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215 April 28, 2013

A spiritual home where all are welcome; a healing place in a broken world.

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Reshaping Our Thinking About Church

Senior Warden Roger Perna attended the recent Congregational Life Best Practices Conference. These are his reflections.   


The Conference featured an inspiring presentation by renowned religious writer Diana Butler Bass. The topic was how we need to reshape our thinking about how churches should operate into the twenty-first century. The ideas presented were from Ms. Bass' book

Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and The Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (Harper-Collins, 2013).


According to Ms. Bass, we must rethink and reshape what churches do. If changes do not take place, the Church as we know it could well be extinct within the next 30-50 years. She described her talk as a "loving kick in the pants!"


"Religion" is defined as an institution that has organized matters through external sources such as dogma, rules, order, and hierarchy. "Spirituality" is recognizing experiences that connect us with a deeper sense of self and the divine wherein authority is validated through internal sources.


Seminaries and churches are still asking and answering questions that nobody cares about anymore. The traditional question of "What do we believe?" should be rephrased to "How do we believe?" focusing on the process of how we got there rather than the "it." Instead of asking "How should we do it" we should ask "What should we do now?" And finally, instead of asking "How do I get to belong (to this group)," we should be asking ourselves "Whose am I." The answer to this question is "I am my neighbors'."


The most important theological question in the Bible is when Jesus asks "Who is my neighbor?"


The younger generation does not have the same world view that we have. We need to listen to the questions that they are asking. We need to be willing to step into other people's stories.


We need to make community with each other, to engage everyone we meet with grace, humility, hospitality, and love. We must treat everyone with dignity and respect.


In the words of Diana Butler Bass, "I am not interested in 'converting' anyone except myself." This statement has a familiar ring. It reminds me of how our good friend Fr. John Bower used to say "I am not interested in bringing you to Jesus. I want to bring Jesus to you."


The ideas expressed at the conference are in line with the professed values of Grace Church: "Honor everyone . . ." and "Treat everyone as a child of God." They also complement one of our expressed goals: to allow everyone to increase their spiritually. Hopefully these reflections will help us continue to grow into the future and evolve into the church we want to be.


(And read Ms. Bass' book if you get a chance.)


You can read more about Ms Bass' book on Amazon. Search by name, or click here

Thanks to ...

... Jackie Millay for responding to our request for a used PC monitor for Grace Church. She's already delivered it to the office.  And thanks for the others who also volunteered their extra monitors.

... Integrity Cincinnati for choosing to hold their first meeting at Grace Church Friday evening.

... the folks who put on another successful Community Dinner on Wednesday.

... J White for bringing a number of new users to our facility, and most especially for her untiring efforts to handle the logistics--no mean feat! Just take a look at the Grace Calendar to see the groups we're now hosting.

... Ken Lyon from Wanda Miller. "Last Sunday, Ken's assignment was to be Lector.  During our Bible Study prior to the service, I was coughing and sneezing and announced that I didn't think I should be Chalice bearer.  Ken jumped right in and agreed to be Chalice bearer in my place.  (I don't think he wanted me near the wine, rightfully so!)   When the service began, I saw that he was carrying the cross for the missing Acolyte." 

... Roger Perna, for the notes about Diana Bass' presentation, from Gwynne Gabbard. "I was impressed with her ideas."

... Hawley Todd, from Gwynne, for "asking if I would stand beside you on Sunday to have the opportunity to lay hands on God's precious kids."

... my Angel Girl, from Gywnne, for running the chair lift thingy so I could traverse the steps more easily.  I am back to doing my rehab, trying to regain the lost ground.  Bless you!

... Don Wake, from Gwynne, for being a Being of Light, all ways and always.

... the Thank You Writer for the reminder to say Thank You, also from Gwynne.

Send your "thank you's" to egracenotes@gracecollegehill.org. 

Even though everyone who does something special may not be recognized each week (although we do try), we are aware of how hard members of this congregation work together to keep this church going.  Most of the work done in this church is by volunteers, so thank you to every one in this congregation for keeping our dream of Grace Church alive by your consistent contributions.  None of us could do it without all of us working together.
Selected Short Subjects

Friday's Integrity Cincinnati worship and afterparty drew over 50 people to Grace Church.  Learn more at Integrity Cincinnati's Facebook page.  To see it, click here, or go to Facebook and search for Integrity Cincinnati.   Integrity Cincinnati also has a webpage: integritygc.jimdo.com

Cincinnati Museum Center vouchers available. As part of the Diocese' sponsorship of the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center, the diocese still has several vouchers available for free admission to the Museum Center. Although the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit is over, these vouchers are good for all three CMC museums and are valid until 6/30/13. If you are interested in receiving some of these vouchers, please contact Geri McDaniel at gmcdaniel@diosohio.org or 800.582.1712 ext. 105. 

Prayers and Thanksgivings

Prayers for healing are asked for Judy Handy, Rev. Ernestein, Patty Rogers, The Rogers Family, Ken Lyon, Carl, Jackie, Robb Martin, Kim Martin, Melissa, Jordan and Brandie, Bill and Viola, Lee Hardy, Christine Hicks, Derek, Rhonda Sharp, The Partin Family, Mitchell, Bob , Jo Jo, Jared, Shirley L. Allen, Melissa, D.L., Merrilee Atkins, Carol Lyon, Maree White, Rita Lyon, Anna Keefer, Christine Zuniga, KiKi, The Coal Miners and their families who are being laid off, Virginia Chapel, Our President and Our Country, Sam Spade, Bill Jenne, Aaron Watson, Vance, Kathy Wills, East Price Hill and The Lauck Family, Don Wake, Patience, Emily Bellingham, Peggy Partin, Cleo Leach, Tracy Siemer, Ortha Meyers, Malachi Francis, Trish G. Russo, Albertha Howard and DeConte Howard, Dumonstrong, Restoring Authentic Identity Attendees, AJ, Amanda Peery, JB, Angie and the Marshall Family, Monica Corvalan, Todd Carr, Amandita Sullivan, Horistine, Eugenia and Kenneth, Jeanne Mulholland, Helen, Pat Jones, Jacque, Lexi Woeste (Tony Saylor's daughter), Kasey McAdams, Johnny Partin, Emily and Caleb, Earl & Ann.


To add or subtract from this list, please contact the Church Office (513-541-2415, office@gracecollegehill.org) with the names of the persons to be included on this list.  If you email, please place "Prayer Request" in the subject line.  Please also indicate whether the name of the prayer recipient is to be listed in the bulletin.


Names remain on the list for about a month. Please let us know if people should be put back on the list.   


Pastoral Care. If you need pastoral care or know of someone who does, please call or email the office (513-541-2415, office@gracecollegehill.org). Keep us informed about about illness, hospital stays, requests for visits, communion, and prayers for special concerns.
Upcoming ChiKung/TaiChi Classes at Grace

Beginning/Intermediate level ChiKung/TaiChi classes Friday evenings
from 6:30 to 8 pm, continuing May 17 and ending June 14.  Chi is vital life force energy.  You can learn to direct it in ways that will be stress relieving, rejuvenating, and re-balancing for your entire system.  Expand your resources.   Please join us in further enjoyment of your abundant Chi. "I would place ChiKung equal in importance to the incredible discoveries in the forties called antibiotics and in the fifties called immunizations," says Dr. Bill Manahan, University of Minnesota Medical School. Cost: $50 for the series,  $40.00 if you preregister by Wednesday, May 15. Walk-ins, $15/class).

Beginning level TaiChi classes Thursday mornings, 9:30 to 11:00 am, starting May 16 and ending June 13. TaiChi is an ancient, movement meditation.  The Chi is your vital life force energy.  The slow dance circulates the Chi in a relaxed calm manner throughout your entire system.  Scientifically, it's been shown to put you in your Alpha brain waves.  This releases 'feel good' hormones, expanding you into joy and calmness.
"Having a relaxed spirit is the secret of longevity," says 105-year-old TaiChi Master Wu Tu-nan. Cost: $50 for series, $40 if you preregister by Tuesday, April 2. Walk-ins, $15/class.

For either class, wear loose, comfortable clothing.  It's your choice if you want to be barefoot or wear flexible shoes.  Please bring your own water bottle.  Please contact Jackie with questions.

Classes conducted by Jackie Millay, harmonicpulsewellness.com, 513-405-1514, 513-541-4900.
Altar Flowers
The flowers on the altar last week were donated in honor of Rhonda Sharp's father's passing on April 21.

The flowers on the alter this week are donated in loving memory of Rhonda Sharp's father's birthday on April 27.

To donate altar flowers on the Sunday of your choosing, see the sign-up sheet in the church near the upper Belmont entrance. Or call the office. Or donate online here.     
 Coming Attractions

The online Grace Church Calendar lists most everything we know about that's happening at Grace Church. Here's a snapshot of about a week's worth of the online calendar as of today.  If something's not listed, or if you see errors, please tell the office (office@gracecollegehill.org, 513-541-2415).


Worship Service Schedule & Participants

Here is the worship schedule as of today. Sunday Service Participants are needed in all volunteer positions. We will provide training as needed. We are a Common Ministry Parish--everyone is encouraged to serve. Contact Worship Team Leader Bill Jenne (williamjenne1@aol.com).   

The up-to-date schedule is available on our website (gracecollegehill.org).

If you're scheduled and can't make it, find a substitute and let Ken Lyon (webmaster@gracecollegehill.org, 513-542-2941) know so the schedule can be updated. 

Sunday, April 28: Ante-Communion
  • Officiant: Ken Lyon
  • Keyboards: Bill Jenne
  • Acolyte: John Thayer
  • Healing Ministers (leads): J White & Hawley Todd
  • Lector: Maria Mukasa
  • Prayers of the People: Phyllis Mukasa
  • Offering Counters: Bill Jenne & Ruth Bertram
  • Usher: Mary McLain
  • Flower Guild: Wanda Miller
  • 9am Adult Bible Study: Ken Lyon

Sunday, May 5: Eucharist II

  • Celebrant: The Rev. Susan Lehman
  • Keyboards: Bill Jenne
  • Acolyte: Mathias Mukasa
  • Healing Ministers (leads): J White & Hawley Todd
  • Chalice: John Thayer
  • Lector: Tony Saylor
  • Prayers of the People: Mary McLain
  • Offering Counters: Roger Perna, Carol Lyon
  • Usher: Wanda Miller
  • Altar Guild: Tammy Robertson & Lisa Perry
  • Flower Guild: Carol Lyon
  • 9am Adult Bible Study: Ken Lyon

Wednesday, May 8, 7pm: Celebration of Wholeness and Healing

  • Officiant: Hawley Todd, TSSF

Sunday, May 12: Celebration of Wholeness and Healing

  • Officiant: Hawley Todd, TSSF
  • Acolyte: John Thayer
  • Healing Ministers: All
  • Lector: Tammy Robertson
  • Prayers of the People: Leah Wilson
  • Offering Counters: Wanda Miller, Ken Lyon
  • Usher: David Mukasa
  • Flower Guild: Wanda Miller
  • 9am Adult Bible Study: Ken Lyon

Sunday, May 19: Eucharist II

  • Celebrant: The Rev. Bob Hufford
  • Keyboards: Bill Jenne
  • Acolyte: Mariah Mukasa
  • Healing Ministers (leads): J White & Hawley Todd
  • Chalice: Carol Lyon
  • Lector: Judy Handy
  • Prayers of the People: Tony Saylor
  • Offering Counters: John Thayer, Bill Jenne
  • Usher: Ruth Bertram
  • Altar Guild: Jacqueline McCray
  • Flower Guild: Carol Lyon
  • 9am Adult Bible Study: Ken Lyon

Sunday, May 26: Eucharist II

  • Celebrant: The Rev. David Z. Howard
  • Keyboards: Bill Jenne
  • Acolyte: Mathias Mukasa
  • Healing Ministers (leads): J White & Hawley Todd
  • Chalice: Ken Lyon
  • Lector: Leah Wilson
  • Prayers of the People: John Thayer
  • Offering Counters: Ruth Bertram, Roger Perna
  • Usher: Phyllis Mukasa
  • Altar Guild: Wanda Miller
  • Flower Guild: Wanda Miller
  • 9am Adult Bible Study: Ken Lyon

Sunday, June 2: Eucharist II

  • Celebrant: The Rev. Bob Hufford

Sunday, June 9: Eucharist II

  • Celebrant: The Rev. Bob Hufford

Wednesday, June 12, 7pm: Celebration of Wholeness and Healing

  • Officiant: Hawley Todd, TSSF

Sunday, June 16: Celebration of Wholeness and Healing

  • Officiant: Hawley Todd, TSSF

Sunday, June 23: Eucharist II

  • Celebrant: The Rev. Bob Hufford

Sunday, June 30: Eucharist II

  • Celebrant: The Rev. David Z. Howard
Absalom Jones From the Editor...

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Ken Lyon, Editor, egracenotes@gracecollegehill.org
Grace Episcopal Church | Phone: 513-541-2415 | 5501 Hamilton Avenue at Belmont Avenue | College Hill (Cincinnati) | OH | 45224