Community Worship & Ministry
Churches in rural communities are realizing that the whole Body of Christ must work together, despite our denominational differences. In Randolph, our parishes work together to minister in the wider community:
- Grace Episcopal Church
- St Patrick's Roman Catholic Church
- Randolph United Presbyterian Church
- East Randolph United Methodist Church
VBS ~ Vacation Bible School
Each summer, during the second week of August, our churches come together for a shared Vacation Bible School. We rotate hosting of VBS in a four-year cycle, though ALL of the congregations particiapte in each year's event. We generally have about 100 children throughout the week – pre-school thru grade-6. A sizeable portion of the participants do not regularly attend church, but are invited to this event by friends.
Each summer we gather for worship in the local park for a shared worship. We set aside our denominational differences and celebrate our common life as One Body of Christ in Randolph, then after we are fed with the Bread of Life, we enjoy a picnic pot-luck lunch.
Blessing of the Animals
Each year, in celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis, Grace Church hosts the Blessing of the Animals. We have had fish and gerbils, cats and Guinea pigs, Clyde the mule, but mostly dogs ... and Mr. Jingles, the parakeet. Our service is filled with song and prayer, recalling our rightful place in God's creation, and indivual blessing of each pet, including presentation of a St. Francis Medal for their collar or harness.
Community Thanksgiving Worship
On the Sunday preceeding Thanksgiving Day, we gather in rotation to celebration a time of thanksgiving in prayer. We rotate preaching, no one ever preaching in their own building. Offerings of food and money are provide to the Randolph Community Cupboard.
Randolph Memory Tree
On the first Satruday of Advent, the people of Randolph gather at the Triagle Park, erect a large evergreen tree, and decorate it with ornaments in mamory or in honor of loved ones. In a decidedly Christian ceremony, we honor each person and begin the season in prayer and song. Grace Church has always been a part of this public ministry.
For many years during Advent, Grace Church has hosted a "Blue Christmas" service for those who find the the season to be a poinantly lonely and depressing time. This draws people from the surrounding communities who gather in prayers, scripture and music to acknowledge God’s presence for all of us who struggle.
Ashes to Go
In recent years we have begun the very visible pulic ministry of "Ashes to Go" at the main crossroads in the village of Randolph. Our main street has 7,000+ vehicles per day travel it, on their way to or from the I-86, and we have had people from distant places stop for ashes, thankful to have stumbled upon us on their journey. We have become an anticipated presence in the village, with even those who do not attend a church sharing with others about ashes on the street corner on Ash Wednesday.
Article in Jamestown Post-Journal
Stations of the Cross
Each Friday during Lent, Grace Episcopal Church and St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church host Stations of the Cross in their churches. We alternate week by week, and each week we use a different setting of the Stations – offering a diverse perspective of the Passion of our Lord. Not only is this a way that we have brought our two congregations closer together, but has offed the opportunity for worshipers from denominations without this tradition to experience Stations of the Cross.
Good Friday Cross Walk
Each Good Friday members of our respective churches, and indeed anyone who desires to join us, pray the Stations of the Cross as we traverse the streets between the cemeteries in Randolph and East Randolph (a two-mile journey). We pause long the way to connect those prayers with our community. In recent years we have remained in the confines of the Randolph Cemetery, a walk far easier for the less mobile among us. Regardless of the venue, this has become a ministry of public worship in town.