Grace Episcopal Church

Weekly Update

December 22, 2011

church interior

Quick Links



Save the Dates

Christmas Eve Eucharist:
Dec. 24, 7:30 pm

Christmas Day Eucharist:
Dec. 25, 10:00 am

Feast of 
the Baptism of the Lord:
Sunday, Jan. 8

 Play-Reading Group:
Jan. 8, 6:00 pm

 Neighborhood Events

Restaurant Week
in Allentown:
Jan. 9-Jan. 15
Welcome to the weekly e-newsletter of Grace Episcopal Church. Read about what's happening at Grace, and use the quick links to the left to find other helps to our life with God. 

We have a great opportunity to welcome seekers and visitors at Christmas. Who do you know that may be hungry for God and a spiritual community? To share this news with a friend, click the "forward email" link at the bottom of the page. This could be a simple way to let someone know about our life and work, and to communicate our welcome.

See you at Christmas!


--Beth Reed, Priest-in-charge

Christmas at Grace
Xmas icon Get ready to welcome visitors        
We gather in candlelight on Christmas Eve (7:30) and again in the quiet of Christmas morning (10:00). With beloved texts and carols, among brothers and sisters, friends and visitors, we rejoice that God became a human being in Jesus.
We always have visitors at this time of year, especially on Christmas Eve--family members who come home, newcomers who check us out, people who have visited before and decide to spend Christmas with us. It's a blessing and an opportunity for us to be as hospitable as we can.
If people who are new to you are sitting next to you, please help them feel at home by showing them the bulletin, accompanying them to the Table, and inviting them to stay for our festive receptions. 
Graceful Community 
greening The greening was great 

Lots of people stayed after church last Sunday to decorate the church for Christmas. To name a few: Sarabel Conn is a master organizer, and she had candles and ribbons and wreaths carefully laid out and gave clear directions on where to put them. John Adamson and other keyboard players, with rotating groups of carolers, raised the energy level with their music. Lynn Wentzel worked his magic with the central wreath, and George Retseck and David Moyer and others artfully placed the greens just so. David Webster organized the tree moving and set-up, and Jeff Kemmerer and Joe Cousart, among others, helped with lights. Kelly D-B and Hillie Cousart worked on wreaths. Chuck Milostiz climbed our big ladder several times. Jasmine Adamson and Nathan Reed swept up pine needles at the end. 

And while many were greening, Gunnar D-B was cleaning the dreaded furnace room downstairs. Please thank him when you see him--it could not have been a pleasant chore. 

That list is not at all comprehensive; it's just a snapshot of the diversity of tasks and workers! The event was an example of our community in action: adults and young people working together on a project of beauty, learning new tasks and strengthening our relationships. It was a great way to get ready for Christmas and to prepare to welcome visitors.
Grace Montessori School Scholarships
City funding may go down

Today's New York Times has an article about a federal program that directly benefits cities, including Allentown. The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program channels federal funds to cities; Allentown has used such funds to improve downtown buildings and services. The CDBG funding is being reduced again this year at the federal level, so Allentown will receive a smaller grant, and the city will have less money for such downtown projects.

Our school, Grace Montessori, has applied for and received Community Development Block Grants for several years ($15,000 a year). We use the money to provide scholarships to Allentown children. This has been one way the church, through our school, contributes to the vitality of our downtown. If this source of funding goes down, so will our ability to fund scholarships.