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Wade in the Water: Spirituals and Coded Language

Mondays, February 6th, 13th, and 20th
 on church Zoom

African-American spirituals are a central part of the choral tradition in this country, and hold an equally important role in American church music, including at Grace. But have you ever thought about the meaning behind the words we sing in songs like "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" or "Go Down, Moses"? These beautiful sacred songs were passed down orally from generation to generation, and often contained hidden clues to help slaves find their way to freedom.
For the first three Monday nights in February, join our music director Dr. Colin Britt and vestry member and frequent preacher Dr. Brandyn Heppard for a virtual session on spirituals. We'll talk about the history, musical characteristics, and hidden meaning behind the words of some well-known spirituals. Come for beautiful music, fascinating history, and stimulating conversation.



So Tell Me More About The Episcopal Church
Saturday Inquirer’s Classes

First class is Saturday, February 11th
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Further classes TBD

Grace Church Van Vorst has members who come from all kinds of Christian traditions including Roman Catholics, Pentecostals Baptists, and plenty of others but Grace itself is an Episcopal Church. Would you like to learn more about what it means to be an Episcopalian? Would you like to explore your own faith and learn about the faith lives of others? Are you interested in being confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church? Well this is the class for you! Please let Rev. Laurie know if you would like to participate.

Celebrate Black History Month at Grace

Sundays in February











February 5th
Pastor Celeste Williams

Pastor Williams is a Minister at Purpose Church where she has been a faithful member for last four years. Four days before she was ordained tragedy struck her life when her son was shot and killed. God gave Pastor Williams the assignment to minister to and help young men effected by the gun violence that is running rampant in our community.  Pastor Williams studied at Sainte Peters University where she earned her master’s degree in Public Administration.

February 12th
The Rev. Mona Fitch-Eliot

Rev. Mona Fitch-Elliott is an ordained ELCA pastor, since 1992 and has most recently served as Pastor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Jersey City. She is on the New Jersey Synod Candidacy Committee, she has been a leader in Jersey City Together, and is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree at Drew University (Courageous Leadership in Changing Times) and working on a documentary related to race relations.  

February 19th
Dr. Brandyn Heppard

Professor Heppard (a.k.a. Brandyn) teaches Philosophy at Pace University. Brandyn is also the leader of the Reggae band Universal Rebel and he is a member of Grace Church Van Vorst’s vestry.

February 26th

The Rev. Menzi Nkambule

Rev. The Rev. Menzi Nkambule is a mission-driven pastor at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church. He is committed to creating a thriving community and shepherding individuals through the Gospel of Christ. When not biking, he is likely cooking as a way of relaxing.

Walking Together Workshop

These will be held quarterly. Watch for details. 

Walking Together was formed from a Grace Church group that participated in Sacred Ground, a study on race and faith offered by the Episcopal Church. The ministry's mission is to share our own awakening to white privilege and racism in order to pursue racial reconciliation, healing, and justice within our church, our community, and the world at large. 


GCS is always in need of donations for our guests.

We've updated our Amazon Wish List with things that we think will definitely help those who have nowhere to go. Check it out HERE. 

You can have items shipped directly to the rectory at 268 2nd Street, Jersey City, NJ 07302

Or come by the church Monday, Wednesday, or Friday by 5:00 pm.

Contact our office at for more information.

You can find out about other ways to donate to GCS HERE

Used clothing can be donated to Triangle Park. Visit their website HERE for more information.

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