"Nothing in the world matters but the kindness of grace, God's gift to suffering mortals..." (Jack Kerouac, 1961)
Welcome to Eternal Grace, a spiritual community being planted to support those making a journey towards grace. We have experienced salvation by grace. Grace is the face love wears when it meets imperfection. Eternal Grace is a place where imperfect people are perfectly welcome. We don't care who you are, or what you've done, you are welcome. We have meetings worldwide, and our central office is headquartered in Hollywood, California.
Eternal Grace ministers to those recovering from rigid religion, to artists, and to youth through events for disadvantaged children. We are outreaching to schools with our film on humanitarian and heroic athlete Roberto Clemente.
It can be difficult to find a support system that can offer spiritual well-being and an outlet for one's art. Eternal Grace was founded by multi-medium artist Richard Rossi and his wife Sherrie as a fresh, accepting alternative for those who have tired of the agenda-based hijacking of religion by legalists.
WHY THE NAME "ETERNAL GRACE?"
Our name was chosen by Sherrie Rossi after hearing a song lyric from the Lenny Kravitz song "Believe" that said: "The Son of God is in our face, offering us Eternal Grace." Richard & Sherrie Rossi were a part of leading large ministries, high profile media attention, and trials and tribulations that devastated them and gave them reasons to leave faith behind. But along the way, through pain, questions, and reassessment, Richard and Sherrie came to understand what God's grace is all about. They learned more about grace through the School of Hard Knocks than though Liberty University, the Christian college where they met.
WHAT DOES GRACE MEAN?
Religious fundamentalists have misused and misrepresented the term "grace," and "salvation by grace." In the wrong hands of the modern-day Pharisees, even the term grace is distorted into an emphasis on human worthlessness and shame. Hyper-Calvinistic hellfire preachers teach that grace is only given to an elect few. Eternal Grace is a ministry that challenges Christians to recognize grace truly is amazing, and it's more than a word in a famous hymn, or a religious catch-phrase. It transforms how we view God, salvation, ourselves, each other, and the world at large.
EG entices non-Christians to give Jesus a chance by sharing the true, transformational meaning of grace. Grace is the only answer that works and offers a society turned off by Christianity a healing remedy to the wounds inflicted on us by rigid religion. Grace, ("Karis" in the original New Testament Greek), means "unmerited favor." It is the idea that we all receive salvation freely. When Jesus died on the cross as the propitiation for the sins of the whole world, He prayed even for the people killing Him, "Father forgive them." Jesus forgives all of them. Without their asking for it. Before they knew it. It is finished. Done. Paid for. Salvation is a gift. Not because we earn it. Not because of what we do or don't do. Not because we pass a religious test or say the right words. It's a gift of eternal grace because God loves us. You don't have to earn God's love or fear God's wrath. Just get to know God better. This is the good news.
HOW DOES GRACE RELATE TO CREATIVITY?
Eternal Grace is a proposition that produces products. The proposition of eternal grace produces a community producing films and art that can inspire and educate, sharing strength, experience, hope, and faith in a way that attracts others without proselytizing. Eternal Grace's first project, "Sister Aimee: The Aimee Semple McPherson Story." was a small independent film produced on a very modest budget, which found it's way to the shelves of Blockbuster Video.
Art is tribal. The Impressionist painters met for lunch and painted each other. Gifted artists have been drawn to the spirtual support and nurturing of Eternal Grace. Here's a case study of the fruitfulness of EG's Hollywood house church network. In one of our groups, a dozen artists met in North Hollywood in mutual support and connection with each other and with God, the Creator and Master Artist. Within a short period, a flurry of art emerged from those connected to this house church. Gifted directors like Mark Freiburger, Tim Chey, Drew Cinclair, and Richard Rossi produced a half dozen films between them that got international distribution. Singer-songwriters like Mary Makarios, Laura Anderson, Robert Amberry, Aimee Blacher, Sheri Pedigo, Josh Rossi and his band The Aeons, and Richard Rossi wrote new songs, and music CDs were recorded and released. Actor Craig Zucchero landed a part in the Clint Eastwood film "J. Edgar." Sherrie Rossi wrote, directed, and produced a short puppet film on public safety to save lives. Stephanie Sullivan created and choreographed the gospel in dance.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PRODUCTS THAT GREW OUT OF THE GRACE PROPOSITION?
CREATE YOUR LIFE
Our message of encouragement to you to find your creative passions is found in the new book "CREATE YOUR LIFE: DAILY MEDITATIONS ON CREATIVITY" by our founder Richard Rossi. The book blends spiritual principles and a healthy concept of God with practical suggestions to help you find your calling and passion and go with the passion. CYL is available in book form and for Kindle. To read a free excerpt to get a taste of our word for you, click HERE: http://www.amazon.com/CREATE-YOUR-LIFE-Meditations-Creativity/dp/1475227205/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1339800536&sr=1-1&keywords=create+your+life+rossi
Stick Man, Richard's long-awaited coming-of-age novel about a young man's spiritual journey from fundamentalism to freedom, is now available on Amazon.com The novel shares in story-form the lessons Richard learned. From his background as a graduate of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, Richard went through a healing process to recover from the damage done by his time under the toxic teachings of legalism. Stick Man is a love story about a boy growing up in Pittsburgh. The novel incorporates the steps of reclaiming your life from fundamentalist indoctrination and is getting rave reviews from believers and unbelievers alike. Stick Man is a healing story for those who have been through spiritual abuse and are making a similar journey towards embracing a concept of God as a loving Father, rather than as a punitive judge. "Stick Man" (both the novel and soundtrack) by Richard Rossi are now available at http://www.amazon.com
Richard Rossi's Academy Award considered film "Saving Sister Aimee" (recently re-released on Amazon under the title "Richard Rossi 5th Anniversary of Sister Aimee"), his feature film "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Clemente Stories," documentary "Quest For Truth: An Expose of Exorcism and Faith Healing," musical concert film "Live At Graffiti's," and his feature "Sister Aimee" are all available at Amazon.com as well as Mark Freiburger's two films "Dog Days of Summer," and "Jimmy," and Tim Chey's "Live Fast Die Young," "Suing the Devil," and "The Genius Club".
Our current film project, "Baseball's Last Hero: 21 Roberto Clemente Stories," is intended to be shoulder to shoulder with contemporary independent features in release today. It is also an homage to the city Richard Rossi will always call home and a revered boyhood hero. The film not only tells the story of Roberto Clemente's athletic and personal achievements; it is our hope we can inspire people to reach higher and give more of themselves. Though we are people of faith, we must stress this is not a religious film, but a spiritual one. It is one of inspiration (a la Rocky). Our faith based activities are who we are and how we live and work together as a team of artists commited to eternal grace.
We screen the film in schools in metro areas and the director visits schools to inspire students towards their own creative expression. Two-time Olympian high-jumper Jamie Nieto is playing the role of Roberto and journeyed to the Olympics (and now working Hollywood actor). Hopefully disadvantaged children will see that no matter where you are or where you are from, the arts are an attainable goal. The film and its participants espouse the virtues of perseverence and selflessness. "Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." We are currently operating on personal donations of funding and talent.
Want to see new Roberto Clemente movie NOW? The highly anticipated DVD is released early only on Amazon to celebrate Clemente's 3,000th hit & National Hispanic Heritage month. Limited number will sell out quick so click TODAY to order for yourself & for Christmas presents: http://www.amazon.com/Baseballs-Last-Hero-Clemente-Stories/dp/B00EZBBUCC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378365057&sr=8-1&keywords=baseball%27s+last+hero%3A+21+clemente+stories
For an update on the Clemente movie, click HERE: http://www.facebook.com/clementemovie
"HUMOR IN THE HEART DOES GOOD LIKE A MEDICINE" (Proverbs 17:22)
Sit back and enjoy fifteen fun minutes of our founder's stand-up comedy performance on the subject of "Recovering from Religion", Click the link below to laugh, and feel free to forward to friends:
Cellphone use while driving kills thousands, it's the #1 killer on the road now. Here's Sherrie Rossi's puppet PSA "Drive Now Please" you can watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxrhp2e8m84&feature=youtu.be
WHY DO WE EXIST?
Eternal Grace is dedicated to helping people discover the eternal grace and unconditional love of God and to share and manifest this grace and love in our lives, relationships with others, and art. Come as you are...no matter who you are, where you've been, or what you've done. Eternal Grace is for people from imperfect families with imperfect pasts. We shower each other with the embrace of grace. We've experienced unmerited grace in such a deep way, we want to share it authentically with others. We experience and celebrate the overflowing love of God - a love that can heal all wounds, save all souls, and change the world.
We exist to share God's grace with the world. It's that simple. We gather for worship, fellowship, the sharing of spiritual gifts, and outreach through art. God's eternal grace is what saves us. God's gifts are grace-gifts, given because He is head over heels in love with us. The only requirement for participation is a desire to receive God's grace, and give grace to ourselves and to each other.
The Bible uses organic metaphors to describe the relationship between God and His people. A vine and its branches. A farmer sowing seed in good ground. We are a living organism. Our worship and fellowship are Spirit-led. We are natural as we experience the supernatural together.
We provide spiritual and emotional support to actors, artists, dancers, writers and others who are sensitive souls, who are often recovering from religion and journeying towards a healthy relationship with God and others.
We are a network supporting each other on a spiritual journey. Our mission is to help everyone grow in grace, so we encourage all participants to not judge or criticize those who are not on the same level. The Bible says "Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
WHO ARE WE?
We want to make a difference, to experience the presence and power of God in a personal way, and share that experience with others. The approaching footsteps of God's eternal grace and unconditional love for the whole world grow louder and louder in our spiritual ears.
Our spiritual journeys have taken us through different groups, cross-pollinating various teachings, ideas, and experiences. Through it all, we've come to understand that the goal is love, that they will know we are His disciples by our love. Love fulfills the law. Love covers a multitude of sins and love never fails.
Many of us have a creative career, a calling to express ourselves. We highly value and encourage artistic gifts and expression. We're pioneers. We're believers in God, the One the Bible describes as unconditional love, and we have a passionate hunger for a true spiritual connection beyond religion.
WHAT IS OUR MISSION & METHODOLOGY?
Our mission is to get out there with our artistic gifts and shine our lights (Matthew 5:14). Jesus was an artist who created parables, artful stories that were metaphors to explain true spirituality. In the Parable of the Talents found in Matthew 25, Jesus taught we are given our gifts to share with the world, not to bury in the sand. We express the good news in the context of art and beauty. We believe the creative potential in human beings is an expression of the image of God.
From 1999-2001, Richard was employed by Church Multiplication Associates working with Neil Cole, a leading author on the house church movement. The principles learned during this season helped Richard see an organic & simple approach to fellowship that enabled he & Sherrie to create Eternal Grace as a spiritual support system for artists & celebrities in Hollywood. Richard is a man who is able to maintain his connection to Christ while working comfortably & successfully in the secular worlds of literature, film, television, and entertainment.
WHAT IS OUR CONCEPT OF GOD?
The organic principles EG practices are important, but the principles alone are insufficient. Discussion of methodology can be a distraction from the foundational issue if our concept of God is flawed and fundamentalist. Christians talk to each other and write books about church for each other, but sometimes miss the weightier issue. If we have a fresh approach in our perceptions of church, but are still selling a monstrous concept of the violent, demanding God, it's like having a new wineskin, but drinking the same old cheap port wine. It doesn't matter if we do church more organically or culturally-current, if we're still preaching and teaching the exclusively White, Evangelical, Republican, Christian Jesus. All the church conferences about being more relevant, organic, missional, emergent, welcoming, relational etc. can be an interesting learning experience for participants on some level, but for those insulated and isolated in the Christian subculture, it misses the million dollar question: What God is lurking behind all these trendy discussions? Sometimes the contemporary externals of cutting-edge "hip" ministries cannot hide the internal bondage to the same religious rules that damn some and save others.
The extreme fringe of the politicized Religious Right and the distorted parody of fire and brimstone preachers and televangelists have turned off many people. They gleefully sentence their neighbors to the "scalding flames of Hell" and make snap judgements about who is "saved." Old ways of evangelizing no longer connect with most people. In fact, they have done more societal damage by creating converts that are often elitist, self-righteous, war-mongering, and downright hateful. We want to share who the real Jesus is. The key scripture for this mission is John 12:32 Jesus said, "When I am lifted up I will draw all men unto Myself." He is confident in His purpose and will draw all to Himself. He is for all people.
The Religious Jesus brings shame. The Real Jesus brings grace. The Religious Jesus brings condemnation. The Real Jesus brings compassion. The Religious Jesus hurts people. The Real Jesus heals people. The Religious Jesus points the finger at victims of tragedy. The Real Jesus lends a hand. The Religious Jesus uses people to build the church. The Real Jesus uses the church to build people.
The Real Jesus transcends religion. He is not confined or contained by the cages of any one denomination, definition, or dogma. No one can claim Jesus to be exclusively theirs and then exclude others from His universal, unconditional love. Unconditional means there are no conditions. EG is a ministry standing on the prophecy that God will pour out His Spirit on all flesh, rather than dividing humanity into a binary of two groups, the in-group and the out-group.
How do we know when we're hitting the target? When we have a chance in private or public to talk about the Real Jesus, and to correct some of the damage done by the Religious Jesus. Every time we have an opportunity to share His love and healing power with another person. To listen to them, to love them, to put our hand on their shoulder and pray for the Holy Spirit to come upon them in a tangible way. We help in practical ways when we can, meeting the real needs with compassion, understanding, and grace. Every person is created in God's image. This image is like a rose inside them that is sometimes marred by the thorns of sins they've committed, or the sins that have been committed against them. We ask God for eternal grace to reach past the thorns and find the rose within others, to help them see themselves as God sees them, valued and lovable. That frees them to be the person God wants them to be. They are transformed. They begin to love themselves again as God does, and this enables them to love others.
May eternal grace open your eyes to the richness of loving relationships with God and people. Grace be with you all.
For more information about Eternal Grace and our gatherings email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
ETERNAL GRACE is a nonprofit 501C3 organization that exists to share God's grace with the world through community and the arts.
FEEL THE EMBRACE OF GOD'S GRACE