Grace Episcopal Church has suspended all in-person campus events, activities, and worship services until further notice. Please visit our Grace@Home page to see ways we are staying connected to one another, to Grace, and to God during the days ahead.
422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
This Sunday, February 2, the Youth Choir from All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Atlanta will provide special music for our 10:45 AM service. Under the direction of Karol Kimmell, music for children and youth at All Saints’ has grown to include four separate choirs. Once a year the Youth Choir (grades 7-12) travel out of town to sing at another church, spending the weekend building community, singing, and having fun. We are thrilled for them to join us at Grace!
Prelude music will begin at 10:35 AM, and our Grace Church Choristers will join them for offerings during worship.
Based on the positive responses on the 2019 survey for participation in a “service project” and a “handyman ministry” the steering committee for Grace men’s programs invites you to join us on February 8 to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Hall County. We will assist with the completion of the house currently being constructed so that it can be dedicated next month. No prior experience is necessary, and all equipment and supplies will be furnished. The workday is from 8:00 AM – 3:00 PM, and lunch will be provided.
Please follow this link to sign up for a fun day of getting to know your fellow parishioners better and helping to provide a new home for a family in need. For additional details contact Dave Westfall.
Come eat dinner together on Wednesday, February 5 beginning at 5:30 PM.
Childcare is available for families participating in Wednesday evening activities. Reservations are required and can be made on the same form as meal reservations.
Click here for complete details and to sign up. Reservations are due by Monday at noon.
Although 70% of us know someone with dementia, many still struggle to connect with those in this condition. Please join us at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, February 5 to watch the documentary, Love is Listening; Dementia without Loneliness. Begin to learn new ways to be with people struggling with memory loss, and learn about the work of Memory Bridge, a non-profit dedicated to ending the emotion isolation of people with dementia.
In the recent book Contemplation and Community: A Gathering of Fresh Voices for a Living Tradition, my particular chapter is titled “A Primary Concern for Oneness: Contemplation and Leadership in Congregations.” In this chapter, I make the following claim:
When we speak of unity and oneness, we are, of course, speaking of the nature of our union with God-and one another. One of the hallmarks of the contemplative tradition is that union with God is the basis of our identity. We are united with God, God with us; however, we struggle with a lack of awareness of the true nature of things.p. 81
All that we do, from our worship to our administrative details, finds its roots in this identity with God. Our awareness of this grounding enables us to respond to whatever pressures and opportunities we face, trusting deeply in the Spirit’s guiding presence. In this way, contemplative practice isn’t something esoteric or removed from us; rather, it is an essential centering element of our lives that enables us to live fully-and consciously.
I am excited to return with a Winter/Spring 2020 session of the School for Christian Practice, and I want to pay particular attention to this image of oneness. I think this focus will be meaningful on two critical levels: for one, this conversation will provide a helpful grounding for those seeking to be confirmed or received on Sunday, March 22 as we reflect together on our core practices of prayer. As well, the conversations in this session will help us develop a language and confidence to remain centered in the often tense cultural conversations we find ourselves in.
You may find it helpful to have your own copy of Contemplation and Community, because I will draw from this as a resource. We will also use a wonderful video series by Fr. Thomas Keating called “Journey to Oneness: Christian Non-Duality.” I will also be working with a group of amazing folks from the parish who will help facilitate these conversations. I hope you will join us. We’ll begin on Sunday, February 2, and we will just keep going from there into Lent and Easter Season.
Blessings to all,
Adults interested in being confirmed or received in the Episcopal Church on March 22 are asked to please contact Brenda Morgan (email or 770-536-0126) as soon as possible.
Twice a year, all Grace Church members are invited to participate in a Foyer Group. Foyer Groups consist of small groups of adults who meet in one another’s homes for a meal and fellowship over the course of approximately six months. Not only is participation in Foyers fun, but it also facilitates deeper relationships among Grace Church members. Newcomers are especially encouraged to sign up. Foyers groups are forming now! Sign up online or at the information station no later than Sunday, February 16.
Our Family Promise guests will be with us from February 2-9. Please see the sign up board in the greeting area (or connector corridor) to see ways you can help.
This post highlights some events and news pertinent to the upcoming week. Follow the links below to learn more about what’s happening at Grace Church.