On the ministry side, we enjoyed one of our strongest Sundays ever at Grace. With the help of hundreds of volunteers and a dedicated staff, we were able to serve over 6000 people on Easter Sunday, in 15 services across 4 locations! By all reports things went smoothly in all venues, with people being warmly greeted, personally engaged, and spiritually inspired. Once again I was humbled and amazed by the talent, commitment, and passion of the many people who make things like this happen at Grace. Being able to step up and preach in that kind of atmosphere was a joy and privilege.
But it wasn't the attendance or logistics that made it such a great day, it was the message we celebrated and proclaimed - that LIFE is stronger than death! The four faith stories we heard made that message clear, personal, and believable. They reminded us that stories like that are unfolding every week in the lives of thousands of people touched by the ministry of Grace Chapel. How blessed we are to be able to worship, grow, and serve in such a vibrant church community!
Thanks to all who served, prayed, invited friends, and gave to support what God is doing at Grace!
On the personal side, I got to participate in one of the best Boston Marathon's ever! Over 30,000 runners on a picture-perfect day - with safety and beauty and Boston pride on display everywhere. The first 15 miles went by quickly, and I was right on pace, cheered along by quite a few Grace Chapel folks along the way!
The Newton hills took a toll, and the final miles were tough. This Yankee fan was never so happy to see the Citgo sign looming down the road; it signals two miles to go. Getting to that sign just about did me in! Hearing, "right on Hereford, left on Boylston" revived my spirits, and I crossed the finish line 4 minutes short of my goal - but happy to have beaten my NYC marathon mark from 20 years ago!
I did some praying along the way, which helped pass the time and the miles. I gave thanks for a wonder-filled Easter Sunday, and prayed for the other pastors who are part of the Greater Things for Greater Boston network. As I came into town, I began praying for the city. Just as I began, someone yelled from the crowd, "Go greater Boston!" I have no idea who said it or why, but in my semi-delirious state, I took it as a word from God that He was, in fact, doing greater things in greater Boston, and in HIs purposes Grace Chapel is part of it!
All this to say it was truly a Boston strong weekend for me. I'm feeling grateful to God and to the community at Grace Chapel to be part of all that God is doing here for His glory!
- Pastor Bryan