Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless God’s holy name.
The Readings for Sunday September 17, 2023
Psalm 103:[1-7] 8-13
“Catch up” meeting for Ushers, Assisting Ministers, and wannabe Acolytes:
If you serve in any of these ways or would like to do so, please plan to meet with Pastor Brenda on 24 September in the nave immediately following the 9:30 a.m. worship service.
Meet New ELCA Missionaries!
This summer the ELCA welcomed 10 new missionaries who are now on their way to serving in eight countries around the world. They bring different skills, interests, and experiences, but they share a deep passion for global service.
ELCA missionaries serve as teachers, health care workers, communicators, pastors and more. The relationships they form build the foundation of our global community of faith.
If you have ever wondered what goes on in a church council meeting,
here is a picture from the September meeting.
So you are probably STILL wondering!! Ha!
(Thank you, Janet, for the picture.)
Sunday Fellowship Time
September 17th – Sue and Sean Melchert
September 24th – Grace Peterson and Debbie Downs
Operation Christmas Child
In the month of September we are asking for donations of pencil sharpeners. They can be dropped off in the Giving Grace Room or to the office during the week.
Meditation on Matthew 18:21-35
By Vicar Dave
In some families, hurts and grudges can be passed on from one generation to the next. Sometimes, it goes on for so long that the original reasons for the dispute become muddled beyond recognition. Perhaps two brothers argued over the same girl at one point. Or maybe one made the football team and the other didn’t, and thinks it was his brother’s fault. Or it could be that one just felt he was better than the other and made that obvious in the way he treated his brother. And now, many years later, they’re still not speaking to each other. Moreover, they both have either told their children about the feud, or perhaps the kids just saw it growing up, and now these cousins have continued the dispute. Maybe the back-and-forth hurts are real, or maybe they’re imagined. Either way, the pain that the individual family members feel is real. If only the brothers had found a way to forgive each other, perhaps some of this pain could have been avoided.
Today’s Gospel is about forgiveness. As is often the case, Peter has a question. He wants to know how many times he has to forgive someone. Specifically, a brother or sister in Christ. He wants to know if seven times is enough. Jesus, in His usual fashion, confounds Peter by telling him he should forgive seventy-seven times. Then tries to illustrate the importance of forgiveness through a parable about a master who forgave a slave his debt, but the slave would not extend the same forgiveness to another slave who owed him some money. We all know that it ends badly for the unforgiving slave.
I was thinking about this while reading about the schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. I thought it was interesting that neither side, despite the fact that they both claim to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, were willing to forgive what they saw as a heresy committed by the other side. This seems to be a recurring theme as we saw something similar in the Protestant Reformation.
Forgiveness can be hard sometimes. Particularly when you’re the injured party, or at least view yourself that way. But I’ve always found it be a healthy thing to do, even if the other party hasn’t asked for your forgiveness. I remember when my brother died about six or seven years ago after poisoning his body with excessive amounts of alcohol for several years. I was very angry at him over this as I saw it as something he could have prevented. The weight of that anger really hung around my neck for some time, until I learned to forgive him for essentially removing himself from this world. I’ve learned since then that alcoholism is as much a disease as any other addiction, or even cancer. I’ve also learned that his succumbing to it and eventually dying from were not something that he had much control over. He could fight it, just like a cancer patient fights their disease, but that doesn’t mean that he’d win. Had I not learned to forgive him, I may have never learned about how alcoholism is a disease, and not something that was his choice. And I’d probably still carry the weight of my anger with me.
Amazing Grace Sunday October 1
Not only will we be celebrating Grace Lutheran Church on October 1 at a 10:30 a.m. service, but we will also be recognizing the 250th anniversary of the famous hymn, “Amazing Grace”. This anniversary will be recognized with the singing of the traditional hymn, the Praise Team will lead us in the singing of their rendition, and the choir will sing a rendition of the hymn. And finally, we will hear the song, “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes.
After the service, the church known as Grace will be celebrated with a fellowship hour in Brenner Hall. Everyone is encouraged to invite family and friends to this special service to celebrate Grace and the hymn “Amazing Grace” and to remember His amazing grace.
Food for Toledo and the Blessing Box
Donations to the Food for Toledo program and the Blessing Box continue. Thank you to everyone who brings in donations for these two food ministries. Grace is feeding the hungry of Toledo!
This is the day the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it!