Then God said, ‘Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness...’
+ Genesis 1:26
The Gospel writers and those who recorded the stories of people who experienced the transformative power of the Holy Spirit knew how essential it was to be in a community that celebrates Jesus as Lord and Friend. They wanted us to know that grace was not a noun but a verb full of not only the power to save but the power to change lives. And they also wanted us to know that our friendship with Jesus is personal but not private and as we grow and mature we will most naturally join him in giving life to others.
Welcome to this year’s ministry theme, discipleship series and giving campaign, “Grace in Action.” Over the next 8 weeks, we’ll reflect together on how God generously puts grace into action, from homemaking to celebrating to bridge-building acts of mercy – and how we, children of God created in the image of God, can do the same.
Let’s start at the beginning. According to the Bible’s opening story, God is a creator, organizer, decorator, feeder, teacher, gardener, and builder of this world we call home.
Here at Eden Church for these past few years, even in the hardest of times, we’ve been working hard to become homemakers in the image of God. Through so many initiatives, contributions and ministries we’ve helped to feed our neighbors near and far, support our missions partners, we’ve been builders and gardeners. Our children’s and student ministries have made us teachers. And many new ministries are making us creator, organizer, decorator, feeder, teacher, gardener, and builder. LOOK AT HOW GOD HAS SHINED HIS GRACE THROUGH US IN THE LAST YEAR!!
Unveiling of new EPIC Pathways with companion book and spiritual life coaching
12 Miracles published sharing lives changed through Eden Church
New BLESS Mission focus wall in upper narthex
2 Baptisms (Mike Edwards, Carson VanCleave)
8 New members: Jan Breedan, Don & Jill Parsons, Max VanCleave, Kim Petro, Melody Sheehan, Byran & Andrea Weikel
New monitors in our sanctuary to make the cross central to our worship
Church app development - now to include digital directory - app/website development continues as a place of connection
Launch of men’s ministry - Forged by Fire
Celebrate Staff - Matt’s completion of his Master’s in Ministry and new role in discipleship ministries - Hiring of Ashley Dobbs Director of Kids & Students
Launch of ESU Students Ministries
Student mentoring on the Eden Church campus
Spark ministry to elementary age kids & families on campus & through Zoom
Alpha Course - 12 people completed Course
Mending the Soul - healing ministry for abuse survivors - 12 women completed course
New Living Room created for small group ministries
Call Out Choir enhances worship
Life with God Life Groups formed and growing
Trunk or Treat outreach a success
Monthly Food Drives for Christian Ministries
New iServe Opportunities Make a Difference in our community (Christian Ministries,CM Christmas gifts for kids & gift for 4 families in our community, Blood & Fire, Habitat for Humanity, Muncie Mission - Walk a Mile, Tools for Schools Shoe Drive, Eaton Disc Golf Course)
DivorceCare ministry brings healing
Trustees projects beautifying and supporting new security camera installation
Deacons care for our congregation and serve in worship
Leadership Board honing our governance model to best succeed in our mission
Art Ministry bringing community together to create beauty
New Eden Kids Art Space in worship area
Eden Kids buy a Heifer International for a family in Equador
VBS for kids with a new adults class
EPIC Leadership Retreat w/Doug Webster
Chosen Season 2 Lenten Journey with Movie night
Holy Week Seder Event
Church Under the Trees
We grieve the passing of 2 precious members of our Eden Family Pat Cook & Ross Walter whose invested their lives in home-making Eden. Their hands and hearts were allowing God's grace to be turned into action in so many ways.
God graciously made the cosmos, and we’re called to act in God’s image by making EDEN CHURCH into a microcosm within that larger one, a place where everyone can feel at home. If you’ve found a home here, or have been moved by one of the ministries just mentioned, we hope you’ll help make sure our little microcosm stays as graceful and active as possible.
Listen to this brief testimony from Andrea Prybis who will be baptized this Sunday, a homemaker in our midst.
“From the moment we walked in people made us feel welcome and at home. This gave me a warm feeling of being accepted and loved. I knew from that day Eden was my home and I couldn’t see myself going anywhere else. And now I can see how I’m called to make this home for others.
I didn’t experience the warmth of God early in my life, but now through my Life Group and Life with God studies I’m growing to understand and see how God is working in my life and in our family. Instead of being anxious, God has helped me open my heart to more relationships and opportunities to serve and now I can think through things and ask God for help and before I would not have done that. Through my own growth it has helped me to see just how beautiful our blended family is and how God is blessing and healing us.
I’m home-making by making people feel welcome. I’ve welcomed people into our family get-togethers, served others through the Welcome Center, Deacons, mentoring and our iServe outreach. EPIC coaching has opened up a whole new understanding of myself and I encourage everyone to do that because it is a simple yet transforming experience.
I was also struggling with the passing of my brother and now I know my brother is at peace and he is where he should be which has given me comfort and strengthened my faith because I now see more things through God’s eyes. I wouldn’t have done that previously - Eden has done that for me.”
We hope you’ll reflect on what Andrea has shared on God, home, and the microcosm we’re building together. What will God do next through His church? We believe so much more than we can ask or think when we put Grace in Action through the ministries above and these new ministries and areas of growth. Be in prayer as we put these into action in 2022.
Crescendo new Spices for Life Group & Study for Boomers
Body & Soul Eden’s new health and wholeness ministry
Development of leaders for new Life with God groups, Mending the Soul, DivorceCare and student ministries, worship and A/V Tech areas of ministry
Retreats and camp development for kids, youth and adults
Compassionate Friends support group for grieving parents
Maybe you don’t know what doors you’re unlocking yet, but God promises he will bless others through you. The next 8 weeks we will also be participating together in a community wide Bible study and sermon series, No Strings Attached - Untangling Your Heart's Attachment to Money.
Watch your mailbox for a special letter with your own personal pledge card. Put it somewhere you’ll see it every day – and whenever you see it, try praying the prayer printed on the back. Then bring it along, still blank, to Giving Sunday on November 6th, when we’ll joyfully put our God-given Grace into Action.
Jesus made clear, “As the Father has sent me now I send you,” and you responded! “Here I am, send me.” Not as a missionary sent across an ocean, but one called to BLESS their own local church and community. We see God’s grace working so powerfully through you and so we say thank you for investing yourself, your gifts, your time and your love as part of this EPIC adventure at Eden Church. You are the KEY to opening the door to others so they may experience friendship with God. And when it happens, that my friend is “Grace in Action.” We are Eden!
Thankful for you,
PS! Come and celebrate new life in Christ with those being baptized this Sunday and coming together around the table of fellowship after worship for a potluck. It's family time!