CANAPES AND CONVERSATION-Feb
Steve & Maren Coates will be hosting at their home at 304 Elk St. on Friday, February 15th from 5-7pm. Bring a friend, a nibble and a beverage to share. All are welcome!
The Way of Love: An Epiphany Opportunity
If you are interested in hosting this year, please e-mail Cathie Elsbree to see which months are available at
Please consider joining during the Epiphany season, this study of the "Way of Love." Even if you were unable to attend previous sessions, you are welcome to join in at any time. In each of our meetings, there will be prayer, check-in, discussion, practicing the Way of L
ove, check-out, and worship.
We meet on Tuesday afternoons, from 2:00 - 3:30, concluding March 5.
Lenten Meditation Booklets
The Lenten Meditation booklet is being prepared and everyone has a chance to participate. You can receive an envelope with instructions and assigned readings after church on Sunday or you could phone if you're not planning on being in church. The deadline for submissions is February 22nd by email or February 24th in church. Carmen Ferguson and Diann Marsh are editing this years' booklet and you can phone either one to request an assignment. Carmen 815 777 2309 or Diann 815 777 8984.
In a time when we are seeking new ways of being church and of finding ways to invite others, Evangelism has re-entered the vocabulary--even for Episcopalians. It is not a word that we have been comfortable with as it has brought to mind folk knocking on our doors or handing out pamphlets on street corners and trying to convince us of their particular faith and beliefs--often as the only right way to call ourselves Christians. So, the encouragement by Bp. Curry and others, including church vitality experts, to "GO" beyond our doors, to talk about our faith to others, has fallen on very reluctant--even resistant--ears.
With that reluctance in mind, I read this week the results of a survey of practicing and non-practicing Christians (the latter including both lapsed and non-Christians) about several facets of faith and religion. The article about the study that I read (from
Religous News Service) was titled "Almost Half of Practicing Christian Millennials Say Evangelism Is Wrong." The responses were broken down by age cohort, and, indeed, the millennial cohort had the highest percentage of those opposed.
Well, we are all interested in the millennials and lots and lots of ink has been devoted to examining them, what makes them tick, their likes, their dislikes, how to attract them to the church, what turns them off, yada, yada. Often this information is pretty thin--perhaps talking to millennials instead of assuming we know best would help!
Anyway, I digress. I read the RNS article because of the title. It didn't take long to identify a big problem. If the data table is accurate, the one question that applies here is worded as follows:
It is wrong to share one's personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in the hopes that one day they will share the same faith.
47 % of millennials either strongly or somewhat agree with the statement (whereas only 19% of boomers agree).
So, what's going on here? This statement seems to echo what I wrote in the first paragraph--the fear of what seem to be heavy-handed attempts at conversion. This is not the kind of evangelism that is being encouraged by those in our neck of the religious woods! I agree fully with these 47%--and find myself puzzled by the boomers numbers.
Current conversation around evangelism in the Episcopal Church (and our partners in other mainline denominations) centers on becoming more able to share our stories of faith and how we see God working in our lives. Inviting others to experience the grace that faith brings to our lives and how a community of faith deepens our relationship with God and one another. It is not arm twisting or judging, simply sharing and inviting.
I have barely delved into some new resources on the Episcopal Church website (episcopalchurch.org). But right off the bat, there is a link to a toolkit and one called "A Practical Theology of Evangelism." In the latter is a twitter-sized definition:
We seek, name and celebrate Jesus' loving presence in the stories of all people - then invite everyone to MORE.
I shall be reading more! See also the related commentary below.
See you in church!
In the year King Uzziah Dies, Isaiah has a vision of God's glory in the temple, where he is cleansed and he responds to God's call. Then God tells him to say to the people that they won't learn or understand. When he asks how long this will be for, God answers that it will continue until the country is a wasteland, but that Israel's stump will be a holy seed.
The Psalmist praises God for God's love and faithfulness, and God's promises, declaring that all the kings of the earth will praise God, for God is great. In the Psalmist's troubles God protects from enemies and will work out God's plans for the Psalmist's life.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11:
Paul reminds the believers of the Good News that Jesus died, was buried, and was raised from the dead on the third day. He was seen by Peter, and the twelve, and by over 500 followers. He was also seen by Paul, who considers himself the least of the apostles. He declares that he is what he is by the grace of God.
Luke 5:1-11: Jesus preaches on the shore of the Sea of Galilee and when the crowds press in on him, he steps into a boat and asks Peter to put out from the shore a little. Then he tells Peter to go out and drop his nets to catch fish. Peter complains that the disciples have worked all night and caught nothing, but he agrees to go anyway. When they catch a great catch, Peter responds in repentance, and Jesus calls him to follow. So Peter, James and John leave their nets and follow Jesus.
Looking at trends in the global Church today, one could be forgiven for thinking that the primary calling and mission of any local church is to maintain and grow that church. And growth is defined by bigger buildings, more people in worship services, and more money in the bank. Success in ministry is often defined by how well those who are "called" perform against these three metrics. Evangelism, then, becomes about getting people to come to church, not about inviting them to embrace the alternative way of Jesus. Worship becomes about creating an attractive performance each week so that people will keep coming, and will invite their friends, rather than a place of discipleship where we hear God's call again, and are sent into the week to live the way of Jesus more consistently. Is it any wonder that the church is in decline? According to our Scriptures this week, the measure of a "church" is not its buildings, its denominational affiliation, its faithfulness to certain doctrinal or political ideologies, or its size and wealth. The measure of a church is on the way it integrates into the community in which it is placed, and how it becomes the hidden, subversive, influence for grace, bringing greater care to the broken, more accessible and sustainable resources to the needy, more companionship to the lonely, and more unyielding opposition to the forces that would rob any human being of the abundant life which Jesus sought to bring. How can we allow the Scriptures to call us again into being this kind of community within the wider community in which God has placed us?
and reflections excerpted from sacredise.com
OPPORTUNITY AVAILABLE--GRACE CHURCH CLERK
Prior to being elected to the Vestry, Elizabeth Ludescher served two years as Clerk for the Parish. The Vestry members are deeply indebted to her; because it freed us all up from taking minutes during the Vestry meetings. Having been elected to the Vestry now, she is stepping down from being Clerk, hoping she too will be free to engage thoughtfully in meeting discussions. As an Officer of the Parish (along with the Treasurer), this position is an official one, filled through election by the Vestry.
According to our diocesan canons:
It shall be the duty of the Clerk to attend all meetings of the Vestry, to ta
of the proceedings, and when approved to enter and attest the same in the minute book;
to preserve the
Parish records; to attest the public acts
of the Vestry; and to perform such other duties as
may be assigned
to him or her.
Besides, you'll have an inside track on the doings of the Vestry! Please contact the Rector or Senior Warden if you are willing to undertake this crucial ministry or have questions about it
There are many openings on the flower chart for the coming year. Don't forget to sign-up for your special date.
SAVE THE DATES!
CURRENT AND POTENTIAL LECTORS
Ronn Toebaas will lead a Lector Workshop on March 9 at 2:00 pm. This will be for all current lectors and those wishing to become lectors. If you are unavailable on that date, a make-up date of March 18 at 7:00 pm has been set. Please let Terri Jackman know which date you will attend by e-mailing her at
Formation & Spirituality Notes
Grace Movie Night, beginning February 22nd
Christ encouraged his disciples and, through them, us to look for the Kingdom of God in our earthly kingdoms, principalities, communities and lives. (Thankfully, nobody said the search can't be entertaining!)
Starting February 22nd, each 4th Friday of the month we'll be having a movie night in the Parish Hall, beginning at 6 p.m., to be followed by a discussion. For our "premier event", we'll be going back to the 1962 movie production of Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning book: "To Kill a Mockingbird", starring Gregory Peck in an Oscar winning performance as Atticus Finch. Here are some insightful excerpts from a film review by Ed McNulty (writing for "Read the Spirit"):
Both the book and the film deserve all the praise and respect that they have garnered through the years. What a wonderful opportunity the film offers people of faith to explore such topics as racism, courage, nonviolence and most of all, integrity. And I should also add, they present us with one of the most admirable Christ figures of all time."
We'll put on the coffee and hot water for tea. Bring your own snacks and/or evening meal. Movie Nights are free and open to all. Bring your family and friends!
Cooking with God's Bounty
Toffee Pecan Banana Bread
1 cup white sugar
3medium bananas. mashed
3/4cuptoffee chips like Heath bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toast the pecans on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn them after 5 minutes.
Allow them to cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the recipe
Beat sugar and oil in a bowl. Add eggs and mashed banana.
Sift together dry ingredients and fold into banana mixture alternately with orange juice.
Give the cooled pecans a rough chop with a knife and then fold them into the batter along with the toffee chips.
Pour batter into 1 large or two small greased and parchment lined loaf pans.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour depending upon pan size. A toothpick inserted in the center which comes out clean is the best indicator that the loaf is fully baked.
Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely
Don't worry if this banana bread does not bake in one hour in your pans or oven. It will tolerate more time. Just keep checking it and let the toothpick test be your guide.
estry Liaisons' primary purpose is to assure two-way communications between the various ministries and the
to represent the ministries for resources
policy issues, and to
Building and Grounds:
Greg Serwish (Sr. Warden 2018-2020)
Worship Committee: TBA
Formation and Spirituality:
Elizabeth Ludescher (class of 2022)
: Anita Sands (class of 2021)
LEMs: Bonnielynn Kreiser
(class of 2020)
Tony Packard (class of
Communications: Larry Poston (class of 2020)
Governance: Wardens & Rector
, Senior Warden
Junior Warden, Lynn Giles
chard Luther, Treasurer
: The Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
ministrator: Fräni Beadle
rganist/Pianist: Robin French, Nancy Cook
Choir Director: Pat Terry
February 10, 2019
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Greeter: Cathie Elsbree
Altar Guild: Alice Maffit & Frani Beadle
The Very Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
February 17, 2019
for your own study:
1 Corinthians 15:12-20 Luke 6:17-26
|For a current prayer list, click on the following link:
Grace Prayer List
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."
Midweek Morning Eucharist
Community Breakfast at Victory Café
St. Francis Room
Morning Bible Study Parish House
|Wednesdays at 7pm
Saturdays at 10am
For current and
upcoming events, download a copy of the calendar with this link:
February OR check out the goog
calendar on the new website
If you put out trash, please put in a secure trash can.
Thanks to all for your cooperation. **
2/10 - Kallback/Stryker
2/17 - Black History
2/24 - Van Gelder/Elsbree
eminder for hosts:
Napkins and plates
are provided. Use
what you need from
our pantry under
the coffee maker.
Remember: Keep it simple. We usually have about 35-40 attending.
Also, do not forget to turn off stove/oven, lights, take out trash, and lock the door.
**Coffee schedule sign up is on the bulletin board in the Parish House.**
|You can now get information on Formation Ministries directly from the new Grace website at the following links: Children and Youth Adults
If you are in need of assistance while ill or recovering: meals, transportation, visits, please contact the
Ministry of Care
Ministry of Care Leadership
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.
: Carol Poston, Charlotte Kennedy
Gloria Hopewell, Linda Packard
News and prayer requests:
Wed. end of day.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have your celebrations been missed in our bulletins?
Send to Frani.
News and Photos
want to know
what's going on at Grace! T
here are places
here for your
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. They also may be found on the church's FB page.
Paper copies are available upon request.
|Grace Galena Sermon 4th after Epiphany
|Grace Galena, "Water to Wine," 2nd Sunday after Epiphany 2019
|Grace Galena Sermon Baptism of Christ 2019