and every tongue should confess
                                           that Jesus Christ is Lord,
                                                 to the glory of God the Father.

                                                                                                  ~Philippians 2:11


Pastor’s Thoughts:

       In the course of history, there have been momentous occasions that become collective human memories—those times when we can remember what we were doing, where we were, and who we were with when we first heard the news. Think of events such Pearl Harbor, D-Day, the first walk on the moon, the assassination of President Kennedy, 9/11 and, most recently, the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

Four years have passed since the coronavirus first began its destruction in the United States. I was in Chicago for an on-campus event at Loyola University, as I was working on my doctorate at the time. We listened together as we heard what was happening, what the symptoms of the illness were, and what shutdowns were imminent. I began to be nervous about being away from home and was grateful when the class was dismissed a few hours early. As I traveled home, I listened to the news, and it became apparent life was about to change radically. And it did. In our home, there was deep concern, as both Gail and I worked in direct patient healthcare and continued to do so throughout the pandemic. We worried about our children, who were both in college.

At other times in human history, the Church and the local congregation have been places of comfort, support, hope, and community. I recall that on 9/11, the very first thing we did in the congregation I served was to create a worship service for that evening. We found comfort in being together and in hearing God’s words of abiding presence, compassion, and love.

But throughout so many long months of the COVID pandemic, the very things people of faith longed for were not available to us. While we understood why we could not gather together physically, it added sorrow on top of sorrow to have to be apart. To me, it felt like an exile.

We adjusted as best we could. We scrambled to learn the basics of Zoom and live streaming. We connected through the phone and email. We continued to pray for each other, and to help as we could. It hurt. But we all had high hopes for the day when we could return to “normal,” and resume all of the things we held so dear.

And we were able to return to our congregations for worship, fellowship, service, and learning. But things aren’t the same, are they? Some have not returned, either out of lingering fear or lingering anger at restrictions placed during the pandemic. Across the Church, we find that there is still a need for live streaming and Zoom, as people found they liked and appreciated these options.

At the same time, I feel there is a renewed appreciation for the opportunities to be together as the Body of Christ. It is good to be near others to hear the Word, share the Meal, and to be in service to others. I think we have realized how much we need each other and the connection we form as the family of God. That sense of community, together with the love and grace of God, is something for us to share! We know there are those who have drifted away and we know there are some who have never experienced that gift of community. That is our mission field. Those are the people the Spirit calls for us to reach out to in the name of Jesus so that they might find a place to be welcomed, refreshed, encouraged, and loved.

Easter Sunday is coming quickly. Who might you invite to join us in our fellowship in Jesus Christ?

In Christ,

Pastor Brenda



By Vicar Dave

In the United States, we spend a lot of time talking, but how many of us really listen to what is being said? I’m as guilty of not listening as anyone else. But I think it’s really important to spend some time thinking about listening. Listening not just to people talking but listening to what their words say to us about their feelings and their needs. Also of great importance, but often overlooked, is listening to our own feelings and needs.

Jesus told us to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.  If we’re going to take that seriously, we also need to learn to love ourselves. Love begins with listening. So, if we want to love God, we need to listen to Him. We can begin to do that by spending time in intentional prayer. Prayer isn’t just about talking to God, it’s also about listening to His response. So many times in our busy lives, we rush through our prayers, or we try to pray while we’re doing something else, like driving to work, or worse yet, we decide put it off to another time which never comes. This leads us to not to praying at all. If we could learn to set aside time to just sit with God, without distractions, and listen for what he has to say to us.

Loving others as ourselves also begins with listening, both to others and ourselves, because we can’t love others as we do ourselves unless we first learn to love ourselves. Once we do that, we can open our hearts to the concerns of others. Lately, in this country, we’ve lost track of listening to each other, especially when it comes to politics. You’re either red or your blue and anything the other side has to say is of no value. Social media doesn’t help things very much. Their algorithms tend to just give us “news articles” and the like we tend to agree with. It gives us a circle of friends who all share our opinions. I’ve always thought that being surrounded by nothing but “yes men” really doesn’t help me to grow as an individual and isn’t the best way to find solutions.

Rather than just listening to people who agree with us, I think it’d be worthwhile to begin to listen to those who don’t again. Find out what drives the other side. If they’re afraid of something, what is it and why does it make them afraid?  Loving our neighbors as ourselves starts with listening to them, and not just hose who we agree with.



I am sure many of you have noticed the Prayer Chapel in the middle of the parking lot of Grace Lutheran Church.

You may be asking yourself, now WHY there is a Prayer Chapel in the middle of the parking lot?

The Prayer Chapel in the parking lot was designed in the summer of 2010.  

The cross was made by members of the Grace Prayer Team with two logs Ron and Gretchen Hiatt brought back with them while on vacation. 

On Sunday, August 8, 2010, the Outdoor Prayer Chapel was dedicated. 

The Prayer Ministry chose the parking lot so anyone could drive up and pray. Whether they would stay in their vehicle, or use the benches, we wanted a space where folks would feel comfortable. A place that was set aside from all the coming and going that happens daily at Grace. A place where a person could stop and “rest in Jesus”.  We also wanted to provide a place for people wherever they may be in their spiritual life or journey. 

Sometimes that means meeting people where they are and if they are unable to come “inside” the church, then we can meet them “outside” the church. God will meet us ALL where we are – whether it is in the church OR the middle of a parking lot. 

We have already seen the Outdoor Prayer Chapel used for praying, reading, and special conversation. 


The Readings for Sunday March 24, 2024

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm 31:9-16

Philippians 2:5-11

Mark 14:1–15:47


Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time

In Fellowship Hall

March 24 – Praise Team

March 31 – Easter Sunday – breakfast between services


Coming Soon!!!! Starting Tuesday April 2, 2024


Join us on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. for coffee and conversation.

Just a time to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

10:30 a.m. in Fellowship Hall

Coffee provided


Adult Class—Death and Dying:

For our next Adult Class topic, we will discuss death and dying. Our society   teaches us not to avoid discussing this in-depth, but it is something that we should all confront and ponder in conjunction with our faith. Our faith gives us a powerful perspective through which to view and discuss the reality of death.

We will begin our discussions and learning with an introductory session on Wednesday, 3 April (6:00 p.m.) and Sunday, 7 April (8:15 a.m.). Both class options will use the same materials each week. The class is anticipated to run through 15/19 May.

We will discuss the concept of death (both from a physical perspective and a Christian perspective), the grieving process, how to plan our funerals (both at the church and the funeral home), and the importance of Advance Directives (Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare and Living Wills).


Behind the scenes at Grace ….by Gretchen

  1. What was that white stuff this last Sunday between services -the woodchuck said only 6 more weeks of winter!!! Hmm ….  But we have seen the chipmunks, so they have decided it is time to come out of hibernation and partake of the peanut      smorgasbord!
  2. You may have missed the infamous question after the great kid’s sermon on St Patrick’s Day. Sue Wagner did a wonderful sermon but the question that she has to work on is “ Why is St Patrick a boy?”  As she said, a topic for another day! Leave it to the kids!
  3. It is cold again so everyone should be inside cleaning out their closets and drawers – remember bending and stretching are great exercises! Think about the youth rummage sale for all those treasurers!  After the election and removal of the voting machines from the back storage area at the end of this week  we should be able to take more items.
  4. Please note – we have dumpster pick up every other week. If the dumpster lid continues to be elevated a couple of inches, we will be charged an additional $100.00. If the dumpster is full and you are unable to take garbage home, please put it in the basement across from the office. Please do not put cardboard boxes in the dumpster as they take up a lot of room. Please take to the recyclers. There are recycling bins next door at Kroger’s.
  5. As you are shopping and see the great buy 7 for a great price – think of our Food Collection for Aldersgate, the Blessing box and Burrito 419. The need is great and ongoing. The same goes for Personal Needs!
  6. Have you checked out the Community Boards lately.There is a lot of stuff going on!
  7. Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission!


Talent and Treats: Friday, 12 April at 7:00 p.m.

What is your hidden talent? Can you sing? Juggle? Tell jokes? Play the guitar? Here is your chance to show them off! On Friday, 12 April, we will gather for Talent and Treats, which is a fundraiser for the youth and their trip to the ELCA Youth Gathering in New Orleans this summer. Admission is $10 and will include desserts and the show!

There will be a sign-up sheet in the back of the nave (big church) beginning on 3 March for those wishing to share their talents. We envision the “acts” being about 3-5 minutes in length. You can also speak to Pastor to sign up or to ask questions about the event.


Easter Sunday Prayer Vigil

Good Friday  – Easter Sunday

Please join the Grace Prayer Team for an Easter Prayer Vigil from Friday, March 29th at 8:00 pm through Saturday, March 30th at 12:30 am EASTER
MORNING March 31st.

  • A sign-up sheet will be available on Sunday, March 17th.
  • 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.
  • A special area will be set up in the Nave for prayer at Grace.

We hope to offer live prayer via FB at certain times throughout the Vigil.

For security purposes, special arrangements are being made for those wishing to pray at Grace. 

If you have signed up to pray at Grace, you will be contacted by Nancy Lockard with special instructions for getting into Grace to pray. 

Special resources will be available for prayer whether a person is praying at Grace or home on Sunday. 


Contributed by Bob Haaf


Food collection continues at Grace! Thank you to everyone who has donated food and water for our food ministries. Over 1100 pounds of food and water has been  donated already this year. Our food ministries include our Food for Toledo program which provides food for Aldersgate United Methodist Church’s food pantry and Grace’s own Blessing Box. Once the freezing temperatures are over for the year, the Blessing Box will again be restocked with more food items and water.

With the inception of Burrito Blessings food items are offered as well as burritos.  During the summer and fall fresh produce is offered. Since donated fresh produce is not available in the winter, some food items that are collected at Grace are offered to those visiting.

If you would like to make a food donation suggestions include:  peanut butter, jelly, pasta/rice, spaghetti sauce, canned fruit and vegetables, soup, canned meat/fish, cereal, macaroni and cheese, canned pasta, ramen, breakfast bars, individually wrapped crackers, canned hash or stew, beef sticks, and water.  All donations are gratefully accepted.

Questions can be directed to Mary Schneider.


The Maundy Thursday service on March 28 at 7 p.m. will include the stripping of the altar.  If you can help strip the altar during the service, please let Mary Schneider know. There are several items to remove so there is space for everyone who wants to assist in doing this.  


Good Friday Meditative Art Experience at the Toledo Museum of Art:

Please join Pastor Chris Hanley (Glenwood Lutheran, Toledo) and Pastor Brenda on Good Friday, 29 March, at 2:00 p.m. at the Toledo Museum of Art for a meditative and reflective art experience. We will consider some artwork together and consider how the art might illuminate our faith, as well as how our faith might illumine the artwork.

We will meet in the lobby by the museum cafe. If you are a museum member, you may park in the lot for free. If you are not a member, there is a $10 fee to park there. You may also park at Glenwood Lutheran Church (in the back lot) at no charge and walk to the Museum.

Please sign up on the sheet in the back of the nave by 24 March.


Highlights from February Council meeting:

Vacation Bible School will be July 8 thru July 12, 2024 in the evening, and will be for adults and children.

Our copier in the office will be replaced with a newer, more cost-efficient one.  The savings will be over $100 per month.

We are trying out a QR code, which can be used in the future for offerings, but right now, we are testing it for reservations for Easter breakfast.  Please try it out!

A Silver Sneaker exercise program will be held at Grace two Saturdays per month.  There will be a free will offering taken.  Dates and times will be posted at a later date.

Several members are starting a Gardening Group.  If anyone has a green thumb and is interested in joining, please let the office know.

Pastor has gotten estimates for a new camera system, which will enhance our livestreaming of services.  More info to follow in the near future.


Healthy People! Healthy Parish!

National Poison Prevention Week!

Is observed the third week of March in the United States. So, what kinds of things can cause poisoning???  Household products (cleaners, paint ,etc.), medicines, pesticides, plants, bites, stings, food poisoning (mushrooms and unsafe food handling) and fumes (carbon monoxide).

Prevention week recognition started on September 26,1961 when Congress passed a joint resolution requesting that the President proclaim the third week of March as National Poison Prevention Week. President John F. Kennedy proclaimed the first week March 1962.

More than 200 million potential poison exposures are reported to the American Poison Control Centers every year – Phew! More than 90% of the poisonings occur in the home and a large percentage is with children.

Although there is a large number of calls to centers related to children, they account for only a small percentage of deaths. Poisoning of adults is increasing.

The number of preventable deaths from poisoning in 2021 was 102,000. Yikes!

What do you do if you think someone has been poisoned????

  1. Keep calm!
  • Help is as near as a phone. Keeping calm will help you understand the advice and help the victim.
  1. Check the condition of the victim.

CALL 911 right away if the person:

  • Has collapsed. And is not responding (unconscious)
  • Is having trouble breathing.
  • Has severe chest pain
  • Is having a seizure, vomiting
  1. Call Poison Help 1-800-222-1222 even if there are no signs of poisoning, just to check.
  • Try to identify what poison is involved. If it is a product or medicine bring the container to the phone.
  1. A nurse ,pharmacist or other poison control expert will answer your call to the

Poison Control Center

Be ready to tell the person answering the phone:

  • The name of the product or medicine
  • The amount of the product or medicine involved
  • The age and wight of the victim
  • What signs of poisoning you see

       5.A poison expert will decide if the person is in danger.  

             – The poison expert will give you the advice you need.

             – They will tell you if you need a doctor or ambulance right away.

In 2021 the Poison Control Centers answered over 2.08 million phone calls!!!

Posting this number 1-800-222-1222 in prominent spots – garage, kitchen, bathroom and even putting on your cell phone is a great idea!!

Contacting the Poison Control Center is FREE!

Question? What is the international symbol of poison?????

Question? What is one of the newer items that can be a cause of poisoning in children???

There is also an Animal Poison Control Center 1-888-426-4435.

Please note there is a fee for calling them. 


National Velociraptor  Day!     WHAT??? 

Yes, this really is a day that is celebrated on April18!!!

Not only is this a wonderful celebration, but we will also be celebrating the Spring Blood Drive at Grace that day from 1-6.

Not sure if Velociraptors are able to donate blood but we can, and 1 unit of blood can go to help as many as 3 people in need.

This day is also National Exercise Day! So, get some exercise by walking into Grace and giving blood to enable many others to participate in National Exercise Day!

Then there are the treats after you give blood!! So come and celebrate National  Animal Cracker Day with us. Who does not like the new type of CHOCOLATE   ANIMAL CRACKERS!!

Seriously, the shortage of blood in our community and nationwide is ongoing and every unit of blood can go to help as many as 3 people! Maybe  a 2-hour (at the most) commitment and think about who you can help! You may sign up on the Red Cross Web Site or call Gretchen Hiatt419-944-5166 and she will help with making an appointment time.



This is the day the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

~Psalm 118:24