ASH WEDNESDAY SERVICES--February 26
Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes:
7:30 am in the Chapel
7:00 pm in the Church
LENTEN SOUP AND STUDY BEGINS MARCH 3
Our five churches will hold this program again on Tuesdays evenings at the Galena United Methodist Church beginning with a supper of soup followed by study.
This year, the book and video series will be
The Walk by Adam Hamilton who says:
"I wrote this book to be a simple guide for the Christian life written for ordinary people whose faith is sometimes messy. It is written for those who wish to follow Jesus, to experience more of God in their lives, and to grow to become the people God wants them to be.
It is this idea of walking with Jesus that ...is a simple way of thinking about our Christian life. We are followers of Jesus. We are seeking to learn from him, to emulate him, to go where he wants us to go, to do what he wants us to do, and to walk on the journey of life with him.
Adam Hamilton is senior pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, one of the fastest growing, most highly visible churches in the country.
|A Day in the Life...
There's that old joke about clergy only working one day (or one hour!) a week. It's not a very funny joke to those of us who have committed our lives to ordained ministry. We do know that most people do not believe that, yet not infrequently, there are questions about what it is that we do throughout the week. So, I thought I would recount just one day in my recent life--fortunately, not a common one.
The day started out very well. I had traveled easily from Galena to Chicago the night before in spite of the snow--though first being delayed by a cat who jumped out of the car when I was climbing in and ran off for a long while before I could capture her. I passed by the semi and pick-up truck accident next to the entrance to the Territory and the many emergency vehicles. Thus warned, I took it slowly across the slippery road and hills. Then, in the morning, I timed my walk to the bus stop so that the bus was approaching just as I crossed Sheridan Road. Perfect!
I was on my way to St. James Commons for one of the periodic Deans' Meetings with Bishop Lee. On the bus ride, I did discover that I had left my phone in the charger. But, I did have my iPad and MacBook with me, so I thought I could cope.
These meetings are always enlightening and enjoyable as we learn about the things happening around our diocese that we can inform the churches in our deaneries. Plus the chance to network with each other and the Bishop. This day we were updated on the implementation of one of the resolutions passed by Diocesan Convention, the Quincy settlement, the Bishop Search and Transition clergy transitions that are underway, as well as Illinois requirements for clergy who are Mandated Reporters. Various members of the diocesan staff and committees joined us for portions of the meeting.
We had one very special guest, whose presence diverted us, a tiny bit, from our agenda. Miss Lucy Biddy, all twelve pounds of her (up from her 7/15/19 birth weight of just 1 lb 5 oz) accompanied her daddy, the rector of St. Christopher's, Oak Park. She smiled and gurgled and rested happily in both her dad's and the bishop's arms. What a treasure! It was a good day, and I was able to make some necessary connections with others at the diocese.
I timed the home-bound bus just right, too, and even had a window seat where I could watch the snow and the waves of Lake Michigan surging onto the banks. I was enjoying the winter landscape and the few brave souls who were running along the lakefront, composing my Lenten meditations in my head (I know! Late again!)--UNTIL I decided to get my house keys out of my purse. Oh, dear. Only Galena house keys. And church keys. I suddenly envisioned the ones I needed resting on the kitchen counter near the back door where I always put them.
Ah, but Dan would surely be home. He is working from home these days. Besides, I had back-up systems. Neighbors who might be home to let me into the building. An emergency key box in the condo basement. An extra set in my car in the garage. And maybe, just maybe, the back door would be unlocked.
Okay, then. I walked the 1 1/2 blocks to the front door and pressed the buzzer. Several times.
Dan was NOT home. I was able to get an e-mail off from my iPad only to discover that he would not be home until after 6 pm--later than I was supposed to pick up a friend to go to dinner. But I did disturb a neighbor who was at home and got to the basement key box. It has always been a challenge to get it open, but I had always managed with several attempts. Until today. I reaffirmed the code, downloaded the instruction manual, and tried every solution only to come to the last: "call a technician."
I got in a lot of steps by trudging to the third floor several times to see if, by chance, a door or window were left unlocked. I tried the garage, but it does not have a side door or window. The door opener was upstairs next to my keys, the key for the auxiliary lock was on the same keychain as the condo keys--inside the car--along with the key that will release the electronic opening mechanism.
I returned to the basement, rejecting more draconian solutions such as breaking a window and crawling into the kitchen or taking a sledge hammer to the key box. Worst case was staying in the basement until Dan came home--or connecting with my friend to pick me up for dinner. I mean, the basement wasn't too cold. And why ruin a window or a keybox for just a few hours discomfort. I had my coat and gloves and a cozy scarf for my neck that Nancy made for me. And by some miracle--probably the new router I bought Dan for Christmas--the wifi signal reached all the way from the third floor. As long as I positioned myself right under the router and modem.
So, all was well. I set up a workspace in a neighbor's storage area that was near an outlet. I found a discarded chair. Some storage boxes gave me a flat surface. I plugged in the MacBook managed to contact my friend and revise our plans. With the time I had left before she picked me up, I answered some e-mails, worked on some church stuff, and then went out the front door to my friend's car, a bit frazzled and not cleaned up, but ready for our conversation, a glass of wine, and a meal. By the time we finished our lovely dinner, Dan had returned home, answered the doorbell on the first buzz, and I was back in, having lost only about 3 hours.
Other than that, it was a very good day.
See you in church,
This week the Lectionary continues with the Sermon on the Mount, and with an examination of what true spirituality looks like. Here Jesus focuses on the heart as the place where true obedience and true righteousness happens, and from which a Christ-like life of grace and compassion flows.
: Moses offers the people a choice between life and death, challenging them to love and remain faithful to God and God's commandments, and promising them prosperity and blessing if they do.
: Because a life of integrity is blessed, the psalmist pleads with God for the ability to live a life of obedience to God's commands.
1 Corinthians 3:1-9
: Factions among people of faith are a sign of immaturity. Paul calls the Corinthians to be mature and to recognise that those who serve God's people are equal, and insignificant. It is God's work in the believer to bring growth that matters.
: Continuing the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches that righteousness is not just about following externals, but is about what happens in the heart. He challenges his hearers to true integrity, goodness and compassion with regard to dealing with anger, lust, adultery, divorce and making promises (vows).
It is easy to go to church on Sunday and sing songs and pray prayers. It is easy to not steal, not kill, not commit adultery. But, simply obeying these laws does not bring life to us or to those around us. It is when we allow God to capture our hearts with the truth of the Gospel, when we allow God to continually and disturbingly challenge and grow our hearts, when we live from the inside out, ensuring that our hearts are filled with Christ's love and are right with God and others, and allow that to guide our speech and actions - then we become those who make a healing, restoring impact on the world around us, and who both find, and bring to others, fullness of life. This living from the heart takes far more work, and far more awareness than legalism. It requires us to allow God to constantly challenge our attitudes and convictions, to constantly transform our feelings and reactions and to constantly call us to a higher standard. In this way of living we cannot rest in a future guarantee of heaven after we die. We are called to work to be citizens of heaven now, and to actively bring heaven into our world and our lives through submitting to God's gracious transforming guidance. But one thing is sure. If we are courageous enough to embark on the journey of heart-driven living, we will discover a richness and a fullness to life, a deeper connectedness and a more gracious way of relating and living together. In this sense the Old Testament writers are correct - following God's ways does guarantee life for us.
Thumbprints and commentaries from:
Outreach Lunch for Dubuque Rescue Mission
As part of our Outreach ministry, we are again going to prepare and serve a noon meal at the Dubuque Rescue Mission. The date will be Tuesday, February 25th. Would you like to help? It is a very rewarding endeavor and we have a good time doing it.
There are various opportunities for you:
- On Monday, February 24th, we will need 3-4 volunteers to help prepare the two main dishes at the Parish House.
(About an hour commitment.)
- On Tuesday, February 25th, 5-6 volunteers will be needed to help prepare and serve the meal in Dubuque at the Mission.
(About a 3 hour commitment.)
- For dessert, 2 dozen bars or brownies (They seem to love chocolate!) from 4-5 volunteers will be needed and can be brought to church ahead of time.
If you are interested in helping, please contact Karlyn Van Gelder at 563-542-2304 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canapes & Conversation
Al & Cathie Elsbree will host Canapes & Conversation on Friday, February 21st, from 5-7pm, here at the Parish House. We're getting a schedule together for this coming year and are still looking for hosts and hostesses for March and December. Email Cathie at email@example.com if you're interested.
Black History Month
We have set Sunday February 23rd to celebrate Black History month, with a Soul Food coffee hour (there will be a sign-up sheet),
and we will be singing hymn #599 (Lift Every Voice) as the recessional. Please mark your calendar.
Wednesday Morning Study Group will meet on February 5th at 10:30am upstairs in the Parish Hall. The group has just begun a study of the book of Job, which will continue over the next several weeks. All are welcome to join the group.
Next Theological Thriller
The Next Theological Thriller Does God consign sinners to hell, or do we choose hell ourselves? That question is one of many raised by Charles Williams's dark theological thriller, Descent into Hell, arguably his most accomplished work of fiction.
Williams (18 86-1945), along with C. S. Lewis and J. R. Tolkien, was one of the Oxford group known as the Inklings. Like Lewis in particular, Williams' fiction skirts the boundaries of realism, in an amalgam of theology, myth, and a recognizable English landscape with human characters like ourselves. Our group read the first of his novels, War in Heaven, over a year ago, and with this one we will, if interest is sufficient, turn to the last as a Lenten "read."
Rather than schedule an event and hoping someone will come, I am asking this time that those of you who would like to participate signify your interest to me, either in person at church or coffee hour, or by e-mail (
). I will then survey your available dates and times, and check back with you once more before ordering copies. Please let me hear from you no later than Saturday, February 22.
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 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: (class of 2023)
Tony Packard (class of 2021)
Communications: (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
Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
ROTA: December 2019-May 31,2020
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Rev. Linda Packard
Pam Malik &
Last Sunday After Epiphany
February 23, 2020
Psalm 2 or Psalm 99
2 Peter 1:16-21
|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."
Events This Week:
Community Breakfast at Victory Café
Morning Study Group
All are welcome!
For current and
check out the goog
calendar on the website
2/16- Len & Diane
2/23- Soul Food
eminder for hosts:
Napkins and plates
are provided. Use
what you need from
Remember: Keep it simple. We usually have about 35-40 attending.
**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
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.
Bonnielynn Kreiser TBA
News and prayer requests:
Wed. end of day.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have yours been missed in our bulletins?
Send to Nancy.
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.
Paper copies are available upon re
Older recent sermons
|Grace Galena Sermon 5th after Epiphany
|Grace Galena Presentation/Candlemas Sermon
|Grace Galena 3rd Sunday after Epiphany Sermon
|Grace Galena 2nd after Epiphany Sermon
The Rev. Linda Packard 12 /29/19 Sermon