THE CHURCH BUILDING IS CLOSED FOR
ALL BUT EMERGENCY PURPOSES THROUGH APRIL THE END OF APRIL.
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.
Holy Week Schedule
Palm Sunday, 10:30 am and Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday services at 7 pm will be offered online via the Zoom platform. These services 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.
What to bring: There will be an altar appropriately "dressed" for each of these liturgies. You may wish to participate in your own home by including symbols in your own worship area. Especially, for Palm Sunday, a budding branch to wave; for Maundy Thursday, a bowl of warm water for washing hands, and for Good Friday, a cross for veneration.
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.
What to expect:
When you enter before the service begins, you will be able to see and hear each other. Go ahead and chat! When we begin, I will mute all of you and give some instructions and announcements and Robin will offer a prelude as we prepare ourselves for worship. The entire liturgy will appear on the screen.At the conclusion of the service, I will unmute you, 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
See you on Zoom!
|Are any of you wondering why our online worship has been limited to Morning Prayer? Most likely you have read of other denominations offering creative ways of sharing communion. These range from "drive-in" communion where congregations are served in their cars in a parking lot while listening to the service on cell phones to sitting at home in front of computer screens with bits of bread or crackers and a beverage while clergy broadcast the consecration. This has been an active topic on the internet, including among Episcopalians, and there are many points of view that are both practical and theological.
I have been struggling with how to explain our bishop's preference that we not do any of these but, rather, fast from communion until we are able to gather in person once again; take the opportunity to dive more deeply into our Daily Office Tradition; and explore spiritual communion.
Fortunately, Bp. Lee and others assisted the Presiding Bishop in crafting a statement to the church about our theology of worship. It says, in part:
Sacraments are actions that give new meaning to things. The current questions about the way we worship in a time of radical physical distancing invites the question of what we are prepared for a given sacramental encounter to mean. Sacraments are communal actions that depend on "stuff": bread and wine, water and oil. They depend on gathering and giving thanks, on proclaiming and receiving the stories of salvation, on bathing in water, on eating and drinking together. These are physical and social realities that are not duplicatable in the virtual world. Gazing at a celebration of the Eucharist is one thing; participating in a physical gathering and sharing the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist is another. And, God, of course, can be present in both experiences....
Practices such as "drive-by communion" present public health concerns and further distort the essential link between a communal celebration and the culmination of that celebration in the reception of the Eucharistic Bread and Wine. This is not to say that the presence of the Dying and Rising Christ cannot be received by any of these means. It is to say that from a human perspective, the full meaning of the Eucharist is not obviously signified by them. Our theology is generous in its assurance of Christ's presence in all our times of need....The full statement may be found here
My own liturgics professor, The Rev. Dr. Ruth Meyers, delves into sacramental theology and practice to show how the meaning of communion can be distorted when the full celebration is not present. In the Middle Ages, the people in the Western church rarely received the elements, instead watching the clergy celebrate, focusing on a moment of Consecration (ocular communion) as signaled by the ringing of the Sanctus bells. In the late 20th century, with the publication of our present BCP, there was "a sea change in eucharistic piety" when weekly eucharist became our central Sunday worship. Consequently, receiving communion has become more important. There is a danger now in focusing unduly on the reception rather than the full celebration. This is especially true when these creative variations are employed.
According to Meyers, "Sharing one bread and one cup is integral to communion, as the apostle Paul reminded the Corinthians. A webcast or Facebook livestream or Zoom meeting can help us feel connected to our community, but it does not allow us to share one bread or one cup. In the celebration of the eucharist, we experience the real presence of Christ, not only in the bread and wine that are blessed and shared but also in the Word proclaimed and broken open in homily, in the community gathered as the body of Christ, in song and prayer."
Thus, "Social distancing makes us keenly aware of real absence and our yearning for the real presence of Christ, an experience we share with Christians through the ages. To respond when we cannot celebrate eucharist, Christian tradition offers us the practice of spiritual communion." And she cites this prayer from the The Prayer Book for the Armed Services:
In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.
Dr. Meyers full letter is available CDSP
So, at Grace, and throughout the Diocese of Chicago, our worship will be the Daily Office or The Liturgy of the Word until that day when we will be able to reunite in person and partake together of the bread and the cup. Until then, do try to join all of those who are participating online. It is different and strange. Yet it is a joy to see each other's faces and hear the familiar voices.
See the lower portion of the blue sidebar for messages and sermons from Bp. Lee and online offerings from Grace Church. The bishop's sermons will be ready each Saturday afternoon on the diocesan Youtube channel.Go to youtube.com and search on episcopal diocese of chicago.Grace services will be uploaded to the website and the Facebook page shortly after the live services end.
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.
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29:
A celebration of God's goodness and faithful love, answering prayer, turning the rejected stone into the capstone, and inviting people into God's presence.
Jesus instructs the disciples to bring him a donkey and its colt, then he mounts the colt and rides into Jerusalem, where a procession gathered to celebrate him, while others wondered who he was.
Palm Sunday is another one of those moments when it is easy to fall back on the same old ideas. But, if it is thoughtfully and carefully prepared, this celebration can be a powerful beginning to a very moving journey through Holy Week. In the light of this, it is good not to miss the connection with the rest of what is to come this week, and how this moment of entry into Jerusalem was a very definite and intentional decision by Jesus to face the suffering which lay ahead. Rather than avoid the confrontation and its consequences, Jesus faces them square on, and refuses to shy away from the suffering, or change his message or methods in order to stay safe. In a world in which pain-avoidance has become almost a religion in itself, this example is deeply challenging - as is the cause of Jesus' pain: his insistence on living according to God's alternative way and his refusal to bend to the demands or threats of empire and its systems.
Thumbprints and commentaries from:
Resurrection and Meditation Gardens
The Resurrection and Meditation Gardens
While the church and parish house closed due to the Governor's orders, the Resurrection Garden and the Meditation Garden are still accessible. According to the Governor's edict, playgrounds are off limits but being in other outdoor space is open so long as people follow the 6 foot rule. If you find comfort visiting the graves in the Resurrection Garden, you may do so. There are three prayer stations in the Meditation Garden with votives and prayers in the drawers. When you feel drawn to visiting the Meditation Garden, you may do so. Please, however, observe the 6' physical separation rule if there are others in the garden when you arrive.
We have been going over the church directory and would like to update it with current information. Please take a quick look at your reference information and inform Nancy by email if there is any change to your listing: address, phone numbers, or email addresses. We will try to have a more current directory available on the website and hopefully in paper form soon! Thank you!
The most up-to-date directory may be found on the church website in the "Nuts & Bolts" tab in the Member Portal link.
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!
Quotes and information taken an article titled "Tip Jar for Jesus" from The Rev. Canon Heather L. Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering
During this time of sheltering, the five students enrolled in the EfM seminar at Grace Church are meeting via Zoom. Three use computers or laptops while two are calling in by phone. We have two students who will graduate at the end of this year (Crystal Mason and Richard Luther). One is in her third year (Teresa Burke). Two are first year students (Sue Anderson and Mary Lou Smith). Lynn Giles is the mentor. EfM stands for Education for Ministry. It is a four-year curriculum developed by the University of the South, Sewanee TN for the education of lay people in the church. The first year focuses on the Hebrew Bible; the second year the New Testament while the third years reviews church history and the fourth year reads contemporary theology and ethics. In addition, as a group, we reflect on theological issues as they relate to our world.
The EfM group planned to have a Mission Moment followed by a coffee hour on May 31, 2020 to explain how the program works. These plans are now "on hold." New students may enroll to start in September 2020. Tuition is $375/yr., which includes all textbooks. Scholarships are available. There is lots of information about EfM on the website, efm.sewanee.edu. If anyone has questions, Lynn Giles is available at:
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
ROTA: December 2019-May 31,2020
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
Lector: Terri Jackman
Pianist: Robin French
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
I Corinthians 15:19-26
|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:
Service of the Palms and the Word online
Morning Prayer* online --7:30 am
Bible Study** online--10:30 am
Maundy Thursday liturgy online
Good Friday liturgy online
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:
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Anniversaries and Birthdays
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Send to Nancy.
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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
|Grace Morning Prayer
|Grace Galena 5 Lent Morning Prayer Live
|Grace Galena Lent 4 Morning Prayer
|Grace Galena Morning Prayer with Lent 3A Lections
|A Courageous Holy Week and Easter: A Message From Bishop Lee
|Bishop Lee's Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent