To you I lift up my eyes,
                             to you enthroned in the heavens.

                                                                                    ~Psalm 123:1


For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become servants of one another.– Galatians 5:13

As I write this, our country is preparing to celebrate Independence Day. It is indeed a privilege to celebrate the freedoms we have in the United States; freedoms such as freedom to worship how we wish, freedom of speech, freedom to vote, freedom to own property, freedom to travel where we wish–to name but a few. It is appropriate to celebrate these freedoms and the people who fought and advocated to secure them … even as we continue to address inequality and     injustice, and work to make certain these freedoms are equitably available to all.

I cannot help but think also about what it means to be free as a Christian. Christian freedom is the profound liberation found in Jesus. Through him, we are freed from sin and offered a new way of life. This freedom is not an invitation to indulge in whatever we like, but rather a call to live in love and service to others in the name of Jesus. This freedom fosters a deep sense of peace and joy, as we realize that nothing we can do can ever save us, but that God loves us so much that he has offered us this gift of freedom.

Our freedoms as Americans give us opportunities some in many other nations do not have. When we couple those freedoms with the knowledge that we have been freed, loved, and called to mission by the One who was generous, compassionate, and loving to all he met, the challenge for us becomes to find ways to use our civil freedoms to point others to the freedom and love we have through Jesus. When we take that to heart, we can do nothing less but speak out against prejudice, hatred, and fear and for understanding, compassion, mercy, and love. The love of God in Jesus Christ always leans toward these things. Those who have been freed through Christ can do no less than proclaim the  Gospel boldly.

Blessings to you as we celebrate Independence Day on 4 July, and as we boldly live our lives every day as those who claim our freedom through Jesus.

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda



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


The Readings for Sunday July 7, 2024

Ezekiel 2:1-5

Psalm 123

2 Corinthians 12:2-10

Mark 6:1-13




JULY 8 – 12

5:30 PM – 8:00 PM


We are in the countdown to Vacation Bible School 2024 here at Grace and the opportunity to kick-off and close the VBS mission offering that will help provide school supplies for students in need at Horizon Academy.  Noisy offerings will be collected at services on July 7 and July 14. Please join us with your offering, noisy or not, for this cause.

Thank you!!             

Christian Life Formation

Ministry Team 

Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time

In Fellowship Hall

July 7 – Sue Wagner and Sue Melchert   

July 14 – Contemporary Team



by Vicar Dave

Give thanks to the Lord your God for all that He has done and praise His name is all places.

It’s easy to praise God when things are going well, but what about when they aren’t? We’ve all experienced disappointment in our lives. Perhaps we didn’t get the grade we wanted on a test, or we might have been passed over for a promotion. Maybe we’ve even lost a job that we depended on to support ourselves and our family.

Sometimes, when things aren’t going well, rather than continuing to praise God for the blessings we have received, we blame Him for the things that have gone wrong. Sometimes, we might pray to God and trying to make a bargain with Him. “If you help me, Lord, I promise to start going to church every week” or something like that. In psalm 30 the author seems to be saying something like that in verse 9. “What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?” That almost sounds like a threat!

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying that there are no atheists in fox holes? It’s an illustration regarding how when we are the most desperate, even the non-believer turns to God for help and rescue. But even so, things don’t always go the way we’d like them too. What do we do then?

God never promised to solve all our earthly problems. But He did promise to be there with us, to help us through them. Just as Jesus calmed the storm on the sea, He can calm the storm in our hearts and give us the strength to pass through any trouble. Things won’t always turn out the way we’d hope, but God will always be there with us. Praise be to God.


Thank you, Contemporary Team, for providing the uplifting music for the June 30th service.  Your dedication to this important ministry and your hard work is an inspiration to Grace members. Thank you again!




Here is a fun summer project that ANYONE can do. 

After all, aren’t we all “kids at heart”? 

This was reprinted, with permission,  from Highlights for Children. 

This also might be a GREAT project to share! 

Hope you have fun! 


At the special congregational meeting on 30 June, those present voted unanimously to move ahead with installing two monitors in the nave.

Thank you for your questions and your attendance!



This season is a perfect time to spend time in a park; either walking or just sitting, noticing the beautiful world that God has created.  On most days, you will see a sky that is so blue and trees that are full of bloom and greenness all around.  You may hear birds chirping, or insects calling to one another.  Just listen.

If you are unable to go to a park, take a moment to sit outside; on a porch, on a swing, or on a step.  Take in the sounds of nature, the smell of freshly mown grass, the sky, the trees, and the flowers.  Maybe it is the smell of rain before or after a rainstorm.   Listen to and notice the gifts that God, our Father, has so lovingly provided for us; His children, to enjoy.

This week’s Prayer Corner Message is a meditation you can try as you sit and listen and notice God’s gifts all around you.


Nature is always ready to teach us something. We just need to learn to listen.  Whether it is a lesson in harmony, simplicity, strength, patience, or generosity, There’s so much to be discovered if we are willing to tune in. Today, find a place to sit outside for at least 10 minutes. Keep your eyes open and see what nature offers up. Bring your attention to the Earth, the sky, the animals, the plants, and the trees. If you find your mind drifting off to something else, gently bring it back to the present moment.

What are you experiencing? What do you think the earth and God is trying to tell you?

From nature meditations by Kenya Jackson-Saulters


Supporting SASE a sassy catchphrase for some important enhancements to the sights and sounds of Grace 

On Sunday June 30 the congregation approved moving forward with adding video monitors to the Nave. This will be the final piece of a comprehensive project to     enhance the worship experience for those with sight or hearing difficulties who attend Grace in person or virtually. The total project includes

  • Replacing the over 20 plus year-old sound board to improve sound recording and playback. This will also enable additional microphones and audio monitors to be used during the services without bringing in a supplemental system currently needed for use by the Praise team in the Nave.
  • Fixed Cameras for video recordings for use by our homebound and others who attend virtually.
  • Video monitors for the Nave to allow hymn lyrics, announcements, readings and other important messages to be projected to be LARGE LETTERS for those who have difficulties reading our current bulletin and hymnal.

The entire project will be in the $14,000-$15,000 price range. To date we have received $3,000 in contributions specifically earmarked for this project.   While there are undesignated monies available that Council can earmark as needed, many members gladly contribute to specially designated projects over and above their regular tithes and offerings.

For those who are interested in improving what we and others see and hear in the Nave and online, please consider making a designated gift to the Sight and Sound Enhancement Fund.  Please mark your envelope SASE and place in the offering plate or mail in a contribution.   



This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24