Grace Episcopal Church
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
News for February 8, 2017

Still no snow!  Maybe a couple of inches that stay around just long enough to look pretty and go away quickly would be nice. In the meantime, beautiful picture of last year!
The Gospel: Why we do what we do at the Holy Eucharist

Several weeks ago in a sermon I quoted our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, speaking about how we highlight the reading of the gospel at most celebrations of the Holy Eucharist.  The appointed time for the gospel arrives , and, toward the end of what we call the "sequence hymn,"  the acolyte carries the gospel book into the midst of the people, followed by the priest (or other ordained person, always a deacon, if one is present).  The gospel book is raised by the priest and introduced with special words--and is held by the acolyte during the reading.  After the reading, the "Alleluiah verse" is sung as the small procession returns to the chancel.   Bishop Curry explains that the reason for all the ritual is that the gospel reading is the central focus of the service--and the central focus of our faith.  Each of the four gospels tells the story of Jesus' life, ministry and teachings, and one of the points that Bishop Curry makes most often is that we are the "Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement."  None of the gospels ever makes reference to Jesus' having taught his listeners to "Believe in me."  Rather, Jesus consistently says, "Follow me."  That's what our faith is about--following Jesus. It's a lifelong journey.  The gospel ritual is a visible reminder.  
New Vestry Members 

At our Annual Parish Meeting on Sunday, January 29, the following parishioners were elected to serve 3-year terms on the Vestry: Lannie Ross, Maia Ray, Dennis Netz, and Hill Ferguson.  These four are replacing Polly Stokes, Joyce Cornett, Michael Munday, and Charlie Ross, who have completed 3-year terms.  Many thanks to both groups--those who have served so faithfully and those committing to serve our parish.  Continuing members include Tony Prim, Keith Shepherd, Edwin White, and Warren Nanney.  Vestry officers will be confirmed at our next meeting, which is Wednesday, February 15.  New members for our Kindergarten Board were also elected, including Jim Garnett, Dianne Robertson, and Luanne Zieman. 
Update on Capital Campaign Planning

Under the leadership of Pete Rauchenstein, our Capital Campaign Consultant, we have completed a three-week Feasibility Study--the first phase of our Campaign.  Many parishioners attended Focus Groups during the second week and also completed surveys of priorities for improvements to our property and stabilizing of finances for our future mission and ministry.  The interest and enthusiasm and commitment of Grace members has been palpable and encouraging.  All of us will be receiving frequent and specific information as the process moves forward over the coming weeks.  
Spiritual Formation Opportunities

I n honor of Black History Month, Mark Richard will be showing a 45 minute documentary film called "Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot" right after church on February 26th.  This film is about the turbulent time in Selma, AL in the mid-'60s leading up to the historic, peaceful 1965 march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from Selma to Montgomery to  raise awareness of the difficulty faced by black voters in the South, and the need for a Voting Rights Act, passed later that year.  There will be some time after viewing the film for discussion. 

Mark Richard is hosting a two-part discussion of Marshall Rosenberg's book
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life on March 8 and March 15 at 5:30pm
We'll discuss the first half of the book on March 8 and the second half on March 15.  Let Mark (
 or Alice know if you'd like for us to order a book for you.  The cost of the book is $12 on  Even if you aren't able to read the book prior to those sessions, please come and join us.  In addition to the book discussion, there will be a few, short video segments shown to aid the discussion.

Lent Is Just around the Corner

That's right! Three weeks away!

Mardi Gras:  Fat Tuesday is February 28. Let's celebrate before the long season of preparation for Easter begins!  Pancake supper begins at 5:30 pm, followed by great entertainment.  Donations accepted for Grace Kindergarten.  

Ash Wednesday, March 1:  Holy Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes--7:00 am, 12:00 noon, and 6:00 pm.

Friday, March 3, and every Friday during Lent:
11:40 am--15-minute organ recital by Wayne Eastham
12:00 noon--Noonday prayer with guest preacher
12:30 pm--Lenten lunches prepared by various parishioners

Lent I:  Holy Eucharist Rite I, with Great Litany in Procession.

Lent I:  Sung Compline--6:00 pm (and every Sunday during Lent).

Grace Youth and Family Council 

Grace Church Youth & Family Council continues to expand with activities which nurture inward as well as outward growth and development.  Moving forward in directions that simultaneously support the principles of The Jesus Movement and honor the vows of our baptismal covenant; celebrating unity, diversity, working together for the good of our common life, building community within and without walls.  This past month efforts were continued in fostering  commitments to facilitate the movement of building an active culture of nonviolence with increased pledges, service, and solidarity.  

On MLK Day, approximately thirteen adults and children representing the Grace Episcopal Church Community arrived early at The Salvation Army and worked diligently to prepare sandwiches for the sack lunch provided that day.  Those participating received extremely positive feedback and verbal expressions of gratitude  for service performed from the supervisor at the soup kitchen regarding preparation, positive attitudes/enthusiasm, and clean-up.  Following the service at The Salvation Army, the group returned to Grace, met Alice, and walked to The Boys & Girls Club;  joining with hundreds of other people in solidarity for the annual MLK Walk through the streets of Hopkinsville to "Keep That Dream Alive."   

Grace was well represented in the community at The Salvation Army and during the MLK Walk, not only in numbers (13 & 14 respectively), but also in the diversity of our group which was perhaps one of the most diverse groups within the walk itself.  Those participating in the events that day by name were:  Skyla, Lauren, Tilley, Leslie & Family (visiting from China), Jan, Alice, Jamie, Caiden, Chassady, Carlee, Robin, & Elliot.

Continuous Commitment is scheduled for Sunday at 12:00.  Many other activities have already been scheduled throughout the upcoming year including but not limited to Bread Making with Pam, Good Friday Cross Walk, Easter Egg Hunt, Scavenger Hunt, Building Blue Bird Houses with Joe, Exploring The Gifts at Mammoth Cave, Candle Making with Sheila, and Advent Family Activity Day.  If you are interested in planning or leading an activity, please contact Robin, Jamie, or Joyce.  All are welcome!  
Several Grace members have taken the initiative to establish the Grace Youth and Family Council, which has already sponsored several events. 
Report on GraceWorks 

We're working on a big commission job from First United Methodist Church--invitations and T-shirts.  Quite a production! 

Our website is up an running and taking orders.  Check it out at !  
Dates to Remember

Sunday, February 12--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, February 12--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist Rite II
Monday, February 13--5:30 pm--EFM
Tuesday, February 14--3:00 pm--Kindergarten Board
Wednesday, February 15--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayers
Wednesday, February 15--5:30 pm--Vestry
Sunday, February 19--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, February 19--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist Rite II
Monday, February 20--PRESIDENT'S DAY HOLIDAY
Monday, February 20--5:30 pm--EFM
February 20-25--Rector away, including EFM Mentor Training
Wednesday, February 22--NO HOLY EUCHARIST
Sunday, February 26--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, February 26--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist Rite II (Transfiguration)
Sunday, February 26--11:45 am--"Selma: The Bridge to the Ballot" (film)
Monday, February 27--5:30 pm--EFM
Tuesday, February 28--5:30 pm--Mardi Gras celebration with pancake supper
Wednesday, March 1--7:00 am, 12:00 noon, 6:00 pm--Ash Wednesday liturgies with Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes
Friday, March 3--11:40 am--Organ Recital; 12:00 noon--Noonday Prayer with guest preacher; 12:30 pm--Lenten Luncheon
Sunday, March 5--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, March 5--10:15 am--Lent I--Holy Eucharist Rite I with Great Litany
Sunday, March 5--6:00 pm--Sung Compline for Lent
Monday, March 6--5:30 pm--EFM
Wednesday, March 8--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist and Healing Prayers
Wednesday, March 8--5:30 pm--Discussion of "Non-Violent Communication"
Friday, March 10--(See March 3 above)
Sunday, March 12--9:00 am--Adult Forum and Good Shepherd
Sunday, March 12--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist Rite I Penitential Order
Sunday, March 12--6:00 pm--Sung Compline for Lent

Prayer for Grace Church

Holy and Abundant God, you have called us together to be the Body of Christ at Grace Church, and you have surrounded and sustained our community with your abiding presence through many generations.  We are grateful for the ministries you have given us and for all the ways you have patiently and faithfully helped us to grow spiritually as followers of Jesus.  We believe that you are not finished with us yet, that you are calling us to journey more and more deeply into your heart in order to do the difficult work of becoming all that we can be as your Beloved Community, giving witness to your love and grace and mercy to the world around us.  We pray that you will make us visionaries in discerning your path forward with us and that you will make us generous and joyful givers in order to sustain your mission in this place.  In the Name of all that is good and beautiful and holy, in the Name of Christ, we pray.  Amen.