Grace Episcopal Church
29 August 2013
One of the things that is evident in developing athletic and some artistic skills such as a golf stroke, a gymnastics or dance move, a proper lead and reaction in skeet shooting, or a tennis serve is muscle memory. Muscle memory involves the repetition of a motion enough that the involved body parts are trained to react, and we don’t have to think about the stroke, the step or the shot. (In fact, when we do think about the stroke, the step or the shot, we tend to do it less well.)
Muscle memory reflects the development of a native gift as a result of intentional training. In the practice of religion some muscle memory can be developed. Episcopalians of long-standing just seem to know when to kneel, and if you sign the cross on yourself, you probably don’t think much about how to do it.
In the Body which is the Church or a congregation of the Church, “muscle memory” involves those patterns of doing things that we have learned and absorbed through long practice, and so we don’t have to think so much about how to do something. This is why we refer to the practice of religion while recognizing that this is different from the faith we hold and profess. The very word “religion” comes from the Latin for “that which binds again”. In other words, no matter how strong our faith may be, we need to practice it. Each and every time we pray, gather in worship, and receive the Blessed Sacrament, we bind ourselves more closely to God.
As we move closer to our Faith Alive weekend (20-22 September), every one of us needs to pray now, and continually, that The Holy Spirit will bless us with a mighty work of faith, that we will be so touched by God that we will literally become more alive in our faith. In this new life, let us exercise every muscle and sinew of Christ’s Body. Let every one of us as a member of this Body live into our identity and vocation as a member of a whole which far exceeds the sum of her parts. But let’s start practicing now. Let’s work on “prayer memory” and “praise memory” and “worship memory” and “memory” in Communion. Establish the patterns while limbering up, and then (to borrow another athletic reference) “Just do it!” Pray now. Pray on your own. Make a habit of coming to one of the daily services held at the parish, that we may pray together for our Lord to bless us with new life.
Grace Abounds: Please thank Jennifer Pawlus and Sutton Cecil for a wonderful coffee hour this past Sunday.
Faith Alive: Faith Alive and music
The Faith Alive team that is coming to visit us (20-22 September) includes musicians. Our Sunday worship will include singing at the 8 o’clock service, and at the 10:15 we will include our typical music of hymns and service music/chant, supplemented by songs led by the Faith Alive team. We will also be joined by Sheboygan’s “Winds of Praise” flute choir, and the Faith Alive team will lead us in music at parish gatherings during the weekend. Much of the music will be familiar to you. Some will be new, but easy to participate in. All will be Spirit-filled.
Episcopal Youth Community: Sunday School Is Starting Soon!
Grace and peace to you! Did you hear that Sunday School is starting soon? Well, if not it going to be great this year. All of the teachers have been spending a lot of time getting ready for this school year, and we really want to meet you and get to see you before classes start. That's why we are having a Sunday School registration and ice cream social on Wednesday, September 4th from 6:30-7:30pm, it's an opportunity to meet your teachers, see the classrooms, and find out what we're going to be doing in class this year! (And eat some ice cream too).
After that happens, then we have our first Sunday School class (did I mention that was starting soon?) on September 8th at 9:00am. In fact classes for all ages will be starting that day; from 4K-Adults. And just in case you fit into this category, the nursery is also open, that way, the littlest ones can play in the nursery, the older siblings can go to Sunday School, and you the responsible and care-about-your-and-your-children's-spiritual-growth-and-development parent can edify yourself with the adult class in St. Nicholas Hall.
Don't forget about the ice cream on the 4th. See you there! ―Nick
Music this week:
Prelude Two Slow Airs Howells
Entrance Hymn 376 “Joyful, joyful we adore thee” Hymn to Joy
Offertory Hymn 477 “All praise to thee, for thou, O King divine” Engelberg
Comm. Hymn 321 “My God, thy table now is spread” Rockingham
Closing Hymn 438 “Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord” Woodlands
Postlude Fanfare & Galliard Howells
§ Sunday School Registration and Ice Cream Social! Come register for Sunday School, meet the teachers and see the classrooms Wednesday, September 4th, 6:30-7:30pm. Sunday School will begin on September 8th at 9:00am. The teachers are ready for another wonderful year of learning about the love of Jesus Christ! Please watch for more information.
§ Faith Alive is coming to Grace! On September 20-22 Grace will be hosting a Faith Alive event. Faith Alive is a church retreat held in the comfort of our own church and community. The weekend will be led by Witnesses, who are fellow Episcopalians, that travel here at their own expense to lead engaging activities with ALL members of Grace, from nursery through adulthood. The weekend will begin with a 24 hour prayer vigil beginning Thursday evening to set the tone and importance of prayer throughout the weekend’s events. Friday evening begins with a parish fellowship dinner and followed by programs designed for Adults, teens, children and nursery age children through 9:30pm. Saturday morning will kick off with coffee and discussion at homes of our fellow members throughout Sheboygan followed by luncheons and more activities and discussions. Lasting relationships with church members you may not know today are often created here. Saturday’s events are finished with a fellowship dinner and small group discussions. Sunday concludes the weekend’s events with active inclusion of the witnesses we have worked with in nursery and children programs, and also within the church service followed by a luncheon for the entire parish. We feel privileged to offer such an impactful retreat to our church family and hope you take the time to reflect and pray with your family on this weekend and participating in all of the events offered.
§ A Day of Healing: On September 14, 2013, A Day of Healing is a spiritual and instructional journey that consists of teaching and worship for people of all denominations, especially for those who seek to carry on the healing ministry of Jesus in their local communities. The sessions are led by Rev. Paul Feider who is nationally known for his work in spiritual direction, healing prayer and scripture study. Topics for the day include: Healing in the Gospels and through history; Dealing with Bitter Roots and Inner Vows, Healing our Image of God; Healing Self-esteem; Healing Intimacy in Relationships. Arrival and registration is at 8:45am and the teachings beginning at 9:00 am and finishing at 4:00 pm. This is held in St John’s Church and Center for Inner Peace at 1513 Pinewood Lane in New London, WI. Lunch is provides along with coffee and snacks.
§ The second Day on November 2 will address: Healing Miscarriage; Dealing with Evil; Healing Depression; Healing the Dying; Healing Marriage and Wounds of Divorce.
§ 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 Monday, September 9th. The 9:00-11:45a.m. group will meet at St. Paul’s in Plymouth. the evening EfM class will be on Monday nights starting at 6 pm at Grace Church in Sheboygan. You can still register by calling Barb at 920-893-5189 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
§ Bishop Search: For all information concerning the search for the eighth Bishop of Fond du Lac please go to bishopsearch.info.