We are a traditional church indeed!
We have all experienced the disruption of electricity, internet, and phones, of downed power lines and fallen trees, of damaged roofs and lost property. What may have started out as a day without power has quickly turned into days of pressure and frustration as many still wait for their power to come on. Many others are struggling to recover from damaged property. Many are trying to help those in need: nurses, doctors, power company workers, etc. Many others who we know further south and in Houston and Louisiana continue to struggle, and they remain in our prayers. These past two weeks have taught us all a great deal about how little is under our control–and the enormous potential we have to draw closer together in times of struggle and crisis.
After this week, I can think of no better thing to do than to join together in sharing the Holy Eucharist as we celebrate our Homecoming on the Feast of the Holy Cross. As I write this article on Thursday morning, we still have no power at the office. We are meeting at the Indigo company conference room off the Square. So many others have been welcomed into the homes of neighbors as well. We have been calling folks on our cell phones to check in.
I want you to know that, whether or not we have power on Sunday, we will hold our scheduled Homecoming services. The Bicentennial update will go on in the Parish Hall. Brenau will bring breakfast snacks and coffee. We will have lanterns in places where we need them. We will sing hymns with piano, and we will celebrate a baptism and confirmations with Bishop Wimberly. What is more traditional than no electricity and candles? And what is more traditional than finding places to come together and check in, to support each other in times like these?
This is what it looks like to be the Body of Christ, and it’s a beautiful thing indeed. I hope to see you all Sunday morning as we celebrate our shared life together. We are not sure when power will come back on, so please be patient with us as we get back on our feet.
Continued prayers for everyone!
Communication Challenges This Week
Many of you know that the church has been without power since the remnants of Hurricane Irma blew through our community. We have the ability to post on this blog and to send emails through our parish wide distribution list because those are internet based services and I, thankfully, have power/internet at home. We are also able to post on our Facebook page. I can not, however, update our website so please do not look for updated information there! None of the staff can receive emails to our church accounts. And the phones at the church are not working. If you try to call it just rings, and rings, and rings. So we apologize if you have tried to reach us by phone or email and not gotten a response. We hope we are back up and running very soon. Until then, please keep checking your email and our Facebook page for updates, as plans this week may need to be modified based on when power is restored. And please do email Fr. Stuart at his gmail account if you’d like!
Director of Communication
Feast of the Holy Cross & Homecoming
On Sunday, September 17, we will celebrate our parish feast day, the Feast of the Holy Cross. We will also welcome the Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, the Assisting Bishop for the Diocese of Atlanta, who will preach and celebrate both services.
September 17 will also be our Homecoming Sunday, a great time for folks to come back to Grace and celebrate our history and our Bicentennial plans. We will recognize people during the service who were baptized and married at Grace, and folks who have experienced other key moments in the parish’s history through themselves or their families.
All adults are invited to join us in the parish hall between services (9:15 – 10:30 AM) to browse pictures and an historical timeline, enjoy fellowship and a light continental breakfast, and listen to a brief Bicentennial update. Christian Education classes for children and youth will be held as usual from 9:30 – 10:30 AM.
Fr. Stuart invites you to come explore contemplative prayer and study more deeply with The Circle gathering on Sunday evenings beginning September 17. This will be a great space to explore practices of prayer, silence, and an openness to God’s presence in our lives. Join us in the chapel at 6:30 PM.
The fall offering of yoga begins September 18. Dress comfortably and join us in the parish hall on Mondays for chair yoga from 2:45 – 3:30 or flow yoga (bring your own mat) from 3:45 – 4:45 PM.
Friday Update: Wednesday dinner is cancelled, due to the difficulty receiving and confirming reservations during the continuing power outage. The men’s group will not meet and neither will the women’s study. The men’s group will meet September 27 and the Women’s Study will postpone their first meeting until October 4. Thanks for understanding and your patience. We hope to be back to normal very soon around here!
Most Wednesdays during the church school year, our church family will gather for food and fellowship. On occasion, opportunities for fun and learning will follow the meal. On September 20 the men’s group and the women’s study will meet at 6:30 PM.
Meal reservations are due by 12:00 PM on Monday. Sign up online or at the information station. If you make a reservation and do not attend, you will still be asked to pay for the meal that was ordered for you. Thank you for understanding. Cost is free for kids up to 5th grade, $5 youth (6th-12th grade), and $10 adults.
A nursery (children up to 4 years of age) and childcare (PreK-5th grade) will be offered from 5:00-9:00 PM on Wednesday evenings. Reservations are necessary and can be made on the same form as meal reservations.
The Women’s Study will meet in the conference room of The Grace Center from 6:30-8:00 PM on October 4, October 11, and October 18 to read and discuss the second book in the Sensible Shoes series, Two Steps Forward: A Story of Persevering in Hope, by Sharon Garlough Brown. The book is comprised of 4 sections and we will begin with the first section the first night. All women age 18 and up are invited. Childcare is provided. Please make a reservation if you’d like to share in the Wednesday meal at 5:30 PM prior to the book study.
If there is interest, a Thursday morning group at Starbucks on Thompson Bridge Road (by the Neighborhood Walmart) at 10:30 AM. Please contact Meredith West if you would like to attend on Thursday mornings.
We will host Family Promise guests from October 8-15. Please visit our online spreadsheet or the volunteer board at the information station in the connector corridor to see ways you can help with this outreach effort. Contact Tricia McDuff if you have any questions.
Sign Up for the Icon Workshop
Registration is now open for the October icon writing workshops presented by the Visual Arts Ministry at Grace Church. The one-day workshops, led by Rev. Gordon Bienvenue, will be held on October 7 and again on October 14 in the Parish Hall. The workshops are identical, choose the date that works best for your schedule. The workshop will begin promptly at 9:00 AM and end at approximately 5:30 PM, with an hour break for lunch.
We will provide all supplies, with a $10 contribution for lunch being the only monies requested. Attendees do not need any experience with iconography, but should have a very basic understanding of visual art. A registration is considered a commitment to attend. Space is limited and registration will close when workshops are full or on September 29. register now
Any Interest in Small Group Studies?
Would you like to be a part of a small group that meets for study and fellowship in someone’s home in your area? Let us know! The Adult Formation Team is seeking your input! If there’s enough interest, we’ll coordinate groups, suggest resources if needed, and offer training for facilitators. If you’d be interested in participating, please contact Cheryl or fill out the online survey form.
Save the Date:
- September 26: Community Forum: Not My Family at the Brenau Downtown Center
- September 27: #GraceRocks
- September 29: Widow’s Tale Retreat
- September 30: Dismantling Racism Training
- October 1: Blessing of Animals
This blog post highlights some events and news pertinent to the upcoming week. The primary source of information about what’s happening at Grace Church is our weekly newsletter – for full news and events please subscribe to the e-vangelist!