Holy Communion is offered on Sundays at 9:30 AM and on Wednesdays at 12:00 PM, outdoors on the Grace Church campus for a congregation of 50 or less. All are welcome, however registration is required. 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 registration 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
This Sunday, October 4, Grace Church will bless our pets and give thanks for the many blessings we receive through our pets and other animals.
There will be a drive-through blessing from 4:30 – 5:45 PM under the porte-cochere along Boulevard. All are welcome but we do ask that pets and humans stay in their cars and that humans over the age of 2 wear a mask while on our campus. Please enter the corner parking lot from Brenau Ave and proceed through the covered driveway from there. If you’d like to bring a donation for the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia, you can find a list of items needed on their website. (Donations are not required in order to have your pet blessed!)
A blessing will also be incorporated into both our 9:00 AM Zoom and 10:45 AM live-stream services on October 4. So if you aren’t able to drive-through later in the afternoon, please make plans to bring your pets to (virtual) worship that morning! We’ll be sharing photos of some of our pets prior to the start of the live-stream service and also on our social media on Sunday, October 4.
We look forward to seeing you and your beloved pets, in-person and/or virtually, on Sunday, October 4.
We will also have our Evening Prayer in-person service that Sunday at 6:00 PM, but alas, this gathering will only be for humans. As usual, registration is required.
Our annual stewardship campaign, Telling Our Story, continues! When making your pledge to the mission and ministry of Grace Church for 2021 we invite you to also share a brief story of your life during these days. How do our stories weave together and open our eyes to see God’s compassionate presence all around us? And how can Grace Church build on the richness of these stories and step even more fully into the years to come as a Christian community?
During these tense days, sometimes it helps to look to voices who can speak to us and bring us meaningful insights as we continue to wonder how to practice our faith in these days. Many folks receive Fr. Richard Rohr’s daily meditations, which I always find helpful. Others look to artists and composers, writers and poets, theologians and social commentators. We need to keep such positive people close to us. In that spirit, I want to include links in our weekly newsletter that we have found meaningful in our own practice.
This week I am including a reflection by the Rt. Rev. Porter Taylor. Bishop Taylor was rector of St. Gregory’s Parish in Athens before serving as the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina. He now serves as an assisting bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. The title of his reflection is “Deeper Than Melodrama” and you can read it on Facebook.
Look for other reflections in the coming weeks. If you have a resource you think would be meaningful, feel free to email me and I will see if I can work that in.
We look forward to seeing you at one of our in-person worship or prayer opportunities. Evening Prayer is offered on Sunday evenings from 6:00 – 6:30 PM and Prayer Pilgrimages are held in the nave on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 or 2:30 PM. Registration is required, details can be found at the registration links below.
Compassion Camp is off to a great start! In-person check-ins are held outdoors at Grace on Sunday evenings following Evening Prayer. Last week’s theme was “Come to the Table: Compassion helps us see and welcome” and participants painted bowls together. This week’s theme teaches us how compassion helps us to be brave and reach out to our neighbor.
Family Promise has continued to serve homeless families during the pandemic even though host churches are unable to provide meals and accommodations. Currently, there is one family in the Empowerment Program living at the Stepping Stones Transitional Home while three program families have recently graduated and moved to their own homes since August 1. During the pandemic, the Empowerment Program consists of housing at one of the transitional homes or a hotel, food and gas cards, case management services, L.I.F.E. Skills classes, remote counseling, and child care at the Little Steps Community Daycare.
Family Promise has recently relocated to their new headquarters, known as The Homestead, at 3606 McEver Road in Oakwood, where renovations continue as they create a centralized campus providing housing, programs, daycare and other services to help children and their families who are experiencing homelessness. The purchase and renovation of the new facility was made possible by a tremendously successful capital campaign led by Grace Church’s own Hank Goble along with many generous gifts from other Grace Church parishioners and members of the community.
Within months of moving to The Homestead, Family Promise was able to serve more individuals in two community events than was ever possible before. They served 463 children through The Christmas Promise Store and 950 families though the Promise to Feed school meal distribution. That is something that could never have been done in the old space.
Promise to Feed
Family Promise has always envisioned a food pantry where families can shop and pick what they want, much like a grocery store. They are working with the GA Mountain Food Bank to establish the first client choice pantry in Hall County at The Homestead. Family Promise purchases what they can from the food bank, but since they cannot always get what is needed, food donations from churches and individuals help fill in the gaps. Here’s a list of needed items if you’d like to help.
Little Steps Community Daycare
Affordable daycare is desperately needed by Empowerment Program families as well as many other low income families in Hall County. Little Steps has moved to The Homestead and is up and running as all the children are keeping the staff on their toes. With all that is going on with COVID within the schools and their hybrid and virtual teaching, they are implementing their own school “Pandemic” pod.
Family Promise would love for you to stop by The Homestead (just bring a mask) so they can show you all the transformations that are happening on their campus. This includes a new sign at the road, a large tree clearing, prepping and painting, rooms organized and the basement renovation.
Grace Church’s regular week to serve as Family Promise hosts is October 11-18. We will provide grocery and gas cards for families in the Empowerment Program in addition to providing volunteers for the Promise to Feed pantry. More details will be provided soon.
This post highlights some events and news pertinent to the upcoming week.