Grace Episcopal Church
25 July 2013
This past Saturday I was asked for directions by a visitor to Sheboygan. I told her the location she was seeking was six blocks to the north, to which she replied “I don’t know where north is around here.” This struck me as curious, considering that it was 5 p.m. and we were standing in bright sunlight. Even after I pointed out north, she checked the location on her Google Maps application on her smartphone before proceeding, as if north changes on the basis of location. She had no real sense of orientation and direction, and had to rely on technology to find where she wanted to go, even when a person standing beside her indicated the proper direction.
I could not help but make the leap from this encounter to the reality that there are many people who lack a sense of any spiritual direction, and since they cannot find an “authoritative” technological guide continue to wander, even when those around them indicate “spiritual north”. You can imagine my reaction, then, when I opened the review section of The New York Times on the following day, to encounter an article on a new book by a Harvard professor of Physics, John Edward Huth. The book, The Lost Art of Finding Our Way, is a secular work focused on how in a technological world humans have lost the ability to read and respond to nature, and to gain direction. (Reading and responding to nature are what we in faith call Reason.) It’s a fascinating article, found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/21/opinion/sunday/losing-our-way-in-the-world.html?pagewanted=all Consider the following line, “In this framework [of attentiveness], no one sign is infallible, but multiple signs create a navigational tool kit with redundancies built in.” If we consider “this framework” to be faith, we experience redundancies in Scripture, Reason and Tradition.
Huth goes on to describe a year spent in intense observation, of learning how to read weather and sea and stars and birds, and then says:
After a year of this endeavor, something dawned on me: the way I viewed the world had palpably changed. The sun looked different, as did the stars. While the ocean didn’t accommodate my “human” need for meaning, a different sense emerged from the wave patterns that conveyed the presence of winds, shoals, coastlines and distant storms.
Is this akin to what people describe as spiritual awakenings, or perhaps the experience of improvising music with others, in which individual notes no longer take prominence and a larger meaning emerges in a wordless communication among the performers?
When we are spiritually attentive, we find multiple guides. We are led by the supreme Guide, the Holy Spirit. Life looks different because it is. We know our true North Star and can point Him out to others.
Grace Abounds: Please thank Bev Evans for unscheduled Altar Guild help, and Nancy Yurk for organizing parishioners as bell ringers for The Salvation Army.
Faith Alive: Men’s Lunch & Women’s Lunch Friday – Sunday (Sept. 20-22)
Saturday noon there will be actually three lunches: men, women & teens. We’ll use Grace & a nearby church for them. Why separate? Often people feel freer to talk about some subjects when the opposite gender isn’t present. Then too if one’s spouse is present, you may not be listening for yourself out of various concerns for him or her. The format will be familiar by this time: a bit of singing, prayer, some sharing by the visitors & perhaps time for questions.
Episcopal Youth Community:
Music this week:
Prelude Chorale Preludes by J. S. Bach and Max Reger on Our Father,
thou in heaven above
Entrance Hymn 410 “Praise, my soul, the King of heaven” Lauda anima
Offertory Hymn 688 “A mighty fortress is our God” Ein feste Burg
Communion Hymn 685 “Rock of ages, cleft for me” Toplady
Closing Hymn 613 “Thy kingdom come, O God” St. Cecilia
Postlude Chorale Prelude on Ein Feste Burg Helmut Walcha
Fr. Karl on Vacation: Fr. Karl and Elizabeth will be taking a little time off beginning today July 28th and will return Friday evening August 2nd. In case of a pastoral need please call Deacon Mike Burg 918-9944 or Deacon Michele Whitford 918-1230.
Faith Alive is coming to Grace! On September 20-22 Grace will be hosting a Faith Alive event. For those of you who have not heard, Faith Alive is simply a spiritual retreat held in the comfort of our own church and city. It will include numerous activities developed to bring our church closer together and ourselves closer to God and understanding the unique relationship we share with Him. Is a retreat out of your comfort zone? Not to worry, come as a spectator, no one will pressure you to share. Our goal is to have everyone in the church participate, we believe that fully in this event and the outcomes it will provide our church.
Education for Ministry: How do I learn to make the Bible stories become my stories? How do I learn how God wants to bless me with more than I can imagine? Join an EfM (Education for Ministry) group that is starting on Tuesday, September 9th. The 9:00-11:45 am group will meet at St. Paul’s in Plymouth. A 6:00-8:45 pm group is also forming with starting date and place to be determined. Scholarships are available, so don’t let the cost of $350 for this college credited class, stop you from joining. This year starts the use of all new materials and textbooks, so anyone who has taken any of the classes before can repeat them. Registrations are due by August 10th so materials can be received before the first class. Contact Barb Drewry-Zimmerman at email@example.com or 920-893-5189 for registration materials.
Summer Lunch Volunteers Needed: By day two, Sheboygan County Interfaith Organization’s summer lunch program had already served over 900 children in four Sheboygan Elementary Schools. They are in desperate need of volunteers to help as there are an additional 300 children who could benefit from the lunch program. They are looking primarily for individuals and families to help distribute lunches at the schools during the lunch hour from 11:15 – 12:30pm. June 24th through August 15th. You can register at the volunteer center website, which is: www.volunteersheboygan.com or please call Kristin Blanchard at 920-457-7272 x 12 or email www.sheboygancountyinterfaith.org if you are interested in helping.
Bishop’s Retirement Celebration: Everyone is invited to attend the Celebration for Bishop Russ and Jerrie Jacobus Sunday, August 18, 2013 from 3:30 – 9:00pm at Homestead Meadows, W7560 Spencer Rd. Appleton, WI 54914. This will be a casual event including Hayrides & games, dinner, a program, concluding with a dance with a DJ. Please register at diofdl.org/celebration . The cost to attend is $10 for adults, $5 for youth ages 12-18 and children under 12 free. Please do not let cost be a factor in attending, assistance is available for all.
Bishop Search: For all information concerning the search for the eighth Bishop of Fond du Lac please go to bishopsearch.info.