A spiritual home where all are welcome; a healing place in a broken world.
|Celebrate Pentecost ... in the Parking Lot
Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples, and Grace Church is planning a spirited commemoration this Sunday.
We're moving to the parking lot so our spirit can be seen in the community. We've discovered 30 flag poles and if all goes according to plan, they'll be decorated with flags and balloons and streamers. There'll be special music led by Bob Laake and his African drums. We'll be seated around the round tables that worked so well last Sunday. As was the case last Sunday, everything you need to participate (your bulletin and hymnbook, etc) will be on the tables for you.
On the original Pentecost, " ... tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability."
At Grace Church then, we will remember this time in several ways--we will wear red or orange or yellow to remind us of the tongues of flame, we will read prayers in several different languages and we will celebrate with joyous music.
We can't set up for this service until Sunday morning, so we're asking for help getting everything in place, starting at 9 am. At 9:30am, we'll break for a little song practice, and then we'll continue decorating the flag poles with balloons and streamers.
Following the service, we'll stay for Snack 'n Chat. Bring something to share.
|Pray for Grace Finale Chooses Actions
As was reported previously, those at the Pray for Grace Finale discerned that Grace is called to make a success of the current Common Ministry model in support of a Center of Spirituality and Healing in collaboration with multiple partners.
What are we going to do to make this happen? We prioritized 12 items from the Pray for Grace answers that we believe will move us in the direction God is calling us. They are as follows listed in priority order:
- Enhance the music program.
- Say hello to the church's neighbors.
- Bridge the communication with our partners.
- Investigate a partnership with a large Episcopal church.
- Follow-up with newcomers.
- Outdoor workday to enhance the grounds.
- Bridge the communication with the College Hill community.
- Develop a contingency plan for special services, such as funerals, baptisms, etc.
- Bring more children into the church.
- Recruit help for specific tasks.
- Develop a ministry to the elderly.
- Investigate a ministry to Cincinnati State students.
Many people at the meeting signed up to lead one or more of the efforts with most saying they would report by July 1.
If you feel God is calling you to participate on any one of these items that would be great. Please let me know at Spikelyon@gmail.com or let any member of mission council know. We would love to have you.
Carol Lyon, Senior Warden
|You Can Help Send Children to Procter Camp this Summer
Grace Church is again raising funds to send children from our congregation and from the College Hill community to Procter Summer Camp. The camp is located at the Procter Center in London, Ohio, which is about 75 miles north of Cincinnati. The camping sessions are organized by the child's grade level and run from June 10 through July 26.
Procter Summer Camp gives each student a unique opportunity to take part in outdoor activities, worship, crafts, and other fun stuff in a faith based environment. You can learn about Procter Camp on the Diocesan web site. Last year we were able to send 5 children to camp. Our goal this summer is to send at least 10 campers. The cost of the camp is $260.00 per camper.
If you would like to contribute to our effort, please send or bring a check (payable to Grace Episcopal Church) to church, or contribute electronically at gracecollegehill.org/payments.shtml. Please write "Procter Camp" on the memo part of your check.
Thank you for your willingness to help out on this endeavor.
Thanks to Roger Perna for heading up this effort.
| Selected Short Subjects
Eucharistic Visitor Training will be NOT be held on Saturday, June 7. Fr. Hufford needs to preside over two funerals that day, so the training will be rescheduled.
New Life Furniture Bank serves many of the same people we serve via Interfaith Hospitality Network. Here's an update: "Believe it or not we are have an abundance of furniture items and are in need of these items: plates, bowls, forks, knives, spoons, glasses, mugs, pots, pans, cooking utensils. If you are able to donate any of these items please box them up and drop them off at our offices/warehouse at 11431 Williamson Rd Unit D, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241." New Life Furniture--Gently Used Furniture for People in Need--
... to everyone who has been praying for Patty Rogers, the 15-year old girl who has neuroblastoma whose family reached out to our church asking for prayers a couple of years ago. Here is her caringbridges update:
caringbridge.org/visit/patriciarogers/journal. Please continue to pray for her, and thank you again for your prayers. Rhonda Sharp.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.
|A Different Slant on Speaking in Tongues
"And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language...about God's deeds of power." - Acts 2:6-8,11b
The best birders bird by ear. On a recent trip to Arizona, my guide kept her windows rolled down. Without warning, she would spin the car onto the opposite shoulder and declare, "Lucy's Warbler!" Her keen hearing led us to the perch of a Western Screech Owl, whose call sounds like a bouncy ball dropped on a tabletop. Her ears sent us wandering up and down a hillside, never quite locating the Greater Pewee mocking us with his five-note song," José...Maria."
I am still new to birds, but I am starting to learn their languages. I know the sound of chickadee, titmouse, woodpecker and wren. I can pick out the macho cry of hawk, the carefree bubbling of tanager, or the quarrelsome buzz of hummingbird. Now everywhere I go, I hear them speaking God's deeds of power.
In national park or local parking lot, I am like Jacob, waking at Bethel. Amazed and astonished, I admit, "God is here, and I didn't know it." I imagine this is how it has always been, the Spirit speaking through disciple or dove to anyone who will listen, creation going on and on like a Red-Eyed Vireo, the one they call "preacher bird" because it never shuts up.
The mountains and hills burst into song. The trees of the field clap their hands. How is it that I am only now hearing?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, open my ears to your flocks of witnesses. Teach me the thousand tongues in which you sing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vince Amlin is Associate Minister at the United Church of Gainesville, Gainesville, Florida
|Viewpoint: The Limitations of Being 'Spiritual but Not Religious'
Only organized religion can mobilize communities and lead to real action.
Do you like feeling good without having to act on your feeling? Boosting your self-esteem no matter your competence or behavior? Then I've got the religious program for you.
According to the latest Pew report, almost 1 in 5 Americans identify themselves as "spiritual but not religious." In other words, they have some feeling, some intuition of something greater, but feel allergic to institutions. Yet ... it's important to remember that it is institutions and not abstract feelings that tie a community together and lead to meaningful change.
All of us can understand institutional disenchantment. Institutions can be slow, plodding, dictatorial; they can both enable and shield wrongdoers. They frustrate our desires by asking us to submit to the will of others.
But institutions are also the only mechanism human beings know to perpetuate ideologies and actions. If books were enough, why have universities? If guns enough, why have a military? If self-governance enough, let's get rid of Washington. The point is that if you want to do something lasting in this world, you will recall the wise words of French Catholic writer Charles Péguy: "Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics." Got a vision? Get a blueprint.
Spirituality is an emotion. Religion is an obligation. Spirituality soothes. Religion mobilizes. Spirituality is satisfied with itself. Religion is dissatisfied with the world. Religions create aid organizations; as Nicholas Kristof pointed out in a column in the New York Times two years ago: the largest U.S.-based international relief and development organization is not Save the Children or Care, it's World Vision, a Seattle-based Christian group.
Aid organizations involve institutions as well, and bureaucracies, and - yes - committee meetings. There is something profoundly, well, spiritual about a committee meeting. It involves individuals trying together to sort out priorities, to listen and learn from one another, to make a difference. I have found too often that when people say, "I stay away from the synagogue - too much politics," what they mean is that they did not get their way. Institutions enable but they also frustrate, as do families and every other organized sector of human life. If you want frictionless, do it alone.
To be spiritual but not religious confines your devotional life to feeling good. If we have learned one thing about human nature, however, it is that people's internal sense of goodness does not always match their behavior. To know whether your actions are good, a window is a more effective tool than a mirror. Ask others. Be part of a community. In short, join. Being religious does not mean you have to agree with all the positions and practices of your own group; I don't even hold with everything done in my own synagogue, and I'm the Rabbi. But it does mean testing yourself in the arena of others.
No one expects those without faith to obligate themselves to a religious community. But for one who has an intuition of something greater than ourselves to hold that this is a purely personal truth, that it demands no communal searching and struggle, no organization to realize its potential in this world, straddles the line between narcissistic and solipsistic. If the spirit moves you to goodness, that is wonderful. For too many, though, spirituality is a VIP card allowing them to breeze past all those wretched souls waiting in line or doing the work. Join in; together is harder, but together is better.
By Rabbi David Wolpe Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and the author of seven books. The views expressed are solely his own.
Altar Flowers You can donate a bouquet of flowers on the altar on any Sunday in honor of or in memory of anyone. The suggested donation is only $35. Just sign on the flower sheet by the door or call the church office or email email@example.com or donate online at gracecollegehill.org.
|Prayers and Thanksgivings
Prayers for healing are asked for Rev. Ernestein, Patty Rogers and Sarah and Joe Rogers - Patty's parents, Carl, Jackie, Robb Martin, Kim Martin, Melissa, Jordan and Brandie, Bill, Viola and Irma, Lee Hardy, Rhonda Sharp, The Partin Family, D.L., Merrilee Atkins, Maree White, Anna Keefer, Virginia Chapel and Family, Our President and Our Country, Anni Gibson, Bill Jenne, Don Wake, Albertha Howard and DeConte Howard, Johnny, Peter Harten, Phillis Dietz, Peter Hawkins, Judy Handy, Laura Hubrich (Phillis Dietz' daughter), Madeena Nolan, Gwynne and Naomi Gabbard, Marla, Mae Armstead, The Garland Family - Teresa, Debbie and Jay, Sherry Ridgeway, Jayna, Jan Sharp, James McNabb, Bev Olinger, David McManus, Kathy Casebolt's family and friends.
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, Raymond Betts.
To add or subtract from this list, please contact the Church Office (513-541-2415, firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com). Keep us informed about about illness, hospital stays, requests for visits, communion, and prayers for special concerns.
|We need Grandmoms, Grampas & Nannys
We have had the wonderful experience of seeing parents with toddlers recently at our Sunday morning services. It would be nice if we could mobilize our resources to provide child care during the services. If we can recruit volunteers to take a turn watching these children, the parents could enjoy our worship service without having to supervise their child.
Please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-290-7309) if you think you would be able to volunteer your time to provide this needed service for the church. Hopefully, we can get enough volunteers so that each person would only have to serve once a month or less. Thank you for your attention to this matter. I am sure we can count on each other to meet this need.
Sincerely, Roger Perna
| Coming Attractions
See the online Grace Church Calendar lists most everything we know about that's happening at Grace Church. If something's not listed, or if you see errors, please tell the office (email@example.com, 513-541-2415).
See a list of Grace Church worship services and participants' assignments here.