We celebrate human diversity and affirm God’s gifts of love and grace for ALL persons. Each of us is created in the image of God and is a child of God. We invite you, no matter your age, race, ethnicity, family structure, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental or physical ability, or economic situation, to be in ministry with us. We support the full participation of all persons in every phase of church life. We believe that at Grace Church you will experience our God who already knows you by name, loves you, and yearns to have an even closer relationship with you. As a Reconciling Congregation, our hearts, minds and doors are open, and we are blessed by your presence.
The Reconciling Team at Grace includes: Charlie Fetterhoff, Hilary Holmes, Wayne and Lisa Bender, Wendy and Mike Minnix, Elizabeth Zeisloft, Stephanie Evans, Stephen Drachler, Sheila Noss and Kelly Hoffman.
Grace Church celebrated becoming a Reconciling Congregation on Sunday, July 28, 2019, becoming only the second congregation in the Susquehanna Conference to officially and openly proclaim that all members of the LGBTQ+ community are welcome and valued as full members. Just the week before, our liturgist was an openly gay man who participated for the first time in worship leadership, a role he had been denied in his former United Methodist Church. His partner assisted Pastor Mike serving communion on the first Sunday of August, another first.
It is critical that we show the community who we are and that our doors are more than open. We are truly a congregation that welcomes all and celebrates God love for all. There will be soon four flags flying on Wesley House: the American and Pennsylvania flags, as well as the Rainbow and Transgender flags. But there is still more to do.
The team will discuss ways to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community who live near the church. This may include providing space and ministry for fellowship and spiritual based gatherings, hosting meetings of PFLAG (Parents of Lesbians and Gays), opportunities for educational and social events, and ways to help educate our congregation to understand and respond to questions about the church.
Since the General Church action in February which further excluded the LGBTQ+ community from the Church, the Reconciling Ministries Network has grown from just over 900 churches to 1101 churches, including Grace. Their network has also grown from 35,00 individuals to 41,671 reconciling individuals. This marks the largest growth period in the Ministries history which dates back to 1984.
The congregation thanks everyone who participated in the Grace Church booth at the Central Pennsylvania Pride Festival on July 27, 2019. We were the only United Methodist church present, among about 8 other local churches from other denominations in the Harrisburg area. We especially want to thank Justine Kompare and Dain Vollrath for their coordination of the event, and Jeff Winand and Terry Walton for providing the rainbow roses.
If you have questions that you would like to address to the Reconciling Ministries Team, please feel free to contact any member or send an email to the church. There are persons willing to sit and talk with you regarding any issues or concerns you may have. You may also want to pick up the brochure, What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality” by Paul Smith. These are available in the narthex as you enter the Sanctuary from State Street. Also, check out the pictures from Pride on the bulletin board at the Rose Garden entrance.