Grace Episcopal Church
31 August 2017
The 12 steps of recovery used by Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) should make sober Christians take notice. The 12 steps (http://www.recovery.org/topics/alcoholics-anonymous-12-step/) require a level of honesty and self-examination that we too often ignore. This is not to say that I must figuratively beat myself up as “unworthy”, that I must “acknowledge and bewail my manifold sins and wickedness” in all things (as the old prayer book service would have us do). It is to say, however, that in standing before God, in seeking spiritual growth, I must first acknowledge that I need help. No matter how smart, gifted, and blessed with resources I may be, my relationship with God will not be determined on the basis of what I can add to the equation. I can add nothing, for God, as the source and summation of all, needs nothing from me. But I need something, many things, indeed all things, and admitting this need—this dependence on God—is an important step in being in right relationship with God and with my fellow human beings.
At 6:30 this evening a group will gather in Deland Park. The group is WIRCO (Wisconsin Recovery Community Organization), and the focus is on recovery for individuals and for the community from the opioid abuse crisis. WIRCO have received a grant to provide training for Recovery Coaches, trained volunteers who can meet (for example) with overdose patients in the hospital emergency room, to intervene once the victim is medically stabilized, and focus on what comes next, on how recovery starts now. Recovery Coaching training will take place on 30 September—1 October, and 7—8 October. (Details can be gained by contacting WIRCO at firstname.lastname@example.org .)
A real strength of recovery programs is the emphasis on how sufferers need not only a “higher power” (God) but also each other. This is an important witness to the Church, to remind us that—as revealed throughout Scripture—we need each other. Each part of the Body of Christ is a part of all others. “The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you.’” (1 Cor. 12.21) God has appointed each of us to be a witness to each other and to all. An important part of this witness is that we are seen to gather to offer worship, even if we do nothing more than just be present to each other.
In substance abuse, a common problem encountered is a failure of community; the sufferer does not have a real support network. Even for challenges and afflictions far less acute and deadly than substance abuse, when community fails whatever the challenge may be becomes far more daunting and far more lasting. Let us each commit to one simple, first step beyond the fundamental reality that we need God: We need each other, which means that each of us must take the step to show up, to be present to and for each other, that we may always “coach” each other in following Our Lord.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Brian Heck and Joyce Wessel for the Sunday coffee hour.
§ All who helped in the parish project (maintenance and repair) day: Randie Barrows, Nicci and Carver Beeck, Sutton Cecil, Tom Crouse, Julie Davidson, Elizabeth Schaffenburg, Bryan Stenz, Nick Whitford.
§ Julie Davidson for janitorial help.
§ Randie Barrows for extensive maintenance work.
§ Scott Gedemer for lawn care.
§ Jennifer Pawlus for pastoral care.
§ Pat Ford Smith and Cindy Weiss for cleaning the Sunday School classrooms.
Special “Thank You’ s” : A supply of Thank You note cards can be found on the table at the back of church nave. When someone in the parish does something special, take the time to write them a personal note. Also, from time to time, think about who you might want to thank for ongoing service, and let them know you have noticed!
Call for Contributions: If you have a spiritual reflection to share, or want to point your fellow worshipers toward a resource, submit your contributions to Fr. Karl (by email) by Wednesday in the week of publication.
Don’t forget “Something Extra for Grace”: Supplemental giving envelopes can be found in pews. If you want to give something extra, please use an envelope to ensure that you are credited.
Music this Week: The Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 17A)
Organist: R. Benjamin Dobey
Prelude Prelude on ‘Rendez à Dieu’ Geoffrey Vintner
Entrance 477 – “All praise to thee, for thou, O King divine,” Engelberg
Offertory 450 – “All hail the power of Jesus’ name,” Coronation
Communion 302 – “Father, we thank thee who hast planted” Rendez `a Dieu
Closing 555 – “Lead on, O King eternal,” Lancashire
Postlude Voluntary in C William Croft
§ One Mass only: Sunday, September 10th there will be at 9:00 a.m. Sung Mass with hymns followed by a Ministry Fair and picnic style luncheon. A sign-up sheet can be found on the Narthex table to indicate your choice of sandwich.
§ Choir: Choir rehearsals begin this week, Wednesday, September 6th at 6:00 pm. All voices are welcome, but we especially need tenors and basses. You don’t need to be a trained singer, an opera star, or a Broadway sensation – you just need a desire to share the love of Christ through music! “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19
§ Biblical Greek begins this week: on Thursday, September 7th 7—9 p.m.
§ Believing God: A Women’s Bible Study by Beth Moore will be held every Monday in Nicholas Hall 10:00-11:00 a.m., September 11th through November 13th. Do you believe that God has a plan for your life? Come and find out the power and promises that are yours. A sign-up sheet can be found on the table in the Narthex.
§ Sunday School Begins: We are getting excited about Sunday School! The teachers are making plans for another wonderful year of learning about the love of Jesus Christ! Sunday School will begin on September 17th at 9:00am.
§ How to be Holy! Will be the subject of Adult Formation beginning September 17th. Come and discover how you can become holy as we read Peter Kreeft’s How to be Holy: First Steps in Becoming a Saint. Jerry Molitor will facilitate this course. The book is easy to read, and we will limit the weekly reading to 20—25 pages. We will gather for seven weeks from 9—10 a.m. in the fellowship hall, beginning Sunday, September 17th, to discuss this spiritual guide. Do you wish to be holy? Do you want to see yourself as a saint? If so, let’s explore this together. We hope to see you here! Bring friends! Please let us know if you wish to attend by signing up on the sheet in the Narthex so that we can order enough copies of the book. Copies can be purchased at the discounted price of $10, from the parish office. (Mark checks “Adult Ed”.) If you need a scholarship for this, just ask.
§ Catechumenate: will begin Tuesday, September 26th 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. and will continue until May when Bishop Matthew Gunter makes his annual visitation. 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 study is led by Mother Michele Whitford, the Parish Catechist. If you would like more information, please call the office 452-9659 or email Mthr. Michele at email@example.com. There is a sign-up sheet in the Narthex.
§ Paper Drive: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Plymouth is having a paper drive! Please bring in ONLY newspapers (inserts included). We cannot accept magazines or anything with a binding. A semi-trailer will be in the Plymouth Furniture parking lot, 2133 Eastern Av, Plymouth, the month of September. Drop off times are Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:00 – 6:00pm and Saturdays 9:00 – 4:00pm. Pickups can be arranged by calling Jesse Cortinaz at 920-464-0303.
§ Walsingham Music and Flowers: The Walsingham Pilgrimage is just around the corner and preparations are being made. We will have a quiet day with meditations concluding with Solemn Evensong on October 13th; and a Solemn Pontifical Mass with the Gaudete Brass again this year on October 14th. Please donate so we can once again offer beautiful music that has become so much a part of the pilgrimage and the flowers that add so much to the beauty of holiness. Please make you check out to Grace Church with Walsingham music or flowers or both in the memo. Thank you.
§ 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.
§ Love INC Monthly Bulletin is now available online at:
§ Grace Notes is here: http://gracechurchgracenotes.blogspot.com/. You can sign up to receive the blog every Thursday
§ Grace Abounds: http://www.graceabounds.online Sermons, podcasts, the Bible Challenge
§ Like Grace Church on Facebook: @gracesheboygan
§ We Are on Itunes! Check out the new podcast!!!