Monthly Archives: June 2013

Pastor’s Word: The Body of Christ

Judith_blogDear Church Family,

“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part…whether Jew or Greek, slave or free…” That affirmation rings louder this week! Two very significant things happened through the eyes of Grace this week, one in the Supreme Court and one in Fellowship Hall!

Wednesday was a bad day for the Flat Earth Society. DOMA was repealed because Justice Elena Kagan exposed its bigotry. At 10 AM EST Wednesday, Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion meant legally married couples – straight or gay – are to receive the same benefits from the Federal government. I invite you to read the Windsor opinion, and the hope and grace of Justice Anthony Kennedy’s perspective: “The Federal statute is invalid for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marrying them, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.” Each one of us is a part of the body of Christ.

Thursday night was a good night for Grace and the surrounding community. Under the fine coordination and planning of Jacquelyn Elbel-Sitler, Grace members took their places at their assigned stations in Grace’s new kitchen and turned out a tasty spaghetti dinner with bread sticks that kept us all coming back for more. It was just as Project Transformation directors had hoped – children’s families filled Fellowship Hall, and those in the kitchen came out into the Hall after cooking and sat and ate among all the families, placing themselves throughout the Hall. It was a fine gathering, concluding with Project Transformation children, led by our fabulous team of PT interns, dancing and singing for their parents and Grace friends. Families feasted on cookies prepared and brought by more Grace friends. Truly, each one of us is a part of the body of Christ.

We here at Grace continue to look for opportunities to celebrate our equality and God’s love for all. This week our spirits soar! I look forward to seeing you on Sunday as one of our candidates for the ordained ministry – our own Jonathan Grace – brings the message.

Grace and Peace,
Judith Reedy

Reverend Judith Reedy

Rev. Judith Reedy is Grace’s second female Senior Pastor. Judith received her Master of Divinity degree from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in 1998. She has been in church ministry for more than 30 years, the first seventeen as a youth minister working with youth as a missional extension of the church. She has continued her missional work in Africa, teaching about AIDS and working with Ganta United Methodist Schools in Liberia. Judith is also active at the district and conference level of the United Methodist Church, where she serves as Conference Secretary, member of the District Board of Church Location and Building, and as mentor for candidates for the ordained ministry.

You can contact Judith at: pastor@graceumcdallas.org

Grace on a Mission

As a church of only 300 members in southeast Dallas, Grace United Methodist hosts 5 different nonprofit organizations on its small campus. Grace works with the nonprofits to provide healthcare, support to teen moms, education to pre-k students who do not speak English, free legal services, and a home for seminary students. All these services prove that the congregation at Grace UMC is truly on a mission together.

Pastor’s Word: Keep Our Light Shining

Judith_blogDear Church Family,

How could any more possibly happen in less than two weeks? We had Annual Conference, and Les, Christina, Jonathan and I learned so much! We are excited about what the Conference is doing. The entire conference was invited to join in and address extreme asset poverty in two designated zip codes, one rural and one urban. The urban zip code designated is 75246!! Sound familiar? Grace UMC is the only United Methodist Church within that zip code!

No wonder we have 92 children signed up for Project Transformation in grades 1-6 and 80 of them showed up on Wednesday, our first day!! From the looks on their faces, they loved every minute of it! On that first day, as a special gift from the North Texas Food Bank, each family left here with their own SACK OF POTATOES!!! And the story goes on…

After the congregation gathered in the new Fellowship Hall on Sunday, June 2nd, to behold the new Kitchen and Fellowship Hall, Grace had an event the following Saturday for those organizations and donors who had given grants to Grace. It was a momentous event! Two of our new members, Danny Simpson and David Cavazos, transformed the Hall into a night to remember, replete with instrumental music and black linens. Under the direction of Chef Gail Blair and Alida Smith, the girls from alley’s house prepared a panoply of delightful food. Sylvie Ndjungu described to honored guests the multiple potential uses of the kitchen.

Acknowledgements were made to Mellen West, Kathy LaTour, Susan West, Gary Marrs, Steve and Brigette Hawks, David Lightfoot, and Roger Baggerman, trustees and pastors past for bringing us to where we are today. Dale McEowen provided tours of the entire church, Stephanie Bohan let those on tour take a peek at the “new” Agape clinic under construction, and “a good time was had by all!”

This first week of Project Transformation has seen volunteers from the congregation, and they have been so helpful. I hope you find time and a place to be involved this summer in Project Transformation and/or Vacation Bible School. Grace, let’s keep our light shining in 75246!

Grace and Peace,
Judith Reedy

Pastor’s Word: Blessed to Be a Blessing

Judith_blogDear Church Family,

The day has arrived! This Sunday, June 2nd, immediately following our 10:50 worship service, we are all invited to bless and – for the first time – feast our eyes upon our new kitchen and fellowship hall! This has been a dream of the congregation and its pastors as well as a need for many, many years and it has come true!

As a church family, you will be part of blessing this new facility, and you will get a peek at the Agape expansion in the basement as well. I believe that you will be amazed, impressed, and grateful! Some of you will remember the online picture of a very old, non-functioning, and gigantic South Bend stove. This same stove – completely refurbished, functioning superbly well, and shining (thanks to David Lightfoot) – is one of the centerpieces of our new kitchen! This is only one example of the transformation that has occurred over these past few months. You will not want to miss this moment in time!

On this same day, we will welcome our eight new Project Transformation interns to Grace and to our community! To celebrate their arrival, we will be serving finger foods in our new kitchen immediately following worship and the blessing of all things new. You will be doubly blessed on this day – you will see a new creation, and you will meet the young people who will be working with Grace to transform the lives of those in our community!

We are blessed to be a blessing, and I am anticipating with great joy sharing this time with all of you. Whether you have been one who has dreamed about this for years or whether you have just arrived on the scene, you are a part of the joy!

Grace and Peace,
Judith Reedy