Digital Newletter Trial Period. December 31, 2015
View in your browser
The Christmas Season at Grace Episcopal Church

January 3 2016 The Second Sunday of Christmas*
8:15am  Holy Eucharist
10:00am Holy Eucharist *

*Childcare provided at these services
 Happy New Year to all!
Sunday Morning Education 9:15 - 9:50am
Stories, Snacks and Songs 
Kids age 4 to 5th grade in the Undercoft. We'll start with singing, listen to a story read by a Grace parishioner and based on the gospel theme for the day, and we'll share a snack. because whats a story without a snack? parents are welcome and encouraged to participate too!

What did Jesus do? 
Middle School and High School students in the Undercroft's Youth Room. We'll study the gospel reading for the day, learning Jesus' teachings and asking what that means for us today. 

Hear What the Spirit is saying to God's People 
Grace Adults in the Forum Room. We'll use a very simple Bible study method to reflect on the readings of the day and their meanings to us now. 

 (NOTE THAT THERE WILL be no education hour on December 27 or January 3.)
Other Formation Opportunities
Growing Into Worship (for age 4 to 2nd grade)
Sundays, 10:00am

Kids sit in the back pew before the 10 o’clock service starts and then join in the procession when the service begins. They move downstairs for the first part of the service for their own “Liturgy of the Word” as they hear a Bible story, reflect on it together, and offer their prayers.They rejoin the congregation at the time of the Peace and share in Communion. There will be No GIW on Sunday, December 20 and Sunday, December 27. 
Campus Ministry – Worship and Fellowship with Hope College: 
Campus Ministry – Worship and Fellowship with Hope College: Students gather for a meal and share in a time of Scripture reading, reflection and Holy Eucharist on Thursday nights. Meal is at 7:00 with the service in Hope’s Graves Hall at 8:00pm. Thursday gatherings resume on January14th. Please pray for this group of nine from Grace Episcopal and Hope Reformed churches who will be on a mission trip January 1-8 spending a week on the Texas/Mexico border. Please pray for them as they witness the complexities of border life and culture. Pray that they will see the face of God as they encounter the people of South Texas and Mexico. — Christian
Youth Groups:
Middle Schoolers (6th-8th grade) are invited to meet at church on the first Sunday of the month from 4:00 to 5:30. Next Date: January 3, 2016
Make sure you set aside Feb 6, 2016 for a ski trip to Bitter Sweet Ski Area. The only expenses are for a ski pass and rental (if needed). Food provided. We will send permissions slips via email to everyone who signs up. Deadline for signing up will be January 17th, 2016.
High Schoolers (9th-12th grade) are invited to meet on the second Sunday of the month from 4:00 to 5:30. We will be using various forms of media (video clips, podcasts, etc.) to discuss issues of faith and what it all means in our lives. Snacks will be provided. We are in need of a couple more adults to support this ministry too, being present with Rev. Christian and the youth leaders on a few Sundays this year. Next Date: January 10. 2016. For a full list of dates, see Grace’s Youth Group Facebook Page. If wanting to help out, please contact Christian:
Tuesday Noon Bible Study
This clergy led lectionary study group meets weekly from noon to 1:00 and is open to all. Bring a sack lunch! Upcoming Meeting: January 5.
Men’s Bible Study on Alternate Mondays, 4:00-5:30pm in the Forum Room: All men are welcome for this group study in which members read through and discuss various books of the Bible, connecting the teaching to current events and their own lives. Upcoming Meetings: December 21, January 4 and 18.
Programs & Events

Connecting as Grace

Stewardship Pledge Drive:  Over the past several weeks we have been celebrating our annual pledge drive under the theme, “Being Grace.”  We have raised $350,019 in pledges which puts us at about 89% of our goal. We need your help as we continue to reach toward our goal of $391,000! 
Our follow ups have begun! Pledge cards are available in the Commons and in the pews. For those who are able, the cards can also be used to increase a pledge that was already submitted. Thank you all for the  support you give to the mission and ministries of Grace Church!

Vestry Slate Announced: Thank you to Ron Brown, Karen Bylsma, Bob Johnston, Mary Matrosic and Greta Shires who have agreed to serve on vestry pending election at our Annual Meeting on January 31.  As is the norm, we have four openings and this year one extra (who will be appointed) since one of our current vestry members is leaving a term early to be on sabbatical with family.  Per our by-law requirement, nominations are open through January 10th.
Grace Meal Ministry: Would you be willing to make a meal on occasion for a Grace family who is experiencing some sort of transition or crisis? If so, sign up the Commons or email the Church Office and we will put you on the list! When there is a need we will send around an email and an online sign up sheet. If you have questions, ask Rev. Jen or Sue Stick.
"Grace Cares" Ministry was formed to act on the kind of care we can be doing for each other in those "gaps" which are the non-critical but help-needed moments in our lives. It is intended to be warmhearted communication and practical assistance for someone experiencing a short-term, life-limiting situation such as surgery, broken limbs, chemotherapy, a new baby, illness or other life-transitions. Care Teams will be made up of 4-6 individuals who sign up to offer assistance on days that fit their schedule so that every day for up to three weeks is covered. The schedule is completed online; contact information is exchanged between the team and the recipient; possible needs are assessed. Possible assistance includes Picking up grocery items, driving to the doctor's office, cleaning a litter box, washing sheets and remaking a bed, cleaning up kitchen, taking out the garbage, making tea, etc. If you would like to be listed as a potential team member please sign up in the Commons or contact: Rev. Jen Adams or Mary   Benedict at 616-566-9216 or

Middles school Laser Tag: Join us at BAM! Entertainment Center, January 3, 2016 from 6-8pm for laser tag. Price is $10/person which will be covered for Grace Middle Schoolers. See Howard Huyser with questions or e-mail Rev Christian.

High Schoolers (9th -12th grades): Our 2nd annual Diocesan High School Lenten Retreat will be Feb 20, 2016. Cost is $10. Registration & money will be due Feb. 7, 2016. This year's retreat will be at St. Timothy’s, Richland, MI. The focus will be on 4 disciplines of Lenten practice: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and penitence. See flyer and/or Facebook event for more details, or email Christian with questions.

Reaching Out With Grace

Grace and Feeding America: Come on the second Thursday of each month (December 10, January 14, February 11. . .)  at 4:00 to help in the kitchen and between 4:30 and 5:00 to help with outdoor set-up and the distribution of over 8,000 lbs. of food. Also, remember the ongoing need for laundry detergent (smaller size—70 oz.) and toilet paper! Bring these items at any time and deposit them in the labeled drawers in the Commons. There are  also envelopes in the pews through which you can give a donation to help purchase these items. If you need food, come. If you can help out, come.

A Centering Prayer Meditation Group will begin weekly gatherings on Thursday, January 7, from 7:00-8:00 pm in the Chapel.  All are invited to attend the group whenever you are able. The hour will consist of a reading or prayer that leads into a 20-minute meditation, discussion of the evening's experience or thoughts about your ongoing daily practice, and occasional information about the practice of Centering Prayer in various formats. If you have any questions, please contact Barb Vincensi, Phil   Harrington, or Renee Krueger. "Nearly everybody reports that Centering prayer is much easier in a group — not only because of the support and fellowship you receive from your fellow group members, but because of the synergy of the group itself. Even if your personal experience of a prayer period is one of restlessness and a lot of thoughts, in a group you'll become simultaneously aware of a deeper energy pulling you toward center. In that collected and amplified energetic space many people       experience — sometimes for the first time — that they actually are being met and held in a divine presence that is always there but sometimes too subtle to detect when you're meditating alone. The synergistic reinforcement makes the "prayer" part of Centering Prayer truly palpable."  ~Cynthia Bourgeault

Creation Care at Grace Church!
This active group meets monthly at participant’s homes and all are free to come!  We share resources, thoughts and ideas on ways that Grace and each one of us could become more ‘green’ – a lot of work has been done in the past years but there is always more to do!  We continue to seek a more visible presence of our work at Grace and hopefully over the next few months our work will become more visible to the community! It is our intent to show films on the environment and ecological concerns, bring in speakers and provide resources for those interested in the environment, eco-theology both on a personal, local, national and global scale. The next meeting will be held on January th at 6:00 pm at the home of Andy and Mary Huisman, 523 Spring Lane Drive, Holland, MI 49423 (Spring Lane Condos, just South of 32nd and Graafschap Road).

Mark your Calendars!
             Parish Strategic Doing Event: Sunday, January 17th, 11:30am -1:30pm
             Parish Annual Meeting: Sunday, January 31st 5:00-7:00pm

The Prayers of Grace
Prayers For Grace: Eskill Corneliussen, Paula Shaughnessy, Barb Creviere,  Jan Myers, Randy Andrews, Jamison Ray, the Coyle family, Cathy, Fries, Dick and Pat Danly, L. Kevin Douglas, Jr., Rene Koenig and family, the  Guyer family, Vern & Pat, Randall Warner, Tom & Tammy Kelly,  Jeanie & family, Providence, Jesse Klug, Rocky Menear (brother of Ericka Mudd), Jeannette & Frank (parents of Julie De Cook),  Ron and Pam Brown, Lin, Gwen Howe, Cecil Stick (Sue Stick’s Mother), Grace Herta, Tobin Cook, Christina, Sheila Cunningham, Lori Smith,  Mary Schimmel, Elaine, Kathy, Amanda, for Grace’s campus ministry, for the unemployed and under-employed, those who serve our communities as policemen and police women, for the women and men of the Armed Forces, especially Pierre Warner, Chuck, Warwick, Carrie, Sam, and other loved ones of our parish family. 
Prayers For The World:
for victims of disasters worldwide, natural and man-made; the people of San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, and other victims of violence throughout the world; for refugees; for those in our time who face persecution for their faith and for their persecutors; and for the healing of racism and other divisions that exist among the human family.
Please continue to pray for: Melissa (sister of Lora Lee Murray), Rev. Bob North, Herb Olney, Mel Van Oosterhout, Stephanie Ray & family, Dennielle Stid & family, John Keegin, Dawn Hays & family, Colin DeVries & family, Paul Babbitt, Cindy Brown, Marion Edwards (sister of Ron Brown), Tera & family, Sue Murray, Gebre Bekele and the people of Ethiopia, Bryce & Monny, Kevin Norlander & family, Linda and Tiffany Mourot, John Van Duren, Meghan Kelly & family, Karen Meeks, Erica & family, Catherine Page, Todd & Mary Lane, Emily & family, Shirley Swaney, Anne & family, the Butterfield family, Carol & Woody Merriman, Karin Sisson, Laura Ferster, Judy, Alex, Todd Billings & family, Peter Homan, Patricia Arnold, Devin, Jim & Jane, Ralph Suchor, Steve, Jenny, Michael Borst, Sandy, Donna, Amy, Diane, Adam, Shannon, Gail Davison, Stafford, Bruce Browning (brother of Jean Adams), Dave Masselink, Aaron Miller, Gloria Stegenga, Betty & Jerry, Lisa Leland.
Copyright © 2015, Grace Episcopal Church, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
555 Michigan Ave. Holland, MI 49423

Want to change how you receive these emails?
Please let the office know by calling 616-396-7459 or
emailing at