In this world you will have trouble. Jesus shared this message with His closest friends to remind them that this world is fallen, filled with pain and anguish, and no longer represents the preferences of the creator for His creation. He continued by saying that we can be courageous in the presence of trouble because He has overcome this fallen world and all of its pain. He was the Savior of the world enduring unthinkable pain so that we might overcome it through Him.

However, in the midst of brokenness and tragedy, statements like the one above don’t always resonate with the love and compassion Jesus was expressing just moments before He would lay down His life for us. As Orlando, the city beautiful, mourns the loss of so many lives that are precious to God it can be hard to find the right words to convey that God truly does love us all. It is the practical ways we as believers share this love that reveals our Fathers heart to the world! It is in practical ways that love goes from being a theological concept to one we can see, touch, and feel.

This is our story. We are storytellers of the love He wants to lavish upon anyone who will receive Him. His love surpasses theological differences, earthly distinctions such as race, sex, or creeds, and is offered to everyone. We all occupied His thoughts before anything was even created. Those who tragically lost their lives were loved, thought about, and desired by God to a degree that we cannot even fathom on this side of Heaven. Therefore, as believers, our hearts beat as His does and we want to find ways to practically express this love to those who mourn; shouldering their burdens of grief, helping them meet their needs, and revealing that God is still here and still has the final word even in the wake of tragedy.

It is with this in mind that we want to give you some ways to be involved in the restoration of those precious lives that have been devastated. Here are some of the ways you can be involved and we appreciate your openness to what the Lord would lead you to do during this time. Let us be generous in our outpouring of support! We love because He first loved us. Thank you for joining with your Grace Church family as we hurt with the victims of this horrible tragedy and offer love and grace to those who desperately need it.
Blessings,
Pastor Javin van Kaam

RESOURCES

Grace Church will be offering free funeral services. We also will be providing free counseling for groups or individuals. Please call us at 407-998-5050 or email us at info@graceorlando.com.

If you would like to contribute, please follow these links:
Sign up to help here:  http://www.cityoforlando.net
Monetary donations:  http://www.oneorlando.org/
Blood Donations:  https://www.oneblood.org/
More Resources: Orlando Weekly


COMMUNITY DISCUSSIONS

Speaking to Your Children About Tragedies
When tragedy strikes, as parents you find yourself doubly challenged to process your own feelings of grief, fear and distress, and to help our children do the same. Every child and every family deals with tragedy differently. Follow the link below to read the thoughts and feelings of Leslie as she navigates through the hardships and challenges we as parents face in the aftermath of terrorism and hate. Share your own thoughts and experiences.  READ MORE >>

Alan Chambers Speaks at Washington National Cathedral
Alan Chambers spoke at the Washington National Cathedral this week as part of its Pride Week. He shared his heavy heart following the Pulse shooting and spoke about God's lavish grace, the LGBTQ+ community and the role of the church to pursue to love and to welcome all people. Watch Video and Read Transcript here. >>

The Human Experience
As Christians, how do we help create a culture and a society that values what makes us human while making room for our flaws, our imperfections and our experiences (whether perceived as good or bad)? How do we establish a way of thinking that allows us to see our differences with respect, instead of fear or judgement? We listen. We make room to feel negative emotions, the ones that may confuse or challenge our faith and we talk to God about them.

Our relationship with God empowers us to love. Love propels us to pursue those in need and to listen with open hearts to the stories of human experience with respect with no strings attached. This is what Tim Carey and many others have done. Read Tim's storyand share your thoughts and feelings about how we can challenge ourselves to show the love of Christ by simply listening and loving others.
READ and SHARE HERE >>