Southeastern Synod ELCA

Greetings From Grace House

The Rev. Andrew Rickel - July 24, 2019
Greetings from Grace House!

One day God was calling Elijah. Outside there were great winds, earthquakes, and fires, but God was not calling Elijah through those occurrences but rather in the still small voice that came after those events. I arrived on campus in October as the new Pastor at Grace House and it has been a whirlwind of events, people and learning, but God’s voice has been ringing clear and true in every conversation that I have had since I arrived here in Atlanta. The Spirit is alive here in this place and the Spirit is up to something on this campus.

It was a year of transitions as you could imagine, saying goodbye to Pastor Devin Strong who was a faithful servant to this ministry, welcoming in new Passion Collective interns, saying godspeed to our two graduating seniors Katherine and Sarah and so much more. Amid these transitions, we were reminded of the ever-changing nature of a campus ministry calling us to reground ourselves in the community. Our Passion Collective Interns have continued to be the hands and feet of this ministry, making Grace House a place of hospitality, sanctuary and engagement. Our coffeehouse ministry has been growing in leaps and bounds; we are now serving about 350 students a week and have added lunch every other Thursday.  Worship has continued to ground us each week; it is a time where we can come together to pray, hear God’s word and feast together. The Spirit is certainly moving through this place. I could talk all day about this place, but I wanted to share what a few students shared with me about why they come back to Grace House every week.

“Grace House has a positive environment that reminds students to take time out to take care of
 themselves.” - Charlie
 
“It is really cool having an open and inviting place to hang out. The back deck is a nice oasis on
campus.” - Walker
 
“At Grace House, we feel welcome and at home” - Z
 
“I like the people; it is a good pick me up to the day. I didn’t know it was here until recently.” - Kaeli
 
Plans are coming together for the fall semester here on campus. We will be saying goodbye to our current Passion Collective Interns and are excited to welcome in a new cohort this summer. As I continue to get to know the greater Atlanta area, I would love to come and visit your congregation and get to know your community. I would also like to invite you to our Low Country Boil on August 24th at 4 pm at Redeemer Lutheran Church; you can find out more on our website ( www.gracepeople.org ).
 
I look forward to walking alongside you and the children of your communities as they take ahold of their faith and find where God is calling them to go in the world.

Blessings
Pastor Andrew Rickel