EasterCrocus.jpgHoly Week and Easter Worship

Holy Week, April 2-7
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Responsive Prayer, 8:40 a.m.
Maundy Thursday, Holy Communion, 8:40 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Good Friday, Adoration of the Cross, 8:40 a.m., Noon, 7:00 p.m.
Holy Saturday, The Great Vigil of Easter, 7:00 p.m.

Easter Sunday, April 8
Holy Communion at 8:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Hymn Story

“Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands”     
Hans Dumpys

The first line of the hymn "Christ Jesus Lay in Death's Strong Bands," sounds very much like a Good Friday hymn, yet it is the Hymn of the Day for the Easter festival.  This hymn plumbs the depths and rises to the heights of the Easter event. The resurrection is not simply an earthly makeover.  It is a resurrection from the dead. Who but Luther would begin an Easter hymn with Christ wrapped by the bands of death? He does so for a very precise reason: in the traditional Lutheran theology the last step of the humiliation constitutes the first step of the exaltation.
Luther's original version had seven stanzas. (Read them in English or in German.) The fourth stanza was the center of the hymn; the  other verses frame it.  One can hardly appreciate the full meaning of the hymn in its wholeness unless one has the full text in mind. The LBW gives us five of these stanzas, with Luther's fourth stanza as stanza 2. Why did Luther give verse 2 such great importance? This verse exhibits a dramatic view of the atonement in which death and life clashed as if in a war.  Life won the battle--death is defeated, the reign of death is ended: death is swallowed up by death. The Paschal Lamb was given to save us. The hymn writer uses the Exodus imagery (Exodus 12) of Jesus' blood marking our doors, death passes over us, and Satan cannot  harm us.

Redemption having been accomplished, we are invited "to keep the festival," to celebrate the battle won, the resurrection, to which the Lord invites us. The risen Christ is our joy, the sun that lights and warms us. In the feast of the Eucharist the bread of heaven becomes our meat and drink. Easter offers to make it our own:  that is sufficient to live by and die by.

The tune "Christ lag in Todesbanden" is derived from two sources: "Victimae Paschali" ( LBW137) attributed to Wipo of Burgundy in the 11th century; and "Christ ist erstanden" (LBW 136), a German hymn circa 1100. The latter appeared in Johann Walter's "Geistliche Gesangbuchlein" (1524) and may come from Walter or Luther or both.  Luther was fond of this hymn and said he had a high regard for it:  "Over time one grows tired of singing other hymns, but 'Christ is arisen' comes around every year and wants to go on forever--without end."  J. S. Bach based his Cantata No. 4 on the seven verses of this hymn.

Adult Education

Sunday morning Adult Education classes at Grace offer ideas to think about all week long, as well as opportunities to grow in faith in fellowship with other Grace members. Here's what's coming up in the next few weeks:

CAFÉ parents join the children on April 15 for a Story Sunday about David.  The Bible Study led by Bob Jandeska meets every Sunday.

April 15, 22 and 29: The Book of Acts, presented by Ray Pickett, Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. In the book of Acts, Luke continues the story of Jesus by telling about the people who continue his mission. How did these communities bear witness to the resurrection?

April 15: Learn about the ecumenical Christian community of Taizé’s Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth, a conference for young adults taking place on the campus of DePaul University over Memorial Day weekend.  (Grace is co-hosting a Taizé service with Concordia on May 13 at 7:00 p.m.)  This class will meet in the Youth Room on the lower level; the teens will also  be attending this class.

April 15 and 29: Follow-up sessions to Faith Perspectives forums on immigration issues. Learn more about Grace Church sponsoring another refugee family at a session with Sue Foran and Greg Wangerin of RefugeeOne on April 15. Find out what local Catholic parishes are doing to minister to immigrants and detainees on April 29.

Dream Act Pilgrimage
On Sunday afternoon, April 29, join parishioners from St. Giles, St. Edmund’s, and St. Luke’s, as well as fellow Grace members, and participate in the Dream Act Pilgrimage in Priory Park. Participants will walk from their home churches to Dominican University's Priory Campus and meet there for a 3:30 p.m. convocation. This event has been organized by Catholic churches to demonstrate solidarity with the immigrant community and offer prayers for compassionate comprehensive immigration reform and the passage of the Dream Act, which offers a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who have spent most of their lives in the U. S.

Other programs of interest

Jim Wallis, best-selling author, founder and editor of Sojourners magazine, and celebrated public theologian, will speak on "Broken Politics and the Common Good," April 11, 7:00 p.m., in Loyola University's Regents Hall, Lewis Tower, 111 E. Pearson Street, Chicago. The lecture is free and open to the public. A free will offering will be gathered to benefit the scholarship fund of the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE).  




Grace's group for seniors meets on April 18. Food and fellowship at 10:00 a.m., followed by Bible Study, Morning Prayer and luncheon. No Cornerstones on April 11.

Bach Cantata Vespers, April 22
Easter Oratorio BWV #249, “Come, hasten and run,” at 4:00 p.m. on April 22. The homilist is Pastor Timothy Douma of Loop Church in Chicago. The prelude at 3:45 will include a performance of Vivaldi’s Concerto for 2 Flutes, Strings, and Continuo, as well as Locklair’s Phoenix Fanfare and Processional for brass, percussion, and organ.

Important weekday parking information
Please note that parking is no longer allowed during the week in the parking lots north of Division Street, except for a few spaces reserved for cars with Concordia stickers. If you park there, you will be ticketed or towed. Parking on Sunday morning is permitted, but please park elsewhere during the week.  

Reel Talk
The movie discussion group meets on April 20, 7:00 p.m. in the library. The film is "The Help," the 2012 Oscar-nominated film about African-American maids working in the homes of middle class white women in Jackson, Mississippi just prior to the Civil Rights movement..

Religion in Literature
Grace's book group, Religion in Literature, meets on April 20, 8:00 p.m., at the Hurrelbrinks, 21 Spinning Wheel Road #17H, Hinsdale. Amy Claud will lead the discussion on "The Bluest Eye," by Toni Morrison.  A copy of the book is available for checkout in the Grace Church library.

April 17, 10:00 a.m.  Coffee, donuts, and conversation.  The speaker will be Jon Yates, author of the Chicago Tribune column “What’s Your Problem?” Juliets welcome.

Women@Grace Dinner
Thursday, April 19, at Thyme and Honey restaurant in Forest Park.  All women of Grace are invited to come for an evening with Pastor Phyllis Kersten. Cost, $20.  Please reply to Nancy Wohlford, nancy@wohlford.com or 366-7680; or Beverly Lueking, bevlueking@gmail.com, 366-8599.

Church Vocation Scholarships
The application deadline for Church Vocations scholarships is June 15.  For more information, see the guidelines posted on the web site.


Grace School News

GLSlogo_2011-12.jpgAdvertise in the Graceful Evening Program and/or School Yearbook
If you would like to place an ad in the school yearbook, download the form for more information. This is a great way to congratulate a graduate, advertise your business, thank a teacher, or show support for the school.

School fundraising
Using Scrip gift cards to shop for routine purchases can help raise significant amounts of money for Grace School. Currently school families are working towards the goal of putting an iPad in every classroom, funded by donations from the Scrip program. Take a look at the list of more than 600 participating retailers and print out the order form, then bring completed order forms to Mrs. Maggio in the school office, with your check.  The next order will be sent in on March 26.

Grace School is still collecting Box Tops; each box top is worth ten cents.  See the list of participating products here.

SCAMP summer program at Grace School
Grace School will once again offer our summer program, SCAMP (Summer Cultural Arts and Music program), which includes a recreational day camp for children ages 3-5 with a half-day or full-day option, as well as various classes for children entering grades 1-4.  Class descriptions and registration forms are available on the web site and in the school office. 


Serve at Grace and Beyond

Spring cleaning? Getting rid of stuff?
Save your thrift shop goodies for a Grace garage sale on June 9 in Fellowship Hall. Items can be dropped off at Grace the week prior to the event. Proceeds will go toward the expenses of 14 youth and adults who will be attending the 2012 ELCA National Youth Gathering in New Orleans.

Serving at Grace and beyond
Looking for ways to put your time and talent to use at Grace and beyond? Here are some volunteer opportunities:

•   Join crafters to make pillowcase kits for the ConKerr Cancer Pillowcase Project, April 19, 7:00-9:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.
•   Volunteer for Misericordia Candy Days, April 27-28. Misericordia, where two Grace members are residents, serves adults and children with developmental disabilities. Go to the web site to fill out a volunteer form.
•   Volunteer for the Oak Park-River Forest CROP Walk on May 6. You may walk, work the water station at Grace, or contribute treats. CROP Walks raise money to help hungry people around the world. Donate or sign up to walk online. Contact Donna Mindrum, Social Ministry chair, to voluntter at the Grace water station (386-7513; donnamindrum@hotmail.com).
•  Volunteer at Oak Leyden Developmental Services in Oak Park. Work with staff to provide enrichment experiences for adults with varying degrees of developmental difficulties. Contact Don Becker (beckers606@yahoo.com) for more information.

Heritage Chorale Concert
The Heritage Chorale, under the direction of Grace member Maurice Boyer, presents its spring concerts featuring Benjamin Britten’s Saint Nicolas cantata, with Christopher Cock as tenor soloist in the title role, joined by Concordia University’s chamber orchestra and Laudate women’s chorus, the Pro Musica Youth Chorus, and conductor William Chin. Sacred compositions by Herbert Howells, Arthur Honegger, and Pierre Villette and a new piece by Maurice Boyer complete the program, to be held Saturday, April 14, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 15, 3:00 p.m., at Grace. Grace members Eunice Eifert, Julie Hinz, and Barbara Hofmaier sing in the chorale. Tickets are available at the door or may be obtained from chorale members or by calling 708-848-9066.

PADS Benefit
West Suburban PADS' 10th Annual Progressive Dinner, Monday, April 23.  Featured Oak Park restaurants include appetizers at Maya del Sol, dinner at Winberie's, and dessert from Cucina Paradiso and Caribou Coffee (located in Scoville Square lobby). Tickets are $45 per person, 100% of your contribution will be used to prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless. Limited seating available, opportunity to win a week's stay in Hilton Head from Aug. 25 - Sept. 1 ($20 per raffle ticket - event attendance not required). Register online at www.westsuburbanpads.org or call (708) 338-1724 x230.

Cancer survivors invited to banquet

On Saturday, April 27, at 2:00 p.m., Concordia University Chicago and Dominican University will host the American Cancer Society Mini Relay for Life on the Concordia University track and field. The event includes a banquet for cancer survivors and their caregivers.  All cancer survivors and caregivers are invited to attend. To register for the survivorship banquet, please call Lauren Coleman at 630-936-7163 or register online.

Arts and crafts vendors needed for sale
Bethesda Home & Retirement Center is having an arts and drafts sale on April 28, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., to raise funds for Bethesda’s Life Enrichment resident programming. They are looking for vendors to sell their items and also volunteers. You can find out more information at their web site or contact Laura Ayento at layento@bethesdahome.com or 773-836-3255.


BrightStarsDancer.jpgPalestinian dance troupe visits the Chicago suburbs

Bright Stars of Bethlehem’s Diyar Dance Theatre is touring the U. S. in May. They will present “Room for Hope,” an exciting program of traditional and contemporary Palestinian dance, at the Community Life Center of  Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 919 S. Washington St. in Naperville, on Sunday, May 6, at 6:30 p.m., and at First Presbyterian Church, 1427 Chicago Ave., Evanston, on Tuesday, May 8, at 5:00 p.m. There will be a free-will offering at both performances.

Diyar Dance Theatre is an all-volunteer troupe made up of sixty Palestinian young people, both Christians and Muslims. It is sponsored by Bright Stars of Bethlehem, an organization founded to support educational, health and wellness, cultural, and arts programs in the Holy Land. Grace member Rachel Foran worked with Bright Stars as an intern in Palestine last summer.

You can meet the dancers and learn more about this remarkable program at a reception hosted by Grace Church and Concordia University on Thursday, May 10, 7:30 p.m., in the Koehneke Community Center on Concordia’s campus. There will be a short video about the courageous accomplishments of Bright Stars, followed by a panel of Palestinian Christian and Muslim dancers talking about their experiences as high school and college students amidst the occupation and about how they nurture hope in the West Bank.

Sue Foran is seeking Grace members willing to host the dancers in their homes on the night of Thursday, May 10. Financial contributions and support to help underwrite the cost of this tour are needed as well.

Please contact Sue Foran (708-488-0296; sforan4@comcast.net) or Margaret Burke (708-358-0705; mburke66@sbcglobal.net) if you are able to host students in your home, or if you have other questions.

Ministry partners

Each Sunday, we pray for one of Grace’s partners in ministry as selected by the Benevolence Committee.  Here are a few more details about the groups featured on Here are a few more details about the groups featured on April 8 and 15:

The Metropolitan Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is made up of 206 active congregations in Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Lake County, with a total of 107,053 baptized members. The Synod provides resources for congregations and leaders and works in partnership with other organizations to fulfill the mission "God's work, our hands."

Selian Lutheran Hospital is a semi-urban hospital of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania. The hospital provides a full range of medical care and promotes community health.