What does it mean to Grow in Grace?  On the most basic level it means to be more like Jesus Christ, or in other words, increasingly orienting our lives to God.  This takes place on a number of different levels.

The most important is our heart.  The prophet Jeremiah says that God's law will be written on our hearts (31:33).  We also see the difference in a number of tangible ways: use of our time, our money, God given gifts and passions.

You will find a helpful personal reflection from a Grace member on how he is growing in grace at Grace Episcopal Church.

 

 

 
 

Chris Pahl

 
Pahl FamilyChris talks about the amazing grace of coming to Grace Episcopal when he felt lost.  You can read the text below but you need to listen to hear the emotion in his voice, the difference Grace has made in his life.
 
"Hi, I’m Chris, and I’m an Episcopalian.  I’ve been reflecting in the last couple of days how I’m growing, ow my family is growing in Grace.  It kind of hit me.  Looking back I felt lost.  I’m a former member of St. Michael’s in Raleigh and after college sort of lost touch there.  My family still attends every Sunday, ninety percent of my family.  My brother is an Episcopal priest.  I’m not perfect.
 
We moved to Clayton in 2009.  Driving down Highway 70 seeing the Grace signs before you guys moved over here.  Always in the back of my mind, Grace.
 
Last year we took a Dave Ramsey class, sort of changed our lives, and last summer I was reading the North Carolina Disciple, there was an article that caught my attention and I read the article and on the opposite page was the garden.  There was an article about the garden at Grace, and I saw John.  It was God talking to me, telling me you’ve seen the sign on Highway 70, you’ve seen it now on Highway 42, just take the chance, and we came that Sunday, and we probably missed a few more Sundays after that.  John got my email address.  I think he was emailing me.  We started coming again.
 
Now were members, regular attenders.  I’m growing in Grace.  It’s funny.  I felt lost and God put me at Grace.  Amazing Grace.   It’s funny.  God’s been working in so many ways through me.  I feel it.  I think, John, we’ve talked about it.  Just from the Dave Ramsey classes we did.  From the article just being there when I flipped through the magazine.
 
I hope in the future you guys will be able to watch my kids grow at Grace.   I was an acolyte at St. Michael’s.  I was in the choir at St. Michael’s.  I hope Davis one day will get to carry the cross.  It’s something I enjoyed.  I hope you would want to do it.  I hope you get to watch them grow not physically but in their faith.   I think it’s special to be in such a small church and I feel the family, and I do feel it here, so I thank you."
 
 
 
 
 

 

neverenoughdecal blog1

When is Enough Enough?

 
“Who is rich?  He that is contented.  Who is that? Nobody.”  Benjamin Franklin.
 
Although wanting more than what we have is not a bad thing, it can lead us to being discontented no matter what we acquire.  In the 2006 article “When is Enough Enough?” in the magazine Giving, Shane Stanford discusses six Biblical principles in handling personal finances.  Over the six weeks of our fall pledge campaign "Growing in Grace" we will focus on one a week.
 
The first is “The Principle of Enough” found in Hebrews 13:5.  “Let your conduct be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have.”  Stanford asks “What happens when consuming becomes our God?  The writer of Hebrews encourages us to be satisfied with the indispensable promise of God’s faithfulness.  Regardless of the ebb and flow of the world’s gifts, God’s gift will never rust, fade or slip away.
 

Proper Perspective

The second of six Biblical principles on personal finance is “The Principle of Proper Perspective.”  Jesus says in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon”.
 
“Such clear distinction between the things of this world and the things of God gives us the opportunity for clarity in our decisions," maintains Shane Stanford.  "What seems like a stark, declarative statement actually provides a clear point of reference by which we can understand God’s plan for our lives.”
 

Good Steward

The third of six biblical principles on personal finance is “The Principle of the Good Steward” found in Matthew 19:16-22.  In verse 21, Jesus says to the rich man “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven and come and follow me.”
 
“In a world where ‘good’ is defined in terms of the accumulation of material possessions, Jesus counters that ‘good’ is a matter of care and stewardship, even to the point of giving away that which we treasure.  Most financial problems come when the things we possess in reality possess us,” says Shane Stanford.  “Part of being a good steward involves understanding the temporary nature of all the material goods we possess.”
 

Dishonest Manager

The fourth of six biblical principles on personal finance is “The Principle of the Dishonest Manager” found in Luke 16:1-18.  In verse 10, Jesus says, “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much, and he who is unjust in what is least, is unjust also in much.  Therefore, if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?”
 
“Clearly, Jesus is not endorsing the manager’s dishonest practices” states Shane Stanford.  “Rather, he is teaching us that, like the manager, we are called to be shrewd managers of the resources that God gives us.  The parable might be paraphrased, ‘If only we were as wise and shrewd in achieving eternal things as those who are intent on possessing dishonest things.’  Only when we spend as much time and effort preparing our lives and resources for kingdom good, as we do for pleasure, will we experience a true measure of God’s enormous potential in both our earthly and our eternal lives.”
 

Widow's Mite

The fifth of six Biblical Principles on personal finance is “The Principle of the Widow’s Mite” found in Mark 12:41-44. In verse 43, Jesus says, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

“What does it means to give out of poverty?” asks Shane Stanford. “Jesus understands that trusting God is much easier in our times of abundance than our times of need. However, some of life’s greatest lessons are learned from our commitment and response as we experience times of hardship and sacrifice.”

Faithful Giver

The last principle is the Faithful Giver” found in 1 Timothy 6:17-18 that tells us to avoid arrogance or trusting in uncertain riches but to trust in the living God, who gives us all to enjoy, to do good, to be rich in good works and to give.

“Paul’s command highlights the nature of why we give – because God expects us to do so,” maintains Shane Stanford. “Our resources serve as another opportunity to be a part of the work of God in this world and to do things in God’s name. We do not share our resources for pride or personal gain but because God covets the whole of our lives, including our earthly possessions, to be offered in God’s service.”

Conclusion

These six principles of finance provide a framework for stewarding our resources for significance in the kingdom of God. Stanford states, “Jesus taught that our resources give us opportunities to live faithfully before God and one another. Money, for Jesus, was another tool for doing great good in the world. To this end, Scripture gives us principles that we can shape our financial future into nothing less than a spiritual gift.”



 We feel good when we give! We feel good when we make a difference! It's human nature.

You can make a secure financial contribution to Grace Episcopal Church online by clicking the link below. Your gift helps people-in-need through Backpack Buddies, Christmas for Children, the Migrant Farmworkers Ministry and more. You also bring a message of hope, healing and strength to people through Grace's streaming services, social media ministry, digital community, Connect group and other ministries. Your contribution does so much more than pay the light bill. You are following Jesus' call to love your neighbor. You are changing lives for the better.

Grace Episcopal Church, Clayton NC, Secure Financial Contribution

Thank you for making a difference! 


 

Making a pledge, a financial faith commitment, to Grace brings the love, hope and power of God to other people. You can pledge securely online by clicking the link below to the pledge form.

Grace Episcopal Church, Clayton NC, Pledge

Thank you for making a difference!

 
Prayer Shawl

 

As Christ embodied God's love for the world, prayer shawls and squares embody our love and prayers for those who are going through a challenging time.  People wrap or cover themselves with the shawls and carry the small squares in a pocket or purse as a reminder of God's loving and healing care for them.

We make each shawl and square with loving prayer for God's strength, peace, comfort and healing power to fill the recipient.  All types of patterns, styles and skill levels are welcome for this ministry!

Contact Becky Smith for more information.

Serving is an essential part of the Christian life and our life at Grace.  Jesus says in Matthew's Gospel that he came not to be served but to serve (20:28).  We at Grace seek to follow his example in many different ministries:

  • Backpack Buddies - Every week our members donate, pack and deliver food that feeds Cooper Elementary School students on the weekend.  If it were not for this food these children, who receive school lunches during the week, would go hungry over the weekend harming their academic performance and lessening their opportunities in life.  This food is an investment in their future and our society.  Interfaith Food Shuttle Backpack Buddies
  • Advent Collection - Every Advent, as part of our preparation for Christmas, Grace members donate items to assist persons in need in our community.  Grace has collected for those with mental health issues and for teens in the Johnston County Department of Social Services system.
  • Grace After School - Twice a week volunteers tutor students from nearby West Clayton Elementary School who live in the impoverished Alta neighborhood on Highway 42.  This ministry helps Latino children with their homework and school projects.  Tutors specifically work to strengthen math, reading and command of the English language.  This ministry is about relationships as much as academics.  Our church seeks to know and support the children and their families following Christ's command to love others and he has loved us (John 15:12).    

Whether an adult who finds new meaning for life by coming to know Jesus Christ, or a child who does better in school through our after-school tutoring program, Grace, Clayton changes lives one person at a time.  Your contribution to this congregation makes a difference not only to others but also to you.

Jesus says, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:21).  Our gift is an essential part of what it means to follow Christ.  In giving generously of what God has given to us, our lives are more and more transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Grace is a part of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.  Our accounts are audited annually and held to high accounting standards.  We ensure that your contributions support the ministry of this congregation.

Secure Online Giving

 

GIVE HERE

 

Other methods

If you don't use PayPal, you can donate to God's work in a number of other ways:

    1. Establish direct draft of a bank account (in process).
    2. Set up a regular recurring donation on your electronic banking. For bank routing information, contact the treasurer, Chris Pahl
    3. Donate stock.
    4. Mail a check to our P.O. Box 752, Clayton NC 27528.
    5. Include Grace in your will.

Thank you for your gift!

FarmworkersDonation2014Web Serve

 

“As an owner of a plant nursery, I have employed several Hispanic farmworkers over the past several years. They are hard-working individuals who come to the United States with virtually only the clothes on their backs, looking for a better life for their families. Some of my employees have benefitted greatly from the Episcopal Farmworkers Ministry in Newton Grove - mainly by getting free or reduced medical and dental care. My children grew up working alongside these workers and also understand the sacrifices that they have made to be in this country. In fact, this is one of the reasons that my daughter majored in Spanish and wants to be a doctor. This is a ministry that we can relate to as a family.” - Jill Allen, Grace Member.

Grace Episcopal collects clothing, toiletries and other items during the season of Lent to support the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry. The Episcopal Farmworker Ministry serves farm workers in eastern North Carolina. Farm workers frequently live and work in substandard conditions.  This ministry makes life for the farm workers more bearable and transforms those who get to know them.  The church also participates wth two other Episcopal congregations to provide nutritional education and games for chidren in an encampment.

Contact Marla Dalton for more information or to become involved in this ministry that serves those who put the food on our tables.

Service Times

Sunday

9:30 a.m. 

  • Communion with Hymns and Pipe Organ Music
  • Children's Worship and Sunday School Class for Elementary School Age
  • Kidz Zone for Pre-school Age 

 

10:35 a.m. 

  • Coffee Hour
  • Youth Group

 

11:11 a.m.

  • Communion with Contemporary Music
  • Kidz Zone for Pre-school Age 

Find Grace

 
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