|Date Posted||July 21, 2021|
Washington (Robert Phillips)
|Communicants in Good Standing||Not Available|
|Average Sunday Attendance||81|
|Child Population in Church School||10|
|Adult Population in Church School||27|
|Teacher Population in Church School||Not Available|
COVID-19 has posed a challenge for us, as it has for most churches. But we knew that, especially given our pastoral transition, it was essential for us to adapt well and quickly, despite the fact that our technological presence in early 2020 was well behind the times.
Though integrating technology into the life of our church has not been one of our traditional strengths, we pivoted quickly. We immediately moved to Zoom services, and soon thereafter started a YouTube channel that could host our gatherings by livestream, as well. One technologically adept parishioner quickly trained a team of folks to handle our technological ministry.
That ministry also turned out to be an opportunity to reconnect with far-flung “friends of Grace,” across the country and abroad, and to welcome others who wouldn’t have joined us in person. Like so many Christians, we missed the embodied presence of face-to-face worship, but we’re also proud of how we met the moment faithfully and creatively.
During the controversy over same-sex marriage in the mid-2000s, the church vestry was prepared to approve a policy that affirmed same-sex relationships. But even with a consensus among vestry and church membership, we talked through the issue, moving slowly and listening to the judgments and convictions of our diverse community.
That salient moment exemplifies a central fact of Grace: we bring together people of many sorts from across the DC metro area, and we sense a calling to model reconciliation by talking through conflict. Sometimes in such conflicts, people whose position has not prevailed have chosen to leave; other times, people have stayed while disagreeing with the position of the church specifically because they feel included and taken seriously in our deliberative process.
When we have failed to be patient and stay in conversation, we have seen friction, especially around issues that touch on the partisan political divide. With a generally liberal majority at Grace, some have occasionally lamented that they are not taken seriously or treated charitably. We take these complaints seriously, because they represent a failing of exactly this commitment.
Grace Church is poised and positioned for growth and positive community impact. The successful candidate will exhibit strong skills in preaching, pastoral care, administration, and youth connection.
The Rev. Canon Dr. Robert T. Phillips