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Known: Mission | Learning Guide

September 3rd, 2023

Text: Micah 6:6-8, John 13:34-35 (NET)


As I was thinking about our mission at Grace— looking at why we do what we do and how— my mind jumped to pecan trees. One of my favorite books, Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmmerer, spends a chapter looking at the wisdom pecan trees have to offer. I am especially drawn to this chapter because my family has a pecan orchard down in Paris, AR. The thing about pecan trees is that they’re not consistent or predictable in their fruiting, which could be quite frustrating for our family. However this is also where the wisdom lies. The trees somehow communicate with one another and always act as a collective— giving nutrients to those who are in need, waiting for one another, and listening to each other. Then, if one tree fruits, they all fruit. And boy do they fruit!! Together they produce an abundance for all those around— the people, the squirrels, the birds, etc. They never act as individuals, but always as a collective. In doing so, they are able to give with such generosity and in a way that seems counter to traditional evolutionary practices. At Grace we strive to be like the pecan trees. Why?Because we believe that God has called us to journey with one another as we figure out how to love in such a way that brings God’s abundant flourishing to the world around us. How? By rooting ourselves in God’s abundant love and listening to the needs of others.

Grace and peace y’all,

Betty and the Grace teaching team

Big Idea:

Why do we do what we do at Grace? The why is always Jesus. We do what we do because we believe God is renewing the world around us and is the one who brings wholeness, and we believe we have a part to play in this renewal. Ultimately, we do what we do because we strive to be a Jesus-led, Spirit-filled and God-formed church committed to growing in grace to reach our community and beyond for Christ.

Take Away:

We are called to lovingly and graciously journey together as we figure out how to love like Him and be loved. We believe the Kingdom of Heaven is open, inclusive, diverse, and available to everyone. So that’s what we want our church to look like. Whoever you are, whatever the journey that brought you here, we welcome you.

How does this fit with Belong, Become, Believe?

At Grace Church of Northwest Arkansas we strive to glorify God by creating a place where all people can find belonging, become more like Jesus, and ultimately believe in God. Together as a community, we do this by worshiping together, practicing radical hospitality, rooting ourselves in God’s love together, serving others and the world while building relationships within our Grace Church family, continually learning about what it means to live like Jesus, and taking time to listen to each other’s experiences and wisdom. At Grace Church, we believe the Kingdom of Heaven is open, inclusive, diverse, and available to everyone. So that’s what we want our church to look like. Whoever you are, whatever the journey that brought you here, we welcome you. Grace is a faith community who wants to know Jesus. We recognize and affirm that all are welcome to participate fully in the life of our church.

What's Next?

Next week we'll be discussing Vision; where the church is going, what you hope to do, and how they’re a reflection of the vision Jesus has for the church.


To access the Known participant guide, register here: You'll be asked to provide your name, email address, and location, and will select "Grace Church NWA" from the dropdown menu when asked for Church Name. For future logins, your email address is your user id.

Once registered you will have access to the Known Tell Your Story: Participant Guide, allowing you to follow along each week, considering your own story through the various lenses through which we'll be telling the story of Grace Church NWA. This is the same curriculum we'll use for our fall Table Group discussions, so you can get a headstart by reflecting on the individual story prompts now.

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