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


December 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Education Hour
  • Holy Eucharist
2
  • Men's Bible Study
  • Pints & Perscpectives @ Big Lake
  • Hispanic Ministry Meeting
3
4
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Advent Book Study
  • Grace Staff
  • Choir Rehearsal
5
  • piano trio rehearsal
  • EFM
  • Contemplative Prayer
6
7
  • Use of Undercroft: Chuck Murray
8
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Education Hour
  • Pizza Sunday
  • Holy Eucharist
9
  • Stephens Ministry
  • St. Mary's - Forum Room
  • Monthly Financials-Target Date
10
11
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Advent Book Study
  • Program Staff
  • Choir Rehearsal
12
  • piano trio rehearsal
  • Feeding America Food Distribution
  • EFM
  • Contemplative Prayer
13
14
15
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Education Hour
  • Holy Eucharist
16
  • Men's Bible Study
  • Buildings & Grounds Meeting
  • Vestry Meeting
17
  • EFM5
18
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Advent Book Study
  • Program Staff
  • Full Staff Lunch
  • Choir Rehearsal
19
  • piano trio rehearsal
  • Contemplative Prayer
  • EFM
20
  • PFLAG
21
22
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Education Hour
  • Holy Eucharist
23
24
25
  • Holy Eucharist
  • Program Staff
  • Choir Rehearsal
26
  • piano trio rehearsal
  • EFM
  • Contemplative Prayer
27
28
  • Van Ark Christmas Party- Undercroft reserved
29
  • Education Hour
  • Holy Eucharist
30
  • Men's Bible Study
31

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NEWS


Advent Star Tree

The annual “Star Tree” will be in the Commons for the season of Advent and here’s how it works: There are stars that have an item for you to purchase and return to Grace for the Rodriguez-Matos family, who came to us as refugees two years ago and are preparing for the spring/summer build of their Habitat home. Other stars will ask for gift cards which are given out during the year by our pastoral staff to people in need of food or gas. And some stars ask for a gift to the ‘Beyond Grace Fund’, through which we give to local organizations such as: Out On The Lakeshore, Lighthouse Immigration, Resilience, and Community Action House. Write a check to Grace with “Beyond Grace” on the memo line and place it in the offertory plate on a Sunday. Lastly, next to the tree are envelopes addressed to “Habitat for Humanity.” You can make a contribution directly to Habitat with “Rodriguez-Matos” in the memo line, and those will go directly toward materials for their build. Know that together, we’re reaching out with Grace for the world! The Star Tree gift wrap party will be December 15 after the 2nd service in the Forum Room. There will be Christmas carols, hot cocoa & cookies!


Oktoberfest 2019 is here!

Join us on THIS Sunday, October 20, 5:00-7:30pm for this annual celebration of the mission and ministries of Grace Church.  We’ll kick off the annual pledge drive with wonderful food, music, and dancing for the whole Grace family!  Featuring beef tenderloin, apple crisp, beer from Big Lake Brewery, and local cider with food & fun for the kids too. 

 

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STORIES OF GRACE


Beginning a New Sesquicentennial

On June 9, appropriately enough the Feast of Pentecost, Grace’s year-long 150th Anniversary Celebration is officially over.  As a newcomer to Grace (I joined the staff as Assistant Priest on September 1, 2018), I’ve enjoyed hearing and reading stories of Grace’s past, and they’ve taught me a few commendable things about the parish.  But now, we’re beginning a new chapter, and I think it’s safe to say that after completing our first sesquicentennial, Grace has launched its second. What follows will make it clear why I’m bold enough to make that prediction.

 

I arrived last summer not knowing much about Grace, apart from having a budding friendship with Jen Adams, who has just completed 25 years here!  But very quickly, impressions about Grace, itself, began to form, and my initial impressions have only grown stronger. Unlike many churches where I’ve had connections, it’s easy to identify several very distinctive qualities of Grace.

 

Almost immediately, I discovered a culture of abundance.  The funds necessary for replacing the roof were being raised when I arrived, and they materialized almost immediately.  More impressive, this challenge came shortly after the completion of major capital improvements included numerous enhancements to the physical plant, including a new organ, new office space, and a greatly enlarged parking lot to accommodate a growing community.  Not once did I hear anyone complain that it’s too soon to be asking us for money, again.

 

Soon after, I encountered another vital quality: a readiness to tackle tough challenges.  When it appeared that by offering a Latino priest a position to head the renewed diocesan Latino ministry we wanted to create, we might have the opportunity to keep him from being deported, I expected the Vestry to worry that raising the necessary funds would be too daunting a challenge to even consider.  Instead, I heard leaders say that protecting a vulnerable immigrant was so much in keeping with our values, we would find a way. This turned out not to be an option, but the willingness was there. And seeking justice for the vulnerable is yet another quality I’ve observed in numerous ways at Grace.

 

I want to mention yet another quality I’ve found here from the beginning.  It’s so pervasive that one encounters it every day at Grace. Perhaps it should be at the top of this list.  The study of leadership is one of my passions, and something present in every vital church is a culture of gratitude.  This emanates from the head – I’m amazed at how often Jen Adams acknowledges people’s contributions and says, “Thank you” – and at Grace this way of being permeates the community.  

 

I could say much more, but I especially want to mention how, now that the capital project is behind us, our leaders are already looking to the future.  There is great excitement among us when we discuss what lies ahead: opportunities to expand Grace’s faithfulness by developing a strategy for growth, by strengthening our ministry to children, youth, and families, by evaluating our communications at every level, and by developing a robust Hispanic/Latino Ministry.  This is all about openness to God’s Spirit, as it directs and empowers us to move into the future.  And it is that quality, perhaps above all else, that makes me proud to be part of the community so aptly named Grace.

 

Submitted by: Jim Steen

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