Grace United Church of Christ

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About Grace United Church of Christ

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What is now Grace United Church of Christ was birthed on June 24, 1894 in a humble schoolhouse in Avon, PA. This new church, Grace Reformed Church, was growth of Tabor and St. Jacobs Kimmerlings Reformed Churches. Grace flourished in this time period; through the merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Churches it became Grace E&R and built its first permanent sanctuary along the Berks-Dauphin Turnpike (Rt. 422) where the congregation was nurtured in Christian faith and fellowship for the next 75 years. In 1957 the name of the church was officially changed to Grace United Church of Christ, a young denomination with historic legacies. The United Church of Christ celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2007. Progress continued in the life of the church; in 1967, through faithful discernment to God’s call for the church, Grace moved to South Fifth Avenue in Lebanon, dedicating their new church building under the direction of Harry R. Lenker, Architect, and Ira R. Stickler & Son, General Contractors. The architectural style of the new worship space is reminiscent of an upside-down Ark, prompting worshipers to recall God’s covenant with Noah; that forgiveness and grace are central to our faith; and that God’s love will always triumph over anger.


Grace UCC continues to be an active and vibrant congregation. As written in our constitution, “Grace United Church of Christ is a Community of Faith called to Experience, Engage, and Empower ourselves and others in the Name of the Still Speaking God.” We strive to meet these goals by: Experiencing the Still speaking God in our midst through study of scripture, communal worship, and involvement in the world locally and globally. Engaging in Christian Education, mission, and service to members and the broader community, seeking to respond to God’s call. And Empowering Christian growth, leadership, and acceptance of all people seeking relationship with the Risen Christ.

In keeping with the purpose of Grace UCC, members support various mission programs, i.e. Habitat for Humanity, Heifer International, The Samaritan Counseling Center, Lebanon Rescue Mission, Lebanon County Christian Ministries and Noon Meal, Adopt-A-Family at Christmas, Halcyon, Souper Bowl of Caring, contributing towards the building of new churches, and other mission projects whenever the need arises. Grace UCC has also sponsored and supported refugee families, one from Viet Nam and one from Africa, who have become productive citizens of the U.S.

Grace UCC is actively involved in the faith formation of our children and youth. The youth are involved in Sunday School and the worship service where they serve as acolytes, lectors, and ushers. On “Youth Sunday” they prepare and conduct the worship by writing the prayers, presenting the message, providing special music, and enhancing the church bulletin with their art work. There are also fellowship activities for youth and children including Youth Group and play dates for young children and their parents.

The Women’s Guild of the church gather together regularly for fellowship, lunch, and to sew bed pads for nursing homes. Once a month the ladies perform sewing duties at Cedar Haven. Occasional Bible Study series are offered for prayer and learning to know and understand God’s word. Grace has also placed a renewed emphasis on raising up Young Adult leadership in our midst and strives to provide open and welcoming spaces for those 18-30 to explore their faith and role in the church.

Grace UCC’s Ways and Means committee is busy throughout the year by sponsoring a Ham and Turkey Dinner the first Saturday in May, a Chicken Barbecue the last Saturday in August, and a Spaghetti Dinner the first Saturday in October. Our dinners are widely known for their delicious offerings and reasonable prices (quality and quantity go hand in hand here). Net proceeds are used for special projects of the church or a mission project as the need arises.

The Good Ship Grace Puppeteers began their puppet ministry in 2005 under the direction of Ms. Karen Mann. In 2006 we were blessed with the installation of The Reverend Holly L. MillerShank as pastor.

The worship service at 10:15 a.m. on Sundays is enhanced with the music of the senior choir under the direction of Mrs. Jeanette Beck, and the accomplished organist Mrs. Susan Snyder. (Nursery care is provided during the worship service.) Everyone is invited to start their Sunday at Grace UCC at 9:00 a.m. Sunday School classes are available for all ages. We now comply with ADA standards for persons with physical limitations. Additionally, we have large print bulletins for the visually impaired, and a Telex system is available for the hearing impaired. Summer worship begins a 9:30 a.m. June through August. Worship on the first Sundays of those months are in our pavilion, weather permitting.


The future of Grace United Church of Christ will be shaped by attentive listening to God’s continued call for our individual lives and communal ministry. God’s call, inviting us into Christian fellowship and faithful discipleship to Jesus Christ is not limited to us the members of Grace UCC but also includes you, our neighbors and friends. Please, come, join us as we continue to grow as a community of faith nurturing one another and living out Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor.

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Painting of Jesus Knocking at the Door.

Jesus Knocking at the Door has been a symbol of Christ’s desire to be present in the lives of members of Grace UCC for generations. The painting initially hung behind the altar in the original church and was transported to its current location by a member of the congregation to earn his Eagle Scout award in 1967.

We walk by faith, not by sight.

2 Corinthians 5:7

[Jesus said,] “The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one.”

John 17:22

[Jesus said,] “All things are possible to him that believeth.”

Mark 9:23

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