Responding to Immigration Needs _ June 2019

To: GraceCity Community
From: Dr. Bob Bingham
Re: Children and Families at the border


Hello GraceCity friends and neighbors. Many of you have indicated a desire to respond substantively to the reports of conditions in facilities housing children and families at the border. Others wish to advocate for immigration policies that combine border security, justice, goodness, kindness and mercy. Here you will find several avenues to get involved. 

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The Southern Borders Communities Coalition lists many faith-based (and non-faith based) organizations that directly aid immigrant families on the southern border on this page.

Below you will find additional methods and links to strategize more ways to be involved, or to refer immigrants to in your network of relationships. We do not advocate for any political positions held by any of these groups. We simply seek to open doors for supporting children and families in ways that honor our call as followers of Christ. He championed children. You decide.

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If you desire to joina group of GC folks and other neighbors who will continue to pursue active response and presence in these arenas, please feel free to reach out to Pastor Bob at rcbingham@gracecitybaltimore.org. We’ll keep you in the loop.

Call Congress, your mayor and local representatives. Contact your representative and tell them you want detention conditions improved. You can also reach out to your local representatives to ask that they initiate plans to help immigrant communities around Maryland and beyond. This official government website has provided links to finding your city, county and town officials.

Share responsibly. Legal aid organizations have said that over the next few days there will be a surge of posts on social media that say ICE has been spotted. The group has urged that people verify these posts before sharing or retweeting because false alarms could spread fear in immigrant communities.

Support humanitarian efforts.  Many immigrants are not informed of their legal and civil rights as they pursue asylum or face deportation. Several nonprofits are providing free legal representation and other services for immigrants and the families of those detained. United We Dream, the American Civil Liberties UnionMijente and Immigrant Justice Corps are coordinating advocacy and services at a national level. Local organizations providing legal aid include New Sanctuary Coalition in New York, Las Americas in El Paso and Raices in Texas, Americans for Immigrant Justice in Florida and Denver Immigrant Legal Services Fund in Colorado.

Inform yourself and your community. The A.C.L.U., who joined forces with Brooklyn Defender Services, has shared a “Know Your Rights” page for encounters with ICE. They have also provided a video to help understand your rights and what to do if ICE officials come to your home.

Hold political candidates accountable. While the presidential primaries are at least seven months away, you can prepare to cast your ballot for a more humane border policy by following what each candidate has shared about their plans for immigration reform.

Speak up. Protest marches and other civic actions to end squalid conditions for children and families, are expected across the country in the coming weeks. You can also take part in Lights for Liberty, a nationwide vigil on July 12 at 9 p.m. local time. 

[We will let you know more about a Baltimore site(s) for a corresponding vigil on July 12]

June 2019

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Baltimore, mark your calendars, we want you to experience a community of diverse believers living out the gospel mission to reconcile our hearts to God and to one another.

Come join GraceCity at our yearly outdoor service, followed by food, games and fun for all ages! Sunday June 9th, 10:00am-1:00pm, Baltimore Museum of Industry.

Sisters United Paint Night

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This event sold out but we are excited for all the ladies who are joining us Friday, June 14th as we continue to grow through relationships with our sisters from Leadenhall Baptist Church.

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Join the GC Ladies for food, fellowship and fun at the 4th Annual GCWomen Pool Party. On Monday June 24th from 6-9pm at the Otterbein Swim Club. Please bring a side dish to share and meet your GraceCity sisters. Swimming is optional and children under 2 are welcome. We hope to see you there!

GC Youth Group “The Harbor”

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GC Youth is poppin’ this month with lots of activity! If you have a middle or high school student make sure they know about these events!

  1. The Youth will be attending the Power Choice Youth Symposium on Saturday, June 8th from 11 AM – 4 PM. This event will be held at Arundel Christian Church in Glen Burne, MD and is being hosted by another youth pastor.
  2.  We will have our end of the year pool party on Sunday, June 23rd from 12 pm – 3 pm at Otterbein Pool following church service. 

Let Erin or Casey know if you have any questions about either of these events or how to get your teen plugged in at The Harbor!

 

Connections Ministry Invites you…

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Are you new to GraceCity and want to learn more about the church? Or have you been attending GraceCity for awhile but haven’t gotten a chance to get to know many others? Life in the city has it’s ups and downs and we’re not meant to go through it alone! Come to GraceCity’s Newcomer Brunch to feel At Home in the City on June 23, 2019 right after church. Meet GraceCity leaders, and other members from church. Find your community. You are never alone at GraceCity! Contact Kiana Iranmanesh or Whitney Plunkett for more information.

 

May 2019

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Whether you’re lacing up those running shoes or engaging on social media — help us give more hope and freedom to children in Maryland! By participating in Race Against Traffick and/or becoming a fundraiser, you will help Araminta Freedom Initiative continue to awaken, equip, and mobilize the Church and community in Maryland to end human trafficking through education, prevention strategies, and restorative survivor services.

Join us on May 11th at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore for this fun and family friendly event!

Register to participate in the race at: aramintafreedom.org/racesignup Sign up to run with the GraceCity team! Registration ends May 9th.

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Online registration has ended for this event. Register at the door. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to be apart of discussion and on the road to being equipped as a reconciler in Christ.

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SHARPkids needs you this summer! We are looking for 6 people to commit to tutoring a child this summer. The tutoring session runs from June 24-August 23 and is a time commitment of one hour a week.
Come find out more at our Link up Event May 19th from 1:00-3 PM. This meeting will happen in the community room that SHARPkids meets, 911 Leadenhall Street.

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Bring a family member, friend or neighbor to church day!!! We hope we will see you, Sunday June 9, 2019 from 10:00am to 1:00pm. This will be a event you don’t want to miss! Food, games, fun and JESUS…..what could be better then that?

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Sisters United kicks off their first social event after IF gathering to bring these two churches together for a fun time. Come out Friday, June 14th, 2019 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm for a Sip and Paint night. This event takes place in the Stadium Square building at 145 Ostend Street and the cost to paint is $30. Reserve your spot today. Come sign up at the table in the lobby May 12th and May 26th. If you have any questions email Devon Conklin at Devon.conklin@gmail.com 

April 2019

April brings spring weather, Holy Week and lots of other exciting things at GraceCity.

 

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We are beyond excited to have this incredible line up of speakers for our Good Friday service. Bringing together different church communities from all over Baltimore is a beautiful thing! — Christin Hanigan and John Crooks from GraceCity, Cynthia Johnson and Pastor Duane Johnson from Speak to my Heart Ministries, Pastor Charles Hall and Vanessa Elam from Life Church and Pastor Ryan Casey from Horizon Church.

 

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Join us Saturday April 20th at Federal Hill Park to serve the families in our community the annual Easter egg Hunt. It is real easy to sign up, just follow the link.

Serving times range between 8:00am-1:00pm. This is a great opportunity to connect with our neighbors and meet new families.

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Baltimore! Have plans for Easter yet? We’d love to have you join us for our Easter Service at 10:00am on April 21, 2019 at GraceCity. We meet at Digital Harbor High School (1100 Covington St. 21230) We also offer a magnificent Sunday school for ages birth to 5th grade at 10:00am.

All are welcomed to celebrate the resurrection at our diverse church who’s mission is by the grace of Jesus Christ reconciling people to God and one another.

 

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Our next SHAPE Workshop is Saturday April 27th. The purpose of the S.H.A.P.E. Workshop is to help you uncover the ways God has specifically and intentionally designed you. This includes your (S) Spiritual Gifts, (H) Heart’s passions, (A) Abilities, (P) Personal style, and your (E) life Experiences. These are woven together to help you discover how God has wired you and already equipped you for a specific purpose in His Kingdom. Your purpose in attending may be to know and understand your spiritual gifts, to discover how you can best serve God’s Kingdom, or to re-affirm the best fit for the roles and positions you already have currently.

To sign up text “Text “SHAPE” to 443-400-7044. Deadline to sign up is 4/14/19.

 

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Whether you’re lacing up those running shoes or engaging on social media — help us give more hope and freedom to children in Maryland! By participating in Race Against Traffick and/or becoming a fundraiser, you will help Araminta Freedom Initiative continue to awaken, equip, and mobilize the Church and community in Maryland to end human trafficking through education, prevention strategies, and restorative survivor services.

Join us on May 11th at Druid Hill Park in Baltimore for this fun and family friendly event!

Register to participate in the race at: aramintafreedom.org/racesignup Sign up to run with the GraceCity team!

 

 

March 2019

IMG_7824Pressure Points: Responding with Compassion to the Opioid Crisis

Thursday March 14, 2019  | 7 PM – 8:45 PM

One of the greatest public health challenges of our day remains the widespread use of illicit substances, particularly opioids. Over the past two decades dramatic increases in opioid use and opioid-related overdose deaths increasingly devastate our communities. While people of every social identity use illicit substances, people of color, poor people, and other marginalized groups are particularly targeted by the “war on drugs”. Now that the overdose epidemic has reached broader public awareness, how will we take account of the current needs, as well as the past harms done?

Please join us for a timely Pressure Points conversation on March 14th to discuss drug use and a range of strategies developed to address it. We’ll learn about harm reduction — a set of principles and practices aimed at promoting the health, dignity, and safety of those affected by substance use — and various harm reduction efforts in Baltimore. As an optional part of this event, we will provide opioid overdose response training and distribute naloxone kits (a.k.a. “Narcan,” the antidote to opioid overdose).

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Financial Peace University

Kicks off: Sunday, March 17, 2019 | 8:45a – 10:00a
Digital Harbor HS
Facilitated by Julie Neal and Brendan O’Brien
FPU consists of a nine-week video curriculum taught by financial expert Dave Ramsey, and it incorporates small group discussions that help encourage accountability and discipleship. Our group will meet once a week for the 60 minute discussion portion, and you will watch the video portion online as part of you FPU membership. The course is just as fun as it is practical!

Sign up here today!
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March Madness

Friday, March 22, 2019 5:30p – 9:00p
Bunzzz Sports Bar & Grill
200 E Pratt St
Baltimore, MD 21202 view map

Who will be this years Cinderella? Will your #12 beat the #5? Will UVA break Allan’s faith in his mighty Wahoo’s forever, or will they make it into the second round?!

Come watch March madness Round One action and learn the answers to all these questions with your Grace City bro’s.

Whether you can make it to the event or not, make sure you fill out a bracket and enter it into the GC Brotherhood pool . Pastor Bob usually wins, but maybe you can top his hoops IQ! 

December 2018

CHRISTMASEVE2018Welcome to the Christmas season at GraceCity!

Advent and Christmas Eve Schedule 2018

Sundays this December 2nd, 9th, 16th & 23rd
Sunday Service: 10:00am
GC Youth (middle and high schooler): 10:00am
Children’s Church (birth-5th grade): 10:00am

Christmas Eve Service 4:00pm

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Small Group Advent Study

There is no better season or reason to join a small group then the GC Advent Study. Released in the week before the corresponding sermon, these guides written by GraceCity small group leaders are meant to spur reflection and conversation in order to engage with the Christmas story in a deeper way. To participate with others, join a GraceCity small group for the holiday season.  For more information on times and locations, email smallgroups@gracecitybaltimore.org

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SHARPkids Christmas Store

In order to make the Christmas store possible we need your help. The kids use their hard earned (fake) money to buy their parents, siblings or other special people in their lives Christmas presents. We are seeking new items to fill our store with joy this year. Please consider purchasing items of donation such as winter items, household items, educational games, books, toys, sporting equipment, or clothes, gift cards. Drop off in the lobby Sunday at church now through December 16th. Or email Lil Gurney to arrange alternate pick up or drop off times.

GC10_final logoGC 10thAnniversary Gala

Come celebrate GraceCity’s ten years with us!

From our very first Sunday on January 11th, 2009 at Lee Street Memorial Baptist Church, through three venues, multiple high impact service arenas, city-wide fellowship in small groups, and more blessings by the grace of Jesus Christ than we ever expected; join us to celebrate the GraceCity story on the evening of Saturday, January 12th, 2019 at the Baltimore Museum of Industry. 

Details:
Small plate fare, dessert, magnificent memories, and dancing
Fancy urban chic dress
Doors open at 6:30 pm

Don’t miss early bird pricing which ends December 16th!

Tickets on sale in the Lobby every Sunday or on CCB.
Join us.  It wouldn’t be a party without you!

October 2018

Exciting things to be watching out for in the month of October at GraceCity…

 

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Pressure Points: Being Agents of Peace in a Culture of Violence 

October 29th | 7-9:15pm | Digital Harbor High School

Violence in any Baltimore neighborhood affects every neighborhood in Baltimore.

With a stellar panel of Baltimore leaders in education, government, law enforcement, faith, nonprofits and business – this Pressure Points event tackles the need for reconciliation across all lines, to add substantial peacemaking action and presence in our great city. Gathering together from around the city for peaceful purpose and call to action, serves to repudiate violence with a vision for greatness…

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Pray & Worship Night

October 26th | 7-9:15pm |GraceCity’s Loft

We will be praying around ‘Singleness, Relationships, Marriage & Families’

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This is your last month to sign up for S.H.A.P.E. Workshop.

The purpose of the S.H.A.P.E. Workshop is to help you uncover the ways God has specifically and intentionally designed you. This includes your (S) Spiritual Gifts, (H) Heart’s passions, (A) Abilities, (P) Personal style, and your (E) life Experiences. These are woven together to help you discover how God has wired you and already equipped you for a specific purpose in His Kingdom. Your purpose in attending may be to know and understand your spiritual gifts, to discover how you can best serve God’s Kingdom, or to re-affirm the best fit for the roles and positions you already have currently.

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And don’t forget all this month you can check out the Growing in Grace Class: “When Helping Hurts: The Small Group Experience.” It meets every Sunday morning this month. Find out more info here.

September 2018

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We hope you stopped by our Ministry Fair, Sunday 9/16. If you missed the chance or need more information on how you can get plugged in to one of our growing ministries you can find all the info you need right here.

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Pressure Points | “Schools and the City: A conversation about educating our own and ‘Other People’s’ children”

Join us at Digital Harbor High School (1100 Covington St. 21230) for a City-Wide Conversation. Friday, September 21st | 7:00pm – 9:15pm

Few subjects generate a wider range of opinions than the task of educating our children. In Baltimore City and across the nation, schools, teachers, and student outcomes undergo constant evaluation and critique.

This GraceCity-sponsored Pressure Points event will facilitate dialogue around the complex topic of education. A diverse group of researchers and advocates, former city schools students, and parents will share their varied perspectives and experiences of education in Baltimore. Together we’ll examine the role of public education, challenges facing schools and students, how those challenges might be addressed, and the role we as community members, students, parents, and educators play.

We hope you’ll join us for an interactive evening that will include panel discussions, plenty of Q&A, and space to reflect on the complex array of issues shaping the education of Baltimore’s children.

All are welcome and invited!

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When Helping Hurts: The Small Group Experience​ is a six week small group video study produced by the Chalmers Center based on the book of the same name. For Growing in Grace, the class will include two additional weeks for a total of eight classes in order to incorporate Q&A time with GraceCity’s service arenas.

When Helping Hurts​ redefines poverty and poverty alleviation in a way that gives value to the one being served and reduces the superiority complex of the one serving. While it focuses on serving the majority world, the study’s concepts are equally applicable to work being done in GraceCity’s service arenas.

For more information on this class that launches September 23rd, 8:45am at Digital Harbor High School contact Allan McBride.

 

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The GraceCity’s Men’s Ministry is getting back into the action. With a defined mission for growing mature accountable and noble men who intentionally impact their community with god’s love. There will be two ways to engage in this ministry. First they are bringing back their weekly Wednesday morning meet ups at Kobe Cafe (644 E. Fort Ave.) from 7am-8am. They will also gather the 1st and 4th Sunday of every month at Digital Harbor High School before service from 8:50am-9:40am. For more details you can contact Pastor Corey or Jamon Bailey.

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And last but not least please lift up all the Women who are attending the Women’s Retreat 9/28-9/30. We hope Jesus meets them where they need to be met.

 

August 2018

There are a lot of exciting things coming up at GraceCity in the month of August and beyond. Pressure Points will be taking the month of August off but will be back with a big one in September…stay tuned.

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3rd Annual GC Women’s Summer Pool Party

Please join us at the Otterbein Swim Club on Monday August 6th for swimming, food and fellowship at our 3rd Annual Summer Party. Please be sure to RSVP on CCB. We hope to see you there!

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Growing in Grace

Our Adult Discipleship Class makes its return Sunday, August 19. We meet at the school right before service at 8:50am. This will be a 4 week class on prayer. We will be discussing what prayer is, different types of prayer, what holds us back from prayer and, more importantly, how to pray. Our hope is that we all acquire information and tools to help us develop and sustain a robust prayer life. It will be co-led by Trish and Chinwe. You can RSVP on CCB, Facebook or just show up!

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7th Annual GraceCity Women’s Retreat

When: September 28-30, 2018
Where: Pearlstone Retreat Center– 4110, 5425 Mt Gilead Rd, Reisterstown, MD 21136
Who: All Women of GraceCity and their moms, sisters, aunts, girlfriends (and their children under 1 yr old)
Cost details: Full Weekend or Saturday only options available.
Scholarships Available
Payment plan available (must be paid in full by the beginning of the retreat)
Full weekend: $222, Saturday Conference: $75

SAVE THE DATE…

Growing in Grace (When Helping Hurts) | Sunday September 16th

SHAPE Workshop | Saturday, November 17th

July 2018

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GraceCity’s Pressure Points invites you to an honest conversation about mental health, Thursday, July 12th, 7-8:30pm. We’ll discuss myths and misperceptions, reducing mental health stigma, accessing supports, and promoting understanding and wellness.

Mental health ​receives tons of attention these days – news reports expose us to communities ravaged by addiction and families haunted by suicide; schools are increasingly addressing issues like teen depression; we might even listen to podcasts with titles like “The United States of Anxiety”…

And yet, for many of us, mental health remains an uncomfortable and stigmatized topic. All too often, not even the church feels like a safe space to talk about mental health.

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Prayer & Worship Night

A time of corporate prayer and worship outside of regular Sunday church service. To bring the church together for united prayer for Gracecity, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and globally. Our next quarterly prayer night will be Friday, July 27th at the GraceCity Loft from 7pm-9:15pm. The focus will be on the men and women of the church and around two of our service arenas Araminta & Hope Springs. We hope you join us for a night fo prayer and worship.

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Save the Date 

7th Annual GraceCity Women’s Retreat. September 28 – September 30. Here is the link to sign up and all the information you need. (If you sign up now in the month of July you can pay for the retreat in installments)