About St. Gabriel's

Our church got it's start as a mission of Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville, GA. Much has happened since then, and you can read about our History below. However, what's more important is who and what we are now, and where we see God leading us.
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Our Mission & Vision

Our Mission is to celebrate and share the love of God with EVERYONE

Many people today won’t come through the doors of a church for fear of being judged or criticized.  But that’s not the job of the church!  There are no perfect people at St. Gabriel’s.  If we had to be perfect to come here, the church would be empty week after week.  Instead, God created each of us in His image and He wants to have a relationship with us.  God, and God alone, is the One who can reform us and refine us and He does that while we’re in relationship with Him.  So our role is to celebrate His love and share His love with anyone and everyone and, in the process, introduce them to their loving Heavenly Father, God.

Vision

When we say “EVERYONE,” we truly mean everyone.  We see a future in which St Gabriel’s will have a vibrant ministry comprised of people from all walks of life – regardless of socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, political or gender differences – each pursuing a deeper knowledge and love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ, and taking Christ into the community to bring about reconciliation in a fractured world.

Our Beliefs & Values

The theological foundation of the Episcopal Church encourages a dynamic spiritual journey rather than providing absolute answers to life’s questions. Consequently, you’ll find a wonderful variety of (and occasionally contradictory) theological “positions” among Episcopalians. What unites us is not an adherence to one official position, but rather a commitment to living out our faith side by side nurtured by joining each other at the communion rail each Sunday.

We believe that salvation is a gift from God that is not based on our works (Ephesians 2:8-9), delivered to all peoples by the death and resurrection of Jesus. We can neither earn nor lose that gift by how we lead our lives. We can only reject or ignore it.

Love

We believe that all people are welcome in Christ’s family and we strive to remember Christ’s teaching that the first and greatest commandment is to love God and the second to love our neighbor.  Due to a conscious effort to act with unconditional love for all people and exclude no one from the family of God, the Episcopal Church enjoys a membership of people from many diverse backgrounds. We believe this diversity adds strength and richness to our family.  We further believe that while our love may be what brings us together, it’s God’s Spirit within us that renews our hearts, souls and minds into His likeness.

Scripture

The Episcopal Church teaches that the Old and New Testaments are the revealed Word of God and contain all things necessary for salvation. We believe all holy scriptures have been given for our instruction and should be studied for our benefit and salvation.

Tradition

The Episcopal Church draws from a wealth of experience reaching back to the time of Christ. From these experiences come traditions that offer comfort and encouragement on many levels and help to sustain us as we seek an ever closer relationship with God.

Reason

We do not believe God’s word has changed over the ages but we do believe our understanding of the Bible and our Traditions can change. We encourage people to think and study and use their ability to reason to find God’s will and direction for their lives.

Summary

Scripture, tradition, and reason combine to form the foundation for all the teachings of the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church does not put forth a long list of “dos” and “don’ts” and Episcopalians may disagree on a number of issues. We do, however, all agree that our salvation comes through the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that we should reach out to all of God’s children with the same unconditional love God has given us. We believe this love is strong enough to bind us together, in Christ, even if we disagree on lesser issues.

“God’s love is demonstrated in what God wants for all of us, especially those being ruined by circumstances and then their circumstances being compounded because of the indifference of the comfortable.”

– Bishop Rob Wright, Diocese of Atlanta

Who We Are

Our Ministry Team & Leadership

At St. Gabriel’s, we don’t have a full-time priest at this time, but rather we’re served by a supply priest, Father Bob Fessler, assisted each week by Deacon Sue Huff.  In Father Bob’s absense, Father Don Harrington leads our services.

In addition to our clergy, members of St. Gabriel’s help in each service: distributing the elements during communion, reading the scripture lessons, and singing in the choir.

The “business” of the church is managed by the Vestry, a group of volunteers voted on by the congregation.  Each Vestry member serves a three-year term.

Sue Huff

Sue Huff

Deacon

Deacon Sue Huff describes herself as a cradle Episcopalian who has always served God in His church, on the Vestry, or Altar Guild. However, she was led to pursue the Diaconate and was ordained in 2006 in Atlanta. She has joyously served since her ordination at St. Gabriel’s. Deacon Sue is now retired, but still actively serving here at St. Gabriel’s, her family and parish home.

Fr. Bob Fessler

Fr. Bob Fessler

Priest

The Rev. Robert “Bob” Fessler was ordained a priest on May 29, 1965.  He served his last parish, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, WI, for 22 years when his retirement was required by the Canons of the Episcopal Church.  He and his wife, Pat, moved to Hoschton, Ga. in July, 2012, and he was licensed as a priest in the Atlanta Diocese on December 5, 2012.  Fr. Bob now serves as our supply priest helping us progress in our spiritual journeys through his commitment to pastoral care, enlightening sermons, and warm liturgical services.

Fr. Don Harrison

Fr. Don Harrison

Priest

The Rev. Don Harrison was ordained in 1960.  He served at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville beginning in 1998 both as an Associate Rector and Interim Rector. He later served at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Cumming and at St. Anthony’s in Winder before retiring from full-time ministry.  He now serves when and where needed at St. Gabriel’s as a member and as a priest.

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Who We Are

Our Ministry Team & Leadership

At St. Gabriel’s, we don’t have a full-time priest at this time, but rather we’re served by a supply priest, Father Bob Fessler, assisted each week by Deacon Sue Huff.  In Father Bob’s absense, Father Don Harrington leads our services.

In addition to our clergy, members of St. Gabriel’s help in each service: distributing the elements during communion, reading the scripture lessons, and singing in the choir.

The “business” of the church is managed by the Vestry, a group of volunteers voted on by the congregation.  Each Vestry member serves a three-year term.

Fr. Bob Fessler

Fr. Bob Fessler

Priest

The Rev. Robert “Bob” Fessler was ordained a priest on May 29, 1965.  He served his last parish, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Milwaukee, WI, for 22 years when his retirement was required by the Canons of the Episcopal Church.  He and his wife, Pat, moved to Hoschton, Ga. in July, 2012, and he was licensed as a priest in the Atlanta Diocese on December 5, 2012.  Fr. Bob now serves as our supply priest helping us progress in our spiritual journeys through his commitment to pastoral care, enlightening sermons, and warm liturgical services.

Fr. Don Harrison

Fr. Don Harrison

Priest

The Rev. Don Harrison was ordained in 1960.  He served at Grace Episcopal Church in Gainesville beginning in 1998 both as an Associate Rector and Interim Rector. He later served at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Cumming and at St. Anthony’s in Winder before retiring from full-time ministry.  He now serves when and where needed at St. Gabriel’s as a member and as a priest.

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Sue Huff

Sue Huff

Deacon

Deacon Sue Huff describes herself as a cradle Episcopalian who has always served God in His church, on the Vestry, or Altar Guild. However, she was led to pursue the Diaconate and was ordained in 2006 in Atlanta. She has joyously served since her ordination at St. Gabriel’s. Deacon Sue is now retired, but still actively serving here at St. Gabriel’s, her family and parish home.

Gregory Thompson

Gregory Thompson

Choir Director

John Brady

John Brady

Sexton and Crucifer

Esther Atkinson

Esther Atkinson

Parish Administrator

Regina Grisham

Regina Grisham

Vestry, Senior Warden

Ron Petrey

Ron Petrey

Vestry, Junior Warden

Rama Doussa

Rama Doussa

Vestry

Rich Roszel

Rich Roszel

Vestry

Jean Waller

Jean Waller

Vestry

F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule an event or activity at our church?

Please call or email the church office to get an event on our calendar. If the date is available, our Parish Administrator will be glad to add it to the calendar for you. If it is a large event, it may need to be approved by the Vestry person in charge of Building and Grounds. It is advised that you check the church calendar in Memberhub for dates that are already posted before submitting your date.

How do I sign up for giving altar flowers?

Please sign up on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall. Fill out an envelope provided on the bulletin board and enclose a check for $35.00 made payable to St. Gabriel’s. Please be sure to write “For Altar Flowers” on your check.

How often is the Parish Blast sent out?

The St. Gabriel’s Parish Blast is a weekly email designed to keep you up to date on happenings at the church. It is only available via email. The Blast is a compilation of information about upcoming events, needs within the church family, and links to Father Bob’s videos and the scripture verses used in the services for the coming Sunday. If you have information you wish to published in the blast, please email it to our Parish Administrator at parishadmin@saintgabriels.org no later than Wednesday for inclusion in that week’s Blast.

How do I change my contact information?

Please call the church office at 770-503-7555. Someone is usually available to answer your call Monday through Friday from 9am – 6pm. You can also email your details to parishadmin@saintgabriels.org.

How do I inquire about my pledge?

A quarterly statement will be sent to anyone who has made a contribution. If you need to inquire about something before the quarterly statements are sent out or about the statement itself, please call the Parish Administrator. If you would like to make a pledge, please contact the Parish Administrator as well.

Is there a way to request a prayer for the prayer list other than through the website?

Yes, there are several ways to request prayer. There are “prayer request” forms in the back of the nave that can be filled out and put in the offering plate. You may also call or email the church office at 770-503-7555 or at parishadmin@saintgabriels.org. You may also speak directly with any member of the Clergy or of the Vestry.

I have other questions not answered here…

Please call or email the church office, or speak to a member of the Vestry.