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|Things Come Together for Holy Week & Easter|
There are times in the life of a community when things just seem to "click"--to come together--and Holy Week and Easter was one of those times for the Grace Church community.
On Maundy Thursday, a group of Grace and St. Stephen's members of about the number of the 12 disciples gathered at St. Stephen's to commemorate the first Eucharist. We gathered around a simple Mediterranean-style meal of olives, cheese, barley bread and wine and then proceeded to re-enact liturgically the last supper Jesus spent with his friends. A meaningful and moving experience.
On Good Friday, people from several local churches gathered at Grace to remember Christ's crucifixion. Strangely, perhaps, this was turned out to be an uplifting occasion. See Mary McLain's description below.
Finally, Easter Sunday was the kind of celebrative occasion you hope for but doesn't always happen. Between Fr. David Bailey as celebrant, Jonathan Tan providing the music, and the 60+ active participants in the congregation, the mood was indeed one of great celebration of the mystery of Christ's (and our) victory over death.
At the end of the service, the whole congregation trooped out behind the crucifer and acolytes and processed around the church to Snack 'n Chat.
Over 60 people attended the Easter service, half again as many as last year.
A lot of people contributed to making these worship services work. See the "Thanks to...." article below.
See more Easter pictures here
|Don't Miss Next Year's Good Friday Service|
This year on Good Friday, following our custom, we hosted the churches of the College Hill Ministerium at Grace. From noon to two, seven different preachers spoke on the seven last words of Christ.
What an event that was! The styles of preaching went across the spectrum--all in one place! Where else could you hear our own Ken Lyon doing Episcopal eloquence, along with Pastor Eugene Ellington of Consolation Baptist Church, Pastor Drew Smith of College Hill Presbyterian Church, Bishop Todd O'Neal of the House of Joy, Pastor Dan Weyand-Geise from the United Church of Christ and Pastor Kris Moore, a Chaplin from Children's Hospital? Grace Church's Roger Perna made his debut due to a last minute cancellation.
The preaching was riveting, but just the music was worth the trip. Jonathan Tan's musical accompaniment was brilliant throughout. He started with Bach & Buxtehude, progressed to rolling Gospel, and included his original composition, Lament, Grief, Hope: a Meditation on Psalm 22. The church was filled with voices singing heartily from Lift Every Voice and Sing--songs familiar to all the congregations. P. Everson Price added an impassioned solo, accompanied by Bishop O'Neal. John Thayer provided a bell solo.
This service is advertised as "come when you can and leave when you must," but no one left! It was good!
Mark your calendars for Good Friday at Grace Church next year--this is an event you don't want to miss. That's March 25, 2016.
Thanks to Mary McLain for this article.
|Friday's Prayer & Meditation Features Words of Hildegard of Bingen|
Carol Lyon will be leading a meditation on wholeness based on the words of Hildegard of Bingen at Friday's Prayer & Mediation Group.
Carol hopes you can come on Friday at 11 am. We will meet in the parlor.
|What I Learned During Lent |
My earliest remembrance of observing Lent was giving up chocolate when I was about 12 years old. Since then I have given up meat for Lent. I have fasted all day on Ash Wednesday or Fridays. I have tried unsuccessfully to journal and/or prayer every day. None of my observances have been satisfying to me. Easter just brought relief they were over.
This year when Lent came around again, I considered how best to observe it. I reflected on my earlier experiences. And it seemed they felt empty because I didn't have a "why" for doing it. I was just trying to observe a church season.
This year, I was trying once again to observe Lent. I picked up an old book of mine titled Lent by Evelyn Underhill. And there in the reading for the first Thursday in Lent was this statement..."Since the Life of Prayer consists of an ever-deepening communion with a Reality beyond ourselves, which is truly there and touches, calls, attracts us..." "Aha!" I thought as I read that, "Lent is really about a concentrated effort to deepen our relationship with God." So all the things I was doing could have helped me get closer--if I had known why. For example, fasting could have helped me understand my dependence on God. Journaling could have helped me have a totally honest conversation with God. Prayer could have helped listen to God. All these experiences could have helped me become closer to God if I understood what purpose they could serve. I am hopeful this year my reading will deepen my relationship with God.
So, when you choose a spiritual discipline, whether during Lent or at any time, choose something that you understand will bring you closer to God.
|Thanks to ... |
... to the Grace Church folks who came to the Maundy Thursday service at St. Stephens, from the Rev. Ann Warrington Wilson.
... Roger Perna for organizing the Good Friday Service. It is not easy getting that many pastors all lined up. And also for stepping in at the last minute with a homily when one of the Pastors couldn't make it.
... Judy Handy, who organized the beautiful Easter Sunday service. The procession outside after the service showed a congregation on the move.
... Ken Lyon and Jeff Ritchie who put out the flags in front of the church before the Easter service. With the wind blowing they looked glorious. Another example of a lively congregation.
... Jonathon Tan for the festive Easter music. What a difference it made!
... Faith Lang, who took most of the pictures of our Easter Service.
... Mathias Mukasa, who came up the the idea for having an Easter Egg hunt, and who prepared the eggs.
... all those who contributed to a wonderful Easter service, including our celebrant David Bailey, acolytes, altar guild, flower guild, ushers, etc. Working together our service was a glory to God.
... Carol Lyon, from Gwynne Gabbard, who says, "Thank you for the email with the thank-you's telling the rest of us so we can imagine how wonderful it was to be there."
... all that made this past Holy Week an event to remember at Grace & St.Stephens. The glory and joy of the Lord was truly present at Grace during this past week! May this "JOY" continue at this place of GRACE! From J. White.
... Carol Lyon for all her work and effort keeping Grace Church running! Being Sr Warden can at times be a frustrating and thankless job. We all appreciate so much what she does. From Hawley Todd.
... Patrick for getting the heat going just perfectly in the Choir room for last Thurs day's Chi class, from Jacki Millay.
... Candace Moxley for adjusting her schedule to meet the copier repair person in time to get out all the bulletins last week.
There are so many people who work to support Grace Church's ministries. If we have missed anyone, please let us know.
If you want to thank anyone in the congregation for something they did week (leading the meditation in the Friday Prayer and Meditation group, going above and beyond on a routine responsibility, donating food or cooking for the Community Dinner, etc.) then please send that thank you to Ken Lyon (eGraceNotes@gracecollegehill.org) or the office (firstname.lastname@example.org), so they can be recognized.
Easter Flowers were donated by:
- John Thayer In thanksgiving for Family, Friends, and Grace Church
- Ken and Carol Lyon in thanksgiving for family & friends
- Mary McLain for Ray Betts
- Judy & Walter Handy in thanksgiving for our 45th wedding anniversary April 4th
- Madeena Nolan in memory Lyman and Virginia Spay
- Grace Staples To the Glory of God and for answered prayers.
Altar flowers on April 19 are donated by Rhonda Partin Sharp in loving memory of her father Estil Partin on his heavenly birthday.
Altar flowers on April 26 are donated by Rhonda Partin Sharp in loving memory of her father Estil Partin on his April 27 birthday.
If you would like to donate for altar flowers on any Sunday, please sign the Flower Sheet by the Belmont door or call the church office or email email@example.com or donate online at gracecollegehill.org.
|The Presiding Bishop's Easter Message for 2015|
"We will find him already there before us, bringing new and verdant life," Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori states in her Easter Message 2015. "The only place we will not find him is in the tomb."
The following is the Presiding Bishop's Easter Message 2015.
It's still dark when Mary ventures out to find the tomb. The graveyards around Jerusalem don't have much greenery today. The earth is mostly rock and stone, and it is far from easy to make a place to secure a body. Jesus' body was put in a cave-like space, with a stone rolled across the opening to close it up. Mary has made the journey from wherever she's sheltered over the last day, through darkened streets, perhaps hearing cocks begin to crow and townspeople start to stir.
She nears the place, but somehow it seems different than they left it - this can't be it, can it? Who moved the stone? A trip begun in tears and grief now has added burden - confusion, anger, shock, chaos, abandonment. His very body has been stolen!
She runs to tell the others. The three tear back to the tomb - no, the body is not there, though some of the burial cloths remain. Who has torn away the shroud and stolen him away? Why must the cruel torture continue, sacrilege and insult even after death? Who has done this awful thing? The men run away again, leaving her to weep at even greater loss.
She peers in once more - who are these, so bold appearing? "Fear not, woman... why do you weep?" She turns away and meets another, who says the same - why do you weep, who are you looking for? This gardener has himself been planted and now springs up green and vibrant, still rising into greater life. He challenges her to go and share that rising, great news of green and life, with those who have fled.
Still rising, still seeking union with Creator, making tender offering to beloved friends - briefly I am with you, I am on my way. Go and you will find me if you look.
The risen one still offers life to those who will look for evidence of his gardening - hope, friendship, healing, reunion, restoration - to all who have been uprooted, cut off, to those who are parched and withered, to those who lie wasting in the desert. Why do we weep or run away when that promise abides?
We can find that green one, still rising, if we will go stand with the grieving Marys of this world, if we will draw out the terrified who have retreated to their holes, if we will walk the Emmaus road with the lost and confused, if we will search out the hungry in the neighborhood called Galilee. We will find him already there before us, bringing new and verdant life.
The only place we will not find him is in the tomb.
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
|We Have an Opening for an Organization to Serve a Community Dinner |
We now have an opening for another organization to take responsibility for one of the Community Dinners each month. This would involve shopping for food, preparing and serving the meals, and cleanup afterwards.
If you know of an organization that might like to participate in providing this important community service, contact J White (firstname.lastname@example.org
|Opportunities to Contribute |
Not everyone can serve on a committee. However, there are a lot of opportunities that don't take a lot of time but can make a wonderful difference. I have listed three below.
- Scheduler. About once a quarter, schedule the people who are to serve during the Sunday morning services: lectors, acolytes, altar guild, flower guild, ushers, etc. If you are interested, please e-mail Ken Lyon at email@example.com.
- Altar Guild. Once a month, for about an hour on a Saturday morning, prepare the Altar for the Eucharist. After the Sunday service, take down the Eucharistic elements and put them away. If you are interested e-mail Carol Lyon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Writer Write an article for eGraceNotes once a month or so about an event that is happening at Grace Church, or about one of the partner organizations at Grace, or even just your opinion. If you are interested, please e-mail Ken Lyon email@example.com. It would be particularly nice to get articles about:
- The Spirit Band
- The Baton Class
- The Uganda School
Thanks to Carol Lyon for this article.
- Usher. Help people feel welcome at Sunday worship by making sure everything is in place for worship, that people are greeted, and that everyone has what they need. Contact Ken Lyon at Ken@lyonhouse.us.
|Prayers and Thanksgivings|
The Rev. Ernestine Flemister offers prayers of praise and thanksgiving for her healing-- Having had 3 years of clear PET scans for her lung cancer, these scans are no longer necessary!!She is doing well and sends her love to all.
Gwynne Gabbard asks for prayers for Naomi Gabbard, her mother-in-law, who is in the hospital receiving treatment for pneumonia.
Prayers for healing are asked for
Rev. Ernestein, Patty Rogers, The Rogers Family, (Sarah and Joe Rogers - Patty's parents), Carl, Jackie, Robb Martin, Kim Martin, Melissa, Jordan and Brandie, Rhonda and D.L. Sharp, The Partin Family, Maree White, Our President and Our Country, Albertha Howard and DeConte Howard, Christian, Peter Hawkins, Judy Handy, Madeena Nolan, Gwynne and Naomi Gabbard, Mae Armstead, James McNabb, Paul, Katharine Thayer, Grace Moore, Stella Parker, Jim and Nancy Vath, Darryl, Anne, Caleb, and Joshua Handy, Father Hufford, Father Ray Betts and Mary McLain, Ken Lyon, Cyndi Miller, Gene, Wilson, David Malis, Jo Carroll, Dean Gail Greenwell, Beth Hall, Geraldine Stallworth, Earl Sharp, Virginia Chapel and Family, MaryAnn Chappelear, Jane Davis, Nikki Yaptangco and Desmond, Anna Black, Rachael Sarver. .
Prayers are asked for members often not able to come to church: Elizabeth Kelly, Janet Henthorn, Naomi Koester, Elva Gscheidle, Jo Carroll, Anne Henneberg, 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.