FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What services are there on Sunday morning?
During most of the year (roughly corresponding to the school year), we hold services at 8:00 a.m. (without music) and at 10:00 a.m. (with music). During the summer months, we hold one service, at 9:30 a.m.
Are additional service times planned?
In addition to Sunday services, depending on how the calendar falls, Grace celebrates the special feast days of the Episcopal Church such as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday (during Holy Week), and Christmas Eve service with children’s pageant. These are announced in the newsletter and on the church calendar.
Is there communion at every service?
Holy Communion is a part of nearly all services; however, Grace sometimes holds Morning Prayer services without Communion led by a member of the congregation.
Am I allowed to participate in Communion?
Yes, Holy Communion is open to all baptized people. If you do not wish to partake of the bread and wine you may come forward during Communion to receive a blessing. You would cross your arms across your chest if you are not taking Communion. You may also do this if you wish to receive either the bread or the wine but not the other.
Are children welcomed in church and is there child care?
Children (and grandchildren) are always welcomed to participate in church services, and there are small activity bags they may use for quiet activities. There is also a nursery during the second service and when there is a single Sunday service should you wish to have your children stay there. Many people prefer not to have their children in church for the entire service, but to go and pick them up from the nursery just prior to Holy Communion.
Where should I park when coming to Grace for services?
Grace has two parking lots—one to the right of the church (north) and one behind the parish house (south). Handicapped parking is available.
Is the church accessible to those with physical handicaps?
Yes, the church is accessible via a gentle ramp leading to the side church door. All other buildings are accessible on ground level with no steps. There is covered handicapped access from a covered parking space adjacent to the parish house, and mostly covered access from the parish house to the said ramp.
What is required to join Grace?
We are hopeful that, once you have visited us, you will decide to make Grace your church home. If you are already an Episcopalian you simply need to move your “letter” by speaking with the Rector. If you have been baptized into certain communions such as Anglican, Roman Catholic, or Evangelical Lutheran, you may be received into the Episcopal Church. Others wishing to join the Episcopal Church for the first time attend a series of classes to learn about the Episcopal faith in preparation for your confirmation into the church. If you are interested in joining Grace, please speak with the Rector to determine what path to take.
What opportunity do I have to meet church members on Sundays?
You are invited to join us after each service for hospitality/fellowship time in the parish house so that we may greet you and get to know you over coffee, lemonade and other refreshments.
What activities are there for children?
On Sundays, children may attend church or go into the nursery. Depending upon weather and the number and ages of the children the nursery worker may take them to the playground. Children may go any time to enjoy the playground’s swings, huge treehouse, seesaws and other facilities.
What opportunities are there for me to participate in church activities?
Grace has a highly participatory tradition. Grace always welcomes members to join in our many activities. We pride ourselves on having a balance of service ministries within the church (such as altar guild and readers), outreach ministries (such as care for the homeless), and community events such as our annual spaghetti supper. Please see our Ministries and Community tab for more information.
What is Grace’s governing body?
The church is governed by the Vestry and the Rector. The Vestry operates according to the Canons of the national Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Alabama, meeting monthly to manage the secular business of the parish; the Rector provides leadership for the congregation. Officers of the Vestry are Senior Warden and Junior Warden; the Treasurer and Clerk for the Vestry may or may not be members of the Vestry.
How are church officers selected?
The Vestry is composed of nine members, who are elected by the parish for three year terms. Three members are elected each year, after nomination by members of the parish from members in good standing.
Is Grace obligated on any loans?
Grace Church is fortunate not to have any debt. The parish raised enough funds to construct the large parish hall built in 2006; part of the funding came from a loan from the Diocese of Alabama, which has long since been paid back.