Congregational Care includes many specific ministries (Church Family, Fellowship and Pastoral Care Commissions) as well as the availability of three clergy people for pastoral support, counsel, and prayer. If you are someone who is in need of care and/or are someone with gifts of care to offer please contact the church office at 616-396-7459 or firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us and gain further information. Clergy contact information is the above and can also be found on the staff page of this website.
Stephens Ministry is a ministry of companionship through which trained, supervised lay members of Grace provide one-on-one care to individuals facing life transitions, difficulties, or crises. For more information, please contact Sharon Barlow through the church office at 616-396-7459, or explore the Stephens national website at www.stephenministries.org.
For those in the Parish who for whatever reason are unable to attend church, Pastoral Care Commission offers a way to make arrangements for a Home Communion service. Offering a home sacrament is our way of sharing with those who for various reasons are unable to attend Sunday Eucharist a sense of community and Christs presence. Where ever they happen to be in their daily lives we meet them through the Eucharist in Christs name. For those who would like to receive home communion, please contact the church office at 616-396-7459 for further information.
There are many times in life when being overwhelmed with the cares of illness, hospitalization or other cares weigh on our families and one we can way to reach out is to share a meal. Please contact the church office at 616-396-7459 if you need a meal, or if you would like to donate your time and culinary talents in support of this ministry.
Each of us experiences times when we need to “pray without ceasing” and when we need others to be praying with and for us. Such times are appropriate to call the church and ask to have the prayer chain involved and supportive. The Pastoral Care Commission has created a system through which requests are received and members of the Prayer Chain are notified of these urgent prayer requests. Those twelve-sixteen people pray for the requests given and the information shared is kept confidential within the group. If you would like to notify the Prayer Chain of a prayer need, please contact the church office at 616-396-7459 to begin the chain.
St. Martha’s Guild was perhaps the first ‘pastoral care’ group at Grace Church having begun about fifty years ago among the women of the church. The volunteers of St. Martha’s Guild are now both men and women and they call in teams on about twenty primarily shut-in members and friends of Grace Church.
The work of St. Martha’s is basically to be a friend. To call on someone who can no longer participate by getting to church each week. It’s more about caring and sharing than about “doing” something. As Rev. Jean Christofferson – who once led the group – was fond of saying, “we are ‘human beings’ and not ‘human doings’. That is a big part of St. Martha’s – just ‘being’ with one another even for a short time, listening – and hearing – and caring. It’s about friendship, one on one. It’s not losing sight of those we seldom see but continue to love.
If someone you love needs to be visited at home or at a care center, contact the church office. If you would like to become a St. Martha’s visitor, contact Peg Keegin at email@example.com or any of the twelve other St. Martha’s Guild members.
“Grace Cares” Ministry was formed to act on the kind of care we can be doing for each other in those “gaps” which are the non-critical but help-needed moments in our lives. It is intended to be warmhearted communication and practical assistance for someone experiencing a short-term, life-limiting situation such as surgery, broken limbs, chemotherapy, a new baby, illness or other life-transitions. Care Teams will be made up of 4-6 individuals who sign up to offer assistance on days that fit their schedule so that every day for up to three weeks is covered. The schedule is completed online; contact information is exchanged between the team and the recipient; possible needs are assessed. Possible assistance includes Picking up grocery items, driving to the doctor’s office, cleaning a litter box, washing sheets and remaking a bed, cleaning up kitchen, taking out the garbage, making tea, etc. If you would like to be listed as a potential team member please sign up in the Commons or contact: Rev. Jen Adams or Mary Benedict at 616-566-9216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
An eleven year old boy with a serious medical problem required surgery at the Mayo Clinic. His mother was told that of a special ministry at Grace Church that offered prayer shawls for those who are ill or in need of encouragement.
The little boy was frightened but courageous and after hearing about the shawls he told his mother he wanted a, red blanket, when he went into surgery. He got a red prayer shawl from Grace Church. On the trip from Holland to Rochester, he wrapped himself in, his shawl and bravely told his mom he felt good. Today, that little boy is a young teenager who loves to ski-doo and swim. That special blanket remains in his room where it is a constant reminder of that scary time that turned out okay.
There are dozens of similar prayer shawl stories – all of them different and each one very special even when the outcome of the prayers are known only to God. The Prayer Shawl Ministry aims to provide physical comfort along with spiritual support to those experiencing difficulty, loss or any life-changing event. Members of this ministry knit shawls while praying for the needs of the recipient.
If you would like to participate in this ministry, knitting directions are available on the bulletin board in The Commons, or please contact the church office at 616-396-7459.
Members and friends who sign up are put into small groups for a three month period. During this time they gather together and share two or three meals. This is an opportunity to gather socially, off-site, in member’s homes to connect with Grace folks outside of our normal Sunday mornings. Groups are mixed up after that three month period, announcements are made for folks to sign up if they like and new groups are put together. There is also a Family Chow that runs on the same cycle and format for families who would like their school-aged children included too. Watch for sign ups every Fall and Winter or email the Grace Office if you’d like to be included in the next round!
Voted one of “their favorite things about Grace Church” by the aged nine and under crowd, we have Pizza Sunday on the second Sunday of (almost) every month. After the 10:00 service Fellowship Commission arranges for pizza delivery and everyone shares a slice! It’s a good way to connect and have a slightly different experience of Coffee Hour once per month!
This women’s Guild has been around at Grace for over fifty years. St Mary’s Guild gathers on the second Monday of every month at 7:15 for fellowship and an educational program of some sort. Check out the parish calendar for details and know that many of the programs are open to all!
Representing our parish’s fastest growing demographic, there are now over forty-five families at Grace with children who are ages infant through high school. Our Families With Kids ministry facilitates connection by gathering families for quarterly social events, fall and spring camping trips, Family Chow and more. If you have young kids and would like to jump in, let us know! Contact the Church Office to get connected and become a part of this lively ministry.