Grace at the Exact Right Moment

By Kris Guccione

Where I experience Space for Grace can change from day to day for me. I most typically find Grace sitting quietly in the gothic splendor of our beautiful sanctuary. It undoubtedly was the original draw for me to Christ Church Cranbrook. I am an architect, a maker of space. Space is very important to me both personally and professionally. Many people do not understand the power of physical space. It creates mood, invokes emotion, has the ability to provide safety, and can be life-changing, as it has been for me.

As I said, the architecture was my initial draw to Christ Church Cranbrook, but then came the people. I wasn’t really sure what I believed anymore and was searching for something. I first met the Mals who were, at the time my children were small, running the Sunday School. They were very engaging. My children loved the program, and my husband and I began participating and attending evening adult programs. Then I met with the Rector at the time and actually asked him, “do you really believe in all of this?” His answer can only be explained as Grace at the exact right moment. I desperately wanted something to make sense. He asked me if I knew anything about quantum physics and I replied “yes.” We discussed a bit of physics, and then he asked, “Are you a mother? Are you a daughter? Are you a wife? If yes, why is it so hard to believe God has three forms, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?” That got me thinking! In the end, he said the only thing that would have kept me coming to church. He told me to put my children in the Sunday School program and commit to sitting for one hour a week in a church in chaos. That was truly the beginning of my journey at Christ Church Cranbrook.

Since then, I have found grace in some extraordinarily unexpected places. I befriended a long-time parishioner, Francis Loud, at my first coffee hour. Over the years I knew where he and his wife sat every Sunday and made it a point to always say hello. I watched as he cared for his wife with love and grace as she aged. I looked for him each week and worried when I didn’t see him. I wanted to visit when I heard he was in the hospital but never did. I was afraid. I learned, surreptitiously, through the grace of Francis Loud, to let people know when they touch my soul.

I most recently experienced Grace sitting in the temporary office of Pastor Manisha at Temple Beth El. I was struggling with the very difficult decisions associated with having an aging parent with dementia. Ironically, I can’t actually remember what she said to me, but I do remember whatever it was made me cry, made me feel loved, and gave me the ability to keep moving forward. Thank you, Pastor Manisha, for your gift of Grace. 

The beautiful building, the kind people, the hard-working clergy, and the impact we have in the community make Christ Church Cranbrook the perfect Space for Grace. The opportunities are endless when the space is available, both within and without. I am a pledging member of Christ Church Cranbrook to help support all the different ways this church provides space for Grace because I know Grace is found in many places.


We invite everyone who considers Christ Church Cranbrook your spiritual home to consider making a pledge to support our mission and ministry in 2023. For more information or to make your pledge online, click here. For questions, please get in touch with Rev. Chris Harris at charris@christchurchcranbrook.org.

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