Tuesday Bible Study (10:30 am). In addition, we look forward to offering a few more virtual classes this summer for adults, including The Gospel Project. This is also a good time to consider joining a small group for connection to one another and God’s word.

Thank you church for your continued prayers, support, and patience with us as we navigate this challenge together. May God be glorified in all we do.

Your Pastoral Team

Again, please take a moment to fill out our congregational survey: https://forms.gle/ugTVRaM6MxrccKDN6


UPDATED - APRIL 15, 2020

Food Drive for Bowie Food Pantry

We're hosting a food drive for the Bowie Food Pantry at Jireh Place. We'll have a trailer and the church pick-up truck parked in the front where you can pull up and drop off your food items.
 
Volunteers will be there to assist with drop off as well. We'll follow all the rules of social distancing, wearing of masks and gloves. Also, all the GBC pastors will be there to say hello and thank all those who will be dropping off.
 
The drop off dates and times at Jireh Place:
 
Sunday, April 19, 3-5 PM
Tuesday, April 21, 5-7 PM


The pantry needs:
Soups, beans, spaghetti sauce, canned meat—like chicken or tuna, dry pasta, tuna, peanut butter, healthy snacks.

Please share this info on social media so we can have a great turnout to support this local ministry that is doing so much good in our community.


UPDATED - APRIL 10, 2020

Easter for the Church Scattered

UPDATED - APRIL 8, 2020

Updated Prayer List

Dear Church Family,

Here is a link to an updated list of prayer needs. There are some urgent needs so please be praying for one another! You can join the church in prayer at our Prayer Meeting on Wednesdays at 7:00pm on our livestream.


UPDATED - MARCH 27, 2020

Devo - We All Want Good News

UPDATED - MARCH 26, 2020

Services and Children's Ministry

Dear Church Family,

It has been a blessing to see you continue to be the church to one another even as we are scattered. We face an uncertain future, but we know that God is holding us in the palm of his hand. In light of this uncertainty we wanted to make you aware that all of our physical gatherings for church services and ministries will be suspended indefinitely. We will continue with live streaming of our services through the church website. Please continue to check your e-mail and the website for updates. 

The church leadership is continuing to find unique ways to stay connected and to keep Christ and the gospel at the center of our church family.

We will continue to live stream our Sunday morning service at 10:30 AM and Wednesday evening prayer meeting at 7 PM. 

Pastor Brady will continue the Ambassadors’ Bible Study for anyone interested on Tuesdays at 10:30 AM. 

Pastor Bill will be doing a video Bible Study with the 24/7 high school group on Tuesday evenings at 7 PM.

CHILDREN'S MINISTRY

Our children’s ministry team and the Awana leadership have been working hard on a plan to keep children connected and to continue to study and memorize God’s Word. Please look for e-mail communication to come from our amazing Awana Commanders, Eric and Candi Jewell, in the next week or so.

For Sunday mornings, there are lessons that are available each week for children’s Sunday School from our curriculum provider, Lifeway. If you did not receive the e-mail from Pastor Jamie last week regarding this, and would like to, please e-mail him at jmiller@gbcbowie.org so you can receive the lessons starting this weekend. 

Also, children’s church will be recorded each week and available for families. A devotional sheet will be provided that your child can print each week and save for when we gather together again. You can find the devotional sheets here. Children will receive CC shares for completed notes and for completed devotionals. Here is the link for the children’s church message this week, titled Fear of the Unknown. Each of these children’s services will be about 30 minutes. Please remember that we are here for you as you disciple your children and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. Let’s not let staying home result in idleness, but rather, let’s continue to disciple our children, teaching them God’s Word (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

Church, we continue to pray for you in these trying times. May you find the peace of Christ, that passes all understanding, to be your sustaining grace each day.

Your brother in Christ,
Pastor Jamie


UPDATED - MARCH 23, 2020

Church Office Closed starting March 24

Dear Church Family,


As we continue to submit to the requests of the governor and to love our community and staff well, the church leadership has decided to close the church office starting tomorrow, March 24. While you will not be able to physically come into the church, you can still call and e-mail the church office. The office phone will be redirected to our church secretary, Kristen, during regular office hours. She will continue to respond to e-mails. If you have financial questions, Mike Beckman can still be reached through his phone or e-mail, and the pastoral staff are always available through their personal cell phones and e-mail. 

While much of our staff will be working remotely, we still plan to continue to provide live streams for the following times:


Sunday Morning Worship Service:  10:30 AM
Tuesday Bible Study:  10:30 AM
Wednesday Prayer Meeting:  7:00 PM


If you have been dropping off your offering checks in person, you can still do that through an external mailbox that we have mounted on the wall outside of our main foyer doors. You can also mail your offering or switch to giving online. Thank you church for your continued love and support during this time, and we are praying for you as you continue to shine your light at home and in your community as ambassadors of Christ.


Your brothers in Christ,
The Pastoral Staff


UPDATED - MARCH 20, 2020

Light in a World of Darkness

UPDATED - MARCH 18, 2020

Services and Giving

Dear Grace Family,
 

We are witnessing something that is unprecedented in our lifetime. The Coronavirus continues to strip away every aspect of normalcy. Millions of Americans are being adversely affected by the increasing shut down of businesses, restaurants, and every day activities. Understandably, this has led to many of us feeling an elevated sense of stress and anxiety over the impact this crisis will have on our personal lives.

 

Perhaps most striking is the current emergency order prohibiting groups like our church from gathering to worship. The fundamental nature of any church is their ability to gather and worship. To suspend the gathering of our church is an extraordinary measure meant to show love to one another and to our neighbors as we seek to limit the spread of this virus among us.

 

The leaders made the difficult decision to cancel our worship service on March 15. We want to share with you that we will also be canceling our worship service for the next two weeks, March 22 and March 29. Stay tuned for updates on future weeks.

 

As you can imagine, this will be a difficult challenge for our life together as a family. This is why we offered a live-stream of our entire Sunday service this past week. The leaders believe this is a God-honoring and creative way for us to stay connected as a church even when we can’t gather. We were able to sing, pray, and listen to God’s Word together. We had over 300 users logged in on Sunday. We estimate that to be somewhere between 600-1000 people who joined us online. I have heard numerous stories of church members and non-church members watching and being encouraged by the service. While it in no way replaces meeting together physically, we can continue to meet virtually as we patiently wait for the day where we can gather again in one accord.

 

One of the most significant ways this crisis can impact our church is in the area of giving. While more people have chosen to give online recently, 73% of our congregation still gives by cash or check. We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of our entire church family regardless of the giving method. However, if we do not gather, the majority of our church members are not able to give in their normal way.

 

For instance, this past Sunday, the giving that came in online and by mail ended up being $20,000 dollars less than our need for the week. If this were just one Sunday, that would not be too concerning. But if we are not able to meet for several weeks or more, this could have a debilitating impact on our church’s mission to shine the light of Christ both locally and globally.

 

As I shared this with a few church members, they encouraged us as leaders to articulate this need to our church family sooner than later. They were confident, as am I, that our church family will rise to the occasion and exercise faith knowing that God is our ultimate provider.

 

While this is a challenging time, it is also an incredible opportunity for spiritual growth. We can learn together that whether in times of prosperity or adversity, “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). How exciting would it be to see God work through his people in such a time as this so that God’s Word can go forth from Bowie to the nations. What a joy it will be to keep meeting spiritual and physical needs as a tangible witness to the grace of God at work in our lives.

So what can you do? If you normally give by cash or check, would you consider mailing your contribution or dropping it off in person soon? If you would prefer to give online, you can go to our giving page at gbcbowie.org/give and follow the simple steps listed there. If you need help with this, you can call our Business Administrator, Mike Beckman at 240-898-2059. He is ready to help walk you through the steps of setting up a giving account online. If you are concerned about fees, please know that if you give electronically through your bank account, the fee is less than 1%. We highly discourage giving by credit or debit card (over 3% fee).

 

I acknowledge that we are living in a time of great uncertainty. Some will lose their jobs and others will have their hours drastically reduced. Financial strain might become a reality for some of us. Know our church stands ready to help through our benevolence ministry. Please reach out to the pastors if you have need.

 

Over the last twelve years serving as a pastor at Grace, I have been constantly amazed by the generosity and love of this church. I can say without hesitation, you are the most generous and loving church I know! God is greater than the Coronavirus. In a very real sense, we can say like Joseph, what the coronavirus meant for evil, God meant for good. Who knows how God will show his superior power and glory through this crisis. Let’s continue to bring glory to God by making fully devoted followers of Christ who passionately love God and people. By God’s grace, this is still possible.

 

Waiting in Hope,
Pastor Mark 

 

UPDATED - MARCH 13, 2020

A Message from the Pastors


Dear church family,

The church leadership met last night to determine the next steps in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are reminded of God’s sovereignty (2 Chronicles 20:6), God’s love (1 John 4:7-10), and God’s goodness (Romans 8:28). In the midst of a world filled with fear, we have hope in a sovereign God who is still on His throne, who still loves us completely, and who will work even this for good. May we not become a people who isolate from the community in fear, but actively love one another by reminding and sharing the true hope that we have in Christ.

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Larry Hogan hosted a press conference in which he asked that all Maryland public gatherings of greater than 250 people be cancelled. Requesting churches to set aside their rights as citizens, especially to gather for our religious beliefs, is a hard request. Scripture calls us to gather and it is the physical gathering that makes a church, a church. As the church leadership, we have decided to respect and submit to the governing authorities, following the directives of the government for a limited time out of neighborly love and in order to protect our community’s health.

EVENTS

So what does this mean for church events and the worship services that were scheduled for this weekend? We will not be gathering at the main building or Jireh Place during this next week. There will be no services, support groups, small groups, youth activities, children activities, or any other church activities being held at Grace. You can still have small group meetings in your homes and we would greatly encourage you to call and be intentional about staying connected to one another.

We will have Sunday, March 15 service streaming live at 10:30am.

You can watch the live stream here >

 

We had planned for a prayer service on Sunday evening. Instead of gathering together to pray, we are encouraging each of you to connect with others in our church family and to either pray remotely or to gather in small groups and pray together in your homes.

The church leadership will evaluate the situation daily and will update the plan a week at a time. Easter is less than a month away, and we have been busy for the past few months preparing. No decision has been made regarding the Good Friday Service, Easter Eggstravaganza, or Easter Sunday gatherings, but we will keep our church family informed as decisions are made moving forward.

GIVING

Lastly, an important part of worship to our Lord is giving. While time away from the corporate gathering tends to result in less offerings provided by our church family, we would encourage you to continue to see the value and need to give. We give to the local church in obedience and honor to our Lord as an act of worship. Our church family has committed to support the work of the church and the work of missionaries all over the world. Missionaries who are facing some of the same struggles as us need our prayer support and financial support to continue. You can give online here >

 

Or you can bring your offering to church during regular business hours, or drop it in the slot located in the front of Jireh Place at the main doors. The next few weeks may prove to be a financial difficulty for those whose jobs will be affected. If you are in need of financial assistance from the benevolence fund, please email pastors@gbcbowie.org or reach out to one of the pastors.

In the coming days and weeks, please check our website, email, and social media for additional cancellations or changes, as well as information about when services and ministries will resume. We want to close by encouraging each of us to rest in the sovereignty, love, and goodness of God during this time. We love and care for each of you, we are praying for you, and we look forward to gathering again with you soon!

Your brothers in Christ,
The Pastoral Staff

UPDATED - MARCH 6, 2020

A Message from Pastor Mark


Dear Church Family,

As your pastors, we are deeply aware of our responsibility to care and protect our congregation. Along with you, we have been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and what it could mean for us as we continue to gather on Sunday mornings and at various times throughout the week.

We acknowledge that the coronavirus is highly contagious and has caused many to be anxious and concerned about the spread of this virus among us. We want to remind you that while it is necessary to take some precautions, we must actively guard our hearts and minds against an unhealthy fear which betrays our faith in the Lord’s ability to lead us through this (Psalm 121). We are simply taking some easy, common-sense steps as the situation dictates.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, prudence would dictate that we take a few precautions to safeguard our church family.

First, we encourage you to avoid shaking hands for the time being. We know this might be hard for a church that is so passionate about being welcoming and loving. But, given how quickly the virus spreads through physical touch, it would seem best to avoid contact at this time.

Second, we will forego the meet-and-greet time during our Sunday morning service for the time being. Some of you might hate this, others might love it. The coronavirus does not excuse us from obeying God’s command to welcome one another and show hospitality (Romans 15:7, Hebrews 13:2). Therefore, our call is to find appropriate and meaningful ways to make others feel warmly welcomed. Facial expressions, uplifting words, even handwritten notes are just a few ways to do this well.   

Third, we will continue to clean and disinfect hard surfaces in classrooms, nurseries, and the sanctuary. We will be making an extra effort to do this before and after services. In addition, out of consideration for others, we would also ask that each individual and family follow some simple guidelines to mitigate the possible spread of the virus.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and use hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Stay home if you or someone in your family is sick.
  • For those who have been exposed to higher risk environments such as: international travel or cruises, we would ask that you allow a few days from potential exposure before you come to church.

If you want to know more about coronavirus, you should visit the Center for Disease Control website. You can also get updates on the spread of the virus locally through the Maryland Department of Health website.

Please know, we will continue to gather as the Lord has commanded us to do (Hebrews 10:25). There has always been and will always be risks involved with God’s people gathering. And yet, we know that the gathering of God’s people is of utmost importance both to our spiritual growth and the advancement of God’s mission to make disciples. We will gather to hear God’s Word proclaimed, to praise our glorious Father, and to lift our voices in corporate prayer.

If you are unable to attend church, we encourage you to join us virtually during the live stream and take advantage of our online giving option. The link for the livestream is here and the link to give online is here.

We love you church. Remember that even as we try to exercise wisdom in these circumstances, we trust in our sovereign God that he is working all things according to the counsel of his will, and that he is in complete control. We encourage you to fervently pray for those who have been affected by this virus and for the end of its spread. We know that even when trials seem great, our God is greater. We stand upon the promise of Jesus: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
 
Standing in the assurance of our overcoming Savior,
Pastor Mark

UPDATED - MARCH 13, 2020

A Message from the Pastors


Dear church family,

The church leadership met last night to determine the next steps in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are reminded of God’s sovereignty (2 Chronicles 20:6), God’s love (1 John 4:7-10), and God’s goodness (Romans 8:28). In the midst of a world filled with fear, we have hope in a sovereign God who is still on His throne, who still loves us completely, and who will work even this for good. May we not become a people who isolate from the community in fear, but actively love one another by reminding and sharing the true hope that we have in Christ.

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Larry Hogan hosted a press conference in which he asked that all Maryland public gatherings of greater than 250 people be cancelled. Requesting churches to set aside their rights as citizens, especially to gather for our religious beliefs, is a hard request. Scripture calls us to gather and it is the physical gathering that makes a church, a church. As the church leadership, we have decided to respect and submit to the governing authorities, following the directives of the government for a limited time out of neighborly love and in order to protect our community’s health.

EVENTS

So what does this mean for church events and the worship services that were scheduled for this weekend? We will not be gathering at the main building or Jireh Place during this next week. There will be no services, support groups, small groups, youth activities, children activities, or any other church activities being held at Grace. You can still have small group meetings in your homes and we would greatly encourage you to call and be intentional about staying connected to one another.

We will have Sunday, March 15 service streaming live at 10:30am.

You can watch the live stream here >

 

We had planned for a prayer service on Sunday evening. Instead of gathering together to pray, we are encouraging each of you to connect with others in our church family and to either pray remotely or to gather in small groups and pray together in your homes.

The church leadership will evaluate the situation daily and will update the plan a week at a time. Easter is less than a month away, and we have been busy for the past few months preparing. No decision has been made regarding the Good Friday Service, Easter Eggstravaganza, or Easter Sunday gatherings, but we will keep our church family informed as decisions are made moving forward.

GIVING

Lastly, an important part of worship to our Lord is giving. While time away from the corporate gathering tends to result in less offerings provided by our church family, we would encourage you to continue to see the value and need to give. We give to the local church in obedience and honor to our Lord as an act of worship. Our church family has committed to support the work of the church and the work of missionaries all over the world. Missionaries who are facing some of the same struggles as us need our prayer support and financial support to continue. You can give online here >

 

Or you can bring your offering to church during regular business hours, or drop it in the slot located in the front of Jireh Place at the main doors. The next few weeks may prove to be a financial difficulty for those whose jobs will be affected. If you are in need of financial assistance from the benevolence fund, please email pastors@gbcbowie.org or reach out to one of the pastors.

In the coming days and weeks, please check our website, email, and social media for additional cancellations or changes, as well as information about when services and ministries will resume. We want to close by encouraging each of us to rest in the sovereignty, love, and goodness of God during this time. We love and care for each of you, we are praying for you, and we look forward to gathering again with you soon!

Your brothers in Christ,
The Pastoral Staff

UPDATED - MARCH 18, 2020

Services and Giving

Dear Grace Family,
 

We are witnessing something that is unprecedented in our lifetime. The Coronavirus continues to strip away every aspect of normalcy. Millions of Americans are being adversely affected by the increasing shut down of businesses, restaurants, and every day activities. Understandably, this has led to many of us feeling an elevated sense of stress and anxiety over the impact this crisis will have on our personal lives.

 

Perhaps most striking is the current emergency order prohibiting groups like our church from gathering to worship. The fundamental nature of any church is their ability to gather and worship. To suspend the gathering of our church is an extraordinary measure meant to show love to one another and to our neighbors as we seek to limit the spread of this virus among us.

 

The leaders made the difficult decision to cancel our worship service on March 15. We want to share with you that we will also be canceling our worship service for the next two weeks, March 22 and March 29. Stay tuned for updates on future weeks.

 

As you can imagine, this will be a difficult challenge for our life together as a family. This is why we offered a live-stream of our entire Sunday service this past week. The leaders believe this is a God-honoring and creative way for us to stay connected as a church even when we can’t gather. We were able to sing, pray, and listen to God’s Word together. We had over 300 users logged in on Sunday. We estimate that to be somewhere between 600-1000 people who joined us online. I have heard numerous stories of church members and non-church members watching and being encouraged by the service. While it in no way replaces meeting together physically, we can continue to meet virtually as we patiently wait for the day where we can gather again in one accord.

 

One of the most significant ways this crisis can impact our church is in the area of giving. While more people have chosen to give online recently, 73% of our congregation still gives by cash or check. We are incredibly thankful for the generosity of our entire church family regardless of the giving method. However, if we do not gather, the majority of our church members are not able to give in their normal way.

 

For instance, this past Sunday, the giving that came in online and by mail ended up being $20,000 dollars less than our need for the week. If this were just one Sunday, that would not be too concerning. But if we are not able to meet for several weeks or more, this could have a debilitating impact on our church’s mission to shine the light of Christ both locally and globally.

 

As I shared this with a few church members, they encouraged us as leaders to articulate this need to our church family sooner than later. They were confident, as am I, that our church family will rise to the occasion and exercise faith knowing that God is our ultimate provider.

 

While this is a challenging time, it is also an incredible opportunity for spiritual growth. We can learn together that whether in times of prosperity or adversity, “God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). How exciting would it be to see God work through his people in such a time as this so that God’s Word can go forth from Bowie to the nations. What a joy it will be to keep meeting spiritual and physical needs as a tangible witness to the grace of God at work in our lives.

So what can you do? If you normally give by cash or check, would you consider mailing your contribution or dropping it off in person soon? If you would prefer to give online, you can go to our giving page at gbcbowie.org/give and follow the simple steps listed there. If you need help with this, you can call our Business Administrator, Mike Beckman at 240-898-2059. He is ready to help walk you through the steps of setting up a giving account online. If you are concerned about fees, please know that if you give electronically through your bank account, the fee is less than 1%. We highly discourage giving by credit or debit card (over 3% fee).

 

I acknowledge that we are living in a time of great uncertainty. Some will lose their jobs and others will have their hours drastically reduced. Financial strain might become a reality for some of us. Know our church stands ready to help through our benevolence ministry. Please reach out to the pastors if you have need.

 

Over the last twelve years serving as a pastor at Grace, I have been constantly amazed by the generosity and love of this church. I can say without hesitation, you are the most generous and loving church I know! God is greater than the Coronavirus. In a very real sense, we can say like Joseph, what the coronavirus meant for evil, God meant for good. Who knows how God will show his superior power and glory through this crisis. Let’s continue to bring glory to God by making fully devoted followers of Christ who passionately love God and people. By God’s grace, this is still possible.

 

Waiting in Hope,
Pastor Mark 

 

UPDATED - MARCH 13, 2020

A Message from the Pastors


Dear church family,

The church leadership met last night to determine the next steps in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are reminded of God’s sovereignty (2 Chronicles 20:6), God’s love (1 John 4:7-10), and God’s goodness (Romans 8:28). In the midst of a world filled with fear, we have hope in a sovereign God who is still on His throne, who still loves us completely, and who will work even this for good. May we not become a people who isolate from the community in fear, but actively love one another by reminding and sharing the true hope that we have in Christ.

On Thursday afternoon, Governor Larry Hogan hosted a press conference in which he asked that all Maryland public gatherings of greater than 250 people be cancelled. Requesting churches to set aside their rights as citizens, especially to gather for our religious beliefs, is a hard request. Scripture calls us to gather and it is the physical gathering that makes a church, a church. As the church leadership, we have decided to respect and submit to the governing authorities, following the directives of the government for a limited time out of neighborly love and in order to protect our community’s health.

EVENTS

So what does this mean for church events and the worship services that were scheduled for this weekend? We will not be gathering at the main building or Jireh Place during this next week. There will be no services, support groups, small groups, youth activities, children activities, or any other church activities being held at Grace. You can still have small group meetings in your homes and we would greatly encourage you to call and be intentional about staying connected to one another.

We will have Sunday, March 15 service streaming live at 10:30am.

You can watch the live stream here >

 

We had planned for a prayer service on Sunday evening. Instead of gathering together to pray, we are encouraging each of you to connect with others in our church family and to either pray remotely or to gather in small groups and pray together in your homes.

The church leadership will evaluate the situation daily and will update the plan a week at a time. Easter is less than a month away, and we have been busy for the past few months preparing. No decision has been made regarding the Good Friday Service, Easter Eggstravaganza, or Easter Sunday gatherings, but we will keep our church family informed as decisions are made moving forward.

GIVING

Lastly, an important part of worship to our Lord is giving. While time away from the corporate gathering tends to result in less offerings provided by our church family, we would encourage you to continue to see the value and need to give. We give to the local church in obedience and honor to our Lord as an act of worship. Our church family has committed to support the work of the church and the work of missionaries all over the world. Missionaries who are facing some of the same struggles as us need our prayer support and financial support to continue. You can give online here >

 

Or you can bring your offering to church during regular business hours, or drop it in the slot located in the front of Jireh Place at the main doors. The next few weeks may prove to be a financial difficulty for those whose jobs will be affected. If you are in need of financial assistance from the benevolence fund, please email pastors@gbcbowie.org or reach out to one of the pastors.

In the coming days and weeks, please check our website, email, and social media for additional cancellations or changes, as well as information about when services and ministries will resume. We want to close by encouraging each of us to rest in the sovereignty, love, and goodness of God during this time. We love and care for each of you, we are praying for you, and we look forward to gathering again with you soon!

Your brothers in Christ,
The Pastoral Staff

UPDATED - MARCH 6, 2020

A Message from Pastor Mark


Dear Church Family,

As your pastors, we are deeply aware of our responsibility to care and protect our congregation. Along with you, we have been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and what it could mean for us as we continue to gather on Sunday mornings and at various times throughout the week.

We acknowledge that the coronavirus is highly contagious and has caused many to be anxious and concerned about the spread of this virus among us. We want to remind you that while it is necessary to take some precautions, we must actively guard our hearts and minds against an unhealthy fear which betrays our faith in the Lord’s ability to lead us through this (Psalm 121). We are simply taking some easy, common-sense steps as the situation dictates.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, prudence would dictate that we take a few precautions to safeguard our church family.

First, we encourage you to avoid shaking hands for the time being. We know this might be hard for a church that is so passionate about being welcoming and loving. But, given how quickly the virus spreads through physical touch, it would seem best to avoid contact at this time.

Second, we will forego the meet-and-greet time during our Sunday morning service for the time being. Some of you might hate this, others might love it. The coronavirus does not excuse us from obeying God’s command to welcome one another and show hospitality (Romans 15:7, Hebrews 13:2). Therefore, our call is to find appropriate and meaningful ways to make others feel warmly welcomed. Facial expressions, uplifting words, even handwritten notes are just a few ways to do this well.   

Third, we will continue to clean and disinfect hard surfaces in classrooms, nurseries, and the sanctuary. We will be making an extra effort to do this before and after services. In addition, out of consideration for others, we would also ask that each individual and family follow some simple guidelines to mitigate the possible spread of the virus.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and use hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Stay home if you or someone in your family is sick.
  • For those who have been exposed to higher risk environments such as: international travel or cruises, we would ask that you allow a few days from potential exposure before you come to church.

If you want to know more about coronavirus, you should visit the Center for Disease Control website. You can also get updates on the spread of the virus locally through the Maryland Department of Health website.

Please know, we will continue to gather as the Lord has commanded us to do (Hebrews 10:25). There has always been and will always be risks involved with God’s people gathering. And yet, we know that the gathering of God’s people is of utmost importance both to our spiritual growth and the advancement of God’s mission to make disciples. We will gather to hear God’s Word proclaimed, to praise our glorious Father, and to lift our voices in corporate prayer.

If you are unable to attend church, we encourage you to join us virtually during the live stream and take advantage of our online giving option. The link for the livestream is here and the link to give online is here.

We love you church. Remember that even as we try to exercise wisdom in these circumstances, we trust in our sovereign God that he is working all things according to the counsel of his will, and that he is in complete control. We encourage you to fervently pray for those who have been affected by this virus and for the end of its spread. We know that even when trials seem great, our God is greater. We stand upon the promise of Jesus: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
 
Standing in the assurance of our overcoming Savior,
Pastor Mark

UPDATED - MARCH 6, 2020

A Message from Pastor Mark


Dear Church Family,

As your pastors, we are deeply aware of our responsibility to care and protect our congregation. Along with you, we have been monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and what it could mean for us as we continue to gather on Sunday mornings and at various times throughout the week.

We acknowledge that the coronavirus is highly contagious and has caused many to be anxious and concerned about the spread of this virus among us. We want to remind you that while it is necessary to take some precautions, we must actively guard our hearts and minds against an unhealthy fear which betrays our faith in the Lord’s ability to lead us through this (Psalm 121). We are simply taking some easy, common-sense steps as the situation dictates.

As the coronavirus continues to spread, prudence would dictate that we take a few precautions to safeguard our church family.

First, we encourage you to avoid shaking hands for the time being. We know this might be hard for a church that is so passionate about being welcoming and loving. But, given how quickly the virus spreads through physical touch, it would seem best to avoid contact at this time.

Second, we will forego the meet-and-greet time during our Sunday morning service for the time being. Some of you might hate this, others might love it. The coronavirus does not excuse us from obeying God’s command to welcome one another and show hospitality (Romans 15:7, Hebrews 13:2). Therefore, our call is to find appropriate and meaningful ways to make others feel warmly welcomed. Facial expressions, uplifting words, even handwritten notes are just a few ways to do this well.   

Third, we will continue to clean and disinfect hard surfaces in classrooms, nurseries, and the sanctuary. We will be making an extra effort to do this before and after services. In addition, out of consideration for others, we would also ask that each individual and family follow some simple guidelines to mitigate the possible spread of the virus.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and use hand sanitizer regularly.
  • Stay home if you or someone in your family is sick.
  • For those who have been exposed to higher risk environments such as: international travel or cruises, we would ask that you allow a few days from potential exposure before you come to church.

If you want to know more about coronavirus, you should visit the Center for Disease Control website. You can also get updates on the spread of the virus locally through the Maryland Department of Health website.

Please know, we will continue to gather as the Lord has commanded us to do (Hebrews 10:25). There has always been and will always be risks involved with God’s people gathering. And yet, we know that the gathering of God’s people is of utmost importance both to our spiritual growth and the advancement of God’s mission to make disciples. We will gather to hear God’s Word proclaimed, to praise our glorious Father, and to lift our voices in corporate prayer.

If you are unable to attend church, we encourage you to join us virtually during the live stream and take advantage of our online giving option. The link for the livestream is here and the link to give online is here.

We love you church. Remember that even as we try to exercise wisdom in these circumstances, we trust in our sovereign God that he is working all things according to the counsel of his will, and that he is in complete control. We encourage you to fervently pray for those who have been affected by this virus and for the end of its spread. We know that even when trials seem great, our God is greater. We stand upon the promise of Jesus: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
 
Standing in the assurance of our overcoming Savior,
Pastor Mark