Pastoral Care

Our ministry includes the Shepherds of Grace, which is a lay ministry of companionship, caring, compassion and support for members of Grace. The Lay Eucharistic Visitors are also part of the Pastoral Care Commission, and these visitors bring the Eucharist to individuals who are ill or home bound. The staff person for this area is Fr. Benjamin, and he can be reached with your pastoral care needs, news, suggestions at or 813-971-8484, ext. 11.

Outreach to the Community

Ephesians 6:7 " With good will doing service as to the Lord, and not unto people" 

My name is Elsie Shirley, chair of the Service Commission. My charter is to coordinate, assist and encourage any activity to benefit Grace. This includes local and global outreach ministries to support schools, Joshua House, Metropolitan Ministries, Paint Your Heart Out Tampa and Dominican Republic Ministries. Should you endeavor to lend your experience in enabling this commission to serve Grace better, please get in touch with me at 813-766-1631 or alternatively at

Homeless to Hopeful

Gas or groceries? What would you do if you had to choose? Seriously. It’s not an easy choice. 1 out of every 5 people living in Florida has to make a choice like this every day. The circumstances differ, but the end result is the same for families struggling to make it to their next paycheck or for seniors living on a fixed income. Nutritious food is hard to come by when your budget is limited.

Poor nutrition makes it difficult for children to concentrate in school. They get sick more often too. You just can’t ignore hunger. That’s why we partner with Metropolitan Ministries the last Friday of every month to provide hot, balanced and nutritious meals to all who are in need in one of the poorest areas in Hillsborough County, north on Livingston Ave from Fletcher Ave (dead end street).

Lay Eucharist Visitors

As a Eucharistic Visitor you have the privilege of bringing the Sacrament to those who cannot be present at a public celebration of the Eucharist because they are ill, home-bound, in a hospital or nursing home and  the joy of being one of the links that keep that person connected to our larger Grace family.

When we meet with a home-bound parishioner, we often think that we are  “visiting from the Church” but, from a theological standpoint, it is more correct to say that when you, as a Eucharistic Visitor, meet with a home-bound parishioner, you are the Church.  Jesus told His disciples that “when two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them.” [Matthew 18:19]   Whatever is done and said during that visit will be “Church” for that person.  

If you feel called to this ministry, please contact Father Ben or Nancy Guss, or call the Church office.  We would love to have you!

First Fruits Committee

As soon as we were blessed with the proceeds from the Eminent Domain taking of our corner parcel, we set aside a tithe to give back to the "widows and orphans" we are called to help in the community.  We have provided grants for scholarships for needy schoolchildren in the Caribbean, a van for supporting troubled youth in Second Chance for Boys, support workshops for the Crisis Center, cloth for NICU blankets and Little Dresses for Africa, whole family mission trips to the Dominican Republic, and many other worthy causes brought to us by our parishioners.  

We hope to continue this ministry, even after the original tithe is distributed, by tithing from our congregational funds.