grace episcopal church
galena, illinois


Red is the color of the day!

Week of May 16, 2021
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Sunday May 16, 2021

Ministers of the Service
Rev. Linda Packard, Presider
Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Preacher
Rev. Diane Luther, Deacon
Richard Luther, Lector
Elizabeth Ludescher, Intercessor
Robin French, Music Director
Nancy Cook, Erben Organ
Eric Kallback, Vestry Coordinator
Debbie Kallback & Charlotte Stryker,
Altar Guild
Charlotte Stryker, Greeter
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s statement on the violence
in the Land of the Holy One: the full statement is here

"One more time The Episcopal Church stands to say that violence is not the way forward. We say the expansion of Israeli settlements at the expense of Palestinian families must end. We say incitement which encourages violence must end. We say enough is enough."

Steve Dowe received this e-mail from Jackie Kraus earlier this week:

Dear Friends of Bishop Joseph,

Joseph phoned this morning with the good news that he was elected Archbishop of Northern Upper Nile today. Upper Nile is one of the eight internal provinces under Archbishop & Primate Justin Badi Arama. It was also determined that he will remain Bishop of Renk, one of his criteria for being considered. The Most Rev. Joseph Garang Atem will be installed by Archbishop Badi at St. Matthew's Cathedral, Renk, on Sunday, the 16th. 
This outcome is not surprising, given that he has served as Dean of the Province for some time now, and has been in charge of the Province since the retirement of Archbishop Hilary Garang Deng at the end of 2020.
Please keep Archbishop Joseph is your prayers, continue to pray for the people of the Diocese of Renk, which is one of the few places on Earth that hasn't yet experienced an outbreak of COVID. He sends his greetings to all of you, with thanksgiving for your prayers and support.

Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

At its April meeting the Vestry adopted the following statement on inclusion that is meant to appear on our website and on informational or promotional materials:

As a community of faith that is committed to inclusiveness and hospitality, Grace Church welcomes all to participate in its worship and in its various ministries, programs, groups, and events. We believe that a diversity of voices and experiences enriches our congregation.

There are rare circumstances where a particular group might be limited. One example is the support group that requires discretion and trust for those who are experiencing a particular life struggle or transition (example: a grief group). In addition, time-limited, multiple session groups may close admission when the registration period has passed. If the group wishes to continue in the same or another form, a new registration period will be opened to all who are interested.
Our Bishop-elect, Paula Clark will be consecrated on June 12! Prior to her medical emergency she was able to attend our Deanery meeting and talked about her intent to hold deanery-wide services to provide Confirmations, and receive new members to the church. By doing this, those wishing to be received or confirmed would not have to wait for her to visit their parish, which might take two or more years.

Because of this, I will be offering an Adult Inquirers Class sometime this summer (dates will be determined by the schedules of those interested in attending). We will be talking about our identity as Episcopalians, the Book of Common Prayer, a brief history of the Anglican/Episcopal church, our creeds, prayer, Baptism, Eucharist, the Trinity (don’t come looking for an explanation!), and the Jesus Movement as described by Presiding Bishop Curry. Attending does not commit you to being received. You may make that decision after you have completed the class.

This is open to anyone in the church or community, although if there is a large response, those considering reception into the Church will be given priority due to limited space (this is an in-person class). The time commitment is about eight hours. Last time, those taking the class decided to do the whole thing on one Saturday. Other options include but are not limited to two sessions of four hours, or four sessions of two hours. This will be determined by those interested in participating, again with priority to those considering reception.

If you are interested in this or would like more information, please contact Rev. Diane Luther at, or call (815) 281-2301
Soon there will be a flurry of activity in preparation for a new garden at Grace. It will be located to the right of the church, along the sidewalk leading to our Meditation Garden. This will be a pollinating garden, featuring a burst of colors to attract our native birds, butterflies and bees. Our new garden will be in memory of Richard Pepper, a generous donor to Grace Church.
It is the little blue box time again! United Thank Offering Invites Every Episcopalian to:
“Notice the Good Things That Happen Each Day.
Give Thanks to God for Your Blessings.
Make an Offering for Each Blessing.”
The United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of The Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through UTO, individuals are invited to embrace and deepen a personal daily spiritual discipline of gratitude, and through this effort, the whole world is joined in gratitude! Remember that every penny given to the United Thank Offering is given away to support innovative mission and ministry in The Episcopal Church. Since our official founding in 1889, UTO has awarded 5,357 grants for a total of $140,625,355.77.

The theme for the 2021 grants is:
“Recovering with love and gratitude: An Episcopal response
to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
$450,000 in thank offerings has already been collected in time for the first round of COVID-19 grants. The COVID-19 grants combine some historic traditions for UTO, namely sustaining previous grant winners to ensure that vital ministries continue in addition to funding innovative responses to the pandemic. There was over $700,000 applied for in grants this year. The need has been especially great because of the pandemic. To see some of the projects receiving first round grants click UTO:

Grace has dedicated the month of May for collection of your UTO box. Bring it with you to church or if you are attending church virtually, drop it off when the parish house is open so we can all join grateful Episcopalians around the world making life better for those in need.

If the Ascension has led us to faith in a disembodied, removed God who is watching us “from a distance”, we have missed its message. Whatever the disciples actually witnessed that day, the facts of the experience are far less important than the meaning. The Ascension offers us a number of crucial truths that, in this world of injustice and inequality, we desperately need to reclaim. First the fact that Jesus did not die, but was seen to “return” to the Godhead physically is a continuation of the story of incarnation. God does not despise the human body – rather God embraces it, inhabits it, and glorifies it! This means that the needs of the body – for food, clean water, sanitation, shelter, and loving, intimate touch – are all part of the Gospel and are included in God’s gift of salvation. Secondly, the Ascension declares that Jesus is Lord over all. This means that our ultimate allegiance must be to Christ first, and that our lives are called to be a reflection of Christ’s reign in the midst of the other forces. Finally, the Ascension always comes with the promise of the Holy Spirit’s power which tells us that God is not absent but continues to be completely immersed in the world and in the lives of human beings. The gift of the Spirit also assures us of God’s resources, inspiration, and guidance to strengthen and enable us as we seek to live as faithful followers of Christ.

Acts 1:1-11: Jesus promises the Holy Spirit to his disciples. Then he is taken up into heaven, with the assurance of the angels that he will return.
Psalm 47: A celebration of and call to praise the God who is high over all.
Ephesians 1:15-23: Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians that they may know the power of Christ who is over all and fills all.
Luke 24:44-53: Jesus reminds the disciples of how he has fulfilled the Scriptures, then he promises the Holy Spirit, blesses them and is taken up to heaven.

thumbnails and commentary from
Parishioners who attended Steve Barg’s series on the “doctrine of discovery” last fall will be especially interested in the virtual discussion of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass on Thursday, May 20 from 3:00 to 5:00pm. This book was mentioned as a source for those who want to know more about Native American spirituality as well as environmental issues. Kimmerer is herself Native American and also a trained scientist (SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology).
Books are available at River Lights Bookstore (local vs. the evil Amazon empire!). Even if you are unable to get a copy, the discussion will be helpful in giving you a sense of the book.
Contact Greg Serwich ( a Zoom link.
An apprentice to work with Zoom at Grace Church.

This is an important part of our Worship Ministry, and more people are needed to keep our live online services coming! It may seem very complicated, but those of us who have been handling it for nearly a year now all had to start from very basic computer skills and learn "on the job." If we have a small team, the responsibilities can be rotated, making it easier for all of us--and making it possible to explore better ways to assure the best audio and visual experience for those worshiping in person and those online.

Please contact Lynn Giles if interested and for more information.
Join us to read, ponder, and discuss scripture and its relevance to us. Coming next: the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 10. We gather on Zoom, beginning at 10:30 Wednesday mornings.
Contact Greg Serwich ( for a Zoom invitation.
MEDITATIVE PRAYER 9:00am on Fridays
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 ( for a Zoom invitation which includes a description of these types of prayer.
ZOOM POETRY GROUP 2:00pm on Mondays
A Zoom Poetry meeting from Grace Church has been organized and meets online on Mondays at 2:00pm. This is not specifically a Grace ministry, but a number of Grace members and friends are part of it If you are interested, write Carol Poston at
or call her at 815-777-0220.

Wednesday Episcopal service of Holy Eucharist: The Rev Dr Gloria Hopewell, Presider; The Rev Diane Luther, Deacon; Lynn Giles, Lector and Zoom Host.
Easter 6 5/9/2021: The Rev Dr Gloria Hopewell, Presider; The Rev Diane Luther, Deacon; Donna Davis, Intercessor; Lynn Giles, Lector and Zoom Host; Robin French, Music Director.
Easter 5 5/2/2021: The Rev Dr Gloria Hopewell, Presider; The Rev Diane Luther, Deacon; Bill Foltz, Intercessor; Terri Jackman, Lector; Robin French, Music Director; Nancy Cook, Erben Organist; Lynn Giles, Zoom Host.
Hybrid worship has resumed for both in-person and Zoom congregations. Since our region is in Phase 4 of the State of Illinois COVID recovery, we are able to offer 21 spaces in the nave with a maximum of 32 people. Each space can accommodate one single or a couple who live in the same household. MASKS ARE REQUIRED UPON ENTRY.
For those wishing to attend in-person, reservations are required. You may reserve by going to reserve. If you are assigned to an Altar Party role where you will be sitting in the Chancel, you need not reserve. All others, such as lectors, musicians, vestry coordinators, greeters, and altar guild do need to reserve.
On Sunday morning, you will come to the Parish House door where a Greeter will check your name(s) off on a list and admit you to the building where you will proceed into the nave to find an empty seat that is designated by a bulletin.
For those present in the Church:
Please put your smartphone or other device in airplane mode so that our internet capacity is reserved for our online streaming.
For those on Zoom:
Please mute yourselves before the Prelude begins and immediately after the Peace.
Please review this summary of COVID precautions in worship:  10 COMMANDMENTS

Pews that are not to be used are closed off by lengths of ribbon. There are hand sanitizer stations at the entrance and also at the back of the nave.

Those who will join us on Zoom will receive the usual e-mail invitation with a link to the day's bulletin.
Lynn Giles, Senior Warden
Richard Luther, Jr. Warden
Richard Luther, Treasurer
Crystal Mason, Clerk
The Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
The Rev. Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
The Rev. Linda Packard, Priest Associate
The Rev. Diane Luther, Deacon
Nancy Kenney, Parish Administrator
Robin French, Music Director
Nancy Cook, Erben Organist
Charlotte Stryker: Worship
Elizabeth Ludescher: Communications
Nancy Cook: Outreach
Eric Kallback: Building & Grounds
Crystal Mason: Pastoral Care
Phil Jackman: Fellowship/Parish Life
The Rev Dr. Gloria Hopewell, Rector
Cell Phone: 773-988-3497

Grace Episcopal Church Office:
107 S. Prospect Street
Galena, IL 61036