Grace Notes Weekly is a newsletter of Grace Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, TN,
and is used to communicate the upcoming activities of this community.
The Season After Pentecost
JULY 30, 2021
COVID Update
Dear People of Grace,
 
As many of you are aware, the CDC and Hamilton County Health Department have now both recommended a return to wearing masks indoors for everyone regardless of whether they have
received the vaccine. We know of vaccinated individuals in our community of Grace who have recently tested positive for COVID-19.

[continue below]
IN THIS ISSUE
COVID Update
This Sunday's Worship
Writings of Paul Class this Sunday
Returning to Sort-of Normal (8-15)
Other August 15 Events (Blessing backpacks, Children's Ministry changes)
A Change in Clergy Office Hours
Daily Worship
Food Pantry Needs
Mid-year Financial Report
Directory Change
Family Promise Fund-raiser (10-10)
Arts Camp Thanks
Forward Day by Day
Opportunities (Selma, Climate Delegate)
Parish Prayer List
COVID (continued)
This news comes at a time when many of us were looking forward to a program year that we hoped would look a little more “normal” than last year. At Grace, we had planned to resume indoor services, with masks optional for vaccinated folks. As we are in an area where COVID-19/Delta variant cases are rising rapidly, and as a significant percentage of our community is comprised of children who are not yet able to be vaccinated, we will need to adjust these plans.

We still plan to move both Sunday morning services inside on August 15th, but at this time we are asking all persons to wear masks when indoors for services at Grace. The clergy, altar party and lectors will be wearing masks except for when reading or preaching. We will have congregational singing at the 10:45am service, and ask that members remained masked while doing so. Music Director David Long and I are discussing how best to approach choral singing in the weeks ahead. We will continue to offer Sunday school opportunities for preschool and elementary aged children outdoors as long as the weather permits.

In terms of pastoral care, our clergy and several lay ministers are available to make visits, and David and I are happy to set up meetings and visits in ways that are safe for everyone involved. Email me at aberends@saygrace.net or David at dburman@saygrace.net to arrange a meeting or visit. It brings us joy to catch up with the people of Grace, to share fellowship, and to offer prayer and support when you have need of it.

We will meet inside (masks required) at 8am and outdoors at 10am, with children’s activities in the pavilion at 10am, for the next two Sundays, August 1st and August 8th. Beginning August 15th, we will meet indoors (masks required) at 8am and 10:45am. The 10:45am service will be streamed online.
Even though vaccinations are not 100% effective against virus transmission, they still remain our best option for reducing illness and death. These vaccines are safe, accessible, and comprehensively tested. Regions where high numbers of individuals are vaccinated are seeing far fewer COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths. It is the best way we have to show love for our neighbors right now, and loving our neighbors is our gospel mandate. If you are eligible to receive a COVID vaccination, but have not yet done so, I urge you to do so as an act of community care. Raising the vaccination rates in Hamilton County is essential to the health of all in our community, and essential to our common life at Grace.
If you have questions or concerns about worship practices, please feel free to contact me (aberends@saygrace.net) or Senior Warden, Andy Belcher (belcherandrewr@gmail.com). 
 
We are all weary of this pandemic. At a time when many of us were beginning to live a little more hopefully, a little more freely, these rising case rates are a source of discouragement and frustration. And yet, we have hope, because we know that God desires healing, wholeness and shalom for us and for the whole world. What’s more, our Creator calls us to be a part of making this shalom manifest. Hold fast to what is good. Join us in-person or online on Sunday mornings to hear of God’s love for us and to connect with the community of Grace.
In Christ,
April
Sunday Worship
Sunday School for children: 10 a.m. in the Pavilion. Drop off the offspring as you head in for the 10 a.m. service. They will get a worthy lesson and you will be spared dividing your attention between the service and their yen to rummage through the fountain-algae in search of frogs and other bounties of nature.

Though all worship will be taking place indoors beginning in mid-August, Sunday School will remain in the Pavilion for a time since children are still ineligible for vaccination.

8 a.m. Service -- This service will be held in the Nave (main indoor worship space), as long as the community continues to see a decline in infection rates. We will continue to celebrate Holy Eucharist in one kind (bread only), and the priests will wear masks throughout the service, unless they are preaching or officiating. The windows will be open and fans will be blowing. All in attendance at the 8am service, vaccinated or not, are asked to wear masks.

Before entering the Nave, either from the courtyard, or from the front of the church, you’ll find a station hand sanitizer and extra masks.

10 a.m. Service -- If the weather allows, this service will take place in the courtyard. However, should it be raining harder than than the farmers' market tents can cope with, Plan B calls for abandoning the courtyard and moving into the Nave. If we go inside, we do ask that everyone, vaccinated or not, wear masks, so please tuck one into your pocket just in case. We will have some on hand for those don't have them.

We ask that those who are not vaccinated wear masks when in close proximity to others at outdoor worship. Priests will continue to wear masks when distributing communion. We also recommend wearing sunscreen and/or a sunhat for this service.  We will always have some chairs available, but we ask that those who can bring their own chairs do so

Online Worship -- For those who must still be cautious about gathering among flesh-and-blood humanity, the 10 a.m. service will be live-streamed on
Facebook; the bulletin is available HERE.
Full of Anxiety, Full of Love -- Class on Paul Begins Sunday!
This Sunday and next -- August 1 and 8 -- our assistant priest David will lead a short class about the writings of Paul. We'll cover Paul's thoughts about who Jesus is, what Christian community can be like, and what his writing suggests about women leaders in the church. We'll meet at 9am in the courtyard, and wrap up by 9:30/9:45 before church -- in case of rain or a lot of heat, we can move inside.
Return to Almost-Normal (August 15)
We plan to be worshipping back in the nave for both the 8am and10:45am services on August 15th. Though it will be wonderful to take a step back towards normalcy, we are not yet living in a virus-free world and will ask those who come to the services take precautions.

Masks will be required for all who attend, including children under 12 years of age, as an act of community care (see April's letter at the opening of this newsletter for further details about coping with the current situation). For those who wish to socially distance to a greater degree than the pews in the main part of the nave might permit, additional seating is available in the chapel and in the baptistry. We will continue to hold Sunday morning children's activities outdoors as long as the weather permits. The vestry and rector will continue to monitor CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, especially as they relate to the emergence of COVID variants. 
Other August 15 Events
Blessing of the Backpacks -- Join us Sunday, August 15th as we mark the beginning of a new school year. Students of all ages, along with educators and school staff, are invited to receive a blessing at the 10:45am services. Bring a backpack, briefcase or book bag for the blessing.

Changing of the Guard in Children's Ministry -- After many years of serving the children and families of Grace, Maria Hurt is stepping away from her role as Director of Children's ministries. Maria has helped a generation of children to grow in God's love at Grace in her leadership of the Sunday School, nursery and Arts Camp. Fortunately for us, Maria will remain an active member of the Grace community, and we look forward to her continued presence among us in a different capacity. Please join us for a thanksgiving for Maria's ministry at the 10:45am service on Sunday, August 15th.

We are pleased to announce that Betsy Hawthorne Bedwell joins us this week as Director of Children's Ministries. Betsy will begin working alongside Maria this weekend at Arts Camp. Betsy is a native Chattanoogan, a lifelong Episcopalian, and is a third-generation educator. She has been in professional children’s ministry for 12 years and is a Godly Play trainer. Her weekday job is as a preschool programs evaluator for the state of Tennessee. She lives with her husband Eric in Brainerd.
A Change in Clergy Office Hours
Grace's clergy will no longer schedule formal outdoor office hours; this does not mean, however, that they are not available to meet with you! Instead of roasting in the courtyard, you can arrange times and settings that are more comfortable temperature-wise and tailored to your needs -- meet for iced coffee, come sit in the library or out of the sun in the Pavilion... you'll have other options beside which stone bench to sit on! If you'd like to arrange a time the cleric of your choice -- April's e-mail is aberends@saygrace.net, and David's is dburman@saygrace.net.
Daily Worship
Grace offers Compline services at 8pm each evening; you can join

& the password is: compline 

Morning Prayer continues every day (except Sundays) via Zoom, beginning at 9:00 a.m.; click the link below or paste the URL into your browser.

For Morning Prayer, click here:


or paste this URL into your browser:


Meeting ID: 746 8859 6599

Passcode: amprayer
Food Pantry
This week our stalwart volunteers fielded 14 visitors, who took food for 63 -- 27 adults and 36 children. Supplying these folks left the following areas in need of supplements:

* canned hams
* Spam or similar
* spaghetti sauce
* beanie weenies
* peanut butter (16 oz. jars preferred)
* pudding
* cat food (dry, small bags)

Thanks to all our parishioners and to all in the Belvoir neighborhood whose steadfast donations let us help those in need. And special thanks to our pantry volunteers -- Dixie Riall, Jim Dorris, and Jim Harris -- who took good care of this week's visitors with gentle grace and kindness. We appreciate all our generous helpers!
Mid-year Financial Report
I am pleased to report that the financial picture for the church is good as of June 30, 2021. We have received a total of $342,516 in income and have incurred $268,910 in expenses. This leaves a surplus year to date of $73,606. This is a very positive picture.

However, there are a couple of things that we need to keep in mind regarding the income side. First is that we received $64,643 from the PPP loan program. This is part of the COVID-19 relief package from the federal government. We expect that the loan will be forgiven, but we know that we will not receive these funds in 2022. Second, we have received $14.670 from the Diocese of East Tennessee to help with the expenses for our Assistant Rector, David Burman. We had an agreement with the diocese that they would pay 50% of his expenses for two years. As of June, this period is up. We will not expect to see these funds in the future.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also make you aware of some upcoming challenges. First and most important is the handicapped lift from the undercroft to the level of the elevator on the second floor. It must be replaced or we will be fined by the state. We have received three estimates with the lowest being $17,990.
If you have been in the Nave during the last three weeks, you may have noticed that he ceiling tiles in the north aisle are falling. You can see this at the east end of the aisle near the organ. The vestry has proved the project with a cost of $11,807.
We have two more projects that we need to address. The awnings at the entrances of the church are badly worn and need to be replaced. We estimate that the cost will be over 10K. We are also looking to purchase 60 commercial grade chairs that would be light weight and more easily moved for our outdoor services and other events. We are working on quotes for this project.

We are grateful for the ongoing, faithful contributions of Grace members who have continued to support the mission and ministry of our community during these difficult times. Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have.

Jim Milburn
Finance Chair

To see this letter with the charts and tables that illustrate the budget, click HERE.
Directory Changes
If you've been driven into a fury of muttering and cursing by clicking the "Directory" button at the website and getting no reward at all for your efforts, please take note that the Grace Online Directory has migrated to a service called Breeze. It can still be accessed via the webpage, however -- just via a different button! Find the menu item “BREEZE” at the right end of the options that sprawl across the screen near the top, click on it and log in. The user name is ‘saygrace’ and the password is ‘Chattanooga’. Get in touch with Jim Milburn with any questions and suggestions.
Family Promise Fund-raiser -- Save the Date! (10-10-21)
It's finally time for us to plan events again! We're hosting our Food Truck and Fun Fest on October 10th from 1-4 p.m. to kick off our Warm Beds for Homeless Children Campaign. 

This event has fun for the whole family! You’ll be able to listen to live entertainment from Kerry Mills, win prizes, and enjoy four gourmet food trucks: Belli-ful Bistro, Polita’s, Wright Time Foods, and Repicci’s Gelato.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased HERE. The proceeds will go towards our homeless prevention, shelter, and stabilization programs.
If you're already booked for tea with Prince Charles and Camilla that day but would like to make a donation, you can do so HERE.
Arts Camp Thanks
Many thanks to the many adults who helped make arts camp 2021 a success. Truly a good time was had by all! 

There were 24 kids representing a lucky 13 Grace families. Wow! It was especially lovely that former Grace member Amanda Hall came down from Athens to help at arts camp (like old times) and to introduce us to little Ruthie and Jane. 

I'd especially like to thank Linda Sue Longfield-Smith and Cindy Davidson for their help in advance of camp as well as that weekend. And a big, big thank you to Thomas Evans, who gave back big-time for all his years as a camper. His sister Emily helped out before camp started. Many thanks to David Burman and Betsy Bedwell, who gave up their weekend to help out; to Lisa Parsons, who helped out on Saturday just to maintain the tradition that has had her at every Grace arts camp since the first one; and to Group leaders Laura May, Amber McClane and Laura Bertrand. Many other parents pitched in here and there. The arts were represented by classes with Stacey Alverson, Kathryn Barger Howell, Ouisi Hamilton, Sharla Benedict Region, and Nicole Frith. Clay artist and longtime friend to Grace arts camp Susan Blalock gave the children a chance to make creations in clay.

Did I miss someone? It really was a group effort and the kids loved it. We especially enjoyed having some of our newest families there. Grace sure is blessed by an artistic and loving spirit!

Peace, love and art --

Maria Hurt
Forward Day by Day
Forward, March! -- or, more accurately, Forward, August, September and October: the new issue of Forward Day by Day is now available! You can obtain a copy after either service on Sunday (there will be some in the Narthex and some in the courtyard) or by coming by the church during office hours (Tuesday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Friday from 9 a.m to noon. If you are still hunkered down in light of the Delta variant or unable to get to the church for services or weekday visits, you can avail yourselves of electronic copies, which are available below:

Opportunities -- Selma, Climate Delegate
Pilgrimage to Selma (only 12 spots are left -- act rapidly!)

Join the Diocese of East Tennessee on a pilgrimage to Selma and Montgomery, Alabama from Tuesday, October 12 to Friday, October 15 to visit landmarks, museums, and other important sites of the Civil Rights Movement and the ongoing struggle against racism in the United States.

The Selma Pilgrimage is open to participants in middle school and up. Pilgrims under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. For questions regarding family participation, please contact the Rev. Claire Brown at cbrown@stpaulsathens.org.

The cost of the trip is $471.70, which includes $321.70 per room for three nights at the St. James Hotel, Selma, plus a $150 event fee which covers the cost of local tour guides, museum and site entrance fees, and three catered meals. The $150 event fee is due with your registration. You will receive further information on registering for your hotel stay upon completing this initial registration.

Please note that costs for other meals are not included in this registration fee. Transportation for the pilgrimage is provided by the Diocese, departing from Chattanooga.

Pilgrims that are vaccinated are not required to wear a mask. Those who choose to do so for comfort may. Those pilgrims that are unvaccinated will be required to wear a mask anytime they are outside their hotel room.

If you have any questions regarding the trip itinerary, hotel, or registering online, please contact Nicole Seiferth, Parish Administrator for Church of the Good Shepherd, Lookout Mountain, at nicole@gslookout.com or 423-821-1583.

You can access this information in video form at https://vimeo.com/575179410

and register for the trip at


Presiding Bishop Seeks UN Climate Delegate

Taking advantage of a unique virtual opportunity, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry invites all Episcopalians over 18 to consider applying to be a delegate to the 2021 United Nations climate change conference — known as the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties, or COP26.

Applications are due by Aug. 20, and the presiding bishop’s delegation will attend daily virtual events during COP26, which takes place in Glasgow Oct. 31 to Nov. 12.
“This year’s online platform will allow for wider representation on the delegation,” said the Rev. Melanie Mullen, director of reconciliation, justice, and creation care for The Episcopal Church. “Episcopalians who are young adults, people of color, Indigenous, LGBTQ identifying, and from communities affected by climate change and environmental injustice are especially invited to apply.”

Organizers underscored the vital importance of decisions from the annual COP gatherings in the effort to reverse the worst effects of climate change. Already this year, June was recorded as North America’s hottest on record and the fourth hottest globally; the western U.S. is experiencing its worst drought in two decades. 
“Non-governmental organizations, including religious bodies like The Episcopal Church, participate in these UN meetings by advocating for our own needs and concerns, especially giving voice to vulnerable populations within our Church,” said the Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California and head of the delegation. “As delegation members, we stand in solidarity with smaller nations, such as those in the Pacific Ocean, who already feel the leading-edge effects of climate change.”

During the conference, delegates will be expected to attend two to five hours of events per day and follow a particular issue within the climate negotiations. They will have the opportunity to speak at Episcopal Church COP events and write and publish blog posts about their engagement with the event.
“We bring our values and beliefs into the room at the COPs,” Andrus said. “The world religions hold the earth to be sacred, respect the rights of vulnerable populations, and have sacred paths for people to travel that lead us from disintegration to wholeness.”

The presiding bishop began sending a delegation to the COP with the historic Paris Agreement meeting in 2015 and has done so every year since. Delegates bring back what they learn to share with the wider church and also carefully monitor the major workstreams of the COP. These workstreams include mitigation, finance, adaptation, loss and damage, and raising ambition, which means accelerating progress to achieve emissions reduction goals and involves building consensus and partnering strategically at local and global levels.

“Our local communities can learn from what others are doing in these important themes of climate change action around the world,” Andrus said.
The presiding bishop will announce his nominations for the delegation by early September. Members will meet monthly ahead of COP26 via video conferencing as well as daily during the November event. To learn more and to apply by Aug. 20, click here.

Contact creation@episcopalchurch.org with questions.
Parish Prayer List
Please remember: Joseph, our President; the Senate, the House of Representatives, and our Courts of Justice; together with all elected officials, and the other leaders of our country and the nations of the world.
 
We pray for Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury; Michael, our Presiding Bishop; Brian, our Bishop; for April, our priest; for David, our Curate; for Sarah and Caroline, our seminarians; for our missionaries, and all other bishops and ministers.
 
We pray for the unemployed and underemployed, especially those in our congregation and community. We pray for the homeless and the hungry, and for those in special need of prayer, especially
 
Joyce Smith, Susan Landis, the Smallwood family, Patty Maroney,
Michelle Maroney, Jamie Stone, Amanda Cate, Martha Smith, Sue Sears,
William Simpson, Neil Robinson, Ash Gunlock, Bill Strang, Sally Cauthen,
Mary Lou Walden, Gerry Jones, Jennifer Thompson, June McEwen, Amy, Deborah, Jim Hinkle, Andrea, Ann Ludwig, the Hale family (Austin, Amanda, and Autumn); 
the Brown family, Reba, Niysah, Daniel Parker, Valorie Lephart, Terrie, Alex, 
 Angela, Barbara Dooley, Dwight McMillan, Doris, J.R. Hicks, Charlotte Dorris, 
Libby Workman, Jean Williams, Barbara Reed, Elizabeth Harrison,  Jim May,
and Ann Swint; 

We pray for Wil Mabry, Jake Dorris, Kevin Kelley, Tripp Mouron, Mike Mabry, Alexander Ross, Russel Webb, Logan Roberts, Jim Makepeace, Sean Benson, 
Evan Watkins and all of our Armed Forces, here and abroad;
 
We pray for Jessica Pannell, who is with child, and we give thanks for the birth of Thomas Clark, son of Alice and Will Clark and grandson of Mike and Lisa Revenig, and for the birth of John Michael "Jack" Stahlwood, son of Ali and Mark Stahlwood.
  
We pray for this community: For our local leaders; for our schools and marketplaces; for our neighborhoods and workplaces, for protesters and for police. Help us to honor your image in one another. Give us courage to strive for justice and peace among all people, beginning here at home. 

We pray for all whose homes are in peril or uprooted because of climate change, for all displaced because of hurricanes, fires or other disasters.
 
We pray for those who have died, especially Jean Stone, stepmother of Jamie Stone, and Steven Mosman, member of Christ Church and friend of many at Grace, that your will for them may be fulfilled, and that they may share with all your saints in the full revelation of your eternal glory.
 
In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Church of the Province of South East AsiaThe Anglican Communion has adopted a cycle of prayer called "From Aba to Zululand," praying its way alphabetically through its members on a daily basis between January 1, 2021 and September 2023. The newsletter and, in the future, the printed bulletin, will include the prayers for Sunday; if you would like to see the daily prayer requests, you can find them at ACoP.

In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Pray for the Diocese of Haiti and the Diocese of South Dakota; pray for the good use of leisure (BCP p. 825).

Those in need of continued prayer: 
Jeanette Cureton, Wanda Kirkpatrick, Emma Andrews, Jim Strickland,
Michael Conner, Bo and Mary Minor Brown, Helen Williams, Peggy Fugate, 
William Simpson, Timothy Penny, Donald Jones, Cooper Jones, Charles Smith, 
John Woodham, Elaine Harrison, Marcia Magers, Major McCollough, John Cox, 
Gayanne Silver, Heather Nelson, Robert Clark, Dexter and Helen Williams, 
Cheryl McCurry, Ethel Rutledge, Lanie Lundgrin, Terri Harvey, Anne Getz,
Michael Roberts, Jeannie and Andy Williams, Jaime Cooper, Teresa Noel,
Tina Knowles, Joyce and Greg Snyder, Martha Killeffer, Robert Durham,  
Jessica Ricketts
MEETINGS THIS WEEK
Centering Prayer (Barth Room) -- Friday, 1:00 p.m. (August 6)
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