We know love by this,
that Jesus Christ laid down His life for us
and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.
~1 John 3:16
Honoring our Graduates
We celebrate those Grace family members who are graduating, their accomplishments, and their plans, and we pray for God’s continued blessing on their lives.
We honor: Milena Slaybaugh who is graduating from Whitmer High School and will be attending the University of Toledo in the Fall, majoring in music education. Milena is the granddaughter of Rick and Cindy Wood.
We honor: Samantha Csurgo who is graduating from The University of Toledo on May 8, 2021 with a Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Samantha is the daughter of Tim and Christine Csurgo. She plans to pursue employment in the engineering field.
We honor: Nicole McKenzie who is graduating from The University of Toledo on May 8, 2021 with a PHD. She will continue teaching respiratory therapy at the University.
We honor: Evan Vernon who is graduating from Toledo Technical Academy. He is also a previous graduate of Graceful Beginnings Preschool here at Grace! He is thinking of going into the trade of Heating and Air Conditioning.
We honor: Kyleigh Elaine Johnson who is graduating from Toledo School for the Arts and going to the University of Toledo on a full ride academic scholarship. She will be majoring in Mortuary Science.
We honor: Samantha Bee who is graduating from Start High School, Salutatorian. She will be attending Defiance College, majoring in Education and playing softball.
We honor: Collin Gedeon who is graduating from high school at ANSAT. He will be taking exams in August. He is the son of Kris Gedeon and the grandson of Jim and Ronnie Dahms.
Congratulations to all of our graduates!
We would like to thank everyone for the prayers, cards, calls and caring that Bob has received during this difficult time. He is doing well and working hard so that he can return to church in the near future. Blessings to everyone.
~JoAnne and Bob Vernon
We, the prayer ministry, want to thank you for bringing to our attention people who need prayer.
We have received many names, most of which are related to illness, surgery or death. We want to encourage you to bring us any “burdens of the heart” also. If you or someone you know is struggling with personal issues (family, personal matters, or emotional burdens) please feel free to ask for prayer. It will be kept confidential. There is a place at the bottom of the prayer request form where you can check indicating you do not wish for the congregation to be notified of the need.
When Covid is over, each Sunday after the 9:30 am service, prayer ministry members will be available to pray with you in the prayer chapel near the chapel.
Thank you also for posting prayer requests on the bulletin board at the back of the Sanctuary.
Members of the prayer ministry,
Ron Hiatt, Ann Fleck, Jean Harmon, Connie Thomas and Pam Young
God – our Heavenly Father – He loves us no matter what. No matter what!!!! That includes EVERYTHING we do or don’t do.
He is there for me 24/7 – all the time. What a wonderful privilege that is!! If I want to talk to him I have only to say God – I need you. God looks at me always with love and patience. Jesus died for me – for me!! It is sometimes hard to comprehend that He would do that for me! Me who sometimes cannot seem to do anything right – me who at times am not as loving of my “neighbor” as I should be – me who doesn’t always pay attention to Him.
There are times when I so want to pray – and I don’t feel like I am “good enough”. Sometimes I am ashamed of how things are going in my life – usually because I did NOT pray before doing them.
But God hears me – hears my prayer even if it is just crying. I learned that not long ago. My prayer might be me crying. It might be me just “being” in His presence. It might be me just calling Jesus’s name – sometimes over and over and over. Whispering – Jesus please be with me. Walk with me – please.
Sometimes when I struggle, the Spirit intercedes for me (Romans 8:26-27).
God knows what I am thinking – what I am feeling – what I want – but He is waiting to hear it from me. I can tell Him anything and everything! He loves me. He wants what is best for me – always.
Jesus guides me step by step – minute by minute – through my days. He listens not only to my words but to my heart.
I have found my best days are when I start with a “Good Morning” prayer and ask that God show me His will for me – and when I actually listen! Wow!
God – sometimes it is hard for me to pray. I know You are with me – I am absolutely sure of that. Sometimes it is all I can do to say Your name – or to cry – or to whisper “Jesus”. And then I wait – in hope – wait for You – knowing You will do what is best for me – I need only to trust. Jesus be with me, please. Amen.
~Submitted by Cathy
From the Call Committee, we are pleased to announce on Tuesday, April 13th, our Mission Site Profile (MSP) draft was approved by Church Council. We worked very hard to come up with the best representation of Grace on paper (web profile) and I am proud of the team for our accomplishment. Our next step is to get this posted to the ELCA website which will be completed around May 1st. After our MSP is posted to the website, the process can begin for pastors to view Grace’s profile for the open position. Any Pastors who show interest in Grace, will first be screened by the Bishop and if approved will be forwarded to the Call Committee for consideration.
Finishing the MSP is just the start for the Call Committee. Our next task is to formulate interview questions for potential pastors and practicing interviews with other local pastors. The Call Committee would like to request the congregation’s participation – if anyone has any specific questions they would like us to ask a potential pastor, please send them our way. One may do this by either emailing the Grace office: firstname.lastname@example.org, emailing me: email@example.com, or talking to a member of the Call Committee or Transition Team. We are eager to hear from you.
Lastly, once the interview process does start – like any interview process – this must be kept confidential. The Call Committee will still provide monthly updates on what we can. We thank you for your support and prayers and look forward to seeing you all in person soon.
Breakfast Boxes Update
As of Tuesday, April 13, 15 breakfast boxes have been distributed. That means that there are 15 more to distribute! Boxes will continue to be distributed until all 30 have been given out to our Personal Needs clients. And we are happy to report that our families are thrilled to receive this extra help. Thank you again to everyone who donated to this outreach project.
A CALL TO ACTION
In light of the recent shootings of black and brown Americans I feel compelled to write this. One of the victims was a 13 year old boy. It has to end. Micah 6:8 tells us that God requires us “to do justly and love mercy” which suggests that Christians should be concerned about the issue of systemic racism.
We need to start the conversation at Grace. Only by coming together and discussing the issue can we come to understand the cause of the problem and decide what Grace can do to actively contribute to a solution. If you agree please let me know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (419-787-1653). If there is an interest, and I hope there is, we can find a time and place where we can safely meet.
Food for Toledo Update
Thank you to everyone who has donated food for Food for Toledo. In the period between March 30 – April 12, 245 pounds of food was donated and delivered to Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Their program is ongoing and increasing in numbers and scope. It has been a pleasure working with them in this program. They serve all ages and families (single, married, multigenerational, etc.). Donations can be left outside of the church office or can be dropped off on Mondays from 9 a.m. – noon at the Brenner Hall entrance.
Behind the scenes at Grace …. (by Gretchen Hiatt)
- The trees around the church are in full bloom and gorgeous! A combination of God using Mother nature as the artist painting the trees.
- We were really having an exciting day this last Wednesday evening! Gretchen was having two Toledo Police Officers do a walkthrough of the church and campus in preparation of for a class on Active Shooters. As we were checking out every nook and cranny we went to the basement of the chapel and we smelled gas. So next the fire department was called and arrived withs sirens blaring and not only were we graced with the small fire truck but also the big ladder truck!! The level was not great enough to cause harm to humans or to cause an explosion but still needed to be investigated. So, then Columbia Gas was called and showed up with lights blinking. Then we still had the 2 police cars in the parking lot! Phew! Oh, and then Connie Thomas arrived to check on something and was she ever surprised by all the lights and firemen, gas guy and police at the front of the church. The leak has been repaired without issues. It goes to prove there is never a dull day at Grace and how thankful we are for our police, fire and gas guys!
- Can you smell the garlic, basil and oregano? Is your mouth watering yet? The Jeff Erdman Memorial Pasta Dinner is coming! We will not hear the sound of music but definitely the banging of pots, laughing and then the wonderful smells!! Watch the newsletter for more information!
- The menagerie is out – we have been graced with not one but two rabbits so we are thinking we might have more in the next month or so – hmm wonder if we can get them to eat all the beautiful dandelions???
- Do you like people? Can you smile easily? Hmm – these are the important requirements for ushering. As we are resuming some activities on Sundays, we need to have ushers. Pay is that you are greeting people showing that Grace is a friendly place, meet people, get a little exercise, and helping to further the ministry of Grace.
- Did you know that April 21 is Administrative Professional Day and yes, we missed it – but if you remember or have the opportunity to talk with Cathy wish her a belated Happy Administrative Professional Day! She is key to having the office and the parish communications run like a well-oiled clock!
- Remember; Grace is not the building but the people carrying out God’s Mission.
April is National Donate Life Month!
Donate life is the national symbol for the cause of organ, eye and tissue donation. National donate life is celebrated every April. It recognizes those who have received transplants, to recognize those who continue to wait, to honor donors, and to thank registered donors for giving hope.
Did you know?
- More than 100,000 people are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.
- More then 39,000 organ transplants from 18,300 donors bought new life to patients and their families in 2020.
- More than 66,000 corneas were provided for sight restoring transplants in 2020.
- More than 2.5 million tissue transplants heal lives each year .
- More than 1,900 children under the age of 18 are on the national transplant waiting list.
- More than 1,700 children were saved by the generosity of donors and donor families in 2020.
These are some pretty eye – opening facts!
The top 5 questions about being a donor!
- Does being a registered donor change how I am cared for as a patient?
No, doctors work hard to save every patient’s life, but sometimes there is a complete and irreversible loss of brain function. The patient is declared clinically and legally dead. Only then is donation an option.
- Will I be able to have an open casket funeral if I donate?
An open casket is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors.
- Does my religion support organ, eye and tissue donation?
All major religions support donation as a act of compassion and generosity.
- Does my social or financial status play any part in whether or not I will receive an organ?
A national system matches available organs from the donor with people on the waiting list based on may factors including blood type, body size, how sick they are, distance for donor hospital and time of the list. Race, income celebrity and social status are never considered.
- Why register to be a donor?
You can save up to 8 lives and heal the lives of more than 75 people. Registering helps your family know your desires.
To register your decision to save a life go to RegisterMe.org.
Other interesting facts:
A person is added to the transplant waiting list every 10 minutes
Sadly,7,000 people die each year (on average 20 per day) because the organs needed are not donated in time …..
More on Living Donation next week!
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. (W. Dyer)
If the path before you is clear you are probably on someone else’s path. (Carl Jung)
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!