“GRACE NEWS” 
Grace United Church September 2011www.graceunitedchurch.ca 
Email: graceu@telusplanet.net 

A New Church Season Begins
While there is always excitement with the beginning of a new church season, it seems that we are beginning this year with some extra enthusiasm. Our church has had a number of good-news events and “feel good” experiences recently which, taken together, suggest that Grace is “alive and well” and ready to for the challenges ahead. For example;

  • We have arrived at an amicable consensus that our future, whatever that future is, will be at the corner of 47th Street and the Meridian! 
  • Those involved in the Vacation Bible School are feeling very pleased with all aspects of the week and there is excitement about the start of the new Sunday School year. 
  • The Fair Booth Committee is so pleased with the willingness and enthusiasm of all the volunteers during the Exhibition and CPCA finals. 
  • We have an energetic committee planning a Time and Talent Auction when, only a few weeks ago, it looked like we might have to cancel it because we could not find someone to chair the event. 
  • When a house and lot immediately west of the church became available on the real estate market, two families stepped forward and purchased the property on behalf of the Grace family. 
  • Grace United has received a large interim payment from the executors of the estate of the late David Jones. 
  • Knox Presbyterian Church has invited us to discuss with them how they might assist us with our worship-space needs during construction. 
  • A “ministry-to-men” is being organized this fall. 
But we have work to do...
  • Defining our ministry needs and then searching and calling the appropriate ministry staff for our congregation is “job #1”! That work is beginning immediately.
  • Fund raising was delayed until the question of church-location was decided. Now fundraising will begin in earnest. 
  • Before we actually begin designing a church structure, we do need to take some time to reflect on just “who we are” and exactly what kind of church facility we need. While we have decided to remain “downtown” and retain our current sanctuary, we need to make sure we are building a church facility for 2025 and not 1975. 
  • We are excited about the prospect of having Rev. Paul DuVal leadership available to us through this process. He is a NW Conference Regional Resource staff member with considerable experience assisting congregations with projects such as ours. 
  • But above all, we must do all we can individually and collectively to see that our church has the programs, services and “culture” that are relevant and appealing to all people but especially young people and young families. 
 
Another Successful Year for the Fair Booth!

All of the members of the fair booth committee would like to say a Huge Thank You to everyone who helped in any way this year. The pies that were baked went over very well. The “phoners” did an excellent job of recruiting people & all the cleaning efforts paid off before and during the days of the fair because the health inspector told us “we had the cleanest facilities on the fairgrounds”. Of course, the booth would not operate without, you, the volunteers, to work a shift or two the days of the fair and the Chucks. Thank you once again for doing your part to make it happen!Of course, we went through tons of food again this year. In total, we made up 120 pounds of taco meat to serve in about 910 taco salads. 30 gallons of chili were consumed in bowls of chili, chili cheese fries and chilidogs. We sold 92 cases of fries this year – that is over 3300 servings! We cooked up 4650 burgers & 350 hot dogs. We only sold Beef on a Bun at the Chucks this year, but it was a very popular item and sold out every day! Our pies are always popular, this year we went through 185 pies which translates into 1110 pieces. We brought in 400 pounds of popcorn and the youth sold that in the grandstands. There was a large amount of coffee, hot chocolate, mochas, bottles of water, pop and juice. Having a fairly good variety of menu items helps keep our booth one of the busiest and most popular.

Grace Music Programs
A Vital Part of our ChurchMusic participation is a great way to meet new people and make new friends and Grace United offers these opportunities for all ages. With all groups starting anew in the next couple of weeks, this is an ideal time to join up!
 
Kidz Choir: Jeanne Smith, just back from the Naramata Centre where she took a course in children’s’ choir directing is excited about restarting the children’s’ choir program at Grace. This program is an excellent and enjoyable (and no-cost) music experience for younger children. For more information call Jeanne at 780 875-0587. Practices will be on Monday evenings at 6:30 pm (note the change) with the first session being on Monday September 12.

Grace Choir: The adult choir meets regularly at 7:30 pm on Thursday evening. Our church is well known for our wonderful choir, thanks to the incredible dedication and leadership of Gladys Jack and the commitment of long-serving members. But the choir would love to have many new members. Why not bring a friend and share in the fun that is the Grace Choir! 

Bell Choirs: We are blessed to have two bell choirs, the “Celebration Ringers” who meet regularly at 1:30 pm on Mondays and the “Grace Ringers” who meet on Monday evenings at 7:30 pm. Both choirs begin the fall season on September 19 and need/ love to have new members. 

The Pic ups: This informal group of musicians gets together on selected Sunday mornings (at 9:15 am) and prepares some music that they then share later that morning with the congregation immediately prior to the service. If you play an instrument and would like to have some fun, give Gladys a call at 780 875-4535.Music is such a vital part of our faith and our church family. We’d love for you to share your musical gifts with us. 

New Committee Members Welcome
All standing committees of the church are again gearing up for the fall with several committees looking to add new members. If you have some time and an interest in some aspect of church operation (or if you know of someone who might be interested if approached) contact Eric Simpson, chair of the Nomination and Support Committee at 780 875-2655 or agro@telusplanet.net.

LUNCH WITH A BUNCHJoin us on Monday, September 12th at 11:30 am in the Upper Hall for “Lunch with a Bunch”. The cost is $10.00 per person All ladies of the congregation are invited to attend – please call the office to let them know you plan to attend.

FALL GARAGE SALETues, Oct 4 (2 – 7 pm)Wed, Oct 5 (10 am – 7 pm)Thurs, Oct 6 (10 am – 2 pm)Donations of clean, miscellaneous household items, kitchen items, books and furniture are welcome. Clothing may also be donated provided articles are seasonal and up to date. (No shoes or boots).If you wish to have your items picked up on Monday, October 3rd, please call and leave your name at the church office at 780-875-8959. Preferred times for dropping off donations for the Garage Sale: Monday, October 3rd.HELP NEEDED: Men & women to set up for the sale on Monday, October 3rd at 10:00 a.m. We also welcome any women of the church not currently a member of the UCW, if you have any free time to come out & help for one hour or a few hours to help sort & organize or work at the sale please call Mary at the office 875-8959.

Grace United ChurchTime & Talent Fundraiser AuctionTuesday, Nov 22Centennial Civic Centre (upstairs) 5 pm – viewing and silent auction bidding 6 pm – scrumptious roast beef dinner 7 pm – live auction bidding begins Tickets - $15/each or reserved table of 8 for $120 (Only 300 tickets being sold) Tickets at: Grace United Church Office, Shep’s Sports, or any committee member: Marilyn McAllister, Gwen Mohrbutter, Cheryl Wheeler, Jo-Anne Locke, Karen Ollen, Penny Manners, and Deb Lundquist. So, get your thinking cap on for auction items, time or talents.Cash donations are greatly appreciated in lieu of auction items.PLAN TO ATTEND!Bring your family and friends – for a fun and entertaining evening!

FRIENDSHIP & VISITATION COMMITTEE
Our Committee meetings are held monthly over lunch and are well attended by our members. In June we organized a trip to Kathy’s Greenhouse for our Church family members who do not often get out to the country. It was well received and everyone enjoyed the countryside, the beauty of the flowers, and the hospitality at the Greenhouse. We all came home with a new plant to nurture.We continue to pay hospital, in home, and nursing home facility visits. The new look on our visitor cards, and also the personalized enclosure cards have been a welcome change and a discussion tool, both during our visits and afterward with family members. We are always in need of prayer shawls, as we offer hope and love to our Church family at difficult times in their lives. Our Committee members are: Shirley Aston, Carol Bugiak, Donna Smith, Barb Russell, Marilyn Mann, Hazel Feist and Irene Herring. We are fortunate to have three male volunteers to assist with visitations as well as Pat Smith who offers Pastoral Care by sending out cards and Kay Lake who assists Pat in her absence. Please call our Committee members if you know of someone who would like a visit or phone call on behalf of Grace United. Submitted by Irene Herring, Secretary.

Baby Fold Returns 
September 11 The UCW is to be commended for its decision to again provide a baby fold service during Sunday worship for families with young children. Starting Sunday, September 11 the UCW will make certain that there is responsible child care in the baby fold room so that parents can leave their children there during the service.

Christian Development 
Our committee had their fall organizational meeting on Wednesday, August 31 to plan the fall Sunday school programs and bible study programs. Two of our youth attended the National Youth Rally Rendezvous in Toronto on the weekend of August 12. They had a great time and Greg and Chris will be sharing their stories with you in an upcoming Sunday Service. Important dates to remember are September 11 – Sunday School Registration and October 21, 22 and 23 – Alberta NW Conference Senior High Youth Rally hosted at Grace United. If you are interested in helping with Sunday School or the Youth Rally please contact someone from the CD Committee. The Grace United Youth Group starts up again on Monday September 12 at 7:00 pm at the church. All youth, grades 6 to 12 are welcome and invited to join. Contact Loretta Mitchell or Joyce Dickson at the church office for more information.

Joyce Dickson will be leading a ”Living the Question” Bible study this fall if you are interested please contact Joyce. We look forward to our see everyone back at Church this fall.

Hello from The Finance Committee 
Hope everyone enjoyed summer! While a lot of us were away from church during the summer, regular church activities continued. We thank everyone for your continued financial support during the summer months. To the end of July 2011, our total offerings were $106,688 – approximately 53% of our budgeted amount. Total revenue was $118,410 – 45% of the amount required to cover our projected expenses. Church expenses to the end of July were $151,274 – 58% of the annual expense budget. We have a deficit of $32,864. With your continued financial support, we are confident that we can meet the expenses to carry out the daily activities and ministry of Grace United. Please remember, if you are unable to attend church services on a regular basis, but would like to provide your financial support, speak to Mary at the Church office about the benefits of automatic debit from your bank account (PAR). Your financial support for our Church is sincerely appreciated. (Submitted by: Jo-Anne Locke)Kathryn Hofley Returns Kathryn Hofley, Financial Development Officer for the Prairie Region of the United Church of Canada will be at Grace United Church on Monday, October 25 to share her expertise on the subject of Wills and Bequests with the congregation and to assist individuals wanting to know more about how they might use them to support their church.The first part of her presentation, which will begin at 3:00 pm in the Upper Hall, will deal in general terms with the topic of Planned Giving followed by information about the most common types of gifts made to churches through wills and bequests.Ms. Hofley has graciously agreed to be available during the evening of the 25th to consult privately and confidentially with individuals and families who would like to discuss their individual gift-planning ideas. You can arrange such a meeting through the Grace United Church office or by direct contact with Kathryn Hofley at (204) 943-4844 or at khofley@united-church.ca While Ms. Hofley’s visit to our church and her presentation are not related to our upcoming fund raising campaign for our “new” church, it is certainly timely!

Fundraising Committee 
The committee will be having a kick off on September 25. We will be holding a pancake breakfast before the Sunday Service. Information packages will be available and there will be time for great conversation around the future of our church. If anyone is interested in joining this committee please contact Alison Weaver. If you have any ideas to share we would love to hear them. Please contact our committee if you would like to have a visit to discuss fundraising and different options of giving. We look forward to an exciting fall in our church.