the June 2015 Newsletter here

Grace Notes
June 2015
Grace Episcopal Church
106 Lowell St.
Manchester, NH
From the Rector
Rev. Dr. Marjorie Gerbracht-Stagnaro
“The best place to find God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.”
George Bernard Shaw
I was raised by a holy gardener, my maternal grandmother, June
Garfield Schaefer. My parents would often drop me at her home on
the weekends. She would rise early on a Saturday morning, walk
into the guest room where I slept, open the blinds, let the sunshine
in, then shout out, “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” We’d have breakfast together that always
included grits (Gram spent her summers in Savannah), then head
out for a day in the garden. I weeded and planted, while she delegated and sipped an iced tea or, on an especially hot afternoon day,
an iced cold beer. I loved that time in the soil, digging away, talking sometimes. Other times both of just sitting quietly, smelling
the honeysuckle and hearing the Long Island Railroad trains clatter
along behind her fence.
I loved another holy gardener - the Reverend Joan Barr Smith.
Our beloved deacon, who died just a short time ago, was an avid
gardener. One of her greatest loves was planting flowers, sometimes far too many according to her husband Wayne, then sitting
on her front porch waiting for them to grow. I’m looking forward
to time this summer on Joan’s front porch, seeing how her garden
continues to grow.
Christine Sine is a holy gardener. On her website Godspace Christine explains, “I am a passionate organic gardener; in the spring my
front porch sprouts an assortment of vegetables. I am also passionate about helping Christians connect their faith and spiritual
discipline to their everyday life. Christianity is not meant to be a
Sunday only faith. It is meant to impact everything we do and are.”
In memory of June and Joan I am spending more and more time in
my garden. I kneel in a position of prayer and dig. I pull weeds
and roots from the earth. While I do this I root out sadness and
anger, think on my sins, wonder how I can clear a path for growth.
Parishioner Rodney Padmore reminded me how Christ was mistaken for a gardener by Mary Magdalene in the gospel of John. Initially, it’s easy to think Mary taking Jesus was a gardener was an
odd mistake.
I’ve often wondered: why didn’t Mary think Jesus was gravedigger, a
graveyard guard, or just a random passerby?
But Mary was closer on point than we often think. Jesus was a gardener, every day of his life. He planted God’s word everywhere he
went. Christ tended to the garden of his disciples every day. Jesus
pulled out weeds of injustice, stereotypes, and cruelty from the earth.
He understood tending the soil of God’s kingdom wasn’t Sabbath
work, but every day work.
The most recent Pew Institute study, released on May 12, 2015 tells
us that the landscape of American faith has changed dramatically.
There is a drop in Christian affiliation, not just among young people,
but among all ages. Our denomination and other Protestant denominations are experiencing a drop in attendance and faithfulness.
What to do? What to do? The most important things to do? Keep
singing the Lord’s song! Keep digging in God’s garden. Keep being
an ever present image of love and faith. Invite friends to church.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your faith with others. Love the Lord
your God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength. Think
on ways this parish can plant God’s love in our city and state.
May we spend more time on our knees -- in the garden, in prayer,
before a child to help them tie their shoe, in service to others -- as the
gardening season begins and continues.
In love,
Marjorie +
The Grace Church Prayer Ministry maintains a confidential Prayer request list that we pray for on a daily
basis in the privacy of our own homes. We keep requests on the list for up to 2 months, yet can keep them
on longer at someone's request. This is a list that is circulated among the parishioners who make up the Prayer Ministry. If you would like to place someone on our
list, please contact:
Darby Thomas at [email protected]
Go in Peace Good and Faithful Servant,
It was both an honor and a gift to serve on
the altar for Deacon Joan’s funeral. And seeing so many of you, my Grace Church family
was a treat that made me feel like I had come
In a sense we walked through the darkness of Holy Week together that day and into the light of Resurrection. How
glorious is that!
Joan was a dear friend to me as she was to all of us. She had
a special gift for pastoral ministry that was grounded in
her passion to be about the servant ministry of Christ.
Joan also held a deep reverence for the diaconal ministry
of the Eucharistic table.
Joan was a mentor who was always open to spending hours
listening to my joys as well as the tough parts of my deaconate formation and always shared stories of her own experiences that served to bring us together in the special
journey we shared. I will miss those reassuring and meaningful conversations but know Joan will continue to be a
constant presence and guide in my diaconal process and in
the Servant Christ ministry we both hold so close to our
I am most happy to tell you that it is with this deep sense
of devotion to the servant ministry of Christ I will be applying for candidacy to the vocational diaconate this
My deepest gratitude for all your love and prayers, Maryan
Davis (postulant to the diaconate)
Did you know that local fresh foods are grown and sold by
farmers through Organization for Refugee and Immigrant
Success (ORIS)?
The four farm stands run during
June through the Fall. Also,
ORIS farmers sell at the Manchester Farmer's Market on
Thursdays that is in the parking
lot right outside our
church! We pass this on to all
so we can support both our
hardworking refugees and immigrants as well as fresh produce.
Take note of the following farm stands which will run June
through September (with a possible extension into October,
weather permitting)
Mondays 2 – 5 PM: Manchester Community Health Center
(145 Hollis Street)
Tuesdays 3 – 6 PM: Kalivas Park (Lake Avenue/Spruce
Street/Chestnut Street) featuring Common Earth Farms
Wednesdays 3 – 6:30 PM: Lafayette Park (92 Amory
Saturdays 9 AM – Noon: JFK Coliseum parking lot (303
Beech Street)
Happy Birthday to the following June birthdays celebrants!
Elise Annunciata
Julia DiStefano
Akur Leek
Dahlia Costley
Samuel Richmond
Lissa Foote
Nicholas Girgus
Jonathan Lee
David Murray
Arthur Douglas
Carol Boyer
Julie Turner
Stephen Merrill
Mary Atwell
Kevin von Braun
Alexia Wallace
Mark Cleveland
Ken Ealy Kjellander
Janet Ferry
Gray Chynoweth
Jackson Dube
Pauline Bell
Watch over thy children, O Lord, as their days increase; bless and
guide them wherever they may be. Strengthen them when they stand;
comfort them when discouraged or sorrowful; raise them up if they
fall; and in their hearts may thy peace which passeth understanding
abide all the days of their lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, page 830
If you don’t see your birthday listed that
means that we do not have it. Please call the
office so that your special day can be
acknowledged – or if we have it wrong, please
let us know that also.
Other Milestones:
Andre Gerard Paquin and Andre Daniel Laurion - May 16
Lincoln Rodney Chynoweth - May 3
Isaac Anthony Gioseffi, Gwen Olivia Gioseffi,
Mason William Bochinski – May 17
Group 2015-16
Join the book group for study, enlightenment, discussion, food, and
an experience to be community as we explore our faith through
books. We gather at noon in the Parish Library to enjoy a potluck
meal and an hour or two of conversation and discussion. The current
schedule involves meeting on the third Tuesday of each month except
December. Questions? Email Anne Lake [email protected]
We will finish out the current season on June 16 with Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.
Proposed books for the 2015-2016 season include:
September 15, 2015
October 20, 2015
November 17, 2015
December 15, 2015
January 19, 2016
February 16, 2016
March 15, 2016
April 19, 2016
May 17, 2016
June 21, 2016
Trash by Andy Mulligan
Until We Reach Home by Lynn Austin
End of Life Bookclub by Will Schwalbe
No meeting
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Felicity by Mary Oliver
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
Wonder by P. J. Palacio
We are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas
Trash to Treasure -- Part II
Recently, in the newspaper feature “Hints from Heloise,” a reader wrote
asking how long the condiment packs from fast food places were good for.
The response indicated that the packs usually don’t have an expiration date;
the assumption being that they will be used in a short time.
After addressing the question, the response took a detour and suggested to
the readers that they collect all their unused condiment packs and see how
many they had. Heloise said that she had found a half a vegetable bin full.
I estimated that much would weigh approximately 15 pounds. My guess is
that much is equivalent to about $50 worth of condiments.
Nancy-Ann and I also occasionally get left over fast-food condiments, but
we put them in a special spot in our refrigerator and gradually use them up.
To me, it doesn’t make sense to toss out perfectly good food. One other
option if you have leftover condiment packs that you aren’t sure what to do
with is give them to New Horizons. They can always use supplies.
Likewise, when we go out to eat at a regular restaurant, we plan on bringing
half of each of our meals home with us. Essentially, we get two meals out
of each meal we eat in a restaurant. We find that eating half of each meal
and keeping the other half for later reduces our food expenses and helps
keep our weight down.
Related to this is another statistic that you can find if you just go on line and
Google “food waste.” What you will see is that about 40% of food in the
US ends up as garbage in landfills. That is a lot of food. If only 60% of our
available food is enough to feed our population of almost 320 million, then
the other 40% could feed about 210 million. That’s a lot of people.
Think about the millions of people in the US who are routinely hungry because they can’t get enough food. Think about how that 40% of our food
that is now treated as trash could be turned into a treasure.
Dick Feren
What is Safe Church?
Safe church is training provided by the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire
designed to increase awareness regarding sexual misconduct and abuse of
power, to outline steps toward prevenng abuse of power, to outline steps
toward prevenng abuse, to offer ways to intervene when misconduct occurs and to equip anyone in a posion of parish leadership with ways of
healing and rebuilding the body of Christ.
Safe Church training is required of all clergy, wardens, lay employees, Eucharis&c visitors, pastoral visitors, Stephen Ministers, EFM mentors, regular Sunday school teachers, nursery care givers or volunteers who regularly
work with children or youth, and treasurers.
If you are parcipang in any of the above named ministries you are required to have safe church training. If you have already had the training and
are up for renewal, your safe church minister, Ellen Zimmerman, will nofy
you that you need this training.
The first step is an on line registraon process. This process will eliminate
having to spend all day at safe church training. Please contact your safe
church minister, Ellen Zimmerman, at [email protected] and
she will set you up with a user name and password to access this process.
A refresher training is required every three years. Anyone in need of refresher training is asked to take the new inial safe church training. Safe
church training will be offered at the following dates and locaons:
St. Paul’s, Concord
All Saints’, Li7leton
9am – noon
St. James’, Keene
Holy Spirit, Plymouth
St. Ma7hew’s, Goffstown
A?er you have completed the on line training, email Lynn Eaton at
[email protected] to register for the second part of the training at one
of the above venues. Registraon is open only unl 7 days prior to training.
Questions? Call or email Lauren Cline—617-448-8255
(cell) or [email protected]
Grace Episcopal Church
106 Lowell Street
Manchester, NH 03101
Tel (603) 622-9813
Fax (603) 669-6044
[email protected]
The Rev. Dr. Marjorie Gerbracht-Stagnaro, Rector
The Rev. Richard Matthews, Associate Rector
Linda Heath, Warden
Mary Sargent, Warden
Nancy Johnson, Clerk
Ed High, Treasurer
Richard Feren, Assistant Treasurer
William Bochinski, Jason Carignan, Lauren Cline, Barbara Hermann, Ann Hewins, James Higgins, Miclena Linares, Jill Porter,
Kevin von Braun
Mark Cleveland, Director of Music
Ken Grinnell, Organist
Carter Beck. Organist
Justin & Nicole Otto, Church School Coordinators
Marlene Thompson, Parish Administrator
Jill Porter, Bookkeeper
Emery Freethey, Sexton
Susan Senneville, Nursery Care Giver
Lauren Cline
[email protected]
Next Newsletter Deadline
June 15, 2015 (for the July/August combined issue)
Return Service Requested
Grace Notes
Grace Episcopal Church
106 Lowell Street
Manchester, NH 03101-1625
June, 2015
Non-Profit Org
U.S. Postage Paid
Manchester, NH
Permit No. 246