It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praise to your name, O Most High…

~Psalm 92:1


The Church and your Favorite Sports Team

Throughout history Religion and Sports have existed to bring people of diverse backgrounds together to mutually share good times and commiserate with each other in other times. Unfortunately, throughout history hatred and violence against others have occurred between supporters of rival Teams/Religions.

Each of us probably have a favorite sport be it Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Volleyball, or that other game also called football that is widely played and watched in the U.S. but not many other counties. With your favorite sport you probably have a favorite team be it professional, college, high school or even a youth travel team.

Like your favorite sports team, individual churches experience ebbs and flows of success as players on the team leave and others join. Bringing in a new “Player” into a sports team or a church worship team means that team dynamics shift and it often takes several seasons for the new group of team members to build trust and cohesion. That is even truer when a star player leaves and is replaced by a person coming in from outside, either a rookie new to it all or even a veteran who has served a different team/congregation with different system.

How do the spectators and other team members react to that new player when there is the inevitable stumble? The old cliché goes there is no I in team. Unfortunately, there is both a M and an E in team and when teams stumble due the something done or left undone by the new person other members may start thinking in terms of Me in how to showcase their individual performances instead of working even harder and ensuring the success of the entire team. This is particularly true when everyone knows the person brought in is essentially there to fill out the team only until management can complete a trade, draft, or free agent signing to bring in the new star player.

In baseball this could mean the pitcher tries to strike everyone out rather than rely on the defensive skills of the new fielder.  It may mean the basketball point guard instead of a passing it to the new player tries to score him/her self. A football quarterback may decide it would be better to run the ball themself rather than risk handing it off to the new player.  In the end the team ends up losing if too many are focusing only on the ME and not on the complete team.

With a church we are all team members and we all have responsibility for ensuring the success of Grace. God has given each of us individual capabilities to use in service to him. Yes, some of our team members have talents that are unique to the rest of us at Grace. We must recognize that unless every one on the team is playing from the same playbook for the collective good of all at Grace that we will be doomed to becoming that lovable loser.

~Submitted by David Charvat



Welcome Cindy Matthews!

Cindy has joined us here at

Grace Lutheran Church –

officially last Sunday, June 6, 2021.

Cindy has been singing with the Praise Band for some time now –

her smiling face here every Sunday!

We are so grateful and so very blessed to have her with us.

Welcome, Cindy!


Our next get together is scheduled for Monday June 21 from 11:00am – noon in Fellowship Hall. There will be a short devotion and program and lots of time for treats, coffee (and iced tea) and for conversation!

Come join us and this is for all, not just the ladies of the church.

Any question see Mary Schneider or Gretchen Hiatt.


Meditation by David O’Brien

Heavenly Father, Thank You for using me in Your ministry! I on my own, am an empty vessel. Let Your Holy Spirit take full control of me and let Him speak through my writings. You know the needs of the people who’ll be reading this meditation. I submit myself to You so that You can use me in whichever way You want to. I choose to glorify only You Lord. I do not want any glory for myself.

God uses us for His work as He sees fit! That’s what I got out of the Old Testament reading for today. He took the twig from the top of the tree, where it made up part of the crown, removed it from its high, lofty station, and replanted it to form the base of a new tree! This didn’t make the twig any less important, it just gave it a different job. It reminds me of 1 Corinthians 12, where the author talks about how there is one body with many parts, all of them being right where God intended. They all have different jobs, but they are all necessary for the body as a whole. If one suffers, the whole body suffers. If I have a bad headache, my arms may still work well enough, but they aren’t going to be able to do much because of the pain in my head. Conversely, if I break my arm, I am still able to read but my concentration will probably be off because of it.

It’s like that with groups of people as well. The Chairman of the Board of a car company may seem like the most important person to the corporation, but on the day that the guy working on the line isn’t feeling up to par and doesn’t install the wheel properly he can affect the entire corporation. On the other hand, if the guy on the line is really on his game and catches a problem with the suspension system as the cars are being made, he could save the company millions! Everybody has their value and has something to contribute. 

Our congregation is also made up of many parts. We have a pastor who has as one of his gifts, the ability to draw insights from the readings that some of us never would. Because he also has a gift for public speaking, he can take those insights and pass them on to us in the form of his sermons. If, however, Pastor Howard were to fall ill, for whatever reason, we’d probably be able to find a supply pastor to step in for him, but it wouldn’t be the same, so the congregation would suffer because of that loss. Lots of work that gets done at the church goes unseen. Cathy and Gretchen, for example, contribute to the smooth functioning of Grace Church in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. A few years ago, we learned how important it is to have an office staff that is doing its job properly. Our music staff is also an important part of our ministry. They work hard to provide us with a beautiful backdrop to the rest of our worship services. If they were missing from either the traditional service or the contemporary service, our congregation would feel that loss. This was especially true during the early part of the COVID pandemic, when we had started coming back to church services, but had to exclude music from them. It was so good to be back in the church and as safety guidelines allowed, for music to slowly become reintegrated into the services. It helped us to return to a sense of normalcy.

Whatever part you play in the ministry of Grace Lutheran Church, you are important. You may think of your role as being small or insignificant, but I assure you, we would be less without you. We are all like the mustard seed, which is the smallest of seeds. It may be small but when it is planted and does the work that God has assigned it can make a great contribution. One of the teachings of the Lutheran Church which I’ve always liked is the idea that the ministry belongs not just to the bishop or the pastors, but to all of us. Pastor Howard has attempted to illustrate this when he announces reconciliation after our confession when he states, “As a baptized member” as opposed to “As a called and ordained minister’. May we all take our places in the ministry of Grace Lutheran Church and in the Church at large.

This week’s Bible readings:

Ezekiel 17:22-24

Psalm 92:1-4,12-15

2 Corinthians 5:6-10 [11-13] 14-17

Mark 4:26-34

Behind the scenes at Grace … by Gretchen

  1. WE DID IT!! This last Sunday’s services were Live Streamed on Facebook for the second Sunday!! It was great! Thanks to Fritz Gooch for setting it up!
  2. With the warm weather and some rain, flowers are really starting to pop! As you are admiring your garden think about bringing some flowers for the altar on Sunday!
  3. We have a brand-new fence between the church and the furniture store! It looks great and hopefully it will capture all of our balloons (grocery bags).
  4. The pews are unleashed. If you have received all of your vaccines, masks are optional. If you have not received or completed your vaccines, please wear a mask. Still use hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently.
  5. Our Grace Get Together was held Monday and a wonderful presentation by Bob Haaf on some of the key history events of Grace plus some great pictures of members. Mary Schneider provided a wonderful devotion. Treats, coffee, iced tea and a great time to catch up with people that have not seen each other in a while. Another get together is planned for Monday June 21 from 11:00am – noon. Come and join the group!
  6. Summer has been here the last few days. We can tell as the running across the roof by the squirrels has stopped. We think the roof is getting too hot to run across.
  7. Our baby bunny has been named Hope! She is getting bigger by the day.
  8. Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace!



June 14th is National Blood Donor Day!! It is a few days earlier then our Interfaith Drive, but it goes to show how important this is as there is a National Health Holiday related to donating blood! Please remember to sign up for Interfaith Blood Drive Saturday June 26 and Sunday June 27.

You can reserve your spot on the Red Cross Blood Donor website and if any questions call Gretchen Hiatt 419-944-5166.


Prayer is the mortar that holds our house together (Mother Theresa)

Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is

what makes life meaningful (Joshua J.Marine )


St Paul’s Lutheran (428 North Erie, Toledo) is hosting a party in the parking lot Sunday, June 13 at 4:00pm. This is in celebration of their new outdoor mural with a classic car show, live music, and picnic food for donation (hot dogs, grilled cheese, potato salad, and the best beans this side of Boston). They have recently added a 60′ perennial cutting garden with the help of a NWOS Micro grant.

From Art Minister Kate Philabaum


June is National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month!!

Studies have shown that we really do not eat as many servings of fresh fruit and vegetables as  we should …. True,   winter is not always the greatest time to get good tasting fruit and vegetables, but summer offers the best of both!

Farmer’s Markets are now starting to open.  Do you know why Farmer’s Markets are important?

  1. Freshness. Even the freshest of fruits and vegetables at your grocery store are at least a few days old. But farmer’s markets offer produce that is fresh picked -often the same day.
  2. Produce is typically sustainably grown and is full of nutrients or “nutrient dense”. You are more likely to find fruit and vegetables that are not grown with pesticides so are full of nutrients and not chemicals.
  3. Better taste (can you taste that strawberry and tomato). Nothing compares to the taste of a vine ripened tomato. Think about how that tastes compared to a middle of the winter greenhouse tomato that is picked before it is fully ripe and shipped 1,500 plus miles to your grocery store …..
  4. Supporting your local farmers market also supports our local economy and family farms.
  5. Reduces our carbon footprint. Purchasing fruit and vegetables from local farmers conserves fuel that is used when trucking in produce and can reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers.
  6. You will know how your food is grown. You get to know the farmers and many times you develop a friendship with your favorite farmer and learn something new !

There are numerous markets in Toledo and the surrounding area but two of the larger ones are:

  1. Our downtown market. Current hours are 8:00am – 2:00pm on Saturdays. The market is covered so even if it rains there are still numerous farmers.
  2. Westgate (across the street on Central from Costco) – Wednesdays from 3:00pm -7:00pm. This is mostly outside so if it is storming the market may not be open.

Take advantage of the great and tasty produce and fruit, and support the farmers this summer. It is truly a great way to increase the amount of nutritious fruit and produce.

Adult requirements for fruit and veggies!

Adult women: 1½ cups fruit and 2½ cups of veggies daily

Adult men: 2 cups of fruit and 3½ cups veggies daily

How well are you doing meeting the daily requirements????

Fruit and vegetable quiz!

  1. True or False. Only 1 in 10 adults in the US get the required amount of fruit and vegetables.
  2. What fruit do we all wait for in June?
  3. What form of popcorn do you often find at the farmer’s market?
  4. CSA is a special type of tomato?

Check answers next week!



This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24