Come to a celebration of hospitality and welcome at Grace on Saturday, June 16, at 5 p.m. It’s an evening that promises to be “Something Delightful.”
The festivities begin in the sanctuary, with prayers of blessing for our new kitchen and for the ministries of food and care that serve our community here at Grace and people beyond our walls. We’ll also take time to thank the members of the Christopher family and the Christopher Family Foundation for the gift that paid for the recent extensive remodeling of Grace’s kitchen.
Then—it’s on to a party in Fellowship Hall, where there will be food, plus beer and wine, inside as well as outside under a tent. Picture a small-town European festival evening with delicious small-plate foods at serving stations around the hall, strolling entertainers, music, strings of lights—all on what we hope will be a beautiful summer evening.
It’s a family-friendly event. The service in the sanctuary will include songs sung by the children who will be participating in Vacation Bible School in the week leading up to the kitchen celebration. And children are welcome at the party, where there will be good things for them to eat and drink as well as fun things to do.
There will be music in the tent — the signature sounds of the Compass Rose Sextet, whose original compositions and innovative arrangements draw from a wide range of international influences to create a unique blend of world music. You’ll hear everything from Celtic jigs and reels, to Gypsy Swing, Caribbean sambas, and Argentinian tangos
Chef Chris Koetke is heading up the kitchen crew. Volunteer to help and you may learn a tasty new trick or two while you enjoy working in the new kitchen with its flexible floor plan, new ovens, bright tile, and bluetooth speakers. Helpers are needed in all areas, from food preparation to serving and clean-up. Previous experience as a Grace cook is not needed—just come and join the crew. Volunteer by emailing Beth Smoots at
Organizers are looking for photographs of the old kitchen, and more importantly, of Grace members at work in the old kitchen. Do you have a story to tell and a picture to go with it? Through the years thousands of meals have been prepared in the Grace kitchen. Recipes have been shared, friendships discovered, relationships deepened — by the challenges of feeding hundreds of congregation members immediately after 11 o’clock worship, or in quieter moments, in the sharing of joys and worries as potatoes are peeled, in the simple satisfaction of pancakes well-poured on the grill.
Whether as cooks, servers, guests, or dishwashers, we welcome one other. As we work together, relax together, celebrate together, we open ourselves to the possibility of change, to new ways of doing things, new foods, new experiences, new worlds and new ideas. Called to serve one another, to be “Together in Christ,” we extend hospitality as Jesus did, with love and acceptance for all, knowing that welcoming others pulls us out of our own comfort zone so that we can grow to be better and more active witnesses to God’s love in the world.
So come to the celebration of Grace’s ministry of hospitality — and enjoy!
Please RSVP for “Something Delightful” online, or sign up at the reception desk in the atrium. Donations in any amount are welcome to support the event. Any proceeds beyond the cost of the event will go to support the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry and the Harmony Food Pantry.
Do you have photos to share, or are you interested in helping out? Email Beth Smoots at