Grace Notes Weekly is a newsletter of Grace Episcopal Church in Chattanooga, TN,
and is used to communicate the upcoming activities of this community.
MARCH 27, 2020
Online Worship Continues
You are invited to Morning Prayer again this Sunday! As the coronavirus keeps us in a state of physical distancing, we can still be spiritually together as we live out the most Lenten Lent ever. We'll be   posting videos for Morning Prayer worship on our Facebook page and website at 9am. Bulletins for each week’s service will be sent along with the GraceNotes Friday issue and will be posted on the website alongside the video for the service. If you miss the 9am video stream, you can always go back and watch later. You can find the bulletin for this Sunday here .
Virtual Morning Prayer
Office Schedule Changes
Food Pantry
Bishop's Message on COVID-19
Bishop's Annunciation Message
Parish Prayer List
Meetings This Week
Serving on Sunday
Office Schedule
Next week, the Grace staff will move to working from home most days of the week. However, the absence will only be physical – we will be checking e-mail and phone messages regularly! You can e-mail or and leave messages at (423)243-3257. We will be in touch through the newsletter and GraceNet to keep you up-to-date on online worship opportunities, prayer needs, and other information important to our community.
Food Pantry
Because of a shortage of both $$ and the difficulty in obtaining food-supplies, the Grace pantry will begin operating only one day a week until coronavirus loosens its grip on our area of the globe. We will be giving more food-assistance than it appears – in order to limit face-to-face contact and the handing of pieces of paper to this person and then that person, 211, the food-branch of United Way, is finding out how many vouchers we can give each week and issuing them for us in the form of a code number that their clients can take to the Food Bank. We’re pre-packing some bags from the pantry and taking them to the door for those who come to the church for help; St. Terry of Burnett has made runs to Sam’s. Walmart and the Dollar Store and found enough supplies to keep us going this week.
Should groceries ever reappear on the shelves and you would like to donate to the pantry, please scoop up some soup and crackers, canned hams and canned vegetables, instant oatmeal and grits, spaghetti noodles and sauce, mac and cheese, beanie weenies, tuna, Vienna sausage and such and drop them by the church on Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Need is not only persisting but growing with so many people being laid off. Fingers crossed that the relief bill passed by Congress will provide some additional help for those in need!
Thanks to all who are helping this ministry continue to function, even if in a truncated way. The Belvoir neighborhood, with the help of Richard Hyatt and Phaen Stone, have been steadily contributing food; various parishioners have also brought in food or contributed money. Volunteers have come to pack bags and hand them out (special thanks to Frank and Ann Watkins, Gail Dooley and Linda Wideman, Vivian Dodds, Jim Dorris and Andy Belcher). And St. Terry! We – and our neighbors – are grateful!
A Note on the Pandemic from the Bishop
“The recent COVID-19 pandemic has upended our world. Our daily and weekly rhythms have been scrambled. For those who have not lost jobs, most work is happening at home. Children are learning from home and many parents are taking on new roles as instructors. Our health care workers and our public health officials are facing unprecedented challenges. Volunteers and local non-profit staff are continuing to care for the elderly, the vulnerable, and the least of these. In support of requests from public health officials and medical experts combating COVID-19, Episcopal parish churches in the Diocese of East Tennessee are learning new ways to worship and share in ministry together while we are dispersed, not gathering in any traditional corporate ways that we have known.
“At this time, the facts on the ground regarding COVID-19 still necessitate our need to do all we can to combat community spread. I would ask that you continue to engage in worship, pastoral care, and Christian formation as a dispersed body, still refraining from gathering in person.
“Over the last few days, I have had five opportunities to join in zoom conference calls with the clergy of the Diocese of East Tennessee. These calls have been opportunities for prayer, to hear from each other, and to learn from each other how worship and pastoral care and ministry continues in a season of pandemic. Your clergy and lay leaders are creative, imaginative, and faithful people. I am thankful for their presence and their leadership in this moment.
“This COVID-19 season is pushing all of us out of our comfort zones. However, like the announcing angel who enters Mary’s home [see the Bishop's meditation on the Annunciation below], I do believe the Holy and the Divine are showing up and revealing to us again and again that God is present with us wherever we are. The home I share with Susan has become a little monastery.
“I invite you to go to the Diocesan website, , for additional updates and resources. The Diocesan website includes resources for worship from home which can be found by clicking through the link on COVID-19 updates and scrolling to the bottom of that page.
“Along with occasional video meditations and messages which I will keep sharing with you, I plan to write you again on Wednesday, April 8 th and will continue to write you every other Wednesday until the COVID-19 pandemic season concludes. I do not know when the COVID-19 pandemic season will conclude. I do know that during this season we need to continue to function as a community, although a dispersed one, finding new ways of being “with” one another without gathering in person.
“’Practice resurrection.’ That is how one of Wendell Berry’s most famous poem concludes. These two words capture the kind of Easter season that you and I are about to enter together. The Resurrection is the event upon which we place our faith in Christ Jesus. That event is certain.
“What is now asked of us is to practice living out the Resurrection in a new time. Together, we will inhabit and embody our faith, in our hearts and in our homes.
Together, we will discover how in this time of isolation and fear, we may be renewed as persons beloved of God.
“Together, among the swift and varied changes of this world, we will find new ways to fix hearts where true joys are to be found.
“Together, we will lay down our individual anxieties and fears and renew our acquaintance with God’s love and how we reveal it.
“O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.”
Meditation on the Annunciation from Bishop Brian
The Church calendar marks March 25 as the Annunciation, and though it is two days past, Bishop Brian’s thoughts seem pertinent to the new world in which we are so much at home instead of together in the Nave or the Undercroft or out on the grounds.
“Good morning, this is Bishop Brian. It is Wednesday, March 25th. March 25th is the day on the church calendar when we celebrate the Annunciation. The story told from the Gospel of Luke when angel Gabriel visits Mary in her home and declares that she has found favor with God. And in finding favor with God, that she is to conceive and bear a son and name him Jesus. That scene from the Gospel of Luke, when placed in icons from the Middle Ages, is often depicted with images of Mary in a home, in a domestic setting with a book in her lap. A book that is considered to be the Book of the Hours praying the Hours, her own business praying, reading when the angel Gabriel appears to her.
“In a season when many of us are spending more and more time at home either working from home or homeschooling children or working with children being schooled from a distance with public and private schools, we are in a season where it is good to know that in our domestic settings, in our homes, our daily lives, that God's Spirit and God's Word can still break in to us and give us a new word, give us a new sign, offer us a new hope.
“So on this day of Annunciation, I would invite you to continue to keep your books open. To find your prayer books to find your Scriptures and to continue to read them and mark them and digest them in this season where while we are away from places that we know as our typical sacred spaces, the sacred continues to break in to the domestic, in to the daily.
“The Annunciation is one of the most significant days in the church year, and it's the story of holy coming to someone's home. That is a story we will tell in new and rich ways in this season that seems so fragile to us, so uncertain. What is not uncertain is that God continues to speak and God continues to move, enter into our homes, into our lives in the midst when we are doing something else, God can say a new word to us.
“Let us pray.
“Pour Your grace into our hearts, O, Lord, that we who have known the incarnation of Your Son, Jesus Christ, announced by an angel to the Virgin Mary. May by His cross and passion be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit. One God now and forever, amen, amen.”
Parish Prayer List
Though we all have numerous worries at the moment, please do your best to find a moment to pray for our family and friends, the nation and the world. You’ll find below the lists that usually appear in the bulletin, and all need your prayers.
Please remember: Donald, 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 George, our assisting priest; for Keith, our Seminarian; 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.
We pray for parishioners and loved ones, especially Kathleen and Caroline Belcher, Bo and Mary Minor Brown, Bren Ingle, Helen Williams, Nancy Mapel,
David Stanislawski, Charlotte Dorris, Tyler Horton, Jeff Fugate, Rebecca Williams,
Tessa Spaulding, J.R. Hicks, Marcia Magers, Major McCollough, Peggy Fugate,
Jean Lorren, William Simpson,Timothy Penny, Donald Jones, Robert Armstrong, Chris Barker, Cooper Jones, Sally Cauthen, Charles Smith, Jonathan Purple,
Steven Mosman, John Woodham, Libby Workman, Rebecca Cook, Elaine Harrison,
Jean Williams, Barbara Reed, Elizabeth Harrison, John Cox, Joyce Smith, Jim May, Mary Ruth Clinton, and Ann Swint;
We pray for Wil Mabry, Jake Dorris, Jordan Tschoepe, 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 Erin Baker, Kerry Baker and Lizzy Mouron, who are with child.
We pray for all who are developing programs and policies to deal with the current public health threat; for those who are treating the sick, stocking shelves, transporting supplies, suffering from illness, coping with new life-patterns and finding ways to keep anxiety at bay for themselves and others. Lord, in your mercy,
In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer:  Today, the fifth Sunday in Lent, is the focus of the Primates’ Task Group’s call for a period of prayer and repentance in the Anglican Communion. The Bishop of West Malaysia, Moon Hing, is a member of the Task Group and has written this prayer, which the Task Group offers to the Anglican Communion for use today.
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Sovereign Lord of the universe, Creator of humankind, we, your unfaithful children, are truly sorry for our sins and the lives that we have lived. We sincerely believe and confess in our hearts that only through the precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary, can we obtain Your forgiveness. We repent that: In thought, word or deed, we have committed serious offenses against You and our neighbors; In laziness, despair and lust for power, we have provoked hatred, division and hurt within our communities; In greed, deceit and indifference, we have caused serious damage, unnecessary conflict and aggravated destruction to our refugee and migrant brothers and sisters; In selfishness, insensitivity and bias, we have encouraged and emboldened those who inflict hurt, pain and sorrow on our loved ones and families; In the name of religion, doctrine and even of Christ himself, we have wounded believers and pursuers of holiness and faith; In stubbornness, pride and arrogance, we have caused division and strife within Your church and among Your children; Mercifully send Your Holy Spirit – the Spirit of order and comfort – and cleanse us from all unrighteousness; restore in us true faith in Christ which brings truth, peace and harmony; and help us to walk together with our brothers and sisters in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ to the glory of Your name. Amen.
In the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer : Pray for Church of the Annunciation, Newport, TN, and for Good Shepherd, Little Oak Creek, SD.
Lectionary Reading
See Bulletin link in first article to access this week's readings
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