Greetings from Grace!
In this Issue: Taste of Georgetown, Bishop's Visit, Summer Sunday Schedule and More!
Grace Episcopal Church
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
Saturday, June 2
11:00 am to 4:00 pm
19th Annual Taste of Georgetown
Sunday, June 3
Summer Sunday Schedule Begins
10:30 am Service moves to 10:00 am; Adult Forum and Young Adult Bible Study both take a break until Labor Day.
Monday, June 4 through Sunday, September 3
Rector's Sabbatical, Part 2
The Vestry is delighted that Reverend Thelma Smullen will again be serving as Priest in Charge during the Rector's absence.
John looks forward to finishing the writing project he began last summer and hopes to present it at Grace as a series of lectures when he returns. Learn more
in the article at the right.
Saturday, June 10
8:30 am and
10:00 am Services
Visit from Bishop Mariann
She will chat with parishioners and meet with the Vestry following the second service.
Though this will be the first Sunday of his sabbatical, the Rector will be at Grace for her visit.
We're delighted she's coming and will welcome her with customary Grace warmth and hospitality.
Saturday, June 23
Noon to 5:00 pm
Come and enjoy this festival of Thai food, dance, music and other cultural expressions.
July and August
19th Annual Bach Festival
Sunday, July 1
Francine Mate, organ, harpsichord and director of the Bach Festival
Soo Young Kim Chrisfield, soprano
Frederic Rey, tenor
James Rogers, baritone
Regino Madrid, violin
Emily Leader, violin
Charlie Powers, cello
Shaughn Dowd, flute
Works include the Coffee Cantata and the Cello Suite No. 4
Friday, July 6
Professor Roland Stangier from Essen, Germany, organ
Monday, July 9
Lawrence Molinaro, Founder of the Grace Bach Festival
Organ, Art of Fugue
Sunday, July 15
David Bond, DMA from Buffalo, NY, organ
July and August
Vacation Bible School
Sunday School students, families and friends will again be visiting places of worship in the DC area, with lessons about their traditions and beliefs before and following.
VBS calendar will include six visits in July and the first two weeks of August, with two on weekday afternoons, two on Saturdays and two after church on Sundays, to accommodate families' various schedules.
Watch the Sunday bulletin and Weekly Update for dates and details!
Friday and Saturday,
November 2 and 3
3rd Annual Grace Church Parish Retreat
We'll be meeting once again at the Bon Secours Retreat Center in Marriottsville, MD.
Information and registration forms are available at Grace and by request from the office; register now to reserve your space!
|Flowers for the Altar|
|It's always a pleasure to see flowers in the church!
If you have a loved one or an event you'd like to commemorate, please consider contributing flowers for the Sunday services!
You may deliver flowers to the church yourself on Saturdays or call (202-333-7100) or email the church office and we can order them and have them delivered for $65.
|Contribute to the Greetings from Grace Email Newsletter|
|Greetings from Grace
is published every month or two to inform and engage members and friends of Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown.
We welcome submissions on events and topics of interest to our readers, both those related to Grace and those taking place outside our gates.
If you're chair of a Grace committee, we'd love to include information on your group's activities, upcoming events and other work you're doing to support our Church community.
Non-committee chair parishioners are also welcome to contribute. Contact us
if you have a topic you'd like to write about.
Want to contribute but not sure what to write about?
We can suggest a person for you to interview for an upcoming Parishioner Profile item, or we might ask you to put on your reporter hat and cover an upcoming event to write a story about.
Please contact our editor Jeanne Jennings
to learn more and get your item on our editorial calendar.
| May/June 2012|
Dear Friend of Grace,
We're looking forward to the 19th Annual Taste of Georgetown, which happens on and around the grounds of Grace and supports the work of the Georgetown Ministry Center. See the article below to get details on joining us, purchasing tasting tickets online and helping out as a volunteer.
But that's not all that's happening. Read on to learn about the start of the summer service schedule, Bishop Mariann's upcoming visit, vacation bible school, ways you can participate in Torture Awareness Month, Parishioner Jean McKinney and more.
In Christ's Redeeming Love,
|Taste of Georgetown - Volunteers Needed!
Saturday, June 2 | 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Please join us for the 19th Annual Taste of Georgetown taking place Saturday, June 2 on and around the Grace Garden. Admission is free; tasting tickets can be purchased there or in advance online.
Thirty of our local restaurants will be providing nearly sixty delectable dishes to sample. We'll also offer wine and beer tastings and the jazz talents of Blues Alley for your enjoyment. Funds raised will benefit Georgetown Ministry Center's services supporting the homeless. Last year's event raised over $26,000 for GMC.
Best of all, you can help!
We need volunteers to sell tickets, give directions, pass out flyers and be ambassadors for Grace when thousands of visitors are on Wisconsin Avenue in front of the church.
Just let us know which shift you can help us with - 10:30 am to 1:30 pm or 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm (if you can't commit to a full shift, that's fine, just let us know what times you are available).
All volunteers will receive:
- 3 tasting tickets
- half pricing parking
- a free t-shirt
- the satisfaction of knowing you are helping GMC help the homeless
To sign up, please email us. Visit the Taste of Georgetown Website to learn more or buy tasting tickets in advance.
Riley Family Confirmation at Washington National Cathedral
On May 12, 2012, Joanna, Jason and Hunter Riley were confirmed, sealing the covenant of faith made in Holy Baptism.
A beautiful service, held at the Washington National Cathedral, found Episcopalians from around the area confirming their faith in Jesus Christ.
Bishop Mariann was one of the six bishops that performed the sacrament of confirmation. Beautiful weather, live music and a Cathedral full of friends and family members made it a very special occasion indeed.
John Graham and Helen Buhr marched, along with the Rileys, in the procession of candidates, holding the Grace Church banner high.
Jamison and Logan Riley,
Amanda Krause, Sally Stanfield, Jeanne Jennings and others from Grace were in attendance to celebrate the happy occasion.
Please take a moment to say "Hi" to Joanna, Jason and Hunter at coffee hour, give them your best wishes on their confirmation and thank them for being valued members of our Grace Church community.
|Grace Annual Gala, A Night in Casablanca: |
A Good Time was Had by All
By Elizabeth Hill
Sunday, April 29th marked the Friends of Grace Church's Annual Gala, bringing together over 100 of our community in fellowship and giving, for "A Night in Casablanca" at Rick's Café Americain.
Proceeds from the gala went to the "Saving Grace" fund for the replacement of the crumbling stone arches around the doors and windows at Grace Church.
And the Moroccan-themed fundraising was a big hit, too! Guests enjoyed Lebanese cuisine and libations, casino-style games, live piano music ("Play it again, Sam!"), henna tattoos, and of course, the famous "Great Escapes" auction.
The bidding was fiercely competitive, but almost all went home with a winning. Overall, the event raised over $23,000 which will go to great use around our church.
The event would not have been possible without the efforts of Helen Buhr, Paige Hill, Hillary Liebtag, Jane Mosbacher Morris, Scott Murphy, Janet Sale, Marie-Laure Poiré, Luis Solares and Rev. John Graham. "A Night in Casablanca" also would not be possible without our generous donations from you and impressive attendance.
We'll see you next year at the 2013 Friends of Grace Annual Gala!
|Parishioner Profile: Jean McKinney|
By Jeanne Jennings
I had heard so much about Jean McKinney that I jumped at the chance to interview her for the newsletter!
Jean says that many people are so focused on the destination that they don't appreciate the journey. That's certainly not true of Jean.
She grew up in a small town and was raised in the Southern Baptist church. She never imagined that she'd go on to travel the world with her husband of 54 years, Gary. She sees her journey as one of growing up in a place full of prejudice and prudish attitudes -- and of then being enlightened.
Italy, New Zealand, Egypt -- the list of places she's visited was amazing! Italy is the place that she loves most. She cried when she saw The Pieta at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, because it was so beautiful. In Florence she got to see art that she'd only seen in books -- not to mention all the nude statues! Quite a change from her small town upbringing.
When I visited Jean's home, I was struck by the abundance of beautiful artwork, all of which she had painted. She and her youngest daughter started college at the same time; although they went to different schools, Jean enrolled at the University of Kansas, the school that her son was attending (he was two years ahead of her), to study art.
She tells a funny story (ask her!) about dropping by her son's studio one day and having a typical mother-son discussion. What makes it atypical is that, all the while, he was sketching a nude model! But neither one batted an eye.
Jean and Gary meet through a young adult group at a Methodist-Episcopal church in Saint Louis. They have three children together and 8 grandchildren (ages 13 to 25; she's painted them all); she was headed down south to attend the wedding of her oldest grandson just a few days after our chat.
A chance encounter 18 years ago brought Jean to Grace. She and Gary were enjoying a weekend stroll along the canal, saw the Grace Garden and decided to explore. They struck up a conversation with a woman working in the garden and she asked if they'd like to see the sanctuary.
The experience was such a pleasant one that they decided to come to a Sunday service. And the rest is history.
Jean says that the people at Grace are the friendliest she's ever met. She doesn't know what she would have done without the friends she's made here. Even better, Grace parishioners and clergy stand by what they say. They don't just preach it, they live the word and turn it into action.
When Gary was ill, John Graham and her Grace friends were there for her. She remembers the tears in his eyes when John presided over Gary's funeral. Jean cried every day for a year after Gary passed away. She wondered why she was still here. John suggested she put her thoughts and feelings on paper -- both the grief she was feeling and the things she was thankful for in her life.
The crying stopped. And Jean realized why she was still here. "To tell people to enjoy their lives. There's so much to do, so many things that we won't get the chance to do again. Enjoy it!"
I've taken that advice to heart --and I highly recommend it. So this week, as you go through your regular work, family and other activities, enjoy them. Then grab Jean at coffee hour on Sunday, tell her how her advice impacted your week and ask about her grandson's wedding. I guarantee you'll enjoy the conversation -- and you'll have one more experience to be thankful for.
|From the Rector: Call, Promise, Discipline and the Second Half of My Sabbatical
Sometimes you just start writing, or talking, and figure out later what you really want to say.
That's how it's been with the writing project I started during the first half of my sabbatical last year, and hope to see through to completion with the second half this summer.
I've loved Dante's Purgatory since high school, and Paul's letters since seminary. Some connection between them always seemed to lurk just beyond my reach. Last summer I wrote a lot about this connection, but never felt I'd really found it.
This year, thanks to lots of insightful Adult Forum discussion (some of it even on the subject at hand!) and other conversations and reflections, I feel like I've got a better handle on the Paul - Dante link. The working schema for revision and re-write is as follows:
- Call: a summons into the presence of an other, or Other; often unsettling or even threatening
- Promise: the prospect of new life revealed in the encounter with the other
- Discipline: the systematic subjugation of self to the demands of the Call, necessary to appropriating the Promise
I expect to find most of 1 and 2 in Paul, and most of 3 in Purgatory.
My heartfelt thanks to Grace Church for the opportunity to pursue and, God willing, complete this undertaking. Perhaps I'll be able to offer the (mostly) finished product as a lecture series here in 2012 and 2013.
The Vestry and I are delighted to welcome back Reverend Thelma Smullen as our priest-in-charge during my time away. Please hold me in your thoughts and prayers, as I hold you. I will miss you while I'm gone.
Your wardens and Vestry have been busy!
We've considered several proposals for tuckpointing the front of the Rectory and replacing the stone arch around the church's main entrance door.
In May we allocated $2,500 from the Saving Grace Fund for a "mock-up" of stone restoration on two small pentagon-shaped sills on the South Street wall, out of public view - one with "Jahn", a mortar compound, the other with real stone.
The mock-up will help us decide how to proceed with the door and later, as revenues permit, window and other door arches. We're grateful for the time and expertise generously given by chief Cathedral stonemason Joe Alonso, which helped us reach this decision.
Also allocated in May: $15,000 for the Rectory tuckpointing. Both expenditures will come from the Saving Grace Fund, now at a balance of about $90,000 with the $23,000+ raised by April's Friends of Grace Gala.
Daniel Capizzi has come on board as Financial Secretary, with responsibility for quarterly pledge statements. He replaces Gigi Raney, who recently stepped down after several years in this position.
The Rector reported that he will be hiring Reverend Sarah Motley Fischer on a contractual basis to assist Jacqueline Walters with planning Vacation Bible School field trips and preparing related Sunday School lessons.
In addition, she's willing and able to serve as a "pastoral backup" for Thelma, to carry out pastoral tasks as she's able and at Thelma's direction and discretion. We will use about $4,000 of the Assisting Priest budget for this purpose; this budget also covers Reverend Bill Doggett's faithful and creative service as chief celebrant and preacher at our 5:00 pm Sunday service.
Though we had projected a vote on the issue of same-gender marriage prior to the second half of the Rector's sabbatical, this has not taken place. The Vestry is committed to thorough and prayerful consideration of all the issues that surround this subject, and fulfilling this commitment has taken a bit more time than anticipated. We still hope to take a vote in 2012.
Many thanks to all of you for your prayers and support of Grace, its Vestry and its ministries.
|National Religious Campaign Against Torture|
June 24: March
June 26: Vigils
June is Torture Awareness Month
By Helma Lanyi
Editor's Note: Viewpoint invites reflections on the application of our faith to issues of common concern.
These reflections represent the opinion of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of Grace staff or members.
A former official in the G.W. Bush administration, Jose Rodriguez, Jr., recently published a book titled "Hard Measures" in which he defends the use of torture on detainees. He joins the former president and vice president who speak of "enhanced interrogation" with that admission.
Rodriguez also owns up to the destruction of the CIA tapes of these interrogations. The intelligence community protects its sources and methods, of course. But if these methods were legal and needed, then why worry about showing how it was done, one wonders.
Polls show that a large number of Americans agree with him. It seems that "the war on terror" has made definitions of right and wrong more, shall we say, elastic.
"Enemy combatants" is a new category of adversary unknown in any of the legal texts which define our treaties and our criminal laws, and "enhanced interrogations" - hasn't George Orwell described the process by which ugly new realities get prettied up with harmless new words?
Our rector talked about eternity on Sunday, May 20. Well, the National Religious Campaign against Torture (NRCAT) thinks that torture is always wrong, (in addition to being illegal) and that this is a value of eternal duration, no different from the Gospel values proclaimed by Jesus.
June is Torture Awareness Month. There will be a march on Sunday, June 24, from 1:00 to 2:30 pm from the Capitol Reflecting Pool to the White House, and vigils on Tuesday, June 26.
Participants are encouraged to wear the colors of the indefinitely detained Guantanamo prisoners, black and orange. Most of those prisoners have been declared harmless but are still held there, seven years or longer after capture.
We people of faith can do something: We can contact our elected leaders and express our disgust with these policies. We can speak up and write letters to the editor, as a means to let our voice of faith be heard. We can join with the NRCAT on June 24 or 26 and show the world that not everybody agrees with the likes of Mr. Rodriguez.
As a member of the Episcopal Peace Fellowship DC, I will be glad to direct your questions to the right source for answers: Email or call me at 202-364-0546.
|Weekly at Grace|
Music, child care and Sunday School
Service of Prayer, Meditation and Communion
Bag lunches provided for our homeless friends (hot meals and Bible study return after Labor Day); Contact us to learn more or volunteer
Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown, was founded to serve the laborers, craftsmen, shopkeepers, and watermen of the Georgetown waterfront.
By 1857 regular services were being held in a wooden chapel that stood in the southwest corner of the churchyard, where the World War I Memorial Cross now stands.
Visitors to Grace find a warm welcome, wonderful music, and a heartfelt faith. We are located on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue, just below M Street and the Canal, in the heart of Georgetown.
Please join us for a service, an event, or just moment of quiet during your day. A weekly schedule of events appears in the column to your left.
Grace Episcopal Church
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007
2 hours free parking, with Grace validated exit ticket, is available in the Cinema Garage on K Street (Just east of the intersection of Wisconsin and K Streets, one block south of the church):
- Sunday until 1:00 pm
- Monday through Thursday until 11:00 pm
- Friday until 6:00 pm