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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Hat Size

Grace Episcopal Church
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

Grace Notes
11 April 2019

After the past week I might need a bigger hat, because my head might grow.  My head might grow because of all the words I have heard from those inside and outside the parish who have said kind things about me.  The reason I won’t actually need a bigger hat is that in listening to such words the persistent thought in my head has been “Is he/she talking about me?”  I know well my own failings.  But (and here’s where theology enters), to the extent that whatever I have done in my priestly ministry in this place has brought forth words of praise or thanksgiving, what those who have offered praise or thanksgiving have responded to has been the ways in which God has used me to do His will.  As a person there are many, many limitations on what I can do, but as the apostle teaches, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (in Jesus) (Phil. 4.13).
It is in Christ that ministry happens, and God uses fallible human beings to incarnate His presence.  In a season of transition, it is as people in Christ, both as individuals and as the Church, that you will incarnate God’s presence to each other and to those who God places before you.
When we recognize that the praise and thanksgiving belong to God, and give Him the glory, our hats continue to fit, and heads that bow in prayer may lift up to look to the glory that God reveals in the myriad ways He shows forth His will in the world.  But this means, as well, that we must be open to the reality that God will use us—everyone of us.  God will use you to reach another person in ways that will allow that other person to come to better know, and love, and serve God.  God will use you as the Body of Christ in ways that will make His love real in the world.  God will call you through all times of transition into blessings that cannot even now be foreseen.  The constant in all is God:  His love, presence, truth, goodness; His promises that never fail.  Trust in God in all things, and your hat will fit just right.

Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine: Glory to him from generation to generation in the Church, and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever.  Amen.    Ephesians 3:20, 21

Grace abounds:  Please thank: 

§  Bob and Anne Hanlon, Bill & Deb Gagin, and Bob and Barb MacEwen for the Sunday coffee hours.
§  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:  Palm Sunday (The Sunday of the Passion)
                              Dr. R. Benjamin Dobey, Music Director

Procession             “All glory, laud and honor to thee, Redeemer King”       
Sequence H. 435   “At the Name of Jesus every knee shall bow”                         
Offertory Anthem   The royal banners forward go                                     Plainsong                                       
Communion Motet Crucifixus                                                            Antonio Lotti                  
Comm. H. 168       “O sacred head sore wounded”         Herzlich tut mich verlangen                                       
Postlude                Chorale Prelude on O sacred head, sore wounded                      
                                                                                                  Johannes Brahms

Parish Notices:
§  Chrism Mass: On Tuesday, April 16, at 11:00 a.m. at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Fond du Lac. In the early church bishops baptized catechumens at the Easter Vigil with blessed oils. Over time this blessing was made earlier so oils could be used at the local level. This tradition includes blessing the oil of catechumens (adults preparing for baptism), oil of the sick (for anointing) and chrism (for baptism, confirmation, ordination of clergy, and consecration of altars).
§  Maundy Thursday Foot Washing: The Gospel of John (13:1-17) records that Jesus washed the feet of the disciples at the Last Supper. Jesus urged the disciples to follow his example of generous and humble service. Jesus' washing of the disciples' feet was a live expression of his teaching that "whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all" (Mk 10:43-44). Everyone will have the opportunity to have their feet washed and to wash someone else’s; please wear socks and shoes that are easily removed.
§  Vigil before the Altar of Repose: Please sign up to watch and pray for an hour at the Altar of Repose beginning immediately following the Maundy Thursday Mass on April 18 and concluding Friday, April 19 as the Good Friday Liturgy begins. There is a sign-up sheet on the table in the Narthex; more than one person may sign up for any given hour.
§  Good Friday Offering: Every year since 1922 the church has taken a collection for the Church in the Middle East during Holy Week. This year our loose plate offering on Good Friday will go to support the church efforts in Jerusalem and throughout the Middle East. Please be generous as you are able.
§  Easter Vigil-The Holy Noise: It is an ancient custom that parishioners bring bells from home to make Holy Noise during the singing of the Gloria in excelsis at the Easter Vigil. This is to symbolize the waking of the dead in Christ because of His resurrection, as well as the proclamation to the entire world that Christ is risen from the dead.
§  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. A final head count has been requested by tomorrow, Monday, April 15.
§  Easter notice from St. Luke United Methodist: All are welcome to join St. Luke United Methodist Church for an Easter sunrise service at 6:00 am on Easter Sunday. The service will be held at the North Beach shelter, Deland Park, 1037 Broughton Drive, Sheboygan.
§  Easter Gala Reception: We will continue our Easter celebration with a Gala Reception after the 10:15 a.m. Mass on Sunday, April 21. A sign-up sheet is on the Narthex table.
§  Annual Bake and Plant Sale: This annual event takes place, in conjunction with St. Luke United Methodist Church Rummage Sale, on Friday, April 26 (11:00–5:00 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.
§  Celebratory Save-the-Date: On Sunday April 28, we come together for ONE MASS at 10:15 as Fr. Karl celebrates his final service as the Rector of Grace Church. A reception lunch will be held after Mass, in St. Nicholas Hall, to show our appreciation for the many years of service by Bill May as our Sexton, as well as celebrating the 7 ½ years of service and friendship by Fr. Karl and Elizabeth Schaffenburg. For more information or if you have questions, contact the Parish Office.
§  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.
§  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.
§  Bishop’s Visitation: On Sunday, May 12 (Mother’s Day) we welcome Bishop Matthew Gunter for his annual visitation. The Bishop will preach and celebrate at both 8:00 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 immediately following the service. A sign-up sheet is on the Narthex table for savories, sweets and clean-up.
§  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
§  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.

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