--and the church is re
dy! We begin a new liturgical year on
Sunday, December 1
with the lighting of the first ca
ndle of the
Advent Wreath.Our Yarn Ministries is all set for the
ing of 367 shawls, hats, mittens, blankets and other items that will be donated to clients of the UCG Food Pantry and Shelter Care Ministries in Rockford.
Grace Movie Night -
Sunday December 1st, 6:00pm
For the month of Christmas, what better movie than one about war interrupted by peace. Film critic Roger Ebert aptly encapsulated Joyeux Noel in this 2006 review:
"On Christmas Eve of 1914, a remarkable event took place in the trenches where the Germans faced the British and the French. There was a spontaneous cease-fire, as the troops on both sides laid down their weapons and observed the birth of the savior in whose name they were killing each other. The irony of this gesture is made clear in the opening scenes of "Joyeux Noel," in which schoolchildren of the three nations sing with angelic fervor, each in their own language, about the necessity of wiping the enemy from the face of the earth."
All who enjoy a good movie are welcome, including guests, and guests of guests. Anyone may bring a beverage, snack or popcorn to munch during the movie.
United Churches Christmas Concert:
December 4, 7 pm
One of the great traditions of God's people is to sing His praises. We invite you to join in singing the praises of God as we look forward to the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas. Please mark your calendars for attending the United Churches of Galena Community Christmas Concert at 7pm on Wednesday, December 4th, at St. Michael Catholic Church. A freewill offering will be collected to benefit the UCG Food Pantry.
Advent Quiet Day--LAST CHANCE TO SIGN UP
On Saturday, December 7, from 9:30am to 2:30pm, Carol Poston will lead a quiet day based on the writings of Anglican theologian Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), the first woman to lecture on theology at Oxford and the author of two major works on mysticism and worship, as well as other writings. As some of you already know, Carol is the editor of
The Making of a Mystic: New and Selected Letters of Evelyn Underhill (University of Illinois Press, 2010).
No advance reading is required, but art materials, rosaries and other prayer aids will be available; and if you are in the habit of journaling, you may wish to bring your journal with you since there will be ample time for personal reflection. There is no charge, but freewill offerings are welcome to help cover the cost of lunch, which is provided. For this reason, we do request advance registration. Please call the church office at 815-777-2590.
Although Friday, was the stated deadline for registration, interested parishioners may still sign up Sunday, December 1, before church as they enter the narthex or during the coffee hour.
Canapes and Conversation--Friday, December 13
This month, C&C will be held at Galena Center for the Arts, part of the model trains that will be exhibited by Phil and Terri Jackman Thursdays - Sundays until December 15.
est Night Service --
Friday, December 20
Not all people
are feeling joyful during this holiday season. They may be experiencing loss or loneliness, pain, confusion, or fear. As the Full Cold Moon rises as we approach this Winter Solstice, this service of prayer, reflection and lighting of candles acknowledges such feelings. It offers a safe space where warmth and light might bring hope and peace. Diane Luther and the Rector will preside. Friday, December 20, 6pm .
Shining the Light Stewardship Campaign
As of Sunday, November 24, 47 pledges were submitted (of 58 expected for the year.) The total amount of those 47 pledges is $139,700.
Many, many thanks to those who have made this commitment to Grace ministries in 2020. If you have not done so, there is still time. You may drop it off or mail it to the church office. Extra pledge packets are available in the Narthex. Pledging is not required to be a member of Grace. It is encouraged as a practice of faith and as a way of helping the church's leaders plan for the next year's ministry expenses.
When many, many miles from my own grandchildren, it is so good to gather with extended family. Mine, within a drivable distance, includes several of the grand nephews--five boys from 8 to 1-1/2, to be exact! Along with their parents, my millennial and Gen X nieces and nephews (and, of course, my own younger son and two of my siblings). I am very fortunate, I know, that my sister and her husband are so welcoming--willing to include the family "orphans." I know that not all people have that privilege. It may be family separation by geographical distance or the result of division and conflict. Or even being the last surviving member of your generation.
The keynote speakers at this year's Diocesan Convention spoke of loneliness as a cultural crisis, reducing life expectancy even more than obesity or smoking. They were talking specifically about their studies with millennials and some of the models they have found where young people can find community and meaning. For the majority of those they studied, though mostly unaffiliated with churches, pray regularly and believe in God. One of four claimed they had no one to talk to; one in five had only one person they could count on.
I do not, by any means, believe this loneliness is limited to these young people. It is true in all generations, but, perhaps, those of us who are older had institutions still available to us (church and related organizations, neighborhoods, fraternal organizations for example). The focus on millennials at the Convention was to our church's anxiety about declining attendance and why we can't we attract younger people to the church.
Last year's Convention speaker's message laid out the PROBLEM -- one that we have been wringing our hands over for a number of years. This year, we might have heard the beginnings of some steps forward. As I said in last week's sermon (the one I said was only "half-baked"), this has been churning around in my mind all week long. It will continue, I expect. The thing is, any engagement with younger generations will not look like church as usual. Or attracting them to our doors--definitely not about filling our pews and our offering plates. It is more about finding ways to accompany and to listen, to assist in connecting and resourcing without imposing our own agenda. Letting them know that they are known and loved.
It is a new thing that is happening. As Bishop Lee said a couple of years ago (quoting The Rev. Charles LaFond), "The church is not dying. It is molting."
The reason I combined the extended family story with the Convention topic is that I got to do a teeny bit of my own research with my 20s and 30s nieces and nephews. It was a very small sample but there was concurrence with the loneliness research. They said they had few friends outside of work associates and were not aware of groups that they could become part of. That things they had explored--outside of sports interests--tended to be very specific to age groups like "over 55," or day time only gatherings. If there were opportunities out there, they were not being widely promoted.
The "baking" and churning continues. I think it would be great fun to gather a small group of 20s and 30s and spend some time listening. The church has resources in building communities. The question is, I think, do we have the flexibility and grace to open ourselves to what may be in the making? NOT to replace what we have that works very well for our present congregation. But to allow a new thing to come alongside? And to accompany it as we can?
See you in church,
As is usual for this time of year, the Lectionary begins with our hope in Christ, the coming of God's reign in Christ, and the challenge for us to live from this hope, remembering God's comings in the past, recognising God's comings now, and awaiting God's comings into our future. Just this one day, if embraced mindfully and wholeheartedly, can change us forever.
: A prophecy of the days when all people will seek to learn God's ways, and God will teach them justice and peace; and an invitation to walk in God's light.
: A song of celebration for Jerusalem, the place of worship, the place where God's people are taught and led by God, and a place for which the Psalmist prays prosperity and peace.
: Believing in the soon coming of God's day of salvation, Paul encourages the believers to live lives of morality, peace and modesty.
: Because we do not know the day or time when Christ will come, Jesus encourages the believers to be ready at all times.
In too many ways the life of Christians and their churches simply reflects the values and beliefs of the societies around us. To look at us you wouldn't know that we wait for a different world, and hold out the hope of peace and justice. If we really lived our faith in the coming of Christ, we would seek to express hope in all our interactions, we would invite others into a hope-filled way of living, and we would live the kind of life that demonstrates what we believe the world will one day be. This means we must embrace a life of simple, daily justice - reducing our personal carbon footprints through modesty and simplicity; bringing peace through the practices of forgiveness, negotiation and listening; seeking justice through serving those in need and challenging injustice wherever we find it in our communities. In addition we need to develop the habit of readiness - looking for every coming of Christ into our lives and world, and noticing and proclaiming the presence of Christ whenever we can. If we can do this, we become the fulfilment of the prophecies in this week's readings. In what way can you seek to be a quiet, but prophetic community through this Advent season?
Thumbnails and commentary from sacredise.com
Worship Ministries--Altar Guild
Pointsettia Sign-up Time!
There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex for Christmas Poinsettias. There is also a new Flower sign-up sheet for 2020. Please call Ann Berry if you have any questions.
e Diocesan Convention last week,
Richard Luther received a certificate recognizing his completion of the Diocese of Chicago Church Treasurer Certification. Congratulations, Richard!
Mark your calendars for this
Epiphany Retreat on
Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m:
THE BEST DEATH EVER
Led by the Rev. Judith Doran
Join us for honest and deep conversation about death, including confronting our own mortality. We will explore the medical, ethical, and theological aspects of what is meant by "sanctity of life," and how what we believe about death affects us and will affect those we love.
Further information will be forthcoming.
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)
Pastoral Care/LEMs: Bonnielynn Kreiser (class of 2020)
Tony Packard (class of 2021)
Communications: Larry Poston (class of 2020)
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
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Ann Berry &
December 8, 2019
for your own study:
|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."
Community Breakfast at Victory Café
Morning Study Group
UCG Christmas Concert
All are welcome!
For current and
check out the goog
calendar on the website
Kim & Bonnielynn
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
o Carol Poston
o Charlotte Kennedy
who can assist you and connect you with parishioners who have trained and commited to this ministry that includes Parish Visitors, Meals, Rides, as well as the ongoing Servants through Prayer, LEMs, and the Greeting Card ministry.
Carol Poston, Charlotte Kennedy
Clergy Advisors: Gloria Hopewell,
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 Galena Reign of Christ 2019 Sermon
Grace Galena 22nd after Pentecost 2019
Grace Galena 21st after Pentecost 2019
|Grace Galena All Saints C Sermon 2019