November 1, 2020

Dear Friends,

This coming Sunday is the great day on the church calendar when we celebrate the Communion of Saints. What we proclaim through this wonderful and sacred mystery is that the church is a family – a community – that death does not divide. Once we become a member of the family through baptism we are marked as Christ’s own forever. Thus, even though everyone’s biological life comes to an end, we trust in Jesus that death does not extinguish our own individual stories. In Sunday’s bulletin you’ll see a long list of names. Who are they? These are the loved ones and friends who have entered into larger life in the closer company of God. During the Eucharist we will light candles to remind ourselves that the Spirit of the Lord shines upon them and within them from this time forth, even forever.

Sunday is also the launch of the 2021 Annual Campaign for Grace Church. Hopefully you have received a letter and brochure either by conventional mail or email. If you haven’t, rest assured that it’s on the way. You can also read the brochure here. The reason for the convergence of All Saints’ Day and Pledge Sunday has everything to do with someone’s procrastination (mine). When I finally finished writing the brochure it was too late to get it back from the printer in time for last Sunday – October 25 – our intended date for Pledge Sunday. Nevertheless, concerning my sloth, the Latin phrase, “O felix culpa” comes to mind. What it means is, “O happy fault.” All Saints’ Day and Pledge Sunday make perfect sense together. The saints of God are those who gave of themselves, which is exactly what we are asking everyone to do as a member of the Grace Church family.

Also, I hope you will Zoom into the Sunday Forum at 10:15 am. NYU Professor Nicholas Birns will be leading Part 3 of our series, “Where Faith and Politics Intersect.” The focus will be the life and legacy of the late U.S. Representative John Lewis, and a 2015 graduation speech of his that we hope you’ll have time to read in advance.

Finally, don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour on Saturday night. Yes, we all get an extra hour of sleep. “O felix somnum” is what I want to say about that. O happy sleep!