Hello, beloved of God! 

It is so much fun getting to know you all! On my first Sunday I asked you where I should go eat and now I have lots of places I need to visit – MG’s, CJ’s, La Placita, Sage Café, Cackle & Oink, The Library Grill, and many more. I’m looking forward to tasting my way through town with y’all! 

This past Sunday, I asked you to name one thing our church does well. The answers gravitated around three primary ideas: 

Grace is warm, welcoming, and friendly like a family. 

Grace is an open-minded, loving, and encouraging community. 

Grace serves others through mission and outreach andworks to transform the world so that there is greater justice for all. 

One person summed it up this way, Grace is “accepting of everyone’s differences and knowing those differences are strengths.” This reminds me of Paul’s description of the church as the Body of Christ in 1 Corinthians 12. 

While the world can no longer physically see Jesus in the same way as when he walked the dusty roads of Galilee long ago, the world can see us. We are different. We are blessed and gifted by God in unique and wonderful ways. We have various experiences and training. We have different viewpoints and perspectives. Brought together in service of our God, we become a beautiful, life-giving, world-changing Body who embodies the love of Christ. We are better together. 

I am honored to be a part of the Body with you. I know God has work for us to do together as we double-down on the strengths you identified. Our friends, neighbors, and nearby strangers need places to be welcomed, loved, encouraged, and allowed to share their God-given gifts in service of others. 

I’m praying for you. I hope you are praying for me. See you Sunday – we’ll continue to find our hope in God with a word from Ezekiel! 

grace & peace, 

Pastor Jessica.