Grace Episcopal Church
22 June 2017
In an opinion column appearing in the 21 June edition of The Wall Street Journal, the author refers to the concept of an “availability cascade”. Citing an analysis of the alar: apple cancer scare, a 1999 law review article argues that at a certain point of information availability human beings decide to believe what others believe. Members of society decide that everyone else must be right. One can think, of course, about the current battles over “fake news” and cultural “memes”, but one must think, as well, about the role of ingrained prejudice. (Think, for example, about the link between the rise of the Nazis and the widespread domestic German belief in the 1920’s that an undefeated Germany Army had been “stabbed in the back” at the end of WWI by disloyal elements at home.)
Let’s look at another piece of “information”, that a person can be “spiritual but not religious” or can just have an individual relationship with God apart from the Church. This “knowledge” has wide currency in our culture; it is widely available. But the idea that a person can find their own way in this way is, in reality fake news and not the Good News. Fake news allows me to believe what I want; it meets my expectations. Fake news reinforces me in what I believe already. The Good News changes me, because the Good News—when I really receive and live it—is so far beyond my expectations that I have to stop an examine all that I already deem a given.
I might expect that if I live a life without fault, I should be rewarded. But then I must admit that my life—no life—is without fault. I might expect that forgiveness might be earned, but then I can never reasonably expect that forgiveness can be offered without price. I might expect that if am “right with God” then I can enjoy His blessings, but I can never expect (let alone imagine) that the all-powerful Creator of the universe would not only forgive His creatures while we were still His enemies, but would pay the price of our forgiveness by offering His own Son.
Fake news requires nothing of me. The Good News challenges me. It is by engaging with the latter that I can be changed, transformed. If I ever decide that something has been repeated enough that it must be right, then I am in danger of just giving in to the lowest common denominator. God calls us to more than we can imagine.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Mary Ann Neuses for the Sunday coffee hour.
§ Zachary and Joann Sorensen for lawn care. Ben Dobey for gardening.
§ Sandie Palmer for administrative help.
§ Bobbie May for janitorial help.
Special “Thank You’ s” : A supply of Thank You note cards can be found on the table at the back of church nave. When someone in the parish does something special, take the time to write them a personal note. Also, from time to time, think about who you might want to thank for ongoing service, and let them know you have noticed!
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.
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 Third Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 7)
Organist: R. Benjamin Dobey
Prelude Aria Paul Manz
Entrance Hymn 410 “Praise, my soul, the King of heaven” Lauda anima
Offertory Hymn 594 “God of grace and God of glory” Cwm Rhondda
Communion Hymn 655 “O Jesus, I have promised” Nyland
Closing Hymn 564 “He who would valiant be” St. Dunstan’s
Postlude Prelude and Fugue in G Major Dietrich Buxtehude
§ Volunteers still needed at All Saints’ Chapel: We are in need of help for the following Sundays: July 16, August 13, August 20 and September 3. This would include: picking up the box of bulletins at Grace Church, arriving a little early to open the buildings, finding readers for the lessons and the prayers of the people, lighting candles, greeting the visiting priest, various other tasks, locking up at the end and returning the box to Grace Church. There are instructions printed and several people who would be able to help if you have questions. Please sign up for a Sunday or two on the clipboard on the Narthex table or by calling the office at 452-9659 with dates you are available. Thank you.
§ Mutual Support Group: Do you provide care for a spouse, child, parent or friend? This can be physical help, household help, taking people to doctor appointments or anything in between. If you do, consider joining our mutual support group which meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month. So far, we have about eight of us from Grace Church. The group will next meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 28th, at the church. Wendy Limberg, a social worker with Embrace Care Management, will lead a discussion about finding the balance between caring for ourselves and for others. For more information, please contact Mary Clabots at 762-0550.
§ Please keep Bill in prayer: Bill May has been diagnosed with a compression fracture in a vertebra. This means that he will be on restricted duties. We have established a volunteer rota for items such as: fellowship hall set-up and take down; restroom cleaning; trash removal; floor cleaning; lawn care. Sign-up sheets are on the Narthex table. Thank you.
§ Brat Fry and Bake Sale: is July 1, 2017 at Miesfeld’s. There are many opportunities to help with this fundraiser! We will need brat fryers, brat stand attendants, bake sale attendants and homemade baked goods. Can’t fry, bake or volunteer? No problem, we also need monetary donations for condiments, paper products, etc. Any contribution make the check out to Grace Church, memo brat fry. In 2015 we made $1300, let’s set our goal at $2000. All sign-up sheets including working at the brat fry are in the narthex or call Barb MacEwen at 920-912-4505. Be sure to stop out for lunch at Miesfeld’s on July 1st and bring your friends! Thank you so much for your participation.
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§ Grace Abounds: http://www.graceabounds.online Sermons, podcasts, the Bible Challenge
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