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Grace Church began on October 12, 1846 with the signing of the Articles of Association and the formation of the first vestry. The first altar, which now occupies the Baptistery, was handmade by the men of the congregation, and traveled from home to home before a church building could be constructed in 1847. This church contained an organ purchased with funds from handicrafts made by the church women. The first rectors received about $150 to $200 per year, and usually did not stay with Grace Church for long. The current church building was constructed between 1905 and 1914, and cost $40,000, considerably over the predicted sum of $25,000. Many of the stained glass windows were crafted in Munich and were in transit at the beginning of World War I.


People gather and serve at Grace Church in a large variety of ways. The vestry members, elected at the Annual Parish Meeting each January, guide the church well and serve their three year terms diligently. The altar guild faithfully prepares the church for services, seeing that the physical details of the church service are in order. The Episcopal Church Women run various fund raisers and programs to aid the church, including the care of kitchen equipment and dishes, coordination of the United Thank Offering, and production of afghans for the elderly and booties for newborns, as well as other helpful services. A small group of trained lay readers and chalice bearers also help the church greatly. Lectors read the lessons and lead the prayers of the people. Each Sunday people also volunteer as communion carriers (taking the communion elements to the front of the church), and coffee hour hosts (providing coffee before or after the service). Church school monitors and nursery volunteers also play an important role Parishioners at Grace Church have a solid commitment to spiritual life and worship. Grace Parish upholds the traditions of the church both with two services on Sundays and Wednesday evening Eucharist. In addition, there is a Saturday evening service on the first Saturday of the month.


The core characteristics of the parish's people can perhaps most clearly be seen at the annual events the church holds, where families gather to celebrate faith and life. At the pancake supper, the Family Breakfasts, the parish Thanksgiving dinner, the Rally Day picnic, and other gatherings, the friendly and outgoing nature of the congregation really comes into focus. Above all, the parishioners at Grace Church truly understand what it means to love, and are ready to share their faith and love with all who enter their lives.

 


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