We have just been notified by the Diocese of Chicago that our region has been returned to Tier 2 COVID mitigation by the Governor of Illinois. This will not make a difference to our worship as Tier 2 still allows no more than 10 attendees including the Altar Party and others who help lead the service. Most Sundays, we have between 7 and 10 people involved.
The 2021 Annual Meeting of Grace Church will be held on Sunday, January 31. The deadline for ministry reports is/was January 15. All reports should be sent to the Parish Administrator preferably by email or by mail.
The plan at this point is to conduct the meeting via Zoom and broadcast from the Parish Hall shortly after the conclusion of the morning service. We have examined our by-laws and the diocesan canons and have found no impediments to an online meeting. The one challenge is the voting, but we do not anticipate any votes at this meeting except for an initial resolution to adopt our online meeting format and our election of Wardens and Vestry Members.
The slate being presented for election is:
Senior Warden: Lynn Giles
Junior Warden: Richard Luther
Vestry Class of 2024: Crystal Mason, Phil Jackman
Greg Serwich, Tony Packard, and Anita Sands complete their terms respectively as Senior Warden and Vestry Members.
Since we do not have a contested slate for the election, we are hopeful that a voice vote will be sufficient as it has been in the past. As a back-up, however, we will need to have a show of hands on Zoom and will need to record the names of those voting so that we can assure that all voting meet our canonical requirements.
The open and inclusive nature of our church means that we have very few instances where there are specific requirements for participation. All people are welcome to be part of the congregation's life in each of its ministries, its worship, and its fellowship events. All are welcome and encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting. Voting at specially called and annual meetings, though, is regulated by the Canons of the Episcopal Church. The applicable Canons follow as summarized by the Bishop's office:
The eligible voters of the congregation, according to the provisions of Canon 22, section 3 are:
o 16 years or older
o Regular in attendance at worship, and recognized as such by the Rector and one warden
o Have pledged, and be paying their pledge within the last 6 months before the vote (or making other committed contributions within the last 6 months)
o Declare their willingness to conform to the Doctrine, Discipline and Worship of the Church.
|I want, first of all to point out an item of special interest. A group of Episcopal bishops, including those in most of our surrounding states, released a letter this week in regard to the upcoming Inauguration of our next President. They ask us to stay home, out of harms way and to speak up: "Whether you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent, please let your elected officials know that you cherish our representative democracy and our pursuit of a more perfect union, and that you expect that those who are found responsible for last week's violence to be held accountable." |
And they ask us to pray: Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The full text of the letter can be found on our diocesan e-Blast along with PB Curry's video sermon from last Sunday and a number of other items of interest at e-News.
On the eve of the Inauguration, Tuesday, January 19, there will be a Prayer Vigil on Zoom for our country, our new President and Vice-President, and the Administration. It will be broadcast from the church beginning a few minutes before 4:30 pm at which time the lights will shine and the bell will ring in concert with lights and bells across the nation.
Further details will follow by Monday afternoon along with an e-mailed Zoom invitation.
|I am struck by confluence of events in this coming week. Monday, the 18th is Martin Luther King Day. It is also the first day of the Week of Christian Unity. And then, of course, the Inauguration takes place on Wednesday, January 20.|
Last week, the disunity of the Church was amplified on our television screens in the images of some of the destructive mob carrying Christian flags and wearing symbols. Many of us were saying, "No, that is not who we are. That is not the Christianity to which we ascribe."
This week, much ink has been spilled over the word "unity." It has pointed up yet another divide over the events on the 6th and those leading up to it. Some insist that for the sake of unity, we should not punish those involved in the violence and destruction. Others point out the need for repentance and accountability before it is possible to have unity. Doing otherwise, pushing differences "under the rug," may seem easier than confronting the underlying problems.
I have read many of Martin Luther King, Jr's. writings. I went back to his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" this week. In it, he expressed his great disappointment in the white churches and their lack of support for the injustices that he expected they would be keen to address as part of the Body of Christ. He says,
There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that transformed the mores of society.
Things are different now. So often the contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So often, the power structure of the average community is consoled by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they are....
He predicts that without the sacrificial spirit of the early church, it will lose its authenticity and become irrelevant. It makes me wonder how we can be more clear about who we are as Christians. Like Bishop Curry asked in his sermon last week: Who shall we be as Christians in this time of national crisis? In this time every day of our lives. He asks us "to make a commitment, a renewed commitment, to live the way of love as Jesus has taught us and to do it by making a commitment to go out and bless somebody. Bless somebody you disagree with. Bless somebody you agree with. But to go out and bless somebody by helping somebody along the way. Go out and bless somebody by listening to their story and their life. To go out and be an instrument of God's peace, an agent of God's love." He doesn't say we have to agree or put aside (or hide under a rug) differences and disagreements. He doesn't say we all have to walk in lock step. But we do have to listen. And love. And speak truth, not hatefully but with mercy. And pray. Maybe that will result in reconciliation. Maybe it will not. It may lead us to listen more deeply, discern more wisely. And become the Christians who reflect and the kind of love God has for each and every one.
See you on Zoom,
1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20): The boy Samuel, who has been placed in Eli's care to serve God, hears God speak as he prepares to sleep, but doesn't recognise the voice. Then Eli instructs him how to answer, and, after Samuel responds to God's call, God speaks a prophecy over Eli's family.
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18:
A Psalm in praise of God's creation of the psalmist and the intimate way in which God knows him, inside and out.
1 Corinthians 6:12-20:
John 1:43-51: Jesus calls Philip to follow him, and Philip calls Nathaniel, who is, at first, uncertain. When Jesus sees him he affirms him, and Nathaniel is won over. Jesus assures him that he will see heaven open and God's angels ascending and descending on Christ.
Although all things are permissible for Christ-followers but no everything is good or beneficial. Our bodies belong to God, are given life by God and are temples of God's Spirit, and so they must be used in service of God.
It is helpful to remember that the season of Epiphany invites us to witness two things. The first is the way various individuals and groups perceived Jesus. This is a fitting way to follow the season of Christmas, because now we are given the opportunity to learn who this Jesus is through the eyes of those who met him. The second invitation of Epiphany is for us to witness God's glory as it is revealed in the incarnate Christ. This week's readings give us a wonderful way to accept both of these invitations. As the first disciples are called, we meet Nathaniel, initially a little sceptical of Jesus, but won over by Jesus' insight. But, Jesus calls both Nathaniel and us to a deeper experience than that of mere witnesses of a small perception of Nathaniel's true character. In the enigmatic reference to Jacob's ladder, Jesus claims that he is the one who will both reveal God's glory to the world, and be the "channel" through which God's presence, glory and purpose is mediated to the world. The call to witness God's presence and glory is affirmed by all of the other readings for this week.The invitation is up close and personal - not only do we get to witness God's glory in Jesus; we are called to accept God's presence and glory into our own being!
Thumbprints and commentaries from:
LENTEN DEVOTIONS: DON'T WAIT TO BE ASKED!
to indicate your willingness to serve as one of the contributors.
The Christian Formation Ministry is pleased to report that Carmen Ferguson has agreed to serve again this year as editor of the book of Lenten meditations to which Grace parishioners are asked to contribute. Participation in this project is open to all parishioners and friends who would like to offer a brief meditation on one (or more) of the Lectionary texts during Lent.
Interested? Please don't wait to be asked! Ash Wednesday comes earlier this year (February 17) and we are getting started later. Given the fact that pandemic-related restrictions on in-Church gatherings are unlikely to be relaxed any time soon, we can no longer rely on the informal distribution of assignments to interested volunteers on Sunday mornings. Contact Carmen right now
You will receive a text for a particular day on this year's Lenten calendar, along with instructions. Information on deadlines will follow as soon as we can work out a schedule with the church office, but it will likely fall sometime toward the end of January at the latest.
So don't delay. You needn't be a professional theologian to apply; this is where, as parishioners, we talk to each other about how a particular Biblical passage affects us, drawing on our own reflections and experience.
GIVING CAMPAIGN UPDATE
Please check your records to make sure that you submitted your 2021 pledge if you intended to do so. Final budget preparations are in progress, and it is important to know that we can count on you to
assure that the ministries of Grace Church continue to make a difference!
The pledge total so far is $141,520, 89% of the 2020 total. That represents just 43 households (78% of 2020 pledging households.
Pledges of all sizes are most welcome as signs of your commitment to doing God's work through Grace Church.
....Also, if you need Offering envelopes, please let Nancy know in the office. We have new envelopes available.
COMMUNION FOR ZOOM CONGREGATION
There is always time to sign up for Communion as part of our Zoom worship! You may wish to participate in communion and sign up for every Sunday.
Simply call or email the church office or contact Deacon Diane Luther.
FLOWER CHART FOR 2021
The Flower Chart for 2021 is on the bulletin board in the Parish House. Please contact Ann Berry for available dates. The flowers are $30 and come from the Blooming Basket at the Pig.
Wednesday Morning Study Group
Join us to study, ponder, and discuss scripture.
Current topic: St. Mark's Gospel. We gather safely on Zoom,
10:30 - 11:30 Wednesday mornings.
Contact Greg Serwich for a Zoom invitation.
Meditative Prayer 9:00am Fridays
Looking for a way to improve your prayer life, to open your heart, mind and soul to the Holy Spirit? Consider joining the Centering Prayer Group Friday mornings for about forty minutes of meditative prayer: twenty minutes of Centering Prayer followed by Lectio Divina. Contact Greg Serwich (email@example.com) for a Zoom invitation which includes a description of these types of prayer.
ZOOM POETRY GROUP
A Zoom Poetry meeting from Grace Church has been organized and meets online on Mondays at 2:00pm. This is not specifically a Grace ministry, but a number of Grace members and friends are part of it If you are interested, write Carol Poston at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call her at 815-777-0220.
Worship and Ministry in the Midst of COVID-19!
Epiphany Season Worship
Sunday services will begin at our usual 10:30 time on Zoom. They will also be recorded and uploaded as quickly as possible for those unable to participate on Zoom. The uploads will appear on the church's Facebook page, @FullyGrace and on the Grace website.
Wednesday morning services are also now only on Zoom. Bible Study and Centering Prayer are also on Zoom each week. If you would like to add your name to any of these participant lists, please e-mail the church office.
Ministry of Care
Here at Grace, The Ministry of Care has organized regular phone and e-mail contact with our most vulnerable members. If you are in need of assistance, or pick-up and delivery of prescriptions or emergency supplies, please contact Bonnielynn Kreiser. Also contact her if you are able to help out. And, of course, your clergy are available by phone, text, and e-mail to provide pastoral care,
Vestry 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 and activities.
Worship: The Very Rev.Gloria Hopewell, Rector
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)
Ministry of Care/LEMs: Nancy Cook (class of 2023)
Outreach: Tony Packard (class of 2021)
Communications: Eric Kallback(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
The Rev. Linda Packard, Priest Associate
The Rev. Diane Luther, Deacon
IN-PERSON WORSHIP CONTINUES TO BE SUSPENDED. We will still lead worship on Zoom from the church, with only the Altar Party, musician, and Zoom operator present in the building. Regular services are 10:30 am on Sundays; 7:30 am on Wednesdays.
ANYONE SCHEDULED TO SERVE WHO IS NOT COMFORTABLE BEING IN THE CHURCH, PLEASE CONTACT THE CHURCH OFFICE.
Regular hours will continue. Nancy is available on Tuesday - Friday mornings. I am available Monday by appointment and Tuesday-Thursday. In-person meetings are suspended (except for the 12-step programs that are part of our community outreach). please contact us ahead of time if you need to come by.
And masks are essential!
The Second Sunday After Epiphany
January 17, 2021
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
1 Samuel 3:1-10, 11-201 Corinthians 6:12-20
Ministers of the Service:
Presider: Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
Deacon: Rev. Diane Luther
Music Director: Robin French
Lector: Greg Serwich
Intercessor: Deb Pausz
Vestry Coordinator: Eric Kallback
Altar Guild: Debbie Kallback
Third Sunday after Epiphany
January 24, 2021
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
|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."
Events This Week:
The Second Sunday in Epiphany
Holy Eucharist 10:30am
ONLINE ONLY on Zoom
Zoom Poetry Meeting
Church Office Closed
EfM 6:30pm on Zoom
Vestry Meeting 9:00am on Zoom
Pray Vigil 4:30 pm on Zoom
Morning Worship 7:30am on Zoom
Bible Study** 10:30am on Zoom
Centering Prayer* 9:00am on Zoom
To receive an invitation with the link to online events, please contact *Gloria at
or **Greg Serwich at email@example.com
All are welcome!
|For current and upcoming events, check out the Google
calendar on the website
Link to most current directory here:
|You can now get information on Formation Ministries directly from the new Grace website at the following links:|
Children and Youth Adults
|During our COVID-19 restrictions, |
the Ministry of Care has organized regular phone and e-mail contact with our most vulnerable members. If you are in need of assistance, or pick-up and delivery of prescriptions or emergency supplies, please contact Bonnielynn Kreiser. Also contact her if you are able to help out. And, of course, your clergy are available by phone, text, and e-mail to provide pastoral care,
If you are ill or recovering: meals, transportation, visits, please contact the Ministry of Care 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.Ministry of Care Leadership Team: Facilitators
Linda PackardDiane Luther
News and prayer requests:
Wed. end of day.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have yours been missed in our bulletins? Send to Nancy. Thank you!
News and Photos
People want to know what's going on at Grace! There 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. Paper copies are available upon request.
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Wednesday 1-13-21|
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, 2021 1st after Epiphany|
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Wednesday Epiphany 2021|
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Epiphany 2020|
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Christmas 1 2020|
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Christmas Eve 2020|
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Longest Night 12 20 20|
|Grace Entry Video with Music|
|Virtual Chapel with Compline |
|More Advent Musings from Grace Episcopal Church in Galena|