Questions of identity are significant questions to ask oneself. Knowledge of who we are can enable us to see others more compassionately, as we recognize biases when they rear their ugly heads. All of creation has more meaning when we consider our identity as a part of that creation. Self-knowing is a gift that allows us to recognize God.
This week, Jesus asks his disciples, "Who do you say that I am?"
While considering this, it occurred to me that Jesus didn't ask, "Who do you think I am?" but who do you tell others I am. This presumes that the disciples have been spreading the word about Jesus.
Who do you say that Jesus is? Do you talk about him at all? Does it matter who you are talking to about Jesus, or why you are bringing him up? These are questions for us to consider as we walk the way of Love. It is important to know who we are following and how we invite others to walk in love with us.
In the Way of Love,
This Sunday, the Gospel offers us an intimate conversation between Jesus and the disciples.
At 9:30 am, the Church School will gather to engage in a story and to work on the Abundant Life Garden with Melissa Barnes.
At 10:00 am, Holy Eucharist is celebrated with Tony Boisvert assisting with the readings and prayers. If you will not be there physically, you may engage with the service on either Facebook or on Zoom, using the links on the sidebar.
At 4:00 pm, our Celtic Evensong with Communion will have Debbie giving the reflection. You may also engage with this service on Facebook.
Please join us wherever you are
in your search for meaning.
Everyone is welcome at any and all services at
Grace Episcopal Church
Parish Prayer List
Please keep the following in your prayers:
Virginia Szurma, Melissa Glassman, Corey MacNeil, Cliff Cutler, Helen Phillips, John Gourley, Martin Ryan, Kristin Gourley, Scott Tucker, Zan Duffy, Dianne, Linda Whalen, Deb Guilford, Kim Colvin, Sarah Colvin Duffy, Michael Towey, Christine Reichert, Nancy Brown, Jesse Kamp, Stacia, Bob Peterson, Brian Peterson, Jenny, Loretta and Kris, Deb Papps, Derek Fuller and Family, the people of Palestine, Afghanastan, and Haiti, and the Salem Public Schools. For the peaceful repose of the soul of Robert Squillaro. For an end to racism, gun violence and oppression.
If you have prayer requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday at noon for publication in that week's e-news.
Memorial Service for
Jon D. Papps
Saturday, 25 September at 11:00 am
All are welcome to join us for Jon's memorial service at Grace Church (please see our COVID protocols in this newsletter)
Below you will find Jon's obituary:
Jon Daniel Papps of Salem, age 90, died on Sunday, December 20, 2020 while in rehab at Advinia Care. Born on January 22, 1930 in Morristown, NJ, oldest son of George H. Papps Jr and Elizabeth (Verschuur) DuBois. He attended St Thomas Choir School in NYC, Morristown High School and graduated from Upsala College in East Orange, NJ after serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, 1950-1954. After moving with his first wife, Diane Tonak, and children to South Carolina and Severna Park, MD he moved to Marblehead, MA in 1968 where he worked for Hood Manufacturing, making sailcloth for boats. When Hood no longer produced their own cloth he went to work for Howe and Bainbridge, sailcloth makers in Boston, before establishing his own business out of his home. He began making sail tape for sailmakers, a business which thrived for over 30 years before he retired in 2014 and moved to Salem. While living in Marblehead Jon was very involved in the sailing community where he and his wife, Deborah, owned several sailboats over the years. He also had been a member of the vestry of St. Andrews Episcopal Church, where he was instrumental in the installation of a new organ. Jon leaves his wife of 32 years, Deborah (Collins) Papps; two sons, Jon C. Papps (Diane) of Simpsonville, SC and Jeffrey G. Papps of St. Augustine, FL; 3 step-children, Robert Duff of North Conway, NH, Allison Duff (Alan Barth) of Salem, and Stephen Duff (Michele) of Philadelphia, PA; his sister-in-law Elizabeth Papps of PA; his cousin, Carol Wetmore of NJ; two nieces, 3 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother, G. Oliver Papps. Gifts in memory of Jon can be made to the Organ Fund, Grace Church in Salem, 385 Essex Street, Salem, MA 01970.
This Year's Stewardship Theme
What is the best gift you have ever received?
We have been asked this question throughout our lives by many people in different contexts. Possible answers to a parent or a teacher could be a new walkie-talkie set (these were the Seventies), a bike, a horseback ride with my grandmother, or when as a teenager, a jeep in the driveway with a big red bow on it. Later it could have been an education, a chance to study abroad, canoeing on a quiet river, making Christmas cookies with our mom.
Every Perfect Gift
What do these perfect gifts give us, aside from the pleasure of the possession? They teach us about living in the moment, appreciating what we have. They also teach us generosity, for the delight in experiencing the gifts call us to share such moments and experiences with others. This is the relationship between receiving and generosity, and it’s a pattern, that, once it takes root in us, continues in perpetuity. The more we practice generosity, the more abundance we recognize around us.
The theme and image for Every Perfect Gift are wrapped in the metaphor of the butterfly and chrysalis. To the ancient Greeks, the butterfly represented the image of rebirth and freedom. The word they used for butterfly was psyche. It also means spirit. The humble and beautiful butterfly contains the philosophical and spiritual idea of the soul breaking free from its shell — free to discover, to inspire, to create, to communicate, to share.
These are also gifts of our stewardship. As we share our time, talent, and treasure with our church and with the world, we unleash those same gifts in our communities: discovery, inspiration, creativity, communication, sharing. Through the ministries that are enabled by our gifts, the inspiration we show to our neighbors to unlock their generosity in the world, and the stories we tell about ourselves and our experiences, we participate with God in an abundant vision for the world. Every perfect gift comes from God above.
If you would like to share a story during the service of a gift you received and the impact it made, please contact Debbie at email@example.com.
The following protocols are in place if your wish to attend our services in-person:
Diocesan and state health guidelines prevail. Please observe the procedures listed below, and as always, thank you for observing these protocols, which is an expression of your care for everyone in the Parish family.
Everyone must wear a mask inside the church and maintain six foot social distancing between households.
Please enter the church by the front Church door. Please wait to be greeted and maintain social distancing until an usher is available to invite you into the space.
As you enter and exit the church, please use hand sanitizer, which will be available at the entrance and in the pews.
Bulletins will be available on the table as you enter. They will also be electronically available. If you take a bulletin, please take it home with you at the end of the service.
Please place your offering in one of the Offering Plates on your way in. If you forget or arrive late, you may place it in the plate by the chapel door on your way out.
An usher will seat you in an open pew, starting at the front of the church. In order to maintain 6-foot social distancing in the pews, one person will be seated at each end. Members of the same household may sit together.
We will exchange the Peace with the Priest verbally. There will be no “passing” of the Peace with others.
Communion will be offered at the end of the service in one kind (host only). The Rector will distribute communion to parishioners in their pews. After the Rector distributes communion and steps away, you may remove your mask to consume the host. The Rector will then dismiss you. An usher will then direct you to exit the church via the Chapel door.
The restrooms are available, but we ask that they be used by only one person (or household) at a time.
For the time being, there is no coffee hour following the service.
Caveat: We are so happy to see you in person but please remember to stay home if you are experiencing COVID symptoms, have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID, or have been asked to quarantine or self-isolate.
Anti-racism Retreat Postponed for 9/11
As a result of a variety of circumstances, the anti-racism retreat scheduled for Saturday, September 11th has been postponed. We thank you for your understanding and will announce the new date in a few weeks.