January 18, 2018

Holy, loving God, hear our prayers for this parish family.  Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent.  Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.   (BCP, p 817, adapted)


RSVP for Sacred Conversation #1 here.

Sacred Conversations FAQs
When:  Feb 16, Friday, 6-9 pm (firm) and Mar 17, Saturday, 9:30 am – 1 pm (planned)
What are the Sacred Conversations events?  Parish-wide opportunities to reconnect as a community through our experiences of life at Grace, both the good times and the disappointing times.  They are about knowing who we are today, having lived the past we’ve lived together.  Then, looking to the future we believe God is calling us into and then calling a priest to be part of that future.
Why do we call them sacred?  Isn’t God always present?  Yes, God is always present.  It’s very easy to get distracted with our own stuff and miss what God may have to tell us through another person.  We can always be more intentional about listening to one another, those we know well, and those we don’t know so well, with kindness and respect.
Who’s leading the events?  Vestry has retained the Rev. LaRae Rutenbar to be the lead facilitator.  She is a recently retired priest, an experienced interim minister (including Emmanuel, La Grange), who loves working with congregations doing exactly this work.  This will allow our Interim Rector to be fully attentive as the senior pastor of the parish.  There will be trained facilitators from outside the parish at each small group so that parish members may participate fully without additional duties.

Are these conversations part of the search process?  Yes.  These conversations are kicking off the process.  All the information gathered will be passed to the search committee.  The better the parish knows itself today, the better the profile, portfolio, and discernment will be.
Who is the search committee?  The search committee will be called by the vestry after Sacred Conversation #2.

Do I need to RSVP or Sign-up?  Please do, at this link, to assist planning. 
Is there any cost?        No.
Will there be childcare?          Please let us know your needs so we can plan.
Special Needs?             Please let us know of any special needs e.g. transportation.
Agenda for Sacred Conversation #1:

  • 6 – 6:45 pm      Soup dinner.  Come as your schedule allows and enjoy some time to relax.
  • 7 – 9 pm           Organize into small groups with group leader.  Open with prayer and then review group norms which will be provided by vestry.  The heart of the evening will be three, open-ended questions.  The emphasis is on listening to each other’s stories as gifts.  The group leader will record themes and summarize the table experience.  The groups will report orally to the large group.  Close with prayer. Reports will be compiled and provided to search committee. 

Will the questions be provided in advance?    Yes.
Who can participate?  Anyone in the parish, the newest newcomer to longest long-timer.
What about youth/teens?  They’ll have their own group and are encouraged to participate.
Are these duplicate events?  No, the second will be different, following from the first.  If schedule allows, please come to both.  Coming to one does not preclude participation at the other.

Have another question?  Please send it to the planning group here

The letter mailed to Grace members on January 18, 2018 regarding these Sacred Conversations is here.

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