Welcome to Grace Notes! You can find an archive of my preaching and writing here. I welcome your comments and questions, as I always enjoy conversations about faith.
Grace notes are actually tiny notations in classical music that indicate a quick note decorating the melody. Grace notes always lead to the main thing. In my spiritual walk, the main thing is the grace of God in Jesus. This grace is God’s unequivocal gift of acceptance and love for you and me. That’s what fuels me, and that’s what I write about.
I look forward to sharing with you and hearing from you in this blog – and I hope you find the words and ideas here to truly be Grace Notes, filled with God’s grace. – PJ
Pastor Julie is a student of yoga and a lover of singing, a low maintenance housekeeper and a potluck foodie, a wife and proud mother of two young adults, and a passionate voice for connecting faith, daily life, and scripture. Born and raised in Columbus, she studied religion and music at Oberlin College and Conservatory, and received her MDiv from Yale Divinity School. Pastor Julie served four parishes in Connecticut before returning to her Ohio roots to become Epiphany’s senior pastor. 

Point of Decision

Matthew 9

It was Saturday, the 29th of August 2021. I was in Columbus, cleaning out my parents’ house after moving them to senior living. I was relieved to have them moved; my dad’s cancer had returned during the pandemic, and my mom’s memory had declined significantly as well. I hoped they would have some good years there, but if their health failed, I knew the care they needed was in place. 

Two days earlier, I’d got a call


Reclaiming the “E” Word

Matthew 28 

I was teaching a bible study on the sacraments, and I shared this passage from Matthew 28: 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations 

Baptizing them in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit 

And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” 

I was going to talk about baptism, but a woman said, “I


What We’ve Been Waiting For

Acts 2, John 20 

It’s graduation season. Like many of you, two weeks ago I attended my son’s college graduation in Indiana. In the baccalaureate service and commencement ceremony we heard the usual things: congratulations on a job well done; stories of growth and achievement; encouragement for graduates to take on the challenges life has to offer. 


But it wasn’t until one of the student speakers stood up that we heard what


Something More to Go On

John 14:1-14 

It wasn’t much to go on. The wallet contained $40, a handful of receipts, and a state benefits card. The name on the card read “Hattie Mae Johnson.”  There was no address.  

I was at one of those marathon recording sessions back in Covid times with a few musicians preparing anthems and hymns for upcoming pre-recorded worship services. We had been taking a break in the


Shepherd and Gate

John 1:1-10  

I have been through a full year at Epiphany, and it’s been a year of discovery. It’s a large and varied parish with so many ministries and people! It has been good to simply experience some of the ministries here and learn about you all.
One of my favorite experiences was the Harvest Party last fall at the Austin campus. It featured trunk-or-treat for the kids, and we had at least 20 vehicles parked on the lawn


We Had Hoped

Luke 24:13-35 

Some years back, my dad planned his own funeral. My dad was a musician, so of course selected hymns – eight of them! And he chose this passage, from the Gospel of Luke, the Road to Emmaus, as the sermon text.

Many of you know that I had two reasons I moved here to Ohio, 1: being your pastor, 2: to be near my parents in their final years. My parents, brother, and I had hoped that when I moved to Ohio that we would have a few


Peace Be with You.

John 20

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

It’s quite an introduction to the story. We come off of Easter morning with Mary Magdalene’s proclamation, “I have seen the Lord!” and we think everything is celebration and joy.

But this introduction leads me to think it wasn’t so simple. It


Lost Things

John 20

I had a favorite communion kit, an heirloom with tiny silver paten and cup that used to be Uncle Byron’s on my husband’s side of the family. Byron was a Lutheran pastor who had died at age 39 from cancer. His widow had held onto his communion kit, and when I entered the family 15 years later, she presented it to me.

I told that story every time I used the kit. I liked the way the communion kit itself was a resurrection story – the meal



John 11

Along the border of Mexico and the US, there is a competition called “gritar.” Gritar in Spanish means to yell, and that what the contest is about—yelling for as long and as loud as you can. The origins of the competition are foggy, but it is said that the grito

is the shout that started the Mexican Revolution of 1810. Most of the competitions are in bars or at country fair-type events accompanied by a decent amount of cervesa. Sometimes the competitions get downright rowdy.