Each year Grace parishioners are given the opportunity to brighten the life of a child who has a parent in prison. The gifts are given on behalf of the incarcerated parent who cannot provide gifts of clothing or toys to their children. Angel Tree tags are made available for parishioners to choose for whom they will buy a gift. Tags list the age, sex and gift wish of a needy child. Gifts are purchased and brought back to the Parish Hall prior to Christmas for collection and distribution. The parish’s committed participation over the past 15 years has led to a growing list of children and parents spanning the Peninsula to West Point who benefit from this ministry. Keep an eye out in November to see how you can help with the Angel Tree this year.
Red Cross Blood Drive
Grace has hosted an American Red Cross blood drive once a year for the past eight years, usually on a Sunday in January. The drive is open to the public and non-parishioners are welcome to participate. There is always a great need for blood and this period of pandemic is no exception. Watch for announcements in the FridayGram and sign up to give!
The Cyclist Support Group has hosted cyclists beginning or ending the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail – a coast-to-coast trail from Oregon to Virginia – from many different countries, including the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and Korea for potluck lunch or accommodations in private homes or Riverview, Grace’s building on the bluff above the York River. Some have been given rides to and from airports, bus and train stations, others to the all-important bike shop! This ministry began in 2003 and since then dozens of guest cyclists visit each year. The register is a moving account of this ministry.
“Thank you John (Oppenhuizen) and all the members of Grace Church for the very warm welcome and generosity during my two-day stay at the brick house. Tomorrow is the start of my adventure that I have been long dreaming about. God bless!”
Edgardo Fausto, Manila, Philippines
Dan Schmiedt, Westminster, SC
Christmas Is Everyday
Grace, led by parishioner Kathy Michaels, began in August 2006 a monthly care package program called “Christmas is Everyday” meant to brighten the day of someone in the military deployed abroad on active duty. A team of Grace volunteers met monthly to assemble care packages of edible goodies and personal necessities not readily available in remote areas, then box them for shipment. As of May 2021 this ministry has ended, since the announcement of imminent troop withdrawal from Afghanistan. But during this longstanding ministry 15,086 boxes have headed from Yorktown to Afghanistan and other war zones, with 99 different soldiers serving as points of contact. Over the years Grace received funding assistance from the Disabled American Veterans, The Exchange Club of Yorktown and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #824, but this ministry was funded largely through Grace parishioners’ generosity.
The Lackey Clinic
The Lackey Clinic is an organization within our Yorktown community that provides free healthcare to people who cannot afford it and do not have health insurance. The Clinic serves approximately 5,000 people in the Yorktown, Poquoson, Newport News, Williamsburg and James City County area. Because the Clinic does not accept government funding, staff can offer this service as Christian outreach. Individuals, churches and other Christian charities fund the Clinic and a large contingent of volunteers staff it.
Grace has supported the Clinic almost since its inception in 1995, first with volunteers and then as the congregation added financial support. You can learn more about Lackey Clinic’s history, mission and services by visiting their website.