Note from the Pantry

Every time I have written about the pantry for some time, I write about Grace. God seems to have “a vested interest.” Our pantry is beautiful to experience – the people, gifts, growth, faith, kids, … on and on.

I haven’t been picked up by the police from our pantry either.

Have you heard? In August a Police Officer approached one of our volunteers while he was handing meat out at the drive-through line. We kept distributing. The officer walked him to the patrol car, asked him to get in. By this time, I was standing nearby and asked the officer if he would bring our volunteer back. I believe that he responded yes, they just needed him for questioning. Neither of them returned that day. I later learned that our volunteer had been put in jail for theft of two dollars in change. Something his family claimed he was given for helping a white couple move. The couple pressed charges and our volunteer had a $10,000 bond. His family arranged to get him out with partial payment. Even though all charges were later dismissed, the family is out $1,200 which has been a hardship.

How could this happen? This is a bizarre story. I talked with the officer’s supervisor who confirmed, “yes, this is all over $2 in change.” Does it make a difference that our volunteer was black? I could not imagine this ever happening to my white son. Fr. Joe has been trying to get answers to how the bail could have been set so high?

If Grace Pantry is a generator of Grace, how can one of our poor volunteers be picked up while working, be subjected to three months of persecution (now, inexplicably, the couple is seeking restraining order against HIM), and left $1200 poorer?

Fr Joe and I have recognized that we need to do some work. Could we have protected our volunteer? Could the outcome have been different? Internally, how are our volunteers experiencing the pantry differently? Are there ways that some are treated unequally?  We will gather all willing volunteers and with the help of the diocese and our Commission??? on Racism, hear differing perspectives, and find common understandings for our work.

Peace,

Daniel+

Grace Notes: November 2020

From the Rector

Dear Friends,

This Sunday, November 1st, we will celebrate the last great feast of the Christian year, All Saints’ Sunday.  Often this day gets reduced to a day to remember those who have gone before us and give thanks for their love and witness.  But even though this is an important part of the celebration of this day, it is only a part of what we celebrate and proclaim this day.

All Saints’ Day is a time to celebrate a very real if unseen reality.  That is the unity of the people of God – past, present and future – in worship of the Holy One.  As Eucharistic Prayer D (which we use this day) says “countless throngs of angels stand before you…and joining with them, and giving voice to every creature under heaven, we acclaim you and glorify your Name”.  This is the mystery and power and awesome and joyful truth we proclaim that today the veil separating heaven and earth becomes a little less solid and we are gathered into that community of praise with all who have gone before us – from Adam and Eve to Abraham and Sarah, Ruth, David, Joseph and Mary and those who have loved and been loved by God in every age up to and including our own and by those who are still to come in the human story and journey.

In Celtic tradition, you might say that today we expect to encounter one of the “thin places” and others might speak of the mystery of God in all places and times.  However, we try to express it, this is a day of mystery, a day to rejoice and stand in awe of the Divine Love that conquers all, holds all in union and fills and renews all now and forever.

This year will be a special All Saints’ Day as we particularly remember and give thanks for the life and ministry and love of 4 long time members of Grace Church whom we have lost from our earthly midst during the Pandemic – Jim Baker, Doris Farina, Doug Seiler and John Toney.

Ultimately, we are celebrating the culmination and fulfillment of the Christian story.  This is the day we proclaim the Church Triumphant – the gathering together in the great heavenly feast of all God’s people – the ones for whom Jesus came to earth to show a new way of life, the one’s he gave himself for on the Cross, the ones filled with the Holy Spirit and power at Pentecost.  This is the day of victory and rejoicing as all are gathered before the throne of the Holy One.

Peace,

Father Joe

Special Thanks

A big thank you to David Tovey who has agreed to play the organ through December – including Christmas Eve!

Patrick Clinage will sub on November 15th and December 13th.

Thanks to both David and Patrick for enriching our worship.

Diocesan Convention 2020

The Annual Convention is on November 14th. Tony Herz, Deb Landin, and Carol Loveless are our delegates. Thank you to each of them for agreeing to sit in front of their computers and do this important work.

Christian Formation

This is Norman Jones’ newest book. Join us at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 11th when he will offer a summary and insight into this work at Grace Church. Attendance is limited to 25 persons in the Nave so please call the Church office or look for the sign-up sheet on Sunday!

Special thanks also to Willie Davis for his fun and interesting presentation on his new book Olive Hill!

Stewardship

Connected in Grace

The theme this year is “Connected in Grace. By now you should have received your packet and pledge card. Please read the material carefully and prayerfully consider your commitment of time, talent, and treasure for 2021 at Grace Church.

Special thanks to Norman Jones and Larry Von Blon for their excellent Stewardship presentations.

Please return your pictures for the Grace Collage as soon as possible and we ask that pledge cards be returned by November 8th.

Outreach

Read the Note from the Pantry here.

Operation Christmas Child

Please drop off your filled boxes by November 1 so we can prepare them for shipping!