May the God of hope fill you with all joy and

peace in believing, so that you may abound in

hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

~Romans 15:13



Spread love everywhere you go.

Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier .

(Mother Theresa)

The real things have not changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful;

to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures;

and have courage when things go wrong

 (Laura Ingalls Wilder)



Sponsored by the Christian Education Committee

Proceeds to Vacation Bible School 2022

$10 per plant

Order forms can be found in the back of the sanctuary or outside the office.

                                                     Deadline for orders is December 12, 2021


                                                    Contact Connie Thomas with any questions 419.242.9340


Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God


Worship Opportunities at Grace

December 5  9:30 & 11:30 a.m. – Second Sunday of Advent
December 6  11:00 a.m. – Monday Gathering/Lunch
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


Behind the scenes at Grace….by Gretchen

  1. The sunrises have been beautiful the last week – pink and shades of purple. On Wednesday the clouds looked like mountains. Check out the sky in the am. It truly is God painting a beautiful beginning of the day.
  2. The Anatomy Lesson is up in the Narthex and will be moved to Fellowship Hall for second service. At the completion of the lesson there will be a quiz with a prize!
  3. Have you fed your ELCA piglet daily? If you have fed them too full there are more piglets under the tree in the Narthex. Oink!
  4. The Sibling Bulletin Board is up by the women’s bathroom and water fountain outside the Narthex – it is a copy of what is by the office. Please take a look as there are items posted that may not be in the Newsletter!
  5. Gretchen’s office is empty so if you want to jump start our “Wrapping Our Hearts with Blankets” collection for February there is now room.
  6. Remember: Grace is not the building but THE PEOPLE!! Carrying out God’s Mission!



Pickled beets, red punch, red apples, red velvet cake, radishes (?), red pop, red wine, red tomatoes … These are all food items that for the most part are good to eat, and we thoroughly enjoy them.

What is red and although it might not benefit us directly, it can benefit as many as 3 people?

BLOOD!!! Yep, a unit of blood can benefit as many as 3 people! There is always a need for blood but this year it is even greater as Blood Drive sites have been limited . We are fortunate to be a site that works with the Covid guidelines, and the Red Cross feels our church is just a wonderful and welcoming site.

Please think about giving on Wednesday January 12th . The drive will be from 1 pm – 6 pm, and right now there are open appointment times. If the times that you can come are filled call Gretchen as she will work to get you in. Remember that donors do not need to be members of Grace – it can be grandkids, friends, neighbors etc. We had 3 first time donors this last time and 2 were members of Grace (And they both did really great!).

Gretchen’s blood type was not needed in Toledo at the time of donation, so her blood went to South Carolina to fill a critical need. So, the need is not just in Toledo but all over and it was pretty awesome to find out where it went.


Please join us for Fellowship Hour during the month of December

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

December 5 – Debbie Downs and Grace Peterson

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


The Holidays

We are in the midst of the season. Although this is a time of celebrating Jesus’s birth, we often become overwhelmed with celebrating all the other stuff.

It is important to take care of your self all the time but even more so at this time of the year. Every year is different – last year was strange with all the isolation due to Covid and this year there is still some of this as well as normal changes within our families and friends. It is important to take care of “YOU” during this time.

This is not new stuff, but we often need to be reminded:

  1. Before a celebration, going shopping eat a healthy snack (Chex mix does not count) – cheese (not Cheez Whiz either – oh there is also a shortage of this so maybe I don’t have to worry about this)), peanut or another nut butter, oatmeal, – think something that will stick with you, so you avoid the not so healthy stuff. Drink water – not only does it keep us hydrated and even though it is winter you can become dehydrated, it also fills you up.
  2. Eat healthy meals – OK pizza once a week but not every night, even mac and cheese is healthy. Nightly runs to fast food is not.
  3. Sleep – get some and even a short 30 minute nap can help if you are running on empty. Research says more than 30 minutes can interfere with your nighttime sleep.
  4. Get regular exercise. A walk around the block, to the park, etc. Exercise is good for general well being and can also help with getting a good sleep at night and keeping mentally sharp.
  5. OK you are really getting stressed – STOP, take at least one deep breath and let it out slowly, think of one of your favorite calming spaces – the beach, the park, your back yard.
  6. Take time for yourself. Do something you enjoy – walk, bake, sew, go alone for a coffee, bike, hide in the bathroom …
  7. Avoid excess alcohol …. If you can avoid it at all that would be even better. Think non-alcoholic sparking juice.
  8. Be aware of how our information culture can increase our stress. Covid information and the current climate of violence is often overwhelming – turn the news off and leave your computer and phone off for a while.
  9. If you are persistently sad and /or anxious, unable to sleep, irritable or feel helpless and unable to do activities please call your family MD to discuss these feelings and how they can help. If you are in crisis or are having feelings of taking your own life, please call the National Crisis Hotline 800.273.8255 or text 4HOPE to 741741 for help – these are all free.


The Candle of Love

Love came down.

This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.

~Luke 2:12


Many thanks to all who offered prayers, gave personal sympathy messages, sent cards, or made phone calls to Gretchen and I upon the passing of my brother, Russell.  We felt the prayers, and appreciated the other forms of reaching out to us in our time of grief.  Rest assured that Russell knew his Lord Jesus and was in his words, “Ok if I recover, and if not, I’ll be spending a lot of time with Jesus.”  His wife Clara told us when he was admitted to the hospital and put into Covid isolation, he asked for two things…… His Bible, …… and his reading glasses!  Even as difficult as it is to loose him, it is also comforting to know, he knew his Lord and looked forward to his new home.

It’s times like this when you really, REALLY appreciate our Grace Church family!  And Thank You Pastor Abts for reaching out.  We are blessed.

Ron & Gretchen Hiatt


Advent at Grace

The Worship and Music Committee and the Outreach Committee at Grace are offering Grace Members two opportunities to prepare their hearts and minds for Jesus’ birth. Our focus for Advent is ELCA World Hunger.

Every Monday of Advent (November 29, December 6, December 13, and December 20) a gathering will be held at 11 a.m. in Fellowship Hall to expand on the stories read during the lighting of the Advent wreath on Sundays with a short discussion to follow. These stories relate how ELCA World Hunger impacts lives.  A light lunch will be served after the story and discussion.

Our Outreach focus will be on ELCA Good Gifts, a division of ELCA World Hunger.  On November 21, November 28, and December 5, piggy banks will be available in the sanctuary for members to take home and then bring back on December 19 and placed at the front of the church. These banks can be filled with loose change, paper bills, or a check to be used to purchase piglets through the ELCA Good Gifts program.  Each piglet costs $30 and are given to people to raise.

Grace’s goal is to purchase 20 piglets.  Please give if you are able and whatever amount you can. At our Christmas Eve services and on Sunday, December 26, an announcement will be made with the number of piglets Grace is able to purchase. This will be included in the announcements as well.

Let us at Grace prepare for Jesus’ birth!


Ushers are urgently needed for the 9:30 a.m. service. If you have not ushered and would be willing to serve in this ministry, please contact Mary Schneider at 419.262.0730.




Callie was honored to sing

at the Thanksgiving Eve service

held at Aldersgate last week.

Thank you, Callie!


Grace Anatomy Episode #3!

The Nave (and this is not navel as in orange or a human navel)

What goes on in the Nave?

It is the place of assembly – where the  congregation gathers for worship. The word Nave is derived from the Latin word navis, which means ship, the Nave reminds us of the church sailing in the ocean of time; take another look at our Nave in the large church – it  is an upside-down ship! Traditionally the Nave has been rectangular – long and relatively    narrow. Gradually this has changed and been replace by more central spaces -square, round, octagonal, or hexagonal. Some cultures are accustomed to the  central spaces which is often found in Africa and for American Indians.

Seats and aisles are the main parts of the Nave. We have pews, some churches are using chairs. Aisles have 3 main functions: one, they allow people to enter and leave the Nave, two, they allow worshippers to access the altar for Communion and third, they are the place of processions – wedding, funeral, offertory and others.

Hymnals and offering envelopes and hand sanitizer are also located in the pews in the Nave.

Where exactly is our Nave?

In the Sanctuary and the Chapel, it is where people sit. It is the area in the Sanctuary from the brick wall by the Narthex to the first steps in the front. In the Chapel it is from the doors in the back to the first step in the front.

Stay tuned for Episode #4 and remember at the end of the season and for the season finale there will be a quiz with a prize!


To watch our live streamed services at 9:30 am and 11:30 am on Sunday mornings, go to and scroll to the bottom of the home page. There is a link to connect you to the live services and also all previous recorded services. Join us online!


Food for Toledo Update

173 pounds of food was collected at Grace for the one week period of November 16 – November 22!  It will be delivered to Aldersgate United Methodist Church for their Food for All Food Pantry.  Thank you to everyone who has donated and continues to donate to this program.

And another thank you to Elizabeth Kramp and Thermeq Company for donating six turkeys to Aldersgate United Methodist Church’s Thanksgiving Meal distribution.  With Thermeq Company’s help, 26 Thanksgiving baskets were distributed!

If you would have any questions regarding Grace’s Food for Toledo program or Aldersgate United Methodist Church’s Food for All Pantry, please contact Mary Schneider at 419.262.0730.


Photo by Cathy

This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24