on This Sunday's Readings
Sunday is the first of the two Advent Sundays on which John
the Baptist is the central figure. This dynamic prophet
marked the beginning of Jesus' ministry. He announced the
time of Messiah's arrival and called the people of Israel to
repentance in preparation for that coming. The Gospels see
him as the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy of one who will
prepare the way for God to come to the peoples of the earth.
You can read Sunday's lessons here
The writer of Baruch, one of the books accounted as the
Apocrypha by Anglicans, is presented as addressing the
Jewish exiles in Babylon with words probably borrowed from
Isaiah. God's people are called to look forward to the
coming of God with joy and gladness, for when he comes God
will lead all the peoples to our true home.
The second reading is from Paul's letter to the Philippians.
In greeting this congregation, Paul speaks of his affection
for them and of his imprisonment. He urges them to continue
in faith as they await the day of Christ's return.
The Old Testament and John the Baptist looked toward the
coming of the Messiah in history to establish God's Kingdom.
The New Testament looks toward the return of Christ at the
end of history to bring that Kingdom to fulfillment. We, the
Church, gather in Eucharist in the "in-between
times" to celebrate the foretaste of that Kingdom and
to be equipped by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the Kingdom to
in Your Prayers ...
If you need pastoral care or know of someone who does,
please call or email the office (513-541-2415, firstname.lastname@example.org).
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: Not Over 'Til It's Over
Treasurer Roger Perna reports, "As of 12/3/09, we
have received 27 pledges for a total of $49,564. Our 2009
numbers were 34 pledges for a total of $61,000.00."
It's not too late to make your pledge to Grace Church for
2010. Whether large or small, every pledge shows that
someone has decided to show support for Grace Church.
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.
This month's Mission Council meeting on December 16 will be
working to come up with a budget that makes best use of our
limited monetary resources.
Receives Grant from Commission on Congregational Life
We have received the following from Canon Johanssen: "I
am pleased to announce that you have received a grant from
COCL in the amount of $20,000 for 2010."
You may remember that members of Mission Council met with
Canon John Johanssen on October 14th to discuss Grace's
plans for the future. The Rev. Canon Johanssen
oversees congregational development. He works with
churches that are thriving as well as those in crisis.
Canon Johanssen also oversees deployment--that is the
calling process for priests and congregations--as well as
evangelism, stewardship and development.
Then, on October 21, representatives of Mission Council met
with the Diocesan Commission on Congregational Life. COCL is
charged with encouraging, supporting, evaluating, and
seeking opportunities for development and growth of all
fellowships, missions, and parishes of the diocese.
Apparently, our story was well-received. These funds, along
with generous pledges and gifts from our members and
friends, along with budget cutting by Mission Council, will
go a long way to balancing Grace's budget for 2009.
Church Giving Tree to Provide Gifts for 15 Needy Children
is our tradition to give wrapped gifts to specific needy
children in West College Hill each Christmas. To
participate, please take a numbered tag from the Giving Tree
at the front of the nave and record the tag number on the
sheet on the piano along with your information.
After buying and wrapping your gift of clothing (the tag
contains name, gender, and clothing size of the child), put
the same tag on the OUTSIDE of the wrapped gift.
Return all gifts under the tree on or before December 20.
If you want to give but can't shop, please put your check
with a note in the basket by the sign-up sheet and someone
will shop for you.
...The EnGuard Flag & Drill Team for providing a hot
breakfast after this Sunday's service.
...Wanda Miller for the seasonal plantings and decorations
on Belmont, and the Altar and Flower Guilds and Building
& Grounds Committee (especially Ken Lyon) for
beautifying our space for Advent Season.
... Mary McLain and Carol Lyon for the new Grace Church
... 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
Church Christmas Dinner and Concert Coming Sunday, December
Grace Church Christmas Dinner and Concert is coming Sunday,
December 13. Dinner will be prepared and music
presented by the Queen
City Rainbow Band.
The festive evening starts with appetizers and beverages
(BYOB) at 5:30 pm, followed by dinner, music, dessert and
carols, all in the Great Hall.
Bring your whole family and friends and neighbors.
Tickets are $20 adults and teens, $10 children 12 and under
(or sliding scale as we want as many as possible to attend).
For tickets, see Grace Staples or call the office
(513-541-2415), or sign up at the Rainbow
Band web site so we will know how many to prepare for.
All proceeds above costs will be split between Grace Church
and the Rainbow Band.
QCRB has contributed twice previously to Grace Church's
Christmas celebrations. You can see pictures of
previous Christmas Concerts here
The band has rehearsed at the Grace for over five years, and
is happy to help the church by coordinating the Holiday
See the Grace
Calendar Page for the most up-to-date listing of events
at Grace. Let us know at email@example.com
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
Team. Also, look for Jane Strohmeieir's
table of ceramic Christmas decorations. At $5
each, she is splitting the proceeds with Grace Church.
They will be available again at the Christmas Dinner on
- 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
- Friday, 12/25, 10 am: Christmas Day Holy Eucharist
Rite II with Fr. Ray Betts.
- Sunday 12/27: A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols.
Church as Leaven
we think we are too small to do much. But it's
surprising how one thing leads to another and the impact is
multiplied beyond our wildest dreams. Such a story is
Grace Church's involvement with the homeless shelter, Interfaith
Hospitality Network (soon to be called Family Promise,
as it is now called nationally).
Grace began hosting homeless families back in the 90's.
We hosted the program for about 15 years with Christ Church
Glendale helping out with dinner and overnight hosts.
But their participation eventually shrank to only one
person. Then in 2005, events led to our having to give
up the hosting because of lack of enough volunteers in our
own congregation. At this time, The Rev. Deacon Laura
Chace, who had been a coordinator for the program, convinced
Christ Church Glendale to take on the hosting. We,
along with several of our former support congregations,
agreed to continue overnight volunteering.
Some people at Glendale might have thought they could have
dinner catered, but Laura taught them that the program meant
being present and interacting with their guests. Their
program, over time, evolved into one of the best hosting
congregations in the city. They have made many
innovations that have been copied by others and have always
been rated highly by departing guests.
Most importantly, however, through sitting down and talking
with their guests, they began to realize the many needs that
people face that had not been apparent to them in their own
everyday lives. With this realization and their
extraordinary skills, Christ Church Glendale members began
volunteering elsewhere, with agencies that build and repair
homes, with food pantries, and very recently with other
churches in helping Hispanic immigrants learn English so
that they can interact with co-workers, improve their school
work and function more efficiently and productively in an
English speaking society.
So what Grace Church may have at first perceived as a
failure on its part to continue to host has actually turned
into many multiples of blessings to those we serve and to
those who volunteer.
A final chapter (to date) to this story is that the Grace
Church volunteers are now returning to College Hill to
participate in a start-up network of six College Hill
churches who will host IHN four times a year in our own
neighborhood. They will start in January at First
United Church of Christ on Belmont, just up the street.
Let's see how the blessings can multiply in College Hill!
Contact Mary McLain, Grace Staples or the church office
Thanks to Grace Staples
for this great perspective!
How You Can Participate in
This Important Ministry
Grace Church will be the supporting congregation for one
night during College Hill's first week as IHN hosts--on
Friday, January 8. We are asking for volunteers to prepare
and bring the meals, to be dinner hosts, to help serve the
meal and visit with the guests, to be activity hosts to
engage the children or to help with homework or to be
overnight hosts to stay and sleep at the church with the
Training for the range of volunteer positions in
preparation for this new ministry will be held on December
19th at the First UCC Church in College Hill.
IHN College Hill needs help from Grace to buy beds. They
are $225 each.
Mary hopes we can help them buy one or 2 beds. We don't
expect to be able to get all new beds by the first hosting
in January. We have a source who will let us use their old
used beds this first week to fill in.
Please let Grace Staples or Mary McLain know if you can help
and can come to the training.
Finally, on Sunday December 6th we encourage you to do some
Christmas shopping at Ten Thousand Villages. This unique
fair trade store offers handmade jewelry, scarves, home
decor, creches etc. from around the world at very reasonable
prices. On this special day it shares all profits with IHN.
The shop is located in O'Bryonville at 2011 Madison Rd.
Ministry Development Workshop at Procter December 12
The first step in Grace's participation in Bishop
Breidenthal's "program to develop Common Ministry in
your congregation and our diocese" takes place on
December 12 from 10 am to 3 pm at Procter Conference Center.
There members of Grace Church and members of other invited
churches will "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
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
of the Groom Coming to College Hill
Grace Church's friends, Friends of the Groom, are presenting
"Nativity on the Square and Other Christmas
Encounters" this year at College Hill Presbyterian
Church on December 4, 5 and 6. Click on the here
for more information and to order tickets.
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
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