We look forward to greeting you in person when you visit Grace church in the beautiful Upper Arkansas River Valley town of Buena Vista, Colorado. Our worship service draws from the rich traditions of both the Episcopal and United Methodist Churches. Our historic sanctuary casts a unique ambiance as a sacred space where God’s story and our stories meet. Visitors are welcome to join us for worship followed by fellowship and refreshments. We invite you to explore our ministries which include a variety of groups and studies. We are here to serve!
The Altar Guild, led by Maryanne Freed, prepares the altar and sanctuary for worship each Sunday.
The Congregational Life Committee works on various events and special worship services during the year. This group is led by Judy Epperson.
The Angels of Grace knit or crochet prayer shawls and distribute them to anyone in need of a physical reminder that God’s people are praying for them. Hospital patients, the chronically ill, and persons grieving a loss are just some of the individuals who may appreciate the gift of a prayer shawl. Each shawl is made in prayer and blessed during a worship service. Jennifer Wright leads this ministry.
Bible Study for Men
Our men’s Bible study group is led by various group members and meets each Friday morning at 10 AM at the Parish Hall.
The Loose Threads, our ladies sewing group led by Martha Bauman creates arts and crafts, quilts, and other handmade treasures. All proceeds from the sale of these items go to local charities while other crafted pieces are donated directly to charitable organizations. This ministry is also part of the Quilts of Valor Foundation whose mission is to provide comforting quilts to service members and veterans.
Our study group for women is led by Rev. Sharon Robertson. The group meets Monday mornings at 9:30 AM at the Parish Hall.
These four ringers, directed by Ed & Margaret Butler, provides music at our services periodically.
Randy & Carole Barnes direct a group of elementary children in reading music, elementary music theory, and group performance. They play a three-octave set of hand chimes. The chimes were given to the church in memory of Warren Thomas. Chime Time performs at Grace Church and other churches in the Buena Vista area. All children are welcome.
Our team is dedicated to helping parents grow their skills as spiritual leaders in their home. Lay leaders Bobbi Eisenhand and Jennifer Wright meet with children to discuss a chosen theme. Our vision is to help children form meaningful relationships with adults who can act as a mentor as they grow in faith. All families with school-age children are welcome.
Catherine serves as the Episcopal co-pastor for Grace Church. Catherine received her Master of Divinity in 1994 and a Master of Arts in Theology in 1995 from St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado. In 1998, she earned a Certificate in Spiritual Direction from Shalem Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Since being ordained in 1994, Catherine has served as rector of the Episcopal Church in Evergreen, CO and at Grace Church.
Catherine has a practice in Spiritual Direction, serving as a spiritual guide for individuals in various spiritual traditions and for those discerning vocational questions in the Episcopal Church. In 2015, she and her co-author, Sandra Boyd, published Spiritual Discovery: a Method for Discernment in Small Groups and Congregations (Alban).
Prior to being ordained, Catherine had a career in business management. Catherine began playing the piano at an early age and played in her first concerto competition a few years ago. Catherine is also an accomplished seamstress. She enjoys gardening, refinishing furniture, baking, and providing hospitality. Another priority for Catherine is her family. She loves creating a comfortable home in the mountains west of Denver for her husband Tam and their children Philip and Helen. She and Tam met in high school and have been married since 1979.
Rev. Sharon Daniel Robertson was appointed as the United Methodist co-pastor at Grace Church in Buena Vista, Colorado. Sharon was born & reared in Texas. After completing her Bachelor degree in Speech Pathology & Audiology, she worked in two school districts as a Speech Pathologist.
Because of her experience in camp counseling for the Camp Fire Council of Lubbock, Sharon was offered a full-time job with the Council. It was there that she met her husband, Max Robertson, who worked for cities in Parks & Recreation.
Sharon and Max have two children, Sarah Robertson Johnson, married to Karl Johnson, and Daniel Robertson. Max and Sharon also have two wonderful grandchildren, Caroline and Cooper.
In 1995, Sharon received her Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School at TCU in Ft. Worth, Texas. Sharon was then appointed to First United Methodist Church in June 1996, and in 2000 she was appointed to the First United Methodist Church in Hico, Texas.
The mountains have always called Sharon & Max. After Max retired in 2010 and Sharon in 2011, the couple moved to a community near Buena Vista where they worshiped and became involved in many of the ministries at Grace Church. In April 2017, Sharon assumed the position of co-pastor after many years of serving the church in a lay capacity.
In 2002, Grace Church, a groundbreaking ecumenical fellowship, grew out of the needs of two congregations. When a small United Methodist group shared the building space of Grace Episcopal, the two churches quickly recognized the benefits of joining to form one spiritual center that could serve the Upper Arkansas River Valley. Together now as one church, the congregation is determined to impact their community and the world.
This photograph shows the beginnings of the church in Chafee county, a distant link to our own congregational family today. It shows the original Methodist Church, the first to be established in the young town of Buena Vista in 1879.
The establishment of the Methodist Church was soon followed by the building of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, the Congregational Church in 1880, and Grace Episcopal Church in 1882. All four churches were in the heart of Buena Vista, three of them merely a block away from each other.
In the late 1920s, as the Great Depression fell upon America, the Methodists found it difficult to keep their church open. They joined forces with the Congregational Church, and the Methodists ceased to exist as a distinct congregation.
There would not be another Methodist congregation in Buena Vista until a small band of transplanted Methodists, with the leadership of retired pastor Dan Bruce, sought to organize a new work in 2002. They were chartered as a United Methodist Fellowship, which is the first step toward becoming a United Methodist Church.
Grace Episcopal extended gracious hospitality to this fledgling group, and the two congregations quickly recognized the benefits of joining together to form a groundbreaking ecumenical fellowship. Since 2002, this united group has expanded its outreach to the Upper Arkansas River Valley and the world beyond in dramatic and generous ways.