Sing with joy to God our strength
                         and raise a loud shout to the God of Jacob.

                                                                             ~Psalm 81:1


Pastor’s Thoughts:

(Jesus said) “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

It isn’t just you. It isn’t just our community. It isn’t just our world. We can see pain, sadness, fear, and conflict everywhere we turn. We see violence in our community and around the world. We see people marginalized for who they are and for what they believe. We see disagreements about politics, which can lead to hateful words and harmful actions. Sometimes, we look around and see anything but the peace that Jesus promised. And our spirits can begin to ache.

We know our bodies need rest, and we know our minds need rest. We also need places where we can be at peace in our spirits, where our spirits can decompress and be sheltered, even for a moment, from some of the cares that can batter us, be they personal or global. We need spiritual rest.

Our moments of spiritual rest are a kind of sanctuary where we can reconnect with God and feel God’s love, mercy, and grace flow into us and fill us once again This may happen in worship, in a time we set aside for prayer each day, or on a quiet walk as we observe the beauty of Creation. Spiritual rest happens when  ever we can lay down whatever defenses we use against the things that assail us and rest in the presence of God.

When we fail to rest our spirits, they can become as exhausted as our bodies or as weary as our minds. When that happens, we might feel more unsettled and more anger … toward those around us and toward God. Spiritual rest is when we acknowledge our brokenness and our fears, and when the pieces of ourselves can come back together again, reconnected by the power of the Holy Spirit and pulled back into the peace of God.

Jesus is our Great Healer. When we are vulnerable enough to come to him—with our hurts, our shortcomings, our worries, our pain, our fears—we will find rest and healing for our spirits.

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda


Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time

In Fellowship Hall

June 9 – Beth, David and Barb Charvat

June 16 – Donuts for Dad



Grace Cares

Sunday, June 2. Me in Illinois to celebrate my youngest grandson’s high school graduation and, at the moment, on the way to church with grandsons. Phone call from granddaughter Brynn in Louisiana. She had been contacted because daughter Kirsten, in Maine, had weak phone signal. The question: where’s Bob? He’s not in church at Grace. 

     Thanks Gretchen, for caring. That’s being a Christ.

Bob Haaf


The Readings for Sunday June 9, 2024

Deuteronomy 5:12-15

Psalm 81:1-10

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

Mark 2:23—3:6




5:30 PM – 8:00 PM


Each fun night will begin with a light supper together.

The ADULTS will attend a fun Bible Study with Pastor Brenda.

The KIDS will dive into exploring BREAKER ROCK BEACH – and learn about God’s rock-solid truth in a world of shifting sands.

Everyone will meet up again later in the evening for crafts,

games, music, and worship!

Our final night of VBS will be an outdoor ‘bonfire” where we will roast hotdogs, have s’mores, play games, and “sing around the campfire”!

Make sure you mark your calendars!

Keep watching for more updates and ways to register!

All are welcome to join in the fun!

For adults and children – if in need of food the Toledo Library has a link where you can find help. It is 

Thank you, Joyce, for that information.


11June Informational Session re Potential monitors in the nave:

      At the 19 May congregational meeting, we approved moving forward with three new cameras for the nave. This will enable us to better livestream our worship on platforms like Facebook and YouTube. We also discussed the possibility of monitors in the nave, which would enable text such as words for hymns and scripture to be easily visible from the pews, among other aspects that would add to visibility and accessibility for worshippers.

On Tuesday, 11 June, at 6:30 p.m., Jason Repass (who will be handling the   camera project for Grace) will be present to discuss potential monitor placement. This will occur at the beginning of the regularly scheduled Council meeting and is open to anyone who is interested. The session will last a maximum of 30 minutes in order for the Council to conduct the rest of its monthly business.



By David O’Brien

We here in the US are very individualistic. It used to be called “rugged individualism”. We are responsible for our own welfare and our behavior. We look at justice as something that is dispensed out to an individual to address a wrongdoing. Justice should be about balancing the scales, making things right, particularly for the victims of crimes.

There are some aspects of rugged individualism that are good. Being responsible for oneself is important. Being able to provide for yourself is a good thing, at least in this world. Taking pride in your achievements is also a good thing. But it can also be taken too far. When pride in one’s achievements crosses into boasting, it can become a problem. Or if being able to provide for oneself becomes hording, and that hording turns into greed, that too can be a problem. Some people take that greed and start doing anything to acquire more, including lying and cheating in order to get ahead.

One thing I’ve heard before that I found really disturbing was from an individual who came from a poor background but had managed to get a great education and had a great career. When asked about the people in the neighborhood where they grew up, their response was “I got mine, it’s up to them to get theirs”. That sounded like they had forgotten about all the love, support and encouragement they had received from the folks back home. They’d also forgotten about how God made it possible for them to succeed in life.

In this country, we’ve been blessed in many ways. Other countries haven’t been so fortunate as we have. When Jesus tells us to love our neighbor, He doesn’t just me the family living next door to us, but that’s a good start. Our neighbors include the people in Appalachia, and the Gulf Coast, and Mexico, and Venezuela, and Brazil, and Africa, and Asia, and Europe. To answer Cain’s question, yes, we are our brother’s and our sister’s keepers. Since we are all God’s children, that includes everyone.


Reflections from Synod Assembly:

      On Saturday, 1 June, David Charvat, Brenda Holderman, and I were present for the Northwestern Ohio Synod Assembly at St. Mark Lutheran in Bowling Green. Voting members from around our synod gathered to do business, such as passing the synod spending plan, electing people to Synod council and other synod committees, and serving as voting members to the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in the summer of 2025. We also had the opportunity to have learning sessions on various topics.

I attended a session where we discussed social media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, X, etc.) and how congregations can utilize it effectively to engage current members and reach out to others. We also discussed social media presence and safety.

I am currently serving a Synod Council term that expires at the end of 2024. At the Assembly, I was re-elected to serve another three-year term. The Synod Council functions much like a congregation Council. We discern the Synod’s future plans, make decisions about budgets and policies, and offer general oversight.

It is always good to gather with others from around our Synod. Worshipping together is a joy, as is hearing how the Holy Spirit is moving in other congregations.

–Pastor Brenda


Behind the scenes at Grace …. By Gretchen Hiatt

  1. We experienced the unfortunate experience of a water leak this last week. It occurred in the basement of the Chapel. The city of Toledo came out and checked the main line which was not damaged which was very good! So, the plumber was called and fixed our water problem.
  2. The garden in the front of the church is a blaze of red geraniums thanks to Connie Thomas and her “magic potion”.
  3. Please remember if you notice we are getting low on paper goods for Fellowship or potlucks to let the office know to order more.
  4. School is out for most kids at the end of May. Many kids depend on the school breakfast and lunch programs to have a nutritious meal. There are sources for meals and our food collection helps supply food to families but think about adding some kid friendly stuff when shopping, if you can. Mary Schneider is here Monday mornings and there is a container in the Graceful Giving Room to add food items to.
  5. Burrito Blessing 419 was held this last Saturday and between Grace and downtown we distributed a little over 200 burritos. Grace also provided canned goods and clothing items. Socks are still a requested item.
  6. Remember; Grace is not the plumbing or the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s mission!


This past Saturday, June 1, 2024, I had the pleasure of attending, with Pastor Brenda and David Charvat, the Northwest Ohio Synod Assembly at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Bowl8ng Green, Ohio.

I have to admit, I was a bit nervous in attending this “big affair.” When I got there, everyone was so warm and welcoming. I met many wonderful folks, both from the Toledo area and neighboring towns and cities.

Both the morning and evening services were wonderful. The main theme was that we are all living stones. We should all let ourselves be built into spiritual homes, as we are God’s people. There were small stones laid out on the altar rails that we were encouraged to take. They were decorated/painted on the front. We were asked to add a word or a symbol on the front which reminded us of that day.  At the evening service, we laid our stones back on the altar rail, and when leaving after the service, we were asked to take someone else’s stone home, keeping it someplace where it would remind us of the assembly.

There were election of officers/positions in the synod, along with voting on the synod budget and changes made to pastor’s salaries based upon years in the ministry. Good conversations – everything approved.

There were break-out sessions in the afternoon. I attended a session on native plants and rain garden designs. The National Wildlife Federation is sponsoring the Sacred Gardens Program which encourages communities, churches to build healthier habitats for animals, insects, through these gardens. A way to protect our environment.  I learned how to build a bee hotel!

This was, truly, a wonderful experience for me. I was honored to have been asked to attend.

Brenda Holderman


Healthy People! Healthy Parish!


Summer is here (Even unofficially we have passed Memorial Day and schools are out). That means  vacation!!! Yahoo!

Vacation may mean staying at home and just “veging” out in the backyard or may mean getting in the car, on plane, on a boat or maybe even a train!

Being at home makes health issues usually easier to take care of whereas being away might be a little bit more challenging. Taking a little time to prepare for a “going away” trip can make medical issues a little bit easier should something happen.

Some things to think about:

Are your emergency contact numbers up to date and easy to find? Keep a copy in your billfold, purse, luggage and even glove box.

Make sure you have all the medical information for traveling – insurance cards, special insurance information like travel insurance, and proof of vaccinations if needed.

Prescription medication in the original bottle with issuing label from the pharmacy. Take a picture of the pill and the prescription label next to each other .

Distance and long-term travel – if you are going to be gone for more than a couple of days.

  1. Make sure you have information on your medical conditions and any allergies. Carry the list along with your medications so it is easy to find in an emergency. Include your MD names and phone numbers.
  2. Prescription medication – it can be difficult to fill if you are out of the US so make sure you have plenty plus some extras.
  3. Pack a small first aid kit with Band-Aids kit, antiseptic wipes, etc.
  4. Travel insurance – check this before traveling, especially for traveling out of the US as your health insurance may not cover medical issues.
  5. Special considerations – if you have mobility issues check ahead to see what is available – ex. can you get a room on the first floor to avoid steps or is there an elevator, does the travel bus have easy access to it? If you have dietary issues can the destination accommodate this? Do they need advance notification?
  6. Check with your MD if it is OK to travel if you have had recent surgery or medication changes. Sitting for long periods of time like in a car or plane could lead to having issues with blood clots shortly after surgery. Medication changes could be affected by time or dietary changes.

The goal is to have a wild and wonderful vacation so just a few things can help to ensure that it is!


What is round, yellow, makes us happy, can heat us up, and something that is high in the sky in the summer????

If you guessed the Sun, you are right on!

The Sun is back and after many days (how about weeks in Toledo) of blah, yucky gray days!

The sun gives off radiation known as (Ultraviolet) UV-B and (Ultraviolet)  UV-A . Both can damage eyes and skin.

Some bad things from unprotected sun exposure:

  • Cause vision problems and damage to eyes
  • Suppresses the immune system -can make more susceptible to infections
  • Premature aging of the skin (“lizard lady and man “)
  • Skin cancer

A couple of reminders!

  1. Pull out the sunscreen and check the expiration date as if it is old, it will not do the trick! So, add it to this week’s grocery list as it is as important as milk and eggs!
  2. Cover up! Wearing a hat (preferably a wide brimmed one) or other shade protecting clothing can shield the skin from harmful UV ray exposure. What kind of clothing – long sleeved shirts and pants, hats and sunglasses!
  3. Choose the right sunscreen. This is super important. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for sunscreen labeling recommend that your sunscreen have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 and should protect against both Ultraviolet A (UV-A) and Ultraviolet B (UV-B) rays. Check your labels!
  4. Use the right amount of sunscreen! According to the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, most people apply only 25-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen – Yikes! When out in the sun – it is important to apply at least 1 OZ (a palmful) of sunscreen every 2 hours. Apply more often if sweating or swimming, even if it says waterproof!

Stay safe under the sun!!!


Live Simply. Love generously. Care Deeply. Speak Kindly! 

(Unknow author but pretty good advice )

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day

listening to the murmur of water or watching the clouds float

 across the sky is hardly a waste of time.

(John Lubeck)

( In other words, hang out -outside and take the time to enjoy the summer!)

A reminder!!

Saturday June 29th is the 35th Anniversary of the Interfaith Blood Drive! Please think about donating or having a family member or friend donate in honor of you! Summer is a time when the Red Cross is even more in need of blood! You may register online or call Gretchen Hiatt 419-944-5166 and she will help with an appointment time!

Help 3 people with 1 unit!



This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24