And the Word became flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory,
the glory as of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
Wishing all a Blessed Christmas!
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 (email@example.com).
The church office will be closed
Monday December 26, 2022
Monday January 2, 2023
A note from the editor
Thank you so much to my church family for the Christmas card and gift card. It is such a blessing to be able to be here in the office at Grace.
A Blessed New Year to all!
Dear Ron & Friends at Grace Lutheran Church,
Thank YOU! You helped meet our $6,000 Giving Tuesday goal.
This year your gift helped build two playhouses for two families in our Homeownership Program–seven-year-old Carson and three-year-old twins Caiden and Carter! We just wanted to send a quick thank you.
Your support does not go unnoticed.
In case you missed it, you can relive all the fun on Facebook to see the building happening LIVE.
Corporate Engagement Manager
Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity
Church dog was here in the office last Friday! What fun!! She was a very good helper!
Every year at Christmas, churches are fuller than they usually are. Some people go because they believe in the truths of the Christmas story. Some aren’t sure about it, but going to church at Christmas is just something they’ve always done. For some people, this is the happiest time of the year, while for others, it can be difficult to get through the day. Perhaps they come looking for some comfort in hearing about the birth of Jesus.
I think lots of folks go to church at Christmas because they want to know if the story is still true. If Christmas is still happening. They hope to catch some of the feeling of the shepherds from that night more than 2000 years ago. If you’re unable to join us at worship around Christmas, for whatever reason, know that you are no less a part of this family than anyone else. Whatever causes you to go to church, or just to pause and contemplate the mystery of Jesus birth, I’m glad that you are part of this worldwide community of faith.
Christmas is a joyous remembrance of when Jesus was born as an infant human, in that humble manger in Bethlehem. It’s a time to remember how God came down to us in a very physical sense and lived among us. (Have you ever noticed how God always comes down to us and not the other way around?) I imagine that God remembers that time very happily. It was when He put into motion His plan for the salvation of all of us! Today, we celebrate the beginning of that plan. Jesus lived with us, here on Earth. Pause and think about that for just a moment. God, the almighty, humbled Himself to take the form of a baby and be born, grow up, and live with us sinful humans. He stayed and taught us about how to live lives that would be pleasing to God. He told us to take care of each other and to love each other. And then, on Good Friday, He set the ultimate example of that love by dying on the cross for all of our sins. He didn’t do that for His sake, He did it for ours! And then, He rose from the dead, defeating death, again, for us!
As I said earlier, today, we’re celebrating the beginning of God’s plan being put into action. It’s a time to remember the joy that Jesus Christ offers us, and the joy of life eternal with Him, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit. So how ever you celebrate this day, whether it be with a big family gathering or if you spend the day by yourself in quiet contemplation, may you have a Merry Christmas. God Bless you.
Christmas is messy.
If you are a baker, you know flour has a way of getting everywhere as you bake Christmas cookies.
When you open certain Christmas cards, you may discover that they are decorated with glitter … which is then everywhere you look.
Needles fall off Christmas tress—both real and artificial—and often they can still be found on the floor in the middle of March.
And the tree lights? Ugh. Often there are tangles. And burned out bulbs. Ugh again.
Opening gifts leaves the floor littered with wrapping paper and boxes. (Of course, wrapping the gifts is usually not a neat project, either. Tape, ribbon, little scraps of wrapping paper that are suitable for nothing … Or maybe that is just me. Gift wrapping is not one of my, ummm, gifts.)
Special meals usually require more dishes, silverware, and utensils, all of which must be washed and put away.
Christmas is messy, to be sure. But the Incarnation—the amazing fact that God took on human flesh and was born as a human baby—that is the true, gloriously messy reality of this season. God in Jesus Christ steps into the messiness of our world—with all of the realities we humans face—and promises to walk with us, to guide us, to sustain us, to save us, and to offer us eternal life. That Good News disrupts the order of things. It makes us look around in a new way, and reminds us that the Way of God, the way of peace and love, is often not what the world has in mind. God makes a “holy mess” of things in the gift of Jesus, who turns everything on its head to offer a new and better way.
May the messiness of Christmas fill you with joy! May Jesus come into your heart in a new way, and may you be moved to be a holy mess-maker in the world, offering peace, joy, and love in a world that is so in need of the Good News!
Blessings to you this Christmas and always.
Grace Winter Weather Policy
Snow Emergency Levels 1 and 2 – church services will be held, and the office will be open during normal business hours.
Snow Emergency Level 3 – Automatic cancellation of church services, committee meetings, meetings by outside groups and /or rental groups and the office will be closed.
Approved by Church Council 3/8/22
Behind the scenes at Grace……by Gretchen
- Thanks to our cardboard recycler people! And to Grace Peterson for taking the paper to the recycler!
- The grocery carts in the back of the big church are close to overflowing – this is one time when something overflowing is a good thing! Keep adding!
- The Flock and the Lot! If you are leaving church and especially when it is cold and dark – walk out with someone and make sure everyone is in their car and the cars start. Nothing is worse than a cold night and your car does not start, and everyone has left.
- Another WOW for Sunday Service – the Cantata was awesome! The music was great! We also saw a reappearance of our resident stars plus 1. Katie and Bob Sattler as Mary and Joseph, and Isobel as Baby Jesus. The plus one was a wonderful little donkey -Turner Sattler.
- We also had Emma and Lucas Rubley be the bearers of additions to the manager during the lighting of the Advent Candle.
- The church has been “hopping” this last week with the normally scheduled activities along with the scrumptious!!!!! Cookie Fellowship Sunday.Thanks to all for the cookies and to Sue Wagner and Mary Schneider for being the hostesses! We all were on a wonderful “sugar high” after!
- Remember : Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission.
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
BRRRR – Cold Weather is at the end of this week and winter started officially on Wednesday the 21st!
- Prepare for winter storm BEFORE it hits! Do you have a winter storm kit ready? Check what is needed during Fellowship on 1/8 (unless we have a storm!) and information will be printed in the next week’s Newsletter. Make sure to check on other family members and neighbors.
- Prevent Hypothermia. It is important for all and especially for someone who may have some memory issues who may be at greater risk. As we become more seasoned or have memory issues, we may have difficulty sensing temperature changes. Signs of Hypothermia are shivering, exhaustion, sleeplessness, slurred speech, memory issues and clumsy movements.
- Remove electric space heaters – they can pose a significant risk of fire especially when used with extension cords or if it is knocked over. This is especially important to someone with memory issues or uses a cane or walker for moving around.
- Electric blankets, electric throws and heating pads all feel wonderful but if you have “poor circulation” it may be difficult to tell how warm it is getting to be, and you may suffer a burn. People with memory issues may also have a difficult time realizing that the blanket has become too hot and experience a burn.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. A detector should be on each level of your home and should be checked yearly if it is running on a battery.The best time to check is with the “times changes”. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can build up very quickly. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are a dull headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion, dizziness, weakness, blurred vision, shortness of breath and loss of consciousness. If you have these symptoms get out of the house ASAP and call 911!!
- Clear the ice and snow. Have you bought salt, deicer, sand or kitty litter and is it by the door? Is the shovel close by and not being used as a coat hanger? Have you contacted someone to remove snow if you are unable to? Seasoned individuals and those with memory issues may also have vision difficulties which make it difficult to see the ice.
- Winter in Ohio and Michigan are blessed with early sunsets and some extended days with no sun. We often experience the “winter blues” or SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). For people with memory issues this can increase the confusion. It can interfere with our usual sleep patterns and actually increase anxiety. Turn on the lights inside before it gets dark, setting an automatic timer is even better. Open curtains and blinds during the day. If the sun is out, get outside even for a short walk .
OK, you knew we could not get through the holidays without a reminder of healthy eating!
The idea is to enjoy all the goodies but not to go absolutely bananas!
A couple of things to think about!
- What are your favorite holiday foods? Are you a Chex mix fanatic, or the green bean casserole that is just “out of this world”. Then think what can I pass on to enjoy these – do I really need the rolls? Could I actually enjoy the pie without the ice cream?
- Enjoy the first helping and pass on the second of stuffing or mashed potatoes.
- Water will help fill you up. Celery and veggie sticks can fill you up, are low calorie, add roughage and are really good for you!
- Use smaller plates for dinner and be like a little kid and make sure the food does not touch! So, no heaping!
- Are you one who can go overboard one day and then get back on track the next? Or is it all downhill for eating after that?
- How do I want to feel after I eat? Like I am going to blow up, or (which would be better) full but comfortable!
- Plan to get out and exercise before you fall asleep in the chair. If the weather is bad play games or cards – something other than a snooze!
- Alcohol adds calories so think about that – maybe a water would be better and then you can enjoy the calories with the fudge.
Enjoy the meals but try to think healthy!!!
The Christmas Cantata presented by the choir and our contemporary team was a wonderful way to worship on 18 December! Thanks to all who worked hard to offer this joyous worship service.
Thanks to all who joined us for our caroling event! About 15 carolers sang at Oak Leaf Care Center, then the group divided into three smaller groups to carol to some of our members. We concluded our time with food and fellowship at church. Thanks, to singers, drivers, and cooks!
There will be cards for our companions at Iringa Road and Stara Pazova out for everyone to sign on Saturday and Sunday.
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!