Grace Episcopal Church
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Baptism of our Lord
10:30 am

Donna Davis  
Bill & Krista Ginger 
Coming Right Up! 
Annual Meeting--Sunday, January 27th   
from ministry leaders were due in the church office by Friday, January 11. The meeting will take place at the conclusion of worship on the 27th and will be followed by lunch.
This year, elections include electing a new Junior Warden as the Senior Warden's two year term has come to a close. The Nominating Committee's slate that will be presented to the membership by the Vestry is:
Lynn Giles, Junior Warden
Elizabeth Ludescher and Charlotte Stryker, Vestry  
The Way of Love: An Epiphany Opportunity
Please consider joining during the Epiphany season, this study of the "Way of Love." Even if you were unable to attend the first session, 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. 
Rector's Ramblings 
The Rt. Rev. Michael B. Curry has had a busy holiday season! He doesn't just film a Christmas message for his flock. At the end of this very public year, he has made a pastoral visit to the Florida panhandle to hold listening sessions with hurricane victims and to inspect damage. He was also named Religious Newsmaker of the Year by the Religion News Association, an international association for journalists who write about religion in the news media. And then, there is the business at hand that does not  necessarily take a holiday break.

I will use this space today to report on a long term issue within the Episcopal Church--marriage equality. Many of us applauded each step of its evolution through the blessing of civil unions, then acceptance of marriage rites on a trial basis to this past summer's General Convention resolution meant to approve access to these rites for all people. We may believe that there are no longer obstacles to same-sex marriage in the Episcopal Church.
     Alas, it is more complicated than that. And yesterday, our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry released his response to one bishop whose November pastoral letter forbade any priest is his diocese from performing the approved marriage rites. Curry has partially restricted this bishop's authority and has submitted the case to the intake officer of the disciplinary review process to see if there is reason to believe that this may involve a canonical offense.
     For anyone interested in an excellent synopsis, I am including a link to the Episcopal News Service.    
     For those wanting a "thumbnail" as I understand this, read on.
Many of you are aware that at the General Convention held in Austin Texas in July, a Resolution was passed that mandated marriage equality in all of the U.S. Dioceses. A 2015 resolution had approved marriage rites for trial use, but bishops needed to give permission for these to be used in their own dioceses. Bishops opposed were still to provide a means for couples to have access to the rites.      
      During the three years between Conventions, eight bishops (of 101 domestic dioceses) only allowed same sex marriages to take place outside of their dioceses--away from the home churches of the couples. And some of the eight forbade their clergy to perform these rites anywhere. The 2018 resolution, by moving the authority from bishops to parish priests, was meant to remedy the situation.
      Still, some of those eight bishops have chosen some interesting "work arounds" that others believe are misinterpretations of the General Convention's intent. In particular, one, Bp. William Love, Bishop of Albany, has not only refused same-sex marriages in the diocese, but has continued to forbid any priests to participate in any way.
      Immediately following Bp. Love's November pastoral letter, Bp. Curry made this statement, "those of us who have taken vows to obey the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church must act in ways that reflect and uphold the discernment and decisions of the General Convention of the church."  After consultation and study, today, Bp. Curry issued "Partial Restriction on the Ministry of a Bishop, The Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany." A link to the full statement may be found at the above link.
     In it, Bp. Curry says, "While I am persuaded of the sincerity and good will of Bishop Love in these difficult circumstances, I am convinced that Resolution B012 was intended by the Convention to be mandatory and binding upon all our Dioceses...I am therefore persuaded that as Presiding Bishop I am called upon to take steps to ensure that same-sex marriage in The Episcopal Church is available to all persons to the same extent and under the same conditions in all Dioceses of the Church where same-sex marriage is civilly legal."

Though our own Diocese of Chicago and our Bishop have rejoiced in the 2018 resolution and have played key roles in the movement towards marriage equality and full inclusion of all people and of those they love, let us be mindful of those who are still living in pain and uncertainty of their place in the church and in God's kingdom.

See you in church,
Preparation for Sunday  
This is one of the Sundays of each year that we, as a faith community, reaffirm our Baptisms. This is done by repeating the Baptismal Covenant together. We also do this each time a baptism is celebrated. (This may also take place on any of the other three major feasts--Easter Vigil, Pentecost, and All Saints.) This year, alas, there is no actual baptism on the Baptism. of Our Lord. We will, however, as a community, specially recognize the baptisms earlier this year, of Leif and Meri Lucia Johnstad. It will be a most joyous occasion!

Isaiah 43:1-7: God's people have no reason to fear, for God has redeemed them, and they will not be harmed when passing through water or flame. God will bring the children of God's people from the four corners of the earth, and will bring together blind people who can see and deaf people who can hear to bear witness to how God has saved and liberated God's people.
Psalm 29: A song in praise of God and of God's mighty voice which is strong and majestic, and which shakes the earth. Yet, God gives strength and peace to God's people.
Acts 8:14-17: The apostles, having heard the news that the Samaritans had accepted God's word, laid hands on the Samaritan believers and prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit, which they did.
Luke 3:15-17, 21-22: The people wonder whether John the Baptiser is the Christ, but he denies it and proclaims that another is coming who is more powerful than he is, and who will baptise with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Then Jesus is baptised by John along with the other people, and the Spirit descends on him and he hears God's voice affirming him.

Our meditation on Jesus' baptism this week is not just an exercise in holy remembering. It is not just about Jesus. Rather, it is an acknowledgment that God is still at work in the world, and still invites us to participate in God's saving and liberating work. But, to do this, we, like Jesus, will need to be strengthened and empowered. We will need to be baptised in the Holy Spirit.  
      In every community, in every life, there is a need for resources that are beyond our human capacity. However, even as God calls us to live with integrity and wholeness, God enters our world and gives us God's Spirit to help us to do it. Jesus' act of being baptised is the assurance of his commitment to partner with us, and is the invitation for us to participate in the work of God's reign. Then the promise of God's Spirit to empower us, and the gift of God's living word to challenge, guide and strengthen us, assures that we have all the resources we need to participate in God's work. In addition, the message of the Scriptures, which reminds us that even the outcast Samaritans were able to receive God's Spirit, is a call to embrace all people and to invite all people to share in God's saving work, and to be empowered by God's Spirit.  
      So, in order to fulfill our role in this work of God, we need God's resources, the power of the Spirit, to guide, sustain and strengthen us, and we need God's voice, God's living word, to affirm and direct us.

The thumbnails and reflections excerpted from
Heifer International
Thanks to the generosity of parishioners giving Heifer donations as Christmas presents, Grace Church raised $2420 to support the world-wide efforts of Heifer International this year. If anyone gave a donation and still wants a gift card, please contact Lynn Giles. She still has a few cards.
Finance Update
Many thanks to all who submitted their financial pledges for 2019 to contribute to the ministries of Grace Church. 
      If you have not yet pledged but wish to do so, there are extra pledge forms and information in the Narthex. Or, you may contact the Rector or the Treasurer, Richard Luther.
      Please remember that commitments, regardless of the amount, are important to our community of faith. Such an intentional commitment is both a practical and a spiritual matter. It is practical because it allows the church to plan for carrying out its ministries with an understanding of the resources that are available. It is a spiritual practice because it is a way of giving back a portion of God's goodness through the church and its ministries, a way of learning to live generously. It is hoped that all who participate in Grace Church will pledge in accordance with their ability to do so.
Automatic Bill Pay for Pledge
If you have this set up to send to the church, this is a reminder to change the mailing address to:  
107 S. Prospect St.   Thank you.   
Worship Ministries Update
We would like to thank everyone who donated flowers and plants to help make the church beautiful during the year.  If you have forgotten to pay for your flower donation or cannot remember please check with the office.  There are many openings on the flower chart for the coming year.  Don't forget to sign-up for your favorite date.
Vestry Liaisons

V estry 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  an d activities.

Worship:                               Rector                        
Building and Grounds:        
Pete Stryker (Sr. Warden 2017-2019)   
Worship Committee:            Pam Malik
(class of 2019)             
and Spirituality:
  Greg Serwich (Jr. Warden 2018-2019)   
Fellowship & Hospitality:     Anita Sands (class of 2021)                 
Pastoral Care/ LEMs:           Bonnielynn Kreiser (class of 2020)  
Outreach:                             Tony Packard (class of 2021)
                                             Deb Pausz (class of 2019)               
Communications:                 Larry Poston (class of 2020)
Governance:                        Wardens & Rector 

Officers:                Pete Stryker, Senior Warden             
                     Greg Serwich, Junior Warden
                     R ichard Luther, Treasurer                    
                     Elizabeth Ludescher, Clerk      
Rect or :                          The Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell           

Parish Ad ministrator:     Fräni Beadle  
O rganist/Pianist:            Robin French, Nancy Cook        
Choir Director:               Pat Terry    
This Sunday 
In This Issue
Coming Right Up!
Vestry Liaisons
Taking Note of This Sunday
Next Sunday's Readings
Grace's Prayer List
Meetings this Week
Choir Schedule
Coffee Hour Reminders
Ministry of Care
Boring Details
January 13, 2019
Sunday Morning  
Baptism of Our Lord 
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
The Lectionary

Ministers of the
Lynn Giles
1st Chalicist:
Bill Boehler
2nd Chalicist: 
Greg Serwich
Deb Pausz
Vestry Coordinator:
Pam Malik
Karen Serwich
Altar Guild:
Alice Maffit & Alan Oyen
The Very Rev. Gloria Hopewell

Next Sunday's
Epiphany 2
January 20, 2018
Eucharistic readings
for your own study:  
Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10   
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 
John 2:1-11 
Grace's Prayer List
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."
Meetings this Week 
Wednesday Events  
7:30 am
Midweek Morning Eucharist
8:10 am
Community Breakfast at Victory Café   
Cursillo Reunion  
St. Francis Room
10:30 am
Morning Bible Study Parish House
All are welcome!
Grace's Choir Practice
Wednesdays at 7pm
Saturdays at 10am
Looking Ahead 
For current and upcoming events, download a copy of the calendar with this link:    
January  OR check out the goog le
calendar on the new website
Sunday Social Hour Hosts
** If you put out trash, please put in a secure trash can. Thanks to all for your cooperation. **
1/13 - Jackman
1/20 - Cordero
1/27 - Banas 
R 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.

  **Coffee schedule sign up is on the bulletin board in the Parish House.**
Formation Schedule  
You can now get information on Formation Ministries directly from the new Grace website at the following links: Children and Youth Adults
Spiritual Practices

Ministry of Care 
If you are in need of assistance while ill or recovering: meals, transportation, visits, please contact the
Ministry of Care
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.

Ministry of Care Leadership Team: Facilitators :  Carol Poston, Charlotte Kennedy
Clergy Advisors: Gloria Hopewell, Linda Packard

Sermons and e-Blasts 
News and prayer requests: 
Sunday Bulletin -- Wed. end of day.
e-Blast: Thursday noon. 

Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have your celebrations been missed in our bulletins?   Send to Frani.
Thank y ou!  

News and Photos
 f or e-Blast!
People want to know
what's going on at Grace!  T here 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. They also may be found on the church's FB page. 
Paper copies are available upon request. 
Feast of the Epiphany 2019
Feast of the Epiphany 2019
Grace Galena Christmas Eve 2018 
Grace Galena Christmas Eve 2018
   The Rev Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
Cell Phone:  773-988-3497

Grace Episcopal Church Office:
107 S. Prospect Street
Galena, IL 61036