Outreach


When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “what if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” So they sent word to Joseph saying, “your father left these instructions before he died: ‘this is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father.” When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves, they said.” But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50:15-21 (NIV)

Too often believers live defeated lives shackled by the events of their past. Guilt, shame and denial are all tricks of the enemy that stifle spiritual growth and effectiveness in the kingdom of God. Unresolved issues that are associated with our past are nothing more than hindrances. Failing to understand that the enemy’s presence in our lives is a sign of spiritual warfare, all too often we find ourselves in bondage, simply because we have not proclaimed our own emancipation.

Yes, we are guilty of the offenses that we committed against our fellow man and our most benevolent God. But, because we have served time in the enemy’s camp, not only have we enlisted our bodies, we have also surrendered our minds. So we forget about God’s amazing grace and remain handcuffed to actions for which we have long been forgiven. Our lack of faith prevents us from proclaiming our own emancipation.

We have faced our victims, fallen on our knees and confessed our sins, and seemingly moved on with our lives, but truthfully, we have merely gone through the motions. For if we truly come with a contrite heart, asking forgiveness of one with a similar spirit, we would experience the lessening of the weight of the chains that once had us bound. But when the offender mimics sincerity in his confession and harbors mistrust for the offended, our emancipation cannot be proclaimed.

We masquerade what appears to be liberty, failing to realize the therapeutic value of confession. How tragic that we do not understand the true meaning of forgiveness–“to send something away”–so we hold onto the spirit of the thing from which we have been released. But praise be to God, the Liberator, who resides in his servant that withholds judgment. The servant who recognizes that the Alpha and the Omega is the sole possessor of the authority to forgive and because He is sovereign, no act of congress is necessary.

Be loosed for He is the proclaimer of emancipation!

 Prayer:  Lord, help us to understand that relational forgiveness is our way of giving to another the very best opportunity to repent, so that the negative consequences can be changed and loving relationships established. Then help us to bless you for your divine forgiveness which absolves us from the penalty of sin, because Jesus Christ has already suffered and paid the price in full—debt cancelled and emancipation proclaimed! Amen.

Minister Ardenia M. Holland

Infinite Grace Fellowship

Baltimore, MD

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For immediate release August 1, 2013

Media contact:  Donna Dodson 410.409.5378

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HOLLAND JOINS INFINITE GRACE FELLOWSHIP LEADERSHIP TEAM

Minister Ardenia M. Holland has been appointed as Director for Outreach and Missions for Infinite Grace Fellowship by resident Bishop Marcus Matthews of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.  Minister Holland began her duties August 1. The church is located at 5130 Greenwich in Baltimore, on the city’s historic “40 West” corridor.

Minister Holland has served as an associate minister at First Mt. Olive Freewill Baptist Church in Baltimore, where she has been a member from birth, since August 2008. Over the course of her membership she served on various ministries and in most recent years served as assistant ministry leader for the Ministerial Alliance, assistant to the executive director for Ministries of Excellence which provides oversight for church ministries and was co-facilitator for Baby Dedication classes.  In addition, she assisted with teaching in conjunction with prayer vigils and Bible Study.  She lives by the philosophy that it is her responsibility to use her life experiences to empower others to realize their God-given purpose and has a passion for community outreach, organizing and advocacy, especially in the areas of public health.

Min. Holland is a native of Baltimorean, and a graduate of Western High School.  She received a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Kansas. She is the Executive Officer of her own consulting ministry, All His Glory Enterprises, and has a wealth of public health, public administration and communications experience.  Her work experience includes eight years with the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and serving as Executive Director for the Heart & Soul Foundation.  In 2011 she coordinated the Heart & Soul Magazine Awards Weekend in Baltimore, MD, honoring 13 extraordinary women and men who advance healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyles. She has worked in a consult capacity with the Baltimore Washington United Methodist Conference of the United Methodist Church and coordinated Metropolitan United Methodist Church’s Full & Fit Community Outreach event in 2012.  One of her most memorable life moments is appearing as a contestant on the Wheel of Fortune in 1988.

Minister Holland is single and the mother of Aaron Holland and his wife Aerica.  She is blessed to still have the presence of her mother, Flora Holland, in her life and has four siblings.  Aware of God’s grace and mercy upon her life, she self-published her first book “Just Like Fire…God Said Testify” and believes God is capable of using our testimony to make us stronger as well as to spread the message of His saving, redeeming, and delivering power.

The Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church is comprised of 694 congregations with nearly 200,000 members. It is the home of Methodism in America, with the founding of the denomination at Lovely Lane Chapel in 1784.

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For those who live in the Baltimore, Elliott City, Columbia, and Catonsville area I would like to invite you to join me for a new ministry venture, Motivational Mondays.  We will be meeting at Panera Bread Company, 6600 Baltimore National Pike, Catonsville, MD 21228.

I  will provide a short motivational scriptural reflection about attitudes, conflict management, coaching, time management, finding a job, developing a career and other related topics.  The goal is to assist people in connecting their professional lives to the Gospel.  We will be investigating questions on how the scriptures can influence and affect our relationships with friends, co-workers, family members. and ultimately impact our success.

Our first session is October 15th at 5:30.  Everyone is invited.  For more information email info@thegracecafe dot net or call 410 945 8397
For more information go to http://www.gracecafe.wordpress.com or email info@gracecafe.com

Using Acts 2 to define the core values of Koinonia, what activities does a church in the 21st Century engage in, to effectively realize true Christian community?  Which comes first discipleship or koinonia?

With so many people experiencing shallow spirituality and wearing multiple masks to cover up the pains, trials and challenges of everyday life, should the church re-evaluate how we are the representatives of God to the world?

42 They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers. 43 Everyone around was in awe – all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! 44 And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. 45 They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met. 46 They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, 47 as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.
Acts 2

Their lives were committed to the disciples teachings.  Everything they did and said was reflective of what they learned.  How many of our church members take what they like and leave the rest in the sanctuary. How often are we preaching rather than teaching?

The concept that they were all living together is amazing when we live in such an individualistic, self centered, let me get all that I can society.  If we were to commit to true community we would purchase (as a community) large tracts of land  and ensure that everyone had what they needed.  The economically challenged in our communities are often left out because no one wants to admit they do not have enough money to hang with their peers. The poor are totally excluded.  Can we discuss Koinonia and not include a serious discussion and strategy to address the poor in our community?  I believe suburban living numbs our spiritual senses to those who are marginalized in our communities.  One radical idea is that an urban church and suburban church can switch buildings for one Sunday. Driving pass the homeless, interacting teenage mothers, watching the soup kitchen lines form and seeing the hopelessness in the eyes of people being served in an urban emergency room will change your perspective on what you can do to minister to those who are hurting.  Most pastors will not push that envelop because it might threaten their comfortable situation.

People are seeking authentic communities where they can experience significance, and sanctuary.  Can we actually engage in this discussion as 21st century churches who are dependent on worship and married to administrative structures that are counter productive to producing Koinonia?

Pondering, exploring and searching………………

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have recieved, and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.” –

Mother Teresa

Baskin-Robbins is having their 31 cent scoop night on Wednesday, May
2, from 5pm until close. You can get as many scoops as you want for 31
cents each.  This will be an excellent opportunity for entrepreneural pastors to take $20 along with cards from your church and sponsor scoops of ice cream for members of your community.  New Church planters should not be shy about this oportunity either. 

All Good Things
by Sister Helen P. Mrosla

He was in the first third grade class I taught at Saint Mary’s School in Morris, Minn. All 34 of my students were dear to me, but Mark Eklund was one in a million. Very neat in appearance, but had that happy-to-be-alive attitude that made even his occasional mischievousness delightful.

Mark talked incessantly. I had to remind him again and again that talking without permission was not acceptable. What impressed me so much, though, was his sincere response every time I had to correct him for misbehaving – “Thank you for correcting me, Sister!” I didn’t know what to make of it at first, but before long I became accustomed to hearing it many times a day. (Read the Whole Story)

To all of the teachers that follow this blog. This story will encourage you. Students can be difficult and frustrating but they all have a God given plan and you are a part of that plan. The knowledge that you impart and the encouragement that you give does make a difference in the students lives. Do not give up on them. Continue to encourage them. Seek to realize your God given assignment as you engage each student.

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