Grace exists to gather the convinced and unconvinced into community, where we grow as Jesus does His work of forgiving and renewing, so that we go out to live for a story bigger than ourselves.
Gathering takes place through Sunday worship, community groups, and events, as well as a variety of other venues. The Christian life is a community project. Even if you’re not yet a Christian, gathering with other Christians is vital—as belonging often happens before believing.
The work of Jesus takes place as we worship, pray, cry, serve, love, help, celebrate, and encourage one another. By His Spirit, we are transformed, becoming more like what God intended humanity to be. The road to sanctification may be long, but we’re called to walk it together.
We are blessed to be a blessing, which means that followers of Jesus are to be “in the world, not of the world, but for the world.” God’s ultimate goal is to one day make all things new, but He also wants us to bring the hope of new creation into the here and now.
Grace Pres was established in 2000, desiring to be a community centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed to His mission. In 2010, Grace launched a second site in the San Jose area and continued as a multi-site church until November of 2018, when that second site became its own congregation, Grace South Bay. In April 2022, we began worshiping at our new ministry home on N. California Ave in Palo Alto. Grace is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America.
There are many layers of leadership at Grace, including pastors, elders, and diaconal mercy team members, as well as numerous lay volunteers who play absolutely vital roles in serving and leading us with their gifts. In addition, we have full-time and part-time staff who are characterized by a spirit of cooperation and mutual support for the sake of fulfilling our mission.
Before joining Grace Staff at the end of 2019, Grace had previously worked as a government liaison with oil and gas equipment companies. She also spent several years in Human Resources specializing in talent attraction. Attracting humans to God's Kingdom has been her most fulfilling job to date.
Grace values ministering to the littlest ones in our midst because of two deep convictions- that each child has an eternal soul, and that our period of influence with the kids is limited. She has been involved with children's ministry ever since her teens and has volunteered with Young Life back in the day when she could pass as "cool". Grace also currently serves as the Children's Supervisor for the Bible Study Fellowship Class in San Mateo, overseeing the preschool program there. She relishes being the Games Director for her local AWANA club and has thought of many ways to tire kids out on a weeknight.
On the weekends, you'll find Grace cheering for whichever Little League team her sons are on, or heading out with her husband and three children (Ethan, Eva and Evan) for hikes. If you're (un)lucky, you might also catch the whole family dancing to Meghan Trainor or belting out a Disney soundtrack in their living room.
Alongside her role at Grace, Kathy is pursuing a Master’s of Counseling degree with Westminster Online Learning. Her favorite ways to unwind are laughing, hiking and spending time with family and friends, but especially with her one-year-old grandson.
David also loves finding new places to eat, cycling, college football, snow skiing, live music, and great coffee – especially when these things are shared with others. His heart is for Grace to always feel like a place where you are “free to struggle” instead of “struggling to be free.”
Iron likes to spend time with his family, learn obscure facts, and follow his beloved New York Yankees. He is married to his wife Grace, and they have one daughter, Charlotte.
Some of her favorite activities are walking her dog Milly while chatting with a girlfriend, spending an entire day cooking in the kitchen, sitting at the beach for hours doing absolutely nothing, making vacation memories with her daughters and sons-in-law, and babysitting her grandson, Kai.
In 2021, Ben moved to the Bay Area to join Grace as an assistant pastor and quickly realized why it’s called the “Best Coast.” In his free time, Ben loves spending time with people in any capacity, running, hiking, all things related to games and sports (particularly volleyball, football, and baseball), playing the piano, and exploring different foods and cultures.
Naomi and her husband, Creed, met in Okinawa, Japan during her seven-year stint teaching elementary school on a military base where Creed was stationed as a rescue helicopter pilot in the US Air Force. Creed still serves active duty and is pursuing a PhD in International Relations at Stanford as part of his job. This military life has fed Naomi’s love for adventure – the Napier family has moved seven times since 2012, including two overseas moves from Okinawa and France.
Naomi and Creed have an energetic, imaginative, and funny four-year-old named Hudson. He loves exploring the wonderful parks in the local area. And, he is so excited to welcome his baby sister due to arrive at the beginning of October! You can find their family of three enjoying local events, sites, and eateries.
Naomi was drawn to the Elementary Coordinator position because she loves working with children, which she previously did for fourteen years in the field of education. She is most excited to have the opportunity to see little Christian hearts grow and offer support to families as we all grow in Christ. She is excited and honored to be a part of the GraceKids Team!
After working for RUF for five years, Jess came on staff at Grace in May 2018 to serve as the Director of Creative Arts and Congregational Care and interim Worship Director, or affectionately known as the Director of Colors and Feelings. She currently coordinates our worship team and crafts our Sunday services by choosing songs, Scripture readings and prayers that complement the preaching of the Word.
When she’s not making music, Jess loves listening to music — discovering new artists and going to see her favorites live. She loves hosting movie nights and trying out new recipes on her dinner guests. She is also a part of the Crossfit community and likes to lift heavy things.
The Director of Children's Ministries role was a natural fit for Allison as she loves communicating God’s great love for his children to his children. She has been serving in children’s ministry for most of her life, either as a volunteer in her church, a summer camp counselor, an Outdoor Education instructor, a registrar for Pine Cove camps, and on the GraceKids check-in team.
To get on her good side, bring her a latte and tell her that you think her children, Nate, Caed & Emerson, are hilarious, sweet and kind.