What Grace Commons Means to Me


By Annie MacDowell

I started attending Grace Commons about four years ago, during a time of spiritual transition for me.

I came from the suburbs where I had grown up an evangelical Christian, and I was feeling disenchanted and disappointed with both the community AND God of my youth.

Grace Commons provided a sanctuary where I could quietly and slowly process my spiritual transformation through meditative practice, new friendships, and, especially, dinners after the service.

I felt relaxed and accepted at Grace Commons in a way I hadn't in years.  Nanette was welcoming, but not overwhelming, and she responded with open arms when I requested to meet with her, have coffee, and discuss the Christian faith.

Nanette didn't pretend to have all the answers, and she seemed comfortable with ambiguity in a way that made me feel free - and like I wasn't crazy for not being 100% certain about what I believed.  These conversations with Nanette, and subsequently joining a community group with other members of Grace Commons, led to a spiritual transformation in me that is ongoing.

I am no longer a "dualistic" thinker - I'm becoming more comfortable with the grey.  I'm seeing more mystery in my faith, and my heart has opened to welcome people who my previous approach to Christianity had rejected.

It felt so good to learn that I could love unconditionally, and that God loved me in all my privilege, my greed, my selfishness, and my humanity in general.  I am therefore a much more gentle and relaxed person, and coming to Grace Commons is coming home to a group of people who are also embracing that gentle approach to life and spirituality.

I am blessed to be a part of this community.