Worship with us every Sunday at 10:30 AM and stay for a delicious, divine, GraceFeast. (GraceFeast photos by Matt Mason of MTM Photography)

Latest News and Updates

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Wednesday July 16th, with eight people present, the following proposal (b0ld, italics)  was presented, discussed and adopted.

On June 24, 2014 Gift of Grace temporarily adjusted Pastor Fecher’s pay so that he would be paid $1490 net, per month, plus benefits and housing.1) The accounting of this adjustment in compensation and benefits ($1966/mo) will be understood as assuming an ongoing liability to Pastor Fecher in the form of a loan (rather than as a renegotiation of his contract) for as long as this temporary period extends.2) This liability will include all unpaid compensation, pension payments, and the interest that would have accrued from the unpaid portion of the pension payments.3) The unpaid compensation will be due a 5% interest rate per annum.

As conceded on June 24th. We must have additional meetings to further discuss the implications of this proposal [that adjusted pastor's salary by cutting it half] and the concerns surrounding it. Our first discussion will be on Wednesday July 30th, 7-8:30 PM. Please plan to attend. The Steering Team will consider how best to frame our discussions. Some basic questions that must be discussed are:

1) Are we committed to continue forward in our mission, building on the foundation already laid.

2) If so, what form will that take?

3) Do we want to scrap the ministry and try to start over?

4) If so, what form will that take?

5) How will we sustain whatever we do from a financial perspective and a human resource perspective?

6) Do we want to cease being a congregation together?

7) If so, what are our plans to meet our obligations for proper closure and what will we do with the congregation’s assets?

Peace and power to you from Christ,

Gift of Grace Steering Team


Thursday, July 3rd, 2014
Dear Friends in Christ,

The congregation met last Wednesday night to do our due diligence in affirming a budget. The two main reasons we needed to do this were: 1) acknowledge to ourselves our financial picture 2) have an official document to be able to share with any potential mission partners.

Here is what we adopted:

Adopted proposal 7/2/14

We agree that the 3 documents presented (Financial Narrative, Profit Loss Budget vs Actual, Balance Sheet) [attached to this email] accurately represents the circumstances of Gift of Grace finances for 2014, both what has actually happened and the plan forward given our current trajectory.

Peace and Power to you from Christ

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Dear Friends in Christ,

At the congregational meeting last night there were nine members present and 2 guests. We adopted the proposal below. We give thanks to God for all who participated and all who held the meeting in prayer. Being just two sentences, the proposal reflects the outcome of the meeting, but not the passion and love that led to the outcome. It also does not reflect the dedication to our mission that was clearly expressed at the meeting.As the proposal indicates, this is the beginning of hard work. The proposal is a necessary but insufficient measure. Please pay attention to upcoming meetings and plan to participate. We need each other to proceed faithfully.

Adopted Proposal:
Because there is a gap between total expenses and total income, as a necessary, but entirely insufficient measure, Pastor Fecher’s pay is temporarily adjusted so that he will be paid $1490 net, per month, plus benefits and housing. We must have additional meetings to further discuss the implications of this proposal and the concerns surrounding it.

 

Peace and power to you each, from Jesus Christ

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

Dear Friends,
We had a meeting last Wednesday night that followed up last week’s email, the subject line of which read, Very Important Gift of Grace Meeting.  About 25 people were present. The Steering Team had very modest goals for the meeting: 1) inform the congregation that the June 15 payroll check for the pastor would be deferred, 2) Acknowledge the need to free up cash immediately and into the future 3) begin a discussion about how to do that. 

In our messy, consensus building way we were able to agree to this proposal: Expenses are greater than income so that we can no longer afford the pastor’s salary as agreed. We propose renegotiating the pastoral contract. The Steering Team will call another meeting of the congregation within a week to solidify the details of the renegotiation. 

So, you can expect an email in the very near future inviting you to the next meeting during which we will look at the new shape of congregational ministry with the pastor at less pay.  There is no requirement that you attended the last meeting to attend this meeting. You can come. 

We give thanks to God that we are given the opportunity to invest our whole selves in lifting up Christ for our neighbors and inviting them more deeply into the life of God. It is a blessing to be able to stick together during difficult times while making difficult decisions about how to do this. Thanks be to God for those who participated in this last meeting. When you receive the email inviting you to the next meeting please make the time to come.

peace and power to you from Christ,

Pastor Fecher, Vivian Little, Tim Linnemann
The Steering Team


Important Meeting

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The Steering team invites all members of Gift of Grace to meet with us on Wednesday June 11 at 7PM at Gift of Grace Church to describe the “fork in the road” situation we are currently in and begin discussions about our future.
God has blessed us with this opportunity to lift up Christ for our neighbors despite of and also embracing the financial instability. The circumstances we face are no surprise – it is the place we have accepted as part of our mission. And just as we have been walking this journey together, as a community in Christ, up to this place in time, the path we must discern from here is something we must also do together, in community.

Little Castle Preschool

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Give thanks to God for Little Castle Preschool, one of the ministries of Gift of Grace. It has been a somewhat hidden ministry because it’s had a hard time gaining momentum. Nevertheless it has been quietly plugging along and gaining stability through the efforts of the director Adrienne Wilson and the support of Pastor Fecher and congregational neighbor and friend Karla Meursing. Others have also participated, notably Vivian Little and Tims Linnemann and Lemly.

The goal of this ministry is primarily to empower Adrianne to begin a preschool with the intent that it becomes her own independent preschool with its own official 501c3 (non-profit status) by January 2015. When we achieve this goal Gift of Grace will be responsible for helping give birth to a new business in Wallingford. We are helping create from scratch jobs and service. No small accomplishment.  This is ministry a good example of our congregational values of risky creativity and trustworthy stewardship.

A secondary goal is that the preschool will generate income for Gift of Grace. Although we are not on schedule receiving income according to the timeline we originally set for ourselves we expect to be receiving some this summer, getting up to speed as quickly as possible. We had hoped to be generating $1900 monthly by January 2015. This is also the date for Little Castle Preschool achieving independent non-protfit status and it still seems within reach.

How can you participate? You already do by supporting Gift of Grace’s mission. Additional ways are:
1) Remember Adrienne and this ministry, especially in your prayers.
2) Tell everyone you know about Little Castle Preschool and encourage potential students’ parents to communicate with Adrienne.
3) Remain aware that the preschool is operating in the basement of the church Monday – Friday, 9AM – 1PM, being careful not to enter or disturb the space when school is in session except by prior agreement.
4) When flyers become available take them and distribute them in places parents congregate (coffee shops, bars, restaurants, parks, other churches, colleges)
5) Ask Adrienne directly how you can help. Sometimes she needs to collect art supplies and items used for craft projects like used egg cartons and gold bullion. Adrienne’s phone number is (206) 383-9531, her email: littlecastlepreschool@gmail.com

Giving thanks be to God for allowing us the opportunity to be part of this service,
Pastor Jami Fecher

 


Holy Week 2014 at Gift of Grace

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014
Holy Week Schedule
Dear Friends in Christ,
This is Holy Week, which we began Sunday by remembering Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, when the crowds hailed him as king of the Jews and spread their clothes and palm branches on the road like a red carpet to honor him. The mood quickly turned severe, so that the crowds were soon hollering for Jesus’ death.   Our worship continues for the rest of the week as described below. Although attending any one of the services is a fine opportunity to worship, ATTENDING ALL THREE will end up having a profound effect on you, one which might not recognize immediately, but which will occur nevertheless.   MAUNDY THURSDAY Our celebration calls to mind Jesus’ Last Supper with His disciples. We will move through the main parts of that “night in which He was betrayed,” including; Holy Communion, foot washing and the stripping of the altar, which leads us into the austerity of Good Friday.  

GOOD FRIDAY – better known as THE TRIUMPH OF THE CROSS A sparse and somber worship, including the reading of the Passion of Jesus, the great Bidding Prayer of the Church and the Adoration of the Cross.    EASTER SUNDAY better known as THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD. Our celebration of Christ’s Resurrection blends ancient rites of the Church with current cultural expressions of who we are & who we shall be by God‚s grace. Featuring original music and traditional hymns. Easter celebration begins with breakfast at 9 AM Worship is at 10:30, then GraceFeast brunch is following worship.  

Lent

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Life in Christ is an adventure that is a lot deeper than fun. Fun is surface. It is pleasurable and more or less predictable, but for that very reason, it is shallow. Lent is the church season that intentionally focuses us on the part of the Christian adventure that is deeper than fun. It is unpredictable, serious, earnest, and often unpleasurable. In Lent we take time to look closely at the need for a Savior: our personal need and the world’s need. The world is a mess and it needs help, so do we.

How in the world do we invite others into this adventure when it has no selling points? When it invites us to look at what we are desperate to deny and it does not promise us any pleasure, only Truth? When it encourages us to face our own limits: limits of compassion and love, limits of willingness, energy, and vision? It’s just not that fun to look at this stuff. But it is real and authentic, just like God’s love in Christ.

The only thing I can see that empowers us to invite others into this adventure is love for them, not our love. God’s. Lent done right will uncover the limits of my love for my neighbor, but it will reveal to me the depth of God’s love and forgiveness for sinners like me; sinners whose love limits are unacceptably low. The promise of Lent is that God will say again to me and the church, “I know this sin of yours. I forgive it and I love you. Go, love with my love not your own limited love. Go invite with my invitation, not with your own ambivalent  invitation.” This promise alone gives us the power to invite others into this adventure. The question for each of us is, “How will I obey?”    Pastor Jami Fecher


Public discourse and civic intelligence

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Gift of Grace is hosting and inviting you to a presentation and discussion with our Wallingford neighbor, Dr Douglas Schuler, professor at Evergreen College. The discussion will take place after GraceFeast (12:15ish) on March 9 and will be held in the sanctuary.  Dr Schuler has compelling ideas for improving public discourse and helping people gain what he calls, civic intelligence.


The Big Class Wednesday March 5 – 12 ONLINE

Friday, February 21st, 2014
The Big Class Wednesday March 5 – 12 ONLINE
From March 5-12, the Rev. Dr. David Lose, professor at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, will teach The Big Class, a program of ChurchNext. The course will expand on the popular Making Sense of the Cross, a six-session, small-group course published by Augsburg Fortress, Minneapolis. Dr. Lose will moderate the course and answer online questions during the week of The Big Class. Participants can take the class anytime during the week at churchnext.tv. The course will take 45 minutes to complete and need not be taken in one sitting. No special software is required. The Big Class is a worldwide online course for all who want to go further in their walk with Christ and is free to everyone, everywhere, thanks to the support of Augsburg Fortress. Special materials will be available for congregations and education classes that desire to take the class together as part of a Lenten study. Register here: