Grace News August 27, 2019

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!

Rally Day

“God’s work. Our hands” – Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019 Please Join Us For Our Sixth Annual Neighborhood Cookout in our parking lot, beginning at 12 noon.

Rally Day Sunday, September 8, 2019  

Rally day is the Sunday we “rally” everyone back to our fall education schedule.  We begin another school year of excellent Children and Youth (pre-school – grade 12)Christian Education Programs from 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Parents please come to your child’s classroom to meet their teachers and to fill out emergency contact forms.Children will be singing at the 10:30 service that morning. Bring your backpack for a blessing! We hope all our Sunday School families will join us in the parking lot for our 6th Annual Neighborhood Cookout immediately following the late service.

Grace Choirs begin in September!

Grace Choir—Practice begins on Thursday, September 5th at 7:15 p.m. in the balcony.  New singers (High School youth—Adults) are always welcomed.  If you are interested in joining choir, please contact David at
Gloria Bells (Adults) – Practice begins on Monday, September 9th at 6:30 p.m. in the balcony.
Kyrie Bells (Youth & Adults) – Practice begins on Sunday, September 15th at 8:30 a.m. in the balcony.
Sanctus Bells (Children) – Practice begins on Wednesday, September 11th at 6:30 p.m. in the balcony.
If you are interested in joining one of our bell choirs, please contact Kathryn Verkouw at

Stories Jesus Told

Beginning September 15th at 9AM in the Fellowship hall, join Angie Smith and Doug Halter to learn how to read, interpret, and understand the parables of Jesus. We love stories. That’s why we go to movies, read books, and listen to friends recount an experience. That’s also why teachers use the technique of storytelling to make a difficult concept easier for us to process. Jesus told stories, or parables, for that very reason—and to help us understand how God wants us to live life. Sometimes, however, stories like the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son can be interpreted in more than one way. Even Bible scholars are divided on their meanings. In Stories Jesus Told, you’ll explore six of Jesus’ parables to learn how to read, interpret, and live them in your daily life. Copies of the book can be purchased through the church office for $15. If you would like a book please contact Angie Smith, 717-397-2748 or Please order books by September 1, 2019.

Lutheran World Relief

Remember –  the Lutheran World Relief Ingathering, will take place October 5/6. Loose items and the specified-size bath towels will be collected from now until the Ingathering. You can put your items in the Narthex or at the closet in Fellowship Hall or bring them to the church office.
If you care to donate instead of bringing items, checks can be written to the church and marked “Grace Church – Lutheran World Relief Ingathering.” Barbara Slotter @ 342-2654 or Linda Fackler @717-449-5574

Stewardship Snippets

September 1, 2019 (Proper 17 (22), 12th Sunday after Pentecost)
Luke 14:11  For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Humility is a trait to be carefully stewarded and cultivated. No matter what your gifts, talents or  abilities, cultivating humility will prepare your heart and mind to receive instruction, foster growth and teach others.

Our Grace Family

Thank You

Thanks to the members of our Grace family for the prayers, cards, and other get-well wishes and to Pastor Steve for his visit after my July knee replacement.  It seems like a long road to recovery on my end, but the physical therapists tell me I’m ahead of the curve.  I’m thankful for a great medical team, especially Nurse Keith and my in-home care specialist Carl. Patti Hartman

From Sunday’s Sermon

Dear Members of Grace,
In my sermon this past Sunday, I told the congregation a bit about the story of our new parsonage family members, Ivine and Jeanette Tifang.  Ivine was able to flee a military action in her village, called Batibo, in the West African country of Cameroon, which is experiencing a “low-grade” civil war, more accurately described as military oppression by the government of the English speaking minority tribes in the SW Province, a conflict which has claimed her young son among many others, and destroyed Batibo.  From the neighboring country of Ghana, her only option to avoid return and possible reprisal from the military for being a part of a peaceful protest was to buy a one-way plane ticket to Ecuador.  From there she walked more than 1,000 miles through South and Central America before entering the refugee camp system in Mexico, through which she came to apply for asylum in the United States in San Diego.  
She was granted entrance to the country and through a series of blessings and kindnesses, delivered her baby Jeanette in November and found shelter with a family from our neighboring congregation at James St. Mennonite Church until May.  They came to us at Grace via our ESL (English as Second Language) classes, and when a new living arrangement was needed Kathryn and I agreed that one of the many empty bedrooms at the Grace parsonage would be a blessing both for them and for us! 
Ivine is working very hard at her GED classes through Milagro House, spending other free time developing her talents in African hair braiding at a local salon, and continuing to follow the legal process of requesting asylum and permanent legal documentation in the US.  
Please welcome Ivine and Jeanette at worship (though she still visits her friends at James St. Mennonite on alternate weeks) and pray for her husband Adolf and their children who remain in dire circumstances in Cameroon.  Ivine will be with us as long as necessary to gain her credentials and independence.  May God bless this opportunity to welcome Ivine and Jeanette to a safe home and community.  May this welcome from our Grace family be in one small way a part of the Holy Spirit’s greater work to strengthen the connections and convictions that may lead to a greater peace and safety for God’s children still in peril in Cameroon.  Thank you for your prayers, and all the help and support of the Grace family that enables us to welcome Ivine and Jeanette in this way!
Pastor and Kath Verkouw


Prayer List