will be held on Sunday, January 6th at 5 pm at Robert & Diann Marsh's house at 309 Park Avenue. Please bring your favorite dish to share and a wine or other beverage to share. Dessert will be provided.
The Way of Love: An Epiphany Opportunity
Please consider joining me during the Epiphany season for a nine-session study of the Way of Love. In each of our meetings, there will be prayer, check-in, discussion, practicing the Way of Love, check-out, and worship.
Our first meeting will include information about developing a Rule of Life to guide and increase awareness about how we actually practice our faith, and the final session will help each of us recognize our way forward. In the seven "middle" weeks, we will study and apply each of the seven practices, one at a time: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, and Rest.
We will meet on Tuesday afternoons, from 2:00 - 3:30, beginning January 8, and concluding March 5. I have found these ideas helpful and enriching and would like to share this experience with you. Many Blessings ~ Diane Luther
Annual Meeting Reports
from ministry leaders are due in the church office by Friday, January 11. The meeting will take place at the conclusion of worship on January 27th.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my holiday with my family as well as the
time of "hibernation" following my return from Colorado. In the nine Christmas vacations I have spent at my older son's home, I have had many adventures. Most of them have been the travel delays and unexpected cancellations resulting from winter weather between Illinois and Colorado. The year it took me 48 hours to get from Cedar Rapids to Vail was the longest trip. Another year, there was a hair raising dash to get the very last seat on the shuttle to Denver when the Vail-Denver flight was cancelled for weather reasons (though the sky was perfectly clear all morning). And one year, heavy snowfall while I was away required two nice people at Cedar Rapids airport to dig my car out of the parking lot! And, oh yes, the year I returned with a broken wrist after ice skating at the Pepsi Stadium before the Avalanche hockey game!
This year, everything went smoothly. Three of my four flights were on time or early. I found my car in the far reaches of the Moline parking lot, and it started right up.
There were not even any missing or lost packages! The only glitches were needing to phone my neighbor to let my cat in after I departed (he escaped as I was taking the trash to the alley before leaving for the airport). And, the coat I left in the airport on my outgoing layover at O'Hare. The good news is that I carried an old coat because I had failed in my search for a new one.
In looking back at these experiences, I realize that in spite of the anxiety of these travel adventures, each celebration was a gift. When we were together, those annoyances faded to the background. In fact, in looking back, they added texture and interest to the experiences. If nothing else, things to remember and laugh about--adding each of the mishaps to the happier memories of fireworks on the mountain, freezing toes and fingers while watching a grandson in a pond hockey tournament, reading stories in the light of the Christmas tree, and sharing the preparation of meals and then enjoying our companionship around the table. Such special moments! I am so grateful. And I pray that each of you has stories that feed you in winter days and weeks ahead.
See you in church,
This year, Year C in the liturgical calendar, Epiphany actually falls on a Sunday. So, our magi will arrive to join the Holy Family, bearing their precious gifts to honor the Precious Gift of the Incarnation. There are so many themes in this simple story that can be chosen for a focus! Is it following the star? The juxtaposition of simple local shepherds and majestic seers from afar both called to greet the child? The rather odd gifts presented to a newborn child and poor family? Is it the light of revelation as the magi recognize the child? Or that they disobey the power of Herod by taking another path home? Or, perhaps, it is all of these that Mary ponders in her heart.
: The light of God's glory and God's goodness shines on God's people, and people from across the earth are drawn to bring gifts and worship God.
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
: A prayer for God's love of justice to fill God's king, who will then defend the poor and rescue the oppressed. Then other kings will bow before him and bring gifts, and all nations will serve him.
: In Christ both Jews & Gentiles enjoy the riches of God's blessings and become, together, one body.
: Wise men from the East arrive, worship the Christ-Child and present him with fine gifts. Then, having been warned in a dream, they return to their home via a different route, ignoring Herod's request that they inform him of where the child is staying
Too often faith becomes something exclusive, something to defend against others who see things differently. Epiphany reveals an alternative view of God's glory - that in Christ's incarnation God's glory and blessing are already ours - not something to earn; and that the experience of God's glory is found in connection and sharing with others, while protecting and defending the least. It is a good discipline to ask: "Who needs to be included in our community right now?" and "Who needs to be protected?" - two questions that necessarily call us to emulate Christ's self-sacrifice in our own lives. Of course, all this begs the question of evangelism. What does it mean to bring others into the light of God's grace or to reflect God's glory to them? How do we allow our worship to shine, without it becoming oppressive, elitist, judgmental or just plain creepy to others? The answer, suggested by the readings, and by Christ's example, is in self-sacrifice. When we are trying to "win souls" or "grow our church" or even "be obedient" the focus tends to be on us, and other people sense this and feel manipulated. But, when our focus is on serving, empowering, standing with, and loving those around us, with no particular expectation of their response, then they sense this too, and are drawn to the Christ they see in us - rather than to any particular doctrine, church or theological position. If Epiphany is about God's glory filling the world, it must happen through our Christlike love and service, not through "Christian dominance" over people, other religions or society's structures and systems.
and reflections excerpted from sacredise.com
Thanks to the generosity of parishioners giving Heifer donations as Christmas presents, Grace Church raised $1420 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.
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.
|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.
January 6th we will be giving away the poinsettia plants to the congregation. Also we will need some help putting away the Christmas tree and other decorations.
|Cooking with God's Bounty
The Art Committee will meet on Friday, January 11th at 2pm. Our agenda includes: organizing and inventorying our photographs and paintings, working on a plan of where these should be displayed/or if they should be displayed, bulletin board placement and procurement.
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:
Pete Stryker (Sr. Warden 2017-2019)
Worship Committee: Pam Malik
(class of 2019)
Formation and Spirituality:
Greg Serwich (Jr. Warden 2018-2019)
: Anita Sands (class of 2021)
LEMs: Bonnielynn Kreiser
(class of 2020)
Tony Packard (class of 2021)
Deb Pausz (class of 2019)
Communications: Larry Poston (class of 2020)
Governance: Wardens & Rector
, Senior Warden
, Junior Warden
chard Luther, Treasurer
: The Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
ministrator: Fräni Beadle
rganist/Pianist: Robin French, Nancy Cook
Choir Director: Pat Terry
Bishop Lee's Christmas Message
|God Comes to Us Still: Bishop Lee's 2018 Christmas Message
January 6, 2019
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Karlyn Van Gelder
Pat Golden & Amy Hardwicke
Rt. Rev. Gloria Hopewell
January 13, 2018
for your own study:
|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."
Midweek Morning Eucharist
Community Breakfast at Victory Café
St. Francis Room
Morning Bible Study Parish House
|Wednesdays at 7pm
Saturdays at 10am
For current and
upcoming events, download a copy of the calendar with this link:
January OR check out the goog
calendar on the new website
If you put out trash, please put in a secure trash can.
Thanks to all for your cooperation. **
1/6 - Available
1/13 - Jackman
1/20 - Cordero
1/27 - Banas
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.**
|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
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.
: Carol Poston, Charlotte Kennedy
Gloria Hopewell, Linda Packard
News and prayer requests:
Wed. end of day.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have your celebrations been missed in our bulletins?
Send to Frani.
News and Photos
want to know
what's going on at Grace! T
here are places
here for your
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.
|Grace Galena Christmas Eve 2018
|Grace Galena Sermon Advent 3C 2018