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Thursday, March 12, 2015

When the Christ in Me Meets the Christ in You

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
12 March 2015

A guest column from Jane HansonWhen the Christ in Me Meets the Christ in You
We are ALL made in the image of the  Creator (Genesis 1:26.)  Scripture tells us we are His children.  This we are comfortable with.  We are comfortable when we are with people who are warm, loving and who believe what we believe, live like we live and worship God like we worship Him.  But our journey of faith often takes us to landscapes that are not serene and familiar.  In front of us are strange sights and sounds.  We find ourselves sharing the path with unexpected companions.  And now we are uncomfortable, tense, fearful even.  Most certainly we are suspicious.  They don’t look like us, talk like us, worship God like us.  Yet our faith tells us these strangers are God’s children.  Our faith tells us to see the Christ within each person we meet.  How do we look beyond all the differences, the voices so unfamiliar, the appearance so unsettling.  Beliefs and ideas we find disturbing.  We can’t!  Not by our own power.  It seems that most of the time we do not stop and tap into the Spirit within us.  That Holy Spirit so ready to guide our thoughts, our words.  So, the fear, the suspicions arise.  Then the bigotry and hatred takes over, at the most, or we simply turn and walk away, at the least.  How do we master the tapping into the Christ within?  How do we reign in those powerful negative feelings toward those who challenge our status quo?  Have we forgotten that “His divine power has given us everything needed for life…“ 2Peter1:3.  We learn to live and walk the words of The Christ. “Our love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all…..”  2Cor5:14.   Only then can we see beyond the differences in those who walk onto our path, see beyond the  uncomfortable, beyond the distain.  We can then see as our Creator sees.  With merciful, grace filled love for all the travelers we meet on our life’s journey.  Yes, within you and me is the ability to embrace the differences of others, to love them.  Because within each of us dwells The Christ. 

Grace abounds:  Please thank:
§  Traci and Kevan Revis for the simple supper at our last Friday in Lent meeting.
§  Boy Scout Troop 801 for the Sunday pancake breakfasts.

Adult Education:  For the next two Sundays adult education will focus on the “how to’s” of praying the Daily Office.  This is intended to be a very practically-oriented class on the ins-and-outs devloping and maintaining the habit of daily prayer using the prayer book.  The class will meet in the fellowship hall at 9 a.m. each Sunday.

Youth and Family MinistryPrayers Please  This weekend our own Dee C. will be a candidate at Happening, and Nick W. will be on staff. Please lift up these two, and the rest of the staff and candidates as they enter a time of prayer, questions, talks, community building, and fun. Happening is a youth lead youth organized retreat for youth, and has been a staple of Christian Development in our diocese for many years. Please pray for us. Our time begins Friday evening, and ends with Eucharist on Sunday.
All are welcome to the closing Eucharist, All Saints Church, Appleton, 2pm.  Thank you for your prayers and support!
Happening is a high school lock-in/retreat that focuses on faith, Jesus, and refection. On March 13-15 they will be meeting, and sharing, and there is an outpouring of love that goes into a Happening. Caritas, is one way for us as a community to share the love with those participating. If you are a Happener (have participated in Happening) or if you are part of the Cursillo community you have experienced this kind of love.
As our Lent continues, perhaps you would like to take a couple of moments and share the love with each other. If you would like to learn how to participate with Happening in this way, please contact Nick or the Office, and they can give you more details.

Call for ContributionsIf 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:  The Fourth Sunday in Lent (Laetare Sunday)

Prelude                        Jesu dulcis memoria                                                    Henry Walfor Davies
Introit                          Rejoice, Jerusalem                                                                          Plainsong
Kyrie                           Missa ‘Alme Pater’                                 Plainsong, adapt. Wayne Wildman
Offertory Hymn 523   “Glorious things of thee are spoken”                                      Abbot’s Leigh
Communion Motet      My spirit longs for Thee                           Traditional Irish, arr. Leopold Dix
Comm. Hymn 321      “My God, thy table now is spread”                                           Rockingham
Closing Hymn 541      “Come, labor on”                                                                         Ora labora
Postlude                      Prelude on ‘Amor Patris et Filii’                            Charles Villiers Stanford

Parish Notices

§  Adult Education: Adult education will focus on the “how to’s” of praying the Daily Office.

§  Please stop for Soup-de’-Do! And purchase our delicious homemade soups in a variety of sizes and tastes: Pizza, Sicilian Chicken, Bean & Ham, and Vegetarian Vegetable! Your purchase assists us inour fundraising efforts this year. Added benefits are they taste good and are good for you! Don’t delay, they will sellout fast!

§  Stations of the Cross, Simple Suppers and Teaching:  We will meet each Friday at 5:30 p.m. for Stations of the Cross, followed by a simple supper and Christian formation.  Our formation program this year will be looking at our Parish Meditations for the week. Please sign up to attend on the sheets in the Narthex so the people who are providing the meal will know how much food needs to be prepared.

§  Service of Reconciliation: Please join Grace Church, Sheboygan, and St. Paul’s, Plymouth on Wednesday, March 18th at 6:00pm. The evening will include Holy Eucharist and self-examination. There will also be opportunity for both corporate and private confession. Please come for an evening of hope and forgiveness. The service will take place at St. Paul’s, 312 Main St. Plymouth.

§  Living Stations of the Cross: Living Stations is Thursday, March 19th at 7:00 PM at St. Dominic Church, 2133 N 22nd St, Sheboygan.  Come and pray the Living Stations of the Cross as presented by our Northside Faith Formation high school students and music team.  Contact Dianne at or Edie at or call 458-5390 for more information.

§  Ecumenical Stations of the Cross Hike: In cooperation with local Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, and with the participation of youth from congregations on the hike itinerary, we are planning an Ecumenical Stations of the Cross Hike for Saturday, 21 March. Participants will gather at 9:30 a.m. in Fountain Park and, as a group, will proceed to Fountain Park UMC, Holy Name, St Luke UMC, Grace Episcopal Church and The Salvation Army. The hike will conclude at Grace Episcopal Church where refreshments will be provided. At each stop, a church leader will discuss their church and the stations relevant to their order in the walk. Please join us in this focused time of ecumenical Christian devotion and fellowship, and this Christian witness to the wider community. All are welcome.

§  The Feast of the Annunciation: We celebrate on 24 March at 6:00 p.m. the Eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, which commemorates the annunciation by the archangel Gabriel to Mary that she will bear the Messiah (Luke 1.26-38) On this day the liturgical colors change in Lent, i.e., the feast takes precedence over the season. It was, in the West, New Year’s Day until 1582. Please come and join the festivities.

§  Sacrament of Reconciliation: Lent is a time of self-examination preparing for the death and resurrection of our Lord. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered by appointment. Please contact Fr. Schaffenburg to set up an appointment to make your confession.

§  Easter Flowers and Music: Please donate for Easter Flowers and Music. We enjoy the Beauty of Holiness in both the flowers that adorn the church and the special music which includes brass at the Easter Vigil and strings at the Solemn Mass on Easter morning. Please be generous at you are able. Please call the office or fill out a pink slip to indication your wish for memorials and/or thanksgivings. The deadline is Monday, March 30th at noon.

§  Easter Vigil Dinner: The first Mass of the Resurrection is on Saturday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. The Easter celebration then continues at Trattoria Stefano, 522 South 8th Street, at 9:30 p.m. The actual cost of the meal is a gift to the parish, so you not only get a delicious meal but you help the church by purchasing a ticket for the dinner. Tickets can be bought in the parish office or in the narthex after mass for $50 a person. Everyone is invited, but seats are limited. There are scholarships for anyone wishing to attend but are unable to donate.

§  Fabric Donations: Boy Scout Troop 801 wants to have the boys make patrol flags. The big stumbling block has been no materials.  If you have any fabric you would like to donate, please bring it to the office.  New material is especially useful.  Especially felt cloth.

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