Proclaim the greatness of the Lord
And worship upon God’s holy hill;
For the Lord our God is the Holy One.
Comings and Goings at Grace by David Charvat
This week we are saying goodbye to Joe Zawierucha our church custodian for the past 14 years. Although our custodian is a part time employee his duties extended six days a week. Joe found a need to reduce his work days and hours. With some exciting changes happening at Grace, Council felt that our custodial needs were going to increase instead of decrease. Council decided it was time to part ways and pursue other options. We will be looking at either a full-time custodian or a combination of using a cleaning service with a part time person to do light maintenance, clear snow etc. Please be graceful as we work out the best way to maintain a building that is used seven days a week and will be used even more as we move forward.
For several months Grace Council has been discussing a request from the Children’s Rights Collaborative (CRC) to use our facilities. CRC is the premier group in Lucas County in facilitating court ordered supervised parental child visitations following divorce or similar domestic situations. The plan would be for CRC staff to use an unused room for their office and utilize several Sunday School rooms during the week for late afternoon/early evening parent – child visitations. Staff and volunteers of CRC will be on site supervising all visitation activities at Grace. CRC has been using nearby church buildings for this purpose but found the need to relocate due to changes in those parishes. Final terms are yet to be settled, much more on this to come. Similar to our former arrangement with Sunshine Home, CRC will be contributing to the cost of maintaining our facilities.
The Call Process at Grace – will you be ready?
The Lutheran Church differs from some other religions such as Catholics and Methodists in that members of individual congregations gather together to vote to “Call” Pastors for their congregations. Matthew 25 tells the story of the guests waiting for the bridegroom to arrive who fell asleep. At the unknown hour when the groom arrived several of the guests were unprepared.
All members of Grace who are “voting” members are invited to participate in the Call process by voting to call our next Pastor when the time comes. The day and hour have not yet come but as the wise guests awaiting the wedding feast, we must keep ourselves prepared. To be a voting member of Grace (like any other ELCA Congregation) confirmed members must have Communed at Grace and made a “contribution of record” in the current or preceding year.
We know that virus concerns have kept members away. As well we were warned at the time Pastor Al left to expect increased non-participation of members while a congregation is in transition. That does not excuse us from being prepared. Grace now offers communion at both services every week. As well placing your offering in a pew envelope with your name on it when you come to services, or mailing in your tithes and offerings constitutes making a Contribution of record.
When the unknown hour arrives, it would be great to all of us prepared to attend the feast.
Blood Donation On The Move
By Ron Hiatt
I just got a note from the Red Cross! My October 15, 2021, Blood Donation was sent to Mount Carmel East in Columbus, OH, and my January 12th Red Cross Blood Donation is being used in Charlotte NC.
After first ensuring that local needs were met, my recent blood donation was sent to Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte, NC to help a patient in need. My donation is on its way to change lives!
Grace Church would like to develop a list of where our blood donations are sent, please forward your Red Cross notices of your “blood on the move” to Gretchen Hiatt at Gretchensue1205@gmail.com She will keep track of the locations where Grace Blood Donations are sent, let’s see whose blood travels the furthest by the end of 2022. Maybe even a prize for the longest distance! All are welcome to send in Red Cross blood destination, as long as you donated at Grace Church.
The next chance to find out, happens at Grace Church on April 1. No foolin’! I’ll be there, will you?
Please check room availability for your meetings, events and groups. We started fresh the beginning of 2022 so if your group is not on the calendar, please let the office know so we can get you scheduled to avoid conflicts. Anyone can view the calendar on our website at gracelutherantoledo.org
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love
Hope to see you between services on Sunday in Fellowship Hall!
February 27 – Sue Melchert, Sue Wagner
(Come help us celebrate Connie Thomas’s birthday!)
March 6 – Jan Dustman, Karlene Jaquillard
March 13 – Contemporary Team
What’s a SAM?
A SAM is what we often call a Synodically Authorized Minister. It’s easier to say, easier to type. So, what’s a Synodically Authorized Minister? And why does it matter to us?
It matters to us because David O’Brien is about to become one.
When we are baptized, God calls us to serve our neighbor, and there are lots and lots of ways to do that. Our neighbors need food, clothing, places to live, medical care, music, and education, just for starters. If you are producing or distributing any of those things (and a whole lot more), you are living out God’s call to you to serve your neighbor.
Some people, God calls to serve their neighbors in occupations in the church. Some of them are Office Bosses, and Parish Nurses, and Musicians, and Custodians. Some of them abandon other possible ways of serving in order to be educated and trained to serve as pastors, and are ordained. (For a couple of years, I served God as an Operating Room Technician, for example. I quit that job to finish college, and then go to seminary.)
David O’Brien has been hearing God’s call to serve neighbors who are, or have been, incarcerated. He’s doing that now, in a secular way, as a Parole Officer, but God seems to want him to move from that secular way of serving them, and serve them as a minister of the Gospel. Through the Synod’s resources, he has begun learning more about the Bible, and Lutheran theology, and worship, spiritual direction and faith development, contextual understanding, and pastoral skills. He plans to augment this training with online courses offered by one of our seminaries. He’s far enough along in it now that he is qualified to serve as a minister in a congregation, to serve as a SAM.
Most SAMs serve congregations that do not have pastors, typically because they are too small to support one. These SAMs lead worship and preach, they do administrative work, they teach, they offer counselling. At the parish where they serve, they are authorized to preside at the Lord’s Table.
Our situation is not quite like that. There’s not much chance Grace is going to be without an ordained pastor any time soon. But Grace is a place where David can sharpen his skills and put them to use, and that’s what he’ll be doing.
For months, now, he’s been writing meditations that are published on our website and mailed to folks who don’t have internet access. Starting on February 27, he will be preaching the sermon at our Sunday morning services. And he may be serving his neighbors at Grace in other visible ways, too.
Lord, whatever this day may bring, Thy name be praised.
What’s all the fuss?
Shrove Tuesday? Mardi Gras?, Fat Tuesday? Carnival Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday?
Shrovetide and Carnival festival celebrations grew out of the tradition of offering gifts to the Christ Child as the 3 Kings brought. These short traditions grew over time and became long lasting festivals; lasting until the beginning of the Lent Season. In many places, Carnival starts after Epiphany, and lasts 6 weeks until the start of Lent with Ash Wednesday. These parties, parades, festivals, and celebrations all culminate at the end of Carnival on Tuesday. On Ash Wednesday, the season of Lent begins; a time of prayer, reflection, fasting and generosity as we prepare for Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
OK, so why is there so much gastronomic indulgence on Fat Tuesday?
And how did pancakes take center stage?
The fasting came when in Rome on 600 AD, Pope St. Gregory prohibited Christians from eating all forms of meat and animal products during Lent. This prohibition applied to all of Europe and into what is now southern England.
Ok, so again, why the pancakes? In those days, animal fat, meat, butter, eggs, were very expensive, and with no way to refrigerate or store these items for the long period of fasting, you either threw them out, or you put them to “good use” by cooking and baking them into something to eat. Flour was a staple for even the poorest citizen, so mixing the fat, butter and eggs into a batter and frying or baking them put them to good use. If you didn’t have leavening, the batter was cooked or fried in pans…. ergo “Pan Cakes”. And from there, eventually fried cakes (doughnuts) and paczkis were born…….
And that’s…… the REST of the story.
And so as not to let a good meal, a chance to help others, and get together for fellowship, get by us, Grace Worship & Music and the Grace Outreach Ministries are hosting a Pancake Fellowship Dinner on March 1st from 4:30 to 7:00 pm. A pancake bar will be set up with all the toppings, along with sausage and fruit will be available for a sit down or a take-out dinner.
For those who dine in, entertainment will be provided by Scott Sherer and his guitar.
We will take a free will offering for the benefit of the Grace Good Samaritan program at the pastor’s discretion.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t fall.
It means that Jesus will catch you when you do!
Behind the scenes at Grace …. By Gretchen
- We have seen a sign of spring! A flock of robins has been having a fiesta of squishy frozen crab apples outside the chapel. They are devouring them. A question for our nature members does the fermented crab apples make the robins a little tipsy?
- The ice on the fountain next to the office has been beautiful with the sun shining on it.
- We have had between 40-50 plus people viewing the first and second services on the web!!!
- Joe Zawierucha our Custodian for the last 9 plus years has retired. The Grace family wishes him the best! Personnel Committee is starting the process of reviewing the Custodian job position.
- We were graced by Betsy Nonnemacher playing the organ and piano this last week in Debby’s absence.
- Don’t forget the Food Collection. The increased costs of food is making it tough on a lot of people – if you can please remember when shopping to buy some non-perishable food to donate.
- Our Blanket Chest is getting buried by blankets which is a wonderful thing! They will be collected outside the office through March 1 but can be donated anytime. We plan on giving to Tent City in October but if there is a need before by someone they will be given out.
- Check out the poster with the map of “Blood Donation on the Move” – WOW some of our blood has seen all parts of the country!
- The ice and snow has not detoured our moles! Have you see the hugeamongous mole hill next to the street as you exit church! Yikes it is a mole castle!
- Remember; Grace is not the building, GRACE IS THE PEOPLE carrying out God’s Mission!
What’s in a Name?
An ostentation of peacocks!
A murmuration of starlings (we think this means they make a lot of noise)!
A rhumba of rattlesnakes (who would want to rhumba with a snake?) !
Grace Anatomy continued…..
Brenner Hall Kitchen
This is the big kitchen at the most southern, close to the expressway part of the building. It is truly a food service kitchen with big stove, convection oven, lots of counters, lots of storage areas and a dishwasher. There is where the magic happens for the Youth Pasta Dinner and many other events. Did you know that we actually have china instead of paper plates and Styrofoam to use for events? It is also the location of a special Fire Extinguisher K which is used in kitchen fires.
This is a room also on the most southern side of the building that is accessed through Brenner Hall. This room is not locked but the door is kept closed. Inside is the large industrial type of kitchen refrigerator and a regular size freezer. Chairs, extra tables and even a highchair are stored here. This is also the location of all of our paper products like plates, napkins, cups and plastic silverware. Brooms, dry mops and a dustpan can be found here. A cupboard with a supply of rolls of plastic tablecloths is also in this room.
One more episode of Grace Anatomy next week and it will be time for the great quiz !
Ash Wednesday services will be held at 12 noon and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 2. Both services will be held in the sanctuary. Grace’s Lenten journey begins with Ash Wednesday.
During Lent services will be held on Wednesday March 9, March 16, March 23, March 30 and April 6 at 12 noon and 7 p.m. Both services will be held in the Chapel.
February and Heart Month!
Did you know that there is a connection between the heart and the kidneys!
The heart is responsible for pumping oxygen rich blood through all parts of the body including the kidneys. Kidneys clean the blood, remove waste products and many of us know -extra water! Without the kidneys there would be a buildup of waste products -some toxic and extra water /fluids. The heart is responsible for providing the kidneys with blood to function. A healthy functioning heart (cardiovascular system) is important for the kidneys to function well.
Did you know that high blood pressure is the second biggest cause of kidney disease?
Heart disease can lead to kidney disease and kidney disease can lead to heart disease!
SO, if you are working to keep your heart in good shape you are also helping the kidneys.
What we do to have a healthy heart works for the kidneys:
- Stop Smoking.
- Get active -walk – exercise. Watch for GWW in April!
- Control blood sugars if a diabetic.
- Follow a heart healthy diet- fruits, vegetables, decrease salt, low cholesterol.
- Lose weight.
- Get blood pressure under control
- Stress – this is easy to say but for many it is difficult. Think about what makes you feel relaxed – reading, read the Bible, listen to music, crafts.
What is it?
What is always needed, all over the US and across the world?
What can’t be manufactured, yet?
What liquid can’t you see through?
What liquid does not come with a long list of ingredients or preservatives?
What liquid is being collected on April Fool’s Day – no kidding?
If you guessed blood, you are totally correct. Yes, it is Grace Blood Donor Day from 1-6.
Please consider donating -there is still a crisis! You do not need to be a member of Grace – it is open to all. You may sign up in the Red Cross web site or call Gretchen Hiatt and she will get you registered. Any questions see Gretchen 419-944-5166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch for the Giant Red Blood Drop in March!
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!