Contrition as response to abuse

Posted by & filed under Grace Notes.

By Rosemary Hagan, D. Min

Hagan_RosemaryJesus tells us only one sin will not be forgiven, and that is the sin of blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.  I don’t know about you, but I grew up confusing this with not using God’s most Holy name if I should swear. Most biblical scholars tell us the lesson is actually a dire warning against sustained self dishonesty, meaning our ability to rationalize our actions and lie to ourselves.  As the English Mystic Ruth Barrows said, “What is most troubling is not our weakness and our sin, but our lack of searing contrition”. I believe the people of Grace Church, Traverse City, MI are trying to bring the broader Episcopal Church to a consideration of a lack of contrition around its handling of the abuse of women by its Priests.

If the Church places other parishes in harm’s way through continued deployment of a Priest who is a convicted predator of women, this may point to a lack of contrition. If the Church does not ask for forgiveness from an aggrieved parish after abuse, this places contrition in question. If pastoral concern for victims even appears to take a secondary role to pastoral responses to Priests and Bishops, contrition becomes suspect. The inherent risk in any of these is the appearance of the Church holding more concern for the esteem and authority of clergy than they do over the illegal and immoral actions of its clergy, and the subsequent harm done to women and whole parishes.

The tricky part of contrition for all of us is that we may feel really sorry that something happened, but upon closer examination we may find we are sorry because it places us in a bad light, or we fear we may be losing control. Our ego is crafty at protecting itself. There are three very basic human temptations. They are the fear of losing power, losing affection, or losing esteem. They all involve the need to control how others see us. When we fear a loss of any one of these we may slip into rationalization and self-protection. Without honesty about our fears, which is healthy spiritual examination, we stay locked in our own denial, justification, and inner pain. And we all know what happens to unexplored emotional pain. It will act again to get our attention. Herein lies the reason individuals in authority within the Church must examine their relationship to contrition. For denied contrition allows for and may embolden abuse to emerge again in another place and time.

Perhaps this sin against the Holy Spirit is like taking the Lord’s name in vain after all, for it is our vanity (ego) that keeps us from honesty, easing God’s love and grace out of our thinking and actions. May we all look within and pray to find those areas of our lives that call out for honesty around our own acts of self-protection and injustice. May we all pray for the desire for a contrite heart. But may our Church leaders pray these desires with urgency. Have courage dear Church, no one will die, except your own false self, and out of that will come the Church’s truest self in God. May our Church leaders join us bravely on the Narrow Way, and greet us with a kiss of honesty and peace.

Engaging the Word: 03/05/17 (The First Sunday in Lent)

Posted by & filed under Engaging the Word.

 By Barbara Klugh

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11. Go to www.lectionarypage.net to read or print the weekly lectionary text.

Lent 1 Lent (literally “springtime”) is the time when we Christians symbolically go into the wilderness with Jesus for forty days. We prepare to celebrate the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ by means of repentance, prayer, fasting, self-denial, spiritual study, and giving to the poor. I think of it as an inner “spring cleaning,” a time to eliminate the extraneous in my life that I may draw closer Jesus during this holy season.

The Temptation by William Strang, 1899. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Temptation by William Strang, 1899. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7: Our reading this week has two excerpts from the second creation account and describes The Fall—the first act of human disobedience. In this story, God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him. In our reading, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’”

Then God made Eve from Adam’s rib. (The man and the woman are not named in this second creation story, but I’m using them for the sake of convenience.) They became one flesh and they “were both naked and were not ashamed.” Life was good in the garden.

Enter the serpent, “more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made.” He starts with a question to Eve, “Did God say, `You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Eve replies, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, `You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent entices Eve, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Eve ate, and Adam ate. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” Thus sin and shame came into the world.

Psalm 32: This week’s psalm is one of the seven penitential psalms. Confession of sin and God’s forgiveness bring happiness and a restored relationship with God; holding back brings an intolerable burden of guilt and misery.

St. Paul by Wolfgang Sauber, 1520. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

St. Paul by Wolfgang Sauber, 1520. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Romans 5:12-19: Paul’s Letter to the Romans became a gift to the world. Written c. 57 AD, it’s Paul’s longest and most important letter. In this week’s reading, Paul compares Adam, who brought sin and death into the world, with Jesus, who brought—and brings—life.

When Adam sinned, sin and death entered the whole human race. Therefore, “death exercised dominion” even before God gave the law to Moses—this included everyone even though they didn’t disobey a direct command from God like Adam did. Paul contrasts Adam’s sin with the free gift of salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. “Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

The Life with God Bible comments, “Sin and death, introduced by Adam, as extensive and terrible as they are, turn out to be a puny business compared to the free gift of life accomplished by Jesus Christ. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. There is nothing stingy or pinched about this Christ life. The deeper we live into the free gift, the larger and more interesting our world becomes.”

Matthew 4:1-11: The Gospel for First Sunday in Lent is always a story of Jesus being tempted by the devil. Here’s the account from the Gospel according to Matthew.

Temptation on the Mount by Duccio, c. 1310. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Temptation on the Mount by Duccio, c. 1310. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

After Jesus was baptized, he was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! for it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’” Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Angels ministering to Christ by Thomas Cole. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Angels ministering to Christ by Thomas Cole. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Here we have the important contrast between Adam and Jesus. Adam disobeyed God, and Jesus obeyed God, no matter what the temptation—food, protection, or power. He never caved. This is the way the true nature of Jesus as the Son of God became clear.

Renew & deepen your discipleship in Lent

Posted by & filed under Grace Notes.

By The Rev. Carlton Kelley

Fr. Carlton Kelley

Fr. Carlton Kelley

Yes, Lent is almost upon us.  Many people do not appreciate this pivotal season as it seems too concerned with sin, repentance, self-denial, and fasting. Needless to say, none of those realities is popular in our culture or, for that matter, in the church. The burden that falls upon the church is to repeat the unpopular message that, as priest and noted preacher Barbara Brown Taylor says, “sin is the language of salvation.”  Juxtaposing those two ideas seems odd at first glance, but the reality to which they witness is as true as life itself.

Sin is about the many deliberate decisions, both known and unknown,  that we make to turn away from a loving, healing, creative, and redeeming God.  We turn away from the gift of life that has been so freely given to us in Holy Baptism.  We turn away from the cost of that life so wonderfully given to us in Jesus Christ.  While that life of grace is free, it is not cheap to paraphrase the saint and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Bonhoeffer understood the awful price of grace as he died in a Nazi concentration camp resisting Hitler’s evil with his least breath.  Bonhoeffer understood this because he followed Jesus who understood it first.

Participation in the fullness of Jesus’ life requires us to deliberately turn from sin, but not to be afraid to look at its consequences to discover, with God’s grace, that we are not what we should be.  And that is the good news.  God did not create us to be sinners. Bishop Matthew Gunter of Fond du Lac writes that “though (sin) infects our very nature, sin is not the truest thing about us.  And we are not stuck with the sinfulness of our egotism, greed, violence and unlove.  We can become ‘children of grace.’ We can repent. Through the mercy of God, forgiveness is possible.  Change is possible.”

Change and a certain freedom from sin are possible by immersing ourselves in love for God and each other. We do this, each in our own way, by regular prayer and the reception of Holy Communion, by Bible study, fellowship, giving of our resources, and fasting.  Isaiah instructs us by asking, “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them and not to hide yourself from your own kin?” (58: 7)

All we need to do is to let our imaginations run wild with possibilities for service to God and others.  Think of things you would like to do for someone else – and then do them!   Think of things you would like to do for yourself – and do them!  Think of things you would like to offer to God – and then do them!  Renew and deepen your discipleship this Lent.

 

Engaging the Word: 02/26/17 (The Last Sunday after the Epiphany)

Posted by & filed under Engaging the Word.

 By Barbara Klugh

Exodus 24:12-18; Psalm 2; 2 Peter 1:16-21; Matthew 17:1-9. Go to www.lectionarypage.net to read or print the weekly lectionary text.

The Last Sunday after the Epiphany is known as Transfiguration Sunday because we always read the amazing story of the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain. Our readings this week inform and support each other, creating a beautiful whole.

Moses on Mount Sinai by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1826-1904). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Moses on Mount Sinai by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1826-1904). Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Exodus 24:12-18: After the Israelites escaped from the Egyptians, it was three months before they reached Mt. Sinai. Then Moses went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments and the statutes and ordinances. Moses told all the words of the Lord to the people “and all the people answered with one voice, and said, ‘All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.’” They ratified the Covenant with the sacrifice of oxen and blood—“the blood of the covenant.”

This week’s reading is a holy drama. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Come up to me on the mountain and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.’” Moses must have had an inkling that this visit would take awhile, because he sets out with his assistant Joshua, and leaves Aaron and Hur to settle any disputes while he’s gone.

When Moses went up the mountain, the cloud (the glory of the Lord) settled on Mt. Sinai and covered it for six days. Then on the seventh day, God called to Moses out of the cloud. “Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.” Our reading ends there, but it is during this time the people became tired of waiting and persuaded Aaron to make the golden calf.

Psalm 2: Our psalm is a royal psalm, most likely composed for a coronation or its anniversary. It tells us that people can either rebel against God and “his Anointed” and perish, or follow God’s authority and be blessed. The Church sees this psalm as about God’s rule through Jesus Christ. Verse 7: “Let me announce the decree of the LORD: he said to me, “You are my Son; this day have I begotten you.”

St. Peter by Albrecht Durer, 1526. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

St. Peter by Durer, 1526. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

2 Peter 1:16-21: In the judgment of many scholars and Church fathers, both ancient and modern, the apostle Peter was not the author of 2 Peter. Yet I like the comment in The Life with God Bible: “No matter who we settle on as the author though, it is important to remember that the Church has accepted this letter into the canon as a trustworthy guide for us who wish to follow Jesus as Lord.” This works for me, and I will call the author Peter.

The letter was written to contradict the false teachers who said that the hope of the Second Coming was untrue. Peter says the Second Coming of Jesus Christ is not a myth. He was an eye-witness to the “Majestic Glory” of Jesus’ Transfiguration on the Mountain, and Peter heard the voice of God saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with whom I am well pleased.” Thus, the authority of Peter’s prophetic message regarding the Second Coming trumps the teachings of false prophets.

Matthew 17:1-9: In the previous chapter, Peter confessed to Jesus, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Our reading takes place six days later.

Transfiguration of Jesus by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1800s. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Transfiguration of Jesus by Carl Heinrich Bloch, 1800s. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up a high mountain. “And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.” Then Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets) suddenly appear and talk with Jesus. Peter wants to make three dwellings one for Jesus, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. Peter may want to preserve the experience, or he may be mistaken that Jesus is in the same category as Moses and Elijah. But God sets him straight. A bright cloud overshadowed them and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” Not surprising to me, the disciples “fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.” But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” Moses and Elijah vanish; only Jesus is left. As they went down the mountain, Jesus tells his disciples not to tell anyone about this “until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Wikipedia has a reference to Professor Dorothy A. Lee’s book, Transfiguration. I think she helps us to understand the significance of this miraculous event:

In Christian teachings, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and the setting on the mountain is presented as the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal, with Jesus himself as the connecting point, acting as the bridge between heaven and earth.

Can you give your time to Safe Harbor?

Posted by & filed under Events, Grace Notes.

safe HarborSafe Harbor

Grace Church is co-hosting Safe Harbor, an overnight shelter for the homeless, at Faith Reformed Church (FRC).  During this season of Lent you are invited to give something, rather than give up something. Give your time. Give you skills. Give your wealth. God calls us to love our neighbor and contributions to Safe Harbor can be a way to do that. Please consider these needs at Safe Harbor:

 

 

 

 

Overnight Chaperones March 4-10 8 pm-8am

Task: sleep overnight taking one shift to keep watch.

Evening Visitors March 4-10 6-9pm

Task: be a welcoming presence

Dinner for 60 (Tentative)  March 4 or 5 Call Grace to confirm.

Task: prepare, serve and clean up; all paper goods provided

Gather your neighbors, a group of friends, a book club  and make it happen!

Evening Snack for 50 March 6

Task: Provide a snack. Drop it off at FRC.

Set up Sat. March 4 7:45am-9am

Task: Unload & set up foam mattresses, totes and blankets

Breakdown Sat. March 11 7:45am-9am

Task: Load foam mattresses, totes and blankets

 

Grace sign sends clear message

Posted by & filed under Grace Notes, Voice of the Clergy.

By The Rev. Carlton Kelley

immigrants and refugees_croppedMany of you have noticed the banner on the south side of our building proclaiming our unequivocal welcome of refugees and immigrants. We have received phone calls from the community commenting favorably on it and a member of the media has asked for an interview about it which has yet to materialize.  It has touched people’s hearts. We owe our thanks to Jeff Wescott who brought the banner to my attention and generously donated the money to purchase it.

This banner proclaims what the Christian Church at our best has always proclaimed: We welcome everyone particularly those most in need of the love of God and the companionship of God’s people. This church community has those most precious things to offer in abundance!

This banner reminds us that the Holy Family were refugees as their ancestors were in the land of Egypt.  The violence and terror of despots has always been with us whether in the form of the puppet dictator King Herod, the mighty king of Egypt or the contemporary versions of the same. Yet the good Lord has never abandoned the people chosen to be his own in the redemption of the world. God has inspired us to welcome, love and protect all – even our enemies – as we will hear in this Sunday’s Gospel reading.  We welcome all because we see Jesus in all.  We welcome all because God first loved us “and gave himself for us as an offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:2)

Our country is turning away those most in need of welcome.  But, as our country is not of this world, we must welcome with open arms and hearts all those who cross our path.

Perhaps this could be part of our Lenten discipline to determine new ways to welcome the orphan and stranger and those in need.

 

Engaging the Word: 02/19/17 (The Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany)

Posted by & filed under Engaging the Word.

 By Barbara Klugh

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; Psalm 119:33-40; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23; Matthew 5:38-48. Go to www.lectionarypage.net to read or print the weekly lectionary text. Our readings this week challenge us to reflect on how well we match up with the way God calls us to live with the way we actually live.

Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18: Leviticus is the third of the Five Books of the Torah, which are the first five books of the Bible. It’s presented as the instructions Moses received from God after the Israelites escaped from Egypt and were camped at Mt. Sinai. Most scholars agree that the book grew over a long time, and reached its final form in the post-exilic period. It contains the laws, rules, and practices for God’s chosen people, and includes sections on sacrifice, the priesthood, worship, purity, and the Holiness Code—instructions on practicing holiness in every aspect of daily life. We read from Leviticus once every three years. Much of the instructions no longer apply, such as the sacrifices of animals and grain to atone for sin and restore right relationship with God. Jesus, the Lamb of God, made the final atoning sacrifice for us on the cross.

The Gleaners by Jean-François Millet, 1857. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Gleaners by Jean-François Millet, 1857. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Other instructions have timeless and universal value. This week’s reading is from chapter 19 of the Holiness Code and focuses on living as holy people in community. God says to his people: “You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” The ethical principles of 3,000 years ago still stand today. Show consideration for the poor. “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the Lord your God.” Do not steal. Do not lie. Do not deal falsely. Do not defraud. Pay wages promptly. Judge fairly without showing favoritism. And most important, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Psalm 119:33-40: This week we pray another stanza of the longest psalm in the Bible. The psalmist prays to learn God’s laws and keep God’s commandments. I have many highlights in this section in my Prayer Book:  “Teach me…Give me understanding…Make me go in the path…Incline my heart…Turn my eyes…Fulfill your promise…Turn away the reproach…in your righteousness preserve my life.”

The Apostle Paul by Rembrandt, c. 1657. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Apostle Paul by Rembrandt, c. 1657. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23: This week’s reading continues Paul’s argument that the Christian Corinthians need to get over their idea that people “belong” to human leaders like Paul, Apollos, etc., who were simply servants of God, and no one “belongs” to any leader but Christ. Paul identifies himself as a skilled master builder who laid a foundation by establishing churches, and others build and maintain them. But Paul also recognizes the true foundation of his vocation: “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.” Paul continues with the building metaphor: “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. “ Commentators say that, in this case, Paul is not using the temple metaphor to refer to individual Christians, but to the Church community. Elsewhere in this letter, Paul affirms that the Holy Spirit dwells within each individual, but here he is concerned about divisions within the Church, and the squabbling groups that endanger the unity of the church with their misplaced loyalties. Thus, Paul says, “So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.”

Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch 1877. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Sermon on the Mount by Carl Heinrich Bloch 1877. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Matthew 5:38-48: In this week’s Gospel, Jesus continues with The Sermon on the Mount. These are very challenging teachings. Here is the full lesson: Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, `An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

In his book A Lector’s Guide & Commentary, J. Ted Blakeley says a better translation of “Do not resist an evildoer,” is “Do not resist an evildoer by evil means.” This is the principle that Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. followed. They were not passive in the face of injustice, but they did not return evil for evil. The kingdom of heaven is not the world’s way. But what if Christians really put them into practice? What if we went beyond fairness to reconciliation and love? One thing I know is that I have a long way to go—or better, a long way to grow. And, with God’s help, I’ll take another step on the Way.

Icon of Our Lady represents sacred form of the Word

Posted by & filed under Grace Notes.

By Katherine Will
Director of Music & Worship

Our Lady iconIcons have been a part of worship from nearly the beginning of Christianity, especially in the Orthodox Church.

Considered a form of the Word and a view into heaven, there is a symbolic aspect to almost everything included within the image, as well asthe colors used. Even the placement of icons is governed by a sacred mathematics in which position, grouping, symmetry, and number are not only important but are also an integral part of the iconography. (www.infoplease.com)

The word “icon” comes from the Greek “eikōn”, an image or likeness that represents something else. Throughout history icons have been used as representations for instruction and teaching to the illiterate, and as aids for piety and prayer.  Their use helps us to remember spiritual truths and perhaps even to know the invisible.

Father Carlton and Don have recently commissioned an icon as a gift for the people of Grace Church.  This icon of Our Lady recently arrived and is currently lying on the altar – by custom it will remain there for 40 days before being blessed during a worship service. This beautiful new icon was written (not painted, because it is a form of the Word) by Father Brian Coleman, the Rector of St. Thomas in Battle Creek.  Once it is blessed, it will find an appropriate home here at Grace.

Thank you Carlton and Don for adding to the beauty and spirituality of our worship at Grace.

 

 

 

Observe Lent with Grace Church

Posted by & filed under Grace Notes.

LentenSeriesClipArtThe Book of Common Prayer invites us to observe Lent by “self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word” (BCP 265). To help in your observance of a “holy Lent,” Grace will provide a variety of opportunities for worship, study and fellowship.

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on March 1. There will be three identical services offered that day: 7 am, Noon, 6:30 pm.  All three will include the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Eucharist.

Chancel Choir and Joyful Noise will present an Evensong service on Sunday, March 5, at 5 pm.   This Anglican service of prayer and music will create a space for meditation and reflection and will be a great way to start your Lenten practice.

Wednesday evenings during Lent will begin with a Soup Supper in the Parish Hall at 5:15 pm.  At 6 pm we will move to the Sanctuary for Holy Eucharist using the liturgy “This is Our Story. “ Grace Harmony will provide music and lead the service. After worship, the Lenten Study Series “Ending the Silence -Responding in Love” will be held in the Parish Hall. You are invited to attend the entire evening or whatever portion fits into your schedule.

There will also be a collection of seasonal devotional books available in the Commons for your daily personal devotion.

In these ways we hope you can find your own rhythm to mark these forty days of preparation.

Minutes – 150th Annual Meeting

Posted by & filed under Annual meeting, Grace Notes.

January 22, 2017

 I.    Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by The Reverend Carlton Kelley at 11:36 a.m.

II.   Opening Prayer
Rev. Kelley offered the opening prayer.

III.    Welcome/Remarks
Members of the congregation were welcomed to the 150th Annual Meeting by The Reverend Carlton Kelley.  Comment cards were available by the font.  Use of the stand up microphone was encouraged for comments or questions from the congregation.

IV. Business

  • Motion by Bob Foote, seconded by Roberta Deuker, to approve Ward Kuhn as parliamentarian. Motion approved.  Ward confirmed the presence of a quorum.
  • Motion by Bob Foote, seconded by Anne Montgomery, to approve the agenda for the meeting. Motion approved.
  • Motion by Harry Wiberg, seconded by Lynn Feeter, to approve Sue Kelly as secretary.
  • Motion by Roberta Deuker, seconded by Sandy Foote, to approve Nancy Flowers, Anne Montgomery, and Chuck Wolterink as election tellers.
  • Motion by Sandy Foote, seconded by Harry Wiberg, to approve the minutes of the 149th Annual Meeting.
  • Rev. Kelley reviewed the voting eligibility.
  • Elections:

Nominating Committee
Motion by Barbara Klugh, seconded by Penny Campo-Pierce, to elect Mary Sullivan Pierce and Kate Wood, by acclamation, to the Nominating Committee.  Motion approved.

Rector Search Committee Update
MaryLee Pakieser gave an update on the RSC (addendum).  The Community Profile for candidates is posted on our website and the National Church website.  The application period began on December 1, 2016 and will close on March 1, 2017.  The RSC is a dedicated, spiritual group and they ask the congregation to hold them in prayer.  Questions were taken from the congregation.

Report from the Treasurer:
Mark Stackable gave a brief update on the finances.  The vestry has had to make some tough decisions with pledges significantly down for 2017.   The congregation was sent a letter detailing the deficit and the cuts that will need to be made in 6 months if pledges do not increase.  The vestry is committed to working within a balanced budget and to update the congregation quarterly.  Questions were taken from the congregation.

Questions:
The meeting was opened to general questions and comments from the congregation.  (addendum)

V. Report of the Tellers
Diocesan Convention Delegates
Elizabeth Blondia, Greg Hagan, and Donna Olendorf, were elected delegates to the 2017 Diocesan Convention.  Elizabeth Black, Rosemary Hagan, George Prewitt will be the alternates.

Vestry
James Deaton, Kathryn Holl, Bill Smith, and Jeff Wescott were elected to 3-year terms on the vestry.  Karl Bastian will be appointed by the vestry to fill a 1-year term.

VI. Prayer for the Deceased
Rev. Kelley offered a prayer for the following Grace parishioners and Jubilee House patrons who died in 2016:

Agnes “Chris” Black        Sylvia Keely                   Ruth Ann Steiger-

Jo Collins                          Tom Kelly                       Seguin

Mike Conway                Mary Alice Keillor            Doug Still

Cynthia Dixon               Michael C. Kurtz              Lois Summers

David Dixon                 Donna McDougall             John Weeman

Patrick James Ferraro      Mary Russell

 

VII.   Jubilee House
Rick Taylor gave an update on the successful Swingshift with the Stars fundraiser.  They raised a total of $70,000.  After expenses, a total of $55,000 was realized for the Jubilee House.  Special presentations were made to Rick Taylor-fundraiser chairperson, Abby Myar-dancer, and Jack Singer-retiring JH assistant director.

VIII. Courtesy Resolutions
Resolutions were approved by acclamation recognizing all former living clergy and exiting vestry members.

Clergy include Mark D. Story, D. Edward Emenheiser, Daniel P. Richards.  Associate clergy include Frederick E. Myer, Louise Kountze, Cathy Richardson Venkatesh, Katheryn King, and Deacon Bonnie Smith.

Exiting vestry members include Nancy Flowers, Helen Hankins, Anne Montgomery, Donna Olendorf, and Chuck Wolterink.

IX. Announcements

New vestry members were asked to stay for a group photo.  The vestry potluck to welcome new members and say good-by to retiring members is Tuesday, January 24 at 6:00 in the parish hall.

Rick Taylor acknowledged Reverend Carlton Kelley, interim priest, for his love and support.

X. Closing Prayer
Rev. Kelley offered a closing prayer.

XI. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 12:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sue Kelly
Recording Secretary