Grace News, January 29 2019

Upcoming Sunday School

America’s Original Sin; Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America
Beginning February 17th at 9:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall
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. 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 / Bishop Dunlop’s visit  – February 3rd!

Grace Youth will be collecting non-perishables on Sunday, February 3rd.  All donations will be given to the Lancaster County Council of Churches.
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 and during the Sunday School.  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! Following late service, we will join the Bishop and other Grace members in Fellowship Hall to enjoy a bowl of soup, bread, a light dessert, and friendly conversation. 

Official Notice of Congregational Meeting &  Renovation Update

At its meeting Jan. 9, the council acted to recommend the proposal of our Renovations Team (which had been tabled at the last congregational meeting this past November), adopting the following resolution:|
To accept the bid from CH&E of $1,746,000 to begin work as soon as possible on the renovation of the basement and construction of the new entrance plus elevator as approved previously by the Congregation, contingent upon 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). 
After the review of the Finance Team, the following amendment was added this weekend:
To authorize a second campaign to raise funds for loan repayment, which shall be prepared in advance to secure pledges and income by the end of our current capital campaign period in May of 2020.  The specific duration, scope and goals of this campaign shall be developed by our Capital Campaign Team with the assistance of a campaign consultant, with an estimated campaign cost not to exceed $20,000.
To this end a congregational meeting has been called for Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 9 a.m. for consideration of this Resolution.  There will be a full summary of the project scope and the financing terms, with time for questions and discussion before the vote.  Please make every effort to be there for this important discussion – and in the meantime, please pray for the wisdom and the discernment we need to make a decision that is good for us now and for the future of our ministry!  Looking ahead, here are some basic facts:
Scope of Renovation:
· Expanded driveway with drop-off area and access to a new entrance lobby with elevator serving basement, nave and balcony
· Renovation of church basement floor (excluding the chapel) including abatement of all asbestos, construction of new Sunday School classrooms, ADA compliant bathrooms, a small kitchen, and a new multi-use space for education, presentations, and receptions. 
· The general contractor will be CH&E (Caldwell, Heckles & Egan); the architect is MMA (Marotta/Main)
· Total construction bid is $1,746,000, with additional costs related to architectural and engineering fees, permits, insurance, interest on construction loan, and other costs totaling approx. $1,950,000.
· Tentative start date is planned for March 1, 2019, with work likely continuing through December 2019.
· Current Capital Campaign “Grace Upon Grace” (May 2017-May 2020) has raised over $750,000 in pledges and over $525,000 in donations given to date.
· Recently approved for a loan from the Mission Investment Fund up to $1.4M with 25 year term, 4.875% fixed for 5 years, with an option to prepay additional principal annually (reducing monthly payment).
· A second capital campaign is being planned to begin in May of 2020 in order to maintain cash flow for the loan repayment and raise funds to pay down the balance of the loan.
· Estimated monthly loan payment for the first year, beginning in late 2019 is $7,000.  Conservative estimates for a successful second campaign will allow us to reduce the monthly payment below $5000 after 3 years, and close to $3,000 after 5 years, when the interest rate will change based on market trends.

Hope to see you on Feb. 10!  Pastor Verkouw, Tom Andersen-President, John Saeger-Finance Liaison

First Holy Communion Class – February 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

The First Communion Class is for children who have not yet communed or have without instruction. Children of all ages are invited along with their parents to learn about and prepare for their first Holy Communion. If your family is interested in participating, please contact Kath at or in the church office at 717-397-2748.

Grace Book Group – Tuesday, February 12, at 7 PM in the Parlor.

Join the Grace Book Group for this month’s discussion.
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose. Carol Main will lead the discussion.

Drivers Needed
Several of our ESL students are preparing for their drivers test and need someone to take them “practice driving”. If you are interested in helping our students—please check with your insurance company first—then call the church office (717) 397-2748 to volunteer.

Save the Date! Saturday, April 6, 2019
Lenten Retreat – “Preparing to be Dust”  9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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 representative from Charles F. Snyder Funeral Homes & Crematory will join us in the morning to speak about the services they offer. In the afternoon we will have presentation from Hospice & Community Care  titled “Making Your Wishes Known: A Living Will is Not Enough.”
A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Cost per participant is $10.

Stewardship Snippets
Feb. 3, 2019 (4th Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C)
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 –  Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
This passage provides a good roadmap of how to be good stewards of our loving relationships. Read this over again, memorize it, print it out. Live it!

Prayer List


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