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United in Grace
Lutheran Church

Reaching out, welcoming in!

 

Accessible bathrooms, parking come to Vallejo church

 

Daniel Egitto, Reporter

Vallejo Times-Herald

8/10/2023

 

Members of a historic Vallejo church are hoping to breathe new life into a 74-year-old building at a Saturday rededication celebrating a spate of renovations and improvements.

 

The 10 a.m. ceremony at United in Grace Lutheran Church will conclude a year and a half of work on the old Spanish Revival-style building at 1300 Tuolumne St. A wheelchair-accessible lift, gender-neutral bathrooms and newly repaired and repainted front doors are just a few of the approximately $1.4 million worth of upgrades that Celebration Coordinator Judy Faye wants to spotlight.

 

“The main goal of the renovation is to make this a welcoming, safe place,” Faye said.

 

That mentality is what led church leaders to remove gender designations when redoing the multi-stall restrooms – a move that Faye said is in keeping with United in Grace’s commitment to the LGBTQ community. Faye isn’t aware of any other local churches that have taken this step, although she believes others would do so if given the chance.

 

“Contrary to all of the things that you see about religions in the press, it is not true that all Christians persecute, discriminate and put down other people,” she said. “In fact, I don’t see how they manage to do that and call it Christian. It has nothing to do with the life of Christ. Christ was always reaching out to the outcast.”

 

The restrooms are also accessible to people with disabilities. Accessible parking, along with an accessible water fountain and kitchen sink, is also now available.

 

Another notable change at United in Grace is the front doors, which are the same doors that swung open to the church’s original dedication ceremony in 1949. Fresh blue-and-gold paint and new wooden ornamentations are intended to match the building’s original look.

 

The church additionally features a new pastor’s office and a refurbished kitchen twice the size of the old one. Faye played a role in restoring the windows at the church’s library. She doesn’t know how many hours it took, but she’s proud of what her congregation has accomplished.

 

A reception with champagne, cookies and iced tea will follow the rededication ceremony Saturday. The church will also be hosting tours of the newly restored building.

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United in Grace Lutheran Church is a spiritual community that celebrates the gifts of God that empower us to engage in the struggles of life, to care for each other, and to serve Christ where we work and live.

We are a Reconciling-in-Christ congregation. We welcome the participation of people of all ages, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, educational backgrounds, and economic conditions-all who want to join in community to honor God and be of service to people.

Join us for worship on Sunday at 10am

In-person and on Zoom

In need of prayer or pastoral care?

Please reach out to Pastor Virginia Ward
(530) 492-9515 voice and text
virward@sbcglobal.net
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