Grace Episcopal Church
31 July 2014
Observations on Suffering: I had the opportunity last week of saying prayers at Our Lady of Walsingham Shrine. As we read those requests it brought to mind how much suffering we have all around us. It is hard to look suffering in the face even when it does not touch us directly. But my thoughts kept going back to those crying out for prayer. As I prayed about this, a few thoughts began to form. I must learn to accept that in this world there is much pain that passes through life. For everyone it is difficult, demanding but most important, necessary. In Matthew 26:39 our Lord says “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Jesus asked that his suffering be taken away, just as I imagine we all do when trials, pain or tragedy enter our lives. God knew His suffering was necessary. When suffering is before us do we see it as necessary? The words of Victor Frankl came to mind, “when a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique…..his unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.” Hard words to accept when one faces suffering. It seems that when I am passing through pain, fear, wishing I could be anyone else or be anyplace else, if I just remember that perhaps someday I can declare it to be the most important time ever for me. A time I would never choose can become the time I remember with great joy, for out of it comes trust. No matter how terrible it may all appear at a particular moment, I simply do not know the Lord’s plan or where it will take me. It does not matter if I brought myself to this trial, or arrived here as a result of forces beyond my control, my Lord and God walks beside me. I read recently that Jesus did not come to explain away all suffering or to remove it, He came to fill it with His presence. This is what I must hold in my thoughts when praying for all who are suffering. He is beside me! The same Jesus who turned water into wine will walk beside each of us through pain and suffering. How grateful I am that I am not left alone to flounder in weakness. My Lord will strengthen me through His goodness and love, and through the lifeline of prayer. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Grace Abounds: Please thank all those who have donated goodies for coffee hour and for those who have stepped in and made a pot of coffee and set out sweets. Thank you.
Thank you goes out to Barb MacEwen for all her work scheduling and organizing the Appraisal Fair. Included are:
For publicity and creation of posters and signage: Andrea Apparicio
For publicity, especially contacting the Press-Jill Stagner, and for distributing flyers to area stores-Bobbi Kraft, and for anyone who told anyone about this event!
For willingness to be available for guided tours of the church-Jane Hanson
For set up of Grace items to sell-Ed and Mary Clabots
For photography- Ed Clabots
For checking in participants-Jill Stagner, Bev Evans
For announcing the schedule-Katy Larson, Paula Roenitz
For microphone wiring and general counsel-Michele Whitford
For manning the concession stand-Bob and Anne Hanlon, Scott Gedemer, Bob MacEwen
For assisting others in bringing in their valuables-Bob MacEwen, Ed Clabots, Scott Gedemer
For bringing Tom Seymour over so he could participate-Mary Snyder
For setting up and taking down, without whom it would have been a tremendous amount for me to do, I am most grateful to Bill May, our sexton.
Please also thank those who spent time grilling or volunteering to work the Brat Barn:
Tom, Tasha, & Ben Crouse
Bobbi & Kaleigh Kraft
Elizabeth Chapman Orr
Kevan & Tracie Revis
McKenna & Katie Schumacher
Adult Christian Education: will continue on Sunday, August 3rd –August 10th, at 9 a.m. Our discussions will focus on eight realities of the Church, that she is: 1. visible; 2. universal; 3. enduring; 4. possessed of authority; 5. embodies beauty; 6. hierarchical; 7. in communion with the saints; and 8. a moral witness. We will examine particularly how these are embodied in Anglicanism. In other words, we are going to talk about how and why the Church matters, and how we participate in how she matters!
Music this week:
Music for Sunday, August 3rd, 2014
Proper 13 A
Prelude Prelude on ‘Draw nigh and take’ Leo Sowerby
Entrance Hymn 368 “Holy Father, great Creator” Regent Square
Offertory Hymn 522 “Glorious things of thee are spoken” Austria
Communion Hymn 328 “Draw nigh and take” Song 46
Closing Hymn 690 “Guide me, O thou great Jehovah” Cwm Rhondda
Postlude Prelude & Fugue in G Major Johann Kuhnau
Summer adult formation at Grace Church: will continue on Sunday, August 3rd –August 10th, at 9 a.m. Our discussions will focus on eight realities of the Church, that she is: 1. visible; 2. universal; 3. enduring; 4. possessed of authority; 5. embodies beauty; 6. hierarchical; 7. in communion with the saints; and 8. a moral witness. We will examine particularly how these are embodied in Anglicanism. In other words, we are going to talk about how and why the Church matters, and how we participate in how she matters!
Transfiguration of Our Lord: Wednesday, August 6th at 6:00pm we will celebrate The Transfiguration of Our Lord with a Solemn Mass. Please plan on worshiping with the Grace Church family and meeting with Jesus as his glory is revealed on the mountain top.
Grafton Commemoration: An observed Feast of the diocese to honor the anniversary of Bishop Grafton's earthly death and heavenly birth. The 2014 Commemoration is August 23rd from 2-6pm at the Cathedral of St. Paul, Fond du Lac. Bishop Gunter will speak on "Evangelical at heart, while in belief, a liberal Catholic." Visit diofdl.org/grafton for more information.
“Before and After”: The floor cleaning project to well underway! The Chapel of Christ the King is complete and the floors behind the high altar are finished with the help from many people. If you are interested in participating, see Fr. Karl. This is tough, physical labor, so if you are challenged in working on hands and knees, consider whether you want to help with material costs, with a gift outside of your regular giving to the parish. Thank you to all who are helping.
Hebrew: After two years of study of New Testament Greek we will offer a course in biblical Hebrew. Classes will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, beginning on 11 September. There is a cost of $100 for materials, but this can be supported through a generous scholarship fund. The class is open to people who are not members of the parish, so feel free to invite friends from the community or other churches. This class does not assume that you have any particular ability in learning a language. The goal is not to learn to speak and write Hebrew, but to be able to work in the biblical text using written and online aids. We want to be able to work in the text to gain insights into the message of the Bible, insights that may not be apparent in English. For example, how verbs work is vastly different in Hebrew. The concept of time is very different. What can we learn about God and His will for us by exploring these differences? Our discussions will be more theological than linguistic, as they were in our Greek class. If you are interested, or know someone who is, contact Fr. Karl.