November 16, 2017

2018 Stewardship - The Joy of Generosity
Sunday, Nov. 19 is Stewardship Sunday, when we will dedicate our pledges to the Lord during the worship service.  Please join us in supporting the exciting things God is doing at Grace. The Session of Grace shares this opportunity to live out our calling through our financial support to the work of Grace Church in 2018.  Pledging our financial support is an important expression of our commitment to our church. Download the pledge card and stewardship letter

Grace Place
On Friday, Nov. 17 June Hudson is returning to Grace Place to share and demonstrate the gift of Pilates.  She will present the basics of Pilates (the exercise system), as well as some background information on the man for whom it is named.  Pilates can be done right here at Grace Place without even getting out of our chairs!  By the time you leave, you will have found your “powerhouse!”  Wear clothing that is comfortable and will allow you to stretch and reach.  Overly loose or tight clothing can get in the way and impede movement.  Be prepared to feel energized and awakened after learning the gentle progression of movements.  As Joseph Pilates said, “Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.”

Come early and join your Grace Place friends in playing some favorite games, like Rummikub and Scrabble, or working on a jigsaw puzzle.  Lunch is served at noon and programs begin at 12:45. This is a friendly community and we hope you will join us-and bring a friend!

Reminder -  Grace Place will not be held on Nov. 24.

Adult Education
Nov. 19: “The Very Good Gospel: What is it?” What is the good news for our soul? Sara Vernon Sterman leads a discussion of Lisa Sharon Harper’s video, “What is the Gospel?” What does the gospel have to say to us in the face of current events? Come join us for a lively session!
There will be no Adult Education class on Nov. 26. Instead, we will offer an extended “Fancy Fellowship” coffee hour throughout the morning, in keeping with our St Andrew’s celebration in the 10:30 service of worship.
The season of Advent is approaching, and with it, our study of the great African-American spirituals as presented by Dr. Luke Powery in his new volume, “Rise Up, Shepherd!” Dr. Powery states,  “The Spirituals as expressions of the Spirit are perfect for bridging the worlds of the past, present and future through the season of Advent. It is critical to learn from these marginalized voices in a liturgical season where hope is found in a humble baby Jesus born in poverty.” Come join us for reflection, study and SINGING some of the great spirituals that are part of our musical inheritance. Copies of the book we will be using can be ordered directly from Amazon or by signing up in the Church Office no later than November. 26. Paperback cost is $13; Kindle is $10.

St. Andrew’s Service
On Sunday, Nov. 26 in our 10:30 am worship service we will remember Andrew, the first disciple of Christ and the patron saint of Scotland.  The Gospel of John tells us Andrew was so moved after hearing Jesus preach that he returned with his brother Simon Peter to experience the power of Jesus’ message.  Both Andrew and Peter were called to follow Jesus as disciples.  When Andrew was martyred, he insisted on an X shaped cross, which now forms the pattern of the Scottish flag: a white X on a field of sky blue.  Sunday's service will include a bagpiper, special music and liturgies reflecting our call to be disciples of Christ.  Please invite friends and family to this service, and wear something plaid!

Deck the Halls!
Plan to stay after worship on Sunday, Nov. 26th, to help decorate the church for Advent and Christmas. Lunch will be provided. 

Special Music Sunday
The Chancel Choir invites you to a special morning of worshipful music-making at the 10:30am service on Dec. 17.  On this third Sunday of Advent, the choir will be singing the Saint-Saëns Oratorio de Noël (Christmas Oratorio).  The piece was written in 1858 for La Madeleine church, where Saint-Saëns was employed as organist.  Originally in Latin, the choir will offer this piece in its English translation.  The oratorio is written for choir, soloists, organ, strings, and harp.  The Chancel Choir will be joined by soprano Lucy Hole, baritone Peter Schertz, and guest instrumentalists for this beautiful musical anticipation of the coming of Christ.

Cash Prize!
Please consider lending one hour to our Sunday School Program at Grace as a Shepherd. Sign up here  to see all available spots. The kids at Grace are winning when the whole church participates in their spiritual journey. Taking time to Shepherd our youth is better than any cash prize!

Wellspring’s Saturday Breakfast Ministry
Please consider volunteering on Saturday, Dec. 2. Help is needed to cook, serve breakfast and distribute clothing, toiletries and snacks for up to 80 needy guests.  This shelter ministry at Old First UCC in Philadelphia supports hunger relief efforts by providing a place for guests to enjoy a hot breakfast and fellowship. Guests are also offered the opportunity to select clothing, snacks and toiletries from the clothing cupboard each Saturday.
To join the group (volunteers must be 14yrs or older), add your name to the sign-up sheet located on the bulletin board across from the church office. For more information, please call the church office at 215-887-6117

Advent Workshop
It's that time of year again! Please mark your calendars for the Children's Advent Workshop Dec. 3 following the 10:30 worship service. Crafts, music, and snacks to be enjoyed by those in the Christmas spirit. 
Cradle for the Christ Child
For over 20 years, Grace Church has shared holiday blessings with families in need through the generosity of our congregation.  Help us continue the tradition of bringing joy to children and families in our community this Christmas through “Cradle for the Christ Child.”  On either Sunday, Nov. 19 or Sunday, Nov. 26, take an envelope from the cradle. Then, purchase an item or two for the age/gender of child listed on the card and return those gifts to the Palmer Room by Sunday, Dec. 3. 

We are also collecting gift cards for our local mission partners.  Gift cards in increments of $15 to local grocery stores, or home supply stores such as Target or K-Mart, are truly appreciated by our partners.  These should also be turned in by Dec. 3.
We are so grateful for your donations of both gifts and time. If you have any questions, please contact Michele Smeal at or Meghan Zamborsky at or (202) 361-6302.
Winter Red Cross Blood Drive
An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held on Monday, Dec. 4 from 2:00-7:00 pm in Muyskens Hall.  Donors must be at least 17 years old (or 16 with parent’s permission), in good health, and must not have donated since Oct. 9.  Your blood donation is critical, as blood cannot be manufactured but must come from a generous donor.  Every 2 seconds, someone in the United States needs blood and 40% of the blood supply comes from the Red Cross.  With one hour of your time, you can save someone’s life.  What better holiday gift can you give?  To schedule an appointment, please go to or contact Chris Hoyler at or 215-576-1404.

Annual Church Ornament Exchange
Come one, come all and join us for the annual ornament exchange on Friday, Dec. 8at the home of Bob and Gail MacFarland. Starts at 7:00 pm. Every person will need an ornament and either an appetizer or dessert to share. This is always a fun evening so please join us.
RSVP:  or 215-886-3268.

Christmas Poinsettia Dedications
It’s time to place your dedication for Christmas poinsettias in memory or honor of loved ones.  Dedications are due in the church office by Sunday, Dec. 17.  Flowers will adorn the sanctuary through Dec. 31, and will then be available for delivery to our shut-ins.  If you are able to help deliver a plant or two on Dec. 31, please indicate that at the bottom of the dedication form.  Thanks to all who support our Deacons with these donations and deliveries.  Please use the online dedication form or find one in the church bulletin on Sunday.

Parent's Night Out
The Children's Ed Team would like to give you a night out! The holidays can be hectic and we want to give you a few hours to finish shopping, attend an event kid free, or just to rest. On Friday, Dec. 15 from 5:30-8:30 pm we will entertain your kids with dinner, a movie, and games. Please fill out a reservation sheet and leave it in the bin in the church office by Dec. 10. Any questions contact or J Conners.

Women of Grace 32nd Annual Retreat
All women of Grace are invited to attend a retreat from Feb. 2-4, 2018 at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference, Long Beach Island, NJ.  Our retreat leader will be Rev. Dr. Janel Dixon, pastor of Cedar Park Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, a partner church with Grace.  Janel's retreat theme will be "Carpe Diem - Seize the Day, Experience the abundant life promised by Christ".  We have invited women from Cedar Park Church to join us.  The cost of the retreat is $200/weekend or $125/Saturday only.  Brochures and registration forms have been emailed to women of Grace, and a sign-up sheet is on the bulletin board next to the Volunteer Office.  For more details, contact Chris Hoyler at or call 215-576-1404.

Benjamin Van Buren