We Launched!

Our God is a God who fulfills his promises. Grace Capital City has officially launched!

For well over a year, prayer and planning has been the foundation of this church. We’ve constantly been asking God, what is it that you want to do? What is it that you have for this city? With Him at the center of our hearts and minds we’ve done our best to follow in His footsteps. Now look where we are.

After months of confusion, months of wondering whether or not this will actually work out (at least the way we thought it would) The Lord provided. We launched our church at Church of the Pilgrims in a beautiful sanctuary with over 200 people in attendance. Families, students, volunteers, and church planters filled the space and it all became very real. Hearing the voices harmonize together in worship is something too amazing to really describe. Our pastor, Chris Moerman, taught about the face of Jesus, and how we are to be that face to DC. Once you see His face, there’s no going back. Then there were prayers and commissioning from spiritual leaders in Atlanta and DC. It suddenly felt like we all became a huge family. We are so thankful for all of this and what the Lord has done.

That night has proven to me once again that at the end of the day, everything really is grace. There is nothing that we did to deserve such magnificence. The grandness of the building, the prayerful support of His people, the relentless love of the Father is all unmerited, yet here it is. What a gift. What if we were to extend that grace? To love as He does, with justice and mercy. What if we, as the body of Christ, became the face of Jesus to this city? Big things are coming my friends. The goodness of the Lord is alive and well, forever and always.

LOOKING BACK AS WE MOVE FORWARD

As I’m writing this we are exactly one week away from our official launch service and just a few hours away from our first service in our new location, all these changes and milestones for our church are causing me to feel just a little nostalgic!

I’m remembering how the journey of ‘prayer and discernment’ began roughly 3 years ago, how much I fought God’s leading before eventually saying yes to His call. I’m remembering the season in Atlanta where people from our Church at Grace Midtown would gather at our house and join us on ‘scouting trips’ to DC as they discerned and discovered whether they where also called to move to DC to help plant this church. I’m remembering our very first gathering in DC, 12 of us to be exact, in our living room, eating pancakes, drinking coffee and praying that God might do something powerful in our midst. I’m remembering how quickly we outgrew our living room as God added people to our community and where then able to find the ‘upper room’ on Capitol Hill, the loft space of a Starbucks where we gathered for worship for a season. I’m remembering that by God’s grace we outgrew that space too and had to move to the basement of the Hampton Inn, again God added people to our community and we where blessed to continue stepping forward in God’s mission, and I’m remembering  that just when it seemed almost hopeless, like we wouldn’t be able to find a new space to meet, God came through at the last minute with our new location… a wonderful Sanctuary in DuPont Circle, a place to worship, gather and grow.

But most of all I’m remembering that God is faithful. He’s always been faithful, my heart has gone up and down, back and forth, experienced joy and fear, confidence and doubt… but God  has always remained steadfast.

Thank you God for leading us to the place where we ready to launch… ready to close the door on our long season of preparation and step into the promise of a new faith community in our nations Capital. Thank you God.

Psalm 36:5 “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies”

MEET THE LAUNCH TEAM!

Time to introduce you to a member of our incredible GCC launch team. We have so many amazing people with so many different gifts and passions as part of this community, and this month’s member is no exception.

Madisons-party.jpg

Let me introduce you to Brittany Dionisio! Brittany has been involved with the GCC launch team since August 2015 when our community began our journey in DC. As a Georgia native, she knew when the church plant was announced that she wanted to be a part of what the Lord was about to do in DC. She currently works for the International Justice Mission, or IJM, a global organization fighting for human rights issues all over the world.

Why did you decide to be a part of the GCC launch team?

I’ve always been attracted to the authenticity of Grace, and its very real awareness that the Holy Spirit is still actively speaking and moving. I think so many people in DC are looking for purpose and worth and GCC extends an invite to come, be known and experience kingdom reality. I’m about that. So I was all in from the beginning.

What do you love about the city of Washington DC?

Oh man, I love this city. It’s vibrant and diverse and almost everyone is here because they want to make a difference in the world. Washingtonians are world-changers, for better or for worse, and I love being surrounded by deeply passionate people. Also, the monuments. Come on. The Lincoln Memorial lit up at night? Yes please. But what I love most about our GCC community is that it provides a deep sense of home in a very transient city. We’re a community in which all are welcome to come, bring their junk with them, be vulnerable with one another, and experience the sweet grace of Jesus together.

How would you describe the kind of church community you want to be a part of establishing in DC?

I want to be a community known for profoundly loving people. I want us to be a safe place – for the high ranking government official and the homeless beggar living on the street. I want to us to be a church that isn’t afraid to enter into the hard, uncomfortable things within ourselves, our community and our world, and for us to bring our good God into those difficult spaces. More than anything though, I just want our church to look and sound and smell and taste like Jesus, to be a place in which the Holy Spirit is moving and healing and breaking down walls and redeeming broken things.

Talking With Sara

Hi Sara!

How did you end up in DC?

It was definitely one of those things I heard clearly from the Lord. It literally was a door that opened and the Lord was like “You can walk through it if you want to, or not.” And the timing was perfect with my past job that ended in November. Chris a few months back had also opened the door for me, in a sense, and wanted to include me in this. I was like why not? So I just came up here blindly and it was the best decision I ever made.

Did you have any apprehensions before coming up here?

Honestly no. I was in Atlanta for two years after I moved back from college and I knew I wasn’t supposed to be in Atlanta but I didn’t know where I was supposed to be. And so when this opportunity came it just felt right. So I was more excited and eager than anything else.

What is your favorite part about DC?

I love the lifestyle DC has and the challenges it has brought. It’s a place where you can really learn and grow and figure things out for yourself. You’re also surrounded by monuments and you get to walk to the grocery store. It’s just stunning for one, but also the community that’s come with being here is probably the best.

What has God grown in you since you’ve been here?

Oh way too much. I’m just trying to keep up with it all. He’s revealing a lot of who I am naturally instead of who I thought I was or who I thought I should be. Just learning who Sara is has probably been the most beautiful, interesting, and challenging thing. But it has been an incredible process to grow and learn who I am in the Lord and not try to fight it. And to lean into it. And to learn what I believe full on instead of what I grew up maybe being taught or told. The Lord’s definitely doing a big work in me and I’m very thankful for it.

What do you want people to know about Jesus?

That you are a hundred percent loved where you are at in the current state of your life, and where you were at, and where you’re going to be. And that you can’t comprehend the love and care and value that you do have. That you do have a father that will chase after you. Oh my gosh, just got real heavy and deep. That you do belong and are accepted. That there is always hope. And you always have a home in him.

What’s your catchphrase?

I got a lot. “Well done” (British accent.) “Well there’s that.” I also have my own theme song to life. I don’t really know when I’m doing it. But then Megan always points it out.

Thanks Sara, for being you.

 

12 Months in DC - July Update

It’s hard to believe that it was almost exactly one year ago today that Jessica, Liam and myself packed up our U-Haul and moved away from our precious community in Atlanta and Grace Midtown to start our new lives in DC.  Though our heads where full of dreams and plans, if we’re honest our hearts swayed back and forth between the peace that surpasses understanding and moments of sheer terror. Looking back, it’s gone in a blink, while at the same time in a strange way it feels like we’ve lived in Washington, DC our entire lives.

From our very first gathering of 10 people in our living room where we ate pancakes, opened the Bible and prayed, to our months in the ‘Upper Room’ of the Starbucks on Capitol Hill where God began to add amazing men and women to our Church, to now a regular group of 80-90 meeting for worship in Foggy Bottom, in 5 House Churches spread across the city and preparing to officially launch in September, we truly have seen God come through with the ‘Immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine’ that Paul claims in Ephesians 3. We have seen just the first glimpses already of the vision God gave us back in Atlanta; the city that seemed so daunting has become a home, the church that seemed an impossible dream has started to become a reality and people who where once strangers have become family. We are grateful.

Please continue to pray and support. For all the growth and victories we have seen along the way, I’m more convinced then ever that the enemy does not want this church to prevail, we need sisters and brothers all across the country partnering with us in prayer, in resources and encouragement. Thank you for all of you who have already given so much and supported us so well.

Kingdom come,

Chris Moerman
Lead Pastor

MEET THE LAUNCH TEAM!

Time to introduce you to some members of our incredible GCC launch team. We have so many amazing people with so many different gifts and passions as part of this community, and this month’s members are no exception.

Let me introduce you to Monica Randolph! Monica has been involved with the GCC launch team since the announcement of the church plant in 2014, and has recently had the ability to move to the DC area. Monica has a huge, passionate heart for the international community, being a director of the Perspectives program at Grace Midtown, and we’re so happy she’s been able to make the move and be a huge part of the team!

Why did you decide to be a part of the GCC launch team?

I felt God’s call on my heart for the GCC Launch team when I first heard the announcement of a church plant in the heart of Washington, DC. At the time, the world was a tumultuous place; today it’s even worse. I believe Jesus is the answer to all the ‘wars and rumors of wars,’ and what better place to reach the world for His glory than Washington, DC, a gateway to the world.

What do you love about the city of Washington DC and the GCC community?

On my first Saturday morning here, I woke up and discovered – to my delight – that there are SO MANY things to do, I couldn’t even choose!!! I love that my part of the DC area is very international and diverse. People are friendly and welcoming, and they don’t think you’re a complete nerd because you want to spend a whole day in a museum. What I love to my core about the GCC community is that, to quote Jamie Winship, “you guys still believe that God can do something.” GCC’ers are an intrepid group of folks and I’m so thankful to be a part of them.

How would you describe the kind of church community you want to be a part of establishing in DC?

In the same way that I see Washington, DC, as a gateway city, I envision GCC as a gateway church, a church that welcomes in people from every part of the world: to love on them, strengthen and equip them, and send them out in Jesus’ name. I also see GCC as a body willing to stand up against the deceptions, injustices, and ungodliness that are plaguing the US and offer the changes and healing that only Jesus can bring.