I have delayed sending this e-Blast because I was aware that Bp. Lee was in the process of sending a new communication that would make some of our information out-of-date. This was due to Governor Pritzker's announcement that we are now to dwell in place. So, I am providing the bishop's most recent video and newsletter article.
|We Can Do This: Abiding by Governor Pritzker's Stay-at-Home Order
In his letter to clergy, he instructed that our buildings be closed as of tomorrow. No meetings, no services, no office work shall take place except for an emergency at least through April 7 when
the stay-at-home order expires. If you need something from the church in the meantime, please pick it up before 5 pm tomorrow.
Prior to today's news, the decision had been reached that the suspension of in-person church services would be extended at least through Easter.
I know how terribly hard this is being physically separated from one another, being without our customary worship, prayer, and fellowship. We are working diligently to find ways to remain connected, even though it will be in very unfamiliar ways. Please see below what we have already done and some of our thoughts for the weeks ahead.
I will be reflecting on Bp. Lee's message and his words of encouragement and challenge, I hope you will, too.
ALL CHURCH SERVICES AND EVENTS ARE
SUSPENDED THROUGH APRIL 7.
|Well, I had intended a bit less drastic column today, telling you about plans for further streaming or recorded worship. I had envisioned doing these from our church, so that the familiar surroundings might take some of the edge off. We are still working on online contacts such as Morning Prayer or Compline, perhaps some one-way, or maybe even two-way conversations as we become more skilled with the computer programs. They will, however, be sent from homes rather than beneath stained glass windows!
Here is a quick summary of what we have done so far:
- Morning Prayer last Sunday was recorded and uploaded as an audio file. Next time, the sound should be improved. We had failed to take into account the changes in the acoustics when the pews were not filled, hence the echo.
- The Ministry of Care is organizing regular phone and e-mail contact with our most vulnerable members. A list of people willing to help out will be able to pick-up and deliver prescriptions or emergency supplies. If you are in need of assistance, please contact Bonnielynn Kreiser.
- Greg Serwich is leading our effort to meet and gather online using an app called Zoom. Already this week there have been test runs and three gatherings have been held successfully: Wednesday morning Bible Study, EfM, and the Vestry meeting today. Next week, Outreach will try it out. We will continue to learn new features and expand what we can offer.
- Links to services in other churches and cathedrals have been posted. The services are varied--I suspect that in other dioceses under the same restrictions as ours will be more informal. And I know that people are already thinking about what we may be able to do for Holy Week and Easter.
This Sunday shall probably be another audio recording of Morning Prayer. I hope to supplement this with some video contacts through the week. And hope you will be patient with our learning curve! Suggestions are welcome!
Do remember that we are available by phone, text, and e-mail, and that each of us is urged to reach out to one another! Also know that you are in my prayers daily. As Bp. Lee said, nothing can separate us from God; we are all part of the body of Christ, and we can do this together!
For your personal reading and devotion this Sunday.
1 Samuel 16:1-13
: God instructs Samuel to stop mourning for Saul and to anoint a new king for Israel in Bethlehem. After examining seven of Jesse's sons and rejecting them, Samuel finally anoints the youngest boy, David, and God's Spirit comes upon him.
: David's Psalm of praise for the God who cares for him like a shepherd, providing nurture, peace, care, protection and an eternal place of belonging.
: Paul encourages the believers to live as people of the light, doing what pleases God.
: Jesus heals a man who was born blind, and, because his was done on the Sabbath, the religious leaders start an investigation, calling in the man's parents and ultimately throwing the man out of the synagogue. Then, Jesus teaches that he came to bring sight to the blind and to reveal the blindness of those who think they see.
Blindness and sight, light and darkness, rejection of those in power and annointing of those who are unknown - these are the threads in the Lectionary readings of this week. The heart of the theme is this: how do we choose to see?
Perception is everything. It's not just what we see or don't see, but how we interpret what we see that determines our actions, our responses and our beliefs. We can look at the poor and see unfortunate victims of circumstance, or lazy people who refuse to work, or dignified human beings making the most of a tough situation. We can look at climate science and see a natural cycle which has just happened to hit us now, or human actions putting our planet under pressure. We can look at issues of sexuality, consumption, energy, immigration, health care, abortion, and capital punishment and see every issue from different perspectives. Ultimately, how we determine what we see and what it means must flow from Christ's example. How did Christ address poverty? How did Christ view the natural world, sexuality, power, violence, sickness, and human dignity? Of course, even when it comes to Christ there are problems of perspective, but if we are to follow Christ into a world of justice, we will have to wrestle with these questions and not see them as outside of the realm of faith. Of course, once we have seen, we also have the task of helping others - our leaders, our neighbours, our children - to see as well. We can do this through coercion (like the religious leaders tried with the man Jesus healed) or we can do it through simple gracious action that opens eyes, as Jesus did. Of one thing we can be certain, though, if we are to learn from this week's readings: we do not see, in our natural human capacity, as God does, and so if we are beginning to see clearly, it will almost certainly lead us to see the world and its systems differently from the dominant view. And this seeing, will inevitably work itself out in a new way of navigating the world as well, as we recognise the need and the calling for us to act on what we see..
Thumbprints and commentaries from:
|Next Theological Thriller
Discussions of the next Theological Thriller, Charles Williams', Descent into Hell, are postponed.
Williams (18 86-1945), along with C. S. Lewis and J. R. Tolkien, was one of the Oxford group known as the Inklings. Like Lewis in particular, Williams' fiction skirts the boundaries of realism, in an amalgam of theology, myth, and a recognizable English landscape with human characters like ourselves. Our group read the first of his novels, War in Heaven, over a year ago, and with this one we will, if interest is sufficient, turn to the last as a Lenten "read."
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
Fourth Sunday in Lent
ROTA: December 2019-May 31,2020
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
Ministers of the
Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell
Fifth Sunday in Lent
|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:
All are welcome!
For current and
check out the goog
calendar on the website
eminder for hosts:
Napkins and plates
are provided. Use
what you need from
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
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.
News and prayer requests:
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|Grace Galena Morning Prayer with Lent 3A Lections
|Grace Galena Lent 1A Sermon