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245, December 29, 2013

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

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Welcome to Christmas at Grace Church



Our celebration of Christmas began on Christmas Eve, continued on Christmas Day, continues on December 29 and  ends on January 5--the 12th and final day of Christmas. 


The power of the Incarnation is that God became one of us in the person of Jesus.


The beauty of the Incarnation is the story of Christmas--how Jesus was born to Mary and Joseph in a stable in Bethlehem with angels announcing his birth to simple shepherds and a magnificent star leading wise men pay him homage.


The impact of the Incarnation is that because Jesus was born, died and rose from the dead we have nothing to fear and are called to live into the Good News of the gospel.


The beauty of Christmas is that each year we have the opportunity to commemorate the birth of Jesus and, once again, welcome him into our hearts.

Welcome the Newly Baptized

Proud parents Tammy Robertson and Lisa Perry brought their new daughter Piper Skye to be baptised on Christmas Eve at Grace Church.  They are pictured above with celebrant Fr. Bob Hufford. 

Welcome our newest member!
Christmas Greetings from Our Bishop
Presiding Bishop's Christmas Message 2013

For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
   Isaiah 9:6

Isaiah pronounces these words to a people who remember the yoke of slavery laid on their shoulders.  They've been waiting for this child, whose birth transforms that yoke into a mantle of authority.  They are promised that this authority will continue to grow as the peaceable commonwealth is established - with justice and righteousness for all, and for ever.


This promise is spoken anew to people in every age, to those who have lived under oppression or in dark depression, to the hungry and ill and imprisoned.  The birth we celebrate offers hope, in Word made flesh, who comes among us to heal and walk this way with us.  The mantle of authority on his shoulders begins in the swaddling clothes of a child born in the humblest of circumstances.  Yet that authority is recognized even by foreigners from far away.  That mantle of authority does continue to grow, through a life offered for others, raised into new life, and passed on to new generations of fleshly God-bearers.  Wherever justice and righteousness is done, that authority is growing, borne on the shoulders of the Prince of Peace.  


He comes again, bearing the grace of the One whose image he wears in flesh.  Seek him, sing his new song, declare his glory, and tell out the good news to all the nations:  God reigns, and he is coming bearing righteousness and truth on his shoulders.  


May you discover that humble authority born again on the edges of the world's notice.  May that royal inheritance and authority of the stable be born in you, enliven your heart, and rest on your shoulders.  Bear it abroad in peace, this year and throughout the ages.


The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
Many Served at Christmas Day Community Dinner
Members of Grace Church, Life Renewal Church, and Truth & Destiny Church joined to present an unforgettable dinner for our regular Community Dinner guests on Christmas Day.  We served over 40 people with smoked turkey, vegetables, breads and deserts.

We also received a large donation of fruits and vegetables, breads and pastries from the Mt. Healthy Alliance food pantry, so we were able to give our guests food for them to take home and enjoy.  Everyone involved was blessed by this event.

Special thanks are in order to all those who gave their time or donated food to the dinner: Coordinator J White, Joan Mallari and her sister Joni and Joni's son Juan, Anthony Canady, Hattie Jean Hampton, Roger Perna, Tammy Robertson, Robin and Stacy Camp, Pauline Lutmer, Pastor Will and Michelle Hagans and other members of Life Renewal Church, Anita Johnson and other members of Truth & Destiny Church.

This effort allowed many of our friends to enjoy a wonderful Christmas Day.  

Thanks to Roger Perna for this article and to Lady Michelle Hagan of Life Renewal for the pictures.
Christmas Flower Donations were Made ...       

... in thanksgiving for Piper's baptism by Lisa Perry and Tammy Robertson.


... in memory of Lyman Spray by Madeena Nolen.


... by Mary McLain.


... in loving memory of my sister Christine Thayer Zuniga by John Thayer.


... in memory of Maria Ciganovitch by Grace Staples.


... in thanksgiving for my beautiful wife by Hawley Todd.
Our Flags are Back

About a month ago, a severe windstorm broke several of the brackets holding our flags. We have redone the mountings and the flags are now back in place, serving notice to everyone coming up the hill as to the inclusiveness of our membership.

We fly the US flag, a flag of the country of origin of our immigrant members (currently, the Ugandan flag), the Episcopal Church flag, the African-American flag and the Rainbow flag. 
  Thanks to ...

... Judy Handy and the bulletin team for creating four bulletins this week. A special thanks goes to Judy who does most of the preparation and coordination. A bulletin takes a surprising amount of work from start to finish, so Judy really needs to be congratulated that she was able to plan and lead the team appropriately to get all of them done.

... Rhonda and the Grace Church Congregation for their prayers for Patty Rogers.  Sarah Rogers, the mother of the 14 year old with Neuroblastoma we have been praying for, wrote a nice letter to the office this week thanking us for everything we have done for Patty. The letter was too long to share here, but was beautifully written and showed sincere and heartfelt gratitude for everything they have received from Grace Church members. Patty was in the hospital over Christmas. She caught the flu, which was a huge deal with her compromised immune system. Sarah immediately asked for prayers, and once again prayer seems to have been answered. Patty got to go home the day after Christmas.

... Fr. Hufford, who was kind enough to be the clergy for three services for Grace Church this  week.

... everyone who helped set up and clean up after the Flow Arts and Drum Circle Saturday night. A special thanks this week since it has been such a busy week with Christmas activities.

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
Congregation Thanks Our Celebrants.  During our Christmas services, we recognized and thanked the people who have been responsible for celebrating and officiating at our church services over the past year.  This list includes the Rev. Susan Lehman, Fr. Bob Hufford, Fr. David Howard, Healing Minister Hawley Todd, Organist Bill Jenne, and Lay Preacher Ken Lyon.  Each person was presented with a gift card to a local restaurant to express our appreciation for the work that they have done to serve us. We wish them all a joyous Christmas season. 

In a note received from former member Chuck Bowles, now in Atlanta GA:  There is no place that is more moving than to be at Grace Church during the major celebratory seasons.  I have a new church now but I will always think of Grace as my church home.

New Office Volunteers. Carol Lyon and Candace Moxley have joined Rhonda Sharp, Grace Staples, Roger Perna and Madeena Nolan as office volunteers.  Thank them for their important behind-the-scenes work to keep Grace ticking along.

Mark the date:  Grace Church Annual Meeting is coming Sunday, February 23, 2014, following Sunday worship.  We will summarize the 2013 church year, and hold elections for 2014 parish leadership positions.
Prayers and Thanksgivings

Thanksgivings are asked for the life of Ronald Bertram, Ruth Bertram's brother.


Prayers for healing are asked for Rev. Ernestein, Patty Rogers and the Rogers Family, 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 Jones and Family., D.L., Merrilee Atkins, Maree White, Verene and Katrina, Anna Keefer, The Coal Miners and their families who are being laid off, Virginia Chapel, Our President and Our Country, Sam Spade, Bill Jenne, Kathy Wills, East Price Hill and The Lauck Family, Don Wake, Patience and her family, Albertha Howard and DeConte Howard, Amandita Sullivan, Horistine, Eugenia and Kenneth, Jacque, Johnny, Lexi Woeste, Emily and Caleb, Earl and Ann, Drew Gibson, JB (Jo), John, Alan Weinrich's family and all touched by cancer, Peter Harten, Cathleen, Lisa, Sunny, Judy and Freddy, David and Carol Rossman, Marissa Aleaander, Skip, AND, Jane Strohmeier, Phillis Dietz, The Thrower Family, Anthony, Pastor Rita and Deacon Cornell Bryant and Family, Vincent Leu, Naomi and Gwynne Gabbard, Jim, Steve, Cloma and Estil, John Thayer, David, Jessica Veach, Jay Garland and Family, Mike Webster, Nick Lisi, Callie, Hattie and Ann, Judy Handy, Cyndi Miller, Laura Hubrick (Phillis Dietz' daughter), Madeena Nolan, Gwynne and Naomi Gabbard, Marilyn.


Prayers are asked for members often not able to come to church:  Elizabeth Kelly, Janet Henthorn, Mary Jane Showers, Naomi Koester, Elva Gscheidle, Jo Carroll, Anne Henneberg, Phillis Dietz. 


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.
 Person Sought to Provide Child Care During Sunday Worship

  We are seeking a person to provide child care during Sunday worship. If you know of someone with the skills to care for a few infants and very young children, please contact J White (513-532-9362, mizwone@gmail.com). This will be a paid position.

We realize that there may be Sundays when there are no children to care for, however we believe that it's very important that this service be provided for those parents who want it.
 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

A new schedule of services for the first part of 2014 will be coming soon.

Here is the service schedule as of today. 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 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. C
ontact Worship Team Leader Bill Jenne (williamjenne1@aol.com) if you'd like to participate in any of these positions.  

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

Sunday, December 29: Eucharist II
  • Celebrant: The Bob Hufford
  • Keyboards: Bill Jenne
  • Acolyte: Mariah Mukasa
  • Healing Ministers (leads): J White & Hawley Todd
  • Chalice: Ken Lyon
  • Lector: John Thayer
  • Prayers of the People: John Thayer
  • Offering Counters: Bill Jenne, Ruth Bertram
  • Usher: Wanda Miller
  • Altar Guild: Wanda Miller
  • Flower Guild: Wanda Miller
  • 9am Adult Bible Study: Ken Lyon
Absalom Jones From the Editor...

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Ken Lyon, Editor,
Sam Spade, Backup Editor
Grace Episcopal Church | Phone: 513-541-2415 | 5501 Hamilton Avenue at Belmont Avenue | College Hill (Cincinnati) | OH | 45224