Bless the world! Be God’s Grace!
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
The church office will be closed Monday May 29 for Memorial Day.
When is the last time you were greeted by a brother or sister in Christ with the words, “Praise the Lord!”? When was the last time you heard these words spoken to begin a meeting or even an announcement in worship?
I would guess the answer is “Never.” This is not a way we typically greet one another as followers of Jesus in the United States. But it is in Tanzania. On our trip, we quickly learned that “Bwana asifiwe” (“Praise the Lord!”) is a common greeting or introduction to a gathering of the faithful. The response is a resounding, “Amen!”
I love this, to be honest. It sets a tone for gathering that focuses on Jesus. It reminds people why we gather, in whose name we gather, and to whom we should direct our praise, our joy, our love, and our concerns. It reminds us that we belong to Jesus, and that everything we do should be reflective of that relationship.
“Praise the Lord …” as we prepare to worship.
“Praise the Lord …” as we serve in the name of Jesus.
“Praise the Lord …” as we study the Word together and consider how it should shape our lives.
“Praise the Lord…” as make decisions and plan for Grace’s future.
“Praise the Lord …” as we share our God-given gifts with the world, both at Grace and in each moment of our days.
“Praise the Lord …” as we offer whatever is on our minds to God in moments of prayer.
And may the people of God say, “Amen!”
Sunday Fellowship Time
May 28 -Please join us to celebrate Callie and Olivia’s confirmation.
Operation Christmas Child
In the month of June we are asking for donations of marbles and/or chalk. They can be dropped off in the Giving Grace Room or to the office during the week.
The Worship and Music Committee would like to thank everyone who helped with last Sunday’s service. This includes participants in the service, ushers, the people who ran the sound board and did the livestream, those that set up tables in Brenner Hall, those that helped with the potluck, those who helped clean-up and put away tables. It is hoped that everyone that attended was inspired by the service, realized the importance of the congregational meeting, and enjoyed the fellowship that followed at the potluck.
The Worship and Music Committee would like to hear your thoughts and ideas about Grace’s worship and music and fellowship that follows. Members of the committee include Mary Schneider (chairman), Pastor Brenda, Fritz Gooch, Bob Haaf, Linda Mason, Cindy Matthews, David O’Brien, Dave Pettijean, Janelle Rife, Connie Thomas, and Cindy Wood. Plans are underway for the summer and fall, so we would appreciate hearing from you.
Behind the scenes at Grace…..by Gretchen
- The flowerpots next to Brenner and the infamous frog planters have been filled with gorgeous flowers thanks to Connie Thomas. She has an exceptional “green thumb” and that plus her “magic Juice” will let us enjoy beautiful flowers soon. Now who will estimate how long it will take the chipmunk to check out the pots, too?
- Our Fire System has been checked and our alarm system is tip top. So if you pull any of the fire alarms, they will alert the Fire Department as well as an alarm will go off within the church. Are you familiar with where the pull boxes are and where the fire extinguishers are? It is a good idea to look the next time you are at church!
- People have been using the contents of the Blessing Box which is wonderful. Don’t forget to bring items in that are non-perishable and can tolerate some heat. Personal care items are also needed.
- Hanger Party! Yep, there will be one next Sunday during Fellowship Hour! We have oodles and oodles of hangers from the rummage sale. The metal ones were recycled at Kripke recycler, but the others are not recyclable. Please check out the display and take some if you need them. Don’t forget Pinterest had these cool snowflakes made out of plastic coat hangers!
- New Stuff has been posted on the Community Bulletin Boards!
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission!
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
What does a mosquito and June 24th have in common??? Both want your blood!
While Mosquitoes enjoy a wonderful meal, the Interfaith Blood Drive uses your unit of blood to help at least 3 people! This sounds a lot better than the mosquitos meal and typically we “do in” the mosquito once it has bitten us! While the unit of blood lives on!
Interfaith will be celebrating it’s 34th year this June. It is the largest and longest running blood drive in the United States!
Help us celebrate and help others by donating! June 24th is a Saturday, and the drive will run from 8:30-2:30! Check out the web site to schedule or Gretchen (419-944-5166) can help schedule.
Meditation on 1 Corinthians 12:3b-13
By Vicar Dave
How many times have you heard someone say: “This job isn’t for everyone.”? I’ve heard it said a lot, particularly when I worked in the prison. There’s something about walking into that place, having the heavy doors shut and lock behind you, and knowing that you’re locked in there with some very dangerous folks that can freak some people out. I remember one newbie, a nurse, that came into the building for the first time. When she heard the doors closing behind her, she had a panic attack and had to leave right away. Then there are other folks who don’t give it a second thought. These are the ones who scared me because they can be reckless. I think I was somewhere in the middle, aware of the dangers, but able to keep them in perspective and take the proper precautions while at work.
It’s like that in a lot of jobs. Not everyone can lift a package of shingles onto their shoulder and carry it up a ladder to the roof of a house. Nor can everyone sit down with a bunch of financial records and make sense enough of them that they are able to balance the books of an accounting firm. Additionally, most of us would never be able to get in front of a crowd and entertain them. (Public speaking, I’m told, is one of the most prevalent fears among people in the US). Does this make anyone of these jobs more or less important than another? If we listen to the world and how it values things, we’d have to say “yes”. But if we listen to the Holy Spirit, the answer would be a resounding “no”!
Think about this for a moment. If there was no one to repair our roofs when they start to fail, not only would our roofs leak, eventually we’d all be exposed to the elements and probably get sick. If the roof fell in at the hospital where the doctor worked, he or she would be unable to perform the surgery that’s needed for a person who became sick. If there was no one to balance the books for an entertainer, how would they be able to pay the electrician that puts up the lights at their concert? Personally, I think we put too high a value on entertainers and athletes and not enough value on the people who teach our children, or fix our plumbing, or get our groceries to the store and stock the shelves.
Today’s reading from Corinthians is talking about how we each have different gifts from the Holy Spirit, but each gift is important and necessary in its own way. Verse 12 says it all for me. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” We are all members of the body of Christ. No one here is more important than anyone else. We are all necessary for the Church to function properly. From the bishop and the pastor all the way to each and every member of the congregation.
Plant so your own heart will grow!
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere
(or International Harvester) tractor
(Unknown but probably experienced by many!)
Live Simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak Kindly.
Did you know that May 25th is National Escargot Day?
Yes, there is a National Snail Day … They are fat free, sugar free and carb free as long as you don’t add all the sauce. They are also rich in protein and high in iron and magnesium. Schedule escargots as appetizers for Memorial Day Picnic and bet you will have leftovers!
Don’t forget food safety this weekend. Warm weather provides a great opportunity for foodborne bacteria to thrive!
- Make sure hands are washed and surfaces are clean.
- Keep cold food cold. Cold food should be stored at 40 degrees F or colder.
- Organize coolers .Think about putting beverages in one and perishable foods in another. This will let picknickers open and reopen the beverage cooler without exposing perishable foods to the warm air.
- Keep coolers closed as much as possible and put them in the shade. Do not leave coolers in the car if parked in the sun.
- Don’t cross contaminate. Keep meat securely wrapped so juices don’t drip on fruits and vegetables.
- Clean fruits and vegetables at home and package.
- Marinate safely. Marinate in the fridge not on the counter or outdoors. If you plan to serve the marinade with the meat reserve some BEFORE putting the meat in. Don’t reuse marinade that had meat in it.
- Cook food thoroughly. A food /meat thermometer is worth the money.
- Keep “ready” food hot.
- Don’t reuse platters or utensils – wash before placing cooked meat back on it
- Watch your cleaning brush – it does not taste good, and it can injure your mouth if one of those wire bristles becomes attached to your food.
Enjoy the Grilling Season and Cook it safe!
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; the sea roar,
and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!