Who We Are
The Episcopal Church
Grace is part of the Episcopal Church, a branch of the Jesus Movement. We seek to walk the Way of Love, loving God and our neighbor. We believe if it’s not about love, it’s not about Jesus.
Our prayer life is rooted in ancient traditions, yet alive with contemporary focus. Our blufftop property overlooking the York River, where we have been worshipping since 1697, is surrounded by old trees, beautiful gardens, a historic cemetery and peaceful shops and neighbors. We worship God indoors and out, as the seasons change: Blessing of the Animals by the St. Francis Garden; Easter on the lawn; pandemic-time Evening Prayer in the churchyard and Easter Vigil on the banks of the York River near the Watermen’s Museum.
Our services follow the patterns found in The Book of Common Prayer. You can get a fuller understanding of the ways we think and talk about God by watching some of our weekly sermons on our YouTube channel.
We are a community of about 200 people who reach for life wholeheartedly. Our parish family includes Democrats and Republicans; military and civilians; gay and straight and questioning; single and married; young and old; the put-together, the falling apart and the making it day-by-day. We invite you to worship with us.
As individuals and as a community, we seek to be God’s people; we strive to grow strong in faith and purpose, wherever we find ourselves on life’s journey. We share bread and wine together every Sunday. If you are hungry for God, come share Eucharist with us; we believe that Jesus invites all to his table.
Our bimonthly newsletter offers a current snapshot of the vibrant, joyful life that thrives at Grace church today, more than 320 years since its founding. For up-to-the-minute information about what’s happening on any given day, check out our calendar or sign up for our weekly email, the FridayGram.
Have questions? We’ve tried to answer some common ones below. Feel free to contact us if your questions aren’t answered here.
Should I sit or stand?
What is “The Peace”?
Who can participate in Communion?
What about children?
Is there more to know?
Of course! You may get a fuller understanding of the ways we think and talk about God by listening to (or watching) some of our weekly sermons, which are available at graceyorktown.online.church and here on our website. You may also read more about what it means to be an Episcopalian by looking at our national church’s website link – episcopalchurch.org or listening to a podcast by Bishop Michael Curry (he’s the head of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.) as he explains what is the “way of love.”
Grace Episcopal Church is located at 111 Church Street in Yorktown, Virginia.
Set on a bluff above the York River, the church property sits at the end of Church Street within walking distance of historic Yorktown’s Main Street or, down a staircase just beyond the church, to the Yorktown waterfront.
Grace has three buildings on its campus: the historic church building (115 Church Street); the Parish Hall, which houses our administrative offices and Day School (111 Church Street); and Riverview, a recently rebuilt house that hosts parish activities overlooking the water (109 Church Street).
All our worship and meeting spaces are accessible. There is plenty of parking, with spaces for the disabled located in front of the Parish Hall and in the public lot across from the church entrance.
Office Hours, Staff, and Vestry
Grace’s office in the Parish Hall is open generally (during non-pandemic times) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and closed Friday through Sunday.
Grace Church’s history is a scrappy, tenacious one, intertwined with the history of the United States and Yorktown, from pre-Revolutionary days. First founded in 1634 on the site of the current U.S. Coast Guard Yorktown station (where we celebrate church once a year), the church has been nestled in the heart of the historic Village of Yorktown since 1697.
Grace’s 10:15 a.m. Sunday worship service is live streamed here. There’s no need to have an account or log on (though you may). Your weekly bulletin is available there.
You may watch past services on our YouTube channel. A sampling of audio-only sermon recordings from longtime rector The Rev. Carleton Bakkum, who retired June 30, 2019 after 30 years’ leadership of Grace; now-retired Associate Rector The Rev. Dr. Connie Jones and former Associate Rector The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline R. Soltys are available by clicking here.
Yorktown is a quaint, bustling village nestled on the York River and adjacent to the Colonial National Historical Park, which encompasses both Yorktown on the east side of the Virginia Peninsula and Jamestown on the west side along the coast of the James River. The two ends of the park are connected by the Colonial Parkway, a 23-mile scenic roadway stretching between Yorktown at the York River and Jamestown at the James River.
Learn more about the local events in Yorktown by checking out the county’s Visit Yorktown website. For what’s happening in the national park, go to the Colonial National Historical Park website.