Today's Message

Grace is a dynamic community of faith grounded in Episcopal tradition, welcoming all, and serving Christ through worship, spiritual growth, and compassionate care for one another, the community and God's world.

EVENTS


Simple Calendar


November 2018

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • EfM
2
3
4
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Holy Eucharist
5
  • Men's Bible Study- Beer and Bibles
  • Pints & Perspectives at Big Lake
6
7
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Gentle Yoga-Forum Room
  • All souls service
  • Grace Reads- The Life and Death of the Great Lakes
  • Choir rehearsal
8
  • Feeding America Food Distribution
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • EfM
9
  • Monthly Financials-Target Date
10
  • Gifts Differing: An Inspired by Grace Retreat Day
11
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Pizza Sunday
  • Holy Eucharist
12
  • Stephens Ministry
  • St. Marys Forum Room
13
14
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Gentle Yoga-Forum Room
  • Choir rehearsal
15
  • EfM
  • Contemplative Prayer
16
  • PFLAG
17
  • Fall Grounds clean up
18
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Executive Committee
19
  • Men's Bible Study- Beer and Bibles
  • Buildings & Grounds Meeting
  • Vestry Meeting
  • Jim Steen in Boulder
  • New Banner
20
  • EfM 5th Years
21
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Choir rehearsal
22
  • Office Closed
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • EfM
23
  • Office Closed
24
  • Van Ark Funeral
25
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Creation Care @ Browers
26
  • Stephens Ministry
27
28
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Choir rehearsal
29
  • EfM
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • Peter and Erin
30

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NEWS


Our next recital in our Grace Notes Series is a special one!

Grace Notes 2018: The Joy Huttar Memorial Organ Recital, November 4 at 1:00pm: Joy Huttar served as Grace’s organist from 1978- 2005 and as such is the longest serving staff person in Grace’s history.  This concert marks the first of what will be an annual event in her memory. Mr. Alfred Fedak, Hope College graduate, former Grace Choir Director, composer and Minister of Music at Presbyterian Church on Capitol Hill in Albany, New York will be our recitalist. Al became an Episcopalian while serving as Grace’s Choir Director decades ago. 

 


Oktoberfest This Sunday!

October 21 Oktoberfest (5:00-7:00pm): Don’t miss our annual and fabulous stewardship dinner featuring Dublin Cottle, Amaretto Chocolate Bread Pudding, cider, beer, and special food for kids as we kick off the pledge drive and experience the world premiere of Stewardship the Musical: The Prequel (the final in the ‘Stewardship the Musical’ trilogy).

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STORIES OF GRACE


It’s A Small Miracle I’m Attending Church at All

In 2014, I was weary of church. Faith was almost non-existent, depression had set in. Every time I went to church, I felt like, “Can I go home now?” And then some people popped off at me:

“Depression is God’s will,” they told me.

“Marathon running is a sin,” they said.

“Oh, you doubt any of this? SHAME ON YOU!”

On it went. So I walked away, swearing I was done. As 2016 became 2017, I was confident that I would never set foot in a church again, except for a wedding or a funeral which I might occasionally attend.

Then I came out of the closet as bisexual and transgender, taking the name Amber Marie. People in that church were upset about that, too. Lines of communication dried up. I was told I was confused. My aunt disowned me via a brutal text message, calling me “different,” telling me with whom I should have sex, telling me, “You need to find God.” On it went, until she closed with “the only family I have are my kids and my grand kids,” cutting me out of the family. I was at work when I read this, and I wanted to cry right then and there.

If I wasn’t done with God before, I was definitely done right then.

The hurt set in. But in November 2017, I walked into Out On the Lakeshore, Holland’s LGBT community center. I met Robbie Schorle and Brother Francis, two Episcopalians, and they tell me all about this denomination. At this point, all I can think is, “I’m in a good place.”

Two weeks later, Rev. Jen has coverage duty at Out On the Lakeshore. We talk. Jen can tell I’ve been hurt by the church, by my aunt, by my best friend, etc… and she just listens. So I think maybe church isn’t such a bad thing.

New Year’s Eve, I attend Grace for the first time. I just observed.  I liked the “order of things,” style of worship. Everyone was super nice.

In subsequent visits, people wanted to know my name and my story. Coming out to Dennis, Debbie, Elizabeth, etc, was never easier. Dennis, a retired pastor, told me “all are welcome at the table.” Janet gave me clothing advice, such as “hands up, sweater down.”

I am sure I’ll join at some point, as well as receive communion. Soon. You are watching me as I go through a “second puberty,” watching as I mature once more, watching as I become the person I am meant to be.

Can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Submitted by: Amber Marie Cowles

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