Greetings from Grace! 
In this Issue:
Thoughts on Stewardship, Youth Group Ice Skating Party, Homeless Shelter at Grace and More!


Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
202.333.7100 | 
In this issue...
Thoughts and FAQs on Stewardship
Youth Group Ice Skating Party in November
Grace to Host the Homeless - Volunteers Needed
Youth Group Labyrinth Walk Follow-up
Let Our Prayers Rise Up - Sunday Evening Service
Upcoming Events
Friday and Saturday, November 1st and 2nd
Annual Parish Retreat
Bon Secours Retreat Center, Marriottsville, MD

Sunday, November 3rd
Daylight Savings Time ends
Remember to set your clocks back one hour before bed on Saturday night. 

Tuesday, November 12th
6:30 to 9:00 PM
Parent's Night Out
Please RSVP to Helen Buhr via email or phone (301-529-2511)

Friday, November 15th and Saturday, November 16th
Benedictine Symposium at St. Alban's DC
Dr. Phyllis Tickle is a featured speaker

Sunday, November 17th
2:00 PM (tentative time)
Confirmation Class in the Rose Room at Grace
Email or call  John Graham (202.333.7100) for more information.

Sunday, November 24th
After the 10:30 AM Service
Annual Meeting

5:00 to 8:00 PM
Youth Group Ice Skating Party and Dinner

Sunday, December 8th through
Sunday, December 22nd
Congregation Based Shelter at Grace
Volunteers needed

Sunday, December 8th
6:00 to 8:00 PM
Youth Group Dinner with GMC Shelter Guests
Coffee Hour Hosts

3rd  Adult Forum
10th  Youth Group
17th  TBD
24th  TBD
wednesdaysHoly Eucharist, Wednesdays at 12:15 PM
William Temple, Archbishop

Each Wednesday during the 12:15 PM service we celebrate a holiday or the life of someone important in the church. Here's the upcoming line-up: 



6th William Temple, Archbishop

13th Consecration of Samuel Seabury

20th Edmund, King of East Anglia

27th Thanksgiving Eve
Please join us for this brief (30 minutes) but spiritually rewarding service. 
Welcome Charles Parris
We are happy to welcome Charles Parris as our new Choir Baritone Section Leader. 

Charles sings in the United States Army Chorus and hails from our Washington, DC area. 

Please give Charles a warm welcome.
AdultForumAdult Forum
Every Sunday, 9:35 AM

Our theme for autumn is "Teach us to Pray"


Our primary text will be Margaret Guenther's
The Practice of Prayer,
readily available in e-book and paperback form at online sites like Amazon and Alibris.

Karl Rahner's The Need and the Blessing of Prayer will help us go a little deeper. 
Rahner's book is a more challenging read, but well worth the effort for those who'd like to take it on.
PNOParents' Night Out,
Tuesday, November 12th
Leave your little ones with us on Tuesday, November 12th from 6:30 to 9:00 PM and enjoy an evening in Georgetown or simply some time to yourself. 

Helen Buhr and Chris Kreutziger will be on hand to have fun with the children.  


Please phone (301.529.2511) or email Helen Buhr if you plan to come. 
November Birthdays


Alexandra Brennan 
Nolan Dwelle 
John Graham 
Goranka Henegar 
Rachel Luu 
Sakena McWright 
Lawrence Molinaro 
Vriginai Neumann 
Logan Riley 
Sally Stanfield 
Lulu Wallace


We'd like to include you in this list! Please email us with your birthday!

EasterFlowersFlowers for the Church
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 the Newsletter
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.
                                                                               November 1, 2013

Fall is here! And that means it's Stewardship season once again. Sharon Schambra has shared some thoughts on the 'bargaining' that usually goes on in her head this time of year -- and Scott Murphy has provided the answers to some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Stewardship. Please take a minute to read what they have to say

Please mark the date for our annual meeting, which will take place on Sunday, November 24th immediately following the 10:30 service. 

Watch your inbox for a special issue of this newsletter with biographies of  the candidates for Vestry, as well as a profile of parishioner David Crawford, Vestry Notes from the October meeting and an update on the Sunday School program. It will be sent on Friday, November 15th. 

The October Youth Group outing to walk the labyrinth at the Georgetown Waterfront was a rousing success! See what members thought about the experience -- and why they highly recommend it. You can also learn about their upcoming events, an Ice Skating Party and providing dinner for the GMC shelter guests when they are at Grace.  
As always, please take a moment now to get caught up on upcoming happenings at Grace. 

In Christ's Redeeming Love,
John Graham, Rector
Stewardship Thoughts and FAQs on Stewardship
By Sharon Scambra and Scott Murphy

Thoughts on Stewardship from Sharon Schambra:

I hate stewardship season.


You would not believe the bargaining that goes on in my head. I start with "we should give less this year" than move to "we should stay at our present level of giving" to "how much more could we give." 


No kidding -- every year for 35 years. But I didn't do it this year. I'm getting tired of the debate that always concludes with increasing our pledge. So I cut to the chase, talked with Bill about how much more we would give, and sent in our pledge.


There is one essential reason why I give -- so I don't become that small-minded, greedy, solipsistic, avaricious person whom God apparently did not create me to be and whom I am tempted to become every single day. Really. It's as simple and as tortured as that. 


Every day I ask God: "lead me not into temptation" and that's obviously why God created stewardship. My gift is offered in obedience to God's call to become a larger self and in somewhat begrudging gratitude to God for those gifts I wanted and have cherished, as well as for those I didn't want and actively hate. 


Paul's admonition in Ephesians to "give thanks every day for everything to our God" is wickedly hard and yet I believe my very salvation depends upon it.


Oddly, I don't like to think of myself as giving to "Grace." I give to God through Grace. Frankly I don't always agree with the decisions that "Grace" makes -- but I have no reason to think that God might not.  And I have every confidence that those decisions are made after careful thought and prayer.

What I always agree with is God's larger message of love that is faithfully preached and practiced at Grace. Stewardship is one significant way of resisting the temptation of smallness by opening myself to that larger message. 

A note from Scott Murphy and the Stewardship Committee:


What is "pledging"?

Pledging is making a promise to give a certain amount of money to your church in the following year. Parishioners who pledge this fall promise to give a specified dollar amount to Grace, to be paid during 2014. A pledge can be for an amount per week, month, or year. 


How does pledging work?

Each fall, Grace mails a letter inviting all parishioners and other friends of the parish to make a pledge. Parishioners and friends make their pledges by either completing a pledge card with their pledge amount and returning the card, or simply emailing the amount of their pledge to the church office at


In October, the stewardship committee follows up with emails and phone calls, reminding members about the pledge campaign and helping them with their pledge decisions. In November, another letter goes out, and the committee makes additional calls to account for all pledging decisions.


In December, the stewardship committee gives a final pledge tally to the vestry to prepare a budget for the coming year. In January, those who have pledged begin making payments. Each quarter, pledge payment statements are mailed to all pledging members. 


Why does Grace ask me to pledge?

On a practical level, Grace relies almost entirely on pledges to pay its expenses, including operating its facilities and grounds as well as paying for salaries, services, and ministries. With new and increased pledges, Grace has been able to perform long-deferred work on its facilities, as well as to expand its ministries.


On a spiritual level, the practice of stewardship dates to the Church's earliest days, when the first Christians were known for sharing their wealth with others. In today's consumer culture, it's crucial to honestly confront the issue of money in one's faith journey. 


Ideas about our relative wealth or poverty, and that of others, can trigger feelings of pride, fear, and temptation.  Pledging offers a way to faithfully use money to honor God's abundance, and can help develop an appreciation for the proper role of money in life. 


How much should I pledge?

How much to pledge is a personal decision. The Bible references the "tithe", or ten percent, but many parishioners find this difficult, especially at first. Some parishioners pledge a certain percentage of their income, and increase that percentage each year to get closer to actually tithing. 


It's also useful to know how your pledge factors into the church's financial needs.

Grace Church currently operates under annual budget of around $380,000 to pay its annual expenses. Georgetown Ministry Center and Georgetown Montessori School give about $40,000 to Grace for the use of onsite space, leaving $340,000 in expenses to be paid through pledges.

Put another way, Grace needs about $6,500 per week from parishioners to keep everything running. Given that average Sunday attendance is 110 persons, and assuming all contribute equally, each person needs to contribute around $60 per week, or $3,100 per year. 


Since Grace Church opens its doors to all regardless of what they give, it depends on each member to pledge consistent with their own financial and spiritual situation. Last year, members pledged around $330,000 to Grace Church for 2013. This consisted of 114 pledges, averaging $2,900 each.


If you listed all pledges from highest to lowest, the median pledge was around $1,200. This is because we have a small number of members pledging at higher levels. For example, the top dozen pledges at Grace account for close to half of its pledge income.


If Grace were to lose one of those higher pledgers, it could have a serious impact. To lower this risk, we encourage anyone pledging below our median ($1,200) pledge level to try to move closer to our average ($3,000), if you are able.


We invite you to make a generous pledge by December 1st to support Grace financially in 2014. If you have any questions about stewardship or giving to Grace, please feel free to contact Scott Murphy via email.

YGFutureNew Youth Group Events for November and December -- Even Better than Before!

By Jeanne Jennings


If you are a teen or preteen (you will turn 12 by May 2014), please join us for two upcoming Grace-St. John's Youth Group Events! 


Please note: we've changed things up a bit as new opportunities have come to light.


Sunday, November 24th 

5:00 to 8:00 PM

Holiday Party: Ice Skating and Dinner

An early Advent youth group celebration on ice at the National Harbour in Georgetown, followed by dinner. Cost: $20 per person (scholarships available)

RSVP Online

Sunday, December 8th
6:00 to 8:00 PM
Prepare Dinner for and Eat with The Georgetown Ministry Center Shelter Guests 

We'll be making and eating dinner with GMC guests staying at Grace in this community service activity. Once we know who's coming we'll set a menu and figure out what each member can bring.

RSVP Online


Please contact Jeanne Jennings via email or phone (202.365.0423) for more information; more details will be provided as the dates approach. 

shelter Grace to Host Homeless Shelter December 8th to 22nd
By Helena Dunn

One of Grace's primary areas of ministry is serving the homeless population of Georgetown. In addition to 
Grace's Table, a meal and fellowship program held for the homeless every Saturday, Grace parishioners, together with other community volunteers, also participate every year in the Congregation-based Shelter
Started in 1992, the program supports 10 to 12 homeless men and women with dinner, breakfast and a warm safe place to sleep from 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM. Ten congregations work together to host the shelter during the winter months. The shelter residents are screened by the 
Georgetown Ministry Center staff. In addition to providing a safe haven from the harsh winter weather, this program seeks to link the residents to a continuum of care to help them get off the streets. 

This year Grace is hosting the shelter from Sunday, December 8th through Sunday, December 22nd. Cooks and volunteers are needed to prepare and serve dinner each night, joining the shelter residents for dinner in the Rose Room. Also needed are overnight volunteers who will have dinner with the shelter residents and staff, stay overnight and assist with the breakfast preparation in the morning. Finally, assistance is needed moving residents and their belongings on to the next location on December 22nd. 

If you can volunteer to cook and serve dinner, stay overnight, bring breakfast items to the church during this period or help move guests out, please contact me or sign-up at the kiosk. Also posted on the kiosk are guidelines for cooks and overnight volunteers. 
Volunteering for the shelter is a worthwhile family activity. It is also an opportunity to introduce friends to one of the many activities here at Grace. Reimbursement for food costs is available. 

Please feel free to contact Helena Dunn via phone (301-654-2184) or email with questions or to sign-up.  
Aves, Fielding, Jasper, Jeanne, Martin, Oliver, Patrick, Rose and Stephanie walked the labyrinth in Georgetown's Waterfront Park
YGPastGrace-St. John's Youth Group Visits the Georgetown Labyrinth

The youth group was blessed with a lovely fall evening to walk the labyrinth in Georgetown's Waterfront Park. 


The sun was just setting over the Potomac, providing a beautiful backdrop to our exercise. Everyone agreed it was the perfect setting. 


We broke our labyrinth walk into three stages: 


  • Releasing -- we walked to the center of the labyrinth with our palms facing downward while we released our worries, concerns and fears to God, turning them over to him.
  • Receiving -- when we reached the center of the labyrinth we shifted our palms upward to receive whatever gifts of insight and peace God would offer us.
  • Thanks giving --  after a few minutes in the center, we began our journey out of the labyrinth with hands together in prayer, giving thanks to God for all the blessings of our lives. 

Afterward we shared dinner and discussed the experience; here are a few thoughts on the exercise from youth group members:  


"I had been calm for about 10 minutes in the labyrinth and when I left I felt the urge to go run a lap. I was happy and energetic, not like crazy bouncing-off-the-walls jumpy. "


"I felt enlightened. <laughter from the group> No I actually did! When I left the labyrinth I felt refreshed, like I had clicked the refresh button on a Webpage. It was like I had gotten everything out of my system and I was peaceful. I had let go of the stress of last week and was ready for this week."


"I was feeling better about things that will go on this week, into the next week. When I left the labyrinth I got new energy that I know will last through the week."


"When I left the labyrinth I felt really calm, because normally I run around a lot. It was good to walk around and not talk, to just relax for a few minutes."


Youth group members also had some advice for anyone reading this that is thinking about walking the Georgetown Labyrinth:


"do it" "walk slowly" "stay calm and don't rush" "try not to get distracted" "do it, it's really fun."


Parishioners ages 12 to 18 are all invited to join Youth Group; learn more about our upcoming events here.  

Let Our Prayer Rise Up -- Grace's Sunday Evening Service
By The Reverend Sarah Motley


As many in the Grace community know, the Sunday evening service is intended to be a 'doorway' for the seeker, the passer-by, and, not so occasionally, a member/guest/visitor from our neighboring Georgetown Ministry Center. GMC closes its door at five on Sundays, and the Grace Church door opens.


Over the summer and early fall, the evening service has been the recipient of a number of visitations. On June 9, for St. Columba's Day, the service was held in the garden, as the summer sunset sifted light through the new leaves on the trees.


A bagpiper played and the birds, for a moment, listened. St. Columba was a man who blew in on the winds of Western Scotland to the Isle of Iona 1450 years ago to begin the evangelization of the northern islands. A world-wide ecumenical community is based and continues its prayers and outreach from that Isle to this day.


After that outdoor service, a few weeks later, a guest from the Ministry Center brought along her beau to the service. That evening, there was piano music. At the passing of the peace, the two of them got up and danced, gracefully in step with each other, as so many have danced before the Lord for time immemorial. 


Although another participant from GMC shortened their enjoyment with a gruff 'no dancing in church' the moment, though brief, was one of joy. Most of us only dance in our hearts; would that there were more times more of us could express our joy with this kind of quiet abandon.


Then there was another visitor, in late September, just when the government shutdown was being threatened, and the news was often about protesters of various kinds coming to DC to make their opinions known. 


The service was over, the dismissal given, and this visitor stood up with a big smile and said, 'Wait a minute, we're not done yet!' and proceeded to sing 'We are One in the Spirit' in the most beautiful voice ever. She went on to chastise us and the government for a number of things, some accurate, others not; yet for her to have a place where her voice - both singing and protesting - was heard, was a gift.


There have been other, less spontaneous, but so beautiful, '5 o'clocks' as well. On the fifth Sunday of September, Danielle Dotson (piano) and Peter van Siclen (flute) played the beautiful music from Holden Evening Prayer.  "Let our prayer rise up..." is one of its beautiful refrains; it is a very good way to describe Grace Church's Sunday Evening Eucharist.


One final, important, note. Five o'clock also has its regulars, and its 'occasional regulars.' One person who has not missed one service is a guest from GMC who often appears disoriented, shaky, discussing very important matters with invisible people. Every week at 5 o'clock, in the quiet of the sanctuary, however, all is calm; his words are clear, and are spoken for us all: 'Thank you, thank you, thank you."


A new set of prayers and seasonal music is planned for the Advent/Christmas/Epiphany seasons. All are welcome Sundays at 5:00 PM, at the end of the weekend and the beginning of the next week for quiet, candlelight, communion - and the occasional surprise song or dance. 

Weekly at Grace
8:30 AM
Holy Eucharist


10:15 AM
Prayers for the Nation and the World
Held outside at the Memorial Cross, includes remembrance of the Fallen (only the last Sunday of each month; 15 minutes)
10:30 AM 
Holy Eucharist 
Music, child care and Sunday School


5:00 PM 
Evening Eucharist
Plan to stay for refreshments after the service
Laying on of Hands for Healing, second Sunday of each month at the 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM services. 


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. 


Contact the church office for more information or to volunteer.  

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.

Sunday Parking: 3 options


1. South Street Lot behind the church - 20 spaces free until 1:30 PM with one time use pass from Grace Church entrance.


2. Eagle Bank Lot across Wisconsin Avenue from the Church - 8 spaces free until 1:30 PM with one time use pass from Grace Church and limited use based on availability for the 5:00 PM service.

Cinema Garage on K Street just east of Wisconsin Avenue - 2 hour free parking until 1:00 PM with a separate exit ticket from Grace (exit tickets just inside the church left side door) - use both tickets at the pay station to leave the garage.

Weekday Parking at the Cinema Garage on K Street just east of Wisconsin Avenue - Monday through Thursday Day and Night and Friday until 6:00 PM. 2 hour free parking with a separate exit ticket from Grace (exit tickets just inside the church on the left) - use both tickets at the pay station to leave the garage.


Grace Episcopal Church
1041 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007
202-333-7100  |  |