Grace Episcopal Church
12 October 2017
Tomorrow and Saturday we will celebrate our annual pilgrimage here at the American Protoshrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. (“Protoshrine” indicates that this is the first shrine established in The Episcopal Church.) The number of parishioners who participate in the pilgrimage is, of course, gratifying, but what of those who choose not to? Perhaps this is because of a level of discomfort or lack of familiarity with Marian devotion, particularly for those who consider such devotion “too Catholic”.
Let’s look at the “credentials” that attach to devotion to the Blessèd Virgin Mary, even for the most proud Protestant, and even for that most “Catholic” prayer, the Hail Mary.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: The opening of the prayer echoes the words of the archangel Gabriel, as recorded at Luke 1.28. In other words, this opening of the prayer in biblical, as is what follows immediately (Blessèd art thou among women, and is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus), which is taken from Luke 1.43.
Holy Mary: “holy” means no more (and no less!) than “set aside for God”. This echoes the Old Testament usage for what is dedicated to God (korban), and is used through the New Testament, including as a form of address (e.g., when Paul addresses the recipients of letters as “the holy ones” or “saints” in a given town).
Mother of God: Mary is unquestionably the mother of Jesus Christ, who is God. Unless we reject the testimony of scripture entirely, calling Mary “mother of God” is an exercise in stating fact. This fact was also recognized in the pronouncement of the First Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), one of the first four ecumenical Church councils recognized by virtually all Christians, which declared Mary to be Theotokos (literally “God bearer”).
Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. In every celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we recognize our communion with the saints in heaven when we pray “Therefore, with angels and archangels, and with all the company of heaven …”) Asking Mary to pray for us (note that we do not pray to Mary, but ask her to pray) is, therefore, as natural as asking anyone in communion with us to pray for us. We ask that she pray for us at all times, especially in our hour of greatest need, and we pray this in confidence because: (a) as an inhabitant of heaven Mary is timeless; and (b) we must in all prayer acknowledge our own need for prayer, for blessing.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Bobbie May for the Sunday coffee hour.
§ Ben Dobey for gardening.
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 Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 23A)
Organist: R. Benjamin Dobey
Prelude Chorale Partita on “Blessed Jesus, we are here”
Johann Gottfried Walther
Entrance 518 “Christ is made the sure foundation, “ Westminster Abbey
Offertory 645 “The King of love my shepherd is” St. Columba
Communion Motet Jesus, my Lord, my God, my all Joseph Barnby
Communion 321 “My God, thy table now is spread,” Rockingham
Closing 544 “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun” Duke Street
Postlude Fanfare; Galliard Herbert Howells
§ Adult Formation – How to be Holy: There will be no adult formation on Sunday, October 15, 2017. Classes will resume October 22nd.
§ Third Quarter Pledge Statements: In order to save money on postage, please pick up your third quarter pledge statements from the table in the Narthex.
§ Coffee Hour: Thank you to all who have volunteered for coffee hour and all who have stepped in and made coffee and put out snacks. Some of the upcoming Sundays have been taken but we are still in need of more volunteers. The weeks that are open are 8:00am: 10/22, 11/19, 11/26, 12/24 & 12/31. For 10:15am: 10/29, 11/5, 12/10 12/24, & 12/31. If you can help please sign up on the sheet in the white binder on the Narthex table. Thank you so much.
§ Defibrillator Training: Grace Church has received a donated defibrillator. Judging by the response at the late service on Sept 30th, very few of us know how to use one. Who knows the day or the hour when we might need it? There are directions on the equipment, but reading them in an emergency would take up critical time.
§ We have contacted Pat Nicholaus, chief of the fire department EMS group to come and help us get acquainted with the defibrillator, and answer questions we might have. The training is scheduled for Saturday, November 4th at 9:45 in St Nicholas Hall. It will take about an hour.
§ While this is mainly intended for the ushers and vestry, ALL interested people are welcome and encouraged to attend. Please put this on your calendar!
§ Love INC Monthly Bulletin is now available online at:
§ Grace Notes is here: http://gracechurchgracenotes.blogspot.com/. You can sign up to receive the blog every Thursday
§ Grace Abounds: http://www.graceabounds.online Sermons, podcasts, the Bible Challenge
§ Like Grace Church on Facebook: @gracesheboygan
§ We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!