From Karen Wassink, Senior Warden
As I write this blog post, we are about to start of a year-long celebration of joy and gratitude for the first 150 years of Grace Episcopal Church of Holland.
More than a dozen years ago, Jay and I stumbled into Grace Church. We had left a church that had lost its soul. Hundreds of us left in waves and looked for a home, feeling sad and angry and orphaned. And so we came to Grace. In that very first hour, I felt a peace and strength and joy and spirit that I have never known in any church! The rites and rituals of Christian worship have always fed my soul. But here I also found an understanding of what it means to live as a Christian, not just worship as one. The consistent message of Grace Church–spoken, sung, preached and lived-out–is to follow the path of Jesus, to live as he would live and care for each other and this world as he taught.
In our years at Grace, we have made friends, worked alongside one another in a variety ways, had great fun at dinners, Holy Chow, talent shows, hayrides at Teusink’s, White Caps games, to name only a few. We have sung together, laughed, cried, created and sometimes just maintained.
In recent years, Grace has undergone such wonderful changes! The new organ, the purchases of the Parish House and Grace House, assisting a refugee family, our first work as training ground for curates, not to mention the eagerly anticipated new parking lot! And there have also been among the people weddings, baptism, funerals, divorces, illness, and triumphs.
And through this long history have been great rectors and other leaders who have worked and cared and brought us all along. But the one who leads us now, Reverend Jennifer Adams, is a gift beyond measure. Reverend Jen has given her life to serve the Church, and half of that life has been as rector of Grace Episcopal Church. Her gifts of preaching and teaching and writing are so meaningful to us all. She can connect with those of any age! She is solid and steady and yet open and encouraging us all to grow and expand. She is a rare treasure and we are so grateful for her.
There is so much to reflect back on as we celebrate 150 years. And so much to look forward to as we continue on. What a joy and privilege and gift it has been to find Grace Episcopal Church. I’ve been an Episcopalian all my life; I just didn’t know it til about a dozen years ago. I am home.