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Finding a Church-Home for your Four Years

Grace 2One of the most overlooked issues of choosing a college is subsequently finding a church to attend. The Grove City area is home to many churches from a variety of denominations. From the point of finding a church, then comes the process of accessing how you fit in to the community. Ideally, any congregation would be welcoming and open to visiting members. Thankfully, being in a college town, the congregants are aware that the students need a place to call home and a church in which to worship.

While I could review all the churches in the area and rank them in “attendability,” that wouldn’t give you an adequate account of all that the nuances of the churches and what they have to offer. Instead, I will recount my experience at the church I have come to call home in the hope that it will serve as an example of how finding a church and plugging in can truly benefit both you and the community you join.

I attended four churches growing up, all technically “nondenominational,” but all very different in their worship style. I’ve experienced everything from gospel choirs to modern worship settings, all of which very legitimate in their own right. Coming to Grove City, I thought I would end up in a fairly contemporary church, keyboard, electric guitar, and drum set included. What I ended up with was far different, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Midway through my spring semester freshman year, a friend invited me to go with them to Grace Anglican, and I’m thankful that I did. The community there has been incredibly beneficial for me. At first the liturgy was strange for me, but I quickly realized it was a thoughtful, worshipful way to engage with God’s grace in our life. The recitations serve to focus the congregations minds collectively on the God who has so mercifully brought them together.

The majority of the congregation is not Anglicans or they were not raised as Anglicans; however, the key to Grace is the gospel-rooted sermons. Both Ethan Magness, the rector, and Eric Rodes, the assistant rector, ensure that every message that comes from the pulpit is infused with our reliance on God for salvation. I have been encouraged not necessarily in my failures, but in Christ’s fulfillment of our insufficiency.

It’s hard to feel welcome in a new community, but Grace insures that the students that attend are included in the mix. They are welcome in Bible studies, church dinners, and even as ministers in the service. Students are welcome to be worship leaders and even, in my case, chalice bearers during communion. I’ve also been an actor in the annual Christmas play at the church.

I’m sure it seems as if I’m making a case for Grace, and I’ll admit I’m biased. I also want to make it clear, though, that Grove City students are able to find churches they can call home. It’s a very reassuring fact that a home can be found away from home.

If you are wondering what type of church you can call home while at Grove City College, check out this list of local churches on the GCC website.

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