My heart speaks your message – “Seek my face.”
Your face, O Lord, I will seek.
Bless the world: Be God’s Grace!
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.
There are new updated church directories available in the back of the Nave, in the back of the chapel and outside the office.
Not in the bulletin last week,
thank you Kim Kondalski for the altar flowers for January 15.
Council retreat at the Lial Renewal Center in Whitehouse on January 14. Council members discussed how ideas in the book The Post-Quarantine Church relate to Grace, and shared dreams and goals for Grace’s future.
January 22 – The Contemporary Team
January 29 – Potluck
Donations being accepted!
I am home after three months and feeling much better. I really appreciated getting visits from the carolers (as did my neighbor Dorothy), and for Gretchen and Ron for all their assistance, not to mention the cards and outpouring of love from you all. I hope to be back in church soon and look forward to joining with you in worship and fellowship.
God is very, very good!
Meditation on Matthew 4:12-23
By Vicar Dave
In today’s Gospel, we are presented with another version of how Jesus gathered His first disciples to Him. Last week, John told us that Andrew and John were disciples of John the Baptist. (Lots of Johns. Sorry.) Matthew tells us that Jesus meets them while they are practicing their profession of being fishermen. However they met Jesus, I think it’s important to realize that they stopped what they were doing and became His followers. Jesus says to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people”. I don’t think they knew where Jesus was going with this, but there just must have been something about Him that caused them to leave their nets and their families and go with Jesus.
I can remember being in a strange city, not knowing yet where everything was, and being told by another person “follow me”. This was before we had anything like Google Maps, or even GPS devices to direct us to wherever we wanted to go. We didn’t even have cell phones at the time. We used paper maps, a skill that is lost on many people today. In this case, not knowing where I was going, was a very uncomfortable position for me to be in. But I trusted the driver of the lead car, and so I followed.
I wonder if I would have felt that way if I were in Andrew’s or the other soon to be disciple’s shoes? Here comes this guy, whom they’ve never met, while they’re in the middle of a workday, and tells them to drop what they’re doing and come with Him. They don’t know where Jesus is going or what he’ll be doing, but immediately they go with Him, and the world has never been the same. Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote that the call to “follow me” was a call to “absolute discipleship,” and that it came at a pretty high cost. But, he also noted that it was only in surrendering ourselves to Jesus’ command that we could, paradoxically, know our greatest joy. There must have been something so provocative about Jesus’ invitation that these four fishermen were willing to take a risk.
Jesus call still resonates today. He’s still calling us to follow Him so that we also can become fishers of people, bringing others to know Him. Some people might think that God’s call only applies to clergy types, but nothing could be further from the truth. God called the shepherds to witness and testify to the birth of Jesus. He called the three kings, Gasper, Balthasar and Melchior, from their separate lands to come and welcome the Messiah. He calls to us today, asking us to serve His people in numerous ways. Maybe He calls us to help with a clothing drive for the poor, or to help at a labor & delivery ward of a hospital, where nursing staff shortages don’t allow the nurses to pay as much attention to the newborns as they’d like to. Maybe He’s calling us to work with the oppressed or the downtrodden, bring His light of hope to those in darkness. Are we willing to take the risk and follow Jesus and give witness to His love and grace?
Sunday January 29
One service at 10:30 a.m. followed by a
Upcoming Youth Group Events!
It was Saturday morning and I had several reasons to be at Grace. I thought I had completed what I came to do and then noticed lots of bags and other trash trapped at the fence line and decided to spend some time to collect trash. It was sunny, but COLD. I filled a kitchen can liner with litter and found a large piece of metal, a small dead animal and a 20 dollar bill. If you think the 20 bill belongs to you, don’t contact me; see Cathy.
Grace Property Ministry
Behind the scenes at Grace …..by Gretchen
- What was that in the sky over the weekend? A large Alien spaceship, an overripe mega orange – phew it was so wonderful to see the SUN in person!!!!
- In honor of our menagerie! Saturday the 21st is National Squirrel Appreciation Day! In 2001, wildlife rehabilitation specialist Christy Hargrove founded National Squirrel Appreciation Day in Ashville, North Carolina. She created the day to encourage kind attitudes towards the bushy tailed neighbors. Squirrels by planting seeds and nuts which they initially mean to store and come back to eat but usually forget, grow into trees which encourage forest restoration. So may we extend a recognition to our congregation of squirrels on this day!!
- Check out all the youth group activities coming up! Information is posted on the Community Boards so mark your calendars!
- Rummage sale – please put any rummage sale items in the back corner of the storage room (room with chairs and tables) in Brenner Hall. We are already seeing treasures coming in.
- If you can we still need people to grab boxes at the bottom of the basement steps to take to the recycler!
- A big Thank You to Connie Thomas for going on trash patrol on the church campus this last week – the wind had really provided a lovely collage of things on the lawn.
- We have updated the display case outside Brenner Hall! Check out what is in there!
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people carrying out God’s Mission!
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
Grace Blood Drive!
Our winter Blood Drive was held this last Wednesday! We collected 10 Units which is down from our previous collections BUT 3 people are helped with every single unit -so we helped 30 people! Yaa Ho!
Our next drive is Wednesday April 19th from 1-6! Please mark your calendars! Sign up is already available on the Red Cross web site or call Gretchen and she will get you scheduled (419-944-5166)
This is a great way to give back to the Community and takes very little time and includes treats!!
Thanks to Karlene for volunteering to help!
I recently read a piece by an author who was pondering the process of learning to ride a bicycle. (Some of you know why such an article would catch my eye!) The author was reflecting on the fact that as we first begin to learn, we focus intently on both the words of the person teaching us and the mechanics of riding. Eventually we just ride, having absorbed the instruction enough that we no longer have to think about it. And suddenly, everything just clicks.
I was instantly taken to my five year old self, spending time with my dad as he taught me how to ride. I had begged (READ: pestered) my parents for a “big bike,” and they had come through for my fifth birthday. Daddy and I spent time on the sidewalk, as he ran alongside the bike with his hand on the back of the seat, offering instruction such as, “Keep pedaling!” “Don’t look at your feet!” and “Brenny, use the brakes!!” I remember trying to listen and do all of the things he was telling me to do. And I remember the glorious moment when it was just the bike and me, smoothly heading forward … when I no longer had to concentrate on what to do to keep moving.
While I still have to pay attention as I ride and often make adjustments on account of such things as hills, cars, animals, or road hazards, riding my bike has become something I can just do, both because I absorbed the learning and because my muscles have an engrained memory of how the mechanics of balance and forward motion work. Even with that muscle memory, in those moments of adjustment I sometimes have to be conscious about remembering to keep pedaling, keep my eyes where they need to be, and using the brakes. And even though I have been riding a bike for most of my life, I still have room to grow and learn as a rider.
It occurs to me that our faith lives can be like that. Someone (or many “someones”) teaches us the “ways” of being a follower of Jesus. We hear stories, we learn what the Bible tells us about how we should live out our calls as children of God, people model lives of faith for us, and we often receive encouragement and support from others. And at some point, we just move forward, living out our faith with some basics deeply engrained in the fibers of our being.
Sometimes, however, we have to adjust. Life can throw a hazard onto the road, which can threaten to toss us and to and fro. We can lose our focus, take our eyes off of the path, or forget to slow down. It is because of those moments that spiritual practices such as worship, prayer, Bible reading, fellowship, and service help us continue to grow and to strengthen our knowledge of who we are and who we are called to be. The muscle memory of faith is always there, but we also need opportunities to grow and solidify what it means to be on the path of discipleship.
As 2023 gets underway, how might you strengthen the ways you live out your faith? Grace has many opportunities to stretch and grow as Christians! Join us as we move forward together.
H.E.L.P. Open House!!
What is this ?
Sunday January 29th is the Congregational Meeting in Brenner Hall! Before or after “come on over” and check out the closet. It is located just outside Brenner Hall Parking Lot doors in the hallway.
The closet holds all sorts of interesting things! So, check it out as to what we have and that you may need at some time.
February is Heart Month!
Do you know what your Blood Pressure is?
Come and get yours checked between services in February! Sundays – the 5th,12th,19th and 26th!
We will be setup in Room 3.
What is high blood pressure?
Imagine that your arteries are pipes that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. High blood pressure (also called hypertension) occurs when blood is moving through your arteries (the pipes) at a higher pressure than normal.
What do the numbers mean?
Blood pressure is really 2 measurements, separated by a slash when you see it written down such as 120/80. You might also hear someone say “120 over 80”.
The first number is the systolic blood pressure. This is the peak blood pressure when your heart is squeezing blood out. The second number is the diastolic. It is the pressure when your heart is filling with blood – it is the time you hear is relaxing between beats.
Come and check yours out!
A winter emergency! Are you prepared?
Car or home are your ready?
We have been fortunate to have a mild winter soooooo far but we have a couple of weeks to go and who knows what that big ground hog will predict on February 2nd ??????
Check out how ready you are this Sunday between services in Fellowship Hall!
Remember the squirrels!!
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!