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Thursday, June 22, 2017

"Fake News" and the Good News

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
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 aboundsPlease 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 ContributionsIf 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

Parish Notices    

§  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.
§  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
§  Follow Grace Church on Twitter: @gracesheboygan
§  Follow Grace Church on Instagram: @gracesheboygan
§  We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!







Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Help Wanted!

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
15 June 2017

Help Wanted!  Next Monday the project to re-roof the church will begin.  Work will also be performed to refinishing the bell tower louvers and secure the tower screening.  If the weather is fair, the project should take about 10 days.  It is likely that different sections of ground cover and landscaping will be damaged.  This is an occasion to look specifically at landscaping.
Do you have a passion for gardening, for landscaping?  Do you have knowledge and opinions about both?  A Vestry committee, chaired by Bobbie May, is considering what will be required from an overall design perspective, and from the perspective of ongoing maintenance.  At present, lawn care is provided by our sexton, but in light of his back injury this has been happening only because of the help of volunteers.  The gardening and ground cover maintenance is all volunteer.  The semiannual outside cleanups are also all volunteer.
It is probably time to take a close look at shrubs and trees, but this can only happen in the context of an overall design and maintenance review.  The Vestry committee needs to hear from you, and we also need volunteer help, on a regular basis, to help with lawn care, trimming, cleanup, etc.  If working outside is something you enjoy, consider joining this ministry.
In the June newsletter a “heads up” is given about a future capital campaign.  Part of the funds from any campaign may be used to replace/install landscaping.  Now is when we need to think very specifically about what we need, and what can be well-maintained going forward.  Let’s continue to insure that the physical plant of Grace Episcopal Church is one we can be proud of.  To this end, Vestry members have been asked to conduct walk-throughs and walk-arounds, to develop ideas about what needs to be done in overall maintenance.  You can help.  Do you see something that needs paint or repair or cleaning?
Most members of the parish see the church on Sundays, and you are used to what you see.  Next time you are here, however, please look through the eyes of a first-time visitor, and look around.  Is this a place that demonstrates that we are welcoming, and proud of who we are in Christ?  If a step or a window is dirty, if there are lots of weeds, does this send a message?  Let’s come together in being good stewards of all that God has blessed us with.

Grace aboundsPlease thank: 
§  Bobbie May for the Sunday coffee hour.
§  Mary Snyder for lawn care.  Ben Dobey for gardening.
§  Pat Ford Smith for administrative 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 ContributionsIf 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 Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 6)
                               Guest Organist:  David Bahrke

Prelude                           Recollection                                                Richard Lloyd
Mass Setting                   New English Folk Mass                            Timms & Warrell
Entrance Hymn 377         “All people that on earth do dwell”              Old Hundredth
Offertory Hymn 528        “Lord, you give the great commission”        (alt.) Hyfrydol
Comm. Hymn 587           “Our Father, by whose Name”                       Rhosymedre
Closing Hymn 541           “Come, labor on”                                             Ora labora
Postlude                         Te Deum Overture                                M. A. Charpentier

Parish Notices    

§  Volunteers still needed at All Saints’ Chapel: We are in need of help for the following Sundays: July 2, July16, 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.
§  Eucharistic Festival: Plan to attend the Annual Diocesan Eucharistic Festival at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 24th, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Fond du Lac. The Homilist is the Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson, retired Bishop of Upper South Carolina. He serves as Superior-General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament and as episcopal visitor to a fledgling religious community centered in the Diocese of Atlanta. A picnic lunch and a time of fellowship will follow the Eucharist. At 3:00pm there will be afternoon prayer with Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
§  Please keep both Ellen and Bill in prayer: It is anticipated that Ellen Aparicio will be at home for the balance of May. Weekly sign-up sheets are being posted for volunteers to help in the office. There will be times when there is no office coverage (e.g., when I am away at a meeting). At these times the office door is locked.
§  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.
§  Caregivers’ Support Group:  Do you provide care to another person, a spouse, child, parent or friend?  If you do consider joining a mutual support group which meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month.  The group will next meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 28 June, at the parish.  Wendy Limberg, a social worker with Embrace Care Management,  will lead a discussion about  finding the balance between caring for ourselves and for others.  
§  Love INC is hiring:  Love in the Name of Christ Sheboygan is recruiting Clearinghouse Coordinator.  This is a 25 hour per week position central to LoveINC ministry operations.  Job specifications are available at the parish office.  Application deadline is 23 June.
§  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
§  Follow Grace Church on Twitter: @gracesheboygan
§  Follow Grace Church on Instagram: @gracesheboygan
§  We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!





Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Disciples Regular

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
8 June 2017

This past Tuesday we observed the feast of St. Norbert of Xanten (d. 1134), founder of the Canons Regular of PrĂ©montre, otherwise known as the Norbertines or Praemonstratensians.  This is the order that maintains St. Norbert’s College (and the abbey) in Depere.
Canons Regular are not monks; they are priests living in community under a common rule of life, while working in ministry in the world.  It is possible to think of Canons Regular (regula is Latin for “rule”, and canon derives from the Greek word for rule or measure, so the description is redundant!) as engaging in active ministry but having a contemplative home base, a community in which to remain grounded and with which to recharge.  This model poses for the rest of us the question of how we remain grounded, how we recharge and remain focused on our relationship with God while engaged in the daily struggles of work, family, education, etc.
Our bishop has invited the diocese to live under a rule of life which involves:
§  Worship in Community
§  Prayer
§  Fasting
§  Sabbath
§  Examination of Life
Details and discussion can be found at:
The simple truth about a rule of life is that we all need one.  Life is complicated and often frustrating, and it is all too easy to become focused too much on the self in dealing with day-to-day challenges.  Absent a rule of life under which we are intentional in how we engage God, our “down time” can pretty quickly become no more than one form of self-indulgence or another.  We can end up just “killing time” until time kills us!
God calls us to purposeful life.  A rule of life allows us to better discern purpose and to focus on this purpose in ways that are constructive.  Study what the bishop counsels.  The rule in this diocese is far from onerous.  Life under a rule is life which is balanced, balanced in ways that allow direction to remain when we get surprised by a setback, and that allow the joy of an unexpected boon to be shared with others.  Life which can be too self-focused becomes life which focused on God and God’s purposes, and focused on others.  The rewards are rich for those who become “Disciples Regular”!

Grace aboundsPlease thank: 
§  Ed and Mary Clabots for the Sunday coffee hour.
§  Nicci Beeck, Ed Clabots, and Julie Davidson for janitorial help.
§  Pat Ford Smith and Sandie Palmer for administrative 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 ContributionsIf 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:  Trinity Sunday
                               Organist/Choir Director:  Ben Dobey

Prelude                           Prelude on Kyrie                                               J. S. Bach
Mass Setting                                                                               English Folk Mass
Entrance Hymn 362         “Holy, holy, holy!”                                                 Nicaea
Offertory Hymn 366        “Holy God, we praise thy Name”                    Grosser Gott
Comm. Hymn 336           “Come with us, O blessed Jesus”               Werder munter
Closing Hymn 368           “Holy Father, great Creator”                     Regent Square
Postlude                         Fugue in E Flat                                                 J. S. Bach

Parish Notices    

§  Caregivers’ Support Group:  Do you provide care to another person, a spouse, child, parent or friend?  If you do consider joining a mutual support group which meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month.  The group will next meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 28 June, at the parish.  Wendy Limberg, a social worker with Embrace Care Management,  will lead a discussion about  finding the balance between caring for ourselves and for others.   
§  Love INC is hiring:  Love in the Name of Christ Sheboygan is recruiting Clearinghouse Coordinator.  This is a 25 hour per week position central to LoveINC ministry operations.  Job specifications are available at the parish office.  Application deadline is 23 June.
§  Please keep both Ellen and Bill in prayer: It is anticipated that Ellen Aparicio will return to administrative duties on 20 June. Weekly sign-up sheets are being posted for volunteers to help in the office. There will be times when there is no office coverage (e.g., when I am away at a meeting). At these times the office door is locked.
§  Please Pray: Leslie Kohler, Bobbi Kraft, Deacon Mike, Mother Michele, Jon Whitford Jeanna Werbeckes will be joining a group from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Bellingham, WA on pilgrimage May 25 – June 12 to Greece studying “The Footsteps of Paul” under The Rev. Dr. Kamal Farah. Please hold the pilgrims in prayer.
§  Elkhart Lake Chapel: The Chapel will have services every Sunday through Labor Day weekend. We are in need of help for each Sunday. 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.
§  Eucharistic Festival: Plan to attend the Annual Diocesan Eucharistic Festival at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 24th, at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Fond du Lac. The Homilist is the Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson, retired Bishop of Upper South Carolina. He serves as Superior-General of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament and as episcopal visitor to a fledgling religious community centered in the Diocese of Atlanta. A picnic lunch and a time of fellowship will follow the Eucharist. At 3:00pm there will be afternoon prayer with Adoration and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
§  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.
§  Summer Camp: Diocese of Fond du Lac Summer Camp is for kids age 4 through graduating 12th graders. Camp is an opportunity for campers and staff to learn more about God, about community, about themselves and have fun! There are application forms on the Narthex table.  Deadline for registration is May 22, 2017. If you have questions about what camp is like please speak with Nick Whitford at the coffee hour following this mass.  Scholarships are available.
o   Senior Camp (completed grades 9-12) June 11 (Sun 3pm) – June 17 (Sat 12noon)
o   Middler Camp (completed grades 6-8) June 18 (Sun 3pm) – June 22 (Thu 12noon)
o   Junior Camp (completed grades 2-5) June 18 (Sun 3pm) – June 22 (Thu 12noon)
o   KinderCamp (parent & kids ages 4-7) June 22 (Thu 4pm) – June 24 (Sat 12noon)
§  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
§  Follow Grace Church on Twitter: @gracesheboygan
§  Follow Grace Church on Instagram: @gracesheboygan
§  We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!