Grace Episcopal Church
26 September 2013
Where to start? The manifestations of real growth in the Spirit demonstrated during the Faith Alive weekend were many and profound, so the question of “where to start” can be seen to be two-fold: First, how can we hope to describe the blessings of the weekend?, and Where are we called now?
The blessings of the weekend were seen first in the level of participation, which exceeded fondest hopes. For example, at the follow-up meeting on Sunday, over fifty people showed up. They came back to church at the end of a long weekend to discern and discuss the second aspect of “Where to start?” Where do we go form here?
The most common theme in the follow-up meeting was that the small group meetings during the Faith Alive weekends allowed for the most profound spiritual sharing and growth, and our first follow-up step will be, therefore, to identify how to foster small group development in the parish. Your help is needed. What do you want? A book study group? A support group? A social group? There are many models and opportunities, and the Follow-up Committee is working now to identify these and to foster the roll-out of renewed and new ministries. If you are looking for how you can participate, if you have an idea for a ministry or a group, contact Bob Hanlon, Ed Clabots, John Davis, Nancy Yurk or John Ambelang to discuss your idea or question.
A second common theme related to how participants were able to get to know other members of the parish in ways that were new, by sharing. How can we foster this kind of outreach and growth? What part do you have to play? The more we engage in sharing, the more we build trust, to allow for even greater sharing and mutual growth. When you have an idea, stop by the parish and share it. We’ll put it in the mix, and guided by the Holy Spirit we will see a renewed and new spiritual groundedness at Grace that allows His grace to be shared with all.
Grace Abounds: There are too many people to thank for how successful the Faith Alive weekend was, and publishing a long list runs the risk of oversight—so thank God!
Please thank John Ambelang, Pat Ford Smith, Jane Hanson, Mary Massey, and Martha Shad for manning the office during the past two weeks.
Please thank Bryan Stenz for wonderful coffee hours this past Sunday.
We have sent formal thanksgivings to the clergy and people of St. Paul’s in Plymouth and St. Peter’s in Sheboygan Falls, who helped prepare and serve food for the weekend. Our own team was led by Bernie Markevitch, with help from Barb MacEwen, Nicci Beeck and Bryan Stenz.
Call for Contributions: Jane Hanson’s reflection on the Faith Alive weekend (below) highlights that this is a parish blog. If you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshippers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday (noon) each week.
Faith Alive reflection: It was with some expectation, a little curiosity and just a touch of doubt that I began the "Faith Alive" experience. It was not long before it became apparent that it was a
journey worth taking, with insights worth discovering. The greatest of those being a part of sharing the hopes, the hurts, the needs of my Grace Church family in a small group setting. The capable leaders of the Faith Alive team gently led us into allowing the Holy Spirit to touch our hearts. That touch was reflected in the trust that filled each of us with a freedom to be honest and open about our fears, our losses, our disappointments and our faith walks. It has been my experience that it is rare for a small group of people gathered together for the first time to feel safe enough to expose those inner thoughts so readily. A testimony to the presence of our Lord when two or more gather in His Name.
It was a privilege to be a part of those Spirit filled moments. What blessings our Grace family has been given. Reflection, renewal and now, a readiness to grow toward a deeper commitment to one another, to our ministries and to our God.
To Him Be The Glory! ―Jane
Episcopal Youth Community: This past weekend the youth of Grace gathered together to participate in Faith Alive. We welcomed Larry Boothby and two teens to Grace as team leaders, and they shared their stories of faith and life with us. We spent time in community, and in prayer. We discussed options regarding Youth Group, and Sunday School. We talked about what we like about church and what we might change if we were in charge. We went bowling and ate pizza, and performed a song for the whole group. All in all, I feel like we accomplished a lot in the way of building community, and learning more about what we feel about church and our small group we call Youth Group. I look forward to the future where we can speak openly and honestly about ourselves personally and corporately, and the interconnectedness of our relationships throughout the parish and the diocese. ―Nick
Being the Body: Our discipleship program meets again this Saturday, 28 September, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. (Lunch is included.) The focus is on Living Together: Authentic Christian Community in the 21st Century. Even if you have never come to one of our programs, come to this one, for a primary focus will be on how to form small groups for mutual growth and ministry, and this is an area of focused identified in the Faith Alive weekend as top-of-mind in the parish.
Music this week:
Prelude Prelude on a Psalm-tune by Orlando Gibbons C. Stanford
Entrance Hymn 477 “All praise to thee, for thou, O King divine” Engelberg
Offertory Hymn 583 “O holy city, seen of John” Morning Song
Communion Motet My eyes for beauty pine H. Howells
Comm. Hymn 609 “Where cross the crowded ways of life” Gardiner
Closing Hymn 625 “Ye holy angels bright” Darwall’s
Postlude Chorale Fantasia on ‘Ye holy angels bright’ H. Darke
§ Citizenship Celebration - Recently, Ellen Aparicio passed her citizenship test and will have her oath ceremony later this month to become a U.S. Citizen. To celebrate her accomplishment, Paul and Andrea Aparicio will be offering an American themed lunch with a hot dog bar and apple pie after the 10:15 service on September 29th. Please join us in celebrating with Ellen on her accomplishment.
§ Bishop Election Candidates: For all information concerning the search for the eighth Bishop of Fond du Lac please go to bishopsearch.info. Full biographies of the candidates are now available. Printed copies are available at the parish office. The closest “walkabout” opportunity to meet the candidates will be on Friday, 4 October, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Fond du Lac, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
§ Raking Leaves Fundraiser: If raking your yard this year seems like too much of a task, then our Boy Scout Troop is here to help. They will be raking leaves on the following dates: November 2nd, 9th, and 16th. If you are interested please contact Paul Aparicio (firstname.lastname@example.org). A sign-up sheet will be available in the narthex.
§ Opera lovers small group outing: The first broadcast of the season for The Metropolitan Opera is a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Yevgeny Onegin on Saturday, 5 October, at 11:55 a.m. The showing will be at the Marcus theatre in Sheboygan. A group of parishioners who love opera will be gathering to enjoy the production, and then join afterword in light refreshment. Come join us!
If you want details, go to: http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/liveinhd/LiveinHD.aspx
You can follow the links for ticket purchase, but tickets can also be purchased at the theatre. This production is getting positive reviews. One appears in the 24 September edition of The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/arts/music/love-and-conflict-in-the-19th-century-and-the-21st.html?hpw
§ Catechumenate! Do you wish you knew more about the Creed, church history, the Book of Common Prayer and why we do the things we do during worship? Would you like to confirm your Baptismal Vows in the sacrament of Confirmation? Would you like to be received into the Episcopal Church from the Roman Catholic Church? Would you like to practice Discipleship? If you answered yes to any of these questions, I am inviting you to be a part of the Catechumenate this year. The Catechumenate will meet on Monday evenings each week starting at 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and will continue until May when the Bishop makes his annual visitation. The first class will begin Monday, September 30, 2013 and will meet from 6:00-7:00pm. The study is led by Deacon Michele Whitford, the Parish Catechist.
§ If you would like to be a part of this exciting study and fellowship or would like more information, please e-mail Deacon Michele at email@example.com or call the office 452-9659. Please prayerfully consider this invitation.
§ Nourish Annual Harvest Celebration & Fundraiser: Nourish a program of SCIO will be holding its Harvest Celebration & Fundraiser Friday, October 4th from 5pm - 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 Annie B, wine, beer and non-alcoholic Haymakers will also be served. Live and silent auctions will take place. Nourish Harvest Celebration will be held at the Lakeshore Culinary Institute, 712 Riverfront Drive Sheboygan, formally Riverside City Streets. Tickets for the event will be available at the door or prior for $25 or reserved tables of 8 for $300. Contact Linda at 920-918-0251 or firstname.lastname@example.org or www.nourishfarms.org.
§ The Blessing of the Animals: On Saturday, 5 October, we will observe the “translated” feast of St. Francis of Assisi. Following the 9 a.m. service of Holy Eucharist, at 9:30 a.m. we will bless animals outside the church entrance on Ontario Avenue (rain or shine). If you have an animal companion for blessing, please secure your friend on a lead or in a suitable cage. If your companion would suffer undue stress from being brought to the parish, you can request a “house call” for a blessing, and a schedule can be agreed for blessings that will take place after 5 October.
§ Simple Potluck Supper and Compline: Sunday, October 6th we will have our first Sunday of the month Simple Potluck Supper at 6:30pm. Come and enjoy the fellowship then stay for Compline at 8:00pm. The Schola Cantorum will be singing Compline which is the night time prayers said or sung just before retiring. It is a wonderful and peaceful way to end the day, and an ideal opportunity for your invited friends to experience simple prayer.
§ Game Night at Grace: Game Nights are times when people of all ages can come together to play different games that are enjoyed by everyone. There will be board games, card games, and almost any type of game that you’d want to play. Invite your parents or your friends or anyone who you’d want to come. Game Night is open to all: young and old, singles, couples or families. The next Game night will be Sat, Oct 19th 6:30-9:00 PM. Feel free to bring snacks and drinks. We hope to see you there!