The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that someone took and sowed in his field
Bless the world: Be God’s Grace!
This Sunday, July 30, Ragtime Rick will be providing the music for our special 10:30 a.m. service! A potluck will follow. Members are asked to bring a salad, side dish or dessert to share!
“Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food …Truly I tell you, just as you did it for the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:35 and 40.
As you may know, a group from Grace, Memorial Lutheran, and the Jewish Federation have been planning a community meal for a few months. The dream was to bring back a Saturday “drive-up” meal for those in our community who may have need. We know that hunger is a real problem in Toledo, and the consensus was that we find a way to be present in the community as groups helping to meet this need.
The day of the inaugural Burrito Blessings 419 is fast approaching! This Saturday, 29 July, from 11:00 a.m. until noon, people can come to Grace and receive a hot burrito and a bag of non-perishable food items. Grace and Memorial have donated the ingredients for the burritos and the Jewish Federation is providing the bags of food.
Many volunteers have already been involved in planning this effort, and more will come together on Saturday to prep the food, assemble the burritos, and hand the items out to those who come.
For me, this represents a very real expression of Matthew 25, where Jesus exhorts us to feed those who are hungry. Not only will we offer food to fill bellies, we also will offer conversation and welcome to members of our community. That we engage in this effort with our Jewish friends gives me hope and joy, as we seek to spread the love of God to all of God’s children.
You are welcome to join in this effort, either this Saturday or on the last Saturday of each month moving forward. Hands are always welcome to assemble the food … and hearts are welcome to come be expanded and filled with grace, love, and joy.
It isn’t too late to plan to join us for Adult VBS from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. 31 July through 3 August! A light supper will be served at 6:00, followed by a lesson, music, recreation, and even a craft! Come one and all and learn more about Jesus, and have fun with our family of faith. You are welcome to come to a single class or as many as you can make!
Our new ramp was installed last week!!
Meditation on Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
By Vicar Dave
The other day, I was watching someone holding a small baby. They got me thinking about when my children were babies. They were so small and helpless, yet they had a very outsized impact on the family and the world around them. Whenever we went somewhere with them, they were always the center of attention. Especially when they were at the “babe in arms” stage. If they needed something, their cries would draw the attention of the entire house. And if you were traveling with a baby, you almost needed a trailer for all the necessary supplies that had to be taken with them. I think the reason for this was love. Everybody in my family loved the babies. Their grandparents, their aunts and uncles and cousins, their siblings and their parents. It’s funny how small things can have such a big impact sometimes. Waking up to a bird singing outside your window can help to start your day in a cheery fashion. So can waking up to the smell of fresh coffee brewing or breakfast cooking.
We sometimes look for the kingdom of God in the large, flashy places. Big cathedrals, like St. Peter’s Basilica with all of it beautiful paintings and the statues of the saints and so on. But with the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast, I think Jesus is trying to tell us to look in the small places as well. We can find the kingdom in some of the humblest places and among some of the most unlikely people around. Perhaps we’ll find it in the food pantry frequented by families who are struggling just to make ends meet. Perhaps in those very families as they continue in their faith despite their struggles. You might find the kingdom in a nursing home where an elderly patient prays for you. You could find it in some of the darkest places on earth, like a prison, where an inmate continues to believe that God loves him/her and will be sending them a better day.
I think that God likes to use the small and unexpected things to accomplish His great works. I remember the story of how Joseph, who was not just a slave in Egypt, he was in prison! Yet God choose to elevate him above others there, so that he could save his family when the time came. Look at how the Christian Church began. It had few followers, who were often persecuted by the Roman government, yet they remained strong in the faith and eventually gained acceptance. From that humble beginning, Christianity has grown, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, to be in every corner of the world.
Not too long ago, the phrase, “random acts of kindness” was being used to encourage people to do good for those around them. I don’t know why we got away from saying that, but maybe we could start again. Better yet, we could start living it. It doesn’t have to be big. A cold cup of water given to someone who’s thirsty on a hot day. Letting that person get in front of you in traffic. Even just smiling at someone as you pass them in the store. These small things have the potential to change someone’s day and then they might pass it on and before you know it, everyone could be experiencing the kingdom of God in the people around them.
Operation Christmas Child
In the month of August we are asking for donations of Crayons. They can be dropped off in the Giving Grace Room or to the office during the week.
Lessons from Jana!
Adventures with Jana!
I hope everyone had a nice week and that you’re ready to read what I was doing this week.
Well, this was quite an interesting week. I tried some new food and I visited amazing places. So, if you wanna know, keep reading.
We started the week as usual, with some meetings and planning things for next week. Pretty, normal day.
On Tuesday, pastor Brenda and I went to Fremont, small town near Toledo. Lovely lady, Becky, invited us to join and spent some time with the ladies of the Joy Circle of Grace Lutheran, Fremont. They were making quilts for a couple who are in a difficult time. We learned more about quilting and I had a chance to meet and talk more with Becky and her husband Henry, because I will be spending time there in August and September. I cannot wait to go there too.
Wednesday was my special day, because I went on a baseball game for the first time in my life. Toledo team is Mud Hens, they didn’t win but it was cool watching it. Ohh yeah, almost forgot… I tried real mac and cheese (delicious) and I even got little helmet like cap with Mud Hens logo.
If you think this is the end of my adventures this week, well, you’re wrong.
On Thursday my new friend Milena and I were at the Cedar Point, one of the biggest and really popular amusement parks in the USA. Well, I cannot describe my happiness that day. We had so much fun, we went on various rollercoasters and rides. Honestly, some rides were scary but I wanted to try everything so, I tried.
The whole amusement park is nicely decorated. They have rides for kids, shows, animals, little historical villages, places with delicious food and drinks etc.
Friday was reserved for Butterfly house drive-in cinema. I went to the Butterfly house with ladies from church. It was nice to see butterflies fluttering around people. They were everywhere. One even landed on my leg.
In the evening Milena and I went to the cinema and we watched two movies, Barbie and Pretty in pink. I liked both of them, but Barbie was much more than I expected. Movie is just outstanding with very smart and nice message.
And, adventure continues… On Saturday Ron and Gretchen (couple where I will be staying soon) took me to the hot air balloon show and car show. Due to the weather, they didn’t release balloons into the air but we still had good time. I saw old-time cars and heard more about their history. There were a lot of food trucks too, so I had one of best burgers. Nice way to end evening.
My week ended with the Sunday service. With kids we talked about love, what is love for them and why is so important. We learned that ” Jesus loves all people the same” and He is always with us…
That would be it for this week. I hope you enjoy reading my blog. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. Stay tuned for more.
Have a blessed week!
Behind the scenes at Grace….by Gretchen
- Did you see it? The ramp is up, complete with concrete pad to the parking area and cutout in the concrete to get onto the sidewalk – to sum it up no steps to get into the Monroe Street side of the church!! Yahoo!
- The rain has been great for all the flowers! Thanks to the rain and Connie’s “magic juice”!
- Another reminder – we cannot put cardboard in the trash bin as it limits the amount of trash we can put in and if the lid continues to be up, we will have an additional charge.
- Don’t forget even though it is in the 90’s we are still collecting blankets and coats for Tent City! When it is this hot it is a great time to stay inside and clean closets with the air conditioner running!
- Please include in your prayers the “Youth Group” as they left Sunday morning for their Mission Trip! Watch for pictures of the trip!
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace!
Youth group left on their mission trip Sunday morning.
Healthy People ! Healthy Parish !
- Wear Sunscreen! The sun is out there – clouds, Canadian smoke and haze – the rays still are harmful. Don’t forget to reapply on a regular basis and when swimming.
- Wear a hat when out to protect yourself from the sun – exposed ears and bald heads are great targets for a burn!
- Drink water – stay hydrated! Even eating foods high in water like watermelon can help. Those people who are seasoned (ie older) often do not drink enough water normally so it is even more important when warmer! Coffee, caffeine drinks are not good ones for hydration as they can function as a diuretic, increasing trips to the bathroom.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes – kids should also be wearing them.
- Light clothes reflect the sun so can make you a little cooler.
- Exercise in the early morning or late afternoon/early evening when it is not the hottest and the sun’s rays are not beating down on you. Carry water with you!
- Wear bug repellent! Bright colors have also been known to attract bugs! Wear shoes when out in the yard – bugs, especially the stinging kind can be hard to see in the grass.
- Close your curtains or blinds that face the sun – can help to keep your house cooler!
- Make sure your pets have water and a cool place to hang out. Walk them early or later in the day and bring water. Don’t forget their pads can also be burned by hot pavement – just think if you can fry an egg what it does to your pets feet.
- Make sure to keep cold food cold – ugly ,yuck bacteria take very little time to grow when its hot leading to some bad stomach issues and possibly a trip to the Emergency Room. Keep drinks in a separate cooler from food as people are into the drinks frequently which can expose food to warm temperatures and the yuck bacteria.
- Keep plenty of gas in your car and water – who knows when you run into a traffic jam due to construction and how long it may take you to get out of it!
Play it safe this summer !
I have a nest egg! This is thought to have originated from the practice of farmers placing fake eggs in hen’s nest to encourage them to lay more eggs, resulting in more income for the farmer – thus “Nest Egg”
Put a Sock In it! In the late1800’s people used socks to stuff the horns of their gramophones (Hmm what is a gramophone) to muffle the sound (early volume control) .
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!