About Our Church Traditional Worship with a Progressive Message Go in peace, serve the Lord! The most important thing Grace does is gather for worship. In the sanctuary we generate energy which transforms each of us into disciples and the congregation into a center for mission. Our worship service takes place on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. Prior to service we gather for refreshments and fellowship beginning at 9:00 a.m. in the Chapel. We are a congregation that is diverse in membership and welcoming in our ministry. At Grace you will find singles and couples, children and the retired, gay and straight, the churched and marginally churched, artists and business owners, engineers and teachers, lawyers and librarians, those unemployed and those looking for a better opportunity. When you come to Grace, you will find people who have been members of this congregation since birth and those who have just become new members. We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members. As members of the ELCA our faith and focus is the good news of Jesus Christ which gives us the freedom and the courage to work wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world. Visit ELCA Website Church History Grace has been a part of Eau Claire for over 100 years. A strong faith in God and courage: the early church organizers were filled with both when they gathered on a bitterly cold January night in 1910 to organize Grace English Lutheran Church. There were 137 charter members. After purchasing property at Second and Grand in 1912, it was another three years until the cornerstone was laid in September 1915. Before the church construction was complete, services were held at the West Side Church and the North Side Church alternately. Pastor H.M. Thompson was the first pastor and conducted the Rites and Sacraments of the church for Grace’s young congregation. The church building was completed in 1916 and the Grace family had a permanent home. Grace was the first Lutheran Church in Eau Claire to hold worship in English in the 1910s, provide radio a ministry in the 1940s, call an African American pastor in the 1960s, welcome a woman pastor in the 1970s, and proved a TV ministry in the 1980s. However, the story of Grace is not just 100 years of facts. It is the story of its people, the redemptive and restorative message of Christ and the progressive mission to engage with ministry within the church and mission outside the church. Learn About Our Core Values Our Logo Design & Symbolism Central to our logo is a circle, an ancient symbol for wholeness, completeness, and even eternity. Within Christianity, the Trinity has been described as a circle dance, whose loving movement opens up the dance of the Creator, Redeemer, and Comforter to all of creation. God’s wholeness offers wholeness to the world. The logo’s circle of divine grace holds images of God’s good creation: water, sky, green growth. At the base of the circle is water, invoking both the waters of baptism and the rivers that nourish Eau Claire. In the moment of our baptism, God claims us as God’s own; God then puts us in particular places like our city where we are to live faithfully. These waters, both baptismal and ecological, make life and growth possible. The waters in the image are flowing, witnessing to the movement of the living God. Yet, God’s good creation is marked by the cross. The space of the cross makes clear that while God so loves the world, still that world is profoundly broken. As a community of faith, we commit ourselves to mending the brokenness of the world within and around us. Renewed in Jesus Christ, we serve the cause of the poor, the planet, and peace. We act to restore creation for the sake of our children and grandchild as an inheritance from God for them to tend. The circle rests upon the word GRACE, the gift of God lovingly offered to all. The font chosen for “GRACE” indicates that God’s gift is contemporary and open, speaking to our own time and place of the joy and freedom God gives us. Beneath that word, we name our Lutheran identity and the richness of its confession of grace as central to God’s mission in the world. We are a church, a community of people who are called, gathered, enlightened, and made holy through the grace that God provides in Jesus Christ for the sake of the world. While this description gives guidance to the meaning of our logo, we trust that God may speak to you through this art of things beyond what these words indicate but that you need to hear.