A Short History of Grace
In June 1992, sixty-five friends walked away from the only Episcopal church on Bainbridge Island with a simple plan to worship together, serve others, and discover new ways of being a faith community.
They took up a collection for prayer books, hymnals, a very large coffee pot, and set off on a journey that none of them could have imagined. At first, they met in private homes where lay leaders read the Rite II prayer service. They held townhall-style meetings, called their first vicar in 1994, determined their core values (Inclusion, Service, Discovery, Gratitude), and named their church “Grace.”
From these humble beginnings, Grace Episcopal Church has remained rooted in the same hope, joy, openness, and willingness to serve that motivated its first families.
“I had been on Bainbridge for 10 years…and someone told me about the church where people gather in a circle. That was all I needed. I began attending in the Masonic Temple Basement. Even though I had recently lost my husband at a very young age, I felt this circle was exactly the place for me: incredible leadership, warm welcome, friendly parishioners.”
Today, Grace is an inclusive and vibrant parish – an open and affirming congregation with members ranging from cradle Episcopalians to non-traditional seekers with a wide range of backgrounds, faith journeys, viewpoints, and ages. Parishioners enjoy a strong sense of community and have an ingrained desire to care for one another. A strong commitment to Home Groups and Pastoral Care allows Grace to feel and operate like a small congregation, and also one that cares for neighbors beyond its walls.
A new building completed in 2003 has become a springboard for ministry and an anchor in the lives of all who come through the tall front doors seeking peace, a deeper knowledge of God, and a safe and welcoming home.