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Updates from the Road

April 14, 2024 Newsletter

 

In peace, I will lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me rest secure.

~Psalm 4:8

 

 

As I write this, it is the eve of the total solar eclipse. The last time there was an eclipse of this magnitude I was in elementary school. I remember making devices in school to be able to safely watch the event, but I don’t remember all the conversation about the eclipse being a sign of the apocalypse. Perhaps that was a function of my age, but I think there is more to it.

This time, that way of looking at things is rampant. Many folks see current events as a sure sign of the End Times. The power of the internet makes it so easy for this line of thought to be repeated and discussed. Add earthquakes and lightning strikes and political strife to the equation, and it adds up to a considerable amount of anxiety for some.

An eclipse is a natural phenomenon caused by the alignment of celestial bodies. Eclipses have been observed and understood by scientists for centuries, and they occur regularly.  I don’t believe this one is a direct sign from God with political, cultural, or social meaning. We have known about this eclipse for quite some time.  If we take the proper precautions, everything will be fine. By the time you read this, the fervor will have died down

… and the End Time likely has yet to come.

But such big events shake us in some foundational way.  Perhaps it is that we come close to the amazing power of the universe God has created. Perhaps we realize we are not in control of everything. Perhaps we sense both the finite and infinite in a different way.

Perhaps all of that is good. Perhaps this event is a time to think about what dark shadows lie over our hearts and minds and pray about how they might be removed. Perhaps we might consider how we can offer the light of the Good News of Jesus to those who dwell in darkness.

Jesus tells us not to worry about when the End will come.  Instead, he calls us to be about the Gospel NOW, through our deeds and our words.

The rest will come in God’s time.

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda

 

The Readings for Sunday April 14, 2024

Acts 3:12-19

Psalm 4

1 John 3:1-7

Luke 24:36b-48

 

Thank you to all who faithfully contribute items for this most worthwhile, world-wide ministry to children providing a gift box of toys, school supplies, health care items and the opportunity to know of Christ and his free gift of salvation for all who believe.

This month we are asking for contributions especially of wash cloths.

I would like to add a personal note that some of you have already heard. I attended an event to kickoff Operation Christmas Child for a certain year.  One of the speakers had lived in an orphanage where boxes from Operation Christmas Child were received and told how she was excited to have a toothbrush among the contents of her gift box. Previously the children in her orphanage passed a toothbrush from person to person for use. Your gifts to this ministry can have a great impact on the lives of children around the world.

Thank you again for your support to this ministry.

Grace Lutheran Church Operation Christmas Child Ministry

 

 

Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time

In Fellowship Hall

April14th – Lynda Currie and Deb Damschroder

 

It is the most counterintuitive aspect of Christianity

that we are declared right with God, not once we

begin to get our act together, but once we collapse

Into honest acknowledgement that we never will.

~Dave Ortlund

Truth suffers, but never dies.     

~St. Teresa of Avila

Contributed by Connie

 

Adult Class—Death and Dying:

For our next Adult Class topic, we will discuss death and dying. Our society   teaches us not to avoid discussing this in-depth, but it is something that we should all confront and ponder in conjunction with our faith. Our faith gives us  a powerful perspective through which to view and discuss the reality of death.

We will begin our discussions and learning with an introductory session on Wednesday, 3 April (6:00 p.m.) and Sunday, 7 April (8:15 a.m.). Both class    options will use the same materials each week. The class is anticipated to run through 15/19 May.

We will discuss the concept of death (both from a physical perspective and a Christian perspective), the grieving process, how to plan our funerals (both at the church and the funeral home), and the importance of Advance Directives (Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Wills).

 

Meditation

By Vicar Dave

I wonder sometimes about where this world is going. I read about the various wars going on and all the accompanying human suffering and I feel for all the innocent victims caught in the middle. In particular right now, I’m distressed about the Gaza war. I remember when Hamas attacked civilians at a concert and the outrage that sparked. Israel’s reaction to it was to try to destroy Hamas. People asked why Israel hasn’t tried to negotiate with them long ago, but I’ve also read that Hamas has, as a part of their charter, a statement seeking the destruction of Israel. How do you negotiate with someone whose stated goal is your destruction? So, I thought that maybe Israel doesn’t have much of a choice if it wants to protect its citizens. But then the causalities start coming in. More than 30,000 civilians dead! Many more starving    because humanitarian aid is not able to reach them. And after the recent strike on a convoy of aid workers, many of those who were willing to help have decided to end their operations in Gaza because they can’t guarantee the safety of their volunteers.

I talk about Gaza because that’s one of the wars we hear a lot about, but there are many more, and many more atrocities that we never hear about. With all of these things happening, it can be difficult to be optimistic about the future. But that’s the message we Christians are called to spread. The good news of our salvation through Christ’s death and resurrection. We live in anticipation Jesus bringing the fullness of God’s kingdom, and with it, the peace that only He can bring.

Jesus tells us that until He comes again, we are to love each other. In a world so full of violence, that can be a difficult thing to do. Sometimes that can mean putting our lives on the line, like those aid workers in Gaza, but it’s important that we do what we can. For those of us here, maybe that means pushing our government to seek peaceful resolutions to conflicts, or perhaps donating to agencies that promote peace and try to aid those caught in the conflict. Or perhaps all we are able to do is talk about Jesus and try to express His love to those around us.

Whatever we do, it’s important that we don’t give up hope. Hope for a day when all of us will live in the light of God’s love and the peace of His kingdom. We know that day will come. When things are at their darkest, let’s try to focus on that.

Dona nobis pacem.

 

If you are interested in reading at either the 9:30 or 11:30 service or you are interested in presenting the children’s sermon at the 9:30 service, please let Pastor Brenda or Mary Schneider know.  We are always looking for additional people to help with these ministries.

 

Join us Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m.

 

For coffee and conversation.

Just a time to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

10:30 a.m. in Fellowship Hall

Coffee provided

 

 

This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24

April 7, 2024 Newsletter

 

How good and how pleasant it is,

when kindred live together in unity!

~Psalm 133:1

 

Pastor’s Thoughts:

In seminary, I learned that Martin Luther was not a fan of the Letter of James in the New Testament. Luther believed James placed too much emphasis on “doing.” I also learned that he was starting to change his understanding of this letter as he aged and that he had started to understand that James meant that our faith should be shown in both word and deed.

There is much to be learned from this letter, but two rather well-known verses have stuck with me: “But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror, for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like.”

These words came to mind as I reflected on Easter Sunday, now just two days ago. Be doers of the Word! Do not be people who simply come to worship, hear about God’s Good news, and never live out what you have heard in your daily life. Do not bask in God’s grace and forgiveness, but then go and be less than grace-full and forgiving to others. Do not come and be fed on the Word and the meal, but then go forth and not feed all those who hunger in so many ways in the world. Be doers of the word!

Do not come to worship on Easter to claim your identity as a redeemed and forgiven child of God and then go out and attack others for their sins. Do not come to share in the fellowship of a community of faith and then never ask anyone to join you to hear the Word. Be doers of the word!

We do deceive ourselves if we think hearing the Word is enough. Yes, the great stories of faith and love in the scripture do inspire us and instruct us. But they also call us to action, to be those who live and breathe the Word each and every day through everything we say and do. When the Word is that much a part of who we are, when the Gospel of our crucified and resurrected Lord is at the core of our being, we cannot help but be doers of that creative and sustaining Word.

This Easter season and always, hear the Word … savor its goodness … bask in the promises of forgiveness, grace, and salvation. But then do not forget what you have heard when the listening is over. Do not forget what has been said and what has been offered, despite our sin and our frequent apathy and lack of gratitude.  Be doers of that Word, showing it forth to all so that all may know that Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda

 

The Readings for Sunday April 7, 2024

Acts 4:32-35

Psalm 133

1 John 1:1–2:2

John 20:19-31

 

Behind the scenes at Grace ……by Gretchen

  1. Did you see that Channel 11 Jeff Smith was reporting from Brenner Hall on Election Day!
  2. It is official that the voting machines are gone and the storage area in Brenner is officially open for Rummage Sale Treasures. Please stack things instead of spreading them all over. We also need open access to the freezer, refrigerators and tables.
  3. Watch for more information but we are planning a Silver Sneaker Exercise Program 2 x month on Saturday mornings. You do not have to have Silver Hair to attend!
  4. Personal Needs is an ongoing outreach that continues to need Personal Care items as well as toilet paper and tissues. Please don’t forget them when shopping.
  5. A recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that 13 million kids in homes across the country are not getting enough food. During the week many of these kids get meals through programs like the National School Lunch Program but on the weekends and school breaks they need help. Our Burrito Blessing 419 helps some on Saturday. Please think about this when shopping. We collect non-perishable food on Monday mornings, but items can be brought in anytime and put in containers in the Graceful Giving Room across form room 3. We share this food with Aldersgate, and it is also used in the Blessing Box and at other times as needed.
  6. THE BUNN”S – no, not people buns but our coffee pots. We are in the process of getting the leaky one in Fellowship repaired so we may be switching out from Brenner to Fellowship. So, they may look different but take the same filters and the same amount of coffee.
  7. If you are helping with Fellowship Hour or an event that you need paper plates, plastic cutlery, foam cups and there is none in the cupboards check  the    master storage area in Brenner. (where the chairs and tables are kept). There are labeled bins for cutlery and plates. If it looks like the bin is getting low of a particular item look on shelf above bins as there may be more up there. If you don’t see any of the items you need, and the bins are low please let the office know ASAP  –  email or phone call.
  8. Be prepared we will have a Spring Severe Weather Drill for both services soon!
  9. Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission!

 

Healthy People! Healthy Parish!

You and your MD! (Or Nurse Practitioner – NP or Physician’s Assistant -PA)

Do you go prepared?

What should you take?

  1. Insurance cards and identification (Driver’s License) – yes, we know you did this the last time you were there, but they are going to ask and make sure everything is the same or if there are changes. Reason: so, your insurance company is appropriately billed.
  2. Wear your glasses and hearing aids! If you have a hearing or vision problem, let the doctor and staff know otherwise you may miss or not understand important information.
  3. Take a pad or paper so you can write down information. Better yet take another set of ears with you. This person can write information down, remind you what questions to ask and clarify issues. Make sure this person will not share your medical information unless you are OK with it and that you may ask them to leave the room if you want to talk alone with the doctor.
  4. A current list of your medications. Include vitamins and any herbal supplements. If you use CBD or other types of cannabis/hemp products it needs to be included. Reason: if your doctor changes your medications they need to be aware of what you are taking to help avoid the chance of an interaction. It also helps if you are not feeling well and there may be an interaction with the medications you are currently taking.
  5. Do you have a list of allergies and reactions?
  6. Have a list of your surgeries, times and place it was done at.
  7. Be honest about smoking, using any illicit drugs and drinking. These may also influence what the doctor may prescribe.
  8. Have the name of your pharmacy.
  9. A list of concerns. At each visit your doctor will likely ask you about your concerns or questions. It is a good idea to think about these before your visit and write them down. Write down in order of most important to least important. Reason: writing them down helps to remember and often the time you spend with the doctor is limited so get your concerns /questions written down to get the answers you need. Make a copy so you can give him/her one and you have one to write answers down.
  10. Write down any changes from your last appointment before your new appointment. Include not only physical things but also changes in mental health – do you feel down, having trouble sleeping. living arrangements – have you moved or downsized, are you no longer driving. Are you now a caregiver for a family member, even caring for grandkids full  time.  All of these are important as they can affect how you feel and can affect your treatment and the doctors’ orders.
  11. Do you always tell the truth when you see the doctor?? Many people tell the doctor what they think he wants to hear or are embarrassed to tell them. Or are you afraid of “The Look “ they give you? What is important is your health and the doctor may not be able to provide the correct treatment if you do not “tell the whole and only truth”.
  12. What if the doctor has prescribed something that you have found you are unable to do? Maybe it is the brace and you found out it makes you more    painful and you can’t get it on. Maybe it is a new medicine that you just can’t swallow. Make sure you let them know you are having difficulty because they think you are doing what they ordered but are wondering why you are still    having symptoms or not doing better.
  13. If you don’t understand – PLEASE ask questions! This is all about you! And you need to understand!!!

More to follow next week!

Do you know what  a File of Life is?

 

High Five!

The first High Five was given during the last regular season Dodger’s game when Dusty Baker hit the home run that made the team the first in history to have four players with at least 30 regular season home runs. As Baker rounded third and headed home, Glenn Burke was waiting at home plate and raised is hand and they slapped hands in victorious high five!  (Hopefully all you gurus of baseball know who these guys were?)

So, what is great about High Five and April 18!!!!

You are actually giving a high five to not one but 3 people that day by giving blood!

The Spring Blood Drive is fast approaching on April 18 from 1-6 and we do have open appointment times. You may schedule online with the Red Cross or call Gretchen Hiatt 419.944.5166 to schedule.

Let’s all give High Fives that day to others in need!

 

Birthdays and Blood!

You are unable to give blood …. However, you have a family member, grandchild or good friend who can, and your birthday is fast approaching. You have 10 gift cards to Bob Evens and 5 to Applebee’s so you really can’t use any more right now. So, ask this person to donate blood to help you and 3 other people celebrate life!!!!

We have a Birthday Card that you give to the person you are asking to donate blood for you! Located on the table across from the office. When the person donates ask them to bring the card with them and we will let you know that we received a donation to celebrate your birthday!!

 

Meditation for the Second Sunday of Easter

By Vicar Dave

I know a lot of people that are excited about the eclipse coming next week. It’s a once in a lifetime astronomical event andgor I’m hoping that skies will be clear enough that I will be able to see it. I’ve been looking at some pictures from previous eclipses and I noticed something. As the moon passes in front of the sun, it reminds me first of the stone being rolled in front of Jesus’ tomb, then covering it, and then being rolled away. I also noticed that even when the moon is covering the sun completely, some of the light escapes from around the edges. I thought this was an interesting metaphor for how even in our darkest hours, the love of God is still present in the world.

It’s odd how we can sometimes forget that. Sometimes, when bad things happen, like a divorce or the death of a loved one, we can feel trapped in our own misery, and it can be hard for us to see a way out of it. We might feel that it is up to us to figure thing out and to fix it by ourselves. I remember a time, when I felt as though I had to “fix” myself before I could come to God and ask for forgiveness. Of course, I was mistaken. Eventually, I saw that God loved me just as I was, despite my sins and my faults. I began to notice the light of Jesus in my life, and things began to improve. My mood got better, and I was able to make changes that had seemed impossible before.

Particularly in this country, we have this “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” kind of mentality. We want to be self-reliant, but that doesn’t always work and it’s never necessary. We always have God’s love with us, to encourage us and the Holy Spirit will always be there to guide us. If we look for it, we will always see the light of God’s love. Nothing can block it out.

 

Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time

In Fellowship Hall

April 7 – Sue Wagner and Sue Melchert

April14th- Linda Currie and Deb Damschroder

 

 

 

5/4 of a Century of Grace; A century (and a quarter) of Grace; Grace@125?

In September of 2025 our congregation will celebrate its 125th birthday!   While that may seem to be a long time away, planning and preparation for a historic celebration takes time.

A group of members are in the initial planning process discussing ways in which the people called Grace may recognize our ministry together for all these years.

One thing that needs plenty of lead time is coming up with a slogan and/or logo we can use for promotional materials.  We are looking for something that can be used on clothing such as t-shirts/hats/golf-shirts. These will be things members of Grace could buy and wear to help build a sense of togetherness.   The idea is to have something we also can use on signs and window decals to advertise Grace in the community.

Do you have anything you would like to suggest?  A drawing, slogan etc. If so please contact me.

David Charvat

 

Man: I road an elephant to work today.

Lady: Surely you must be joking.

Man: I’m not joking and please don’t call me Shirley.

If a red house is made of red bricks and a blue house is made of blue bricks, what is a green house made of?

Glass!

What happened to the little chick who kept misbehaving at school?

She was eggspelled.

What does a broom do at night?

It goes to sweep.

If you say my name, I’m already gone.  What am I?

Silence.

What does ice cream wear to church?

Its sundae best!

from Funny, Funnier and Funniest Joke Book for Kids

 

Where flowers bloom, so does hope. 

~Lady Bird Johnson

Spring will come and so will happiness. Hold on. 

Life will get warmer. 

~Anita Krizzan

 A flower blossoms for its own joy.

 Oscar Wilde

The earth laughs in flowers. 

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Spring is the time of plans and projects.

 ~Leo Tolstoy

If you think my winter is too cold, you don’t deserve my spring.

  ~Erin Hanson

The deep roots never doubt, spring will come.

~Marty Rubin

 If we had no winter, spring would not be so pleasant. 

 ~Ann Bradstreet

Talent Show:

We regret that the Talent Show scheduled for 12 April has been canceled due to not having enough talented acts.

 

Easter Thanks

Many thanks to all those who made our Easter worship services Special! Our choir and musicians, the worship leaders, those who prepared and served food for the Easter breakfast, those who prepared the nave and the chapel, and the staff who had extra prep work! Thanks for all you do.

 

Adult Class—Death and Dying:

For our next Adult Class topic, we will discuss death and dying. Our society teaches us not to avoid discussing this in-depth, but it is something that we should all confront and ponder in conjunction with our faith. Our faith gives us a powerful perspective through which to view and discuss the reality of death.

We will begin our discussions and learning with an introductory session on Wednesday, 3 April (6:00 p.m.) and Sunday, 7 April (8:15 a.m.). Both class options will use the same materials each week. The class is anticipated to run through 15/19 May.

We will discuss the concept of death (both from a physical perspective and a Christian perspective), the grieving process, how to plan our funerals (both at the church and the funeral home), and the importance of Advance Directives (Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Wills).

 

 

This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24

March 31, 2024 Newsletter

 

This is the day that the Lord has made;
                                                 let us rejoice and be glad in it. 

                                                                                    ~Psalm 118:24

 

The church office is closed Monday April 1.

Pastor’s Thoughts:

Many of you know I have a cross collection which usually hangs on the wall in my office. I have crosses from the United States, from Europe, from the Middle East, from Asia, and from Africa. Some are wood; some are metal: some are stained glass;  some are pottery or other material. The cross given to me on the day of my Affirmation of Baptism hangs there.  I have some given to me by my mother, by friends, by parishioners, and some that I have purchased myself. Each one has a special story behind it, and each one is special to me.

The cross that Jesus died upon was not a beautiful thing, if one thinks about it. Crucifixion was one of the most horrible ways to die, as one hung in agony, waiting to suffocate. But Christ’s cross is made beautiful by God’s triumph over death and by the grace, salvation, and eternal life given to us because of his sacrifice.

The cross of Good Friday is ugly. It represents all of the sinful things about our world and about us: greed, selfishness, lack of faith, envy, deceit … the list goes on and on.

But the cross of Easter, while still reminiscent of the suffering our Lord endured for and because of us, is made beautiful by the grace and love of God. God transformed the world through the cross of Christ, and he transforms each of us by its power and promises.

This Holy Week and Easter, I encourage you to ponder all aspects of the cross: Pain and comfort … .despair and hope … sin and forgiveness … sorrow and joy … death and life. Only God could take something so terrifying as a cross and make of it something wonderful. Only God could take a people so broken by sin and make them whole.

Thanks be the God for this glorious gift!

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda

 

 

The Readings for Sunday March 31, 2024

Acts 10:34-43

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Mark 16:1-8

 

Meditation

David O’Brien

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for this glorious Easter Morning. Whether it is sunny or cloudy, the world shines bright once more with your Holy love. Your light can scatter all darkness. The world today needs your light as much as it ever has. Some might say that we face some pretty dark times, with wars raging in various parts of the world, claiming   thousands of innocent victims, and political strife at home that seems to be tearing this country apart. We need you to guide us with your holy light so that we might be able to find our way and we trust that you will help us in these troubled times just as you have helped your children in the past.

Spring is such a perfect metaphor for your rising from the grave, with new life popping up all around us. Like the daffodils and tulips rising up from the ground, and the backyard animals coming out of their winter dens with new babies, life is all around us. And it is in your rising on Easter morning that you brought new life to all humanity. Eternal life, earned by You in your sacrifice on Good Friday, and given to us, your children, as a gift by your resurrection. We haven’t the words to thank you enough for this priceless gift. The best we can do is to try to spread the good news of this morning and your gift to all of our brothers and sisters here on Earth, caring for them and loving them as you have commanded. In this mission which you have given to us, may we take to hearts the words of the hymn, “They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love”, and show that love to the entire world.

As we celebrate your resurrection, help us to share our joy and love with each other and with the entire world by encouraging an end to wars and hunger and by engaging is peaceful dialog with our siblings, especially those with whom we disagree.

 

Starting April 2 – Join us Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m.

 

For coffee and conversation.

Just a time to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

10:30 a.m. in Fellowship Hall

Coffee provided

 

Adult Class—Death and Dying:

For our next Adult Class topic, we will discuss death and dying. Our society   teaches us not to avoid discussing this in-depth, but it is something that we should all confront and ponder in conjunction with our faith. Our faith gives us a powerful perspective through which to view and discuss the reality of death.

We will begin our discussions and learning with an introductory session on Wednesday, 3 April (6:00 p.m.) and Sunday, 7 April (8:15 a.m.). Both class options will use the same materials each week. The class is anticipated to run through 15/19 May.

We will discuss the concept of death (both from a physical perspective and a Christian perspective), the grieving process, how to plan our funerals (both at the church and the funeral home), and the importance of Advance Directives (Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Wills).

 

Operation Christmas Child 2024 Collection

Month of March

Please help us with this SO VERY worthwhile effort by donating bars of soap (Ivory is preferred) during the month of March.

Your donated items can be placed in the container marked Operation Christmas Child in the Grace Giving Room. Thank you to all for your continued support for this world-wide evangelistic ministry.

Grace Lutheran Operation Christmas Child Ministry   

 

Thank you!!!!

 

A sincere thank you from the ladies of Ruth Circle to all who made purchases, all those who worked at the bake sale and the Grace church members who donated baked goods for the Election Day Bake Sale. These funds help us to support missions and finances to various causes at Grace and beyond.  

 

Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time

In Brenner Hall

March 31 – Easter Sunday – breakfast between services

 

 

Talent and Treats: Friday, 12 April at 7:00 p.m.

What is your hidden talent? Can you sing? Juggle? Tell jokes? Play the guitar? Here is your chance to show them off! On Friday, 12 April, we will gather for Talent and Treats, which is a fundraiser for the youth and their trip to the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans this summer. Admission is $10 and will include desserts and the show!

There will be a sign-up sheet in the back of the nave (big church) beginning on 3 March for those wishing to share their talents. We envision the “acts” being about 3-5 minutes in length. You can also speak to Pastor to sign up or to ask questions about the event.

 

A new group of three people along with their caregiver joined us for the March gathering for Grace Full Friends here at Grace. Those of us involved were pleased to see some new faces and added numbers. In conversation with the caregiver she mentioned the ministries of AA and the Personal Needs Ministry and the help they had provided to her. I share this with you that we might all be reminded at the other end of facility use and items collected to be shared, are people who are affected and bettered and know the source is Grace Lutheran or more correctly, the love of God. And further that these two ministries are two of the list of efforts undertaken here at Grace Lutheran, 4441 Monroe Street.

 

 

This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24

Josefin is

Ready to Rock

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