A New Chapter…

Tomorrow morning (or maybe today as you’re reading this) our church begins a new chapter. Honestly, more accurately said, it’s another new chapter for our church in the course of a year.

Early this past year we announced that we’d have a new Lead Pastor for our church as our founding Pastor, David Whitehead, handed the church over to Jason James. That was a 6+ month process that culminated in September with a 10 year anniversary celebration (watch the 10 year video)for our church and handoff to Jason.

Shortly after Jason took the reigns he and I sat in a meeting with our current leasing location who informed us that they were increasing our rent by 500%. We trusted in the provision of our Savior and announced it to our church before we even knew where we’d be going. And Jesus was more than faithful.

Tomorrow morning Grace turns the page as we begin to meet at Public School 452 just a couple of blocks away from our previous location.

PS 452 Auditorium where we’ll be meeting…

In typical God like fashion, (as I’ve heard said), He wasn’t early, and He wasn’t late, He was right on time. We came down to literally the final day when the school contacted us that we had been approved to meet in their facility.

As we move the reality of New York becomes very evident. We’re only moving about 2.5 blocks away. And yet, in a 2.5 block distance we find that we’re moving from a predominantly white neighborhood (90+%) to a much more diverse setting. In only 2.5 blocks the white population drops to 60% and we’ll now be directly across the street from the projects. What’s amazing is that before we even knew where we were going God began to move on our hearts the desire to have a multicultural expression from our church. What an amazing and beautiful God we serve.

As we look ahead we of course have dreams of what God might do. Our guess, though, is that His dreams for us far overshadow any dreams we could have. He knows that neighborhood better than any of us do. He knows the people better than any of us do (and this includes our congregants who live in that area!). He knows us better than we do.

A scripture we often remind ourselves of as a staff comes from Proverbs 16:9, “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

That’s our heart as we move into this new facility tomorrow morning. We’re eager to plan and dream, but, in all things we want to point to Jesus and His wonderful ways for our lives and our church.

Please pray for us as we dive into this new adventure for our church! And, we covet your prayers for our family as well as Helena developed a fever today and we’ve had to get a sitter for tomorrow morning. And, as this incredibly cold weather (we haven’t experienced anything this extreme since moving here!) persists I’ve developed some pretty bad congestion as well. All that to say, please pray for our church and our family. We desperately need God’s healing, His wisdom, and His guidance as He writes our future on the landscape of New York City.

Merry Christmas!

We just wanted to take a quick moment and wish you all a Merry Christmas! 

We’re incredibly blessed to have you all in our lives and our ministry here in NYC. We pray for you that today would be filled with family and friends, joy and peace, hope and rest. Most of all, though, we pray that the presence of our Savior would fill your lives today as we celebrate God coming to earth for us.

The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upond his shoulder,
and his name shall be callede
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.

{ Isaiah 9:2, 6-7 }

Blessings,

The Gilland Family

PS – We have a new location for our church! More on that later this week, though… Today, we pause…

A Big Prayer Request

Why not kick off our updates with a BIG and URGENT prayer request! Here’s the situation…

As many of you know, renting space for a church in NYC requires nothing short of needing a miracle. The size of the congregation rarely matches the cost of what you actually need to get into a space that fits your congregation. So, it’s nothing short of a miracle when you find a place that works.

Grace has been meeting in a YMCA here in NYC for a little over 6 years now. A couple of weeks ago, however, we were called into a meeting with the Y’s directors in which we were informed that our rent was being raised 500% (yes, that’s unfortunately legal) beginning January 1st.

So, we announced to our church yesterday that December 31st would be our final Sunday at the Y…

…and that we don’t know where we’ll be going from here. 

My initial reaction to all of this was that the enemy was attacking and trying to take us out. However, the more that we’ve (Jess and I and the team at Grace) prayed about this and looked to God together, we can’t help but see this as God at work. We believe that God is moving us to be a blessing to our city in a new way.

While it’s amazing to follow God in these moments and to realize that he’s leading us to even more effectively serve our city, it’s also a time to pray and seek God on our behalf.

So, as we find ourselves in the best place to be, on our knees in need of God to answer us, would you join us as we pray for the next place that God might be bringing Grace in our city?

We’ll keep you updated as we learn more!

Thanks for praying with us in this big moment for our church!!!

Grace’s 10 Year Celebration… (a few pictures)

Current and past attenders of Grace came out to celebrate together!
People from our Grace East Queens Campus celebrating as a community.
Praying over and sending out Pastor Dave and praying over and setting in Pastor Jason. A beautiful moment in our church’s history.
Pastor Dave & Kathleen (founding Pastors of Grace) and the new Lead Pastor Jason James and his wife Jyothi.
We moved up 8 years ago after a conversation with Dave where he invited us to come be a part of the team. Pretty amazing.
As we celebrated our 10 year weeding anniversary, we joked that we were grateful for Grace throwing us the most amazing 10 Year anniversary party ever!

What’s this all about?

So, what’s this all about? What’s the point of all this?

Simply put, it’s a way to communicate. We try and keep in touch with people as best we can, but, that can be difficult with so many people and so little time. So, this is a way for us to keep up more regularly with people.

if you’re subscribed here (or just happen to find your way here) you’ll see that we’ll have everything here from ministry updates to family life to prayer requests and more. You’ll hear from both me (Daniel) and Jess, and, hopefully a guest from time to time as well.

Our hope is that we can provide a little more insight into our lives here that we can’t through other means like monthly updates or annual visits. We also hope that you enjoy and are possibly even challenged by some of the things we may write.

So, with that said, lets dive in…