Grace Episcopal Church
30 July 2015
Today is the feast of William Wilberforce (d. 1833), a British politician best remembered for his tireless work to abolish the slave trade. Wilberforce was actually quite active as a reformer on a number of fronts, including the support of foreign missions and the emancipation of Roman Catholics (who until 1829 were prohibited from voting in Great Britain). We should remember and honor Wilberforce, but in doing so let’s focus less on his good works and more on the intersection between private faith and public life exemplified in his leadership.
Wilberforce came from a wealthy Yorkshire family. He was educated at Cambridge, and took a seat in parliament in the same way that many men of his class and time did—as a matter or prerogative. In his education and political career he was surrounded by all kinds of people, including those who were keen only upon their own privileges (e.g., supporters of the slave trade) or those who looked upon the give and take of politics and finance and withdrew. Wilberforce did not withdraw. He understood and exemplified that as people of faith we cannot withdraw. We are called to live in the give and take of life, in business, politics, in finance. The option to just “check out,” and to leave the issues of the day to those who are more worldly, is a false option. People of faith are called to engage, especially when our witness is not popular because it is contrary to the prevailing spirit or debate.
How we engage matters. On the foundation of his faith, William Wilberforce was consistent in his position. In our more recent history, we may recall that President Reagan famously did not “evolve” in his geopolitical focuses. Regardless of what one thought (or thinks) about Reagan, it was clear where he was coming from. He did not seek to please the greatest number of people, but to consistently serve the first principles by which he governed his decisions.
Like Wilberforce or Reagan we are called to focus on first principles, with these principles being, in fact, aspects of our identity as members of the Body of Christ. This means that there will be many times when we will not win a popularity contest. But we are not here to please others; we are called to please God. When we are consistent in our witness we are both faithful and can have the greatest effect. Oh, and by the way (!), Wilberforce had grown up a something of a wastrel. His consistent witness evolved from his conversion to a lively faith in Jesus Christ. When our position on any issue is founded on a lively faith, it is then that we will witness best.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ for the Sunday coffee hour.
§ Antiques valuations: Once again we were able to successfully fill the entire evening with 44 appraised items for the Antique Appraisal Event by Mark Moran. Participation included 15 parishioners as well as 8 non-members. Many thanks go to the following:
- Jill Stagner for her advertising efforts in the local media and checking in the attendees.
- Paula Roenitz for announcing the schedule.
- Bill May for set up and take down of the hall
- All the participants in helping to make this a successful fundraiser
Mark made it into a very informative and fun evening. We learned that our Thomas Noyes-Lewis painting was done for our Fr. Curtis and Grace Church. When you see it please note how the gift being given in the painting resembles our building (we are giving Him ourselves-not just individually, but as a group, this part is the Church) and Mary and her throne resembles the Walsingham shrine throne. The painting is in spectacular condition, please check it out in the Walsingham Shrine where it is hung on the South wall. It turned out to be the most highly appraised item of the evening!
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 tenth Sunday after Pentecost, 2 August, Proper 13B
Prelude Andante; Melodia Max Reger
Entrance Hymn 544 “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun” Duke Street
Offertory Hymn 307 “Lord, enthroned in heavenly spendor” Bryn Calfaria
Communion Hymn 302 “Father, we thank thee who hast planted” Rendez a Dieu
Closing Hymn 533 “How wondrous and great thy works” Lyons
Postlude Fugue in G Major Felix Mendelssohn
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.
§ Transfiguration of Our Lord: Thursday, 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.
§ Continuing Education: Michele will be out of the office August 3-7 at a Mediation Training class. Ellen Aparicio will be in the office Monday- Thursday. The office will be closed on Friday.
§ Salvation Army Volunteer: We are in need of a volunteer to take the groceries from the Red Wagon each week to the Salvation Army. This takes about 15 minutes each week. Nancy Yurk will be happy to show you where to drop off the gifts. Please call the office to volunteer.
§ The Grace Walsingham Foundation: is actively seeking a candidate or candidates for the positions of bookkeeper and recording secretary. For its bookkeeping functions, the Foundation utilizes Quickbooks 2010 software. Time requirements currently average 5 hours per month. For the recording secretary functions, duties include preparing agendas, attending meetings (four times per year) in order to record minutes, and corresponding with the board members and donors. Time requirements fluctuate based on meetings and other communication requirements between the board and outside parties (typically averages 10 hours per meeting). Interested parties looking for a way to use their bookkeeping and/or secretarial gifts for ministry should contact Steve Larson by July 31st.
§ Brat Fry and Bake Sale: is August 8, 2015 at Miesfeld’s. Do you have an interest in baking goodies for our bake sale? (This proves to be a major part of a brat fry event and your help is most appreciated!) And/or could you help package the baked items on Friday, August 7th at 1:00 PM? All sign-up sheets including working at the brat fry are in the narthex. Thank you so much for your participation.
§ Six Flags Great America: August 4 is a multi-diocese day at the theme park in Gurnee, IL. Visit diofdl.org for more info.
§ General Convention Forum: August 6, 6:30PM at Episcopal Church of the Intercession in Stevens Point. Please bring a pot luck dish to share. Come early to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration at 5:30PM.
§ Bishop’s Night at the Ballpark: August 14, 5:30PM all-you-can-eat picnic on 3rd base picnic deck, 7:05PM first pitch Timber Rattlers vs South Bend Cubs, at Fox Cities Stadium, Grand Chute, WI. Picnic and game tickets: $22,50 ages 11+, $16.50 ages 2-10, no cost under age 2. Game tickets only: $9. Parking: $5 per vehicle. Visit diofdl.org for more info.
§ Women’s Mini-Week: August 13-16 “Surprised by Joy” retreat for adult women offering refuge, friendship, relaxation, fun, and NO dishes! Held at Camp Lakotah in Wautoma, WI Thursday supper through Sunday brunch. Varied lodging or program/meal is available. Visit diofdl.org for more info.
§ St. Mary the Virgin: Monday, August 17th we will celebrate the eve of the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin also known as the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. We will celebrate with a Solemn Mass at 6:00 pm. We will continue the celebration with an Ice Cream Social. Please join in the fun. If you can stay and help clean up that would be wonderful.
§ 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.
§ Eucharistic Festival: August 29, 11AM-2PM at Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Fond du Lac, WI. A traditional celebration of the Sacrament, with an outdoor procession & adoration. Homilist is Archdeacon Michele Whitford. Picnic meal follows. All are welcome to this diocesan family celebration. Sign up online to help or sing in the choir. Visit diofdl.org for more info.
§ Commemoration of Blessed Charles Chapman Grafton: August 29, 2:00-6:30PM at Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Fond du Lac, WI. An event honoring a former bishop of our diocese. Includes presentation by Nashotah House Dean Steven A. Peay at 2:30PM, Evening Prayer at 3:45PM, Holy Eucharist at 4:15PM, and Garden Party. Visit diofdl.org for more info.
§ Mass in the Grass: Please join us Sunday, September 13, 2015 for an outdoor Mass and All Church Picnic at Deland Community Center, 901 Broughton Dr., Sheboygan, the Mass will begin at 10:15 a.m. with lunch following. There will be games and activities for our children’s enjoyment. Inviting guests is encouraged. There will be ONE MASS only that day. We will be asking for donations of cookies/bars, potato chips, water and monetary donations to defray the cost. Please sign up on the sheet on the Narthex table.
§ 91.3FM/103.3FM The Message – WSTM invites you and your family to a day of family fun and an evening of local praise and worship music at our annual Praise in the Park event at the Plymouth City Park, on Suhrke Rd in Plymouth. Contact The Message at 920-893-2661 or wstmfm.org for directions and information on where to pick up wristbands that will get you discounted rates for mini-golf at Tom & Jerry’s, across the street from the park, as well as $3.00 swimming at the Plymouth Aquatic Center starting the morning of August 7. Then at 4:30 pm, come up the hill to the Plymouth bandshell for a brat fry and evening of Praise and Worship music from local area musical groups. This is a free, family-friendly event, and we will be accepting donations of non-perishible food items for the Plymouth Food Pantry. We hope to see you there!
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§ Follow Grace Church on Twitter: @GEC_Sheboygan
§ We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!
§ Feed My Sheep
Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved Him & each time, when Peter responded with “Yes”, Jesus said “Feed my sheep”. Each time that Jesus asked Peter, Jesus wanted to make sure that Peter understood that love requires action. Jesus wanted Peter to do action that would be life-giving and nourishing to everyone Jesus loved. We can learn from Peter that it is NOT just enough to love Jesus, but we need to show others, by our actions, our love. We need to “feed” others. How do we give love that is nourishing to others? How do we show love that bears fruit? What is love if it does not give life? How we do that differs for each one of us and with each loving encounter we have with others. Loving others is never easy much less doing something loving for others can be a challenge. Many times we don’t know what to do, or how to do it. But God does if we allow Him to show us.
There are many proven ways to learn how we can put our love into action and for 40 years Education for Ministry (EfM) has changed thousands of peoples’ lives and helped to teach them more about themselves so they can go out into the world to love and serve others. “EfM is a four-year study & group reflection process for the formation of Christian ministry through the development of knowledge, attitude, skill, and identity as Christians.” The theme for this year is “Living Faithfully as a Spiritually Mature Christian”. In each year of study we read from selected texts and then use what we have to read to discuss & reflect using reflection guides that ask us questions, as well as offering additional supportive materials.
If you want to grow to become a more spiritual mature Christian, you can sign up and participating in EfM group. Two groups will be offered in Sheboygan County starting September 14, 2015. The Monday night group will meet at 6 pm, at St Peter’s in Sheboygan Falls and the Tuesday morning group starts at 9 am in Plymouth. Sign up by August 10th in order to get your books before the first class. Cost is $350 and this includes college credits and all your materials. Scholarships are available. You can go to the EfM website at: www.sewanee.edu/EFM and print your registration materials or contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 920-893-5189.
God wants for each one of us to grow in our spiritual walks and doing it with other committed Christians helps to strengthen our faith and gives us a trusted group of friends who love and support us.
§ In His love because He loved us first,