Grace Episcopal Church
30 August 2012
I spent last week on vacation up North, in woodland beside a lake. The location was remote enough that the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. It’s hard to find quiet. Indeed, some people seem to be threatened by quiet, so they always have some kind of noise in the background, like a TV on when they are not even watching it. I am not a good contemplative prayer, but what I do find when I can attain quiet is that I pay much better attention to everything around me, and in this I pay much better attention to God.
Perhaps some people are threatened by quiet because they have to pay attention. Paying attention means that we might hear something, and in quiet we cannot dismiss what we hear as background noise. The opposite of background noise may not be stillness; it may be a message, and when we hear a message that cannot be dismissed as background noise, then the choice becomes how we respond to the message.
God wants us to pay attention. It is, unfortunately, most often difficult to attain stillness, and even if we do, we may (like me) not be very good at staying there. But, the point is to determine how we can pay attention to God. If you are like me, seeking stillness might not be useful, but being intentional about how to seek God’s will allows for discernment. For example, if you set aside a time period every day for the reading of Scripture, you’ll find that a pattern emerges in your reading. The “dots are connected” to not only reveal more about God to you but to reveal what His will is for you. And then there’s another “dot” to connect to what has been revealed to you. It is your own prayer. It is the response of a loving heart which invites God to speak more, which learns to say less and listen more in prayer.
Luke records how when Paul returned to Judea he was shunned by those who remembered him as a persecutor. But when (through Barnabas) Paul was able to function in ministry, Luke records that the Church “... had peace and was built up; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit it was multiplied” (Acts 9.31). Notice what happened? Believers paid attention to God. That’s what it means to walk in the fear of the Lord. And when they paid attention they received the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and the Church prospered.
Paying attention can be threatening, because then we have to respond. But, consider that God speaks even when we do not pay attention. For example, the next time you get uncomfortable in a social or business setting because a topic has come up that you believe relates to how we relate to God–the next time you feel a little embarassed that you might have to say something about belief or (heaven forefend!) right and wrong–this very “embarassment” is the Holy Spirit convicting you. When we pay attention, we hear God. And when we listen He prompts us to do His work. He will grant His power.
Choir rehearsals resume! The choir will resume rehearsals at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 5 September. (Full choir presence at worship resumes on 9 September.) If you are new to the choir, please contact Ben Dobey for directions about rehearsals.
Pictorial Directory: The pictorial directory photographic sessions are scheduled for 21 and 22 September. Please visit the parish website to schedule your appointment. You will also receive an automated telephone call from the parish, which will provide details of how to schedule your appointment.
Grace Abounds: See EYC. A “damsel in distress” wishes to thank Dave Kock for his help during coffeee hour, in getting a stuck trailer hitch out of a somewhat rusty receiver, to allow for the mounting of a cargo carrier for vacation.
Please take the opportunity to notify the office of any member or friend of the parish to whom we owe thanks, in order that we can publicize this in the weekly newsletter.
Episcopal Youth Community: EYC held a back-to-school beach party on 25 August, with thirty-five youth and adults in attendance. Please thank Nick Whitford and Bobbi Kraft for getting this organized.
Biblical Literacy: The Bible Challenge will not meet on Tuesday, 4 September. Fr. Karl will be attending a clergy funeral in Milwaukee. Bible study will meet on Thrusday, following the 9 a.m. Mass.
All Saints’, Elkhart Lake: All Saints’ will hold the last service for this season on this Sunday. Please keep this ministry in your prayers. On Sunday, 16 Septemberm following the 10:15 a.m. service, a reception will be held in St. Nicholas Hall to honor the long service of Fr. Ken Okkerse and Grace Okkerse.
Music this week:
Prelude Partita on ‘Hymn to Joy’ John G. Barr
Entrance Hymn 376 “Joyful, joyful we adore thee”
Offertory Hymn 556 “Rejoice, ye pure in heart”
Communion Hymn 660 “O Master, let me walk with thee”
Closing Hymn 561 “Stand up, stand up for Jesus”
Postlude Fughetta & Finale on ‘Hymn to Joy’ John G. Barr
§ No Potluck or Bible Challenge: Fr. Schaffenburg and Elizabeth will be attending the funeral of Fr. Tom Winslow in Milwaukee on September 4th. The potluck dinner and Bible Challenge Bible study is cancelled for that evening.
§ Sunday School Registration and Ice Cream Social: Come and join the fun! Wednesday, September 5, 2012 from 6:30-7:30pm. Come and enjoy an ice cream sundae, meet the teachers and visit the classrooms. There will be registration forms to fill out and calendar information available. Registration will also be available on the first day of Sunday School, September 9th.
§ Kick Off Sunday: September 9th We will Kick Off a new academic year here at Grace Church. The Sunday School includes 4K-8th grade will meet at 9:00am. They will be Weaving God’s Promises throughout the year with lessons in Old Testament, New Testament and the Church Year. The High School Group will be meeting Sunday evenings from 5-7pm and will be practicing all aspects of Discipleship. The Sunday morning adult class will be looking at The New Atheism led by Fr. Schaffenburg. Catechumenate will begin Monday, September 17 at 6:00pm. If you are interested in Catechumenate there is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex.
§ Farewell to Fr. Ken & Grace Okkerse: Sunday, September 16th after the 10:15am service. We will be celebrating the ministry of Fr. Ken & Grace and sending them off to a new life with gratitude for all they have done here at Grace Church. They will be moving to Menasha on September 4th to be closer to family. Please join in the celebration by signing up to bring sweets or savories for a Gala Reception and then stay to help clean up. There is a sign-up sheet on the Narthex table.
§ The Parish Directory Update: An “almost final” draft and is located on the narthex table. If you have not checked your entry, please do so as soon as possible. We plan to have it available at the annual meeting on September 30. This is different than the pictorial directory, which will be distributed sometime early in the new year.
§ Pictorial Directory Update: Many thanks to all of you who have already signed up for your photography session. The participation to date has exceeded our time frames and so another date has been added: Monday, October 1 from 2-9. There are still some openings on Friday, Sept 21 and Saturday September 22. Please visit the parish website (www.gracesheboygan.com) and click on the link to register (or call Barb MacEwen 920.467.6909 and she will assist.) Remember you do get a free 8x10 and a copy of the directory for your participation in this church family activity. AND should you decide to purchase any pictures (but no obligation) you will get $10 off AND if you bring canned goods for our Holy Roller Wagon the day of your sitting you will receive another $5 off! How great is that?!
§ Annual Meeting Reports: If you are in charge of anything, please write a short report to be included in the Annual Report and send it to the office firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday September 20th. Thank you so much.
§ Parish Annual Meeting: Our Annual meeting will be September 30, 2012. We will begin with Low Mass with hymns at 9:00am followed by the meeting in the church at 10:15. We will conclude the morning with an all parish potluck at 11:45. If you are in charge of anything, please write a short report to be included in the Annual Report and send it to the office. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex. We will also need a team of people to clean up. Please mark your calendars now.
§ Call for Vestry Nominations: Vestry elections will be held on Sunday, 30 September, at the parish annual meeting. We need at least six nominees, with names provided to the parish office by 16 September. You can nominate another person or yourself. To run for Vestry you must be a qualified elector of the parish, which means that: (1) You are regular in your attendance on worship;(2) You have received Holy Eucharist at least once in the prior year;(3) You are active in your support of the parish through a pledge or some other form of giving; and (4) Your are at least sixteen years of age. Vestry members are called to lead. Be prepared in the election process to provide a brief biographical sketch which allows your fellow parishioners to better understand your relationship with God and His Church, and your call to lead. Vestry members are called to commitment, and are expected to attend twelve meetings throughout the year (once per month).
§ Walsingham Pilgrimage: This is the 61st Annual Pilgrimage to the American Proto-Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. On Friday, October 12th there will be a Quiet Day with meditations at 12:00 and 3:00pm concluding with Solemn Evensong at 6:00pm. The Rev. Arnold W. Klukas will lead the meditations. On Saturday, October 13th The Rt. Rev. Russell E. Jacobus will celebrate at the Procession and Solemn Pontifical Mass at 10:30am. The Rt. Rev. Lindsay G. Urwin, OGS will preach. Bishop Urwin is the, Administrator of the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, Walsingham, England. If you can help with the cost of the Pilgrimage by donating for music and for flowers please make you check out to Grace Church with “Pilgrimage music and flowers” in the memo. Thank you so much.
§ Coats for Kids: is a community service campaign. Area residents are asked to donate clean coats in good repair. We accept coats of all sizes for people of all ages, with the need being greatest for children’s coats. These coats will be distributed to Sheboygan county residents who would otherwise go without. Drop off location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home, 1535 S. 12 St. Sheboygan. September 4 –October 24 Monday–Friday 8:30am–4:00 pm. Distribution Location: Salvation Army, 710 Pennsylvania Ave. Sheboygan. Friday, October 26, from 9:00am–1:00pm and Thursday, November 1 from 2:00–6:00pm.
§ Break the Language Barrier: He gives you flowers when what you really want is a hug. She spends time with you but what you really need is a home-cooked meal. The problem isn’t a lack of love, it’s your love language! Join us as we discover the five different ways that people express and receive love. Apply the right principles and soon you’ll know the joy of being able to express your love-and feel truly loved in return. Based on the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Registration is required for this free program. Join us at Great Marriages 612 Center Avenue, Sheboygan Saturday, October 13, 2012, 9:30am – noon Call GMSC at 920-783-3660 to register.
§ Friends of the Poor Walk: Save the Date September 29, 2012 for the 5th Annual “Friends of the Poor Walk " sponsored by Sheboygan County SVdP. The 2-mile walk takes place at Sheboygan South High School and begins at 10:00. This year we are focusing on "Caring4Kids". The Sheboygan SVdP store has given out 150 twin size air beds in the first 6 months of the year, Mary's room has given out approximately 100 Pack 'N Plays instead of cribs because of rising costs of cribs, Plymouth area outfitted 48 kids for winter last year, and Sheboygan Falls has 548 students that receive free lunches during the school year. Help us make sure that every child in the area has a good bed, warm clothing and the necessities for a great start in life. Support the walk by either participating in the walk, and/or getting pledges. More details coming soon or contact Dennis 920-457-4844 ext. 11 to find out how you can help us Care4Kids.