New to Grace? FAQ’s

Are you considering attending Grace, but don’t know what to expect? We realize that visiting a new church can be a little intimidating so we have provided this space to answer some common questions.
Where Are We Located?
6301 Yorktown Boulevard Corpus Christi, Texas 78414
 
What denomination is Grace?
Grace is a Presbyterian USA Congregation. We are a connectional church, connected to our brothers and sisters who are also in the denomination and together we can impact the world and spread the love of Christ more effectively than if we fly solo!
 
What time do your services start?
On Sundays we have a 2 services; Traditional Service at 9:01 AM and a Contemporary Service at 11:01 AM. Then on Wednesday evenings our Oasis Mid-Week Service break bread with us at 6:30 PM with a “Potluck Dinner” and worship with us at 7:01 PM.
Do I have to dress up?
No, you don’t. We always encourage people to come as they are, to dress comfortably. For some folks, that may mean dressing up but for most that means wearing casual clothes. Contrary to church tradition, the New Testament clearly teaches us that the church building is not the “house of God.” It is nothing more than a building. The New Testament simply instructs us to dress modestly and decently, so we do not burden people unnecessarily by requiring them to dress up in fancy clothes they do not normally wear just to “go to church.” We want everyone to come, be comfortable, and enjoy learning about God together.
 
Will I have to stand up in front of people?
We do not want to draw any unnecessary attention to our guests, we will not have you raise your hand or stand up to introduce yourself. While we are genuinely interested in getting to know you our goal is to make sure that we welcome you with love and not embarrass you in any way. You can relax and meet folks during the “passing of the peace” a time in the beginning of the service when we invite folks to stand and say hello to one another. Moreover, we ask you to fill out the Guest Communication Slip (located in every worship service program) which will allow us to follow up with you via mail and e-mail to tell you about the exciting ministries here at Grace!
 
What’s the Message or Sermon like?
You will not fall asleep. You will laugh, you will cry, you will hear and be affected by the Word of God. The message will share God’s Word without watering anything down, but the Pastor will share it in love, and in ways that are interesting, engaging and relevant to your daily life. The emphasis will be on the Gospel or Good News that God loves us, has a plan for our lives, and we can join with God in making His will a reality here on this earth! That is to say, the overarching theme is God’s unconditional love for all humankind, as is shown by God sending His precious Son, Jesus, to pay the price for our sin. If you attend one of our services, you will hear the truths of God’s Word presented clearly, and lovingly in ways that will make sense to you. But why not find out for yourself?
 
 
Where will my children go during the Service?
Your children will love Grace! One of our key strengths is the fun, hands on activities and lessons every Sunday morning designed especially for them. It’s called Kingdom Kidz. We also provide a safe, cozy nursery for your infants up until the age of three. All of our nursery workers are background checked and CPR certified!
 
Generally, the children will accompany their parents to church and then go forward for Children’s Moments. After Children’s Moments the children are dismissed and led by our Children’s Ministry Leaders to  Kingdom Kidz  located in our Children’s Ministry Wing. At this point the children will engage in lessons, singing, arts and crafts, and fun hands on activities! Our Children’s Ministry Leaders are parents just like you and they will love every child and treat them with utmost care and attention.
 
Presbyterian theological beliefs
Some of the principles articulated by John Calvin remain at the core of Presbyterian beliefs. Among these are the sovereignty of God, the authority of the scripture, justification by grace through faith and the priesthood of all believers. What they mean is that God is the supreme authority throughout the universe. Our knowledge of God and God’s purpose for humanity comes from the Bible, particularly what is revealed in the New Testament through the life of Jesus Christ. Our salvation (justification) through Jesus is God’s generous gift to us and not the result of our own accomplishments. It is everyone’s job — ministers and lay people alike — to share this Good News with the whole world. That is also why the Presbyterian church is governed at all levels by a combination of clergy and laity, men and women alike.
 
For more on the Presbyterian Church USA you may visit the national website at: www.pcusa.org
 
I still have questions?
Great. We are glad you are exploring! Please consider contacting Pastor John at 361-876-0534 to ask your questions and explore the Mission and Vision of Grace Presbyterian Church!
What kind of music do you have?
The number one issue churches have conflict over is music. We believe that God has inspired people throughout the ages to write hymns and songs of praise and that He continues to inspire musicians from all generations to write music that praises Him. We believe that debates regarding styles of music are more a matter of personal preference than anything else. In short, it says more about the person’s tastes than it does about God. In appreciation of that, we want to give worshippers an option to choose the style of worship they prefer.  In the Traditional service our music is a mix of classical, traditional, and an occasional contemporary anthem.  In our Contemporary service we use a blend of musical styles to give thanks to God. Our full band including drums, guitar, keyboard, bass, and vocals use a great mix of new and old—plenty of songs you know and love from popular contemporary Christian music, original compositions, old gospel favorites and an occasional hymn jazzed up a bit!  Regardless of musical styles, the focus of all of our worship services is to bring glory to God and to support and encourage every worshipper in their journey of faith.
 

Presbyterian 101

A general guide to facts about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
 
Presbyterians trace their history to the 16th century and the Protestant Reformation. Our heritage, and much of what we believe, began with the French lawyer John Calvin (1509-1564), whose writings crystallized much of the Reformed thinking that came before him.
 
Calvin did much of his writing from Geneva, Switzerland. From there, the Reformed movement spread to other parts of Europe and the British Isles. Many of the early Presbyterians in America came from England, Scotland and Ireland. The first American Presbytery was organized at Philadelphia in 1706. The first General Assembly was held in the same city in 1789. The first Assembly was convened by the Rev. John Witherspoon, the only minister to sign the Declaration of Independence.
 
Who are we Presbyterians?
Questions have been raised about the position of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in comparison to other Reformed bodies. It is always helpful to compare parallel categories.  Sometimes the official positions of one body are compared with a characterization of the other body. 
 
Presbyterian Church history
The earliest Christian church consisted of Jews in the first century who had known Jesus and heard his teachings. It gradually grew and spread from the Middle East to other parts of the world, though not without controversy and hardship among its supporters.
 
During the fourth century, after more than 300 years of persecution under various Roman emperors, the church became established as a political as well as a spiritual power under the Emperor Constantine. Theological and political disagreements, however, served to widen the rift between members of the eastern (Greek-speaking) and western (Latin-speaking) branches of the church. Eventually the western portions of Europe came under the religious and political authority of the Roman Catholic Church. Eastern Europe and parts of Asia came under the authority of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
 
In Western Europe, the authority of the Roman Catholic Church remained largely unquestioned until the Renaissance in the 15th century. The invention of the printing press in Germany around 1440 made it possible for common people to have access to printed materials including the Bible. This, in turn, enabled many to discover religious thinkers who had begun to question the authority of the Roman Catholic Church. One such figure, Martin Luther, a German priest and professor, started the movement known as the Protestant Reformation when he posted a list of 95 grievances against the Roman Catholic Church on a church door in Wittenberg, Germany, in 1517. Some 20 years later, a French/Swiss theologian, John Calvin, further refined the reformers’ new way of thinking about the nature of God and God’s relationship with humanity in what came to be known as Reformed theology. John Knox, a Scotsman who studied with Calvin in Geneva, Switzerland, took Calvin’s teachings back to Scotland. Other Reformed communities developed in England, Holland and France. The Presbyterian church traces its ancestry back primarily to Scotland and England.
 
Presbyterians have featured prominently in United States history. The Rev. Francis Makemie, who arrived in the United States from Ireland in 1683, helped to organize the first American Presbytery at Philadelphia in 1706. In 1726, the Rev. William Tennent founded a ministerial “log college” in Pennsylvania. Twenty years later, the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University) was established. Other Presbyterian ministers, such as the Rev. Jonathan Edwards and the Rev. Gilbert Tennent, were driving forces in the so-called “Great Awakening,” a revivalist movement in the early 18th century. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, the Rev. John Witherspoon, was a Presbyterian minister and the president of Princeton University from 1768-1793.
 
Presbyterian denominations in the United States have split and parts have reunited several times. Currently the largest Presbyterian denomination is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which has its national offices in Louisville, Kentucky. It was formed in 1983 as a result of reunion between the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS), the so-called “southern branch,” and the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA), the so-called “northern branch.” Other Presbyterian churches in the United States include the Presbyterian Church in America, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.