Five years ago Grace Fellowship Church, the church I had been attending since I moved to Baltimore in 2000 launched what they called another campus of their church in downtown Baltimore called Grace City. Grace Fellowship is in the northern suburbs of Baltimore and there were people at the church who had a vision of bringing the Grace experience into the actual city while working to serve the poor, marginalized, and oppressed. The two churches are still connected in some ways, but operate independently in others.
Even though I live in the city I did not immediately move from attending Grace Fellowship to Grace City for a number of reasons. I had friends that live in the suburbs and were obviously going to stay at Grace Fellowship. Initially Grace City was renting space in another church thus were holding their services on Sunday evenings, which isn’t really my preference as I like to use Sunday nights as time to decompress before the work week. And I live in the northern part of Baltimore right near I-83 and since Grace Fellowship is right off I-83 it only took me a few minutes longer to get there than it does to get down to south Baltimore where Grace City is.
Eventually I met some people and got involved in a Bible study in my neighborhood with people who attended Grace City. It still took me about 6 more months to check out Grace City. I am nothing if not averse to trying new things. By this time Grace City had moved into Federal Hill, and was (and still is) meeting at Federal Hill Preparatory School. If you know anything about Baltimore, you know Federal Hill is especially hard to park in especially during Ravens games when all kinds of parking restrictions are in effect due to its proximity to the stadium. I worried about finding parking among other things. Going into new situations where I don’t know how everything is going to work is very anxiety inducing for me, so since I didn’t have to go I didn’t. Eventually I worked up the nerve and went to Grace City and haven’t looked back since. (For anyone who may stumble across this when looking for a church in Baltimore, don’t worry parking is fine. They now open up the gates to allow people to park in the field next to the playground.)
In the past two or so years that I’ve been going to Grace City it has continued to grow. We have moved from one service to two, and last I heard were looking for a new space to meet as even with two services we’re outgrowing Federal Hill Prep. The five service areas that Grace City focuses on have continued to grow and do great things both in Baltimore and around the world.
Last night to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the first official meeting of Grace City, they held a dinner and dance at the Hilton. It was a really fun evening. It’s not often I have the excuse to get dressed up for anything these days. Most of the time the only reason I ever put on a fancy dress is if we’re going to a wedding and as I’m running out of friends that aren’t married that doesn’t happen very frequently these days. It was nice to have an excuse to get dressed up for a change. Even though he doesn’t go to church with me I made my husband come with me last night, so we got have a nice evening out on the town.
The evening started out with mingling and appetizers outside of the main room where the dinner was. Then we moved into the ballroom for dinner, which included a fairly extensive buffet. Then of course there were remarks about the history of the church, the work it’s done over the past five years, and hopes for the future. The evening ended with dancing, which was a lot of fun. I like to dance, but only when it’s kind of like the dancing at a wedding reception where they’re playing typical wedding reception type music and you’re surrounded with tons of friends. I am not into going dancing at clubs surrounded by lots of drunk people that I don’t know. Last night was exactly the kind of dancing that I enjoy. It was a great evening. I love my church and I look forward to celebrating the next five years with Grace City.