eGraceNotes from Grace Church
News for and about Grace Episcopal Church April 3, 2009
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Dear Friend,

This Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week with all its opportunities for worship and contemplation of the meaning of God's love for us in the person of his Son.

Sunday, we celebrate Jesus' entry into Jerusalem with the Liturgy of the Palms. We'll process into the church singing "All glory, laud, and honor to thee, Redeemer, King!" Later in the service, we will experience a foretaste of what is to come as we participate in reading Mark's Passion narrative. 

This Sunday, as the first Sunday of the month, is also "Sharing Sunday." Remember to bring non-perishables to help stock Christ's Community's food pantry.

See below for upcoming Holy Week events.


PS: Some of you may be receiving eGraceNotes for the first time, and some of you may be receiving it at more than one of your email addresses. That's because we merged a couple of Grace mailing lists this week. If you have a subscription you don't want, click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of any issue to be removed immediately.

PPS: One way to spread the good word about Grace is to share you copy of eGraceNotes with them.  Click here to do that. The copy they get will have a link they can use to get their own subscription.

In This Issue ...
Holy Week Services at Grace
Coming Events
Reports on the Future of Grace
Members & Friends on the Future of Grace
Love and Support for Grace Church
Let's Fill Grace Church Easter Sunday
What Grace Means to Me
Grace Church's "Hour" is Now
Keep in Your Prayers
Our Thanks
Bob's Back
Muslim Standup Comics?
Paint the Sanctuary Work Party April 14 & 15
A Stewardship Moment''-- ("Praise God from all Blessings Flow").
Holy Week Services at Grace 

Wednesday at 7 pm: Grace's monthly Community Healing Service using African Drumming and Reiki as well as the traditional laying-on of hands.

Maundy Thursday at 7:00 pm: Celebrate the Last Supper and the initiation of Holy Communion.

Good Friday from noon to 3 pm: The College Hill Ministerium continues a long-standing tradition of Community Good Friday Services at Grace Church from from noon to 3 pm, with several College Hill churches participating.  See pictures of previous Community Good Friday services here.

On Easter Sunday: Bring your friends, neighbors, family and people you meet on the street to a celebrative Easter service. Alleluias return, as in "Alleluia, Christ is Risen!  The Lord is risen indeed!"
Coming Events

Grace Church Calendar

See the Grace Calendar Page for the most up-to-date listing of events at Grace and of possible interest to Grace people.  Let us know at if we've missed anything.

Coming Special Events:
  • 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.
  • Traces of the Trade, Sunday, May 17. In this film A Story from the Deep North,  filmmaker Katrina Browne discovers that her New England ancestors were the largest slave-trading family in U.S. history.  This event is being co-sponsored by Ascension and Holy Trinity Church, Wyoming.
The Reverend Ernestein FlemisterReports on the Future of Grace

At the congregational meeting two weeks ago, Vicar Ernestein Flemister shared Mission Council's assessment of the future of Grace Church in her sermon (see here for her outline).

David MukasaEarlier this week, Senior Warden David Mukasa sent a written version to members, either by email or the USPS. You can read the full text of that letter here.

In summary: 

Without significant changes, Grace's projected deficit for 2009 is $60,000. Mr. Mukasa states, "We have looked at all of the positions and have with great reluctance and sorrow come to the position that we can no longer afford a full time priest." Making that change will cut the 2009 deficit to only $18,000.

Mr. Mukasa goes on, "I know every one of us will be greatly saddened to see Ernestein leave.  She has been a great Vicar in the time she has been with us and is a person we all love.  But Grace Church cannot depend upon any single person.  We must continue in our mission of serving our Lord and working in His community." 

Mission Council is looking at a number of options which will enable Grace to continue its ministry. Chief among them is a concept called "Common Ministry," which calls for lay people to take over many of the functions traditionally performed by a priest. (You can read Bishop Breidenthal's thoughts on Common Ministry in a recent Interchange article.)

To eliminate the remaining deficit, Mission Council is looking for ways to increase earnings from our facilities and to raise money in other ways.

Mr. Mukasa concludes: "The one thing of which I am certain is that if we do our part, God will do His.  And Grace Church will be here for a long time to serve our Lord and this community."
Members & Friends on the Future of Grace

At the congregational meeting, many of those present spoke with some passion about their love of the Grace community and about their hopes for its future.

Your editor has been asking those who spoke, and those who didn't speak, and those who weren't there, to share their thoughts about the future of Grace in writing. Some have responded already, and their thoughts are in the following articles.

If you haven't written yet, please do it now. Click and share your thoughts. We'll edit and print them in future issues of eGraceNotes.
Love and Support for Grace Church

Hawley ToddHawley Todd writes:  

In February of 2006, Bishop Price asked me to come to Grace Church.  I quickly completed my duties at St. Thomas and Grace Church has been my home parish ever since. 

I came because our Bishop asked me.  I have stayed because I love you all!  I cannot begin to tell you how much your love and acceptance has meant to me!

As Grace moves forward in the exploration of Common Ministry, please know that you have my complete support.

Ernestein has asked me whether I would continue with the healing service and I assured her that I would. This is a natural fit for me as the formation director for the Episcopal Healing Ministry Foundation.  If I can be of assistance to Grace in other ways, please do not hesitate to ask.

 Yours in Christ, Hawley

Hawley will miss some Sundays over the next few months. He will be leading workshops at the National Episcopal Health Ministries conference in Omaha in April, and he will be presenting diplomas in their home churches to seven students who are graduating from our EfM classes this spring.
East Window at GraceLet's Fill Grace Church Easter Sunday

At the congregational meeting two Sundays ago, several people in the congregation suggested that it's time to ask our friends, neighbors, family--anybody!--to visit Grace Church. Since Easter is a time when people are thinking about church, this would be a good time to invite them to Grace.

Ken and Carol Lyon have made picture postcards of Grace church that you can use to invite former Grace church members, friends and family members. They will be available Sunday at church. Pick up some of them and mail them right away. If you follow up the post card with a phone call, people are even more likely to come.

Let's fill Grace for Easter Sunday!
What Grace Means to Me

Carol LyonCarol Lyon writes:
Ken and I were searching for a church in College Hill when we came to Grace.  We had visited several other churches.  In  the beautiful worship space and the service,  I found what I call the Mystery or the unknowable part of God--one I wanted to be closer to and yet was afraid to be.  Over the years, that has not changed for me, this building continues to be a sacred place.
And I found a community that accepted and loved me.  What could be better than that?  
Grace Church's "Hour" is Now

Ken LyonIn last Sunday's sermon, Ken Lyon noted that the moment that Jesus knew that his "hour" had come--his time to be "lifted up" and glorified--was the moment when Greeks (that is, people usually excluded from the community) came to him.

Ken concluded,

This is Grace's "hour." We, like Jesus, have seen those who were formerly excluded coming to us. For us, as for Jesus, that's our sign that our time has come to be lifted up so that God may be glorified.

And we say, with Jesus, "Now our soul is troubled." And rightly so. But do we say, "Father, save us from this hour?" No, it is for this reason that we have come to this hour. "Father, we glorify your name."

And, as we are lifted up, we draw all people to the saving place that is Grace.

You can read the full text of the sermon here.
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; Irene Bryeans; Joshua, Caleb, Anne, and Darryl Handy; Marcus Flemister; Kim Herrmann, Al Berghausen; Teri; Mary Lou Bellows; Jackie Lewis.

Please let us know if you need pastoral care or know of someone who does. This includes information about illness, hospital stays, requests for visits, communion, and prayers for special concerns. Please help us to serve you.
Our Thanks  ...

To Jones the Florist for a donation of several seven branch candleabras, Christmas trees, and other decorative items for use here at Grace Church.
To the Ugandan School Group which meets here at Grace Church, who have offered to clean and mulch all our flower beds.
To David Van Wagenen (Phillis Dietz's son) for providing the beautiful greens in front of the Communion Table last Sunday, in memory of his daughter, Jennifer Van Wagenen
Bob's Back
Our sexton, Bob Jones is doing well after his eye surgery and returned to work this past week.
Muslim Standup Comics?
Allah Made Me Funny
Grace Staples writes from her winter retreat in Florida to bring to our attention an upcoming movie and dialogue event at the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati in West Chester on Sunday, April 19, at 6 pm. The movie features three Muslim comics, and, based on your editor's viewing of this preview of the comics in action, looks to be pretty funny, if a bit edgy. Grace proposes that this could be an interesting "road trip" for Grace Church folks. She'll be back in time to go with us.

Allah Made Me Funny is a groundbreaking comedy feature film that follows three acclaimed Muslim comedians on stage and off as they lift the veil to reveal the humorous truth of what it's really like to be Muslim in America.  Mo Amer, Azhar Usman, and Preacher Moss poke fun at themselves, their communities, government, human nature and the tricky predicament of living in post-9/11 America.

It's presented in collaboration with The Brueggeman Center for Dialogue, Public Allies Cincinnati, Bridges for Just Community and Unity Productions Foundation.

Email Grace Staples if you're interested in carpooling.
Paint the Sanctuary Work Party April 14 & 15

Work days are planned for April 14 & 15 at which time we will begin repainting the sanctuary.  If you are a careful painter and can help, let Belinda Perna or Charles Bowles know.
A Stewardship Moment''-- ("Praise God from all Blessings Flow")

"Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow!"  Known by many of us as the "Doxology," this is perhaps the most frequently used piece of music in public worship today.  Many churches sing it every Sunday.  The words are so familiar that here at Grace, we don't even have the lyrics printed in our Sunday Bulletin.  However, most of us sing it loudly each time that we are asked to do so.
This is actually the last verse of a longer hymn, "Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun," written by Thomas Ken, in 1674, for his students at Winchester College.  It does not say "Praise God from whom some Blessings Flow"--we are reminded that all of our blessings come from the Lord.  Psalm 100 (King James Version) tells us that "it is He that has made us and not we ourselves."
When do we sing this hymn?  We sing it as we present our offerings at the Altar each Sunday.  We thank and praise God by giving back some of the abundance that we have received from him.  During the same part of the service, we also recall Paul's message to us in Ephesians to "walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us . . . "
Let us remember to pay homage to our Lord as we thank him and praise him for all our blessings.  Every time we sing "Praise God from whom all Blessings Flow," let us pay attention to the message that is being given to us.

Contributed by Roger Perna.
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!).

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