Sunday morning worship at Grace Episcopal Church remains online. Evening Prayer is offered outdoors on Sunday evenings for a congregation of 50 or less. All are welcome, however registration is required. Please visit our Grace@Home page for the registration link 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, September 13, we will observe our annual parish feast day: the Feast of the Holy Cross. Each year on this day we typically offer a time for folks to walk onto the chancel and view and touch a stone embedded in our altar. The stone, carved in the shape of the cross, is from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, a site that for centuries has been the focus of veneration for Christ’s crucifixion and burial. It is a sacramental experience for us to come forward and offer a prayer, touch the stone, and remember.
Since we cannot be in our nave this year, we encourage you to hold a special cross close to you this Sunday during the 9:00 AM or 10:45 AM virtual services. May it be your physical grounding for our prayers on this parish feast day.
Normally, when a priest leaves for her sabbatical, the entire parish can be present to properly send them off with prayers and a bit of celebration. This year, it is so strange to see Cynthia leave for her well-deserved time of rest and renewal. When we had our staff meeting this week, my heart ached that we couldn’t all be together to celebrate. So much about these months has caused grief–and just feels strange. I recognize that I have been able to see her on Sundays as we share the services, but you have not been able to see her, nor she you. That being the case, we need to get creative!
This coming Sunday, at both the 9:00 AM Zoom and the 10:45 AM live stream services, we will have a time of special prayers to send Cynthia and Jack into their time of rest, surrounded by love and gratitude for these incredible six years that we have shared together. I have no doubt that these three months will be a fruitful and regenerative time for them, and they will join us again for the Third Sunday of Advent to celebrate in whatever way we can.
I would encourage you to send them a card or letter during these days. Taking the time to write is a practice of prayer in itself. And, I hope you can share in one of the services this Sunday, as we give thanks to God for our life together.
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel; my heart teaches me, night after night. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not fall. Psalm 16:7,8
Updated regathering protocols issued by the diocese now allow for in-person outdoor gatherings of up to 50 parishioners at a time. So, Grace Church is excited to offer Evening Prayer on Sunday evenings from 6:00 – 6:30 PM, beginning THIS Sunday, September 13. The service will be held in the parking lot at the corner of Boulevard and Brenau Avenue or under the covered driveway along Boulevard in inclement weather. Registration is required – full details can be found at the registration link below.
Fr. Stuart is hosting Prayer Pilgrimages in our nave for those seeking a physical connection to our sacred space. Following protocols issued by The Diocese of Atlanta, we are limited to thirty minutes and eight attendees at a time for these pilgrimage spaces. Sessions are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00-2:30 PM or 2:30-3:00 PM. (Please email Fr. Stuart if you would be interested in attending prayer pilgrimage sessions if they were offered in the evening.) Masks, physical distancing, and registration are required. We hope you will be able to take advantage of this time for intentional prayer, contemplation, and rest during the week.
I’m so glad that many of you started using Spotify earlier in the year and have continued using it throughout the summer! As our program year starts back up and we remain online for many activities, I’d like to offer these weekly playlists again as encouragement to keep listening to great choral music with an ear to how it inspires and connects us to the texts, themes, and events of our weekly life at Grace!
Director of Music/Organist
Formation at Grace continues to find new ways to focus on the spiritual development and Christian education of adults, youth, and children. Please register for classes no later than Tuesday, September 15!
Be sure to register for Compassion Camp, our fall formation offering for families and kids of all ages! Take home kits for each family will be available for pick up from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Monday, September 14 and Tuesday, September 15 outside the parish office, at the red doors on Brenau Avenue. See you soon!
This post highlights some events and news pertinent to the upcoming week.