Happy are they who trust in the Lord!
The final total is in! Grace members donated approximately 3153 pounds of food this year to the Aldersgate United Methodist Church food pantry through Grace’s Food for Toledo program. The Aldersgate food pantry currently serves about 90 families every two weeks at their food pantry. Recently that number has increased due to the high costs in the grocery stores. Grace members should be very proud of the impact that we are making in our neighbors’ lives!’
Sundays (starting January 15) at 8:15 a.m.
or Wednesdays (starting January 18) at 6:00 p.m.
We will be talking about different Christian denominations
beginning with the Lutheran Missouri Synod.
Behind the scenes at Grace……by Gretchen
- You had to see it! On Tuesday Kim our cleaning person rang the doorbell and then just stood staring! So, Cathy and Gretchen came out and the 3 of them had a stare down with the most humongous opossum ever! We had a stare down for maybe 5 minutes then it ran off! We think the Blue Jay spoke with the squirrels who spoke with the opossum to tell it about the peanut fiesta every morning!
- Even though it is the beginning of January we have also spotted a couple of Robins – they are keeping warm and tipsy by finishing up the fermented crab apples out front.
- Don’t forget the Flower Chart on the Community Bulletin Board by the big church.
- We do not have the capacity to take cardboard boxes in our dumpster. Please take and recycle any boxes. We have an ongoing collection of those needing recycling in the basement. Please feel free to take any to the recycler.
- New Year! New Calendar! Don’t forget to schedule your meetings through the office. They can be put on the calendar for all to see and to avoid double scheduling.
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s mission.
Fellowship Hour – January 15th – Debbie Fallon and Wendy McCall
As many of you know, my family and I recently returned from a vacation. We enjoyed warmer temperatures, new sights, sounds, and tastes, and we enjoyed the time together.
We spent a lot of time on, in, or near the ocean. As I looked out at the water and as I enjoyed being in the water in some beautiful settings, I found myself thinking about all the life that inhabits the oceans. Some animals are often easily seen, such as fish, dolphins, and even whales. We even swam with some stingrays! But the oceans and seas are so deep and mysterious that there is much below the surface that we never see. Scientists relate that because of the oceans’ depth and vastness, our knowledge about all the life that lives in the water is less comprehensive than what we know about deep space.
It occurs to me that people are the same way. What we know of others is often limited to what we can easily observe. Peoples’ actions and words can show us lot about who they are, but there is more to each individual than what is easily seen. So much more exists beneath the surface and may not be as easily seen or understood at first glance. Our experiences, our thoughts, and our emotions make up large parts of who we are, but they often go unseen by those we interact with, even on a daily basis.
We may know every facet of what make a person who they are, as there will always be things that we keep more deeply within ourselves. But knowing this, perhaps we can approach each other with a new respect, knowing that there is more to each of us than meets the eye (or ear), and contributes to the entirety of the person in front of us. Their hopes, dreams, fears, and values may not be easily seen, but they are there below the surface … just as they are for all of us. Even though our relationships may help us learn more about some special people, we can never fully grasp their depth and diversity. Perhaps all we can do is rejoice that our creative God has made us all so complex and beautiful!
Thank you for all the ways you are uniquely YOU—with all of your depth and complexities—and for the ways you make our world a more beautiful place.
Sunday January 29
One service at 10:30 a.m. followed by a
More details to follow
Meditation on John 1:29-42
By Vicar Dave
Come and see! I say this a lot to my wife. Often, I’m looking at something online that I want to share with her. It is either some beautiful nature scene, or a news article that I think she’d be interested in, or maybe just some corny joke that I find terribly funny, but she usually just finds it to be terrible. I also do it a lot when I’m working on something in the backyard, and I want to share my latest accomplishment. When my kids were growing up, often they would be excited about something they had found or done and want me to ‘come and see it’.
Today, Andrew and John are invited by Jesus to come and see something. They had asked where Jesus was staying, and when Jesus responds with “come and see”, I think Jesus was really wanting them to come and see the work He was doing there and to learn more about Him. Was Jesus excited about this? I think He was. I think He wanted to share His mission with them. So, Andrew and John went with Him and their lives were forever changed. They both began to follow Jesus and Andrew even went on a recruitment drive right away. I’m talking about how Andrew went and got his brother, Simon-Peter, telling him that they had found the Messiah. I can almost hear him saying “come and see!” Andrew must have been very excited!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that more with the church and it’s mission? What if we were doing something exciting at Grace Lutheran Church, something so exciting that we were just bursting at the seams to tell all of our friends about it? I don’t imagine it’d be too difficult to find some things to be excited about. We already do some pretty cool things, like the ongoing food drive that many of us contribute to. I was excited when Pastor Brenda came to be a part of our congregation and told some people that they should come and see her. Last month, when we went with a sizable group and sang for some people at Oak Leaf and then broke into smaller groups to sing for some of our shut-ins, I enjoyed telling others about that. I’m hopeful that this year we can restart the annual Easter Egg Hunt for children, both in our congregation and in our community in general. That’d be something to tell folks to come and see!
We’ve talked in counsel about starting a community garden. We could invite the people in our neighborhood to come and see it and maybe even participate in it. I’ve always thought the idea of a community dinner night would be great! A night where we send flyers out in the surrounding area and even make a point of inviting some of our more unfortunate friends to join us. In warmer weather we might even be able to do this as a BBQ in our parking lot. We could have some music from a small band and a prayer service during dinner. If we did and we told people to “come and see” it, I expect we’d get a pretty good response.
What ideas might you have for sharing the exciting good news of Jesus Christ with others? What exciting things are we already doing that might cause you to invite your friends to “come and see”? Jesus told Andrew and John to “come and see” and it changed the world. Jesus lives with us now. Let’s see if we can get folks to come and see Him!
Spotted Sunday! The bass player!!!!
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!