The Vestry Task Force has submitted its plan for reopening to the Bishop's office
. The Bishop and our Vestry will continue monitoring the COVID-19 statistics in Illinois, and the task force will be implementing the safety procedures outlined in the plan. That plan will be made available shortly.
Several steps have been scheduled over the next two or three weeks: On July 6, the task force conducted a "walk through" of the church to remove any remaining items that might complicate the tasks of cleaning, determine placement of signage and sanitation items, and see if there are details we have not considered.
On July 16, a Zoom training will be held for all who will be involved as Vestry Coordinators, Greeters, or others involved in the logistics of worship. A separate training will be held for
the altar guild and those who serve at the altar. If all goes well and there is no spike in statistics,
a Wednesday morning service is planned for July 22 will serve as a "soft" opening. Given the good news above about Diane's scheduled ordination, we hope to have our first in-person Sunday service the week prior on the 26th.
Meanwhile, online worship and other gatherings will continue.
Mail is being picked up and bills are being paid and deposits of pledge payments are being made..
If you wish to read the Bishop's Task Force Guidelines for re-opening, please click this Reopening Guideline.
There are some things that are fun to do in this time of staying
at home. One is browsing other church websites to see what they are doing in their online worship and other programs. There is a large variety--from simple morning prayer or other daily office services led by a single person all the way to an
elaborate mass with excellent music (recorded) and everything in between. Depending on local restrictions, these may take place in a priest's study, a living room with a home altar, or in a church or cathedral chancel. They may be streamed live, pre-recorded and scheduled for a later time, or a hybrid of both live and recorded. The simplest involve using a smart phone and just pushing a button to record "off the cuff." These can include some amusing moments--most often the appearance of the family pet. Others are quite intricate involving expensive equipment and editing technology, perhaps producing a video that includes clips of various parishioners doing readings or musical offerings in their homes and combining these with the rest of the liturgy. The creativity is quite amazing.
I usually just pick churches I know of, go to their Facebook pages and look to see what is on offer. Of course, I have more than one purpose in mind--one is to take part in worship. But I am also looking for ideas and some sense of what is possible at the simple end of the spectrum that doesn't require thousands of dollars of equipment and skilled technicians to create and operate. For the human resources required to do a fancy production is as challenging as the hardware and software requirements!
My online browsing is because if our re-opening plan proceeds as we hope, there will be another shift. We will have people continuing to worship online from home as well as those who will return to the church to worship in-person. So, how to do both of those things? If possible, both groups will be included in the same service rather than being split into separate services. I do not know yet if this will be possible--and, more important--if the result will be reasonably acceptable to both groups. I expect that there will be some experimentation as we go along, some tweaking and glitches. Just as we have experienced over the past three months. I am most grateful for the patience you have had thus far and am hopeful that you have a bit more for this next step.
The plan right now is to Zoom again this Sunday from my home, but to move from Morning Prayer to Holy Eucharist with spiritual communion. Then, the next Sunday, we will do the same, except from the church. There will be no congregation that day, but Robin will join me at the piano, and I hope the lector and intercessor will also be there. At that point, I expect that in order to get that sense of being in the church, we will need to limit our gallery view of all our faces to specific points in the service. And, then, barring a spike in cases of the virus, we will go live in the church and online with Holy Eucharist with all of the safety protocols in place.
The most important thing here is, of course, safety. So, no one should feel compelled to attend in-person if there is any doubt. And, certainly, anyone who is having symptoms should plan to stay home to protect the rest of us. Some of our signage has already been posted, supplies of sanitizing products are being stocked, training will be taking place, and within the week the plans and protocols will be released to everyone. We must be prepared to adjust as we go along and continue to focus on the positive aspects of coming back together to the extent that we are able.
We will feel the loss of those things we cannot practice at present. We will, I'm certain, be grateful to be back in our holy space whether physically or virtually. In any case, our church is not the building. It is the community of faith, and we will continue to worship our God whose gifts and blessings are abundant. I can't wait!
See you on Zoom!
Genesis 25:19-34: Rebekah gives birth to twins, who wrestle with each other from the womb. Then, Esau, the older twin, sell his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of stew.
The psalmist celebrates God's word, committing to obeying God's commands even when life is difficult and enemies threaten.
In Jesus we have access to God's life-giving Spirit who frees us from the power of sin that brings death.
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23:
Jesus sits in a boat and teaches the crowds through parables - in this instance, the parable of the seed that falls on different kinds of ground and produces different results.
It is tempting, in the face of this week's readings, to view the world in simplistic terms - if we just listen to God's word, abundance will come, and life will be ours and all will be ok. In one sense there is truth in this - if we allow the wisdom of God's word to guide us, we will care for the world, and ensure that it's ability to provide food is not jeopardised by our foolishness and greed, while also ensuring that food is distributed equitably; if we allow God's word to guide us, we will avoid the destructiveness of our human brokenness and sin, and enjoy the life-giving benefits of living with justice mercy and grace. If we allow God's word to guide us we will open ourselves to God's presence and enjoy relationship with God that inspires and empowers us, while enabling us to bring life to others. However, life is also far more complex. Sometimes we face lack and suffering through no fault of our own. Sometimes the call of justice is not as clear as having one right way to go, but leaves us to make difficult choices between alternatives that may have different pros and cons. But, it is important that the two extremes - of blind, literalistic application of God's word, and of complete disregard for God's word - are avoided, and that, in working with God for the healing and rescue of our world and ourselves, we allow God's word to guide us, while also taking account of the wisdom that science, reason and common sense can give - all of which can also be thought of, in some sense, as a word of God. Christ's call for us to be good soil means that we need seek to be those who study and receive God's word responsibly, thoughtfully and prayerfully, and then allow it to direct us as we interact with others, work for justice and seek to bring life as God's Spirit empowers and guides us. This is the opposite of being "Bible-bashers", and is the gracious, sensitive, compassionate attitude of those who have been both convicted and challenged by the life and message of Christ. It is these sensitive but strong servants and prophets that our world so desperately needs.
Thumbprints and commentaries from:
Wednesday Morning Study Group
Communal Bible Study affords an enjoyable and fulfilling way to grow spiritually and exchange insights with fellow parishioners, especially during the pandemic. We currently are studying the Gospel of Matthew. All are welcome Wednesday mornings, 10:30 - 11:30. Contact Greg Serwich for a Zoom invitation.
Meditative Prayer 9:00am Fridays - NEW!!
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.
Education for Ministry (EfM)
Is next September your time to start EfM? Or continue EfM after a break? Here are some details that might interest you:
The theme for next year is: Living into the Journey with God.
The two interlude books are
The Sabbath by Abraham Joshua Heschel and
Hospitable Plant by Stephen Jurobics. All textbooks and the two interlude books are included in the tuition fee.
Education for Ministry (EfM) is open to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of their faith.
Anyone who studied under the previous format (with the big red binders) is welcome to jump into any one of the four years, like Mary Lou Smith did last year.
Episcopal Public Policy Network REQUEST FOR COMMENTS ON ASYLUM RULE:
On June 15, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed a new rule, "Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review." The proposed rule is one among many actions that have been aimed at making legal immigration harder and would severely restrict access to asylum in the U.S., putting the world's most vulnerable in further danger. These changes to established pathways to protection are a direct violation of domestic and international human rights law. Read further at this link: action
Peace and Justice Committee
signatures on ACLU petition
"Help Stop Federal
After a 17-year hiatus, the federal government has scheduled four executions to take place between July 13 and August 28 at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Peace and Justice Committee encourage all Episcopalians who oppose the death penalty to sign the Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) petition to stop federal executions.
At the 182nd Annual Convention, the Diocese of Chicago passed resolution I-182, reaffirming the Episcopal Church's official opposition to capital punishment and urging "all parishes and missions and individual members of the Diocese...to work actively to suspend the implementation of the death penalty and to abolish capital punishment at the federal level, and to oppose the reintroduction of capital punishment in the State of Illinois."
The Peace and Justice Committee of the diocese is charged with monitoring and reporting on related activities.
Worship and Ministry in the Midst of COVID-19!
Pentecost 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.
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,
Current list of needs for needy in Galena:
(although money can always be used)
size 6 diapers
outdoor toys for kids (all ages)
fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, grapes are popular)
Anything can be dropped off on the porch of
704 Park Avenue, Galena . Thank you!
Women and Friends Make a Difference
Other Outreach News
During this COVID-19 pandemic, donations have been made to the ARC for the childcare it is providing for children of essential workers and to the Hispanic Council, Galena Chapter for assistance to those in need. Like our other regular donations, the funds come from the portion of Endowment income allocated to the Outreach Ministries. Its budget, in addition to recurring local, regional, and international organizations, includes a portion that unables us to address unexpected crises and needs.
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)
Ministry of Care/LEMs: Nancy Cook (class of 2023)
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
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
July 12, 2020
At the end of worship and exchanging the peace, we will again offer a Zoom conversation time where you will spend about 15 minutes in a break-out room with a few others parishioners.
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Ministers of the
Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
Lector: Richard Luther
Intercessor: Diane Luther
|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:
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Morning Prayer online
Executive Committee mtg
Covid-19 Response Committee mtg 1:00pm
Morning Prayer* online 7:30am
Bible Study** online 10:30am
Training for Vestry Coordinators online
Meditative Prayer** online 9:00am
To be receive an invitation with the link to online events, please contact Gloria at
or **Greg Serwich at firstname.lastname@example.org
Compline or Evening Prayer TBD
All are welcome!
For current and
check out the goog
calendar on the website
Link to most current directory here:
Reminder for hosts:
Napkins and plates are provided. Use what you need from our pantry. 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
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
News and prayer requests:
Wed. end of day.
Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have yours been missed in our bulletins?
Send to Nancy.
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 p
osted on the Grace Church website as well as in the next week's e-Blast.
Paper copies are available upon re
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena, Illinois 7/9/2020
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena, Illinois Sunday Worship 7 2 2020
|Grace Episcopal Church Morning Prayer June 28, 2020
|Grace Galena 3rd Sunday after Pentecost
|Grace Galena 2nd Sunday after Pentecost 2020
|Grace Entry Video with Music
|Virtual Chapel with Compline