News for July 19-25

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Amigos for Christ
Grace Church has established a long-term outreach relationship with Amigos for Christ, a nonprofit nondenominational organization that facilitates water, health, education, and economic development in rural Nicaraguan communities. Six Grace parishioners participated in an Amigos for Christ mission trip last year as part of an ecumenical group from several Gainesville churches. They all agreed that it was a life changing and meaningful experience that was also a lot of fun. This year’s trip will be October 24 – 31.

As part of our relationship with Amigos, Grace Church has donated $10,000 from the Endowment Fund to help pay for a village clean water system. During the upcoming mission trip in October, Grace parishioners should have the opportunity to work alongside “our” villagers, who have committed to paying 10% of the cost and 100% of the labor for their water system. A lack of readily available clean water causes a cycle of disease and poverty that we can help eliminate. Additionally, the Grace youth will be discerning the possibility of making mission trips to Nicaragua as part of their curriculum.

If you are interested in learning more about Amigos for Christ, making a donation, or possibly participating in the Gainesville Ecumenical Mission Trip, please visit or call the parish office.

Liturgy and the Moral Imagination
This June, I spent three weeks in Sewanee studying liturgy. Normally, liturgy classes can be quite cerebral, looking at the flow of services and elements of the rite within them. This liturgy class was extraordinary, because it raised my awareness of the way our liturgy is the primary lens through which we see our call to live and act in the world today. We tell folks all the time that, if you want to understand what Episcopalians believe, come pray with us. We have a saying: Lex orandi, lex credendi, the way we pray shapes the way we believe. I have learned that it is equally true that, if you want to see how Episcopalians are called to practice our faith in the world, come worship with us and see how our liturgy shapes our ethical embodiment. Our liturgy, then, shapes our moral imagination. As you can infer, our liturgy is then the primary lens for understanding our lives. Eucharist, Baptism, Common Prayer, the way we understand the sacramental permeability in our world-this is what shapes our identity.

Beginning Wednesday, August 19 at 7:00 PM in the Conference Room, come share this space of reflection and embodiment in a special Wednesday class: Liturgy and the Moral Imagination. Participants are encouraged to purchase a copy of Don Salier’s book Worship as Theology, which we will use as our guide in the conversations. Friends, this will be a crucial class for us, and this will be a crucial aspect of our faith to engage in the months ahead.

Blessings, Stuart+

Hike Group Vogel Picnic
The Grace Church Hike Group invites you to their annual picnic at Vogel State Park on Saturday, August 1. Our family friendly (wheel-chair accessible) picnic is the most popular event hosted by the Hike Group each year. We have reserved picnic shelter #2 adjacent to Trahlyta Lake, starting at 10 AM. The grill will be ready to cook lunch around 1 PM. Bring your own meat and a side dish to share. Charcoal for the grill at lunch, a cooler of ice, plates, cups, napkins, and plastic utensils will be provided. We will have a couple kayaks and a canoe available for our use as well. There will be opportunities for short hikes Friday afternoon and evening for those spending Friday night at Vogel in cabins or campsites. Fellowship around a campfire is enjoyed on Saturday evening.

Entry to the park is $5 per vehicle. To help defray our costs there is a charge of $3 person ($10 family maximum). Additional fees are charged by the park for boat rentals, mini golf, etc. Other things to consider bringing: chair, sunscreen, condiments, non-alcoholic beverages, towel, lifejacket, yard games, water shoes, etc.

Contact Jeremy Landers by Sunday, July 26 to sign up. If you won’t know till the last moment let Jeremy know you are a “maybe” so we can be sure to bring enough supplies. If you need transportation assistance, let Jeremy know by July 19 and we will try to arrange a ride for you with someone else going for the day.

School Supplies
The Outreach Committee has begun their annual school supply drive. Supplies requested are: #2 pencils with erasers, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, blunt tip metal scissors, 16 or 24 ct. Crayola crayons, washable markers, wide rule filler paper, pocket folders with brads, Crayola colored pencils, cap erasers, highlighters, pencil boxes, zip lock bags (sandwich, quart or gallon), hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, index cards and boxes of facial tissue. Collection boxes are located near the information table and in the parish office. All donations are requested by Wednesday, August 5 please!

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