I sing for joy at the work of Your hand

Forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand

Nothing compares to the promise I have in You

~From the song “Shout to the Lord”



Worship Opportunities at Grace

December 12  9:30 & 11:30 a.m. – Third Sunday of Advent
December 13  11:00 a.m. – Monday Gathering/Lunch
December 19   9:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. – Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 20 11:00 a.m. – Monday Gathering/Lunch
December 21 6:30 p.m. – Blue Christmas Service

December 24 3:00 p.m. & 10:30 p.m. – Christmas Eve Services
December 26 9:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.  Sunday Services



Thank you to the following people for signing up to hostess!

December 12th – Jan Dustman and Karlene Jaquillard

December 19th – Christmas Cookie Fellowship

Attn: Grace Bakers – We would like to have a variety of Christmas Cookies

for fellowship. If you would be interested in donating 1or 2 dozen on this day, please call Sue Wagner at 419.475.8972 by Sunday, December 12th.

December 26th – No Fellowship Hour


My hope is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.

(Jim Henson of Muppets)

With every mistake, we must surely be learning. (George Harrison)




A great big thank you to

Beth Charvat, Brenda Holderman,

Cathy Holewinski, Cindy Matthews,

Janet Moore, Callie Moore,

Mallory Moore,

and Cindy Wood

for decorating the Chrismon tree

in the sanctuary.

It is beautiful!


[AKA, Dealing with Hunger: The Best Laid Plans of Hens and Missionaries]

The Gazette Times, Pittsburgh, PA

July 8, 1923

ELMER, N.J., July 7.—(Special.)—

A New Jersey barnyard hen discovered that worms grow to a tremendous size in India and, as a result of its pecking a cobra, the Rev. Raymond Haaf, a missionary, has one less in his flock that he took back with him from Elmer when he started for his mission post at Tenali last fall. In a letter just received from the home folks the Jersey missionary says it cost him $100 to take his feathered flock from America to India. After he let the chickens out to forage at the edge of a jungle a young rooster made a great ado when he spied a cobra, a hen ran up to take a peck at the “big worm,” was bitten by the reptile and died almost instantly. The missionary is planning to cross the American egg producers with the Indian breed, which are not so strong on laying, but are faster on their legs, to avoid jungle enemies.

[Submitted by Bob Haaf]


Ushers are needed for the 10:30 p.m. service on Christmas Eve. 

If you are able to provide this important ministry, please contact Mary Schneider at 419.262.0730


The Candle of Joy!

My lips will shout for joy

when I sing praises to you;

my soul also,

which you have rescued.

~Psalm 71:23


Lord, help me be

A little more like mercy, a little more like grace
A little more like kindness, goodness, love, and faith
A little more like patience, a little more like peace
A little more like Jesus, a little less like me


Food for Toledo Update

Food collection continues throughout December on Monday mornings from 9 a.m. – noon at the entrance to Brenner Hall or in the boxes in the Giving Room.  As of the end of November, 5194 pounds of food have been collected at Grace!  Thank you to everyone who has donated to this program.


Why No Psalms During Advent?

Well, what is a psalm, anyway?  The obvious easy answer is that it’s one of the poems, or hymns, or songs, found in the Book of Psalms.  Often, but not always, a psalm is an expression of praise of God, or of sorrow, or is a plea for help.

The Book of Psalms is not the only place such poems (or hymns, or songs) are found. Psalms are also found between the First Reading and the Second Reading at our 9:30 Sunday worship service.  Except during Advent.  Maybe.  During Advent, what we read responsively between the First and Second Readings is a poem (or hymn or song) from the Gospel of Luke, or the book of Isaiah.  We use them because they are beautiful, and they are powerful, and they are appropriate to the season, and it would be a shame not to use them.  But might those be psalms, too?

A person who tends toward a love of Order, and Correctness, and Coloring Inside the Lines might say, “Nope!  Those are not psalms.  If they were, they would be    included in the Book of Psalms. What we read last Sunday was not Psalm  Number Anything. It was Luke 1.68-79.  It said so right in the bulletin.”

A person who tends more toward accepting ambiguity might say, “Sure they’re psalms!  What they are depends on what they are, not on where they are found.”

I lean toward the second view.  It might be because I’m not a well-organized person, but I think it’s more because God has let me know so many people who don’t fit neatly into well-defined categories, and their failure to match some precise definition doesn’t make them any less wonderful.

Categories can be very, very helpful.  Mushrooms come in three categories: those that are good to eat; a very few that will kill you if you eat them; and many that will not kill you, but can make you wish you were dead for a few hours if you eat them.  Medicines come in two categories: those that are mostly safe to use pretty much as you think it’s good to use them; and those that are seriously   dangerous to use carelessly, that you can’t buy without a prescription. Oil-based paints are in a different category from water-based paints, and it helps to know the difference before you buy some to spread on your walls. Some stoves run on electricity, some run on gas, and some require both. It’s a bad idea to buy a stove without knowing which category it fits into.

But categories can also cramp our lives if we give them too much importance. Jesus got a lot of flack for treating people without much regard for what kind of   people they were, what categories others thought they belonged in.

I think it’s good that those who chose the poems (or hymns, or songs) we use during Advent didn’t worry too much about precise categories.

What do you think?


Advent Continues at Grace

As we await Jesus’ birth and journey with our neighbors, opportunities are available at Grace to ponder the Advent journey.  Besides Sunday services with the Advent reading and the lighting of the Advent candle, on Mondays during Advent a gathering at 11 a.m. to expand on the Advent reading and for fellowship is available. This takes place in Fellowship Hall with a light lunch following the program.

We also have the opportunity to journey with our neighbors as Grace comes together to purchase piglets through the ELCA Good Gifts program.  On Sunday, December 19, donations will be collected and pooled to hopefully purchase 20 piglets (Grace’s goal). Donations can be in the form of coins, cash, or check and placed in the piggy banks or in the offering plate.  Each piglet costs $30 but any donation is gladly accepted to help us obtain our goal.

Advent is about a journey – the journey to Jesus’ birth, our own personal journey as we expand our faith, and our neighbors’ journeys as they see God’s love in many ways.


Behind the scenes at Grace …… by Gretchen

  1. The Advent Group met this last Monday for study and lunch. Thanks to Fritz Gooch for being the leader! The study is a continuation of the Advent readings that were read while the Advent candles are being lit each Sunday. Our discussion was very interesting and helped us to think about some of our experiences. It is wonderful to get together, talk and share ideas. Please come and enjoy the fellowship even if you do not feel comfortable joining the discussion –  listening is also wonderful!! All are invited for study and discussion at 11:00 am and then a light lunch.
  2. The Chrismon Tree is up and beautiful!!! The “decorating crew” did a wonderful job this last Saturday. Thank you!
  3. The OINK factor! Have you been feeding your piglet? There are more oinks available in the Narthex and the Chapel.
  4. Snow was here and gone this last week – how beautiful!
  5. Church Council will be meeting on Tuesday, December 14 at 6:30 pm.
  6. Fellowship Hour is back in Fellowship Hall between services. Come and join us and enjoy all the wonderful treats that the hostesses are bringing in! It is a great time to catch up!
  7. Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace!


Grace Anatomy Continued (This is a multiple episode program!)

Episode #4

The Chancel

Where are our Chancels?

In the big church it is from the first step to the altar.  In the Chapel it is from the first step to the back wall. These areas are the third main sections of the worship space. It is a raised area that is typically in front of the Nave. Most worship leadership is conducted from this area as they contain both the altar and the pulpit.

The Chancel is often comprised of two parts: the sanctuary and the choir. The sanctuary is the area immediately surrounding the altar and is usually raised above the level of the rest of the chancel (the highest area is also known as the predella). We often call the entire church the sanctuary, but this is incorrect as it is only the area around the altar. In traditional architecture the choir was the remaining area of the chancel – so this is why we call it the Chancel Choir. With more modern architecture and the Nave being in the center of the building surrounded by seating the term choir is often not used for a location but rather the group of people singing.

What else is in the Chancels?

Seats in the Chancel may be stalls(?), pews, or chairs. Traditionally these seats were called sedilia – a Latin word for seats.

There are items in the Chancel that are consistent and some that change with the season or even between the two areas. The altar, cross, altar candles, offering plates, pulpit, baptismal font are consistently in both Chancels. The linens and   paraments, musical instruments, and candles vary between the Chancels and the church calendar.

Stay tuned!!!! Next week’s episode to delve into specifics of the Chancels!

Don’t forget at our season finale there will be a quiz with a prize!!!

Another OOPS –  the piano is another item that is in the Narthex in the large  church and the Nativity is located in the Narthex in both worship areas.



We are blessed to experience the change in seasons -some of us feel more blessed with some changes than others.

We are thankful for the beautiful winter sunrises and sunsets (even the shorter days), the awesomeness of the sun shining on the new snow and even the brown sugar snow (the snow that has mud in it) , the birds eating the seed or old bread we put out -the cardinals seem even more vibrant , the kindness of someone shoveling the snow or shoving us out of a snowbank, to have  warm food and especially hot cocoa with marshmallows and you can add much more to this very short list . However, to be able to see, do and appreciate all this we need to take care.

So, what can we do to keep enjoying all that winter brings us?

  1. Stay warm!
  • Dress for the weather – dress in layers so you can peel off and add back if you become too warm. An inner layer of wool, silk, or synthetics as these materials are warmer than cotton which soaks up moisture and hold sit next to the skin. A middle layer of down or fleece as natural fibers help to trap the heat and then an outer layer that is water and wind resistant.
  • We lose significant body heat through our head. Wear a hat that covers your ears and yes “hat hair” is not pretty but better to stay warm.
  • A scarf that can cover your face and mouth helps. If you have asthma, covering your mouth may make it easier to breathe. Even better is to get a special mask to wear. Regular masks that we have been wearing for Covid also help keep our face warm.
  • Mittens are better than gloves as the fingers are together, and you can even sneak that thumb back in with the congregation of fingers! Insulated mittens or gloves are even better and add those little warmer packs and the congregation of fingers is even toastier!
  • Wear warm socks. Toes are like fingers they need to stay warm and congregate together! Wool socks are the best and you also add those little warmer packs. Insulated boots are great, too.
  • If you use a heated blanket or throw watch the temperature, especially if your circulation is not quite up to par, as it can cause burns. Same with a heating pad.
  • Make sure your fireplace has been cleaned and is working correctly. Your furnace should be checked each year so that it is working correctly and that carbon monoxide (which is odorless) is not being released into your house. Space heaters need to be watched – do not leave the house with it on and do not have it near anything like curtains that could easily catch fire. Leaving the oven door open or lighting the burner especially if gas is not good either as the fumes can build up and cause an explosion or worse if the pilot goes out. DO you have a working fire extinguisher close by? (FYI – Fire extinguishers and fire /carbon monoxide detectors are great thoughtful gifts).
  1. Stay hydrated!
  • We can become dehydrated in winter too! Drink water before exercising or walking.
  1. Walk safe
  • Walk like the bird above – short steps, slow pace especially on snow and ice .
  • Shoes that have grip soles are better than smooth.
  • Wear a brightly colored scarf, hat, and even better a reflective vest so people can see you.
  • Wear your sunglasses as the glare from the snow can make it difficult to see slippery areas.
  • Dress warm but make sure you can still hear what is going on around you.
  • Put the cell phone away and pay attention to your surroundings.
  • Walk during daylight hours.
  • Remember snow may be gone but that black ice can still be there so if looks icy head to the grass.
  • Walk on the south side of sidewalk or path as they are often less icy than the north side as the sun hits them.
  • Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets as that makes it difficult to maintain center of balance.
  • A puffy coat can help provide some cushion if the ground comes up to meet you!
  • If you use a cane you can purchase an attachment that has “teeth “on the tip that provides a nice grip when walking (We have one in the HELP closet if you would like to see it) .
  • When taking off shoes boots after walking outside watch for water that could cause a fall inside.
  1. Snow Shoveling
  • Is really hard on the heart because it causes a rapid increase in heart rate and blood pressure. If you have history of heart problems, PLEASE check with your MD before shoveling
  • If you are OK to shovel snow – stretch and warm up before. Doing a five-minute walk before is great idea. Start slow and gradually increase pace or stay slow and enjoy the view. Take frequent breaks, even going into the house to rest or grab some water.
  • The best way to prevent back strain and other muscle aches is to use good body mechanics. Hands should be placed 12 inches apart on the shovel for best leverage and feet should be approximately hip width apart for balance.
  • Whenever possible push the snow out of the way instead of lifting.
  • If you must lift bend at the knees, keep your back straight. Try not to twist or throw snow long distances and step into the throw.
  • Try to use a small blade snow shovel and plastic is lighter weight than metal and spraying the blade with a lubricant (even cooking spray) will help the snow to not stick.
  • Any chest pain, shortness of breath or unusual excessive sweating – Stop Immediately! Let your MD know and if does not stop or becomes worse call 911!


Did you hear? There is a special day in January to wear red!

Show off your red on Wednesday January 12 when you come to donate blood!  One unit of blood can help 3 people!

There are choice openings! This is a great way to give to the Community that does not involve a huge or multiple time commitments. First time donors are welcome!


Has anyone

seen this guy

around on Sundays?

Join us at the 11:30 praise service on Sundays!


December Birthdays

Dec. 9   Daryl Ray

Dec 14   Fritz Gooch

Dec 16   Judy Helm

Dec 22   Pat Francis

Dec 23   Lois Helm

Dec 30   Lucas Rubley



This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24