O Lord, give strength to your people;
give them, O Lord, the blessings of peace.
The Grace Church office will be closed Monday May 31 for Memorial Day.
Grace Get Together!!!
What? Who? When?
Have you missed seeing and talking with your church family and friends?
For many of us it has been a long time since we have seen our friends
or had the opportunity to talk face to face (not zooming).
Monday June 7th from 11:00am – Noon
we are having a Grace Get Together in Fellowship Hall!
Come on over for some lively upbeat fellowship, coffee and treats!
We will have a brief devotion and brief but fun program!
There will be plenty of time for just good upbeat conversation and Ketchup!
Any questions contact Mary Schneider or Gretchen Hiatt.
See you on Monday June 7th at 11:00!
There is always a choice about the way you do your work,
even if there is not a choice about the work itself.
and the paradox that comes from the fear of change
By David Charvat
Last week a scholarly gentleman contacted me and wanted to know if it is true that “everyone” is leaving Grace because they are upset about well, everything. The gentleman indicated that he heard scuttlebutt saying that over 60 people have left Grace in the past year.
Truth be told some members have transferred from Grace. The number is closer to 16 than 60 (it is actually 9 in the last year and a half). The reasons for these transfers vary by individual. A few have simply moved out of the area. Yes, some have left Grace to join nearby Lutheran Churches that belong to a Lutheran Synod that is less inclusive than the ELCA in terms of beliefs surrounding marriage.
In the eyes of the ELCA, Grace is officially in a period of transition and reflection. This is a period for preparing Congregations to accept changes that occur whenever one Pastor leaves and another Pastor is called. Naturally the willingness to accept change creates anxiety in some. The stereotypical Lutheran is portrayed as being resistant to change; it seems however, to be a paradox that anxiety over the perception that a person’s home Church could be changing causes an individual to decide to change Church homes.
The reality of the situation is Grace needs to consider better ways to serve God inside and all around that building on Monroe Street in Toledo Ohio. Becoming better as serving Him will renew the spirit within us and could bring new individuals to Grace. Just last month Grace welcomed Cindy Matthews into the congregation. Cindy visited Grace with a friend last fall. She was so welcomed and inspired by the energy at the contemporary service she was singing with the Praise Team the next week. Sadly at least a handful of individuals who have recently left Grace expressed strong feelings against even occasional exposure to that style of music as part of worshipping together as one entire Congregation in celebration of special events at Grace.
Drive around Toledo and you will see there are numerous different religions all organized around how each interprets His Word. Even Lutherans have sub-divided ourselves into several different affiliations based for better or worse on issues such as the role of women in the church, sexual orientation, and who may receive the blessings of forgiveness at the Communion Table. The beauty of God’s love for us is despite these differences He still loves us.
Grace has been blessed with a number of pastors with lengthy tenures which has somewhat insulated us from membership turnover that occurs with Pastoral changes. It is likely some current members may choose to leave pending the arrival of our next pastor. As well we should realize that regardless of who the Holy Spirit sends us there may be members who decide that pastor is not for them. The best thing for us to do is stay calm, focus on what God is calling you to do as a part of Grace, and if someone decides to leave, we love them and allow them to find a church home that fits their spiritual needs.
Ushers needed for 9:30am service. No experience necessary. Must be able to smile and want to help people. No resume, cover letter or interview required. Contact the church office if you are willing to help.
Grace Lutheran Church is looking for members to help with the streaming of our services. No experience necessary. The job will consist of setting up equipment and sitting in the service with a tablet. Training will be offered. We are looking for several members to do this. If you are willing to help contact Mary Schneider at 419.262.0730.
No need to hurry.
No need to sparkle.
No need to be anybody but oneself.
(Virginia Woolf )
My grandmother told me that every good thing I do helps some human being in the world.
I believed her 50 years ago, and I still do.
Theology as Idolatry?
By Rob Zahn
From The Lutheran, October 2007
I love theology—the pursuit of a deeper understanding of who God is and what God wants of us. And I love discussion about God: the insights and beliefs different people bring to the table. What really turns my crank is the passion and debate such conversation creates….
As much fun as I have with it, theology can also divide all Christians and wound the church and efforts to grow the kingdom. Two people of faith can work together, eat together, even worship together. But when they share their theology, it can all end….
What makes us think we know what God wants? Why do we think our way just happens to be God’s way?
….[W]hen we defend our interpretation of Scripture and our way of doing church as the best or only way, we have seriously crossed the line.
It’s when we put our knowledge of God above the being of God that it becomes idolatry. This form of idolatry hurts our efforts to build the kingdom of God. It’s the reason many people don’t like Christians or Christianity.
So what’s the solution? I believe it’s in the hands of clergy and parents. What are you teaching?….Is it a message of love and grace? Or one of single-minded passion that says it’s our way or the highway? Are we teaching that God is ultimately and completely in control of our lives and the universe?
I’m not advocating that we be open to all paths that lead to God. Not at all. Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Our theology is not.
<Submitted by Bob Haaf>
Behind the scenes at Grace …
- It is almost ready to go! What? Live streaming of our services! Yea!! Equipment is here now the training part.
- We are being dumped on by the beautiful oak trees outside the office! Thousands of stringy brown catkins or as some people call them tassels. Piles and piles! Wonder if this is also a sign of stress????
- Thanks to the monetary donation from the hockey players who used Brenner Hall this last winter the floor in Brenner Hall is receiving a long-needed waxing! It looks wonderful!
- The Red Geraniums in the Sanctuary and Chapel were gorgeous. Thank you to Connie Thomas.
- We did it! One more step towards returning to normal! The ushers passed the offering plates! It is a slow process to return but the ushers and the congregation have been extremely understanding and patient.
- We looked outside the office window this last week and that very tiny baby bunny is not so tiny anymore – we now must name it. Ideas will be accepted!
- Room 6 – alias Purple Room is now available for meetings!
- Remember; Grace is not the building but the people fulfilling God’s Mission.
It’s Summer – Yahoo!
Not officially by the calendar but the temperature has definitely been summer – like!
After all the craziness of this last winter everyone is anxious to get out and enjoy this warm weather, but we need to do it safely!
In our eagerness to enjoy this beautiful warm weather we can overdo it resulting in Heat Exhaustion and possibly Heat Stroke.
Both of these conditions happen when our bodies are not cooling adequately.
Do you know the symptoms? Do you know what to do if someone is experiencing Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke? Do you know how to prevent?
Symptoms can develop suddenly or over time especially with long exercise times.
- Cool moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
- Heavy sweating
- Weak, rapid pulse
- Muscle cramps
What to do:
- Stop all activity and rest
- Move to a cooler place out of sun
- Drink cool water and sports drink (Gatorade.etc.)
If the symptoms get worse or they don’t improve after an hour seek medical attention. If you are with someone who shows signs and they become agitated or confused, lose consciousness or unable to drink call 911 ASAP.
Happen when our body temperature rises above 104 degrees and is most common in the summer.
- Sweating. In heatstroke brought on in hot weather your skin will be hot and dry. If it occurs with exercise your skin my be dry or slightly moist.
- Flushed skin – redder as the body temperature increases
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion, agitated, slurred speech, delirious, seizures and can progress to coma
- Rapid breathing and shallow
- Racing heart rate
- Throbbing headache
What to do:
-Get the person into shade or inside someplace cool.
-Remove excess clothing
-Cool the person with what ever you can – cool tub water or shower, spray with a garden hose, sponge with cool water, put cool towels or ice pack on the person’s head, neck, armpits and groin.
How to Prevent!
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. If it’s tight it’s hard to cool.
- Protect against the sun. Sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool. Wear a wide brim hat, sunglasses and broad-spectrum sunscreen. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply every 2 hours if swimming or sweating.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Carry a water bottle with you.
- Check out your medications. Some can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
- Never leave anyone or a pet in a parked car in warm or hot weather even with the window cracked and parked in the shade. When your car is parked keep it locked so a child cannot get inside.
- Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. If you can’t avoid being out in hot weather, drink fluids and try to rest frequently in a cool spot. Exercise in the morning and evening when it is cooler.
- It takes time for our bodies to adjust to warm weather so limit the time spent in the heat until your body is used to it. This may be a number of weeks.
- Be cautious if you have medical conditions or take medications that increase the risk of heat related problems.
** If you are out exercising alone make sure someone knows what your route is and please carry some form of identification with your name, emergency contact information, and any health related conditions and allergies.
Rash and itch producers!
With warm weather comes new plant growth some of which is very tiny and can fool you into thinking it might be a simple weed to be pulled. So, you pull it, or walk through it hiking, or going after that golf ball in the brush.
THEN – the rash, hives and itching start! That simple weed turns out to be a member of the Anacardiaceae family! Alias Poison Ivy!!!
Poison Ivy is typically a small shrub /climbing vine with 3 pointed leaves. In the spring it has green berries that turn white, and the leaves turn red in the fall.
We can also see Poison Sumac and it is found in swampy areas as a shrub or a small tree. It has white berries between the leaf and the branches. It has 7-13 leaflets per leaf.
Not only can the leaves and stems get you but also the roots. It is the oils from the plant that give us the problem.
The rash and itch can last for weeks.
Wash the area as soon as you can after touching. Over the counter medications are available but a call to your doctor for areas on your face or a case that is severe is a good idea as prescription medication may be needed.
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!