In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was

with God, and the Word was God.

~John 1:1



Church office is closed New Year’s Eve
Happy and Blessed New Year!


Update on Advent Piglet Campaign

It is with great happiness that the Outreach Committee announces that the Advent Piglet Campaign raised over $1062 (35 piglets) for the purchase of piglets to give to families in underdeveloped nations. This means that the 20 piglet goal was exceeded by 75%. The Outreach Committee thanks Grace members and friends that  contributed to this project. Grace members and friends continue to amaze.


The Worship and Music Committee would like to thank everyone that participated in services at Grace during Advent and Christmas Eve. There are many ways that people assisted to make these services special. Thank you again!

Also thank you to those that attended, led and participated in the Monday Advent discussions. Discussing social issues, hearing members’ stories and ideas, and having fellowship together made the journey of Advent even more special.


An invitation to all the women of Grace!

All women of Grace are invited to go to dinner with Women at the Well on Tuesday, January 4 at 6 p.m. We will be dining at Tekela’s on Main Street in Sylvania. Please call/text Mary Schneider at 419.262.0730 if you wish to attend! We hope to see you there.


Food for Toledo

Next week a year end update on the food collected for the Food for Toledo program will be announced.  Stay tuned….


Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

(Author Unknown)

I seldom get down or depressed. I don’t want to waste a minute

when I could be enjoying life. (Dick Van Dyke -age 95)


January Fellowship Hour

Thank you to all who help!

January 2 – Mary Schneider and Cindy Wood

January 9 – Gretchen Hiatt and Nancy Lockard

January 16 – Contemporary Team


Behind the scenes at Grace….by Gretchen

  1. Have you noticed that with the sun coming up later we have been able to enjoy the most beautiful sunrises? The view from the parking lot is totally awesome.
  2. The Blue Service held this last week was very moving and serene. Thanks to all who came and helped make it possible. Cathy made her debut on the guitar and piano – WOW!
  3. The poinsettias arrived on Wednesday to grace the church. Thanks to Connie Thomas for doing all the leg work in making this possible and to the Altar Guild for arranging them in the church.
  4. Connie has also been seen again out braving the wind with her white/blue gloves and plastic bag picking up our “balloon” trash bags. The good thing is that it has not been really windy, so we have not seen her take off!
  5. Gretchen is still looking for old cell phones so if you received a new one for Christmas and would like to donate the old one please let her know. Old cell phones if charged can be used to call 911 even if they are not hooked up with any phone service. Gretchen would like to have some in strategic places in the church for use in an emergency.
  6. Piglets are being collected till Sunday 1/2. Currently we have 35 pigs and a few hens.
  7. Monday food collection continues from 9:00 am -12 noon by Brenner. This is even more important with the increase in prices of basic staples. So, if you can, please buy some extra nonperishable unexpired foods. If you are not able to make it on Monday, the collection bin is in the Graceful Giving Room.
  8. Personal Needs collection also continues. There is a bin in the Graceful Giving Room for donations.
  9. Remember; Grace is not the building but people carrying out God’s mission!


Red Stuff!

If you have been watching or listening to the news,  reading the paper and even seeing texts on your phone you have seen /heard the plea from the American Red Cross about the need for blood.

It is very real.

Please consider donating on Wednesday January 12th at Grace. You may sign up on their web site or give Gretchen a call 419-944-5166. First time donors are always welcome.

This is an easy way to give back or pay it forward to help others and maybe your own family.


Grace Anatomy – Episode 6 and 7

Episode #6 Prayer Chapel

Where is it ???  It is located off the hallway at the back of the chapel. The door is never locked.

Purpose: Anyone can come and pray – aloud or to themselves. Or you may just want to come and sit in the peaceful area. There is an altar with a Bible. There are chairs and a blanket. Often there are candles lit in the windows.


Episode #7 Fellowship Hall

Location: The furthest most east part of the building, south of the chapel and north of the office. Or off the main hallway going to the big church and off the  hallway from the chapel.

According to history this was the hall or gathering place before Brenner Hall and was named Fellowship as this was the gathering place. There is a kitchen next to the hall.

Then there is the elevated area at the back – way back this was a stage. Now it is sometimes referred to as the lounge or the WELCA group room. The folding screen has been opened so people can go and sit comfortably. This is a great  area to have a small meeting. There is also a small bathroom off the elevated   area.


Healthy People! Healthy Parish!  2022!!

Ready – Set – GO!

Start the new year with healthy first steps!

(Hurry and eat the last of the fudge before January 1)

  1. Quit smoking. Stopping can reduce the risk of 12 different cancers as well as lung disease.
  2. Drink less alcohol. Roughly one in 25 cancer deaths have been associated with drinking alcohol. Stopping reduces risk of other diseases like liver disease, stomach issues.
  3. Exercise. Not only has it been shown to reduce some forms of cancer but is also great for your heart, can help with osteoporosis, helps with sleeping, has been shown to reduce migraines, and general wellbeing. Muscle strengthening is great for balance. If you are unable to get out of the house – start walking around inside on a regular basis. Every little bit helps.
  4. Eat and drink dairy foods. This is great for helping to prevent osteoporosis.
  5. Coffee. Research has shown that a cup a day may help reduce some cancers.
  6. Green Tea. Also has been shown to affect cancer growth.
  7. Yoga. Can help with not only flexibility and balance but helps reduce stress and anxiety. Remember the Hasya Yoga – laughter yoga!
  8. Vegetables. 5 servings of produce can help us to live longer. 3 servings of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit at a minimum. One serving = 1 cup raw or   ½ cup cooked veggie, ½ cup fresh or frozen fruit or one apple (wash well and leave the skin on-great fiber) or one orange.
  9. Sleep. 7 – 9 hours a night. Naps do not count, and more than 30 minutes can interfere with your night sleep.


A Synodically Authorized Minister at Grace?  What is that?

Some but not at all at Grace may know that David O’Brien, one of our members, is in a discernment process towards a new chapter in his life, exploring the possibility of becoming Minister of Word and Service in the Lutheran Church. (A Minister of Word and Service is sometimes called a Deacon, whereas our Pastor is a Minister of Word and Sacrament.) Grace is encouraging Dave in this process through allowing him to write and publish mediations in our weekly newsletter, serving as an Assisting Minister, and, on some occasions, leading the service and preaching when Pastor Howard is away.

In mid-December Grace was contacted by members of the Synod Staff responsible for working with those seeking to enter rostered ministry. They feel that Dave is ready for the next step in his journey. They asked if Grace would support that by adding him to our staff as a Synodlcally Authorized Minister (SAM).

Within the ECLA a Synodically Authorized Minister functions to render Word and Sacrament ministry for a congregation when there is a need for pastoral leadership. The synod’s bishop, acting with the consent of the congregation, may authorize a person who is a member of a congregation to offer this ministry. Such individuals are supervised by a minister of Word and Sacrament appointed by the synod’s bishop.

SAMs are trained to fulfill a ministry for a specified period of time and in a given location only. A SAM’s authorization for such service by the bishop is reviewed  annually and only renewed when a demonstrated need remains for its continuation.

Dave’s role at Grace would be as a part-time employee (approximately 5 hours per week). This is viewed as an educational role for Dave, not positioning his to be Grace’s next Pastor. What you will likely see is Dave preaching sermons on a more regular basis and being involved with some additional administrative and ministry activities at Grace. The duties he undertakes at Grace will likely change from time to time to allow Dave to gain practical experience in areas corresponding to his studies.

Grace benefits by hearing from someone who may have different perspectives and preaching styles. This will help us in the transition when we welcome our next called Pastor to Grace. As an added benefit a SAM is allowed to preside over the celebration of Communion when Pastor Howard in on vacation and an Ordained Minister is not available.

The exact roles and duties are still to be determined in conjunction with Pastor Howard, members of the Synod staff, and Church Council. There are still a  number of decisions to be made as to what, when, and how this may all work. The purpose of this message is simply to let the congregation know what may be happening in the near future and introduce the concept to those who may not be aware of such positions within congregations of the ELCA.



This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24