GRAND BLANC — St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Grand Blanc is celebrating its first in-person worship service in a year this Sunday and welcoming its new rector, the Rev. Jerry Lasley, who becomes only the third full-time rector assigned to the church in the past 51 years.
The worship service is set for 10 a.m. March 14, at the church at 9020 S. Saginaw St. in Grand Blanc. This will be the first in-person worship service for St. Christopher’s since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Michigan on Monday authorized in-person worship for its churches but required that the service be held completely outside the building as the pandemic continues.
“This will be a wonderful day in the life of St. Christopher’s,” Lasley said. “The pandemic has affected our lives in so many ways and prevented us from gathering as people of faith. I’m thrilled to be in Grand Blanc and anxious to see our congregation in-person for the first time.”
The diocese halted all in-person worship in the church last March to mitigate the spread of the virus and is following guidelines from state and local health officials. Lasley said parishioners have been asked to bring their own chairs and communion will only be bread and not include the traditional wine.
“This will be a new experience for us all so I expect there may be a bump or two in the road as we meet for the first time,” Lasley said. “But after what everyone has gone through in the past year, pulling a service together and holding it outside will not be a problem.”
Lasley, 61, comes to St. Christopher’s from High Point, N.C., where he was rector of another St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church. He taught elementary school for many years while in North Carolina.
He is a graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa and completed his Master of Divinity Studies at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, Ill. Lasley began his ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. Bishop Michael Curry received Lasley’s Orders into the Episcopal Church in 2014.
Lasley said he feels like the Episcopal Church is home and is happy to share ministry with the people of Grand Blanc. St. Christopher’s will continue to grow in faith and service to God and to all God’s people.
“St. Christopher’s has faith and service in place, but the need is great,” Lasley said. “St. Christopher’s will explore new ways of being the hands and the heart of God. God is mighty and can do amazing things through those of us who have come to know Jesus as a welcoming, merciful Savior.
“Together we will go forth into the world, welcoming the stranger and spreading God’s love as we continue to be transformed into the people God created us to be. Love God, love yourself, love your neighbor, and change the world.”