Your FREE Easter Invitation Cartoon

facebookpostThe Acts 8 Movement is once again offering a video Episcopal churches may use for free to advertise their Easter liturgies. Following the success of a Lenten cartoon, this year’s Easter invitation is made in the same style. This Easter video follows on the heels of similar projects released periodically since Advent 2015. You may download the video below to post to your own Facebook page, or just link to one of the YouTube videos found here, or to the Facebook videos posted on the Acts 8 Movement Facebook page.

We encourage you to use this video as if it were your own in sharing the Good News. While those with video editing skill may customize the video, such as adding a photo from your congregation with some information during “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You”, we have discovered that lengthening the video to add service times or additional information leads to viewers tuning out en masse. We recommend putting the real content of the ad in the Facebook post text rather than in the video itself as shown in the post of our Lenten video at right from St. John’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.

EasterCartoon-English.mp4
The English language video file

EasterCartoon-Spanish.mp4
The Spanish language video file

Animated GIF files for those who want to experiment
This past Christmas, The Diocese of Central New York used the Acts 8 video to invite their neighbors to worship in the churches of the Diocese. You can read about their test and what they learned: How we invited 5,000 Central New Yorkers to Join Us for Christmas. In response to their idea to use a catchy graphic in a side by side test, we are offering a short, animated GIF file, which Facebook permits in its advertising. DO NOT upload the GIF file to Facebook as the image will default to a still frame. Instead, place the file online and point to that file when creating the Facebook ad. This option only works for those advertising on Facebook. Click here for more information: How to Post an Animated GIF on Facebook

EasterCartoon-English.gif
The English language animated GIF file

EasterCartoon-Spanish.gif
The Spanish language animated GIF file

Another Video Option in Nine Different Languages
We also still offer the 2016 Easter video which includes the voice of the Presiding Bishop Michael Curry in the opening line and is available in nine of the languages in which our church worships: Your FREE Easter Invitation Video.

We wish you a most joyous Easter,
The Acts 8 Movement

A Note About Permissions
You may add your church name and service times without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage. Frank Logue created the animations using the website Animaker in keeping with their business license agreement so that there is no cost to any church. Earnest Graham drew the SuperHero Jesus character especially for this video. Adam Trambley wrote the script with his daughter, Julia, providing the English language voiceover. Sandra Montes recorded the Spanish language voiceover using her brother, Alex Montes-Vela’s Spanish language translation of the text. All of this is our gift to you.

A Free Lent Video for Your Congregation

With Lent fast approaching, your friends at the Acts 8 Movement are offering two ways to promote this season of preparation. The video above can be used as is or those with the ability to edit the video may download a version with a longer ending suitable for adding your congregation’s name or logo and listing your website address. Use this video to advertise any special Lenten programs. We also still offer last year’s Ash Wednesday video for those who want a means to advertise that liturgy.

Click the link below to download the .mp4 video files so that you can customize or upload as is to your Facebook page or YouTube Channel. The files will be posted here:

LentenRebootEnglish.mp4
The file in English ready to use without customization

LentenRebootEnglish-custom.mp4
The file in English with slightly longer ending with a blank area for the church name and URL

LentenRebootSpanish.mp4
The file in Spanish ready to use without customization

LentenRebootSpanish-custom.mp4
The file in Spanish with slightly longer ending with a blank area for the church name and URL

We will also have the files at the Acts 8 Movement Facebook Page and you can simply share the video to your Facebook Group.

We wish you a most Holy Lent,
The Acts 8 Movement

A Note About Permissions
You may add your church name and service times without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage. Frank Logue created the animations using the website Animaker in keeping with their licensing agreements so that there is no cost to any church. Acts 8 created the script in English and Dr. Sandra Montes and the Rev. Alex Montes-Vela created the Spanish language version with Alex recording the voiceover. All of this is our gift to you.

Create your own Ash Wednesday invitation video

Your friends at the Acts 8 Movement want to offer resources to assist your congregation in inviting your neighbors to join you for worship. This year, we are offering a Lenten video to encourage a Lenten Reboot. We are also offering the Episcopal Church the customizable video for congregations to promote their Ash Wednesday liturgies first created for 2016. You may post it as is, or you can download a high resolution video and with some basic video editing skills create a customized video for your congregation.

We also offer an Easter video to customize for free and we hope your posting the Ash Wednesday ad now will raise awareness in advance of the Easter video.

The files you need to create your own video are linked below each video. Simply Right Click the links to save the files.

English language version MP4 file with extended section for adding text:
AshWednesdayInvitation-customize_on_Mac.mp4

English language version WMV file with an extended section for adding text:
AshWednesdayAd-customize_on_PC.wmv

15-second English language .MP4 to share on Instagram:
AshWednesdayInstagram-English.mp4

Spanish language version MP4 file with extended section for adding text:
AshWednesdaySpanish-customize_on_Mac.mp4

Spanish language version WMV file with an extended section for adding text:
AshWednesdaySpanish_customize_on_pc.wmv

15-second Spanish language .MP4 to share on Instagram:
AshWednesdayInstagram-Spanish.mp4

Customize and Advertise
Want to customize this video and use it to create a Facebook ad? Let Nurya Love Parish show you how: Create your Facebook ad for Ash Wednesday. On her blog, she provides a tutorial for customizing the video using a Mac and a separate tutorial on placing a Facebook ad. She is also planning to survey churches who use the video on Facebook so we can learn more together.

There is no charge for using this video, it is simply our gift to you.

We wish you a most Holy Lent,
The Acts 8 Movement

A Note About Permissions
You may add your church name and service times without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage.

We created this video almost exclusively from original video recorded for this project. Every person shown signed a video release and we have made every effort to allow the people filmed to also see the video in advance of its going live. A purchased clip of the Jordan River is from videoblocks.com with background audio purchased from audioblocks.com and both are used royalty free within those agreements. We filmed the sunrise at Honey Creek Retreat Center in Waverly, Georgia. Adam Trambley wrote the script. The voices in this ad are Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale and Holli Powell in the English language version and the Rev. Alex Montes-Vela and his sister Sandra Montes in the Spanish language version. Frank Logue shot and edited the video. Everyone participating donated their time and work product to the project.

We give thanks to the congregations of St. Matthew’s and St. Paul the Apostle churches in Savannah, Georgia, and Canterbury Conference Center in Orviedo, Florida, where the video of imposing ashes were filmed. We apologize to those among the 19 persons filmed for the ad who were not in the final cut. You looked great, but some technical problems and the need to edit resulted in difficult choices.

Your FREE parish Christmas invitation video is ready!


“Episcopalians are on Facebook,”Presiding Bishop Michael Curry told participants at Evangelism Matters. ‘I’ve seen your dogs. I’ve seen your cats.” He went on to describe social media as a superhighway for sharing the Gospel. Your friends have seen your pets. This Christmas, let them see Jesus.

Your friends at the Acts 8 Movement have a new Christmas video coming out and, as a member of our mailing list, you get to see it first. You can:

We hope this video can be a key component in a plan to invite your neighbors to church this season. To make the most of the opportunity, we encourage you to review the Hospitality Checklist offered by Invite-Welcome-Connect.

Using this Video
We encourage you to use this video as if it were your own in sharing the Good News. While those with video editing skill may customize the video, such as adding a photo from your congregation with some information during “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You”, we have discovered that lengthening the video to add service times or additional information leads to viewers tuning out en masse. We recommend putting the real content of the ad in the Facebook post text rather than in the video itself. You may also still download and use Acts 8’s 2015 Christmas Video in addition to or instead of the one created for this year.

Still to Come!

Keep checking in at acts8movement.org as over the next few days, we will be launching other language translations of the video, and more content. In the meantime, to find out more of what we have discovered along the way, please read Nurya Love Parish’s helpful post 7 Lessons from the Video Experiment.

There is no charge for using this video, it is simply our gift to you.

Blessed Advent,
The Acts 8 Movement

Thank Yous
The script was worked on by a small group. English voiceover provided by Miranda Hassett, Griffin Hasset, Iona Hassett, Alex Montes-Vela, Sandra Montes, Adam Trambley, Julia Trambley, Frank Logue, Brendan O’Sullivan-Hale, Susan Brown Snook, and Eliza Pankey. Sandra Montes translated the video into Spanish and provided the voiceover together with her brother Alex Montes-Vela for that version of the video, with her goddaughter Jaidani Ortiz closing out the voiceover. Fred Vergara translated the script into Tagalog and recorded the voiceover. Tinh Huynh provided the Vietnamese translation and voice recording. Merry Chan Ong put together a team for the Cantonese video to translate and record the script. David Simmons created the original score and Frank Logue edited the video. This collaboration involved Episcopalians in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, California, Wisconsin, and Georgia, working together on this 1-minute video.

A Note About Permissions
You may use this video without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage. We created this video using original video filmed by Frank Logue and Alex Montes-Vela together with clips purchased from videoblocks.com and are using them within that licensing agreement. Everyone participating donated their time and work product to the project, and the parents of the children whose voices are in the video approve of their taking part in the project.

Your Church’s Free Welcome Video for Fall

Your friends at the Acts 8 Movement are glad to offer the Episcopal Church a video for congregations to promote their church as kids start heading back to school. The video above is our gift to you. You may post it as is, or you can download a high resolution video to upload to your congregation’s Facebook page.

We hope this video can be a key component in a plan to invite your neighbors to church this fall. To make the most of the opportunity, we encourage you to review the Hospitality Checklist offered by Invite-Welcome-Connect.

Thank Yous
Nurya Love Parish provided the initial script. Holli Powell recorded the English language audio. Eliza Pankey provided The Episcopal Church Welcomes You. Sandra Montes translated the video into Spanish and provided the voiceover for that version of the video, with her goddaughter Jaidani Ortiz closing out the voiceover. David Simmons created the original score and Frank Logue edited the video. This means the collaboration involved Episcopalians in Michigan, Kentucky, Florida, Texas, California, Wisconsin, and Georgia, working together on the two versions of this 1-minute video.

Customizing this Video
Those with video editing skill may customize the video. You could add your church name, the URL of the church website, or the logo to the video itself. You may even add a photo from your congregation with some information during “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” But we have discovered that lengthening the video to add service times or additional information leads to viewers tuning out en masse. We recommend putting the real content of the ad in the Facebook post text rather than in the video itself.

Download the Files
The files you need are linked below. Simply Right Click the links to save the files, then upload to your congregation’s Facebook page as a video. Add a brief invite and service times and you are done. Or just embed or link the YouTube video above or any of these videos at our Acts8 YouTube Channel.

English language version MP4 file:
episcopalfallwelcome.mp4

Spanish language version MP4 file:
episcopalfallwelcome-spanish.mp4

Advertise on Facebook
We encourage you to use this video as if it were your own in sharing the Good News. The following tutorial is provided to walk you through the process of downloading the video from this post, uploading it to Facebook, and creating a Facebook ad. Although it uses the Easter video, the process is the same.

Facebook automatically plays videos uploaded to the site which is why we recommend this option. If the downloading and uploading process is a challenge, feel free to simply post a link to the video on YouTube in your invitation.

To find out more of what we have discovered along the way, please read Nurya Love Parish’s helpful post 7 Lessons from the Video Experiment

There is no charge for using this video, it is simply our gift to you.

In Christ,
The Acts 8 Movement

A Note About Permissions
You may use this video without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage. 
We created this video using original video recorded for this project together with clips purchased from videoblock.com and are using them within that licensing agreement. Everyone participating donated their time and work product to the project, and the parents of the two children whose voices are in the video approve of their taking part in the project.

Bringing Those on the Margins Back to Center

ourlady1

This is the fifth of a series of follow up reports by Acts 8 on the recipients of Church Planting grants funded through The Episcopal Church budget. The $100,000 grants are matched by local money to make new church starts possible to communities that would not otherwise have the resources to start a new congregation. Brad Bates reports here on Our Lady of Guadalupe, Seattle, which received a grant from the 2012-2015 budget of the church.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Episcopal Church, Seattle, is a bicultural, bilingual, progressive Latino ministry in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. Bolstered by a contribution from the Episcopal Church and a matching endowment from the Diocese of Olympia, the Rev. Alfredo Feregrino planted the Our Lady of Guadalupe congregation in 2014 with a focus on urban Latinos, new-generation Latinos, while also reaching Anglos and non-Latinos.

Our Lady of Guadalupe takes Latino culture and traditions and put them in the midst of Anglo-Catholic worship. They celebrate five Latino cultural festivals each year – Cinco de Mayo, Fiestas Patrias, Dia de Muertos, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Las Posadas and Pastorelas – while incorporating artistic elements of faith and spirituality throughout the liturgical year. This approach can appeal to Latinos and many of whom have never heard of the Episcopal Church, as well as long-time Episcopalians, even if they speak little or no Spanish. All are welcomed and feel loved at our Lady of Guadalupe.

Feregrino was the first Latino ordained in his diocese, and is currently the only church planter. He his ministry is one of radical inclusion and hospitality to men and women who may find themselves socially and economically marginalized. “The goal,” he says, “is to bring those who are out on the margins back to the center,” which is why the Virgin of Guadalupe was selected as the patron saint. The Virgin of Guadalupe is “a symbol of unity that ties perfectly with the mission of the church, which as stated in the Book of Common Prayer’s catechism, is ‘to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ’” (p. 855).

“Unity is the core of my theology,” said Feregrino, “which finds its roots in two specific biblical passages. The first is Jesus’ Prayer for unity found in the Gospel of John, which conveys the idea that Jesus kept believers in their faith through divine power: ‘Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one’ (17:11, NRSV).

ourlady3“The second passage is Paul’s letter to the Galatians: ‘there is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus’ (3:28). Paul is declaring the distinctions of race, social status, and gender, which may generally divide people, no longer apply to those in Christ. A new creation is possible; one in which ethnic distinctions no longer matter because we all are one in Christ. It is not that people cease to be male or female; rather, these distinctions are not grounds for exclusion from the life that God offers all persons in Christ. This is not only what I believe as a steward of God’s mysteries, but this is the foundation of the theology of our ministry. Furthermore, this is the reason everybody is welcome to the table at Our Lady of Guadalupe.”

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a small congregation that shares worship space with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Feregrino appreciates this relationship. “Although difficulties can and often do arise when sharing space with another church, not having our own building is a good thing because we do not have to worry about expenses associated with owning a building.” Moreover, without permanent building, Our Lady of Guadalupe is better able to “foster unity with other congregations in the community. Not having a facility to limit us to one location gives us more of an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community. Instead of focusing on numbers and rooms, we are able to concentrate on the mission of transforming people into mature disciples for Christ.”

When asked what information, or bits of wisdom, he might pass on to people thinking of planting a church, Feregrino discussed the importance of thinking a plan through, understanding the theology of ministry, and having the willingness to work with different people. “The oneness of the church is a sign and witness to the world that Jesus was who he said he was. The implications of getting this wrong are significant. Therefore, by building bridges of radical hospitality and inclusion, we can all participate in God’s dream of unity where everyone is not only invited to the table, but also able to experience the source of love that is indiscriminate, abundant, and unconditional. Most importantly, though, be humble enough to understand you are not in control. It is God’s church,” he reminds us, “and it will make it with or without you.”

For more information, visit Our Lady of Guadalupe’s website, www.ourladyofguadalupeseattle.org

ourlady2

How can I revitalize my church without $500k?

This is the question we’ve received in our inboxes, on Facebook, and via phone in the days after Frank Logue posted his article about Grace Yukon (New Life Emerges from a Dying Congregation). We are grateful for his invitation to share the story of Grace and we are grateful for a chance to address this big question that many people raised. Essentially, what can we learn about the factors that are helping Grace Church grow? And what role does funding play?

We started brainstorming factors that have helped Grace Church grow, and the good news is that most of them are FREE! The biggest factors are a vision and an emphasis on reaching new people, welcoming them, and including them in the life of the church. There is an energy at Grace Church that new people feel. They realize that we want them there – we want to learn their story and to share our story with them. This is engrained in our Rule of Life when we talk about Authentic Relationships. So, Grace Church really wants to grow and we’ve created a culture of invitation, hospitality and inclusion and set up intentional processes to do this. We strive to put this into practice everyday.

If you are looking for a place to start on this work, check out Mary Parmer’s work in the Diocese of Texas with Invite, Welcome, Connect. It is a gold mine of ideas, checklists, and resources for inviting people to church, welcoming them (and following up), and then integrating them into your church. And it is FREE. There is no one right way to do this – it is about setting a culture, not copying a method. But many best practices can be found with IWC.

Every church re-vitalization is unique. Ministry is an art, not a science, they say. Re-vitalizations and redevelopments are about creating energy and momentum. There are many re-vitalizations tactics that could do some of the above work and create missional energy and health within a congregation causing it to grow. But it depends on how much momentum a church has and how quickly you need/want to ramp up the momentum.

In the case of Grace Church, the diocese felt like there was a lot of growth opportunity (Yukon is Oklahoma City’s fastest growing suburb) and momentum needed to be built quickly. Bishop Ed Koneizcny and our then Congregational Development Officer, Canon Kevin Martin, felt that a hard re-start would create the most momentum. This meant ceasing Sunday morning worship and entering a Sabbatical period of discernment with the previous congregation. This allowed us to bring along as many people as we could towards a new ministry. About a dozen of those members were excited enough to join us in the full process of discerning and visioning for Grace Church (several more returned when we re-launched as Grace Church).

This essentially left us with the start of a launch team for a new church, which would become Grace. We started meeting and inviting new people to attend community events and some to join the Launch Team. The Launch Team started creating the vision for Grace Church, our Rule of Life, clarity of our mission field, etc. The hard re-start/church plant method created a lot of Spirt-driven momentum and a lot of energy, as church plants frequently do.

But choosing a hard re-start meant essentially starting a whole new church out of an existing facility and maintaining the expenses of that facility while we didn’t have a congregation. This is why grant money was so essential for us. Plus, to have one full time and one half time clergy dedicated to this project, you need financial support. All church plants do.

Our goal from the beginning has been to plant a program sized church in Yukon, OK of at least 300-350 ASA. In addition to us as the clergy, the grant money allowed us to hire a part-time music minister and paid nursery staff from the start. Essentially, grant money allowed us to provide some staff before we could otherwise have afforded it. That is what grant money can buy. But money is useless without the vision and clarity of mission – without a passion for evangelism and including new people in the body of Christ.

Our grant money is spread out over 4-5 years and steps down as our congregation becomes financially self-sufficient. We are essentially a church plant and we are on our way to becoming a parish, but still have a lot of work to do.

Simply put, it takes money to do ministry. It takes dioceses and bishops willing to invest in people and resources. This is absolutely essential for re-starts and church plants. Maybe your diocese has it or maybe you will have to raise it. But money does follow mission. If God has planted a call in you to start a new church or to re-start a church, the money is out there. It just needs to be invited to be used for the Kingdom of God.

Maybe you are in a smaller church and wondering, “Is there a cheaper way to do re-vitalizations?” Absolutely. Get to work now. The harvest is plentiful, Jesus said. So spend some time reading the Apostle Paul and channel his urgency and zeal. Let’s get passionate about evangelism, about hospitality, about reaching out and including people. Let’s get intentional about our processes and practices! Let’s open ourselves to change and being flexible. And let’s do it before we are so limited on people and financial resources that it takes an infusion of cash and a re-start to get things rolling!

Do we believe the Episcopal Church has Good News to share?

If so, then figure out what your church has to offer. If you aren’t passionate about your worship and ministry or you don’t know what your church does well, then no amount of money can help – only prayer and discernment. But figure out what you do well and what enlivens your congregation. Maybe it is a fantastic Outreach Ministry. Maybe it is connecting people to the Sacraments though inspiring and accessible worship (so many evangelicals are thirsty for this). Maybe it is your small group ministry or kid’s ministry. Whatever it is, do it well, and get excited about it.

Knowing what you have to offer is important. But also look around and see what your community needs. Where do your gifts align? Can you be a different kind of church in your city? Start hanging out with new people… get to know them for who they are… show them you want authentic Christ centered relationships. Invite. Welcome. Connect.

-The Revs. Kirsten and Tim Baer

New Life Emerges from a Dying Congregation

Resurrection is taking place in Oklahoma as a once dying Episcopal Church has found new life in birthing a new congregation. The Church of the Savior in Yukon was down to 36 active members when worship stopped for a sabbatical period of discernment. What followed was new birth as the Revs. Tim and Kirsten Baer, funded in large part by a $100,000 Church Planting Grant from the Episcopal Church and a $500,000 grant from the Diocese of Oklahoma, forged a new vision and kindled a sense of hope as they worked with a dozen members to reboot the church.

Our Savior became Grace as the new vision and new sense of calling needed a new name, like Saul becoming Paul as he responded to the call to be an Apostle to the Gentiles. They became a church for post-evangelical Christians who as Tim says, “Don’t want to give up Jesus, but they need a new lens for the Bible, for theology, and for how to do church.”

Learning from the emerging church as they sought to build a traditional one, the Baers brought a church plant mentality and a missional eye to the struggling congregation. They had a clear vision for their unique mission field and a willingness to flex the tradition in order to reach new people.

Newly graduated from seminary, the Baers looked around their mission field, which was a little more than 5-mile radius, and asked where they fit into the church landscape. The two priests realized their niche was a “third way” in a via media between traditional organ and choir led worship and the contemporary mega-church rock band churches that are so entertainment driven. Kirsten says, “We blend old and new, ancient and modern, and connect liturgy and sacraments to people’s lives.” Tim adds, “Some people come to Grace and say ‘whoa, this is really traditional’ and others say, ‘whoa, this is really contemporary.’ We consider that a good thing – it means we’ve struck the via media.”

The Baers now see how once the vision clarified all of the decisions came easier—worship style, music, projector screens, how to do hospitality, and a focus on Anglican Essentials for newcomers—as they looked for ways to translate the tradition and make it accessible. Tim notes, “We are ‘lowering the speed bump’ into the Episcopal Church—all the while not throwing out the baby with the bath water.”

The vision for Grace included those who were already part of the congregation becoming evangelists too. Kirsten recalls that those existing members who had the courage to join in the rebirth became passionate and excited about creating a Christian community that could spark a connection with their children and grandchildren. Kirsten said, “We emphasized our hope of being an intergenerational church and they also desperately wanted that.”

Looking back, Kirsten says she sees how some people who started out nervous and even angry became the biggest supporters and most successful evangelists. Kirsten said, “They brought family and friends and quickly helped us grow the church. It was an exciting process to see people’s hearts and minds change and in such a missional way.”

Two further components were unique in their early emphasis at Grace Church—Hospitality and a Rule of Life:

Hospitality
Thirty percent of the congregation trained as Hospitality members. While there is a rotation, the saying is that “Even when you are not on duty, you are on duty.” Within 48 hours they get a phone call, email or card depending on the information provided. The retention rate for those who attend is roughly fifty percent. Beyond this hospitality, there is always something new to invite others to and there are lots of ways to connect to the community.

Rule of Life
The Rule of Life focuses on Authentic Relationships, Sacramental Lives, and Generous Hearts (http://graceyukon.org/content.cfm?id=306). “The Rule of Life leveraged the vision for the whole community” Tim said. To move people from visiting to fully being part of Grace Church a Foundations of Grace Course starts with the Rule of Life and the vision for Grace Church. Part of each first session is to ask people where they have seen the Rule of Life exemplified in the community. Often they will say something like “I saw authentic relationships as soon as I walked in the door.” People report experiencing authenticity right away and connect that this is what they do want church to be about. Visitors in various ways say they sense the intentionality behind our worship and find it very accessible.

New Challenges
Now two and a half years into the reboot, as more former evangelicals have found a home at Grace the church has baptized their spouses and children. Twenty percent the church is comprised of new Christians. The ongoing growth has led to new challenges.

For the first year the challenge was forging and living into the new vision. In the second year, the challenge was to create more programs. They launched their second service last year with 9:15 and 11 a.m. liturgies on Sundays. This contributed to a 40% rise in attendance in just over six months from 115 in attendance on an average Sunday to 160-165 in two services.

In the last year, Grace Church not only launched a second Sunday morning liturgy, but they also started a youth ministry and formed three outreach ministry teams—a hunger team, a mentor ministry team, and a laundry love ministry. Now as they are past year two, the challenge has been to create more committees. “It’s not sexy, but it has been essential work to support the ministry and growth,” Tim says.

By the end of 2015, Grace Yukon had about 200 members on the roles together with more people who attend, but have yet to join. Tim says, “What I find amazing is that we have done over 40 baptisms. About a third have been infants, a third older kids, and a third adults.”

Kirsten adds that the growth at Grace, “was about reaching those closest to them with good news of Jesus. Relational evangelism is really what helped us grow especially in the very beginning.”


Grace Church’s Leadership Team

Spanish Language Christmas Ad

Thanks to the Rev. Alex Montes-Vela and the congregation of St. Mary Magdalene in Manor, Texas, we can now offer a Spanish language Christmas ad which congregations may use at no charge. We offer an .mp4 and a .wmv file so any congregation can download the full video and add their service times to use in promoting their worship this Christmas. Those files are online for you to use, and are linked below. Simply Right Click the links to save the files.

Spanish language version MP4 file with extended section for adding text:
Christmasad-spanish-extended.mp4

Spanish language version WMV file with an extended section for adding text:
Christmasad-spanish-extended.wmv

Share the Good News of Christmas with a Personalized Video


Your friends at the Acts 8 Movement are glad to offer the Episcopal Church a customizable video for congregations to promote their Christmas Eve and Christmas Day worship. The video above is our gift to you. You may post it as is, or with some basic video editing skills, you can download a high resolution video for your use.

Those files are online for you to use, and are linked below. Simply Right Click the links to save the files.

MP4 file with extended section for adding text:
Christmasad-extended-withmusic.mp4

MP4 file with extended section for adding voice over and text:
Christmasad-extended-backgroundmusiconly.mp4

WMV file with an extended section for adding text:
Christmasad-extended-withmusic.wmv

WMV file with an extended section for adding voice over and text:
Christmasad-extended-backgroundmusiconly.wmv

Spanish language version MP4 file with extended section for adding text:
Christmasad-spanish-extended.mp4

Spanish language version WMV file with an extended section for adding text:
Christmasad-spanish-extended.wmv

Short video editing tutorials
Add Text with iMovie
Add Voiceover with iMovie

Add Text with Windows Media Player
Add Voiceover with Windows Media Player

Short tutorial on sharing and boosting a Facebook post

There is no charge for using this video, it is simply our gift to you in the busyness of the season.

Have a Blessed Advent and a most joyous Christmas,
The Acts 8 Movement

A Note About Permissions
We created this video mostly from video clips purchased from videoblock.com with background audio purchased from audioblocks.com and this use is royalty free within those agreements. We selected art work in the public domain. The video of Episcopalians singing is from the Diocese of Georgia’s float in the MLK Parade in Savannah. Persons on the float were notified they were filmed for video use. The father and son prominent in the video are an Episcopal priest and his son and they have seen and approve of this usage. The voices in this ad are persons from the Acts 8 Movement and permission is given hereby to use this video in promoting your congregation’s Christmas services. You may add your church name and service times without concern for copyright infringement or incurring any fees for this usage.