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From The Rector



Fr Joe



Dear Friends,


“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word. And, to make a right beginning of repentance, and as a mark of our mortal nature, let us now kneel before the Lord, our maker and redeemer.”  These are words we hear each year as a part of the Ash Wednesday service.


            However, if you try to look up the words Lent or Ash Wednesday in a Bible Dictionary you will not find them.  The 40 day season of Lent and Ash Wednesday are developments in the Church.  They are no where to be found in the teachings of Jesus.


            On the other hand, if you look for some of the traditional Lenten spiritual disciplines such as fasting, prayer, self-denial, confession and repentance, to name a few, you will find that the Bible is full of references to these topics.  In fact, the Church modeled the season of Lent after Jesus’ 40 day sojourn in the wilderness following his baptism.  It was a time when Jesus fasted, prayed and practiced the spiritual disciplines of his Jewish faith.  The result of this time was that Jesus grew into a fuller understanding and acceptance of his identity and vocation as the Messiah – the one who would give himself up to death on the cross for the life of the world.


            This is the heart of the season of Lent for us too.  This is a time to discipline ourselves so as to live more deeply into our true identity as God’s beloved children, to recognize and repent of the ways in which we have denied this identity and to ask God to bring us to a new awareness and willingness to live in this identity by serving and giving of ourselves in the Name of Christ.


            In this newsletter, you will read of many opportunities to engage the Lenten journey – to move deeper into the mystery of God’s love for us and our true identity and calling.  My prayer is that each of us will take this journey so that we may truly celebrate the gift of new life on Easter Sunday.



Father Ashby







Join us for the annual Shrove Tuesday Dinner from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on February 13th!


Tickets are available at no cost – so invite a friend

– Donations will be accepted.







Ash Wednesday is February 14th

Plan to be here to begin our Lenten journey. Ash Wednesday services will be held at Noon and 7:00 p.m.







        Candlemas is an ancient feast of the Church also known as the Festival of Lights and associated with the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple. It is rooted in the ancient celebration of the midpoint between the shortest day of the year, December 22nd , and the Spring equinox in March.  As such early Christians began the tradition of a candle lit procession of candles brought from home to be blessed as signs of Christ’s light in their homes and a blessing of all the candles to be used in the Church in the coming year became part of the ritual.

Paul Bommer: Candlemas - 2nd February

            Later this day became associated with the Presentation of Christ – the Light of the World – in the temple.  In accordance with Jewish Law, Mary and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple at Jerusalem on the 40th day after his birth. This marked the purification of Mary after childbirth and the gift of the firstborn child of a marriage to God. According to  St. Luke’s Gospel, it was as Jesus was presented in the temple that the ancient prophet and holy man Simeon sings the canticle we know as the Nunc Dimitis – “Lord, now latest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word…,” in thanksgiving for the coming of the Messiah.  During the Epiphany Season we celebrate this as one of the manifestations of Christ in and to the world.



On February 4th, we will celebrate Candlemas by beginning our worship in the chapel with the singing of the Nunc Dimitis, the blessing of candles, and the lighting of Candles for a procession into the Church. You may bring a candle from home to use this year in commemoration of this day and as a reminder of the Light of Christ in your home or use a provided candle.

Devotional materials will be available to use at home along with the traditional Lenten Calendar/Mite Box Materials – once again this year the Mite Box Offering will go to support the work of The Episcopal Community Services in the Diocese of Ohio through the Bishop’s Appeal.

Rite 1 to be used at all services

During the Lenten season, we will be using Rite 1, our traditional language option at all services. This language reminds of the call to self-examination and repentance. We will also emphasize this experience by using special liturgical forms such as the Great Litany. Also, at the end of the 10 a.m. service each week we will sing the closing hymn and then say together the well loved prayer:


“O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work on earth is done. Then, in Thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last with Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.“


After the prayer we will depart in silence.




Lenten Book Study


As part of the renewed emphasis on racial reconciliation and healing in the Episcopal Church, Father Ashby will lead a Lenten Book Study on

Cover Art

America’s Original Sin: Racism, white Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis. This is an important book by a leading Christian author and journalist.


The Study will be offered on Sunday mornings following each service or on Fridays at Noon in place of the regular Bible Study. Other times such as Sunday evening or Wednesday evening will be offered if there is interest.


A order sheet for the book (or you can get it at Amazon or order it from Barnes and Nobles) will be in the Advocate along with a “survey” indicating when you would prefer to meet. Books are $12.00 each through the office and will be here later this week.

















Book Club


                                                                                                   THE BOOK CLUB WILL MEET THIS MONTH ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26TH

The Book to read for FEBRUARY is:

Tilted World

By: Tom Franklin and

Beth Ann Fennelly





If you would like to say thank you to our volunteers who worked very hard during the Holidays, please come with a smile Wednesday morning Feb. 7 at 8 am. Thanksgiving this year was a new record at over 700 households by Bonnie's count, and volunteers handled record weights of meat and produce. For the first time every household received a turkey and a ham during the Holy Days. Two volunteer chefs will put the breakfast together the evening of the 6th and we only need people to help Tony Herz and Daniel smile and serve the morning of the eighth. If you don't want to smile, help washing dishes would be greatly appreciated.

Last year one youth pantry volunteer went to Convocation. This year four are signed up to consider Beloved Community and Pilgrimage. They will also be helping to sell buckeyes for pilgrimages this summer. Three of them went to Cleveland MLK weekend to make buckeyes, find connections between the civil rights movement their lives and pilgrimage, tour the Natural History Museum and Botanical Conservatory. The group stood beneath a photo of Martin Luther King preaching at an Episcopal church while one of the kids pointed out that all of us are pilgrims with burdens. Tom Dornbusch is helping make some of this possible, and many other church volunteers are building up these youth when they are at the pantry.  Thank You! (See the Stegosaurus photo.)


Pantry Committee will meet February 22nd at 11:40. Again this month the number of young people the pantry served was over 1,000. The total households was 1314.



Knitting with Neighbors


          Join us on Friday mornings at 10 a.m. during Lent for “Knitting with Neighbors”. This is a group for folks of all ages (men and women, young and old) from the parish and from the Pantry or neighborhood to learn to knit, get to know one another, and HAVE FUN. For more information contact Mimi Moore (330-287-1769) or Deb Landin.


Blessing Bags


Remember the last time you passed a person on the side of the road who was holding a sign up saying they were hungry or homeless and needed help? Remember feeling a little guilty or frustrated – you wanted to help but were afraid your aid might be misused?


Here is an answer – A BLESSING BAG – it is a large zip lock bag with nonperishable food and or personal items inside that you can give the person. It may not meet all their needs or be what they really wanted but it is a start and it conveys the message that you care.


During Lent we will put bags together on Shrove Tuesday or after Church on Sunday mornings. A list of possible items follows but you are invited to be creative. Bring your items to the Pancake Supper on Shrove Tuesday or any Sunday. A note will also be included inviting people to visit the Grace Church Food Pantry for more help.





Congratulations to Samuel Taylor who was awarded his Eagle Scout medal at a Court of Honor held at Grace Church on Sunday, January 14th! The day was made even more meaningful as the medal pinned on Samuel was the one awarded to his grandfather Dick Taylor over 80 years ago. Well done, Sam!





and welcome, Theo!



Theodore (Theo) Gregory Sazdanoff, son of Chris and Megan Sazdanoff and grandson of Ted and Heidi Sazdanoff was baptized into the Body of Christ at Grace church on January 14th! Theo, we receive you into the household of faith, pledge to support your life in Christ and give thanks for the ministry we share in Jesus’ Name.






2018 Directory

In the past year if you have had any changes in your address, telephone #, email, etc. please call the office at 419-524-2661 or send me an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I would like to print the new directory for 2018 by the second week in February. Thanks for your help in keeping everyone up to date.





















Altar Flowers


February 4

High Altar -       Mike & Betty Diemer          

Baptistry   -        Mike & Betty Diemer


February 11

High Altar -       Charley & Doris Farina

         Baptistry  -        Charley & Doris Farina                

February 18

High Altar -        Lent – No Flowers

Baptistry   -       Lent – No Flowers


February 25

High Altar -       Lent – No Flowers    

Baptistry   -        Lent – No Flowers

















2-2    Holly Carter

2-4    Virginia Harmon

2-5    Gary Glenwright

2-6    Ann Bargahiser

2-7    Scott Taylor

2-13  Monica Diemer

2-16  Alex Prater

2-17  Sheila Sipes Jones

2-27  Mitchell Saterfield

          Brian Kaylor

2-29  Rita Glaser        


2-1    Betty and Mike Diemer

2-21  Doris and Charley Farina


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