Righteousness shall go before the Lord
                             and shall prepare for God a pathway

                                                                                    ~Psalm 85:13


Pastor’s Thoughts:

      It is early Sunday morning as I write this. At this time next week, the group headed to New Orleans for the ELCA Youth Gathering will board a plane to head south on our week-long adventure!

I have been blessed to be a part of these trips as an adult leader since I was 21. I have traveled to Dallas, St. Louis, San Antonio, Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit, and Houston with groups of youth and adults who were eager to learn more about Jesus and to share their time and gifts with the communities we visited.

This is the fourth time the ELCA has been to New Orleans for a Youth Gathering. While the group is different, the enthusiasm and energy are the same. We have been preparing for months: meeting together to hear about the city, learn about the theme for the week (Created to Be), and learn more about each other.

We will have some time before the Gathering starts on 16 July to do some sightseeing. We will take a riverboat cruise, see the St. Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square, and enjoy beignets at Café Du Monde.

We will have the incredible opportunity to connect with Lutherans from all corners of the United States and beyond. Our synod has arranged for youth from our companions in Serbia and Tanzania to be present, and we are eagerly anticipating the chance to meet these folks.

On Wednesday, 17 July, we will experience our Accompaniment Day, when we will be assigned a place to work in service to and with the people of New Orleans. On Thursday, we will be with others from our area during our Synod Day. This day will include a scavenger hunt, Bible study, and food! On Friday, we will be in the  convention Center for our Interactive Day, a time to enjoy fellowship, play games, learn about ELCA ministries (national and international), and strengthen our sense of community. Each day will conclude with the Final 15, a time for devotions and sharing about the day.

After the Gathering ends on Saturday, we will have the chance to experience the World War II Museum. On Sunday, we will travel back home, no doubt full of stories to tell!

Please pray for our safe travel and for our hearts, ears, and eyes to be opened to new experiences and new ways to witness to Jesus. Below are the names of the people in our group so that you can pray for us by name throughout the week.

Look for live updates a few times through the week on Grace’s Facebook page!

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda



Youth Gathering Participants:

Adults: Debbie, Wendy, Dave, Aiden, Pastor Brenda, Pastor Rebecca

Youth: Callie, Lauren, Katherine, Katie, Kyle, Alex, Holden, Griffin, Lily Mae, Wade, Abby, Jayden, Mia, Luke, Brady, and Zoe.


July Donation Needed

for Operation Christmas Child Ministry

For those boxes to be packed here at Grace Lutheran and sent to children around the world, we ask that you make donations of pens, pencils, and pencil sharpeners in the month of July. This program provides a shoe box of gifts and the opportunity for those children to learn of a Savior who died that they might live eternally. Thank all of you for the support made to this ministry effort.                                          

Operation Christmas Child Ministry


Behind the scenes at Grace …….by Gretchen

  1. Another successful Burrito Blessing 419 was held on Saturday 6/29!!The construction crew form Grace, Memorial and the Jewish Federation put together 200 burritos and only 30 were left. About half are taken downtown and the other half are given out on the front steps of Grace. Canned goods and clothing are also available. This is a tough time for many families as schools are out and the kids are home. Many kids /families are able to participate in the breakfast and lunch programs during the school year. Come have fun with the construction  crew on Saturday July 27 – the crew gathers around 10:00 to start building!
  2. Oh my! The rabbits have salads every day with the hostas by the office and they are picky – only certain Hostas.
  3. If you missed Kim Kondalski’s Children’s Moment this last Sunday it was awesome one! It centered around 4 words! “How Can I Help”. She talked about 3 things about helping: 1) Jesus helped others – the sick and the blind, 2) By helping others it shows God loves others. 3) By us helping others God loves us!    So how are you helping???
  4. The rain has brought beautiful flowers! Do you have some that would be beautiful on the altar on Sunday or would like to order some? Check the Flower Chart by the entrance to the big church.
  5. The place was hopping this last weekend – between CRC and the Blood Drive and the Interfaith Gala and services it was very busy!
  6. Hmm we must have an overproducing chicken on campus, or do we have someone who loves eggs?? Another dozen plus eggs has made an appearance in the Brenner Hall Refrigerator that are nameless. Not sure if raw or hard cooked?? 
  7. Don’t forget that food and drinks need to be labeled with name and date. Some really interesting items have been found in the refrigerators and they lend new meaning to abstract art!
  8. Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission!


Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time

In Fellowship Hall

July 14 – Contemporary Team



by Vicar Dave

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged.” (Matt 7:1) Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? In reality, it’s a very difficult thing to not judge people. We make        judgments all of the time. All anyone has to do is drive down the road for a spell and observe how other people drive. Maybe you see two cars racing down Secor road, swerving in and out of traffic and traveling excessively fast. It’s very tempting to call them idiots or even something less kind.

Parenting experts will tell you that it’s important to not call your child “bad”. They say that will cause them to think of themselves as being someone that is bad, when what you’re trying to do is correct their behavior.

In my job, I have to make judgments all the time. Judgments about my personal safety when I’m going to someone’s house to meet with them, or about the risk they may pose to themselves or to others. I also have to make judgments about their behavior when they violate one of their conditions of supervision. One of our hearing officers once told me that she’s very careful to obey even minor laws, like only crossing the street at corners, because she felt that if she was going to sit in judgment of people for their failure to follow the rules, she better make sure she wasn’t doing the same thing.

I think the thing that Jesus was getting at was that we shouldn’t try to call a person something evil and condemn them accordingly. Instead, we should view all people with compassion. If we see someone headed down the wrong path, it’s okay to help them find their way with advice and direction. It’s not okay to tell them they are stupid for going this way instead of the way we would suggest. We can see someone speeding and think “that’s not safe” and maybe even pray for their safety and the safety of those around them.

Lord, I surrender my role as a judge to you, for only you know the depths of each person’s heart. Let me trust in your divine wisdom and providence. I release the burden of judgment and place it in your capable hands. Thank you, God, for allowing me to find solace in your judgment and not my own. Amen.


Mid-Year Giving:

Just a reminder that even as we enjoy some of summer’s laidback feeling and perhaps some time away, our congregation still has mission work to do and obligations to meet. Please consider a midyear offering to assist with these efforts and to help us maintain our financial health. We wish to continue to reach out to people through Burrito Blessings, the Blessing Box, and Personal Needs, and we still need to make sure the building is climate-controlled and has water and power to engage in our work together as we spread the Good News. Thanks for all the ways you help us to Bless the World: Be God’s Grace!


This week’s message for Prayer Corner is a meditation and an encouragement of thanks to God for caring for our Inner Garden.

Find a quiet place.  Maybe it will be in your garden. 

Maybe it will be in your favorite rocking chair. Take a moment to read this slowly, taking in the words that are written.

Do you find similarities in your own life?

How is your inner garden growing?


Gracious Gardener,

how wondrously you care for my soul.

You send your waters of refreshment.

You fertilize me with your wisdom.

You warm me with your encouraging kindness.

You keep drawing me toward your light.

New growth continually sprouts

from the soil of my spiritual garden.

Flowers of creativity bloom.

Herbs of joy flavor my days.

Vegetables of nourishment flourish.

You constantly care for my garden,

weeding it when weakness grows tall,

turning the soil when the ground is hard,

comforting and protecting me

when enemies chew on my leaves.


I thank you Gracious Gardener for tending my garden.  Amen

                                                              From Anchors for the Soul by Joyce Rupp


Healthy People! Healthy Parish!


Interfaith Blood Drive 2024!

What a wild and crazy day! The Red Cross staff arrived at 7:00 and we went from 8:00 – 2:00. A wonderful 55 Units was collected – which is awesome!! So, if you figure that one unit can help as many as 3 people that is 165 people!!! Ya Hoo!  We had some new donors too, which was wonderful! Thanks to all from Grace that donated. It goes along with Kim’s thoughts on “HOW CAN I HELP!”  We are working on a Fall Drive here at Grace so watch for the date and time!


Good Food! 

Farmer’s Markets are up and running around the city and outlying communities! We have a Farmers’ market close by in the old Sear’s parking lot every Wednesday from 3-7 and the downtown market on Saturdays just to name a few. The markets are listed in the newspaper on Thursdays, and you can find local farmers’ markets on the web site for. Farmers markets are great for a number of reasons:


  1. Freshness – even the freshest of fruits and vegetables at your grocery store are at least a couple of days old. But farmers markets offer produce that is fresh picked, sometimes the very same day.
  2. Produce is very often free of pesticides and grown organically as it does need preservatives to withstand traveling and sitting.
  3. Better taste. How much better can a beautiful red outside grown vine ripened tomato taste!! (It really does taste wonderful Pastor Brenda!). Think of the difference between the hothouse ones in the store that have traveled a gazillion miles. No comparison!
  4. You are supporting local farmers means supporting the local economy and family farms. More family farms are being forced out of business by industrial farms so help keep local farmers going ( “HOW CAN I HELP”)
  5. Reduces the carbon footprint. By purchasing fruits and vegetables and other products (baked goods ,honey and probably even kettle corn) you help reduce the carbon footprint by helping to conserve fuel and reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizer. Just think how Connie is getting additional fertilizer for the geraniums from her favorite chipmunks!
  6. You know how your food was grown.

Fresh grown fruits and vegetables don’t only taste good but are good for us. Great fiber and vitamins and most of all great taste. So, check out a market! It is also a great place to take kids and grandkids to see new and different fruits and vegetables and even try them out!




This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24