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eGraceNotes from Grace Church
News for and about Grace Episcopal Church
November 28, 2009
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Christian One-Liners

Some minds are like concrete:
Thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

Florence Poyer supplied us with several of these. Send us yours and we'll share them, too.

Dear Friend,

Advent has arrived, the time of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. At our house, we've found that one way to make the Christmas celebration more meaningful is to hold off on "pre-celebrating" the event. Like the church, we hold off putting up our Christmas decorations until after the last Sunday of Advent. We start playing our collection of Christmas music on Christmas eve, knowing that we'll have twelve days to enjoy it. One side  benefit of this procedure is that we get some really great bargains on Christmas trees when we shop on December 24.


One important gift that Grace Church offers is that it is a place where one's contribution is welcomed and valued. If you'd like to be a bigger part of helping Grace Church realize its potential, contact someone on the People Page in an area of interest to you, or contact us at 513-542-2941 or


Don't forget to think about others who might be interested learning more about Grace. Click here to send them a copy of this eGraceNotes.


As always, help keep the over 100 recipients of eGraceNotes informed by sending your interesting tidbits along to the editor.

Ken Lyon, Editor

In This Issue ...
Christian One-Liners
It's Advent--A New Church Year Begins
Notes on This Sunday's Readings
Grace Accepts Bishop's Invitation to Participate in Common Ministry Development
Keep in Your Prayers
Stewardship Campaign Ends Sunday
Thanks to ...
A Fresh Idea for a Holiday Concert Dinner at Grace Church
Healing Service Sweeps David Off His Feet
Coming Events...
Choir Rehearsing for Christmas
Flowers Make Grace Church Even More Beautiful at Christmas
Senior Warden Vacation Plans
Nominations for Mission Council & Other Offices Needed
Watch for the "Giving Tree" Next Sunda
Help Us Serve You
Share Your "View From the Pew"
Diocesan Youth Program Isn't Just About Summer Camp
Episcopal Community Services Foundation Helps Churches Serve the Needy
Keep in Touch with What's Happening in the Diocese
It's Advent--A New Church Year Begins

Advent is the beginning of the liturgical calendar year. It is a holy time, when Christians wait and prepare for the coming of Christ on Christmas. In the early days of the church, Advent was a time of prayer and confession. Today, Advent is more a time of
preparation and expectation of the coming of the Lord.

As a sign of prayer and preparation, the decorations in the church have become more muted. The color of the season at Grace is purple and the altar flowers have been replaced with greens, symbolizing the potential for growth. Hymns during Advent are those of preparation for Christ's coming. We celebrate Christ's arrival with Christmas carols and hymns during the the twelve days of Christmas that begins Christmas eve.

The Advent Wreath is an important symbol of Advent. The wreath is of German Lutheran origin and, at Grace, consists of an evergreen wreath and five candles. The circular shape represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end. The evergreen was chosen as it symbolizes growth and everlasting life.

Each week, we will light another candle, reminding us of the growing light of Christ's presence. 
A prophet is a person to whom God speaks and then shares with everyone around them what God has said, and today's readings deal with prophecy. This is why the first candle is the "Prophecy Candle."

Bethlehem, means "house of bread." Jesus is the bread of life. There was no room in
Bethlehem for Jesus to be born, except in a poor little stable. Make sure there's room in your hearts and lives for Jesus.

The pink is to remind us of the great joy the shepherd's shared at the birth of Christ and our joy as Christmas nears. Shepherds were the poor and outcast in the world, and yet they were the first ones told about Jesus' birth. This is because all people are important to Jesus; poor, rich, old, young, girls and boys. Over half the candles are lit now, reminding us it will be Christmas soon!

Angels are God's messengers. They announced the good news of the Savior to the
people. God sent his only Son to earth to save us, because he loves us! "For God so
loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."

The white candle reminds us that Jesus came without sin, pure and holy. He is the spotless lamb of God, sent to wash away our sins! The wise men looked in the sky and saw a brighter light than the other stars, recognizing that the heavens declared the birth of the King! Are we wise enough to look beyond the commercial sparkle to see the light of Christ?

Thanks to Hawley Todd for providing much of this information.
Notes on This Sunday's Readings

You can read Sunday's lessons here.

On the first Sunday in Advent, the liturgy is concerned with our preparation for the return of Christ at the end of time. The Gospel reading today is a portion of Jesus' words concerning that time. He tells us to see the events of history as signs of the approaching end and to recognize that end as the coming of our redemption.

The Old Testament reading from the prophet Jeremiah looks forward to the time when God will fulfill the promise of a successor to David. The New Testament Christians understood the "righteous Branch" of David's line to be our Lord Jesus Christ.

The second reading is from Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians. His letters to that church were prompted by difficulties in that congregation due to their misunderstanding of the Lord's promise to return. In Sunday's reading, Paul encourages the Thessalonians to see their ministry and mutual love as the way to prepare for the Lord's return.

There is an "already, but not yet" aspect to the New Testament's discussion of the Lord's return. God's kingdom is not limited to a time in the far off future; it began breaking into human history in Jesus' death and resurrection. The Lord comes to judge and to save in each moment in the life of his people. Above all, he is revealed in our encounter with him in the Eucharistic meal.
Grace Accepts Bishop's Invitation to Participate in Common Ministry Development

Mission Council has voted to accept Bishop Breidenthal's invitation to participate in "a program to develop Common Ministry in your congregation and our diocese."

The first step in this program is a Common Ministry Workshop on December 12 from 10 am to 3 pm at Procter Conference Center "to discuss this program and how we can get started. We will talk about your needs and how this program can be adapted for your congregation."

All members and friends of Grace Church are asked to seriously consider attending this meeting. The more of us who attend, the further along we will be in understanding what Common Ministry is about and how Grace can benefit by it.

You can read the full text of the Bishop's invitation and its two attachments, which spell out what this programs is about, in the Common Ministry section of the Grace Church online file cabinet.
Keep in Your Prayers ...

Prayer Requests Jim Edgy, John Thayer, Gigi Woode, Toussaint Thrower and family, Ray Harris; Marilyn White; Trevor Van Wagenen; Anna Hamilton, Ed Frye, Jo Carroll,Karen Van Wagenen,Elaine Hughes,Maureen Back, Eloise Pinto, Ruth Bertram, Robert Flemister; Judy & Walter Handy, Shelly Martin, Barbara Todd; Kim Martin, Robb Martin; Dean Bryeans, Mary Hall, Chris; Irene Bryeans; Joshua, Caleb, Anne, and Darryl Handy; Marcus Flemister; Kim Herrmann, Al Berghausen; Mary Lou Bellows; Jackie Lewis, Mike and family, Chris and family, Doug Matthews and family, Malcolm Daniel, Jean Cavalieri, Shelby Hager and Laura Chace.
If you need pastoral care or know of someone who does, please call or email the office (513-541-2415, Please keep us informed about about illness, hospital stays, requests for visits, communion, and prayers for special concerns. Help us to serve you.
Stewardship Campaign Ends Sunday

Pledges for 2010 are due Sunday.  If you did not receive a pledge letter, or need to consult with someone about your pledge, please see Treasurer Roger Perna or Senior Warden David Mukasa. Your pledge, whether large or small, shows your support of the community that is Grace Church.

Thank you for your faithfulness this year (pledges are on target) and for your much needed support in this important year of ministry to come.
Thank You Thanks to ...

... All of you for generously filling 16 Thanksgiving boxes and donating $85 for Thanksgiving turkeys.  This amounted to $325 to feed the hungry in College Hill. In all, about 196 boxes were donated by College Hill churches.

... The Sunday School, who will host our coffee hour Sunday.

... Mary McLain and Carol Lyon for the new Grace Church banner.

... The Flag and Drill Team, who after a Friday dinner at the church, came in and swept and mopped the entire kitchen and Great Hall and cleaned the stove and cupboards.  They are also the people who have done two lovely coffee hours for us and who will be cooking a hot breakfast for the congregation after church on December 6. 

... Ohio Parolees for cleaning in the building and helping pack Thanksgiving boxes. Also to Roger Perna, Bob Jones and Ken Lyon for supervising and  to Mary McLain and Grace Staples for providing lunch to all.

... Mother Kimberly Knight and Father John Bower for officiating at our Sunday services.

... Jonathan Tan, Ken Blue and Mark Behnken for providing organ music for our Sunday services.

If you know of others who deserve our thanks, do let us know at
A Fresh Idea for a Holiday Concert Dinner at Grace Church

The Queen City Rainbow Band will present a fresh, new holiday concert experience on Sunday, December 13 at 5:30 pm at Grace Church.

Concertgoers will be treated to a family-style dinner in the Great Hall while they listen to holiday music by the Rainbow Concert and Jazz bands. Alcoholic drinks are BYOB. This is Grace Church's Christmas celebration for 2009, and provides an opportunity to bring friends and family members to enjoy a great time.

"Dinner with a Concert" tickets are available online or at the Grace Church office and are priced on a sliding scale at $10 or $20. In the holiday spirit, the Rainbow Band will be splitting proceeds from the concert dinner with Grace Church.

The QCRB has contributed twice previously to Grace Church's Christmas celebrations.  You can see pictures of the 2007 Christmas Concert and Party here and of the 2008 Christmas Concert here. The band has rehearsed at the College Hill church for over five years, and is happy to help the church by coordinating the Holiday Dinner.

Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire Christmas" will be performed, along with many more terrific interpretations of holiday tunes by both the Concert and Jazz bands. Tom Mitchell, QCRB music director, mentions a distinctive musical highlight, "December 13th--our concert date--is the third night of Hanukkah. We are performing a delightful, challenging new title, 'The Eighth Candle' to celebrate that." 

"Dining while enjoying a concert by candlelight sounded like such a fun idea. We think our tickets will be selling fast!" says Jill Karner, event coordinator and president of the QCRB.
For details about seating, menu and tickets, please visit the Rainbow Band web site or call 513-559-9987.

The Queen City Rainbow Band is ending its eighth season as a greater Cincinnati-based gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender and allied organization created to promote unity, generate pride and provide education through music and visual performance. Musicians and volunteers are welcome to get in touch and join the band anytime.

Thanks to Fred Martens for supplying this information.
Healing Service Sweeps David Off His Feet

From Senior Warden David Mukasa,

David Mukasa"I attended the healing/Reike/drumming service for the first time last week and I was swept off my feet! The involvement and passion of the participants is contagiously good, I even got to play the drum!"

"For those who have not attended the service I recommend that you do. It will be an experience."

Bob Laake DrummingThe next Celebration of Wholeness and Healing, aka "Healing Service with African Drumming and Reiki" is on Wednesday, December 9. The drumming begins at 6:30 pm, the service begins at 7.

This service that employs both traditional and non-traditional healing methods: African Drumming and Reiki, plus traditional healing prayer and laying on of hands. The service is based on the concept of release of tension through African drumming, restoration of peace through quietness and solitude, and prayer for continued health through the laying on of hands.

Bob Laake (left) leads the drummers for this service. Learn more about the power of healing drumming on Bob Laake's Drum for Healing page.
Coming Events

Grace Church Calendar

Upcoming Services:
  • Sunday, 12/6:  Holy Eucharist Rite II with Mtr. Kimberly Knight, followed by a sit-down breakfast provided by the Flag and Drill Team.
  • Wednesday, 12/9, 7 pm: Celebration of Wholeness and Healing with Prayers, Drumming, Laying on of Hands & Reike.
  • Saturday, 12/12, 10 am to 3 pm: Common Ministry Workshop at Procter.
  • Sunday 12/13: Holy Eucharist Rite II with Mtr. Kimberly Knight.
  • Sunday 12/13, 5:30 pm: Holiday Dinner & Concert with the Queen City Rainbow Band.
  • Sunday 12/20: Holy Eucharist Rite II Fr. John Bower.
  • Thursday 12/24, 7 pm: Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist Rite II with Fr. John Bower
  • Sunday 12/27: A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols.
See the Grace Calendar Page for the most up-to-date listing of events at Grace.  Let us know at if we've missed anything.
Grace Church ChoirChoir Rehearsing for Christmas

The Choir is beginning rehearsals for the Christmas Eve Service which will be celebrated at 7 pm.

Even if you can't sing every Sunday, we would be glad to have you join us for practice and on Christmas Eve.  We need you!

Rehearsals will be on Sunday, December 13 and Sunday December 20 and on one evening TBA. If you can come to any rehearsals, please join us.
Flowers Make Grace Church Even More Beautiful at Christmas

Christmas FlowersChristmas Flowers will make Grace church even more beautiful in the coming festive season.  If you would like to contribute please sign the list on the piano or call the church office (513-541-2415,

Suggested donations are:
  • Poinsettias, small $4, medium $10 and large $20. 
  • Floral arrangements for the high altar and the communion table are $50 each
  • Flowers for the peace chapel are $25. 
You may give these decorations in memory or in thanksgiving for a loved one or in honor of a special occasion by indicating when you sign up.  Make checks payable to Grace Church and mark "Christmas Flowers."
Senior Warden Vacation Plans

Senior Warden David Mukasa will be in Uganda from December 9 until after Christmas. Junior Warden Carol Lyon (513-542-2941, will fill in in his absence.
Nominations for Mission Council & Other Offices Needed

Mary McLain, J. White and Tammy Robertson have agreed to serve as the Nominating Committee, in preparation for the Annual Meeting to be held early in 2010.

At that meeting, both wardens, several Mission Council members, as well as Delegates and Alternates to Diocesan Convention will be elected.

If you would be willing to take on any of these responsibilities, please let any member of the committee know. Ditto if you know of someone who could fill any of these positions--but get the agreement of the person first.

Grace's by-laws specify the process for nominating and electing officers. You can see our by-laws here.
Watch for the "Giving Tree" Next Sunday.   

Grace Church's traditional outreach to children of West College Hill with gifts of new clothing will begin December 6.  Watch for the Giving Tree and the bulletin next Sunday for details.
Help Us Serve You

Absalom Jones
Do you need pastoral care? Do you know of
someone who does? Please let us know (513-541-2415,

Keep us informed about about illness, hospital stays, requests for visits, communion, and prayers for special concerns.
Share Your "View From the Pew"

Please share your thoughts regarding worship at Grace:  What you particularly like, what you might prefer less of, favorite hymns, etc. 

When you're in church, you can use one of the yellow index cards we have placed in the pews; then place it in the bin on the back table or give to the usher. Or send an email to, with "Attention Worship Committee" somewhere in the message.

We appreciate your input. 

From the Worship Committee.
Diocesan Youth Program Isn't Just About Summer Camp

The Diocese sponsors youth events all year long. Check out the Episcopal Youth Ministry in Souther Ohio website for details of several exciting programs. To get news of coming youth-oriented events in your email inbox, click here to subscribe to the DSO Youth Newsletter.
Episcopal Community Services Foundation Helps Churches Serve the Needy

Shelter, restore, nourish, equip: Thank God, that's what you and fellow Episcopalians continue to do, helping thousands of people in Southern Ohio survive the recession and get back on their feet.

In September, Episcopal churches submitted 47 grant requests totaling $166,850 to the Episcopal Community Services Foundation, your Episcopal charity in Southern Ohio.  They will combine whatever ECSF can send with their own courageous stewardship to serve over 70,000 people in need in the year ahead. 

They'll be re-housing homeless families in Xenia, providing prescriptions for people with no hope of getting insurance in Marietta, aiding inner-city children in Dayton to discover the power of reading, equipping scores of parents to pass the GED exam in Columbus.  And that's just a sampling of the Good News! On our website, you can read a few of the moving stories churches have sent us on the relief and stability they've provided to people of all ages and stations in this dark time.  You are very likely to see a picture of someone you know! 

Thanks to everyone who's pitched in so far: your gifts have raised over half the amount requested! If you haven't already and are able, please send a check payable to ECSF c/o Diocese of Southern Ohio, 412 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202, or donate via ECSF's website. Consider making it a Christmas gift in the true spirit of Christ to someone you love.  We can send them a beautiful card if you give us instructions by Dec. 15. Donations to ECSF are fully tax-deductible.

Yours in shared service,
Ariel Miller, ECSF Executive Director
It's Easy to Keep in Touch with What's Happening in the Diocese

The Diocese has its own eNewsletter called e-Connections that provices regular updates on Diocesan matters.  To subscribe, click here.

You can catch up with what's happening at the Diocesan web site.
eGraceNotes is published every week or two or three. 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