hope-empowered

Leading Adoption and Fostering Expert
Are you in a complex adoptive or foster situation, or preparing to welcome a child into your home via fostering or adoption? This conference is for you! Dr. Karyn Purvis, a leading expert in the field of research-based intervention for children from hard places, will be leading an Empowered to Connect Conference at Reston Bible Church on September 12-13, 2014.

For Pre- or Post- Adoptive Families And Any Orphan Advocates
Christy and I have attended Dr. Purvis’s teaching and have found her analysis and care of children from hard places to be insightful for our own adoption journey. Empowered to Connect will be an invaluable experience pre- or post-adoptive families from our church and for anyone who want to help their church be adoption and foster friendly.

Conference Details
Title: Empowered to Connect Adoption Conference
When: September 12-13, 2014
Where: Reston Bible Church Dulles Campus
45650 Oakbrook Court, Dulles, VA 20166

Cost: Early-Bird Registration is $45/individual or $60/married-couple (Early-bird pricing is available through August 1, 2014).

*Special offer: All registrations will be an additional ½ off for a limited number of seats, thanks to a generous donation from Focus on the Family. Use the promotional code FOCUS when registering online.

REGISTER HERE

Empowered To Connect from Tapestry on Vimeo.

Conference Sponsors
Show Hope–the adoption advocacy group led by Stephen Curtis Chapman–is sponsoring this conference in conjunction with Empowered to Connect. One caveat–while we have benefitted greatly from Dr. Purvis’s  guidance, we still filter the significant amounts of psychology we hear from Empowered through the grid of Scripture. As helpful as clinical research can prove to be, hold up everything you hear at this conference to the light of Scripture. Yet this is a tremendous opportunity to hear from the leading expert on orphan care for children from difficult situations. We hope to be there, and hope you will join us!
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Join us at Grace Church this Sunday May 4th for Compassion Sunday, an annual event where we draw the attention of our church to the needs of the world’s poorest children.

The Gnawing Pain of Starvation

My dad knew the gnawing pain of poverty. As an orphan in Guatemala, he was given one meal a day, and had to scrounge the fields for greens to calm the hunger pangs that wracked his thin frame. Thankfully, God is mobilizing believers to meet the physical needs of such children and through this to introduce them to the God of mercy and his saving gospel.

What is Compassion Sunday?

This Sunday we’ll watch a short film and hear testimonies of children’s needs and the amazing way that believers are filling up their needs. There will be an opportunity to sign up to sponsor specific children and communicate with them.

Compassion Sunday goes along with our church’s heart for orphan care, which is a key component of true religion. “True religion before God and the Father is this, to visit widows and orphans in their affliction”(James 1:27).

Come worship with us this Sunday May 4, 2014.

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A Practical, Memorable Adoption Event
Are you curious about what adoption and fostering is like? Would you like to explore the possibility of adopting? Are you an adoptive family who could use refreshment and training for a challenging aspect of orphan care? Join us, Christy and Jonathan, and others from Grace Church of Alexandria who are going to the Northeast Adoption Summit in Lancaster, PA, on April 25-26, 2014.

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What To Expect

Bethany Christian Services, our adoption agency, is pulling out the stops with this summit to raise awareness of children who are waiting for family to call their own and to provide training for the adoption community on a variety of issues. The summit includes 4 general sessions and 41 breakout sessions. For us personally, we’re eager to hear:

  • how to explain to your children in age appropriate ways that they are adopted;
  • understanding how trauma in a child’s life affects them and how to care for them when they come to your home.
  • Johnny Carr, the pastor who for seven years has overseen our agency’s relationship with churches;

Register To Go
There’s really something for everyone at this conference. Register here. Cost is reasonable, at $69 per individual and $120 per couple. And it’s drivable distance from the Washington D.C. Metro region where we and many of our readers live. If you’re in the adoption process and waiting for a child to be placed in the home like we are, this counts toward your required continuing education.

If you decide to attend, let us know and we’ll connect with you there!

Summit 10
If you’re able to make it to Chicago on May 1-2, 2014, don’t miss THE Summit, Summit 10, organized by our dear friend Elizabeth from the Christian Alliance For Orphans. Summit 10 is vastly larger and with many more workshops, general sessions, and breakouts. We’d love to make it to Summit 10, but alas can’t make it to Chicago this year. Here’s our recap of Summit 9.

This post first appeared at the Matíases’ adoption blog: www.littlebirdproject.com

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Grace Church’s Adoption Fund!

Why a Fund?
Grace Church of Alexandria is deeply committed to “caring for orphans in their distress” (James 1:27). The surge in adoption and orphan involvement by our church family demonstrates this. And this summer, someone from Grace Church anonymously donated $500.00 to start a fund to help church families who want to adopt. This initial seed money, we hope, is the beginning of a robust fund that provide grants and interest-free loans to help families with the cost of adoption. The elders have enlisted Lifesong for Orphans to administer the fund, which is being done at no charge.

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How Do I Give To the Adoption Fund?
Help add to the $500 that is initially in the fund!

**When you give, specify that your gift is for “Fund P386 Grace Church of Alexandria.” P386 is GCA’s account number at Lifesong.

1. Give online now by clicking here.
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2. or Mail a check to:

Lifesong for Orphans
Attn: Grace Church of Alexandria Adoption Fund P386
P.O. Box 40
202 N. Ford Street
Gridley, IL 61744

Your gift is tax-deductible. You can give to the fund generally, or you may specify an individual or family from church who is adopting whom you intend the gift to help. No admin costs will be deducted from your gift, so 100% of what you give will help member families with the cost of adopting, which may include application fees, paying hospital costs of a baby’s birth, travel costs to another country, home study costs, etc.

Who Can Apply To the Adoption Fund?
Any member of Grace Church of Alexandria is eligible to apply for financial assistance from the church adoption fund. There are 2 easy steps.

1. Fill out the application.
Click here to download the application

2. Send your application to Lifesong for Orphans.
Lifesong will process your request and give Pastor Garrett Lee a recommendation as to whether you are eligible for funds, as well as the amount of financial assistance Lifesong recommends for your situation.

Please pray with us that the Grace Church Adoption Fund will help our church open our homes to orphans and demonstrate God’s gospel love to the community.

Questions?
Pastor Garrett Lee is Grace Church’s fund administrator. See him with your questions.

The Fine Print

  • Donations of $250 or more will automatically receive a tax receipt. If your gift is smaller and you would like a receipt, please request one with your gift.
  • To give for a specific family, that family must already have an approved application at Lifesong – so check with the family before sending in your gift.
  • Because of IRS tax law, Lifesong cannot promise that your gift will go toward a specific adoption, but Lifesong understands your preference in giving and has a history of honoring donor requests.
  • PayPal takes a 2-3% admin fee for online donations.

 

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At Grace Church we’ll be observing Orphan Sunday on November 24, 2013 at 9:30 am Adult Bible Class and 10:30 am Worship Service. Since November is Adoption Month, we set aside a Sunday in November to think about God’s heart for the fatherless and how it should stir his people to care for children in need. Come join us! Here’s what’s coming up–

9:30 am Adult Bible Class – Special Guests From Romania Reborn
We’ll be hearing from Romania Reborn, a local ministry which sponsors relief and missionary work among orphans, abandoned babies and other needy children in Romania. This vital ministry was started by a friend of mine when she was 20 years old. Learn about Romania reborn here: www.romania-reborn.org

10:30 am Worship Service – Orphan Sunday Theme
Testimonies, video, songs, prayers, and preaching about the gospel truth of adoption and how this motivates us to care for orphans to make God’s adopting love tangible.

Wondering more about Orphan Sunday or why adoption and foster care are such a big deal at our church?

I AM LOVED from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

New! Grace Church Adoption Fund

September 18th, 2013

We’re pleased to announce the launch of Grace Church’s Adoption Fund!

Why a Fund?
Grace Church of Alexandria is deeply committed to “caring for orphans in their distress” (James 1:27). The surge in adoption and orphan involvement by our church family demonstrates this. And this summer, someone from Grace Church anonymously donated $500.00 to start a fund to help church families who want to adopt. This initial seed money, we hope, is the beginning of a robust fund that provide grants and interest-free loans to help families with the cost of adoption. The elders have enlisted Lifesong for Orphans to administer the fund, which is being done at no charge.

Lifesong Logo

How Do I Give To the Adoption Fund?
Help add to the $500 that is initially in the fund!

**When you give, specify that your gift is for “Fund P386 Grace Church of Alexandria.” P386 is GCA’s account number at Lifesong.

1. Give online now by clicking here.
Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 5.19.57 PM

2. or Mail a check to:

Lifesong for Orphans
Attn: Grace Church of Alexandria Adoption Fund P386
P.O. Box 40
202 N. Ford Street
Gridley, IL 61744

Your gift is tax-deductible. You can give to the fund generally, or you may specify that you intend the gift to help a specific individual/family in the church who is adopting. No admin costs will be deducted from your gift, so 100% of what you give will help member families with the cost of adopting, which may include application fees, paying hospital costs of a baby’s birth, travel costs to another country, home study costs, etc.

Who Can Apply To the Adoption Fund?
Any member of Grace Church of Alexandria is eligible to apply for financial assistance from the church adoption fund. There are 2 easy steps.

1. Fill out the application.
Click here to download the application

2. Send your application to Lifesong for Orphans.
Lifesong will process your request and give Pastor Garrett Lee a recommendation as to whether you are eligible for funds, as well as the amount of financial assistance Lifesong recommends for your situation.

Please pray with us that the Grace Church Adoption Fund will help our church open our homes to orphans and demonstrate God’s gospel love to the community.

Questions?
Pastor Garrett Lee is Grace Church’s fund administrator. See him with your questions.

The Fine Print

  • Donations of $250 or more will automatically receive a tax receipt. If your gift is smaller and you would like a receipt, please request one with your gift.
  • To give for a specific family, that family must already have an approved application at Lifesong – so check with the family before sending in your gift.
  • Because of IRS tax law, Lifesong cannot promise that your gift will go toward a specific adoption, but Lifesong understands your preference in giving and has a history of honoring donor requests.
  • PayPal takes a 2-3% admin fee for online donations.

 

Christy and I have learned that in Virginia over five thousand children are in the foster care system. And 1,300 of them are legally free to be adopted; they are ready and waiting for a family to call their own. To help you learn about the opportunity of fostering, sign up for Change Who Waits, a free two hour event on Saturday, May 11, 2013.

You’ll hear from current foster parents about the joys and pains of foster parenting, and you’ll hear stories from people that grew up in the foster care system. Be inspired and informed about the process to become foster parents. And connect with several foster care agencies that will be present and explore how to start the process of changing the future of these children.

What: Change Who Waits Foster Care Rally

When: Saturday, May 11, 2013, 10 am to 12 pm

Where:
 Cherrydale Baptist Church in Arlington.

Interested, But Can’t Make It May 11?

An additional rally will be held in Chantilly at nZone on June 9, 3-5 pm. If you decide to attend one of these rallies, let us know! We hope to go too.

UPDATE–The Chantilly rally has been postponed till November 2013, for National Adoption Month. It will not be held in June as originally planned.

This post originally appeared at OperationFirefly, where Christy and I blog about our adoption journey and share adoption-related news and resources.

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Adoption.

Foster care.

Global orphan care.

And what individuals and the church can do about it.

These are the themes Summit9 in Nashville, TN, will explore on May 2-3, 2013. Come join a contingent of members from Grace Church of Alexandria who are going to strengthen our church’s heart for the orphan. This practical, gospel-focused event is for every believer, from families open to fostering and adopting, and believers who want to know how to care for fatherless children, to pastoral staff, and professionals in the orphan care field.

Location: Brentwood Baptist Church, 7777 Concord Road, Brentwood, TN, 37072

Conference Schedule: See the full schedule here.

Register Now.
Goop news! Members of Grace Church save $50 off registration because our church is a member of the Christian Alliance for Orphans.

Toward a Life-Affirming Culture

January 27th, 2013

Sermon Title: Toward a Life-Affirming Culture
Speaker: Jonathan Matías, Pastor
Text: Genesis 1:26-27; Exodus 21:22-25, Psalm 139:13-16; James 1:27
Description: Thoughts on life, love, our community, and the cross on the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade.
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At Grace Church this Sunday, November 4, we’ll be observing Orphan Sunday with churches across the globe. As November is Adoption Month, we set aside the first Sunday in November to think about God’s heart for the fatherless and how it should stir his people to care for children in need. Come join us! Here’s what’s coming up–

Sunday, November 4
10:30 am Worship Service – Orphan Sunday Theme
Preaching, testimonies, video, and songs about our spiritual adoption by God and how this motivates our care for orphans.

Sunday, November 11
9:25 am Adult Bible Class – Panel Discussion on Adoption & Foster Care
Come with your questions at a Q&A with four Grace Church families who have adopted or provided foster care.

Sunday, November 18
9:25 am Adult Bible Class – “Ministering to Women With Unexpected Pregnancies”
A social worker from Bethany Christian Services will discuss how to minister to couples who find themselves in unexpected pregnancies and are considering abortion vs. adoption, or who have made an adoption plan for their child.

Wondering more about Orphan Sunday or why adoption and foster care are such a big deal at our church? Check out more info here. And take a look at this video explaining what Orphan Sunday is all about! I’ve gotta say–we’re honored that our adopted son is featured at 0:55 in this video!

Orphan Sunday 2012 from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

 

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