An invitation from Mother Meghan to participate in Alpha –
If you are not familiar with Alpha, it is an 11-week program developed by Holy Trinity Brompton in London. Nicky Gumbel is the name many associate with the course but also the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby really credits Alpha as the way he came to faith. Alpha explores the Christian faith through a series of talks that look at different questions about faith with the hope of generating conversation. Topics include: Is there more to life? Who is Jesus? Can I have faith? Prayer, the Holy Spirit, Evil, Telling others, Healing, the Church and more.While this program was designed for people who are new to the Christian faith, many people who have been Christians for years have found their faith profoundly deepened through this course. It has had an incredible impact on church growth. Truro Church in Virginia has run Alpha for years with great success. Typically if a church is going to run Alpha the first people to participate are church members. Then you begin to invite others.
Normally Alpha is run by meeting together at church or in homes, sharing a meal, watching a video and then breaking into small groups for discussion. Obviously that is not something we can do right now. So, a group of Episcopal clergy friends from all across the United State discussed how we might try Alpha online with our parishes. According to Alpha USA, we are the first group to ever try this as multiple parishes! The clergy leading (myself included) have all done the Alpha training.
I would really encourage you to consider joining me and inviting key members of the parish to join us. We will meet on Zoom on Thursday evenings at 8:30pmEST (7:30pm CST). After watching a short video the facilitator will break everyone up into Zoom breakout groups for a time of discussion. I will check in the coming days to share more with the parishes but please get in touch with me if you have questions.
You can go to this site for more information. https://alphausa.org/about
And here is a brief video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2pDcZw1Ji8
From your Senior Warden, Paul Chase
Dear Members and Friends of Grace Church,
In a Zoom meeting on Thursday evening, your Vestry had the pleasure of welcoming Mother Meghan Farr as the Priest-in-Charge of the Northern Highlands Benefice and of Grace Church.
The Vestry named Rob Funck and me to serve on the Benefice Board until the annual meeting in January when we will elect members for staggered terms. I do not plan to run for that post then.
After discussion, the Vestry decided to hold in-person services at Grace Church beginning on October 4, barring any significant increase in the incidence of Covid cases between now and then. Beginning on that day, we will have Mother Meghan and Father Bauer celebrate the Eucharist on alternate Sundays. Our service will begin at 10:30, because the clergy person will be celebrating at St. Alban’s at 8:30. When they are not at Grace and St. Alban’s, they will be at Ascension in Hayward at 10:30 and St. Luke’s in Springbrook at 8:30. Masks will be required, as will physical distancing. We will not sing, and Bishop Lambert has urged the clergy to reduce the length of services to reduce the time of potential exposure. We will provide a Facebook stream for the services at Grace, technology permitting. We still have our Listen to Church line as backup. There will be no coffee hour. Additional restrictions may apply.
The Bishop plans to be in the diocese in October and November for his last visit before retiring. He tentatively plans to install Mother Meghan as Priest-in-Charge of the Benefice in the evening on either Monday, October 5, or Thursday, October 8. It is possible that this ceremony will be at Grace because of the larger capacity.
When more specific information is available, I will pass it on.