THE CHURCH BUILDING IS CLOSED FOR
ALL BUT EMERGENCY PURPOSES
In the meantime, mail is being picked up and bills are being paid. You may mail your pledge payments to the church however it is convenient
for you to do so.
|Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! No, I am not emulating my little grand-nephews playing with their trucks and race cars on the living room floor! I am describing life as it is right now--days of little or no face-to-face human contact punctuated by a series of meetings, worship services, and social gatherings on this thing called Zoom. In my own life, these have been our own Grace Church worship services twice each week as well as monthly meetings of our ministries; weekly meetings of all diocesan clergy with Bp. Lee and monthly Rockford Deanery meetings; occasional seminars; and gatherings with my family groups, and with friends. Though they do not replace getting together in person, they have become valued events--things I look forward to in an otherwise less structured week. And one true advantage--my. social gatherings have allowed me to see and interact with people I normally see only occasionally because we live so far apart. So, I am grateful.
On Wednesday, much of our meeting with Bp. Lee was taken up by Melissa Perrin, a psychologist who serves our diocese. She spoke with us about patterns and emotions she is observing with her clients as they live through and try to manage anxiety and grief in these uncertain and challenging times. She said that it is important to recognize when we feel exhausted that this is, in fact exhausting--we are in danger and we are not in control of what is happening!
Also, we are accustomed to our bodies doing much of our communicating--gestures, expressions, and so on. And now, communication is primarily done using our minds. We may experience brain fog! She suggests making lists--with pen and paper because this tactile embodiment helps our brain remember. She suggests keeping some routine--instead of sitting in bathrobes all day long--change clothes, put on makeup or shave, as this helps our bodies make sense of the day. (In the spirit of disclosure, I am writing this in my bathrobe and slippers!)
She delineated some stages of a time like we are in. First, we gather together all we expect we will need and hunker down. Second, we have gathered data and figured some things out--but we may here underestimate our risk and feel like we have things under control. Then we transition into what going forward might be like--a time of reflecting on what has been left behind, how much they matter, and what really matters. There may be grief here, and we need to attend to it. And there may be hope, too, as we regroup and begin to see what is most important and how and where we fit into a new reality.
It is this last part that I am now beginning to ponder. I think that those of us who are people of faith might be a bit behind the curve right now. The timing of this pandemic in the middle of the season of Lent caused us to be particularly focused on the mechanics of our worship through Holy Week and Easter--how could we manage? Learning the online technology from the ground up, even while things were changing from day to day, even hour to hour right in the midst. Then there was the immediate exhaustion of Easter Week. So, I think I am not alone in just now starting to move into the reflection phase even as others are starting to take the leap into "going back to normal." I am not confident that "normal" will come soon--or ever. As painful as it may be, we need time to work out the vast sea of uncertainty, to pay attention to what this crisis is uncovering about our world and our planet, to pray and deeply reflect on how living the Gospel especially in such anxious times might bring about a more just and peaceful world. I'm on my soap box again, folks--each little step we can/must make to bring about God's dream for the world!
See you on Zoom,
Ministry in the Midst of COVID-19!
Easter Season Worship
Sunday services will begin at our usual 10:30 time on Zoom. They will also be recorded and uploaded as quickly as possible for those unable to participate on Zoom. The uploads will appear on the church's Facebook page, @FullyGrace and on the Grace website.
Wednesday morning services and
Bible Study are also on Zoom each week. If you would like to add your name to any of these participant lists, please e-mail the church office.
Watch for e-mail invitations to arrive in your inbox the day before each service. It will include the information you will need to sign on or phone in. It's a good idea to sign in a bit before the appointed time. Make sure you have your audio and video enabled. For those who do not have access to the internet, joining by telephone is also possible.
What to expect:
When you enter before the service begins, you will be able to see and hear one another. You will also be able to hear background noises such as dogs barking. At the appointed time, the host will mute everyone except for the officiant and designated readers.
The entire liturgy will appear on the screen. At the conclusion of the service, you will be unmuted, we will share the peace, and visit for a little while.
Here is a link of Zoom tips put together by Greg Serwich. He has been successfully assisting those who have had difficulties with the technology. Check this out in advance. If you have problems, give Greg a call. Zoom Tips
Ministry of Care
Here at Grace, The Ministry of Care has organized regular phone and e-mail contact with our most vulnerable members. If you are in need of assistance,or pick-up and delivery of prescriptions or emergency supplies, please contact Bonnielynn Kreiser. Also contact her if you are able to help out. And, of course, your clergy are available by phone, text, and e-mail to provide pastoral care,
For your personal reading and devotion this Sunday.
Acts 2:14a, 36-41
: Peter continues his sermon on the Day of Pentecost and encourages his hearers to believe in Jesus as Messiah, to repent and to receive God's Spirit, and 3000 people respond.
Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
: A psalm of praise, thanksgiving and commitment in response to God's gracious rescue.
1 Peter 1:17-23
: Because God, through raising Christ from death, has led God's people to eternal life, we should love one another.
: Jesus appears to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who invite him to stay the night with them. They share a meal and, as Jesus breaks the bread, they recognise him.
When we begin to talk and think about applying the Gospel to the realities of our world, ideas like resurrection and response don't often come up, and yet they are key. As we have already explored, resurrection is what God is doing in the world in all sorts of ways, and we are called to co-operate and co-create with God as this life-giving work is happening. This is where the response comes in. When tsunami's and earthquakes hit, we are called to respond to the Christ at work in the midst of grief, death and suffering. When the planet is threatened by greedy consumerism, we are called to respond to the Christ who gave life to the universe. When war and conflict harms innocent people, and when dictators bomb their own, we are called to respond to the Christ who brings peace. Wherever life is at work to rescue, heal and restore there is a response that we are called to make. We can ignore it and go about our lives as if it doesn't matter, or we can seek to be a part of the life-giving work of God. We can walk with Jesus on the road to Emmaus and then let him walk on, or we can invite him in for a meal. We can stay alone and amazed at the Christ we've encountered, or we can run back into community and share what we've experienced, drawing others into God's life. Whether by prayer, contribution, volunteering or voting, our task is to remain always open to God's life and where it may break out next, and then to be ready with a response that brings grace and life to others. In what ways can we be part of the work of resurrection in the most broken and hurting parts of our world this week?
Thumbprints and commentaries from:
New Glory Parish Church Update
The second and final donation to the Glory Parish construction has been sent to the Diocese of Chicago for wire transfer to Bp. Joseph.
New updates and photos will appear next week.
|Excavation--old church in background
Collecting the Blue UTO Box
UTO isn't simply a
tip jar for Jesus
to say, "Hey man, nice work!" but it is a moment to stop and notice. UTO is that space to remember that our humanity is bound up with the hope and love of
I want to start by saying that I find the term "tip jar for Jesus" a great one. It makes me think about the people who work at our Galena restaurants. Right now, we are all concerned for them because their jobs are temporarily gone. But, like Fried Green Tomatoes, most places are setting up funds for their workers. We are encouraged to leave tips for them. Tipping them, is not only helping them financially, it is thanking them for the work they do to take care of us. Stopping to think of thanking them is a pause of gratitude that recognizes their humanity and mine and the fact that we are bound together in spite of being strangers to one another and that our charge is to take care of each other.
We don't often allow ourselves time to stop and notice, and when we don't, our blessings start to unravel with the busy nature of our modern lives or get washed away with worries. It's why researchers often suggest that the best way to combat anxiety is with gratitude. Gratitude interrupts the neurological processes that feed worry. Gratitude helps us to notice, to hem up, to give thanks, and to remember whence the blessing sprouted. Without gratitude, then, the blessings can simply drift away, and that can leave behind resentment, frustration, anxiety, and depression. We can miss the blessings right in front of us and begin to feel like everyone else is blessed except us if we let the small blessings pass by without that moment to stop, notice, and give thanks.
In the year 2018, UTO provided over $1,200,000. In grant money. Your change "tips" a lot of people. That financial support and taking a moment to be grateful are the reasons for the UTO box...every time you drop change in, count a blessing!
Formation and Spirituality Ministries
EfM (Education for Ministry)
As we reach the end of the academic year, we will look forward to Grace participants in EfM completing their four years of study and graduating. Beginning next week, we will have a series of reflections on the EfM from the current EfM class. Mary Lou Smith will kick this off.
You may recall that Mary Lou already graduated from EfM a few years ago. She chose, this year, to join the group once again to take advantage of the new curriculum and continue to learn and grow in her faith
Wednesday Morning Study Group
The Wednesday morning study group has been active and well attended, especially during the Coronavirus shutdown.
The group currently is studying the Gospel of Matthew.
All are welcome to join us one hour weekly, beginning at 10:30 a.m. If interested in receiving the Zoom invitations, send a message to Greg Serwich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How quickly things change! Things we have all taken for granted have become temporarily unavailable in the old form and changed into something different. One of these necessary changes has been to change the date of my ordination. The Bishop's office has told me that a new date will be set once it is safe to meet in large groups again. The official word did not come as a surprise, and while I am a little disappointed, I am mostly thankful for the wisdom of Bishop Lee in his determination to keep us all safe. I know some of you were planning to join me in Chicago. When a new date is set, I will let you know. As a candidate, I have no further requirements to fulfill prior to ordination, and can focus my attention on ministry at Grace. As always, I am thankful for each of you and the support and encouragement I have received.
estry Liaisons' primary purpose is to assure two-way communications between the various ministries and the
to represent the ministries for resources
policy issues, and to
Building and Grounds: Greg Serwich (Sr. Warden 2019-2021)
Worship Committee: Charlotte Stryker (class of 2022)
Formation and Spirituality: Elizabeth Ludescher (class of 2022)
Fellowship & Hospitality: Anita Sands (class of 2021)
Ministry of Care/LEMs: Nancy Cook (class of 2023)
Tony Packard (class of 2021)
Communications: Eric Kallback(class of 2023)
Governance: Wardens & Rector
Officers: Greg Serwich, Senior Warden
Lynn Giles, Junior Warden,
Richard Luther, Treasurer
Diann Marsh, Clerk
The Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
Staff: Robin French, Director of Music
Nancy Cook, Erben Organist
Nancy Kenney, Parish Administrator
Chris Ludescher, Nursery Attendant
Third Sunday of Easter
April 26, 2020
ROTA: December 2019-May 31,2020
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
Lector: Carol Poston
Pianist: Robin French
|For a current prayer list, click on the following link:
Grace Prayer List
Request For Prayers notebook is in the Narthex/ Entrance area of the Church. Please feel free to request prayers for yourself or others at any time by filling out a form or contacting the office by either phone or email. May we first and always be "a people of prayer."
Events This Week:
Easter Three Service online
Morning Prayer* online --7:30 am
Bible Study** online--10:30 am
To be invited to online events, please contact *Gloria at
or **Greg Serwich at email@example.com
Compline or Evening Prayer TBD
All are welcome!
For current and
check out the goog
calendar on the website
eminder for hosts:
Napkins and plates
are provided. Use
what you need from
Remember: Keep it simple. We usually have about 35-40 attending.
**Coffee schedule sign up is on the bulletin board in the Parish House.**
|You can now get information on Formation Ministries directly from the new Grace website at the following links:
Children and Youth Adults
If you are in need of assistance while ill or recovering: meals, transportation, visits, please contact the
Ministry of Care
Ministry of Care Leadership
Facilitators who can assist you and connect you with parishioners who have trained and committed to this ministry that includes Parish Visitors, Meals, Rides, as well as the ongoing Servants through Prayer, LEMs, and the Greeting Card ministry.
News and prayer requests:
Wed. end of day.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have yours been missed in our bulletins?
Send to Nancy.
News and Photos
want to know
what's going on at Grace! T
here are places
here for your
Comments on this e-Blast may be sent here.
Audio files of sermons are posted on the Grace Church website as well as in the next week's e-Blast.
Paper copies are available upon re
Older recent sermons
|Easter Sunday at Grace 2020
|Grace Galena Good Friday Service
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena Illinois Maundy Thursday
|We're In Good Company: Bishop Lee's Easter Sermon
|Grief Is the Price We Pay For Love: Bishop Lee's Good Friday Message
|Tending Bodies: Bishop Lee's Maundy Thursday Message