Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the rock of our salvation.
We are taking orders for Lily plants, Daffodils and Tulips now through April 2. The sale is sponsored by the Christian Education Committee. Each plant costs $12. There are order forms at the back of the Sanctuary and on the table in the hallway at the back of the chapel. Orders must be in by April 2.
Mid-week Worship Opportunities for Wednesday, March 15
During Lent, mid-week services are offered on Wednesdays at noon and 7 p.m. On March 15, Pastor Brenda will preside at the noon service and at the 7 p.m. service Grace will welcome Pastor Chris Hanley of Glenwood Lutheran Church as the presiding minister.
Both services have opportunities for fellowship prior to the service. Please join others at 11:15 a.m. for a soup luncheon and/or a potluck at 6 p.m. Members are invited to attend both if they wish.
If you would like to bring soup to the 11:15 lunch, please sign-up on the sheet on the bulletin board by the sanctuary or contact Cindy Wood.
Sunday Fellowship Time
March 12th – Cindy Wood and Mary Schneider
“…’Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”— Matthew 25:40
Every year as Lent approaches, I have the same conversation with myself as I contemplate how best to use this reflective season of the church year as an opportunity for my own spiritual growth. This begins with the questions: “What book of the Bible shall I intentionally read through? Which book will I pull at random?” Each year, I choose a book to study and also pull the name of another to study out of an envelope. This year, I chose Acts and drew 1 Samuel as my other book to read.
I also have asked myself: “What might I ‘give up’ in order to allow time to do this reading and reflecting?”
I look forward to choosing a book of the Bible to read and pulling the name of another randomly from an envelope full of little slips of paper. This always proves to be a great source of inspiration for me, as I use this Lenten time to learn more about the scripture.
The decision to give something up or not and what that something might be is always more difficult. I have tried denying myself many things in Lent: coffee (but why should everyone else suffer?), music (no music in the car, etc.), reading purely for pleasure, movies. Frankly, I have always found the experience a bit hollow. Oh, I understand the principle—give something up and use the time to add something of a spiritual nature—but I have never found the practice to be of any real benefit to me in my Lenten journey and reflection. But still I have the same conversation with myself every year.
This year, instead of taking something trivial away, I will just add something … to my observance of Lent and to my grocery cart. As many of you are aware, the food pantry we contribute to at Aldersgate United Methodist Church is always in need of supplies to have available for the community. As I think about that, I realize how easy it would be for most of us to add one or two things to our grocery carts each time we shop, items that we could bring to worship with us—perhaps even above and beyond what we already give to support this effort.
The items do not need to be expensive (a can or two of soup, a box of macaroni and cheese, a jar of peanut butter), but they may make a tremendous difference to an individual or family in need..
Why not take advantage of the reflective and sacrificial season of Lent and begin a new practice … a practice which is in keeping with our Lord’s command to feed others in his name? It seems like so little to give in response to what has been given to us.
Meditation on John 4:5-42
By Vicar Dave
Jesus was tired out by his journey. That is remarkable to me because it further shows how Jesus was fully human! He could be tired! That is one of the unique aspects of our faith, that our savior was fully human AND fully God. Both, at the same time! Jesus faced the same struggles as both you and me. He dealt with moral temptations and with physical limitations. He became hungry, thirsty, and, in this case, tired. Yet, He had all the resources and abilities of the Father at His disposal whenever He wanted. So, He was perfectly capable of satisfying His thirst without any human intervention. Yet, He asks the Samaritan woman for a drink. I think He was using this encounter as an opportunity to teach her about salvation. That is another thing that I find remarkable.
Samaritans and Jews were not exactly on speaking terms with each other. This was despite them sharing a substantial part of their heritage, as evidenced by her ancestor, Jacob. The same Jacob whom the Jews recognize as Israel. When the northern kingdom had been conquered by the Assyrians and most of the local Jewish population was exiled, some people stayed and intermarried with the conquering Assyrians. These people later became the Samaritans. The Jews who returned considered them traitors and half breeds. Half Jewish and half Gentile. The Jews considered the religious practices of the Samaritans to be some strange mixture of Judaism and Paganism. Yet, here’s Jesus, a Jewish teacher, talking with this woman about living waters and salvation.
Jesus also seems to know a great deal about this woman, whom He has never met before. This knowledge comes from the fact that He is fully God, and therefore knows all about His creation, another remarkable portion of the reading. God, who knows when each sparrow falls from the sky and knows this woman just as He knows each of us, no matter what human group we belong to. Jesus also makes the point of telling her that salvation will come from the Jews. Jesus seems to be telling her that while He is Jewish, the salvation that He brings is for all. I think this is emphasized when He talks about true worshipers, who will worship the Father neither in Jerusalem, as the Jews do, nor on the mountain that the Samaritans do, but rather will worship God in spirit and truth. Salvation may have come to humankind through the Jews, but it is for everyone, everywhere, regardless of where they will worship.
Another remarkable thing in this reading comes when Jesus affirmatively declares that He is the Messiah to this woman. This is the only person to whom He makes such a declaration, and she’s a Samaritan, a Gentile. It’s also interesting to me that the other inhabitants of her city came to believe in Jesus as the “Savior of the world”. First because of what she told them and then from listening to Jesus Himself speak.
The woman at the well was an outsider. She was a Gentile. She had a history, having had several husbands. From the point of view of the patriarchal society in which she lived, being a woman was enough to make her an outsider. And yet the result of her testimony was the first Gentile community of believers. What if we, who are generally not considered outsiders here, went and told others about Jesus as the Savior of the world? Might people more readily accept our testimony? How many people could we bring to Jesus if we but took advantage of the opportunities that God put before us every day? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Jesus was just talking with the woman while He was at the well, looking for a drink. I hope we can all look for the chance to be like the woman at the well and tell others about the remarkable thing Jesus has done.
Grace’s Lenten Service Project
As a reminder, Grace is collecting food items for Food for Toledo and personal needs items for Grace’s personal needs ministry during Lent. These items can be placed in the shopping carts at the back of the sanctuary on Sundays or in the Giving Room during the week. Food items needed are peanut butter, jelly, cereal, pasta, pasta sauce, canned fruit and vegetables, soup, canned meat or other items. Personal need items include toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, children’s tooth brushes, toothpaste, feminine products, hand soap, shampoo, deodorant (men’s and women’s), laundry detergent, dish soap, and body lotions.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR PRAYER
TOGETHER WITH PRAYER MINISTRY
Lenten Prayer Project ~ March 5th through March 31st.
The Prayer Ministry Team of Grace is asking our Grace Family to capture pictures of how YOU see God’s GRACE, LOVE and BEAUTY through YOUR eyes. What in God’s world brings you JOY!
There are no wrong pictures! Just as we are all unique and beautifully made by God, we all see God’s GRACE, LOVE and BEAUTY differently. You may submit multiple pictures!
The easiest way to take pictures is with your phone.
We ask that you email all pictures to the Prayer Ministry email address:
Pictures will be printed off from the email and hung in the hallway between the Sanctuary and Room 3 for Easter Sunday!
Sunday March 19th – Healing Service
This will be at both the 9:30 am service and 11:30 am service.
Friday April 7th – Easter Sunday – Prayer Vigil.
We ask you to join Pastor Brenda and the Grace Prayer Team for an Easter Prayer Vigil from Friday April 7th at 8:00pm through Saturday April 8th at 12:00 pm ending at 12:30 am EASTER MORNING April 9th.
A sign-up sheet will be available.
A person can sign up for one 30-minute time or one hour time.
A person may sign up to pray more than one or two times.
A person may sign up to pray at Grace or at home.
For security purposes, special arrangements are being made for those wishing to pray at Grace.
We hope to offer live prayer via FB at certain times throughout the Vigil.
Special resources will be available for prayer whether a person is praying at Grace or at home.
Thursday May 4th – National Day of Prayer
Behind the scenes at Grace……by Gretchen
- Our huff and puff water leak has been fixed!!! A loose something was fixed! Hmm perhaps the squirrels using the roof as their tread mill might have loosened things?
- There are green buds showing, it has been raining, the robins are back and there are boat loads of Easter Candy in the stores. That is a very strong sign that spring cleaning should be happening!! So load up those treasures and bring to church for the Youth Rummage Sale!
- We collected 9 blankets during the month of February for our “Warm Heart” collection for Tent City. Thanks to all who donated! Even though the blanket trunk is not by the office we are still collecting! It would be wonderful to reach and exceed last year’s 50!
- Dark and spooky vs Oh My Our Electric bill! Please remember when you leave the church to make sure the lights are turned off. That includes checking the bathrooms!
- March 9th is National Meatball Day!! But you need to save room for the Grace Youth Meatball Day on March 18!! Just think already prepared with luscious, scrumptious, mouthwatering sauce with the world famous meatballs – and no dishes to wash!! The proceeds help with the Youth Mission Trip this summer!
- Remember: Grace is not the grass, flowers, windblown bags, cement or carpeting but the PEOPLE OF GRACE carrying out God’s mission!
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
Are you Springing???
Yep, not only is official Spring coming up on the calendar but we “Spring Forward” this weekend !
So we are losing an hour of sleep – which means we need to go to bed earlier to get the required 8 hours for our health and wellness.
There are 3 additional important jobs for you this weekend!!
Can you guess?
- Check fire alarms to make sure they are working and replace batteries if needed.
- Check carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they are working and replace batteries.
- If you have a File of Life check to make sure all the information is current .
Oh, you do not know what a “File of Life” is?
Watch for more information in the next couple of weeks!
The Amazing Cleaning Machine !
I am famous and very much respected. You may read about me saving a life.
I have a twin. We work together and if I quit my twin takes over although we make a much better team working together. I take care of garbage (waste).
I watch so you have the right amount of sodium chloride and potassium both of which are important in running the machine.
I am also somewhat of a water watcher – too much and I get rid of it!
I am busy all the time although at night I slow down a little for sleep.
My job is hard, and I must concentrate all the time to make sure everything is going well.
I would definitely not win a fashion contest – I am reddish brown, about the size of a fist, but only weigh about 5 ounces – definitely not a heavy weight in pounds but in the job I am.
I also have more than 70 miles of filters that look like worms.
Twice a day I don’t break for lunch but I have a huge workload.
Got a Clue??
I am your Kidneys!!
March is National Kidney Month!
Protect your Kidneys!
- Keep your blood pressure under control.
- If you have diabetes work to keep your blood sugar targets.
- Watch your cholesterol and stay within normal limits.
- Watch the salt stay in the shaker and not on your food. Leave the salty snacks on the grocery shelf!
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise – even walking around your house on a regular basis helps.
- See your doctor on a regular basis and talk about your medications and if they can affect your kidneys.
More on the Bean next week !
Safety, Security and Grace !
Over the last year we have had programs on church safety including the Active Shooter Class and the actual drill with the Toledo Police this last fall. For those people who went to the class and/or drill it was eye opening and even a little scary. Protecting the people and the building of Grace is important.
Unfortunately, in the current climate we need to be more aware and prepare for situations whether it be a burglar or an active shooter. During walking rounds of the building and campus, and during the active shooter classes and drill, the Toledo police strongly recommended that we have security cameras. During the active shooter drill we would have been able to see a person with a gun hanging out in the front of the church or the person coming from the office area headed towards Fellowship Hall. There are many times when the Pastor, office staff or others are alone in the building.
The Security Camera task force has researched security cameras and has identified a company that will provide the cameras and service we need. The camera video feeds will be accessible to the church office, the pastor’s office, parish nurse office, and others identified.
The system will provide recording of activity for a specific amount of time but will not connect with a security company or the police at this time. According to the Toledo Police, the cameras and signs designating we have security cameras is a deterrent to individuals.
The task force has received approval to proceed with the system from Church Council. We have secured a generous gift to get us started but would like to raise half of the total cost of $6,000.00 from a Special Offering. We would like to proceed with the installation of the system by the end of April .
To reach the goal we would like to start a Special Offering Campaign from the congregation. Offerings need to be designated for Security Camera and sent in or placed in the Sunday offering in March and April.
Any questions can be directed to members of the task force members – Gretchen Hiatt, Rick Sharp, or David Charvat.
A diagram of the layout of the cameras will be available in Fellowship Hall starting Sunday March 12th. A member of the committee will be present to answer questions.
Please help to keep the people and building of Grace safe with your special gift!
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!