Virtual services are held on Sundays at 8:15 and 10:45 AM and every weeknight at 8:00 PM. Please visit our Grace@Home page for links and to see all the ways we are staying connected to one another, to Grace, and to God!
422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
I walked in the nave last week to see the arrangements the Flower Guild had put up for Advent and Christmas, and it brought the biggest smile to my face. Each year, I am amazed at the gifts and dedication of the Flower Guild team, as well as the attention to detail that the Altar Guild gives to each service during this special time of year. Arranging for the many services takes a lot of work, and I think our Altar Guild is the best in the diocese. As well, the Brass Guild always works to make sure that every piece of brass and silver sparkles beautifully. Those small touches matter enormously, and so many others also help to make this season so special.
If it weren’t for the vergers, it would be so difficult to manage the countless details on Sunday mornings, from acolytes to readers to intercessors and chalice bearers all weaving their presence into the liturgy. During Advent and Christmas that pressure is magnified, and I am extremely grateful for the vergers’ attention and dedication! We are blessed to have them.
In addition, we are so blessed to be supported in our worship and prayers by the choir and choristers! I am so very thankful for the way they hold the sacredness of the liturgy when so many details and hours of rehearsal ask a lot of them. I am grateful for them-and for their families and friends who hold down the details of life while rehearsals continue.
The staff is working so hard behind the scenes to proof bulletins, manage classes and conversations, coordinate with community ministry partners, finalize end of year budget details and planning for 2020, and field phone calls with pastoral concerns. I never lose sight that, for the Grace Church staff, this is also their parish home. I am extraordinarily grateful for my team, and hope you will find some way to thank them for what they do for the entire parish.
This year, during Christmas Eve services, I am delighted to welcome a wider team of clergy friends to share in the joy! The Rev. Mary Demmler, priest associate at Grace and chaplain at Rabun Gap School will celebrate the 4:00 PM Holy Eucharist with Children’s Pageant. At the 7:00 PM service, the Rev. Michael McCann, a retired priest associate at Grace, will help with the liturgy. At the Midnight Mass, I am delighted that the Rev. Betsy Jennings Powell and the Rev. David Powell will assist with this beautiful liturgy. Betsy and David are both retired priests with deep roots in Gainesville. They have recently moved back to the community, and I am thrilled that Grace is a spiritual home for them. Edgar Otero, our seminarian, will also be on hand to assist at some of the services, and I remain so grateful for his presence among us. Indeed, Cynthia and I are excited to share this year in celebrating Christ’s birth with all the vestry, ushers, greeters, and others who help make the Feast of the Incarnation such a prayerful time.
Dear friends, I am so grateful to be among you, as we step into our seventh year together in this community. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for helping nurture this amazing place that is indeed a Grace for so many.