Our mission is to go out into the community and partner with our neighbors to work for justice for all.
Everyone is Welcome at Jesus' Table!
We are a community who gathers in faith to walk together into the mystery and experience of love, grace, hope and healing.
WHAT WE ARE SEEKING IN A RECTOR
We are seeking a leader who will partner with and mentor us in mutual ministry to serve God and our community in a variety of ways. We pray that we have the mind of God as we aspire to grow spiritually and numerically. We recognize that together there are many strengths that we may use to reach these aspirations, our own and our Rector’s.
Our Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) from Holy Cow Consulting indicates that we are a welcoming congregation, with strengths in hospitality, healing, and caring for each other. We are a resilient Paraclete culture, embracing ritual and spiritual practices.
Some of the important gifts and talents we seek at this time, in no particular order, are the following:
PREACHING is important to our congregation. We are looking for a Rector who can preach with deep spirituality and healing; a Rector who can connect us to Scripture and enable us to apply the Word in our daily lives; a Rector, who through preaching, will inspire us and challenge us.
SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT – We are looking for a Rector to help us to understand our call to ministry; who will shepherd and challenge us in our spiritual growth and help us discern our gifts that prepare us for ministry; who will support, nurture and recognize the gifts and talents of our members; who will provide opportunities for Christian education and spiritual formation at every age and stage of life no matter where we are in our spiritual journey.
We seek a Rector who is gifted in CONFLICT AND CHANGE MANAGEMENT. Our Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) from Holy Cow Consulting shows us that we are a settled congregation. Having the ability to arbitrate and solve conflict is an essential skill to bring parties together to achieve a healthy resolution. We need a partner and mentor to guide us in the necessary changes ahead.
WORSHIP AND MUSIC – Quality liturgy and music are important to our congregation. We seek a Rector who will provide traditional liturgy, but who will introduce diverse liturgy at appropriate times; who will collaborate with our music director to provide a variety of musical offerings to enhance our worship services; who will seek input from parishioners in planning and carrying out special or weekly worship services and the associated music selections.
WELCOME - Come in and meet us at St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church where all are welcome to receive communion.
We enter the front door of the English Gothic building which faces Colonial Circle. Inside at the 8:30 service you go left to the Chapel. The beautiful stained-glass windows on this side of the building depict the 12 Apostles. There is silence and a meditative environment at the 8:30 service. At the 10:30 service, which is held in the main church, your eyes are drawn to the stained-glass window over the high altar and the free-standing altar at the crossing. You will be welcomed warmly by two of our greeters and an usher. The organist will be playing the Austin organ as we prepare for the service. We are a warm and friendly congregation as evidenced at the time of the Peace at both services. The aisle is filled as we exchange the Peace of the Lord with handshakes and hugs. After we receive communion those who wish healing prayers gather in the chapel or main church. This is a very holy time.
Sunday worship is our primary focus and we enjoy gathering for coffee hour after services. We work hard at our annual Spaghetti Dinner serving over 200 people; we heat up our ovens to bake cookies for our Christmas Cookie Sale and participate in many other social functions.
Our INVOLVEMENT IN THE COMMUNITY
Members of our congregation have been participating in an outreach ministry in support of Friends of Night People, a local Food Pantry/Dining Room, by providing funds contributed through our “Noisy Collection” on designated Sundays and by supplying a team of volunteers to assist at the food pantry on the first Tuesday of each month.
Our congregation is a member of VOICE-Buffalo, a faith-based group of about 65 congregations of many denominations working together to build a better community. VOICE-Buffalo encourages and equips its members to accept and carry out their prophetic responsibilities in the public arena. The organization offers a variety of leadership training events, including a national week-long institute focusing on individual, congregational, and community development. Some of our parishioners have attended these various programs.
The current worship space was completed in 1927, and is connected to the Parish Hall by a Cloister and the Sacristy.
The original church on this site, built in 1893, now serves as the Parish Hall, which includes an auditorium and stage, a large commercial kitchen, a dining room, a rest room, and the Bishop Ward Chapel. The lower level houses the Walter Lord Parlor, Rector’s office, Parish Administrator’s office, music room, classroom, and rental office space.
In the last year, we have retained the services of an architectural firm to prepare a Master Plan for the restoration and modernization of our campus. The proposals include a new entrance, handicap access, new rest rooms, and restoration of the arched ceiling in the Parish Hall.
St. John’s-Grace Episcopal Church is located in an urban residential neighborhood, about two miles north of downtown Buffalo. It is on Colonial Circle, where Richmond Avenue, Lafayette Avenue and Bidwell Parkway intersect. The Circle and Parkway are part of the city’s park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1868.
Two blocks east of the church is Elmwood Avenue, anchoring the vibrant “Elmwood Village.” The numerous small businesses include retail shops, restaurants, the Lexington Food Co-op, and professional offices. Close by are the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Historical Society, and the Buffalo State College Campus, with its own Burchfield-Penney Art Center and Rockwell Hall Performing Arts Center.
Several blocks to the west is the Grant Street neighborhood. It is experiencing a resurgence, due in part to the influx of new residents from many foreign countries.
Approximately half of our members reside in either of these two neighborhoods. The parish also attracts members from surrounding areas of Buffalo and its suburbs.
The City of Buffalo has a rich history as an industrial, commercial and transportation center. As a Lake Erie port city located on the border with Canada, as the western terminus of the Erie Canal, and as a significant railroad hub, it has had a history of growth and prosperity. This wealth translated into many architecturally significant buildings, the Olmsted designed parks, and many beautiful houses including three designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Lauren Belfer has written a popular historical novel, City of Light, which captures the feel of what Buffalo was like at the turn of the 20th century.
Buffalo features numerous, wonderful, urban delights: a beautiful downtown waterfront, a famous garden walk, annual art festivals and food events, a zoo, a lively theater and music community, Kleinhan’s Music Hall, the home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, a wide variety of ethnic dining opportunities, and many more cultural riches. Buffalo is also home to three professional sports teams. Area educational institutions feature many college sports. Buffalo is close to Niagara Falls, Rochester, Toronto, the Chautauqua Institution, the George Bernard Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario.
Our four seasons provide opportunities for a variety of activities. In the summer, we enjoy gardening, swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing on Lake Erie and the Niagara River, as well as golf and tennis. In the winter, we have excellent skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and ice-skating nearby or at resorts within a fifty-mile radius. In the spring and fall we hike or stroll through many nearby parks and nature trails, including the Riverwalk along the Niagara River. The ring road around Delaware Park Meadow affords the opportunity to bike, jog, roller blade or walk throughout the entire year. Our proximity to Niagara Falls provides a special attraction for visitors to our area.
Members of the congregation use the public-school systems or private schools for their children. The Buffalo Public Schools suffer from many of the same problems encountered by most large urban school districts, but several of the system’s magnet schools are among the finest schools in the region. The area offers a wealth of post-secondary institutions including two campuses of the State University of New York as well as many private colleges.
Our congregation wants to see growth at St John’s-Grace through many different strategies and opportunities. Attracting new people and families through things like Bible School; offering Workshops to the community (cooking, pottery, painting); and offering English classes to the immigrants of our community, will help us grow.
Our campus, at St. John’s-Grace, has so much potential to develop into a church for the community. Change is necessary to achieve these goals.
As we search for a new priest, we are hopeful that candidates share this vision and are able to provide strong leadership to help us achieve our goals.
We have been without a Rector for over 5 years. Our congregation is open to the works of the Holy Spirit. We continue to pray together for our future.
TRANSITION TEAM MEMBERS
Front row: Jan Dolce, Robert Petersen, Marian Stelter, Martha Robinson
Back row: Kathleen Stelter, Ann Dutton, Tom Lochner, Deb Vranich, Herb Hogue
Not pictured: Stephani Foraker