For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him may not perish
but have eternal life.
As I write this, some have already voted on the 8 November midterm elections. Some will head to the polls on election day to cast their vote.
As people discuss the candidates and the relevant issues, the question seems to be: “Who is to blame?”
Who is to blame for the economic turmoil in the United States and by extension, around the world? There are many thoughts and opinions about this: this group spent too much, this group earned too much, this policy caused that resource to go up in price, poor pandemic planning and a tough recovery.
Who is to blame for violence and war in our community and the world? Who is to blame for the rise in addiction in society? Who is to blame for the cost of healthcare? Who is to blame for homelessness? Who is to blame for the seemingly endless growth of an attitude of entitlement? On these topics, too, there are many thoughts and opinions.
A lot of energy is spent assessing situations (with varying degrees of attempts to understand the whole picture) and at assigning blame to the perceived wrongdoers. Everyone has an opinion, and seems more than willing to share it. “Who is to blame?” seems to dominate our personal, local, national, and global conversations of late.
What if we spent all that energy witnessing to Jesus Christ and the power of God shown through him? What if we talked continually about the grace, love, mercy, forgiveness, and love of God? What if our response to troubling and puzzling situations was not immediately to seek to assign blame and call for retribution, but rather to converse about justice, mercy, hope, promise, love, and a new way of living—a way of living that might just get at the root causes of some of our world’s problems and offer some real answers and solutions?
What if we could learn to look at the world first through a “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul … and love your neighbors as yourself” lens, rather than through the distortion of a “Who is to blame?” lens? What might the world look then?
Just wondering …
Thanksgiving Eve Service
On Wednesday, November 23, Grace will be hosting a joint Thanksgiving Eve Service at 7 p.m. Memorial Lutheran, Hope United Methodist, and Aldersgate United Methodist will be joining Grace for this service. A joint choir will provide music that evening. Please plan on attending this special service.
Grace will be hosting a fellowship hour after the service. If you are able to provide a dessert for this, please contact Mary Schneider at 419.262.0730 or at email@example.com.
Poinsettia Sale 2022
This year’s poinsettia sale begins November 13 and will continue through December 11. You can find forms at the back of the church or by the office. The deadline for orders is December 11. The sale is sponsored by the Christian Education Committee and proceeds go to VBS 2023.
The youth group is having a Pancake Breakfast on Sunday, November 13th between services (10:30-11:30ish). There will be a free will donation for the youth group. We will be adopting people from Sunshine Communities and this will help with that. There will be a pancake bar, where you can choose your own toppings.
We hope people will come spend some time together, eat yummy pancakes and enjoy some fellowship time.
The Youth Committee
An Invitation From The Christian Education Committee
You are invited to our Annual Operation Christmas Child packing party, November 13, 2022 after the 2nd service in Brenner Hall. We will be packing boxes with items to be given to a child who may never have received a gift before. Our goal is to fill 125 boxes this year. We need volunteers to help fill the boxes. Bring a lunch or snacks and come join us for the fun and fellowship. We will provide beverages and snacks. Come for a short time or plan to stay the whole afternoon. We look forward to seeing you.
My JAM family collected items for our Personal needs ministry. They wanted to help me for when I was on vacation.
So, really what is diabetes ?
It is a condition that affects how the body turns food into energy. Our body breaks down most of the food we eat into sugar (glucose) and releases it into the blood stream. When our blood sugar goes up it signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is like a key to let blood sugar into the cells of the body for use as energy .
With diabetes, the body does doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use it as well as it should. When there is not enough insulin or cells stop responding to insulin, too much blood sugar stays in the blood stream. Over time this can cause serious problems that can cause heart disease, affect eyes, and kidney disease.
There are 3 main types of diabetes
- Type 1
- Type 2
More to Come on these!
Although it is not recognized as a specific type of Diabetes there is a health condition that is related .
It is called Prediabetes.
People with prediabetes have blood sugar levels higher than normal but not high enough to be called A Type 2 Diabetic. Prediabetes increases your risk for Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and stoke.
Per the CDC there about 96 million adults have prediabetes. More then 8 in 10 people have prediabetes but don’t know they have until they develop significant health problems!
People can have prediabetes without knowing it for years without any symptoms. That is one reason to have your yearly checkup and screening with your family MD.
Some risk factors for prediabetes.
- Being overweight
- Being age 45 or older
- Having a parent, brother or sister with Type 2 diabetes
- Being physically active less than 3 times a week
- Having gestational diabetes when pregnant
What can you do?
- Lose weight if you are overweight – even small amounts like 10 pounds can help
- Get active and move – walk, swim, ride a bike
- Better food choices – fruits, vegetables, lean like fish, poultry and legumes, use whole grains and less processed carbohydrates . Decrease fried, processed foods.
Type 1 next week!
Written by David L. Petitjean
How long have you been at Grace?
SHORT ANSWER: Since Spring, 2005.
DETAILED ANSWER: I came to Grace in the late Spring of 2005 as the “temporary bass player” for the Contemporary Group that played at the Wednesday evening Contemporary Service. Tim, the young man that had been playing bass for the group had begun taking classes at The Ohio State University (“OSU”). Ann, the then Director of the Contemporary Group, thought he was only taking classes at OSU for the Summer. Tim showed up for one the services and told me that he was not coming back, he was planning to transfer to OSU to complete his college career (he did).
In 2005, I was then a member of Salem Lutheran and Temple Shomer Emunim (my wife, Jane is Jewish). I also had begun as the bass player for the Contemporary Group at Most Blessed Sacrament. The Music Director at the Temple was also the Music Director at Most Blessed Sacrament, he was hoping someone from Most Blessed Sacrament who could play bass would step forward (no one did).
When the Contemporary Service moved to Sundays, I was only able to attend the second half of the Service, due to my commitments at Salem. Another person, John, stepped forward to become the bass player for the group. When he left, I returned to being the bass player (poor Pastor Al thought I would have to learn to play the bass, until Dale told him that I used to be the bass player). For a time Jane, my wife, and Mark Bramson, another member of Temple, played with the group.
I still use the word “temporary” because life always subject to change, In fact the Greek Philosopher, Heraclitus, wrote the only constant in life is change. My time with Salem came to end, and my time with the Contemporary Group at Most Blessed Sacrament came to end (our Music Director retired and the new Director advised him to tell us that he was not interested in contemporary music). Two of the members of Grace’s group, Mark, and Jon, have left us, and they can never be replaced. Jane also no longer plays flute with us (the loss of Mark is too much when she comes to Grace). Eventually my time at Grace will come to end.
In reality we all are “temporarily” here. We should work hard and enjoy our time together at Grace. We should also realize that the future of Grace will be for those who come after us, we are merely caretakers of Grace. Jesus has told us this throughout the Gospels. God will remain, we will return to her/him (spiritual beings really don’t have a sex).
Tell a little about yourself and family.
SHORT ANSWER: Jane and I have six children between us. We met our freshman year of college in 1973-1974. Jane left school after a year. We took a twenty-four (24) year break and came back together in 1998.
DETAILED ANSWER: I was raised Catholic, by a Mother who had been a Methodist and chose to convert to Catholicism in college (her choice, not to get married, she converted before she met my Father). I was taught to question everything about religion. I was taught that God was spiritual and religion was man made. Don’t question God. Question what religion tells you about God, faith, how you should live, and the morals they teach you. Most importantly, always remember that your beliefs are YOUR BELIEFS, NOT THE BELIEFS EVERYONE ELSE MUST BELIEVE.
I have been a searcher all of my life. One of my two majors in college was philosophy. I learned a lot from studying philosophy, including that it is not the answers that become important, it is the next questions.
Jane is a fine arts major. She was a single mom of three children. Her road to graduation took many years to achieve. I was there at the start and there at the end. She has run her own businesses, been a representative for fashion companies, an Art Director, and is and remains an Artist.
Why do you enjoy the ministries you do here and elsewhere?
SHORT ANSWER: I have always loved music. It is one of the things that humans do which places us above animals. It is best done with other people. When you are singing and playing, you must take yourself out of yourself. You must listen and blend with others. You become something better than yourself. It is also a gift from God, which we can give back to God as a gift.
DETAILED ANSWER: Music, joy, humor, and love are things that I always associate with services. Service is where we honor and show our love for God. I also find that once a service becomes the doing of rote matters, singing the same hymns, saying the same prayers, having the same order for services, it become more of a duty, than an experience of joy and love from and to God. Music and humor are also necessary so that the service doesn’t merely become dogma and ritual. We must invest ourselves, including our emotions, for a service to be effective.
Beyond services, our mission, our lives in Grace, should always reflect the love, joy, and humor that God gives to us, wants back from us, and for us to share with each other. Humor is often the best way to address matters which are going to be troublesome, uncomfortable, thought-provoking, and most likely create an initial emotional response.
We have to get past ourselves, to really listen to others, and put ourselves, our opinions, beliefs, and personal pettiness aside to really communicate and understand others. No one can live in our body and soul because we are the only ones who experience ourselves from the inside. We must remember that is the same for every person we interact with in our lives.
What is your favorite Bible verse?
SHORT ANSWER: I don’t have one favorite. I have many favorites, depending on what is going on in my life or those around me in their lives. I also found growing up, that those who constantly quoted “Bible verses” were not doing so to help others but to tell others what they were doing in the lives was wrong. That still seems to be popular.
DETAILED ANSWER: I have read English translations of the Torah, and the Talmud [what we Christians refer to as the Old Testament] as well as the New Testament many times over the years. I can’t say that I have really read “the Bible,” as I do not read and understand Hebrew, Aramaic, and koine Greek, the languages in which it was written.
As a young person, I loved reciting the Nicene Creed. It stated my beliefs in a nutshell. I found it more useful than a Bible verse. It was a reminder of what I believed, what I thought God wanted me to believe.
As I have gotten older, I find that I still prefer prayers to Bible verses. Thanks to my experience in Judasim, an actual prayer is said during services which is based upon a Bible Chapter, Deuteronomy Chapter 6. It is called the V’ahafta. It reads:
You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.
Take to heart these instructions with which I charge you this day.
Impress them upon your children. Recite them when you stay at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up.
Bind them as a sign upon your hand and let them serve as a symbol on your forehead; inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Thus shall you remember to observe all my mitzvot [commandments] and be holy to your God.
I am Adonai, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to your God: I am Adonai your God.
This prayer reminds me of what God has done for me, and what I need to remember as I live my life. While Jesus has opened the gates of heaven to us, it is not a “get out of jail” card. To the best of my knowledge, we only get one life. We should live it according to the principles set out in this prayer, other prayers, and the Torah, the Talmud, and the New Testament.
We still have to live our lives doing justice, loving one another, making sure the poor are fed, the sick receive the health care they need, people receive the education they need and/or want, that everyone has an opportunity to live a happy fulfilling life. God gives us the knowledge and ability to provide all of these, and yet we don’t.
No one person, government, church, temple, mosque, can do all these things. It takes all of us, making one choice at a time, to make sure these things happen. If we all would think about and act accordingly, each little decision and act will create a ripple effect that will turn into a tidal wave of change to accomplish this.
Any thoughts you’d like the people her at Grace to know?
SHORT ANSWER: We need to get over ourselves. Change is going to happen, whether we want it not. If we don’t change, the World will, and we most likely will become irrelevant. No one person here at Grace, or any other congregation, has all the correct answers, ideas, or way of doing things. There is no one way to worship and love God. Everyone is our family. Let’s just love, help, and enjoy each other.
Finally keep laughing. When you are laughing endorphins are released, you feel happy, those laughing around and with you feel happy. You look around and smile, and suddenly we are all doing something which binds us together, a moment shared forever, whether trivial or not. We are all humans, all the same, enjoying a moment. If God didn’t have a sense of humor and laugh, would any of us be here?
Or anything else you would like to say?
SHORT ANWER: I believe I have said enough.
DETAILED ANSWER: This is a question you should not ask me.
I would also ask if I could take your picture to go with it.
SHORT ANSWER: I believe you took my picture on Sunday morning under false pretenses. I did not know that you were needing it for an article about me.
DETAILED ANSWER: This will need to include a full analysis of the right to privacy versus the right of publicity that I may falsely believe that I have (I suspect I don’t). I would have to bill you for this legal analysis. As such, I will not include in this answer.
Thank you, Dave, for all you do!! And you do keep us laughing!
God most certainly gave you a great sense of humor!
Advent activities will be highlighted in next week’s announcements. Stay tuned.
Thank you to all who help!
November 20 – Grace Peterson and Debbie Downs
- We thought with all the activity back at church that our animal menagerie would decrease and even disappear, and the chances of adding any members was not going to happen. However, we were wrong. This last Sunday we saw a Blue Jay and Red Headed Woodpecker (this guy was new) battling it out over something they found in the gutter outside the office, and it was a true standoff! Then a smallish brown animal was seen on the other side of the fence by the expressway with a mouthful of grass. It was followed around to the side and it dove into a hole next to an old tree stump – so we can almost add a wood chuck to our list. Hopefully the woodchuck will stay on his side of the fence!
- The choir was wonderful on Sunday with Nancy Stepleton directing and Debby Reeb accompanying . It is so great to have them back !
- Kim Kondalski gave the Children’s’ Sermon on Sunday, and it was also wonderful and what a great way to incorporate leaves into an awesome sermon.
- The place is hopping this week with voting, bake sale, etc.
- Please do not forget if something needs attention that is not critical the Green Sheet outside the office be completed and either given to the office or put in the mail slot on the office door.
- This upcoming Sunday the youth are having a Pancake Breakfast between services! Come and enjoy some delicious pancakes. It is supposed to be cold so what is better to warm you up than a plate of pancakes! True comfort food! There is a freewill offering that will be used to support their outreach activities. Can you smell those pancakes?
- Even though Tent City is over for this year we are still collecting blankets and even hats, mittens and scarves throughout the year. We have given blankets, mittens and hats out during the cold months to those in need who stop by the church. So, this is an ongoing ministry. If you need to have items picked up give Gretchen a call.
- Another sign that fall is here is that Connie Thomas has cleaned out all the flower beds and pots. Not sure what she does but they were all gorgeous this year (in spite of the chipmunks digging holes !) and we received many comments about how beautiful they were. Thanks again to Connie for beautifying the church campus.
- Remember : Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission.
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
Time Change Reminder!
Did you replace the batteries and check that your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working? Research has shown that you may only have 3 minutes to safely get out of a burning building, so it is important that your alarms are working correctly. Carbon Monoxide is a “silent killer” and as it gets colder it becomes even more important to check those alarms.
By Vicar Dave
In today’s Gospel, we’re with Jesus during the last days before His crucifixion. Jesus has made it to Jerusalem. He’s had His triumphant entrance on Palm Sunday and now He has come to the temple, Israel’s primary place of worship.
The temple that the disciples are admiring in today’s Gospel is the third temple in Jerusalem. Herod tore down the second temple so that he could build something even more grand. At the opening of the Gospel, it’s not even done yet and the disciples are marveling over it. I’ve always felt that Herod built this temple more to glorify himself than to give glory to God.
Let’s look back at the first temple for a moment. God allowed the Babylonians to destroy this temple because the people of Israel had strayed from their covenant with Him. Now Jesus is predicting that the same type of fate awaits this new temple. Jesus sees right through what Herod is doing. In building this temple, Herod is being what we might call a megalomaniac today. Some folks seem to have this great need to have these larger than life edifices to proclaim their own greatness. Sometimes it can come in the form a statue, or perhaps some kind of monument. It can even be a building. That’s what Herod is doing here.
Obviously, Jesus’ prediction that the temple will be destroyed is not the news that the religious establishment wanted to hear. I’m pretty sure that the common people weren’t too happy about it either. Jesus never shies away from telling it like it is. In this case, He knows that the temple is not about God, and that the people here, like in the day of the exile, had also gotten away from their conventual relationship to God. Then Jesus starts talking about wars and natural disasters. He also talks about his followers being arrested and tried for the crime of being one of His. But as with most troubles, this can be looked at as an opportunity. A chance to declare Jesus’ words of wisdom. Even so, it’s a scary story, to be sure. But Jesus tells us that we shouldn’t be scared, because it’s not the end yet.
So how are we to endure these hard times? It’s not by our own strength that we’ll get by, but rather by trusting that God will take care of us, no matter what the circumstances. This is part of the gift of grace that comes with being a follower of Jesus. No matter what trials we face, no matter what disasters overtake us, we have the power to endure to the very end if we accept God’s gift to us. That gift of unshakeable faith will see us through whatever may come, whenever it happens.
Caroling Event: 18 December
If you enjoy Christmas carols and good fellowship, join us on 18 December for a caroling event!
We are scheduled to carol for the residents of Oak Leaf Village at 2:30 p.m. We plan to meet at church at 2:00 p.m. to carpool to the facility. After we sing there, we will divide into a couple groups and head to carol to some of our homebound members. Following that, we will head back to church for a light meal.
There will be a sign-up sheet on the table in the back of the nave. You can sign up to sing, to drive (if you are willing), and to bring food for dinner. Hot chicken for sandwiches and buns will be provided!
Please sign up by 11 December, so we know how to plan for driving and dinner.
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!