On the FIRST and THIRD Sunday of each month, we gather at 9:30am for a shorter service with more contemporary songs, prayer, and a brief message. It is a time of casual worship and fellowship before the regular 10:30 service. This service is aimed at all ages and offers a casual come-as-you-are atmosphere.
The children’s group here at Grace is known as the Grace Gang. Children ages 3 through 6 grade are welcome to come downstairs following the children’s moment during worship. Once downstairs the children follow their own order of worship. This includes a few songs, prayer time and then a lesson. The younger children are able to listen to a shorter version of the lesson and then are able to play, while the older school-age kids dive deeper into the Bible. Our calendar year is very busy for the Grace Gang. In the spring we hold an Easter Egg Hunt for all to enjoy. In the fall we have Trunk or Treat – a great safe way to trick-or-treat and hear the gospel tied to a normally secular holiday. The children are able to lead 2 services a year through a spring and a Christmas program. They also join the adult choir for several anthems each year. The children are encouraged to help others through several mission projects each year – usually connecting to a local group to help those in need.
Two other special events for the children are Summer Day Camp and Vacation Bible School. Day Camp is four days in the summer. The children are driven to Camp Allegheny where they spend the day enjoying all the camp has to offer. Vacation Bible School is held for a week each summer at one of the 3 United Methodist Churches here in Somerset. It is a great time for the children to learn great Bible Stories and fellowship at the same time.
Faith On Fire is composed of young people in grades 6-12. It is a combined group including those who attend Grace UMC, Calvary UMC, or First UMC. All young people are welcome, regardless of church membership. The group meets during the school year on Sunday evenings from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Some of the activities for Faith on Fire are attending Creation Festival and other contemporary Christian concerts, going on mission trips, attending SPARK Conference, participating in 30-Hour Famine, flamingo flocking, Bible study, and fellowship.
Throughout the year, the church offers short-term study/fellowship groups. Often centered around a topical or seasonal study, these groups give the opportunity to learn, discuss, and strengthen relationships with others. Ask the pastor or call the church office to find out what is offered now or may be upcoming.
Most Sunday mornings from early September until the end of May, our chancel choir presents an anthem during the church service. Members of the choir rehearse on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Teenagers as well as adults are invited to join their voices in a variety of anthem styles. No auditions are necessary.
All women of the church are invited to join and become active in this organization. In addition to regular meetings, special activities are planned throughout the year.
Our men, as part of the Somerset area United Methodist Men group, share with the local men in two annual dinner outings: a spring banquet and a corn roast in late summer. Both of these evenings include lots of great food and fellowship, along with a program of interest to men and older boys.
In the spring and then again in the fall, Fellowship Hall is the site of a Craft Show and Bake Sale (sometimes called a bazaar). The craft show features many vendors, while the bake sale offers freshly baked gobs as well as other homemade baked goods. Visitors to the craft show can also purchase homemade soups by the quart. Lunch items are available for purchase, and those attending can eat lunch at tables set up in the Sunday School classroom adjacent to Fellowship Hall. The spring event is held on a Saturday prior to Easter, while the fall event is always held on the second Saturday in November. In the fall all veterans are treated to a free piece of pie and beverage. Prior to the event, help is always needed to post flyers, make the soup and haluski, and bake the gobs. Volunteers are also needed to work in the kitchen or at the baked goods table during the event. Signup sheets are available in the narthex for several weeks before the event. Sometimes the profits are used to fund a specific church project; at other times the profits are donated to a worthwhile cause outside of the church. This event provides another opportunity for members of our church family to work together.
Our church operates a food booth during a 3-day festival that is held on the grounds of the Somerset County Historical Center during the weekend that follows Labor Day. Many volunteers are needed to prepare food in our church kitchen in advance as well as serve the food in the booth. Signup sheets are available in the narthex for several weeks before the event. Booth volunteers are asked to wear outfits appropriate for the late 1700s. (Many outfits are available that can be borrowed from the church for this event.) Profits usually are donated to a mission project.
Each year we host two Italian Night dinners in Fellowship Hall for church members and the community. One dinner is held on a Friday evening in the spring with another on a Friday evening in the fall. We usually serve about 350 meals within a 3--hour time frame. In addition to spaghetti, these dinners feature a choice of seven pasta dishes made by volunteers, as well as tossed salad, applesauce, homemade desserts, and beverages. These same items also can be purchased as takeout meals. A lot of help is needed to post flyers advertising the dinner, set the tables, prepare the meal, serve the meal, and then clean up after the meals are served. Adults and children work together to make Italian Nights successful. Signup sheets are available in the narthex for several weeks before each event. Unless there is a specific need within the church, all profits are donated to a worthwhile cause. Italian Night offers a wonderful opportunity for new church members to get to know other members by working side by side.