God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
I have often heard Lutherans referred to as the “frozen chosen.” The thinking behind this seems to be that while we love the Lord and are grateful for all he has done for us, we are reluctant to show our faith in any overly demonstrative ways.
For example, in most Lutheran congregations, you will not see many (if any) raised hands during worship. When we are asked to clap along with a piece of music, we do well to raise our hands off of our laps a few inches to do so. You will not hear many (if any) “Amens” called out in the middle of the sermon or at the end of a wonderful piece of music. You may hear an appreciative and collective “Hmmmm” at the end of a musical offering, however. This seems to be as demonstrative as we get!
Not that this is “bad,” you understand. We Lutherans tend to be products of our ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and this plays out in our congregations—in many ways.
Here at Grace, we may not be very vocal or physical in our praise during worship, but there are still many signs of how affected we are by what we do when we gather together to hear God’s Word and share the Meal. I have a unique view of the worship space, and I know this to be true.
I have seen some of you who are like me—you just cannot keep from moving (just a little bit, mind you!) as we sing. I have seen your wrinkled brows as you listen to a difficult piece of scripture. I have seen tears as you have been moved by what God has to say. I have seen the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit in your eyes when I say to you, “The Lord be with you” and “The peace of the Lord be with you always.” I feel that presence when I see you look back at me and say so heartily, “And also with you!” I have seen smiles and heard laughter. I have seen the youngest members come forward for the Children’s Moment with joy, as they come to a special moment in worship when they are intentionally included.
There is no right or wrong way to respond in worship to what God has done for us. If you feel like moving during the music, move! If you feel like calling out “Amen,” go ahead! If you want to stretch out your hands as we pray, do so! Whatever you do, just come to worship … we miss you and your responses when you are not here.
Operation Christmas Child
In the month of November we are asking for monetary donations. They can be dropped off in the Sunday offering or to the office during the week.
Please join us – Sunday Fellowship Time
In Fellowship Hall between services
On Sunday, October 29th it is time for Fall Food and Fellowship. Our theme for the day is Apples, Pumpkins, and Halloween. Some suggestions are cakes, cookies, breads, cupcakes, or spooky treats. Lets have a huge Fall smorgasbord! If you would be able to bring something that day, please let Sue Wagner know by contacting her at 419.475.8972 or e-mail at Suegrade@aol.com. Thanks! Sue
The Readings for Sunday October 29, 2023
Calling All Bakers!
Ruth Circle will be sponsoring an Election Day Bake Sale on November 7, 2023. We are asking for donations of baked goods to be brought to the church, marked “For Bake Sale”, on Sunday November 5th or Monday morning November 6th. Proceeds from the sale go to purchase “Christ in Our Home” magazine, Lutheran Social Services, Leading Families Home, and Northwest Ohio WELCA whose services include housing for domestic violence victims. Thank you ahead of time for your support.
November 1 George Reeb
November 4 Emma Rubley
November 7 Barbara Charvat
November 13 Kim Kondalski
November 13 Sue Wagner
November 14 Brooke Gedeon
November 19 Ron Hiatt
Reformation Sunday – October 29, 2023
This Sunday, Reformation Sunday, Pastor Hunsinger, a retired Lutheran minister, will portray Martin Luther and will deliver the sermon at both the 9:30 and 11:30 services. If you are unable to attend church in person both services are available to stream on Facebook or on You-Tube.
Meditation on Matthew 22:34-46
By Vicar Dave
For today’s meditation, I chose to continue to reflect on the story being told in the lectionary, rather than switching to the texts related to the Reformation.
Jesus’ summary of the law in Matthew 22 contains echoes from Leviticus. We are called not only to love God with heart, soul, and mind, but also to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is out of such deep care that Paul shares the gospel with the Thessalonian community. In the confession of sins, we acknowledge that we have not loved God, neighbor, and self; yet we gather to hear the word of forgiveness and to be strengthened by word and meal to be signs of God’s love and mercy in the world.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” That shouldn’t be a very big ask, but somehow, we make it very hard to do. Our very human pride often gets in the way, causing us to love ourselves more than God. Here’s what I mean by that. In order to love God, we need to value the things that He values. That includes all of creation. If you look back at Genesis, you’ll notice that after each thing is created, The land & sky, the sea, the creatures we share this world with, God says it is good. So in order to fully love God, we must value and care for the whole of creation.
There is an exception to God declaring each of His creations good. After He creates humans, He says it is very good. Hence the second commandment that Jesus cites; “you shall love your neighbor as yourself”. Throughout history, we haven’t been very good at doing that. History is full of examples of atrocities committed by neighbors against each other. Wars, massacres, and slavery to name just a few. I find it particularly reprehensible when Christianity is used to justify such heinous actions, such as the “Troubles” in the United Kingdom, where Irish nationals used their Catholic faith as an excuse to wage a war of terror against the Protestant British, or any of the other wars between Catholics and Protestants in Europe. There were even some people who tried to justify the African slave trade by saying that they were bringing the enslaved heathens to Christianity.
You don’t have to look back at history to find even more examples of neighbors failing to love each other and in fact being cruel to each other. Current wars between Israel and the Hamas group, or Russia and Ukraine spring to mind, as well as China’s aggression towards its neighbors in the South China Sea.
Too often, in our local communities we see examples of how cruel humans can be to each other. Mass shootings, drug trafficking, domestic violence and even human trafficking are very real problems which cities across America face. These are all examples of humans failing to love their neighbors.
In our personal lives we have opportunities to love our neighbors all the time, simply by being kind. We can also be kind by donating to organizations that give assistance to our less fortunate neighbors, or by helping with things like Burrito Blessings at our own church.
Thank you to everyone bringing in food for our food ministries, Food for Toledo and the Blessing Box. And thank you to those who have donated socks, sweatshirts, coats, etc. to place in the box. We are currently placing both food and warmer items in the box as the weather is becoming cooler. Thank you! Questions regarding these ministries can be directed to Mary Schneider.
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!
At a special Council meeting held on October 15, Rick Sharp was appointed council president.
There will be a joint Thanksgiving Eve service on Wednesday, November 22, at Memorial Lutheran Church at 7:00 pm. Grace’s choir will be participating in the service. All are invited!
Behind the scenes at Grace ….by Gretchen
- Almost but not quite! We did not quite break last years record for Blanket Collection for Tent City. Last year was 47 – this year 41 BUT every blanket helps so whatever we collected is wonderful and benefits others! Thank you to all who helped get the pile close to the ceiling in Gretchen’s office. Come quickly next week and you may see the wall! Yes, quickly as we have started our next collection already!!
- We have another location for Blood On The Move – Satesboro ,Georgia.This is the furthest south a donation from a member of our church has gone!!!!
- PLEASE if you have large donations for the youth rummage sale call Debbie or Wendy as space is currently limited. We love all the donations, but we are limited until after the election and removal of some other items.
- We have heard the pitter patter (actually more like army boots running across the roof) so 2 things are true: the roof is a lot cooler, and the squirrels can run on it now and that the acorns are still falling, and they are still collecting in spite of the peanut handout!
- Have you lost any items? The Lost and Found Box is located in the coatroom across for the office.
- Remember: Grace is not the leaves or the squirrels but the people of Grace carrying out God’s mission!
Healthy People ! Healthy Parish !
Shadows Moving, Ghosts Crossing the Street, Aberrations –eeek!
All of these plus KIDs are coming up this weekend ! The annual Halloween extravaganza of people all over the place in your neighborhoods!
According to Triple A Halloween is one of the worse days for children.
- Kid under the age of 12 are typically shorter which makes it hard for drivers to see and is worse after dark.
- Kids regardless of age get excited and run all over and take the shorted path which might be in the middle of the block or in between cars.
- Costumes that are dark or wearing a mask can make it difficult for kids to be seen or to see.
- Adult parties often include alcohol and there are more people driving under the influence of alcohol and other substances interfering with vision and judgement.
ON the hunt for candy!
- Plan a route to familiar neighborhoods and is well light.
- Costumes need to be light in color or have reflective tape incorporated into the costume. Wrap it around the writs or ankles – who does not like wild green or pink!
- Use makeup or face paint instead of masks which can interfere with side vision.
- Parents who are with kids should also wear light ,reflective clothing .
- Give a child a flashlight and/or have the parent carry one so are more visible and can see on dark sidewalks .
- Remind kids big and small to use crosswalks, to look both ways before crossing , not to cross between parked cars . Hopefully there will be sidewalks where kids are but if not, they should walk facing traffic .
- Best of all is to have a parent or grandparent be with kids -if not have them trick in a group. There is safety and visibility in numbers.
- Be very aware of kids popping out between cars,
- Drive below the speed limit where trick or treaters may be.
- Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
- When dropping of or picking kids up ,make sure they get in and out on the curb side.
YOUR CLOTHING HAS CAUGHT FIRE!!!!
STOP – Don’t run it will fan the flames.
DROP – Drop gently to the ground and cover your face with your hands.
ROLL – Roll over and over or back and forth to put out the fire .
GET MEDICAL HELP ASAP – CALL 911!
There is a fire in your house!
If the smoke alarm goes off – get out ASAP -remember you may have only 2 minutes. Take your cell phone with you. YELL for help! Call 911!
- Test doors before you open them. Reach up as high as you can and touch around the door – the knob and around the frame with the back of your hand. If the area feels warm, do not open it . If it is cool, open the door cautiously and be ready to slam if there is smoke or flames on the other side.
- Crawl low under the smoke to get to exit. If you encounter smoke while trying to get out ,try another route. If you must got through the smoke, crawl on your hands and knees, keeping your head 1-2 feet above the floor where the air will be cleaner. If you can’t do this, try to get back to the room you started at.
- If you cannot escape close as many doors as you can between you and the fire. Block the bottoms of the doors or any vents with towels, clothing or anything that will prevent the smoke from coming through . Call 911 back again and tell them exactly where you are. If you can get to a window so that you can be seen, use a flashlight or the flashlight on your phone as a signal.
Don’t forget to have an escape plan and practice getting out!
Thank you, God, for the beauty of the
changing of the seasons
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!