Our Veneration on The Feast of the Holy Cross
Last Sunday, in our Forum class, we began exploring what we mean by “sacraments” and sacramental theology in The Episcopal Church. We shared stories of meaningful tactile and physical embodiments of God’s grace. In the Church, we have seven sacraments: Holy Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders (Ordination), Reconciliation (Confession or Penance), and Healing (Unction). These physical rites, with water, bread, wine, hands, and oil, carry enormous significance for us.
The truth is that all of life is sacramental, full of “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace,” as the Prayer Book defines a sacrament. I told the class about the sacrament of making cornbread in my grandmother’s cast iron skillet! I bet you’re thinking of a sacramental moment in your life as you read this…
This Sunday, we will observe our annual parish feast day: the Feast of the Holy Cross. Each year on this day, we offer a time at the end of the service for folks to walk onto the chancel and view and touch a stone embedded in our altar. The red stone, carved in the shape of the cross, is from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, in Jerusalem, a site that for centuries has been the focus of veneration for Christ’s crucifixion and burial. I love that Grace has this relic embedded in our altar, because it helps us have a physical grounding for our prayers. It is a sacramental experience for us to come forward and offer a prayer, touch the stone, and remember. So, look for that moment at the end of the service as the choir sings the anthem When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. It will undoubtedly be a remarkable experience for us all.
A Future of Grace
The whole parish is invited to attend a special Forum this coming Sunday, September 16, at 9:30 AM in the Parish Hall. I will make a presentation about our Bicentennial Capital Campaign, sharing details and introducing the leadership teams for the campaign. The time has come! These are exciting days for our community, and I hope to see you Sunday morning as we step into this next season of our life and shared ministry.
Creation Ringers Need You
The Creation Ringers need you!! We are a multi-generational group ranging in age from teens to 70+ years young. Rehearsals are each week on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 8:00 PM in the choir suite. Musical skill and the ability to read music are not necessary. We’ll teach you everything you need to know! For more information, please contact Director of Music Will Gotmer.
Most Wednesdays during the church school year, our Grace Church family gathers for food and fellowship.
Menu September 19 The regular entree is lasagna and the vegetarian entree is vegetable lasagna. Sides are caesar salad, broccoli, garlic bread, and cannoli for dessert. Children 5th grade and under are offered 1/2 portion of the regular entree or PB&J, and cookies.
Meal reservations are due by 12:00 PM each Monday. Sign up online, at the information station, or call the church office. If you make a reservation and do not attend, you will still be asked to pay for the meal that is ordered for you. Thank you for understanding.
Childcare is available for families participating in Wednesday evening activities, beginning with nursery for siblings of choristers at 4:45 PM. Reservations are required and can be made on the same form as meal reservations.
Cost Adult meals are $10/each and youth meals (grades 6-12) are $5/each. There is no charge for children 5th grade and under.
Payment may be made at each dinner or (new this year!) online. When paying online, choose check or credit card, select “Meal” from the payment type drop down menu and in the description box specify the date(s) of the meal(s) you have reserved. Reservation and payment forms are separate, don’t forget to submit both!
Program Following the meal on September 19, Rev. Michael McCann will continue the three week study, “Strange Ancestors and Crazy Uncle Charlie at Thanksgiving.” Join us in the conference room for an introduction to how odd and alien early Christians were not only in their own time to Jews, Greeks, and Romans, but even more to us. Are early Christians the ancestors we want to resurrect, remember, learn from and embrace? Would you like to be an early Christian?
- September 29: Holy Smoke! Youth Pig Roast Fundraiser
- October 3: Wednesday night Women’s Study begins
- October 7: Blessing of Animals
- October 7: Evensong for the Feast of St. Francis
- October 11: SAGES: Distillery & Winery Trip
- October 13: Elements of a Contemplative Reformation Workshop II: Posture
- October 21: Newcomer Oktoberfest Luncheon
- October 24: Dinner & Fall Festival
- Full Calendar of Events
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