Restore us, O God of hosts;
let your face shine upon us, and we shall be saved.
The Readings for Sunday October 8, 2023
As I sit in my office writing this, I can almost still hear the hymn “Amazing Grace” reverberating through the building! From the Praise Band to the choir to the organ and piano and to the bagpipes and drums, Amazing Grace Sunday truly celebrated this 250 year old hymn.
How many people have sung or played this hymn over the years? How many spirits have been touched by the words and the tune? How often has God been praised through “Amazing Grace”? I cannot even begin to imagine!
Even more than that, how amazing is the grace of our God? God comes to us in Jesus and freely offers forgiveness, mercy, love, and grace … all because we are the treasured children of God.
How many lives have been touched by God’s grace? How much comfort, hope, joy, challenge, and inspiration has come though the proclamation of God’s grace through the centuries? How many people have reached out in love and grace to others because of the amazing grace of God? I cannot imagine!
How many people have been touched by God’s grace at Grace Lutheran Church? How many have heard the Word here and been inspired to lives of faith and service? How many have had needs met here; both spiritual and material? How many have found comfort and joy in God’s grace and in the community of God’s people called Grace? I cannot even imagine!
People of Grace … how will we find new ways to proclaim God’s grace to each other and to people in our community and world? How will we keep the grace reverberating in our building? How will we Bless the World: Be God’s Grace”?
Operation Christmas Child
In the month of October we are asking for donations of small notebooks and pads of paper. They can be dropped off in the Giving Grace Room or to the office during the week.
Sunday Fellowship Time
October 8 – Deb Damschroder and Linda Currie
October 15 – Gretchen Hiatt and Nancy Lockard
Security camera update
Grace now has 7 operational security cameras that are installed. They are fully paid
for thanks to contributions from the congregation. We have them to deter security events. We need to add another camera that will cover the outside entrance to the Sanctuary on the North side of the church. We can currently see the driveway but cannot see the ramp and actual door entry area. Your Church Council has approved the installation pending funding. It will cost $1,250 for the hardware and installation. If you would like to donate for this just mark Camera on the envelope. We hope to have the money and installation shortly.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.
Doris, Jeanne and Jean
Meditation on Philippians 3:4b-14
By Vicar Dave
I’ve always thought Saul was an interesting character. Here’s this man who’s a member of the Pharisees, the group of Jews that Jesus often verbally sparred with during His ministry on Earth. Not just that, but he strikes me as a bit of a bounty hunter, going out and hunting down the followers of the Way and, where possible, bringing them before the Jewish authorities for prosecution. And yet, this is the man that Jesus chooses to become one of the Apostles after His ascension. After his conversion, Saul is given the name Paul by Jesus. He goes on to be an influential member of the early church, writing many epistles, or letters, advising early Christians on how to live together as a community of Christ. Today’s reading from Philippians is an example of one such letter.
I think that Paul found his conversion to be a remarkable thing as well. In today’s reading he starts out by listing his Jewish and Pharisaical credentials. He almost sounds like he’s bragging about how he was circumcised on the eighth day, a Hebrew born of Hebrews. He goes on to talk about his zeal for the law and how he was a prosecutor of the early church. Since his conversion, however, he has given all of that up and counts it as a loss. If fact, he considers everything he had done before he came to know Jesus as a loss.
I’m a little bit surprised that the early Christians listened to him at all. While his Pharisaical credentials may have been impressive, some of them came at the expense of the early church. His credibility as a follower of the Way must have been questionable at best when he first began as a follower of the Way. But he went on to do some very impressive things for the church.
Seeing Jesus in a bright light, such as Saul did, may not be a common experience these days, but sometimes, conversion events can be just as dramatic for those involved. Sometimes, God chooses people we’d consider to be the most unlikely to do His work. I remember reading about one of the saints, who prior to his conversion, lived a life of drunken debauchery. His conversion changed his life and caused him to live for Christ and His church. I’ve seen the Holy Spirit at work, changing lives and bring people to Jesus, in some of the most unlikely places. Some of the inmates I worked with at the prison met God there and they went on to try to make a difference in the lives of those around them. Some of them by working in the prison chapel. Some by just by talking to the other guys and living their lives in Christ, while on the inside. Some of them are released and continue to work with inmates and returnees to help them.
It might be natural for some of us to be suspicious of these folks as they return to our communities from prison, just as it would have been natural for the Philippines to be suspicious of Paul. But you never know what great thing the Holy Spirit might lead them to do. I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us to give them the opportunities they need to do God’s work with their hands.
First Communion Classes:
First Communion Classes will be held on 15 and 22 October at 12:30 p.m. Currently, we have 4 students. If you have a child who is ready for instruction, please speak to Pastor. These children will receive Holy Communion for the first time on Reformation Sunday, 29 October.
The Worship and Music Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in any way in Amazing Grace Sunday. It was a beautiful service reminding us of His amazing grace through music, message and fellowship! Thank you again!
And if you missed the service, it can be viewed on YouTube and Facebook!
1973 Confirmation Class here at Grace
Do you recognize anyone?
What is an oinkment? Medicine for pigs with sore muscles.
What should you do when a mouse squeaks? Oil it!
Why can’t you telephone the zoo? The lion’s busy.
What’s black and white and has a red nose? Rudolph the red-nosed zebra.
What was the dog doing in the mud puddle? Making mutt pies.
What’s gray and has four legs and a trunk? A mouse on vacation.
How do you save a hippopotamus from drowning in hot cocoa? Throw it a marshmallow.
What is you cat’s favorite food?, asked David. “Mice cream,” said Bob.
Why couldn’t the cat slip through the eye of a needle? Someone tied a knot in its tail.
What has lots of teeth but never needs to see a dentist? A comb.
What can travel around the world while spending it’s life in a corner? A postage stamp.
Hello guys! How are you? I hope that everything is going well.
So, I’m writing you from Serbia. I arrived on Thursday, 21st of September. My flight was okay and everything went great.
My last month in the USA was really interesting and fun. I spent few days in Columbus and I went there to high school with Becky’s granddaughter, Maggy. It was so cool to be there and see differences between schools in Serbia and schools here. I watched high school football game, too.
Honestly, my last month went by really fast. I was sad when I went to the airport but of course I was happy too, because I knew that I will see my family and friends.
My friends made welcoming party for me when I arrived, so I didn’t have so much time to rest. On weekend I had a good sleep, so after that everything was easier.
As for my life here, my responsibilities have begun. I started to work, I prepared everything I needed for university and then I was spending some time with my friends and family. I had a conversation with my pastor about how I spent my time in America, what I learned and how I will apply it in my work with children.
The children and people in my congregation were delighted with the gifts and are very grateful to you guys. Now I’m making a short power point presentation with pictures to better inform my amazing experience in America.
This weekend I went hiking with friends from the club where I train. It was very exciting but also a bit tiring, especially since I’m not in good shape.
So my life went back to some routine I had. My days are filled with obligations, learning, but also fun.
I miss you all so much and it’s really weird waking up and not going to the church office and not being there with you guys. Since I have a lot of obligations, I will try to write blogs as often as possible and let you know how things are here in Serbia.
I’m sending a lots of kisses and hugs. Be safe guys and have a blessed week.
Behind the scenes at Grace …..by Gretchen
- We are in the process of hiring a person who can do basic maintenance and cleaning. Interviews are being conducted. In between time we have a member who has graciously agreed to do “streamline” cleaning – basic cleaning and sweeping. During this time, we need everyone to step up and make sure they do not leave tissues and cough drop wrappers in the pews ,etc. If there is a problem, please let the office or Gretchen know.
- Kim Kondalski’s Children’s Sermon on Grace and Kindness was wonderful on Sunday!
- The Edu-Board will be back in Fellowship Hall on Sunday – check it out for interesting as well as some fun stuff. We need to learn at least one new thing everyday to keep our brains sharp!
- Sunday Service was awesome, and the bagpipes really topped it off! And who can go wrong with a wonderful reception with Cake and Appetizers? Thanks to Mary Schneider for organizing the reception!
- We served over 150 Burritos at Burrito Blessings 419 this last Saturday! We received a thank you on Facebook! Burrito Blessings 419 is held the last Saturday of the month – so the next is October 28! Come and join the construction crew – it is lots of fun! We have volunteers from a number of different churches and synagogues.
- Check out the birds on the crabapples in the front – they are getting a little tipsy and holding onto the branches for dear life as the crabapples age.
- Remember: Grace is not the building or the acorns but the people of Grace carrying out God’s Mission!
Healthy People! Healthy Parish!
Food and Water!
Hmm, these are important in keeping us moving! Did you know that “breakfast” means breaking the fast? So, if you are a person who goes to bed early or one who stops drinking after 6:00 to avoid going to the bathroom that it could be as long as 10 -12 hours without water (liquids) or food!!! With that you could be dehydrated in the morning and your blood sugar could also be very low.
How to fix it!
Number one get up slowly in the morning especially if you tend to be lightheaded.
Start your morning out with a glass of water – not the juice size but a regular glassful. Keep a bottle next to your bed. Coffee is second not first in the a.m.
Eat something – good stuff – fruit, cereal with milk (skim), yogurt, or eggs and toast (could have some peanut butter on it). Food with protein is great to start the morning out and “breaking the fast”.
Waiting to eat at Fellowship on Sunday mornings or not wanting to eat because you are going out to lunch after church are not good ideas!
We have Emergency Kits located throughout the church. There are red signs that say “First Aid” that indicate the locations of red bags with First Aid kits. We also have juice or a pop and protein biscuits inside if someone needs them.
If you have not eaten or drank and feel lightheaded let the person sitting next to you know or don’t be afraid to say out loud that you need help. It is perfectly OK to say out loud during the service that you need help! We do not want anyone to fall and injure themselves.
SOOOO Please eat something good for you in the morning and drink water to not only give you energy but to rehydrate yourself!
October is Fire Safety Month! What do you know about Fire Safety?
Come and check out Fellowship Hall Sunday and see if you can pass the test!
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!