Grace marks its 150th anniversary: Let the celebration begin!

Posted by & filed under Grace Notes, Voice of the Vestry.

By James Deaton
Junior Warden

“You have been trusted with a wonderful treasure. Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you” (2 Timothy 1:14, CEV).

Grace 150 logoThis year marks the sesquicentennial anniversary of the founding of our parish. What a marvelous milestone! This sacred place means so much to so many people, and it has for 150 years.

Beginning our celebration on Pentecost is quite fitting. Both events honor a new start, and both come during a time of transition. Both praise God for the movement of the Holy Spirit, and both reveal how God’s redemptive story in Christ continues into uncharted territory.
This is a transitional year for us, so dedicating time and space for celebration is a good, healthy thing. It feels like a breath of fresh air. We have been through a lot and are continuing to heal as a family of faith, growing closer as we await the arrival of a new rector.

We rejoice with the cloud of witnesses that surrounds us—past and present. The heritage of Grace Episcopal Church has been entrusted to us by the grace of God, and we should guard it. But to guard is not to possess as something we’ve created on our own. God is the architect of our story. Let’s honor our history, but then open ourselves to the Holy Spirit doing something new.

On behalf of the anniversary committee, I am pleased to announce the schedule of anniversary “big events.” Beginning in July, there is one major event per month. To supplement, we are inviting individuals and ministry groups to dream up creative ways they may contribute to this ongoing celebration. All are invited to join the party!
Many more details are coming soon. For now, save these “big event” dates. Then prayerfully consider how you personally will celebrate this historic occasion in the life of our parish.

• July 4—Heritage Parade during the National Cherry Festival
Join us as we walk in celebration of our sesquicentennial anniversary.

• August 27—Great Grace Timeline
An interactive timeline will be installed in the Parish Hall. Trace the history of our parish. Where does your story fit?

• September 9—Church Picnic
Bring a favorite side dish to share. The church will provide meat entrées and dessert.

• October 14-15—Community Open House
We will invite our community to celebrate with us as we honor our outreach ministries.

• December 10—Sesquicentennial Worship Celebration
Bishop Whayne Hougland from the Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan will join us for this special worship celebration.

There is one final thing. The beautiful logo you see here has been created especially for promoting our anniversary events. Keep an eye out for it in the coming days.

People of Grace, it’s time to celebrate! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

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