Grace Episcopal Church
20 October 2016
This past Monday was the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch (martyred 115). Ignatius, who knew the Apostle John, wrote letters to seven churches during the course of his journey under armed guard to execution. These letters were of such authority in the early Church that they were considered for inclusion in the Bible.
In his Letter to the Magnesians, Ignatius refers to the Church as being present when gathered with the bishop. The bishop is defined as the focus of unity, and this is recognized in the consecration vows made by each bishop. One of these vows is exclusive to bishops, and in addition to the vows made by deacons and priests, that the bishop will “… guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church” (BCP 518). This is a vow that we can recall this week, as we gather with our bishop at annual diocesan convention.
We gather because we are far greater than the clergy and people of any one congregation. We are a part of each other throughout the diocese and the wider Church, and we do well to remind ourselves of this constantly—in prayer, and in how we are intentional in gathering.
There is often a temptation to focus on ourselves only. A congregational focus is in the American religious DNA. We are certainly assured by Our Lord that when two or three gather in His Name, He will be present (Mtt. 18.20), but this does not mean that we can be all that the Church is called to be on our own. Having bishops—the historic episcopate—is not just a nice thing to have to make things better (in theological jargon bene esse) but is essential to have the fullness of the Church (plene esse). Notice the reference to “fullness”. We can gather on our own (two or three), and this gathering in Jesus’ Name will be one in which we can welcome Our Lord. But such a gathering is very much diminished from the fullness to which we are called and for which we are equipped—the Church as a holy mystery that is outside of time; the Church on earth and in heaven together.
As we gather in convention this week, may our prayers be for the fullness of God’s blessing upon His Church, that this blessing may be by her taken into all the world.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Bill and Deb Gagin, and Jennifer Pawlus and Joyce Wessel for the Sunday coffee hours.
§ Steve and Katy Larsen for apples.
§ Randie Barrows for plumbing repair.
§ All who helped make the Walsingham Pilgrimage such a success, including: (I am bound to have missed someone. Please update!)
· Acolytes: Paul Aparicio, Ben Crouse, Scot Fabiano, Bill and Deb Gagin, Bobbi Kraft.
· Altar Guild: Bev Evans, Claudia Fischer, Elizabeth Schaffenburg
· Choir: All choristers, with Ben Dobey on organ and Sandie Palmer as choir director.
· Grace Abounds: Austin Barrows, Grafton Cecil, Bryan Stenz, Jon Whitford, Nick Whitford, Zach Whitford.
· Greeters: Michele Abrashinsky, Pat Ford Smith, Steve and Katy Larsen.
· Guest quarters: Clint Andersen and Jim Olsen, Leslie Kohler, Mary Snyder and Tom Wright.
· Hospitality: Jessica Ambelang, Bill and Deb Gagin (set up); Bernie Markevitch, Traci Revis, Mary Snyder (cooking); Ellen Aparicio, Ed and Mary Clabots, Bernie Markevitch, Mary Snyder, Tom Wright (serving); Ed and Mary Clabots, Julie Davidson, Mary Ann Neuses (cleanup).
Call for Contributions: If you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshipers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.
Energy Conservation! Please treat Grace as your home. If you turn something on, turn it off! Don’t assume anyone else will lock or turn off.
Don’t forget “Something Extra for Grace”: Supplemental giving envelopes can be found in pews. If you want to give something extra, please use an envelope to ensure that you are credited.
Special appeal: This Saturday, October 22nd, is cleanup day that will include ground cover and shrubbery trimming. We are, however, overdue for major reshaping of shrubbery, and the arbor vitae which flank the church entrance are out-of-control. Quotations for shrub reshaping and removal/replacement of the arbor vitae run into the thousands of dollars. Major work will not be a 2016 initiative, but we are appealing for your donations now, to build a fund for work in the Spring of 2017. Keep Grace beautiful! Give “Something Extra”.
Update: The Processional Cross will be restored. This will begin next Monday, and while the cross is out for repair (which will take some months) we are blessed with a cross made by Scot Fabiano. If you wish to help, please us a “Something Extra for Grace” envelope and mark “Processional Cross” on the envelope or in a check memo. line.
Music this Week: The Twenty-third Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 25C)
Organist: Ben Dobey.
Entrance Hymn 665 “All my hope on God is founded” Herbert Howells
Offertory Hymn 517 “How Lovely is thy dwelling place” Macbeth Bain
Communion Motet “Lead us, O Father” Orlando Gibbons
Communion Hymn 324 “Let all mortal flesh keep silence” Picardy
Closing Hymn 613 “Thy kingdom come, O God” Leighton George Hayne
§ Adult Christian Formation: On Sunday, October 23rd, there will be no Christian formation for adults; instead we will have an extended fellowship at the 8:00 a.m. Mass coffee hour. On Sunday, October 30th, at 9:00 a.m., we will continue with the fifth session of the six-week course, The Christian Worldview Through the Artists’ Eyes, taught by Christi Jentz, a professional artist, illuminator and iconographer resident at St. Josaphat’s Basilica in Milwaukee.
§ Fr. Karl Schaffenburg: is traveling the week of Sunday, October 23rd and will return for celebration of Mass on Sunday, October 30th. In the case of a pastoral emergency please call Deacon Michele Whitford at 918-1230. Fr. Marcus Cunningham will celebrate Mass on Sunday, October 23rd.
§ All Saints’ Day: All Saints’ Day is Tuesday, November 1st. We will celebrate with a 5:30 p.m. mass followed by a pot-luck supper. A sign-up sheet can be found in the Narthex. There will be no Catechumenate that evening.
§ All Soul’s Day: All Soul’s Day is Wednesday, November 2nd. We will celebrate the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed with a 5:30 p.m. Mass.
§ Salvation Army Bell Ringing: Volunteers are need for hourly slots of bell ringing on November 26th at Piggly Wiggly Northside 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and Pick & Save Southside 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Sign-up sheets can be found in the Narthex. For any questions please call Nancy Yurk at 453-9948.
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