Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another.
It was a delight to me to hear Jeannine Grimm preach yesterday for Stewardship Sunday. Using the story of the ten bridesmaids and their oil lamps, Jeannine brought us a powerful message about being ready for the kingdom of God and about how we draw our strength from the cross and the Meal (always before us as we worship in our nave) and are sent out into the world to proclaim Jesus. Jeannine drew attention to the powerful image we see out the front doors of our church—the world that God calls us into, readily seen through our view of Monroe Street.
We, as the people of God at Grace, are richly blessed. We have so many opportunities to be fed and nourished here, from worship to learning to service to fellowship. We are sustained in these gifts even as we are reminded that these are things that we are called to invite others into … so that they might know the wonder of God’s love and so that the kingdom may grow in our world through us.
I invite you the next time you worship here—whether in the nave or the chapel—to dwell in this in-between place where we are fed and where we are called back out to be witnesses. Let the Word and the Meal nourish your spirit and challenge you to witness. Let the oil of your lamp be replenished. Take a moment to see and feel the connections between what we do here and what we are called to do in the name of Jesus everywhere. How will you respond? Who will you invite? How will you spread the Good News of God in Christ to the world?
Gifts for Children and Youth at Christmas:
Grace Lutheran Church is partnering with Lucas County Children’s Services to provide some joy to local children and youth this Christmas season. We have the opportunity to purchase clothing, toys, books, etc. for those who may have a need.
We will be collecting the new, unwrapped items through Sunday, 10 December. The gifts will then be distributed to the young people the following week.
Below is the list to use as you shop. Copies are also available in the back of the nave and chapel. You may also visit lucaskids.net\holiday-gift-drive to view an Amazon Wish List. These items can be purchased online and brought to church or shipped directly from Amazon to Kevin Milliken at Lucas County Children’s Services at 705 Adams St., Toledo, OH 43604.
Do not worry about duplicating what someone else may purchase. There is a significant need, and all items are greatly appreciated!
Deficit Reduction Challenge:
As you may know, Grace faces a budget deficit as we approach the end of 2023. While spending is under budget, offerings have not kept pace with the budget. Currently, the deficit is approximately $30,000. This deficit endangers the future of our mission and of our congregation.
A member of our Grace family has given us an opportunity to end the year financially strong. This individual has offered to match deficit reduction offerings received by 15 December up to $10,000.
Please consider what you might give beyond your regular giving in the next month. Eliminating our deficit will enable us to consider different ways to use the year-end contribution from the Grace Foundation in ways that further the mission of Grace in our community. Help us Bless the World: Be God’s Grace!
More details to come this Sunday in worship, but if you wish to begin assisting with this, please be sure to designate your special offering as “Deficit Reduction.”.
Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time
In Fellowship Hall
November 19th – Happy 70th Birthday Party– Ron Hiatt, Gretchen Hiatt, Cindy Wood, Brenda Holderman, Sue Wagner, Cathy Holewinski, Mary Schneider, Ruth and Ken McKenzie – Join us for cake and fellowship as we celebrate the Big 70 this Year.
November 26 – Sue Wagner and Sue Melchert
December 3 – Youth Pancake Brunch
This year’s poinsettia sale will be from November 19 – December 17, 2023. Plants will be sold for $10.00, to decorate the church for Christmas services and to benefit the VBS program at Grace. Forms will be available for your order. Merry Christmas! Thank you for your support of this effort.
The Readings for Sunday November 19, 2023
Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18
Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11] 12
1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
A study of the book, An Unlikely Advent, will be held beginning the week before Advent and through the first three weeks of Advent. Pastor Brenda will lead the study about the extraordinary people of the Christmas story. Participants have three choices of times to participate – Sundays at 8:15 a.m., Mondays at 11 a.m., or Wednesdays at 6 p.m. So that books can be ordered for all participants, we ask that those interested sign up to participate. Sign up sheets will be available at the back of the sanctuary beginning October 29. Please consider joining others in this Advent study!
A day in the office at Grace Lutheran Church!
Not all work in the office – but this is serious business (to someone!) If you hang around the office at all, you know you can always find candy. It is donated by various people. But “Someone” likes everything to be in perfect order. Recently, an anonymous doner left this on the counter – knowing it would make “Someone” a little crazy!
So, “Someone” came in and oh my!!
“Someone” set to work immediately to fix the issue! Results below.
And if you touch it, “Someone” WILL know!
Behind the scenes at Grace….by Gretchen
- What a scrumptious breakfast on this last Sunday. It was definitely yummy and even healthy! Thanks to Nancy Lockard for cooking up a storm!
- This was Stewardship Sunday, so we even had some informational displays of different ministries that Grace has. The Loving Monster was set up to show many of the outreach programs which was totally awesome.
- Checkout the Community Bulletin Board for upcoming Youth Group activities. July and the Youth Gathering are not far off!
- Brenner Hall was alive this last Sunday with people including the Youth packing boxes for Operation Christmas Child!
- We reportedly had over 2000 people come through Brenner Hall to vote this last Tuesday -WOW!
- Have you checked out some of the interesting (in other words educational stuff) and fun stuff on the Edu-Board on Sundays in Fellowship? Remember we are supposed to learn at least 1 new thing a day (and it can be educational or fun). Do you know what Tencel is? What are spare parts? Brain food – really, I just thought the only brain food was chocolate!
- Remember : Grace is just not the building but the people carrying out God’s Mission!
Save the Date – Saturday, December 2
On Saturday, December 2, at 9:30 a.m., please join Grace members in decorating the church for Advent. The altars will be changed, Advent candles will be set out, manger scenes will be set up, the Chrismon tree will be decorated in the Nave, and a Christmas tree will be placed in the Chapel. An outdoor Nativity set will be placed in front of the church as well. A light lunch will be served in Fellowship Hall. Please join members of Grace in readying the church for the season of Advent and in fellowship.
A note from Chaplain Greg who was with us Sunday November 5.
To All of Our Bakers!!! Thank you so much for your donations to our Election Day Bake Sale. We were able to make a profit of over $300. This money will go to support Lutheran Social Services, Leading Families Home (formerly Beach House), purchase the Christ In Our Home Magazine and support the Northwest Ohio WELCA which is involved with funding many outreach programs including grants for shelters for domestic violence. With your help we will be able to help others in so many ways.
Thank You again.
An often requested recipe from Fellowship hour!
1 stick butter
1 cup flour (all purpose)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 can of fruit—peaches, cherries, pears, plums—whatever you have or like
Melt butter. Sift together all dry ingredients and stir milk into them. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do NOT stir. Pour one regular size can of fruit into the mixture and again, do NOT stir. Bake in a 350 degree over for 45 minutes. Serve warm.
Sent in by Cindy Matthews
Thanksgiving Eve Service
A Thanksgiving Eve Service held jointly with Memorial Lutheran Church will be held on Wednesday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m. at Memorial Lutheran Church on Douglas Road between Monroe Street and Central Avenue. Grace’s choir will sing that night. Let’s give thanks to God with our neighbors for everything he has made and given us!
Check it out! Youth Group events coming up!
THE SURPRISING HEALTH BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE
Posted by CREATION Life Nov 1
Gratitude, a term derived from the Latin word ‘gratia’, signifies grace or thankfulness. It’s a profound appreciation for the gifts we receive, whether they’re tangible, monetary or simply acts of kindness. This emotion isn’t just about the gift itself but the appreciation and positive feeling it elicits. Acknowledging the beauty of life and the things we’ve been given stewardship over is an integral part of gratitude. Beyond the warm feelings it brings, gratitude plays a pivotal role in our overall well-being, impacting our physical, mental and spiritual health.
PHYSICAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE
Gratitude’s impact on physical health is more than just a feel-good factor. A study by the Mayo Clinic reveals that expressing gratitude can lead to improved sleep, mood and immunity. Additionally, it can mitigate depression, anxiety, difficulties with chronic pain and the risk of disease. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) underscores the potential of gratitude in enhancing positive emotions which in turn, could improve physical well-being.
MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE
Gratitude acts as a catalyst for positive emotions, augmenting happiness and fostering a more optimistic outlook on life. The Mayo Clinic study underlines how gratitude can lift mood and alleviate feelings of depression and anxiety. Furthermore, a Psychology Today article elaborates on the profound effects of gratitude on the brain, suggesting that it not only calms but also helps us feel valued, minimizes negative habits and patterns of thinking, helps to rekindle our inner childhood wonder and awe, helps us feel inspired and motivated and prevents worry and frustration.
SPIRITUAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF GRATITUDE
Spiritually, gratitude nurtures a sense of connectedness to something larger than ourselves. It cultivates a sense of awe towards a higher presence and a deeper appreciation for life’s experiences. Engaging in practices like prayer allows us to express our thankfulness, fostering a sense of peace and contentment. Scholars, spiritual leaders and scientists are beginning to understand the scientifically-validated benefits of gratitude.
Here are some practical steps to cultivate gratitude:
Scheduled Gratitude Moments: Just as we seek moments of silence, setting aside regular periods for gratitude can rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit.
Mindfulness and Prayer: Use these moments of gratitude to engage in mindful reflection or prayer. This not only deepens your spiritual bond but also has documented benefits for mental well-being.
Digital Detox: Gratitude also means appreciating the world beyond our screens. A brief respite from digital distractions can significantly enhance our sense of thankfulness and reduce stress.
Nature Walks: Immersing oneself in nature can magnify the feelings of gratitude. As Psalm 104:24-25 expresses, “O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all. The earth is full of your possessions.”
Gratitude is not a fleeting emotion but a transformative practice that enriches our lives in a myriad of ways. From bolstering our physical health to strengthening our mental resilience and deepening our spiritual connections, the benefits of gratitude are profound and far-reaching. It’s essential to recognize the beauty in everyday moments and cultivate a grateful heart. By doing so, we not only enhance our own well-being but also radiate positivity to those around us.
STEWARDSHIP THANK YOU!
On behalf of the Stewardship Ministry, I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who attended our Stewardship Sunday service on Sunday November 12th! It was wonderful to worship with our Grace Family, guest preacher Jenene Grimm and enjoy a fun, delicious breakfast/brunch! God is Good!
If you were unable to attend our Stewardship Sunday service Sunday November 12th, and did not receive an Intention Card and Stewardship packet, the link below will take you to a secured site to fill out an online Intention Card.
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
Stuffing, Stuffing, and more Stuffing!
Yep, Stuffing Season is a week away! And is only the beginning of it! That somewhat negative word “MODERATION “ is one we hear more often around this time of year. Moderation in food -sweet and salty and moderation in drink consumption. All are important – so what can help the stuffed feeling beside moderation – yes, the other word “EXERCISE”. It does not have to be a marathon or see how much and fast I can exercise – unless you like this – just walking is great!
Did you know that there are at least 5 ways that walking improves your health?
- Mental health. It release endorphins which are hormones that reduce stress and increase our feeling of well-being. Walk with a friend or how about a pet or even borrow the neighbors kid. If the sun is out, it helps increase Vitamin D which is good for bone health as well as can be calming. Listen to the sounds when walking and see how many you can pinpoint.
- Healthy aging. It actually strengthens bone by putting weight on the bone which helps with osteoporosis. It also strengthens muscles. Between the ages of 30-60 research has shown that most people lose 15% of their muscle mass. It also improves balance which helps to prevent falls.
- Weight loss and Management. Yep, this is a big one around the “stuffing season”. Research has shown that exercising for at least 150 minutes ( 2 ½ hours ) a week can help maintain general health. Walking has also been shown to improve sleep – hmm a good walk and a plate of turkey – good night! But how about instead of snoozing take the walk -make it a family event!
- Good for lung and heart health. Walking is an aerobic exercise that use oxygen to give energy to muscles and strengthens the heart. When you walk it helps reduce the risk for heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol. It also helps increase lung capacity which means you can take in more oxygen with less effort (not getting as short of breath).
- Good for brain health. Just like the heart and the lungs, walking increases the blood flow to the brain, bringing not only oxygen but nutrients. Research has shown that walking has contributed to slowing down cognitive decline (memory loss) and can improve your memory.
Lots of great things about walking ! It does not require special equipment or training so is pretty cheap .
** A couple of important things to remember when walking!
- Wear bright clothing so people can see you. Reflective tape can be wrapped around your wrists or ankles.
- Watch cars and people on bikes .
- Listen to nature – take the earbuds out so you can hear the wonderful sounds and people on bicycles yelling which side they are passing on.
- Wet leaves and uneven sidewalks can be a problem with slipping and tripping.
- Be aware of your surroundings – another reason for earbuds out.
- If going alone let someone know your path, when you are leaving and when n you plan to return.
- Take your charged cellphone with you.
This is great but I can’t walk long distances so what do I do? Walk short distances – around inside the house or your apartment. Just getting up and moving is great!
World Kindness Day!!
Yes, there really is one! Officially it is November 13th, 2023.
What does kindness mean to you? Do you practice kindness every day? A small act of kindness can bring joy to others and you!
A couple of things to think about!
Kindness is just love with work boots on (K.McCullah /K.Smith)
If someone is too tired to give you a smile, leave one of your own, because no one needs a smile as much as those who have none to give (Rabbi Samson Raphel Hirsch)
Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much (Blaise Pascal)
Operation Christmas Child – thank you to everyone who helped make our mission project a success. We were able to pack 150 boxes this year. The Christian Life Formation Team would like to thank everyone who donated supplies and money and helped pack our boxes. A special thank you to the Grace and Memorial Luther Leagers who spent their Sunday afternoon with us. The boxes will be taken to the Emanuel Baptist church where they will continue their journey to the distribution center in North Carolina. It is our prayer that these boxes might be received by children who might come to know Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
~Connie Thomas and Linda Mason
Meditation on Matthew 25:14-30
By Vicar Dave
What have we been entrusted with? The first thing that comes to my mind is time. What do we do with the time that God has given us? I want to talk about the life that we’ve have been given in God and what a great life it is. If you were asked what you wanted out of life, how would you answer? Some people would say that they want riches, or fame, or the approval of others. I’ve known some people who thought that all they needed was financial success. One in particular used to say to me that “the one who dies with the most toys wins!”. He also told me once that he considered himself spiritual, but not religious. I’m not quite sure how that works. At one point in his life, he realized that possessions and riches weren’t enough to make his life fulfilling.
Some people would say that what they want more than anything else is power. Funny how riches and power tend to go together. I’ve worked with many individuals who were obsessed with power over my career in corrections. Many of them find themselves getting into more and more trouble because of their pursuit of power and control. And when you really think about it, isn’t power just an illusion to us humans anyway. After all, our lives our temporary on this earth and no amount of power can change that. Even the most powerful amongst us will eventually stand before the ultimate power in the universe. God.
So, what can make a life fulfilling? Perhaps a life of service to God and other humans would do it. That sounds counter intuitive to the folks in the riches and power camps. But isn’t that how Jesus instructed us to live? When we help others, there’s a certain amount of joy and satisfaction that comes from it. And in the end, we’ve invested our time in storing up treasures in heaven, as we are advised to do in Matthew 6:19-21. And while we’re caring for others, we’re also caring for Jesus, our king. (Matthew 25:40-45)
Let’s all invest our time wisely so that, by the grace of God, He will say to us “Well done, good and trustworthy slave…enter into the joy of your master.”
The church office will be closed Thursday and Friday – November 23 and 24 for Thanksgiving.
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!