Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing;
O Lord my God, I will give You thanks forever.
Sponsor a child for VBS!
Would you like to sponsor a child for VBS? It is only $5 per child! The offering goes to offset the cost of materials and supplies used. Please label your donation “Sponsor a VBS child” and drop in the offering plate – or give to the office.
Thank you! Peace be with you!
The other day I was hanging out with a friend. This friend is a Christian but doesn’t always act like one. Some days she is in line with God’s Word, and some days life’s struggles get the best of her.
As our eyes met, I really wanted to say something about it, but decided to let God speak to her heart, knowing that nothing I could say would have the same impact as her Father’s Words.
So I prayed with her. Finally, after some time had passed, I smiled……….and walked away from the mirror.
Thank you, God, for your grace and love that keep me going……
Spread love everywhere you go.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act,
the rest is merely tenacity.
Meditation by David O’Brien
Dear God, I come to you as a sinner who is undeserving of your grace and presence. I repent all my sins and ask you to forgive me so that my request may be heard by you. Lord, have mercy on me and fill me with your grace. Wash me with the blood of your son Jesus Christ that I may give glory to Your Name.
Blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy. God’s mercy is poured out on us all of the time. I feel as though God’s mercy has been shown to me all of my life. I have received so many blessings that I have done nothing to deserve. In fact, God would be well within His rights to condemn me as the sinner that I am. But the Lord God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The first reading today is an appeal to the reader to trust in the Lord’s mercy. This book was written around the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians. The people of Israel had turned away from God and were reaping the just consequences of that sin. The author of this book, however, is calling the people back to the Lord, reassuring them of His mercies. While God’s discipline may be their current circumstance, it will not last forever. The Psalm also talks about God’s mercy when it’s undeserved. The Psalmist says that he felt secure and would never be disturbed but when the Lord hid His face from him, he was filled with fear. But he also presents us with a hopeful message. “God’s wrath is short; God’s favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping spends the night, but joy comes in the morning.”
I think there’s a great deal of Lamentations and the Psalm that could be applied to us today. Think back to January or February of 2020. Economically, the US was doing pretty well. But we had become a greedy bunch, not wanting to share our prosperity with people less fortunate than us. We wanted to close our borders to people fleeing economic hardship and political oppression. Policies were enacted that cut aid to those very countries where people needed our help the most. And when people showed up at our nations’ doorstep, we turned a blind eye to their suffering, telling them to go back to the same conditions they were trying to leave. Then the pandemic hit. Six hundred thousand people lost their lives in the US alone to this disease. Our health system, which had often been hailed as the most advanced in the world, was helpless to stop the wave after wave of illness and death. It devastated our economy as well, causing businesses to be closed and people here to lose their livelihoods. Our economy, the largest in the world, was brought to a standstill because of this virus. The Lord has been merciful to us in that He has allowed us to develop effective vaccines against this disease. Now that we have the vaccines, and they seem to be taking effect, we are presented with other challenges in regard to COVID. Several nations don’t have enough vaccine to get to their people. Some might ask why this is a problem for us, but I think that’s incredibly short sighted. This virus started, scientists think, in China. It spread across the world with alarming speed. Along the way, it has mutated into various strains, some more contagious and deadly. If we allow it to remain in a remote part of the world, we will give it time to mutate even further. Perhaps it will develop into a strain that our precious vaccine will not be able to protect us against and it will start to spread again. How long before that new strain reaches our shores and the whole process starts over again? Will we go back to our selfish ways or will we share the blessing that God has given us in the form of the vaccine?
God’s mercy is often shown in unexpected situations. The woman who was healed by touching Jesus’ cloak had faith that she would be healed, but would anyone else have thought so if she had told them her plan? I think even Jesus was surprised by this act of hers because He turned to the crowds and asked who had touched Him. I don’t think it surprised Him that she was healed, because He had felt the power leave him and He knew the power of faith in God, but I expect that the woman’s friends and the crowd around them were pretty astonished at how easily she was healed. Then there’s the part about Jairus’ daughter. While Jesus was on His way to heal her, word was sent that she had already died. None of the people who were at Jairus’ home thought that she could be healed from death. They even laughed at Jesus when He told them to stop weeping because she was not dead, but only sleeping. But boy were they surprised when the little girl got up at Jesus command and starting walking around!
May we all look for God’s mercy where it’s unexpected, even when it’s undeserved. When we receive God’s mercy, may we all be wise enough to share that blessing with others, so that we may truly bless the world by being God’s grace.
Readings for Sunday June 27, 2021
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
If you have something you’d like to see in the newsletter, please send it to the office no later than Monday morning by 10:00am. Thank you!
2021 VBS Mission Offering
This year as we use VBS to build our faith with the help of Jesus, we will also be giving our VBS offering to help Habitat for Humanity build homes for families in our neighborhoods right here in Toledo! Strong families make for strong communities, and Grace VBS is proud to continue our history of support for Habitat, by designating our 2021 Mission Offering to our local Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity Chapter.
We will be taking a “Noisy Offering” during worship on Sunday July 11th, and Sunday July 18th, as well as during the Children’s Program on Thursday evening. You may also offer your gifts by writing a check to Grace Lutheran Church and prominently labeling it Habitat for Humanity and dropping in the regular offering or sending it to the office. Help us build our faith as we help build solid futures for families in our city. VBS Co-directors, Connie and Ron
Behind the scenes at Grace …. By Gretchen
- Our trees in the yard are a glorious green and not covered with scale or other unhealthy tree stuff after they were sprayed the other day. Do not worry this is all menagerie friendly so the “munks”, squirrels and birds are still racing around in the morning like usual.
- Don’t forget to share your beautiful garden flowers on the altar Sundays. What a great way to share God’s beautiful “painting “.
- Do you have a table – like the ones that people put behind their sofas or in the hallway (the type people use to put all their junk in when they come in) – it needs to be a higher table not like a coffee or end table? If you have one and are looking to relocate it permanently – we could use one in the ladies’ bathrooms (by Brenner and the Sanctuary). Both bathrooms are pretty “blah “and a nice table and even some nice artwork would do wonders in making it more friendly. Let the office know if you have any of the above, we could check out if it would work. The bathroom by the Sanctuary is a robin egg blue and the one by Brenner is light (very light) beige.
- Don’t forget to check the tables as you go into the Sanctuary and the Chapel. The weekly prayer list is put there as well as some copies of the current Newsletter. The quarterly booklet “Christ In Our Home” and updated directories can also be found here.
- V.B.S. is just around the corner – we will be building and constructing!
- CREDENZA — what? This is the table/desk outside the office. It is another place to check for directories, Cathy’s wonderful photo books, Christ in Our Home and all sorts of other good things!
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace.
Healthy People! Healthy Parish! It is summer and the time for thunderstorms, tornadoes, hailstorms and power outages. Do you have an emergency plan in disaster??? 5 steps to be prepared
- Have a way to get emergency alerts. You can get alerts from email, text, phone, or radio. Make sure that you keep your phone charged and an extra set of batteries for the radio.
- Know how you will evacuate. This could be your house or the area. Choose several safe spaces to go in an emergency. Work out what help you may need to get there.
- Create a support network. Make arrangements with someone or some people to check on you after a disaster.
- Figure out how family members will get in touch. Carry their phone numbers and email addresses with you. And pick an out of area emergency contact person you can contact to check in with and make sure your family know who this is.
- Prepare for medical needs. Always have a 7-day supply of your medicines on hand. Store back up batteries for equipment you use like hearing aid batteries.
Next week – what do you need in an emergency kit!
The Ketchup Group! We had our second get together this last Monday! Mary Schneider gave a wonderful devotion and prayer. She also provided the scrumptious treats! Then we really went on a different path and heard about the history of sugar- based candy. To make sure we all had a super sugar high there were samples of some of the candies we ate growing up – root beer barrels, Dum Dums, Bit O Honey, and Sugar Daddies to name a few. It was great to see faces and visit with people who we have not seen in a while like JoAnne and Bob Vernon and Lois Webb and her son.
Our next Ketchup Group will be gathering on Monday July 19th from 11-12.
Come and join us for fellowship, devotion, a short program and of course treats!
Lois Webb spotted leaving the Monday group – traveling in style with her son!
A continuation of our Ketchup Group…..
Chocolate Covered Raisins
Often known as Raisinets, which is one of the earliest and most popular brands, they were introduced in the US in 1927. Nestle had the brand for a short while and added chocolate covered cranberries and dried cherries form late 2009 through 2013. In the United Kingdom they are considered as classic sweet shop confectionary and are marketed in bags. At Christmas they add white and dark chocolate. In Canada they are sold with other chocolate covered candies in a resealable rigid box. In Australia they are referred to as chocolate covered sultanas. There is also a nondairy Raisinet product.
Interfaith Blood Drive
The interfaith Blood Drive is fast approaching – Saturday June 26th from 8:30am -2:30pm and Sunday June 27th from 8:30am – 200pm. If you gave blood in April, you could give again (exception would be Power Red givers who need to wait another 60 days). Please think about giving blood as it is a great way to give back to our community. It is also a great way for busy high school (16 and over) and college kids home for the summer to do a volunteer thing – 2 hours and they have given to the community. It is also a great way to start giving on a regular basis for as long as they can in their life. Any questions see or call Gretchen 419-944-5166.
Interfaith Celebration of Life!
To conclude the weekend of the Interfaith Blood Drive there is always a Celebration of Life. This year due to Covid it will be a virtual program. The program represents many different faiths with music, dancing, special readings. It is just a unique and joyous celebration of life! This year you can watch it by zoom. Registration is required so that a program may be sent. You may register right now by clicking on the link below.
Had a special office helper this week! Thank you, Clare!
Each day that we have been given has 24 hours. Live within the boundaries of the day – giving thanks.
Find joy in this day – in His Presence. Thank you, God!
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!