Grace and Holy Spirit Church Moves Forward


For Immediate Release
October 4, 2016

Cortland, NY – Grace and Holy Spirit Church, an Episcopal and ELCA Lutheran Community Church of the Christian Faith, has accepted the findings of a two week Feasibility Study conducted by James D. Klote and Associates to move forward with a Capital Campaign. The study consisted of five focus groups which were open to all members of the congregation and due to the historical aspect of the church, to members of the community.

Grace Episcopal Church has been in Cortland since 1847 and the current Church was built in 1887. The historic church with its iconic steeple has been a down town Cortland beacon of welcome. Holy Spirit Lutheran Church began sharing worship space and services with Grace Episcopal in 2005. On July 1, 2014 they officially came together as one church “Grace and Holy Spirit Church.” Grace and Holy Spirit is the only blended church in the county.

This welcoming spirit continues with over 500 visitors on a weekly basis for numerous 12 Step Programs and over 400 weekly visitors for the Loaves and Fishes meal program. The study really helped the church realize how many ministries and community events that it is a vital part of in our community.

Sadly on July 29, 2016, Grace Church had a fire that caused extensive damage and even more smoke damage throughout the Church, thus displacing these programs and the congregation. Other local churches quickly stepped into the breach to help and have been doing so and will continue do so until WE CAN COME HOME. We are currently holding services in the Interfaith Chapel at SUNY Cortland.

The Mission Leadership Board unanimously accepted the Study results as presented by James D Klote and Associates to move forward with a $1,000,000 Capital Campaign. “The eye opener with the study was that we were able to see how strongly our congregation bonded after the fire and again for this Capital Campaign,” said Rev. Williams, Pastor of GHS.

Father Peter continued, “We have been in discussions about conducting a Capital Campaign for some time. God works in strange ways. The study pointed out to us, how much our congregation wanted to remain in downtown and basically, just wanted to go home. The fire insurance money and our Capital Campaign will enable us to rebuild so that we can be a church for the 21st Century in downtown Cortland where we started.”

With offices in Falls Church, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Los Angeles, California; and Toronto, Ontario, James D. Klote & Associates is the largest full-time, on-site stewardship consulting firm in North America. For additional information, please contact the firm at or (800) 360-2315.


Erin West
James D. Klote & Associates

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