Greetings!

 

Advent is a season of watchfulness, reflectiveness, and anticipation. It was during Advent that the Lord brought me to Him and I was born again. I will tell you this story because many of you also are passionate about youth ministry so this story will be very appropriate for Grace Chapel!

  

I started Brockton High School in the fall. I loved Brockton High - it was full of different people from different places. I loved the size and the sheer amount of clubs and other activities. I joined the canoe club that my Earth Science teacher led afterschool and it was there that I met a special group of friends that I would have for my entire time in high school.  

  

When I brought them home, my mother was in shock! From all appearances, they might not be impressive looking. In fact they were the most mixed up group of teens you could ever see - a real group of outcasts for sure! My mother was also struggling deeply with both health and emotional problems at this time. As a teen, I always felt like I was in her crosshairs.  Immediately, my mother decided my friends were unacceptable and did not want me to hang out with them. Being fourteen, this of course did not go down with me very well and it began a turbulent period of arguing and negativity in my home life. Sadly, the more she fought me, the more I turned to them. Her approach had the opposite effect on me.

 

The troubled home life really started to affect me in school. I was very sad and started to feel utterly depressed. My friends continued to really try and listen to me when I would share my troubles. I got to the point though that home was no longer a sanctuary to me. I didn't know what I would ever do. To be honest, I even contemplated suicide thinking I could never escape my family. But my ragtag group of friends decided that it was time to join the youth group at the church down the street from my friend Joe's house in Brockton near the Huntington School. So they took me with them one Friday night in October. I was scared and skeptical but I trusted them.

 

The pastor and his wife were both such kind and gentle people. I am not too sure how much either knew about me when they first met me. They did not pry or prod me for information though. In fact, they sort of let me just be. They served us some snacks then we sat down in the living room at the rectory. Pastor Jim would open the conversation by asking how things were going. Anyone could speak and everyone listened respectfully. The conversations would be completely led by us and we would ponder deep questions about human existence, life and our future.  

 

Additionally, each shared the current worries and troubles on our minds. I opened up before long and shared the whole thing that was going on with my mother. What I always loved was that Pastor Jim would always tell us a Jesus story that related to what we were expressing during the discussion. It amazes me how well he could relate life to Jesus! He knew his Bible very well! Then we would discuss the story for a bit and finally close with prayer - either by Pastor or by us.  

 

Additionally, he would take us roller-skating or bowling. He always picked team oriented activities which encouraged us to interact. I always looked forward to youth group on Friday nights despite what was happening in my home life. It was the light in the darkness. One night during in Advent, I had been expressing my lack of hope for my home problems. After I finished, Pastor Jim told us a Jesus story. He told an Advent story that changed my life. It was the night that I was found!

 

Pastor started talking about how Mary had been so apprehensive when the angel had appeared to tell her the good news. He started talking about how Joseph was commanded to take Mary as his wife - how obedient he was - the leap of faith he had to take. Then he told us about Bethlehem - a very small town overrun with people due to the census that was ordered by Caesar Augustus. He told us how there was so much angst. People had to travel great distances at great inconvenience. It was a tiny town so there were not enough places to sleep or eat. When people can't sleep and eat, things get real ugly - real fast. There was unrest in the little town of Bethlehem when Mary and Joseph got there. Things were far from perfect!   God was there though - he had given a sign of his presence and his hope. The Savior's sign was right there in the form of a star in the East and if people had just bothered to look up and away from what was cluttering their hearts and minds - they could see that God had given them a sign of hope - a way to find faith and salvation. I asked him why the people didn't bother to look up and he said sometimes we get so distracted by our own troubles that we forget God.

 

On this day, due to this simple story, I had my epiphany! My soul's eyes flew open and the words of Amazing Grace were finally truly meaningful to me. My darkness turned to light and it was truly amazing to realize that God had been there all along waiting patiently for me. I also continue to reflect on how the humble shepherds were picked to see the angels' chorus out in a solitary field. We must also seek out a solitary place this Advent. I realized that God really cares about me even when I am inattentive - distracted by my worldly burden. I was touched deeply to think He had been there all along!

 

All of us at Grace Chapel know that the Boys and Girls Brigade youth ministry is vitally important. The ripple effect that Minister Alain speaks of is real. I am proof of this. My experience in a church youth group here in Brockton literally changed my life. This was not even my own family church! Pastor Jim would relate Jesus to the daily lives of teens. God made his presence known. I always look up at the sky day or night and it causes me to think of God's quiet presence.  Even in the darkness of our lives, there is still light. I HOPE you will have an Advent full of watching. I HOPE you will be like excited children waiting for the celebration of Jesus' birth: the gift of our salvation. I HOPE you will look for God this Advent by making time, space and silence. Remember the following scripture Matthew 7: 7 - "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8"For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened."

 

 

Yours truly,

 

Eleri Merrikin

 

 

10:00am Sunday Service

Today is the First Sunday of Advent. 

 

You are welcome to celebrate with us on this beautiful day at 10am. People are welcome to pray, sing and express their faith in their local language. 

 

Next Sunday is the Second Sunday of Advent.

 

Do you like something different? Something lively and that which is a praxis of faith? Join us every Sunday at 10am as we experience a special kind of worship that transcends individual differences and reveals our unity in Christ.

 

Personal experience of the healing presence of God's love and grace is central to our worship and Jesus Christ is our role model.

WRITERS GROUP

Grace Chapel will be glad to receive your inspired words and with your permission share them with people who receive our global Sunday morning reflections every week.

 

We are open and welcome anyone who might like to write or share faith stories, reflections and experiences.

 

You may choose to be known or remain anonymous; we really want to be blessed by your wisdom and resources.

 

Please contact us by emailing: writers@gracechapelbrockton.org or call 508-649-3161.

 

You may be surprised by how your sharing can bless, heal and sustain many lives. 

4pm Sunday Young Adults on Skype

Search for "Grace Chapel Brockton" on Skype and join the conversation at 4pm ET on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month.

  

People join our conversation from UK, Canada, Nigeria, Finland, Maryland, Connecticut, Maine, Arkansas and California.

 

Join us by adding "Grace Chapel Brockton" to your Skype account. all young adults, singles and young couples are invited to join the conversation. 

 

Breaking the silence, especially on sensitive, emotional and controversial issues is the goal of our Skype conversation. Many lives, families, relationships and marriages have been healed and liberated from ignorance and oppression through these conversations. 

 

Come and share your ideas and also learn from others.....you don't have to go through life all alone. 

 

You will really like it.    

 

9pm Tuesday Prayer Conference Call 
Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Come and see...
  
Prayer by telephone conference is a new resource through which Grace Chapel members and friends from all over United States stay connected together in prayers every week.
  
Call 1-605-477-3000,
Access code: 684696#
  
You can call in from anywhere you are and at your own convenience.

 

Prayer focus for this week will be from  Psalms 122

 

Special prayer request and concerns can be sent in before prayer time to prayers@gracechapelbrockton.org and you can be sure that your prayer request and concerns will be treated with utmost confidentiality. 

  
You will be glad you did!
  
God is still in the business of answering prayers
7pm Thursday Praise, Prayers & Healing Service   

Every Thursday, Grace Chapel invites the general community to an evening of Praise Prayer and Healing (PPH).

 

God is set and able to deliver those who trust in Him and we know that by His stripes, we are healed.

 

Come to me all you who labor and are heavily laden and I will give you rest says the Lord. 

 

You will be glad you did!

 

Boys' & Girls' Brigade Brockton
Are you looking for a Christian youth program for your kids? The Boys' & Girls' Brigade program offers various activities which encourages godly living and positive characters among boys and girls.
  
We meet every Saturday at 4pm at the 2nd floor of First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 900 Main Street, Brockton, MA 02301. 
  
We are blessed with caring adults and committed volunteers who are passionate about faith formation and youth empowerment.
  
For more information: Call Jessica Buiel at 508-933-4767
or email: brigadeadmin@gracechapelbrockton.org       
  
Contact Us

All inquiries, spiritual and pastoral counseling, request for home or hospital visitation can be sent to mos@gracechapelbrockton.org, or call the office @ 1-508-649-3161  or 617-708-7008 

 

Church office is open Monday through Friday between 9am and 12 noon on the 2nd floor of First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 900 Main St. Brockton, MA 02301 

 

Thank you so much for taking your time to go through our newsletter. I hope to see or hear from you soon.

 

Stay blessed!  

 

Yours in Him, 

 

Rev. Moses Sowale

Grace Chapel Brockton

GCB

Celebrating, Healing & Reaching Out

 

Mission Statement

Grace Chapel is an English-speaking, multicultural congregation, rooted in Episcopal and Anglican traditions, using liturgies which reflect the diversity of our humanity, culture and styles together with a theology of the uniqueness of every individual.

 

We are a Christian Community focusing on the righteousness brought by grace. Personal experience of the healing presence of God's love and grace is central to our worship and Jesus Christ is our role model.

 

We are committed to breaking down walls created by differences and receiving the blessings and gifts of our uniqueness. 

 

Click on this link to know the mind of God for you today
 
 
GCB
Christian Community Consists of people from diverse background and culture:
  

Americans

Cape Verdeans

Hatians

Jamaicans

Kenyans

Nigerians

Trinidadians 

.

Music @ GCB includes
Classical Hymns
Gospels
Contemporary
Traditional Hymns from different cultures
Drums
Dances and more
 
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Prayer Conference Call number
1-605-477-3000
 
access code: 684696#

Bible 

Bible Study for October  

Matthew Chapter 7