Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you shall honor me.
Summer at Grace
Worship continues at Grace in the summer but with a few special services and changes. For those that are unable to attend on a Sunday, mid-week services are held on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in the Chapel
June 4, 11, 18 Services at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
June 25 Contemporary Service at 10:30 followed by lunch; hot dogs/buns will be provided, attendees are asked
to bring either a dessert or a salad
July 2 Blended service at 9:30 a.m.
July 9 Blended service at 9:30 a.m.
July 16 Blended service at 9:30 a.m.
July 23 Blended service at 9:30 a.m.
July 30 Ragtime Rick service at 10:30 a.m. followed by a meal
August Traditional service at 9:30 a.m.
Sept 3 Traditional service at 9:30 a.m.
Sept 10 Grace’s fall schedule begins!
Sunday Fellowship Time
Sunday June 11 – Contemporary Team
June 18th – Father’s Day – Donuts for Dads
If anyone is willing to donate a dozen donuts
Please contact Sue Wagner at email@example.com or 419- 475-8972.
Thank you in in advance!
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.
Meditation on Matthew 9:9-13, 18-26
By Vicar Dave
I’m always struck by the difference in power between Jesus and those whose lives He touches. Today’s reading is yet another example of that. We start with Matthew, who was simply going about his business that fateful day, when Jesus walked into his life and told him to follow Him. I think it’s important to note that Jesus isn’t asking Matthew to follow him, He’s telling him. In response, Matthew drops what he’s doing, right then and there, and goes with Jesus. Jesus did this with other disciples as well. Consider Peter, Andrew, James and John. All of them were in the middle of their workday when Jesus told them to follow Him. In all five of these examples, Jesus calls the disciples, and they are compelled to stop what they are doing and to follow Him.
After calling Matthew and sitting down to a meal with him and his friends, a “leader of the synagogue” comes to Jesus with a problem that he is powerless to resolve on his own, and he’s asking for Jesus’ help. I thought it was interesting how the author wanted to differentiate between this man and the Pharisees, who had just been criticizing Jesus for His choice of dinner companions. This leader’s daughter has died, and in his desperation, he sought out Jesus and begged Him for assistance. So, Jesus goes with the leader to help him with his daughter.
On the way to the leader’s house, Jesus encounters another person with a problem that they are powerless to resolve, the unnamed woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. Not only has she had to deal with the physical discomfort of uncontrolled bleeding for many years, but there’s also the social stigma that goes along with it. In ancient Jewish culture, they had many things that would make someone ritually unclean, which would disqualify them from participating in the practice of their religion, amongst several aspects of life. One of these conditions that would make someone ritually unclean was the type of hemorrhaging that this woman was experiencing. For the last twelve years, she was unable to participate in almost all aspects of life in a Jewish society. Her condition had to have psychological affects due to the isolation that resulted from the societal norms of the time along with the physical discomfort. This woman comes to Jesus in the hopes that by merely touching His cloak as He passes, she could be cured.
In our lives, we often encounter things that are too big for us to handle. A loved one who is gravely ill, for example. When I was young, I remember praying for my older brother because I was afraid that he would be drafted and sent off to fight in the Vietnam War. Clearly, this was something that I had no control over and no power to affect one way or the other. But God had that power. There are everyday situations like that too. They might involve a promotion at work or being accepted at the right university. It might also be one of us parents praying for the safe return of our child after they’ve gone out with their friends. These are examples of things where we can do our best to make them happen, but in the end it’s out of our control.
When we take these things to the Lord in prayer, we can rest assured that He will hear our requests and that the situation will be taken care of in accordance with God’s will. It may not end up the way we want it to, but we can be certain that, as with everything else, all shall be well.
Affirmation of Baptism. Olivia Reeb and Callie Moore.
Attention Families with Sunday School Children
Our last class will be on June 18, 2023 for the 2022-2023 school year.
Remember to FROG (Fully Rely on God) and enjoy the summer.
You can join us for this year’s VBS program on July 10-14 here at Grace.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God and believe also in me.” –John 14:1
I have been a Christian—specifically a Lutheran—for my entire life. The faith and the Church have always been a part of who I am: from worship, to Sunday School, to VBS and church camp, to committee work, to my life’s vocation.
Even though I cannot remember a time when the Church was not a part of my life, I also cannot remember a time when there has been such widespread discussion of religion in the world at large. Some wondered how to connect with their faith or how to deepen it. Some question what they have learned. Some doubt. Some identify as “spiritual” but not “religious.”
I feel sure that this is prompted to a large degree by the state of the world and our fear and anxiety as we encounter such situations as hunger, ecological issues, social, political, and cultural issues, and violence on local, national, and global levels. Humans feel a strong need to ask questions and find meaning in the midst of life’s chaos, and so conversations and debates about religion and faith abound; in families, in the Church, in the political realm, and in the secular world. Many people have thoughts or opinions about God and faith, and voice them with varying degrees of passion.
As with so many things in life, there seems to be both an upside and a downside to this. On the positive side, anything that gets people thinking about God and faith can be good. When we begin to wonder about the big questions of life, we have an opportunity to draw closer to the Creator and to appreciate the role that God has in all aspects of the world. On the downside, when there are so many diverse and passionate opinions, there are bound to be quarrels, as people can become convinced that their understanding of God and God’s will is the only correct way to believe.
What are people of faith to do? How are we to live in the midst of fear, cynicism, apathy, and anger? How do we respond to the questions and discussions of religion and faith that are all around us? How do we witness with integrity to what we believe to be true about our merciful and gracious God, the God who sent the Son to save us all?
Christians must start by first being grounded in the faith. It is difficult to respond to the world if we have no foundation upon which to stand. How will we answer questions about our faith if we have not first looked to the source of our belief for a foundation? Where do we start?
Perhaps the most obvious starting point is regular worship. It is here that we encounter God in perhaps the most obvious ways: as bread is broken and wine is poured; as the Word is proclaimed; as prayers are offered; as fellowship is shared; as praise is given and blessings are received. Without regular worship, without that regular corporate connection to God and each other, the foundation for any discussion and exploration of religion and faith is simply not as strong.
Bible study is also key. It is in the regular, intentional study of the Word of God that we see how God’s promises and grace infuse every part of our lives. It is here that we learn how to live as the people of God. Whether alone or in groups that allow for wrestling with issues and discussion, the study of the Word of God is integral to being a witness to God in the world.
Prayer is crucial. We must engage in conversation with God: confessing our failings, rejoicing in our gifts and in the grace of God, placing difficult situations in God’s hands. Prayer is conversation with God. As in any relationship, if there is no conversation, there can be no lasting, deep connection.
Giving is fundamental; the giving of time, talent, and treasure as a response to the love of God. When we give—our time in service to the Church and to our neighbors, our talents for the ministry of the Church, our money so that the Church’s mission may continue and grow—we are demonstrating that we trust that God will always provide us with enough: enough energy, enough hope, enough compassion, enough daily bread … so that we can be vital witnesses to the Gospel.
Fellowship with other believers is also important. In our time with others who believe, we have the chance to voice our concerns, share our joys, and ask questions. We may not always agree with one another, but our faith can still be strengthened through such times, as we have the opportunity to stretch and grow, to be inspired and to be inspiring. These times need not be formal, directed classes or groups; they can happen over coffee or in casual conversation. Anytime we have the chance to talk about our faith, we will be nurtured—even if we feel challenged.
There is no doubt that the world is a chaotic, complex, confusing, and often troubling place. It is no wonder that there is a much fear and mistrust in the world. It is no wonder that more and more people are turning to religion and faith to try to make some sense of it all. As we live in this world, as we engage in conversation with each other, as we seek to be faithful to our God and God’s Word, let us continually turn to God for strength, for knowledge, for guidance, for patience, for mercy, and for love. Without that foundation, our discussions may be reduced to bickering and judgment … and the message of salvation and grace may be hidden in the process.
Prayer Breakfast: Another Opportunity on 15 July!
Prayer is vital to who we are as followers of Jesus. It gives us a place to share our innermost thoughts with God, and a way to listen to what God is trying to tell us.
Lets’ gather again for a time of prayer and fellowship on Saturday, 15 July at 9:00 a.m. at Wildwood Metropark!
We will use this time to practice natura divina, in which we contemplate images in nature to assist us as we seek to connect with God in prayer. There will be an opportunity for a brief walk, as well as opportunities for those who do not wish to walk. We will spend some time in prayer, and then enjoy a light breakfast and conversation.
Details about where to gather will follow. For now, please plan to join us! If you would like to bring a light breakfast item to share, that would be wonderful.
A sign up sheet will be available in the back of the nave.
Behind the scenes at Grace ….by Gretchen
- Connie Thomas has been at it again! The beautiful red geraniums have been planted in the garden in front of the church and her “magic juice” is making them more beautiful by the day! Thank you, Connie!
- There are some strange and unusual tables that showed up on the right side of the church this last Sunday! I think we have seen them before, but it has been a while … They are the tables and cushions for the Bells! The Bells are back! The group has been practicing – soon we will hear them!
- The Flower Chart in the hallway by the big church has some openings You may order flowers through Schramm’s or how about bringing some beautiful blooms from your garden to grace the altar. Although we have on good authority that Goldenrod does not count as a beautiful bloom by all those who sneeze, so it has been strongly suggested not to bring in!
- Don’t forget to label food in the refrigerators and freezers with the group name and date opened. We have found some mystery packages with “green moss” that were unnamed. Any food that is not labeled will be relegated to the garbage can as well as any past best sell dates. We want to keep people from becoming ill as well as not having “stinky” refrigerators.
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s mission.
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
You are a grandparent when:
1.You can no longer remember what your refrigerator door looks like because it is covered with pictures and artwork!
- The last 2 best sellers you read were Goodnight Moon and Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Not sure what happened to Red Riding Hood and Green Eggs and Ham!
- You had to brush up on instructions for Go Fish and Candyland!
- Your shopping list includes ice cream, goldfish crackers, Little Debbie stuff, chocolate milk, etc.
- Your most prized possession is a piece of colored construction paper with some crayon scribbles and a few pieces of raw macaroni glued to it!
- You feel an indescribable melting feeling when that little hand reaches for yours and batting those eyelashes does not hurt either!
This is great exercise that does not require special equipment other than a good pair of shoes, can be done alone or with others (even a 4 – legged other) , and you do not need to attend a class or have a trainer to do!
It can be done inside or outside (although outside is better), can be done morning, noon or night and in any kind of weather.
How does walking really improve our health?
- It supports our mental health! It helps the body release hormones called endorphins that reduce stress and increase our sense of wellbeing. It also helps with getting our Vitamin D to help with bone strength.
- It helps us to be healthy as we grow older. It is low impact, so we are not pounding on our joints, it is a weight bearing exercise that actually helps keep bones strong, and it helps strengthen muscles. It also helps strengthen the muscles that help to maintain balance and prevent falls.
- It helps with maintaining a healthy weight as well as helping with weight loss. Research has found that exercising for a minimum of 150 minutes per week is good for maintaining health.
- It helps our heart and lungs. It uses oxygen to provide energy to muscles and strengthen the heart. Walking helps reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke and even high cholesterol. It also improves our lung capacity which means we can take in more air and do not become as short of breath.
- It helps the brain! It increases the blood flow to the brain which brings important nutrients and oxygen. Research has shown that it helps with slowing mental decline and may even improve your memory.
- Walkers also have reported that they experience better sleep!
Some other important “things” with walking!
- Wear good shoes not flip flops – supportive shoes. Make sure your laces are tied well!
- Wear bright clothing so everyone can see you. Neon orange and yellow are a true fashion statement when walking! A blinking vest will really put you over the top and make a great gift!
- Walk in the correct area if on the road and stay to one side of the sidewalk. Watch for uneven sidewalks as they can cause an unfortunate close encounter with the ground.
- Don’t buzz the crosswalk signs – wait for the sign that it is safe to cross and still double check for traffic.
- Morning and evening sun can make it difficult for drivers to see you so make sure you look before crossing and even walking along the road.
- Bicyclists can often sneak up on you and they should be yelling what side they are on so take the earbuds out and enjoy the birds and nature sounds!
- Earbuds also make it difficult to hear traffic!
- Be aware of your surroundings – if it does not feel safe it probably isn’t so get to a safe area.
- Walk with a partner – another person or even your 4-legged family member. You might even consider borrowing a friend’s 4 – legged friend to join you!
- Hydrate – take a water bottle with you and one for your 4-legged friend.
- Don’t walk in the heat of the day – stay home and cool between 11-4!
- Carry your charged cell phone just in case. Do you have at least one Emergency Contact designated on your Contact List??? Do you carry identification information? A great gift is to buy an ID band or even put the written information in your sock!
What if you are not able to get out and walk long distances? Then walk around your house, apartment , and apartment hallways . Walking is good wherever we can do it.
Have You Heard? Do You Not Know?
Grace Church has opportunity to host and mentor Jana Jaroslav Marek from Serbia this summer. Grace is working with the International Relations Committee of the Slovak Zion Synod, ELCA here in the US, and the Slovak Lutheran Church in Serbia.
Jana is 20 years old and is currently working as a Sunday School Teacher and congregational administrator at her church. Her interests include youth ministry, youth education and community-focused ministries. She is looking forward to being able to spend time working with our Grace family and its ministries and is looking forward to being able to experience a new culture and discover new perceptions within the Lutheran Church and integrate these into her formative skill set.
Plans are moving forward, but before final plans can be made, we need to have an individual or family to offer to host Jana for the majority of her visit. These details are still being worked out, but the main responsibility of the host would be to provide comfortable sleeping arrangements, light breakfast if possible, maybe some dinners, and some light companionship during her visit. Pastor Brenda and others will take care of her coming and going, mentoring, activities, and most other meals. If anyone would like to consider offering a spare room in your home, please talk to Pastor Brenda. We would really like to strengthen and expand our Slovak Lutheran Church in Serbia relationship by hosting and learning from Jana, and we are praying someone will answer the call to host.
Pastor Brenda & Ron Hiatt – Outreach Ministry
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a paper copy in worship on Sunday, 4 June or Sunday, 11 June and place it in the offering plate.
Have you attended this worship service?
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!