“…Fill them with your love, fill them with your grit, fill them with that peace that comes only from You as we, more and more, find ourselves rooted in grace; that this that this wouldn’t just be a building of brick and mortar, but one held together by generosity and love, by faith finding its hands and its voice in service…that hearts and lives would be forever changed.”
Last Thursday the community spent the morning to commemorate and pray for a piece of land that will soon be the foundation for GRACE’s central location. While the ceremony itself lasted only a couple of hours, the cause for which people came has been prayed over for more than thirty years.
An estimated 150 guests were in attendance of the event, which included remarks from special guests including GRACE Founder, Tricia Wood, Dr. Todd Renner of White’s Chapel United Methodist Church, GRACE Board President Bree Vopelak, and Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Traci Bernard and Dr. Randy Robbins, and others.
Dr. Renner gave a convicting invocation, which he has graciously shared with us and can be read in full below.
GRACE’s founder, Tricia Wood, delivered an eloquent reminder of God’s faithfulness every moment since the vision of housing services in one organization became a reality in 1987.
It’s the original vision of GRACE—what was then referred to as Grapevine Relief And Community Exchange—to serve as an exchange of the community’s collective resources to provide relief and hope to the poor in our community.
GRACE Board President Bree Vopelak spoke about how the thirty years of piecing together locations and services, the opportunity to re-energize GRACE’s infrastructure to support client’s futures has come after its current facilities are worn, stretched and difficult to access by clients coming on their lunch break or time off from work.
Rooted In GRACE re-establishes a “One Stop Shop” for GRACE services, and rebuilds the infrastructure that will make GRACE strong for years to come.
Capital Campaign Co-Chair, Traci Bernard, spoke about the drastic increase need for GRACE services as the population has risen, like the Food Pantry and Community Clinic which have seen a 100% growth in clients over the last five years.
Fellow Capital Campaign Chair, Dr. Randy Robbins highlighted the next phase of the Rooted In GRACE project, which will utilize current GRACE Main location as an intake, sorting, and distribution Donation Station. A warehouse will also be constructed for rotating inventory and seasonal storage (much to the in-kind donors’ delight who are currently forced to fit in the narrow, hazardous bend at the current drop off.)
Robbins also touched on the revenue that resale brings to operational funding, and the vital touchpoint Donation Station is for corporate partners, congregations, and civic groups.
John and Elizabeth Huffman of Black Door Home Co. turned the crowd’s attention to the first graders at Faith Christian, who aptly spurred the charge to uproot the dirt and kick off the Groundbreaking.
View the Groundbreaking Album here.
If you’d like to be a part of the future of GRACE, visit the Rooted In GRACE page at RootedInGRACECampaign.org.
View a rendering of the new facility here.
GRACE Groundbreaking Invocation Prayer, Dr. Todd Renner, White’s Chapel United Methodist Church
Almighty and everlasting God, ever exalted…but always near…we thank You for this great day: a day hoped for and prayed for and worked for by so many for so long. Thank You for this day that shines its light into the darkness of this world – this world of shootings and struggles and storms. Thank You for the hope that we find in moments like this…and as we take this first step towards a greater, brighter tomorrow, we pray you’d make us mindful of all those who have gone before – make us mindful of those who paved the way, of those who fed the dream, of those who lit the torch that’s now been passed to us…and make us faithful stewards of their legacy.
And let us find common ground here, as we stand upon this holy ground – this ground that we, now, bless, sanctify, and break in your great name: let us find unity in our common work, let us find unity in our common service, let us find unity in our common hope and love and compassion for our neighbors.
And as these walls soon rise, we ask: let them, in turn, tear walls down: use them…use us to tear down the walls that separate too many from opportunity, use us to tear down the walls of disease and hunger and poverty. O, God, tear down the walls of apathy and fear that surround us; tear down the privileged walls of our own blindness that we might see the needs of our brothers and the promise of our sisters.
So, let your Spirit descend upon all those who will serve here – empower them…and be with all those who will be served here – embolden them…fill them with your love, fill them with your grit, fill them with that peace that comes only from You as we, more and more, find ourselves rooted in grace…that this that this wouldn’t just be a building of brick and mortar, but one held together by generosity and love, by faith finding its hands and its voice in service…that hearts and lives would be forever changed.
And, so, we humbly ask for safety for all those who will build…and patience for all, we, who’ll wait…that, in the end, the miracle of GRACE would abound and grow…as this dirt we move here today would, tomorrow, move mountains.
For we pray all these things in your holy name. Amen.