December 7, 2006 News for and about Grace Episcopal Church
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From the Vicar
Fr. John Bower

Dear friends,

After being with you for nearly two months, I’m getting a feel for the Grace Church community.

I am enjoying my time here, and am very thankful for the ministry my friend Fr. David Howard accomplished here. The ministries of the Revs. Ray Betts and Anne Warrington Wilson have also been invaluable. I stand in awe of the commitment of the members of the Mission Council and others--in particular of the unstinting efforts of Jim Edgy. I am very appreciative of the support and good will shown by Bishop Price, Canons Mycoff and Zust, and of Roger Speer.

This congregation--in spite of all that has occurred to try to frustrate the witness of God’s Grace working in College Hill--is truly a community on the move.

I am here as an interim Vicar. In this case, "interim" does not mean "temporary;" it means "transitional." Grace Church is in the process of transitioning from a past ministry to a new expression of ministry. Therefore, certain things are supposed to be taking place in this interim (or transitional) period.

These "Developmental Tasks of the Interim Period" are:

  1. Coming to terms with the history of this congregation and its relationship with previous clergy;
  2. Discovering the congregation’s special identity, what it dreams of being and doing apart from previous clergy leadership;
  3. Dealing with the shifts in leadership that naturally evolve in times of transition, allowing new leaders to come to the fore constructively;
  4. Renewing and reworking relationships with the diocese, so that each may be a more effective resourse and support to the other;
  5. Building commitment to the leadership of the new Vicar in order to be prepared to move into the future with openness to new possiblities.
With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, mindful of the Grace of God, you and I are now in a time of facilitating these developmental tasks. I have the utmost confidence that we will accomplish them.

See you in church!

Peace and love, Fr. John

Grace Members & Friends Exceed Every Member Canvass Goal

In early November, the Every Member Canvass Committee set "40/40" as their goal for the Canvass. Forty pledges and $40 thousand sounded pretty optimistic then.

Now, thanks to the generosity of the members and friends of Grace Church, that goal has been exceeded. The Committee reports that we have 41 pledges totaling $57,086 in support of Grace's 2007 budget.

Grace Church thanks the canvassers who made this drive such a success: Grace Staples, Mary McLain, Elizabeth Kelly, Phillis Dietz, Wanda Miller, Bob and Florence Poyer, David Mukasa and Jim Edgy.

Nominations Solicited

Grace Staples has agreed to chair the nominating committee for candidates for Mission Council, Delegates to the Convention, etc., to be elected at our Annual Meeting in early 2007. If you are interested in any of these positions, please let her know. We pray that you are interested.

Help Support Our Christmas Family.
Christmas Presents

In place of our traditional Christmas Giving Tree this year, we asked Christ's Community in College Hill to select one family for us to assist with gifts for Christmas. The family consists of a hard-working single father with two daughters and a baby grandson.

A Christmas bag containing cards with family member's ages and sizes is located near the front left side of the nave. We are figuring one clothing and one toy or fun gift per child. If you want to contribute a gift, take a card and sign the list beside the bag with the number on the card you took. If you did not indicate last Sunday that you would like to participate, you can still take a card.

The family's one big gift will be a DVD player to provide family entertainment in the evening. If you would prefer to contribute toward that, do not take a card, just sign "DVD" beside your name on the list. Checks can be made out to Grace Episcopal Church and noted "Christmas Family DVD." All gifts should be wrapped and tagged with the card and delivered back to the church by Sunday, December 17.

Thank you for making this a wonderful Christmas for this family.

Grace Staples

Liturgical Calendars Now Available

Grace Church 2007 Calendars, the "Churchman's Ordo Calendar" showing the seasons of the church year and special days, along with their colors, are available in the rear of the church. Take one home. We thank John Hodapp Sons for providing these.

Healing Ministry Rationale Described
Healing Hands

Every Sunday, Laying on of Hands for Healing is offered to anyone who wishes in the Peace Chapel during the regular service. This is part of Grace Church's Healing Ministry.

The Healing Ministry Committee has prepared a short document giving the rationale for this important ministry.

Full-Time Christian Formation Coordinator Sought

Grace Church is seeking a full time Director of Christian Formation. If you know anyone who may be interested, please have them contact us.

Christmas Service Schedule

The schedule for Christmas services is as follows:

On Sunday, December 24, we will have our regular service at 10:00am, and our Christmas eve service at 7:00pm.

On Monday, December 25, we will have our Christmas Day service at 10:00am.

Interested in a Prayer or Bible Study Group?

Fr. Bower would like to begin a Prayer and/or Bible Study Group. If you are interested, please let him know and tell him the time that would be best for you. Or, call and leave a message in the office at 513-541-2415, or email .

Christmas Day Dinners to be Served
Feast of Love

Christmas Day dinners will be served at the College Hill Presbyterian Church between the hours of 1:30pm. and 4:30pm on Christmas Day. All are invited. Volunteers and food are needed. For more information on ways you can be involved, call Karen Lane at 541-5676, Ext. 167 or Marie Nieman at 681-1256.

The Feast of Love provides love and free hot meals of ham or turkey on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. All are welcome—the lonely, poor, homeless, wealthy, singles, and families. We want each guest to experience respect and love. There is always someone available to talk. Guests receive their meals on china and share a table and a fine meal with others. Volunteers also deliver these holiday meals to shut-ins around the community.

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