for and about Grace Episcopal Church
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
Ken Lyon, Editor
Advent--A New Church Year Begins
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.
1st CANDLE - (purple) THE PROPHECY CANDLE
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."
2nd CANDLE - (purple) THE BETHLEHEM 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
3rd CANDLE - (pink) THE SHEPHERD CANDLE
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
4th CANDLE - (purple) THE ANGEL CANDLE or THE CANDLE OF
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
5th CANDLE - (white) CHRIST CANDLE
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.
on This Sunday's Readings
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.
You can read Sunday's lessons here
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
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.
Accepts Bishop's Invitation to Participate in Common
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
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
in Your Prayers ...
If you need pastoral care or know of someone who does,
please call or email the office (513-541-2415, email@example.com).
Please keep us informed about about illness, hospital stays,
requests for visits, communion, and prayers for special
concerns. Help us to serve you.
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
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
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.
... 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
... The Sunday School, who will host our coffee hour
... Mary McLain and Carol Lyon for the new Grace Church
... 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
... 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 eGraceNotes@gracecollegehill.org
Fresh Idea for a Holiday Concert Dinner at Grace Church
City Rainbow Band will present a fresh, new holiday
concert experience on Sunday, December 13 at 5:30 pm at
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
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
"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
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.
Service Sweeps David Off His Feet
From Senior Warden David Mukasa,
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."
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
See the Grace
Calendar Page for the most up-to-date listing of events
at Grace. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
if we've missed anything.
- Sunday, 12/6: Holy Eucharist Rite II with Mtr.
Kimberly Knight, followed
by a sit-down breakfast provided by the Flag and Drill
- Wednesday, 12/9, 7 pm: Celebration of Wholeness and
Healing with Prayers, Drumming, Laying on of Hands &
- Saturday, 12/12, 10 am to 3 pm: Common Ministry
Workshop at Procter.
- Sunday 12/13: Holy Eucharist Rite II with Mtr.
- 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.
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.
Make Grace Church Even More Beautiful at Christmas
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
Suggested donations are:
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."
- 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.
Warden Vacation Plans
Senior Warden David Mukasa will be in Uganda from December
9 until after Christmas. Junior Warden Carol Lyon
will fill in in his absence.
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
Grace's by-laws specify the process for nominating and
electing officers. You can see our by-laws here
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.
Us Serve You
Do you need pastoral care? Do you know of
someone who does? Please let us know (513-541-2415, email@example.com
Keep us informed about about illness, hospital stays,
requests for visits, communion, and prayers for special
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
with "Attention Worship Committee" somewhere in
We appreciate your input.
From the Worship
Youth Program Isn't Just About Summer Camp
The Diocese sponsors youth events all year long. Check out
Episcopal Youth Ministry in Souther Ohio website
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.
Community Services Foundation Helps Churches Serve the Needy
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
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