Southeastern Indiana Emmaus Community
On the Journey December 2020
Volume 1, Issue 3
Board of Director Changes for 2021 December is a time of transition for our Community, as several Board members’ terms expire and other members have stepped forward to serve in the New Year.
Much appreciation is owed to outgoing Board members Brian Hoehler, Dave Zuber, Johanna Johnson and Bonnie Schreiner. Throughout their terms on the Board, they have devoted much time and energy in service to the community. When you next see them, please thank them for their gracious work on behalf of SEI Emmaus. Rowdy Green also recently left the Board, due to his family’s move out of state. Five new Board members were appointed at the November meeting, to be installed in January. Mike Hicks, Josh Barth and Louise Griggs will represent
the lay members while Scarlet Hudson and Tim Freimuth will serve as clergy representatives. Board members also voted that Mary Beth Doll Jones will serve as Community Lay Director, replacing Dave Zuber. Ginny Hizer will serve as Community Spiritual Director, with Tim Freimuth filling the position of Assistant Community Spiritual Director. Other positions on the Board, such as treasurer, Assistant Community Lay Director and committee chairs, will be discussed and determined by the Board at their January 2021 meeting. A list of current Board members is included on page 4.
Upcoming Dates: Virtual Gathering— While we will not gather in person until the New Year, we are hoping to hold a virtual event in December. Be on the lookout for details as they are finalized. Gatherings—We plan to resume our monthly Community Gatherings in January, as COVID pandemic guidelines permit. For the foreseeable future, these will be hybrid gatherings, with people able to come together in person and through Facebook Live. Details will be shared on our Facebook page and website.
Grace: Prevenient, Justifying, Sanctifying This information was originally shared May 2016 on Karen Hartley’s blog, titled Sharing Horizons: Exploring the Great Unknown Together. Hartley is a retired United Methodist Minister, who grew up and served churches in Ohio. Click here to visit her blog: https://sharinghorizons.com/ When I was a pastor, grace was one of my favorite sermon topics. I especially loved talking to the youth in Confirmation Classes about God’s grace: the undeserved gift of being loved and accepted by God. In Confirmation Class we talked about the three kinds of grace: prevenient, justifying, and sanctifying. Yesterday at church, Confirmation
Sunday (also Pentecost, although it wasn’t mentioned), the pastor talked about the three kinds of grace. But he didn’t use my favorite illustration of grace, so I thought I would share it with you today. Imagine that there is a large, beautiful mansion set on acres of garden-like land. People are wandering all over this piece of land, some being respectful and some not. Some know who owns the land and mansion, but most do not. You know the land is a place of peace but you don’t know the purpose. Continued on page 3
Mark Your Calendars for the 2021 Walks: •
The Men’s Spring Walk will be held April 15-18 and the Women’s Spring Walk is slated for April 22-25
The Men’s Fall Walk will be held Oct 7 –10 and the Women’s Walk will take place Oct 14 –17
ON THE JOURNEY
Do We Have Your Number? Do You Want to Help? In addition to posting on our Facebook page and website, our Community periodically sends information to members through text, phone and email. It’s a great way to ensure you are aware of news, events and other information happening in our Community and the Emmaus world at large. However, in order to include you on these distribution lists, we need your information. If you haven’t shared your contact information yet—or if you need to update your contact info—please send to email@example.com.
Also, volunteers are needed for our various committees. These are working groups, each handling specific duties necessary for the smooth operation of our Community. If you are interested in sharing your talents in this way, simply contact the relevant committee chair as list on page 4. We’re always looking for folks eager to help!
Reflection: Justifying Grace (Talk 4) Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you (Acts 8:22).
John Newton, author of the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace,” had a long way to go before he realized the grace God offered him. In 1836, at the age of eleven, he left home to become a seaman. Life on the seas was a grim one, and John soon lived a very debased life. By the time he was a young man he was involved in capturing natives from West Africa. He became a slave trader and sold slaves anywhere there was a market for them. It was God’s time to touch John. He had gone more than far enough. During a particularly life-threatening storm at sea, John feared for his life. He then fell to his knees, surrendered completely, and begged God for forgiveness for his “wretched” and wicked ways of life. At that moment, he was justified and saved. Newton read Thomas à Kempis’ book, The Imitation of Christ, and was led to a conversion of his heart, mind, and body. He had been lost and was now found; blind but now able to see God’s loving grace and his own salvation made possible through Christ.
Eventually, John Newton became a priest in the Church of England at the age of thirty-nine, serving a village church near Cambridge, England. John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield became his friends, and they influenced and encouraged him in his new-found servanthood. Newton used hymns in his services when they would add to the power of his preaching. When he couldn’t find just what he wanted, he began to write some of his own hymns. “Amazing Grace” was one of those that became immediately popular. The Reverend John Newton died at the age of eighty-two. He constantly reminded himself that he experienced total forgiveness for all of the heinous crimes he had committed. He remembered daily what God’s justifying grace had done to save him from such a debauched life. He was saved. He was loved. He was amazed. Questions for Reflection: When and how has God’s amazing grace saved you? Have you witnessed about it? Reprinted from Walking Side by Side: Devotions for Pilgrims by Joanna Bultemeier and Cherie Jones. Copyright © 1998. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. For more information, visit bookstore.upperroom.org.
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3
Kinds of Grace
(continued from page 1)
This land is God’s prevenient grace: God’s grace working in our lives before we are even aware of it. From the very beginning of our lives, God loves us and cares for us. God is constantly drawing us to himself, inviting us, even when we do not pay attention. Prevenient means “to come before” and prevenient grace is the grace of God working in our lives before we are aware of God.
Being sanctified (becoming holy) is something that goes on through our whole lives. John Wesley called it “going on to perfection.” We can strive for perfection in holy living but we won’t be perfect in it until we get to heaven. There will always be times when we stumble, fall, and fail. But we get up and try again knowing that we are loved and accepted by God for who we are.
Some people want to go into the mansion. They ask others how to go in, but those who are outside don’t know. Finally someone notices that there have been people, all along, just opening the door and going in. Can everyone go in? Are those special people?
There is a place for us in the mansion of God’s grace. Three kinds of grace, all active in all our lives at some point. We live on the land of God’s prevenient grace. God is constantly inviting us through the door of justifying grace. When we walk through that door we are able to live in the mansion of God’s sanctifying grace.
You decide to go to the door. No one prevents you. You knock but no one answers. Finally you open the door and peek around it. The house is full of people, so you take a chance and step across the threshold into the house. The door is God’s justifying grace: the threshold to the kingdom of God. Stepping over the threshold is accepting Jesus as our savior. It is the only thing that we can do toward our own salvation – everything else is part of the gift of God’s grace. Justifying grace is the gift that sets us right with God. Because his son, Jesus, died on the cross, when we accept Jesus as our savior, our sins are set aside. By going through the door of accepting Jesus, it is “just as if I’d never sinned – justification. There are many people in the house and as you wander through, you notice that there are also lots of rooms. In some rooms people are reading the Bible and talking together. In some rooms people are praying. In some rooms people are singing and worshipping. In some rooms people are teaching others. The rooms go on and on and the activities in each are different. But each room is wonderful and each room is a place you want to be. The mansion itself, with all its rooms, is God’s sanctifying grace. Sanctifying grace is the grace that draws us deeper into holy living. After we have accepted Jesus as our savior, we want to be more like him and more like God wants us to be. We want to set aside our sinful habits and live in ways that please God.
Where have you felt God’s grace strongest in your life? Which of the kinds of grace is most meaningful to you? Do you have another way of thinking about God’s grace?
How to Contact Your Board of Directors: Community Spiritual Director
Community Lay Director
Community Retention/Historian Mary Beth Doll Jones
Treasurer & Historian Assistant Paul Hardy
Community website: https://www.seiemmauscommunity.org/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/seiemmaus.org/
Easy-to-Use Links to Virtual Gatherings It’s almost as good as being there in person—in case you missed it or if you need a spiritual boost, videos of our recent hybrid Gatherings are still available online. You can access them at any time by using the links below. Videos of both Gatherings include the guest speaker, Communion devotion and wonderful spirit-filled music.
October—https://www.facebook.com/ dan.mcadams.92/videos/10208042039445628 September—https://www.facebook.com/ dan.mcadams.92/videos/10207958759043670 In the future, other videos will be added as we continue with hybrid Gatherings.