I wait for you, O Lord; my soul waits;
in your word is my hope.
Bless the world: Be God’s Grace!
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.
Worship Opportunities for the Wednesday, March 29
During Lent, mid-week services are offered on Wednesdays at noon and 7 p.m. On March 29, Pastor Brenda will preside at both the noon service and the 7 p.m. services. At the noon services during Lent Pastor Brenda has retold favorite Bible stories and provided insight into them. At the 7 p.m. services pastors from Memorial, Glenwood, and St Paul’s Lutheran Churches have recounted their favorite Bible stories.
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 contact Mary Schneider.
Thursday May 4th – National Day of Prayer
Sunday Fellowship Time
March 26 – Gretchen Hiatt and Nancy Lockard
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.
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!
Have you ever noticed that there are intentional moments of silence in our worship? Think of the pause in the Confession, or the moments before the Post Communion prayer. These moments are intentional, and are intended to give us a space to breathe, to reflect, to ponder … whatever it is the Spirit moves us to in those moments.
I know silence can be uncomfortable. We are not used to it, really. We are constantly surrounded by sound; by conversation, by music, by the shows we watch, by traffic, by the pinging and beeping of our devices. But there is power in taking that pause in worship so that we can enter fully into what comes next. Whether we need to consider where we have fallen short of the glory of God by things done and left undone or whether we need a moment to let the mystery and grace of Holy Communion sink in, these pauses can offer us something profound. The Spirit can speak in those moments, if we allow ourselves to enter into the silence.
Embrace the silent pauses the next time you worship. Let the silence sink in, and listen intently for what God may be saying … or just breathe, and cherish the knowledge that you are a beloved child of God. The noise of the world and of our minds can wait.
Pastor’s Extra Thoughts:
In addition to our worship services at noon and 7:00 p.m. on Good Friday, I want to make you aware of another opportunity on that day.
Pastor Chris Hanley from Glenwood Lutheran Church and I would like to invite you to join us at the Toledo Museum of Art at 3:00 p.m. for an experience of visio divina. This practice allows one to enter more fully into a work of art by noticing color, shapes, figures, etc. and pondering what they may be saying to us. The practice leads us to ask: What is the story? Who is pictured in the art? How do the colors, etc. enhance the art? Where might I see myself in it? What might it calling me to consider or do?
We have chosen five works of art for us to consider together. Three have the crucifixion of Jesus as their theme. One portrays Jesus’ agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and one piece is a bit of break away from a Lenten theme, but that we feel will still be meaningful. We anticipate the experience will take about an hour to an hour and a half.
You can meet us in the lobby by the café at the museum if you like. If there are people who want to carpool from Grace, please let me know by 2 April so we can make arrangements. We would need to leave by 2:30.
Meditation on John 11:1-45
By Vicar Dave
Recently, my dad was ill. Not as ill as Lazarus was in today’s Gospel, but he was still not feeling very well. He had fallen and hurt himself and had been hospitalized. I wanted to go see him right away, to be with him and reassure him that we love him, but he had also been diagnosed with COVID and was in isolation as a result. We didn’t get to see him for more than a week. He’s recovering now and feeling much better, but it’s difficult when someone you love is sick and you can’t be there for them.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus, after learning of Lazarus being ill, waits for two days before going to see him. Lazarus was someone that Jesus was particularly close to. You may recall that He ate at the house Lazarus shared with his two sisters, Martha and Mary. Jesus loved Lazarus, so why wouldn’t He go to him right away? I think part of the answer to that comes later in the story, when Jesus thanks the Father for listening to Him. He did that for our benefit, not for His own. It was to help us to realize that He came from the Father. I think that’s the reason that He waited to go to Lazarus as well. He wanted to show us that even when things are beyond any hope in our minds, God is able to perform miracles and do things that are beyond our imaginings. This made more explicit in verse 45 where we’re told that “many of the Jews…had seen what Jesus did, [and] believed in Him”.
When Jesus decides to go to Lazarus, His disciples remind Him of the dangers that await Him in Judea, and how the Jews there had tried to stone Him. I’m not even sure from this text if they were aware of Jesus intention to go to help Lazarus. As usual, Jesus must explain it to them. “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” When He explains that He is using “fallen asleep” as a euphemism for the fact that Lazarus has died, he also lets them know that He’s going there to help them to believe. It’s funny how we use euphemisms for things that are uncomfortable to address in a more direct manner, particularly death.
When Jesus finally arrives at Bethany, Lazarus had been in the tomb four days already. Martha comes out to meet Him and during the following discussion, He reveals His divine nature to her. “I am the resurrection and the life,” He told her. Mary takes Jesus to the tomb and, in what was a very human moment for Jesus, He wept. I don’t think that Jesus was weeping for Lazarus. He knew Lazarus was going to be just fine. I think He was affected by the pain He saw Mary going through as she wept. Then He orders the Tomb opened, over Martha’s objection due to the potential scent of a decaying body, and Jesus tells Lazarus to come out. He was bound in the funeral wrappings that the people had placed him in, but he was very much alive!
There are times in our lives when things get so out of control that we don’t see any way they can be repaired. When we feel we’re headed to the bottom of a pit and the daylight is fading and we don’t know how we’ll ever recover. I’m thinking right now of a person with a substance addiction, such as alcohol or opioids. It’s often said that persons suffering with addictions must hit bottom before they can recover. It’s like that for a lot of things. Crying is a perfectly natural reaction to something that causes us pain. Things like suffering through the death of a loved one, or through a grave illness. I have a friend whose daughter, Vivian, who is less than two years old, was born with heart problems. I’m not sure about how it happened, but during her multiple surgeries, she had to have her left leg amputated. I can’t imagine the pain that Vivian and her parents go through on a daily basis. Perhaps, for other people it’s a divorce, or even financial difficulties. I’m certain that when Jesus sees us suffering and crying that he feels that pain with us. After all, He loved Mary and cried with her during her moment of pain and doubt, and He has promised that He loves us as well. I’m certain that He feels our pain also.
When I am in pain, either physical or emotional or spiritual, I find reassurance in the fact that God loves us. God loves us despite our sinfulness. He is there with us, holding our hands, reassuring us and feeling for us while we are in pain. God loves us so much that He will never abandon us. Not when life throws us a curve ball that we have no hope of hitting. Not even as we continue to hurt ourselves with our sinful ways. God calls us from sin’s shadows and leads us into Jesus’ light. Then, God abides with us in the light. There, God surrounds us with love as we face whatever’s intimidating and unfamiliar. During our Lenten journeys, let’s look for God’s love as it meets us in our wherever we are, in the depths of our sorrow or the heights of our joy.
Behind the scenes at Grace…..by Gretchen
- WOW! What an awesome crowd at the Youth Pasta Dinner! Not only was it wonderful having someone serve us but also the wonderful scrumptious food! An Italian food lovers delight! The music was great and just seeing a whole bunch of people together again enjoying themselves was great!
- Spring has sprung this week and although the spring part of the sprung is a little chilly the lilies next to Brenner and the daffodils in the garden next to the church office are starting to spring a little more.
- We still have plenty of room for rummage sale treasurers! They can be placed in the back corner of the storage room in Brenner – it is the room where the tables and chairs are stored. Hold the dates for the sale! The Preview Sale is Thursday April 27 and then the sale is Saturday April 29th. Come and check out the treasures!
- Remember: Grace is the people of Grace carrying out God’s mission in a friendly, kind and supportive way!
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
Yep, this guy sure is pretty and he could be poisonous but unless you are a snake guru – play it safe and observe from a loooonnnnng distance.
What we do know it is spring and a whole different bunch of things can cause poisoning.
It is a whole different ball game than winter.
Did you know that over 83% of poisonings involve swallowing something (49% are medications and other drugs) and 17% are from exposure through the skin, eyes and lungs!
Spring Offenders for poisoning!
A type called “death caps’’ grow in yards and parks.
Many are pretty colors or beautiful shapes and kids will pick.
If they smell good dogs may enjoy a snack
Only an expert can tell the poisonous from safe
The chemicals that are used to power wash your house deck or sidewalk can be very strong.
Keep chemicals in the container they came in – don’t put in a food container.
Store the chemicals away from food products to avoid confusion .
Never mix chemicals as some can react and give off a poisonous gas.
Read and follow directions for use – don’t wing it or assume the instructions
on the container are the same as the old one.
Never sniff containers to see what is inside.
Turn on fans ,open windows or the garage door.
If spraying – spray away from people ,pets and food.
Even in small amounts windshield washer fluid is poisonous – it can lead to blindness and death.
Strong chemicals can burn the skin – rust removers.
Hydrocarbon liquids (those made with petroleum) are poisonous. This includes charcoal lighter, paint thinner, lamp oil and furniture polish.
Get rid of old and outdated products. The First Aid advice might be old. Make sure that you check for proper disposal of the product. Many cannot just be thrown in the garbage can.
Bugs and Garden Pests and Pesticides
These can be absorbed form the skin or inhaled. Even leather shoes and gloves do not offer full protection.
Stay away from areas that have been sprayed until dry or for at least 1 hour.
Wear protective clothing when using bug spray – wear long sleeved shirt and pants, socks, shoes and gloves. Remove and wash clothing after using chemicals. This is for stronger stuff than “Off” which is formulated to put on your skin.
If you splash pesticides on your skin wash off immediately.
Wear protective eyewear when using pesticides and other sprays.
Oh my! Someone just ate that gorgeous mushroom in your garden or your child sniffed that pretty blue bottle of fertilizer!
What do you do!
Remain calm and:
CALL THE POISON CONTROL HOTLINE IMMEDIATLEY 1-800-222-1222!!!
Nurses ,doctors ,pharmacists and other trained experts answer the phone 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
The call is free, and they can get help for 161 different languages. Hearing impaired services are also available.
Why not post this number in your garage or other place outside as well as in your house so it is easy to find . We have them posted in strategic places in the church!
Every 56 Days !!!
Hmm it is not how often we weigh ourselves although after Easter it might be. It is not how often we fill our gas tanks (unless you only drive to church on Sunday). It is not how often we buy groceries unless we are on that post Easter diet.
It is how often you can donate a unit of Blood!!!
So if you donated in January you can definitely do so on April 19th!!
Please consider donating – even if it is your first time it is a great feeling of giving back and the snacks don’t hurt!
Can’t donate? Think about using the Easter Cards, Birthday Cards and Thinking of You cards to have someone donate in your honor!
The Dodoma Delegation by Ron Hiatt
At the March meeting, Grace Council unanimously approved helping to send Pastor Brenda and Ron to Dodoma Tanzania to reconnect with Grace’s Parish Companion, Iringa Road. The help came by way of reimbursing the air fare cost through the Kaeming Fund. We thank Council for the financial help, and we appreciate the affirmation they expressed to strengthening the companionship with Iringa Road. While we will also be part of the NWOS Delegation to support the Synod to Diocese Companionship by attending the installation of Rev Christian Ndossa as new Bishop of the Dodoma Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), our primary focus will be growing our relationship with members of the Iringa Road Lutheran Church Parish.
Pastor Brenda is also part of the planning group of Dodoma Diocese women pastors and leaders with NWOS women pastors and leaders who are organizing a 2 day Women’s Retreat/Bible Study. The retreat will focus on the unique gifts women of the church can offer, as well as the challenges women leaders face working for the Kingdom. The Bible Study will center around women in the Bible, with the stories of Elizabeth and Mary being led by NWOS women and the Stories of Esther and Dorcus being led by the Dodoma women.
Ron and Megan O’Brien from Lutheran Home of Mercy will be meeting with former Bishop Kinyunyu as he follows the Lord’s calling to establish a ministry for those who are blind, deaf, or mentally or physically disabled in some way. These are people who are underserved and marginalized and he wants to share the love and hope of Jesus with them as he develops ways to lift these people out of poverty and overcome the stigma and prejudices held by society.
Members of the Global Mission Board and the Synod staff will also be meeting with the Bishop Ndossa and his staff to discuss future plans and ways we can learn from each other and continue to grow and strengthen the Synod to Diocese Companionship. We will try to develop a list of priorities and time lines to accomplish.
Pastor Brenda, Ron and members of the delegation will also make a visit to the Iringa Road Sub-Parish of Mzogole. This is the remote site where water filters were sent to filter and purify the ground water for drinking and cooking, where with financial help from people of Grace, a concrete floor in the church building was laid, where in 2016 again with help from Grace, a water well was drilled and fitted with a hand pump for the village was established, and where the 2018 Tumaini III Medical Mission was conducted. Pastor Brenda has offered to provide the homily for a worship service there. The village is growing and has many children. It would not be surprising to have more than a few baptisms for Pastor Brenda. We also hope we are able to visit one or two of the other sub-parishes being supported by Iringa Road while we are there. Lutherans are the largest and still the fastest growing Christian denomination in Tanzania. It will be exciting to learn how they continue to grow so fast and hear their stories of success and challenges.
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!