September 9 is Kick Off: We’ll celebrate with a kids’ sermon and Blessing of the Backpacks at the 10:00 service followed by our annual parish photo on the front lawn and a picnic, kick-ball game and drumming at Moran Park (22nd and Pine.) Bring your packs and school supply donations to the 10:00 service. Wear comfy clothes, bring a picnic blanket, and/or chairs and drums if you have’m. Lunch will be provided by Church Family and Fellowship. All are welcome!
Rev. Steen will be coming on staff at Grace starting September 3 in the second clergy position. He’ll be working about twenty hours per week, including two Sundays per month. He’ll preach and preside with Rev. Jen, offer leadership support to various ministries, and provide pastoral care and counsel as needed.
A brief Bio: Following 40 Years of work as a parish priest, Rev. Steen joined the Bishop’s Staff in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago in 2010 where he served as Director of Ministries. He had oversight of clergy deployment and mentoring, and with his staff, was responsible for congregational and leadership development in the Diocese’s 130 congregations. Prior to joining the diocesan staff, Rev. Steen served parishes in several major cities, including Seattle, New York, Washington, DC, and Chicago and was the Executive Director of Prism Parishes, an organization he founded to support vitality in congregations with diverse constituencies. Rev. Steen retired recently from full-time ministry and now lives in Saugatuck with his partner of twenty-six years, Tom.
Rev. Jim has a son, Daughter-in-law and two grandchildren all of whom live in Boulder, Colorado. Jim says, “I continue to be fascinated by all aspects of organizational leadership and am currently drawn to a deeper exploration of contemplative spirituality. Cooking is my favorite hobby.” Be sure to introduce yourselves to him and welcome Rev. Jim to Grace Church!
The Grace Youth mission trip to Arkansas back in 2014 is one of the best trips i’ve ever taken (the other best trip also being a Grace trip). The satisfaction of helping others, bonding with fellow youth, a chance to see parts of the country I had never previously seen… it was a rewarding experience that I highly recommend to anyone considering a mission trip.
There was plenty of work involved, make no mistake about that. We would spend hours in the hot Arkansasian heat picking eggplant or harvesting watermelon or whatever produce our day’s field had to offer. But knowing that the food we picked would go to help hungry families was more than enough reason to wake up the next morning and get back to it.
The experience I shared is something that I will take with me for a very long time!
-submitted by Dunan Kelley