Grace News February 19, 2019

Announcements

Communion Class of 2019

Twenty children participated in the Holy Communion Class on Saturday, February 9th. The class was open to children who have not communed or who have been communing without instruction. The instruction included an overview of the Holy Eucharist, the elements, and the ever important table manners. We welcome these children to the Lord’s table—some for the very first time. Please see the display in the narthex.

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

Join the Grace Book Group for this month’s discussion.
Jackie’s Girl by Kathy McKeon
A rare and engrossing look at the private life of one of the most famous women of the twentieth century, Jackie’s Girl is also a moving personal story of a young woman finding her identity and footing in a new country, along with the help of the most elegant woman in America.
Kim Neumar will guide the group in the discussion.

Upcoming Concert—Lancaster Chamber Singers Sunday March 24 at 3:00 p.m.

A premier choral ensemble in Lancaster for more than 40 years, the Chamber Singers, directed by Jay W. Risser, provides opportunities for experienced, local voices to bring to life for both audience and performer the great heritage of choral music.
Bring your family and friends to this concert of music from around the world.  Accompanied by string quartet, piano, and organ, the concert will feature works by Mozart, Eriks Esenvalds, John Ritter, and more!

Save the Date! Saturday, April 6, 2019

“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. 24, 2019 (7th Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C)
Genesis 45:15 – And Joseph kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him. Meeting them years after they had sold him into slavery, Joseph now greets his brothers with love, forgiveness, assistance and restoration. A great model for loving relationships! What loving relationships need your forgiveness and restoration?
Stewardship of loving relationships
Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” – Mark 12:31b
Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:43b
Red hearts, roses and chocolates are everywhere, so it must be February – the month of love! There’s certainly nothing wrong with celebrating romance between you and a special someone, or love among family members, or best friends who are always there for one another.
But our inner-circle folks represent only a sliver of the people Jesus calls us to love. And let’s face it: they’re the easy ones to love. Jesus calls us to a higher plane of love; to love everyone. This means not just the people about whom we are ambivalent, but our actual enemies and those who persecute us.
Such love is a tall order, especially today, when hatred and demonization is rampant. Our political, media and social cultures encourage us to demean everybody with whom we disagree or who is different from us. Though it may be impossible to reach Jesus’ ideal, as stewards and disciples of Jesus, we can do better.
Turn from hate. It may be too much to love our enemies, but we can start by turning from hatred. When negative feelings arise, refuse to marinate in them. Pray for guidance and strength.
Remember that loving your enemy doesn’t mean approving of who they are, what they do, or letting them escape responsibility for their actions. It also does not mean you cannot protect yourself or others from harm.
Imagine them as a broken, imperfect child of God (just like you!), who needs God’s love and mercy.
Pray for them. Ask God to lead them, guide them, fill their lives with healing. Ask God to give them the kind of loving heart that you are hoping to develop in yourself.
If you do these things consistently, with God’s help you will have transformed your heart, your life and our world.
–Rob Blezard
Copyright © 2019, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted by permission. Pastor Blezard serves as an assistant to the bishop of the Lower Susquehanna Synod and works as content editor for www.stewardshipoflife.org. He blogs at www.thestewardshipguy.com.

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