Thursday, September 22, 2022

Christianity Today article on Gracepoint is published

Thank you to Curtis Yee for his thorough investigation and work on this article.

https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/september/gracepoint-berkland-asian-american-church-discipleship.html


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Have a Gentle Holiday

A gentle reminder and repost from two years ago. I just re-read some of the comments on that post and sigh... it makes me sad.

I heard through the rumor mill that Gracepoint is allowing its members to spend more time with their families this year. (In previous years, they held their All Teams Retreat during the holidays.) Parents of students and young professionals are grateful that they don't have to argue with their kids about visiting for the holidays. I'm glad and I hope Gracepoint continues to loosen their iron tight grip on their members' lives.

Anyway, here is the post, slightly updated:

Dear Readers,

The holidays can be a time of even-more-than-usual grief and sadness for some of us. There are many unrecognized expectations from within and without that make it impossible for us to simply... be. Expectations can come in the following forms:
  • giving elaborate gifts
  • giving expensive gifts
  • sending out cards
  • preparing elaborate meals
  • hosting
  • being with family
  • not being with family
  • having meals with family
  • having a good time
  • enjoying everyone's company
  • being generous
  • being grateful
  • acting cheerful and excited (when you're not)
  • being nice to people, who are not nice to us
  • celebrating
Whatever we do or not do, I hope we can all be gentle with ourselves and start to shed some of these expectations that are more burdensome than life-giving. Perhaps we can use the holidays as an opportunity to finally start learning to say no. Start with something small like asking for that drink to be extra hot and sending it back when it's not. (But please say it nice.) Say no to making two stops all the way across town on the same day. Say no to chipping in on an expensive gift. It will all work out.

During my Berkland days, I felt pressure to keep my holiday time with my family short so that I could spend time with my "real" family. I would give free rides to folks from Berkeley to LA and pick them up and drop them off all over Los Angeles and Orange County. It didn't occur to me that I could say no. Or that doesn't work for me. Saying no was very dangerous in that culture as it could be easily labeled as selfish, ungrateful, unspiritual, unchristian, disobedient, lazy, etc...

Give yourself permission to rest this season. You have already done enough. You are fully accepted just as you are. Jesus never healed someone based on their qualifications. He healed everyone who asked. And even some who didn't want to get healed, he healed. And he didn't say, I'm such an amazing loving God, I healed you even when you didn't deserve it. No. He said, your faith has healed you. He gave the credit to those who were healed. God's presence is never contingent on our deservedness. You are already accepted. You are already home.

May you have a gentle holiday season.

Monday, December 6, 2021

UCSD Triton Article

The Triton (the student run newspaper at UCSD) has published an article about Gracepoint. https://triton.news/2021/11/gracepoint-church-faces-abuse-allegations-across-the-uc/ Sadly, Jane Doe's story is too common. I bet the leaders are telling each other all kinds of gossip and slander about Jane Doe. Justifying their abuse and disgarding of Jane Doe in the name of "ministry." Washing their hands while insisting that it was not their intention to harm her. Gracepoint may shrug their hands and say "our church isn't for everyone" and "no church is perfect." This line of thinking may help you get the little bit of sleep you get at night. Yes, I'm talking to you Ed, Kelly, William, Esther, Daniel, Sarah, Manny, Sunny, Steve, Eunice, Jonathan, Susanna, Timothy, Alice, Steve, Suzanne, Tony, Michelle, Rick, Sue, Kevan, John, Ellen, and Joe. I'm sure that's what you tell yourself, "This is not my fault. This person had a mental illness and it's not the church's job blah blah blah." Ask yourself, is this how Jesus would treat this person? Did Jesus kick people out of his ministry when they were no longer useful to him? Stop disgarding people just because they are an inconvenience to you or when you can no longer use them for free labor. God goes after the one lost sheep, leaving the 99 who are safe in the flock. Isn't this what you preach from the pulpit?

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

New (to me) Yelp Review

There is a new Yelp review that I want to highlight as it has SO MANY examples of what is wrong with Gracepoint and their affiliated ministries. Thank you K W for your post.

Gracepoint has created another listing on yelp that it "claims" under "Gracepoint Church." The former "Gracepoint Berkeley" is no longer claimed, perhaps due to all the bad reviews?

How have people been rebuked or publically humiliated at gracepoint? Let me count the ways

Sleeping too much- we were driving to Yosemite after finals week and I was exhausted but not like I could say no to these trips. Fell asleep in the car and got rebuked for not being alert enough and something about putting aside my fleshly body.

Being too tired - also not smiling enough. Got pulled aside by older guys and my leader for not having a better attitude and disposition at church. In hindsight this all probably was partly cause I wasn't sleeping enough.

Talking to girls- I was talking to someone of the opposite gender from church (whom I had no interest in). Got a drilled by a bunch of older guys - not leaders or the pastor, just guys in the class above me, about why I was talking to her and if I liked her or not.

Not sharing who I liked- a bunch of mostly the same guys in the class above me randomly asked me to tell them who I liked at church. Ostensibly to keep me on the right track, I guess.

Studying with girls- I invited a group of people (male and female) from my chem class over to study in our apartment the night before a major exam. Got pulled aside again and was told we don't allow the opposite gender into the brothers' apartment for fear of going astray.

Studying at the wrong times- i had a major exam the next day and stayed out till like 1 am. Walk in the door and my roommate asks me point blank, "what are you doing out so late? That's really suspicious."
The next time I got home too late from the library I actually sat in my car terrified, pondering if I should just sleep there overnight.

Walking into the room at the wrong time- I came in to help with something and the joyland kids were watching star wars episode 2 when analkin was saying some corny line to padme. In front of everyone, my leader just said to me, don't worry, you'll get a chance someday.

Not going up during public dedication time- I was walking out after a Sunday Sermon and got pulled aside by my leader. Apparently the message was really relevant to me and I should've gone up.

Going up during public dedication time- feeling pressure to go up during public dedication time once in a while, I got pulled aside by a different leader to ask why I went up. I guess my answers weren't good enough, he gave me a lecture about being more specific in my reasons and dedications.

Not taking down sound equipment fast enough- some class brothers and I got recruited to put up sound equipment before bible study. None of us were asked, we were just doing this now, I guess. After bible study we all went to mingle and eat the provided snacks like we always did. Later I was sitting in the car with my leader and he just went off on me, like full blown screaming at the top of his lungs, for not taking down the sound equipment right after bible study. I really thought he was going to hit me.

Not volunteering for enough activities- our whole class got an hour long earful from one of the leaders for not signing up enough for tabling and handing out flyers.

????- Kelly smn spent like over an hour reaming the entire congregation over the spiritual wellbeing of our church. And stuff. One guy in the front row was crossing his legs and chewing gum and she just gave it to him in front of the whole church. Yes, this really happened.

Sharing sensitive information on reflection sheets- my leader shared something embarrassing I wrote on my reflection sheet during a group meeting. An older leader had to cut him off. Just be careful what you write, these things aren't confidential.

Not sharing enough on my reflection sheets- I think if you read this far you know what's coming. That same leader gave me grief for not sharing "specifically" or thoughtfully enough on my reflection sheets. Knowing what I know now, if I could go back I would copy and paste movie plots from wikipedia onto my reflection sheet.

Not volunteering for skits and a song at someone's wedding - wouldn't you want others to do this for you at your wedding? No, I said, in my head to myself while no one was around. I really wish I had more of a spine back then. I swear these people don't know what the word volunteer means.

Look, just avoid all the mistakes I made above and I'm sure you'll avoid the humiliations and rebukings. Unless I'm missing something here.

I know a lot of what I shared centers around how to relate to the other gender, but it's a major sticking point for them. When I finally got the nerve during graduate school in my mid 20s to ask my leader about dating, they just said I wasn't spiritually ready. I defy anyone in this church To explain what that term means. Pastor Ed telling the congregation that if they like someone, to just call them up and ask them out, feels a lot like Pilate washing his hands in a bowl of water and walking away.

 

Below is the link to the original review. Read J W.'s review of Gracepoint Church on Yelp Check out the other reviews too. There's one with pictures of cars in the parking lot in Alameda during the quarantine!

Monday, May 24, 2021

Gracepoint Church Plant Targets (Summer 2021)

This is a list of colleges and universities where Gracepoint plans to start ministries in the summer of 2021.

  1. Azusa Pacific University (APU)
  2. Boston College
  3. Boston University
  4. Bryn Mawr
  5. Drexel University
  6. George Washington University
  7. Georgetown University
  8. Harvard University
  9. Haverford College
  10. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  11. Purdue University
  12. San Jose State University (SJSU)
  13. Santa Clara University (SCU)
  14. Stanford University
  15. Stony Brook University
  16. Swarthmore College
  17. Tufts University
  18. University of California, Merced
  19. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)
  20. University of Michigan
  21. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
  22. University of San Diego (USD)
  23. University of San Francisco (USF)
  24. University of Southern California (USC)
  25. University of Virginia
  26. University of Virginia (UVA)
  27. University of Wisconsin-Madison
  28. Villanova University
  29. Westmont College

If you have friends attending or planning to attend these colleges, please warn them to stay away from Gracepoint. Keep in mind that the names they use may hide the Gracepoint affiliation (see previous post). Thank to user @leavegracepoint for posting the list on the subreddit

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Gracepoint Groups, A List

A list of current and past Gracepoint churches and Gracepoint groups by campus. Many thanks to @leavegracepoint on Reddit for putting it together. 

Churches and affiliated student groups from the Berkland Baptist Church era are mostly not listed (except for the UC Berkeley ones).

UC Berkeley
Current Groups
  • A2F

  • Klesis

  • IGSM

  • IUSM (formerly ISM)

  • MakeNew

  • make.well

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) College

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • Bay Area Mentors

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Give Love

  • Cal MENtorship

  • 5and2

  • With A Vision (WAV)

  • Open Door Mentorship

  • Come One and Come Ball

  • Visiting Scholar Ministry (VSM)

  • Recreate Berkeley

  • Alpha Koinonia Berkeley

  • Acts2Campus (Acts2CN) Network

  • Salesforce@UC Berkeley link (Salesforce might have approved the people involved as campus reps since they are employees, but they are using Gracepoint facilities, you draw your own conclusions)

Past Groups

  • Koinonia (merged with A2F)

  • Latino Christian Fellowship (LCF)

  • Alethia

  • Kairos

  • International Student Fellowship (ISF)

  • Crosstalk

  • Third Space

  • 4Corners

  • ABSK (Asian Baptist Student Koinonia)

  • BBC (Berkland Baptist Church)

  • KBSK (Korean Baptist Student Koinonia)

  • KBSU (Korean Baptist Student Union)

UC Davis (UCD)

  • Gracepoint Davis

  • Koinonia

  • Aggie Lounge

  • Aggie International Ministry (AIM)

  • Thrive

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

UC Los Angeles (UCLA)

  • A2F

  • Klesis

  • 4Corners

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • Gracepoint LA

UC Santa Cruz (UCSC)

  • Klesis

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

UC San Diego (UCSD)

  • UCSD A2F

  • UCSD Klesis

  • UCSD Cobalt

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) SD

  • Gracepoint San Diego

  • Axios SD

  • IUSM SD

  • IGSM SD

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

UC Irvine (UCI)

  • International Student Group (ISG)

  • Klesis Mentorship

  • Axios UCI

  • A2F Irvine

  • makewell Irvine

  • IGSM Irvine

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

UC Santa Barbara (UCSB)

  • A2F

  • Klesis Isla Vista

  • Gracepoint Santa Barbara

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

UC Riverside (UCR)

  • Movement UCR

  • A2F

  • Klesis

  • [men]tality @ riverside

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

UC Merced

  • A2F

UC Santa Cruz (UCSC)

  • Klesis

  • Gracepoint Santa Cruz

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

University of Southern California (USC)

  • Gracepoint LA

  • A2F USC

  • 4Corners USC

  • IGSM USC

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • Trojan Tribe

  • Build Mentorship

University of Minnesota (UMN)

  • A2F Minnesota

  • IGSM UMN

  • The Foundry

  • Acts2Fellowship Mentorship Program (AMP) UMN

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • Gracepoint Minneapolis

University of Pittsburgh (UPitt)

  • Gracepoint Pittsburgh

  • A2F UPitt

  • MakeNew UPitt

  • Come One Come Ball

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

University of Texas, Austin

  • Koinonia Texas

  • IUSM UT Austin

  • IGSM UT Austin

  • Kairos ATX

  • make.well ATX

  • 5and2 Austin (ATX)

  • Advance Mentorship

  • Third Space

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) Austin

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • interhigh

University of Washington (UDub)

  • Gracepoint Seattle

  • Klesis Seattle

  • A2F UW

  • IUSM

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Seattle University

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Princeton University

  • Klesis Princeton

  • Gracepoint New Jersey

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Northwestern University

  • MakeNew

  • Gracepoint Chicago

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

University of Chicago

  • MakeNew

  • Thrive Mentorship

  • Gracepoint Chicago

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Azusa Pacific University (APU)

  • Project Build

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

California Institute of Technology (CalTech)

  • Gracepoint LA

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Boston University

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

  • Klesis

  • Gracepoint Pittsburgh

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

San Jose State University (SJSU)

  • Klesis

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Santa Clara University (SCU)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

University of Maryland, College Park (UMD)

  • Kairos

  • 4Corners

  • Gracepoint DMV

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC)

  • Klesis

  • A2F

  • Zoom and Bloom

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) North Carolina

  • Gracepoint North Carolina

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Rutgers

  • Klesis

  • Gracepoint New Jersey

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

North Carolina State University (NCSU)

  • Gracepoint North Carolina

  • A2F

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Georgetown University

  • Gracepoint DMV

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) DMV

  • Raze College Brotherhood

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

George Mason University (GMU)

  • Gracepoint DMV

  • [make]new

  • Project Spotlight

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) DMV

  • Raze College Brotherhood

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

George Washington University (GW)

  • Gracepoint DMV

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) DMV

  • Raze College Brotherhood

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

American University

  • Gracepoint DMV

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) DMV

  • Raze College Brotherhood

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

University of Virginia (UVA)

  • Gracepoint DMV

  • UVA Mosaic

  • Area Youth Ministry (AYM) DMV

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

San Francisco State University (SFSU)

  • Koinonia

  • Gator2Gator

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

University of San Francisco (USF)

  • Klesis

  • Koinonia (2007-2009)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

University of San Diego (USD)

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

San Diego State University (SDSU)

  • Klesis

  • Axios House

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

  • Gracepoint San Diego

CSU Fullerton (CSUF)

  • 4Corners

CSU Sacramento

  • Gracepoint Davis

CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB)

  • Klesis

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Claremont Colleges

  • Gracepoint Claremont

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Westmont College

  • A2F

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Loyola Marymount University (LMU)

  • make.well

Cal Poly Pomona (CPP)

  • A2F

  • Gracepoint Pomona

  • Advanced Mentorship Program (AMP)

Orange Coast College (OCC)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • 4Corners

Foothill College

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

De Anza College

  • Klesis Bay

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

Ohlone College

  • Klesis Bay

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

College of Alameda (CoA)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

  • Koinonia

Chabot College

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

CSU Long Beach / Long Beach City College (LBCC)

  • 4Corners

Diablo Valley College (DVC)

  • International Student Mentorship Program (ISMP)

HsinChu, Taiwan

  • Koinonia

  • Gracepoint HsinChu

Acts2Campus Network (A2CN) is also a Gracepoint thing.