November 23, 2017

2018 Pledge Reminder
Dedication Sunday was Nov. 19, and to date we have received many pledge commitments for 2018 from congregation members and friends.  It's not too late, or too soon, to plan your financial commitment to Grace Church for next year.   Your pledge card can be put it in the offering plate, sent in to the church office “attention:  Tina Hinks” or by email to  Thank you to everyone who participates in the significant spiritual discipline of pledging.  The expression of our commitment to Grace with our time, talent and financial support allows us to experience the joy of generosity through God's work here at Grace. 

Grace Place
Reminder - Grace Place will not be held on Nov. 24.
We look forward to seeing you on Dec. 1.  Come 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 pm.  This is a friendly community and we hope you will join us and bring a friend!

Adult Education
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 Nov.. 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
Thank you to everyone who selected cards this past week from the cradle for the Cradle for the Christ Child gift donation project. There is still time to support families in our local community celebrate a joyful Christmas - cards will be available for selection from the cradle following both the 8:30 and 10:30 services this Sun., Nov. 26. 

If you would like to participate but are unable to attend worship this Sunday to pick up a card, please contact Meghan Zamborsky at or 202-361-6302, or Michele Smeal at and we’d be happy to provide you with the information to shop for a child in need.

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 WalMart, are truly appreciated by our partners. All gifts & gift cards should be returned to the Palmer Room at Grace by Sunday, Dec. 3rd. 

Another way to get involved: help us organize and sort the gifts on Wednesday, Dec. 6th at 9 am in the Palmer Room – all volunteers are welcome for this festive morning!
Attention:  Amazon Shoppers!
Amazon Smile is a program that donates 0.5% of all eligible Amazon purchases to charitable organizations. Grace participates, so you can support our mission when you shop by clicking on our link
2018 Flower Dedications
The 2018 Flower Chart in available on the bulletin board in the sanctuary hallway.  To dedicate the chancel flowers in honor or memory of a special person or occasion,, please add your name to the chart for a special Sunday, or contact the church office to see if your date is open.  There is a $45 donation requested to dedicate the chancel flowers for your special Sunday.   The Deacons deliver the church flowers after the service each week.

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.

Men’s Retreat
Men, mark your calendars! The Men’s Retreat is March 9-11, 2018. Please join us for a weekend of fun, fellowship, specific faith-focused topics to explore, many adventure activities, and relaxation at the Refreshing Mountain resort in Lancaster, PA.  Click here for more details.

Benjamin Van Buren