|News for and about Grace Episcopal Church
||January 10, 2009|
Welcome to Epiphany (the season, that is). The twelve days of Christmas ended last Monday, the Christmas decorations came down and the trees went out into the street. Grace's Christmas season was capped off by a visit from our Bishop. See article below and pictures here
Your editor has made some improvements to Grace's web site
. If you haven't looked lately, now might be a time. What do you think? Let us know if you have ideas for further improvement.
|A Note on This Sunday's Readings
The Epiphany season began with the feast of the Epiphany on January 6. Epiphany is the first of two "green" seasons of the church year, when our readings focus on growing the church. Epiphany lasts until Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, which this year begins on February 25.
This Sunday, the first Sunday after the Epiphany, we celebrate the baptism of our Lord.
Our first reading looks forward to the ministry of the
Messiah. The second reading is one of the early Christian proclamations of the
meaning of Jesus' ministry from the time of his Baptism through to his dying
and rising. The third reading is Mark's description of Jesus' baptism.
Jesus' Baptism was for all the Gospel writers, and in the
apostolic preaching of the Gospel, the event which initiated the redemptive
ministry of the Messiah. It was in this event that Jesus was revealed as
Messiah (Christ). God proclaimed him the beloved Son and anointed him with the
In Holy Baptism each Christian is adopted as the child of God.
Each Christian becomes a "messianic" person, anointed by the Holy Spirit. We do
not simply become passive recipients of the benefits of Christ; we are "christed," or christened. We become sharers in his life and his redemptive
All those who are baptized and anointed with chrism are received "into the household of God." They join with that household in confessing "the
faith of Christ," proclaiming his resurrection and sharing in his eternal
priesthood, the priesthood which is enacted sacramentally in the Eucharist and
daily in lives of self-giving love toward one another and toward the world.
|Bishop Breidenthal Visits Grace
Last Sunday, Bishop Briedenthal visited Grace to confirm two members, to celebrate Eucharist and preach, and to join us in a meal following the service. The pictures on our web album
illustrate our time together better than this author can do with words.
In addition to pictures taken during the servi ce, our photo album contains quite a few pictures of Mr. Breidenthal speaking with us after lunch. The progression of intensity and variety of gestures gives an idea of how engaging his conversation was. Also, note the postures of the Mission Council members during their stand-up meeting with the bishop.
|Keep in Your Prayers ...
Eliose Pinto, 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
In the coming week:
Morning Prayer and Eucharist, Sunday, January 11, 10 am.
- Community Healing Service with Drumming, Reiki & Traditional Healing and Reconciliation, Wednesday, January 14, 7 pm.
Choir Practice, Thursday, January 8, 7 pm.
Coming special events:
- Annual Meeting, Sunday, February 1 (note change of date).
- Stir the Pot Series:
- The Sword of Constantine, Sunday, January 25, 4:30 pm. A warning about what can happen when military and religious fervor are joined.
- The Freedom Files, Sunday, February 22. Highlights vital civil liberties issues.
- An Inconvenient Truth, Sunday, March 15. A film about one man's view of global warming.
- Do Not Go Gentle, Sunday, April 26. A film about the power of imagination and aging. The filmmaker will be with us.
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.
|Annual Meeting is February 1
The date for the annual meeting has been changed to February 1, so as not to conflict with our Stir the Pot series. Please make every effort to
be here for that important meeting.
If you are responsible for contributing reports for the annual meeting, please have
them into the office no later than Monday, January 19 so that we will have time
to assemble them into a the document that we distribute to all.
|The Diaconate of All Believers
Permanent Deacons are a relatively new feature of the
Episcopal Church in the United
Most people still think of the Diaconate as a stepping stone to the
Priesthood. (Or perhaps, as some have noted, the date of ordination into the
pension fund. But permanent or perpetual
deacons, unless an otherwise paid role, participate in the pension fund in name
only and are not on a path to priesthood or episcopacy).
Historically, while the
priests were converting, educating and inspiring, deacons were serving the
poor by distributing the donations of the faithful.
A diaconia, according to
Wikipedia, was originally
an establishment built near a church building, for the care of the poor
distribution of the church's charity in medieval Rome
or Naples. These were the
successor to the Roman corn supply system and often stood on the very
sites of the former bread distribution stations. Examples
included the sites of San Vito, Santi Alessio e Bonifacio, and
Sant'Agatha in Rome, San Gennaro in Naples (headed by a deacon named
John in the end of the ninth and the beginning of the tenth century).
Today, the order of deacons is a separate and
distinct order which serves directly under the office of bishop, is not
entitled to voice or vote, cannot consecrate nor bless and wields no control or
power within the church. The order of
deacons doesn't even have exclusive rights to the central feature of its office
which is service, the Diaconate of All Believers. The order of deacons acts as a symbol of the Christian
obligation of all believers and reminds all Christians to ask themselves each day
what they have done for their Savior and his church.
If a bishop today were disposed
to raise up an order of deacons he or she might create an inspirational job
description to be placed in church bulletins and posted in conspicuous places
in parishes throughout the diocese. The
job description might sound something like this:
Thanks to a merciful God, the
Diaconate of All Believers has a much simpler entry process. It is always begun through an exercise of the
ministry of presence. Find someone in
distress and listen to them. Do not try
to fix or remove their issue. Just
listen. Listening is what we Christians have always distributed along with
bread and clothing because it says what God has always said to us... you are not
alone no matter what has happened to you.
Wanted: Mature Christians with an
appreciation for life as it is, an abundance of gratitude for whatever they have been given, compassion for the
disheartened, grieving, hurting, confused, misabled, lonely, uncomfortable,
small, angry, frightened, abused, addicted, sick and misguided parts of
themselves and others, who have a need for significant rewards but no money,
and have the ability to damp themselves down far enough to make room for
others. Apply at diocesan house for an exhaustive study of yourself and your
Gary+, one of many deacons in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.
Thanks to Deacon Givler for contributing this article. The pictures illustrate two of his more visible roles at Grace.
|New Cordless Microphone Installed
We have a new cordless microphone for use in the service.
The Prayers of the People are ideally prayed from the congregation. Now that we have a cordless mike that can be placed
mid-way the center aisle, we the person assigned to lead Prayers of the People can use that mike instead of the lecturn mike.
Those people having announcements to make should the mike nearest you so that everyone can hear.