eGraceNotes from Grace Episcopal Church
News for and about Grace Episcopal Church July 14, 2008
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Dear Friend,
It's Summer, but that doesn't mean that life at Grace has slowed very much--it's just different from the rest of the year.  Check out the  calendar to see what's happening.
In This Issue ...
Blessed Grill Follows Holy Meal
Grace Marches with Episcopalians in 2008 Pride Alive Parade
Vicar's Immigration Journey Featured in Diocesan Newsletter
Tree Story
Say "Good-bye" to Roger Speer
Now's the time to Consider Education for Ministry

Blessed Grill Follows Holy Meal

Vicar Ernestein & Bennyce Grilling

On the first Sunday in July, Grace held the first of two Blessed Grills on the Garth following the 10 am service. Members & friends enjoyed hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad and other summertime grill-out fixin's.
The next Blessed Grill will follow the August 3 service.  After the Holy meal, come and be fed with hamburgers, hot dogs and conversation. Bring a dish to share if you like.

See here for more pictures.
Grace Marches with Episcopalians in 2008 Pride Alive Parade
Pride Alive 2008On Sunday June 15 about 70 Episcopalians--from Grace, Calvary, Our Savior, St. Stephen, Ascension and Holy Trinity, Redeemer, St. Timothy and All Saints--marched behind the Rev. Paula Jackson, one of the Grand Marshalls, in the Gay Pride Parade. 
Oh what a sight that was!  Our shirts were all the brilliant colors of the rainbow,  emblazoned with the words, "The Episcopal Church Welcomes YOU." Our flags were gigantic swashes of color and we twirled huge multicolored umbrellas and chanted, "God loves you and there's nothing you can do about it!"  Mother Paula swung her thurible to cense the crowd. Bob Poyer and others handed out prayer cards along the route. 
I was amazed at the reception we received.  First there were crowds all along the route waving at us, especially in Clifton and enormous ones in Northside.  They responded positively to our message with cheers and smiles all the way. 

Ray Betts & Mary McLain in Pride Alive Parade 2008At the end of the route at the park in Northside, we had a tent where people could enter a raffle to have a dinner with  Bishop Breidenthal and his wife, Margaret.  About 200 people filled out cards for the dinner or to get more information about the Episcopal Church or Integrity. 
This was a wonderful, exciting, and effective evangelical outreach to the GLBT communities and I feel sure it will bear fruit in the future.
The lower picture shows Ray Betts & Mary McLain in their parade T-shirts.  For more pictures, click here.
Thanks to Mary McLain for this article.
Vicar's Immigration Journey Featured in Diocesan Newsletter
US FlagOn the Sunday before Independence Day, our Vicar applied the Gospel's imperative to be welcoming to the experience of immigrants to this country.  She spoke movingly of her own 28-year journey to citizenship, which was granted just this year.  
Ms. Flemister's story is featured in Interchange, the Newsletter of the Diocese of Southern Ohio.  You can read the whole story here
She didn't mention it, but the Old Testament is adamant and quite specific about how immigrants should be treated.  Typical of the more than 30 verses that deal with immigrants (also known as aliens, strangers or sojourners, depending on the translation) is the following:
Leviticus 19:34: The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. 
Click here to see all the verses dealing with immigrants.

Dead Tree

Tree Story 
Jim Dietz writes:
We scheduled a Saturday in June for the removal of the huge dead tree overlooking the church's parking lot on the back left corner.  A large limb had already fallen from the tree close to the parking lot and it was evident that the tree had to be removed.

The tree removal crew arrived around 2:00 PM Saturday as expected. I was surprised at how young the five men were. It turned out that the crew was very competent and worked very quickly. The young leader did all the climbing and dangerous work and he accomplished this using just a ladder and no other climbing equipment.  When the ladder was not high enough, the young man climbed the trunk and limbs like a monkey. He wore gym shoes and no other special climbing equipment other than a rope.

Once the saw cuts were made at the bottom of the huge tree, the only surprise was the way the large upper limbs failed during the first attempt to pull the tree over.  The second try with the rope secured on the remaining upper branches was successful and the tree fell with a resounding crash.



There was a smaller dead tree near the driveway at the back of the parking lot that was also removed very easily. the crew also did some other trimming for the church.

Free Firewood

The final stage was the cutting of all limbs and branches into firewood size and the cleanup of the leaves and small branches.  When the crew left the work area, it was remarkably clean and in order.  They were to be commended.
Stewardship Moment:  Time and Talent Survey
The main thrust of the Stewardship Committee at Grace is to help us honor God's goodness to us by managing our monetary resources to keep the Church operating in a self-sufficient manner. However, it is also important for us to use the time and talents that God has blessed us with to maintain our own faith and to contribute to the greater Community where we live.  God wants us to be like the trustworthy servants in the parable to the talents (Matthew 25;14-30) and invest our talents in a way that will reap a harvest that will further his kingdom.
With that in mind, the Stewardship Committee developed a Time and Talent Survey/Commitment form which was distributed to the congregation at a June 1 meeting.  As of July 14, 43 people have responded to the survey, and we are compiling a list of "willing hands" to help us further the work of the Lord. 
If you have not received a copy of the survey and would like to do so, please contact Jim Edgy ( or Roger Perna (

Our concept is what we are calling Worship + 2.  We want everyone to commit to join us in Worship as often as they are able, and also to commit to participate in at least two church activities to enhance their faith and to serve the greater community outside of Grace Church.  Many of the activities could accomplish both goals at the same time.  Some examples of this would be to assist in a healing service or taking on our prayer concerns list. A Bible study or discussion group would enhance our own faith and our many outreach programs would help you serve the community.  Please enter into a prayerful attitude as you consider what God wants you to do with precious time he has given you and with the many gifts you have received from him.
Let us remember that "in Christ, we who are many form one body, . . we have many gifts, including prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, leading, and showing mercy." (Romans 12:5-8)  Let's all use our individual gifts to create a better world and continue to build the body of Christ.
Thanks to Belinda Perna for this update.
Say "Good-bye" to Roger Speer Sunday July 20 
Roger SpeerOn Sunday, July 20, Roger Speer will be with us to say good bye.  He has accepted a position as the Youth Director for the Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands.  Plan to be here to express your thanks to Roger for all he has done for Grace Church.
Roger was instrumental in helping Grace get back on its feet a couple of years ago, spending much time with us at the same time as he was Youth Director for the Diocese.
Rumor has it that people are already scheduling times to visit Roger in his new digs this winter.

Now's the time to Consider Education for Ministry
EFM LogoGrace Church's two Education for Ministry groups will start up again in September. The groups meet at the church on Monday evenings or Friday mornings under the leadership of experienced mentor Hawley Todd.  
Education for Ministry (EfM) provides a safe place for lay people to refine their faith, articulate their faith and live their faith through a structured group learning experience. EfM is an extension course from the School of Theology of the University of the South at Sewanee and is sponsored by the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
Registration in this four-year program is for one year at a time, in advance.  To register, contact mentor Hawley Todd (, 513-9667-6581) before August 1. 

To find out more about EfM, click here or here or call Hawley or talk to EfM graduates Mary McLain, Grace Staples, Jim Edgy, Carol Lyon or former mentor Ken Lyon.
What EfM does better than any other theological education program is to equip people to integrate their faith with their real life experiences in ways that make sense and bring meaning to their lives. EfM graduates attest to being able to live more full and abundant lives. Many discover (or rediscover) their ministries in their daily life and work. Some find themselves called to use their talents in new ways. In all cases, those who complete the program have new confidence in their ability to live their lives as theologically articulate Christians.