Grace Episcopal Church has suspended all in-person campus events, activities, and worship services until further notice. Please visit our Grace@Home page to see ways we are staying connected to one another, to Grace, and to God during the days ahead.
422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
Grace Church continues the suspension of all in-person campus events, activities, and worship services for the time being.
My friends, I commend this web page to you as a resource during these days. Below you will find links and video resources for your worship, prayer, spiritual formation, and community development. It is my prayer that these resources help us all “chart the unknown and new-name the creatures.” (Amos Wilder, Theopoetic: Theology and the Religious Imagination)
In all of this, I encourage you to be on high alert for the Spirit’s blessings in this disruption! The church cannot be cancelled, the church can only adapt! Press on, take care of one another, take care of yourself, God Is Trustworthy! “These present afflictions are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is being revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18
The Right Reverend Robert C. Wright
Bishop, The Diocese of Atlanta
Services will be held on Zoom at 9:00 AM and at 10:45 AM on Facebook Live on Sunday, August 9. Links below will be active later this week. You can watch the service from August 2 below.
Join us every Wednesday at 12:10 on our Facebook page for Noonday Prayer with Dr. Park. The Order of Service for Noonday begins on page 103 in the Book of Common Prayer and can be viewed online at the link below.
Join us weekdays at 8:00 PM for community prayers, “Zoompline” (Compline via Zoom*), and perhaps more. how to Zoom
Even in these very unusual times, we would like to be able to greet newcomers and visitors to Grace Episcopal Church! If you have recently “visited” us through an online class or worship service, or even just by browsing around our website, we invite you to fill out an online welcome card so we may share additional information about who we are and what we have to offer. We are glad you are here!
Here are some prayer practices you might try! Contact Cheryl to learn more.
Stations of the Cross
The Stations of the Cross are a deeply powerful practice that asks us to bring our whole selves – the grief, the confusion, the searching – and lay it alongside the journey Jesus took in his own great moments of suffering. A unique Stations of the Cross for these pandemic days has been installed around the campus of Grace Church. Use your phone to scan the QR code at each station and access the prayers located online. There are interactive components, invitations for reflection and the prayers of each Station are also recorded by parishioners so you can listen as you read. learn more
Walking a Labyrinth
A temporary labyrinth has been installed under some shade trees in the corner of the Grace Center parking lot! Follow the link to learn more about how to use a labyrinth as a prayer practice. With opportunities for in-person worship still limited, we hope you’ll come check out this way to reconnect with our spiritual home. learn more
Stuart asked us some pretty tough questions in a recent sermon. Questions like, “What do you really consider most important in your life?” “What are you giving your life to?” What do you desire?” What burdens are you carrying that you need to put down?” These are questions for the heart, and the heart often speaks best without words. So how are we—good ‘people of the book[s]’ that we are—to learn to hear the wisdom of our hearts? Try making a collage. learn more
A cento (comes from the Latin word for ‘patchwork’) is a poem made up completely from the lines of other poems—a collage of sorts. To write one, you collect a number of poems, and highlight the line (or lines) that draw your attention in each poem. You then copy those lines onto a piece of paper, and cut them into separate strips. Rearrange them at will, until you’ve created a new poem that’s your response. As a poetry exercise, it encourages us to linger with images or phrases that resonate for us and let our imaginations make connections between them. It also gets us past the hurdle of ‘finding the right words.’ These same advantages make it a helpful prayer practice. Here is some more information and an example.
Prayers of Lament
The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us there is a time for everything… including things we think of as “unpleasant” or “unfaithful” like weeping, mourning, or breaking apart. (Eccl. 3:1-8) In these days of isolation, unrest, frustration, and loss, many of us are feeling lots of uncomfortable things. These uncomfortable feelings can lead us to feel separated from, angry at, or even abandoned by, God. Where do we go with that? Here’s a reflection that might help, along with an invitation to try your hand at writing your own lament.
Recent events in our community, our nation, and around the world have many of us asking lots of questions about race and racism and justice. The questions are important but they don’t have easy, one-time answers. They require ongoing study, reflection, conversation, and prayer. To help facilitate this work, we’ve compiled a list of resources you might explore. There are resources for all ages, and in many different formats (books, movies, webinars, blogs, podcasts, websites, and more!), and we’ll update it periodically.
Regular Sunday school classes are on summer break. Watch for information about formation opportunities for kids!
Links to Additional Resources
Youth in grades 6-12 will be using Tim Sean Youmans’ Blessed to Bless: An Introduction to the Bible as our curriculum for Sunday School this fall.
Movements of Faith with Bishop Wright
In life, we go through movements. These movements (reality, grief, hope, faith, and courage) change in each season, and during this season, these movements within ourselves may feel impossible to overcome. Join Bishop Wright in a 5 part video series that takes a deeper dive into what these movements look and feel like as people of faith.
The Heart of Things
The Heart of Things, a weekly online Zoom class for practicing prayer in times of pandemic, meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 AM. These pandemic days of heightened anxiety and confusion-even anger and fear-call for a more intentional practice of our faith. How can we think theologically and respond prayerfully to the pressures we face as a spiritual community-even as the global community? How can we lean in, as it were, to the heart of the matter, to the core of things, so we can truly experience that “peace that passes all understanding?”
Centering Prayer is a contemplative method of prayer that facilitates opening the mind and heart to God. It includes a time of silent prayer followed by reflection and sharing. Our Centering Prayer group is sharing time together on Zoom on Mondays at 5:00 PM! All are welcome. The link is located in the ON THE CALENDAR section of the email newsletter.
With many of us still “sheltering in” we will continue Zoom Yoga throughout the summer! Monday classes are scheduled at the usual time: chair yoga at 2:45 and flow yoga at 3:45 PM. A new Thursday class meets from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Please join the zoom meeting just prior to your class and mute your feed during class so all can hear the instructor. Links to yoga can be found in the the ON THE CALENDAR section of the email newsletter. New participants welcome and no experience is necessary.
Links to Additional Resources
To receive emails with Christian Education reflections at home, contact Cheryl Kelley, the Director of Formation, at email@example.com. Some of our resources have licensing restrictions so we are unable to post them publicly.
An old-fashioned phone tree was activated on a parish wide level this past spring. Every household should have received a call, text, or email check in. Please let your contact person know if there is anything Grace can help you with at this time. You may also contact Brenda Morgan with pastoral concerns.
Cynthia and Stuart are available to you all during these days as well, so feel free to reach out. If you text, please include your name in case you are not already in their contact list.
Monetary giving to Grace is another way that we contribute to our shared ministry. It allows us to continue our online formation and worship, as well as pay special attention to our community ministry partnerships during these days. Please continue to send in your pledges, as you are able, in one of the three ways listed below. If you find yourself struggling–financially, spiritually, emotionally, physically–please let us know. Cynthia and Stuart are available to you.
If you have any questions or need help contact Reba Page for assistance. Thank you for continuing to support Grace Episcopal Church.