Worship Schedule

Sunday 8:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I
nave & online: Zoom
Sunday 10:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II
nave & online: Facebook/website
Tuesday 8:00 p.m. Compline
online: Zoom
Wednesday 12:00 p.m. Eucharist
chapel

Sunday mornings at Grace

Ash Wednesday, February 22
12:00 p.m. nave
7:00 p.m. nave & online: Facebook/website

Find Us

The Grace Church nave is located at the corner of Washington Street and Boulevard in Gainesville, Georgia.

The parish office, open Monday through Thursday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, is located at 422 Brenau Avenue. Come to the red door that faces Brenau Avenue and ring the bell for access.

Mailing Address: 422 Brenau Avenue, Gainesville, GA 30501
Phone: 770-536-0126

Driving Directions & Parking

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Compassion

Date Posted: March 7, 2022

Prayerful and Practical Resources in these Uncertain Days

We are living in uncertain times, to be sure, and we want to do what we can to offer a pastoral presence to the community. Cynthia worked to put together a very useful gathering of resources that are prayerful, pastoral, and practical, looking at how we consciously engage our circumstances. We all want to do something, to find some way to respond, and we hope what we have included here recognizes our anxiety and fear and grounds us in love, hope, and peace.

Blessings, always,
Stuart

What Can One Person Do?

As the stories continue to reach the world about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, people are understandably concerned to know “What can I do?” This newsletter features several responses to this question, from how to donate relief funds, how to pray, and how to reflect on the deeper questions that this crisis is triggering in each of us. Although altering our own oil and gas consumption practices in this country may feel like too tame a response to what is happening in Europe, it is not. It is a powerful act to challenge ourselves to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint and to change the way we think about our right size.

At the same time, we recognize that the sharp and continued increases at the pumps may be causing a hardship on some of us. After all, we still need to get to work in order to care for our families and to have funds to donate for Ukrainian relief. If you are experiencing acute financial difficulties, please contact Fr. Stuart directly so that he can arrange financial assistance from his discretionary funds.

The ground of our being continues to be prayer — meditatively, musically, with and without words. In these days, we encourage you to partner with one or more persons to offer intercessory prayers daily using one of the prayers included in the “Prayers for Ukraine” below. Matthew 18:19-20 says, “Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”  And, James 5:16 says, “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

Prayers for Ukraine

From the Archbishops of Canterbury and York:

“God of peace and justice, we pray for the people of Ukraine today. We pray for peace and the laying down of weapons. We pray for all those who fear for tomorrow, that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them. We pray for those with power over war or peace, for wisdom, discernment, and compassion to guide their decisions. Above all, we pray for all your precious children, at risk and in fear, that you would hold and protect them. We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Peace. Amen.”

From Presiding Bishop Michael Curry:

“We pray for peace, but maybe we don’t have the words. We pray for a just peace, but maybe we don’t have the words. We pray that the lives of innocents and the lives of any human child of God will be spared. We pray that our leaders will find a diplomatic way, a nonviolent way of solution. But we don’t know how to pray as we are. So, the Spirit must intercede for us at this time. Amen.”

From The Rt. Rev. Mark Edington, Bishop of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe:

“God of timelessness, from chaos and disorder you brought forth the beauty of creation; from the chaos of war and violence bring forth the beauty of peace. God of compassion you saw the humanity of the outcast and the stranger; help us to see the evils of our hatreds and suspicions and to turn them into the embrace of your beloved community. God of peace, through your love on the cross you overcame the power of violence and death; turn us away from the love of power that we may transform a warring world through the power of your love. Amen.”

What Would You Have Done Differently? A Personal Reflection

My father proudly served in the United States Army Infantry in Europe during World War II. I knew from my grandmother that he had fought at the Battle of the Bulge and was present at the liberation of two of the concentration camps. But he never wanted to discuss anything about the war.

I was proud of his bravery, but I also had so many questions about what took the United States so long to join in the fight against the Nazi regime. American Jews had long reported the rising and violent anti-Semitism in Europe. The reports of abuse from all over Europe were credible. One day when it was clear that my father was dying, I asked if I could talk to him alone about the war and his experiences.

In particular, I wanted to know if there was anything he would have done differently. He was very quiet for a long time. Finally, choking back his emotions, he said, “I would not have kept silent. I would have constantly spoken out against what was happening. I would not have bridled my outrage.”

I am sure that many of you have similar family stories about that same time in our world history. One way that I choose to honor my father’s memory is to speak out against this aggression and refuse to excuse or rationalize the actions of any bully. I will speak out through my prayers, my donations, and my actions. I will not keep silent.

Cynthia+

Lenten Reflections on Ukraine

Cheryl Kelley’s Lenten resource bags for individuals and families are filled with exercises and prayers for these weeks. As you explore the many ideas she has offered to help ground us during this holy season of penitence and reflection, consider also journaling about what the situation in Ukraine has caused to percolate into your consciousness. Ask yourself what the strong emotions you are feeling connect to in your personal history. Consider what it is about this particular situation that has grabbed your attention. For example, it seems incomprehensible to us that this could be happening in eastern Europe after what happened in WWII. That being said, what is happening in Ukraine happens in many parts of the world outside of our awareness, such as on the continent of Africa. The spiritual work this calls us to is to allow God through this current crisis to raise our awareness of how interconnected we all are. To be convicted about our blindness of other situations is to be invited to do better. It is not an awareness meant to condemn.

We can also reflect on the degree to which the problems in Europe have impacted our economy here and elsewhere. Are we so dependent on oil and gas resources that our consumption of these commodities influences our humanitarian response or our political views?

And, what do we really believe about the power of prayer and the gospel call to love our neighbors? Can we see the connection between our divisions here at home and their rippling effect throughout the world, causing dissention to multiply? Have we been silent when we ought to have spoken out? And have we spoken out at times that we should have remained quiet until our thoughts were better formed?

There will be opportunities during Holy Week to offer these reflections to God in much the same way that we offered our reflections about the Incarnation during the Christmas Eve services. May God grant us all a holy discomfort that leads us to deeper compassion for all the world.

Supporting Humanitarian Response to the Crisis in Ukraine

Web Statement from Episcopal Relief & Development
February 28, 2022

Episcopal Relief & Development is mobilizing with Anglican agencies and other partners in order to provide humanitarian assistance to people fleeing the violence in Ukraine.

Working through the Action by Churches Together Alliance (ACT Alliance), Episcopal Relief & Development will provide cash, blankets, hygiene supplies and other needed assistance.

“Ecumenical and orthodox faith networks are on the ground in the border areas of Poland and Hungary,” said Abagail Nelson, Executive Vice President, Episcopal Relief & Development. “We will continue to coordinate with these networks, in order to meet the needs of people who have been displaced.”

Please pray for all those affected. Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s International Disaster Response Fund will provide humanitarian assistance for the crisis in Ukraine.

For over 80 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for close to 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.