Worship Schedule

Sunday 8:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I
Sunday 10:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II
nave & online: Facebook/website
Tuesday 8:00 p.m. Compline
online: Zoom
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. Eucharist

Sunday mornings at Grace

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The Grace Church nave is located at the corner of Washington Street and Boulevard in Gainesville, Georgia.

The parish office, open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, is located at 422 Brenau Avenue. Come to the red door that faces Brenau Avenue and ring the bell for access.

Mailing Address: 422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
Phone: 770-536-0126

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The Power of Presence

The Power of Presence:
Nurturing a Community of Compassion in Challenging Times

Where Grace Episcopal Church
When Saturday, March 9; 9 AM—3 PM
Cost $25, includes lunch
Contact Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham 

Register by March 1

Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th century mystic and saint, offers us an image of the Wheel of Life that connects all creation in God’s embrace. In an age where the forces of greed, fear, and anger seek to divide us into camps and categories that can be pitted against each other, Hildegard takes her place in the long line of mystics, from many faith traditions, who seek to nurture union and connection. In her writing The Book of Divine Works, she dares to reflect on a vision she has had of God’s presence in all of life:

I, the highest and fiery power, have kindled every living spark and I have breathed out nothing that can die. But I determine how things are–I have regulated the circuit of the heavens by flying around its revolving track with my upper wings–that is, with Wisdom. But I am also the fiery life of the divine essence–I flame above the beauty of the fields; I shine in the waters; in the sun, the moon, and the stars, I burn. And by means of the airy wind, I stir everything into quickness with a certain invisible life which sustains all. (trans. Carver).

Hildegard’s word that sought to describe this connecting life force of all existence is viriditas, the greening and life-giving presence and principle that exists within all life. Her words, rooted in such a powerful tradition, continue to speak to us today as we grapple with division and struggle to imagine ways to nurture connection among all aspects of humanity.

The Power of Presence retreat is an offering that seeks to nurture this awareness of our connection. By bringing together diverse faith leaders from the community to reflect on how we understand this indwelling presence that unites us, perhaps we can regain a bit of hope–and be rejuvenated in our own vocation to embody light in the world.

River Guerguerian, a world-renowned percussionist from Asheville, will lead an experiential workshop.

Dr. Park’s presentation will focus on the neurological impacts of the practice of fire watching as connected with the Biblical account of Moses encountering the “burning bush.”

Fr. Stuart’s presentation will focus on practices of prayer and poetic imagination, drawing on selections from his forthcoming collection of poetry, Bones of Light: Poems of Spiritual Imagination.

We will have a henna artist available for those who want to share in this beautiful practice. Also, we will share in constructing our own Community Peace Quilt, writing prayers and messages of peace on fabric that will then be gathered into a quilt to embody our intentions of fostering community compassion.

You are invited to share in this time of reflection, poetry, prayer, and deeply moving music and rhythm as we continue to listen for that common heartbeat that unites us all.

COST  The cost of this retreat is $25, which includes lunch. If you are a full-time student, please indicate that on the registration form and Grace will cover your fee.


Register by March 1


Featured Artist

River Guerguerian

River Guerguerian has been inspiring audiences with his ecstatic and versatile percussion for over 30 years. Whether collaborating with world-class artists, supporting symphonies or creating his own dynamic explorations of rhythm, River’s devotion and attention to the vibrant life of the drum reverberate through the mind and soul of the listener.

As a highly regarded studio musician, River has recorded on over 300 albums and film soundtracks, including the John Cage documentary film, “I Have Nothing to Say and I Am Saying It.” Over the whole of his prolific career, he has performed and/or recorded internationally with such individual and groups as the BBC Concert Orchestra, Paul Winter Consort, Lizz Wright, Chuck Berry, Sophie B. Hawkins, Ziggy Marley, Gipsy Kings, New Music Consort, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble, and Talujon Percussion Ensemble. River also engineers his own percussion tracks for artists at his recording studio.

In 1994, River decided to sell all of his possessions and step off the grid. He resided in a wildlife sanctuary in the Himalayas, and partly in Northern Maui. The adventure lasted five years and led to his immersion, extensive research and experimentation in the realm of the physiological, emotional, and mental effects of sound.

Drawing upon his richly diverse experiences, River’s work spans a remarkable number of musical genres and traditions, both mainstream and obscure. His authentic and masterful sound are derived from an array of ancient and modern percussion instruments from the 30 countries he has visited. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by chamber ensembles, universities, modern dance companies, and international music festivals.


Featured Reflections

Stuart Higginbotham

Stuart Higginbotham, Episcopal priest, author, poet, and retreat leader, has been the rector of Grace Episcopal Church since 2014. His work focuses on the intersection of contemplative practices and congregational development, as well as interfaith dialogue, particularly with the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. He is the co-editor of Contemplation and Community: A Gathering of Fresh Voices for a Living Tradition and is the author of The Heart of a Calling: The Practice of Christian Mindfulness in Congregational Ministry (Crossroads).


Cynthia Park

Cynthia’s doctoral work focuses on ancient biblical languages and her work as a behaviorist explores the neurological effects of generational trauma. Both disciplines cast light on the cultures, religions, and practices in the Ancient Near East over centuries, which in turn shaped the formation of the languages and religious rituals. Using the narrative of Moses’ encounter with God in the burning bush, she will explore the neurological impact of the practice of fire gazing, and its present applications for seeing our current circumstances from a divine perspective.


This retreat is sponsored by The Center for Prayer and Spiritual Practice at Grace Episcopal Church.

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