Grace Episcopal Church
27 September 2012
This coming Sunday, 30 September, is our parish annual meeting. We will elect wardens, vestry members, and delegates to diocesan council. We will enjoy fellowship together, in a pot luck meal. We will review the state of the parish, both from a committee report perspective, and from the perspective of how I, as rector, perceive the health of the parish. We will discuss the stewardship process and what our budgetary concerns are, but we will not discuss a proposed budget. Why? It is because we must move into a new understanding of what it means to be the Church, and discussing the budget up front sends the message “This is how much money we need to be the Church.”
In stewardship the question must not be “What can you do for the Church?” Stewardship must be focused on the true wonder in the fact that God counts each one of us worthy to do His work, and calls each one of us to do His work. So the question is not, “What can you do for the Church?” but “What is God calling you to do? How are we going to do this together?”
We know from Scripture that “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have life everlasting” (Jn. 3.16), but this wondrous truth does not address the question of why there is the sacred mystery we know as the Church. The truth is that the Church exists for one reason, and for one reason only: To be a blessing to the world, to be a vehicle by which God’s grace flows into the world. God calls us to do His work. He calls us to worship Him—and we recognize that all worship is praise, and all praise of God involves thanksgiving—but God calls us together to focus us outward. He points us toward the world. His will is the salvation of the world, and He calls each one of us to work to effect His will.
It’s really very simple. When we do what is pleasing to God, He will bless us. Whatever we need to be the Church, to incarnate God’s love, God will provide through the people whom He has called to serve Him. So at our annual meeting we will discuss what God is calling us to do—how we are called to be the Church and to embody God’s will—and only after we are clear on mission will we consider how to do it, including the details on what resources are needed in accompishing the mission of the Church.
Just as the Church is blessed in doing God’s will, so are you. Each one of us must discern what God is calling us to do, knowing that when we do God’s will this is pleasing to God and He will bless us. So ask yourself, what is God asking me to do? This will involve a specific ministry in the Church. The ministry may be less visible, such as one of intercessory prayer for others, or it may be more public, such as serving in a parish office, singing in the choir, working with youth, etc. In addition to the ministry in which you will participate individually, we are each called to work together as the Body of our Lord in this place, and one of the ways we work together is in how we offer of ourselves. God blesses each one of us with resources, and we must each decide what portion of our resources we will dedicate to God’s work. Will I respond to God’s call to do His work by saying that I will dedicate 1% of my resources or 10%? Such decisions are personal, but they represent a response to call—they represent the reality that we each have a relationship with God and a relationship with each other in doing God’s work together.
Come to the meeting prepared to ask questions, prepared to listen, prepared to be with each other as God’s Body gathered in this place. Come to the meeting knowing that we have work to do. We are engaged in mission. We are in common call and common purpose, blessed in knowing that the One who calls us is the One who is with us to guide us, to comfort us, and to bless us.
Security alert! Two northside churches were burglarized within the past two weeks. This follows an earlier burglary of a church, and so it is possible that a person or persons are targeting churches. Please keep this in mind in securing the parish. Double check, and don’t assume that somebody else has locked the door!
Pictorial Directory Update: We are on schedule to complete our last photography day on Monday, October 1st. The session is completely filled. Please be sure to arrive 5 minutes early for your appointment and to bring canned goods for the Holy Roller Wagon. If you have already had your photograph taken and forgot the canned goods you can still bring them to church. Thank you.
Grace Abounds: Please thank Jack Britton for cleaning the statues on the rood screen and reredos. Saints without dust and cobwebs shine forth! Please thank Mary Clabots for organizing the Chez Grace parish dinners. Please thank Elizabeth Schaffenburg for weeding the cutting garden. Please thank all who helped check in parishioners for the pictorial directory photo sessions, including Pat Ford-Smith, Joan Horne, Deb Gagin, Jane Hanson, and Barb MacEwen.
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.
Biblical Literacy: The Bible Challenge is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, 2 October, following the 5:30 p.m. Mass an 6 o’clock pot-luck. Readings will be for week 31. Bible study for the Sunday lessons meets on Thursdays, following the 9 a.m. Mass.
The number of people following The Bible Challenge on-line is gratifying, and weekly summaries will continue to be posted. However, attendance at the Tuesday evening sessions has been problematical. Therefore, if you plan to attend you must alert the office by Tuesday, noon. If you do not notify the office of planned attendance, the evening session will be cancelled.
Music this week:
Delpha MacAloon, guest organist
Prelude Variations on Song of Praise Searle Wright
Entrance Hymn 408 “Sing praise to God, who reigns above” Mit Freuden zart
Offertory Hymn 609 “Where cross the crowded ways of life” Gardiner
Communion Hymn 336 ”Come with us, O blessed Jesus” Werde munter
Closing Hymn 473 “Lift high the cross” Crucifer
Postlude Fanfare William Mathias
- Notice of 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.
- Coffee Hour Hosts for 2013: Last Call for Coffee Hour 2013 Host sign-ups! The binder on the table in the narthex contains a sign-up for 2013 Coffee Hour dates. Please sign up by Sunday, October 7. After 10/7, Katy Prange will be compiling a schedule for 2013 and will be calling potential hosts to fill in the gaps. A final schedule for 2013 will be distributed in November. For questions or thoughts, contact Katy Prange - 920-889-1252, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Pictorial Directory Update: We are on schedule to complete our last photography day on Monday, October 1st. The session is completely filled. Please be sure to arrive 5 minutes early for your appointment and to bring canned goods for the Holy Roller Wagon. If you have already had your photograph taken and forgot the canned goods you can still bring them to church. Thank you.
- 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.
- Friends of the Poor Walk: Save the Date September 29, 2012 for the 5th Annual “Friends of the Poor Walk " sponsored by Sheboygan County St. Vincent de Paul. The 2-mile walk takes place at Sheboygan South High School and begins at 10:00. This year we are focusing on "Caring4Kids". 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. For more details contact Dennis 920-457-4844 ext. 11.
- Nourish 4th Annual Harvest Celebration & Fundraiser: Sheboygan, WI...Nourish a program of SCIO will be holding its Harvest Celebration & Fundraiser Saturday, October 6th from 6pm - 9pm. Nourish is a two prong educational program through demonstration & execution that serves the community's fundamental need for healthy food by linking local farmers with individuals/children/families via experiences that change behaviors. This year's event will again feature locally inspired appetizers & desserts prepared by LTC Lakeshore Culinary Institutes student chefs and staff. Live music by Jenny Thiel, wine, beer, and live and silent auction. Nourish Harvest Celebration will be held at the NEW LTC Lakeshore Culinary Institute, 712 Riverfront Drive Sheboygan, formally Riverside City Streets. Tickets for the event will be available at the door or prior for $20 or reserved tables of 8 for $250. Contact Kelly at 457-7272 x 14 or email@example.com.
- FREE Movie Night: All are invited to a “FREE Movie Night”, to see the movie “Courageous”! It will be shown on big screens at First Christian Reformed Church 428 Geele Avenue – Sheboygan. You have two opportunities to view it: Sunday, October 14, at 6:30 p.m. and/or Saturday, October 20, at 7:00 p.m. ALL –children, youth, adults –are invited and encouraged to see this motivating movie! It is rated PG-13, so if parents prefer, there will be activities for children age 12 and under, and a supervised nursery for infants and toddlers.