The meeting Annual Meeting will be called to order at the conclusion of the Eucharist on Sunday, January 26th. A financial report will be received and the 2020 budget presented. Two new Vestry members will be elected to replace two who are completing their terms. Lunch will be served in the Parish Hall at the conclusion of the meeting.
Reports from ministry leaders are NOW due
in the church office.
Grace Movie Night -
Sunday , 6:00pm.
Our movie will be Darkest Hour, starring Gary Oldman in his Academy Award winning role as Winston Churchill. This aptly named movie fully explores the depths of the word "dire", portraying Prime Minister Churchill's early days as Hitler's
swept across Western Europe and
threatened to defeat the United Kingdom
All who enjoy a good movie are welcome, including guests, and guests of guests. Anyone may bring a beverage, snack or popcorn to munch during the movie.
Lenten Meditation Booklet
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
|Most often, I am quite in agreement with the commentary I use for the preparation for the upcoming Sunday. Sometimes, in fact, I am inspired and come away with new insights. This week, though, I find myself questioning one of its central premises--that of simply going about of lives of faith quietly, letting our example impact the world around us.
Oh, I don't disagree with the importance of living out our faith in humility, not drawing attention to our good deeds and our piety. Who isn't put off by those who parade around hoping that everyone will see just how generous, long suffering, and tolerant they are? That is pretty basic.
My problem is how this quietness might be confused with our natural reticence to talk about our faith and its life-giving qualities, making us near invisible in a world where the loudest voices seem to carry the day. And some of those loudest voices are religious people whose values are quite different from our own--on things like inclusion and how we care for the poor and the oppressed, for example.
Do we really want our voices to be unheard? With friends and family who may be lonely or struggling with the storms and trials of life? Do we not want them to hear a word of grace and blessing? Or, even on the world stage where decisions are being made that do not seem to reflect the Gospel? Do we want to be silenced? Or must we speak up for those who lives or livelihoods are put at risk by such decisions and policies?
Yes, St. Francis is believed to have said, "Preach always. If necessary, use words." And the commentators above are right in pointing out the quietness of Jesus' baptism. (Though in Matthew's story that we are reading this year, God's voice booming from the clouds was heard by the crowd, not just by Jesus and John!). I am not suggesting that we be obnoxious, but our faith provides us with gifts that are needed desperately--grace, mercy, blessing, love for all of God's creatures and creation itself. Whether in the private or public sphere--I pray that we will spread that abundance, whether in a whisper, a presence, or a cry.
See you in church,
This Sunday, the day that we observe the
Baptism of Christ, is one of four days that our
Book of Common Prayer proclaims to be especially suitable for baptisms. And, when there are no baptisms, they are days when we are encouraged to still offer an opportunity for the congregation to reaffirm baptismal vows. We shall do that this week, offering the prayer over the water in the baptismal font and repeating together the Renewal of Baptismal Vows.
: A prophecy of God's coming servant, who fulfils God's promise, and who will bring justice and comfort.
An exhortation for the heavenly beings to give glory to God, for God's mighty, majestic voice.
Peter preaches about the Jesus who was baptised by John and empowered by God's Spirit, who taught about God's reign and did good, and who is now the judge of all and the one who brings forgiveness.
: Jesus appears at the Jordan and John hesitates to baptise him, but ultimately submits to Christ and baptises him. Then the heavens open, the Spirit descends on Jesus as a dove, and God's voice proclaims God's pleasure in Jesus.
The Baptism of Christ for us is a listening to God's proclamation of who Christ is, and what Christ has come to do. We are the witnesses to Christ. And then, it is also a call for us to be proclaimers, messengers, carrying what we have seen and experienced into the world in quiet, but significant, words and deeds.
Some years ago there was an advert on South African television that began with a quiet voice saying "If you want to catch someone's attention, whisper!" This may be one way of seeing this week's theme. Although, the Baptism of Christ may be thought of as a dramatic event with lots of fanfare, and great supernatural proclamation, it appears that it was actually a rather quiet affair. Certainly, it did not create the kind of stir that would be expected if such an event was witnessed publicly. Rather, Matthew seems to indicate that only Jesus saw the dove and heard the voice, and directly after this event, Jesus was led into the wilderness - a place of seclusion and isolation. The other readings also indicate the power of quiet proclamation in word and deed, and the effect of Jesus' practice of such quiet proclamation, which still had very significant impact. In the same way, we who follow Christ and seek to influence the world in the direction of justice and love, would do well to allow our words to be quiet, and our proclamation to be as much in lives of gentle justice as in words of challenge. It may seem that such quiet proclamation can have little effect on our world, but in fact it is really the only thing that makes any significant difference. When my neighbours see justice in my life, when those around me are treated with compassion and dignity, when my giving, my ethics and my values all speak of God's reign and justice, then my world is made a little more whole, and the world is changed for the better. And when the numbers of people doing this grow, then the impact grows too. So, whatever issue you may seek to proclaim God's justice into, reflect on how you can adopt, at least in part, the strategy of Jesus' baptism - quiet proclamation.
commentary from sacredise.com
From Robyn, Just a Note
You've probably noticed that we've been singing some new songs during Communion, and some of you may be wondering why they do seem to go on and on. Welcome to Taiz
é. I wish. Taiz
é is actually a small village in France and wouldn't it be great to be transported there? In addition, Taiz
é is a Christian community in that small village which has been in existence since the end of World War II. It currently has more than a hundred religious brothers in residence, both Protestant and Catholic, living in community and welcoming thousands of visitors each year from around the world. They come to worship, learn, sing, pray, and be quiet. Most of those visitors are young people, an amazing thing, but adults are equally welcome. I have had the joy of spending part of a week there and it was a wonderful, transforming, few days. It was the music that drew me in, as it has millions of others, because of its simplicity, its complexity, its beauty, but most of all because it is sung prayer. By its repetitive nature, Taiz
é music moves very quickly from a "head" experience to one of "heart". The songs are written, and sung, in various languages because to sing in a foreign language is an expansive experience.
I invite you to pray with us next time we sing a Taiz
é song at Communion. Let it sink into your heart. Relax into it. Let it move you.
Heifer Project: Thanks to the generosity of many Grace parishioners, $1595 will be sent to Heifer International to support their efforts to help people everywhere. Some two dozen honor cards were given as Christmas gifts.
Mark your calendars for this
Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m:
THE BEST DEATH EVER
Led by the Rev. Judith Doran
Join us for honest and deep conversation about death, including confronting our own mortality. We will explore the medical, ethical, and theological aspects of what is meant by "sanctity of life," and how what we believe about death affects us and will affect those we love. There will be time for discussion, quiet, and worship.
To register, contact Grace Church by phone (815.777.2590) or
Lunch is included. A free will offering will be collected. INVITE A FRIEND
Park unto others as you would have them park unto you
Parking is a precious commodity around the church. Please show the love by consistently parking well within the lines. Also, though there are just three spots marked on Sunday mornings for handicapped, if you are able to walk, please park on the street. We have a number of parishioners with canes and walkers who would appreciate a shorter path to the entrance. This becomes even more important if this weekend's predicted snow and ice materialize!
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: Bonnielynn Kreiser (class of 2020)
Tony Packard (class of 2021)
Communications: Larry Poston (class of 2020)
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
First Sunday After Epiphany
ROTA: December 2019-May 31,2020
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Alice Maffit &
Second Sunday after Epiphany
! Corinthians 1:1-9
|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
1/26- Maren & Steve
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.
Carol Poston, Charlotte Kennedy
Clergy Advisors: Gloria Hopewell,
News and prayer requests:
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|Grace Galena Feast of the Epiphany A
|Grace Church Galena IL. Christmas Eve