This past Sunday we were confronted with two pathways of invitation in Genesis 38: to break away from the Lord, following our appetites vs. breaking through our present darkness by His very present help? The dark story of Judah and Tamar demonstrates the colossal harm that happens when God's people--in this case specifically men of power--live selfish lives. Yet when God seems absent, He is nothing but and will be an Avenger in the form of those victimized by the people of God! His plan to bless the Nations is demonstrated through the resilience of Tamar and the continuance of Judah's lineage. Please recall that this message contains explicit material, but there is a powerful grace in the message! Listen here.
Related to this, in the wisdom of the church calendar, Easter is not a single day. Instead, it is a 7-week season. It takes longer than a single 24-hour celebration to get the reality of the resurrection of Jesus into our bones. Here is a helpful article about how we can make good use of Eastertide.
We are now an Anglican Church! As we continue to walk together towards the new future God has for us, here are a few items of interest.
John was ordained as a deacon in the ACNA last Thursday at the annual C4SO Clergy Retreat in Nashville. The service was live-streamed, and can be viewed here. The sermon from John's ordination service can also be heard here with a little better sound quality than the YouTube video.
Second, here is a brief video about our Diocese, which explains a little bit about the vision and structure of our new church home.
Bring Communion Elements this Sunday, May 15: One of the changes we are experiencing as part of the ACNA is our practice of Holy Communion. Only ordained priests may consecrate the elements in the ACNA, and currently, neither Pastor John nor Pastor Jason are ordained as Anglican priests. To help us continue our weekly practice of partaking of the Lord's Supper together each Sunday, several local ACNA priests will be assisting us.
Please consider bringing communion elements to be consecrated on Sunday, May 15th. These elements will be an offering of Christ's love and peace from you to the rest of our church body for future worship services. The elements you bring will be consecrated (blessed) by Matthew Lanser, of Emmanuel Anglican Church as a part of our worship this Sunday, May 15. They will be carefully secured and safely stored in our church building for use on future Sundays until we have another visiting priest assist us with the consecration of the elements again. This practice will continue until Pastor John (now Deacon John) is ordained as an Anglican priest (hopefully sometime this fall).
Pray As You Go is a daily prayer APP, designed to go with you wherever you go, and help you develop a rhythm of praying every day. It is not a 'Thought for the Day', a sermon or a bible-study, but rather a 10 to 15 minute guided time of prayer, Scripture contemplation, and invitation to bring your own prayers to the Lord. You can download the app on GooglePlay or the Apple Podcasts.
No Christian Formation Hour this week. We will resume on May 22.
We will hold in-person worship and livestream this week at 10:15 AM.
Classes on May 22: For our last Sunday of Christian Formation Classes, Jill Harding, a counselor from St. Louis, will be leading a discussion in the adult class at 9:00 AM. Jill does work with those experiencing grief, and end-of-life issues, emotionally equipping those affected by racial and community injustice as they often serve in hostile contexts and working with those who seek freedom and liberation through personal healing.
Immediately after worship on May 22, 12:00-2:00 PM: We will have lunch together along with an extended time of discussion facilitated by Jill Harding around grief-informed pastoral care in our upstairs Chapel. People ages 15 and older are invited to the discussion.
Grace Kids/Youth party, May 22, 12:00-2:00 PM: We will have a Grace Kids/Youth party, downstairs in the fellowship hall. There will be food, face painting, games, lego building, and other fun activities for all ages. To register your child for the party, email your child(ren) name and age by Wednesday, May 18 to Linn at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, if you plan to attend the adult discussion, and your child will be in the building, you must pre-register them for the party so that they will have adult supervision while in the building.
Grace Kids Volunteers Needed: As more and more families are returning to worship, we need more adult volunteers during the worship service in the Toddler classroom and during our Sermon Time Class. Please contact Linn Haralson at email@example.com. Thank you!
Sunday Volunteers Needed: With the return to in-person worship, we need people willing to help with communion, ushering, check-in, reading Scripture, and sound/video crew. Please contact Danielle Taniguchi at firstname.lastname@example.org sign up.
Volunteer Scheduling Changes: We will be working on transitioning our volunteer scheduling platform for both Sunday morning and Grace Kids volunteers to Planning Center and discontinuing the use of Elvanto starting this month. There will be more information to follow later in May.
We have a wide variety of groups: Community Groups, Bible Studies, Growth Groups, Prayer Groups, Men’s Groups, Women’s Groups, and Listening Prayer Groups. To find a group, or if you are interested in starting one, please contact our Director of Community Formation, Jamie Afshari at email@example.com.
Staff Transitions & Job Openings:
We continue to marvel at the Lord’s care for our congregation through the pandemic and transition into the ACNA. It is a gift to be worshiping again in person and to have clarity and peace about our new denominational home.
One of the next big challenges we are facing as a congregation involves staff transitions. We are currently prayerfully looking to fill three new openings:
Assistant Pastor with Emphasis on Youth and Young Adults
Assistant Pastor with Emphasis on Serving the City
We believe these two new positions will bring tremendous blessings as they have been created to:
Provide key leadership to help our Serving the City ministry to thrive and mature.
Make a significant commitment to rebuilding our ministry to youth and families post-pandemic.
Allow us to have a multiplicity of preaching and teaching voices as well as provide additional pastoral care for the congregation.
If you know someone who could be a good fit for any of these jobs, please have them contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org). We already have some strong candidates and will be reaching out to several of our existing networks, but want you to be aware of these opportunities so you can be praying and helping us connect with others. We will keep these positions open until May 31.
Meditation/Prayer for Children and Families at Grace (all welcome, you do not have to have children to attend this gathering): All are welcome, you do not have to have children to attend. This is a 20-minute meditation/prayer, on the second Wednesday of each month at 8:00 AM via Zoom - the next meeting will be Wednesday, May 11. We begin with a short time of centering prayer, followed by a brief scripture reading, a time to pray over requests generated from our congregation for our children and families, and we will close with a blessing. If you would like the zoom link, please email Linn at email@example.com. Please remain muted for the prayer, you are welcome to have your video on or off. If you would like to have a specific prayer request prayed (can be anonymous), please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
May 14th YCG Soccer Smackdown at Volunteer Park! About a year ago, YCG met in Volunteer Park for some lunch and games. We are doing this again with a little friendly domination of Trinity Church Seattle's youth group in Volunteer Park. We are meeting with Pastor Gavin and his TCS crew just north of the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. Bring a sack lunch at 1:00 PM and prepare to wreck our friends in the name of the Lord! Please RSVP with Pastor Jason at email@example.com, and let us know if you can come for food, fellowship, and futbol.
Women’s Summer Gatherings: As the summer months are rapidly approaching, we have planning 3 evening gatherings for the women of Grace to share good food and fellowship. The gatherings are scattered throughout the Seattle area during each month:
Friday, June 10, 7:00 - 9:00 PM: The Layne (Capitol Hill) Friday, July 15, 7:00 - 9:00 PM: Jamie Afshari’s Home (Mountlake Terrace) Friday, August 19, 7:00 - 9:00 PM: Shelly Morse’s Home (Renton)
We hope to see you there! For specific addresses and any questions, please email Jamie Afshari at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updates to Giving Statements: For 2022, financial giving records will be in Planning Center. More details on how to access your giving for this year will be coming soon. For any questions, please contact Danielle Taniguchi at email@example.com.
Young Adult Group: As a young adult, it can be difficult to find friendships in Seattle. You've probably just moved here, got to or out of college, or you're coming out of your Covid-19-enforced hermitage and finding it difficult to meet people. If you consider yourself a young adult and are interested in growing in the community and breaking bread with others, join us for weekly dinner on Sunday nights in Eastlake. For those living or working downtown, in South Lake Union or the University District, it should be a quick bus ride on the 70. Reach out to Brent Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org for the specific location, or if you have any questions.
Book Club: Stephanie Pommer leads our book club for Grace. The next book is The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. To join, email Stephanie at email@example.com.
GraceLife Distribution List: GraceLife (firstname.lastname@example.org) is an email group designed to foster spontaneous generosity and hospitality among anyone and everyone who regularly attends Grace. The distribution list allows anyone who signs up to send out an email to the larger group. It is designed to be used to let others know about a party you’d like to invite others to join, a game night you’d like to host, a request to borrow something, a post to give goods away, a need you’d like to ask for help from the larger group, etc. If you are interested in joining, please email Danielle Taniguchi at email@example.com.
Thursday morning Walking Group: Regardless of the weather, we meet weekly at 10:00 AM. Currently, we are walking around GreenLake Park. If you would like to join and have a different park suggestion let us know, babies in strollers and leashed pets are welcome. Contact Linn Haralson at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to join us.
Listening Prayer Group Opportunity at The Layne 2021-22 “By beginning with the revealed word of God, Lectio Divina (listening prayer) continues the conversation that God has begun. We first pay attention to his approach to us and focus on our receptivity. Scripture becomes a means for God to feed, heal, and love us. We open ourselves to God’s presence and respond with our hearts.” -Stephen J. Binz – Conversing with God in Scripture
A Listening prayer group is a small group that meets with the intention of building a community around the word of God. During this time together we will listen to God’s word read out loud. We will have an opportunity for individual silence and reflection on the scripture and then conclude our time together, sharing the gifts that God has given in our silence with him. Please join us for listening prayer, led by Shelly Morse, at the Layne on the following dates at 7:00-9:00 PM:
Save the Date - Farewell Party, Sunday, June 5th: In light of Jason's news about transitioning and moving to New Orleans this summer and Danielle's news about moving to Vancouver, BC, we are forgoing the Talent Show, and instead, we are throwing the Davison and Milgate family a farewell party on June 5th.
Breakfast Sandwiches for Unsheltered Teens at New Horizons: New Horizons Ministries has a request of partnership for Grace Church Seattle:
“We are looking for small groups to prepare breakfast sandwiches once a week. Ideally, a group would come in on a Monday or Tuesday morning (9:30 AM – 1:00 PM) for 2- 3 hours. They would prepare 80 – 100 breakfast sandwiches, pack them, and then put them in the freezer and refrigerator. We are looking to start making the breakfast sandwiches in April.”
We are asking groups to provide the eggs, cheese, sausage patties, and English muffins. New Horizons would provide all the spices for groups to use. Volunteers must have their Washington State Food Handler’s Permit, ($10 fee). The Serving the City team is working to also partner with other churches for this effort. If you have any interest or questions, please email Pastor Jason at email@example.com.
New Horizons Youth Shelter has an opportunity for meals to be prepared and delivered once or twice a month for the youth that utilizes their services. Prepared meals would need to feed 40 youth (teenaged to young 20-year-olds) in family-style containers. If you are interested in supporting this opportunity please reach out to Pastor Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.