Grace Episcopal Church
Jamestown, North Dakota
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What do the words

"Grace" and "Episcopal" mean?

Grace is a very old name and a very old idea in Christian belief and life. The word itself comes from the Greek word “charis” which means unmerited favor or gift. In Christian belief the concept of grace refers to the fact that despite our imperfections and how many times we’ve messed up God chooses to extend His love and forgiveness toward us anyway. This is truly good news! Of course, this doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we want with no consequences, but does it means that God chooses to be kind-hearted toward our weaknesses and failures when we admit our fault and turn to Him.



So that’s a brief definition of the word grace, please keep in mind there are literally thousands upon thousands of books, articles, and sermons exploring the idea of grace in greater depth and detail. Grace is a great name for a church, and we’re proud to bear it, because at the heart of Christianity is the grace extended to us by God through Jesus Christ.


Perhaps the most popular song about grace in the world is the hymn Amazing Grace by John Newton a former slaveship captain who became an Anglican Priest.

Episcopal is of course the name of our branch or denomination of Christianity, but the word itself is very old and has been associated with Christianity since its earliest beginnings. The word itself comes from the Greek word “episkopos” which means bishop or overseer. Bishops have been leaders of networks and groupings of churches from the earliest days of Church history. The most basic definition of The Episcopal Church then would be a church that has bishops.

Lot’s more could be said about the word Episcopal and about who bishops are and what they do, but that’s brief definition. At Grace Church we’re thankful for our formal and informal ties to other churches not only in the state of North Dakota, but through the Episcopal (Anglican) family of Churches throughout the world.


The Right Reverend Michael Smith, D.D., Episcopal Bishop of North Dakota is pictured here. Bishop Michael visits grace informally several times a year in addition to his annual formal visitation, which usually takes place sometime in the Fall.