As our world faced the COVID-19 Pandemic this past year, work, school, and church services moved online. Social distancing became the new norm and we all experienced disruption of our daily rhythms.
An unexpected gift of the pandemic is that it clarified our Gospel-centered values regarding the Church’s posture to its neighbors. At Grace, we believe the Church is meant to abide with God as He leads us into the way of His Son—who welcomed the stranger, feasted joyfully with sinners and embraced the suffering of those around Him.
In “welcoming the stranger” we practice the art and spiritual practice of offering hospitality to our surrounding neighbors. In Serving the City, we involve ourselves in practical acts of service either directly from Grace or in partnership with other churches. Opportunities for welcoming the stranger are:
In “feasting joyfully”, we recognize that Grace is in a community that is an eco-system made up of residences, schools, theaters, businesses, non-profits and local municipalities. As part of this eco-system, we believe the church’s posture should be one of blessing our neighbors for the common good by donating funds to bless institutions that enrich our communities. Opportunities for feasting joyfully are:
Finally, in keeping with Isaiah 63:9 (“in all their affliction, he was afflicted”), and Jeremiah 29:7, (“seek the welfare of the city, pray to the Lord for it ,because in its welfare you will find your welfare”), Grace is committed to be a church that suffers with its community, embracing the struggles that are common to its local context.
We endeavor to partner with organizations and businesses to not only serve the “less fortunate”, but to work with the Lord, who is in midst of the marginalized, that we might grow and learn with our neighbors. This looks like taking time to actually build relationships with neighbors’ strengths as well as weaknesses as we engage uncertain times and perilous circumstances. Opportunities to embrace suffering with our neighbors are special projects like:
In summary, Serving the City is focused on being a blessing and witness of Christ to Seattle, in Seattle, and with Seattle. If you would like to get involved in Serving the City, please send Pastor Jason an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bailey Gatzert Elementary
Lil' Red's BBQ and Jamaican
The Community Kitchens Project/Feed the People
Island Soul Restaraunt
R.E.S.T. (Real Escape from Sex Trafficking)
New Horizons Ministries
Progress House Association/Ratcliffe House
First A.M.E Church
Central Community Church
Union Church Seattle