Grace Episcopal Church
25 June 2015
I own a Confederate battle flag. I don’t fly or display it. It’s in a box in the basement. I bought it in 1977. As a student at The University of Mississippi, I waived it at football games. Most students did. The team was called the Rebels. The school fight song was Dixie. In the 1980’s more students began to question whether this identification of the school with Southern heritage was exclusionary. By the 1990’s the flag was no longer used.
Most people who used the Rebel flag (as we called it) at the university did not do so because of racial hatred. But most people also didn’t appreciate that others might take offense, and might have reason to. By now, post-Emmanuel A.M.E. Church shootings, most people understand that the Confederate battle flag has become so associated with hatred that it is not possible to defend its use. This should make us pause and take a breath, and then consider what can happen when any symbol or sign is associated with a message that we might not intend or even contemplate.
Consider, for example, what people around us think when they see a cross, or hear the word “Christian”. Those of us who live the faith might associate words like “love” or “truth” or “holiness” with the name Christian. We might associate “salvation” with the Cross. But what if I am not a Christian? What if my only exposure to “Christianity” is a message which tells me that I am going to Hell, and that there is something fundamentally wrong with me? I might just think of Christians, for example, as people who show up at military funerals and protest, using language filled with hate.
The bottom line is that to the extent we do not proclaim the message of the Gospel it will not only not be understood but may well be misrepresented by others. We can never allow anybody else to define what the Gospel is. We have each promised to proclaim the Good News by word and example. When we don’t proclaim, the vacuum of people seeking truth, desiring love and goodness, desiring beauty, struggling in being, will be filled with other messages—messages like consumerism, nihilism, hate, or messages which use Bible language to distort the truth of the Good News.
The next time you hear a message which claims the mantle of Christ, and you cringe because the message is more one of hate, let your cringe remind you that silence is not an option
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Kevan and Traci Revis, Bob and Anne Hanlon, and Paul and Andrea Aparicio for the Sunday coffee hours.
Podcasts! Podcasts are found on the website under “Media”. You can also subscribe on ITunes or with RSS full feed at:
Music this Week: The Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, 28 June, Proper 8B
It’s Time for Camp!
You’ve heard it said before and I’ll say it again, “Camp is one of the BEST things the Diocese of Fond du Lac does!”. Personally, I’m disappointed that I’m unable to be at camp this year. However, I’m SO excited that SO many from our parish WILL be there!!!
If you’re like me and are disappointed that you can’t attend, it’s not too late for you to participate in others ways. First, please remember our campers and staff in prayer. While you’re at it, I’m sure the good Lord wouldn’t mind a few extra words related to good weather, few bugs, and peace for any nervous parents. Secondly, kids young and old LOVE getting mail from “home”! A note, card or letter is always a welcome gift. “Mail call” can be bring an added bright spot to the day!
Listed below are the names of our campers and the dates for camp. I’ll be providing transportation on Sunday, June 14th and again Saturday, June 20th. If there is mail you’d like me to take to the Camp for distribution during any of the camps, I’d be happy to take it along. Otherwise, if you decide to use the postal system, please try to send mail well enough before the last day when the camper is supposed to depart. Note: from Sheboygan, I’ve seen it take as long as 3 full days to get to camp.
Here’s to our campers and staff. May they have a fantastic, Spirit-driven time at camp!!
By His love,
Camper Name, Session (Senior/Middler/Junior/Kinder)
Fond du Lac Camp
c/o Camp Lakotah
N1875 21st Ave
Wautoma, WI 54981
KinderCamp: Thursday, June 25th- Saturday, June 27th
Leona Aparicio accompanied by Paul Aparicio
MaryGrace Boland accompanied by Susan McIntosh
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.
§ Community Thanksgiving Dinner: The community dinner is planning to move forward in 2015 on a networked basis, using different churches to provide different parts of the meal. For example, Grace could decide to provide potatoes (prepared here and delivered to the dinner site), but any such example can only happen if we have a team of people interested in owrking in this kind of service minisrty. Interested? See Fr. Karl for details, and also see www.gobble-gobble.org
§ Adult Formation: This Sunday we will finish the series on Prayer at Grace Church at 9:00am in St. Nicholas Hall. We will discuss how Jesus prayed and how he healed; what the Bible says about prayer; the history of prayer here at Grace Church, including the Walsingham Pilgrimage and the healing ministry.
§ All Saints’ Chapel: We are in need of help for July 5th and August 2nd + 9th. This would include: picking up the box of bulletins at Grace Church, arriving a little early to open the buildings, finding readers for the lessons and the prayers of the people, lighting candles, greeting the visiting priest, various other tasks, locking up at the end and returning the box to Grace Church. There are instructions printed and several people who would be able to help if you have questions. Please sign up for a Sunday or two by calling the office at 452-9659 with dates you are available. Thank you.
§ Study Guides for Congregational Use: Bishop Gunter has released two study guides for use by congregations and individuals of the Diocese of Fond du Lac. The King or a Fox: Configuring the Mosaic of Scripture is a 14-page document as a guide to understanding and interpreting Scripture. It was used by clergy during deanery clericus gatherings. In Dialogue With Each Other is a Study Guide created to aid congregations in studying and discussing the topic of same-sex unions. Clergy may want to encourage individuals to make use these resources or use them as a basis for forums or other study series. Downloads are available both as PDF and Word files. Visit diofdl.org.
§ It’s Coming! Save the date: Saturday, August 8, 2015, Brat Fry at Miesfeld’s!! (More news to follow, we need your help!) Brat fryers, stand attendants, baked goods attendants, bakers!! Contact Bob MacEwen at 467-6909 to lend a hand now!
§ Follow Grace Church on Twitter: @GEC_Sheboygan
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