The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not be in want.
As I write this, we are approaching Glass City Marathon weekend here in Toledo. It is always quite an undertaking, and it is amazing to see the efforts of the runners, the volunteers, and the sponsors.
Marathon weekend sticks out in my mind for a different reason this year. Last year, on the day of the Glass City Marathon, the people of Grace Lutheran Church held a special congregational meeting to vote on calling a new pastor to serve with and among the people of God in this congregation.
When David Charvat and Ryan Moore (after he ran the Marathon!) called me after the meeting to tell me the results of the vote, I was distracting myself in our backyard. It was after worship, and such a beautiful day that being outside gave me some space to breathe and pray as I waited.
Even though I did not officially begin as your pastor until mid-May, from that moment we became deeply connected, as I wondered (even more than in the call process) how we would live and serve together as the family of God called Grace.
And here we are! I feel blessed that you have trusted me with pastoral care, with worship, with education, and with service. We have come a long way in getting to know each other and how we can work together to “bless the world and be God’s Grace.” We are still learning about each other. We have laughed and cried together … you have welcomed me and my family into this family of faith … and we continue to dream about where God is leading us next.
Thank you for trusting God’s call and for trusting me. It remains a blessing to me to serve with you. The marathon of being people of faith in this world lies before us, and I know that together we are well-equipped for the journey.
ATTENTION PARENTS OF SUNDAY SCHOOLERS
There will be no Children’s Sunday School classes Sunday April 30 to allow ALL to be part of the blended service at 10:30 and the dedication of the Blessing Box following service.
Yes, thank you all who pray and have dropped off items to take on our trip to Dodoma Tanzania. We are overwhelmed by the response of all the used cell phones, used eyeglasses, children’s books, colored pencils, coloring books, children’s books, and other items that will be given to our companions at Iringa Road Lutheran Church. These items will be used by teachers and given out to those in need. Cell phones will be equipped with local sim cards and then are used locally. Grace Church really is all “about the people” and what a show of generosity this is. And in the language of our companions: Bwana Asifiwe, Astante Sana! (Praise God and Thank-you very much)
The Grace Outreach Ministry Team.
Operation Christmas Child
In the month of April we are asking for donations of washcloths. They can be dropped off in the Giving Grace Room or to the office during the week.
Meditation on John 10:1-10
By Vicar Dave
Jesus came to us, God came down to us, so that we might have abundant life. But what does that mean? Some people look around them and see no difference in the lives of their Christian friends than their non-Christian friends. So how do we go about living the abundant life that Jesus came to give us? I think we should first figure out what is meant by abundant. Being saved by God’s grace is first, and it’s very important, vital in-fact, but it’s just the start. There’s so much more that will fulfill us, complete us, satisfy us, and make us joyful. So, if Christ promised abundancy, why do we go through life as Christians and appear not much different than our non-Christian friends?
Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins. He died to sin once for all so that we might live. He lives now to God. As Christians, we should also live our lives to God and as being dead to sin. We have a choice to whether to yield our lives to God or to sin. In order to yield our lives to God, we have to give our entire selves to Him. It isn’t easy. Due to our sinful nature, it may not even be possible for us to do of our own will. We cannot live a life like this alone. We need Christ and His people in our lives in order to live this way. We need them for fellowship, for accountability, and for forgiveness.
Jesus Christ lived a life of service. Service to God and to His people. Us. This is another way we can talk about having an abundant life. By humbly serving our brothers and sisters, both in and through the church, and even outside of it. By the surrendering of our time, treasure and talent to God’s will, we can find greater joy than we might think possible. After all, our time, treasure and talents are all gifts from God to begin with. Why not use them for the purposes He intended us to have them?
Another important aspect of an abundant life to be set apart. The abundant life is made possible by the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and made a reality by being separated from sin and the world and sanctified to Him and His Gospel. This means, to me at least, that we should try our best to understand the word of God through setting aside time for study and reflection, apart from the world. In doing that, we will be better able to take the word back out to others and show them the benefits of being set apart for God, which leads me to another point.
Living a Spirit filled life is another important aspect of an abundant life. When we are living our lives, do what God has called us to do through the direction of the Holy Spirit, we will truly find the joy that God intends for us. Serving God and humanity in the time and place that God has chosen for us will complete our abundant life.
Sunday Fellowship Time
April 30th – Debbie Downs and Grace Peterson
On Sunday, April 23, we celebrated the baptism of Isobel Sattler.
Behind the scenes at Grace ….by Gretchen
- With sadness we need to report that the opossum who had scared Connie Thomas and the Air Conditioner service person has moved on. The Service person was here this last week and was well prepared for an opossum confrontation when opening the gate, but he /she was nowhere to be found. He did manage to unload a few shovelfuls of pinecones and pine needles -thanks to all the wind. So, when the heat hits we will be ready!
- Have you checked out the Community Bulletin Boards lately? There is all sorts of interesting stuff on it including some requests for assistance.
- We are busting at the seams with treasurers! Come and check these out at the Youth Rummage Sale – Preview night and Sales day!
- We are close to having the total amount for installation of the Security Cameras. The safety of members, staff and visitors who are often alone in the building are very important.
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission.
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
To all who participated in the Red Cross Blood Drive this last Wednesday!!!!!
We collected 15 units which can go as far to help 45 people, which is wonderful!
Our next Blood Drive is the Interfaith Blood Drive on Saturday June 24th and is from 8:30-2:30.
You can schedule your appointment now by calling the Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or go their web site RedCrossBlood.org and enter the Sponsor Code: INTERFAITH
You do not need to be a member of Grace or any church to donate. So please think about family, relatives, neighbors and friends.
If you are unable to donate but would like to have someone donate in your honor, there are Birthday Cards and Thinking of You Cards on the table next to the coatroom across from the office. This is a great way to celebrate a birthday or honor someone that also helps others and the community.
Hands and Germs -EEEK!
May is World Hand Hygiene Month! It really is a celebrated month! We all were very “good” about “good hand washing” during Covid but how many of us have kept it up? Interesting?
Germs are everywhere! Research studies have shown that good handwashing can prevent 1 in 3 diarrhea related illnesses and 1 in 5 respiratory illnesses like the flu. Might not sound great but if it prevents you or a family member from becoming ill it is worth it.
Right way to wash hands:
1.Wash hands with clean running water and apply soap.
2.Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap.
3.Scrub all surfaces of your hands including palms, backs of hand, fingers, between fingers and under the nails.
4.Rinse hands under clean running water.
5.Dry hands with a clean towel or under air dryer .
Need to scrub for at least 20 seconds – and that is equal to “Happy Birthday” being sung twice!
Hand sanitizer can be used but it needs to be at least 50% alcohol .
*** Check bottles of Hand Sanitizer for dates as many of those that were bought during Covid have expired and are not as effective.
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!