Grace Episcopal Church
30 January 2014
Holiness & Happiness
Last Summer I heard of a book, Sacred Marriage: What if God Created Marriage to Make You Holy Rather Than Happy? I was intrigued because culturally few any longer think of marriage as sacred. In addition, most think of holiness as arduous & somber as well as believing if my marriage isn’t making me happy, I’ll have to find someone else.
Sometime later I ran across an article that made the point that holiness & happiness aren't opposites: one doesn’t need to choose one or the other. In fact the article continued, if you truly want to be happy, you must be holy. That’s a culturally shocking statement. Surely, though, we catch indications of that truth on Sunday mornings … there is the collect that says in part:
Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; ... (emphasis mine).
The article also pointed mentioned a book by a 17th century Puritan, Thomas Brooks, who devotes a whole book towards discussing the contention that there is no true joy without holiness. Having a Kindle, it was only a few moments, a couple of dollars, & there it was. It's aptly subtitled, Holiness, the Only Way to Happiness.
Now I don’t want to belabor the point, but rather go onto what in the book has recently captured my interest; Brooks talks of the tongue, the mouth, & the lips, saying among other things:
A holy heart & a holy tongue are inseparable companions. If there be grace in the heart – there will be grace in the lips. If the heart is pure—the language will be pure.
Righteous men keep open house, they keep free hospitality for all comers and goers; & if they have not always bread in their hands—yet they have always grace on their lips, to feed many. Though they may be outwardly poor, yet they have a treasure within to enrich many.
Physicians say that the nature of diseases is as well known by the tongue as by the pulse. The spiritual diseases that are in the heart will quickly discover themselves by the tongue.
The philosopher being asked which was the best member of the body, answered, “The tongue; for if it's good, it's the best trumpet of God’s glory.”
You may remember Jesus words: The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45) (emphasis mine).
Join me in praying: “Let the words of our mouths & the meditations of our hearts always be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our Strength & our Redeemer. Amen.” ―Fr. John Ambelang
Grace Abounds: Please thank:
§ All those who brought dishes to the pot luck luncheon.
§ Dcn. Michele for her extra work in preparing the annual meeting handouts.
§ Jane Hanson for office help.
Episcopal Youth Community: Reset. Reboot. Restart... Right in the Middle of Everything
Sometimes, when I'm going along with my daily routine I find that I'm stuck, and I need to take the time to "restart" in order to correct the situation. Sometimes when working through my responsibilities that I have been unintentionally missing one or more of them, and I have to "reboot" so that I can bring everything back together in its proper place. And sometimes when the big things in my life seem out of sync, and there is doubt and stress with nothing I can really do about it, I need to take the time to "reset" and allow the changes to happen, without my intervention, without my need to press my point, without it taking up so much head-space.
And after saying that I am so thankful that we have a God who does not overlook us, that does not forsake us, and listens to us. Especially when our hearts ache, and our soul groans with pain, and our mouths call out for relief.
For future strength, a calm mind, and focus on the what is important we pray to you Lord God. Lord hear our prayer. ―Nick
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 in the week of publication.
Music this week: Candlemas, The Feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
Proc. Hymn 257 “O Zion, open wide thy gates” (alternate tune: Richmond)
Offertory Anthem There shall a star come out of Jacob Mendelssohn
Communion Motet Nunc dimittis in B flat Stanford
Comm. Hymn 524 “Let all mortal flesh keep silence”
Closing Hymn 657 “Love divine, all love excelling”
Postlude Chorale Prelude on Lord Christ, thou only Son of God Walther
§ Adult Formation-Liturgical Workshop: Adult formation will continue February 2 at 9 a.m. with the second of a four week series of liturgical workshops intended to allow participants to become much more familiar with a life of prayer, and the resources in the Book of Common Prayer. The workshops will be led by parish clergy and seminarian. Those who do not already have their own prayer book at home can also get one to use at home!
§ Galatians Study: Grab a cup of coffee and join us in the small conference room this morning to study Galatians following the 10:15 service.
§ Lenten Booklet: Grace Church will prepare our own parish book of Lenten meditations, written by parishioners. For each of the forty days of Lent season, a Gospel lesson taken from the Eucharistic lectionary for the weekdays in Lent, plus the Sunday Eucharistic lectionary, are provided on a clip board on the Narthex table. Following each Gospel lesson will be the Collect prayer for the celebration of Eucharist on each day. The Collect “collects” our prayers as founded in the Scripture appointed for each day. The method envisaged for use of this booklet is that parishioners will read the Gospel lesson– perhaps more than once, perhaps underlining the words or phrases that resonate with them on that day–then reflect on the Collect, and then write down their own reflections on the page appointed for the day. These reflections will be gathered by February 21st to allow for production lead-time. The publication of a parish devotional will be published to the whole parish, in print and on our website. Please submit your meditations anonymously or for attribution to Tasha Crouse at firstname.lastname@example.org.
§ English as a Second Language teaching group: This ESL group helps immigrants learn the English language to better their lives and job prospects. The group will meet Wednesday evenings beginning February 5th at 6:00pm on the lower level in the youth room. Contact Scott Lubbers at 698-2002.
§ Metropolitan Opera: On Saturday, 8 February, we will gather at the Marcus Cinema for 11:55 a.m. live broadcast of Dvoŗak’s Rusalka, with Renée Flemming in the title role. The broadcast concludes about 3:45 p.m., and we will gather afterward for light refreshment. If you are interested and need a ride, call the parish office.
§ Simple Potluck Supper and Compline: Sunday, February 9th we will have our 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.
§ Second Sunday Small Groups: February 9th Small groups will meet between services at 9:00am and after the 10:15 service today. Questions will be provided to reflect on the lessons for the Day. Please meet in St. Nicholas Hall and the groups will be divided up and rooms will be assigned.
§ Flower Schedule for 2014: Giving the gift of flowers is a wonderful way to remember a loved one or to offer thanksgiving for your blessings. If you wish to sign up for a specific Sunday, the Flower Schedule is available on the table in the narthex. More than one person can sign up for each Sunday.
§ Coffee Hour Schedule: There is a new sign-up sheet for hosting coffee hour in 2014. If you would like to host please sign up for either 8:00am or 10:15am. We are in need of someone to oversee the schedule and be the point person for questions. If you would be able to spend a few minutes a week double checking the sign-up sheet and giving reminders or if you have questions please see Deacon Michele or Bobbi Kraft. Thank you so much.
§ All Saints' Chapel Ownership - Sunday services at All Saints' Chapel will continue to be a shared ministry this year which means volunteers will be needed to have ownership of opening and closing the chapel. A sign-up sheet is located in the Narthex. If you have questions regarding responsibilities, please ask any member of the Vestry.
§ Love Bowls: an annual fundraiser to benefit Meals On Wheels will be held on Sunday,
- February 9th from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm at Sheboygan South High School. Purchase a beautiful Talavera pottery bowl or plate for $20 and enjoy unlimited soup from nearly 70 local restaurants. Live entertainment provides a great environment for family and friends. Pewter, glassware and other Talavera pieces are available at our silent auction!
§ Lakeshore Chorale's Valentine Visions: This Valentine's Day, February 14th, we invite you to Lakeshore Chorale's very special Valentine Gala, "Valentine Visions." The first half of the evening will feature the Lakeshore Chorale Adult Choir performing a variety of love songs in the excellent acoustic environment of Grace Episcopal Church. The second portion of the concert will be held in Grace Church's St. Nicholas Hall, beautifully decorated for the holiday by Bernie Markevitch. While you are enjoying scrumptious desserts made by The Cookie Jar Girls, you will be treated to a cabaret performance by members of the Lakeshore Chorale - vocal solos, duets, small ensembles, and instrumental interludes. Please be our Valentine and join us for this very special evening! Tickets are $20 and are selling quickly. Please reserve or purchase your tickets today by calling 920-451-1863, or purchase on line at: http://www.lakeshorechorale.org/Tickets.html