The Sundays of Advent
10:30AM Readings, Reflections, and Prayers (on Facebook Live)
This is an abbreviated “Liturgy of The Word” led by Rev Jen with music from Steve Jenkins. The readings for this Sunday can be found here in English and Spanish
11:15am Service of Holy Eucharist at the National Cathedral (found here) Join us online for the celebration of the Holy Join us online for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the First Sunday in Advent. The Rev. Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor, United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, Leawood, Kansas, preaches and the Rev. Canon Jan Naylor Cope presides.
Worship “Bulletins” and Guides
Prior to every Sunday, we’ll send out mini-bulletins via email. Let us know if you’d like one. They’re also them available here on our website and Facebook page. The bulletins will contain links to the Sunday readings, prayers, and any music we will be using that morning.
Not sure how to access Facebook Live on your device? Click here for step by step instructions.
Weekly Sunday Bulletins
If you are interested in receiving the weekly Sunday bulletins, weekly newsletter, and/or the weekly prayer list – please email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you on the send list. If you’d like a specific Sunday bulletin from the past, please let us know and we will email that to you separately.
“Do Not Be Afraid”- Advent in a Bag for Kids and Families
It’s the angels’ message in the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke. This Advent, Grace families will explore what it looks like to hold hope when life feels really uncertain, to bring peace in the face of fear, to practice joy when everything seems burdensome, and to choose love, when sometimes, it’s just really hard! Advent in a Bag filled with the gospel lessons of the season was delivered to Grace families this week.
Growing Into Worship
GIW will meet on Sundays, December 6th and 20th via Zoom with Sarah Shea. On November 29 and December 13 we invite you to come and receive communion at the end of the streamed service.
With current Covid restrictions on high and various Grace kids and youth under quarantine, our December serve is on hold for now. Consider making a box for Community Action House if you’d like. You can re-engage your Episco-Pal or let Sarah Shea know you’d like one. Our first Trivia Night was a success last week and we look forward to more. We’ll find ways to connect, Grace. Know Grace youth and parents that you’re in our prayers. It’s a tough year with all of the changes you’re living through. Stay tuned on all youth fronts and remember we’re here if you need us. More soon!
Sunday Forum, November 29: 9:30AM-10:15AM
Etty Hillesum: A Life Transformed. Join us this Sunday morning in adult forum to discuss a talk given by Anglican priest, Patrick Woodhouse, on the life and spirituality of Etty Hillesum. Etty Hillesum was a young Jewish woman in her 20s, living in Amsterdam under Nazi occupation in 1941 when she experienced a spiritual and religious awakening. Hillesum authored a collection of confessional letters and journal entries that describe both her transformation and the experiences of Jewish people living in Amsterdam at that time. Along with telling us about Hillesum’s life and development, Woodhouse also presents insights from her reflections on the nature of evil, inner strength, and overcoming one’s own will to hate, which he believes have something important to teach us today. You’ll need to watch the entire talk and can find it here. Zoom link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83789165016?pwd=emVEQks1YnZMdUUrTG91em5xT2grZz09, and Passcode is Grace555. Zoom room opens at 9:15am for checkins, and we’ll discuss content from 9:30-10:15am. Email Amber at email@example.com with any questions.
Advent in a Bag (it’s not just for kids anymore)
Grace kids and families have been enjoying Grace in a Bag for months now. And so to usher in the new church year, we bring you, Advent in a Bag for all ages. (And we will literally bring it to you.) Just let the office know you’d like one and we will deliver it to your front door. You can also pick one up this Sunday when you come to receive Communion or let Mary Miller know and arrange a time during the week for pick-up. The bag contains a booklet with simple Advent reflections, candles, and some other seasonal, prayerful supports. It will be a joy to pray through this season together. With God’s help, we’ll make our way through the darkness one candle at a time.
Grace Reads: Advent 2020
Mary Had a Baby: An Advent Bible Study Based on African American Spirituals
by Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, and Marilyn E. Thornton, ISBN-13 : 978-1426795510
Wednesdays, December 2-23 from 10:30 – 11:30am via Zoom
This is an Advent Bible Study Based on African American Spirituals, written by Marilyn E. Thornton with material from the first edition by Cheryl Kirk-Duggan. Mary Had a Baby has four sessions, one for each week of Advent. Each lesson includes Scripture, song lyrics, devotional and contextual information, and discussion questions to stimulate deepening faith and a sense of community. The book includes leader helps. The four spirituals featured in Mary Had a Baby are “Mary Had a Baby,” “Rise Up Shepherd and Follow,” “Children, Go Where I Send Thee “ and “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.”
For questions and to register, please e-mail Mary Huisman at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the ZOOM invite. The book can be ordered from Amazon or your favorite bookseller.
From the Vestry Nominating Committee
We are currently inviting recommendations for leadership in our parish, specifically for Vestry. Vestry is made up of twelve elected lay members who prayerfully support the ministries of Grace and work collaboratively with the Rector in areas of oversight, finance, planning and program. Vestry members bring different experiences and skills to discernment and decision making as they reflect together monthly on the many dimensions of parish life. We encourage you to consider who might be called to serve in this capacity as a lay leader in our parish. Vestry meets once a month and each member also serves on a commission of the parish.
We will be accepting recommendations (names) until Sunday, December 6. The task of the Nominating Committee is to present a slate of four people to the parish by Sunday, December 20. Once the slate of four is announced, nominations will be open for two weeks and then close three weeks prior to the Annual Meeting in accordance with the by-laws of the parish. Elections will take place at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 27, 2021 which will be held virtually.
If you have someone to recommend or would like to be considered yourself, let the church office or Nominating Committee know! We look forward to talking with everyone who has an interest! — Rev. Jen, Kris Veldheer, Joanie Smith, and Ron Brown
We will be sending out a Weekly Newsletter that is called Grace to You. If you do not receive this, please email the church office at email@example.com to get your email added! After we send out, we will be posting it here as well.
Grace to You: 11/20/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 11/13/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 11/6/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 10/30/2o2o: Click HERE
Grace to You: 10/23/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 10/16/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 10/9/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 10/2/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 9/25/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 9/18/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 9/11/2020: Click HERE
Grace to You: 9/4/2020: Click HERE
We’ve received several questions regarding how to give financially to Grace through the Covid-19 crisis. Thank you! We also fully recognize that some in our community will not be able to give as planned. We trust that in all of this, God will take care of us, and we’ll take care of each other. We’ll also continue to support local organizations like Community Action House that are providing food and other support for the most vulnerable in our community. Here are many ways in which you can give, or continue to give to Grace.
AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support Grace at NO cost to you, every time you shop. Amazon will donate .5% of the purchase price of eligible items (which are many) when you use Smile. It just takes a minute to set this up and the benefit to Grace Church is immediate. Click here to learn more. Simply indicate Grace Episcopal Church in Holland, Michigan as your charity of choice and shop on.
Donation Button on our Grace’s Webpage
Grace has a GIVE button on the mainpage of our website for one-time gifts to be donated via Paypal.
Pledging to Grace
Pledges provide over eighty-five percent of Grace’s Annual Operating Budget which supports our worship, children and youth ministries, congregational care, outreach, care of our building and grounds, and all of our programs of formation. We receive some funds from endowment earnings and other special gifts, but it is the annual giving of Grace members and friends that sustains the mission and ministries of our congregation.
Pledge cards can be submitted electronically at any time. See the link below. Detail on the ways in which financial gifts can be given is included here too. If you have any questions, please contact the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org and Mary will answer your question or connect you to someone who can.
With thanks from the Grace Pledge Drive Team, Brian Paff, Holly Anderson, Connie Remenschneider, and Rev. Jen Adams.
Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) for Pledges
A significant number of Grace pledges are given through Electronic Fund Transfer. Thank you, Grace! This means that the donations are received whether or not we’re able to come to church in-person. EFT is easy to set up and Nancy in our Finance office can help you if you’d like to change over to this form of giving. Know also that EFT can be stopped should you need to and we know that this might be the case for some as the Covid situation unfolds. Please contact Nancy for help and more information at email@example.com
You can work with your bank directly to set up a pattern of auto-withdrawal for donations to Grace. Nancy can give you the information you need from Grace to be able to make this happen firstname.lastname@example.org
We are picking up Grace Church’s mail at the Post Office every Monday and making deposits at the bank every week, so know that if you send in your gift via the mail, it will be very gratefully received and handled.
The Grace Pastoral Needs Fund
Donations to Grace’s Pastoral Needs Fund are always needed, and the days and months to come without a doubt, they will be. There will be families in our congregation who need help as we navigate the economic impact of of Covid-19. This Fund is overseen by the Rector.
The Beyond Grace Fund
This fund is used for purposes beyond the ministries and community of Grace. Through Beyond Grace, we make contributions to local organizations and more broadly to Episcopal Relief and Development that offers support around the world.
We are very grateful for every gift that comes to Grace Church and for you continued support through this crisis. We are listening and responding prayerfully to the needs of our church, our community, and the world.
From Grace’s Outreach team:
Ways You Can Help Care for the Community, from Holland Hospital:
They are in need of masks, gowns and other protective gear at our local hospital. This link will take you to their site where they offer ways to make items, drop items and support our local healthcare workers who are doing all they can to care for us all.
BEYOND GRACE THIS SEASON:
Star Tree Gifts
It’s been an Advent tradition at Grace for us to have a “Star Tree” up in the Commons loaded with paper stars each with a gift on it for Grace folks to donate for families our congregation has supported through the Community Housing Partnership or for the past few years through our refugee ministry with the Rodriguez-Matos family. As which so much this year, we’ve adapted the tradition so that it can carry on!
We asked the Rodriguez-Matos family what gift cards would be best for each of them this year. As they prepare for their Habitat Home, Menards topped the list for Amaurys and Yusleydi. 16- year old Daniel and 11- year old Alba each picked Dick’s Sporting Goods. 10-year old Amaurys and almost 5-year old Anaurys picked Target.
Rather than purchase gifts for the family this year, you can make a donation to the Beyond Grace Fund (either by sending in a check or donating via the “GIVE” button on the main page of our website.) We will then purchase the cards for each member of the family, and wrap them for delivery Christmas Eve. We’re looking forward to celebrating with the Rodriguez Matos family as the move into their Habitat house later next spring. And we’re glad to have them with us for one more Christmas season.
Community Action House Holiday Food Boxes
Since COVID-19 entered Holland, the repercussions of school closures and economic disruption have been felt by everyone, and most acutely by those served by agencies like Community Action House. Early in this pandemic, their food assistance tripled and has stayed at high levels. Grace has been channeling our monthly Feeding America budget to CAH since we had to stop our onsite distribution and Grace folks have provided food boxes and also served at CAH over the past months. As we face a challenging winter together, Our most vulnerable neighbors turn to CAH to help them in a time of uncertainty and struggle, and we can help. Follow this link for details on how to provide a food box this season. Or this link to make a financial donation.
Because of the COVID-19 crisis, many families are struggling to keep food on the table. You have the power, right now, to put a meal on a neighbor’s plate. Every $10 donation provides 40 meals worth of food! Click here to donate.