Grace Episcopal Church
Fourth Sunday in Advent 
 
December 22nd, 2019
10:30 am
    
 

Christmas Week Office Hours:
Monday, Tuesday,
Thursday & Friday 
9am-12pm  
Closed Christmas Day  
 
The Rector will be away from Christmas Day through January 4. For urgent needs, please all Junior Warden, Lynn Giles 
 
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  
  • 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
 
Epiphany Celebration
Continuing our morning worship celebration of the Epiphany, we will gather at 5 pm at the home of Robert and Diann Marsh for a Twelfth Night party. Please bring your favorite dish beverage to share and come for the annual "Chalking of the Doors," good company, and conversation. 309 Park Avenue, Galena. 
Bells and Trumpets!!! 
To my dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
     After almost three years in discernment and then formation, Bishop Lee, the Standing Committee, and the Commission on Ministry have determined that I am ready for ordination as a deacon, and I am now a Candidate rather than a Postulant. 

I have been given a tentative date ordination date of May 9th at St. James Cathedral.                      
    
Throughout this journey, your prayers, support, and encouragement have given me strength, courage, and an increasing awareness that this is God's calling for me.  I am so thankful for each of you!  

  In Christ, Diane Luther

Rector's Rambings 
Our last minute preparations are coming to a close, though this weekend will be one of activity at Grace Church and churches throughout our community, country, and world as they are transformed from this time of waiting and anticipation to the brightening of light that will burst forth on Christmas Eve as we celebrate the birth of God with us, Emmanuel, not just on that long ago night, but each time that Christ is reborn in our hearts and lives.
     I have heard many of you say that it has been especially hard to prepare for Christmas this year. The world has been a dark place! But I hope that the love of God for each of you along with the love of family, friends, and our church community can pierce that darkness and let the hope shine through. I add my blessings to those below in Bp. Lee's and PB Curry's message.  
 
 
December 18, 2019 
December 18, 2019
 
There is also a Christmas message from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.  Unfortunately, the video link does not work on this e-Blast platform, but I am providing a link to the Episcopal News Service that should take you to his message.  See Bp. Curry's video.
 
He begins with the words from John: "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it:"
 
     In the first chapter of John's Gospel, sometimes referred to as the prologue to the Gospel, sometimes spoken of as the whole Gospel in miniature the Gospel writer says this. As he reflects on the coming of God into the world in the person of Jesus. As he reflects on Christmas. He says, the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.
    I don't think it's an accident that long ago, followers of Jesus began to commemorate his coming into the world when the world seemed to be at its darkest.
    It's probably not an accident that we observe Christmas soon after December 21, the winter solstice. The winter solstice being in the Northern Hemisphere the darkest time of the year....
 
I cannot say it better. Be safe and joyous as we celebrate that light and the gift of the Incarnation. May the angels sing in your skies! 
 
See you in church,
Gloria+
Preparation for Sunday  
The appointed readings for this Sunday will be replaced by those included in our Lessons and Carols service. For your own reading and reflection, the 4th Sunday of Advent readings are :

The Service of Lessons and Carols is not a Eucharistic Service. It is what is called in the Anglican tradition, a choir service. Traditional vestments are the cassock, surplice, and tippet (a black scarf resembling a stole). Academic hoods are also commonly worn by clergy and vested choirs.
 
Our service on Sunday is in the tradition of King's College, Cambridge, Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols that were designed during the darkness of World War I by the Very Rev. E.M. Milner-White. It was 16 years later, in 1934, that he introduced the Advent service.   
     This is not an ancient service from the early Church as Milner-White based both on a 1880 model by Bishop E.W. Benson of Truro Cathedral held in a temporary wooden shack well before the completion of the cathedral. It was a huge success, packing the shed, and very quickly spreading beyond Truro.
     The processional hymn is preceded by the Benedictus Dominus Deus, or Song of Zechariah from Luke 1.  The hymn is followed by a Bidding Prayer and the Lord's Prayer after which the series of Lessons and Carols or Anthems alternate.  We are using eight lessons at Grace that tell the story of God's redeeming purpose, including Adam and Eve's rebellion, the promises of the prophets, St. Luke's depiction of the Annunciation, and Mary's Song. This service, through the readings and music, presents the double meaning of the Advent season: Christmastide with the incarnation of the Son of God, and Christ's coming again to fulfill God's kingdom.
     The lessons, in order, are:  Genesis 3:1-15; Baruch 4:36-5:9; Micah 5:1-5a; Isaiah 11:1-9, 40:1-11, and 25:6-9;  Luke 1:16-38 and 39-54. The readers are representatives of Grace Church's various ministries.
     The service ends with a traditional Responsory by Palestrina, a concluding collect, benediction, and hymn at the retiring procession. 
    
Hear the story again, listen to the choir music,
and participate in the hymns and responses, that we may all find peace, joy, and hope in this Advent season.
Ministry News
Worship Ministries--Altar Guild
If you are able to, please stay after worship on Sunday to help transform the church from Advent to Christmas! The tree will be set up, the window candles and pew torches placed, and the blue Advent paraments switched out for the white Christmas ones. And, of course, the creche will be set up on the sanctuary steps. Many hands are needed!
 
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
So far this Advent, members of Grace Church have donated $600 for Heifer International.  There is a box in the narthex for donations in the form of cash or checks. Donations of any amount made in honor of friends or family make great Christmas gifts.  This year we have two styles of honor cards with envelopes.  See Lynn Giles for cards. 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 their animals and are expected to give the first off-spring of their animal to a needy friend or relative.  Please make checks payable to Grace Church with the notation "Heifer." 
         
Formation Ministries
 
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.   There will be time for discussion, quiet, and worship. 
 
To register, contact Grace Church by phone (815.777.2590) or email. Lunch is included. A free will offering will be collected.

Leadership  
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 22, 2019
Sunday Morning 
Advent 4
Lessons & Carols
10:30am
 
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
The Lectionary

Ministers of the
Service:
Presider:
Rev. Gloria Hopewell
Acolyte:
Lillie Anderson
Lectors:
Deb Pausz
Phil Jackman
Terri Jackman
Bill Boehler
Diane Luther
Lynn Giles
Rev. Linda Packard
Vestry Coordinator:
Tony Packard
Altar Guild:
Pat Golden
Greeter:
Maren Coates

 
ROTA: December 2019-May 31,2020
 
Next Sunday's
Readings: 
First Sunday After Christmas
December 29, 2019
10:30am
 
Isaiah 61:10-62:3
Psalm 147 or  
           147:13-21
Galatians 3:23-25,   
                 4:4-7 
John1:1-18 
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
5:00pm
Christmas Eve Service  
Wednesday and other regular weekly events will resume the week of January 5.  
 
All are welcome!
Looking Ahead 
For current and upcoming events, check out the goog le 
calendar on the website
Sunday Social Hour Hosts


12/22-
   open.... 
 
12/29-
   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
facilitators:
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 

DEADLINES !
News and prayer requests: 
Sunday Bulletin:
   Wed. end of day.
e-Blast:
   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 3A Sermon
Grace Galena Advent 3A Sermon
   
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
815-777-2590