GRACE NOTES
Grace Episcopal Church                                                          February 2017
THE LENTEN SEASON
This has been a year of many "firsts" for me and as I approach Lent, I am reminded that this is not only my first Lenten season with Grace - it is also my first Lenten season as a parish priest. Even though I have gone to more Lenten and Easter services than I can count, this year I am realizing that I often never stopped to think about what this time of year actually meant to me as a person of faith. Of course, I participated in bible studies, I went to a few extra services, I gave up something but I am  not certain that I allowed myself to be fully present to the power of this season.

As I preached this past Sunday, this is a season to be transformed! It's a transformation that is available to each and everyone of us as we work to live more fully into the Gospel. However, being transformed takes time and thoughtfulness. It takes an open heart and a willing spirit. 

This year, I encourage you to not just go through the motions of Lent but to let the season come into your daily practice of faith. Allow time to simply be with God, to listen for His guidance, and to not be afraid to let the movement of the Holy Spirit be fully present in your life. Let this Lenten season be a journey for you and your family.

I hope you will take time to read through all of the offerings we have created for you. I encourage you to choose at least one thing that you can commit your time and energy to over the next few weeks. Be fully present to what you choose and see how you might be transformed!

Emily

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1. During this season, from now until Easter Sunday, all Christians are invited "to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God's holy Word." (BCP, p. 265).
PRAY AND WORSHIP
SPECIAL SERVICES

Ash Wednesday Services
Wednesday, March 1
12noon and 7:00pm

Morning Prayer
Wednesdays in Lent beginning March 8
8:00am

Palm Sunday Services
Sunday, April 9
9:00am & 11:00am


HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE

Maundy Thursday Service
Thursday, April 13
7:00pm

Good Friday Stations of the Cross
Friday, April 14
6:00pm

Easter Services
Sunday, April 16
6:30am (Sunrise Easter Vigil)
11:00am 
 
GROW
WEDNESDAY NIGHT SUPPERS

March 8, 15, 22, 29, and April 5
6:00 - 7:30pm

This year, our church wide Lenten study series is The 5 Marks of Love , sponsored by the Society of St. John the Evangelist.  All youth and adults are invited to join us! Emily will lead our adult program and Shane Tippett will lead our youth program. Please bring soup or bread to share!

Here is what the brothers from SSJE have to say about the program:

"This six-week series invites us to observe and reflect on the ways in which the Divine Life expresses itself in and through us; individually and in our faith communities, as well as in the world around us. Week by week we will explore each of the Anglican Communion’s five “Marks of Mission” (Tell, Teach, Tend, Transform, and Treasure) through videos, questions, and exercises designed to help us speak clearly and act truthfully, motivated always by hearts marked by God’s love."

Workbooks will be distributed on our first night together. In the meantime, please sign up for The 5 Marks of Love daily emails by clicking this link  to help guide you through the Lenten season. You will also find on this site, links to all of the study materials, videos, and articles.
READ
SUNDAY BOOK CLUB
LOVE WINS by ROB BELL
March 5, 12, 19, and 26 at 9:45am

Ever wonder how much God loves you? Have you ever been hurt by the Christian faith and now find yourself wondering where you fit in? Christianity isn't always easy and we often find ourselves struggling with our experience within the church. Bell's book helps us navigate some of these issues, many of which have hindered our growth as people of faith. As he states, " the goal of the Christian life is to work toward b ecoming fully redeemed, restored and reconciled people...." His book is challenging. It's also liberating in a time where fear and division seem to be so pervasive in our culture. Bell's book is a great conversation starter to help us ask deeper  questions about who we are as Christians and how we can live into the Gospel more fully in our daily lives. 

We will read 2 chapters each week. For the first Sunday, please come prepared by reading chapters 1 & 2.
STUDY
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ACTS: BUILDING THE BODY OF CHRIST IN GOOCHLAND

March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and April 6
10:00 - 11:30am

We are continuing our study of the book of Acts every Thursday morning at 10:00am. You may join in at any time. As part of our study, we are considering how the early church was built, the struggles they faced, and how they worked together to create a movement that would become Christianity as we know it today. What can we learn from the apostles' journey? What might Acts teach us about who we are and who we can be in the future?

As part of our study together, we will work to create a prayer for Grace Church that we will share with our congregation at the completion of the study. We will use this prayer every Sunday to pray as a faith community about how we reach inward and outward too build the body of Christ in Goochland.  
CREATE
CREATE ART WITH YOUR FAMILY OR FRIENDS OR SMALL GROUP!

We have recently installed our latest art exhibit in the Parish Hall! Please take a moment to enjoy the art created by our youth to help us prepare for our Lenten study, The 5 Marks of Love. As part of the exhibit, our youth answered the question, "How can I show God's love to others?" 

In addition, we are asking people to help us create the Stations of the Cross for our Good Friday Service! When we move through the Stations of the Cross we are asked to contemplate the life and death of Jesus Christ. It is a spiritual exercise that helps us more deeply consider his teachings and his sacrifice for our salvation.

We have purchased large coloring posters that will be displayed at each station on Good Friday. It is our hope that as a family or with your friends/small group, you will choose one of the pages to work on together. Let this be a special time to come together and talk about the importance of this season in your lives. This isn't just for kids, either! Families of all ages and stages are invited to participate. 

Coloring pages will be available to check out from the Parish Hall beginning on Ash Wednesday. Please indicate on the sign up sheet which page you have chosen. Completed coloring pages are due back to Cindy no later than Sunday, April 2.
SING
YOUTH ENSEMBLE

We are creating a youth ensemble (Middle and High Schoolers) to prepare a musical selection for Holy Week. Jackie Hobbs will be working with interested youth every Wednesday night  during Lent from 7:30 - 8:00pm. We will add additional practices on Sunday after the 11am service as needed. This is a great opportunity to get involved and to share your gifts with the church! Please contact Emily for more details.
REMEMBER
EASTER LILY DEDICATIONS
AND MEMORIALS

Help us decorate the church with an Easter Lily in honor or in memorium of the people who hold a special place in your life. Orders are due no later than April 6th. Lilies are $10 each. Order forms will be available soon in the narthex and may be placed in Cindy's mailbox  outside of the church office.
Grace Episcopal Church

2955 River Road West

Goochland VA 23063

804-556-3051