Enjoying God: Lessons on Spirituality from David Brainerd
Sundays at 9:30 am in July and August

Join us at Grace Church of Alexandria each Sunday at 9:30 am for an insightful discussion on how to enjoy God, from the life and example of David Brainerd. Each class attendee receives a free devotional guide based on Brainerd’s writings.

Why Learn from David Brainerd?
David Brainerd was a courageous single man who ministered in the 1800’s for four years among Native American Indians in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. His diary and journal capture the heart of a young man captivated by the beauty of Christ. Generations of Christians have found lessons for their own spiritual lives from the honesty, habits, and view of God of David Brainerd.

Finding God Even In Depression
Like many Christians today, David Brainerd suffered from life-long depression and despair. His transparent writings show believers the way forward to enjoying God even when your feelings aren’t following.

Enjoying God: Lessons on Spirituality from David Brainerd
Starting Sunday July 5th, we are discussing the following aspects of spiritual life, over donuts and coffee at 9:30 am:

  • Spirituality: Manifesting Jesus’s Likeness in your love
  • Salvation: Seeing Jesus’ glory in your heart
  • Sunday Worship: Celebrating Jesus’ victory in your week
  • Secret Duties: Praying for Jesus’ exaltation throughout your day
  • Self-examination: Longing for Jesus’ perfect likeness in your life
  • Suffering: Reflecting Jesus’ humility during your hardships
  • Strength in Weakness: Glorifying Jesus’ Power through your frailty







Serving God’s Flock

June 28th, 2015

Sermon Title:  Serving God’s Flock
Sermon Text:  1 Peter 5:1-5
Speaker:  Jonathan Matias, Lead Pastor
Series: Through the Fire to the Feast

A Word To:
1. Elders
2. Servants
3. The Congregation

Click the link below to listen to the audio recording of this sermon.

A Life of Reckless Abandon

June 21st, 2015

Sermon Title: “A Life of Reckless Abandon”
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 2:9-3:22
Speakers: Jonathan Matías, Lead Pastor
Series: Through the Fire to the Feast

Theme Song for the Current Sermon Series

This summer we’re discovering truths from 1 and 2 Peter in the sermon series Through the Fire to the Feast. Sandra McCracken’s new song We Will Feast in the House of Zion is a perfect fit as the theme song for this series at Grace Church of Alexandria.

Through the Fire to the Feast

Even in our privileged position as Christians, we still all have to pass through fire to arrive to the feast God has prepared for us, where our cup will run over. Together, the sermon series and song probe the mysteries of how we must pass through fire to get to the feast. In particular, this song sets before us the joys awaiting us so we will press on through adversity to arrive in God’s kingdom.

Composer Interview

Sandra is interviewed here in a worthwhile discussion about her album from the Psalms, on life, loss and longing.

We Will Feast in the House of Zion

We will feast in the house of Zion 
We will sing with our hearts restored 
He has done great things, we will say together 
We will feast and weep no more

We will not be burned by the fire
He is the LORD our God
We are not consumed, by the flood
Upheld, protected, gathered up (Chorus)

In the dark of night, before the dawn
My soul, be not afraid
For the promised morning, oh how long?
Oh God of Jacob, be my strength (Chorus)

Every vow we’ve broken and betrayed
You are the Faithful one
And from the garden to the grave
Bind us together, bring shalom. (Chorus)

from Psalms, released 14 April 2015
Written by Sandra McCracken and Joshua Moore
© 2015 Drink Your Tea (ASCAP) / Joshmooreownsthis Music (ASCAP)

Treasuring Christ Together

June 14th, 2015

Sermon Title: “Treasuring Christ Together”
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 2:4-10
Speakers: Jonathan Matías, Lead Pastor
Series: Through the Fire to the Feast


I. God treasures Christ supremely (v. 4)

II. God is building a spiritual house with those who treasure Christ (v. 5)

III. Treasuring Christ means you will be rejected like Jesus was (v. 6-7)

IV. Treasuring Christ (or not) determines your eternal destiny (v. 8)

V. Those who treasure Christ are Exhibit A of God’s excellence (vs. 9-10)

Click the link below to listen to an audio recording of the sermon.

Also, here’s a more memorable outline to aid in application that our of our members, Rick Altizer, wrote based on hearing the sermon:

1 Peter 2:4-10

Adoration and acceptance: God the Father for His Son. Vs. 4
Beloved and belonging: Building, Body and Bride. Vs. 5
Criticism and conflict: expect rejection and trouble. Vs. 6B
Destiny determined by decision: some will believe, others will not. Vs. 7-8
Exhibit A of God’s excellence on display: we are many things, in Christ. Vs. 9-10

An Oasis of Love

June 7th, 2015

Sermon Title: “An Oasis of Love”
Sermon Text: 1 Peter 1:22-2:3
Speakers: Jonathan Matías, Lead Pastor
Series: Through the Fire to the Feast

Escape From Slavery
Across the street from Whole Foods in Old Town Alexandria stands a statute in tribute to Emily (age 13) and Mary (age 15) Edmonson, courageous African-American sisters who tried in April of 1848 to escape their bondage as slaves. As I retold last Sunday at Grace Church of Alexandria as an illustration for that day’s sermon, the Edmonson sisters were born into slavery, yet they yearned for freedom. They secretively boarded a sloop on the Potomac River called The Pearl, led by sailors sympathetic to slaves who wanted to escape to liberty.


Statute of Emily & Mary Edmonson in Alexandria, VA

As The Pearl set sail from the District of Columbia, a steamboat filled with furious slave owners gave chase and captured the sloop with 76 slaves in the cargo hold, including the teenage Edmonsons. This turned out to be the largest escape attempt by slaves in American history! The poor slaves were locked up in Alexandria at the infamous Bruin slave jail at 1701 Duke Street. Emily and Mary were paraded on the slave market by slave trader Joseph Bruin who sought to sell them for sexual exploitation to the highest bidder. Their father, a freeman, sought desperately to gather funds to redeem them from the slave market but could in no way afford the extravagant sum for which his young, attractive, daughters were selling for on the market.

Praise be to God, a church in Brooklyn heard of the sisters’ plight and contributed the money to purchase their freedom. Mary and Emily were set free! A writer named Hariett Beecher Stowe told the story of their slavery and capture during their escape attempt in her book The Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. The account of Emily and Mary’s abuse and bondage spread across the country and helped stir up sympathy to free the slaves. The sisters ended up becoming friends and helpers of Frederick Douglass in his campaign to end slavery in America, and Emily’s relatives ended up helping to start two Christian churches in D.C.

A Call For Justice
I am sobered as I consider how deeply the evil of human slavery has stained our city’s history. The statute of the Edmonson sisters is a constant reminder of the depravity of the human heart and a call for Christians to pursue justice and stand for the oppressed.

Social action is not the gospel, yet it flows as a consequence of the gospel. Christ set us free from the grip sin held upon us, and he now calls believers to love radically like he has loved.

We value justice because Scripture is replete with statements that make clear God values justice for the oppressed who are made in his image. We ought to take seriously His call to care for “widows, orphans, and stranger in the land” (such as Leviticus 19:33 and Jeremiah 7:6) and “to care for orphans and widows in their affliction” (James 1:27). And we value justice in this world because pursuing justice now gives us the chance to display what it looks like to live under God’s gracious rule, when Christ will soon usher in his kingdom in its fullness.

Justice–There’s An App For That
We are grateful for Christian organizations like International Justice Mission, based near Alexandria (IJM), that organize Christians to fight modern-day slavery, sex trafficking, and other forms of injustice. Last month IJM released an app for iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 7 that includes updates from the field, stories of justice, and tools to take action–

IJM_App from Fire Tribe Productions on Vimeo.

Grace Church of Alexandria regularly informs our members how they can stand for justice for oppressed Christians and human beings throughout the globe, first by carrying the good news of salvation in Christ to the ends of of the earth and then by praying for and advocating for the oppressed.

This post was written by Jonathan Matías and Garrett Lee, pastors of Grace Church of Alexandria.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 9.23.31 AM

We will be collecting backpacks and school supplies for Samuel W. Tucker Elementary School students in need. We are grateful to be able to meet in the school for worship on Sundays and would like to give back to the school community.

Collection dates: from May 31 to July 5.

List of supplies: at the Welcome Table on Sundays or email the church to request it. Monetary donations are also accepted. You can gather a full backpack, or a dozen of the same needed item (erasers, for example), or whatever combination you’d like.

To Donate: Please put your donations in the plastic bin at church or give directly to project coordinator Dominique Johnson.

Thank you for helping to give back to our community!


Have you recently begun attending and checking out Grace Church? You are invited to a special 2-day event just for you!

Introduction to Grace Church Class
Sunday June 14 + Sunday June 21
9:00 am to 10:20 am

What to Expect
Come meet the pastors, hear our story, catch our vision, hear testimonies of current members, and learn how to get the most out of your Grace Church experience.

A catered lunch at 12 pm will be held on one of these days.


To RSVP, click here (takes you to The City). If you need an invite to access The City, contact the church office here.

Questions? See Deacon of Membership Dave Ruse who is organizing the 2-day class by writing him here.

Childcare: Need childcare? When you RSVP, mention the ages and number of children so we line up screened childcare workers for the class.

Come 10 minutes early–at 9:20 am–this Sunday May 24 for a spread of breakfasty snacks provided by the Hospitality Team. Then around 9:30 am we’ll break up into groups to pray together with praise and intercession.
How often do we get to pray together? This prayer time will bring us together and help us seek the Lord’s face as a church family.

Be on the lookout for road closures due to Rolling Thunder which happens during GCA’s morning gathering.