Grace Episcopal Church
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
News for January 31, 2014


New Vestry Members


At our Annual Parish Meeting on January 26, the following church members were voted by acclamation to three-year terms on the Vestry: Joyce Cornett, Michael Munday, Charlie Ross and Polly Stokes.  Many thanks to all of them for their willingness and enthusiasm for serving the church in this essential, and often difficult, ministry! (Also, another thanks to those rotating off: Eva Akpom, Malcolm Blane, Brenda Jones, Tom Schmidt!)

Prayer Group


At the Annual Meeting, in my "state of the church" message, I talked about some of the many ways that we have been pursuing our goals and making visible progress--developing our programs for children and youth, improving our communications within the church and within the broader community, and attempting to begin "branding" our church more effectively so that those around us, who are probably un-churched, can see what makes us unique and offers them something different from other churches.  Hopkinsville needs Grace Church and its unique message.  Many good things are going on.  At the same time, a close look at our spread of numbers (ages) has helped me to see that our current trending is unsustainable.  Mere survival for a few more years is not a good path to follow.  There are many things we can do to grow, but these will not happen without taking the risks necessary to move toward "thriving." We will not grow without that horrible "c" word--CHANGE.  In a recent message, our Bishop began with these words--"The last seven words of the church are, 'We've never done it that way before.'"  


Change is always met with resistance.  Change always conflicts with personal agendas and personal comfort.  It's difficult to come to the realization that, even though the church does exist to serve "us," it primarily exists to serve God and the world around us.  It's time to change our mission statement, and the Vestry will be soon working on that.  


The most important thing we always need to do is to pray fervently for our church--and now even more than ever.  We need to pray that the Holy Spirit will breathe new life and abundant love into our hearts and into this place--that it will be a place of peace and reconciliation--that the message of the hymn will be embodied here, "They will know we are Christians by our love."  While Grace Church has always displayed charity toward the world, we have too often been known as a church filled with some of those things that the Apostle Paul calls "works of the flesh"--strife, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions.  If we want Grace to flourish, all that has to stop.  We can't afford for it to continue.  We need to let God heal our spiritual wounds.  Toward moving in that direction, we will have a first meeting of a new Prayer Group at Grace on Thursday, February 6, at 1:00 pm.  We will focus on praying for peace in our lives, in our church, in our town, and in our world.  We will share information about prayer and experiment with different prayer disciplines.  All are invited to attend.  Peace and blessings, Alice+


Grace School Update


Our Board Chair, Tom Schmidt, is working diligently to improve the financial status of our Kindergarten and Pre-School--to bring in enough money to at least be able to cover the salaries of our wonderful teachers.  This is just a reminder that any money that comes in as thanksgiving offerings for birthdays automatically goes into the Kindergarten operating account.  So, please consider a gift the next time your birthday rolls around.         

Load "Em" Up!


Please use your Kroger cards to pay for all your purchases at Kroger--food, gas, pharmacy, gift cards, etc.  We are receiving regular payments from Kroger for the support of Grace Kindergarten and Pre-School, but the latest payment was disappointingly low--especially since it included spending at Kroger over the holidays.  If you have any questions about how this program works, please contact Tom Schmidt.  He will supply you with a card, as will Debbie Motes in the church office.  It's a painless way to support our school!         

ECW Meeting


Episcopal Church Women will meet on Sunday, February 2, at 11:30 am--either in the Gaither Room or All Saints Hall.  This group is open to all women of the church.  If you would like to know more about the functions of this group, come and sit in or talk with Lois White who is the current ECW Chair.           

Upcoming Dates for Your Calendar


Sunday, February 2--11:30 am--ECW  

Monday, February 3--4:00 pm--Kindergarten Board

Tuesday, February 4--5:30 pm--EFM

Wednesday, February 5--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist II and Healing

Thursday, February 6--1:00 pm--Prayer Group

Thursday, February 6--4:30 pm--Membership Group

Sunday, February 9--4:00 pm--Race Relations Group 

Tuesday, February 11--4:30 pm--Junior Wardens Group

Sunday, February 16--6:00 pm--Celtic Eucharist

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