July/August 2016

Bach Festival begins this Sunday!
and lots more...
Bishop Mariann's Visit, Stonework Restoration to Begin, Sunday School Update, Gleanings from the Archives, and More
Summer has arrived at Grace Church in lower Georgetown.  Our parish enjoyed a recent visit from the Bishop of Washington.  The annual Bach Festival will soon be under way.  After considerable preparation, the church's stonework restoration is scheduled to begin in July.

On July 4, we will celebrate Independence Day.  At this time we are able to reflect on all of the freedoms we enjoy in this country, to include the freedom to worship as we choose.  Yet we worship in the shadow of the Memorial Cross which reminds us of those whose sacrifice gained, and continues to ensure, those freedoms.  

As always, thanks to those who have offered comments on the content of this newsletter, either by e-mail or in person.  If you wish to comment on the type of information you would like to see in the newsletter, please contact the Grace Church Office (office@gracedc.org) or me (maruehling7@mac.com).  

Mary Ann Ruehling
Your Editor 

- The Bishop's Visit    
- Bach Festival
- Stephen Ministry
- The Liturgical Season After Pentecost
Gleanings from the Grace Archives
- Sunday School Update
- Jazz Brunch at Grace Church on Pentecost Sunday
- Grace's Table
- Stonework Restoration
- Around the Parish; Other Helpful Information 

Visit of the Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop of the Diocese of Washington, to Grace Church
By Rev. John M. Graham

Bishop Mariann visited Grace on Saturday, June 24th.  She enjoyed lunch with
Grace's Table guests, and participated enthusiastically in our Bible Study.  

Afterwards, she met with clergy, several Vestry members and other Grace parishioners for an animated 90-minute conversation.  We reviewed some of the defining decisions taken by Grace Church, especially in the last decade or so: hiring a Sunday School coordinator and working to expand and enrich children's ministry; further maintaining and beautifying the grounds, and using them for a variety of events open to the broader community; initiating and expanding Grace's Table, which offers not only a meal but a Bible study / conversation for our homeless neighbors; raising our diocesan contribution yearly and reaching the diocesan asking of 10% of normal operating income beginning in 2014; undertaking a series of projects to maintain and improve our buildings, culminating in stone restoration.

Bishop Mariann asked us to consider a sustained conversation about where God is calling us to be now, on the occasion of our 150th anniversary. This conversation might lead to more defining decisions, taken with an eye to building on current ministries, expanding the sense of personal investment in Grace's outreach, and more.   One intriguing idea from the Bishop:  "Pastoring the Neighborhood", a way of thinking about ministry that holds the promise of drawing together many threads of Grace's life.  

Our time together closed with a brief discussion of diocesan support for churches in poor and working class neighborhoods.  The Bishop acknowledged that Grace's 10% contribution to diocesan ministry and program comes with a strong interest in the diocese's commitment to sustaining such churches, an interest rooted partly in the Rector's ministry in Chicago, and in partly in Grace's own history as a congregation receiving various kinds of financial support for the first 100 years of its life.  She hopes that Grace's ongoing 10% support  will encourage an increase in the support provided by other diocesan congregations.                   

Artist-Photographer Tony Palmer presents Bishop Mariann with some of his work.

 The Rector during Bible Study at
  Grace's Table.

** ***********************

 Annual Grace Church Bach Festival to Open on Sunday, July 3
 by   Dr. 
Francine Maté

This July, Grace Church, Georgetown will once again welcome Bach lovers to its historic church. The Washington Post has published the following regarding the Bach Festival at Grace Church: "Georgetown's C&O Canal runs near Grace Church, set quietly back from Wisconsin Avenue and a hairbreath from the Potomac. The church offers one of Washington's supreme concert series, its annual Bach Festival."

This year's Festival begins on Sunday, July 3 at 3 p.m. with two of Johann Sebastian Bach's famous works, The Coffee Cantata and the Chaconne from the  Partita No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1004 as part of the program. The Coffee Cantata, which was written by JS Bach as a type of 18th century "commercial" for the historic Zimmermann Coffee House in Leipzig, Germany, is the only operetta type of work he wrote. The singers for the Coffee Cantata are soprano Soo Young Chrisfield, tenor John Wesley Wright, and baritone Shouvik Mondle. The Bach Chaconne will be performed by violinist Regino Madrid.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. will highlight two works not performed at the first 22 Bach Festival concerts at Grace Church. These 2 works are the G Major Gamba Sonata #1, BWV 1027 and, in keeping with the festive time of July 4, the PDQ Bach Suite "For Cello All By Its Lonesome." The performers for this concert will be cellist Charlie Powers, violinist Regino Madrid, and harpsichordist Francesca Tortorella.
The Festival concludes on Friday, July 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. with guitarists Piotr Pakhomkin and Yuri Liberzon performing works of JS Bach.
The Bach Festival at Grace Church was created in 1992 by Grace Church's organist/choirmaster, Lawrence Molinaro. Mr. Molinaro fulfilled his vision for a Bach Festival by leading the festival for the 6 years of his tenure. Current organist/choirmaster, Francine Maté, has continued as the director of the festival from 2000 to the present.

All performances will be held at Grace Church, Georgetown in Washington, DC. Admission in $20 per person per concert.  


Stephen Ministry Update
by Nancy Seferian
Grace's Stephen Leaders, the Rev. John Graham, John Seferian, and Nancy Seferian have been working behind the scenes since our last Grace Newsletter. We've completed one Stephen Minister interview recently and received several applications, created SM recruiting documents, and contacted people who are interested.
Since Stephen Leader Joanna Turner from St. Alban's Church spoke to our group at Grace on March 12, we've had many requests for Stephen Minister Application forms. John and Nancy will be conducting interviews with those who have expressed an interest in Stephen Ministry and submit their applications during the summer. We are hoping to start Grace's own Stephen Minister training in the Fall.
Nancy Seferian is currently taking 50 hours of Stephen Ministry training at St. Bartholomew's Roman Catholic Church on River Road, and John Graham joins her when he can. It is being taught by Deacon Julio Blanco-Eccleston.  The class is a diverse group of trainees from various churches in the area: Washington National Cathedral, St. Columba's Episcopal Church, Grace Episcopal Church, Emory United Methodist Church, and St. Bartholomew's Roman Catholic Church.
"So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer" (Ezra 8:23).   Finding Stephen Ministers is the next step for our congregation's Stephen Ministry. Right now we are praying for the individuals God is calling to serve as caregivers. Please include this need in your prayers. God answers our prayers because he is faithful. For more information about Stephen Ministry,contact John Seferian or Nancy Seferian at church or by email: stephenministries@gracedc.org

(Copyright 2000, Stephen Ministries, St. Louis, MO.  Used with permission.) 


The Liturgical Season After Pentecost

The season after Pentecost, according to the calendar of the church year (Book of Common Prayer, p. 32), begins on the Monday following Pentecost, and continues through most of the summer and autumn. It may include as many as twenty-eight Sundays, depending on the date of Easter. This includes Trinity Sunday which is the First Sunday after Pentecost.  Prior to the 1979 BCP, Sundays in this long period of the church year were identified and counted in terms of the number of Sundays after Trinity Sunday instead of the number of Sundays after Pentecost. This period is also understood by some as "ordinary time," a period of the church year not dedicated to a particular season or observance, as in the Roman Rite adapted after Vatican II. Ordinary time includes the Monday after the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord through the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, and the Monday after Pentecost through the Saturday before the First Sunday of Advent. Ordinary time can be understood in terms of the living out of Christian faith and the meaning of Christ's resurrection in ordinary life. The term "ordinary time" is not used in the Prayer Book, but the season after Pentecost can be considered ordinary time. It may be referred to as the "green season," because green is the usual liturgical color for this period of the church year.  (episcopalchurch.org)


Sunday School News:
Rose Room Cleanup and Organization Day
by Rev. Sarah Motley

Dad of the Day Chris Shank with daughter Elizabeth. Elena in the background was a happy helper too.

Alecia, Nancy, Lauren (left to right) put their organizing skills to work. Thank you!!


Gleanings from the Archives of Grace
  Part of a series leading up to Grace's 150th anniversary 
By John Boynton

Make a Joyful Noise
Saved within the Grace archives is a well used, not to say battered, hymnal from the 1870's, unique not only for its size (really not much more than a pamphlet) but also because it is printed without music.  Only the stanzas for the hymns appear, without musical notation.

While this may seem strange contrasted with the bound blue hymnals found beneath the chairs in the sanctuary, to which our congregation refers on Sunday services and other occasions, taken in the context of the time the antique hymnal is practical and not unusual.

In fact, it represents a step forward from the tradition of "lining" when hymns were sung a capella (without accompaniment, "In the chapel style") with a leader singing a line at a quick tempo and the congregation responding by singing along, repeating the line at a more deliberate tempo. Hymns were familiar to the congregation and regular attendees probably knew both music and words by rote, or more appropriately, by heart. In the time before the founding of Grace Parish in April of 1866 there would probably not have been resources to purchase hymnals. Actually, it is quite likely not all members of the congregation were literate.

Press coverage of the dedication of Grace Church on Easter Sunday notes in detail the carpeting and pews whose style and installation were the responsibility of Mrs. H.D. (Laura) Cooke. A significant omission is the mention of any music or musical instruments. Given the generosity of the Cooke family the acquisition at least of a piano does not seem beyond their means, but there is no mention of music at all. Yet it appears that within a decade, hymns were a part of worship at Grace as evidenced by the printed hymnal.

One century later, Grace was confronted with the necessity of replacing an aging organ. Perhaps the second or third in a series, it was beyond its best life. Then organist and music director John Fesperman located an instrument under construction by A.David Moore in Pomfret, Vermont. Contracted for by a church who could not meet its obligation, this exceptional instrument was available at a fraction of its value, but at a cost which was a challenge to a financially struggling congregation. Rector Jo C. Tartt, at the urging of John Fesperman, went out to the greater community to solicit funds for acquisition and encouraged the congregation and Vestry to think of the instrument as an investment in Grace's future and an outreach to the greater community. While the final acquisition of the organ, its installation and final dedication stretched resources and patience to close to a limit, the instrument has become a centerpiece of worship at Grace.

As so often is the case in Grace's history, what at the time was seen by some in the congregation as an unwarranted expense and fiscally unachievable and an insurmountable challenge has turned into one of our greatest assets.
Music, as evidenced in the 23rd Bach Festival, is a way of reaching out to the greater community beyond the gates of Grace. The music concerts on the lawn each fall and the Blues Alley Youth orchestra presentations at Grace functions such as Fat Tuesday are also part of this continuing tradition. The voices of the choir each Sunday, often augmented with professional singers, carry and guide the voices of the congregation in worship.

The organ preludes and postludes by music director and organist Francine Maté and her accompaniment of the choir lend a depth of feeling perhaps unimaginable to those who raised their voices in unaccompanied praise so long ago. And yet as we go forward into a new era, they echo, however faintly in the background.


Jazz Brunch at Grace Church

On Pentecost Sunday, May 15, Grace Church celebrated with a Jazz Brunch following the 10:30 am service.  The brunch featured music by a combo from the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra.  Their Director, Michael Bowie, is seated at left.  (Photo courtesy of Rev. Sarah Motley.)

    Grace's Table 
Grace's Table enjoyed a visit from Bishop Mariann on June 25.  The Bishop shared our meal and participated in our Bible Study.  We continue to need volunteers to help with Grace's Table.  This ministry of Grace Church provides and shares a meal at 11:30 am on Saturdays for those who are homeless or on the margins of being homeless.  Send an e-mail to gracestable@gracedc.org and let the Rector and Coordinator David Bujard know when you can help, and what you would like to provide:  entree, salad, bread, and / or dessert.  Families with children are welcome, along with everybody else!  Read the description of Grace's Table on our website to learn more about the history and purpose of this ministry, and also some practical details about volunteering.  Please note that the online signup system was not working properly and has been removed from the website, so volunteering dates should be arranged through the email address mentioned above, gracestable@gracedc.org. 

From the Senior Warden

For more than 3 years our Grace Community has been hearing about, and fundraising for, the restoration of the stonework that surrounds our church's windows and doors.   I am thrilled to finally be able to report that the on-site restoration work is scheduled to begin after the 4th of July holiday.

Getting this project to this point has not been an easy task.  In order to get a building permit we needed the approval of the Georgetown Historic Board, who required that we choose replacement stone as close as possible to the stone currently in place.   The stone was quarried in Germany and then shipped to Vermont to be cut.  The doors and windows of Grace were hand chiseled and don't sit at straight angles, so much of the stone has had to be hand cut or at least hand tooled.  Stone carving is a dying art; as a result, just one carver in Vermont has been responsible for the preparation of our stone.  Our contractor has agreed to store the stone offsite (at his own expense) and to bring it to Grace as it is being installed in order to minimize the impact on our grounds.

So here's what you can expect ...
Almost all of the work is being done on the front of the Church, and will be done in 3 primary vertical phases.
Preliminary work will begin July 5.  This could include installation of scaffolding over the NW Door.
July 11 - 22:  Work on the stone surrounding the NW Door and NW Window.  Some scaffolding will be in place.
July 20-August 5:  Work on the stone surrounding the SW Door and SW Window.  Some scaffolding will be in place.
August 8 - August 26:  Work on the main door and the stonework surrounding the rose window. The contractor will install large tower scaffolding over the Center (main) entrance to the Church.  This will block the main access to the Church for probably 2 Sundays when we will need to enter the sanctuary through the Parish Hall.

The entire project is schedule to be completed by Labor Day.

We have a precious gem in our beautiful little church and it is a major accomplishment for our congregation to be able to undertake this important work to keep the building strong and safe for another 150 years of mission.  Many of your leaders, past and present, have worked very hard behind the scenes to get this project off the ground.  Special thanks go to John Graham, Diana Dick, Paul Alligood, Sally Stanfield, Peter Tietjen, Peter Wallace, and the entire Vestry.  The Gala Committee, led by Christina Kreutziger, has put on two consecutive successful events to raise money for this project.  Most of all thanks go to all of you for the financial support over the past 10 years that has made this project possible.
Yours in Christ,

Beth Lee
Senior Warden

8:30 am - Holy Eucharist 
Adult Forum:  On break for the summer.
9:45 am ( last Sunday of the month) - Prayers for the Nation and the World, with Remembrance of the Fallen
10:00 am
- Holy Eucharist, with full music*; Sunday School
6:00 pm
- Sunday Evening Eucharist
*Child care available

I f you would like to have your birthday included, please e-mail the church: 
office@gracedc.org .

David Adams
Avery Burner
Riley Craighill
Kay Horst 
Patrick McCann
Emma Millar
John Noer
Fred Tyner

Joanna Bujard
Cindy Cole
Barbara De Beaufort
Oliver Dunn
Bill Mako
Leila Plassey
Bob Tobias


FLOWERS FOR THE CHURCH                   
If you would like to contribute flowers for the altar on a given Sunday, please find the signup sheet on the kiosk during coffee hour,  or contact Helen Buhr at office@GraceDC.org.  We can order flowers and have them delivered to the church for $65, or you can make arrangements to purchase and deliver them yourself.   If you have a garden, you may wish to bring and arrange flowers from your own garden.


Grace Episcopal Church
1041 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington DC 20007
(202) 333-7100

A big-hearted Episcopal parish in lower Georgetown!

Join Us This Sunday!