Grace Episcopal Church
22 February 2018
“Happy Lent!” sounds odd, at best. “Joyous Lent” can sound equally odd unless we recognize that joy can be experienced even in trying, unhappy circumstances, for joy is not an emotion or a feeling, but the experience of fulfillment in real love. Even a prisoner in a labor camp can (as attested to in the witnesses of numerous saints) recognize that God is present in all places, and when the self-focus of even so trying a circumstance as forced labor can be directed into an awareness of God’s presence, then joy arises in the oneness between Creator and creature in the unbounded, unqualified love of God and in the loving response of His disciple.
We have to seek joy, and this requires focus, for everything in our world works to redirect our focus upon ourselves. It is not easy, when I am hurting, to recognize God’s love. But when I can, I can lift up my hurt to God that Jesus may bear my hurt, my pain, and in my experience of Jesus shouldering my burden I can experience the joy of knowing love.
Because the world would redirect me, my focus requires constant reminders and little epiphanies of God’s presence. One of the best ways I can experience God’s presence is to seek His will and way in His holy word, in scripture. That’s why, for example, our Lenten devotional booklet is available, so that we can practice for forty days what it is like to set aside time each day to dwell in the Word and in prayer. That's why The Bible Challenge is promoted in the parish.
As a small reminder of the beauty and joy to be inhabited by dwelling in the Word, we are beginning one additional small practice. We recently received the donation of The St. John’s Bible, a multi-volume print edition of the hand lettered and illuminated bible prepared by the Benedictine monks of The St. John Abbey, Collegeville, MN (http://www.saintjohnsbible.org/). (Thank you, Scott Gedemer!) In the narthex each Sunday you can find the gospels volume on display, opened to the pages for the gospel lesson for that day. Go ahead and explore. The entire bible will be in the parish library, and if you find the physical beauty of this edition beguiling, consider well how the beauty of the Word may beguile you into the love of God.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Bob and Anne Hanlon, The Beeck Family, and Bob and Barb MacEwen for the Sunday coffee hours.
§ Jennifer Pawlus and Elizabeth Schaffenburg for pastoral care.
§ Julie Davidson, Bobbie May and Karl Schaffenburg 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.
Lenten Series: In addition to the Lenten Meditations which will allow you to make your own pilgrimage through Lent with the insights of Scripture, prayer, and the devotional meditations offered by your fellow parishioners, please plan to gather on Friday evenings, 23 February—23 March. We’ll begin with Stations of the Cross at 5:30, followed by a simple supper at 6 p.m. (Please sign up if you can help with a supper.) We’ll continue 6:30—7:30 with a program in which we’ll explore the ministries the parish shares in in the wider community, and how you can help. Presentations will be made by:
§ LoveINC: opportunities to serve; service which is ongoing; the vision for 2018—19; questions and answers.
§ Sheboygan County Interfaith Organization: opportunities to serve; service which is ongoing; the vision for 2018—19; questions and answers.
§ Freedom Cry: the sexual trafficking problem in Sheboygan; how to help.
§ Samaritan’s Hand: the opioid abuse epidemic in Sheboygan; how to help.
§ Good News Jail and Prison Ministry: opportunities to serve.
Come to pray! Come enjoy fellowship! Come to learn!
Music this Week: The Second Sunday in Lent
Music Director: R. Benjamin Dobey
Prelude Chaconne in F Minor Johann Pachelbel
Entrance Hymn 401 “The God of Abraham praise” Leoni
Sequence Hymn 675 “Take up your cross” Bourbon
Offertory Hymn 448 “O love, how deep, how broad, how high” Deus tuorum militum
Communion Motet Dear Lord and Father of Mankind C. Hubert H. Parry
Communion Hymn 707 “Take my life and let it be” Hollingside
Closing Hymn 142 “Lord who throughout these forty days” St. Flavian
Postlude Fantasia in C Minor (a 5 voci) J.S. Bach
§ Book Study on Redemptive Compassion: The group study of the book Redemptive Compassion: The Defining Difference has begun. The eight-week class will meet on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. consecutively, through 4 March.
§ Lenten Booklet: Copies are available on the table in the Narthex and on our parish website www.gracesheboygan.com.
For each of the forty days of the Lenten season, this booklet contains a Gospel lesson taken from the Eucharistic lectionary for the weekdays in Lent, plus the Sunday Eucharistic lectionary. Following each Gospel lesson is the Collect prayer for the celebration of Eucharist on each day and a meditation written by a parishioner. After each meditation, space is allowed for you to note your own reflections.
§ Stations of the Cross, Simple Suppers and Presentations: Beginning tomorrow, (23 February) we will meet each Friday at 5:30 p.m. for Stations of the Cross, followed by a simple supper and Christian formation. Our program this year will feature the following presenters from community organizations that Grace Church supports:
· 23 February, Good News Jail Ministry
· 2 March, Samaritan’s Hand
· 9 March, Freedom Cry
· 16 March, Sheboygan County Interfaith Organization (SCIO)
· 23 March, Love INC.
Please sign up on the sheets in the Narthex so we can share the number of attendees with the presenters and know much food needs to be prepared.
§ Cooking on Friday Evenings in lent: If you are interested in cooking and hosting a dinner on the Fridays during Lent, please sign-up on sheets in the Narthex. Thank you for your willingness to serve in this ministry!
§ Adult Formation-Parallel Passions: Have you ever wondered how Jesus must have felt as he stood in front of Pontius Pilate? What was it like for him as he carried his cross through the streets of Jerusalem to the place of execution? Did he know it was going to end like this? How does this speak to us as we carry our crosses through the trials of life? We will walk with Jesus’ in his final days through his arrest and execution as seen through the eyes of the evangelists, Mark and John. Please join Facilitator Jerry Molitor on 11 and 18 March at 9:00 a.m. in St. Nicholas Hall to seek how Mark and John’s accounts of Jesus’ passion can inspire us to live in the hope of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. All are welcome! Bring a friend!
§ Adult Formation-Sacramental Life (Holy Eucharist): Please join Leslie Kohler on April 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20 as she finishes guiding us through the sacrament of Holy Eucharist using the book Sacramental Life by David DeSilva. This book explores spiritual formation through the Book of Common Prayer. “Those that have participated before know that this is a fairly freeform guided discussion. I am as interested in learning from you, as I am teaching you.”
§ Scout Appreciation "Pancake Breakfast": Sunday, 11 March. Please mark your calendars to stay a few minutes, after each service, to savor a down home Pancake Breakfast. Scouts will supply all the know-how for the event. As an added bonus, Maple Syrup will be supplied by the Drewry Farms of Plymouth.
This award-winning Maple Syrup is served at all the major restaurants in the area and beyond. The Scouts will also have available Maple Syrup gift assortments.
§ Bible Challenge: Videos for all 52 weeks of the year are now available on Grace Abounds. If you take this challenge, you will find that in one year you will read all of the Bible! This will require less than an hour of your time, six days a week. A schedule of readings is provided on the parish website, along with weekly study summaries and a weekly video summary of the readings.
If you need a good study bible for the challenge, contact the parish office. When we immerse ourselves in Scripture, the mantle of the Lord does fall upon us. We are equipped to discern God’s will and to lead others to know and love and serve the Lord.
§ Deacon School: The diocesan Deacon School courses in Old Testament (taught by Fr. Glen Kanestrom of St. Paul’s, Marinette) and Church History (taught by Fr. Karl Schaffenburg of Grace, Sheboygan) have begun. Classes meet 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, January – May, and September – December.
Auditors are welcome. If you wish to audit deacon school, contact Fr. Karl to receive details.
Note: Those in formation for the diaconate pay tuition. Auditors are requested to contribute to the cost of the school, but if the offering of a donation would restrict your attendance be assured that a donation is voluntary.
§ Ushers Needed: Ushers are often the first people seen by newcomers, visitors, and even regular parishioners when coming to Grace Church. People enjoy being greeted by a smile; Ushers welcome parishioners and visitors, distribute bulletins, and ensure that the worship service runs smoothly. They provide directions and answer questions for newcomers as needed, collect the congregation’s offering, and bear the alms to the altar. They also maintain an attendance record for parochial reports. Did you realize that Ushers do so many wonderful things? Become a part of this ministry today! Interested Parishioners can contact Nicci in the office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
§ Save the Date-Chrism Mass: Saturday, 24 March, 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Fond du Lac. In the early church bishops baptized catechumens at the Easter Vigil with blessed oils. Over time this blessing was made earlier so oils could be used at the local level. This tradition includes blessing the oil of catechumens (adults preparing for baptism), oil of the sick (for anointing) and chrism (for baptism, confirmation, ordination of clergy, and consecration of altars).
Parishioners interested in carpooling can contact Nicci in the office: email@example.com.
§ Lost and Found: If you have ever lost anything while at Grace Church, it may be in the office lost and found box. Please email the office firstname.lastname@example.org to identify and claim.
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§ We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!