Greetings from Grace!
In this Issue: Vacation Bible School, Bach Festival, Pictures from The Taste of Georgetown, A Pilgrimage to France and More!
Grace Episcopal Church
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
19th Annual Bach Festival
July and August
Vacation Bible School
Sunday school students, families and friends will be visiting places of worship in the DC area, with lessons about their traditions and beliefs before and following.
Music on the Lawn
Happening every Thursday night in September in Grace's Garden.
Save the dates and see the article at the right to get involved in the planning!
Thursday, September 4
Rector John Graham returns from sabbatical
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!
The Pastoral Care committee welcomes you to join us in offering support to fellow parishioners through cards, phone calls, or providing meals for members that are ill, have new infants or would otherwise appreciate a hand and support during a difficult time.
When there's a need, the committee is alerted by the Rector and available members step in to help.
Nothing elaborate is required. A simple greeting card or Stouffers lasagna are welcomed by members needing a hand.
If you would like to join the committee, please call (202-363-8324) or email Lenore Reid.
|So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu|
Alex and Goranka Henegar are off to the Dominican Republic!
Alex leaves on July 2 for his three-year assignment there as a Foreign Service Officer; Goranka will stay in DC and continue to work on Tunisia at USAID until late September, when she joins him.
Per Alex: "If anyone from our Grace family is in the Dominican Republic from July 2012 to July 2015, please let us know!"
We wish them both well and look forward to welcoming them back to DC and Grace in 2015!
In the meantime, anyone up to planning a Grace Church pilgrimage to the Dominican Republic?
|Bishop Mariann Hosts Young Adults|
"Where were you when you last had a spiritual experience?"
Bishop Mariann wasted no time in jumping right into a discussion of spirituality during a get-together at her home on June 16th.
About 20 young adults from parishes around the area, including Marie Laure Poire and Jeanne Jennings from Grace, attended.
Beautiful weather (we sat outside) and lively discussion made for a lovely afternoon! We hope that Bishop Mariann will make this a regular event for young adults!
If you'd like to join Grace's Young Adults Discussion List to learn about events like this in the future please email Jane Mosbacher Morris.
|Bishop Mariann at Grace|
|Photo courtesy of Rob Cahill|
Grace had the honor of hosting Bishop Mariann on June 10th!
She led the celebrations of the 8:30 and 10:00 services and stayed on to mingle with Parishioners at coffee hour.
We are truly blessed to have a Bishop who is so engaged with members of the church!
|Flowers for the Altar|
It's always a pleasure to see flowers in the church!
|Photo courtesy of Rob Cahill|
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.
|Write for the |
Greetings from Grace
Don't worry -- we won't ask you to use a quill!
But we'd love to have more writers contribute to the newsletter.
Committee Chairs -- let us know what projects your group is working on!
Parishioners -- can you volunteer to write a Parishioner Profile or "cover" an event?
Friends of Grace -- is there a topic "beyond the gates of Grace" that you believe our readers would be interested in?
Greetings from Grace
Contact our editor, Jeanne Jennings
, to discuss opportunities and see about getting on our editorial calendar.
is published every month to inform and engage members and friends of Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown.
|More Pictures from Thai Village at Grace|
|Traditional Thai dances provide spirited and colorful entertainment|
|Festival goers get travel information for Thailand|
|The Muay Thai (Thai boxing) exhibition was great|
|Thai-themed pagodas set up on Grace's grounds|
|This dance was choreographed especially for the festival|
|The Thai Ambassador and DC City Officials||
| July 2012|
Dear Friend of Grace,
It's a joy to be back worshipping with you this summer and participating in so many exciting Grace Church activities. I always feel very welcome at Grace, and want you to feel free to call on me as needs arise or even just to chat. I really like getting to know you.
I hope you enjoy this newsletter. Read about The 19th Annual Taste of Georgetown, which was a smashing success. Get ready for The 19th Annual Bach Festival and Vacation Bible School; see details below.
But that's not all that's happening. We've also got a vestry update for you, information on getting involved with Music on the Lawn, a Parishioner Profile of our own Hillary Liebtag and so much more in this issue!
In Christ's Redeeming Love,
|The 19th Annual Bach Festival at Grace Church
We hope you can join us, either to just listen and enjoy and/or as a volunteer!
Sunday, July 1, 3:00 pm
Music includes works by N. Bruhns, J. Stanley, F. Couperin, the 4th Cello Suite and the Coffee Cantata by J.S. Bach
Francine Mate, organ, harpsichord and director of the Bach Festival
Rachel Evangeline Barham, soprano
Frederic Rey, tenor
James Rogers, baritone
Regino Madrid, violin
Emily Leader, violin
Charlie Powers, cello
Shaughn Dowd, flute
Friday, July 6, 7:30 pm
Professor Roland Stangier from Essen, Germany, organ
Monday, July 9, 7:30 pm
Art of Fugue
Lawrence Molinaro, Founder of the Grace Bach Festival, organ
Sunday, July 15, 1:30 pm
David Bond, DMA from Buffalo, NY, organ
Volunteers are needed to welcome attendees to our church; all we ask is that you come one hour early for one or more of concerts. If you can help out, please contact Helen Buhr.
Holy Pilgrimage 2012
|Mosaic, Shrine of the|
Vacation Bible School
Grace Church Version
By Reverend Sarah Motley
Summer's change of pace brings with it, for many, a change of scene with vacations, camps and programs that take us to places for rest, relaxation and recreation.
Grace Church will offer again this summer an opportunity to participate in A Holy Pilgrimage DC - our version of Vacation Bible School which will take us to area ecumenical and interfaith places that will provide a brief glimpse into the worship and way of life of those we visit.
Offered during July and August, the Pilgrimage builds on successful Grace VBS 'pilgrimages' during the past few summers. An informational session was held on Sunday June 24 during which parishioners learned about the upcoming summer schedule and began this summer's Pilgrimage with a service project - making sandwiches for the Georgetown Ministry Center.
'A Holy Pilgrimage' is intended for all ages, and is an excellent opportunity to invite friends and family to come along and come to know a bit about the sites we visit and also about Grace Church's commitment to community involvement and community understanding.
The program is led again this summer by Jacqueline Walters, Sunday School Coordinator. I am a new face at Grace with a love of and experience in ecumenical and interfaith endeavors and I'm happy to be working with Jacqueline this year for the first time.
This summer, don't merely go on vacation - go on pilgrimage!
Friday, July 6, 12:30 pm
Masjid Mohammed Mosque; meet with Imam, observe prayers, lunch
Saturday, July 14, 9:00 am
Adas Israel Synagogue; meet with Rabbi, attend worshop
Monday, July 23, 12:00 noon
National Cathedral; organ demonstration, highlights tour ($5)
Sunday, July 29, 1:30 pm
Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; tour
Saturday, August 4, 4:00 pm
St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral; tour
Saturday or Sunday, August 11 or 12, final day and time TBD
Botanical Gardens; picnic, hike/walk
Details and updated information are available on the Grace Church Website. Attend one, a few, or all of the visits, and come away with a deeper sense of the many ways God is at work in the world around us.
Please sign up on the kiosk at church or email the office so we know how many people will be attending each outing. For more information contact Jacqueline Walters (646 -265-0360) or Reverend Sarah Motley (240-483-0349).
| Profile: Reverend Thelma Smullen|
By Jeanne Jennings
"There are so many good things about Grace. I love that it's a place where people can question almost anything.
"Grace is inclusive -- it makes room for people that don't have all the answers."
We are so lucky to welcome Thelma Smullen back as Priest in Charge during John Graham's sabbatical!
Thelma is currently in her fourth tour of duty at Grace over a period stretching more than 30 years. Her relationship with Grace began in 1980, before she attended seminary (did you know she and John Graham were in the same class?).
Grace was her sixth interview for an internship back then, and she knew she was supposed to be here almost immediately. It was the first group interview she had -- she hit it off with the Rector, but also liked the fact that members of the parish were engaged in the process.
There are some faces from that time that still remain. Thelma rattled off more than I could write down, but the list included Janet and Jim Sale, Terry Murphy (Braden Murphy was also here, but just a kid!) and Susan and Bob Tobias.
In 1988, during her second tour, she remembers a couple that canoed to Church! They would make the short trip by river, then carry their vessel up Wisconsin Avenue to Grace. She cites this and other experiences as reasons she holds a deep love for Grace. It's a community with a casual attitude and no pretenses that is very inclusive.
Inclusion is a theme that ran through my discussion with Thelma. Her world, she says, just "keeps getting bigger," which she loves. Her early years were spent in a white, blue collar, Catholic and Protestant neighborhood in Baltimore. Sounds pretty normal now, but back then inter-faith marriage was still an issue, even within Christian religions.
Her middle school, which allowed her to finish three grade levels in two years, was predominantly Jewish. She attended her first bas mitzvah and learned about a religion different from that of her family and neighbors. In true Thelma style, she embraced the opportunity and included these new friends in her life.
Attending college on the Eastern Shore during the Freedom Rides gave her another opportunity to grow her world and include new people, thoughts and experiences in her life learnings. Integration, which is a form of inclusion, was so controversial when she began school, but was the norm by the time she graduated.
It was fascinating to talk to her and realize that many of the things that are now accepted in our society -- interfaith marriage, racial equality, the ordination of women -- used to be controversial not so long ago.
Although retired, Thelma remains active in St. Bartholomew's parish in Baltimore. It's a diverse parish, both racially and economically, and she likes the inclusive community there. She's especially proud of two programs she is involved with there: Spiritual Companion Triads and Saturday Liturgy.
The first involves three people developing a spiritual connection with each other. She describes it as similar to a Quaker tradition; the parties take turns talking, listening and observing.
The second is a non-Eucharist service which relies heavily on imagery, music and themes that aren't typically seen as "church-like" to create a spiritual experience for those seeking God.
I can't do either justice here, but I encourage you to ask Thelma about them at coffee hour! Both topics are fascinating!
| Music on the Lawn: Join the Committee!|
We're gearing up for the 2012 Music on the Lawn series, which will be held here in Grace's Garden every Thursday evening in September!
Jeanne Jennings and Joanna Riley have agreed to take the lead, but they're looking for a few others from the parish to help them plan it and for people to volunteer the nights of the events.
Their promise to committee members:
"Minimum time commitment -- Maximum fun! "
- Love music? Help us scout out and sign talent to perform
- Love food? Help us with the menu of items we'll be selling
- Love people? Help us create an inviting atmosphere
| Parishioner Profile: Hillary Liebtag|
By Elizabeth Hill
Hillary Liebtag and I met during the summer of 2010. I heard that she was new at Grace and so we got together for coffee after work. We immediately hit it off and now two years have flown by.
Hillary moved around a lot as a child and is the youngest of four. Growing up, Hillary lived in the suburbs of Chicago Ill., Fairfield County Conn. and then moved to Chapel Hill, N.C. when she was 16.
Hillary said, "it really shaped my values because having moved a lot, my 3 siblings and I became really close. We had lots of car rides and Dance Dance Revolution games in the basement before we met our own friends. We all live across the country now but make time for sibling trips and family vacations and are really involved in each other's lives."
Hillary moved to D.C. because she got a job at a consulting firm out of college. She wanted to live 5 hours or less away from her parents - so D.C. was the obvious choice for her job search.
Hillary said that when she moved to D.C. the shock of not having any siblings or knowing anyone was really scary so she reached out to her family for advice. Her dad told her to get involved in everything and to find a weekly routine. With that advice, she decided to look up an Episcopal church near her new home in Rosslyn.
Hillary said, "I found Grace's beautiful website and saw Elizabeth Hill's picture in the young 20s30s40s group. We emailed a few times, got coffee and discovered we had a lot of similar connections from Chapel Hill. I had such a warm welcome from her and from the community of Grace and was so lucky to feel for the first time since I moved to D.C. like it was home."
What Hillary loves most about Grace are the people. We discussed how coming in as a young single person in other churches can sometimes feel a little overwhelming, but the minute Hillary stepped into Grace everyone was welcoming and loving.
"From warm hellos during the Peace, to a buzz of conversation at coffee hour I've never felt left out. I feel like the people are there for the right reason, to take time out of their week to appreciate what they have and give thanks to God," said Hillary.
Hillary likes to spend her free time working out, exploring the city, and assisting young horseback riders at Rock Creek Park Stable. You might see her in riding chaps leaving Grace after church on her way to the stables.
Hillary works in sales at Living Social helping small businesses attract new customers and helping customers in the Northeast discover their cities. Hillary's sales skills made her a natural for the role of Silent Auction Chair for the annual Friends of Grace Gala. We are grateful to Hillary for bringing in around 15 items donated by local businesses for the auction.
Hillary's goals for the future are to build a career that continues to challenge her, travel, get married, start a family, and build a house and life she can enjoy.
The motto Hillary tries to live by is "be who you are not who others want you to be." Hillary said she can be a bit of a "goofball" and she tries her hardest to not worry about what others think and just live life to the fullest.
| The 19th Annual Taste of Georgetown a Success|
By Catherine Aselford
On a perfect spring morning, Grace Parishioners gathered under white tents on Wisconsin Avenue. The mood was calm and relaxed, but we knew that wouldn't last.
We were expecting approximately 10,000 visitors to our neighborhood, and we'd gathered to greet, direct, and sell tickets to the expected crowd. Our overarching reason for being there was to support Georgetown Ministry Center's services to the homeless.
The Taste of Georgetown began as Grace Church's Fall Festival. I remember taking turns at selling tickets and serving food on Grace's lawn during my first festival, in 1995. In those days, the restaurants dropped off their delicacies, and we spooned it up!
The Taste of Georgetown has grown since then, expanding beyond the gates of Grace and filling four blocks of Wisconsin Avenue. Many aspects of the Taste remain the same: food from Georgetown's best restaurants; crowds of people new to Grace; the mission of raising money for the homeless. But perhaps the most important constant is the Grace community.
For 19 years, Jim and Janet Sale have sold Taste tickets. Every year I can remember, David Bujard, Jean McKinney, Helen Buhr and Lenore Reid have worked as greeters, ticket sellers, and yes, in those early days, food handlers. I cannot begin to count -- and thank -- all those who have donated their time to the nineteen Tastes.
Many new faces have joined us during the years, but one thing of which we can all be proud: Grace Church's commitment to helping the less fortunate. Grace was founded as a mission church more than 150 years ago, and from our origins as a church for poor watermen to our present as a church in one of DC's "entertainment districts", we've always found ways to help those in need. The exact cause may change, we add new faces (and sometimes lose familiar ones), but our commitment remains.
This year, preliminary figures provided by the Business Improvement District show just under $100,000 raised through ticket sales. Figures are not yet available on how much of that amount must be used to offset expenses, but we predict a healthy contribution to the Georgetown Ministry Center!
Of the 47 volunteers handling tickets, questions and crowds on June 2, 29 were Grace Parishioners. We were joined by personal friends, Georgetown University students, local business people, and relatives. This is the mission of Grace Church -- to serve and to encourage others to join us in service.
See more photos from the day in the left column of this newsletter.
| 2nd Annual Thai Village Held at Grace|
Article and Photos by Katie Elmore
On Saturday, June 23, the Royal Thai Embassy held it's 2nd Annual Thai Village on the grounds of Grace. The festival brought together the sites, sounds, and flavors of Thailand while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the joining of Washington, DC and Bangkok as sister cities.
To transform Grace's lush grounds into a Thai village, local Thai resturants set up
shop in traditional-themed pagodas, and a central stage hosted cultural performances such as Muay Thai (Thai boxing), music and dances.
The Thai Ambassador to Washington, Chaiyong Satjipan
, gave opening remarks to
|Victor and Keiko enjoy the cool Grace Church steps|
kick-off the festival. Ambassador Satjipanon thanked the festival goers, representative of the DC mayor's office, and Grace Church, which he gave a special thanks for allowing the festival to take pace on its grounds. He remarked that he hoped the festival would continue "forever."
The Thai village placed Grace at the center of the cultural and diplomatic ties between Washington and Bangkok, and the U.S. and Thailand. As one couple, who traveled from Loudon County to enjoy the festival said, "The location is beautiful and we were able to explore Georgetown as well!"
With its location in Georgetown, visitors to the festival at Grace had a gateway to explore the neighborhood, the city, and the region's international relationship with Thailand.
The Thai embassy is located across the street from Grace at 1024 Wisconsin Ave., N.W. Washington D.C. 20007.
Learn more about activities sponsored by the Embassy and U.S. Thai relations. See more photos from the day at the bottom of the left column.
By Margaret Davis
Highlights of the June 18th Vestry meeting include:
- The tuck pointing on the front of the Rectory is complete. Looks great!
- We're working to secure samples for the stone arch restoration above the red front doors. As a result of the successful Saving Grace Gala we can now move forward with that project
- We're looking at the potential of running a phone line to the lift in case of emergencies
- We are looking at performing appropriate maintenance work to the spaces used by the Montessori school before the children return from summer break
- We encourage people to attend the July Bach Festival -- see the article above
- The Reverend Thelma Smullen (profile above) and The Reverend Sarah Motley have been formally engaged this summer to cover services and duties while John is on sabbatical
- Reverend Thelma Smullen (profile above) may be best reached in the office at Grace, 202-333-7100 extension 1, or via her mobile phone, 410-336-7208; her day off is Thursday
- Conversations regarding the potential of same-gender marriage at Grace Church will resume in the fall after John returns from sabbatical
- Full minutes of meetings are available in the notebook in the volunteer office in the Rectory once they are approved by the Vestry
|A Pilgrimage into the |
High Middle Ages
By Sally Campbell Avignone
"When that April with its showers sweet..."
So Chaucer begins his Canterbury Tales...
Just this April past, a band of pilgrims set out to visit medieval cathedrals contemporary with the Canterbury Cathedral of Chaucer's time, but across the English Channel and south to the land that forms a circle surrounding Paris.
Their pilgrimage was, as Chaucer's, a reverent journey to sacred sites, but with the added element of time travel, for it was taken with a conscious effort to experience the wonder of the phenomenon of the first Gothic Cathedrals as did the people of the 11th century--through the light of the stained-glass windows.
With my friend and colleague in such adventures, Donna Osthaus, I led a group of 15 on a course/tour they titled The Liturgy of Light: An on-site course to discover how the desire to express a New Light of the Divine manifested itself in the architectural creations of the High Middle Ages.
Pilgrims they were, but rather than having one sacred site, Canterbury Cathedral, with the relics of the freshly martyred St. Thomas a Becket to view, and miles to cover each day by horseback, with uncertain lodging along the way, the pilgrims to The Liturgy of Light had as many, and more, sites of early Gothic Cathedrals to visit as they had days to stay in France, had their own motor coach and driver to take them, and a peaceful and spacious home to return to each afternoon.
The Chateau d'Ermenonville, in the Valley d'Oise just north of Paris, our home away from home, proved perfect for rest and quiet after the movement, stimulation, color, art, ideas, history into which we had been immersed since early morning. Perfect, also, for our common gathering at cocktail time each evening for "class," during which the pilgrims shared personal impressions of the day and were immersed again into the medieval sensibility through taking the parts of colorful characters of the time in plays related directly to the cathedral sites next to be visited.
Thus, attendees "became" Abelard, Heloise, Jeanne d'Arc, Charles VII, Bernard of Clairvaux, Abbot Suger. Evenings prepared for mornings, for visiting such sites as the Abbey Church of St. Denis, where Abbot Suger intended this first accomplished Gothic structure to open the walls to the "resplendent light spilling through the luminous windows."
Such sites were visited as Laon, its Cathedral of Notre Dame, with its seven towers, and their charming sculptures of oxen, topping this small mountain of a medieval town rising out of the French countryside.
As Reims, the sacred coronation site for all legitimate French kings, where Jeanne d'Arc, herself, placed the crown on the Dauphine's head.
As Amiens, looming larger and rising higher than the royal Reims, the result of one master builder's perfect planning, working hand in hand with a refined understanding of building techniques and producing a marvel of any age.
As the Cathedral of Beauvais, whose crossing tower suffered a spectacular collapse and, thus, has represented the overreaching of man's ambition, so much a part of the Gothic experiment.
That virtually all of the very early Gothic Cathedrals rose up in a circle within 50 miles of Paris, like a circle of mushrooms, made it possible to have that central home from which to ray out to visit the sites each day, and this is what the pilgrims did for the first eight days from the Chateau d'Ermenonville, visiting the sites to the north.
For the remaining four days, they stayed in a hotel in Paris in the medieval quarter of St. Germain-des-Pres, within walking distance of Notre Dame de Paris, museums, and other Paris pleasures, taking day trips by the same motor coach to sites south of Paris, such as the Basilica of St. Madeleine at Vezelay.
It was from Paris that the highpoint of The Liturgy of Light was reached. For the Cathedral of Notre Dame of Chartres, inspired to be rebuilt, by the people, for Mary, after the precious relic of her tunic miraculously survived the disastrous fire of 1194, remains as a towering hall of worship, intact, for pilgrims to experience. And they do experience this sacred space, its hallowed grandeur, its endless stories in the carved stone and, especially, in the mysteriously glowing blue glass, and, thus, embrace a kinship with the medieval spirit.
We 21st century pilgrims, toward the end of our journey, were reminded of our kinship with Chaucer's pilgrims when we visited the Cathedral of Sens, for there, beautifully told in panels of a stained-glass window of the period, was the life story and martyrdom of St. Thomas a Becket. St. Thomas had taken refuge in the Cathedral at Sens when he was exiled by his king. It was shortly after he returned to England that that king said the words to his knights that cost him his life, and so made the Canterbury Cathedral a passionately popular pilgrimage sight.
|Weekly at Grace|
Prayers for the Nation and the World
Held outside at the Memorial Cross, includes remembrance of the Fallen (last Sunday of each month; 15 minutes)
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.
Outreach to the community, particularly lower Georgetown, remains a vital ministry of Grace.
Grace Church is committed to providing a spiritual refuge for everyone living and working in the Georgetown area regardless of their religious affiliation.
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