The Third Sunday after Pentecost

Epistle for July 2022

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you all and happy late-June!  Many of you know that in the summer the Weekly Epistle becomes a monthly, with an issue at the beginning of July and one at the beginning of August.  This year the July issue is coming a week early because we have exciting news to share that can’t wait: the appointment of a new Assistant Rector of Grace Church.  I am pleased to report that the Rev. James Morton has accepted the call to join our clergy staff beginning on August 1st.

James currently serves at St. James Church, Madison Avenue as the “Rockwell Fellow,” a position that offers newly ordained clergy a broad exposure to a range of ministries.  Since 2020 he has been working with newcomers, furthering God’s mission through outreach, and being in ministry with young adults in their 20s and 30s.  These are all what James calls “passion areas” for him, and they happen to be exactly a fit for our needs at this time.  In addition, James will give special attention to our Sunday 6 pm service when it resumes in September.  He looks forward to being deep in the weeds of bulletin production and teaching in a variety of parish settings, including in the religion department of Grace Church School.  Julia and I are both very excited to have James join our clergy team.  Already we are working on various strategies to cover all the bases.  I have never wished a summer away, but it’s going to be fun to get started in the fall.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s enjoy the summer together.  This year, back by popular demand, we are hosting three summer cookouts on the lawn of Huntington Close.  The dates are the last Wednesdays of each month: June 29th, July 27th, and August 31st, all at 6 pm.  So we begin this week with hamburgers, hot dogs, vegetarian options, and a variety of beverages.  Also, the GCW (Grace Church Women) will be topping off the feast with ice cream!  The playground will be open for the children, and yours truly will be at the grill.  It will be my duty and delight to serve you.  I hope you will be able to attend.  If so, please RSVP to Travis Kennedy so we’ll know how much food to order.

Finally, you may recall that earlier this month I wrote about how the Grace Church budget is being especially squeezed these days.  The endowment has been hit hard by the lawsuits we settled through mediation.  The church-owned building at 80 4th Avenue has endured lengthy, costly repairs.  In response a number of parishioners have contacted me and asked how they can help.  These conversations have been deeply moving in that they reveal not only how much the Grace Church family means to people, but also the generous spirit that resides in the hearts of our parishioners.  Thus it was not lost on me when I returned to the parish house one day this week to find an offering that someone had left behind.  There on the steps was a loose pile of perhaps two hundred pennies!  I don’t know the identity of the giver nor the reason for the gift.  It could be a guilt, or memorial, or a thank offering.  In any case, thank you.  Every penny helps!

Summer blessings to you all. I look forward to seeing you in church and at the grill

The Rev. J. Donald Waring