eGraceNotes from Grace Church
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November 28, 2008
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Dear Friend,

Advent marks the beginning of the church calendar which fact in itself makes for several interesting eGraceNotes articles in this issue. The upcoming holiday season adds some more.  So get your calendars out and make space for the events coming up at Grace. 

There's much to read about in this issue, but you should also check out the Grace Church Calendar to see what else is happening at Grace.

Notes on This Sunday's Readings for the First Sunday in Advent

Advent I WreathAdvent season begins Sunday. The name of the season means "coming," and it celebrates God's coming to us in the birth of Jesus and looks toward Christ's return at the end of history as Savior and Judge.

You can see the readings for this Sunday here.

The first reading from Isaiah reflects the intensity of the prophet's hope for the Messiah. In a period of Israel's history when confidence in the people's own efforts to build God's kingdom had collapsed, Isaiah expresses that hope in a passage which has been a part of the Advent liturgy since the earliest days of the church, "O that you would tear open the heavens and come down. . . ."

In the second reading, we hear Paul's greeting in his first letter to Corinth. Recognizing the many spiritual gifts of the Corinthian church--sources of their strength, but also sources of controversy which caused him to write--he says that those spiritual gifts are given to prepare us to greet the return of Christ.

Jesus' message to his followers is an assurance that he will return and that our lives should be lived in preparation for that return. This theme of watching for his return is always central on the First Sunday of Advent. Today's reading from Mark is the parable of the door-keeper. It reminds us that we are always to be on the watch for Jesus' return.

The liturgy is the way the church lives in the time between Jesus' first coming and his second coming. In Word and Sacrament he comes to us again and again, veiled, but present to eyes of faith. In the Eucharist and in ministry to others we are continually being prepared to greet him when he comes again in glory.

This Sunday ...
  • Coffee Hour for all follows the service. Stay to meet, greet and eat.
  • There will be a brief meeting of all Sunday School Volunteers immediately following the service. 
For the Bible Tells Me SoGrace's Second Stir the Pot Another Success

Last Sunday, Grace hosted the second in our Stir the Pot film and discussion series. Approximately 60 people came from all over the Greater Cincinnati community to watch and discuss For the Bible Tells Me So, a film discussing what the Bible really says about homosexuality.

We thank all those who worked to make this event such a success.  Especially we thank Belinda and Roger Perna, Lisa Perry, Tammy Robertson, Ernestein Flemister, Mary McLain, Chuck Bowles and J. White.

The next in the series is coming January 25. That session, Constantine's Sword, asks the timely question: is the fanaticism that threatens the world today fueled by our own deeply held beliefs?
Keep in Your Prayers ...

Prayer RequestsPlease keep these people in your prayers for their special needs: Joyce Markham; Estel; Mrs. Matthews; Judy Handy, Shelly Martin, Susan Dewbrey, Deb Gamble, Barbara Todd; Kim Martin, Robb Martin; Florence and Bob Poyer; Dean Bryeans, Nancy McGaughey, Pat Nott, Mary Hall, Chris; Irene Bryeans; Joshua, Caleb, Anne, and Darryl Handy; Marcus Flemister; Bo; Kim Herrmann, Al Berghausen; Teri; Mary Lou Bellows; Jackie Lewis; Laura Chace.
More Thanks ...

Our thanks go to:
  • The Sunday School and their teachers, Virginia Chapel and Maria Mukasa, for their excellent participation in Youth Sunday two weeks ago. We are proud of what our children are doing in Sunday School.
  • Those who have provided their Estimate of Giving Card to indicate their support next year's program at Grace (and we hope those who have not yet will turn in their estimate very soon):  Anonymous (11), Judy and Al Berghausen, Ray Betts, Charles Bowles, Jim and Phillis Dietz, Susan Dewbrey, Jim Edgy, Ralph Galloway, Laura Hall,  Judy and Walter Handy, Janet Henthorn, Naomi Koester, Jackie Lewis, Ken and Carol Lyon, Mary McLain, David and Maria Mukasa, Justine Matovu, Wanda Miller, Roger and Belinda Perna, Lisa Perry, Bob and Florence Poyer, Tammy Robertson, Grace Staples and Jane Strohmeier.
  • Jackie Lewis and Grace Staples for organizing the sale of the bracelets for the Tri-county Mall Shopping event.
  • All who generously contributed to the Episcopal Community Service Foundation Fund.
  • Everyone who contributed to our Thanksgiving food collection.  You gave six large bags and $105 in cash to assist with the purchase of turkeys.  Over 200 families were served.  
  • Our Coffee Hour Hosts. We have terrific coffee hours because of the hard work and generosity of our hosts.  To those who have not hosted, we would welcome you.  If you would like to assist but it is physically impossible for you to do so, see Jim Edgy and he will find a person to co-host with you who can take care of the physical activity.

A Note on Hymn Selection and the Church Year

Each year around Christmas, I receive more complaints about hymn selection than at any other time.  Mainly, there are two:
  1. Why don't we start singing carols before Christmas? 
  2. Why do we sing carols after Christmas when we are all tired of them?

The hymn selections throughout the year are determined by the church year or special circumstances or events.  The seasons are Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.  Throughout all of these seasons there are special days (Saint's days and other church occasions) that also influence the choice of hymns. 

In our church year, Christmas does not begin until the Christmas Eve service and continues for the twelve days of Christmas, which includes the next 2 Sundays.  This means we cannot sing carols prior to Christmas Eve and should sing them the two Sundays following Christmas Day.

The other determining factors in hymn selections are the lessons and Gospel.  We make every attempt to select hymns that are in someway supportive of the readings.  At times this is difficult because there are no hymns that fit exactly with some of the gospel readings.  When I really get stumped, I always program Amazing Grace.  It seems to fit most any situation.  The church year is also the reason that some hymns are only sung once or twice a year because they are appropriate for the readings only at those times.  Other general hymns are appropriate on many more dates. There are several guides which suggest hymns for each Sunday that are published by the Episcopal Church, and these guides are used here at Grace Church. 

I know that several of you have favorite hymns and they are programmed when possible.  Sometimes I have people say, "Why don't we ever sing such and such."  The last time this happened, I replied, "We sang that last Sunday," at which point the person realized she had not been in church the week before. But if you have a favorite hymn that you want to insure that we sing, just let me know and I will be happy to schedule it.    

Jim Edgy

Queen City Rainbow Band Again Presents Free Holiday Concert at Grace

QCRB Holiday Concert

The Queen City Rainbow Bands return to Grace on Sunday, December 14, for their second annual Holiday Concert. Don't miss this holiday-spirited performance of Cincinnati's only GLBT/Allies Band. The Queen City Rainbow Bands (both concert and jazz formations) will perform at 5:00 pm.
"Audiences love the beauty of Grace Church's sanctuary, with it's beautiful high stone walls and vaulted ceilings. Yet the size of the sanctuary is actually very intimate. Everyone will be able to see and hear very well!" says the band's music director, Tom Mitchell.
The concert and jazz bands will delight you with familiar holiday music, contemporary concert band pieces, and a unique treat: jazzy-hot versions of holiday tunes. The music is chosen especially to get the audience's holiday season "off and running" in grand spirit.
The concert is free and open to the public; all are welcome.

Queen City Rainbow Band Holiday Concert

The band practices on most Wednesdays at Grace Church. New musicians of all abilities are welcome to join the band anytime of the year. For more information about this concert or about the band, visit, or call Megan (513-594-6962) or Fred (513-559-9987).

We need some help with the reception for the concert.  If you can make some cookies for the event and bring them to church that morning, we will be most appreciative.
 Gifts Enhance Grace's Thanksgiving Altar

Thanksgiving Altar Flowers, Silver & Brass

The high altar was decorated was decorated this past Sunday with fruits and vegetables in thanksgiving for all God has given us.

In addition, many of the silver and brass items used throughout the year were also on the high altar to enhance the festive look.  Many of these pieces were given to the glory of God in memory of or by past members of Grace church.

These are the items that were on the high altar and the communion table last Sunday.
  • Two silver chalices, a paten and a silver bowl engraved "Grace Church College Hill March 6, 1866"
  • Brass baptismal tray and ewer given "To the glory of God and in loving memory of Powell Crosley III 1911-1948 presented by Mrs. Powell Crosley III"
  • Silver cruet "In memory of Lewis Henshaw, Jr. by Mr. and Mrs. Charles Gerhart"
  • Silver chalice and paten "To the glory of God in memory of Lewis J. Henshaw, Jr. by Alfred and Sarah Klein, June 3, 1962"
  • Small silver bowl "In memoriam of John Gate, Frances Gates, Morris W. Gates and John Gates, Jr."
  • Silver chalice "To the glory of God in memory of William H. Koester".
  • Silver chalice and paten "To the glory of God and in memory of Rev. John Ely, Rector of Grace Church, 1877-1906"
  • Two silver cruets "To the glory of God in memory of Margaret Ann Klein, 1934-1936
  • One silver cruet "In loving memory of Margaret Anne Klein given by her grandmother Margaret Klein"
  • Silver pitcher "To the glory of God in memory of Alfred Charles Klein, 1905-1979 by family and friends"
  • Silver wafer dish "To the glory of God, Sarah Weller Klein"
  • Silver wafer dish "To the glory of God in loving memory of their parents by Dr. and Mrs. Davis Lillard, 1962"

This Sunday, let us take a moment to remember those who have donated the things that help make our service beautiful and meaningful.

Thanks to Carol Lyon for this article.
Altar GreensWhere Have All the Flowers Gone?

The season of Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Christ child.  In the church this is a time of spiritual reflection.  Having only greens upon the altar provides a calming  atmosphere. They provide a balm to the soul.

The flowers will return with a burst of color  for Christmas.  Until then, enjoy the texture and shape of the greens.

Carol Lyon
Grace Church Giving Tree for 20 Needy Children

Christmas PresentsIt is our tradition to give wrapped gifts to specific needy children each Christmas.   Please notice the decorated Christmas tree in the nave.  If you would like to participate, please take any  numbered tag from the tree (or two) and record the tag number on the sheet on the piano along with your information.  This is very important so we can contact you about that gift if you forget.  We don't want disappointed children.

After buying and wrapping your gift (the tag contains name, gender, and clothing size of the child), put the tag on the OUTSIDE of the wrapped gift.  Return all gifts under the tree on or before December 21.  We will take them to the West College Hill Center for the children's party.  If you want to participate but don't want to shop, please contact Grace Staples (513-251-3538) or put a marked donation in the basket by the sign-up sheet and we will have someone shop for the child.

Thank you for your wonderful generosity!   

The Outreach Committee
Katherine Jefferts SchoriPresiding Bishop Coming to Town

The Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be in Cincinnati on Saturday, December 13 and Sunday, December 14, to help Church of the Redeemer celebrate its centennial.  All are welcome to join Redeemer in greeting our Presiding Bishop.

On Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm, she will share her thoughts about the Church, its past, present, and future. A panel discussion will follow. Lunch will be served. If interested in attending, make reservations by Monday, December 8, by calling 513-321-6700.

Dr. Schori will also preach Sunday at three Redeemer services. The 5 pm service will include special music from three local choirs. All are welcome.
Coming Events

Grace Church Calendar

Mark your calendar for these special events:
  • Rainbow Band Holiday Concert December 14, 5 pm.
  • Parish Christmas Dinner December 27, 6 pm.
  • Bishop Breidenthal Visitation, January 5.
  • Annual Meeting January 26.

And see the Grace Church Calendar for uptodate information on meetings and services at at Grace. 
eGraceNotes is published a couple of times a month, more or less. Our primary purpose is to help keep members and friends of Grace Church up-to-date on what's happening at Grace.

While we try our best to represent the Grace Church congregation, opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anyone other than the editor (and perhaps not even his!).

The content of eGraceNotes depends on what news is provided us. Thus, the fact that something appears or doesn't appear in eGraceNotes is more likely a matter of whether or not someone provided information to publish rather than editorial bias. Send news that you think would be interesting to

Photos in eGraceNotes are often edited to remove extraneous material.

Ken Lyon, Editor.
Grace Episcopal Church | Phone: 513-541-2415 | 5501 Hamilton Avenue at Belmont Avenue | College Hill (Cincinnati) | OH | 45224
eGraceNotes from Grace Church November 28 2008