Grace Episcopal Church
25 January 2018
This coming Sunday we will gather for our parish annual meeting. Important matters will be transacted (the election of members of Vestry, of parish Wardens, of delegates to diocesan council, the reception of annual reports in ministry areas, the description of a vision of the challenges and opportunities likely to be encountered in the coming year, etc.) But at the end of the day, whatever we decide on 28 January will be very unlikely to alter the fundamental trajectory of the life of this parish. That trajectory—that walk in and by faith—shall be determined by God, and by how we discern and respond to God’s will.
To take but three examples of other events that have occurred on 28 January, we can point to the 1547 death of King Henry VIII of England, the 1813 publication of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and the 1871 surrender of Paris, by which German power would become ascendant in Europe. Any one of these examples resulted in changes which became of lasting import. Henry VIII, despite his many flaws, was instrumental in the formation of a different model of what the Church might be. Jane Austen’s novel has stood the test of more than two centuries. The fall of Paris sealed new power structure in Europe, one that would result in two world wars and changes we still experience. What we do at our parish annual meeting will do nothing so dramatic. Or will it?
We are, perhaps, not so flawed as Henry VIII. But, just as God used Henry, He can and does use us—both as individuals and as the Body of Christ—in ways that shall have effects long after we are gone. Part of our walk in faith is to trust that God will use us, and to His purposes. Jane Austen may have thought she had written a fine story, and one the publication of which pleased her. Could she envisage that in a society as different as our is from hers, people would still be reading this tale? The Fall of Paris set in motion events which became world-changing. What we decide for 2018 will not do this, but as God’s Body gathered with the Church universal, we gather knowing Who is in charge. In other words, when we gather in faith we recognize that what we do, how we gather, how we listen, how we proclaim, is important because it is godly. We gather trusting in God’s grace, and thankful that He has called us to be the Body in this place, at this time, in the great chain/trajectory by which His ultimate plan is unfolded.
Gather in faith. Walk in faith. Give thanks that you are called to gather with those whom God has appointed to be with you.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Bob and Anne Hanlon, Elizabeth Schaffenburg, Mary Snyder and Tom Wright for the Sunday coffee hours.
§ Ed Clabots for shoveling sidewalks.
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!
Lenten meditation resource: We will once again offer a meditations booklet in the parish, but an additional resource is available in Are We There Yet? Pilgrimage in the Season of Lent (Forward Movement, 2017): https://www.forwardmovement.org/Products/2450/are-we-there-yet.aspx
In this book 7 authors walk with you through their own pilgrimages, and how these relate to our Lenten journey. Fr. Jeffrey Queen, our 2017 Walsingham Pilgrimage preacher, includes a chapter (week 2) in which what he describes in his pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, here in Sheboygan.
Support for a parishioner in prison: A member of the parish is in prison, at least until next December. He would love to receive letters. If you can write, please contact Fr. Karl for details.
In the current system of incarceration many things that we would otherwise think of as necessities are not provided to prisoners—things like underwear, shower shoes, stamps. Regulations do not permit the supply of anything from outside the prison, but a prisoner can purchase items through his/her commissary account. If you want to make a donation to the commissary account for this brother in Christ, please make a donation to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund, marked “Prison Commissary”. And remember Matthew 25.31—46!
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 Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Music Director: R. Benjamin Dobey
Prelude Chorale Partita on Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness
J. G. Walther
Entrance Hymn 616 “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” Es flog ein kleins
Offertory Hymn 448 “O love how deep. How broad, how high” Deo gracias
Communion Hymn 339 “Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness” Schmϋcke dich
Closing Hymn 438 “Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord” Woodlands
Postlude Voluntary in D William Croft
§ Book Study on Redemptive Compassion: The group study of the book Redemptive Compassion: The Defining Difference has begun. The eight-week class will meet on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m. consecutively, through March 4; however, there will be no class on Sunday because of the Parish Annual Meeting.
§ The Annual Meeting: This year’s Annual Meeting will take place on Sunday. After Mass the meeting will begin with brunch at 10:15 a.m. You are encouraged to make every effort to attend, as your participation is valued.
§ Call for Vestry Nominations: Vestry elections will be held on Sunday at the Parish Annual Meeting. You can nominate another person or yourself.
§ To run for Vestry you must be a qualified elector of the parish, which means that: (1) You are regular in your attendance on worship;
§ (2) You have received Holy Eucharist at least once in the prior year;(3) You are active in your support of the parish through a pledge or some other form of giving; and (4) You are at least sixteen years of age. Vestry members are called to lead. Be prepared in the election process to provide a brief biographical sketch which allows your fellow parishioners to better understand your relationship with God and His Church, and your call to lead. Vestry members are called to commitment, and are expected to attend twelve meetings throughout the year. (once per month).
§ Call for Diocesan Convention Delegates and Alternates: The 144th Convention of the Diocese of Fond du Lac will be held October 19-20 in Fond du Lac. More details will be announced in the Spring. We are in need of four delegates and four alternates to attend and vote at Diocesan Convention. If you feel called to serve in this way, please call the office. Delegates and alternates are determined by volunteer order. In the event that we have more than eight responses we will vote Sunday at the Parish Annual Meeting.
§ Deacon School: The diocesan Deacon School courses in Old Testament (taught by Fr. Glen Kanestrom of St. Paul’s, Marinette) and Church History (taught by Fr. Karl Schaffenburg of Grace, Sheboygan) have begun. Classes meet 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the second Saturday of each month, January – May, and September – December.
§ Auditors are welcome. If you wish to audit deacon school, contact Fr. Karl to receive details. Note: Those in formation for the diaconate pay tuition. Auditors are requested to contribute to the cost of the school, but if the offering of a donation would restrict your attendance be assured that a donation is voluntary.
§ Lenten Meditations: Our book of meditations, written by parishioners, has become a treasured tradition to enter into the Lenten season. This year, the 2nd-5th grade Sunday School class will also participate to joyfully remind us what the scripture looks like through the eyes of a child. To participate:
- Choose from the scripture readings on the Narthex table. All are welcome to choose more than one. Sign your name on the clipboard next to the corresponding scripture listed.
- Read and reflect on the scripture for the scripture(s) chosen.
- Write a meditation based on what resonated with you, or you feel called to share based upon the readings.
- The meditation can be 10 words or 300 words (maximum, please); there are no rules and no right or wrong ways.
Submit your meditation to Nicci firstname.lastname@example.org by February 5 to allow production time. These meditations will be published in print and online before Lent begins. In addition, meditations can be read aloud on Grace Abounds, as part of our podcast series.
§ Bible Challenge: Videos for all 52 weeks of the year are now available on Grace Abounds. If you take this challenge, you will find that in one year you will read all of the Bible! This will require less than an hour of your time, six days a week.
§ A schedule of readings are provided on the parish website, along with weekly study summaries and a weekly video summary of the readings. If you need a good study bible for the challenge, contact the parish office. When we immerse ourselves in Scripture, the mantle of the Lord does fall upon us. We are equipped to discern God’s will and to lead others to know and love and serve the Lord.
§ Diocesan Clergy Retreat, February 5-7: There will be no Mass on these days.
§ Flower Schedule for 2018: Giving the gift of flowers is a wonderful way to remember a loved one or to offer thanksgiving for your blessings. If you wish to sign up for a specific Sunday, the Flower Schedule is available on the table in the Narthex. More than one person can sign up for each Sunday.
§ Coffee Hour Schedule: There is a new sign-up sheet for hosting coffee hour in 2018. If you would like to host, please sign up for either 8:00 a.m. or 10:15 a.m. If you have any questions, please see Katy Larson at 893-6432. Thank you so much.
§ Boy Scout Sunday: Next Sunday, February 4 is Scout Sunday. Please greet our Boy Scouts and let them know how much we appreciate their service; especially the work performed on the grounds of Elkhart Lake Chapel. Also, If you are willing to help Katy by bringing extra coffee hour treats, please let her know; there will be a larger than usual crowd.
§ Scout Appreciation Pancake Breakfast, March 11. Please mark your calendars to stay a few minutes, after each service, to savor a down home Pancake Breakfast. Scouts will supply all the know-how for the event. As an added bonus, Maple Syrup will be supplied by the Drewry Farms of Plymouth. This award-winning Maple Syrup is served at all the major restaurants in the area and beyond. The Scouts will also have available Maple Syrup gift assortments.
§ 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.
§ 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!!!
§ Love INC Monthly Bulletin is now available online at: