|Lenten Meditation Booklet --DEADLINE FEB. 2
It's that time of year again when we write our meditations for our Lenten season. Assignments are available after church as well as guidelines for writing meditations. Please let me know if you would be willing to do more than one, although usually all 40 days of Lent are taken by our parishioners.
Please get your assignment and guidelines after church with Carmen or by phone or email: email@example.com or 815-777-2309. Meditations must be returned by Sunday, February 9th. Consider making the writing of
a Lenten meditation part of your Lent this year.
|For those who were unable to attend the Annual Meeting last Sunday:
GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH, GALENA, ILLINOIS
ANNUAL MEETING-JANUARY 26, 2020
I trust by now that you have read through our booklet of reports from our many ministries at Grace Church. If not, please do take them home with you and read these accounts of the faithful service that so many have offered this year. It has been a splendid year, and that is because of all of you. I wish to sincerely thank each of you for your commitment to God through your work, your presence, and all of the gifts that you bring to our community of faith!
I am grateful for those who have been leaders in our ministries, those who have worked very hard in making our transitions good smoothly-from Robin and choir members who imagined how to work with the space we have to make our evolving music program possible to those who did the heavy lifting as pews were repositioned and instruments moved.
I thank those who have fine-tuned our Parish House and all who have made use of this long-desired, beautiful space. And I salute all involved in providing the funds and assuring their best use to make it all possible. And I am blessed by Linda and Diane and all others who allowed my sabbatical time to be "worry-free!"
As noted in my written report, there are some unique events in store this year. I'm sure we all look forward to the ordination of Diane Luther to the vocational diaconate in May at St. James Cathedral-and to her new ministry at Grace. We will send delegates to the electing convention for a new diocesan bishop on June 20, as well as to the "walk-abouts" of the candidates in early June. And, with our own Parish House completed, we will have the pleasure and privilege of seeing a portion of our abundance used to build a new church for our partner in South Sudan, Glory Parish.
Grace will be a place of music this summer! On July 12, the men's chorus from southern France will sing in our worship service-and offer performances with the Galena Festival of the Performing Arts. RiverSong will return for its festival at Grace in August. Their performances will focus on Beethoven as 2020 is the 250th anniversary of his birth.
Grace is most certainly an active place. We accomplish a great deal together. And yet, there is more. Thanks be to God!
There is always more as we continue to walk together in this troubled world, striving to carry God's love and mercy to all that we meet. I dream of extending our welcome and invitation even further beyond our doors, finding ways to share our stories and actively include those who are lonely, uncertain, or seeking. I long to expand our opportunities for spiritual growth and practice-building on our lovely prayer chapel and meditation garden, seasonal quiet days, and centering prayer. I would like to develop the collective courage to confront injustice in concrete ways-by participating in such offerings as the diocesan anti-racism training. And I hope to pick up the threads of our Vision and Values project to more clearly articulate how Grace Episcopal Church lives and grows as the body of Christ in Galena, Illinois in the last 4/5ths of this 21st century.
Of course, I know that we will continue our hospitality and fellowship, continuing to be a place of friends and companions who enjoy being together and caring for one another. These are my hopes as I soon come to the completion of my eighth year at Grace. Thank you for inviting me to be your rector and priest-and for the time of my life!
Blessing and peace,
The Very Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
See you in church,
|Malachi 3:1-4: Cyrus, King of Persia, has permitted the people of Israel to return to Palestine. The Temple, gutted in 586 BC, has been restored, but Israel is still a Persian province. People expected that their fidelity to God would be rewarded by (material) prosperity,
but life has continued to be hard, so after several decades, they have lapsed into waywardness. It is the ungodly who prosper. In the old days, the king was God's agent, but now (there being no king), the priests have assumed this role. In previous chapters, the prophet has condemned the priests for despising God, corrupting worship and misleading the people.
A "messenger" or angel, God's agent, will come to prepare a way for him. God, long expected, will come to "his temple", to the priests. God's "covenant" with Israel was summed up in the priests. His arrival will be sudden, unannounced, implies that when God comes, he will judge the people. A refiner used the heat of a fire to separate ore into pure metal and slag; a fuller cared for newly shorn wool or woven garments by cleaning them, purifying them, with lye. The messenger will "purify ... and refine", the priests ("the descendants of Levi") until they hold him in proper respect. Their offerings, on behalf of the people, will then again be "pleasing to the Lord". God will judge adversely those who deviate from proper moral behaviour and from his ways.
Psalm 84: This psalm praises God as the longed-for goal of the pilgrim. The "dwelling" of God is the Temple (and perhaps also the land of Israel). To live in the Temple is greatly to be desired:
Hebrews 2:14-18: Hebrews couches the good news in Jewish terms: it sees Jesus as the great high priest. It was appropriate that God, the creator, should - in bringing us to share in his glory - make Jesus (the forerunner of our salvation), a priest, but (unlike other priests) a priest who suffers. Why? Because Jesus and we have the same Father. God reveals himself in the Church. There is a close affinity between Jesus and his followers.
those who live there have security and happiness, even the birds who nest in the Temple area. Making a pilgrimage to the Temple offers these hopes. When the pilgrims pass through the arid "valley of Baca" en route to the Temple, it becomes fertile. They become more and more godly as they travel, increasing in their knowledge of God. Verse
is a prayer for the king. (The word translated "anointed" is messiah; later it was taken as referring to the ideal future king who would restore the nation.) Perhaps v.
contrasts the fate of the godly and the wicked. God is both "sun and shield" bestower of blessings. Life for those who trust in God is clearly superior.
Luke 2:22-40: After childbirth, it was 40 days before a mother could be purified before a priest in the Temple, so it is at least that long since Jesus' birth. She was expected to offer a lamb, along with a turtledove or a pigeon; if she were poor (as Mary is), two turledoves or pigeons sufficed. Exodus required that every firstborn boy be consecrated to God. Jesus' presentation in the Temple is like Samuel's. Jesus and his family fulfil the requirements of Mosaic law.
Jesus, through his redemptive act, frees us from the fear of death - death is no longer separation from God. Because of Jesus' death and resurrection, the nature of death has changed: it has become the way out of the domain of sin. The "descendants of Abraham" (v.
) are those who believe in Christ. Old Testament priests were expected to be "faithful" (v.
), but Christ, the "high priest" is unique in being "merciful", compassionate.
Simeon looks forward to the coming of the Messiah to restore Israel to favour with God ("the consolation of Israel"). The Spirit has told him that he will see the Christ before he dies. Simeon's words in are known as the Nunc Dimittis, from the first words in Latin. He begins by saying that God is setting him free, as a slave is granted liberty. He is now free to die (for the Spirit's revelation to him is now fulfilled), and Israel is free of bondage. God has saved Israel, as he promised to "all peoples"; his salvation is for Gentiles too. In v.
, Joseph is Jesus' legal father. Simeon prophesies that Jesus is destined for the death and resurrection of many; he will meet opposition, and will cause many to think deeply about him. Mary too will need to decide for or against Christ. Simeon and Anna together stand before God; to Luke, men and women are equal in God's eyes. Anna praises God, and tells many the meaning of Jesus, as Simeon has prophesied. Like Samuel, "the favour of God was upon him".
|The Grace Church Annual Meeting was held on January 26, 2020. Two new vestry members were elected for three year terms: Nancy Cook and Eric Kallback. Outgoing members Bonnielynn Kreise
r and Larry Poston were acknowledged and thanked for their service.
||Final Blessing--Close of Annual Meeting
Treasurer Richard Luther presented the financial report for the end of year 2019, reporting a positive balance due to increased contributions and reduced expenses. The approved budget for 2020 was also presented. A significant increase in pledged income resulted in a balanced budget even though expenses in our personnel compensation increased. The budget summary may be viewed at this link.
Canapes & Conversation
Looking for hosts and hostesses for Canapes and Conversations. We still need hosts for February! Email Cathie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Grace Movie Night
6 p.m. Sunday February 9th,
The first Sunday of February, Groundhog Day, dictated the movie. However, that day also being Super Bowl Sunday dictated that Movie Night will be postponed one week to February 9th.
We often pre-screen old movies to see how well they have aged. To our surprise, we enjoyed this iconic 1993 Harold Ramis comedy (starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell) much more than the first time around. It seems the wisdom that comes with aging in the company of good companions, and the spiritual insight that comes with God's grace, enhances one's enjoyment of a movie about having additional opportunities to get things right.
All are welcome, including guests, and guests of guests. Feel free to bring a beverage, snack or popcorn to munch during the movie. A discussion will follow.
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
Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
ROTA: December 2019-May 31,2020
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Ann Berry &
Fifth Sunday After Epiphany
Psalm 112:1-9, 
1 Corinthians 2:1-12 [13-16]
|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
2/2- Maren & Steve
2/9- Ann Berry &
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
Clergy Advisors: Gloria Hopewell,
News and prayer requests:
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Anniversaries and Birthdays
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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 3rd Sunday after Epiphany Sermon
|Grace Galena 2nd after Epiphany Sermon
|Grace Church Galena Baptism of Christ Sermon
The Rev. Linda Packard 12 /29/19 Sermon