Grace Episcopal Church
24 September 2015
[A]ll life is a mystery, but the answer to the mystery is outside ourselves, and not inside. You can't go on peeling yourself like an onion, hoping that when you come to the last layer you will find what an onion really is. At the end you are left with nothing. The mystery of a onion is still unexplained because like man, it is the issue of an eternal creative act ... I stand in God's shoes, but I can't tell you any more. Don't you see? This is what I am here to teach-a mystery! People who demand to have Creation explained from beginning to end are asking the impossible. Have you ever thought that by demanding to know the explanation for everything you are committing an act of pride? We are limited creatures. How can anyone of us encompass infinity...?
These words come from the mouth of the fictional Pope Kiril I in Morris West’s 1963 novel The Shoes of the Fisherman. Some things never change in fiction or in reality. We want answers, and we want answers “from A to Z” because we believe that if we have complete knowledge we will somehow be in control.
The desire to be in control is the sin of pride if our desire is one in which we think that our will must control over God’s. The problem is compounded, because we might get something other than what we think we seek. This has been true from the beginning of our life as a species. In the story of the fall of Adam and Eve, the serpent tells Eve that she should eat of the tree to gain the knowledge of good and evil, to be “like God”. But there is no evil in paradise, in Eden, and so how can Eve “know” this? She and Adam (and we) come to know this because once humans disobey God’s will they participate in evil. That’s what “knowledge” is in the Bible, to participate in something.
Kiril speaks of God’s answer. He says that life is a mystery, and when we read or hear this word we tend to think that we’re not getting an answer, but a evasion. But “mystery” is an answer in the same way that “knowledge” is, for mystery does not mean that a thing is unknowable, but that it must be participated in in order to be known and understood. You can’t explain love to someone. They have to experience it.
When we incarnate God’s love, those around us come to know God, and the world—which thinks “mystery” means something unknowable—knows that love is real, that God is real, that God loves the world. The “onion” of self gets peeled back a layer, but only to reveal the new life which God alone gives.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Bob and Ann Hanlon, and Paul and Andrea Aparicio for the Sunday coffee hours.
§ Many people helped to make Mass in the Grass a success! Please thank Bryan Stenz for organizing the event, helped by:
o Acolytes: Paul Aparicio, Dee Crouse, Scott Fabiano
o Music: Nick Whitford
o Set up and cleanup: Paul Aparicio, Randie and Austin Barrows, Nicci Beeck, Sutton Cecil, Julie Davidson, John and Dillon Davis, Jennifer Pawlus, Kevan and Traci Revis, Elizabeth Schaffenburg, Grace Zangara
o Snacks and Desserts: Jessica Ambelang, Don and Nicci Beeck, Mary Clabots, Mary Evans, Katy Larson, Scott Lubbers, Pat von Rautenkranz, Hannah Sanders, Elizabeth Schaffenburg, Jill Stagner
o Donations for food: Karl Schaffenburg, Mary Snyder
Music this Week: The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 21B
Prelude Chorale Preludes on Jesus, lead thou on
and Let us ever walk with Jesus Paul Manz
Entrance Hymn 408 “Sing praise to God, who reigns above” Mit Freuden zart
Mass Setting: Deutsche Messe Franz Schubert, arr. Proulx
Offertory Anthem O how amiable are thy dwellings Ralph Vaughan Williams
Communion Hymn 609 “Where cross the crowded ways of life” Gardiner
Closing Hymn 594 “God of grace and God of glory” Cwm Rhondda
Postlude Prelude & Fugue in G J. K. F. Fischer
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.
Grace Abounds: Notice the Italics and capitalization, as opposed to the part of this blog in which we thank people? That’s because Grace Abounds is our reference to the entirety of our web-based ministries as they expand.
Some have asked why we are expanding our web-based ministries. The answers have been elaborated elsewhere in detail, but a short answer involves is that people are looking for answers, and are not getting the right answers. People have not just stopped wondering about God and faith, even if they have stopped regular worship. It’s these people that we especially need to reach, to establish a truthful, healthy Christian presence to lead them back (or to call them) to real faith.
Here’s an example of the problem. What happens when you ask Wikipedia or Google a faith question. Relevant magazine explored this. Here’s what they found:
What’s the other most common source, besides Wikipedia and Google, when people enter questions about faith in an internet search engine? The Mormons.
§ A blog worth visiting: If you enjoy The Living Church you will enjoy the blog supported by the magazine, http://covenant.livingchurch.org The blog is updated daily.
§ Sunday School: Grace offers classes for children of all ages at 9 am on Sundays:
―3-k through 1st Grade with Mrs. Andrea (Aparicio), Ms. MaryAnn (Portz) and Mrs. Danielle (Whitford)
―2nd through 5th Grade with Mrs. Nicci (Beeck)
―6th-12th with Mr. Nick (Whitford)
§ Adult Formation: Continues a four week series at 9:00am on Giving Faith a Voice. We are molded by language, by what we call things. How we “process” information about life affects how we understand these data. This can determine, for example, how we experience the reality of faith, but also how we share this reality. For example, if you are overwhelmed in worship this may relate to “the beauty of holiness”. Or, how you identify as one sealed and “marked as Christ’s own for ever” can help you relate to another what “holiness” itself is. In our course we will discuss absolutes like love, truth, beauty, good, being—how we get glimpses of these eternal realities “as through a glass darkly” but shall one day see face to face. We will explore how we understand our own experiences in ways that allows us to share them with others, to let them too know how God is present in their own lives and the life of the world. Join with us as we explore the connections between experience and understanding, and how to give faith a voice. Come prepared to listen and to share.
§ Blessing of the Animals: Grace Church will offer a Blessing of Animals in commemoration of the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. On Saturday, 3 October, we will gather for a celebration of Holy Eucharist at 9 a.m., with the blessing of animals to take place at the close of the service (9:30). All are welcome. Join us in bearing witness with St. Francis that all of God’s Creation is to be honored.
§ Catechumenate will begin: Catechumenate is a nine-month course in the basics of the Faith and its practice. It is a period of training and instruction in Christian understandings about God, human relationships, and the meaning of life. It includes the Sacrament of Baptism (if you are not already baptized,) and culminates in Confirmation, Reception, or Renewal of Baptismal Vows. The Catechumenate will meet on Tuesday evenings each week starting at 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. The class will begin September 29th and will continue until May 1st when Bishop Matthew Gunter makes his annual visitation. The first class, on the 29th, will begin immediately following St. Michael and All Angels Solemn Mass. The study is led by Deacon Michele Whitford, the Parish Catechist. If you would like to be a part of this exciting study and fellowship or would like more information, please call the office 452-9659 or e-mail Deacon Michele at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex.
§ You are Invited! The Catholic Parishes of Sheboygan invite you and your family on Sunday, September 27th to the live streaming of the Papal Mass for the 2015 World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. Doors to St. Dominic Parish, 2133 N. 22nd Street, Sheboygan, will open at 2:00pm and the Mass will begin at 3:00pm. Fellowship and light refreshments will be served at 5:00pm in the Parish Activity Center.
§ Fundraising for All Saint's Chapel: We are in the process of replacing the roof for All Saint's Chapel. In recent years its age has started to show where shingles are missing and some leakage is occurring. Our hope is that funding will be available from a private foundation but nothing is guaranteed especially if the funding will be available this year. Would you be interested in contributing towards this project? We are looking to start work on this project before winter before more damage occurs. If funding does come from the foundation your donations will be dedicated to other maintenance items at the chapel and St. Hubertus Hall. Feel free to make donations in the offering plate, noting “Roof” in the memo, or contact our main office at email@example.com. Thank you so much for your generosity.
§ Benefit Brat Fry and Fundraiser for Michelle Markevitch: Saturday, September 26th, 10:00am until ??? at Lakeshore Lanes 2519 South Business Drive. Michelle is Danie Wilson’s daughter. Two days after giving birth to her fourth daughter, in early February, Michelle had seizures in the hospital and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation and chemo. She has a year of chemo ahead of her yet. The proceeds will be used for medical expenses, treatments and chemotherapy with a portion being donated to the American Brain Tumor Association Oligodendroglioma Research Fund. There will be music by DJ Russ Margenau, raffles, bake sale, silent auction, food will be available all day. Donations can be mailed to Wisconsin Bank & Trust at 3220 South Business Drive, Sheboygan, WI 53081 or dropped off at any Wisconsin Bank & Trust Location under “Benefit for Michelle Markevitch”.
§ Community Prayer Summit: Praying together, loving our neighbors Monday, September 28, 2015 beginning at 5:30pm with registration and fellowship continuing from 6:00-8:00pm with prayer. Southside Alliance Church, 4321 County Road A, Sheboygan. The evening will feature John Kieffer, Wisconsin State Facilitator of City/Community Ministries. All church leaders, congregational members and interested community members are encouraged to come and be a part of this intentional prayer time. This event is organized by Love INC. Register now at: www.evenbrite.com search: Community Prayer Summit.
§ 24 HOURS of Pre-Summit Prayer: To help set the stage for a significant and meaningful Community Conversion at the Prayer Summit sign up at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c45aaae2babfe3-24hours for a block of time to pray ON SITE at South Side (Alliance) Church (4321 County Road A, Sheboygan) in the Prayer Room dedicated for this purpose OR ON MY OWN at home or work. All times are CST and the on-site prayer room will be closed between 9:00pm Sunday and 9:00 am Monday.
§ 25th Annual Coats for Kids: is a community service campaign that over that last 24 years the community has donated 20,000 coats to those in need. Area residents are asked to donate clean coats in good repair. We accept coats of all sizes for people of all ages, with the need being greatest for children’s coats. These coats will be distributed to Sheboygan county residents who would otherwise go without. Drop off location: Reinbold-Novak Funeral Home, 1535 S. 12 St. Sheboygan, Tuesday, September 1st – Thursday, October 22nd, Monday–Friday 8:30am–4:00 pm. Distribution Location: Salvation Army, 710 Pennsylvania Ave. Sheboygan, Friday, October 23rd, from 1:00 – 7:00pm.
§ Our Lady of Walsingham Pilgrimage
Friday, October 16, 2015
o Quiet Day of Prayer and Meditation.
o 12:00pm Service for Noonday and Meditation
o 3:00pm Service of Prayer and Meditation
o 5:00pm Holy Rosary
o 6:00pm Solemn Evensong and Meditation
o The Meditations will be led by The Rev. George Wilcox Brown,
o Rector of the Church of the Holy Cross, Dallas
o Musical offering by the combined choirs of Nashotah House Seminary and the parish.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
o 10:30 am Solemn Pontifical Mass with procession of Our Lady
o Celebrant is The Right Reverend Matthew A. Gunter, Eighth Bishop of Fond du Lac.
o The preacher is The Rev. George Wilcox Brown, Rector of the Church of the Holy Cross, Dallas
o Choral and organ music will include Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey Organist and Choirmaster and the Gaudete Brass Quintet of Chicago.
o 12:00 pm Harvest Lunch. The cost is $15.00.
o Please make reservations by October 12, 2015.
o 2:00pm Anointing with Walsingham water and Healing Prayer, musical offering, and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
To register and for more information: (920) 452-9659 firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gracesheboygan.com
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