Grace Episcopal Church
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
News for July 25, 2014

Installation and Blessing of the Little Library


By this Sunday, the Little Library, which the Missions Group has been working on for several months, will have been installed along the walkway into the cloister, and will be blessed after the morning worship service.  The "library" will be filled with a variety of books, and anyone in the neighborhood is free to borrow a book, or take and keep a book, or contribute a book for someone else to read.  There are similar projects all over the United States and are an effort to make reading material more available to everyone.     

Come Walk with Us (Alice's blog post from July 18)


"Be ye kind one to another" 


A few days ago, a church member gave me a belated birthday present with these words, "I think you might find a gem for a sermon in this book."  The text of the book is a transcript of George Saunders' convocation address in 2013 at Syracuse University, where he teaches creative writing.  The title is Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness.  I read it in twelve minutes.  You can also view it on You-Tube in about the same amount of time.  The first thing I thought about after reading it was the Bible verses that I learned in early childhood, one of them being, "Be ye kind one to another" (Ephesians 4:32-KJV, of course!).  So simple?  Ought to be.  It's one of those things that is "simple" but not "easy."  Saunders explains that we are born with "built-in confusions" about who we are.  Those "confusions" always lead us to having to work hard if we are ever to let go of a deep level of self-centeredness--which seems to be basic to the human condition and inevitably leads to misery.  The sooner we get to work on that self-centeredness, the more time we have to enjoy being kind--and the more joy and peace we will experience in our lives and share with the world.  We have countless times to practice every day--to ask ourselves the question over and over, "Am I being kind right now?"  We will never regret it.  


Missions Idea in the "Brewing" Phase 


During 2012, when the Vestry was participating in the church-wellness consultation with Tom Ehrich, one of the things that we were strongly advised to do was to become a more active "mission" presence within our community--to determine what might be uniquely ours to do and to avoid doing things that other churches are already doing better.  The Vestry and Missions Group and other groups and individuals within the church are beginning to work on a vision for a missions project that would start to address the most basic social problems in our community--the problems of poverty and unemployment--from a different angle.  The model that we are looking at is the Thistle Farms program in Nashville.  Please take some time to look at their great website.  The program is designed to prepare people for employment and then employ them in various aspects of the Thistle Farms business.  We might look at it as a "cottage industry" in which participants are basically self-employed--producing and selling one or more items or providing a variety of services.  We hope that many people--from inside and outside the church--artists, teachers, business people, etc.--will want to volunteer time, talent and energy.  In order to have space to begin to develop this program, our Senior Warden, Charlie Ross, and our Sexton, Phillip Merritt, and other volunteers are working on the renovation of one of the rooms in the Red House that needed some major reconstruction.  At this point we are calling our potential program "GraceWorks."  Please let Charlie or Alice know if you find this idea intriguing and if you might be interested in participating.  We will start small, but this could become a huge endeavor.      

Foyer Group Kick-Off Report 


A great time was had by all who attended the Foyer Group kick-off and "hump-day" dinner at the home of Lois and Hollis White last night.  See the pictures on our Facebook page!  It's not too late to join a group.  Foyer Groups generally get together for monthly dinners, often pot-luck, and are a great way to get to know other church members on a social level.  If you would like to be part of a group, please contact Polly Stokes or Lois White.  



Grace Church apparently--as with most other churches--has a long tradition of standing or kneeling at certain points during a celebration of the Holy Eucharist.  For example, most people kneel for the Post-Communion Prayer and Blessing before the recessional hymn.  This custom is not a requirement. The Book of Common Prayer 1979 includes very few rubrics--or rules--about posture, and they are mostly about standing (as we are able).  What that means is that each of us is free to do whatever we are comfortable with doing.  So, try something different--if you like!  

Living the Questions


Adult Forum is continuing to meet at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings.  We have had so much enthusiasm for the current program that we are doing, which is a video series entitled Living the Questions 2.0, that the Spiritual Formation Group is considering our offering it to a more public audience.  The series has been described as an introduction to "Progressive Christianity." We are certain that there are many people in the Hopkinsville area that are not attending church because they are not aware that there are a few Christian communities that welcome those who are seekers and questioners--communities that are inclusive, not only in terms of race and gender and other usual categories, but in terms of theological orientation and understanding. Episcopalians have a long history of belief that we don't have to agree with each other, even about matters of faith, in order to accept and appreciate each other and to worship together.  We would like to offer an alternative time for members and friends to become more familiar with the series before we "go public" and are scheduling a weekly time on Monday evenings during the Fall.  More information will be forthcoming.  All are welcome.  

Dates to Remember

Sunday, July 27--9:00 am--Adult Forum
Sunday, July 27--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist Rite I, followed by Blessing of the Little
 Library and refreshments
Wednesday, July 30--No midweek Eucharist due to Great Futures Lunch at the Boys
 and Girls Club
Thursday, July 31--1:00 pm--Prayer Group
Sunday, August 3--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist Rite II
Wednesday, August 6--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist
Thursday, August 7--1:00 pm--Prayer Group
Thursday, August 7--5:30 pm--Sanctuary, Inc.'s Annual Dinner at Bruce Center
Sunday, August 10--9:00 am--Adult Forum
Sunday, August 10--10:15 am--Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist Rite II
Wednesdays, August 13, 20, 27--9:00 am--Cool Spots for Hot Tots
Wednesday, August 13--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist
Wednesday, August 13--5:30 pm--Vestry (Moved from August 20)
Thursday, August 14--5:30 pm?--Kindergarten Open House (and evening of fun)
Friday, August 15-Monday, September 1--Rector on vacation 
Sunday, August 17--6:00 pm--Celtic Eucharist

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