Grace Episcopal Church
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
News for June 5, 2014

Italian Supper for Pentecost (aka Church's Birthday Party)


June 8 is the Feast of Pentecost, the ending of the Great Fifty Days of Easter and the day of celebrating the "birth" of the church when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus' disciples and followers in Jerusalem.  Certainly a good reason for a birthday bash!  We are hoping to renew the Grace Church tradition of having an annual Italian potluck supper by scheduling it on that evening.  If the weather is favorable, we will have a social hour outdoors at 5:00 pm and then move to All Saints for the meal around 6:00 pm.  The plan is for this occasion to also be a special time of welcoming people who are relatively new to Grace Church, so please make every effort to join us!

Education for Ministry Update


We are pleased to announce that we have three new graduates of the EFM program--Darla Munday, John Watson, and Fannie Louise Maddux. Congratulations to these three who have invested so much time and energy in completing this four-year program.  The name Education for Ministry is often misunderstood in that it is not designed for people who are pursuing or even wanting to pursue a path toward ordination.  Rather, it is for those who want to learn more about holy scripture, church history, and theology, and to become more attuned to theological reflection--exploring how God is working in our lives and in our world--and being open to the possibility of using what is learned for nurturing the church community along the way. EFM was created by the School of Theology at Sewanee decades ago and continues to be administered through that organization.  We are looking for new members for the group.  Admittedly, it is a big commitment, but that commitment is made one year at a time.  The group meets weekly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, and outside reading requires about the same amount of time. Over time, group members get to know each other well and a bond of spiritual connection develops that tends to feed an often unacknowledged spiritual hunger in our lives.  For more information, talk with one of the graduates or with others currently in the program--Sally Brewer, Donna Landrum, Susan Ferguson, and Kip Cameron.  If we have enough registrants, we will restart the group in September.  The cost is $350 per year, and there is some limited financial assistance available.  

Benjamin Hart's Ordination


A number of Grace Church members attended Benjamin Hart's ordination to the priesthood at St. John's Episcopal Church in Murray last Friday evening. St. John's was packed with family and friends and well-wishers, and the presence of the Holy Spirit was palpable.  Benjamin is in the process of moving to Hopkinsville and will be assuming the position of Assistant Priest at Grace on July 1.  This is an exciting time for Grace with many possibilities for growth and development.  This opportunity is made possible through a two-year grant through the Diocese of Kentucky which will pay for about 40% of the cost of his being here.  Additionally, we have received special monetary gifts from church members to cover another 30% of the cost for the first year, and we are hopeful that the other 30% will be forthcoming. Please let Bill Nichol, Charlie Ross or Alice Nichols know if you would like to contribute.    

"Fruit-Basket Turnover"


With Benjamin's coming to Grace, we have started the process of moving people and furniture around a little.  Debbie Motes has almost completely moved into the vesting room, so things will look a little different the next time you come into the church.  Steve Wiggin will be moving into Debbie's old office, leaving his office and the choir room available for Benjamin--and having space also available in that area to begin a Level 2 atrium for the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd.  We are trying to make the most of our limited usable space.  

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Update


We have had a great school year with the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program--both on Sunday mornings and with all the children in our Kindergarten and Pre-School.  This program relies heavily on the use of trained "catechists" to facilitate the work of the children, and we very much need volunteers to assist with this effort.  We are fortunate to have a training program at Christ Church Cathedral in Nashville that welcomes us to participate with them.  Beginning in September, they will be offering a monthly session on Sunday mornings for people who are interested in being assistants in the Atrium (Catechesis classroom) and are unable to make the commitment to more extensive training.  Also, they will be offering the full training program for Level II catechists--those interested in working with children between the ages of six and nine.  These sessions will be on Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm in Nashville, beginning September 16 and going until Thanksgiving, picking back up in January and going until Easter. Please consider the possibility that God could be nudging you to participate in this valuable ministry.  For more information, talk with Tom Price, Sally Brewer, Amanda McClure, Polly Stokes, or Alice Nichols. 

Adult Forum Update


Adult Forum is continuing to meet at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings.  We completed the Saving Jesus Redux series of videos and have now started another program created by the same group--Living the Questions.  This series is entitled Living the Questions 2.0.  It has been described as an introduction to "Progressive Christianity."  Each Sunday's video stands on its own and lasts about twenty minutes, leaving plenty of time for discussion. This format works especially well for those who cannot commit to be present every week.  All are welcome.  

Improving Communication


Your Vestry is concerned with continually making improvements to our communications effort.  Toward that end, we are planning to have a full parish meeting later in the summer and to have monthly times set aside for parishioners to come in for conversation about any questions or concerns that might have arisen and been insufficiently addressed--specific dates and times to be announced.  We hope you will make use of this opportunity.  

Church News "Flashes"


If you have any personal or family news that you would like to share with our church community--e.g., graduations, anniversaries, etc.--please send the info to "" for inclusion in an upcoming edition of this "eGrace" newsletter.  Don't be shy!


Speaking of news and being shy, the Rector was elected a few months back to be "Dean" of the Four Rivers Deanery.  There is a title change that goes with that position--"The Very Reverend."  So, if you notice that change in Sunday bulletins, etc., you will know what it means.   

Vestry Update


Grace Church's Vestry has been working diligently over the past many months to pull together and to move enthusiastically into the future that we believe God intends for us.  The Vestry is looking for ways to be more pro-active in getting information out to the parish, e.g., quarterly meetings and monthly reports.  As a way of beginning this effort, Vestry members would like to share what is called the "Vestry Litany" which is prayed together as part of the devotional time at the beginning of each meeting, hoping that church members will want to use this prayer in praying for our church as well.  We hope these words will be meaningful to you and also give you a better understanding of the direction of our work together as we see it.


Grace Vestry Litany


Holy Lord, we are your people-your "body" at Grace Church-and we long to be all that you have created us to be as your Beloved Community.


We pray that you will give us the will to reach out to the world in love and that you will help and support us in being openly welcoming and respectful of all who come to us seeking spiritual community.  We pray that you will fill us with your Spirit that we will reach out in compassion and generosity to those in any need.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray that you will grow us into full maturity in Christ so that we may let go of any hatred, any dissension or animosity, any lack of charity in our community.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray that you will make us a place of prayer-open for prayer at all times.  We pray that, through prayer and through community, you will deepen our relationships with you and with each other-that we will support and encourage each other on the spiritual journey and welcome all others to join in. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray that you will send new members of all ages our way-that you will fill our church with children and teenagers, with adults of every age-all working together to serve you.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray that you will make our church community a place of energy and happiness and harmony-a place where people want to be--a place where everyone can hear clearly the message of your unconditional love. Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray that you will focus us toward your future-expanding our vision and growing our mission.  We pray that we will become a church that is known for its compassion and outreach programs.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray that you will make us generous givers so that we can have a more and more positive impact on our community.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We pray that we will be a church that stands the test of time-honoring our deep history, our faithful parishioners of earlier times, and balancing that with sustained growth and community service-sharing a common purpose and common goal.  Lord, in your mercy, Hear our prayer.


We make all these prayers in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.  

Dates to Remember

Thursday, June 5--1:00 pm--Prayer Group
Simday, June 8--9:00 am--Adult Forum
Sunday, June 8--10:15 am--Feast of Pentecost, Holy Eucharist Rite II
Sunday, June 8--5:00 pm--Italian Potluck Supper (Church Birthday Bash!)
Wednesday, June 11--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist Rite II
Thursday, June 12--1:00 pm--Prayer Group
Sunday, June 15--9:00 am--Adult Forum
Sunday, June 15--10:15 am--Trinity Sunday Holy Eucharist Rite II
Tuesday, June 17--11:00 am--Four Rivers Deanery meets at Grace
Wednesday, June 18--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist Rite II
Wednesday, June 18--5:30 pm--Vestry
Thursday, June 19--1:00 pm--Prayer Group
Sunday, June 22--6:00 pm--Celtic Eucharist
Wednesday, June 25--12:10 pm--Holy Eucharist Rite II
Saturday, June 28--All day--Fund-raising event for Kindergarten--more info coming
Sunday, June 29--9:00 am--Adult Forum
Sunday, June 29--10:15 am--Holy Eucharist Rite I

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