GRACE NOTES
Grace Episcopal Church                                            January/February 2017
A New Year! A New Vision!
We are already 4 weeks into the new year and so much is changing in our midst. It's been a dynamic start to our year as the nation embarks upon a new chapter of leadership. With the shift in governance, many of us have had the opportunity to think more deeply about the issues that matter most to us and how our faith shapes our understanding of the world around us. In many ways, this is a powerful moment for our faith communities to recommit ourselves to the Gospel message and to seek ways to serve the common good. It is a time to come together across our differences and work together to build a more compassionate, more caring community.

How might this look for Grace Church?  On January 22, we held our annual meeting and I outlined a few key goals for the new year. These included nurturing a vibrant practice of prayer, creating a vision for the coming years, and enriching Christian formation for youth and adults. As I look toward the months ahead, I am excited about seeking God's guidance with you. 

In this newsletter, you will find important information about opportunities to worship, grow, and serve. I encourage you to get  involved in a new way. Pray about how God may be leading you to live out the Gospel - maybe in an unexpected way that you haven't considered before. Let God surprise you! And, be ready to say "Yes" to His call.


Emily
PRAY
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Bible Study TimeDo you want to spend a little time imagining what it was like to build the “church” as well as deepen your prayer life?  Then join us on Thursday mornings from 10 to 11:30 am starting February 23 thru April 6th.  We will study N.T. Wright’s book entitled Acts.  This is an extremely user friendly program.  If you are interested, email Cindy at gracechurch2955@gmail.com by February 9th so we can order a book for you.  The cost of the book is $7.00.

Daily Readings - If you interested in a daily devotional, please remember that we have printed copies available of Moving Forward Day by Day as well as daily postings on Facebook. The link to Day by Day is http://prayer.forwardmovement.org/.  You may also want to consider Centering Prayer at http://www.centeringprayer.com/

Preparing for Sundays - Your Weekly Update includes the lectionary readings for the coming Sunday. These readings may be found at the bottom of this email every week. Take time to read and reflect on the readings before coming to church on Sunday. Pray about how God may be speaking to you through them.
SERVE
God calls us to use our talents and serve!  Are you wondering where you might feel called?  Here are just a few options...

Altar Guild - Altar guild members are an integral part of our worship each week. Duties include setting up the church for Sunday services and cleaning up after the service. This includes setting up the altar for communion every week, washing and pressing altar linens, polishing brass and silver, arranging altar flowers. Altar guild members are also on call for special services such as weddings and funerals. Please contact Cindy for more information.

Region XII Delegate - We are looking for a new delegate for our diocesan region. The delegate serves as our representative at all Region meeting (typically one per quarter) and represents Grace Church at our Annual Diocesan Convention. This is a wonderful opportunity to serve the church in a wider community and get to know more about the governance of our denomination. Please see Carolyn Stevens for more information. 

Brown Bags - On a weekly basis, Grace Episcopal packs Brown Bags of food for Goochland Middle School.  We are always looking for individuals to assist packing the bags as well as delivering them.  If you are interested in helping, please email Cindy.

Time and Talent Update - To everyone who filled out the 2017 Time and Talent form in December, thank you. If you didn't have the chance and would like to see a full list of ministry team options, check out our website at www.gracechurchgoochland.org and let Emily know where you want to plug in.
VISION
   WALK IN LOVE AS CHRIST LOVED US AND GAVE HIMSELF FOR US.
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How do we walk in love as members of Grace Church? In February, we will begin discerning this question more deeply as we begin a visioning process to help guide us into the coming years. Our goal is simple...to determine where the needs of our church and community come together with our energy, time, and talent. This is an important time in the life our congregation and you are all invited to be a part of the process to offer your ideas and insights.

Please make a note of the following dates:
February 19 - Vestry Visioning Meeting
February  26 - Congregation Visioning Meeting at 10am or 12:30pm (Parish Hall)
March & April - Vestry Planning and Discernment
May 7 - Vision Report to Congregation
YOUTH
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WE ARE PLANNING A GREAT 2017 FOR OUR YOUTH!

We are so excited about the plans for our youth! There is lots in store to bring youth and families together for fellowship, learning, service, and worship. We have built our spring programming around the input of our families and have tried to create opportunities for all ages to engage in meaningful ways with the life of Grace Church! 

Here are some ways to get involved:
  • Game nights
  • Worship leadership at 9am and 11am
  • Middle and High School Youth Ensemble
  • Lenten youth program
  • Family Hike
  • Shrine Mont 6th and 7th grade weekend
Click here for a calendar of  opportunities!

Of Special Note...

Youth Ensemble - We are creating a middle and high school youth ensemble! Jackie Hobbs will be working with our ensemble to prepare a song for Holy Week. All interested youth should contact Emily by February 10. A practice schedule will be set once we know who will be participating. 

Lenten Program - Each Wednesday night in Lent we will offer a special youth program based upon the same curriculum the adults will be studying.  Families are encouraged to participate! Dinner will be served each evening.

Worship Leaders We are creating a schedule for youth leaders at the 9am service! Three roles that have been created so that our youngest members can learn about serving during worship and preparing our sanctuary for Holy Eucharist.

- Acolyte / Reader (Bring in the cross, read scripture and lead Prayers of the People)
- Usher (Greet, ring the bell, and pass the offering plate)
- Junior Altar Guild (Work with adult altar guild member to learn how to set up for Holy Eucharist and clean up after the 9am service)

If you are interested in learning more, please talk to Emily or Cindy!
LENT
Lent is just around the corner and you are invited to join us for all of our activities,  including our Wednesday evening Lenten Study, The 5 Marks of Love and our Sunday book discussion, Love Wins! Be on the look out for a Lenten Newsletter with more information on our schedule of events later in February.
2017 Lent and Holy Week

Ash Wednesday Services
March 1,  12:00 PM and 7:00 PM

Wednesday Morning Prayers
March 8 thru April 5  at 8:00 AM

Lenten Program for All Ages
March 8 thru April 5 at 6:00 PM

Sunday Book Discussion
Love Wins by Rob Bell
March 5 thru 26 at 10:00 AM

Palm Sunday
April 9 at 9:00 AM  & 11:00 AM

Maundy Thursday
April 13 at 7:00 PM

Good Friday / Stations of the Cross
April 14 at 6:00

Easter Sunday Services
April 16 at 6:30 AM Sunrise
 and  11:00 AM Rite II Holy Eucharist  
DID YOU KNOW
Be sure to check the bulletin board in the Parish Hall each week for the latest updates.  We post all the latest news and opportunities to get involved in the life of Grace Church. Take a look for:
  • Weekly ENews
  • Current Vestry Minutes
  • Grace Notes
  • Coffee Hour Sign Ups
  • Service and Outreach Information

And...our website is full of new information! On our homepage you can find links to sermons, church and community events, and the weekly ENews! 

Grace Episcopal Church

2955 River Road West

Goochland VA 23063

804-556-3051