The annual meeting of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church will be held on Sunday, February 25, 2024, in the parish hall at Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, 100 West Church Street, Hammond, immediately following the 10:00 o’clock AM Holy Eucharist.
At the annual meeting, the election of Vestry members shall take place. Click here to see the nominees.
The membership will also be called upon to vote on amended and restated Articles of Incorporation of Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, which are recommended by the Vestry. The substance of the changes from the existing articles are as follows:
(a) To split the former Articles of Incorporation into separate sets of Articles and By-Laws, by removing from the Articles several provisions that ordinarily are included in by-laws.
(b) To provide that the annual meeting of the membership will be held on the Second Sunday after the Epiphany each year, unless the Vestry determines otherwise.
(c) To provide for limitation of liability of Vestry members and officers to the fullest extent allowed by Louisiana law.
(d) To bring the articles in conformity with the Model Articles of Incorporation that were drafted by the Chancellor of the Diocese, and which are available on the web site of the Diocese.
(e) To renumber, restate, clarify, and otherwise revise the Articles of Incorporation as is set forth in the proposed Amended and Restated Articles.
Copies of the proposed Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation are linked below. If you would like to see the existing set of Articles of Incorporation, which were last revised in 1988, please contact Mtr. Liz here and a copy will be sent to you.
If the Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation are approved by the membership on February 25, at its next meeting the Vestry will vote on a set of proposed By-Laws. Although the membership will not be voting on the proposed By-Laws, copies of the proposed By-Laws are also linked below.
The Rev. Liz Embler-Beazley
Mtr. Liz is the Priest-in-Charge at Grace Memorial Episcopal Church in Hammond,LA
During college, I studied abroad for a semester at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. This was not my first international trip, but it was the first time I was away from home for so long. It was in South Africa that I heard one of my first and clearest calls to ordained ministry and it was there that I experienced the church from a non-Western perspective for the first time. I had a friend in college who had studied abroad at this same university the year before me and she helped to connect me with a Baptist missionary couple, the Morrises, who became an important lifeline for me. Mr. Morris would pick me up and bring me to their home for dinner a few times per month and I used their webcam to Skype and actually see my parents. Mrs. Morris taught me a lot about the local culture and customs. They provided a much needed connection to home when I was some 13,000 miles away.
As part of their work, Mr. and Mrs. Morris would travel to different churches in and around Grahamstown to speak and support the local communities. Occasionally, they would invite me to go with them. I remember on one such trip we visited a rural town that had a simple cinderblock church. Mr. and Mrs. Morris spoke to the congregation in the local Xhosa language, one of the eleven national languages of South Africa. And I have a clear memory of attempting to introduce myself to the congregation in Xhosa, which was ambitious on my part as I was only a few weeks into a Xhosa language course at the University. The congregation was very kind and patient with me. I remember how the congregation sang with such beauty and passion. And I remember that when it came time for the offering, the people of this church did not simply put their gifts in a passed offering plate, they danced their gifts down the aisle. DANCED! They had such joy on their faces as they brought forth for God from what God had given to them. I will never forget how it felt to watch these faithful Christians praise God in this way. And I have never again seen this happen in another faith community. Whenever I remember this church, I think of 2 Corinthians 9:7 "Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."
On Sunday, January 28, we too will have an opportunity to give of the gifts God has given us. And while I do not expect any of us to dance down the aisle at Grace Memorial, we will have the chance to bring our gifts to the altar, to give our pledges directly to God. Bringing our pledge cards to the altar may feel a bit strange, especially as it is not something that has been done in our church before. And I pray that we all might prayerfully consider that bringing our pledge cards to the altar is like how we bring ourselves to the altar for communion seeking union with our loving, creating, and life-sustaining God. When we understand stewardship as a spiritual discipline, as a means of deepening our relationship with God, we understand that our pledges, our gifts, are like the prayers we offer at the altar. These gifts help to grow the mission and ministry of our church and the Kingdom of God. I pray that our hearts are filled with cheer and joy as we gather on Sunday, January 28 and offer our own gifts to God.
This year Grace Memorial is partnering with St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Mandeville to host a Blue Christmas Service. Blue Christmas is a service for Anyone who is, or ever has been, brokenhearted during the "most wonderful time of the year." It is a place and a space to pause, to lean into our sorrow, and to be reminded that the light of Christ shines even in the darkest parts of our lives. In a busy season, we hope you can join us as we hold space for quiet, grief, and to meet God.
Featuring an article by The Rev. Liz Embler-Beazley, Priest-in-Charge
Featuring an article by Jo Ann Ziller, Senior Warden
We are so grateful to everyone who helped make the pumpkin patch a success this year. We sold out of pumpkins! All proceeds from our patch benefit the good work of Discover/Renew. Make sure to mark your calendar for next year's patch!
Featuring an article by Dr. John Baiamonte