Watch this page for updates related to COVID-19 response, schedule changes, and staying connected during this time of social distancing.

by Stacey Chacon on March 25, 2020


We want to hear from you during this time of uncertainty.

  • Want to talk to someone? Email Andrew Kerhoulas, Pastor of Discipleship at
  • Do you have a need or know of a need in which the Diaconate may provide or connect resources? Please let us know by emailing  
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  • Praying for One Another Email your prayer requests to .
  • See below for the  latest updates.

03.26.2020 Communication Update

From Grace Finance Committee

Grace Members & Regular Attenders,

The sudden emergence of the coronavirus has had a significant impact on our ability to gather for worship as the body of Christ. Despite the unpredictable impact of this global pandemic, our staff are attempting to keep church operations and services ongoing (staying within the boundaries of our government’s advisory restrictions). As for almost everyone, this has presented unique fears and challenges.

In light of this, the GMR Finance Committee felt the need to extend assurances to our staff employees, particularly given the fact that church staff are not eligible for unemployment (churches and religious organizations are exempt from paying into the system which in turn keeps staff from benefiting). GMR’s current cash position, without accounting for congregation giving into the future, is sufficient for us to guarantee payment of staff salaries for at least two months. They have been informed of this assurance and we plan to make similar assurance for our global missionaries.

We are truly thankful to you for offerings made in the past that allowed us to make these assurances at this time. We know that many of you face your own financial challenges due to these extraordinary times. For those of you who can, we appeal for your continued generous giving. This can be done in the following ways:

In this way, we hope to continually be able to provide similar assurances into the future for our beloved staff and missionaries.

We are grateful for you,
Grace Mills River Finance Committee


03.25.2020 Communication Update

Due to revised mandates, we will continue with online services through May 17.

Stay Connected with your GMR community:

• Online Sunday Services through May 17
We will follow public health recommendations moving forward.

• Virtual Weekly Prayer Gathering

• Facebook: Grace Mills River Church

• GIVE HELP & GET HELP
Visit GraceMillsRiver.org/Ministries/Mercy for more details.

• Give Financially to Grace Mills River

• Want to talk to someone?
Email Andrew Kerhoulas, Pastor of Discipleship,

• Weekly Email Update


03.17.2020 Communication Update

Good morning friends! Pastor Patrick Lafferty has a special message to share with you over on our YouTube channel. 


03.16.2020 Communication Update

Please note: The Grace Mills River church offices are closed as staff are working remotely at this time. To get in touch, email , or visit GraceMillsRiver.org/contact or GraceMillsRiver.org/about-us/leadership

ALL scheduled activities & events are CANCELLED at GMR through Sunday, March 29. This includes small group gatherings, bible studies, community groups, etc.

Sunday Worship Services are CANCELLED through Sunday, March 29. A weekly LiveStream Service will be held at 10:45AM each Sunday in collaboration with GBV.

All GMR activities outside of the GMR building are strongly discouraged. Our desire is to care for our community as best we can, especially those that are the most vulnerable.

We are continuing to use our GIVE HELP & GET HELP forms on the website to assist folks that need care. Visit our Mercy Ministry Page for more details.

The Congregational Meeting scheduled for March 15 has been postponed. Please watch for updates for a new date.

Please watch the website or our Facebook page (GraceChurchNC) for updates throughout the week.


03.13.2020 Communication Update

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. . . .

Psalm 46: 1, 2

Beloved,

In our last communication we shared with you adjustments to our plans for this Sunday’s activity. We write today to further amend that plan, in large part on the basis of yesterday’s new recommendation issued by our state’s Department of Health and Human Services--namely that gatherings greater than 100 people be canceled.

For the sake of the most vulnerable among us, and in light of that recommendation, we are choosing this Sunday to cancel our gathered worship, and instead stream the service online. In collaboration with our sister church Grace Brevard (GBV), we’ll hold one service online at 10:45a. The link to access the livestream will be available at our website about an hour prior to the service. Musicians and pastors will lead a revised liturgy from GMR with time for singing, affirmation, prayer, and the preached word. 

Furthermore, both the installation of Andrew Kerhoulas and our Congregational Meeting have been postponed. As both those elements are irreducibly family occasions, we all thought it best to wait until we can witness them as a gathered community.

It will be a new experience for us all--likely a bit clunky at first. But because we believe worship is more than just any event, we thought it important to preserve this vital part of our common and spiritual life.

Some might think this decision is based in fear, or at least premature. While the number of cases in this state are far less numerous than other states, and there are still no confirmed cases in Western Carolina, we act on the basis of wisdom, borne of well-attested and recent history, that preemptive and proactive measures best serve not only those at high-risk but also the wider community.

Events have unfolded so rapidly that this communication serves to explain our most immediate plans. We’ll have more to share early next week with regard to the plan for the next several weeks. The Session has appointed a group of elders and staff to make necessary decisions, in consultation with those in government and health-care.

We know this will affect many in the days and weeks to come in ways they could never imagine. We know the disruption and disorientation will place a strain like few things can, but this is also a time that presents a unique opportunity to express courageous love in action--even in the simplest gestures of kindness. We’ll have suggestions for that with our next communication. 

For now, make use of the multiple communication channels to remain up to date (our website, Facebook page, and through Church Center emails. Check in on each other--in particular those who could be at higher risk of infection. Contact your elders and pastors for prayer and encouragement. Read and meditate upon promises that endure no matter the moment. Pray for (and support where you can) those on the front lines of healthcare. 

Lastly, while we know that, should schools and businesses close in the coming days, many may face a new financial burden, we might humbly ask those who can to please continue to give through our Online Giving channel so that we can keep paying the bills in a timely fashion.

See” you Sunday (online!) at 10:45a.

The peace of the Lord be with you, GMR

Patrick and the Session


03.11.2020 Communication Update

Beloved,

We want you to know we’re listening carefully and often to those in the know, and collaborating with each other on what are both proper and timely responses to the rapidly developing coronavirus situation.

As of today we know that even though there are cases of the virus in North Carolina, neither Buncombe nor Henderson County has any reported presumptive or official cases. Even so, we’d like to take some pre-emptive steps, as they say, out of an “abundance of caution,” to minimize the chances of spreading sickness of any kind. One step is to encourage good hygiene while we’re with another. Another is to encourage anyone feeling unwell to stay home and rest. Still another would be to learn the new way they greet each other in Wuhan (we’ll practice this)!

On good advice we’re going to forego serving coffee and pastries this week, as well as cancel the lunch portion of our congregational meeting. The meeting will continue as planned and begin promptly at 12:15p. We’ll have some individually wrapped snacks and bottled water on hand to serve you but feel free to bring snacks for you and your children. We promise to be efficient in sharing our updates and look forward to a short time of gathering as a family.

All of these measures are only precautionary, and may only represent some temporary and good habits to form while we face this season of uncertainty.

Joseph, while in the service of Pharaoh, made it a point to prepare for the unexpected. The editor of the Proverbs called for wisdom with every decision. And the Lord Himself counseled us to be anxious for nothing. Know that we’re taking all that well-tested guidance on good authority, and the good information we receive from people in the know, and acting with concern for the ministry of GMR and your welfare.

It will be a Sunday of both information and celebration, including the installation of our new assistant pastor Andrew Kerhoulas! As we ask you to exercise a little extra care as we gather, we also hope you’ll look forward to a day to mark together as a family.

See you Sunday!

Patrick