ABOVE: Sunday worship at Garden of Grace.
Mission statement:We believe that we exist to share a sanctuary of love, warmth and laughter for all people. We recognize that God loves all of creation, including most definitely this growing community. We praise God for the ways in which the Spirit is moving within our midst.
In our worship:We are an inclusive community, a family of faith, which through prayer, song, the sacraments and liturgy seeks to feel closer to God, to praise God, to give thanks to God, and to seek forgiveness from God in order to grow in discipleship.
In our Care Circles:We seek to develop a community of people with a mature Christian faith; meaning a faith which leads us to care for others, that opens our hearts to service, an evolving faith that is the product of critical thinking and questioning. Our Care Circles are for all ages and are conducted in places inside the church and out.
In our MissionsWe seek to share the excitement of our Christian faith without judging others. In our missions, we seek to take our faith and beliefs from the inside out, and know that our missions require that we must also bring the outside in. We take Christ's admonition-to go forth and share the good news-as our own, which we strive to do in word and deed both locally and globally
Saturday, December 20, 2014 8:11 AM
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness — on them light has shined.
You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy;
they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder.
For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders,
the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood
shall be burned as fuel for the fire.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us;
authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace
for the throne of David and his kingdom.
He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness
from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David.
He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them.
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.