Radical welcome. Faithful worship. Compassionate service.
January 10, 2021

The Baptism of
Our Lord Jesus Christ

No 9:15 Family Worship today




(followed by Annual Meeting

A Message from the Rector

My Dear Grace Church Family,

Like many of you, I am deeply disheartened, distressed, and saddened by the unfolding drama of riotous events that transpired yesterday in our Nation’s capital with the grotesque scaling and breaching of the walls and halls of Congress. To think that I would see this in my lifetime is unfathomable! No matter how divisive our national, state, and local politics are, there is a level of decorum and respect expected to be shown and a moral and ethical line one simply doesn’t cross. Well, that line was crossed, walls breached, lives threatened, and irreversible damage done. While our Country may be in a current state of anger, confusion, and chaos, please believe and know that God is working God’s healing purposes out in the world. We, as a Community of Faith, know that God is able to do the impossible and my faith, and yours, rests on that truth. I have no doubt that we will make it through this ordeal and will come out renewed, refreshed, and hope-filled. This is why Jesus sternly reminds his disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.” Even Jesus knew that it was imperative that his disciples, during periods of angst, turmoil and disagreement, not capitulate to fear and division but to stand resolve in their faith in God. I do believe that the soul of America has begun the long, arduous, and difficult process of healing and my faith and hope in God tells me that we will be better, bigger, and stronger (and I hope more loving) than ever before. As we enter into the season of Epiphany, which is the celebration of the manifestation and revelation of Christ in the world, may we be comforted in faith knowing that God is with us “even to the end of the age.” In God have faith and in Christ Jesus, be encourage!

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home;

under the shadow of your throne
your saints have dwelt secure.
Sufficient is your arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

A thousand ages in your sight
are like and evening gone,
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
still be our guard while troubles last,
and our eternal home.

Issac Watts,
O God, Our Help in Ages Past 
(stanzas 1,2,4, and 6)

Blessings,
The Rev. Dr. Allen F. Robinson, Rector  

Annual Parish Meeting

The 2021 Annual Meeting of Grace Church Brooklyn Heights will be held on Sunday, January 10 at 12 PM. The meeting will be conducted via On Zoom and will be preceded by a single service of worship at 11 AM. There will be no Family Service.

We will discuss accomplishments of 2020 and plans for 2021, as well as hold elections for members of the Vestry. Up for election for a three-year term to the Vestry are Shannon MacDonald, Anne Silver, and Linda Wexelblatt. Up for a second three-year term will be Chris Larson, Brianna McCarty, and Jim Williamson. Barbara Becker is nominated for a two-year term as Warden. 

For more information, please contact Kate Rock or Marilyn Grant.
Giving to Grace
2021 Annual Giving Campaign

James Newton, one of Grace’s newest pledging members, shares why he has decided to pledge:

I've been attending Grace for just over a year now, having first come at the end of September 2019. I grew up singing in my parish choir and after a few years' hiatus for college and teaching abroad, followed by my move to Brooklyn in 2017, I began to feel an itch, a rootlessness. I went up to Paul following the service, showed up to rehearsal that Thursday, and the rest is history!

My experience at Grace, short though it may be, has been so rich. There was something intimidating about seeking out a spiritual home for myself for the first time as a young adult and I feel so blessed to have been steered here.

At lunch around the corner one Sunday with members of the choir and parish, the conversation turned to engagement, and other matters pertaining to Grace, among them pledging. I felt moved to ask, having never quite considered it or received guidance on the subject, "When is it normal to start pledging?" The reply I received from the group couldn't have been clearer, more insightful. "When it feels right. Just asking that question is kind of an answer in itself."

This was prior to March when our familiar days began to unspool. Since then, through the various forms of Zoom worship and having the privilege to return to the sanctuary a few times, my love of Grace has continued to swell. I pledged for the first time in my life last month and it felt so powerful to commit myself to Grace and the important outreach it supports in the greater community. Like the flipping of a switch, this transition marks for me the beginning of a more established connection to this amazing community, and my desire to empower it through thick and thin. Those roots I longed for now grow more deeply in rich, fertile soil. 

James is talking about that feeling that comes from feeling both connected and committed to something larger than himself. That is so strong that it binds us even when we are apart. We are thankful to James and the 133 other individuals and households who have pledged $578,732 to the 2021 Annual Giving Campaign. We acknowledge and thank you here. As your Stewardship Chairs, we are both grateful and humbled by your generosity. 

Our goals for this year are both realistic and optimistic: We seek to maintain our current ministries and programs while responding to new opportunities for growth and healing. If you are an active pledger we are asking you, if able, to increase your 2020 pledge by 10%. If you have never pledged before, we are asking you to do so now. Please remember that if you want to receive the tax benefits from a gift in the calendar year 2020, you must make your donation by midnight on December 31.

Please free to contact either of us (Seth and Andrew) with any questions. You can make a pledge online through your Realm account, by returning the pledge card you received in the mail. And if you need help signing in to that account, please let us know. We’re happy to help! 

Every pledge matters – and we hope you will join us and our families in supporting the mission of our Church.  

Seth Lloyd & Andrew Blair

Sign Up Now for Grace Church’s Lenten Devotional Booklet

Christmas is barely over, so it’s hard to imagine, but Ash Wednesday (February 17) is going to be here before we know it … and along with Ash Wednesday comes Grace Church’s beloved Lenten Devotional Booklet. For each day in Lent, a Grace parishioner is needed to write a short (2-3 paragraphs max.) reflection about what an assigned Lenten Scripture reading means to them. These reflections are not so much scholarly commentary as heartfelt, individual responses to the reading. Parishioners find this to be an especially meaningful way to approach the Lenten season—many ask for the opportunity to write each year—and the completed booklet is a powerful gift to the Grace Church community and beyond. This may be especially true this year as so many members of our community are sheltering at home. 

If you have questions, or are interested in participating, please email Judy Burns or Rev. Erika. Please reply ASAP.  

Join the Rector’s Bible Study
on Tuesdays
Exploring the Book of Revelation
 
Join the Rector’s Bible Study
on Tuesdays from 
10:30-12 noon online here.
New Year's Giving
As we welcome a new year, let us remember to share with those who are in need. This year, Grace Church is partnering with the Red Hook Initiative, a local organization that is responding to the needs of our neighbors in nearby Red Hook. 

The Red Hook Initiative (RHI) serves its community in a myriad of ways. Red Hook Farms provides access to fresh produce and farm apprentice jobs to local youth. Grace’s own youth and members of the congregation have helped on the Columbia Street farm. When schools were closed, RHI helped support student learning and tutoring services. Some of our Grace community have participated in Read-A-Loud sessions for the children. In addition, our congregation has donated noise-canceling headphones to the students of Red Hook’s P.S. 676 to assist with remote learning. However, more help is needed. 

Now more than ever, the threat of food and financial insecurities are growing rapidly. Your donations will be vital for the ongoing work of this organization. 

Donations may be made online here and selecting Red Hook Initiative from the drop-down menu. For more information, please contact Marilyn Grant. 

Thank you for your dedication and faithful giving! 
Centering Prayer

Forgiveness Prayer Workshop

Saturday, January 16th,
10 am - 3:00 pm
Facilitated by Therese Saulnier

The Forgiveness Prayer can teach us to open to God’s grace so that we may forgive when we are hurt, wounded or offended. In this online workshop, we will explore the nature of forgiveness and learn how the Forgiveness Prayer can open us to God’s healing presence and action. How do we forgive? What if we want to forgive but cannot? How do we forgive ourselves? 

There will also be a Centering Prayer period during the workshop. Experience with Centering Prayer is suggested for participants. Please register here. Therese Saulnier is a long-standing member of Contemplative Outreach. She has been praying Centering Prayer for over 30 years and praying the Forgiveness Prayer for over 25 years. Therese shares her experience that before she learned the Forgiveness Prayer she really did not know how to forgive. 
Giving to Grace
Thank you for your on-going support as we continue to worship remotely. We are happy to let you know that you may now make a pledge or general offering donations by text! 

Please send a text to 73256 with the message "GraceBrooklyn". The first time, you will be prompted to provide your name and address, including your card number. If you save that information for future use, the second offering by text will be immediate. You may also make one-time pledge payments and general offering donations online here.

If you would like to set up a recurring pledge payment on Realm, please contact Kate Rock for an invitation to join. 
In Remembrance or Gratitude...

Altar flowers are a wonderful way to express gratitude for life's blessings or memorialize a loved one.

If you would like to contribute Altar flowers, please contact Marilyn Grant. An acknowledgment will be included in the service bulletin.
Parish Prayer Concerns
In thanksgiving for the gift of baptism in Jesus Christ, and a continuing commitment to our baptismal vows. For peace, order, healing, and reconciliation for our beloved country. For an end to the pandemic, and for healthcare workers who are exhausted and overwhelmed. For those for whom prayers have been requested, especially, Max; the Watson family; Lenore; Jane P.; Kathy; Jane S.; Lally; Shaily; Chris; Jesse; Beth; all who suffer from COVID 19; and all who care for sick or aging loved ones. For all who have died, especially Roy Everett Woodard, brother of Patricia Woodard.
Weekday Visits to Grace

To insure your safety and maintain the workplace standards established by the Department of Health, we ask you to let us know ahead of time when you will be stopping by. When you visit please use only the Clergy Door, which is the first door on your right in the Hicks Street courtyard. Sign the Visitors Log at the door (should we need to do any contact tracing), sanitize your hands and, as always, wear a mask.

To minimize traffic, particularly while children are at school, please refrain from moving through the Parish Hall. The restroom at the back of the sanctuary is available for your use. We thank you!
Grace Church | 254 Hicks Street | Brooklyn NY 11201 
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