Reception for Vicar Ernestein Tonight
A reception honoring the Reverent
Ernestein Flemister and celebrating her 25 months
with us will be held tonight, Thursday, from 5:30 pm to
Join us to wish Vicar Ernestein well!
Friday, July 31, is her last day as Vicar of Grace
at Grace Feature Total Immersion--in Triplicate
editor missed it, but by all accounts, the baptisms July
17th were quite an event, as you can tell from the pictures here
Mary McLain reports, "Rahsaan Dehjajuan Valentine,
Raekwon Dijajuan Valentine, Charmundo Artez Hutchinson, Jr.,
Charmiah Artea Hutchinson, Charnae Armani Hutchinson, and
Dujuan Lee Walker were all baptized by full immersion, three
times, in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son and
in the name of the Holy Ghost! All but the outraged baby
bore the cold water with courage."
"The children were sponsored by David Mukasa and
"It was a glorious event celebrated in song by the
Sisters of Muse choir. Each child was presented with a
special candle lit from the Paschal candle by Vicar
Flemister. Roger Perna presented each child with a
special New Testament book."
Wanda Miller reports, "The Muse singers Bennyce
Hamilton brought sang beautifully. Their first song
was from a poem by Kahlil Gibran which included the words,
'Your children are not your children.' Poignant. This
was not an 'episcopal' service, but the children were
baptized and all's well that ends well. Everyone seemed
Thanks to Wanda Miller and Mary McLain for
their reports and pictures.
on Sunday's Readings
See the readings for Sunday here.
In Sunday's reading from the letter to the church in
Ephesus, one of the Pauline tradition's strongest themes
is introduced: Although we have differing God-given gifts,
we are in unity with God and with all people through our
baptism. Baptism has joined us together into one life as
the body of Christ--the same body which we receive in Holy
A continuing theme throughout the Old Testament is God's
provision of food for the people, a provision that is a
sign of God's salvation. The Old Testament reading is
the account of God feeding the people during the Exodus
wanderings with manna--bread from heaven.
In the Gospel, we hear the response of the crowd
after Jesus had fed the 5,000 people with five loaves and
two fish, followed by the first part of John's discourse on
Jesus as the bread of life. Starting with bread as a
material object and earthly food, Jesus then leads his
hearers to an understanding of communion or fellowship
with him as food for our spiritual nature. It is that
spiritual nourishment which gives eternal life.
The Christian Gospel sees our lives as being shot through
with signs of the fuller life that is ours in Christ. Ours
is not a religion of the spirit alone, nor is it solely a
means of dealing with material life in this world. As
bread and wine are revealed in the liturgy to be
instruments of God's presence in us, so all of life is
revealed as the sacrament of God in the world; we remember
that we are (in the words of St. Augustine) " ... the
means of grace and vehicles of the eternal love."
Ask Everything You'll Ever Want to Know About Common
"Common Ministry" is a way for a church to
operate where the duties usually carried out by the
clergy (preaching, distributing communion, pastoral
care) are taken on by members of the congregation.
This is an idea supported in the Diocese by Bishop
Breidenthal. The Common Ministry Committee is
charged with finding out everything Grace needs to know
in order to decide whether or not to be a Common
At coffee hour after Sunday's service, the Common
Ministry Committee wants to hear all your questions
about Common Ministry, so they can find the answers for
you. Refreshments and child care will be provided.
Come loaded with questions!
Breidenthal Calls Common Ministry Meeting September 19
In a recent letter to interested parties, Bishop Breidenthal
says "...our diocese is embarked on an exploration of
what Common Ministry means and might mean for Southern
Ohio....The first and most pressing phase of this
exploration has to do with congregational life: how should
clergy be trained and deployed? What role might lay
leadership teams play in pastoral care and oversight of
local congregations ..."
He continues "These are long term questions, but they
are also present and urgent challenges. I have some concrete
answers to these questions that I would like to share but I
also want to hear from clergy and lay people in key
leadership positions who have wisdom to offer, unique
perspectives to share and an immediate stake in how we
answer these questions."
The meeting will be held on Saturday, September 19 at
Procter Conference Center from 10 am to 3 pm. The more
people from Grace who can attend, the better prepared we
will be to make a decision about Common Ministry for Grace.
Let one of the members of the Common Ministry team (Carol
and Belinda Perna) know your interest and we will
register you. There is no cost to attend.
For more information on
Common Ministry ...
- Read the the Bishop's invitation to the September 19
- Read the minutes of Mission Council's informational
meeting with The Rev. Derrick Fetz here.
in Your Prayers ...
Trevor VanWagenen, Anna Hamilton, Ed Frye, Jo Carroll, Karen
VanWagenen, Grace Staples, Elaine Hughes, Maureen Back,
Eloise Pinto, Ruth Bertram, Robert Flemister, 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.
the Good News of Grace at the College Hill Block Party
Grace Church needs volunteers for the Grace Church
Information table at the College Hill Block Party Tuesday,
August 4, and Friday, August 7, both from 5 to 9 pm.
All that's required is to talk to interested people and hand
out our information. See more pictures of previous
If you are able to assist, please see Judy Handy.
out the College Hill Block Party Next Week
Tuesday, August 4 is National Night Out in College
Hill. Join your neighbors as part of this national
celebration of community life. This year's event will be
held at the College Hill Presbyterian Church parking lot and
will include live entertainment, a community cookout and
information on all our community groups.
Wednesday, August 5 is Jazz
& More, hosted by P. Anne Everson-Price and
featuring the Young Jazz Messengers. We will be cooking out
for dinner and dancing the night away with jazz music.
Thursday, August 6 is Talent
& Hoops, hosted by Richard Schroer of the College
Hill Recreation Center and Ron Whitt of Teen Impact. The
evening will include a 3-on-3 basketball tournament,
corn-hole, and, for the first time ever, a talent show. The
talent show is open to anyone, so start practicing those
routines and get ready to show off your skills! Montgomery
Community Church will provide the meal for the evening.
Friday, August 7 is Praise
and Worship Night. We encourage churches throughout
the College Hill area to attend this evening in particular,
as the night will be filled with worship by Cornerstone
Community Church, lead by David Minor. There will be sloppy
joes, chips, and freezer pops for dinner, (yum!) and games
for the kids, including four square and corn-hole.
Galen-Bailey, Caricature Artist, will be joining us, so you
will once again have the chance to get your picture drawn in
a fun way.
Tuesday through Friday is
the As I See It project. Youth from Winton Hills
Elementary and Aiken High School will tell their
stories by documenting their lives on camera. The
contestants' work will be judged in the Presbyterian Church
Atrium and a winner will be chosen. The work will be
available for purchase, with half of the proceeds going
towards continued funding of the project, and the other half
to the winner for future endeavors.
Sunday is a Community
Worship Service. At 10 am in the Presbyterian Church
parking lot, we will praise God for the fun week we had
together. Then, at noon, we'll enjoy a concert by Aretha
Chapman, Kaleidoscope Worship Leader, and a picnic lunch.
Say farewell to Vicar Ernestein tonight
Thursday, July 30, from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. Please invite
others who do not regularly attend Grace Church but who
might want to say good by to Ernestein at the reception.
On Sunday, August 2, Ken Lyon will make a presentation on
Common Ministry. Please plan to attend both the
service and the discussion following the service. Light
lunch will be served.
Officiants in August:
- Aug 2
Fr. John Bower
- Aug 9
Deacon Gary Givler
- Aug 16 Fr. John
- Aug 23 Fr. Ray
- Aug 30 Lay group,
leading Morning Prayer
See the Grace
for the most up-to-date listing of events
at Grace and of possible interest to Grace people. Let
us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
if we've missed anything.
Breidenthal Reports on General Convention
Dear sisters and brothers,
A week has elapsed since the close of General
Convention. As the dust settles, I'd like to make a
few comments that may clarify our way forward as we
seek to digest and act on the decisions that were made
This General Convention passed many wonderful
resolutions having to do with mission to the poor, to
children, and to young adults, but the resolutions
that have gained media attention are the ones dealing
with our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters within
the church. What about those resolutions? What really
happened in Anaheim?
First of all, we strongly affirmed our desire to be
part of the Anglican Communion. But we also affirmed
that same-sex unions can be holy, especially when they
are entered into by faithful followers of Jesus
Some would say that these two affirmations stand in
contradiction to one another. Perhaps they do, though
I'd say both are true. It comes down to this: the
Episcopal Church is insisting that, in our own
context, in the actual, ordinary, day-to-day,
Sunday-to-Sunday experience of our local
congregations, the reality of faithful same-sex unions
cannot be ignored any longer. At the same time, we do
not deny that the experience of other parts of the
Anglican Communion may be different from ours, nor are
we insensitive to the fact that many provinces of the
Communion do not stand where we are on this question.
What about relations within the Episcopal Church?
Where do we stand with one another after Anaheim? We
certainly cannot claim to be of one mind regarding the
blessing of same-sex unions. But we have agreed that
our differences will not destroy our communion with
one another. Each diocese is free to find its own way.
This means that we are still dealing with a great deal
of ambiguity when it comes down to same-sex unions.
Such unions have not been officially condoned. Yet the
bishops have agreed not to censure those who allow
them, and the General Convention has requested that
individual dioceses with experience in this area
provide the next General Convention, three years from
now, with the results of their experimentation with
liturgies for the blessing of such unions.
Understandably, some are bewildered by the wide range
of interpretations that have been offered. For
me, what we said in Anaheim boils down to this: (1)
There is consensus that blessing the same-sex unions
of fellows Christians can no longer be ruled out, if
only for pastoral reasons; (2) there is not consensus
that such unions can be holy, but there is a
significant majority of our leadership, both lay and
ordained, who are convinced they can.
What does this mean for the Diocese of Southern Ohio?
This will have to be worked out the way we work
everything out--with a lot of conversation, study and
prayer. General Convention has obligated us to take
seriously the pastoral needs of our gay and lesbian
brothers and sisters. At the same time, it has left
the interpretation of this obligation up to each
diocese, since each diocese faces its own unique
challenges in this, as in every area. How we engage
this work of interpretation and discernment will
require a great deal of consultation, not least with
our own lesbian and gay community. I do not
yet know what form this consultation will take, since
I have not yet had the opportunity to discuss this
with you. I welcome your suggestions by email
regarding a process we might follow. (I can be reached
The main thing is that we must proceed in a spirit of
mutual respect and care. This is the spirit that
animated our deliberations in Anaheim, and I expect no
less from all of us in Southern Ohio.
I can't close without telling you that Margaret and I
had the joyous occasion today to meet up with the
Diocese of Ohio bicyclists who have been cycling from
Anaheim to the Church Center in New York City to raise
money for Episcopal Relief and Development's mosquito
net campaign. We were driving back from the celebration
of Judi Wiley's new ministry at St. Mary's, Hillsboro,
when I got a call from Bishop Hollingsworth saying
they'd just entered Ohio and would be changing shifts in
Newtown, just east of Cincinnati, at about 5:30 p.m. We
notched down from Route 50 to Route 32, and spotted them
in the parking area of a Mobil station, full of stories
about surviving the desert in Nevada and making it up
and over the Rockies. Check out Bishop
Hollingsworth's blog at http://ohiobishop.blogspot.com/
Keep Bishop Hollingsworth and his brave band in your
prayers as they pass through Ohio tonight (and go to the
to make your on-line contribution to support
their cause). They will be met by the Presiding Bishop
when they arrive at 815 Second Avenue in Manhattan.
It is good to be back.
Grace and peace,
Bishop, Diocese of Southern Ohio
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