Grace in Pagosa: Being Part of the Local Church at Semester


By Tanner Shuttloffer (Minnesota)

Every Sunday morning, here at Semester, we all wake up, pack ourselves lunch, and head to church. Grace in Pagosa is an Evangelical Free Church in Pagosa Springs that welcomes us Semester students with open arms.

The folks that go to church at Grace are extremely welcoming and make us feel like we’re a part of one big family. It’s pretty awesome to be apart of a church that is willing to host a bunch of students from all around the nation for 3 months. The worship at Grace is led by Pastor Jason Rose. Pastor Rose and his worship team play a variety of good worship songs ranging from newer worship to older hymns.

At Grace, the worship isn’t just about singing songs but offering our praises to God through our worship to him. Pastor Rose makes the trip out to the Summit Semester lodge a couple of times throughout the semester to teach us about worship and its significance in our lives. In addition to this, he practices with those of us who want to be a part of the worship team on Sunday mornings.

The lead pastor at Grace, Joey Dean, gives sermons reflecting on the different stories from the Bible and shows us how we can apply the passages to our lives in a practical and God-oriented way. We usually can’t get through one of his sermons without hearing at least one pop-culture reference from the 90s.

In the current series pastor Joey is teaching, we are looking at the life of Jesus and his ability to love people through their transgressions and to love people who were considered to be the lowest in their culture. Every believer is welcome to partake in communion with the breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine to represent the last supper and Jesus’ death for us. The congregation of Grace is extremely friendly, as seen by a large amount of fellowship following the service. The community of Grace in Pagosa is not afraid to include anyone, which is pretty cool for a bunch of outsiders who come from all walks of life. From the worship to the sermons, to the fellowship, Grace in Pagosa reflects the love of Christ that a church should to its community.