Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
                              and they shall name him Emmanuel,
                                                 which means, “God is with us.”

                                                                                    ~Matthew 1:23



Christmas Cantata

Don’t forget on Sunday, December 18, there will be one service at Grace at  10:30 a.m. The choir and the Contemporary Team will be presenting a Christmas cantata. A special fellowship hour will follow the service. Please consider asking relatives, friends, or neighbors to church that day. According to information written, the Christmas season is the time of year that people who normally do not attend church, think about attending. Maybe relatives, friends, or neighbors just need an invitation.

Blue Service Wednesday Dec. 21 – 7:00 p.m. in the chapel

followed by fellowship time

Christmas Eve services 3:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Christmas Day – one service only 9:30 a.m.

(no Sunday School – no fellowship time)

New Year’s Day – one service only 9:30 a.m.

(no Sunday School – no fellowship time)


Grace Zoom Bible Study

Grace Zoom Bible Study meets on Saturday afternoons, 2:00-3:00pm. You may join the live session or view a video recording of it; each recording is available from 4pm after the session until the following Saturday morning.

December 10: Genesis—Jacob

December 17: Genesis—Joseph

December 24: No Bible Study

December 31: No Bible Study

January 7: Beginning the book of Exodus

To obtain access to the Grace Zoom Bible Study, to view recordings, or receive  additional information, contact Bob Haaf (rahaaf@aol.com).

Stories abound in the Bible about years of plenty, and years of famine and scarcity. For Grace, 2022 turned into a year of financial scarcity. Through November the costs of maintaining Grace have created a deficit of over $57,000.  As a congregation, member contributions have only amounted to 68% of the cost of maintaining our building, paying our staff and helping those in need. 

Yes, Grace does collect rent from many of the groups that use our facilities and is a beneficiary of a separate Foundation that provides a modest amount of income to the church. Other sources of revenue are helpful, yet we not been tasked “To Bless the world, Be God’s Grace” by being a landlord or an investment banker working to turn a profit in order to pay for God’s house at 4441 Monroe Street in Toledo Ohio. 

God gives us everything we have and asks of us to use a small part (1/10th) as an offering to God. Monetary offerings to God, is his way to pay the earthy costs of maintaining his house of worship, paying priests called by God, and helping those in need. Grace exists only through the generosity of our members. By prayerful consideration of what each of us give back to God, Grace will make it through this time of diminished financial resources and truly become a beacon in Blessing the World.

David Charvat – Church Treasurer



Living Lutheran Magazine

Living Lutheran subscription payments are due!  If you are receiving the Living Lutheran through Grace’s group rate please send in your annual subscription amount of $11.  Subscription payments should be marked for Living Lutheran and placed in the offering plate or mailed to the office.  If you are interested in subscribing or wish to cancel please contact the office or David Charvat.



Fellowship Hour

December 18th – Christmas Cookie Fellowship – Please let Sue Wagner know if you can bring in 1 or 2 dozen Christmas Cookies. 419-475-8972

December 25th – No Fellowship Hour

January 1st – No Fellowship Hour


The last Advent Study of the season will be held on Monday, December 19, at 11 a.m. in Fellowship Hall.  Please join other Grace members in listening to a reflection on the Psalm that was read the prior Sunday and a story about how ELCA World Hunger is making a difference for others.  A discussion follows.


Our Sunday Advent food collection continues and this Sunday members are encouraged to bring in soup and/or hand soap for Grace’s personal needs ministry and Food for Toledo. The carts are getting full!


Pastor’s Thoughts

Christmas came just two months after my mother died. That year, I went to set up our family Nativity scene. The ceramic pieces were made by my grandmother, and it was always meaningful for me to be a part of arranging them just so in a special place in our family home, and later in my mother’s home.

The year the scene was to be displayed for the first time in my home, I could not find Jesus in the box. I found the manger. I found cattle. I found sheep. I found shepherds, donkeys, Mary and Joseph, an angel, and a little drummer boy. I even found, rather inexplicably, a small blue glass dog.

But I could not find Jesus. I was greatly distressed by this, not only because it was Jesus, but because of my family’s long tradition of placing the baby in the manger on Christmas Eve. (Although to be honest, back then and to this day, I   often forget until Christmas Day). Jesus—handmade by my grandmother so many years ago—was gone.

And in my grief at the death of my mother, I was saddened even further.

I found Jesus the next year. He was in the box, wrapped well in paper and tucked carefully in the corner. He was right where Mom had put him two years   before, just waiting for me to unwrap him. If I had opened my eyes, I would have seen him.

The truth is, we try to “find” Jesus … and we really don’t need to. He is always present; in our times of worship, in our prayers, in our acts of kindness and generosity. We don’t find him at Christmas; not in the trees and lights, not in the decorations, not in the food, not in the gifts. This time of year, like every other, he is where he has always been and will always be—in the hearts and souls and lives of those who call him Lord. We may think of him more often in this season. We may say his name with more regularity and enthusiasm … but we never had to find him or even unwrap him. He is just where he has always been … in the midst of our lives each and every day.

Jesus is present in our homes. He is present in our work, He is present in our joys and in our sorrows. After all, that is the gift of Christmas, that Emmanuel, God-with-us, has come to dwell among us forever and in every way—not because we deserve it or can earn it, but because God loves us that much.

Yes, look for Jesus at Christmas. Feel a special sense of his presence. But think of ways to make sure he is visible for the rest of the year. Let’s not wrap him back up and tuck him in a corner when the festivities are over.

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda


Behind the scenes at Grace….by Gretchen

  1. The grocery carts are filling up in the back of the big church with food! Can we have the carts overflow onto the floor? Would that not be awesome!
  2. Katie and Bob Sattler and baby Elizabeth were stars on Sunday at Hope Lutheran Church on Sunday! They were Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus! We have stars in our congregation!
  3. Don’t forget to check the Flower Chart outside the big church on the Community Board. This is the sign up for 2023 for Altar Flowers.
  4. We have added another small table to the back of the big church that has some really great stuff. The same information is on the table in the hallway at the back of the chapel.
  5. If you have any old metal realty signs, we need 2. These are the signs that you can open like a triangle and are metal not plastic foam core board. They can be left in the office .
  6. Don’t forget to turn out lights when in classrooms or the bathroom – we have had a ghost of Christmas past leaving on the lights!
  7. Winter Blood Drive at Grace!! Wednesday January 11 1-6:00 PM!
  8. Remember : Grace is not the building but the people of Grace!


Meditation on Matthew 1:18-25

By Vicar Dave

I’ve always liked Joseph but felt as though he was given short shrift in the story of Jesus’ life. We hear about him in Jesus early life, but not after that. I often wonder about what happened to him between Jesus’ youth and when He begins His public ministry. I can’t imagine that Joseph wasn’t involved in Jesus’ life as much as his mother. I can easily imagine that Joseph passed on his skill at woodworking. I’d also imagine that Joseph shared his values with Jesus.

We are told in today’s Gospel that Joseph was a righteous man. He was faithful to the law, but also faithful to the Lord. When the Angel of the Lord came to him and told him not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife, he obeyed. When he’s told to take Mary and Jesus to Egypt to avoid persecution by Herod, again, he obeyed. And again, when he’s told it’s safe to come back to Israel, he does that as well. The other thing I noticed about Joseph is that he’s not self-righteous. What I mean by that is that he could have been insistent on strict justice in the matter of Mary’s pregnancy prior to their marriage. Under the Jewish law,       Joseph could have had Mary stoned because of her perceived infidelity. Under Roman rule, this may not have been possible, but he could have made life very difficult to her. Instead, prior to hearing from God through the angel, he decided to let her go about her way without making a big fuss about it.

Jesus is both fully divine as well as being fully human. His values were part of His nature and came to Him from His Heavenly Father. None the less, having an earthly father who was about mercy, as he had shown to Mary, and humility had to help nurture those nascent qualities.

Joseph isn’t mentioned in any of the stories of Jesus’ adult ministry, while Mary His mother occasionally is. The absence of Joseph in the stories of Jesus’    ministry has led many to believe that Joseph died sometime between when Jesus was a young boy and when He launched His public ministry as an adult. The fact that Jesus, as He was dying, committed the care of His mother to John gives a strong indication that Joseph had indeed passed away by that time.

Although the Bible does not give many specifics about who Joseph was as a person—and the Bible records no actual words that Joseph spoke—we know enough to see that he was a humble man who faithfully obeyed God, honored others, took responsibility, and worked hard to provide for his family. These are all good characteristics that we should seek to replicate, whether we are fathers or mothers, stepparents or adoptive parents, or not even parents at all, just as good Christians. The children of our congregation see our actions and we should set good examples for them to emulate.


Glenwood Lutheran Church will host a commemoration of the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Sunday, January 15th, 2023 at 4:00pm. Glenwood is located at 2545 Monroe Street, adjacent to the Toledo Museum of Art.

Together, We Can Be the Dream is the theme of the program that seeks to propel us toward the vision of racial justice and equity that Dr. King so desired. 

Gloria Dickerson will be the guest speaker. Gloria was directly involved with the integration of the public school system in Mississippi in the mid-1960s. Local poet,  Ophelia Thompson will also be on hand to share her creative insights. 

The Musical Coordinator for the service, Dr. Anthony Pattin, has gathered an impressive slate of musicians, including members of The Toledo Symphony Orchestra, guitarist and folksinger M’lissa Prottengeier, the DCSC Ensemble, The Toledo Interfaith Choir, and more. 

Glenwood Church is excited to bring this tribute back to the Toledo community. 

We hope you’ll join us! 


Healthy People!  Healthy Parish!



Yes, it is here – winter, ice, and snow! Falls on ice and snow can result in some pretty significant injuries in people of any age!

Are you prepared and if you have more seasoned family members are they prepared ?

Some hints for all ages when it comes to the slippery slope of walking in the winter.

Plan ahead – give yourself plenty of time to plan a route.

Traffic moves slowly when the weather is bad, and it may take you longer to get somewhere.

Don’t assume that the parking lot and sidewalk has been deiced or is clear of snow.

Wear shoes or boots that provide traction on snow and ice.

Rubber treads are much safer.

Of course, flat shoes are better than heels – can you picture a penguin in heels scooting across the ice?

If you do a lot of walking on ice, there are devices with cleats that attach to your shoes. Stores that handle sports equipment often carry them.

Be careful when getting in and out of car, climbing up and downs steps and going in and out of buildings.

Maintain 3 points of contact when getting out of the car – your foot on the ground, the door handle and the steering wheel.

Do not grab stuff when you are getting out – like your coffee. Wait to grab stuff out of the car like your morning coffee, the purse ,etc. until you are firmly standing then reach in.

Move slowly and check the surfaces out.

Knock off snow and wipe water off on rug/mat when going in building.

Use handrails even if you are an unseasoned person.

Don’t try to be carrying all of your groceries or other stuff in one trip. Make it a safe two trips or more. Having a purse that is so heavy it could be used as a deadly weapon is not such a good idea in any season, but it can lead to you be more off balance so lighten it up for winter.

Don’t walk with hands in your pockets – having hands out give us more balance.

Be especially careful after dark when it is hard to see how slippery the surfaces are. Ice on blacktop or “black Ice” can surprise you.

Walk on designated walkways

–   Turn outside lights on if leaving after dark so the area is well light when coming home.

–  If you can walk on the south side of parking lot or sidewalk – the sun may have melted the snow and ice.

 –   It is great to take a short cut through the grass or checking on the depth of the snow pile is not a great idea. Leave that to the kids!

–    Look ahead when you walk. This is where you may have to use the grassy edge next to the sidewalk if the sidewalk is covered with ice.

–   Take short shuffling steps when walking on slippery surfaces.

–  Pay attention – no texting or reading while you are walking!

–  Have you bought your supply of deicer and / or salt – it is never too early.  Sand and kitty litter also work.

                –  Is it handy by the door?

–  Where is that snow shovel?

    –   Is it easy to get to?

    –   If you are unable to shovel, do you have someone lined up to do?

– If you are a walker!

    – Carry your cell phone just in case of a fall.

    – Scarves and hats can muffle the sound of cars so pay attention.

    -Traffic may not be able to stop quickly so watch when crossing the street.

    -Wear bright colors and consider a vest with lights if walking in the dark.


Be Safe This Winter !!


I want to know more about ???

I really need an update!!

I think this is a great thing to do.

I would be willing to speak on this!

These are some of the areas that are covered on the Health Survey! Copies are located in the back of the big church, back of chapel and by the office. Please put the surveys in the box by the office by Wednesday the 21st of December.

Live Simply. Love generously . Care deeply. Speak Kindly

(Unknown Author)

Every path has a few puddles
(Author Unknown)

I would like to feature more of our members in the newsletter each week.

If you’d like to be in the newsletter, feel free to email me with your story.

Some things to consider are:

How long have you been at Grace?

Tell a little about yourself and family.

Why do you enjoy the ministries you do here and elsewhere?

What is your favorite Bible verse.

Any thoughts you’d like people here at Grace to know.

Or anything else you’d like to say!

And if you would send a picture to go with it.

Thank you!




This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24