How good and how pleasant it is,
When kindred live together in unity!
All spring graduates, whether it is from high school or college, are invited to be recognized at the 9:30 a.m. service on Sunday, April 25.
Graduation is no small event, it is a significant milestone marking both endings and beginnings, and your Grace family wishes to recognize this milestone. If you are graduating and wish to be recognized on this special day, please contact the Church Office with the name of the school you are graduating from, your degree if you are graduating from college, and your plans for the future.
We look forward to recognizing you on this day.
- The crabapple trees are blooming – how wonderful to see God’s artistic work!
- We are seeing more groups come back to meet at Grace and are following guidelines which is wonderful! The church is slowly starting to “rock” during the week as well as on Sunday!
- How wonderful garlic smells (and tastes) and cheese tastes – mouthwatering in fact! And then there are Ruth McKenzie’s famous meatballs … Watch for the Jeff Erdman Memorial Pasta Dinner and get those taste buds ready!
- We have updated the Church Directory!! There are copies in the back of the Sanctuary and outside the office.
- We received Communion this last Sunday with wine (or grape juice if desired) and wafers. This is a step towards returning to some normalcy. Thanks again to the ushers and to the congregation for their patience as we are still working out a “few bugs”.
- Thanks to Jim Bischoff for wonderful music in Debby’s absence. It was great to try a new song.
- Don’t forget to check out the Resource Table on wheels at the back of the Sanctuary and table in back of Chapel on Sundays! Directories, fliers, etc. will be located there for you to help yourself!
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s mission
One way of observing Earth Day is to eat locally raised and grown food. The new term for people who eat this way is “Locavore”. Before food was shipped, we were all Locavores – but now not so much. It is important as what we eat matters to our health and the quality of what we eat is determines by how the food is raised, what it is fed and where it is from.
Why is it important to spending extra time and money to eat local food?
By eating local you can reduce the carbon footprint from gasoline used for trucking and flying in of food. We are supporting our local farmers and businesses by buying local. Eating seasonal is usually fresher, knowing where your food comes from and how it was raised is also important. If you know that the produce you are buying is being grown on a farm where chemicals are not being used and polluting our streams and rivers that is also important to the planet. Food that is picked before it is ripe, and food placed in storage can lose vital nutrients.
Did you know that when animals get more exercise their meat is leaner and that animals who graze on grass as opposed to grain keep the soil healthier and produce better meat?
A Locavore diet does not include nationally distributed food products made in a factory somewhere which pretty much means “NO JUNK FOOD”
So on Earth Day think Locavore!
- Don’t buy more then you need – bargain buys are great but sometimes a 10 #bag of potatoes sounds great but unless you have a potato every day, they can spoil especially if they were picked green and put into storage to preserve.
- Leftovers are wonderful and often taste better the NEXT day but 3-4 days out, unless it is Limburger cheese don’t taste so great and could make you sick. So, make less, give it away or eat quickly.
- Think about sharing your food with neighbors and family – share that 10# bag of potatoes or that great deal of a 20# bag of apples. Great way to meet your neighbors and to prevent waste.
- Take your vegetable, fruit scraps, and even coffee grounds and turn them into compost for your garden. Compost is a cheap way of providing nutrients for your plants. Watch for information on a Community Garden!!!!!!
Other ways to celebrate Earth Day – Recycle!!!!
Toledo and surrounding areas have some pretty great recycling spots. Some people pay for the service and others load up their cars and drop off.
What can we put in our recycle bin?
- Paper – newspaper, magazines, envelopes etc. (for privacy purposes take your name off and either shred or cut up into little pieces and throw back in the container). Shredded paper can make good mulch for your garden and it disintegrates over the summer but avoid colored ink and magazines.
- Cardboard/cartons – boxes, cereal boxes, (save the shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child).
- Plastic containers – milk bottles (rinse them out), Ensure bottles (rinse out).
- Cans – all kinds but they need to be rinsed and if you can take the labels off and put in with the paper
**** Don’t throw dirty stuff in the recycle bin – rinse it out and make sure it is clean!
- Styrofoam – food containers and packing peanuts, etc.
- Plastic bags – this is really important as the sorting centers are very automated and everything needs to be lose. The magnets, shakers and grinders, etc. sort things automatically and if recyclables are left in a plastic bag the WHOLE thing will go into the landfill! Yikes – even better reason to use cloth and paper bags to get groceries.
* You can recycle your plastic bags just not in the recycling bin. Meijers, Kroger, and Sautters have bins for them. You can put in not only plastic bags but dry cleaner bags, and the plastic film covers like those on toilet paper. No meat wraps.
- Packing material – like bubble wrap.
- Waxed cardboard – milk cartons, and containers like TV dinners and ice cream containers
- Soiled food containers – pizza boxes (if the box lid is clean, you can recycle that).
- Food waste.
- Loose caps from containers
*****Did you know that when recycling plastic bottles caps need to be left on? Reason – modern equipment uses a system where the caps are removed from the bottles in a water bath – bottles float and caps sink! Loose caps are not recognized by the machines due to small size and end up in landfills – eek! Don’t crush your bottle either as it causes the machines to be confused and may also head the bottle to the landfill instead of being recycled.
If you have a plastic coat hanger, laundry basket, old garbage can or even a plastic toy and you want to put in the recycle bin – DO NOT!!!
These things are typically not recyclable!!
Only plastic with the small triangle with arrows and the numbers in it (usually on the bottom) can go into the recycle bin.
- The average American household throws out about 1 pound of food a day.
- Plastic bags take 200 -1,000 years to decompose.
- Only about 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling.
- Paper bags take about 1 month to decompose.
- 100,000 marine animals are killed by plastic bags annually …….
What Got Left Out of the Sermon on April 11
This should be “Part of What Got Left Out,” since the text of the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Easter is extraordinarily rich, but I’m trying to learn restraint. So, I’ll treat one verse only here: John 20.23, in which the risen Christ says to the ten disciples in the locked he just entered without damaging the door, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
(Already, I’m leaving out a critical piece of the context, since Christ says this immediately after breathing on them and saying “Receive the Holy Spirit” in verse 22. Surely he would not confer such huge power on people who were not filled with the Holy Spirit, would he? But I want to keep this to one page.)
The part about forgiving sins is what we would expect from Jesus, who said earlier, “the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do.” One of the works he often did was declaring to sinners that they were forgiven. He wants us to carry on his work of announcing forgiveness to sinners? That’s not a big leap.
There are two parts to this forgiveness: God’s part and our part. God’s part is forgiving us, and all who will accept God’s forgiveness. Our part is the necessary accompaniment to accepting God’s forgiveness, which is forgiving each other, and all who do us harm. As in, “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.”
Then, the Crucified and Risen One says, “If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” What are we to do with that?
One possibility is that Jesus is authorizing us to say to people, “We have decided that God does not forgive you, and will not forgive you, until we tell God that it’s alright: that you have repented enough, or reformed enough, or made enough restitution. Then, when we give the word, God will forgive you. Until then, God will retain your sins, and your guilt will remain.”
And if that is what Jesus is saying, who is the “you” in “If you retain the sins of any”? The pastor of your congregation? The bishop of your Synod, or the Churchwide Bishop? The Congregation Council? The one who was wronged? Jesus is addressing the disciples, but who are their successors?
A better possibility, I think, is that Jesus is not conferring authority on anyone to block God’s forgiveness, but is describing the cost to the Church when we fail to forgive. He is not giving us permission to withhold the gift of forgiveness, but is warning us of the cost of failing to use it. “If you retain the sins of any, you won’t be rid of those sins. They will hang around and haunt you. As long as you retain them, you will have to live with them, and they will continue to stink up your life together. If you retain the sins of any, you get to hang on to hurt feelings, and recriminations, and resentments, and tensions. I have given you all the authority you need to forgive sins. Use it!”
And who is the “you” in “if you retain the sins of any”? I’m pretty sure that’s all of us. Any one of us who wants to retain someone else’s sin can hang onto it and live with the bitterness of it. The warning is a universal one.
I think the second possibility, that “If you retain the sins of any, they are retained” is Christ’s warning to us of the very high cost of retaining each other’s sins, is what God intends us to hear in this text.
What do you think?
Question! What is red and liquid and can be recycled for the benefit of others?
BLOOD!! Yep, you guessed it – life saving blood!
One unit of blood can help 3 people – so what a bang for a unit of blood!
Giving blood is a great way to give back to others and the community!
It is not a huge time commitment – maybe 2 hours, does not cost anything, and does not require you to volunteer on a regular basis! You will also get a treat !
Please give on April 23 from 1 – 6 pm at Grace! You may sign up on the American Red Cross web page or contact Gretchen Hiatt 419-944-5166 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Each day comes bearing its own gifts. Untie the ribbons. (Ruth Ann Schabacker)
You have been entrusted with a life that’s yours to care for, enjoy and learn from. (Charlotte Davis Kasle)
There is no wisdom greater than kindness. (Fortune Cookie)
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!