Third Sunday after Pentecost
June 21, 2020
Robin French, Richard Pepper,
Robert Marsh, Joan Klaus
David & Karen Steinke
You may remember that, in March, as we began to understand the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic would disrupt our plans and priorities, I postponed both my retirement originally scheduled for August and the bishop election that we had originally planned to hold this Saturday.
Although the pandemic will not come to an end for some time, your creative and resourceful responses to the challenge of worshiping and gathering online have made it clear that the future of our diocese is in excellent hands. With gratitude for your spirit and faithfulness, I will now plan to retire at the end of 2020.
Thanks to our new ability to gather in ways we previously would not have imagined, and after consultation with the Standing Committee, we now plan to elect the next bishop of Chicago at a virtual electing convention on December 12. The details of this event and the opportunities to meet the nominees that will precede it are still being developed. Please look for more news coming soon from the Standing Committee and on the
bishop search and transition website
CHURCH BUILDING REOPENING
The Vestry Task Force is well into the process of completing a plan for reopening that will be submitted to the Bishop's office for approval.
ONLY WHEN IT IS COMPLETED AND APPROVED WILL WE BE PERMITTED TO RE-ENTER. Re-Opening will occur only when we are ready to be reasonably assured that the congregation will be safe and all safety measures are in place.
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..
Please read important information in the Rector's Ramblings below. We need the input of the congregation.
If you wish to read the Bishop's Task Force Guidelines for re-opening, please click this Reopening Guideline.
Today's Ramblings will be devoted to information around reopening the church for worship along with a very important request for your input regarding only worship, not our other kinds of gatherings.
The information below comes from our weekly Zoom meetings with the Bishop and his staff, the Bishop's task force and their published guidelines; recommendations from governmental agencies including CDC, EPA, and the Governor's office. Our own Grace Vestry task force has carefully studied these and addressed how they might best be implemented in our church within our framework of promoting safety, calm, efficacy, connectedness, and hope.
What has become painfully clear to all of us is that returning to church is going to be far different from what we have known before. In the first place, in order to maintain physical distancing, our attendance will be limited. Measurements and plottings of our worship space and the state's new limit to 25% of capacity mean that no more than 30-35 people will be able to attend any service. There will be strict traffic control upon entering and departing the building and for receiving communion. Masks will be absolutely required at all times--and that includes the priest and others participating in leading the service, preaching, and presiding.
There will, of course, be no physical touch in greeting one another in peace, in passing offering plates, or sharing hymnals or prayer books. In fact, the latter have been removed from the pews for the duration and other leaflets, papers, and unnecessary items will also be removed in order to simplify the required cleaning and sanitizing between services. Communion will consist of a wafer that will be distributed from the foot of the chancel stairs instead of at the altar rail. And, for many, the most heart-breaking loss will be that there may be no singing--either by congregation or choir, and no wind instruments. This is because of significant spread by droplets as
evidenced by a number of choruses and choirs becoming sick. There will be no social hour or refreshments following worship.
It would be of great value to our task force's ongoing planning to get a more concrete sense of the desire to return when we are permitted to reopen. Earlier, we published brief surveys to gather some of the opinions and feelings around our online worship and likelihood of returning to in-person services, but the response level was not as high as we had hoped. We know that many have risk factors that would preclude immediate return. And others of you may wish to exercise special caution. It is for this reason that I have given you a small picture of what worshipers might expect.
So--with these restrictions in mind and recognizing that we will need to have people make reservations for the 30-35 spots, we are asking that you participate in this trial run of "reserving" a seat.This is simply a TEST of one online reservation system. It has two dates--one Sunday and one Wednesday service. Those are NOT actually scheduled at this time. Don't worry, you will not be committing yourself.
So, here is the "ask." 1) If you think you will be interested in returning to worship as soon as it is available, please go to the reservation form called "Sign up Genius" at signup. Unfortunately, it does not let you indicate that you would not be interested. But we need to know that as well. So, if that is the case, 2) simply e-mail me at rector. Write in just "not interested" or "unsure." (You're welcome to write more, but at least this.) Sorry if this is awkward, but we want to make the best decisions we can.
So--meanwhile--we will gather on Sunday for Zoom Morning Prayer. And, over the next few weeks will be experimenting with streaming from the church instead of my dining room! Stay well and stay safe!
See you on Zoom!
Grace Movie Night Discussion,
Last Sunday's discussion about "Just Mercy" was so successful that we decided to have another to further understand the injustice that gave birth to and sustains Black Lives Matter. We will discuss the 2016 documentary "13th", an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality.
Watching this documentary is akin to walking the road to Emmaus. Director DuVernay (also directed "Selma") skillfully combines archival footage with testimony from activists, political leaders and scholars, to lay out the evolving, wrenching consequences of a "loophole" in the 13th Amendment. You will be enlightened.
Watch the movie beforehand on Netflix, if possible, where it is accompanied by a wonderful interview of DuVernay by Oprah. If you don't subscribe to Netflix, you can watch the entire 100 minute documentary on YouTube:
Contact Greg Serwich (
) for a Zoom invitation to the discussion. It begins at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 21st.
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.
Genesis 21:8-21: Abraham sends Hagar and Ishmael away, but God promises to make Ishmael's descendants into a great nation. When Hagar and Ishmael find themselves without food and water in the wilderness, God comes to their rescue.
Psalm 86:1-10: A plea for God's mercy and rescue for the Psalmist who is in trouble, and a song of praise and affirmation of God's greatness.
Romans 6:1b-11: Followers of Christ have died to sin and been raised to a new life in Jesus. Therefore we are no longer slaves to sin, and death no longer has power over us, but we are alive for God in Christ.
Matthew 10:24-39: Disciples are not greater than their teacher, and so if the teacher is insulted, the disciples will be even more. But, followers of Jesus must not fear those who can destroy only the body. Rather we must be willing to acknowledge Jesus, proclaim his message publicly and not seek to save our lives. When we seek to save our lives we lose them. Jesus did not come to bring peace, but conflict, and we are to love Christ more than our own lives.
We all face moments of decision, when we have to choose whether to preserve our own lives through silence and compliance with those who threaten us or others, or to endure ridicule, persecution and rejection for speaking out for what we believe is right. These decisions are often much smaller, but more significant, than we may realise. When we refuse to laugh at racist, homophobic or chauvinistic jokes, we put ourselves in the firing line. When we stand alongside those whom others want to judge and reject, we risk being rejected and judged ourselves. When we refuse to participate in acts of violence or retribution against our "enemies" we may be seen as traitors. In our own families and churches, when we begin to embrace beliefs and values that are different from the "norm" we may be disowned or excommunicated. Yet, if we fail to stand up for our convictions, we lose something of our own souls, and we contribute to making the world an unsafe and threatening place for anyone who is "different" in any way. While it may hurt to live out the welcoming, forgiving, serving, peaceful and justice-seeking values of God's Reign, to fail to do so hurts us and our world far more. This is why the Lectionary challenges us this week to love the Gospel above all - for only then will we live as people who truly, and selflessly love family, friends, neighbours, and even enemies as God calls us to.
Thumbprints and commentaries from:
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,
Mission moment June
The Outreach committee has made several donations to the League of Women Voters for their on going work to improve the quality of water in our county. We have also supported the effort to educate the county on good water practices with the use of the Watershed Game. We found a great location to present this game at Prairie Ridge. A year of presentations were scheduled. Two successful ones took place before the facility was closed due to COVID 19. Carmen and I have served as facilitators for the game during the last few years.
Just a review of the significance of the League's work. This was taken from an article which appeared in the Gazette on 8/24/19.
"The League of Women Voters of Jo Daviess County is the recipient of a $50,000 prize for a study of water quality on the Galena River from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and four other partners.
The League's project involved setting up low-cost water quality monitoring sensors on the Steve Ehrler farm which borders the Galena River. The sensors tested for nitrates running off the soil and into the Galena River.
League member Beth Baranski, who helped orchestrate the project, noted that it has become a federal priority to deal with the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico at the mouth of the Mississippi River. States are being asked to reduce nutrient runoff pollution into water resources such as the Galena River which flows into the Mississippi and then into the Gulf.
Since one can't see nitrates or phosphates in water, the sensors play an important role in detecting them. They also enabled Ehrler to see what was happening in real time on his farm.
Baranski said the prize money is being split with the manufacturers if the sensors. The great thing about the prize is that it comes without strings. It's important money because it is flexible."
I will be contacting Beth to follow up on this story.
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
Third Sunday after Pentecost
June 21, 2020
Meeting ID: 860 0960 1391
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:
Ministers of the
Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
Lector: Steve Coates
Intercessor: Elizabeth Ludescher
6/28 Carol Poston
6/28 Cathie Elsbree
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
June 28, 2020
|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:
Third Sunday after Pentecost
Morning Prayer online
Outreach Committee mtg online 9:00am?
Covid-19 Response Committee mtg online
Morning Prayer* online 7:30am
Bible Study** online 10:30am
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:
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Anniversaries and Birthdays
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Send to Nancy.
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|Grace Galena 2nd Sunday after Pentecost 2020
|Grace Galena Trinity Sunday 2020
|Grace Episcopal Church, Galena, IL. Ascension Sunday 2020
|Grace Galena Easter 6
|Grace Galena Morning Prayer for the 5th Sunday of Easter
|Virtual Chapel with Compline
The Rev Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
Cell Phone: 773-988-3497
Grace Episcopal Church Office:
107 S. Prospect Street
Galena, IL 61036