By Rev. Cindy Marino

New to Grace UMC or in a new season of life? Here are two ways you can get to know people.

#1 - Linger in the Gathering Space

When the worship is over, don’t rush to the parking lot. Take your time. Grab a cup of coffee in the Gathering Space and introduce yourself to someone. Stop by the Connection Center and browse the flyers that describe our many classes. Meet one of our Lay Development Team members who hang out there or meet one of our hosts at the Welcome Desk. If you have children, talk to the other parents and the volunteers about how they engage at Grace.

#2 - Join a group.

One of the best ways to “do life” with people is to join a group. At Grace, we offer various kinds of groups, including classes, serving teams, planning committees, activity groups, fellowship groups, and church leadership. Each is an opportunity to develop relationships with others as you learn, lead, serve and play. 

•  Browse flyers for classes at the Connection Center just inside the front entrance. Read the Grace in Mission (weekly bulletin insert), the Friday Eblast and monthly Grace Notes newsletter. Not receiving those resources?  Contact Ashley Pierce ( or by calling the Church Office (630-355-1748).

•  Sign up for Grace Community Builders. You’ll meet with one person each week from a group of six, then come together with the entire group and spouses/partners for a wrap-up potluck. After just a few weeks you’ll feel right at home as you begin seeing those now familiar faces on a regular basis. Watch Grace in Mission for information on the next round!

•  Offer your time! This is one of the best ways to get to know people. No matter your stage in life, there’s a certain camaraderie in working together for a common purpose. Just fill out one of the Blue Cards located in the Attendance Pads in the Sanctuary and at the Connection Center. Check off an area that interests you and a Lay Development Team member will be in touch to further explore your availability and the opportunities. You will also find the cards by clicking here.

Make 2020 the year you get connected and grow your love for God and others through Grace UMC!

NEW LENTEN STUDY: Faithful and Inclusive
• Following the 9 a.m. Gathering Worship in the Activity Center at 10:15 a.m. beginning, Sunday, Mar 1. 
•  AND Wednesdays at 11 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. 

Faithful and Inclusive: The Bible, Sexuality, and The United Methodist Church allows you to gain an understanding of how United Methodists can be both obedient to God’s Word and fully welcoming to LGBTQ persons in the church. This six-week DVD-based Bible study has been designed for participants to develop their own perspectives on the Bible’s passages related to homosexuality. It will be hosted by leaders from the 9 a.m. Gathering Worship on Sundays, and by Pastor Cindy on Wednesdays.

The study features Rev. Rob Fuquay, pastor of St. Luke's UMC, Indianapolis, via DVD. It creates a safe space to navigate through this thorny issue, relying on the biblical-interpretation approach of Methodism’s founder, John Wesley. Each video session also features the faith journeys of members of the LGBTQ community and their families. No sign up is necessary. Just come!

The six 50-minute video sessions cover these subjects:

1: How United Methodists Interpret Scripture
2: Old Testament Passages
3: The Influence of Culture on How We Read the Bible
4: New Testament Passages
5: The Jesus Ethic: What Did Christ Say?
6: Where Does the United Methodist Church Go From Here?