Voice of the Vestry
 Seasons of darkness and light
by Bill Smith

For many years, one of the activities my wife, Mary, and I like to do is to celebrate Summer Solstice on a high bluff near Empire overlooking Lake Michigan.  From that vantage point, the light lasts beyond 10 PM, and we feel that summer and its warmth and light will stretch on forever.  Sadly, it does not.  Now, Winter Solstice joins us  December 21 at 5:23 PM, the shortest day of the year and the day with the most darkness.  Over time, all civilizations have pondered the conflict between light and dark with many writings looking at both phenomena.  Ancient cultures viewed the winter solstice as a time of death and rebirth.  The seeming death of the light and very real threat of starvation over the winter months would have weighed heavily on early societies, who held varied solstice celebrations and rites meant to herald the return of the sun and hope for new life.  Scandinavians and Germanic pagan tribes lit fires  click here to continue reading...

Come to the Cookie Walk!
Sat., Dec. 15 8am until sold out
Get all your holiday cookies and treats in one place - the Grace Church Cookie Walk! We can help you prepare for your holidayparties and gatherings. Help us in our fundraising efforts to replace our 40 year old commercial dishwasher. It is used weekly in support of community meals (Fridays and Sundays) and many Grace groups, ministries and events, as well as by outside groups like Oryana (cooking classes) and the St. Andrews Society. 

Be sure to shop early, as we sell out by mid morning - we don't want you to be disappointed! Doors open at 8am. See you there!!

If you cannot attend, but would like to donate to the fundraiser, please make your check out to Grace Church, with 'cookie walk' on the memo line.  Thank you!


Celebration Weekend
Dec. 15 & 16, 2018
Please bring your pledge offering with you to church services this weekend, when we'll place our pledges on the altar and offer a blessing.

Nominations open through Dec. 15
Nominations for candidates for Vestry, Nominating Committee, and Convention Delegate remain open through Dec. 15. If you wish to nominate yourself or someone else as a candidate, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee - Jill Polmateer, Kate Wood, or Maria DiStefano-Post.

Discernment Team Update
The Discernment Team is continuing to work on the new 2018 Portfolio document (description of our parish for the online clergy-seeking-open-positions clearinghouse) as well as  the new 2018 Parish Profile document (using the results from our Sept. Congregation Assessment Tool survey). We  also  provided The Rev. Canon Bill Spaid (from the Diocesan office) with information on the kind of priest Grace will be seeking when our Portfolio and Profile are complete .  Canon Spaid took this information  to a gathering of Diocesan Transition Officers on December 2-3.  The Discernment Team will meet again Dec. 19, and then we'll be back to our normal schedule going forward (the fourth Wed. of the month). We appreciate your prayers and support.  Anyone wishing to provide a snack or a meal for future meetings, please contact Rev. Kathryn.  Thank you so much!  

Christmas at Grace

Dec. 24
3:30pm - Caroling

4pm - Family Service with Eucharist and Grace Harmony musicians

8pm - Festival Holy Eucharist with Chancel Choir and guest musicians

Dec. 25
10 am - Holy Eucharist with carols


Unity service Sat., Dec 29 5pm
with potluck to follow
We will have a shared unity service and evening meal with Christmas carols to celebrate our shared life together at Grace as the year ends! To help with the planning and cooking please do the following:

1.  List your family name and number of people attending on the sheet in the Commons.

2.  Sign up to bring a green salad or dessert.

3.  Contact Kate Wood (231-941-5785 or katew40@charter.net ) if you are willing to help in the kitchen.  This will be mostly serving and light clean up!!!

4.  Wear your blue Grace tee-shirt or sweatshirt if you purchased one from the youth group, otherwise something else that is dark blue for a fun show of unity!

As the Christmas carols says "O come all ye faithful"

Office and Ministry Closures during the Holidays

Dec. 24
Office closes at noon
Jubilee House open

Dec. 25
Office and Jubilee House CLOSED

Dec. 26
Jubilee House open

Dec. 31
Office and Pantry CLOSED
Jubilee House open

Jan. 1
Office and Jubilee House CLOSED

Boot Drive for Jubilee House
  After speaking with the Jubilee House, the youth group has discovered a need for new or slightly used adult sized boots. There will be a collection box in the Commons for you to place the boots. We will also collect hats and gloves. Let's fill up that box and help keep our sisters and brothers warm. If you have any questions, ask a youth group member.

DOK Prayer Request Cards
The Order of the Daughters of the King (DOK) is an intercessory prayer order for women and girls in the Episcopal Church (and churches in communion with it).  We pray daily and welcome your prayer requests.  Our list is confidential and is NOT shared.  Using the prayer request cards is an easy way to let us know that you or a loved one needs prayer.  Find the cards in our 'prayer box' on the ramp to the Parish Hall.  Drop the completed card there and we will send your prayer request down our prayer chain.  You may also ask any Daughter for prayer - you will know us by the cross we wear.

Charitable donations are still deductible, so long as you itemize your deductions, which fewer taxpayers are expected to do because the standard deduction has increased from $6,350 to $12,000 for a single filer and from $12,700 to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly. There remain ways to preserve the itemize benefit if you're near the threshold for itemized deductions. One approach is to concentrate your giving into a single year by paying forward your pledge amount or donations for 2019 in the 2018 tax year. Remember, all prepaid donations need to be accounted for by December 31, 2018. You still have the standard deductions up to $24,000 in 2019, and by looking at this as an whole, it can reduce your federal tax obligation for 2018 while supporting Grace Episcopal Church for the coming year.

Christmas Flower Donations Welcome
This is an excellent way to remember loved ones or give thanks for the many blessings which you have received.  We use these donations to cover the cost of flowers and greenery used in decorating the church for Christmas services. Please place your donation in the envelope provided (Christmas Flowers on the memo line of your check) and place it in the plate during a service, or drop at the office. All donations are due by Dec. 17. Your dedication will be listed in the service bulletins for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. 

More PoWeR! through literacy
PoWeR! Book Bags (Play, Write, Read - a literacy program) thanks the generous 
(and anonymous!) folks who donated the chapter books, story books, and crayons. We so appreciate all your gifts. If you are considering making a year-end monetary donation, please send your checks to: PoWeR! Book Bags, PO Box 533, Suttons Bay, MI 49682. Thank You! Penny Campo-Pierce, Site Supervisor.

Worship Participants this weekend

Sat. 5pm
Dixie Stephen, Eucharistic Minister
Kate Wood, Lector
Charlene Allen & Kate Wood, Ushers

Sun. 8am
Marcia Lee, Eucharistic Minister
Bill Fowle & MaryLee Pakieser, Lectors & Ushers

Sun 10am
Roberta Deuker, John Strickler, Bill Rouse,  Eucharistic Ministers
Penny Campo-Pierce, Jeff Wescott, Lectors
Ellen Schrader, Intercessor
Joyce Rouse, Welcomer

Service attendance last weekend
Dec. 8 & 9, 2018
Sat. 5pm      35
Sun. 8am     20
Sun. 10am   90

For the month ending Nov. 30, 2018
Total Operating Income:  $27,424
Total Operating Expenses:  $56,466
Mortgage Balance:  $296,091


Grace will host Safe Harbor January 5 - 12
Contact Donna Olendorf for more information and to receive the needed training for Safe Harbor volunteers.  click here  to read Donna's full article on our website.

Weekly Worship Schedule
Morning Prayer 8:15 am
Men's Prayer Group 7:30 am
Centering Prayer 11:00 am
Service of Shadow and Light 6:30 pm
Holy Eucharist 5 pm
Holy Eucharist 8 am
Holy Eucharist 10 am 

Lectionary Readings
& Daily Prayer

    This Weekend's Readings
The Third Sunday of Advent

Zephaniah 3:14-20
Philippians 4:4-7
Luke 3:7-18
Canticle 9
open bible  
Next Weekend's Readings
The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Micah 5:2-5a
Hebrews 10:5-10
Luke 1:39-55
Canticle 15

  The Lectionary Readings

The Daily Office

 Peggy McClure
Carmen Miller
Paul Lannen
Dottie Williams
Mike Cotter

Bob & Nancy Flowers

Prayer Lists
Did you know Grace has 2 prayer lists?  
* To be added to the prayer list found in the bulletin contact

** If you would like to be added to the Daughters of the King (DOK) prayer list and be prayed for daily,contact Penny Campo-Pierce at 231-946-1224 or  pcampopierce@charter.net

                   Contact Us 
341 Washington St.,
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone 947-2330;  Fax 947-3011
Website www.gracetc.org

For Pastoral Emergencies
The Rev. Kathryn Costas

   Staff Contact Information

What's Happening at Grace?

What's Happening in our Diocese?

Diocesan website

What's Happening in the National Church?

National Church website

Turn in your Oleson's receipts to benefit the Grace Food Pantry!

Oleson's Community Share Program

Here's how it works:
  1. You shop at Oleson's for groceries (liquor sales do not qualify for points)
  2. Turn in your receipts to the church.  Look for the envelope on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall, and place your receipts inside it.
  3. We submit receipts back to Oleson's
  4. We are granted cash rewards for the food pantry ($1 spent on groceries = 1 cent in Community Share points)

For every $5000 in receipts we submit, we receive $50 in cash for our food pantry.  Every little bit helps!


Thank you for participating!


Click here to learn more... 


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