Grace Episcopal Church
28 November 2013
Happy Thanksgiving! Let us pray that this may be a Holy Thanksgiving. In the collect for the feast we pray:
Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
In a time when it is all-too-easy to focus on consumption, let us ever remember that all that we enjoy is of God’s bounty. When we do this we can then offer thanks. We can offer thanks to God for life itself—let alone the provision for our necessities, and for the fruits of the earth—and for the greatest bounty, that He has given His only Son for our redemption.
At your celebration of Thanksgiving, focus on prayer first. Make a point of opening your meal with prayer, whether or not it makes guests feel at ease. That’s part of the point—that the Gospel is offensive to the world. Focus on prayer. Join with at the Tripartite service (Wednesday, 7 p.m., at Grace). Join with us on Thanksgiving Day (9 a.m.) Make a point of gathering in prayer and worship, and then take this grace to your own table.
Holiday closure: The church and office will be closed on Friday and Saturday (29 and 30 November). No services will be offered on those days.
Grace Abounds: Please thank Ann and Bob Hanlon, and Jennifer and John Keller for the wonderful coffee hours this past Sunday.
Call for Contributions: 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.
Advent Lessons & Carols will be offered, again, this year on Sunday, 8 December, at 4 p.m., followed by High Tea. This is an ideal introduction to Anglican piety, as well as just a wonderful opportunity to gather in worship. This year we are inviting community leaders from outside the parish to serve as our readers. Please invite your friends to join us!
Episcopal Youth Community: New Beginnings: December 7-8, Grace Church, Sheboygan, for all students grades 6-8 - http://diofdl.org/newbeginnings
Music this week:
Prelude Chorale Prelude on Sleepers, Wake! J. S. Bach
Entrance Hymn 58 “Lo, he comes with clouds descending” St. Thomas
Trisagion S-102 A. Archangelsky
Offertory Hymn 61 “Sleeper, wake! A voice astounds us” Wachet auf
Communion Motet Come, thou Redeemer of the earth arr. David Willcocks
Closing Hymn 66 “Come, thou long-expected Jesus” Stuttgart
Postlude Chorale Prelude on Sleepers, Wake! J. G. Walther
§ Holiday Parade: Grace Church will be selling cocoa and coffee, brownies, apple crisp and hotdogs, before and during the Holiday Parade Sunday December 1st. The money raised goes to the Twenty Liter water project. Please come by the front of the church and enjoy a warm treat as you enjoy the parade, be sure to bring your friends.
§ Simple Potluck Supper and Compline: Sunday, December 1st 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.
§ Stewardship: If you received a pledge card and haven't responded yet, please do so. Even if your response is that you don't have a 2014 pledge, we still need to hear from you as soon as possible. We are in the process of assembling the 2014 budget and need your pledge information. Starting the week of December 1, members of the Vestry will be personally contacting parishioners who haven't responded. Thanks in advance for your assistance and for supporting Grace Church.
§ Salvation Army Adopt a Family Gift tags: We have the tree up, and all the name tags on it, for the Salvation Army Family gifts, please take a name or two and follow the instructions on the table next to the tree. Please return the gifts to Grace Church by December 8th. If you have any questions please call Nancy Yurk at 453-9948.
§ Youth and Children’s Choir: Youth and Children’s choir rehearsals for the Christmas Eve service are at 5:30-6:00pm beginning this Wednesday December 4th, downstairs in the choir room. Additional rehearsals will be on December 11th and 18th these will be just before the Pageant rehearsals. The final rehearsal will be Sunday, December 22nd at 9:00am. The choir is open to 2nd graders through high school, and will sing for the 4pm service on Christmas Eve.
§ Christmas Pageant Rehearsals: will be on Wednesday December 4th, December 11th and 18th starting at 6:00p.m. The rehearsals will begin in the church and then go downstairs for costumes. Participation is open to youth of all ages. The Pageant will take place during the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass. Please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. If your child would like to participate but cannot make rehearsals please note that on the sheet or call the office.
§ Director Needed: If you would like to spend some time with shepherds and angels have I got a job for you! A volunteer or two are needed to direct the Christmas Pageant. The more help keeping little feet in place the better. Please speak with Pat Ford Smith or Nicci Beeck.
§ Advent Lessons and Carols: On Sunday, 8 December, a festival of Advent Lessons and Carols will be offered at Grace Episcopal Church, beginning at 4:00 p.m.
§ The festival prepares us for the coming of the Messiah by following the scriptural record through nine lessons, each followed by a seasonal carol offered by choir and congregation. The choir will also offer seasonal anthems, and music will include Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey on organ. The service is followed immediately by a High Tea reception.
§ Christmas Castle Volunteers: Tuesday, December 17th from 1:00 – 3:30pm help make Christmas merry for hundreds of children this year by volunteering. As a volunteer you will have the opportunity to walk the aisles of the “toy store” with clients to help them find the perfect gift. The Christmas Castle is located on the west side of Memorial Mall in the old Walgreens’s. Please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex.
§ Christmas Joy: is scheduled to meet on Thursday, December 19th at 11:00 AM in the church kitchen. At that time we will assemble winter greens and flowers and bag cookies, and then make deliveries (there is a sign up sheet in the narthex.) We need helping hands and money (to buy for packaging supplies and flowers.) Can you bake, make a delivery or help arrange? Please join us for this fulfilling ministry to our shut-ins. They will appreciate it. If you have questions please call Barb MacEwen at 467-6909.
§ Study/Discussion Group: This group decided to study of Galatians. They plan to meet after the 10:15 service starting December 1, hoping to meet every two weeks in the conference room. Contact people are Mary Massey and Fr. John Ambelang.
§ Canticle of Christmas: Mark your calendars for the Lakeshore Chorale & Lakeshore Youth Chorale Christmas Concert. Sunday, December 8, 2013, 2:00 p.m. at St. Peter Claver Church, 1444 South 11th Street, Sheboygan. Lakeshore Chorale & Youth Chorale celebrate the Christmas season with a variety of holiday music, an audience sing-along, and conclude with a reception of punch and Christmas cookies! $15.00 adults; $8.00 students OR included in Season Ticket.
§ Society of Mary: The fundamental Mission is to foster devotion to Mary, Mother of God, at Grace Episcopal Church. The Society will be revived, to qualify as an internationally-recognized named cell. Focuses will include: (a) Revitalize attendance at the celebration of the five annual commemorations of Mary on the Church Calendar; (b) Increase attendance support of the Walsingham protoshrine daily prayers, and for the corporate Rosary recited on Mondays at 5:30 p.m.; (c) Improve communication in the broader community of our intended missions. Normal meeting time will be after the first service on the fourth Sunday of the month in the church library and possibly Monday after shrine and rosary. Contact person is Mary Kohler.
§ "So many books so little time". I am interested in starting/being a part of a book club centered at Grace. My initial thought is a once a month meeting at Grace to discuss the months selection. At this point I am simply throwing out a few ideas I have seen work in the past. All "rules" would be decided by the participants. Since we have made some progress in developing "Faith Alive" small groups revolving around mostly spiritual issues I thought a "literary" small group might be nice. Any thoughts, suggestions, interest would be welcome. Dale Massey (920) 254-3034, email@example.com.
§ Meals On Wheels Christmas Cookies: Meals On Wheels volunteers will be delivering a box of homemade cookies to our clients again this Christmas season. (As many of you know, for some clients, this is the only gift they will receive). So all we need are the cookies. If you would like to donate some of your goodies to our project please call or email Maureen at Meals On Wheels at 451-7011 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We have cookie drop off sites in both Sheboygan and Plymouth and we will be packaging cookies on the 17th of December. Your response in the past has been overwhelming and we cannot thank you enough for your continued support.