O Lord our Lord,
How majestic is your name in all the earth!
Grace Zoom Bible Study: Biblical Wisdom Literature
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs
Wisdom literature raises questions about God, humanity, creation, and praise—as well as about the nature of evil and suffering. While many books of the Old Testament provide a historian’s view of God’s people and their experiences, the wisdom books provide a more pastoral look at the state of their hearts.
Despite the gap of time that separates us from ancient Israel, wisdom literature shows that the Israelites grappled with the same faith issues that we do today: they asked tough questions about sin and suffering; they experienced joy and confidence in God’s love; they looked for God in life’s pleasures and trials alike; they sometimes entertained doubts and they looked to God for help both physical and spiritual. Beyond that, the wisdom books show us that God values and responds to these myriad questions and prayers.
Grace Blood Drive – Friday October 15 – 2:00 – 7:30 pm in Brenner Hall
We are aiming to fill 43 spots which when multiplied x3 will help at a minimum 129 people.
People who donate do not have to be members of Grace – it can be neighbors, friends, grandkids, distant uncles and aunts.
There is such a need for blood, and it is an easy way to give back.
You can sign up on the Red Cross web site or call Gretchen 419-944-5166 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Behind the scenes at Grace…..by Gretchen
- The rain has stopped and even though it is the fall our grass is bright green and looks like spring. It will be interesting to see if we have green vs brown grass with our first snow?
- Fall Cleaning is taking place! Friday the carpets were cleaned in the hallways and offices!
- Friday Grace members and members from Glenwood got together for pizza, fellowship and to attend the Fall Synod Meeting. It was a ZOOM meeting, so we attended using the giant TV (alias Loving Monster). How great it was to get together with a neighboring church!
- We were blessed by a HUGE donation of items from the Lockard family for Personal Needs! Thank you! The Huge donation has temporarily taken over the shelves in the Grace Giving Room so the bins across from the office will not return to their “home” until the shelves are cleared.
- The display case outside Brenner is still undergoing renovation so keep watching! The trophies that were not specific to Grace have been placed in the library. If they have special meaning for you, please take, otherwise they will be donated to a group the week of October 11.
- Remember: Grace is not the building but the people of Grace carrying out God’s mission!
Active Shooter Program
Thursday November 4, 4:30 – 6:30 pm Fellowship Hall
Gun violence is not declining and at this moment churches have not been recent targets, but we still need to be prepared.
Think about it – DO YOU know what to do if you encounter an Active Shooter(s) at Grace or for that matter anywhere?????
This is open to all Grace members, but we are strongly encouraging anyone involved in a group – Sunday School, ushers , Personal Needs, AAA, etc. to attend.
The Toledo Police will be presenting the program.
This will be a 2 part meeting with the “what we need to know and do in an Active Shooter situation” on November 4 and then the early part of next year we will have a “scenario” program .
Blankets and Coats
As it gets colder, and you are going through your closet if you have coats and blankets you do not want please consider bringing to church to donate to Tent City. Tent City will be taking place this fall and Grace has already collected some jackets and coats but there is always a need for more. They may be placed in the coat room across from the office or Cathy will put in Gretchen’s office.
Grace as a member of the ELCA
The August edition of Living Lutheran magazine highlighted the seven new Bishops to ELCA Synod’s across the country. Among them is Bishop Brenda Bos, the first openly lesbian pastor elected to the position, and Bishop Megan Rohrer will be the first Transgender person to serve as Bishop of an ELCA Synod. In our church, the ELCA, Bishops are elected by a majority of representatives from all congregations in their Synod. Groundbreaking elections such as those of Bishops Bos and Rohrer can only happen when a majority of those voting respond to the Holy Spirit calling for inclusion of all.
On Friday Sept 24 members of Grace and Glenwood Lutheran churches came together for a “watch party” to attend the ELCA NW Ohio Synod virtual assembly utilizing Grace’s portable AV and Conferencing system (aka the Loving Monster). The NW Ohio Synod did not elect a Bishop this year. Our Bishop, Daniel Beaudoin did speak about hearts and the of importance opening ours to love our neighbors. He spoke about loving not only the individuals who are easy to love, but especially those who are not so easily loved.
Not quite a year ago Grace began a process that led to granting approval to allow our Pastor to perform same gender marriages at Grace if he desired. We still have to take the first real step of becoming a diverse and inclusive Congregation by celebrating such a union. Yet a number of individuals have left Grace, or are threatening to do so as they were unable to accept that God’s Love extends to all.
Recently an anonymous note was left at Grace by one such person. The note speculated the addressee was bound for eternal damnation for collaborating to support “gays.” Grace will not engage in a dialog with someone who will not identify themself. The writer seems to forget the Gospel. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus reached out to individuals who were actively shunned by those of the Jewish faith and many who were often ignored by society in general. Readers of Living Lutheran know the ELCA is striving to be a church that actively reaches out to groups and individuals who have often been marginalized by “the church” in the past and bring them reassurance of God’s grace.
Let us not judge others who are different than us. We are all sinners and share equally in God’s unbounded mercy. At Grace if we are to grow again as a Congregation, we need to do more than ever before in following the lead of the ELCA to bring the good news to everyone that “God so loved the World that he gave his only begotten Son to die for us……. “
Please join us for Fellowship Hour during the month of October.
Thank you to the following people for signing up to hostess!
October 3rd- Brenda Holderman and Janet/Callie Moore
October 10th- Jan Dustman and Karlene Jaquillard
October 17th-Gretchen Hiatt and Nancy Lockard
October 24th- The Contemporary Team
October 31st- Mary Schneider and Gretchen Hiatt
Sometimes I use this space to offer thoughts about one of the Sunday morning texts that couldn’t be included in Sunday’s sermon, lest it be too long. (Old joke: “What does your pastor preach on?” “He preaches on, and on, and ON, and on.”) This time, I’m using it to comment on a piece of the Gospel that isn’t included in the reading for this coming Sunday. On September 26, we read the end of Chapter 9 or Mark. On October 3, we will read Mark 10.2-16. So, what happened to Mark 10, verse one?
This is Mark 10.1 :
He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
So, why do I worry about that verse now? Two reasons: First, to encourage you to read MORE of the Bible. Second, to encourage you to READ more of the Bible.
If you attend worship every Sunday for three years, never missing once, you will not hear the whole Bible read. You will get to hear – Pardon me, fellow vegetarians – the meat of it. You will certainly hear enough to remind you that God is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. You will hear enough to remind you that, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting our sins against us. You will hear enough to remind you that the Holy Spirit is God present with us, for guidance, and comfort, and strength. But you won’t hear it all. Parts of it, you probably don’t need to hear, like the instructions to the tailors and jewelers and metal workers who made garments for the priests, and several genealogies of Israelite clans. And you will miss parts that I think it would be good to hear. Like, says, Mark 10.1.
Mark 10.1 would be easy to skim over lightly. Nothing dramatic is happening in that verse. There’s no critical announcement from Jesus. There’s no dramatic event, no “mighty act.” There’s no tense conversation between Jesus and his disciples. There’s no confrontation between Jesus and Religious Experts, with Proper Credentials, who are trying to prove that he’s a phony.
There’s what Jesus did much of the time. He welcomed crowds, and taught them. And I think that might have been as significant as the extraordinary things he did. Not more significant, but not less significant, either.
How has your faith grown? Hs it been through times of exuberant celebration, and through times of terrifying crisis, through times of deep joy, and times of crushing despair? Or has it been through customary practices: daily prayer, weekly worship, regular study, tithing and giving, involvement in the work of the kingdom of God, and conversations with fellow disciples? I would guess both.
Mark thought that one of Jesus’ ordinary, un-dramatic, customary practices was worth mentioning. I think Mark 10.1 is worth close and careful reading, and it’s worth thinking about.
What do you think?
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!