Grace Episcopal Church
December 24 & 27, 2020
Many blessings to each and every one in this Christmas season! May you be touched by grace, hope, and love in these  
troubled times.   
The church office will be closed on Monday, December 28 and  
Friday, January 1


Thursday, December 24   
Christmas Narthex
Christmas Eve 5 pm
Candlelight Christ Mass  
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. 
My first activity each Christmas Eve Day is to listen to Kings' College Cambridge Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The first even was in 1918. Today, of course, the choir was unable to sing together from the chapel--the first time in more than 100 years. Just as our church and most others will not be filling the pews to celebrate the Incarnation.
    This sad reality does make me grateful for the technology that permits us to gather in another way. It may not be as satisfying as others, but we will still be a faith community.
     That same technology reminded me this morning as I sipped my coffee, that other Christmas Eve days in Galena have held some surprises! There was my second Christmas here when I managed to back my little car into a snow drift in the log cabin driveway, thus disrupting my calm last minute preparations for our early service.
     Then, there was the year--was it just a year ago--that all the pipes in this 1850s house burst. Happily, I was able to get by for just the one day before I flew off to Colorado. And all was repaired by the time I returned.
      Stories for the memory book! Yet, this one will probably top them all.
      And yet. And yet, however it is that we celebrate, whatever changes and chances may come, one thing is always the same: God's wondrous gift of the Incarnation in the form of an infant. The eternal promise of love given to the world. 
       May God's blessings touch you and hold you. I hope for love and joy for each of you throughout the season. 

See you on Zoom!

For the first time in ten years, I will not be traveling to Colorado tomorrow but remaining here in Galena. My younger son will join me later today. Merry Christmas everyone.
A Christmas Message from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Anglican Communion
A Christmas Message from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the Anglican Communion

Christmas Message 2020
Christmas Message 2020 from
Presiding Bishop Curry 
This Sunday
Isaiah 9:2-7: God offers a sign of God's grace and protection to the King and people of Judah - in the darkness light shines, and the birth of child is the sign of new life and of God's righteous kingdom to be established.
Psalm 96: A song of praise for God's greatness and glory, anticipating God's coming as righteous judge.
Titus 2:11-14: Through Christ God's grace has appeared and God has enabled us to live lives of goodness.
Luke 2:1-20: Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem for the Emperor's census, and while there Mary gives birth to her son. Shepherds are told by angels about the birth and find the place where the holy family is to be found, telling the story of what they have been told about the child.

Christmas Eve this year focuses on the seemingly ordinary theme of God's coming to us in Christ. However, the key issue in this coming, is in our capacity to see it, to recognise it, to appropriate it and to make it seen. The surprise, perhaps, of this celebration - that should keep us open-minded and open hearted, and constantly mindful and aware - is that it was the most unlikely people who got to see the birth of Christ, and the expected ones who missed it completely.
May our eyes and be opened to see again for the first time the power of the incarnation for us and our world.

Isaiah 61:10-62:3: God will show all nations God's justice, and Zion will be saved and will blaze with God's glory.
Psalm 148: A psalm calling all creation and all people to praise God, for God's greatness, and for strengthening God's people.
Galatians 4:4-7
: At the right time God sent God's son to become human, born of a woman, and now God has given us God's Spirit by which we can know intimacy with God as with a parent.
Luke 2:22-40
:  Mary and Joseph go to the temple to dedicate Jesus, and Simeon prophecies that this boy is the awaited Christ, and that a sword would pierce Mary's soul. Then the widow Anna comes along and begins to praise God and tell others about the boy.

The first Sunday after Christmas is a celebration of the moment when Jesus was presented in the Temple. Simeon's prophecy over the baby is a profound and disturbing word about the way Jesus exposes the truth of our hearts. It calls us to reflection, repentance and a commitment to a whole new way of being. May we be courageous enough this week to allow the light of God's self- revelation in Christ to expose the darkness in our hearts and transform us into agents of God's salvation.

Thumbprints and commentaries from:
Giving Campaign 2021
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.
As of December 22, 41 households have submitted pledges. This is  74.5% of last year's households. The total pledged so far is 86% 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 

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.
Grace Touches Lives at Home and Abroad
I think we tend to think of Outreach at Grace as primarily supporting Glory Parish in the Sudan, and we have indeed been very generous with our sister parish.  We also send money to the village church of Santa Cruz in the Diocese of Southeast Mexico.  We of course also support the Bishop's Appeal and Episcopal Relief and Development.
     But this year, more than any other, we have tried to be a presence in our own neighborhood.  The need here is great also.  We donated $1,000 to the Dubuque Rescue Mission which provides meals, temporary housing for transients and work opportunities.  We also cooked and served a meal there in February.  We gave $1,000 to Magdalene House.  This is a program designed to give shelter and training to female survivors of sex trafficking, addiction and abuse.
     Opening Doors in Dubuque also received a $1,000 donation. This organization helps women and children who are experiencing homelessness. Shelter-Care Ministries in Rockford received $1,000. This group provides housing and training to the needy and mentally handicapped in Rockford.  We gave $1,000 to Women and Friends Making a Difference , an organization here in Galena.This group provides emergency support for struggling families here in town. The Hispanic Council of Jo Daviess County received $500.  This money is given to Hispanic families who are struggling because of layoffs at work.  The Hunger Luncheon, which supports that Galena Food Pantry, was the recipient of $400.  The children's program at the ARC received $500.  We supported our own Richard Babcock Knitting Ministry, donating $300 to help purchase the fleece fabric for their warm blankets. Each year we contribute $200 to the area family adopted by Grace at Christmas.
      The Outreach Ministries finished the year supporting Tyler's Justice Center for Children, an organization serving Jo Daviess, Carroll and Stephenson Counties' child victims of sexual and physical abuse. We also gave $500 to Riverview, Galena's center dedicated to helping victims of domestic abuse.
      The Outreach Ministries meet monthly. Our responsibility is to not only continue to support national and international organizations, but to strive to ensure that we are a beacon of hope for those struggling in our own community.  If you become aware of a family or group who is in need or who is providing services to the needy, either contact Karlyn Van Gelder, our chairperson, so that we can research and discuss the need, or better yet, join us!  Those of us who are honored to serve on this committee welcome anyone who loves to give away money for noble causes, and isn't that all of us?
--Cathie Elsbree

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 
Join us to study, ponder, and discuss scripture. 
Current topic: St. Mark's Gospel. We gather safely on Zoom, 
10:30 - 11:30 Wednesday mornings. 
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! 
Christmas and Epiphany 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 
First Sunday After Christmas
December 27, 2020
Zoom Worship-10:30 am

For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Isaiah 61:10-62:3
John 1:1-18
Galatians 3:23-25, 4:47
Psalm 147 or 147:13-21
Ministers of the Service:
Presider: Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell 
Deacon: Rev. Diane Luther
Lector: Nancy Cook
Intercessor: Richard Luther
Vestry Coordinator:
Elizabeth Ludescher
Music Director:  Robin French
Greeter: Maren Coates
Altar Guild: Ann Berry
Next Sunday's Readings: 
Second Sunday after Christmas
January 3, 2021

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:
Christmas Eve
Christmas 1
Holy Eucharist 10:30am
???Zoom Poetry Meeting
2:00pm online
Church Office Closed

Morning Prayer* 7:30am on Zoom  
???Bible Study** on Zoom 10:30am

New Year's Eve

New Year's Day
Church Office Closed

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 January-May 2021
ROTA Schedule new 12/23/20
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 Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Wednesday Eucharist, 12-23-2020
Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Wednesday Eucharist, 12-23-2020

Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Longest Night 12 20 20
Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Longest Night 12 20 20
Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, 4 Advent 12 20 20
Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, 4 Advent 12 20 20

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