eGraceNotes from Grace Church
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January 2, 2009
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Dear Friend,

This Sunday, we have a "six-fer," if there is such a word. 
  1. We are celebrating the second Sunday of Christmas.
  2. We are also celebrating the Epiphany, which occurs in the coming week, on January 6.
  3. We are welcoming Bishop Breidenthal as our celebrant, truly a Christmas present for all of us.
  4. We will participate in the confirmation of Josh Todd and the reception of Bennyce Hamilton, and in so doing, we will reaffirm our own baptismal vows.
  5. After the service, we'll join our hostesses Mary McLain and Belinda Perna in the Great Hall for a lunch sponsored by the Mission Council to welcome Bishop and Mrs. Breidenthal.
  6. The first Sunday of every month is "Sharing Sunday," at which time we bring food for the Christ's Community in College Hill food pantry.

This would be a particularly good Sunday to bring folks with you to Grace!

* * *

One of the articles below thanks many of the people who worked extra hard this season to make Grace's Christmas celebration exceptional.

Jim EdgyOne person not included on the list (because he made the list) is Jim Edgy, our Parish Administrator, Organist and Choirmaster. Your editor wants to thank him especially for the weekly Sunday bulletin, which goes above and beyond anything I've seen as far as including information of interest to the congregation. That bulletin is the primary source of news that appears in the eNewsletter.

A Note on This Sunday's Readings Today, the second Sunday of the Christmas season, we continue to celebrate the entrance of the Son of God into the world.

The Gospel tells of the Holy Family fleeing to Egypt to escape Herod's attempt to kill the infant Jesus. In Matthew's Gospel, from which this story is taken, Jesus' life is regarded as the fulfillment of the history of Israel. The author sees Jesus as recapitulating the story of the people of Israel in their exile to Egypt and return to the land of promise.

The Old Testament reading foretells the coming of God's kingdom, when all peoples will be gathered into God's holy place. The history of Israel is repeatedly that of being lost, exiled, and saved by God. Thus, in the passage from Jeremiah, the prophet foretells that Israel--exiled, in his day, to Babylon--will be restored, and all the peoples of the earth will be gathered with them into God's kingdom.

In today's reading from Ephesians, Paul sees this return to God in the cosmic sense of all people's--indeed the whole creation's-existing apart from God until the revelation of salvation through Jesus Christ. In Christ we have been restored to a saving relationship with God and are gathered with God's holy people into the kingdom. In Christ we have become sons and daughters of God.

As we gather to celebrate in God's presence, we discover ourselves as children of God. As in his child Jesus, in us God comes to dwell in his world. In us God chooses to reveal his truth, confounding the wisdom of this world. By Baptism we are adopted as children of God. In the Eucharist, our relationship to God is affirmed and revealed. God continues to come into his world and has chosen us as his primary instruments for revealing his coming.

The liturgy always leads us beyond individual needs and histories, beyond contemporary life, into that great plan of God to gather the redeemed creation into the new life of the kingdom. In the Eucharist we are reconstituted as the redeemed people of God, on pilgrimage into that new life, each time we celebrate.
Pictures of Christmas at Grace

Grace at Christmas 2008

We have put several Grace Christmas pictures in the online Grace Photo Album.

In addition to pictures of the nave decorated for Christmas, we have two pictures of the Sunday School making their presentation the Sunday before Christmas.  Also, if you haven't entered the church through the lower Belmont door lately, you'll want to note the nice bulletin board done by Jackie Lewis.
Second Annual Christmas Dinner Dance

On December 27, Grace members and friends continued Grace's celebration of Christmas with gourmet food and some dancing.

What a meal! What hosts and hostesses! (two were assigned to each table to make sure that our every wish was fulfilled.) Your editor thinks that the food at this dinner was even better than last year's--and each course was better than the last! I look forward to seeing the recipes whenever the next edition of the Grace Cookbook comes out. 

Thanks to all who made our Parish Dinner/Dance such a success. Especially we thank Roger and Belinda Perna, Mary McLain, Lisa Perry and Tammy Robertson, Laura Hall, Chuck Bowles, J White and James White.  And we thank all who attended and supported this event.
PoinsettiasTake Home the Poinsettias

With Christmas coming to an end next Tuesday, the poinsettias decorating the church are available to take home after Sunday's service.  Those who contributed to our Christmas flowers have first dibs, but all are welcome to take one or more.
A Big Year-End Thanks to our Volunteers

This season, our volunteers are busier than ever at Grace. The most complete list of those who make Grace work is on the Who's Who page of our website.

At this time, we offer a big year-end "thank you" to the following who enrich our services through their volunteer efforts. 

Lectors: Bennyce Hamilton, Bob Poyer, John Thayer, Grace Staples, Hawley Todd, Carol Lyon, Ken Lyon, Belinda Perna, Roger Perna, Chuck Bowles, Tiffany Valentine

Ushers: Florence Poyer, David Mukasa, Jim Dietz, Mary McLain, Wanda Miller, Susan Givler, Albertha Howard, Roger Perna, Belinda Perna, Grace Staples  

Chalice Bearers: Bob Poyer, John Thayer, Florence Poyer, Carol Lyon

Counters: Bob Poyer, John Thayer, Jim Dietz, Roger Perna

Prayers of the People: Bennyce Hamilton, Grace Staples, Ken Lyon, Carol Lyon, Florence Poyer, Roger Perna, Belinda Perna, John Thayer

Flower Guild: Carol Lyon, Susan Dewbrey, Wanda Miller, Chuck Bowles, Susan Givler

Acolytes: Hawley Todd

Healing: J White, Hawley Todd

Altar Guild:
Group 1: Phillis Dietz, Maureen Back, Jackie Lewis
Group 2: Susan Dewbrey, Jackie McCray, Chuck Bowles
Group 3: Wanda Miller,     Carol Lyon, Susan Givler
Group 4: Bob Poyer
Subs: Greta Kappes, Ruth Bertram, Florence Poyer

Sopranos:  Belinda Perna, Grace Staples
Altos:  Judy Handy, Madeena Nolan, Albertha Howard, Lisa Perry, Tammy Robertson
Tenors:  Bob Poyer, Chuck Bowles, Barbara Todd
Bass:  John Thayer, Gary Givler, Roger Perna.

Sunday School: Virginia Chapel, Maria Mukasa, Tina Todd, Dominick Mukasa.

Bulletin Board Preparation: Jackie Lewis.

eGracenotes and computer assistance: Ken Lyon

Office Assistance: Susan Dewbrey

We thank the members of various committees, our Coffee Hour hosts and hostesses, and all other people who have helped to make our Parish what it is today.  If we have omitted your name, please forgive us and let the office know at 513-541-2415 or know so we can add you.
Keep in Your Prayers ...

Prayer RequestsPlease keep these people in your prayers for their special needs: Tom Mitchell; Ruth Bertram, 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, Mary Hall, Chris; Irene Bryeans; Joshua, Caleb, Anne, and Darryl Handy; Marcus Flemister; Kim Herrmann, Al Berghausen; Teri; Mary Lou Bellows; Jackie Lewis.
Coming Events at Grace

Grace Church Calendar

In the coming week:
  • Hip-Hop Service, Saturday, January 3, Cancelled.
  • Choir Practice, Sunday, January 4, 9 am.
  • Bishop Breidenthal Visitation, Sunday, January 4, at the 10 am service.
  • Outreach Committee, Wednesday, January 7, 6:30 pm.
  • Choir Practice, Thursday, January 8, 7 pm.
Coming special events:
  • Annual Meeting, Sunday, January 25.
  • Community Healing Service with Drumming, Reiki & Traditional Healing and Reconciliation, Wednesday, January 14, 7 pm.
  • Stir the Pot Series: The Sword of Constantine, Sunday, January 25, 4:30 pm.
Take a look at the newly-reformatted Grace Church Calendar for more complete and uptodate information on meetings and services at at Grace.  Let us know if we've missed anything.
The Future...It's Coming

Grace Staples passes on this exerpt from a sermon by a Lutheran pastor friend, the Reverend Dr. Elton Richards, for your consideration:

There is a nostalgia today in our country and often in our churches that the way ahead lies in the way back--that the glory days are always in the idealized past. In a world where chaos theory reigns, a world of accelerated change, we long for the past rather than prepare for the future.

In our denomination a national survey indicated that attitude toward change was the key to congregational effectiveness. The number one factor in growing congregations was "a primary mission to those not currently members," and, conversely, the number one factor in declining congregations was "a primary mission to current members." It is a difference between maintenance and mission--a preoccupation with the present versus a focus on the future.

The paradigms are changing. We are in the midst of what someone has called a "transition tidal wave." We need to know our place as people of Christ by pointing and preparing for the future. To repent is to be willing to go a different direction and be open to God's news breaking in upon us.

You can read all of Dr. Richards' sermon here.
Grace-Based Group Members to March in Inaugural Parade

Five members of the Queen City Rainbow Band, which rehearses Wednesday evenings at Grace Church, have been invited participate in the inaugural parade. They will march and play as part of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association's 177-member marching band. This is the first time a gay or lesbian organization of any kind has been chosen to march in an inaugural parade.

Fred MartensFred Martens, (pictured right, performing in the recent QCRB Christmas Concert at Grace) said that the band will form in Washington the weekend of the inauguration for two days of "intense" rehearsal. "It's a lot of work," Martens said, "but it really is an honor."

Five QCRB members were selected to go:  Mary Anthony, Fred Martens, Sarah Morris, Megan Neal and Alynn Rousselle.
eGraceNotes is published weekly whenever possible. 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