Greetings from Grace!
In this Issue: Vacation Bible School Events Past and Upcoming, Another Successful Bach Festival, Vestry Update and More!
Grace Episcopal Church
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
Late 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.
Sunday, July 29
Shrine of the Immaculate Conception; tour
Saturday, August 4
St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral; tour
Sunday, August 12
Picnic in Grace's Garden
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 or call or email to let us know how many people will be attending each outing. Contacts: Jacqueline Walters (646 -265-0360) and Reverend Sarah Motley (240-483-0349).
Rector John Graham returns from sabbatical
Every Thursday in September
5:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Music on the Lawn
Come join us and invite your friends for music on Grace's lawn!
Thursday, September 6
Sir Alan and the Calypso Ponzi Schemers
A classic calypso trio playing music from the Caribbean and New York City; we are excited to bring their energy to Georgetown!
Thursday, September 13
The Georgetown Chimes
This all male a capella group from Georgetown University will be performing barbershop standards, rock classics and Motown hits; a true Georgetown treasure that delights audiences!
Thursday, September 20
The Larry Brown Jazz Quintet
An award-winning, straight-ahead instrumental jazz quintet with a wide variety of material; we are thankful to have them joining us again!
Thursday, September 27
A great entertainer and superb poet who reads/sings with jazz musicians, we're so glad to welcome her back to Music on the Lawn.
Save the dates! Contact Jeanne Jennings if you'd like to help with the planning!
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. Only 14 spaces left!
Information and registration forms are available at Grace and by request from the office; register now to reserve your space!
Gardens and Grounds
The Gardens at Grace thrive with the love and care of volunteers.
Grace's Garden was started in summer 2007 to provide an opportunity for members of Grace Church to "till the soil" together in fellowship to improve the grounds and gardens of Grace.
For a few hours on Saturday mornings once a month during the summer, the volunteers of Grace's Garden work on adopted garden plots they've chosen, weeding, planting, pruning, mulching and nurturing their section.
All implements and plants are provided, though gardeners are welcome to contribute. No experience necessary... we will help you find your green thumb!
|So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu|
Eunok Lee and Bill Mako are off to Paris in September! It's a two-year assignment, after which we hope to find them back here in DC and back with us at Grace.
The Rileys are also on the move! As Jason's tenure at NIH concludes, he, Joanna, Hunter, Jamison, Logan and their dogs Ben and Sam, cat Abigail, 3 mice and 2 fish are relocating.
They will be leaving the US in late August / early September. They will certainly stay in touch with the Grace family and would love to have many visits from everyone once they get settled - wherever they get settled.
|More Pictures from the Bach Festival|
|The church was alive with the sound of music and we had good turnouts for all of the concerts|
|Professor Roland Maria Stangier and Francine|
|David Bond, Francine and friends celebrating another successful Bach Festival at Cafe La Ruche|
|The red doors to the church welcomed attendees to the concerts|
|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.
|Write for Greetings from Grace!|
We'd love to have more writers contribute to the newsletter.
Let us know what your group is working on!
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?
Contact our editor, Jeanne Jennings
, to discuss opportunities and see about getting on our editorial calendar.
Greetings from Grace is published every month to inform and engage members and friends of Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown.
| August 2012|
Dear Friend of Grace,
I am enjoying being here with you at Grace!
In this issue we have not just one but two articles on the Vacation Bible School (VBS) visit to Masjid Mohammad Mosque. Since it's a multi-generational pilgrimage it seems only fitting that we have articles by a mother and son.
And don't miss the highlights and pictures of the VBS outing to the National Cathedral! We have a few more VBS outings in late July and early August, I hope you can join us (see the schedule in the left column).
But that's not all that's happening. We've also got an article about last month's Bach Festival, a vestry update for you, more detail on who'll be performing at our September Music on the Lawn events, and so much more in this issue!
In Christ's Redeeming Love,
Vacation Bible School: Our Mosque Visit
|Members of the Grace Church Vacation Bible School Group enjoying lunch and conversation at Masjid Mohammad Mosque|
By Martin Fischer
We arrived at the Mosque a little early, but just in time for a nice treat of sandwiches!
They had tuna and chicken and it was clear that they had put in time and effort to comfort us, meeting our needs and providing us with a warm welcome.
From what I saw, everyone was having a good time learning about Islam and the ways of their congregation.
A Muslim service is different from a Christian service in many ways: the women sit separately on chairs in the back and the men sit on the floor in the front, everyone must take their shoes off before they enter the sanctuary and instead of an altar there is a special alcove built in the front for the Imam to preach from.
However, there are also many similarities: there is a leader of the service; there is a feeling of unity amongst the congregation and people prayed during the service. However, the most important similarity was that we were all there worshiping one God, no matter what form we did it in.
When I was listening to the sermon, sitting on the beautifully woven rug, a man came into the service and sat down right next to me. He then stood up, performed a prayer before sitting down again and prostrating. His feet were behind him and were actually slightly touching mine. Yet he did not show any sign of discomfort or anything of the sort.
He just continued praying and I really felt a part of the community and the togetherness of everyone there. He did not see me as "The Christian Visitor," or even as different at all. He acted as if I was a familiar face to him. I'm glad for programs like this one and wish they were more common.
We've got a few more Vacation Bible School events lined up; see the schedule in the left column -- we hope you can join us!
Vacation Bible School / A Holy Pilgrimage: Masjid Mohammad Mosque, Friday, July 6
|Logan Riley, Joanna Riley and Reverend Thelma Smullen at Masjid Mohammad Mosque|
By Reverend Sarah Motley
"Peace be with you," were the words our host, Mujahid Beyah, spoke as he called our well-fed group together.
Twenty-plus Grace Church pilgrims had arrived in the 95+ degree heat an hour earlier and had been treated to a lunch of tuna and chicken sandwiches, fruit and beverages.
"And also with you," a few of us reflexively responded.
Despite the heat and the crowded, noisy downstairs room in which members of the mosque worked in the kitchen, talked in groups, or passed through to the upstairs prayer room, peace and welcome radiated from all those who greeted us.
Finished with lunch, we made our way up the stairs to the large open room from which the compelling chant, the call to prayer sung in Arabic, had been coming. Men and boys entered through one door, women, all with scarves covering our heads, through another. All removed their shoes.
As the service began, the room was sparsely occupied. Men stood, sat or knelt on the floor, facing East, facing Mecca, the holy city of Islam. Women also sat on the floor but there were more chairs available for the women.
There was no printed order of service, simply a pamphlet with announcements and advertisements, which included a prominent welcome to the folks from Grace Church. Except for a few prayers in Arabic, the entire service was conducted in English.
No order of service was necessary, because almost the entire 45-minutes consisted of a sermon by the resident Imam, Talib Shareef, a 30 year retired Chief Master Sergeant in the United States Air Force.
His theme was independence, and he called to mind a number of Americans, including Martin Luther King Jr, and Frederick Douglass, weaving together a call for 'independence from dependence,' reminding the people that the soul is God-given, and that though we do not always do what we know is right to do, 'God never overlooks the good we do or give.' And he quoted Jesus, who is a holy prophet in Islam.
Under the spinning and hand-held fans which unsuccessfully attempted to push away the heat, the room slowly filled until by the end of the service there were at least 250 people sitting in informal yet even rows. On occasion, one would rise, perhaps to stretch or to pray. There was quiet coming and going.
In the women's section, one small, aged, white-clad woman was gently assisted by those around her, some who wore 'Sunday best' hats in place of scarves. The old woman had earlier greeted me warmly, if somewhat distractedly, as I was talking with our host. 'She has been with us for many years,' he said, 'but suffers from some dementia.' To observe the community include and honor her, in small but sincere ways, is testimony to the spirit of Masjid Mohammad's people.
As we were leaving, I mentioned this sense of community and caring to Mujahid Beyah. He looked me straight in the eye and said, 'We can sense the same thing from your group.' We had been welcomed with 'peace be with you,' so warmly by this community of faith. Simply by being present, being open, being ourselves, something of Grace was evidently conveyed....a very good way to begin this summer's pilgrimage.
We've got a few more Vacation Bible School events lined up; see the schedule in the left column -- we hope you can join us!
Vacation Bible School: Highlights from The National Cathedral
|Jamison Riley and Jeanne Jennings up close and personal with the organ|
Quick thoughts from attendees young and old
"Jamison and Logan both love music so naturally they were very excited and mesmerized by the organ. It was a real treat to get to see it up close !"
"The gestalt of the organist -- quietly engaging, no pretense, his love of the instrument and his beautiful playing."
"Logan Riley clapping and thumping along with the organ"
"The boys going off on their own to explore, discovering places on their own, making the tour (and the place) their own."
|Sharing a peaceful moment in St Mary's Chapel|
"The fact that the cathedral is the only private institution to have a moon rock -- thanks to astronaut Michael Collins who went to St. Albans School."
"The glass windows are always a big hit with the children!"
"The rose window is my favorite!"
"The care and devotion with which the massive edifice was built...and the time it took to build it."
"The care and devotion of the docent -- a massive building became a place not simply to be impressed but to be quietly blessed."
"The links to Canterbury and Jerusalem -- stones from far away places in the pulpit and altar were, for me, a powerful physical symbol of the world-wide, historic church."
"I love the cathedral and it was so nice to
share it with friends from Grace."
|Fielding, Nady, Jamison, Martin and Logan with a status of Jesus as boy outside of the Children's Chapel|
"The childrens' chapel. We never visit the cathedral without a visit to the childrens' chapel; I think it brings the scale of the place down to Jamie's level."
"The Bethlehem Chapel. It's my favorite part of the Cathedral, because it's the oldest part and because it's such a beautiful "mini-version" of the upstairs."
"The majesty of it all -- and the fact that, while it's damaged, it's still standing after the earthquake."
"When I grow up I want to live in a place like this...only smaller."
Bach was Back -- and What a Pleasure it Was!
|The Coffee Cantata was like a mini comic opera staged on Grace's altar|
By Jeanne Jennings
July 2012 saw the return of the annual Bach Festival to Grace Church. This was the 19th year the festival has been held and Francine Mate put together a varied and always enjoyable program.
I have a confession to make; while I love all types of music, I am not accomplished enough to differentiate between composers. But that didn't impede my ability to enjoy the concerts.
The first concert featured Francine on organ and harpsichord along with more than half a dozen other musicians and singers. I was delighted with what I saw!
The Coffee Cantata, by Bach, is basically a mini comic opera about coffee addiction written in the 1700s. The singers were very animated, telling the story of a father who promises to find his daughter a husband if she'll give up coffee. What he doesn't know is that she's making her own deals with potential suitors, telling them she won't consent to marry them unless she's allowed her fill of java.
The second concert featured Professor Roland Maria Stangier, from Essen Germany, on organ. He opened with an improvisational homage to JS Bach in the form of a trio sonata. Trio sonatas can be written for multiple instruments (hence the "trio" in the name), but Bach wrote many solely for organ.
In Bach's trio sonatas for organ, the right hand, left hand and pedals are each playing a different part, akin to rubbing your belly and patting your head at the same time. Professor Stangier played a number of additional pieces and ended his concert with another improvisation, a fantasie and fugue on themes provided by Francine.
|Francine with Lawrence Molinaro|
Lawrence Molinaro, a Grace parishioner (and former organist of Grace Church) was the featured performer for the third concert. He performed "The Art of Fugue," a treatise by Bach on fugue techniques which was initially thought to be unfinished at the time of his death.
Fugues are compositions built primarily on a single musical theme, called a "subject." The subject is presented in its original state, then tweaked in a variety of ways so that it is recognizable but different throughout the remainder of the composition.
Molinaro pointed out that some musicologists now believe that this piece isn't unfinished, but was intended as a learning tool for young musicians, who were to finish it, either through improvisation or written composition, on their own.
The festival concluded with a mesmerizing performance by David Bond, D.M.A. In addition to a trio sonata and a fugue by Bach, he performed works from Scarlatti and Walther, both contemporaries of the festival's namesake.
Many thanks to Francine Mate, Helen Buhr and all the other volunteers who helped make this year's festival a success! See more photos of the Bach Festival
in the left column.
If you weren't able to attend, we hope to see you next year at the 20th Annual Bach Festival. You won't regret it, even if (like me) you don't know your Bach from your Beethoven!
By Barbara de Beaufort
Highlights of the July 16th Vestry meeting include:
- Paul Alligood, our Junior Warden, described progress on the projects he is working on: replacing the French doors and repairing cracks in the Parish Hall, repairing the flooring in the foyer, and installing a phone line in the elevator.
- Paul is expecting a sample of the 'mock up' compound for the stone arch restoration. The restoration of the arches will be funded by monies raised through 'Saving Grace' events, like our successful 'Saving Grace Gala.'
- The Treasurer's Report, by Peter Wallace, showed net proceeds of the Gala at $22,015.
- Kimberly Ludwig and Paul Alligood reported that even though several sections of the church yard garden are well taken care of, there are not enough volunteers to do the work needed-- 50% of the gardens are not cared for. They feel it is time to start budgeting for garden labor on a recurring basis.
- We will have 'Music on the Lawn' this year after all! Jeanne Jennings and Joanna Riley are contacting musicians, and the planning should be complete by the end of July. Kimberly Ludwig, the liaison with the Outreach Committee, reported that the performance schedule will be the four Thursday evenings in September. She was excited about the performers they have lined up so far: the Georgetown Chimes (a popular a cappella group from Georgetown University), Sir Alan and the Calypso Ponzi Schemers, Holly Bass and the Larry Brown Jazz Quintet. Jeanne and Joanna are planning to sell refreshments at the concerts--light food--charcuterie and cheese plates. See the schedule to date above.
- Thelma Smullen, our Priest-in-Charge, who attended all four of the Bach Concerts, reported that they have each been different and all the performers have been special. Francine Mate does a magnificent job organizing, with support from Helen Buhr. Thelma and the Vestry think that we need help with marketing the series. Read the article above for highlightsand see additional photos from the Festival in the left column.
- Children and adults of all ages enjoyed the first two Vacation Bible School pilgrimages, to the mosque and to the synagogue. Reverend Sarah Motley has also set up trips to the National Cathedral and to the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and with help from Helen Mirtova, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. See the schedule of remaining events above, along with a parent and teenager view of the Mosque and highlights and pictures from the National Cathedral.
- Full Minutes of Vestry Meetings are in the notebook in the Volunteer office of the Rectory after they have been approved by the Vestry.
Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage
By Helma Lanyi,
Episcopal Peace Fellowship DC
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.
Who was Jonathan Daniels?
He was an Episcopal seminarian who answered the call of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to help register African-American voters in Alabama. He was shot and killed August 20, 1965, while shielding then 16-year-old Ruby Sales, an African-American, from a shotgun blast as both Daniels and she attempted to enter a store to buy a cold drink.
The shooter, Tom Coleman, was a white, unemployed highway worker. He was later acquitted by a jury in an Alabama court.
The Episcopal Church added Daniels to the Church Calendar of Saints and Martyrs in 1994 to be remembered each August 14.
Each year, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship has taken part in a pilgrimage to Hayneville, Alabama, and this year it will take place on Saturday, August 11, 2012 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The procession will start at the Courthouse Square in Hayneville to proceed to the old county jail where Sales and Daniels were among those detained for a week. It will then move to the old Cash Grocery Store where Daniels was killed. A service of Holy Communion in the courtroom will end the pilgrimage.
|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