December 16, 2016


Office hours generally are M to TH 12 to 4:00

Interim/ Supply Priest/ Morning Prayer Schedule:

***Dec 17 – Hanging of the Greens – 10 am***

Dec 18 – Robert Davenport

Dec 24 – Christmas Eve, 5:30 pm & 11 pm, Robert Davenport

Dec 25 – Christmas Service, 9:00 am– Robert Davenport

Jan 1 - TBD

Dear Friends and Members of Grace Church,

We will gather on Christmas in celebration of the Birth of Jesus, the child of Bethlehem, the one who we call Christ.  Lizzy and I look forward to being in Radford this Sunday for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, and for Christmas celebrations on the evening of the 24th and the morning of the 25th.

But Christmas is more than the celebration of a birth. It is unique. It is aptly called “The “Mystery of the Incarnation” for it is a truth beyond words.

The Prologue of John’s Gospel says“the Word of God   became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth.”  We give thanks at Christmas that God’s coming to us to be with us in the flesh isn’t just an event we remember from our ancient stories, but it is a reality even right now and right here.  This affirmation speaks volumes to us as we explore the possibilities of what it means and meditate on what it says about our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, and our relationships with one another.

Beyond all the hype and commercialism of Christmas, I love Christmas gifts. How challenging and special it can be to give someone just the right thing. It needs not be expensive and glamorous, but rather might be a token of affection and thanks that as God gives of God’s own self to us we in turn can give of our own selves to one another. That we can even attempt to give such love or receive it is part of the Mystery. 

I thank each and every one of you for the ways you have given of yourselves to your parish, to one another, to your community and to my family and me. You display not a participation in the Christmas hype that surrounds us. You participate in a holy love from on high. You live as it might be said in the very life of God.

You have a wonderful community, environment and spirit to offer your next rector. Primarily, I hope you offer that person the opportunity to celebrate with you that God is present through the Incarnation and in the breaking of the bread.

Merry Christmas to us all and many thanks to all of you.



This is our last month with Robert Davenport so his last service with us will be Christmas morning, 9am.  We will return to having supply priests twice a month while we complete the search for a new rector.  Please be sure to say goodbye to Robert and thank him for his time here with us!   

Message from the Search Committee

Parish profile is completed and submitted to the diocese.  It will become active next week.  Closing date for candidate applications will be mid-February, at which time Grace search committee will begin receiving candidate names.

New (Updated) Website

Check out the new look at Grace’s website!

Stewardship Update

To date we have 35 pledges at $97,640.  We have approximately 75% of last year's pledges.  Thanks to all who have turned in pledges already. For those who still want to pledge, it's not too late! Having a realistic budget figure is vital as we look to the future with a new rector and continuing our present ministries at Grace. 

Any questions please call Tim Walker  639-9266.

Saturday, December 17th - Keep the date – 10 am

We need volunteers to decorate the church for Christmas on Saturday, December 17th at 10 am.  The greenery needs to be hung and lights put on the tree.  The chrismons will be added by the congregation at the services on the 24th.  

The Altar Guild will be polishing the silver and brass and making swags for the doors.  

Come and help decorate our beautiful church for Christmas.  There will be coffee and cake!

If you have questions please call Diana Jordan.

Christmas Eve Services – 5:30 pm and 11:00 pm

Christmas Day Service – 9:00 am


Grace Rooms Update


 December Mission: WRC and Grace Rooms

Like last year, we will purchase Kroger gift and gas cards for the women and children at the Women’s Resource Center as well as do the same for our Grace Rooms guests. Please write December Mission on the memo line of your checks or feel free to purchase cards in $25 amounts. Please give the cards to me or leave with Christine in the office. All donations are due no later than December 19. Grace Church always awakens the spirit of Christmas to women and children in the New River Valley. I know you will this year, too. Thank you in advance for your generosity and helping those struggling to move toward independence and escape the fear of violence.

Please put “December Monthly Mission/WRC/Grace Rooms” on your donation check.

Christmas Blessings and Peace to all,

Lee Slusher

639-1327 if questions


January Clothing Bank Volunteer Sign Up

It is that time of year again!!!  We need volunteers to cover the clothing bank in January.  

There are 2 shifts on Thursday, 

10AM to Noon

4PM to 6PM.  

On Friday and Saturday 

10AM to Noon.  

Hours to suit all schedules!  There will be a sign up sheet in the Parish Hall.  We are small in number but big in mission!


Time to Order Christmas Poinsettias

If you would like to contribute to this part of our celebration in memory of, in honor of, or in thanksgiving for, a person or presence in your life, please fill out the order form and return it to the church office or leave it in the offering plate. 

The Minimum contribution should be $15.00 per plant

All contributions received over and above the actual cost of the flowers will go to support the mission of Grace Episcopal Church. Order forms need to be turned into the office by Wed., Dec. 21st  

For more information call Diana Jordan (540-639-0809)  


Can You Help?

If you can do one of the following, please contact the office:

o   Someone to take over the Acolytes

Coupon Exchange Box – Now in the Parish Hall

Newsletter – January

Weekly Roles

We have several Sundays coming up that have no Coffee Hour hosts.  Please contact the office if you are willing to host Coffee Hour. 

December 2016


Coffee Hour       

Dec 11 – Bette Wright            

Dec 18 – Ann Walker              

Dec 25 – Group Effort           

Jan 1 - TBD         

DECEMBER Altar Guild:  Phyllis Semple, Sherri Carper, Jennifer Hand, Beth Gaspard

JANUARY 2017 Altar Guild:  Penny Sweet, Louise Johnson, Joy Hottenstein

December 18th – 4th Sunday of Advent

Robert Davenport

Chalicer               8 am - Michael Cluver             11 am – Jack Brockway

Lector                   8 am – Bob Himmel                11 am – Ann Walker

Server                  Mark Johnston

Acolyte                 Hannah Brockway

Counters              Ann Walker & Diana Jordan 

December 24th – Christmas Eve – 5:30 pm & 11 pm

Please sign up if you can volunteer to fil one of these slots – or call the office

Robert Davenport

Chalicer               ___________________5:30      Mark Carper                           11  

Lector                  Bob Himmel                  5:30   Beth Gaspard                   11  

Server                  ___________________5:30   ______________________11        

Crucifer               ___________________5:30      ______________________11     

Acolyte                 ___________________5:30      ______________________11     


December 25th – Nativity of Our Lord (one service @ 9:00 am)

Robert Davenport

Chalicer               9 am - Tim Walker

Lector                   9 am – _______________

Server                  TBD

Acolyte                 Mark Johnston

Counters              Terry Nester & Tyler Will

January 1st– The Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ


Lay Reader         8 am & 11 am – TBD

Lector                   8 am – Bob Himmel                11 am – Sarah Himmel

Server                  Mark Johnston

Acolyte                 Hannah Brockway

Counters              Penny Sweet & Lee Slusher 

If you can’t serve that day, please find a substitute and contact the office with the change.  People are often willing to switch or fill in given enough advanced notice. If you would like to serve and are not on the lists, please contact Ann Walker about how to participate. (Adults can also be Servers, Crucifers and Acolytes.)

Flowers for the Altar – The Flower 2016 Sign up is on the bulletin board next to the Altar Guild Room in the Parish Hall or you may call the office.  

 Altar Flowers from Northside Flowers:

          One Sunday - $25

          Two Sundays - $40

Contact Northside Flowers (540-639-9351) to order flowers and contact the office to place the dedication in the bulletin. 


St. Nicholas Day Appeal:

This year, twenty percent of donations made will be given to help complete the Sharon Bryant Memorial Garden at St. Paul's, Bear Mountain, in our diocese. Before her death in 2015, Sharon served as Chief of the Monacan Nation and was a Candidate for Holy Orders. Eighty percent will be given to the Episcopal Deanery of Central Plateau in the Diocese of Haiti. Many of our parishes support schools and mission in this area, and two deputations from the diocese have visited this year. 

As you know, this appeal makes it possible for our diocese to annually make substantial financial grants to a variety of ministries and missions. I would ask that parishes participate in the success of this annual appeal by verbally announcing it, even this Sunday, and including the bulletin-ready materials received next week in service leaflets and newsletters during the remainder of Advent and through Epiphany leading up to our Annual Convention.

Invitation to the Ninety-Eighth Annual Convention  

January 27--29, 2017 

Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center
110 Shenandoah Ave NW, Roanoke, VA 24016 

November 28, 2016


Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry regularly describes our baptized call to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ as a "movement." This emphasis reminds us that following Jesus is not a spectator sport. Christians are to be on the move for sake of the Gospel and for the sake of others. Each year at our annual gathering in convention, I have focused on our becoming the missional church. Joining the Holy Spirit's ever-expanding mission into the world is our work.

As a diocesan family, we must continue to build networks of relationship with each other so that we widen our circles of engagement with new neighbors. Our guests this year will be the Rev. Noé Bernier and the Rev. Dwight Zscheile. Noé is the Archdeacon of the Central Plateau in the Diocese of Haiti. He will be our preacher on Friday evening and a workshop leader on Saturday. The Rev. Dwight Zscheile,our 2016 keynote speaker, will be with us again this year as a coach and workshop leader in our new initiative of Living Local: Joining God.

As always, our work in building common mission will happen in the midst of joyous worship and good Christian fellowship. I look forward to celebrating our annual family reunion.


The Rt. Rev. Mark A. Bourlakas

We're looking forward to seeing you at the Ninety-Eighth Annual Convention!

Links to online Convention registration and the form for submitting a resolution are posted on the diocesan website. Other Convention-related materials will also be posted there as they become available prior to the January convocation meetings.


Presiding Bishop Curry’s Christmas Message 2016

This child came to show us how to change the world. So this Christmas, make room for Him to change us. This Christmas help us change the world.

[December 12, 2016] “This child came to show us how to change the world,” Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry said in his Christmas Message 2016. “So this Christmas, make room for Him to change us. This Christmas help us change the world.”

The Presiding Bishop’s video message is here. 

The Presiding Bishop’s message follows:

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Christmas Message 2016

From Isaiah Chapter 9:

For unto us a child is born,
unto us a Son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder;
and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

These words of Isaiah are often seen as words that foretell and foreshadow the coming of Jesus of Nazareth, born of Mary. The truth is, these words befit Him because this child changed the world. This child changes lives. This child changes us.

I remember when our oldest daughter was a baby. My wife and I were young. We were footloose and fancy-free.  It was just the two of us newlyweds, so if we wanted to go out to eat dinner, we went out to eat dinner. If we decided to go to a movie at the last minute, we just went.  We actually felt like we had money back then.  And we did have a little bit of discretionary income. We could pretty much do what we wanted to do, within reason, and we didn't have to think too much about the consequences or impact of a spontaneous decision and what we had to do to make that happen.

And then, all of a sudden, this little, innocent human being, a little child, came into our lives, and literally gained control over our entire world. Before we could do anything else we had to think about, “Who’s going to keep the baby?” or “Is this a good time for us to go without the baby?”  We soon learned that we were not in control of our lives anymore.  Even our sleeping patterns became very different. We would stay awake when the baby was awake and we went to sleep when the baby went to sleep. Literally this child began to control our lives and the child didn’t even know she was doing it. And then we had a second one she did the exact same thing. And I’ve since learned that that’s what babies do.  When they arrive they take over!  And their parents begin to develop their lives around this child. To mold their entire lives around this precious needy baby.

Isaiah wrote, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given . . . and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  This child who was born of Mary changes everything. This child born in a manger, wrapped in swaddling clothes changes how we live. This child born to the sound of angels singing Gloria in excelcis Deo -- this child to whom the wise ones came from afar bearing gifts --- this child, changed the way the entire world works. 

And this Jesus, born into a world torn by strife and hatred and division and pain and poverty, this child is born anew wherever men and women say, “I’ll follow Him. I’ll follow Him as my Savior. I’ll follow Him as my Lord.” 

When this child grew up, He said His reason for coming, again quoting Isaiah, from the 61st chapter, he said,

The spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach Good News to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, the recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty all those who are oppressed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.

This child, when He grew up, came to show us the way to live lives of love, lives of compassion, lives of goodness, lives of kindness, lives of justice. This child came to show us how to change the world. So this Christmas, make room for him to change us.  This Christmas help us change the world.  And make a new commitment, to go out from this day, to let this Christmas Day, be the first day of a new world.

God bless you. God keep you. Have a blessed Christmas.  A Happy New Year.  And go on out and change the world!


If you know of other events that might be of interest to other parishioners please let the office ( know the details and they can appear right here.

Mondays/Fridays – AA meets at 8 pm

Christmas Cantata – Sunday, December 18th, 7 pm

You are invited to hear the choir of the Radford Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saintssinging the Christmas Cantata by Bruce Naylor at 7 pm on Sunday, December 18th at 900 Pendleton Street, Radford, VA.  Following the program, refreshments will be served.

The Parish Secretary and her daughters will be singing with the choir.


Pulaski High School Presents “Elf, Jr.”

December 16 (7:30), 17 (7:30) & 18 (2:30)

December 29 (7:30), 30 (7:30) & 31 (2:30)


 Jan 31 – Feb 9 – GASA Show, RU Art Museum Downtown

Feb 2 – Mar 3 – Ed LeShock: A Retrospective

Feb 7 – Faculty Recital, Robert Trent, Guitar, 7:30, Covington

Feb 9 – Faculty Recital, Dayl Burnett, trombone & Wayne Gallops, piano, 7:30 pm, Covington

Feb 13 – Spring Honors Recital, 7:30 pm, Covington

Feb 14 – 23 – Student Drawing Show, RU Art Museum Downtown

Feb 22 – Faculty Recital, Kwan Yi, piano, 7:30 pm, Covington

Feb 27 – RU Mid-Winter Choral Concert, 7:30 pm, Covington

Feb 28 – Mar 16 – Student Watercolor Show, RU Art Museum Downtown


Trading Fours, February 26, 3 pm

With the Virginia Tech Symphony Band and Enloe High School Wind Ensemble. Featuring Carol Jantsch, tuba, Alan Weinstein, cello & Jason Crafton, trumpet.