Grace Notes


Lent has Begun
Lent has begun—that season of preparation on our way to the great fifty day celebration that is Easter. According to The Book of Common Prayer,

The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord's passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith.

This Sunday we will sing the Great Litany as the ministers of the assembly process around the Church. For most of the rest of the Sundays in Lent we will sing the Ten Commandments at the beginning of Mass. We have also returned to the use of Prayer I (from Rite I) which, though theologically more Protestant than the other Eucharistic Prayers in the Prayer Book, also contains a more penitential tone than the others (for example: And although we are unworthy, through our manifold sins, to offer unto thee any sacrifice, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through Jesus Christ our Lordů). One of the more striking changes in this Season is that the organ is used only to sustain congregational singing, which means that for the Sundays in Lent there will be frequent stark silences (no... Kathryn is not sleeping back there!).

I also hope that you note the beautiful new purple vestments that are the gift of St. Martha's Guild. They had their debut on Ash Wednesday and they are spectacular. Thank you!

Lent has begun. We're on our way to Easter. May your Lent be fruitful and your Easter overflow with new and abundant life.

--Father Rhodes

ADULT FORUM... This Sunday the Rector will continue the series on Themes of the Apocalypse: the Book of Revelation.

DONATING TO FOOD FOR FRIENDS AS A LENTEN DISCIPLINE... Almsgiving is a traditional Christian penitential practice and Food for Friends provides a way one can participate in that practice throughout Lent. Buy some canned or packaged food and bring it to church on Sunday. Perhaps you have given up some item for Lent. Why not use the money you would have spent, or a part of it, to purchase alms? Although there are signs the economy is improving, unemployment and underemployment still run high and many must rely on food pantries and soup kitchens to make ends meet. St. Paul's Community Development Corporation Food Pantry in Paterson, which receives our donations, especially needs high protein items, such as beans and canned meats. Otherwise, their wish list asks specifically for tuna, cereal, peanut butter, rice, coffee, and pasta. Alternatively checks may be drawn in favor of St. Paul's Community Development Corporation and marked Food Pantry. Please send checks directly to St. Paul's at 451 Van Houten Street, Paterson, NJ 07501. Please consider including this ministry as part of your Lenten discipline. Thank you.

A NOTE ON THE MARDI GRAS PARTY FROM YOUR WARDEN... Another year of success for our Mardi Gras party! A big thank you goes out to our chefs: Larry Sunden, Randy Scott and Theresa Okunlola, and everyone who contributed sides and dessert! Raffle winners were Larry Sunden, Basket of cheer and Barbara Tait who won the 'Home" basket and was graciously sharing. Barbara also won best costume as the total southern belle. Runners up were Cookies Ramirez as a cowgirl and the safari leading Hafemanns. John Schneider received the 'booby prize' for his lack of costume. John, next year we hope you will lead the parade down the avenue! A prize for the most beaded necklaces (19) went to Mary Sunden with Mickey running very close wearing 14. The music provided by Tom and Andy Bisdale was true to the occasion, and it lent a special ambiance for the evening. Finally, Debbi Geller found the baby in the King cake! Congratulations Debbi! Please see Debbi with any suggestions for next year's event! I will be the one sitting down smiling~ Your Warden (Christine Scott).

The Season of Lent at Grace Church

Morning Prayer 7:45 a.m.
The Holy Eucharist (Said Mass with hymns) 8:00 a.m.
The Holy Eucharist (Sung Mass with hymns) 10:00 a.m.
Coffee and Fellowship follows 10:00 a.m. Mass

Morning Prayer 9:00 a.m.
The Holy Eucharist with Holy Unction (Said Mass) ca 9:15 a.m.

March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29

Solemn Evensong and Benediction 7 p.m.
Simple Supper and Fellowship: ca 7:45 p.m.

March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30

Way (Stations) of the Cross 6 p.m.

Ministers of the Assembly

February 26March 4
MP Officiant and LEM (8 am) Andy SmethurstCharles Keil
Lay EucharisticLeslie BisdaleEvans Roache
Ministers (10 am)Jim FreemanDebbi Geller
LectorMary SundenMiriam Colwell
Intercessor (Prayers) Aki OkunlolaKaren Kennedy
Chief ServerDebbi GellerWarren Hirstius
AcolytesJustin HirstiusEmily Thomas
Kate LandiEvans Roache
UshersMickey HafemannJanet Delaney
Bill HafemannPat Landi
CountersAki OkunlolaSusan Schneider
Cookie SmethurstJim Miller
Altar GuildLeslie BisdaleTheresa Peter
Daisy ToppinJil Bucceroni
Coffee Hour: Nancy SobeckChris Scott
Una ThomasRandy Scott