‘Come, for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
Matthew 25: 35-36, 40
Our Mission Statement
The Heart of Grace Outreach
Outreach at Grace provides a way for parishioners to live into their baptismal vows - to proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ; to seek and serve Christ in all persons; to love our neighbors as ourselves; to strive for justice and peace among all persons; and to respect the dignity of every human.
International Parish Partners
The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago partners with the Diocese of Renk, South Sudan and the Diocese of Southeast Mexico. Parish to parish covenantal relationships are also established. Grace partners with Glory Parish in Renk and Santa Cruz Parish in La Jolla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Inter-tribal warfare has caused hardship in South Sudan. The financial support for a long time, was primarily focused on pressing humanitarian efforts. More recently, we have been able to provide funds for a new church building built in 2020 to meet the needs of Glory Parish. And in 2021, funds were raised and matched to contribute to inside work like electric power and painting.
In Southeast Mexico, priests often serve parishes separated by large geographical distances. These parishes are unable to provide for their salaries and living expenses. We contribute to the salary of the Santa Cruz priest. Future gifts are intended to aid in establishment of cottage industries and farming projects that will aid self-sufficiency.
Across Our Nation
Episcopal Relief and Development is a church-wide organization that not only responds to ongoing needs across the country and around the world, but provides financial and manpower assistance in times of crisis and disaster.
United Thank Offering (UTO): monies collected in little blue boxes are sent to the Episcopal Church Women who provide grants for worthy projects for those in emotional or spiritual need.
Heifer International: Grace collects funds during the Advent season that provides animals to people in developing countries.
The Bishop's Appeal: Each year, our bishop directs contributions toward critical needs in our diocese or elsewhere in the world. Projects have included anti-gun violence initiatives, support of summer jobs for inner city youth, and mosquito nets for Africa.
Close to Home
United Churches of Galena: Grace Church is a member of the United Churches of Galena (UCG) that established and oversees the Food Pantry, serving families in need in the Galena area. Financial contributions, volunteers, and presence on the UCG and Food Pantry Boards are the ways this important ministry is supported.
Knitting Ministry: each Thursday throughout the school year, people gather together to knit and pray for those who are ill and those in need of warm scarves, mittens, and hats. They also make fleece blankets. Prayer shawls and pocket crosses go to the sick. The warm items are given to Shelter Care in Rockford and to the United Churches Food Pantry clients.
Red Bag Projects: twice each year there is a collection of supplies to designated recipients.
Galena Schools: Grace supports school programs with banners and ads in event booklets. Scholarships have also been awarded to graduating minority students who are continuing their education.
Community Organizations and Events: The parish House is used for weekly twelve-step meetings. It has also been a meeting or reception venue for visiting groups. The church also hosts musical concerts and theatrical performances.
Other Projects include school and art supplies for the Arts and Recreation Center, funds for the Furniture Ministry and Women and Friends Making a Difference, and the Water Project.