Our Community’s Commitments
The following are a few of our ongoing commitments in our neighborhoods. These are the things we’ve discerned God calling us toward as we’ve moved into the neighborhoods and made our homes among those alongside whom we serve. If you, or your group, would like to partner with us in one of these commitments we’d love to talk with you about how to do that. Contact us with any questions or ideas.
We engage in the Christian practice of hospitality both as a community and as individuals by inviting people into our lives, homes, and work as the Spirit directs us.
Two or three times each week, we take lunches with us into the neighborhoods where we live and serve both Downtown and on the Northside. We sit down with those we find and have lunch with them whether it’s on a bench, a porch, a street corner, or in their home/shelter. We’ve been doing this for a while and it is one of the foundations of our relationship-centered approach. Because of this commitment, and commitments like this one, we have one of the widest, but also deepest, networks of relationships with people struggling with homelessness, near-homelessness, poverty, addiction, and hunger in Danville.
Open and Community Meals
Grace and Main hosts six evening meals every month. Our big, “open” meal is on the 4th Thursday of every month at Ascension Lutheran Church (314 West Main St). People start showing up around 6:00 p.m. and the meal kicks off at around 6:30 p.m. Four of the remaining five meals are scheduled to happen in houses and public spaces and are smaller to enable us to focus on being more hospitable and personable. We try to have no more than 20-24 people at each of these meals, but we’re glad to find a place for you if you’ll contact us and let us know–we almost always have a few open seats at these meals, so don’t hesitate to reach out. These are family style meals and you don’t need to bring anything unless you really want to. The remaining meal of the month is a meal just for our leaders and the people who are committed to the long-term work of our community.
On the Northside of town, we have a “tool library” where anybody can come to borrow lawnmowers, trimmers, hand tools, power tools, and other equipment whether it’s to go make a living doing landscaping, yard work, and other spot work, or to volunteer around their neighborhood or at their congregational home.
Prayers and Worship
Grace and Main meets every Sunday evening at 228 Broad St at 6:30 p.m. for a service of prayers and worship. It’s a casual but thoughtful service that welcomes the members and guests of the community to listen, sing, pray, and worship together in a variety of ways. Anybody is welcome–this is one of the best ways to connect with our community. The houses associated with Grace and Main also keep their own schedules of prayer on a daily or weekly basis, whether that’s morning, midday, evening, night, or some combination of those times of prayer. We recommend Common Prayer and Celtic Daily Prayer if you’d like to join us in a pattern of prayer or are interesting in learning more.
Wednesday Morning Breakfast
A few years ago, two of our developing leaders on the Northside started hosting a breakfast on North Main St every Wednesday morning on the same property as the Tool Library. What started with 8 people, eggs, bacon, and biscuits has grown to a veritable feast with a varying menu and 70-90 people eating breakfast on porches and around the community coffee pot or water cooler.
Tenants Rights and Housing Justice
We continue to be involved in a number of neighborhoods and apartment communities throughout Danville. We are working with tenants and neighbors to make sure they know what their rights are when it comes to state and city regulations concerning renting and housing. We believe this is an extension of our work for secure and stable shelter and we believe in prayerful, faith-based organizing around justice issues like this one and others.
We plant and cultivate a number of gardens around Danville in backyards, front yards, and borrowed spaces.
House of Hope Lunches
Grace & Main has a special partnership with our local homeless shelter, the House of Hope. We provide a lunch for each resident every day of the year. We do this by partnering mostly with congregations, civic groups, and mission teams to pack hundreds of lunches at a time for us to continuously restock at the shelter. This was one of our very first commitments when we were just getting started and we’re glad to still be doing it.
Urban Survival Bags
As part of our ongoing commitment to housing justice and living and serving with and among our brothers and sisters struggling with homelessness, we have committed to preparing “Urban Survival Bags” for those who cannot find shelter for a number of reasons and are forced to seek shelter outside. Often, this is because of the chronic nature of the individual’s struggle with homelessness and the lack of an adequate long-term homeless shelter or rescue in Danville. These “Urban Survival Bags” are large, portable duffle bags with a variety of urban survival supplies that will enable somebody to live a little more comfortably and safely regardless of the weather and the elements. This isn’t a long-term solution, but as we continue the long, slow work of justice, we cannot forget those who struggle even now.
Hosting Retreats, “Mission Trips,” and Visitors
Grace and Main hosts visitors, retreats, and mission trips several times per year and would be glad to discuss what that might look like for you. We prefer smaller groups because of the intensely relational nature of our work, but can accommodate some larger groups. Individuals seeking retreat or to visit our community are invited to stay in one of our hospitality rooms around the city (pending vacancy) and participate in the life, prayers, work, and meals of our community whether it be for a weekend, a week, a month, or longer.
Third Chance Ministries
You can learn more about the work we’re doing to cultivate new, intentional, Christian communities in other neighborhoods, cities, and counties by visiting the website for Third Chance Ministries. In short, 3CM is the way we support missionary community leaders and develop new leaders around the city, state, and country.