eGraceNotes from Grace Church
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February 24, 2009
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Dear Friend,

Last Sunday, we bade good-bye to "alleluias" until Easter. Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Read on for ways to experience this season of preparation.

PancakesPancakes, etc, TONIGHT (Tuesday)!
 
No need to make supper tonight.  Drop by the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper at Grace.  Serving starts at 6 pm.

Enjoy pancakes, sausages, orange juice, milk, coffee & tea.

No set charge. All donations go to Grace.
Ash Wednesday Services Tomorrow

There are two services planned for Ash Wednesday: The first is at noon and the second is at 7 pm. The noon day service will be a silent service, sans music; the 7 pm service will have music and singing.

Ash Cross

The Ash Wednesday liturgy is intended to be a challenge to Christian people. It confronts us with the radical change in living which is the way of Christ. We are faced with sin and salvation as alternative directions for our lives--sin as separation from God, from others, from ourselves, and from the natural world; salvation as reconciliation with God, others, the natural world, and ourselves.

The liturgy on Ash Wednesday is reduced to its primary elements of Word and Sacrament. We are called to consider our mortality and, in that context, our sin and our absolute dependence on God for salvation and for life.

We may be tempted to limit our concern to our sins and our mortality, letting the ashes be the most important thing in our worship today. But the liturgy uses the ashes simply as the starting point for that which is far deeper and ultimately more important: salvation. The ashes, the penitence, the fasting--all these are but the means to the goal of Ash Wednesday, of Lent, and of all Christian living: namely, repentance, new life, and ministry to others.

"Be reconciled to God," Paul tells us. Fasting which is not accompanied by an inner change in our behavior to others, especially the poor and the helpless, is condemned by God in the first reading for Ash Wednesday. It is those whose fast is characterized by works of mercy to others who will be blessed in their Lenten living.

On this day, the phrase, "Remember, you are dust and to dust you shall return," is turned around into, "you shall have life, and you shall have it abundantly."
Lenten Study at Grace

During Lent, we will study, meditate and prayer using "40 days of Lent," a publication from Forward Movement

Forward Movement says, "Personal prayer is the focus of our Lenten meditations for 2009, inviting true spiritual discipline through themes of fasting, prayer, devotion to God, forgiveness, denial of self, and service to others." 

During the week we will read our daily meditation and pray. On Sunday, we will meet as a group following the service and meditate and pray for each other, for the people of Grace and the Diocese of Southern Ohio and the world.

Join Vicar Earnestine in this Lenten journey. The Forward Movement booklet is available in the office.
Deanery Lenten Series Begins Tuesday March 3

Clergy from the Cincinnati West Deanery of the Diocese will host a a Lenten Series beginning next Tuesday, March 3, and continuing on successive Tuesdays through March 24.

The series will be held at Ascension and Holy Trinity Church in Wyoming. Click here for a map.

Each evening will begin with a pot luck meal at 6:30 pm. 

The Reverends David Halt, Bob Hufford, David Bailey, Rosa Autry Brown, Pat Merchant and our own Ernestein Flemister will lead classes.
Keep in Your Prayers ... 

Prayer Requests Eloise Pinto, Ruth Bertram, Joyce Markham; Mrs. Matthews; Judy Handy, Shelly Martin, Barbara Todd; Kim Martin, Robb Martin; Florence and Bob Poyer;Dean Bryeans, Mary Hall, Chris; Irean Bryeans; Joshua, Caleb, Anne, and Darryl Handy; Marcus Flemister; Kim Herrmann, Al Berghausen; Teri; Mary Lou Bellows; Jackie Lewis.

Grace Hosts Workshop on Reconciliation in the Church

Grace Church Vicar Ernestein Flemister and Lisa Hughes of Worklife Associates will lead a workshop on "Reconciliation in the Church" at Grace Church next Sunday, March 1, from 1 to 3:30 pm.  Light refreshments will be served. The workshop is open to members of any and all churches.

This interactive workshop will present an overview of conflict transformation suitable for members and leaders of churches who are currently experiencing conflict or those who simply want to recognize and ease potentially destructive conflicts that jeopardize mission and relationships.

Topics include:
  • The Nature and Role of Conflict
  • Conflict in the New Testament: Finding Renewal in Conflict
  • Interpersonal Peacemaking Skills
Coming Events

Grace Church Calendar

In the coming week at Grace:
  • Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper, today (Tuesday) beginning at 6 pm.
  • Ash Wednesday Service (quiet), Wednesday, February 25, noon to 1 pm.
  • Ash Wednesday Service (with music), Wednesday, February 25, 7 to 8 pm.
  • Choir Practice, Thursday, February 26, 7 pm.
  • Choir Practice, Sunday, March 1, 9 am.
  • Eucharist Rite II, Sunday, March 1, 10 am. Coffee Hour follows the service. It's "Sharing Sunday," bring non-perishables for Christ's Community's Pantry.
  • Reconciliation in the Church Workshop, Sunday, March 1, 1 to 3:30 pm.
Coming special events:
  • Hip-Hop Service, Saturday, March 7, 5 pm.
  • Stir the Pot Series: Do Not Go Gentle, Sunday, April 26. A film about the power of imagination and aging.  The filmmaker will be with us.
See the Grace Church Calendar for more complete and uptodate information on meetings and services at at Grace.  Let us know if we've missed anything.
Mission Council Moves to Balance Budget & Mission    
 

Talk of deficit is everywhere these days, from the federal government to our household budgets.  Grace church, as you may remember from the Annual Meeting, is looking at a deficit of $55,000+ for this year.  Mission Council is working to determine what we can do to have a balanced budget and still carry out the mission of Grace church in College Hill.
 
Last Thursday afternoon, Senior Warden David Mukasa and Treasurer Roger Perna met with the Diocese's Canon for Congregational Formation John Johanssen to hear what advice he could give. 
 
Thursday evening, Mission Council met with Bishop Breidenthal to seek his advice.  I think many of us in mission council thought the Diocese or the Bishop would tell us where and how to get more money.  Instead, we got a new way to begin to look at our situation. 

Mission Council met Monday and decided to form four committees to look more deeply into four arenas:

  1. Renting Building Space: Ernestine Flemister, David Mukasa, Charles Bowles, Roger Perna
  2. Joining with another Congregation: Mary McLain, Bret Bernard, Roger Perna, Ray Betts
  3. Fund-Raising: Bennyce Hamilton, Belinda Perna, J. White and Bret Bernard
  4. Common Ministry (sometimes called Total Ministry): Carol Lyon, Wanda Miller and Justine Matovu
At the next Mission Council Meeting (March 18 at 6 pm), each of the committees will report on the cost and benefits in the broadest sense in their area.  At that time, we will be making decisions about how to proceed with the mission of Grace church and have a balanced budget. 
 
For more information or to express your opinion, talk with one of the members of Mission Council.  In addition, please pray for Grace church, that we may discern what God wants us to do.

Thanks to Carol Lyon for this article.
Jim EdgyNews from the Administrator, Jim Edgy
  • The plasterer has completed his work.
  • The EnGuard Color Guard and Dance Team that practices here on Monday evenings has volunteered to paint the hall ways where the plaster has been repaired.

  • Parolees will come this week and continue work on the rest rooms on the 2nd floor as well as begin those on the 1st floor.  They will also do some cleaning.

  • We are exploring ways to replace the lower Belmont door.  It has always been a problem, swelling in damp weather making it hard to open and close; the finish will not adhere even though it was totally refinished 3 years ago and has had several coats of varnish applied since then. At one point it totally fell apart. Jim Dietz repaired it so we  continue to have security.  We are looking for a fiber glass door that will not swell.  However, it will have to be painted rather than finished in the natural wood finish.  We will also put the new combination lock on the door when it is installed.

  • We are planning a grounds work day in late March or early April to rake and clean all the beds and get them ready for mulch and plantings.  In late April we will spread the mulch except in those areas where things are to be planted.  In this way, maybe we can get a head start on the weeds.
Digital Church?

Tammy Roberts sends us her reflections on the "God's Web: Connecting in the 21st Century" conference that she and your editor attended last Saturday.

We live in a digital age. Whether you are two or ninety-two, we are all a part of this digital age and this affects us in how we live, work, interact, and yes, possibly even worship.
 
Did you know one of the first ways Lisa and I checked out Grace was to do a web search on it--this after seeing the various flags on the front fašade. A good strong digital presence is vital for our church and for the Episcopal Church.
 
As you know or may not know we already have a great website for Grace Church which Ken Lyon does a nice job of maintaining. He also produces a nice news supplement called eGraceNotes, but there is more we can do together to join the digital age.
 
Ken and I attended God's Web conference Saturday at the Procter Center presented by the Diocese of Southern Ohio. There, we learned of ways we can better interact in this digital age and how to better connect to one another.
 
The New Southern Ohio Web Site

The first big news is that the Dioceses is offering a platform on which all churches within the dioceses can develop and host their websites.

You might ask what the advantage of that would be. We already have a good site! Well, we would be better networked with each other and with the rest of the Diocese.  Parishioners from all over Southern Ohio would have direct access to our events and news stories, and we would be able to see their information quickly.  And it is free for our use (this is always an important item to us) .
 
Persons in addition to Ken will be able to update the website; many contributors can directly add news, events, photos, and video. It's a big job to keep a site current and updated and should not be a one person job.

We attended two classes on this exciting new way of developing and hosting our website. Ken and I will soon undertake making it happen. Stay "digitally" tuned for more news on the new and improved website.
 
Podcasting

I attended an interesting session on podcasting (see definition here).

How neat would it be to hear Reverend Ernestein Flemister's sermon while vacationing on a beach in Florida! Or perhaps a recording of one of Belinda's great solos on your home computer! There are some wonderful opportunities for podcasting our service or parts of and at very little cost, if any.
 
I listen daily to a Morning prayer podcast on my iTunes that is made available by the Episcopal Church in Garret County, Maryland. I found it with a simple web search. Imagine someone across the world hearing sermons or music from our little Grace church in Cincinnati.
 
Here are some other Episcopal sites to check out that have podcasts available:
In Conclusion

These are exciting times and we are going to do our best to be involved and connected and use these resources to communicate what we already know: That Grace is alive and a wonderful place to worship, whether electronically or in person.
Diocese Starts Job Blog
 

Part of being in community with each other is sharing the strength of our networks. The diocese has a new job blog to help match jobs and people.

Folks seeking employment are invited to post 2-3 paragraphs with their skills and job interest, along with contact information.

Employers also are invited to share job openings or other help wanted information.

World Day of Prayer Coming to Twin Towers

World Day of PrayerAnne Henneberg writes to ask us to join her at the chapel at Twin Towers for this area's annual World Day of Prayer gathering on Friday, March 6 at 10 am.

World Day of Prayer is a worldwide movement of Christian women of many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer each year, and who, in many countries, have a continuing relationship in prayer and service. 

The focus of prayer for 2009 is The Women of of Papua New Guinea. The gathering at Twin Towers will include presentations on the situation there.

For more information contact Church Women United's Trudy Bernet at 513-591-4890.


First UCCFirst UCC Holds Annual Sauerkraut Dinner

First United Church of Christ in College Hill holds its annual Sauerkraut Dinner Saturday, February 28. Along with the featured sauerkraut, the menu will include sausage, mashed potatoes, spatzle, vegetable, and dessert. Some spaces remain at the 4:30 seating. Cost is $9.50 for adults, $4 for children. Take-out orders, as well as sausage by the pound, are available. Make reservations at 513-541-7302.

(We are posting this notice here in return for First UCC publicizing our own Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper.)
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 eGraceNotes@GraceCollegeHill.org.

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