Grace Episcopal Church
Third Sunday in Advent 
 Gaudete Sunday 
December 15th, 2019
10:30 am

Jim Berry
Melody Hendricks 
Carl Davis  
Regular Office Hours Tuesday-Friday
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.  
The Long 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.
Holiday Worship Schedule  
  • Third Sunday of Advent Eucharist, December 15, 10:30 am
  • Longest Night Service, December 20, 6 pm
  • Fourth Sunday of Advent Lessons & Carols, December 22, 10:30 am
  • Christmas Eve The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 pm, Children's Procession to the Creche, Eucharist, Candlelight ing
  • Feast of the Epiphany (transferred), January 5, 10:30 am
Shining the Light Stewardship Campaign 

As of  Sunday, December 3, 53 pledges were submitted. The total amount pledged is $153,968.  
    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. 
Rector's Rambings 
I 'm not sure why trains bring back Christmas memories for me, but they do. Maybe it came from ads or Marshall Field's window displays. Certainly not from the symbols of Advent or the Nativity!
     In the house where we lived when both of my sons were still at home, as soon as the tree was in place and the lights strung on its branches along with the cranberry ropes (wooden ones from Crate &  Barrel, not hand-strung fresh berries), the train tracks would be put together and  arranged in an oval around the tree. It was not a fancy train with lots of accessories, just a simple Lionel with a few cars and caboose--and, of course, a whistle. It was always a lot of trouble, really, because sitting on carpet, the connections between tracks inevitably became loose or a car jumped the tracks rather than doing what it was supposed to do. Nevertheless, the tree was a necessary part of our holiday decorating.
     The house was a typical 1920s square, two/three story like many others in our neighborhood. The wall on the right had a woodburning fireplace and mantle at the center, flanked by bookcases and small, leaded glass windows. It was on the adjacent wall between the bookcase and the entrance to the dining room where the tree was placed most years The rest of the year, that corner was my reading spot where i spent many evenings reading. It was a cozy and peaceful spot that I remember with great affection.
     On Christmas Eve, when we had returned from singing in the choir at the midnight service, we would spend some time there by the tree in front of the fire, often sipping eggnog and listening to Christmas music on the radio. Sometimes the train would chug and whistle around the tree in time--or not--with the carols.
      Those days passed too soon, but many years later, in the Episcopal church where I was doing my internship, a couple of guys got an idea. A number of the pews had been temporarily roped off awaiting some overdue maintenance. They erected a platform on tp of those pews and set up a large display of trains. Beginning in Advent, those trains ran around that part of the nave before and after worship. Of course, the choir had to insist that they stop the whistling and chugging during warm-up!

I don't know that there is any spiritual message in this rambling. Just some joy at remembering. And since this Sunday is Gaudete Sunday, perhaps it is allowed. In any event, I hope I will see you this evening at the Galena Center for the Arts for the Jackman's train display! I shall revisit those long ago Christmases. 

[Guadete or Rose Sunday, the visual manifestation of Gaudete or Joy--a break in what was formerly a more penitential observance of Lent. A day when the rose candle is lighted in the Advent wreath and rose vestments may be worn.]      
See you in church,
From Bishop Lee 
Bishop Lee has issued the formal Call for Electing Convention for June 20, 2020 at which a new diocesan bishop will be elected for the Diocese of Chicago. He writes:

"The coming year will be a pivotal one in the life of the Diocese of Chicago and the day we all await with expectation is June 20, 2020. That morning, we will gather at St. James Cathedral to elect the thirteenth bishop of Chicago.
Issuing the formal call to the electing convention is one of the sitting bishop's very few responsibilities under the canons that direct the election of a new bishop. I am doing so now in order that congregations have plenty of notice to elect at their annual meetings in January and February, or at a special meeting called for that purpose, the lay delegates who will represent them in the vote for a new bishop. Each parish and mission will elect three delegates according to Article 16 of the Constitution of the Diocese of Chicago as adopted at the 2019 Diocesan Convention. More information, including the procedure for certifying electing convention delegates, will be published early in 2020..." 

To read the entire letter, click on the link here 
Preparation for Sunday  
Because of our practice of offering Lessons and Carols on the 4th Sunday of Advent, we miss the gospel readings about Mary and her pregnancy--and in Year A, the story of Joseph's reaction to this news. So, I have opted to take the liberty of using the Advent 4 readings on this Third Sunday of Advent instead of the appointed readings that are on the theme of John the Baptist for the second week.

Isaiah 7:10-16: God promises a sign for King Ahaz, who is looking to Assyria for assistance with the threats of neighbouring Damascus and Samaria, that a virgin will give birth and call the child "Immanuel", and that the enemy nations will be desolate before the child knows good from evil.
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19: A prayer for God to forgive and restore God's people, and to send and empower the One God raises up to keep God's people from turning away from God.
Romans 1:1-7: Paul celebrates Christ who is of both human and divine descent and who has called the apostles - and all of God's people - to belong to Jesus and to spread the Good News.
Matthew 1:18-25: Mary discovers herself to be pregnant while betrothed to Joseph, but Joseph is informed in a dream that the Child is of God, and must be named Jesus. These events are proclaimed to be the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of the virgin who conceives and gives birth to Immanuel.
The final Advent week before the Christmas celebration turns our attention to the significance of the name given in Isaiah's prophecy, and ascribed to Jesus by Matthew - Immanuel. The idea that God is with us may seem commonplace to us now, since we've heard it so many times, but for the ancient hearers of the Gospel, it must have sounded radical, or even scandalous. Yet, it reflects the intense longing within God for intimate union with humanity. It is a testament to God's unfailing, unconditional love, and is reinforced by all the readings this week. Isaiah speaks a prophecy which offers a sign of God's care and willingness to protect God's people to a king who has largely ignored God's law. The Psalm offers a prayer in faith and expectation that God cares for God's people and will send one who will lead and deliver them. Paul celebrates the Good News of God's kindness and the belonging we find in God through Christ. And, in a rather moving narrative, Matthew describes Joseph's love and care for Mary, which becomes something of a metaphor (whether intentional or not on Matthew's part) for the love of the God who is about to step physically into human affairs and experience.
Thumbnails and commentary from sacredise.com
Ministry News
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.

Outreach Ministries
Episcopal Relief and Development
The Million Dollar Match:
We have an opportunity to benefit the Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) Global Needs Fund, enabling work around the world with local partners, helping communities overcome poverty, hunger, disaster and disease.  Contributions will support programs that empower women and promote gender equality, enable children to reach their full potential, help build resilience to the effects of a changing climate and promote disaster preparedness.
Donations made to ERD before the end of the year are eligible for matching, including contributions online, over the phone, by mail or through Gifts for Life, the organization's alternative giving catalog.  Gifts of stock or from an IRA are also included in the Million Dollar Match.
Here at Grace we annually give $2,500 to ERD which will be doubled to mean we support ERD with $5,000.  We can also give individually by writing a check to Grace including ERD on the notation line.  You can do this until the last Sunday in December.  To learn more about the wonderful work that is being done by ERD, check out their website episcopalrelief.org.
Heifer Project
As you learned through the bulletin inserts last week and the poster in the Parish House, since it's Advent, it must be Heifer time.
Renee Dowe's poster  in the Parish House shows happy children and adults from every continent with their new animals from Heifer International.  They receive instruction in the proper care of the animals and are expected to give the first off-spring of their animal to a needy friend or relative.  Donations of any amount  made in honor of friends or family make great Christmas gifts.  Grace Church has raised funds for Heifer International every Christmas since 2002.  This year we have two styles of honor cards with envelopes.  See Lynn Giles for details and to make a donation.
Formation Ministries
Mark your calendars for this
Epiphany Retreat on
Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m:
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.
Vestry Liaisons

V estry Liaisons' primary purpose is to assure two-way communications between the various ministries and the  Vestry,  to represent the ministries for resources or  policy issues, and to  support  their  events  an d activities.

Worship:                               Rector                       
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)  
Outreach:                             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      
This Sunday 
December 15, 2019
Sunday Morning 
Advent 3
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
The Lectionary

Ministers of the
Rev. Linda Packard
Rev. Gloria Hopewell

Nancy Cook
1st Chalicist:
Bill Boehler
2nd Chalicist:
Cathie Elsbree
Vestry Coordinator:
Charlotte Stryker
Altar Guild:
Frani Beadle &
    Debbie Kallback
Cathie & Al Elsbree
Maren Coates

Next Sunday's
Fourth Sunday
in Advent 
December 22, 2019
Lessons & Carols 
Genesis 3:1-15
Baruch 4:36-5:9
MIcah 5:1-5a
Isaiah 11:1-9
Isaiah 40:1-11
Isaiah 25:6-9
Luke 1:26-38
Luke 1:39-55
Grace's Prayer List
For a current prayer list, click on the following link:
Grace Prayer List
The 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."
Meetings this Week 
Tuesday Events
Vestry Committee
Wednesday Events  
7:30 am
Morning Prayer    
8:10 am
Community Breakfast at Victory CafĂ©  
9:30 am
Cursillo Group   
Morning Study Group  
Thursday Events    
Worship Meeting  
Knitting Ministry  
Friday Events
Centering Prayer  
Longest Night Service 
Saturday Events
10 am
Choir Rehearsal  
All are welcome!
Looking Ahead 
For current and upcoming events, check out the goog le 
calendar on the website
Sunday Social Hour Hosts

12/15 -   
   Frani Beadle  
   Wassail Party,
     Lynn Giles

R eminder for hosts:
Napkins and plates are provided. Use what you need from our pantry Remember: Keep it simple. We usually have about 35-40 attending.

  **Coffee schedule sign up is on the bulletin board in the Parish House.**
Formation Schedule  
You can now get information on Formation Ministries directly from the new Grace website at the following links: Children and Youth Adults
Spiritual Practices

Ministry of Care 
If you are in need of assistance while ill or recovering: meals, transportation, visits, please contact the
Ministry of Care
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.

Ministry of Care Leadership Team: Facilitators
Carol Poston, Charlotte Kennedy
Clergy Advisors: Gloria Hopewell,
Linda Packard
Sermons and e-Blasts 

News and prayer requests: 
Sunday Bulletin:
   Wed. end of day.
   Thursday noon. 

Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have yours been missed in our bulletins?   Send to Nancy.   Thank y ou!    

News and Photos
 f or e-Blast!
People want to know
what's going on at Grace!  T here are places here for your event, program, or
interesting tidbit.   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 quest. 
Older recent sermons  
 Newest sermons:   
Grace Galena Advent 2A Sermon 
Grace Galena Advent 2A Sermon
Grace Galena 2nd in Advent 2019 Sermon 
Grace Galena  Advent 1A Sermon
Grace Galena Reign of Christ 2019 Sermon 
Grace Galena Reign of Christ 2019 Sermon
   The Rev Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
Cell Phone:  773-988-3497

Grace Episcopal Church Office:
107 S. Prospect Street
Galena, IL 61036