Give thanks to the Lord, for the Lord is good;

God’s mercy endures forever.

~Psalm 118:29


Congregational Meeting 10:45 Sunday April 24, 2022 in Brenner Hall

Just a reminder that we will have a special congregational meeting between services on Sunday April 24, 2022 to vote on accepting Pastor Brenda as our new Pastor. Please plan to attend. Voting to call a pastor is only permitted by members in attendance at the Congregational Meeting per the terms of our Current  Constitution. Therefore mail-in and other proxy voting cannot  be accepted.




Easter Fun



The Moore children making resurrection rolls for Easter.


Church Council Highlights from April 12,2022 meeting

  1. Approved removal of Tanya Hanf form church membership roles due to her passing.
  2. Authorized Rick Sharp as church member to sign contracts with Children’s Resource Center (CRC) for their use of space at Grace.
  3. Authorized the Property Committee to pursue construction of ramp and new handrails on Monroe Street entrance to main church.
  4. Reviewed the Treasurer Reports for March 2022. Deficit in the Current Fund is $7,400.
  5. Accepted an “Invitation to Service” for David O’Brien to be held on May 8 ,2022 with Pastor Scharf from the Northwest Ohio Synod presiding.
  6. Reviewed the proposed compensation package for Pastor Brenda Peconge with a recommendation for approval to be taken to the congregation for approval at the May 24 Congregation meeting.
  7. Discussed a proposed Pastoral Transition Plan pending Congregational Action to Call Pastor Brenda.
  8. Discussed job descriptions for Office Staff, Custodian and Parish Nurse. Input from council will be taken to Personnel for review.
  9. Thanked Bob Haaf for volunteering to be a Voting Member of Grace at the Northwest Ohio Synod meeting to be held June 3 and 4 in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Next Congregation Council meeting to be held Tuesday May 24,2022 at 6:30. The meeting is open to members of Grace.

Minutes of Congregation Council meetings are kept in the library.


Fellowship Time

Hope to see you between services on Sunday in

Fellowship Hall!

April 24 – Special fellowship time in Brenner Hall during  congregational meeting


Grace Tends Sheep

In most translations of the Gospel of John, Jesus’ words to Peter are “If you love me, feed my sheep.” Of course, Jesus’ statement refers to much more than just food—as can be seen in the NASB version in which Jesus’ words are translated “Tend my sheep.” Well…Grace certainly tends the sheep of Jesus.


On one hand, consider what a person with mobility-limitations faces when trying to enter Grace’s Sanctuary by the Monroe Street entrance: steps!—steps that provide a message to Jesus’ sheep: “This place is not handicap-accessible; you are not welcome here.”


On the other hand, consider some good news—that is, the sheep-feeding that took place at the April 12 Council meeting. A motion was passed directing the Property Committee to have an access-ramp constructed at the Monroe Street entrance to the Sanctuary. A ramp, of course,  presents a gentle slope: providing easy access for those using walkers or wheelchairs, as well as for those with other mobility limitations. You might call this “Grace tending Jesus’ sheep.”


If you would like to contribute financially to this project, please do so by May 31, identifying the contribution as ACCESS RAMP.


Of course, tending Jesus’ sheep is nothing new at Grace. Consider the following:

  •   Handicap accessible parking;
  •  Handicap-accessible sidewalk curb cuts;
  •  Automatic doors;
  •  A ramp in the Sanctuary providing access to the altar area;
  •  Handicap-accessible restrooms;
  •  Hearing-assist loops in the Sanctuary and in the Chapel;
  •  Wheelchair accessible seating in the Sanctuary and in the Chapel;
  •  Large-print bulletins for those with visual limitations.

Grace does feed Jesus’ sheep.

Bob Haaf


Upcoming Worship Opportunities at Grace

Midweek Worship led by David O’Brien – Wednesdays at 7:00 pm

Combined Traditional/Contemporary –  May 29 (Memorial Day Weekend) 10:30 am

Outdoor Contemporary Service –  July 10, 10:30 am

Ragtime Rick Worship Service –  August 7, 10:00 am

Food for Toledo Update

So far in 2022 1181 pounds of food has been donated to Grace’s Food for Toledo program! Food is taken to Aldersgate United Methodist Church for distribution to  clients through their bi-monthly food pantry. Food can be dropped off in the Giving Grace Room (across from Room 3) on Sundays, on Mondays from 9 – noon, or anytime the church office is open. Thank you to everyone who donates to help feed Toledo’s hungry.


Next Blood Drive at Grace!

Interfaith Blood Drive is scheduled for June 25th.

This is a change of day – it is a Saturday.

We are running longer that day, so we have appointments from 8:30 am – 2:30 pm .

You can schedule your appointment now! If you donated on  April 1, you can donate at this drive.


Behind the scenes at Grace ….by Gretchen

  1. A New Form! Yuck! Ugh! Oh No! Another piece of paper! After all the complaining this is actually a good form! So often “things” like a burned-out light bulb or a leaky faucet or big things like a warm refrigerator at Grace do not get quick attention because we forget to tell someone about it or do not know who to tell. Sometime this results in a significant expense and other times just a nuisance. We have a solution! Outside the office on the credenza (desk) is a stack of bright green forms labeled “It’s a pickle, a muddle or a glitch that needs attention at Grace”. If you find things that need attention, please complete and give to the office or put in the mailbox on the office door. *If it is a critical /emergency like no heat, no air conditioning, overflowing toilet please let Connie Thomas know – her number is on the form as well as in the Church Directory.
  2. Easter Sunday was a beautiful day not only outside but inside the big church and the chapel. Wonderful music and the awesome color and smell of the Easter Lilies. It was wonderful to see people – members of Grace and visitors hearing the Easter message.
  3. SOS! We have a small dilemma! We have trash and recycling, and the bins need to be taken out to the curb for Monday pickup. Until a custodian is in place, volunteers are needed on Sunday after services to take the bins out. A sign-up sheet is posted on the Community Bulletin Board across from the office for people with strong muscles. The bins are located in the basement across from the office.
  4. Food! There continues to be a great need in the community especially with the increased cost and loss of some supplemental programs. Mary Schneider is manning the Food Pantry Donations Day from 9:00 am -12 noon on Mondays and food can also be placed in the bins in the Giving Grace Room.
  5. Personnel Needs is also one of our outreach programs that also experiences an increased need. They also have a bin in the Giving Grace Room.
  6. There will be the” Sound of Rummage Sale” preparation and sale coming soon In Brenner Hall. Don’t forget to drop off your unwanted treasures. Then come back to buy new treasures! The money raised at the rummage sale goes to support the youth on their mission trip this summer.
  7. Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission!


Healthy People! Healthy Parish!

On a Humorous Note!

Last week the Newsletter had an article in it about how Spring Cleaning can make you happy …. (Not sure everyone agreed with that research except from the Clorox company)!

Did you know that the laughing as you clean instead of groaning is good for your health?


April is also National Humor Month.

Larry Wilde an author and humorist started National Humor Month in April 1976.He created the day to make people aware of the therapeutic value of humor. He felt humor is important to improve our way of life. He stated “The idea of laughing and the use of humor as a tool to lift ailing sprits is growing. Research has shown that laughter helps relieve stress and burnout”

Laughter is a good thing and has both short term and long-term benefits!

Short term effects:

  1. Laughter increases the intake of oxygen – rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles and increases the endorphins (“feel good chemicals”) from your brain.
  2. Activates and relieves your response to stress. A good laugh fires up and then cools down your response to stress. It can also increase and decrease your heart rate. Results in a good, relaxed feeling.
  3. Soothes tension. Laughter increases circulation and helps with relaxing muscles both of which help with relieving the symptoms of stress.

Long term effects:

  1. It can help with improving the immune system. Negative thoughts can start a chemical reaction in the body that brings on more stress which can result in decreasing the immune system. Positive thoughts can release chemicals called neuropeptides that help fight the effects of stress and serious illness.
  2. Can help with pain relief by helping the body produce chemicals that help decrease pain. Norman Cousins wrote a book “Anatomy of an Illness” about when he had a debilitating disease and how watching old movies like the 3 Stooges, and humor  helped with his pain.
  3. Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter helps us cope with difficult situations and helps connect with people.
  4. Improves our mood. Laughter can help lessen stress, depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier. It has also been known to help increase your self-esteem.

No research on but a laugh that makes you cry is good for the tear ducts-provides a good cleaning???

How to improve our sense of humor?? (More spring cleaning??)

  1. Keep some humorous or funny things around you. Put a picture, card or cartoon in plain sight – the refrigerator, on your desk or even the bathroom mirror (what a great way to start the morning with a good laugh!). Put your favorite funny pictures, cards or sayings in a book that you can grab and get a good laugh when you need it. Watch a funny movie or podcast.
  2. Remember the saying “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you”. Yep, we have to laugh at ourselves and often that just takes our mood to a better place and the stress goes down.
  3. Share a laugh. Make it a habit to hang out with family and friends who make you laugh. Don’t forget to share your stories with them.
  4. Jokes are great but some of us are not the world’s best joke tellers so if you have a good joke don’t be afraid to write it down so that you can tell it right.
  5. Know what isn’t funny. Don’t laugh at the expense of others.




With everything that is currently going on in our world

make a point of laughing and sharing humor –“it is a good thing!”

(Martha Stewart).

Did you know that average adult laughs “17 times a day!”

Can you equal or beat this?


April 22 is Earth Day!

Don’t forget to take care of it!


We delight in the beauty of a butterfly,

but rarely admit the changes it has to go through to achieve that beauty.

(Maya Angelou)

If the last 2 years have taught us anything, it’s to cherish our relationships.

(Billie Jean King)


What do we ask a person to do when we “Call” them to be our Pastor?

This week the voting members of Grace will gather to vote on whether to “Call” a new Pastor to serve at Grace. But what exactly does that mean?  What do the members of Grace ask their Pastors to do? Grace’s Constitution lays out a number items for our Pastor to do.

Our Constitution says “Every ordained minister shall:

  1. preach the Word;
  2. administer the sacraments;
  3. conduct public worship;
  4. provide pastoral care;
  5. speak publicly to the world in solidarity with the poor and oppressed, calling for justice and proclaiming God’s love for the world;
  6. offer instruction, confirm, marry, visit the sick and distressed, and bury the dead;
  7. supervise all schools and organizations of the congregation;
  8. install regularly elected members of the Congregation Council;
  9. with the Council administer discipline;
  10. strive to extend the Kingdom of God in the community, in the nation, and abroad;
  11. seek out and encourage qualified persons to prepare for the ministry of the Gospel;
  12. impart knowledge of this church and its wider ministry through distribution of its periodicals and other publications;
  13. endeavor to increase the support given by the congregation to the work of the church-wide organization of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and of the Northwestern Ohio Synod of the ELCA.”

Not every candidate called to serve a congregation is proficient in all of those areas, nor should we expect such. Several members have asked how can we be expected to vote to call a Pastor when we have not heard them preach to know if we will like them. As you can see from the list above there is much more to serving as Pastor than a Sunday Sermon.

It is said the Holy Spirit works in mysterious ways. I did not personally meet    Pastor Brenda until mid-February, Nevertheless, I have been a witness to her  ministry for some time now. Over the past few years, I have attended funerals she has conducted. I have found her messages to be spiritually uplifting and thoughtful.

During the Pandemic, thanks to the World Wide Web, I was able to log on to the websites of several local Lutheran Congregations in an attempt to learn how our neighboring congregations were dealing with the situation. That included the church a couple blocks from my home, The Lutheran Church of Our Savior, where Pastor Brenda was then serving. I learned that like Grace, Our Savior was working to adapt. In listening to several of her online video messages and sermons I found them to be reassuring in a time when reassurance of Gods’ presence and Love was very needed.

In conclusion God created a very complex world. That complexity includes those of numerous races, ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations that are neighbors, co-workers, friends and even family members. We are commanded to love those as we love ourselves.  To learn and to grow individually and as a congregation we need to keep an open mind and an open heart in welcoming all.

Submitted by David Charvat – Council president



This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24