Where are we located?
Grace Church is located at 360 Hopkins Road in Kernersville, NC.
Grace Church is located at 360 Hopkins Road in Kernersville, NC.
View our weekly E-Newsletter and find out what's going on This Week at Grace Kernersville...
Grace Kernersville continues to worship outside at the Picnic Shelter at 11am on Sunday.
Grace Presbyterian Church longs to make the amazing grace of the good news of the gospel known. As we look at the brokenness around us, in our relationships, work, world, and even our own hearts, we oftentimes are left asking, Who will make this right…who can make me right? The good news is that though we are unable to fix, mend, and heal, God is both able and willing. GPC is not a place of people who have it together, but rather a place of those who are seeking God’s amazing grace.
Wherever you find yourself in this journey, we will walk with you as God transforms us together and magnifies his grace in and through us.
Pastor Randy Edwards
Sunday morning worship continues each week at the picnic shelter from 11am to Noon. We will continue this through the Spring and reevaluate at the end of May whether we are able to move inside or will move the service earlier in the morning to avoid the hotter part of the day. The 11am service will continue to be live streamed from the Shelter on our YouTube channel.
We have over two acres surrounding the picnic shelter so masks are optional when you’ve arrived at your place for the service. We do ask that you wear a mask when traveling from and to your car or interacting with others if you are unable to maintain a social distance. Though we will have chairs, we encourage you to bring your own folding chair as you’ll likely be more comfortable.
Please feel free to spread out. As mentioned above, there is plenty of space. Bring a blanket to sit in the grass or a canopy/umbrella to shield you from the sun. We are reserving the front of the shelter (closest to the worship team) for those who prefer to mask and need the shade.
Sunday, April 11, we will conclude our series in James as we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. If there is any change to the morning’s service because of weather, we will notify you through social media, email, and our website, and Church Center. Have a great weekend!
Beginning Easter Sunday and continuing through the Spring, Grace Kernersville will gather for worship outside at the picnic shelter at 11am. Please read this letter as to how we plan on gathering for the Easter Service and how we will continue during this pandemic.
You may RSVP to each Sunday’s service on Church Center HERE. In addition, the morning worship service will be live-streamed each week. Beginning April 11, the service will only be live-streamed to our YouTube Channel HERE.
It’s Saturday, but Sunday’s coming!
Holy Week begins Sunday, March 28. Here is what is going on at Grace Kernersville.
What is Holy Week?
Holy Week refers to the week which begins with Palm Sunday and concludes on Easter Sunday during which the church remembers the events and words spoken by Jesus twenty centuries ago.
Why participate in Holy Week services?
As I’ve celebrated Easter over the years, it has grown increasingly difficult to capture all that Easter means during a single worship service on Easter Sunday. Emotionally, it feels like too much to take in: the anticipation at the meal on Thursday evening, the shock of the betrayal, denial, and abandonment, the devastation on Golgotha, the finality at the tomb on Friday, the silence of Saturday, and the thunderstruck hope and joy on Sunday. This year we will remember the events of Holy Week by celebrating Palm (or Passion) Sunday, Holy (or Maundy) Thursday, Good Friday (Tenebrae), and Resurrection (or Easter) Sunday. Both Palm Sunday and Resurrection Sunday will be celebrated during our regular worship times. In addition, we will hold special services on Thursday and Friday evening from 7-8pm.
What are the services?
What a year it has been for all of us. Of the many things that I have missed over the past year, one significant event was the annual Kernersville Good Friday Cross Walk. Since its beginning, Bunker Hill United Methodist Church served as the Cross Walk’s sponsor. This year sponsorship has been handed over to the Kernersville Christian Ministers Fellowship (KCMF).
This year’s walk is significant. Firstly, after such a year, to gather and process in honor and remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice will be especially meaningful. Secondly, it will be the thirtieth Cross Walk — that is a milestone. The Kernersville Cross Walk will be on Friday, April 2. As in past years, we will begin gathering in the Food Lion parking lot, at 617 North Main Street, at 9:00 a.m. By 9:30 a.m. we will have issued instructions, shared scripture, joined in prayer and started the walk escorted by our local police.
Because of the pandemic, we will not be carrying the large cross as we have in past years. KCMF will have a limited supply of smaller, handheld wood crosses for participants to carry. These are limited to the first 100 or so. As we process, we will walk in silence through the downtown area and finish at Mt. Gur Cemetery with a few minutes of reflection. Sedge Garden UMC’s church bus will follow the procession for those who are unable to walk or who are unable to complete the route. The walk usually takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and is 1.7 miles in length. The walk will occur rain or shine, so dress for the weather.
To avoid liability issues, please refrain from bringing your animals to the walk. Pets in a large crowd create potential problems. Also, be aware that weapons are not permissible at the walk as pertaining to Chapter 12-22 (c) of the town’s parade ordinance. Lastly, keeping in mind that we are still facing issues surrounding the COVID pandemic, we will be social distancing. However, because we will be outside and processing silently, masks will not be required.
Secondly, the Kernersville Christian Ministers Fellowship will be resuming our monthly prayer gathering, Praying 4 Our Community, at 9:00am on Saturday, April 3rd at the Main St UMC Garden. We hope you can join us for this special morning of prayer.
Here’s an announcement about what what Grace Kernersville is planning for Easter.
Join us on Facebook Live at 4pm on Sunday, February 7th as Pastor Randy talks with his wife, Jennifer Edwards, about her abstract weaving exhibit, “Woven Together,” and how the congregation of Grace Kernersville came together to help this project along. Also with us will be musician and former Grace worship leader, Michael Kuehn, who will be sharing with us a project he is working on called the Almond Tree Artist Collective.
Late last summer, Grace hosted an EP release party for Michael and newest release, Good and Glory. You may watch the EP release concert below.
If you were unable to attend, you may view this past Sunday’s virtual artist reception for Grace Gallery’s most recent Advent exhibit on the Great O Antiphons, “O Come, O Come…”.
Here are the slideshows for our congregational meeting on January 24. The first is a show in which we seek to recognize the volunteers in our church over the past year, especially through the pandemic, and the second is the financial update.
You may view the congregational meeting financial presentation below.
Sunday, January 24, we will begin a new sermon series on the letter of James. James was the first book of the Bible I undertook as a church pastor, and I am excited to return to it after eighteen years.
James begins his letter with “consider it all joy when you face various trials.” That’s a hard sell, and it sounds a little crazy. James doesn’t mean that we are love trials for the sake of the trials, nor does he say that we have to call bad things good. Rather, he is saying that we need not fear them. For those remain steadfast, trials work to strengthen our faith. Having a strong faith is worth what it costs because faith is not about the strength of the individual but rather it is all about the strength of faith’s object. God Almighty is well-worth our faith. In fact James says, God is so worth our faith and is so deserving of our trust, that we can welcome trials because we know that the trials we face are not stronger than God.
Living by faith is something I don’t think we know how to do well. For many, faith is the add-on to all the things we trust and have collected in order to increase the odds of a blessed life. Faith in God becomes a component of our life, not the foundation of our life.
Take some time the next few days and read James’ letter. As you read James, ask yourself, What is James saying about faith? What is James exposing as a false object of faith? How are those whom James is confronting seeking to live apart from faith? And how is James calling me to live by faith?
This week’s installation in the Grace Gallery exhibit, “O Come, O Come…” comprise two antiphons. They are O Root of Jesse (Radix) and O Key of David (Clavis).
As I mentioned before, as these antiphons progress, they become more specific and pointed in their promise. The prophets of the Old Testament speak of a “tender shoot” or a “branch” which will rise from the stump of Jesse. Jesse was King David’s father. Because of Israel’s faithlessness and especially because of the faithlessness of her kings, the promises made to David that his dynasty would be an everlasting dynasty seem to have failed. The line of David as seen by the prophets through the lens of the exiles has been “cut off” or “cut down.” Yet, though Israel and her kings were faithless, the Lord in his promise to David is faithful. Like those trees which have been copsed, a new branch will rise from the root stock.
Below is artist, Jennifer Edwards’ piece “O Root of Jesse.” She has taken her inspiration from the biblical passages as well as the sonnet below which you may hear read via the Soundcloud player by her father, Ed Pilkington. Read, listen, and look. In considering this promise, ask yourself, in what places in your life do need new life to spring?
"O Root of Jesse, standing as a sign among the peoples; before you kings will shut their mouths, to you the nations will make their prayer: Come and deliver us, and delay no longer." There is nothing so hopeless as a tree’s Stump whose root has been lopped of limbs and green, Cut down, lying lifeless, without its leaves; Lament hangs on — only sorrow clings. O Root of Jesse, the promised stump which Buds righteousness: our mercy, joy, and peace, Who makes the poor, the meek, those hungry, rich— The despised, exiled, cut off, counted least. O how may hope rise from this lifeless wood, This gallows tree, this cursed cross raised above Which hangs with despair? Certainly no good Could spring from death, could sing what wondrous love. Come Root of Jesse, deliver and bring The peace for which the nations long and sing.
The next antiphon is O Key of David. Growing more specific, this antiphon points to one who will hold and use the Key of David. This key is first alluded to in Isaiah 22 regarding the demotion and promotion of a Steward of the king’s house in Jerusalem. This image is taken up by the apostle John in Revelation 3 in the letter to the Philadelphians. The Son of Man about whom the angel speaks, holds the Key of David. The angel says that what the Holy One opens no one can shut and what he shuts, no one can open. Artist Timothy Bay has drawn this piece in response the Antiphon’s text and the poem below.
It seems to me that John Bunyan draws from this image in Pilgrim’s Progress. In the story, Christian and Hopeful have wandered onto to the lands of Giant Despair and his wife Diffidence. Imprisoned in Doubting Castle, Christian and Hopeful are beaten and abused by this giant. But as is the way of grace, there is a sudden breakthrough. Bunyan writes,
Now, a little before it was day, good Christian, as one half amazed, brake out into this passionate speech: What a fool, quoth he, am I, thus to lie in a stinking dungeon, when I may as well walk at liberty! I have a key in my bosom, called Promise, that will, I am persuaded, open any lock in Doubting Castle. Then said Hopeful, That is good news; good brother, pluck it out of thy bosom, and try.
Taking the key out of pocket in his coat which happens to be over his heart, Christian tries the lock. It opens and this key unlocks every other lock. Hereby Christian and Hopeful escape Doubting Castle’s dungeons and the oppression of Giant Despair and his wife.
Here’s Timothy’s drawing followed by the text of the poem. As with the others, you may listen to the poem masterfully read by my father-in-law, Ed Pilkington below. As you listen, consider what doors you need the Lord to open for you in your life? Have you opened your heart to him? Has he led you out of the prison house?
”O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel; you open and no one can shut; you shut and no one can open: Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house, those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.” O Key of David, set my bound will free; Unlock the door that I may walk your way— Joyful, resolved, with bright alacrity And step from the shadows out into day. Rise! Mount your chariot, in your course run, Rain down truth, pierce with your arrows of light; Shine bright O Clavis, as the noonday sun! Deliver me from death, dis-spell the night. For resentment has rusted my hard heart-- The broken spring will not free the latch; Use your key to loose, use your locksmith’s art To turn the bolt, spring the pins, free the catch. Lo, I see a door hung, see his pierced side, And ent'ring my heart, the Key turns, abides.
As the antiphons progress they become more specific. This week’s antiphon speaks of how the Lord revealed himself to Moses at the burning bush by giving his name and later how he revealed his character through the Law on Mount Sinai. The antiphon reads,
“O Adonai, and leader of the House of Israel, who appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: Come and redeem us with an outstretched arm.“
This week is a two for one installation. We have poems written by myself and Sierra Smith as well as visual art produced by Claudia Plybon and Sarah Stone.
Sierra Smith has written a poem in response to the antiphon and has used a specific form to shape her response. Can you tell what poetic form she has used? Here’s Claudia Plybon’s calligraphy of Sierra’s poem to help you. You may listen to Ed Pilkington read Sierra’s poem via the player below it.
Next is my sonnet on the same antiphon.
From Sinai's bush which blazed in holy fire You answered, “I AM!” Gave Moses your name, And promised your arm would reach, never tire ’Til you saved your son from slav’ry and shame. And even while gath’ring the bread sent each day Sheltered beneath Sinai’s thundering peak, The people yet complain, reject, and stray From HIM WHO IS, deliv’er of the weak. O Lord, redeem! My arms cannot bear The doing demands of performance lords, Nor can avoid the tangle of sin’s snare I'm trapped by desire, cupidity’s cords. Baring his arm I AM reached to the lost By taking the wood of manger and cross.
You may listen to Ed Pilkington read the sonnet via the player below.
Below are two pictures by Grace Kernersville artist, Sarah Stone. There are a couple of things to note regarding the image. Firstly, notice how the light in the building’s foyer where the picture was taken and how the camera impact the the color of the image. This is important to note and is interesting. You never see the same painting the same way twice. Secondly notice the cross. Sarah made a mosaic using the pieces of a compact disc. Can you see how the light is refracted by cd’s surface? That was something I only noticed after looking at the picture.
Thanks for reading and have a blessed advent!