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Something Worth Hanging Around For
The following was written by Ben Wright, one of Grace and Main Fellowship’s leaders, in February of 2012 when asked what Grace and Main Fellowship had meant to him after being with us for approximately one year.
“Around this time last year I was on a mission to find an Ash Wednesday service utilizing real ashes. To my delight a friend sent me a facebook post announcing a joint church observance, hosted by West Main Baptist Church. I attended. After, I met up and spoke with my companion. Through small talk I revealed to him that I was in search of a community where I could explore and practice my faith in an active and contemplative manner. He handed me a business card for a group he had recently heard about called Grace & Main Fellowship. I checked out the website, sent an email, and two weeks later I found myself in a local home, at a potluck, with a bunch of strangers, talking about the nature of the Holy Spirit. I was hooked.
“Over the following months I immersed myself deeper and deeper into G&M becoming involved in their Roving Feast ministry, aiding in worship development, and fostering new partnerships with local ministries, all the while forming genuine, truly valued relationships. For the first time I felt something that I thought was restricted to my Grandmother’s generation; a deep sense of pride in belonging to my “church family.”
“Part of what I treasure about G&M is that it has allowed me not just to continue to learn, but also to practice many of the skills I gained from Divinity School. Months of lectures on Urban Ministry came to life as I found myself in the courtyard of a downtown, roach-infested apartment discussing the behavior of the soul with a delightful tenant as she consumed her first meal of the day—the bag lunch my companions and I handed her earlier. Issues whispered in the pulpit rang out through the streets as the poor and hungry taught me about Christ in a way that forces me to evaluate my own personal relationship. Eating, studying, struggling, loving, living with the diverse multitude that are the Children of God is what Grace and Main fellowship has provided for me. Grace and Main has given me a way to worship and follow Jesus with my life, not just my Sunday morning.”
Since Ben wrote this, he has become even more invested in what we’re doing as an intentional Christian community in Southside Virginia. He is now one of the weekend directors at our local short-term homeless shelter, the House of Hope. He is continuing to DJ for private and public events on the side, as well. He has become one of the key leaders in our Roving Feast and helped lead our recent three weeks with the youth fromPassport Camps. His most recent development though is being hired as the part-time Director of Youth Ministries at our partner congregation: First Baptist Church of Danville, VA. We’re thrilled to have a leader like Ben in one of our partner congregations where he can serve our beloved and our partners as we continue to explore creative and new ways of ministering and being on mission in the 21st century.
Ben is one of the people that Third Chance Ministries has identified as a missional leader in Southside Virginia and is trying to support and encourage as he continues to find ways to devote himself to our beloved, our city, our partners, and our community. We would like to be able to provide financial support for his work among our beloved so that through First Baptist Church and Grace and Main Fellowship, he might be serving full-time in our city and among our beloved. Your donations and pledges to Third Chance Ministries bring us one step closer to being better able to support leaders like Ben Wright who are giving themselves to service and calling each of us alongside to join him in the journey. If you are already a monthly/quarterly/annual supporter or a one-time donor, then please accept our thanks for your generosity and support–know that your support is what enables things like what you read about in these newsletters. If you are not yet a monthly/quarterly/annual supporter, then please give prayerful consideration to joining our team of supporters who make it possible for people like Ben and Josh to do what they do. Your gift may be the one that makes it possible for us to financially support Ben for the work he is already doing.