O Lord our Lord,
  how majestic is your name in all the earth! 

~Psalm 8:9



Pastor’s Thoughts:

What does the word “community” mean to you? Does it mean people gathered or living in a certain place? Does it mean people gathered with shared ideas, values, and beliefs? Does it mean a place where support is found? Does it mean a place where people assist others as needed? Does it mean the community of faith we call the congregation?

We tend to think of communities as an area—literal or figurative—which we engage in and with. We relate in many ways, and even benefit in many ways from our communities. But it seems to me that also hold fast to our sense of individuality, often tending first (and sometimes most) to our own needs and desires.

Before our synod delegation went to Tanzania, Wellington Kamala (a member of our group who is a native Tanzanian and has lived in Bowling Green for many years) told us a bit about how Tanzanians understand community. He related that Tanzanians understand themselves first in relation to others. There is more focus on “us” than on “me.”

Life in Tanzania—both personal life and church life—is always seen in connection with others. There seems to be an understanding that what I do can bless you, and what you do can bless me … and what we do together can bless people around us. When people are asked to tell about themselves, they speak first of their communities of faith and of family. Only then do they speak about themselves and things such as their work.

I love that connectedness. I wonder how our communities might be strengthened if we think from a community and connection perspective? What might that look like in worship? What might that look like in our giving? What might that look like in our outreach? What might that look like in our care for one another? What might it mean if we as the community of faith called Grace Lutheran Church  recognize that we hold in common belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God who came to die and to rise for us … and realize that much of how we express that belief is reflective of our personal tastes? How might we be enriched and blessed by rejoicing in some of the diverse ways others express their faith; through music, through different words, through different ways of serving?

Our personal needs are important, of course. We all have things we need and want, and we all have personal hopes and dreams. But what if we could think about what we could all do together as the people of God to bless our community? What if we could wonder first what our neighbor might need (Is it food? Is it a listening ear? Is it a sense of welcome and acceptance?), even as we hope someone else is thinking of how they might be present as a blessing for us?

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda


Sunday Fellowship Time

June 4th -Deb Fallon and Wendy McCall


Operation Christmas Child

In the month of June we are asking for donations of marbles and/or chalk. They can be dropped off in the Giving Grace Room or to the office during the week.



Behind the scenes at Grace….by Gretchen

  1. We have 3 new members on Council – Brenda Holderman, Nancy Lockard and Janet Moore! Please welcome them!
  2. A few new places have been added to the “Blood On The Move” board! The Red Cross sends out an email 3-4 weeks after you have donated to let you know where your blood has traveled. Let Gretchen know, and she will add to the board. Currently we have 27 different healthcare facilities that have been able to use our blood!!
  3. We have had 2 youth complete Confirmation classes and were confirmed on Sunday May 28th – Callie Moore and Olivia Reeb .
  4. Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace Carrying out God’s mission.


VOLUNTEER      1          WEEDS      0

Thank  you to Brenda Holderman for stepping up to the weeds in the Office Entrance flower bed and showing them who is boss.   

Or and winning the fight.       

What a lovely difference!


And thank you, Connie, for planting the Geraniums out front – they are beautiful!!


Colors are the smiles of nature

(Leigh Hunt)

We do not remember the days ,we remember the moments

(Cesare Paverese)


Iringa Road Lutheran Church is


 (Part 2)            

 by Ron Hiatt

As Pastor Brenda and I were given a tour of the church property and building, we noticed several locations where building bricks are being stock piled.  We learned that the parish is embarking on a huge expansion   project that will more than double the capacity of the worship area, with more office space, meeting rooms, work areas and expanded Sunday School classroom space.  As there is little room left to build “out”, they have decided to “build up”.  The plan is to take off the existing roof and add an entire second floor to the church building.  They showed us drawings of the renovated and expanded church will look like.  It will be like a brand-new church building, looking nothing like the current structure. 


Iringa Road Church current main entrance                

Entrance and Pastor’s Office                          

Iringa Road current church building                  


A project like this can take anywhere from a couple of years to as many as 5 or more years to complete. Construction progresses in phases as the funds to complete each phase is received through offerings. Iringa Road has been receiving offerings for the project and building blocks and other materials have been bought. They will soon start the actual removal of the existing roof and begin the “build up”. What an exciting time this will be.  It is our intention to remain in contact with them during construction, and to offer prayers of thanksgiving and support that the added space will allow IRLC to expand its service to the Kingdom. Please add IRLC to your prayers.

God is Good, all the time.  And all the time, God is Good!  Bwana Asifiwe (Praise God).


Building Block being stockpiled

Building Block being stockpiled

More Building Blocks Stockpiled

The Countdown is On!

24 Days and the Annual Interfaith Blood Drive is on! The drive is on Saturday from 8:30-2:30 in Brenner Hall! We still have some great times open for appointments! You may register on the Red Cross Web Site or call Gretchen and she will help you.

With the 4th of July holiday coming, the Red Cross likes to make sure that there is a significant supply to handle any injuries or unexpected surgeries. So please help them be prepared!


(From Bishop Daniel’s synod e-mail newsletter, used with permission)

Dear Friends in Christ,

This past week, I was blessed to travel with a delegation from the Northwestern Ohio Synod, to attend the Consecration of Newly Elected Bishop Christian Ndossa of the Dodoma Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.  The Dodoma Diocese and the Northwestern Ohio Synod have been Global Companions for many decades.  Our time with the people of God in the heart of Tanzania was a true gift.

“Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and take their places at the banquet in the kingdom of God” (Luke 13:29).

We are a part of a global church, drawn together by the Holy Spirit from east and west, from north and south, to be the whole people of God for the sake of the world. Global Companions of the Northwestern Ohio Synod include: The Slovak Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia-Montenegro, the Mexican Lutheran Church, and The Dodoma Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania.

On Sunday morning, May 7, I was blessed to participate in the Consecration of newly elected Bishop Christian Ndossa of the Dodoma Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania on the grounds of the Lutheran Cathedral in the heart of Dodoma. Church leaders knew that the Cathedral, which seats 1500 people, would be too small for the event, so thousands of chairs were set up under numerous tents.  

The Service of Consecration began at 8:00 a.m. and continued into the early afternoon. The estimated attendance was just over 3,000 people, while countless others watched the service that was broadcast on national television across Tanzania. The preaching was powerful.  The liturgy was moving. The music led by several diverse choirs was inspiring. The Northwestern Ohio Synod presented Bishop Ndossa with a Pectoral Cross and a Bishop’s Ring.  My role in the service was to bless the new Bishop’s Mitre and place it on his head with the Swahili words, “Kwa jina la Baba, na la Mwana, na la Roho Mtakatifu” (In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.)

At the end of the service, we were addressed by newly    consecrated Bishop Christian Ndossa of the Dodoma Diocese, Presiding Bishop Fredrick Shoo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, and the Vice-President of    Tanzania, Philip Mpango.  A time of food and fellowship on the grounds of the Lutheran Cathedral followed the Service of Consecration.  This was a sacred moment that I will remember for the rest of my days.

In the photo I am taking part of the consecration of Bishop Christian Ndossa through prayer and the laying on of hands.


If you would like to receive synod email updates from Bishop Daniel, email info@nwos-elca.org


Healthy People! Healthy Parish!




Yes, it is out in full rays! We have finally been able to get by all the cloudy and dreary days! Even though it has not quite heated up we are still very vulnerable to sunburn. Don’t forget to put the sunscreen on even when chilly and even when cloudy as the rays do go through the clouds. If you are swimming don’t forget to reapply when out of the water. The reflection of the sun off the water can sneak up on you and cause an unfortunate burn!

Ears are often the forgotten part to apply sunscreen.

Don’t forget the kids too!

Broad spectrum sunscreen products  that protect against UVA and UVB rays are the way to be safe!  a minimum SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15 is needed and many MDs recommend 30 or higher!

Protect and Enjoy!



Dave O’Brien

I once had a friend, a co-worker in the prison, ask me a question about my faith. I think he was what we’d call a Unitarian and rejected the notion of the Holy Trinity. He asked if I really believed that, when I stand before God, I will see three distinct individuals. I told him that I honestly don’t know what I’ll see because in this human form, my ability to see and understand God’s true nature is far too limited.

So, what do we believe about the Holy Trinity? Well, as Lutherans, we are taught that the Trinity is a mystery that cannot be comprehended by human thought alone. We can never fully understand how three are one, but only worship God in faith because of what has been revealed to us in Scripture and through our holy Christian Tradition.

Each year, we celebrate the Triune nature of our Lord, as expressed in the persons of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who are both distinct, yet one. That’s got to be a bit confusing, even for the faithful, let alone the non-believer. One plus one plus one usually equals three, at least in a mathematical sense. But we Christians say that the three distinct persons of God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are also one God. Equal in majesty and divinity and grace. Thomas Jefferson, who authored the Declaration of Independence, was the third president of the United States and was considered to be an intellectual giant in his time, had such a hard time wrapping his brain around the concept that he wrote to John Adams, another of the Founding Fathers and a respected thinker, that he felt it was impossible to believe “that three are one, and one is three; and yet that the one is not three, and the three are not one”. But perhaps the fact that he was trying to understand it was part of his problem. The Holy Trinity is not something to be understood, but rather, a mystery to be pondered and marveled at. Christianity is not a math problem, it is the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.

The Trinity is a mystery that cannot be understood by human reasoning but is best understood by faith. The Athanasian Creed was an early summary of Christian doctrine, which tried to explain the belief in the Holy Trinity. It is traditionally believed to have been written by Athanasius, archbishop of Alexandria, who lived in the 4th century A.D. The Creed stated, in part that, “We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being. For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another. But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, co-eternal in majesty. What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.”

The way I’ve always thought of the concept of the Holy Trinity is that it’s an attempt to describe in words that we humans can understand, the multifaceted nature of God, something that we are unable to understand due to our limited capacity to understand. It is an attempt to paint a picture for us that will be forever pale and blurred in this lifetime. We cannot and will not understand God’s nature fully until we are with Him, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in their heaven. Personally, I think that’s really great! To think that God will have more mysteries to reveal to us in the eternal life we will share with the Holy Trinity! We truly worship a dynamic God!


Wednesday Worship Survey

      As you may know, Grace offers a worship service in the chapel on Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. The Worship and Music Committee is interested in hearing some of your thoughts regarding this worship opportunity.

Please take a few minutes to answer the questions below. You can submit your answers electronically to the church office at office@gracelutherantoledo.org or fill out a paper copy in worship on Sunday, 4 June or Sunday, 11 June and place it in the offering plate.

Thank you!

Have you attended this worship service?

___Yes   ___No


If you have attended, did you do so as an alternative to Sunday worship?

___Yes   ___ No


If you have attended, but not as an alternative to Sunday worship, can you share your reason?



If you have not attended, what might draw you to attend?



Would you prefer a formal or less formal worship service on Wednesday evening?



This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24