Elders at Grace
What does it mean to be an elder at Grace? An elder is someone recognized and affirmed by the membership of Grace to serve our community in three particular ways: To come alongside us pastorally, to listen to us and lead us toward Christ, to equip us to live out God’s calling for us (both individually and collectively), and to attend to the organizational needs of the church community.
How do I get a meeting with an elder? If you want to meet with an elder, just ask them! You don’t need to know an elder personally to ask them to meet with you. You can simply send an email and tell an them what you're hoping to talk about in your meeting.
Additionally, our elders are committed to transparency and openness in their communication with the family of Grace. What does that mean? For one, it means that you're welcome to attend monthly elder meetings, whether or not you're a member of Grace (we'll be sure to inform you of any upcoming meetings, too). It also means that in the spirit of open communication, there's a new way to hear directly from our elders. Every time there's an update, you'll find it here first.
women as elders?
The audio of the two talks by pastor and elder Wil Rogan on the question of recognizing women and men as elders is now available. The first talk (and the Q&A that followed) put the question in historical perspective, before turning to the interpretive difficulties of Genesis 2-3. The second of two talks looked to Paul’s writings in the New Testament. These were originally delivered during second hour all-church meetings on April 14 and May 12, 2019. You can find an annotated bibliography here, and read the email Wil sent as an introduction to the series here.
In addition, since the elders have reached a decision regarding the appointment of women and men as elders, you can hear the audio of the announcement (from Steven Gros, Brian Chung on behalf of Wil Rogan, and Daniel Long) on July 7, 2019 below. A statement regarding the elders’ position on this topic can be found here.
MEET OUR ELDERS
An asterisk* indicates a member of the Executive Board of Elders.
Teacher | Married to Christina
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? My hope for the Grace community is to see its people recognize their “name” and live out of that naming. I see my role as one who gifted to name.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I am moved to tears when I consider how the people of Grace are people who are not afraid to move towards and sustain those who are in a place of vulnerability, pain, and sorrow. If my arms could stretch out wide enough to give these beautiful souls a collective embrace, I would.
RETIRED ACCOUNT MANAGER | MARRIED TO KAREN
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? My hope for the people of Grace is that they truly become people consumed with Jesus Christ and the grace that He has given to us, individually and corporately - that we would learn to better extend that grace to each other and the world in which we live in such a way that other's may see Jesus living through us and we would grow in the ability to make wise and discerning decisions individually, in our families, and in our church lives together.
What do you appreciate about Grace? At Grace I have appreciated the opportunity to serve in many areas of ministry as a lay leader, the impact that this church has had on my family's life as a married couple and for our children, and the deepening of my faith during the time here (not to mention I met my wife here!).
SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, KAWAI AMERICA CORPORATION | MARRIED TO JO ANNE
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? I envision a time when everyone at Grace is being actively mentored in the faith or involved in mentoring others. The power of God is magnified when discipleship is a way of life among His people.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I am thankful for the way the Lord has made the people of Grace a “foundation” for my life over the past 36 years.
PRESIDENT, KINGDOMWORKS SDG FOUNDATION | MARRIED TO ROBIN
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? My hope for Grace Church Long Beach is that our community would be relevant, representative, and relational as ambassadors of the gospel of Jesus Christ in Long Beach. This will mean engaging real needs in our city, representing our multi-ethnic community, and developing relationships with all segments of our city to bring flourishing for all. Personally, I will continue to serve the greater church in Long Beach, the US, and internationally, building capacity and empowering indigenous urban Christian leaders.
What do you appreciate about Grace? What I value and appreciate most about Grace is our community of loving, authentic, and true followers of Jesus.
Daniel G. Long*
PASTOR | MARRIED TO MANDY
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? I hope the Grace community recognizes itself as a group of people called by God to bear witness to his love and grace and the world. I'd like to help people see their story as caught up in God’s story. I’d like for people to live into the wonder that comes from knowing their lives are hidden in Christ with God.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I so deeply appreciate the vulnerability within the Grace community and people's commitment to tangibly love one another through their joys and sorrows.
RETIRED | MARRIED TO LINDA
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? The hope that I have for Grace is that we would become known as a vibrant, welcoming and caring community built around the person of Jesus Christ.
What do you appreciate about Grace? What I appreciate most about Grace is our collective care for one another, that we share a doctrine that is true to the Word of God and that we truly love Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
TEACHER | MARRIED TO BETH
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? My hope is for a community that embodies the redemptive and sacrificial love of Christ. My role is to try and model that myself and to point others to the teachings and example of Jesus.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I appreciate our deep love and commitment to each other. There is a genuine community here that is only possible because of the work of the Holy Spirit.
EDUCATOR | MARRIED TO BETH; TWO DAUGHTERS
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? My hope for the Grace community is that people would more fully embrace the gifting that has been given to them by God and that they would see that their vocation is a primary way that God wants to use them to bring his kingdom to this world. My role in that is empowering people (primarily educators) to see how God has placed them into a strategic place to effect the lives of people in this community.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I appreciate Grace's commitment to preach the word of God with integrity and to serve the city that we live in.
RETIRED PASTOR FROM GRACE | MARRIED TO PAT
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? I'm one of the core leaders of our Legacy Grace Grandparent Ministry and really looking forward to its growth. I have a great hope that God will send us a new Pastor who will love us and have a wonderful vision for what the future of Grace will look like.
What do you appreciate about Grace? It's our family and where we have learned to be more intentional as followers of Jesus. It's our Social network. Grace is where I had the joy of ministering for over 40 years. It's where my wife and I raised our children and Where my children and now my grandchildren have learned to love Jesus. It's where I Baptized both of my children and also my grandson. It's my children were married and where my son met his wife. My daughter was sent out as a missionary from Grace And where my son now serves as a fellow elder with me. I love our church and look forward with great anticipation To what God is going to do with us in the future.
PRODUCT MARKETING MANAGER | MARRIED TO SUE
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? I hope we continue to move toward Jesus together as a community. I hope that we recognize our need for Jesus, that we seek his guidance in all that we do, and that we submit to one another in grace and love.
What do you appreciate about Grace? My role to be available, being present in conversations with others, and being sensitive to the Spirit's leading.
REGISTERED NURSE | MARRIED TO PATTY
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? Historically, we have been an impactful church in the community. I would like to see us continue our influential position in the Lakewood/Long Beach area. My place has been to work with the marginalized relationally and sexually broken. This has been focused to only men. As these men have chosen to receive the healing He so freely gives, they are then set free to share their new found freedom with family & friends in our community.
What do you appreciate about Grace? Grace has always been a solid, biblically based church with a history of sound theology.
Monitor Technician | Married to Mary
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? A hope I have for the Grace community is that we go deeper into the way we experience God through prayer. My hope is that we can pray with honesty and vulnerability to the Lord, but also as we prayer for one another. I see my role as being a part of a team that desires to pray and creating opportunities for all of us to meet with God and to intercede for each other.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I appreciate how much Grace has shaped how I view and understand the world and how to live in it from a kingdom perspective. All of my life is affected by the gospel, the way I spend my money, my time, who I associate with, and even what I think upon. What Jesus did, at Calvary, changes everything. I am called to participate in God's story that is unfolding, and to play my part with faithfulness and humility. Grace has reoriented me continually to this truth.
PART TIME TEACHER, PART TIME CRAFTSMAN | MARRIED TO JANA
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? My hope is that as a community we step more fully into practices of a Christ-shaped faith. I want to see us pursue and develop creative, tangible expressions of faith that are evident on Sunday mornings but that also spill out into our work and homes. Right now I see my role in this as follows: I want to be on the forefront of pursuing new faith practices and learning from others who are doing the same, and continually stepping into new, challenging arenas of trust in Christ.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I appreciate that Grace is a place where you are not expected to be "put together," but rather a place where you are allowed to bring your whole self in humility, vulnerability, and openness.
Steven Gros* (Chairman)
psychologist-in-training | MARRIED TO KIM
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? I have a hope that our church community would begin to better reflect the beautiful diversity of our city. My role in this direction is to help the Elders think through how we intentionally can make space for people as well as by making space at my own table.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I appreciate the genuineness of the people and the community's willingness to live in the tensions of the faith.
AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEER | MARRIED TO MICHELE
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? My hope for Grace is that we are able to demonstrate lives fully lived to our friends, family and neighbors in Long Beach. One way we do this is by loving those who don’t share our point of view, to demonstrate what restorative relationships look like.
What do you appreciate about Grace? I appreciate the multigenerational aspect of our church; we have had the unique opportunity to draw wisdom from the generations that have come before us, as our church has served Long Beach for over 100 years.
Pastor, PhD Candidate | Married to Tiffany
What is a hope you have for the Grace community and how do you see your role in it? In our love for God, love for each other, and love for the world, I hope the Grace community is marked by theological imagination, communal belonging, emotional sophistication, cultural fluency, aesthetic excellence, and creative fidelity to the gospel. (Is that too much to ask?) I want to play some role, however small, in cultivating those qualities, whether in worship, in smaller gatherings, or in individual conversations.
What do you appreciate about Grace? How I love the people whom God has gathered together here and now, as strange and wonderful as we all are, people who are willing to stay with difficult questions, people who are able to lament pain as an act of faith, people who seek to love God with all their mind, also with all their heart, also with all their strength. I could go on and on, but that is what first comes to mind.