2012 Grant Recipient: Rev. Lura Groen at Grace Lutheran Church

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Grace Lutheran ChurchHouston, TX: Rev. Lura Groen, $9,000    

Grace Lutheran Church in Houston continues to grow and minister to the Montrose neighborhood they have called home since 1922. This fall the church launched a new campaign centered on the idea that Grace is “A Place to Come Home To.” Since the campaign began in September they have seen a significant increase in attendance. The campaign has encouraged members to get out and engage the community. They have started a monthly “pub theology” group at a local bistro, and the annual Blessing of the Pets at a park near the church was better attended than ever!  This is ELM’s third year of funding for Grace Lutheran Church.

Pastor Lura shares:

“Perhaps most exciting for our small urban congregation has been the influx of young people in the last few months, many of whom come from religious traditions that have rejected them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. For the first time in years we have a young adult Bible study, started because our new members asked for it.

Of course Grace continues to minister to those most vulnerable in our community. Our weekly outreach to homeless youth regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, Montrose Grace Place, continues to challenge and bless the congregation. We’ve recently expanded the program in response to the incredible need in our community. We ask for your prayers as we continue to search for the resources and patience needed to maintain this vital ministry.”

Next year Grace will celebrate its 90 anniversary!