In time of social distancing, Grace Church still touching community

Easter Service presented online; MidDay at Grace returning soon; Grace Diner now serving bagged meals

As the world and Culver City in particular rides out the COVID-19 pandemic, Grace Church is finding old and new ways to perform community outreach, church officials said.

While the church, which was founded in 1945, is observing state mandates to suspend public meetings, Grace continues to bring its worship service to members via the internet.

“Grace Church is basically shut down, however, we are very busy this week presenting three online services: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and an Easter Sunday video compilation,” church director of music ministries Mary Lou Basaraba told the News in an email message.

To stay current with Grace activities, connect with the church on its Facebook page at

The church pastor is Rev. James S. Maines.

For those community members who have supported the MidDay at Grace monthly concerts, music director Basaraba said she is working on finding new ways to keep the music playing.

“We are working on an alternate format for the ‘MidDay At Grace’ concert scheduled for Thursday, April 16,” Basaraba said in her email. 

“That concert will benefit the Grace Diner, a long-established Church Ministry of Feeding the Needy.”

Speaking of Grace Diner, Basaraba said the meal outreach program has been a major part of the community in feeding locals.

“The Diner has a wonderful history up in the Parish Hall where long tables have been set up with white cloths and real cutlery and servers presenting lovely meals to over 100 people every Monday for 10 years,” she said. “More than 30,000 meals have been served in this manner, but with the civic orders to keep our distance, the Diner has shifted to a three evening a week bagged-meal distribution.”

Basaraba said a volunteer team under the supervision of Lisa Skelley, Grace Church’s director of Family Ministries “passes out prepared hot and cold meals to homeless and other needy diners on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4:30 to 6 p.m.

“The Mayor of Culver City has commended the church for this ongoing community service, and there are plans to serve meals Monday through Friday,” Basaraba said. “The program is supported by public and private donations. 

Grace Diner is staffed by students, scouts, members of the Culver City Senior Center, and members and friends of local churches and Grace Lutheran Church, according to its website. The Diner is an all-volunteer organization with the exception of a bookkeeper who tracks expenses and assures compliance with financial and other corporate regulations.

More information can be found on the Grace Diner website: