Grace Episco pal Church
Week of September 9, 2018  
 
 
Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost  
10:30 am   
 
 
 
 
 


 
Birthdays :
Alan Oyen 
 
Coming Right Up! 
River Bend Food Bank-- Saturday, September 8! 
A  Mobile Food Pantry will be happening on Saturday, September 8th at Crossroads Community Church, 900 Galena Square Dr., Galena IL. Volunteers should arrive by 10:00am. Recipient registration begins at 10:15am and distribution begins at 11:00am. We recommend that recipients arrive by11:00am.
Recipients are asked to bring enough canvas grocery bags to pack a cart-full of groceries.
This distribution is open to all who are food insecure. There is no income limitation for this event. Distribution will take place in the Crossroads Community Church parking lot. In the event of inclement weather, the distribution will take place inside the church.
 
Five Church Program --BEGINS THURS, SEPT !3!
Grace has been invited to participate in a four Thursday seriesmeant to help us get to know more about the faith traditions of the other four churches with which we often participate in discussion groups and in worship. These are Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Lutheran (ELCA). Beginning September 13 at 6:30 pm, we will gather at the Galena United Methodist church. Each week, a different denomination will be featured.
 
Canapés & Conversations
George & Charlotte Kennedy will be hosting at their home at 946 N. Irish Hollow Drive on Friday, September 21st from 5-7pm. Bring a friend, a nibble and a beverage to share. All are welcome!
 
Gale na's Country Fair
Grace church has the opportunity to volunteer serving walking tacos in the Grab n Go booth next to the Wine Garden (bonus)! On Saturday, October 6th from 10am to 5pm, 16 volunteers are needed, taking 3 hour shifts (8a-11a; 11a-2p; 2p-5p). Entrance to the fair is free for volunteers and Grace Church will receive $10 for every hour for each volunteer. Please contact Fräni Beadle in the church office if you are interested in helping.   
Rector's Ramblings 
This will, I'm afraid, be "preaching to the choir" again! Most of the readers of this weekly e-Blast regularly attend church and are also actively engaged in its ministries. Yet, I know that you hear from friends and families their reasons for not being part of a church community. And, I also know that many of you are frustrated by those reasons like I am.
So, I shall "preach to the choir" in the hope that you might have some answers to those who question your involvement--or at least my responses will stimulate your own. Here are the common reasons that I hear:

* I don't need to go to church. I have my own relationship with God and can pray anywhere.
Good! That is an important part of our faith and we should all have our individual devotional life. I am convinced, though, that we also need a community of faith. That community not only provides support and companionship to us, others also inspires us as we see how faith and being part of the church is reflected in how they live their lives and find meaning in what they do.
*You don't have to be religious to live a moral life and to do good.
This is most certainly true! I think of all the not-for-profit groups and the NGOs and philanthropists that do so much to make our world a better place. I guess for me, though, my faith and church provide the framework for why it is that I strive to be a more loving and caring person. The belief that every single person is made in the image of God, that Jesus defied customs of his day by hanging out with the poor and the sick, the outcasts, that he spoke out so strongly about hoarding riches are a kind of compass for how I try to live.
* I'm not sure I believe. Or, at least, I can't subscribe to all of the church doctrines.
It is true that some churches require certain beliefs and adherence to practices such as a literal understanding of scripture, exclusion of non-believers, restrictions of gender or orientation, and so on. Yet, there are churches that consider us capable of rational thought and discernment, accept our doubts, and encourage questioning! This is a very personal one for me! I would not be able to be a church member, let alone ordained clergy, if this were not so! I came back to the church after many years thinking that unless I had verifiable truth about scripture and Christian tenets, it was all worthless. What brought me back was a faithful community that engaged deeply in worship and scripture through discussion, questioning, and prayer--and then applied their faith in every aspect of their lives.
Church people are hypocrites. They don't "practice what they preach."
They should--see above. This is something we are constantly helping each other to do. It does not magically happen with baptism or confirmation or a sudden conversion moment, though. It is a lifetime journey of steps forward and back. This is where I see the need for the community--one in which God is alive and acting. Where we are constantly growing to become the people who God created us to be, to love God and neighbor and in every aspect of our lives to respect the dignity of every human being.We respond to our baptismal promises, "I will, with God's help."
*I don't like/trust the institutional church. There is too much greed and corruption.
Those are certainly the things that make the news. And I do not downplay that tragic reality. We must remember that instances--and even patterns--of wrongdoing occur not just in a single denomination. They also happen in our other institutions--schools, government, healthcare, you name it. Of course, churches should be called to the highest standard and failing to acknowledge and act on such abuses is unacceptable. I do know from my own denominational participation as part of a regional group that was responsible for bothapproving people for ordination and dealng with misconduct, that it is taken very seriously in many denominations. Training programs in keeping people safe in church are provided for clergy and lay leaders, and actions are taken swiftly when allegations arise.
* I am spiritual but not religious.
Because of things that above that touch on this reason as well as a societal suspicion of most institutions (not undeserved), we hear this frequently. It has even become somewhat of a cliche, I think. I fear that people are not generally careful or precise on how they define "spiritual" or "religious." Here are two excerpts on religion from a sermon I read on social media this morning I was so taken by"Was Jesus a Religious Man" by J. Marshall Jenkins.that I posted it on the Grace Facebook page and will provide a link here: religious man 

Religion is about relationships sustained by mercy. The word, "religion," derives from the Latin root,
ligare, the same root for, "ligament," connective tissue. Religion is about connection, vertical connection with God flowing into horizontal connection with each other.

Jesus was a radically religious man. The term, "radical," derives from the Latin, radix, meaning root. A radical does not oppose tradition but goes back to the root of its beliefs and practices and calls people back to it. In this encounter with the religious authorities, Jesus does not oppose religion. To the contrary, he exposes the forgotten root of religion and fights for it, teaching them what religion is ultimately about.

We Episcopalians are so reluctant to talk to others about our faith. We fear being perceived as self-righteous or as trying to push our beliefs on other people. I often share that fear. And yet, I doubt that we hold back from telling friends about a play or a concert that we enjoyed, a book or movie that was meaningful. Why can't we learn to tell the stories that impact our lives and make us who we are? In my own life, religion--and my own return to church--have made all the difference!

See you in church!
Gloria+
Preparation for Sunday  
The basic and consistent message of the Lectionary this week is this: Our faith is seen in how we treat others, especially in our love for, protection of and inclusion of the poor, the marginalised, the broken and the vulnerable. As such, favouritism, prejudice and discrimination are to be rejected, and inclusive love and welcome are to be embraced and practiced as the most basic and fundamental ingredients of our faith.

READINGS
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23: A good reputation is of great value. God made both rich and poor, and those who are unjust will not survive, while those who are generous find happiness. God defends the poor and will stand against those who oppress them.
Psalm 125 : A prayer of confidence in God's care and protection of God's people, and a plea that God would do good to good people, but reject evil doers.
James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17: To show favouritism is to deny Jesus' faithfulness, and is to break the law which calls us to love our neighbours as ourselves. It is sinful to favour the wealthy over the poor. Claiming we have faith when we fail to live it out in acts of compassion is meaningless.
Mark 7:24-37: Jesus heals a Gentile woman's daughter after an interesting conversation, and opens the ears and mouth of a deaf-mute man. Jesus then tries to get the people to keep silent about what he has done, but they insist on spreading the news.

It is easy to build a safe and comfortable world around our faith, including only those who are like us in every way, and turning a blind eye to the injustice and suffering just outside our doors. But, to do this is to turn our backs on the Gospel (as James says). Sometimes we need to be confronted by those we ignore - even as Jesus was confronted by the Gentile mother - and we need our hearts and attitudes changed. This requires a humility and openness that is not easy, but is certainly Christlike. Then, as we begin to see our connectedness with those who are different from us, and as we learn to treat all people with equal compassion, sensitivity and respect, we begin to manifest the characteristics of God's Reign, and we begin to bring healing to others - and to ourselves. When we can stop blaming the poor for their plight, and stop believing that wealth and happiness are divine rewards for good behaviour, we can begin to touch others with the love and acceptance of Jesus. And then, as we live the Reign of God, we may just discover that we are more intimately connected with God than ever before, and that our lives have more meaning and joy than we could have believed possible.
The thumbnails and reflections come from sacredise.com,
Formation Ministries News 
Theological Thrillers
 We are now unveiling our 2018-2019 season. This fall will be devoted to C. S. Lewis's "space trilogy" (three interplanetary novels with a theological theme), with Larry Poston and Mary Lou Smith as discussion leaders. We'll take time out with a session on a little-read long story ("The Escaped Cock") by D. H. Lawrence, Bill Boehler leading the discussion. Drop in and out of the season as you wish but plan to do the reading whenever you do come. Opening session is on C. S. Lewis's novel, Out of the Silent Planet, on Saturday, September 22, 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the parish hall.
 
For further information on the fall schedule, click here, or ask Larry Poston ( lsposton@uic.edu ) for a copy of the year's plans. Winter and spring meetings have not yet been scheduled.
Mark Your Calendars 
Some upcoming events in the fall for your calendar:

Sunday, October 7:  World Communion Sunday at the Galena Arts Center; shared ecumenical worship with Presbyterian, United Methodist, and Lutheran churches.

Thursday, October 11: Bp. Joseph from the Diocese of Renk, Sudan, will be with us. Details to follow.
Parish House Update 
 
Good Morning All
 
Good progress this week. Flooring being installed upstairs starting yesterday. New AC unit for building and Sacristy is to be powered up today.
Looked at ideas and costs on how to add fencing to cemetery. No good answers as yet. Do not need a fence. Just wanted to reuse what we have which as it turns out is not really antique fencing.
The electric opener for the front door installed and it should get powered up today.
The door to the church from the new building first floor has arrived at S&R. Progress. Trim has also arrived.
But, frames for two back doors have not. One more miss from S&R. Should be here in 2 weeks.
All is coming together one piece at a time.
 
Thanks All
Pete
(C) 312 504 8268     
  
Same pictures as last week in case you didn't see them then. Not much is happening on the outside! 
 
 
Doors in front entrance 
    
Front of building--all but the three stained glass windows
in the upper level!




    
 
 
Leadership  
Vestry Liaisons

V estry Liaisons' primary purpose is to assure two-way communications between the various groups and the  Vestry,  to represent the groups for resources or  policy issues, and to  support  their  events  an d activities.

Worship:                               Rector                        
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)   
 
Fellowship & Hospitality:     Anita Sands (class of 2021)                 
Pastoral Care/ LEMs:           Bonnielynn Kreiser (class of 2020)  
Outreach:                             Tony Packard (class of 2021)
                                             Deb Pausz (class of 2019)               
Communications:                 Larry Poston (class of 2020)
      
Governance:                        Wardens & Rector 

Officers:                Pete Stryker, Senior Warden             
                     Greg Serwich, Junior Warden
                     R ichard Luther, Treasurer                    
                     Elizabeth Ludescher, Clerk      
                     
Rect or :                          The Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell           


Administrative Asst.:      Fräni Beadle  
Organist/Pianist:            Robin French, Nancy Cook        
Choir Director:               Pat Terry
 
 
This Sunday 
In This Issue
Title
Coming Right Up!
Rector's Ramblings
Preparing for Sunday
Formation Ministries
Mark Your Calendars
Vestry Liaisons
Taking Note of This Sunday
Next Sunday's Readings
Grace's Prayer List
Meetings this Week
Choir Schedule
Calendar
Resources
Coffee Hour Reminders
Ministry of Care
Boring Details
September 9, 2018
Sunday Morning Eucharist
16th Sunday after Pentecost 
10:30am
   
For quick reference, find Sunday's readings by clicking here:
The Lectionary

Ministers of the Service:
Lector:
Richard Luther
1st Chalicist/Preacher:
Diane Luther
2nd Chalicist: 
Cathie Elsbree
Acolyte:
Elizabeth Ludescher
Vestry Coordinator:
Greg Serwich
Greeter:
Diann Marsh
Altar Guild:
Ann Berry & Frani Beadle
Presider: Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell

Next Sunday's
Readings: 
17th Sunday after Pentecost
September 16, 2018
Eucharistic readings
for your own study: 
Proverbs 1:20-33 
Psalm 116:1-8          
James 3:1-12
Mark 8:27-38
Grace's Prayer List
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."
Meetings this Week 
Wednesday Events  
7:30 am
Midweek Morning Eucharist
 
8:10 am
Community Breakfast at Victory Café   
 
Cursillo Reunion  
St. Francis Room
 
10:30 am
Morning Bible Study Parish House
All are welcome!
Grace's Choir Practice
Wednesdays at 7pm
Saturdays at 10am
Looking Ahead 
For current and upcoming events, download a copy of the calendar with this link:    
September  OR check out the goog le
calendar on the new website
Sermons and e-Blasts 
Copies of sermons and e-Blasts are available on the Narthex table.
Comments on this e-Blast may be sent here

Sermons are often posted as audio files on the rector's Facebook page.  
Sunday Social Hour Hosts
** If you put out trash, please put in a secure trash can. Thanks to all for your cooperation. **
 
 
9/9 - Van Gelder   
9/16 - Available
9/23 - Available
 
 **If someone has borrowed the brown insulated beverage dispensers - please return them to the kitchen. Thank you!** 

R eminder for hosts:
Napkins and plates are provided. Use what you need from our pantry to the right of the coffee maker.  Remember: Keep it simple. We usually have about 20-25 attending.
  **Coffee schedule sign up is in  the Parish House kitchen.**
Formation Schedule  
You can now get information on Formation Ministries directly from the new Grace website at the following links: Children and Youth Adults
Spiritual Practices

Ministry of Care 
If you are in need of assistance while ill or recovering: meals, transportation, visits, please contact the
Ministry of Care
facilitators:
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.

Ministry of Care Leadership Team: Facilitators :  Carol Poston, Charlotte Kennedy
Clergy Advisors: Gloria Hopewell, Linda Packard


DEADLINES !
News and prayer requests: 
Sunday Bulletin -- Wed. end of day.
e-Blast: Thursday noon. 

Anniversaries and Birthdays
Have your celebrations been missed in our bulletins?   Send to Frani.
 
Thank y ou!  

News and Photos

 f or e-Blast!
People want to know
what's going on at Grace!  T here are places here for your event, program, or
interesting tidbit.


  
Grace Galena Sermon 14 after Pentecost 
Grace Galena Sermon 14 after Pentecost
 
 This audio file, along with recent archived sermons may be found in the "Worship" tabl of the Grace Church website or at this link:
 
 
 
   The Rev Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
Cell Phone:  773-988-3497

Grace Episcopal Church Office:
309 Hill Street
Galena, IL 61036
815-777-2590