Grace Episcopal Church                            September 2017
I love fall. It's my favorite time of year. I know spring is supposed to be the season of new beginnings but fall has always felt like a better time for fresh starts and re-organizing, for intention setting and planning. It's the excitement many of us feel when the kids are back in school or when we clean out the garden beds from the last harvest and prep them for winter. It's the thrill of football season, pots of chili, and time with friends. Regardless of the reason, fall brings me back to the things I love. I hope it does for you as well.

This fall, we have so many wonderful things on the calendar and we encourage you to get into the spirit of fresh starts and good intentions...come back to the things you love. As my kids go back to school with new pencils and notebooks, I find myself picking up new books to read and new notepads for writing. What new things do you want to pick up?

I encourage you to read through this newsletter and find ways to get involved. Learn something new. Get to know folks you haven't met before. Commit to spending time with God. At the church luncheon on September 10th we will have tables set up for you to learn about all of the activities we have planned for the coming year. Sign up for the ones that speak to you the most. Find ways to worship, learn, and serve at Grace Church.

Keep your heart open to the ways God is calling you.

Grace and Peace,
Please note that starting September 17, 2017
our regular Sunday Schedule will resume. 

Sunday Service Schedule
9:00 am Holy Eucharist 
11:00 am Holy Eucharist

We invite you to get involved with leading our worship services this fall! Consider serving as an acolyte, usher, lector, or intercessor. Everyone is welcome. Please contact Cindy this week if you would like to participate.
Bishop Gulick will be visiting and confirming our youth on September 10th at 10 am! On that day we will have a church wide luncheon and fall kick off with information on all of our ministries at Grace. We encourage everyone to get involved!

The Rite of Confirmation is administered generally once a year to those who wish to make a mature affirmation of their faith and commitment to Christ and to the promises made at Baptism. We receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by the Bishop. It is required of those to be confirmed that they have been baptized, are sufficiently instructed in the Christian faith and are ready to affirm the confession of Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Each confirmand attended classes this summer with Emily in preparation for this special day. They have met with their sponsors and will also be serving in worship throughout the fall. Congratulations to the following youth and to their sponsors!

Tyler Jenkins (Sponsor: Mark Wysong)
Camden Cobb (Sponsor: Shane Tippett)
Leslie Dunevant (Sponsor: Barbara Slone)
Thaddeus Martin (Sponsor: Sam Wright)     
Taylor Ward (Sponsor: Kate Sarfaty)
The theme of this year’s stewardship campaign is “All Hearts Open”. We hear these words at the beginning of every Eucharist here at Grace Episcopal Church. In fact, all of our Episcopalian brothers and sisters in Christ hear the same words:

“Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid...” 

They come from the Collect for Purity that Emily prays over us every Sunday as we gather and begin our worship. They may be so routinely heard that we can miss this important call to worship. In a like manner, the routine of our annual stewardship campaign every fall can often take away from realizing the sacred importance of our annual pledge drive.

Our stewardship drive will kick off in late September and conclude on commitment Sunday which we will celebrate on November 5 -- All Saint’s Day. 
Between now and then, I hope you will take the time to earnestly reflect on the Collect for Purity as you hear it prayed at Eucharist or as you privately pray it at home and prepare for our campaign by considering:

How has God opened my heart to be aware of God’s call?
How has my heart been opened to myself and aware of all that God has graced me and my family with?
How has my heart been broken open, and in its brokenness been filled with God’s grace?
How has my heart been opened to others and how have others opened their hearts to me?
How can the heart of Grace Episcopal Church open itself to those outside our walls?

May the fruits of this prayer and your reflection guide you as you unfold the mystery of God’s call to you to celebrate and participate in our annual stewardship campaign. May your heart be opened and inspired to know exactly how and what to offer as your response to God, the church, and the Grace community.

May all our hearts be opened indeed.

Donald Knight, Senior Warden
We will once again have our Thursday morning Bible Study! Join us each week at 10:00 am to discuss John by N.T. Wright. We will meet every Thursday starting September 7 - November 30th. Please send an email to to register so we can order a book for you!
Starting October 15 - October 29 between services we will begin our Sunday book discussion of The Mission Walker by Edie Littlefield Sundby. This story chronicles one woman's test of faith and courage dealing with life changing challenges. Please purchase your own copy and come join us as we talk about our faith and how we handle the unexpected in life.
Since so many have expressed an interest in the book for the Inquirer's class, Episcopal Questions Episcopal Answers, we will make time on September 17th and 24th to further explore the Episcopal faith. We will meet between services in the Parish Hall.
Writing your own spiritual autobiography is a formative step in thinking more deeply about faith. It creates an opportunity to reflect on the people, places and events in your life that have shaped your beliefs about God. Join us for this special workshop as Emily guides us through a rich process of dialogue, reflection, and writing. We will meet on November 12, 19, & 26 between services.
As Christians, we are called to love one another and love our neighbors as ourselves. Grace Church has always had a heart for service and our members make a difference in so many ways...from helping a homebound parishioner to stocking the food pantry to making meals for middle school children.

There are ways for everyone to get involved and this year, we are encouraging you to dedicate yourself to three areas of church life: worship, learn, and serve. Together, these three aspects of our faith help to guide us as we seek God's will for our lives. Get involved in worship each week - volunteer as a lector, acolyte, usher, or an altar guild member. Commit to learning through one of our bible studies or book discussions. And, then, serve! Give back to the church and to the community in thanksgiving for all that God has done in your life.

At our church luncheon following the 10am service this week (September 10), we will have tables set up for you to discover more about ways you can offer your gifts to others. Here are some of the ministries you may get involved with:

  • Brown Bag Meals and Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser
  • Food Pantry
  • Rise Against Hunger
  • Family Game Night
  • Parish Life special event planning
  • Pastoral Care home visitor
  • New Healing Prayer Service
  • Altar Guild
  • New Lenten Lunch Series
  • Drive Thru Donuts
  • Christmas Mother
  • Bright Beginnings Backpacks
  • Building and Grounds

These are only a few of the ways you can commit your time and talent. Learn more on Sunday and sign up!
Grace was busy this summer continuing to serve the Goochland community in the following ways:

  • Participating in Relay for Life on June 16th. Twelve members participated and Grace raised $840 for the American Cancer Society.

  • Raising over $640 for the United Thank Offering.

  • Contributing over 184 lbs of non-perishable food and 51 lbs of fresh vegetables from the Grace Church garden to the Food Pantry.

  • ECW hosted the Drive Thru Coffee and Donut Ministry each month serving over 45 people at each event.

  • Grace provided 21 kids with new backbacks and supplies for the YMCA's Bright Beginnings Backpack program as well as a donation of $115.          
Junior Warden’s Corner

An Update on the Sanctuary Shutters

As almost everyone knows, the black shutters on the sanctuary have been slowly falling apart over the last year or two. After much discussion, the Vestry gave the Buildings and Grounds Committee permission to explore various options on restoring the shutters. After an extensive search for suitable contractors and conversations with them, the decision was made, and approved by the Vestry, to completely rebuild the shutters as opposed to making spot repairs on them: replace rather than repair. The project has been assigned to a contractor who is currently working on making new shutters based on the outline of the old ones, which have been removed for this purpose. The new shutters will be made from mahogany, and although expensive will last many more years than if they were fabricated from less durable lumber. The hope is that the new shutters will be finished, painted, and installed in the early fall. 

New Walkways have been installed!

We are very excited about the new walkways that have been installed to increase accessibility to the sanctuary and Celebration Garden. A brick path was added from the upper gravel lot to the side of the sanctuary and new stairs were added to the Celebration Garden. These new walkways provide greater ease of movement and increase safety for everyone coming to Grace.

Please contact Steve Mick, Junior Warden, if you have any questions or concerns.
Sunday, September 10
Bishop Visit/Confirmation/Ministry Fair/Lunch/Vestry

Sunday, September 17
Two Worship Services Resume                                   


September 17, 24
Episcopal Theology Discussion                                   
Episcopal Questions/Episcopal Answers - Copies still available. See Emily.

October 15, 22, 29
Book Discussion                                                                  
The Mission Walker by Edie Littlefiled Sundby - Please purchase your own copy.

November 12, 19, 26
Writing Your Own Spiritual Autobiography

September 7 – November 30
John by N.T.Wright  


Every Third Thursday (September - December)
ECW Drive Thru Coffee and Donuts                         

Monday, September 25
Dinner for Caritas Guests at St. Mathews United Methodist Church                                               

Sunday, October 1
Blessing of the Animals                                                   

Friday, October 20
Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser        

Saturday, November 4
Congregation Hike - location TBD

Sunday, November 5
All Hearts Open Pledge Sunday

Saturday, November 11
Holiday Bazaar                                                                                         
Every Third Friday
Family Game Night (in conjunction with October Spaghetti Fundraiser)

Sunday, December 3
Advent Begins

For a copy of the full calendar including times,
click here: 2017 Fall Calendar

August 23, 2017
Grace Episcopal Church
2955 River Road West
Goochland VA 23063