Our ministry includes the Shepherds of Grace, which is a lay ministry of companionship, caring, compassion and support for members of Grace. The Lay Eucharistic Visitors are also part of the Pastoral Care Commission, and these visitors bring the Eucharist to individuals who are ill or home bound. The staff person for this area is Fr. Benjamin, and he can be reached with your pastoral care needs, news, suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 813-971-8484, ext. 11.
Gas or groceries? What would you do if you had to choose? Seriously. It’s not an easy choice. 1 out of every 5 people living in Florida has to make a choice like this every day. The circumstances differ, but the end result is the same for families struggling to make it to their next paycheck or for seniors living on a fixed income. Nutritious food is hard to come by when your budget is limited.
Poor nutrition makes it difficult for children to concentrate in school. They get sick more often too. You just can’t ignore hunger. That’s why we partner with Metropolitan Ministries the last Friday of every month to provide hot, balanced and nutritious meals to all who are in need in one of the poorest areas in Hillsborough County, north on Livingston Ave from Fletcher Ave (dead end street).
As a Eucharistic Visitor you have the privilege of bringing the Sacrament to those who cannot be present at a public celebration of the Eucharist because they are ill, home-bound, in a hospital or nursing home and the joy of being one of the links that keep that person connected to our larger Grace family.
When we meet with a home-bound parishioner, we often think that we are “visiting from the Church” but, from a theological standpoint, it is more correct to say that when you, as a Eucharistic Visitor, meet with a home-bound parishioner, you are the Church. Jesus told His disciples that “when two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” [Matthew 18:19] Whatever is done and said during that visit will be “Church” for that person.
If you feel called to this ministry, please contact Father Ben or Nancy Guss, or call the Church office. We would love to have you!
Grace Church sets aside annually a tithe "off the top" in our giving to give back to the "widows and orphans" we are called to help in the community. We have provided grants for scholarships for needy schoolchildren in the Caribbean, a van for supporting troubled youth in Second Chance for Boys, support workshops for the Tampa Bay Crisis Center, cloth for NICU blankets and Little Dresses for Africa, whole family mission trips to the Dominican Republic, and many other worthy causes brought to us by our parishioners.
We hope to continue this ministry by a continuing culture of tithing from our congregational giving.