Grace Episcopal Church
25 August 2016
This Saturday is the diocesan Eucharistic Festival, in Fond du Lac. At this annual festival we gather to celebrate the great gift of God’s offering of Himself, of the reality that in communion “… we are very members incorporate in the mystical body of [God’s] Son …” (BCP 339). We give thanks that we may abide in Christ, as He abides in us.
The quotation just given is from the prayer after communion found in Rite I of Holy Eucharist. Rite I language is less familiar than it used to be, and unfamiliar to many. Leaving aside the preferences that any one of us might have in language, Rite I expresses a different form of offering than that found in any of the prayers of Rite II. The offering in Rite II is very much focused on the bread and wine which will become Jesus’ Body and Blood. In Prayer B of Rite II we do recite that we offer “our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving”, but this a different focus from the language found in Rite I: “And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee …” (BCP 336). This is a different offering! Rite I is more focused on us standing before God, and in making this offering we recognize that the Eucharist involves more than Jesus being broken.
In the Holy Eucharist we are broken. We are broken that we may be used by God, mended for His work, sent forth from His table. We must focus on what we take away from God’s table, not just upon the blessing we receive at His table. We take away His presence to do His work. We are sent, and all ministry must be ministry which embodies God’s presence or it will be at best a work of our own vanity.
Offer your self. Let God mold and use you. Be sent.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Kevan and Traci Revis for the Sunday coffee hours.
§ Bobbi Kraft for her presentation on the first year of seminary.
§ Ellen Aparicio for help in pastoral care.
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.
“[W]hen we understand that ministry involves God using us, that the work is His and that He will determine the outcome, then our frustration can be channeled into the need to remain faithful, remain focused, and to experience the blessing God gives to those who do His will.” Those words appeared in last week’s blog posting. This week we received the anonymous contribution which follows:
By any objective measure my life has been blessed. Sure, it’s had ups and downs, like all lives do, but I have been blessed in ways that have given me options that most do not have. I have thought about this for a long time. Recently, however, I’ve gone through a series of troubles that have ranged from something like a heart attack to a serious auto accident to pneumonia, and my thinking has been more focused on asking why I have survived. Believe me, when you’re sick you have time to think about these things! And what have I learned? I have learned that despite all of the options I have had and have in life, God’s in charge. He has seen me through times of both happiness and trouble. He’s not through with me yet. He has a plan, and my plan is to try to pay my most serious attention in all of the ways that I can to what God intends.
When life is good, thank God for the blessings. When life is challenging, thank him! God is in charge, and in his plan he will see you through all challenges. Part of his plan in keeping you is to allow you to be part of his blessing to others. Trust in God, and let him use you in his blessings.
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.
Music this Week: The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 17C)
Organists: Caleb Klinzing and Sandie Palmer
Cantor: Bernie Markevitch
Prelude Preludes on “Largo” Anton Dvorak & “Theme from
Finlandia” Jean Sibelius
Entrance Hymn 376 “Joyful, Joyful, we adore thee,” Hymn to Joy
Offertory Hymn 477 “All praise to thee,” Engelberg
Communion Hymn 321 “My God, thy table now is spread,” Rockingham
Closing Hymn 438 “Tell out, my soul,” Woodlands
§ Blessing of the Backpacks! On Sunday, August 28th, we will be blessing all the backpacks and school children as well as all the teachers, at both 8:00 and 10:15 services and at All Saints Chapel, Elkhart Lake. We will invite everyone, young and old, who are starting school to come forward with their backpacks for a blessing. We will also ask all the teachers to come forward to be blessed in their important work as well.
§ Bishop’s Visitation at Elkhart Lake: The Rt. Rev. Matthew A. Gunter and his wife Leslie will be at Elkhart Lake for their visitation to All Saints Chapel on Sunday, August 28th. There will be a time of fellowship and conversation with Bishop Matt and Leslie in St. Hubertus Hall following the service. The undesignated offering will go to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund which provides for the pastoral emergencies and other unplanned pastoral expenses. Please be generous as you are able.
§ ESTHER: IT’S TOUGH BEING A WOMAN: Grace Church Women’s Bible Study will begin on Monday August 29that 10:00am. Join us for a faith journey through the Book of Esther. Beth Moore will take us through a very personal examination of this Old Testament story of Esther as she peels back the layers of history and shows us how very contemporary and applicable the story is to our lives today. If you’ve ever felt inadequate, fearful or find yourself in situations that seem overpowering, this is the study for you. Just as it was tough being a woman in Esther’s time, it is tough being a woman today. During this nine-week study we will watch a lecture on DVD’s, use a workbook ($15.99), and talk about Beth’s teachings. The Book of Esther contains treasures to aid us in our sometimes hurried, harried and pressured lives. For those of you who are interested, there is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex.
§ Choir: Rehearsals resume September 7th at 6:00 p.m. Everybody is welcome, new and old members. We especially need tenors and basses.
§ Mass in the Grass: Please join us Sunday, September 11, 2016 for an outdoor Mass and All Church Picnic together with the parish of St. Peter, Sheboygan Falls and the parish of St. Paul, Plymouth. This event will take place at Deland Community Center, 901 Broughton Dr., Sheboygan, beginning with Mass at 10:00 a.m. with lunch following. There will be games and activities for our children’s enjoyment. Inviting guests is encouraged. There will be ONE MASS only that day. We are asking for donations of cookies/bars, potato chips, and monetary donations to defray the costs which will be shared amongst all three parishes. We are also asking for volunteers for set-up and clean-up and two individuals to help in roasting the pigs the day before. Please sign up on the sheet on the Narthex table.
§ Sunday School Begins: We are getting excited about Sunday School! The teachers are making plans for another wonderful year of learning about the love of Jesus Christ! Sunday School will begin on September 18th at 9:00am. Registration forms are available in the Narthex or at Mass in the Grass on September 11th.
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