eGraceNotes from Grace Episcopal Church
News for and about Grace Episcopal Church
July 19, 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.
The Church's Healing Ministry
Healing HandsAt Grace, our healing ministries have traditionally consisted of the prayers and the laying on of hands and anointing with Holy Oil.  We are, however, finding new expressions of God's grace and have begun to discern non-traditional ways and methods of healing.

The Healing Ministry is that service whereby the church brings healing and wholeness to the life of the congregation, the individual and the world.  Healing is not limited to our bodies; but includes all of who we are; our minds and our spirits.  It cannot be separated from our ability to forgive and be reconciled to God and each other.

Healing is a gift from God that comes to us through the work of The Holy Spirit in the world.  Healing is an integral part of the work of the community of faith. The website of the Episcopal Healing Ministry Foundation says it well:

The ministry of healing is the Church's fundamental Ministry and the world's fundamental need.

Healing was an integral part of Jesus' ministry. Matthew 4:23 says, "Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people." 

Enriching our Worship 2, a book published by the Episcopal Church that deals with ministry to the sick and dying--speaks to this matter extensively when it says,
... all prayers with the sick should be linked with the people of God in the context of the whole Church. The community of intercessors embraces not only the parish, but also family and friends of the patients and all who are caring for them, as well as the medical community.  In Ministry with the Sick or Dying, the Church acts in the grace of God for the health and salvation of its members. This ministry is based on Jesus' constant witness of concern and care for the sick.  It is also shaped by the Epistle of James' direction to the sick to call for the elders of the Church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of Jesus Christ (James 5:14). James expects these actions to have three effects: the prayer of faith will save the sick, the Lord will raise them up, and their sins will be forgiven.  

The gift of healing is granted to be shared and used for the benefit of the common good.  When we gather as the people of God, we gather to celebrate God's word and to find wholeness for the community and ourselves by sharing the gifts that has been given to us by the Holy Spirit.  1 Corinthians 12:4-11 makes this point: 

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.   Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Enriching our Worship 2 says further,

Healing must never be seen as an end in itself. Scripture teaches us that Jesus' healings were a sign of the reign of God come near, of God's marvelous power and presence among us. Healing is not merely the alleviation of affliction, but testimony to the wholeness and salvation God intends for us.  The ministry of Jesus invites us to new life in God and with each other. In the laying on of hands [and anointing] we proclaim the Good News that God desires us to be healthy and one in the body of Christ. You are invited to offer yourself whatever your sickness of spirit, mind, or body, and ask for healing and wholeness in the Name of the holy and undivided Trinity.

In Ministry with the Sick or Dying, the Church acts in the grace of God for the health and salvation of its members. This ministry is based on Jesus' constant witness of concern and care for the sick.

You can read more about Grace's healing ministry here.  We'll have more about the specifics of Grace's healing ministry in future eGraceNotes issues.

Thanks to Vicar Ernestein for this article.
"Got Questions?" Returns Tomorrow

Got Questions?All are invited to stay after the 10 am service tomorrow for the "Got Questions?" group.  There, people with faith questions and people with faith answers will share their views. 

The group will add questions to the following list and then choose one to explore.
  • What do we know about Jesus and how do we know it?
  • What happens after we die?
  • How important are a person's religious beliefs in connection with politics?
  • Do we have to believe in the Trinity?
  • What do we mean by salvation?
  • Is anybody excluded from heaven?
  • What are the implications of my faith for me today?
  • Am I a Christian?
  • Is being a Christian being violent?
  • Why is Old Testament violence in the Bible?
  • Why, when God acts, does someone have to die?
  • Why is there so little of what Jesus did in the Bible?

Roger Speer Send-Off Postponed

Earlier this week, we thought that we'd be sending Roger Speer off to his new assignment in the Virgin Islands this Sunday, but we have just received word that he's not feeling well and won't be able to join us. 

Have you noticed how much improved our grounds look these days?  Thanks are due to Jim Edgy, the Pernas and the Valentines for their work on our landscaping and the flower beds. 
Grace to Participate in College Hill Block Party in August

The annual College Hill Block Party is coming the evenings of August 5 through 8.  (See the College Hill Calendar for details of events, times & places). 

Grace will have a table at the Block Party.  We'll ahve posters, a banner and brochures about Grace.  We'll also sell objects on behalf of the African Team ministry.

At least 16 volunteers are needed to staff the table.  Sign up on the sheet in the church, or contact the office (513-542-2941,

Attendance Trends Up

At this week's Mission Council meeting, Senior Warden John Thayer presented the following progress report on church attendance, comparing the first six months of 2006, 2007 and 2008.

                           2006     2007    2008
Total Attendance    1056     1321    1485
Number of Services     42        35        31
Average per Service    25        38        48