Grace Episcopal Church

Fourth Sunday in Advent 
December 20, 2020

Carl Davis


Mea Culpa! 
There has been some inconsistency in reporting the time of the Christmas Eve service.
I thought it was all resolved and corrected until I discovered that the 1/2 page ad in the Galena Gazette that ran on Wednesday still had the 5 pm start time!
is will not create undue inconvenience for anyone.   --Gloria+ 
It's a Girl!
On December 12, the Diocese of Chicago elected its13th  Bishop, The Rev. Canon Paula Clark.
She will be the first Black person and the first woman to hold the position when she is consecrated on April 24.
She currently serves as canon to the ordinary and chief of staff in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
For further background, please see  
The Longest Night Service --
Sunday, December 20 at 7 pm 
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 on 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. BULLETIN for Longest Night service.
Sunday December 20     
      Holy Eucharist  10:30 am
Sunday, December 20               
      Longest Night     7 pm
Thursday, December 24  
Christmas Eve 
Candlelight Christ Mass 5 pm 
Please plan to have candles available so that you may light them as we sing "Silent Night." 
The 2021 Annual Meeting of Grace Church will be held on Sunday, January 31.  The deadline for ministry reports is coming up quickly.  All reports should be sent to the Parish Administrator by January 15, preferably by email or by mail. 
Like in Santa's workshop, we are busy busy working on our Christmas and remaining Advent liturgies!  It is fun though strange preparing in this virtual COVID world! I do hope you will check out our Facebook events and website for any updates. And that you will plan to worship online with the rest of the Grace Church community. Don't forget your candles on Christmas Eve! We will light them as we celebrate the God's gift of the Incarnation. And we will gather at Christ's table for communion.

See you on Zoom!

Sponsored by St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Glen Ellyn Illinois

Las Posadas, (Spanish: "The Inns") is a religious festival celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the United States between December 16 and 24. Las Posadas commemorates the journey that Joseph and Mary made from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to the baby Jesus. When they were unable to find lodging in Bethlehem, Joseph and Mary were forced to seek shelter in a stable, where the Christ Child was born. Las Posadas is celebrated from Wednesday, December 16 to Thursday, December 24, 2020. [from]

This Sunday
2 Samuel 7:1-11,16: God, through the prophet Nathan, declares God's promise to David that he will establish his kingdom forever, will give him peace from his enemies, and will establish a nation for God's people.
Luke 1:47-55: Mary's Magnificat, celebrating God's grace and justice, and the way God has fulfilled God's promise to the ancestors of God's people, raising up the lowly, and bringing down the powerful.
Romans 16:25-27: Paul celebrates the God who has fulfilled prophecy and has made known the Good News about Jesus so that Gentiles might believe.
Luke 1:26-38: The angel Gabriel visits Mary and declares that she will give birth to God's son. He also tells her about Elizabeth's pregnancy, and Mary accepts her calling.

In our homes, churches and communities, we may be tempted to celebrate Christmas as a sentimental holiday which takes us out of "the world" for a time, and gives us a distraction from the pain and difficulties facing us all at the moment. But to do so is to miss a profound opportunity. When we begin to realise that Christmas is not just about the Baby, but about the new order, the new way of being, that the Baby inaugurated, we are open to experience and live this new life now. When we recognise that God's Reign cannot be understood with the framework of our power structures, we begin to open ourselves to a new reality, and a new experience of God. The Christmas story invites us into more than just an individualised spirituality or a judgemental rejection of materialism. Rather it calls us into a radical connectedness with others - especially the least and marginalised. It calls us into a radical generosity and care for one another. It calls us into a radical simplicity and servanthood. Which means that, even as we share gifts, we are called to share ourselves, and to move beyond simply giving "things" to taking the time to understand one another and give each other the gifts of love, support, protection, acceptance and challenge. The big question is how our Christmas celebrations can manifest the new order of God's Reign, and how they can welcome and touch others with their life-giving reality.

Thumbprints and commentaries from:
Giving Campaign 2021
As of December 17, 39 households have submitted pledges. This is  71% of last year's households. The total pledged so far is 85% of the
2020 total.
Grace Galena 2020 Giving Campaign 
Tom VanGelder

Grace Galena Giving Campaign Story 2020
Richard Luther
If you have not yet turned in your pledge card, please either mail it or drop it off at the church so that we can assure that the ministries of Grace Church continue to make a difference!    
Grace Galena 2020 Giving Campaign
Sue Anderson 

If you have not completed your pledge for 2020, please do so as soon as you can so that the year's accounts can be closed.
There is always time to sign up for Communion as part of our Zoom worship! You may wish to participate in communion on Christmas Eve or sign up for every Sunday.  
     Simply call the church office or contact Deacon Diane Luther. 
The Flower Chart for 2021 is on the bulletin board in the Parish House.  Please contact Ann Berry for available dates.  The flowers are $30 and will come from the Blooming Basket at the Pig.
Regarding poinsettias for Christmas, we are not asking for donations, as we will only have 6 plants for Christmas this year.

It's once again December and the time when our gift of $2,500.00 to ERD is doubled.  ERD stands for Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD).  One of the focuses for ERD is children.  The five areas of development are:  improving food and nutrition, protecting health and preventing disease, empowering parents, creating economic stability, and protecting families.  Other priorities are climate change and women.  We can also contribute this month and our donations will be doubled.  If writing a check for ERD note it on the memo line of your check. ERD believes that every child deserves the chance to achieve their full potential.  To learn more about this ministry go to


It's been a tradition here at Grace Church to collect funds during the Advent season for Heifer International that provides animals to people in developing countries. When you make a
 donation in honor of friends or family, you can send them an honor Christmas card. It's a bit more complicated this year but the need continues. 

Please mail or drop off donation checks to Grace  Church with "Heifer Project " on the memo line. Then contact Lynn Giles (815-757-2011) to make card pickup or delivery arrangements. 
Formation Ministry News
Wednesday Morning Study Group 
On Wednesday, December 23rd, Larry & Carol Poston will lead a discussion of what Advent means to each of us. The more the merrier! We convene at 10:30. Contact Greg Serwich for a Zoom invitation.

Meditative Prayer 9:00am Fridays
Looking for a way to improve your prayer life, to open your heart, mind and soul to the Holy Spirit? Consider joining the Centering Prayer Group Friday mornings for about forty minutes of meditative prayer: twenty minutes of Centering Prayer followed by Lectio Divina. Contact Greg Serwich ( for a Zoom invitation which includes a description of these types of prayer.

A Zoom Poetry meeting from Grace Church has been organized and meets online on Mondays at 2:00pm. This is not specifically a Grace ministry, but a number of Grace members and friends are part of it If you are interested, write Carol Poston at
or call her at 815-777-0220.
Worship and Ministry in the Midst of COVID-19! 
Advent 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 are also now only on Zoom. Bible Study and Centering Prayer 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.
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, 
Vestry Liaisons

Vestry 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 and activities.

Worship:                               The Very Rev.Gloria Hopewell, 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)                 
Ministry of Care/LEMs:        Nancy Cook (class of 2023)  
Outreach:                             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 
                                      The Rev. Linda Packard, Priest Associate
                                      The Rev. Diane Luther, Deacon                            
COVID Hours and Worship 

IN-PERSON WORSHIP CONTINUES TO BE SUSPENDED. We will still lead worship on Zoom from the church, with only the Altar Party, musician, and Zoom operator present in the building. Regular services are 10:30 am on Sundays; 7:30 am on Wednesdays.


Regular hours will continue. Nancy is available on Tuesday - Friday mornings. I am available Monday by appointment and Tuesday-Thursday. In-person meetings are suspended (except for the 12-step programs that are part of our community outreach).  please contact us ahead of time if you need to come by. 
And masks are essential!
This Sunday 
Fourth Sunday in Advent
December 20, 2020
Zoom Worship-10:30 am

For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the Service:
Presider: Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell 
Deacon: Rev. Diane Luther
Lector: Greg Serwich
Intercessor: Richard Luther
Vestry Coordinator: Nancy Cook
Music Director:  Robin French
Greeter:  Amy Hardwicke
Altar GuildDebbie Kallback
Next Sunday's Readings: 
First Sunday of Christmas
December 27, 2020

Isaiah 61:10-62:3                   John 1:1-18
Galatians 3:23-25;4:47             Psalm 147 or 147:13-21
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 
Events This Week:
Fourth Sunday in Advent
Holy Eucharist 10:30am
Zoom Poetry Meeting
2:00pm online

Outreach Meeting 9:00am
on Zoom

Holy Eucharist* 7:30am on Zoom  
Bible Study** on Zoom 10:30am

Christmas Eve
Holy Eucharist 5:30pm ONLINE



To receive an invitation with the link to online events, please contact Gloria at

or **Greg Serwich at 
All are welcome!
Looking Ahead 
For current and upcoming events, check out the Google 
calendar on the website 
Link to most current directory here:
Directory (updated 11/13/20)

Link to August - December 2020
ROTA Schedule (updated 12/6/20)
(New schedule coming soon!)
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 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.

Ministry of Care Leadership Team: Facilitators
Bonnielynn Kreiser
Terri Jackman

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 you!    

News and Photos

 for e-Blast!
People want to know what's going on at Grace!  There 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 request.
Grace Galena Wednesday Eucharist 12 16 20 
Grace Galena Wednesday Eucharist  
12 16 20
Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, 3 Advent 2020 
Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, 3 Advent 2020
Grace Galena Wednesday Eucharist 12:9:2020 
Grace Galena Wednesday Eucharist 12:9:2020

Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, 2 Advent 2020 
Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL,
2 Advent 2020
Grace Entry Video with Music 
Grace Entry Video with Music

Virtual Chapel with Compline 
Virtual Chapel with Compline

Advent Musings 
Advent Musings

More Advent Musings from Grace Episcopal Church in Galena 
More Advent Musings from Grace Episcopal Church in Galena

Even More Advent Musings 
Even More Advent Musings
   The Rev Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
Cell Phone:  773-988-3497

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