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Grace Abounds Weekly E-News

    Weekly E-News from Grace Episcopal Church May 5, 2016

Spotlight on Grace:
A Note from the Rector 


As many of you know, I will be starting my sabbatical on May 18th, and will return to Grace at the end of August. It’s common in churches for a pastor to have in his contract a sabbatical after a certain number of years of service. In my case, this sabbatical comes at my six-year mark. And the first thing I want to say to you all is, “Thank you!” I am deeply aware that – other than college professors – few other professions have a common practice of sabbaticals, and I want to thank you all for giving me this time to step away for a few months from the daily operations of parish life.

The word “sabbatical” comes from the word “Sabbath”, a

The Catskill Mountains

“day of rest” which is a word we know well in the Church. Sabbatical is therefore a time when a rector can rest from regular parish duties and take time for other activities that feed the soul. In my case, I plan to focus on reading books (theological and otherwise), something I don’t often find the time to do. I also plan to spend time with my family and old friends. Of my closest friends – those who were groomsmen in my wedding – none of them lives within 100 miles of Providence. This summer, I will get to see almost all of them, and I am deeply thankful for that. Our family will be in Providence through June, then in the Catskill Mountains for a month, and then on Cape Cod for a month. During that time, I also intend to learn some Spanish, an increasingly important language in both our country and the Episcopal Church. As some of you know, I love learning foreign languages, but I’ve somehow managed so far to miss learning the most widely-spoken foreign language in the country!

New Building – Aerial View at Sunset

While I’m away, I and my family will worship in various churches, both here in Rhode Island and elsewhere. I love visiting other churches, but, somehow, rarely get the opportunity to do so! This summer will be a perfect time for that. During my sabbatical,
the Rev. Lavonne Seifert, our Associate Rector, will serve as priest-in-charge of the parish. Mother Jennifer, our Priest Associate, will cover three Sundays when Mother Lavonne is away. All that is to say that – along with the wonderful lay staff here at Grace – the parish will be in excellent hands this summer!

You will be in my prayers in the coming months, and I will look forward to being back at Grace with you all in September. And I will also look forward to seeing how our new building is coming along!



This Week at Grace   


Rendering of the Interior of the New Space

Worship services:

Sunday 8:00am Holy Eucharist
Sunday 10:00am Holy Eucharist

     with music
Wednesday Noon Holy Eucharist


Exterior View from Westminster Street
The Thursday Noon concert series: Thursday, May 5, please enjoy a performance by our very own Vince Edwards, Director of Music here at Grace. Next week, May 12, will feature Nikki Lawrence, Mezzo Soprano. 


Women’s Prayer and Bible Study:
2nd and 4th Saturday of each month at 9:30am in the Chafee Room

Grace Church is OPEN to the Public each weekday from 11:00am until 2:00pm. Please tell your friends, co-workers, and visitors to stop by and explore this beautiful historic church. Our friendly docents will greet you with a smile.

Looking Ahead

Groundbreaking Ceremony: Please join us after the 10:00am service on Sunday, May 15, for a groundbreaking ceremony for our new building! This event will take place rain or shine; and if weather is favorable this may also mark our first outdoor coffee hour of the season! To celebrate both the Feast of Pentecost and the ceremonial groundbreaking, please consider bringing a little something extra for our coffee hour.


The Grace Church Choir Presents
Dvořák’s Mass in D Major: Sunday, May 15, 5:00pm. All   are welcome to attend this free concert performance. Please come and enjoy!

A Grace Church Anniversary

60 years ago today, Gordon and Joan Martin were married right here at Grace Church, and from that day forward they have shared decades of faithful worship, fellowship and service with this congregation. Gordon served on the vestry for the better part of a decade, and Joan sang with the Grace Church choir for more than 30 years. They remain very active members of this congregation, and can often be found serving as ushers for a Sunday service. 

Please join us in congratulating them on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary. Today, at the Thursday Noon concert, Director of Music Vince Edwards honored the couple by including a selection of pieces that were played during their wedding in this very place, and on portions of this very organ, on May 5th, 1956. 

Muchas Gracias: From (and to) Teens in Action

The Grace Church congregation gathered in fellowship last Sunday following the 10am service, for a well-enjoyed fiesta as the youth group Teens in Action hosted a meal of burritos and tacos in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. We were honored to have Bishop Knisely join the festivities as well!

Through your generous participation and support, Teens in Action raised nearly $500 for the church, and Teens in Action wishes to thank you for your participation. Likewise, we here at Grace wish to thank Teens in Action for organizing and hosting this terrific annual event, and for all of the group’s committed work throughout each year that contributes so much to the life of our church.


Music at Grace

William Croft, Composer

Music Notes for this Sunday’s 10am service:
William Croft was born at the Manor House,
Nether Ettington, Warwickshire. He was educated at the Chapel Royal, under the instruction of John Blow, and remained there until 1698. Two years after this departure, he became organist of St. Anne’s Church, Soho. In 1707, he took over the Chapel Royal’s “Master of the Children” post, which had been left vacant by the suicide of Jeremiah Clarke (one of Croft’s pupils in this capacity was Maurice Greene). The following year, Croft succeeded Blow (who had lately died) as organist of Westminster Abbey. He composed works for the funeral of Queen Anne (1714) and for the coronation of King George I (1715).

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The Mission of Grace Church is to build, by the grace of God, a loving and joyful community which lives the gospel through worship, proclamation and service to each other, to downtown Providence, and beyond.



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