Grace Episcopal Church
26 November 2015
Happy Thanksgiving! It’s common at this time of year to hear people refer to “an attitude of gratitude,” and there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s a little less common to encounter references to faith as “a posture of the heart,” but this phrase, too, has currency. What happens when we compare the two? Attitude and posture are both references to how we position ourselves in relationship to something or someone else. Whatever or whomsoever I may be thankful for or to, this thanksgiving is based on my relationship to the thing or person. How I live a life of faith is based on both who I have faith in (who I trust in) and what I choose to agree with.
I’ll go out on a limb and opine that one cannot be truly thankful without faith. I can certainly say “thank you” (and at many levels mean this) to a person or for a thing, but absent faith my thanksgiving is difficult to distinguish from the pleasure I experience that I have received some material boon or that someone has pleased me by affirming my will. But when I have faith in God, when I have a relationship with Him and agree that certain revealed truths about Him are true, then I know that whatever blessing I receive is not just because of mutuality in relationship (I can’t scratch God’s back)—I know blessing by experiencing it. When I have faith in God I can experience that the many blessings in life—whether these be material or personal or spiritual—are not blessings because my will is being affirmed but because God’s will is being done.
When I have faith, thanksgiving becomes real because I have Someone to thank! Even in secular culture, when we pause to call to mind what we can be thankful for, we often refer to “the blessings of this life”. But life is blessed only because there is Someone who blesses it!
On this day of Thanksgiving, as you pause to call to mind what you have to be thankful for, remember first who is the source and summation of all blessings—God. Thank God, and then give thanks to those whom He has given you to share thanksgiving and blessings with.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
- Wayne and Pat Sather, and Elizabeth Schaffenburg (cleanup by the Crouse family) for the Sunday coffee hours.
- Mary Clabots for memorial decorations for the graves of military veterans in the columbarium, in commemoration of Veterans Day.
- All who have donated to the relief of Syrian refugees, and for the ongoing work of Dcn. Mike Burg, Pat Ford Smith, Barb MacEwen, and Mary Massey to pack and ship the donations.
- All those who showed up in the snow and raked leaves this past Saturday!:
Randie Barrows, John Davis, Ty Massey, Jennifer Pawlus, Elizabeth Schaffenburg, Tom Wright.
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.
Christmas/Spring Cheer: In the announcements you will find details of how to participate in Christmas Cheer. Here is a little history.
I began this ministry in the spring of 2006. That year May Day (May 1st) fell on a “convenient” date for me to do this. Both my father and father in law had died just five months prior and I was relieved that neither one of them had to enter a nursing home. I saw a need to bring some cheer to others and thus, along with help from Niki Kohler I began this project, starting at 9:00 AM and finishing my last delivery at 6:00 PM that day! Over the years lots of people have helped and it has transformed into an established ministry for Grace Church, delivering not only to our parish shut-ins but to those elderly who would enjoy some joy and cheer and a short visit from a parishioner. Thank you to everyone for making this happen. (Barb MacEwen)
Music this Week:
Music for Thanksgiving Day
Entrance Hymn 290 “Come, ye thankful people, come”
Offertory Hymn 405 “All things bright and beautiful”
Communion Hymn 416 “For the beauty of the earth”
Closing Hymn 719 “O beautiful for spacious skies”
Music for Sunday, November 29, 2015
Advent I C
Prelude Chorale Preludes on Savior of the Nations, Come Reger
Entrance Hymn 58 “Lo, he comes with clouds descending”
Trisagion S-102 Archangelsky
Offertory Hymn 61 “Sleepers, wake! A voice astounds us”
Sanctus & Agnus Dei Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena Willan
Communion Motet Come, thou Redeemer of the earth arr. Willcocks
Communion Hymn 615 “’Thy kingdom come’ on bended knee”
Closing Hymn 66 “Come, thou long-expected Jesus”
Postlude Sleepers, wake! J. S. Bach
- Adult Formation: At 9:00 am on Sunday, we will continue with the class on Anglican Identity.
- Holiday Parade: Sunday, November 29th Grace Church will be selling hot coffee and cocoa, hot dogs, apple crisp, brownies, and popcorn, before and during the Holiday Parade. The money raised goes to outreach projects both near and far. Please come by the front of the church and enjoy a warm treat as you enjoy the parade and be sure to bring your friends!
- No Mass or Bible Study: Fr. Karl will be away on Diocesan business Thursday, December 3rd. There will be no Mass or Bible Study that day.
- Salvation Army Bell Ringing: We still need volunteers for three slots of bell ringing on November 28th at Pick & Save Southside – 9:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., and 6:00 p.m. Sign-up sheets can be found in the Narthex. For any questions please call Nancy Yurk at 453-9948.
- Advent Meditations: Will be available on the table in the Narthex on Sunday as well as on line.
- Youth and Children’s Choir: Youth and Children’s choir rehearsals for the Christmas Eve service are at 5:30-6:00pm beginning Wednesday December 2nd, downstairs in the choir room. Additional rehearsals will be on December 9th and 16th these will be just before the Pageant rehearsals. The final rehearsal will be Sunday, December 20th at 9:00am. The choir is open to 2nd graders through high school, and will sing for the 4pm service on Christmas Eve. See the sign-up sheet in the Narthex.
- Christmas Pageant Rehearsals: will be on Wednesday December 2nd, December 9th and 16th starting at 6:00p.m. The rehearsals will begin in the church and then go downstairs for costumes. Participation is open to youth of all ages. The Pageant will take place during the 4:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass. Please sign up on the sheet in the Narthex. If your child would like to participate but cannot make rehearsals, please note that on the sign-up sheet located in the Narthex or call the office. If anyone is interested in directing this event, please call the office.
- Advent Lessons and Carols: On Sunday, December 6th, a festival of Advent Lessons and Carols will be offered at Grace Episcopal Church, beginning at 4:00 p.m. The festival prepares us for the coming of the Messiah by following the scriptural record through nine lessons, each followed by a seasonal carol offered by choir and congregation. The choir will also offer seasonal anthems, and music will include Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey on organ. The service is followed immediately by a High Tea reception. Volunteers for food and clean-up, please see sign-up sheet in Narthex.
- St Nicholas’ Visitation: St. Nicholas will visit Grace Church on December 6th at the 10:15 service. Please come and receive a treat.
- Christmas Castle Volunteers: On Wednesday, December 16th Grace Church will participate in the Salvation Army Christmas Castle. This gives those in need an opportunity to “shop” for Christmas gifts for their families. We are in need of at least 6 people to help. The location this year is the Salvation Army at 710 Pennsylvania Ave and there are two time slots: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sign-up sheet can be found in the Narthex. If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Yurk at 453-9948.
- Refugee Crisis in Croatia: Missionaries Aaron and Winnie Horvat are trying to help the Syrian refugee families flooding into Croatia. The stories of hardship, horror and desperation are hard to imagine. Most have had to leave everything behind, coming with only the clothes on their backs. Many have makeshift shoes. Aaron and Winnie’s main focus has been mothers with small children. Items needed: baby blankets, children’s socks & underwear, sweaters, hoodies, warm jackets, toothbrushes & small size toothpaste, individually wrapped sanitary napkins, children’s shoes, women’s underwear & socks. Please deposit donations in plastic bin in Narthex. Deacon Mike will box and ship the items. Donations towards shipping are also welcome. There is no deadline. For more information, please refer to bulletin board in the Narthex.
- Something Extra for Grace: Envelopes are available in the pews if you are moved to give an extra gift, beyond your pledge or regular plate donation, toward the life of the church. Gifts are tax deductible if you write your name on the envelope.
- Help Needed! Books are piling up in the parish library: What can you do to help? (1) You can volunteer to shelve books and reconcile the card catalogue. (2) We cannot accept any donations until further notice. If you want to become familiar with the organization of the library and card catalogue, please visit the office and we will walk you through what needs to be organized.
- Like Grace Church on Facebook
- Follow Grace Church on Twitter: @GEC_Sheboygan
- We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!