As of today, our Governor has moved the entire state of Illinois down to the lowest tier of mitigation. Of course, if cases of COVID-19 again begin rising and/or hospital become overwhelmed, this could change. We can, therefore, lift some of the restrictions on returning to our church building. Our plan is to resume our hybrid limited attendance worship on February 7. More details will follow. For Sundays, January 24 and 31, worship on Zoom.
The 2021 Annual Meeting of Grace Church will be held on Sunday, January 31.
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.
| Up and down we go! In the past ten months we have gone from our normal worship with all of us present at church to a closed building and online worship from my dining room. Then, for three months, we moved to a hybrid service with about 35 of us at the church the rest in their homes. That was ratcheted down to 25 and then to 10 as the cases of COVID rose and rose some more. |
Now, we begin to move in the other way, and hopefully that will continue until we are able to all be together once again.
Perhaps you are wondering why we are not immediately resuming in-person worship this Sunday, now that we are moved to fewer restrictions. Besides some practical issues of refreshing our memories of the mitigation requirements that still remain and assuring the stock of sanitation supplies, the Vestry chose waiting because of our January 31 Annual Meeting.
Tier 1 mitigation returns us to the opportunity to have gatherings of either 25 people or 25% of our capacity, whichever is less. That, of course, for our church, means 25 people including the Altar Party in the worship space, or 15 in the Parish Hall--far fewer than our average congregational attendance in non-COVID times. So, it will be a hybrid worship service and meeting. In order to maximize participation in the meeting, that will be held in the Parish Hall so that we can use the wide screen television so that all of us can see one another.
In case you have attended worship and other gatherings only on Zoom, you can see those in the church who are leading the service, but we cannot see you. (That's why I have to come down to the aisle to peer into the camera when we are sharing the peace!) We do want to try to make this meeting as "normal" as possible.
So, on February 7, if our newly elected Wardens and Vestry Members are available, we will commission them for their new roles celebrate our ministries. Some of us will have started to receive our vaccinations, and we will all continue to follow distancing, masking, and sanitation precautions.
And with God's help, we will fill our pews once again--knowing that no matter how uncertain and difficult these months, we have been--and will continue to be church!
See you on Zoom,
Jonah 3:1-5, 10: God sends Jonah to Nineveh for a second time, and Jonah obeys. He preaches that God is going to judge and destroy the city, the people repent, and God decides not to do it.
An exhortation to wait on God and trust God as our refuge and salvation. Wealth, whether stolen, extorted or simply increasing, does not provide the security that God does, for God, in God's mercy, gives rewards.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31:
The world as we know it is not going to last, so we must take care not to depend on the things, the people or the experiences of this world.
After John the Baptiser is imprisoned, Jesus begins his ministry preaching that God's reign has arrived and that people should repent and believe it. Then he calls Peter and Andrew, fisherman, to be "fishers of people", and shortly after, he sees James and John and calls them too.
The clear call of this week's Lectionary is to get our priorities right. The way this is applied to our lives is twofold. In the first instance, there is the call not to depend on the things of this world, not to place our hope or trust in things that cannot save us, and that will ultimately pass away. Both Psalm 62 and the letter to the Corinthians stress this truth and call us to trust only in God. Then, there is the call to commit ourselves to God's purposes and invite others into God's grace and life. The story of Jonah, the reluctant prophet, shows how committed God is to this, and the calling of the first disciples to be "fishers of people" reveals how Jesus' mission was to lead people into God's Reign and the lasting life that it offers. It makes sense, of course, that when we have experienced the life of God, and learned to trust in God rather than in temporary, unsatisfying things, that we should desire to share the joy that we have found. So, as we begin to understand this Christ, and as we recognise God's glory revealed in him, we are invited both to receive God's life and presence, and to be those who reflect Christ's presence and glory to others.
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.
Those who attended our October series on the Doctrine of Discovery may be interested in a Native American book discussion being sponsored by Sinsinawa Mound.
Over the course of the year, six books will be covered beginning with "The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee," by David Treuer. This first discussion will take place Tuesday, February 9, 7-8:15 pm, via Zoom. Registration may take place0--by February 8--by calling 608-748-4411 or going to the website Sinsinawa. The book may be purchased on the websiste at the Sinsinawa book shop tab.
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 Third Sunday After Epiphany
January 24, 2021
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Ministers of the Service:
Presider: Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
Deacon: Rev. Diane Luther
Music Director: Robin French
Lector: Lynn Giles
Intercessor: Richard Luther
Altar Guild: Charlotte Stryker
Fourth Sunday after Epiphany
January 31, 2021
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
|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 Third Sunday in Epiphany
Holy Eucharist 10:30am
ONLINE ONLY on Zoom
Church Office Closed (rector available by appointment)
Zoom Poetry Meeting
EfM 6:30pm on Zoom
Outreach Meeting 10:00am 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:
If you have any updates to your personal information, please let Nancy know and we will update the Directory. This information is not shared with anyone outside of Grace.
|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 Eucharist 1 20 2021|
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, Prayer Vigil 1-19-21|
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena IL, January 17, 2021|
|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 Entry Video with Music|
|Virtual Chapel with Compline |