Grace News January 15, 2019

Upcoming Sunday School

Faith and Politics

For three weeks, beginning January 13th, we will welcome Lee Barrett who will be teaching a class on Faith and Politics. Lee is the Mary B. and Henry P. Stager Professor of Theology at Lancaster Theological Seminary where he has taught since September 1993. Prior to this, Lee taught theology at the Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia. He holds B.A., M.A., M.Div., and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.  Lee’s interests include the relationship between the doctrinal traditions of the Christian churches and contemporary culture. He is the author of essays concerning the present-day implications of the theology of the Reformed tradition, as well as the thoughts of Søren Kierkegaard. Lee is particularly interested in the theological significance of literature and the visual arts. We hope you will join us at 9:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall.

America’s Original Sin; Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America

Beginning February 17th
America’s problem with race has deep roots, with the country’s foundation tied to the near extermination of one race of people and the enslavement of another. Racism is truly our nation’s original sin.
“It’s time we right this unacceptable wrong,” says bestselling author and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis. Fifty years ago, Wallis was driven away from his faith by a white church that considered dealing with racism to be taboo. His participation in the civil rights movement brought him back when he discovered a faith that commands racial justice. Yet as recent tragedies confirm, we continue to suffer from the legacy of racism. The old patterns of white privilege are colliding with the changing demographics of a diverse nation. The church has been slow to respond, and Sunday morning is still the most segregated hour of the week.
In America’s Original Sin, Wallis offers a prophetic and deeply personal call to action in overcoming the racism so ingrained in American society. He speaks candidly to Christians–particularly white Christians–urging them to cross a new bridge toward racial justice and healing.
Whenever divided cultures and gridlocked power structures fail to end systemic sin, faith communities can help lead the way to grassroots change. Probing yet positive, biblically rooted yet highly practical, this book shows people of faith how they can work together to overcome the embedded racism in America, galvanizing a movement to cross the bridge to a multiracial church and a new America. 
Copies of the book are available by calling the church office or emailing Angie at  The cost is $13.00

Many thanks to the children of Grace for sharing the Good News with us on Christmas Eve, they worked very hard to make this year’s play a very special part of our celebration!

Souper Bowl Sunday – February 3rd!

Souper Bowl of Caring empowers youth and unites communities around the time of the Big Game to help those in need.
Since 1990, youth have been leading the charge and inspiring others to collect dollars and food leading up to the Big Game.
Teaming up with local partners, these groups give 100% of donations to local charities, changing the nation’s largest weekend of football into the largest weekend of caring.
Grace Youth will be collecting non-perishables on Sunday, February 3rd.  All donations will be given to the Lancaster County Council of Churches.

Bishop Dunlop’s visit – February 3, 2019

Our Bishop, James Dunlop, will be visiting Grace Church the first Sunday in February.  He will be with us at the early and late Sunday worship services (he is not available for Sat. night).  During the Sunday School hour he will lead a brief Bible Study, followed by a question and answer session about our Lower Susquehanna Synod and the ministry we share and support through our offerings to the LSS and the ELCA.  Please make a special effort to be here to welcome our Bishop, to thank him for his service to our Synod, and to learn and grow through the teaching and conversation time together.  Welcome Bishop Dunlop!

Renovation Update & Official Notice of Congregational Meeting

At its meeting this past Wednesday, the council voted unanimously to recommend the proposal of our Renovations Team which had been replaced and then tabled at the last congregational meeting this past November. 
The full resolution reads: To accept the bid of CH&E of $1,746,000 to begin work as soon as possible on the renovation of the basement and construction of new entrance and elevator as approved previously by the congregation, contingent upon the approval of a loan with favorable terms for the above amount plus additional soft costs of $240,416 (less amounts already paid and/or raised).
To this end the council has called a Special Congregational Meeting to share updated information about the renovation and financing plan, followed by a vote on the resolution, for Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall.

Stewardship Snippets

Jan. 20, 2019(2nd Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C)
1 Corinthians 2:4 –Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.  Everybody has strengths and talents. Steward/disciples know that we find optimal joy, peace and fulfillment when we are using them for Godly purposes.What are your gifts? How are you using them?

Save the Date! Sat., April 6, 2019

Lenten Retreat – “Preparing to be Dust”

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd,
750 Greenfield Rd, Lancaster, PA 17601
Please join members of Grace Lutheran Church and The Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd on April 6th, 2019 for our Lenten Retreat where we will explore how we can have both a good life and a good death. Participants are encouraged to read  Being Mortal  by  Atul Gawande, prior to the retreat. Copies of the book can be purchased through Grace Lutheran for $11 (please let us know by March 1st), available in e-book form, and available at the Lancaster County Library. We will be taking time to fill out Five Wishes Forms and funeral templates for our respective congregations.  A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Cost per participant is $10.

From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Members of Grace,
Part of the joy of being a parsonage family has been raising our children in the midst of the larger Grace family, in which so many of you have shared the blessing of your love, concern, curiosity, appreciation, encouragement, help, support, experience advice, you name it!  Over the last 10 years, our kids have been making their way into the larger world to continue their education. When Andrew left for Pueblo, CO to finish college, we suspected he might be leaving the east coast for good, but Karla and Esther have circled back from their places of learning to keep us company.  
Meanwhile, Clay’s graduation from the Naval Academy this spring led him into the U.S. Marine Corps to continue his training in Quantico, VA.  All Marine officers go there to graduate from The Basic School – six months of immersion in the military history, tactics, skills, and physical challenges required of every Marine officer. During that time, their superiors also evaluate their achievements, personalities, and skill sets which form the basis for the MOS (military occupational specialty) they receive.  Since Quantico is only a few hours away, we enjoyed having Clay home for many weekend visits through the fall, although we soon learned that it was not only his family and high school friends that he was driving 3 hours each way to visit…but I digress!
In November, Clay learned that he would become a logistics officer – those in charge of planning and carrying out the movement and maintenance of military forces.  In December, he received his orders to report to the First Medical Battalion in San Diego where he will receive some “on the job training” before coming back east for two months of logistics school at Camp Lejeune, NC this spring.  He left home on Sunday, with his girlfriend Erin and her dog Bleu, and our prayers and best wishes! 
Thank you for your love and concern for all of our kids…Grace Lutheran Church and their many friends and friendly adults here have been a significant and unique part of their growing up and formation as young people, alert to the ways that God calls them to serve in the world. Please keep Clay in your prayers also as he begins his military service in earnest upon arrival in San Diego next week!
May God bless us all with a vision for serving in this New Year!
Pastor and Kath

Prayer List


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