Greetings from Grace!
In this Issue: Music on the Lawn in September, Stewardship,
Adult Forum: Evil and the Love of God and More!  


Grace Episcopal Church
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007 
202.333.7100 | 
In this issue...
Stewardship: Annual Pledge Drive
Music on the Lawn, September 2012
Adult Forum: Evil and the Love of God
Grace Celebrates 150 Years!
VBS Visit to the Basilica
Upcoming Events
Thursday, September 4
Rector John Graham returns from sabbatical
Every Thursday in September 
5:00 pm to 7:30 pm  
Music on the Lawn
Come join us, bring a picnic and invite your friends for music on Grace's lawn! Here's the line-up of performers:


Thursday, September 6
Sir Alan and the Calypso Ponzi Schemers

Thursday, September 13 

The Georgetown Chimes
Thursday, September 20 
The Larry Brown Jazz Quartet
Thursday, September 27 
Holly Bass and Her Jazz Band

Save the dates! Contact Jeanne Jennings if you're able to volunteer -- more information on performers in the article at the right. 


Sunday, September 9
Fall Schedule Returns along with Adult Forum
Sunday Services will again be held at 8:30 and 10:30 AM, until Memorial Day 2013. 
The Adult Forum will also resume on September 9 at 9:40 am in the Parish Hall. The Topic is "Evil and the Love of God;" see the article to the right for more information.
Sunday, September 9
6:00 PM
20s30s40s Group Barbeque
Hamburgers, veggiburgers and hot dogs provided! Other food and drink contributions welcome! RSVP to Jane Mosbacher.

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!

Committee Corner:
Koinonia Dinner Groups
Koinonia dinner groups are a wonderful way to get to know other Grace Church people. 

Groups meet in the homes of fellow parishioners fora potluck dinner 3 or 4 times during the year. 

Contact Jean McKinney to join!
CommCornCommittee Corner:
Grace's Table

Grace's Table offers hot lunch, bible study and fellowship on Saturdays for persons who are homeless or living on the margins.


If you can cook a meal this fall please contact Sarah Haft or Kay Horst


The Outreach Committee is happy to reimburse Grace's Table volunteers for their out-of-pocket costs of providing food and parking.


VBSFarewell and Thank You Thelma!
It's been such a blessing to have Thelma with us while John was on sabbatical.
We offer a prayer in thanksgiving for the experience and wish us all well as we part. 

O God, you have bound us together for a time as priest and people to work for the advancement of your kingdom in this parish community. 


We give you humble and sincere thanks for the ministry which we have shared in these months now past.


Now, we pray, be with Thelma, who is about to leave, and with us who stay; and grant that all of us, by drawing ever nearer to you, may always be close to each other in the communion of your saints. 


All this we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen

Vestry Notes

The vestry did not meet in August; regular meetings will resume in September. 
The full minutes of Vestry Meetings are in the notebook in the Volunteer office of the Rectory after they have been approved by the Vestry. 
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.

Committee Chairs
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.
VBSVacation Bible School Visit to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral
                                                                                      September 2012
Dear Friend of Grace,

Welcome to this month's newsletter!
Music on the Lawn takes place every Thursday night this month and we hope you will come and invite friends! Read on for a list of performers, including Holly Bass, my personal favorite from last year. 
Also here -- information on the 2013 Stewardship Campaign, the Fall Retreat, the upcoming 150th Anniversary of Grace, the Vacation Bible School Visit to the Basilica, how to get involved in the Koinonia dinners, Grace's Table and more! 

In Christ's Redeeming Love,
Thelma Smullen, Priest in Charge
Annual Fall Pledge Drive

Dear Parishioners, 
Greetings from the Stewardship committee!
In September, starting with a Sunday sermon from John Graham, we'll launch Grace Church's annual fall pledge drive. 
Every year, we ask each of our members and friends to make a pledge to support Grace financially. 
Your support enables Grace to pay its rector, staff, and expenses, helps crucial ministries to thrive, and acts as a testament to the deep fellowship we all enjoy within our parish community and to our shared faith in a life based in trust and love.
Please take time in the coming weeks to consider the value of all that Grace gives to you and others, and the importance of your relationship with God and with your fellow Grace friends.
By recognizing these blessings, we hope you'll find more than enough reason to make a generous pledge to support Grace and its ministries in 2013. 
In Christ,
Scott Murphy
Stewardship Chair
MOTLMusic on the Lawn 2012
By Jeanne Jennings

Please join us -- and invite your friends -- for Music on the Lawn, a free event taking place every Thursday evening in September from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. 


Music on the Lawn will be held in Grace's Garden; in case of inclement weather, the performance will be moved indoors.


Guests are invited to bring picnic blankets, food and beverages; chairs will also be available.


We're looking forward to a great event! If you can volunteer to help us, please contact Jeanne Jennings. See you there!  


Here's the line up:

September 6:  

Sir Alan and the Calypso Ponzi Schemers


Sir Alan and the Calypso Ponzi Schemers are a classic calypso music trio who play calypsos from the two great hubs of calypso music-the Caribbean and New York City.


The bare bones ensemble includes Sir Alan (MacEwen) on guitar, vocals, and trumpet; Lord Daniel (Schwartz) on percussion and ukelele; and The Mighty Carol (Arthur) on Trinidadian steel pan.


The group was founded in 2009 when the trio's success in the world of high finance gained them the leisure time to pursue their love of Caribbean music. Sir Alan was briefly a Trinidadian from 1969 to 1970. He gained his original stake in calypso music at the height of the big band calypso era in the days when the Mighty Sparrow and Lord Kitchener battled it out for the calypso crown.



September 13:

The Georgetown Chimes


The Georgetown Chimes are Georgetown University's oldest all-male a cappella singing group.


Since 1946, the Georgetown Chimes have entertained Presidents from Truman to Obama, cocktail parties from Maine to California, and crowds of all ages from Puerto Rico to Germany.


A Georgetown Chimes concert consists of high-quality vocal performance, entertainment, and energy sure to please audiences of all ages. From barbershop standards and The Star Spangled Banner to Motown and pop favorites, The Chimes always entertain their guests.


September 20:

The Larry Brown Jazz Quartet


Pianist Larry Brown leads one of the most accomplished straight-ahead jazz groups in the Mid-Atlantic area. 


They have performed at Blues Alley, the Meyerhoff, the Kennedy Center, the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, Strathmore Mansion and the Black Rock Center for the Arts, among other venues. describes The Larry Brown Quartet as "Straight-ahead jazz at its best, with a forthright approach to well chosen material, supported by first rate soloists and a rock-solid rhythm section."


September 27: 

Holly Bass and her Jazz Band


Holly Bass is a writer, performer and director. A Cave Canem fellow, her poems have appeared in Callaloo,nocturnes (re)view, Beltway, Role Call (Third World Press) and The Ringing Ear, an anthology of Black Southern poetry.


Her pieces have been workshopped and presented at respected regional theaters and performance spaces such as the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, the Whitney Museum and the Experience Music Project in Seattle.


She is the Cullen Poet-in-Residence for Busboys & Poets (DC) where she coordinates open mic nights and writing workshops for the public.


She has received numerous grants from the DC Arts Commission and was one of twenty artists nationwide to receive 2008 Future Aesthetics grant from the Ford Foundation/Hip Hop Theater Festival.

AdultForumAdult Forum:
Evil and the Love of God

By The Reverend John Graham


I just returned from a few days in Chicago, celebrating my nephew's fiftieth birthday with him and his extended family.


Chicago has lots of problems these days, but the massed towers of its downtown are invigorating regardless.


They put me in mind of architect Daniel Burnham, an author of the 1909 "Chicago Plan" for the city's development. He wrote:  "Make no small plans. They have no power to stir men's blood."


Partly inspired by Burnham and the skyscrapers that reflect his audacity  (hubris?), I decided to make "no small plan" for this fall's Adult Forum. 


We'll bite off way more than we'll be able to chew, taking on the Problem of Evil, i.e., if God is Love, why does evil exist? The official title of this series will be "Evil and the God of Love." 


The guide for our conversations will be a brief (about 100 pages) book by British author Brian Hebblethwaite, Evil, Suffering and Religion. It summarizes various faiths' perspectives on the problem of evil, with a focus on the Judeo-Christian heritage.  


Not written for scholars, it's nevertheless not an easy read. I'll try to summarize the portion we're discussing prior to each session, so - while I strongly recommend reading the book - doing so isn't an absolute requirement for participation.


Unfortunately, the book is no longer in print, and is not available as an e-book. Limited copies are available from Amazon, Alibris, and other online sites. I'll order 4 or 5 to have on hand at Grace when I return, but hope most of you will order your own copy.


We resume Adult Forum on Sunday, September 9 at 9:40 in the Parish Hall.  I hope some men's, and women's, blood is stirred by our big plans.

Grace to Celebrate 150 Years in Georgetown!
By John Boynton


Sesquicentennial is a big word for a 150th Anniversary, a threshold we will cross in 2016. Grace's contribution to lower Georgetown's spiritual needs and physical wants since 1865 is an inspiring narrative.


When John Graham asked me to review the archive I discovered a fascinating and engrossing task. I have been logging each document and am making slow progress.


Many Grace parishioners are aware of our church's modest beginnings as a mission church. 


Fewer may know that the church and its property sit on land donated by the Cook family. It is deeded to the parish in perpetuity on two conditions:

  • that Communion be celebrated every Sunday 
  • that only "low church" liturgy be used 

The declining fortunes of the C&O canal boat families as the railroad flourished and canal traffic waned is a rich era. 


It proceeds to World War I, the closing of the canal in 1924, the hard years of the Depression and the dark years of World War II, the aging of the parishioners in the Fifties and the rescue of Grace from a near collapse.


Grace played a major role in resisting the Vietnam War and supporting the "counter culture" of street kids and runaways. Grace entered the 70's exploring new liturgies and alternative worship. Grace was also an early supporter of the ordination of women.


The changing nature of the neighborhood brought battles with restaurant and bar owners who were encroaching on the property, pushing ABC regulations to the limit with the Vestry fighting back with lawyers from the congregation.


The acquisition of our magnificent tracker organ, hand-crafted in Vermont by David Moore and his associates, was a financial stretch for a small parish.  It was accomplished with controversy. 


Factions who saw the new organ as an opportunity contested those who felt the organ was an indefensible risk and a financial gamble. In the end, hope triumphed over caution and our nationally recognized organ became the voice of a growing musical tradition.


I had a conversation with the curator of The Peabody Archive at the Georgetown Public Library and learned that the archive had a Grace Church  file. His last words were "there's a book in here."


There are so many digital archiving and publishing options available that are beyond my reach that I'm begging for help. If you have experience, or even if you don't but are willing to help research and implement a solution, please contact the church office.  


The curator suggested ways of physical preservation. People have recommended scanning. Four years looks shorter every week. There are so many opportunities to preserve this treasure trove for future parishioners.


The story of Grace Church is a compelling record of faith in action. It is a powerful narrative which fully told could bring new people to discover "Amazing Grace" as a Sixties Washington Post profile characterized our congregation. I invite any interested party to begin the sesquicentennial celebration now.

Members of the Grace Church Vacation Bible School Group posing in front of a statue of Mother Theresa at the Basilica
MosqueMFVacation Bible School: Our Visit to the Basilica
By Martin Fischer

The Basilica was an amazing sight, just standing outside looking upon it, in fact, just the name itself lets you know that it is a grand place, yet a very holy place.

The word basilica is an early Christian church that was designed as a roman catholic church or cathedral. But if you stand outside admiring the site alone, you have really missed out on the amazing part, the inside.

The inside of the Basilica is something I will never forget. How could you, with the thousands of gold chips to make glorious mosaics, or the many different styles of chapels throughout, for different areas in the world. 

It was simply magnificent, and I wish more people could have experienced
its glory. 

On top of that, there was a very nice tour Guide for us that really
helped explain the complexity of the Basilica. At times, it was hard to
understand, but she really helped us through it. Let's just be thankful that
they provided us with a great place, and a great way to help us understand

There is also someone who my family adores greatly, an amazing woman and friend named Elena. Please, include her in your prayers for she is suffering a terrible cancer, and the Basilica is where she attends Mass, and prays to God. 

My friend Nady from France, my brother Fielding and my friend Hunter
were all afraid we wouldn't be able to keep up, but we did just fine. If you
have time, I would greatly recommend taking a visit to the glorious

Editor's Note: Vacation Bible School also included a trip to the Russian Orthodox Cathedral -- see the picture at left! 

Weekly at Grace
8:30 am
Holy Eucharist


9:45 am
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)
9:40 am
(Beginning September 9)
Adult Forum: Evil and the Love of God
Held in the parish hall; see the article above for more details
10:00 am
(Moves to 10:30 am beginning September 9)
Holy Eucharist 
Music, child care and Sunday School


5:00 pm
Service of Prayer, Meditation and Communion


12:15 pm
Centering Prayer
35 minutes
12:15 pm
Holy Eucharist
30 minutes
11:30 am
Grace's Table
See the note above to learn more or volunteer.
About Grace

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