Greetings from Grace!
In this Issue: Vestry Resolution on Same-Gender Marriage, Annual Retreat Overview, Bike Rack, Ice Skating Party and More!


Grace Episcopal Church
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
202.333.7100 | 
In this issue...
Vestry Resolution on Same-Gender Marriage
Help Us: Bike Rack on Wisconsin Avenue
Grace Ice Skating Party?
Annual Parish Retreat a Success
Vestry Notes: EastBanc Construction Update
ViewPoint: Palestine and Gaza
Upcoming Events
Sunday, December 2nd
After the 10:30 AM Service
Coffee Hour hosted by the Outreach Committee
After the 10:30 AM Service 
20s/30s/40s Bible Study
In the Rose Room


5:00 PM

Jazz Vespers

A brief service of Evening Prayer and musical offerings from the Blues Alley Youth Orchestra all-stars


Sunday, December 9th

After the 10:30 AM Service

Coffee Hour hosted by Eucharistic Ministers


After the 10:30 AM Service
Pastoral Care Knitting Circle
In the Rose Room


After the 10:30 Service

Exam Care Packages for Georgetown Students

Volunteers are needed to bring treats and help assemble the packages -- please see the note below


Sunday, December 9th through Saturday, December 22nd
Community Based Homeless Shelter at Grace
Volunteers are needed to cook dinners, provide breakfast food and stay overnight; please contact Helena Dunn to learn more or sign-up. 
PageantSunday, December 16th
During the 10:30 AM Service
Lessons and Carols with Nativity Pageant
Rehearsals are held every Sunday during the 10:30 AM service; the final rehearsal will be on Saturday, December 15 at a time to be announced. 


After the 10:30 AM Service
Coffee Hour host needed 
Please contact Stacy Carter to volunteer
After the 10:30 AM Service
20s/30s/40s Bible Study
In the Rose Room
Saturday, December 22nd
10:30 to 11:30 AM and 12:15 to 12:45 PM
Holiday Jazz with Project Natale, during and after Grace's Table
All are welcome! Some food might be available; our policy is to make sure our homeless guests have plenty, then serve others. 
Sunday, December 23rd
After the 10:30 AM Service
Coffee Hour hosted by Billy and Stacy Carter
December 24th
Christmas Eve Services
6:00 PM
Family Eucharist with Children's Sermon


10:30 PM
Carol Sing and Special Music


11:00 PM
Festive Eucharist


December 25th
10:30 AM
Christmas Day Service
Spoken Eucharist


Sunday, December 30th
After the 10:30 AM Service
Coffee Hour hosted by the Choir
Sunday, January 6th
After the 10:30 AM Service
Coffee Hour hosted by the Friends of Grace Gala Committee
Sunday, January 13th
After the 10:30 AM Service
Coffee Hour host needed
Please contact Stacy Carter to volunteer
Sunday, January 20th
After the 10:30 AM Service
Coffee Hour hosted by the Pastoral Care Committee
Sunday, January 27th
After the 10:30 AM Service
Coffee Hour hosted by the Counters
KnittingExam Care Packages for Georgetown Students

We are so thankful for the Georgetown Students that help with Grace's Table every Saturday.
As a way of showing our appreciation, we provide care packages to help them get through their December exams. 
We'll be assembling the packages on Sunday, December 9th, after the 10:30 service and all help is appreciated!
If you are able, please bring a contribution for the packages. Any type of "study snack" is welcome; home-baked goodies are always a special treat, but healthy store bought fare is also great. 

You can drop off food on Sunday, December 2nd (if it will keep) or Sunday, December 9th. 

Please bring your contribution packaged in individual portions; our goal is to create care packages for at least 40 students. 
Contact David Bujard via email or phone (703-209-1209) to learn more.  

If you haven't already, please complete and submit your 2013 pledge card so the Budget Committee can get started on formulating a budget.

If you haven't received a card, please request one from the office
December Parishioners Birthdays
Angelina Alessi
Robert Bujard
Yvonne Mar
Patricia Sherman Murphy
Sophia Murphy
Stacy Murphy
Doretta Shull
Rupert Wallace
We'd like to include you in this list! Please email us with your birthday!
Christmas Flowers for the Church
If you would like to contribute to the flowers for the church at Christmas please mail your contribution to the church office or put a check in the offering plate marked "Christmas Flowers."

Please let us know if the flowers are in thanksgiving or in memory of loved ones and your request will be included in the Christmas bulletins. 

Our address: 
Grace Church Georgetown
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007 
Write for Greetings from Grace!
We'd love to have more writers contribute to the newsletter.

Contact our editor, Jeanne Jennings, to discuss opportunities.  

Greetings from Grace is published every month to inform and engage members and friends of Grace Episcopal Church in Georgetown.
                                                                                      December 1, 2012
Dear Friend of Grace,

'Tis the season! I hope your Thanksgiving was enjoyable and that you're looking forward to Christmas! Dates and times for Christmas services, as well as the annual Christmas Pageant, are here in "Upcoming Events."

Please take a moment to review the Vestry Resolution on same-gender marriage -- we'd like to get your questions, concerns and comments before we vote on it December 11th. 

We're also asking your help in getting the bike rack in front of Grace moved so that the parking spaces it's now taking up are again available for parishioners. And please let us know if you'd be interesting in joining us for a Grace Ice Skating Party here in Georgetown in January! Read about these and other things that are going on at Grace in this issue. 

In Christ's Redeeming Love,
John Graham, Rector
MeetingAgendaVestry Resolution on Same-Gender Marriage
By The Reverend John Graham 

At the November 19 meeting of the Grace Vestry, the following motion was moved, seconded and then tabled so as to allow for its circulation among Grace membership prior to a vote at the Vestry's December 11 meeting:


"Resolved, that the Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown, authorize the Reverend John Graham, in his capacity as Rector of Grace Church and at his discretion, to solemnize same-gender marriages at Grace Church in accordance with the authority granted by the 2009 and 2012 General Conventions of the Episcopal Church and by the guidelines promulgated by the Diocese of Washington in response thereto."


The 2009 General Convention authorized Bishops to extend a "generous pastoral response" to same-gender couples in their dioceses.


The 2012 Convention authorized the use of trial liturgies for the marriage of same-gender couples. Episcopal Diocese of Washington Guidelines require Vestry authorization of parish clergy to solemnize same-gender marriages at the church they serve, and establish parameters within which clergy discretion must be exercised. 


Your Vestry has discussed this issue at considerable length over the last year and a half. Vestry members have taken into account the views expressed and conveyed by parishioners in the course of our conversations. 


A statement issued in January of this year outlined the Vestry's approach to the issue, and appended a summary of opinions expressed by parishioners  (view it here). Bishop Mariann gave us very helpful, in-person guidance, particularly on the tension between canon law and the church's recent decisions on same-gender marriage, on the occasion of her June visit (read a summary in the October newsletter).


The above resolution represents the culmination of the Vestry's effort to offer a clear "yes" or "no" to those who inquire about same-gender marriage at Grace.


The Vestry knows that some members will be troubled if the Vestry approves this resolution, and others if it does not. In any case, we trust that the mutual affection and respect that characterizes the Grace community will flourish whatever the outcome, and trust that all have had the opportunity to be heard. 


We continue to invite all of our members to share questions, concerns and comments with the Rector, Wardens or any Vestry member. 

bikerack Your Help Needed! Bike Rack on Wisconsin Avenue

The bike rack which used to be on the sidewalk over the canal has been moved. It now sits on Wisconsin Avenue directly in front of Grace -- and has eliminated three parking spaces. 

While Grace supports the Bikeshare program (we have members that frequently bike to services), many members of our congregation rely on convenient access to street parking to attend services here. They include older members with health issues, families with young children and others for whom cycling to church is not an option. The loss of these three spaces is already being felt.   

John Graham spoke to Chris Holben, Capitol Bikeshare coordinator; he said that he will re-assess the placement of the rack after a month, during which he and the Department of Transportation will "gauge the response." 

Many members have already communicated with District authorities, and the response so far has been positive. If you're concerned and haven't let appointed and elected officials know yet, please, as able, help us out by sending email to the following people (it's fine to send to one email and copy the others on the message):
Prefer to use the phone? Here are the relevant phone numbers: 
  • DC Department of Transportation, 202-673-6813
  • Jack Evan's Office, 202.724.8018

If you live in DC, and especially if you live in Ward 2, please note this in your email. If you are in DC but not in Ward 2, please include your own DC Councilperson in your communications. You can find out who your Councilperson is here

Skating Grace Church Ice Skating Party?  By Jeanne Jennings

The new outdoor ice skating rink is open in Georgetown, just a few blocks from Grace!

It's a fun and healthy activity for children and adults -- I've already become a rink rat. And I thought it might be fun to have a Grace Church skating party one Sunday after the 10:30 service. 

If we get 10 people, we'll qualify for a group rate of $10 per person, which includes skating and skate rental. This is a savings of $2 to $4 dollars off the usual cost.

I'm targeting after the 10:30 service one of the Sundays in January -- either the 6th, 13th, 20th or 27th. 

Would you be interested? If so, please let me know how many people (children and adults) in your family would be skating and your availability on these dates. If we can get a quorum, I'll announce the party in the January 1st newsletter.

Please email or call (202.333.4363) me if you're game to hit the ice with fellow parishioners in January! 
Sakena McWright and Jean McKinney enjoy breakfast together at the Annual Parish Retreat
retreatParish Retreat: "The Ties that Bind"
By Daniel Capizzi
"Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above."

- John Fawcett


On November 3rd and 4th, a group of thirty Grace Church parishioners took a break from our busy schedules to explore the theme "Blessed Be the Tie That Binds" - the many ways that Grace Church and the Christian faith bring us together as a community.


As the leaves changed, the season turned, and we got an extra hour of sleep, we gathered together at the beautiful Bon Secours Retreat Center in Marriottsville, MD, for two days of lively discussion, worship, introspection, and prayer.


Beginning with a reflection of the ways Christian communities can help (and sometimes hinder) our faith journeys, Reverend Vincent Harris led the group in a two-day exploration of how to build and strengthen the Grace Church community and its wider Christian outreach.


Participants defined what it meant to be a part of the Christian community, explored how the apostles began as a community, and developed prayers of reflection on Christ's role in strengthening the "ties that bind." Finally, we reflected individually on our own role as Christians and closed with a discussion of tangible steps for how Grace Church could strengthen its sense of Christian community.


As always at Grace, we shared good food and deep thoughts, and cherished the opportunity to grow closer; all who attended received an opportunity to explore and grow their faith in a supportive, creative, and friendly group of fellow parishioners.


Don't worry if you missed this year's retreat! 


A document summarizing the discussions is available here. We've also already booked space at Bon Secours again for Friday, November 2 - Saturday, November 3, 2013. Mark your calendars! 

Vestry Notes from the November Meeting By Barbara de Beaufort 


  • The following resolution on same-gender marriage was moved, seconded and then tabled until the December 11th Vestry Meeting in order to allow time for publicizing to the congregation. 

Resolved: that the Vestry of Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown, authorize the Reverend John M. Graham, in his capacity as Rector of Grace Church and at his discretion, to solemnize same gender marriages at Grace Church in accordance with the authority granted by the 2009 and 2012 General Conventions of the Episcopal Church and by the guidelines promulgated by the Diocese of Washington in response thereto. 

  • Peter Wallace, our Treasurer, will prepare a draft budget for the December Vestry Meeting.
  • John will speak with the Bike Share program manager about relocating the new bike racks that take up 3 parking spaces on Wisconsin Avenue in front of our church.
  • Our Stewardship pledges are ahead of last year's pace.
  • Eastbanc construction of the condominiums next door to Grace has not started as early as planned. Grace and Eastbanc are in the process of negotiating an easement permitting the non-load bearing portion of the construction crane to swing over a portion of Grace's grounds. Grace's Executive Committee proposed revisions to the agreement submitted by Eastbanc, in order to better protect Grace's interests. Eastbanc is now reviewing the revised agreement.
  • John Graham's brother in law, Joe, is in his last days. Hospice was called in. John asked for prayers for Marilyn, his sister, Joe, and the rest of the family.
  • Beth Lee reported that there will be 20 or so kids in this year's Christmas Pageant on Sunday, December 16. 

Full Minutes of Vestry Meetings are in the notebook in the Volunteer office of the Rectory after they have been approved by the Vestry.

ViewPoint: Palestine and Gaza
By Dr. Jim Cobey

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. 


As many of my friends and relatives know, I have been concerned about the Palestinians ever since I first visited Gaza in 1964. I have been back with Physicians for Human Rights.  


As everyone needs to realize, the Palestinians have been living in a prison on their own land. Life is getting worse every day as the Israeli apartheid system confiscates more land and destroys houses every day. 


On the West Bank Palestinians cannot travel since the entire area is broken up by segregated (by-pass roads) roads reserved only for used by Israelis and settlers (colonialists). The Palestinians have been doing nonviolent protests for over 50 years with no change. 


The United States supports this religious or ethnic state. This support always seems strange to me since similar laws supporting one religion or ethnic group are unconstitutional in US domestic policy. Of interest also is that Palestinians have the same Semitic heritage as Jews. Contrary to advertised opinion, the land was not empty when the Jewish state was started.


It is essentially Israeli policy to take over the entire West Bank. In the mean time Hamas exists in Gaza since the Palestine Authority government has done nothing to change the status quo with the Israeli government. The citizens of Gaza are acting out in desperation as the Israel's plan for an election. No one can support firing rockets into Israel, but the people feel trapped with no means of using their airport, sea port , for open import or export. 


The United States government in every past administration has tried to "manage" the conflict rather than settle it. There are only three solutions:

  1. All those living in the settlements in the West Bank come back to the 1967 boarders
  2. All the settlers remain where they are and become citizens of the new country of Palestine
  3. Have one state (not two) with all inhabitants having the same political and civil rights (the traditional American way). This is possibly the only real solution since so much of the West Bank is covered with settlements 

I suggest everybody learn more about this situation; here are a few places online to start. Sabeel is an organization started in Jerusalem by Christians. In the US there is FOSNA (Friends of Sabeel North America). Also visit Steadfast Hope- The Palestine Quest for Peace; order copies of the book and look at the DVD in back. Order many copies and pass them on to your friends.


I also recommend reading Jimmy Carter's books, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid and We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land: A Plan That Will Work, on the issue.


More important, once informed, I would like each of you to email and call the White House (202-224-3121) and the State Dept (202-647-4000). Also write or call your Senators and Congressmen (or women). Demand a cessation of all military and foreign aid to Israel until it completely change their domestic program of apartheid. 


Things will only change if we stand for a just peace and freedom for all people. Bishop Tutu of South Africa has said many times that the condition of the Palestinians is as bad or worse than it was for the Blacks in South Africa. He and others support BDS (boycott, divest, and sanctions) since it worked with international pressure in his country to change the politics of apartheid.


Nothing will happen unless the US takes a strong stand and, of course, stops vetoing all the relative UN Security Council resolutions. Please act.


Feel free to contact me if you'd like to discuss this issue further. 

Weekly at Grace
8:30 am
Holy Eucharist


9:40 am
Adult Forum: Evil and the God of Love
Held in the parish hall; child care available
10:15 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)
10:30 am
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

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

About Grace

Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown, was founded nearly 150 years ago 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.

To that end we host a variety of events for the public, including an annual Bach Festival and Music on the Lawn. Our parishioners are also active volunteers for the Taste of Georgetown, which supports the Georgetown Ministry Center, located in the basement of our Rectory. 

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