Church Blog

Pastors gather in Virginia to encourage local support and unity


11025139_10155278131840241_3230729609826755765_nIn an age of church dissension, arguments, and division, church unity appears to be a distant dream.

However, in a moment of hope, dozens of church leaders (members of the Tidewater, Blue Ridge, and James River Presbyteries) spent the earlier portion of this week at the Airfield 4-H Camp in Wakefield, VA. Focusing on updates from church planters and missionaries, the yearly retreat brought in local speakers with stories and exhortations surrounding the theme of “Resilience”.

As Leonard Bailey, the pastor of Hope of Christ PCA in Stafford County, reminded the group, “The foundation of this retreat began 15 years ago when Terry Traylor (a hero to many and a legend to others in the field of church planting) brought a few of his friends to Lake Lure, NC to pray for encouragement, unity, and inspiration. The pastors in Virginia enjoyed it so much, they started this retreat, and here we are.”

When asked why the yearly getaway continues to grow, Jeremy Greenberg, assistant to the pastor at Evident Grace Fellowship in Spotsylvania) answered, “There are so few places where you find this level of trust and honesty among pastors. No one is here trying to impress the others. Everyone just wants to encourage and support.”

Excitement is already building for next year as Paul Miller, bestselling author of “A Praying Life“, is booked to speak. Retreat coordinator George Boomer of Hope Presbyterian in Smithfield, VA explained, “We want to alternate between hearing from local pastors and national speakers each year. We need voices from both within and outside our contexts to help us.”

As the pastors and missionaries broke camp on Wednesday, each spoke of their hope in returning home while expressing the eagerness of returning next year. One said, “These are a few of the most encouraging and inspiring days of the entire year for me. I’ve already got next year marked on my calendar.”

While the fruit of church unity is determined by much more than a 3 day retreat, dozens of pastors expressed a renewed desire to speak of Jesus and the hope of the Gospel in both their areas of ministry and abroad, so for many, the mission is never accomplished, but there was some progress made this week.

Upcoming EG Nursery Training Event


nursery_training_dayOne of the highest values that Evident Grace holds is the care and well-being of our children and the children of our visitors.  And for that reason, EG will be hosting a nursery/childcare training day directly following worship on March 15th at 12:30pm.

If you have been serving or would like to serve, here are the details.

One:  The training will happen at our nursery on the second floor of Liberty Lanes.
Two:  The training will last about 1.5 hours and will include a brief introduction, the main presentation, short break-out training sessions, and Q/A at the end.
Three:  A pizza lunch and drinks will be provided.

We are planning on having nursery handbooks for each participant (one per couple) as well a copy of our brochures for children’s ministry and a copy of the child protection policy that we give visiting families.

Additionally, we want to spend some time explaining to folks either how they can walk through the online background check or give greater detail to people who have finished it.  We would love for as many as possible to finish the training before hand, so if you would like details about that, contact either Emily or Judi, and they can send you the email link that will help you.

It is important that everyone 16 and older has completed this background check or leaves with the commitment to do so.  We require all of our workers to have completed the background check.

If a few of our volunteers could stay behind to help breakdown the nursery and return everything to storage, that would be very helpful.

If you plan on attending or if you have any questions, please contact Emily at [email protected] or Judi at [email protected].

Evident Grace Begins a New Series on the Gospel of John Entitled Definition on February 1st


Definition-of-our-church-JohnSunday, February 1st, Evident Grace is launching a new sermon series entitled, Definition, a study of the Gospel of John.

Why call the study Definition? Well, so many look at Jesus as an example of how to live, and while Jesus is that, He is so much more. You see, the book of John was the last written Gospel, and one of its intentions was to better define who Jesus is. After a generation of believers, people still had a questions about His person, His character, and His purpose. The Gospel of John wanted to clarify those things.

In light of that, Definition is the perfect book for not only Evident Grace to study, but also for our community to experience. After nearly two years, EG needs to better understand Jesus. We need Him to more greatly define our lives and our church. And the Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg area needs Him better defined as the realities of our communities are moving so many towards wrestling with who He is and How He might impact our lives.

So, as always, we invite you, and we encourage you to bring friends to this series, specifically to its launch on February 1st. Each Sunday at 10:00am, Evident Grace offers a casual environment designed to take Jesus seriously. To enable that, we meet at a central location for our area at Ron Rosner YMCA. We offer a welcoming community for singles, marrieds, parents with kids, and retirees. Our music represents this generation while honoring the generations past. We have designed a wonderfully fun and safe nursery that also includes a separate teaching time for children aged 2-5. Our Sunday School for grades 1-5, meets from 9:00am to 9:45am.

If we can greater clarify who we are or why we are pursuing greater Definition, contact us here or call us directly at 919-412-8161. If you would like to find out more about Jesus or if you would like to get a sense of what our services are like, call us or check out the worship section of our website. 

Thanks for considering us, and we can’t wait to welcome you.

Kafasoto Begins Studying Galatians for You on January 30th


Kafasoto is excited to announce that they will be studying Tim Keller’s Galatgalatians-for-youians for You in 2015. Their first get together will be Friday evening, January, 30th at 7pm at the home of Tracy Greenberg.

Kafasoto is our gathering of ladies at Evident Grace, and they meet once a month for a time of study and community. Meeting at a home gives our ladies the opportunity for a relaxed and fun environment to study in a pressure free environment, and it also provides a great place get to know each other.

Why Keller’s book on Galatians? Well, Galatians does a great job of stripping away all the add-ons that sometimes come with faith in Jesus, and Keller does an incredible job of explaining the book verse by verse. Galatians for You can be used as a daily devotional, complete with reflection questions, or it can be read for personal study and enjoyment. Galatians for You also has an accompanying small-group study guide.

Kafasoto will meet at the home of Tracy Greenberg on the 30th. You can contact her at [email protected]. Her address is

9711 Becker Court
Fredericksburg, VA 22408

Show up, bring a friend, order the book here, and have fun, ladies.

Evident Grace Launches New Children’s Programs January 11th


Teaching our children is one of the valued distinctives that we Elementary school class outsidepursue in our ever-growing community at Evident Grace. In light of that, we are excited to announce that on January 11th, Evident Grace will be offering children’s teaching programs ranging from infant to Grade 5. Here is how we are going to do it.

From 9:15am until 10:00am, we will be launching our first Sunday School for Grades 1-5. They will be meeting in our conference room, upstairs in our meeting space above Liberty Lanes. During that time, and over the course of the next 13 weeks, they will be studying the books of Exodus and Leviticus.

During our 10:30am worship service, we offer a nursery for newborns up until age 2.

Then during the sermon until the end of our service, we offer an age specific teaching time for ages 2-5.

To insure you of any concerns, all of our childcare workers have been thoroughly trained and their backgrounds checked.

Evident Grace’s Missional Pillars are Community, Worship, and Service. The expansion of our children’s ministry aligns with all three.

Teaching our children builds a community for our kids and enables our families to make new connections and build relationships.

Teaching our children enables worship as our kids learn more and more about the church, the scriptures, and Jesus.

Teaching our children enables service as we desire to offer our children’s ministries to the entire Spotsylvania/Fredericksburg area.

You can find Evident Grace each Sunday as we meet on the top floor of the Liberty Lanes facility. The Sunday School starts at 9:15am, and worship begins at 10am. You can find directions here.

If you want to learn more, just call Evident Grace at 919-412-8161 or email us at [email protected]

This Is How We Do at Evident Grace


This-is-How-We-doWith so many thinking that there is a church on every corner, it is fair to ask why any young church should exist. Because of that, a purposeful church should have a purposeful rationale for its existence. Otherwise, just let some other church do the job. So, in light these truths, Evident Grace launched based upon these verses:

Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God has been made evident, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

In summary, Evident Grace exists because God’s grace made evident in our lives enables us to make God’s grace evident to the world.

But practically, what does that mean for us? How does a church live out that mission specifically for the Spotsylvania/Massaponax community? So, to put boots to that missional ground, Evident Grace lives out these 3 missional pillars: Community, Worship, and Service. That means that everything we do should…

We desire to deepen our ever-growing community,

We desire to focus on growing in and reflecting on the worship that we enjoy each Sunday,

And those things should enable our church to grow in service to each other and our community.

We have activities like (eg)Groups and studies for our men and women for community, worship, and service, but even with that, people still wonder what the actions are that each person should work towards for those missional pillars. Well, we want to help and make those things crystal clear. If we are going to make God’s grace evident through community, worship, and service, this is how each person can do that. They can,

Invite Eagerly: which means we will live lives constantly aware to invite people to both become a part of Evident Grace and to begin a relationship with Jesus.

Pursue Purposefully: which means that we will make a point to always greet new visitors and to meet with each other with the purpose of getting to know each other better and to enable each other to grow in their relationship with Christ.

Serve Selflessly: which means that we will serve however and whenever the church needs and according to the gifting that God has given us.

Give Gladly: which means that we will demonstrate our thankfulness to God for all that we have by giving financially to support the mission and work of the church.

This mission, these pillars and these distinctives are much of why and how EG is going to show the grace of Christ to the Spotsylvania/Massaponax area.

If you are new or curious about Evident Grace, please worship with us at 10:30 on Sunday. We meet at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes or you could just contact us at [email protected].

If you are already a part of Evident Grace, let’s get together to talk about these things so that we can pray and dream about what God might do among us.

Is Church Membership Antiquated?


Many churches this time of year hold membership or partnership classes. In fact,Evident Grace Fellowship, will be hosting one soon.   Culturally, however, one notion that continues to gain popularity is whether or not church membership, affiliation, or partnership is biblical.

There is a popular notion that church membership is an option for the believer. So, is it?

I bump into this idea that the structured, organized church is broken and can sufficiently be discarded for such reasons as style. So then, is the organized church antiquated and out of date? Can we just discard it and live more “robust, spiritual” lives?

I would answer “no” and not just because I’m a pastor. Many will say that you can’t find the context of church in any organized, structured way in scripture and that living church is simply living out Christ’s commands. But that is hard to do without the organized church.

How do you obey Christ and rebuke a brother and eventually take him to the church if it is not organized (Matthew 18)?

How do you appoint elders and deacons if the church is not organized (I Timothy 3 and Titus 1)?

How do leaders care for your soul and how do you submit to those leaders if you are not organized (Hebrews 13:17)?

How are pastors ordained to ministry if the church isn’t organized (I Timothy 5)?

Why would Paul warn the Corinthians to eat at home so as not to make pigs of themselves during the Lord’s Supper if the church is not organized (I Corinthians 11)?

These are all direct commands of scripture. Obedience and thus loving Christ is living out these commands. The church, however flawed she may be, is a wonderful gracious gift of God intended to nurture and care for souls while glorifying Jesus.

I agree that the church has structures that are traditional and formal by very nature of an organization that has met for 2000 years, but that does not mean the the organism as it exists today is non-biblical. Being a Christian does make you part of the church. But declaring to live a life outside the commands of scripture (which include the commands to organize the church) is an inherently non-biblical and non-Christian attitude.

My urging for folks who want to abandon the church? Don’t. Biblically challenge the structures that frustrate you. Love her, but don’t leave her. Love that does not desire Godly change will just become empty criticism. Love that desires Godly change is effectual love.


Taste and See if You Like Evident Grace on 09/12


taste_and_seeHave you ever been to a restaurant and seen a dish on the menu that interested you? Of course, but the way most restaurants work is that you don’t get a taste ahead of time to find out if you really like it. Your choices are either taking a risk and ordering the dish or skipping it for something that you know you will like. The problem is that you will just never know if the dish you skipped was good or not.

Churches can be the same way. Maybe you like the service or you like an event that they hosted, but often, there is not any venue where you can find out more about the church. Most folks have questions that they would love to have answered, but where can you do that with a church?

Well, Evident Grace will be hosting a “Taste and See” get together Friday, September 12th at 6:30pm, for anyone who would like to know more about the church. The idea is for Gordon, the pastor, to spend some time presenting the history and vision of the church, coupled with a hope for where Evident Grace might be going. Jeremy, our pastoral intern, will be there as well, so hopefully, between the two, most of your questions can be answered. There will be plenty of opportunities for Q & As, and as any good event should have, there will also be food.

This will be a completely non-pressure, casual get together much like friends discussing something they like or want to know more about. There will be none of this, “What will it take to get you in this car today?” salesmanship. In fact, it will be a great, low-key event to bring a friend.

If you would like to join us, we will have childcare, and we will kick off at 6:30pm. We will go as long as folks are interested, and you can head out whenever you want or need. We will be meeting at the Curtas home at

6601Turkey Run Drive

Fredericksburg, VA 22407

If you have questions or would like to confirm, contact Gordon at [email protected] or call him at 919-412-8161.

When Nothing Goes Right in Worship



This is our second post of worship observations. You can find our first here. This week, we talk about when things don’t go well – a common challenge for young churches.

At Evident Grace, we have been meeting for a year and a half. For church planters and church plants, a year and a half feels like five regular years. Each Sunday, you feel like you are taking giant leaps forward as you become more efficient in everything from setup/takedown, greeting, music, children’s ministry, etc.

And then there are the Sundays where you feel like you take giant steps back. It feels like you have never met for worship before.   No one seems to get anything right.

Here is my encouragement, fellow planters and young churches:  While each good Sunday feels like five years ahead, an off Sunday is not a five year setback. Let me give a painful example.

This past Sunday, we were launching a new series, “Journey to Worship – a Study of Ezra”. Excitement built fairly well, and several folks joined in to help with a decent amount of web/social media promotion. While I am given to hyperbole like many church planters, I could realistically say that folks were pretty excited.

But things didn’t go as planned.

For some reason, from the onset, I stumbled over my words. Apparently, I said that, “Christ was circumcised for our sins.” While true in one sense that was far away from my wanting to say that He was crucified for our sins.

I was leading our music as well. Leading a crowd in singing is something that I have comfortably done for over 25 years now, but apparently, comfortable was not yesterday. I couldn’t get into a groove no matter what. In fact, the team finally stopped one song and just began again.

My sermon was never was comfortable either. I felt rushed. I felt the need to over-explain everything, and I continually lost the ability to pronounce most every world.

We made plans to take the Lord’s Supper, but our elder wasn’t able to make it, so the elements remained lonely on the table – something we had to explain to our congregations and visitors.

I left assured that no one was ever going to show up ever again.

But here is the encouragement to my heart and to yours, young planter and young congregation. Our worship is not about professionalism and perfection. While starting songs together and ending them together is preferable, while a commanding sermon delivery is helpful, neither of those are necessary for worship. Worship must always be about grace. Worship must always be about the lifting up of Christ. Grace and Christ equal worship. Preciseness is a bonus.

Yes, you seek to improve in every area. You learn from things that go both well and poorly. You practice and study more. You offer areas that continue to struggle to God in prayer. And then you give thanks for what happens.

So, this week, we will work towards getting the songs right and pronouncing the words correctly knowing that Christ will once again meet us on Sunday. If we make mistakes, we haven’t stepped back five years.

Christ will be lifted up, Christ will be honored, and we will be transformed. We will wait for eternity for mistake free worship.

Journey to Worship Service Preview for Sept 7


10654017_10100284510435919_1196740249_n1On Sept 7, Evident Grace begins its new series, “Journey to Worship – a Study of Ezra”.  As Ezra is not an often studied book, an extended preview might be helpful, so towards that end, here is the text of an important portion of the sermon.

You know how we grow in comfortable skepticism? We like to say things like, “Well, I know God can do anything, but I doubt anything is going to happen.” Or we will say, “Well, aint nothing going to change.  I mean I guess God can do something here.”

And in both cases, we have no hope that anything good or Godly is going happen. We should read Ezra and be reminded that God does what He will when He will, and as a result, we should stop being so cynical and skeptical.

Now, please hear me:  this isn’t junk theology that tells you to believe harder for what you want so God will do it.

I am not going to tell you that God can’t and won’t do things unless you change first.

God does what He will when He will, and you know what? I’m sure not going to tell you to go live life at a higher level while God has your back.

We should simply read Ezra and say, “God will receive glory no matter the circumstance.  And in that, we are transformed”

How do we know that? How can we be assured? The life and death and resurrection of Jesus show us that God will pursue His own glory and that nothing will stop it – not your sin, not your mistakes…nothing. God will be glorified, and God will be worshiped.

This study should take us up to the 2014 holiday season. The good thing about Ezra is that you can join it at any point and time and not be lost, but we encourage you to join us for worship on September 7th to experience our series launch. We meet each Sunday for worship at 1030am at the comedy club above Liberty Lanes, and you can find directions here.

Come as you are. We are neither formal nor casual. And if you desire, we have both a nursery, and we also offer an individual teaching time for children aged 2-5.

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