Worship at Grace is welcoming, inclusive, meaningful, and reverent. We offer three Sunday morning worship services that feature traditional Lutheran liturgical worship and a Sunday evening service that offers an informal, contemporary praise band
At Grace you will experience:
If you have special needs or prayer requests, we want to hear about them. Contact our pastors at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or our church secretary
8:00 am – Traditional worship with piano and flute
9:00 am – Traditional worship with organ and musical ensembles
(Adult and children’s Sunday School classes are offered from 9:00-10:00)
10:30 am – Traditional worship with organ, choir and ensembles
6:00 pm – Contemporary worship with praise band
Grace is conveniently located at 205 South Garner Street in downtown State College, Pennsylvania, close to Penn State. We have ample free parking and are only a short walk from the University Park campus.
GATHER + FEED + SEND
Grace Lutheran Church is energized by the Holy Spirit and nurtured through God’s Word and Sacrament to gather, feed, and send people in the name of Jesus Christ.
Grace accepts new members from many backgrounds and denominations and all are welcome in our community of faith. If you are interested in joining the Grace family or would like to learn more about what it means to be a Lutheran or to become a part
of our faith community, please let us know!
Get a feel for what it’s like to worship at Grace!
The current building where the faith family of Grace Lutheran Church worships is an example of mid-20th century architecture. Built in 1964 of local fieldstone and steel, it features an 89-foot spire with dramatically curved sides that define the
iconic building. Designed by Harold E. Wagoner of Philadelphia, the church was modeled after the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut by the Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier and is listed in the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission as an
example of religious buildings. The 2013 addition of a classroom and activity center was designed by KTH architects.
Learning is a life-long process that requires insightful teachers, including our pastoral staff and people from our community of faith. We offer diverse programs for adults—Sunday Bible study; an adult forum; a class for persons with intellectual
disabilities; a “Questions, Not Answers” discussion group; and Wednesday Bible studies from 11:00-noon and 6:15-7:15 pm—as well as a lively, participatory Sunday School experience for children and youth.
Lectionary Bible Study - Since worship at Grace follows the three-year lectionary cycle that covers the most important lessons in the Bible, this Bible study and discussion provides an opportunity to look at the readings of the
week under a magnifying glass and to figure out how these lessons can guide and enrich our daily lives.
Adult Forum - This member-led adult discussion group explores diverse faith issues and faith-inspired writings such as the reforms of Martin Luther, C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce, reflections on Lenten disciplines, and the
topic of prayer. Scripture and theological writings support open discussions.
Summer Health Breaks - Traditional adult Sunday School takes a break in the summer, but the learning continues! Members and guest speakers present a variety of topics to help us make informed choices about our spiritual, mental,
physical and financial health as well as ways we can take care of Mother Earth.
Children and Youth Sunday - We are blessed to have many children at Grace and a fun and educational program for children that is segmented by grade. Bible stories, interactive discovery, video clips, crafts, and songs create meaningful
and memorable experiences. All Sunday School staff have federal and state clearances to care for children.
Questions, Not Answers - This group is an informal gathering of persons who ponder and openly discuss questions about faith. Everyone is welcome. This is a wonderful hour for those who are unsure about the role of faith in their
lives and are interested in learning its relevance and role in our challenging world.
Class for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities - The adult class for persons with intellectual disabilities integrates persons with special needs into the life of our parish. Participants are brought to worship to take Holy Communion
with our other members and engage in specially designed activities that help them to understand God’s great gift to all of us.
Nursery Care - Nursery care is provided for young children from 9:00 through 10:30 worship, enabling parents and siblings to participate in worship and educational programs while resting in the knowledge that their children are
in good hands. All nursery staff have federal and state clearances to care for children.
In addition to four regular Sunday worship services, Grace offers special healing services; mid-week services during the day and evening during Lent; and Holy Week services. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion.
We recognize that members of our community enjoy giving thanks to God for his life-giving gifts and that we also sometimes struggle with the burdens of daily living. Our fall healing service, Thanksgiving eve worship, Blue Christmas, and Wednesday
mid-day and evening Lenten services are designed to meet diverse needs. We also participate in ecumenical worship opportunities that help us to celebrate that although we may worship differently, we are unified in Jesus Christ.
The purpose of music in worship at Grace is to enhance Scripture and offer a tangible way for people to process the teachings of the Bible, especially the Gospel readings. In the Lutheran church, God’s Word and music work in tandem during worship. Music is also important in our parish life. If you enjoy making music and would like to participate in an ensemble, there are many opportunities. We welcome you! Check our website calendar for dates and times; contact our church office at 238-2478 for details.
Adult Choir – Our adult choir sings at 10:30 am worship services on Sundays from mid-September through Trinity Sunday (late May or early June). The choir also sings at extra services such as Christmas Eve, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. Musical selections span five centuries, using many musical styles to proclaim the Gospel. Although music reading skills are helpful, there are no auditions and all are welcome. The director is Jayne Glocke, a member of the music faculty at the Penn State School of Music, and our organist is Erik Clayton, head of choral music at State High. If you are interested in joining the choir, contact the church office at 238-2478 for details or come to a rehearsal!
Crossfire Youth Choir – If you are a t(w)een in grades 6 through 12 and enjoy singing, or if you want to explore singing with your peers, come to rehearsal on Sunday mornings at 10 am between mid-September and April to check it out! We rehearse during coffee hour, between the end of the 9:00 service (after Sunday School ends) and before the 10:30 service begins. Crossfire sings during 10:30 worship services 6-7 times each year. The director, Laurel Sanders, also works with youth to develop their musical interests and skills, which sometimes results in a stage presentation. We sing, we learn, and we have fun together!
Grace offers two choirs for our youngest singers: Sing ‘n Ring for students in kindergarten through 5th grade (rehearses on Wednesdays from 5:00 – 5:45) and Angel Choir for children who are at least 3 years of age at the start of the school year through kindergarten (rehearses on Wednesdays from 5:00 – 5:30). Kindergarten-age students can choose to participate in either choir. Our Sing ‘n Ring choir sings, has opportunities to ring using chimes, and learns basic music and vocal skills. If your child would like to participate, come to a rehearsal on any Super Wednesday (between mid-September through early May).
The Bells of Grace is our adult bell choir. Led by Anna Carol Buffington, the choir consists of 15-20 ringers. They play at the 9:00 and 10:30 services approximately 8-10 times per year, as well as for some special events, and participate in the Nittany Valley Handbell Festival. Experience in a bell choir is not necessary, but some music reading skills are helpful.
Choral and Instrumental Ensembles
Vocal and instrumental ensembles are a regular part of our 9:00 and 10:30 services, providing introits to set the tone for worship as well as Gospel acclamations, occasional offertories, and communion music. If you have experience in these areas and would like to participate, please contact the church office for information.
On Sunday evenings, our casual, contemporary worship services are led by our praise band, Psalm 151. If you have experience with contemporary worship and would like to participate in leading the music on a regular basis, please contact the church office.
Annual Celebration of the Arts
Each year, on the first Sunday in May following the 10:30 service, Grace offers a “talent sharing” that includes both performing and visual arts. Members of all ages are welcome to participate. This is not a competition and there are no auditions; it is simply a chance to share our God-given gifts for the enjoyment of others.
Occasionally Grace offers concerts with its own ensembles or hand-selected ensembles for the spiritual edification and musical enjoyment of our community of faith and the larger community. Watch our website calendar and our weekly E-Notes (posted on our website under Upcoming Events) for announcements and details.
“Worship at Grace Lutheran is inspiring: relevant to modern issues, yet rooted in the traditions of the Lutheran Church. There are several styles of worship to choose from and lots of great music too!” - Drew
“Members of all ages enrich our worship through ensemble singing. It’s a wonderful, heartfelt testimony of their faith.” - Laurel
“Penn State students are vital to our church family.” – Nancy