ANNUAL MEETING & REPORTS
The 2021 Annual Meeting of Grace Church will be held on Sunday, January 31. The deadline for ministry reports is January 15. All reports should be sent to the Parish Administrator preferably by email or by mail.
We were notified that
The Rev. Paul Goddard
died on Tuesday
in Ft. Myers, Florida.
In addition to serving Grace Church as Vicar for more than a decade in the 1980s and early 90s, Father Goddard was a most generous benefactor. His many gifts were to the original Resurrection Garden and to our present Parish House. He also commissioned a local artist to create the Communion Table that is presently used in our Sunday and Wednesday services of Holy Eucharist.
May his rest be this day in peace and
his dwelling place in the Paradise of God.
There is one New Year's Eve tradition that I try to continue every year. No matter where I am, I tune to WFMT radio's "Midnight Special" right after the midnight countdown. If it is my house, I simply turn down the TV and turn the radio up. If I am a guest, I might beg the host to let me commandeer the celebration for just a few minutes. If I must, I sneak off to another room to listen privately. For, as soon as "Auld Lang Syne" has been sung, another recording begins. It is not a hymn or a prayer--technically, anyway. But it seems to me that it is a worthy anthem for the hopes and dreams of each new year. You probably have heard this song from the original cast recording of "Jacques Brel is Alive and Living in Paris" called "If We Only Have Love."
If we only have love,
- Then tomorrow will dawn/and the days of our years /will rise on that morn...
- With our arms open wide/then the young and the old /will stand at our side
- Love that's falling like rain/then the parched desert earth/will grow green again
- We can reach those in pain/we can heal all our wounds/we can use our own names
- We can melt all the guns/and then give the new world.to our daughters and sons
- Then Jerusalem stands/and then death has no shadow/there are no foreign lands
And then, the grand finale:
- Then with nothing at all/but the little we are/we'll have conquered all time, all space, the sun, and the stars!
As Diane Bergant, CSA, said in an article in America magazine, "The words of Jacques Brel could be heard as a clarion call to create a new world. This world will be the kind of covenant community depicted in Exodus; it will be the reign of God as proclaimed by Jesus....By the grace of God, we can really accomplish great things, 'if we only have love.'"
This is what I wish for us--for each of you, our community, and our world as we leave behind this year of heartache, pandemic, and dissension. May our hearts have been opened to the possibilties of the kind of love that Jesus gave--the kind of love like brilliant, blessed sparks needed for God's realm to be fulfilled! Happy, happy New Year!
See you on Zoom!
Isaiah 60:1-6: The light of God's glory and God's goodness shines on God's people.
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14:
A prayer for God's love of justice to fill God's king, who will then defend the poor and rescue the oppressed.
: In Christ both Jews & Gentiles enjoy the riches of God's blessings.
: Wise men from the East arrive, worship the Christ-Child and present him with fine gifts.
Epiphany embodies two journeys. The first is the new vision that the Gospels present of God's grace and love being extended to all people, and not just those descended from Abraham. This inclusivity is radical, scandalous and exciting, and offers a wonderful opportunity for celebration and welcome in our communities. The second journey is that of going deeper into our understanding of Christ - an opening to the epiphany (the insight, the revelation) of who this Christ child is that we have welcomed to our world in the Christmas season. Of course, both journeys are really one, and both offer us an awesome reason for worship and devotion to Jesus.
Every church community, and every person, longs for the light of God's glory and blessing to shine on them. This longing often leads us into trying to earn God's blessing through legalism, doctrinal purity or separation from those who are considered "unrighteous". Too often faith becomes something exclusive, something to defend against others who see things differently. Epiphany reveals an alternative view of God's glory - that in Christ's incarnation God's glory and blessing are already ours - not something to earn; and that the experience of God's glory is found in connection and sharing with others, while protecting and defending the least. It is a good discipline to ask: "Who needs to be included in our community right now?" and "Who needs to be protected?" - two questions that necessarily call us to emulate Christ's self-sacrifice in our own lives.
Thumbprints and commentaries from:
EDUCATION FOR MINISTRY (EFM)
It's not too late. But next week it will be too late to join the EfM 2021 Seminar.
For now the sessions will be held on Zoom. Contact the mentor, Lynn Giles (815-757-2011) by Monday, January 4, for the registration information.
to indicate your
LENTEN DEVOTIONS: DON'T WAIT TO BE ASKED!
The Christian Formation Ministry is pleased to report that Carmen Ferguson has agreed to serve again this year as editor of the book of Lenten meditations to which Grace parishioners are asked to contribute. Participation in this project is open to all parishioners and friends who would like to offer a brief meditation on one (or more) of the Lectionary texts during Lent.
Interested? Please don't wait to be asked! Ash Wednesday comes earlier this year (February 17) and we are getting started later. Given the fact that pandemic-related restrictions on in-Church gatherings are unlikely to be relaxed any time soon, we can no longer rely on the informal distribution of assignments to interested volunteers on Sunday mornings. Contact Carmen right now
willingness to serve as one of the contributors.
You will receive a text for a particular day on this year's Lenten calendar, along with instructions. Information on deadlines will follow as soon as we can work out a schedule with the church office, but it will likely fall sometime toward the end of January at the latest.
So don't delay. You needn't be a professional theologian to apply; this is where, as parishioners, we talk to each other about how a particular Biblical passage affects us, drawing on our own reflections and experience.
GIVING CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Please check your records. 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.
If you have not yet turned in your pledge card for 2021, please either mail it or drop it off or contact the Parish Administrator. so that we can assure that the ministries of
Grace Church continue to make a difference!
As of December 31, 42 households have submitted pledges for 2021.
This is 76% of last year's households. The total pledged so far is 87% of the 2020 total.
COMMUNION FOR ZOOM CONGREGATION
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.
FLOWER CHART FOR 2021
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.
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?
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 (email@example.com) for a Zoom invitation which includes a description of these types of prayer.
ZOOM POETRY GROUP
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or call her at 815-777-0220.
Galena Community Blood Drive
Thursday, January 7th, 2021, 1:00pm to 5:30pm
Crossroads Community Church, Fellowship Hall
900 Galena Square Dr.
Appointments are strongly encouraged. To schedule, visit redcrossblood.org and search sponsor code Galena or call Nicole at 563-275-0597.
All donations are tested for COVID-19 anitibodies which may help current coronavirus patients in need.
Worship and Ministry in the Midst of COVID-19!
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' 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
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.
ANYONE SCHEDULED TO SERVE WHO IS NOT COMFORTABLE BEING IN THE CHURCH, PLEASE CONTACT THE CHURCH OFFICE.
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!
The Epiphany (Transferred)
January 3, 2021
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19a
Ministers of the Service:
Presider: Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
Deacon: Rev. Diane Luther
Lector: Terri Jackman
Intercessor: Elizabeth Ludescher
Vestry Coordinator: Lynn Giles
Music Director: Robin French
Greeter: Amy Hardwicke
Altar Guild: Ann Berry
First Sunday after Epiphany
January 10, 2021
|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."
Events This Week:
The Epiphany (Transferred)
Holy Eucharist 10:30am
ONLINE ONLY on Zoom
Zoom Poetry Meeting
Church Office Closed
Morning Worship 7:30am on Zoom
Bible Study** on Zoom 10:30am
Centering Prayer* 9:00am on Zoom
To receive an invitation with the link to online events, please contact *Gloria at
or **Greg Serwich at email@example.com
All are welcome!
|For current and upcoming events, check out the Google
calendar on the website
Link to most current directory here:
|You can now get information on Formation Ministries directly from the new Grace website at the following links:|
Children and Youth Adults
|During our COVID-19 restrictions, |
he 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,
If you are 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
Linda PackardDiane Luther
News and prayer requests:
Wed. end of day.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have yours been missed in our bulletins? Send to Nancy. Thank you!
News and Photos
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.
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