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eGraceNotes from Grace Church
News for and about Grace Episcopal Church
December 23, 2009
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Our Values
Christian One-Liners

God doesn't call the qualified;
He qualifies the called.

Got a favorite one-liner? Sent it in and we'll probably share it.
Lost & Found

At the October healing service, one of the participants thinks she mislaid two rings here.  If found, please bring them to the office.
Dear Friend,

All four Advent candles are now lit on our Advent Wreath, and we're ready to light the Christ Candle, which will remain lit at all services during the 12-day Christmas season.

The Christ Candle tells us that the preparation and expectation of the Season of Advent has been completed, that the Birth of the Messiah has come to pass. Jesus is the Light which has come into the world to be among us, to be the center of our lives.  He is Emmanuel, God with us.

Join us this Christmas for one or more of our Christmas worship services.

We celebrate Christ's coming with a candle-lit Christmas Eve service at 7 pm with choir and congregational singing.

Or join us Christmas day at 10 am for a quiet, said, service.

Then, on the Sunday after Christmas, come back for Christmas Lessons and Carols, a non-sermon service with lots of chances to sing all the Christmas carols and hymns that we didn't sing during Advent! 

All of these special services provide great opportunities to bring friends and family to Grace.
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As always, help keep the over 100 recipients of eGraceNotes informed by sending your interesting tidbits along to the editor.
In This Issue ...
Christian One-Liners
Lost & Found
Flowers Make Grace Church Even More Beautiful at Christmas
Grace Church Giving Tree to Provide Gifts for 15 Needy Children
The Grace Church/Rainbow Band Christmas Dinner & Concert Was A Blast!
Thanks to ...
Keep in Your Prayers
Coming Events...
Grace Explores Common Ministry; Congregational Vote Scheduled
Healing Prayer FAQ Now Online
Bishop Coming to Confirm and Receive; Classes Available
Printed Version of eGraceNotes Now Available; Internet Access, Too
Mission Council Passes a Balanced Budget--On the First Try!
Heat & Light
Course Offerings for All from the School for Ministy
Flowers Make Grace Church Even More Beautiful at Christmas

Christmas Flowers
We give special thanks to the members of the Altar Guild and the Flower Guild who have worked so hard and creatively to make the sanctuary so beautiful this Christmas season.

They are:  Carol Lyon, Florence Poyer , Jackie Lewis, Maureen Back, Chuck Bowles, Jacquie McCray, Bob Poyer, Wanda Miller, Tammy Robertson and Lisa Perry.

We also thank all those who donated flowers:
  • High Altar: John and Christine Thayer in honor of their parents John W. and Helaine M. Thayer
  • Peace Chapel:  Bob and Florence Poyer in memory of their son, Donald Poyer
  • Poinsettia Bushes:  Ken and Carol Lyon in thanksgiving for their grandson Riley Lyon
  • Large Poinsettias:  Grace Staples; Tammy Robertson and Lisa Perry; Mary McLain; Charlotte Battistone in memory of her husband, Rudy; Jane Strohmeier in loving memory of Henry Strohmeier; Wanda Miller in thanksgiving.
  • Medium Poinsettias:  Jackie Lewis; Calvin and Virginia Thrower in thanksgiving for their families.
  • 10 Small Poinsettias:  Chuck Bowles
Grace Church Giving Tree Provided Gifts for 15 Needy Children

Christmas Presents

Fifteen gifts from Grace Church members and friends were delivered to West College Hill children on Monday, December 21.

Thanks to those who contributed!
The Grace Church/Rainbow Band Christmas Dinner & Concert Was A Blast!

The Queen City Rainbow Band served a great dinner and played to a sold-out house at the Christmas Dinner and Concert on Sunday evening, December 13. You can see more pictures of the festivities on the Grace Church online photo album here.

This year, the band volunteered to handle the whole affair, and to split whatever proceeds there might be with Grace Church.  The Great Hall was well-decorated for the holiday theme, the food was great and plentiful, and the music, provided by the Queen City Rainbow Concert Band and the QC Jazz Ensemble, was just what the doctor ordered to get us in a holiday mood.
Thank You Thanks to ...
... The Rainbow Band for the beautiful Christmas Dinner and Concert on the 13th. We look forward to next year!

... Our all-volunteer Grace Office Staff. Says Grace Staples, "This Grace Office Staff is so great.  They change the toner on the copier, order more toner,  order updated calendars, handle phone and e-mail queries and requests of all kinds, finish up the bulletin, communicate with everyone, find documents and phone numbers and even tidy up the office and desk!  Gosh, you'd think we were paying them! We couldn't do it without each of them." The all-volunteer staff includes Wanda Miller, Ruth Bertram, Hawley Todd, Roger Perna, Bob and Florence Poyer, Mary McLain and Grace Staples.

... Grace Church from Narcotics Anonymous "for the use of the facility over the past 18 years. The meeting room has changed the course of hundreds of lives much for the better." NA meets at Grace every Tuesday at 7:30 pm.

... Chuck Bowles for providing coffee hour last Sunday.

...The EnGuard Flag & Drill Team for providing a hot breakfast after the December 6 service. They'll be hosting our coffee hour again on January 17th.

... Mother Kimberly Knight, Father John Bower and the Rev. Raymond Betts for officiating at our services.

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

If you know of others who deserve our thanks, do let the office know at 513-541-2415 or
Keep in Your Prayers ...

Prayer Requests Jim Edgy, John Thayer, Gigi Woode, Toussaint Thrower and family, Ray Harris, Marilyn White, Trevor Van Wagenen, 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, 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, Malcolm Daniel, Jean Cavalieri, Shelby Hager and family, Laura Chace, Erik, Alison, Nathanael and Alexis Handy, Bennyce Hamilton and Laura Hall.

We give thanks for the life of long-time member Dorothy Kornmann, and for the lives of the mothers of Bennyce Hamilton and Laura Hall, all of whom passed away recently.
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.
Coming Events
Grace Church Calendar
  • Thursday 12/24, 7 pm: Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist Rite II, with choir and Fr. John Bower.
  • Friday, 12/25, 10 am: A quiet Christmas Day Holy Eucharist Rite II with Fr. Ray Betts.
  • Sunday 12/27: A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols. Christmas season is only 12 days; grab your chance to sing lots of Christmas carols and hymns in this no-sermon service.
  • Wednesday, 1/13: Celebration of Wholeness and Healing with Prayers, Drumming, Laying on of Hands & Reike. Drumming starts at 6:30 pm; service starts at 7 pm.
  • Wednesday, 1/20: Mission Council meeting at 6 pm.
  • Sunday, 2/14: Annual Congregational Meeting follows the Sunday service.
  • Sunday, 2/28: Bishop's Visitation.
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 Explores Common Ministry; Congregational Vote Scheduled
On Saturday, December 12, five members of Grace Church went to Procter Center to learn what it would mean to be part of the Diocesan program to develop a strategy and practice for Common Ministry in the Diocese.  Those attending were Carol Lyon, Wanda Miller, Roger Perna, Hawley Todd and Grace Staples. 
The Diocese's program is a two year discernment and formation process for Common Ministry in the Diocese of Southern Ohio.  Several congregations in various settings and sizes have been invited to join this program. It is hoped that this process will provide a model which can be adapted in future years for addition congregations within the Diocese.

Grace's Mission Council has set the date of January 24 following the Sunday service for a congregational vote on whether or not to participate in this program. If Grace votes "yes," the next event in the process will be a Gifts Assessment Overnight at Procter Conference Center on February 12 and 13.
The common ministry committee of Grace church will meet Tuesday, December 29, at 5 pm at the home of Ken and Carol Lyon to look at what information members of Grace Church need in order to make this decision. The meeting is open to any member of Grace Church. For further information contact any member of the committee: Carol Lyon, Chair (513-542-2941,, Ken Lyon, Justine Matovu, Roger Perna or Wanda Miller. 

The initial participants in the Diocese's Common Ministry Exploration are Good Shepherd, Athens; Grace Church, College Hill, Cincinnati; Trinity, Columbus; St. Barnabas, Montgomery; Trinity, Newark; St. John's, Worthington; and Christ Church, Xenia. 
Healing Prayer FAQ Now Online

Grace offers healing prayers for individuals every Sunday during communion in the Peace Chapel. Prayers are again offered at a Celebration of Wholeness and Healing the second Wednesday of each month, starting at 7 pm. Have you wondered what this is all about? Or what would happen if you were to participate? 

You can get answers to these and other frequently asked questions in a Healing Prayer FAQ by Hawley Todd TSSF. The article will be published as a pamphlet by Forward Movement Publications, but is available to you right now on Grace's web site here.
Bishop Coming to Confirm and Receive; Classes Available

Bishop Nedi Rivera, retired Bishop Suffragan of Olympia and Provisional Bishop of Eastern Oregon, will be visiting Grace Church on Sunday, February 28. Bishop Rivera will be relocating to Cincinnati in February and has graciously agreed to help out while Bishop Price serves as the Provisional Bishop of Pittsburgh. Grace will be Bishop Rivera's first visitation in this Diocese. (You can read more about Episcopal Visitations on the Diocesan web site here.)

Bishop Rivera will confirm and receive new members  into the Episcopal Church at that time. Confirmation is available to any baptized person who has not already been confirmed in a church in the apostolic succession; reception is available for those who have been confirmed in a church in the apostolic succession (for example, the Roman Catholic Church.

Catechist Hawley Todd has offered to give the required classes for those desiring to be either confirmed or received. If you are at all interested, contact Hawley at

Note that when blessings of same-sex unions commences after this coming Easter, one requirement is that at least one of the partners be a confirmed or received member of the Episcopal Church. Read more about this in a previous eGraceNotes article.

Printed Version of eGraceNotes Now Available; Internet Access, Too

eGraceNotes readers know that this publication contains news of Grace that's not easily available elsewhere. But, hard as it is for some of us to believe, not everyone receives eMail. To improve communications, we are now posting a printed version of eGraceNotes on church bulletin boards, and will make copies available along with service bulletins to those who want them. 

We understand that this is not a perfect solution, in that it's impossible to follow links to further information without a computer. To alleviate this problem, we are offering use of one of the computers in the Grace office to any member or friend of Grace Church who wants to have internet access and an email address. Contact Ken Lyon (513-542-2941) and he'll set you up and show you how.
Mission Council Passes a Balanced Budget--On the First Try!

With none of the drama and creative accounting that marked the city's 2010 budget process, Mission Council passed a balanced 2010 budget at its December 16 meeting. The budget makes it possible for Grace to continue the status quo of the past few months for all of 2010.

It provides funding for a supply clergyperson and musician at every Sunday service in 2010, if that's what the Worship Commission decides Grace needs. Other than those stipends, the only paid help is for the sexton. All other support services will be provided by Grace members and friends, as they have been for the past several months.

The budget totals about $88,000.

The major sources of funding are about $62,000 from pledges and other offerings, a $20,000 grant from the Diocese Commission on Congregational Life, and $6,000 income from other users of our facility.

The major costs are building related: About $25,000 for utilities alone and another $27,000 in building-related expenses, including insurance. After deducting about $9,000 for our share of Diocesan expenses, that leaves about $24,000 for office expenses, stipends and other things needed to support worship and other programs of the church.

A major factor in Mission Council's ability to grapple with the budget was Treasurer Roger Perna's clear presentation of a proposed budget along with supporting rationale.
Heat & Light

During budget discussions at December's Mission Council meeting, we estimated that the new furnaces that the Diocese helped fund will enable us to save about $4,000 a year, reducing our energy bill from $23,000 to $19,000. This is still a lot of money, so we are actively looking for ways to further reduce our energy expenditures while still providing well-heated rooms for scheduled activities. We have plugged some air leaks and will plug more as we find them. We have started programming our thermostats to provide heat only when needed, and will be doing more of this as well. We have fixed a sticky valve that was sending heat to the church when not needed.

We ask your understanding as we learn how to use the systems we have. We also ask that you remember turn down thermostats when heat isn't needed.
Course Offerings for All from the School for Ministy  

Once again the Diocese School for Ministry will be offering courses this winter to any interested person. The curriculum offers courses from the School for Diaconal Ministry and encourages participation of all to support the Common Ministry of all baptized people.

Classes will be held on Saturdays, Feb 6, March 6, March 27, and May 1 at Procter Camp and Conference Center.
The two courses offered are:
  • Introduction to the Old Testament: Prophets, Psalms and Wisdom," taught by the Rev. Roger Foote and the Rev. William Gartig from 10 am to noon.
  • "Ethics and Contemporary Issues," taught by Professor Don Reed and Bishop Thomas E. Breidenthal from 1 to 3 pm.
The cost of either four-session course is $80, which includes lunch. The cost for both courses is $120. There will be additional costs for books. Courses can be taken for credit or audit.  

Register online before January 30 here.
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