“Stewardship of church property isn’t just about preserving and maintaining a beautiful structure,” says Martin Elfert, Rector of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, “it’s also about recognizing that the property has a ministry to proclaim the Gospel.”
The people of Grace Memorial believe that one of their primary resources for sharing the love of God is the physical space they possess. Throughout the week, Grace makes its space available to ministries and to community partners at submarket rates and sometimes for free. As a result, this campus in Northeast Portland is bustling with people all the time!
This summer, Grace Art Camp will host 1200 children over seven weeks to celebrate the arts and culture of Japan. Colorful artwork, song, theater, and dance will fill the building as children greet friends new and old. Local non-profit PHAME, which provides arts education and community for adults with developmental disabilities, is also based out of Grace Memorial; the Nave was the scene for this lively and inspiring music video published last November.
“Grace’s hallways are constantly filled with music, paintings, sculptures, and energetic conversations,” says Elfert. “It’s hard not to feel inspired when you’re here. We like to think that we are using our buildings to give a gift to the community. And I know that we are receiving a gift in return.”