By the Rev. Katheryn King
“From his fullness we have received grace upon grace.” John 1:16”
Indeed! Grace upon grace is how I would describe this year. The leadership of staff and Vestry, the volunteers in so many varied ministries, faithful worshipers, and delightful children are all signs of God’s gracious gifts
I thank God daily for the privilege and honor to serve the people of God at Grace Episcopal Church with the Very Rev. Daniel Richards along with these wise women, Erika Shenk-Tessin, Ann Hackett, Catherine Turnbull, and Kathy Will as we meet, read and study, plan and pray for Grace.
It has been three years now that I have had responsibilities in the areas of Pastoral Care and Worship.
I thank God for Adam Gahn, Lynn Feeter (and sometimes Fancy), Ellen Schrader, the Rev. Wally Draeger, and Mike McManus who make daily visits at Munson Hospital to all Episcopalians and others who request a visit. Kathryn Christian’s soothing harp and singing is also appreciated.
Lay Eucharistic Visitors bring Holy Communion along with thoughts and prayers from our Grace parish family to our sisters and brothers unable to be in worship with us.
I Thank God for Tom Thompson’s visits to Elaine Schubot, Helen Hankins to Maxine Ballentine, Anne Kelly to Dave and Julie Christensen, Bob and Sandy Foote and John Strickler to Kay Hollis. Our friendly visitors see Genevieve Fagerstrom by Connie Riopelle and Pete Clapp and Nancy Brannan for Marian Talbot and bring them to worship if possible. Sylvia Keely is available for errands, Gloria McClay and Dave Christensen keep in touch with some folks by phone. This fall the Monday Morning office volunteer began sending a copy of Sunday’s bulletin and Grace Life to all our homebound. This way they really feel included, often following the readings and prayers, and knowing “what is going on at my Grace Church.” Carolers from Joyful Noise, Grace Harmony and Chancel Choir brought special Christmas joy to members and friends at Traverse Manor and some homes in Eagle Creek.
For me personally, I live and breathe pastoral care for the whole Grace community. If you too believe this is the way to follow Jesus, as his Disciple, please come and be with us.
Another area of responsibility is the Saturday 5:00 pm Eucharist –and what a joy it is! We continued a whole year of liturgical exploration: Jazz Mass with the St. Louis Stompers in both January and October, Martin Luther’s “German” Mass, Celtic Service with music by the Tongue Family, Mass on the Grass was held at F & M Park followed by a potluck picnic, and Stir-Up Advent service prepared a symbolic cake that was served on Christmas Eve. The Rev. Pete Clapp is the moving force in creating these worship experiences, and I get to learn from our retired clergy.
I thank God especially for Pete and Wally Draeger. The Rev. Marilyn Dressel and the Healing Team is always supportive and an inspiration for the St. Luke’s Day Healing Service and attending a Healing Workshop with them held at St. Philip’s in Beulah. I embrace the richness of traditional worship but enjoy opportunities to be creative as in the Maundy Thursday Service.
2014 will offer a series of historic, pre-reformation Eucharistic liturgies on the fourth Saturday of the month in order to understand the development of our worship of Jesus and “why we do what we do.” I hope we can have more Healing Services for each other and the world.
I thank God for Grace Harmony and singing with them when I am not involved in preaching and presiding. I always enjoy opportunities with the children of Grace and their families. “Play and Pray” summer Bible school is again on my calendar.
I had a once in a lifetime experience to go to Spain and Portugal with my travel savvy friend, Connie Riopelle. For 18 days, some vacation, some continuing education, we saw incredible sights in Gibraltar, Tangier (Morocco), Corduba, Sevilla, Madrid, the Algave area, Sagres and Lisbon. I of course was impressed by the cathedrals and am still reflecting upon the rich history of Christians, Muslims and Jews. We shared a ‘travelog’ one Friday evening at Grace. It would be fun to see others’ journeys, too.
My hope and prayer this year ahead is for health and safety. Whether I participate in the splendid Consecration of a new Bishop or give a Blessing for the folks that come to Friday lunch –I Thank God!