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The Annual Christmas Letter

Some families spend hours baking cookies every Christmas, then package them up to give to all their friends and relatives. In my family, we spent hours sending out Christmas cards with the annual holiday letter — 400 of them. My dad was in the military. As my parents moved from post to post every few years, they made friends in each location with other service people who lived the same transient lifestyle.

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Breathing Room

The time of day that I am currently struggling with most as a parent is bath. Like many families, we often sandwich bath in between dinner and bedtime — not the most effortless hours of my daily itinerary. By 6 p.m., I've already been parenting for twelve hours! Is there any job that is glorious after a cool twelve hours? So let me tell you what my parenting can look like as we enter our apartment bathroom — a tiny room with amazing acoustics and no fresh air.

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Picture Perfect

Hoboken Grace’s Photo Team is always ready to capture special moments. And in just a few days they’ll do just that by taking portraits for nearly 200 families receiving gifts at the Hoboken Christmas Exchange. "Last year we knew we wanted to do as much as possible to go above and beyond just handing out gifts,” says Al, who leads the Photo Team. “We wanted to give as much as we could, and family portraits seemed like that little extra something.”

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“An Experience I’ll Never Forget”

When Kara volunteered at the Hoboken Christmas Exchange last year, she wasn’t sure what to expect. It was her first time participating in any of the events at Hoboken Grace. Having volunteered with other organizations throughout the years, Kara assumed she’d simply be handing out gifts to families in need, passing out cocoa and lining kids up for photos with […]

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What Are You Most Excited About?

Recently while speaking with our Dinner Group leaders, I was asked “What are you most excited about this fall?”  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting the question, but my answer came without hesitation. A Night of Prayer. There is no doubt that what I’m most excited about is one of the simplest things we do. It’s once a month. It’s […]

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Celebrate Big

“When the team reflected on what kind of partnership would best fit Hoboken Grace, we saw a unique opportunity to help World Hope celebrate these children, who are so often ostracized in their communities,” said Tara. “Really celebrating their lives and bringing people together, that’s exactly who we are as Hoboken Grace. We want to celebrate big and we want to celebrate loudly. And we saw partnering with them as a way to bring people to recognize and love these children.”

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No Experience Necessary

When Ceasar started attending Hoboken Grace, he thought the people behind the production booth were paid professionals. Six months later, he was so intrigued that he approached one of the Worship Team members and was invited to attend a production meeting. Now he's one of those people behind the booth. “Experience is not at all a prerequisite," he says. "Just a willingness to learn and serve."

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This December

There isn’t a single one of us who isn’t asking the question of value. What value do I have. What am I worth to her, to him, to them. What is my value. This Christmas we explore value, treasure and worth. It’s a conversation you’re already having. It’s a conversation God wants to engage specifically with you.

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PORTRAITS: A Bigger Plan

Traffic was terrible that day. They were going to be late. Emma stared out the window deep in thought as Craig tried to maneuver the car to creep ahead an extra inch or two. Giving up on their usual route, Craig took a detour. Jersey City scrolled monotonously past the window, and then Emma saw it: the word “ADOPT” spray-painted on the side of a building, as they drove to the clinic to start a cycle of IVF.

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Everything Can’t Be Amazing

We want so much for someone to speak truth about who we are and what we’re meant to be, but we often hope that they’ll say something we’ve already contrived, rather than trusting God with what He has given and promised us; rather than trusting Him with the journey of finding our gifts and letting Him direct us as to how to use them for His mission.

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A Passionate Debate

It’s a conversation I’ll never forget. It was meaningless until it completely changed my life. My friend and I were going back and forth about a football team. The argument was pointless and had very little if any actual merit from either side, but I loved to argue. I was presenting my position passionately and with precision when he interrupted […]

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Imperfect.

He calls us to embrace the spaces of our hearts and minds where we are still growing. I can choose to see the good in the world and celebrate His victories and still experience disappointments. I can be fragile and raw and vulnerable and still encourage others. I can love people — and myself — by reaching out to the people God has put in my life when I need comfort and by graciously accepting their love when I need it. I can fall down and inspire others with my bravery to stand back up.

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Lasting Memories

While most of us may fuss over getting just the right gifts for our loved ones this time of year, some families need a little helping hand to bring the excitement of Christmas into their homes. Three years ago, Kara had an idea that brought the spirit of giving to dozens of people and provided gifts to about 25 families in Hoboken. Now with the help of Hoboken Grace, that idea has grown into an annual event that touches more and more lives every year.

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Welcome: We’ve Been Expecting You

One of the most uncomfortable moments in my life was showing up to a brunch that I thought I was invited to and yet no one was expecting me. They must’ve accidentally sent the invitation to my inbox. I showed up at an intimate table of six people — one of them I knew — and noticed there wasn’t room for seven. They must’ve thought I was simply coming over to say hello and then go meet my party or have brunch in another area of the restaurant.

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The Gift of Running

Countless people who attend Hoboken Grace have spent the past year training for marathons, 5Ks and their own personal fitness goals. And while most of them likely got started for the health benefits, many say running's also had an impact on their faith. It's offered lessons about the importance of getting started, building endurance and even developing community.

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