Pastors Message Growing Grace

Building Community
         We definitely ended 2023 on a positive note. Our membership and attendance increased during the year, we recorded a positive cash flow, and we celebrated another season of very successful community outreach events. And even though funerals are never a happy event, per se, we celebrated many of our members who served Grace faithfully and went home to be with the Lord.

We barely had time to celebrate a positive year when we crashed into 2024. Our organ blower motor went up in smoke. The office copier popped a belt and went offline. And worst of all, in the middle of an arctic blast, our boiler went down. As my grandfather (an avid poker player) used to say, “if we didn’t have bad luck, we’d have no luck.”

But God can make lemonade out of lemons. On Sunday, January 21, after a week of sub-zero weather, our “newer” HVAC unit, the one that heats and cools the sanctuary, decided that 48 degrees was the best it was going to give us that morning. Not wanting anyone to suffer frostbite, the decision was made to move the worship service into the Grace Room.

Because of the cold and snow, and because some of our members were out of town, I was expecting maybe 15 or so to be in attendance that day, so I felt good that the Grace Room could comfortably hold everyone. Oh, me of little faith. Our attendance that morning was 50 hearty souls, including seven children! And while we were packed in pretty tightly, everyone enjoyed their worship time. Comments included: “I really enjoyed the intimacy of the experience;” “It was great to hear everyone’s singing so clearly;” and “It felt like family.”

While stained glass windows and marble altars certainly add a sense of nobility to a liturgy, these comments underscore the fact that true worship is all about community. And Grace is an awesome community!

            Now this experience is causing me to wonder if we should institute a “January worship in the Grace Room” in the same way we do the outdoor worship in the pavilion?
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