Grace Episcopal Church
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
News for January 6, 2017

OK, so we don't have that much snow yet!  Beautiful picture of last year!
Feast of the Epiphany

Christmas is officially over, and, today, we remember the coming of the Wise Men, or the Magi, or the "Three" Kings (though the Bible makes no reference to the number).  In our culture the majority of people who celebrate Christmas celebrate it as one day.  We celebrate it as the beginning of a journey of living with the God who is "with us"--Immanuel in our midst. Here are some words of reflection from the Diocese of Kentucky:

"For most of us in the US, despite the popularity of the "12 Days" carol, Christmas only lasts about 24 hours. Christmas trees are swiftly removed after the Nativity, decorations packed away as quickly as possible, and twinkling festive lights unplugged and tangled back up in their plastic bins. School is back in session and pink Valentine's Day hearts and chocolate candies greet you at the front of every shop. 

"This singular emphasis on the Nativity is not universal.  In Puerto Rico, for example, Christmas celebrations build through December until January 6, Dia de los Reyes Magos-the Epiphany. Straw is left about as a sign of the journey to the stable and kids leave a box of grass under their beds as they go to sleep awaiting the arrival of the hungry horses of the magi. Families write letters to the Wise Men outlining their wishes. In the morning, the letters and grass have been exchanged for gifts and treats.

"Those twelve days between the Nativity and the arrival of the wise men following a star represent an important journey. We move from the awe of a baby being born who is to be "God with us" to the dawning of the understanding that the Messiah is in our midst. These twelve days, this hike to a stable in Bethlehem-this is us walking toward God, trying to find our way in a new world by setting our eyes on the child. Jesus will soon be on the move himself when his family is exiled to Egypt. It will not be his only exile. It seems the Christian life is full of walking toward a destination God has called us to only to find that forces of empire demand a new course." (Rev. Canon Amy Coltas)   
Planning for Our Next Capital Campaign 

For several years, Grace Vestries have been talking about the necessity of another Capital Campaign to be able to make some changes to position ourselves for a thriving future for Grace Church.  Our last Campaign was ten years ago and was very successful--especially with the guidance of our consultant Bob Strange.  We were in communication with Bob for about a year concerning working with us again, but, some months back, he let us know that he would not be available.  He recommended that we consider hiring his former business partner, Pete Rauchenstein.  The Vestry met with Pete and came away with confidence in his ability to work with us very productively and in a very similar manner to Bob.  We signed an agreement with Pete, and he is scheduled to come and be with us for three weeks, beginning Sunday, January 15, to complete a feasibility study.  Depending on the results of that, Pete will return for a longer stay.  Everyone will have an opportunity for input into this process through a series of focus meetings held in various homes. In general, our hope is to take care of immediate building needs that will also reduce utility costs, to reduce overall utility costs, to make some changes that will allow us to use our space more efficiently and that will accommodate growing ministries, and to build up our Endowment Fund so that we can responsibly use a certain portion of that Fund for significant property costs as they arise. Please give Pete a warm welcome!  We know you will enjoy his being with us.  
Grace Youth and Family Council 

Several Grace members have taken the initiative to establish the Grace Youth and Family Council, which has already sponsored several events. Below is a description of this endeavor:

"Formation of Grace Youth and Family Council became official on November 13, 2016.  Numerous outreach efforts and verbal commitments reaching over 8 family units with children and purposely stated minimum gross estimate of 20+ people were completed at that time (exact numbers can be provided).  Since the inception the council has moved forward in the evolution of being and presence.  Three events have been offered inclusively to reach out to not only children and family, but the broader community as well.  

"Prior to the start of Advent we hosted an Advent Family Activity that encouraged community sharing and intentional learning for the coming church season and birth of Christ.  The event was well attended by both children and adults.  Reverend Alice Nichols took time to paint and read with children and a staff accompanying the Bishop even took time to paint and share, commenting that this was a wonderful event.  

"In December, Council members decided to have a fun games and activity night for kids while they were on Christmas Break.  The event was intentional for building community and fostering good fun and relationships for the long-term.  The attendance level was great and accompanied by lots of smiles and joyful sharing.  The event correlated dates with The Feast of The Holy Innocents. 

"The New Year kicked off on World Peace Day with our third event which was centered on inviting others to join with us in taking a pledge to build an active culture of nonviolence.  The meeting was a wonderful success with pledges of commitment spanning across 5 counties and two states where seeds were planted in fertile hearts that will be tended and watered.  Those seeds will grow.  We are looking forward to this growth, joining our forces with others, planting, tending, and seamlessly weaving, making a better world for, there, and everywhere.  We invite you to share and grow with us.  Let us walk together in love, embodying the principles of The Jesus Movement, honoring the vows of our baptismal covenant."

Report on GraceWorks 

We had a great holiday season, and are currently offering reduced prices on some of our Christmas cards.  Stock up for next year!  After a brief slowdown, we will be resuming our efforts to expand the business and product lines.  Look for new items coming soon!  

Our website is up an running and taking orders.  Check it out at !  
"New" Eucharistic Liturgies

In 1998 (hardly new!), the Episcopal Church published a supplement to the BCP which includes three alternative Eucharistic services--entitled Enriching Our Worship 1.  Many churches have been using these liturgies regularly and finding the language to be a refreshing change.  We will be using one of these Eucharistic prayers on Sunday mornings during the season after Epiphany until the beginning of Lent on March 1.  Listen carefully.  Some of the changes are subtle, so see if you catch the significance of them.  
Dates to Remember

Sunday, January 8--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, January 8--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist: The Baptism of Our Lord
Monday, January 9--5:30 pm--EFM
Tuesday, January 10--3:00 pm--Kindergarten Board 
Tuesday, January 10--4:30 pm--GraceWorks group                                                .      Wednesday, January 11--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist with healing prayers
Sunday, January 15--Pete Rauchenstein arrives
Sunday, January 15--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, January 15--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist
Monday, January 16--MLK Holiday--Parish Office CLOSED
Monday, January 16--5:30 pm--EFM
Wednesday, January 18--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist with healing prayers
Wednesday, January 18--5:30 pm--Vestry
Thursday, January 19--11:00 am--Four Rivers Deanery at Grace
Saturday, January 21--5:00 pm--Feed Your Spirit Holy Eucharist
Sunday, January 22--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, January 22--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist
Monday, January 23--5:30 pm--EFM
Wednesday, January 25--12:10 am--Holy Eucharist with healing prayers
Sunday, January 29--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, January 29--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist
Sunday, January 29--11:30 am--Annual Parish Meeting 
Sunday, January 29--5:00 pm--Ministerial Association MLK service at Freeman
 Chapel CME Church--with Grace Choir participating
Christmas Poem--"Now the Work of Christmas Begins"

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.  (Howard Thurman)