Greetings, Grace community!
Grace Cathedral is a uniquely special place to find spiritual nourishment and build a beloved community. The wide variety of services, small groups, artistic/cultural offerings, etc., allow for each person to find an intimate place to call home within the vastness of the cathedral.
I have been a part of the Grace community since 2019 and am writing today about the first place I called home at Grace; The Vine. The Vine is the contemporary service that takes place on Wednesday nights at 6:30 pm. When I first started attending The Vine, it was led by Jude Harmon, who passed the mantle to Greg Kimura. The Vine is full of welcoming people who bring warm hugs, open hearts, and an eagerness to have deep spiritual conversations in the community.
I found The Vine at a time of deep spiritual turmoil in my life. I grew up in a small, conservative Wyoming community as the music minister’s kid at the Evangelical church. I grew up with “God loves everyone….except”. That list of “excepts” was long and deeply embedded in sexism, racism, homophobia, nationalism, and on and on. As a queer woman, I found myself on the list of “excepts,” meaning God didn’t accept me, and I was doomed to hell. I eventually left the church as it was no longer the place of love and acceptance I had read about in the Bible.
After seven years away from the church, I felt the tug to return. I knew that Grace Cathedral was outspoken about social justice issues and LGBTQ+ rights which is how I found myself wandering in on a Wednesday, ready to give church another chance. I was greeted by a diverse community that was warm and welcoming. The sermon offered a wide range of theological perspectives, and there was space in the service to dialogue with others about the material. After I left the service, I returned to my car and wept. It washed over me instantly; I had found a home, and I had found God again.
My story echoes the stories of many people who call The Vine, and Grace Cathedral, home. The Vine offers a safe and healing space for spiritual nourishment. The service is held in an intimate circle on the labyrinth. The wonderful and talented musicians immerse you in the space with song. The sermons explore a wide range of Biblical/Theological concepts, and the community engages in active dialogue about the material during the service. The communion is held in a circle as we reverently pass the plate to one another. The community knows each other by name, and newcomers/visitors are treated with as much warmth as those who’ve been there for years. It is a space you are welcome and loved… no matter what!
If you are looking to step away from the hustle and bustle of the week and into a space of spiritual rest and nourishment, please swing by The Vine. I hope to see you there!
Stephanie Rickard has been an attendee at Grace Cathedral since 2019. You can find her at The Vine on Wednesday nights, and she also intermittently attends the Sunday 11 am. Stephanie also serves as a member of the Congregation Council.