Grace Episcopal Church
22 September 2016
I had a physical yesterday. Everything is fine, but in reflecting on my health as I approach the end of my sixth decade, I am struck by how much more I notice about my own physical presence. It’s not that my knees hurt (sometimes they do!); it’s that I am aware of them. I am aware of my knees when I walk or bend or squat, in ways that were never a part of my younger years, when the functioning of my knees was such as to be unnoticed in fluidity. We do wear out, but until a part reaches a certain level of wear, we just don’t give it any thought.
Which brings us to the life of the Body of Christ, the Church. We are reminded by St. Paul that we are one Body with many members, each member having specific gifts that may be offered in specific ways (Rom. 12.; 1 Cor. 12; Eph. 4). When these gifts are offered, wear can result in the giver. However, unlike how a machine wears or our physical bodies do, when there is wear in the giver renewal is available by and through the Holy Spirit. But what does this renewal look like? How do we facilitate this renewal?
In the discussions attendant on the visits of the Commission of Congregational Vitality this past Spring we were able to identify and name the blessèd reality that the 80:20 rule really does not apply at Grace. The number/proportion of parishioners involved in some kind of ministry is quite high. There is turnover and renewal, and service in particular ministries for particular seasons. But is this always automatic, seamless, fluid to the point of being unnoticed except by the individuals involved? Perhaps we need to be more aware of the members of the Body (the way I am aware of my knees); we need to notice how they function, so that if signs of wear are present we can take steps to foster both strength and renewal.
A good place to start in awareness is in thanksgiving. In this blog each week we offer thanks to those who have served in some special way over the prior week. But these thanksgivings do not call out those who serve week-in, week-out, like acolytes, lectors, choristers, teachers, ushers, volunteers in the community, prayer warriors. Let’s start, therefore, to not only be more aware but more proactive in how we offer thanks. Let’s do this two ways: (1) On any given day when you are at the parish, thank someone you observe in ministry. Thank them for their service, their giving of self, and when you do, reflect on how you are called to serve. (2) Call the office, send an email, etc. to specifically identify those whose service outside of the normal round needs to be recognized with thanksgivings in the weekly blog. And add a third way: Thank God that He send His Spirit to all whom He calls to serve. Thank Him that He calls and equips you.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Bobbie May for giving the kitchen an additional commercial grade cleaning.
§ Ellen Aparicio for the Sunday coffee hour.
§ Pat Ford Smith for help in the office.
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. Our utility bill was $300 above normal last month!
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: Later this Fall we will have a grounds 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: Our acolyte who was injured at Mass in the Grass is making a good recovery. Many thanks for prayers!
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 will have a loaner. For those who are responding to our appeal for help in defraying costs, please know that a parishioner has offered to match, dollar-for-dollar, all donations for this project, up to a very generous limit. 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 Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 21C)
Organist: Ben Dobey.
Entrance Hymn 477 “All praise to thee, for thou, O King divine” Engleberg
Offertory Hymn 583 “O holy city, seen of John” Morning Song
Communion Motet “Dear Lord and Father” C. Hubert H, Parry
Closing Hymn 438 “Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord” Woodlands
§ Adult Christian Formation: Begins on Sunday, September 25th at 9:00 a.m. A six-week course, The Christian Worldview Through the Artists’ Eyes, will be taught by Christi Jentz, a professional artist, illuminator and inconographer resident at St. Josaphat’s Basilica in Milwaukee. The first class explored the contrast between a Christian worldview and the secular, followed by a brief overview of Christian artistic expression from Early Christian times to the present day.
§ Feast of St. Francis and Blessing of the Animals: Next Saturday at 9:00 a.m., October 1st, we will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis (transferred). Following mass there will be the Blessing of the Animals.
§ Sunday School Snacks: One activity that is a favorite of the children is sharing in a snack together and serving each other in the Name of Christ. If you are able, we would so appreciate donated snacks and juice boxes. Snack ideas include crackers, applesauce, fruit snacks, popcorn or any other non-perishable item you think they might like. String cheese, fresh fruit and veggies are also welcome, just alert Ms. Nicci or M. Andrea if you placed something in the refrigerator and we'll be sure to use them. Thank you!
§ “Here I Am” Circle of Light Process: Do you ever wonder what God is calling you to do? “Here I Am” is a six-month long process of meeting with other seekers and a facilitator to listen and discern God’s calling in your life. Perhaps God is calling you to a ministry in your neighborhood, at work, in the wider community or in your church. This small group meets every 2-3 weeks. The first two sessions are on Sunday, September 25th and Sunday, October 16th 3-5 p.m. at All Saints, 100 N. Drew St. Appleton. To participate both sessions must be attended. For more information, you may email Mother Jane Johnson at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
§ Catechumenate will begin: Catechumenate is a nine-month course in the basics of the Faith and its practice. It is a period of training and instruction in Christian understandings about God, human relationships, and the meaning of life. It includes the Sacrament of Baptism, if you are not already baptized, and culminates in Confirmation, Reception, or Renewal of Baptismal Vows. The Catechumenate will meet on an evening each week starting at 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The class will begin in late September and will continue until May when Bishop Matthew Gunter makes his annual visitation. The study is led by Deacon Michele Whitford, the Parish Catechist. If you would like to be a part of this exciting study and fellowship or would like more information, please call the office 452-9659 or e -mail Deacon Michele at email@example.com. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex.
§ 26th Annual Coats for Kids: is a community service campaign that over the last 25 years the community has donated 20,000 coats to those in need. Area residents are asked to donate clean coats in good repair. We accept coats of all sizes for people of all ages, with the need being greatest for children’s coats. These coats will be distributed to Sheboygan county residents who would otherwise go without. Drop off location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home, 1535 S. 12 St. Sheboygan, Tuesday, September 6th – Wednesday, October 19th, Monday–Friday 8:30am–4:00 pm.
§ Distribution Location: Salvation Army, 710 Pennsylvania Ave. Sheboygan, Friday, October 21st, from noon to 6:00 p.m.
§ The Art of Neighboring: On October 3rd, Love INC invites you to an evening of Celebration, Inspiration and Transformation with Dave Runyon, co-author of the book The Art of Neighboring. The evening will begin with worship and praise for all God has been doing and will continue to do for our Neighbors-In-Need. Dave Runyon will share insight from his book to inspire and challenge us all to see how God’s Love can change you, your Church, and your neighborhood. Discussion will follow along with prayer focused on transformation in our lives, our Churches, and ultimately our neighborhoods. This event will take place on October 3rd, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at City Church, 2313 N. 31st Street, Sheboygan. To register go to: http://loveincsheboygancounty.org/
Walsingham Pilgrimage Music and Flowers: The Walsingham Pilgrimage is just around the corner and preparations are being made. Music will include the Gaudete Brass again this year. As you are able, please donate so we can once again offer beautiful music that has become so much a part of the pilgrimage and the flowers that add so much to the beauty of holiness. Please make your check out to Grace Church with Walsingham music or flowers or both in the memo. Reservations are required for lunch at a cost of $20 per person and will be served at noon on Saturday. Please make your reservations by using the sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex or by calling Grace office at 452-9659.
§ Our Lady of Walsingham Pilgrimage
§ Friday, October 14, 2016
Quiet Day of Prayer and Meditation.
12:00pm Service for Noonday and Meditation
3:00pm Service of Prayer and Meditation
5:00pm Holy Rosary
6:00pm Solemn Evensong and Meditation
The Meditations will be led by The Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Holtzen, Professor of Historical & Systematic Theology at Nashotah House
Musical offering by the combined choirs of Nashotah House Seminary and the parish.
§ Saturday, October 15, 2016
10:30 am Solemn Pontifical Mass with procession of Our Lady
Celebrant is The Right Reverend Matthew A. Gunter, Eighth Bishop of Fond du Lac.
The preacher is The Rev. Dr. Thomas L. Holtzen, Professor of Historical & Systematic Theology at Nashotah House.
Choral and organ music will include Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey Organist
and the Gaudete Brass Quintet of Chicago.
12:00 pm Harvest Lunch. The cost is $20.00.
Please make reservations by October 7, 2016.
2:00pm Anointing with Walsingham water and Healing Prayer,
musical offering, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
To register and for more information: (920) 452-9659 firstname.lastname@example.org www.gracesheboygan.com
§ Like Grace Church on Facebook
§ Follow Grace Church on Twitter: @GEC_Sheboygan
§ Follow Grace Church on Instagram: @GEC_Sheboygan
§ We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!