Grace Episcopal Church
28 March 2019
Rejoice, O Jerusalem: and come together all you that love her: rejoice with joy, you that have been in sorrow: that you may exult and be filled from the breasts of your consolation.
In the Western liturgical tradition, the Fourth Sunday in Lent is known, traditionally, as Laetare Sunday, from the opening word in the Latin version of the introit founds above. (An introit is an opening prayer specific to a particular Sunday.) The Latin is laetare, which is the singular imperative. In other words, the rejoicing of Jerusalem (the Church) that God comes among us is something that we do together. We are addressed as one Body, not as a collection of individuals, because our rejoicing in salvation is only complete when it is shared.
In prior times all of Lent was a time of very strict disciplines, including fasting. On the Fourth Sunday the disciplines were relaxed to reflect the command to rejoice, and this relaxation is reflected in the vestments for Laetare Sunday being “liturgical rose” (a sort of dusky pink) instead of purple (the full color of penitence). In our own day it has become more recognized that all Sundays, as feasts of Our Lord, are times of celebration and rejoicing, and that Lenten disciplines do not strictly apply, but the tradition of Laetare Sunday remains in a minority of Episcopalian parishes to remind us that it is because of penitence that we may rejoice.
The paradox of faith is that we may rejoice that we are sinners! As odd as that may appear, it is true, because if I persist in sin, or if I insist that there is no sin, I cannot recognize my own sin. I can only recognize my own sin when I have gained faith. For too long in post-Reformation theology, the conventional “wisdom” has been that if I am convicted of my sin I will turn to God. But the biblical witness is exactly the opposite! It is because God has sought me out and I have come to know Him that I become convicted of my sin. Otherwise, I’ll just wallow in it, as witnessed to by St. Paul at Rom 1.24, where (having observed how those who do not serve God have exchanged what is true for what is false), he writes: “Therefore God gave them up …”. He continues that because those who do not know Him have “exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator …”, “For this reason God gave them up …” (Rom. 1.25—26).
At. Rom 1.28 Paul writes of those who have denied Him that “God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct”. He then illustrates this base mind and improper conduct, listing sins at 1.29—31. But note throughout that the sins listed are not what provoke God to judgment, but what judgment looks like. Those who do not know God are not convicted of their sin because they have rejected Him, and so they persist in their sin.
When we turn to God we can recognize all of the ways in which we have alienated ourselves from the bond of love to which we are called. We know we are sinners, and we can rejoice that we can know this and can trust in the mercy of God.
Rejoice, indeed. Rejoice that in Lent we can focus more on how we turn to God because we know that we must.
Grace abounds: Please thank:
§ Pat Sather, Ed & Mary Clabots, Doug Hamilton, and Stuart Schmidt for the Sunday coffee hours, with cleanup by Julie Davidson.
§ Bill and Bobbie May for janitorial help.
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.
Music this Week: The Fourth Sunday in Lent
Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey, Music Director
Prelude Three Elevations (from Heures Mystiques)
Entrance Hymn 624 “Jerusalem the golden” Ewing
Sequence Hymn 692 “ I heard the voice of Jesus say” Kingsfold
Offertory Anthem 690 Guide me, O thou great Jehovah Cwm Rhondda
Communion Motet My spirit longs for thee arr. Leopold Dix
Communion Hymn 470 “There’s a wideness in God’s mercy” Beecher
Closing Hymn 411 “O bless the Lord, my soul” St. Thomas
Postlude Prelude & Fugue in G minor J. S. Bach
§ Adult Formation: Growing a Rule of Life: Adult Formation participants will spend two more weeks using a tool from monastic spirituality and the Society of Saint John the Evangelist to develop their own personal Rule of Life. All are welcome to join at any time.
§ Sacrament of Reconciliation: Lent is a time of self-examination preparing for the death and resurrection of our Lord. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be offered by appointment. Please contact Fr. Schaffenburg to set up an appointment to make your confession.
§ Lenten Program: On Friday nights during Lent, we will have Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm, followed by a simple Lenten supper at 6:00pm. At 6:30 the program will be Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. The six-session DVD features Dr. Amy-Jill Levine offering a fresh, timely reinterpretation of the Passion of Jesus. The video segments are approximately 10-12 minutes each. The program will be facilitated by Fr. Karl and Mother Michele.
§ Cooking on Friday Evenings in lent: If you are interested in cooking and hosting a dinner on the Fridays during Lent, there are sign-up on sheets on the Narthex.
§ Easter Flowers and Music: Please prayerfully consider donating for Easter Flowers and Music. Please be as generous as you are able and call the office or fill out the slip found in the pews to indicate your wish for memorials and/or thanksgivings.
The deadline for returning to the Parish Office is Monday, April 8 at noon.
§ Easter Vigil Dinner: The first Mass of the Resurrection is on Saturday, April 20 at 7:00 p.m. The Easter celebration then continues at Trattoria Stefano, 522 South 8th Street, at 9:30 p.m. The actual cost of the meal is a gift to the parish, so you not only get a delicious meal but you help the church by purchasing a ticket for the dinner. Tickets can be bought in the parish office or in the Narthex after mass for $50 a person. Everyone is invited, but seats are limited. There are scholarships for anyone wishing to attend but are challenged by the cost.
§ Easter Gala Reception: We will continue our Easter celebration with a Gala Reception after the 10:15 a.m. Mass on Sunday, April 21. Look for a sign-up sheet on the Narthex table in the upcoming weeks.
§ Summer Camp registration for camp sessions are now open: The Diocese of Fond du Lac Summer Camp is for kids age 4 through graduating 12th graders.
The registration process is now completely online and includes availability to make payments. *Scholarships are available; inquire at the Parish Office.
§ Save the Date-Chrism Mass: On Tuesday, April 16, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Fond du Lac.
§ Annual Bake and Plant Sale: This annual event takes place, in conjunction with St. Luke United Methodist Church Rummage Sale, on Friday, April 26 (noon–3:00 p.m.) and Saturday, April 27 (9:00 a.m.–2:30 p.m.) We need volunteers to provide baked items, staff tables, set-up and take down. Look for a more detailed list and sign-up sheet in the upcoming weeks.
§ Good News Jail & Prison Ministry Banquet: The annual banquet in support of ministry in the local jail is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7 at 6:00 p.m. (Blue Harbor Conference Center) Nicci has 8 tickets available. There is no charge, but the cost of the meal to the ministry is $28.00; donations in support are accepted. There will also be a silent auction. For more details, contact the Parish Office.
§ Save the Date-Eucharistic Festival, Saturday June 29: The Festival will be followed by the Bishop’s Picnic; there is no cost for the Picnic which include hot dogs, brats and ice cream. For more details, visit www.diofdl.org/ef
§ Ushers Needed: Ushers are often the first people seen by newcomers, visitors, and even regular parishioners when coming to Grace Church. People enjoy being greeted by a smile; become a part of this ministry today!
§ Meeting of Lectors: Following the 10:15 service and some short time after the start of coffee hour on April 7, Bob MacEwen will lead an informational 20-minute meeting in St. Mark’s Room, Lower Level, for current Lectors and those interested in becoming a Lector.
§ Reservations Required: Grace Church has been blessed with many assets used for hospitality. Parishioners are welcome to use rooms and these items. This is a gentle reminder that Grace’s policy is to complete a form listing the items being borrowed and rooms being used. This form can be obtained from the parish office.
§ 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; please write your name on the envelope.
§ Holy Week Services
§ Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday (April 14), the Sunday of the Passion of our Lord.
§ Palm Sunday Holy Eucharist 8:00 and 10:15 a.m.
§ Monday in Holy Week Morning Prayer 8:45 a.m.
Holy Eucharist 12.10 p.m.
Evening Prayer 5:10 p.m.
Corporate Rosary 5:30 p.m.
§ Tuesday in Holy Week Morning Prayer 8:45 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:10 p.m.
Holy Eucharist 5:30 p.m.
§ Wednesday in Holy Week Morning Prayer 8:45 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:10 p.m.
Holy Eucharist 5.30 p.m.
§ Maundy Thursday Morning Prayer 8:45 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:10 p.m.
Mass of Maundy Thursday 6:00 p.m.
[Stripping of the altar.]
§ Good Friday Morning Prayer 7:00 a.m.
Good Friday Liturgy 1:00 p.m.
§ Holy Saturday Liturgy of Holy Saturday 9:00 a.m.
Great Vigil of Easter 7:00 p.m.
§ Easter Day Holy Eucharist 8 and 10:15 a.m.