Grace Episcopal Church
31 March 2016
It is fairly common for a collective sigh to reflect what it feels like in a parish during Easter Week. After the extra services of Holy Week, all of the extra preparations, and the marathon of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Great Vigil of Easter, and Easter Sunday, it’s natural to let out a collective “Whew!” and take a little comfort in the fact that we “survived” again. This is natural because all of the extra effort results in a need for rest, and it’s also possible to feel “churched out,” but in the greater reality of God’s timeless plan, should we not exhale in a much greater “Whew!,” that we have survived death through Jesus’ triumph.
Ok, most who just read that last line have perhaps raised an eyebrow, and thought “Isn’t that a bit dramatic?” It is. Salvation, the triumph of life over death, is as dramatic as it gets. We just don’t often stop to consider extent of the drama, the eternity of the actors. But when we stop and remind ourselves that God gave His infinite substance of good, and truth, and beauty, and love and being, in the person of His Son, for the life of each one of us—of all created in His image and likeness—then a “Whew!” can be best subsumed into a collective mouth agape in amazement.
Jesus didn’t die for just the most saintly person you can imagine, but for the worst sinner you can imagine. All of creation changed in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Remember Jesus’ words to Mary Magdalene in the garden—the words we just heard on Sunday? He said “… I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (Jn. 20.17). Just as He taught us to call God “Father,” in His words to Mary He reaffirms that by His resurrection we now can call God “Father;” that how we relate to creation has changed; that salvation happens now. Each one of us can stand before God and know that He is our God and Father. It is dramatic, indeed, so let your “Whew?” become some sort of combination of “Wow!” and “Thanks be to God!”
Grace abounds: A lot of people worked very hard throughout Holy Week and the Easter Triduum. Please thank:
§ The Altar Guild, as led by Claudia Fischer.
§ Dr. Ben Dobey and the choir.
§ The acolytes, as led by Scott Fabiano.
§ Bill May (assisted by Bobbi) for extra cleaning.
§ Ellen Aparicio and Michele Whitford for extra administrative work, service bulletins, etc.
§ Anonymous donors who hosted the fundraising dinner on Saturday and provided reception wine on Sunday.
§ All who donated savories, and helped clean up on Sunday.
§ Bernie Markevitch for a lot of extra work in church decoration.
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.
Music this Week: The Second Sunday of Easter
Prelude Fantasia in G Major J. S. Bach
Entrance Hymn 193 That Easter day with joy was bright Puer nobis
Offertory Hymn 203 O sons and daughters, let us sing! O filii et filiae
Communion Motet “This Joyful Eastertide” arr. C. H. Wood
Communion Hymn 209 We walk by faith St. Botolph
Closing Hymn 180 He is risen Unser Herrscher
Postlude “Offertory on ‘O Sons and Daughters’” J. F. Dandrieu
§ Vestry Meeting: Will take place on Sunday April 3rd at 11:45 a.m.
§ Potluck Dinner and Compline: Bring a dish to pass and join us Sunday, April 3rd at 6:30pm, for a potluck dinner and fellowship. At 8:00pm the Schola Cantorum will sing Compline, a beautiful restful service full of candles and music.
§ Deacon School: Following the 8:45 a.m. Mass on Saturday, April 9th, we will continue with Church History and the Old Testament. Deacon School is 9:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
§ Adult Formation: Will resume Sunday, April 10th at 9:00 a.m.
§ First Communion Instruction: Pat Ford Smith will be providing Communion Lessons during the month of April in preparation for the Bishop's visit on Sunday May 1st, 2016. If you or your child are interested, please contact the office to sign up. Dates have been set for each Thursday in April (April 7, 14, 21 & 28), times are still being determined.
§ Volunteers needed for Royal Holloway Concert: The Choir of Royal Holloway, University of London will present a concert at Grace Church on April 9th at 7:00 pm. We need volunteers for: setup and cleanup for the choir supper prior to the concert, homemade sweets for the reception following the concert, and overnight housing for 25 choir members. Two separate sign-up sheets for the supper and housing can be found 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.
§ Cursillo: Many of you have heard of Cursillo. It could be that you are looking for such an experience and may not even know it. If the Holy Spirit nudges you, there is one coming up April 21-24, Thursday evening till Sunday afternoon. For many it's a great experience, revitalizing and memorable. Fr. Ambelang will be the spiritual leader of this one with the Bishop assisting, as well as a team of lay people. If you have questions talk to Ed or Mary Clabots, Jennifer Pawlus, or Fr. John Ambelang.
§ Bake Sale/Plant Sale/Rummage Sale: Friday, April 29th from 12:00-3:00pm and Saturday, April 30th, from 9:00-2:00, in conjunction with St. Luke Methodist rummage sale, Grace will be selling baked goods with proceeds going to Sunday School’s outreach projects. Baked goods will be accepted from anyone who would like to bake: pies, breads, muffins, bars, puppy chow, cookies or anything you would like to donate (cupcakes do not sell well). Baked goods can be dropped off at the church any time before Friday at noon. We will be once again selling plants from our cutting garden. Proceeds go to maintain the garden. Grace will also have a small rummage. Please bring your pre-priced items to the northeast room in the basement (under the office). The proceeds will go to Grace Church fund raising. Unsold items will be taken to the Salvation Army. If you have any questions, please call Jessica Ambelang on 920-918-5667 or leave a message on 920-452-5667.
§ Bishop’s Visitation: May 1st we welcome Bishop Matthew Gunter for his annual visitation. The Bishop will preach and celebrate at both 8 and 10:15 services. We will celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation and First Communions at the 10:15 am service. Please join us for a gala reception to welcome Bishop Gunter and honor the Received and Confirmed. Please sign up to bring sweets and savories and to clean up.
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