Grace News November 26, 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!

Dramability Works Sunday at the 10:30 a.m. Service

Dramability will be helping to lead worship on Sunday, December 1, 2019 at the 10:030 a.m. service. We hope you will join us!
Dramability Works is a unique theater and arts program for adults with developmental disabilities.  The group is a community outreach program of Grace Lutheran Church and is currently celebrating its 16th year.  The instructors strive to present creative challenges to students and encourage teamwork in a cooperative and supportive environment.  Students each create, rehearse, and perform a personal theater piece for the larger community each spring. 
Dramability Works employs two theater instructors and is blessed with additional help from volunteers. The program is low-cost and offers scholarships to anyone who cannot afford the modest cost.  The program runs three sessions annually: fall, winter/spring, and summer.  For more information or to make a contribution, contact Grace Lutheran Church at  717-397-2748.

Annual Advent Fair on Sunday December 1

“The Advent Fair is a special family event, when we gather to celebrate a time of waiting for the coming of Christ.  Often, members of Grace have invited their extended families to this celebration.  We eat a meal together and make special ornaments or gifts to share with our families. This year, the Advent Fair will be held on Sunday, December 1st, following the 10:30 service. 
The schedule is: 
12:15:  Lunch time.  Each family is asked to bring a salad or dessert to share with others.  If your family is larger than four, please bring a salad and a dessert.  Sandwiches and drinks will be provided.
1:00-3:00: Craft time. Samples of the crafts are provided at the registration table. On the day of the event, craft stations will be set up in Fellowship Hall. We request that participants pre-register so we can plan to have enough crafting material for everyone. The deadline for registration will be Sunday November 24, 2019.  Registration forms are available in the Narthex of the church and can be left in the envelope provided.

Practice for the Christmas Play has begun!

“I Wonder!”          
Play practice has begun.  I f your child is interested in participating—please come to the music room (third floor  of the Ed. Building) at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. The practice schedule is as follows: Nov. 24th, Dec. 1st, Dec. 8th,Dec. 15th
A special rehearsal will be held in the Nave on Saturday, Dec. 21st, 10 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Dress rehearsal/First performance Sunday, Dec. 22nd, 9:00 a.m. in the Nave
Christmas Eve Big performance! Report at 6:15 pm. to the 3rd floor music room

Wreath-makers Invited to Help on Saturday, November 30

On Saturday, Nov. 30 we will make our usual two wreaths – a large one for the nave and a small one for the chapel.  If you like the fragrance of fresh evergreens and enjoy preparing for the Advent and Christmas seasons, join us at 9:00 am.  It takes about 2 to 3 hours. Anyone can do this easy and fun activity with no previous experience.  (Questions?  Murray Foreman 717-391-0979.)

Greens Wanted for Church Advent Wreaths

If you can provide some greens for our wreath-making project, please leave them just outside the chapel entrance (by the former playground) by Friday, Nov. 29 or by 9:00 Sat. morning. Cut them no more than a couple of days prior so they will last until Christmas. Any pine, spruce, cedar, or fir is good, and holly (with berries) is great.Cuttings should be two or more feet in length.  (Questions? Murray Foreman 717-391-0979.)   

Decorating the Nave Dec. 22nd

Join the worship Team in decorating the Nave for the Christmas Season on Sunday, December 22nd following the late service. A light lunch will be served. All are welcome.

St Peter’s Annual Cookie Walk

St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 10 Delp Road, Lancaster, invites you to its 13th annual Cookie Walk on Saturday, December 14, from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon (or until cookies are sold out). We will offer two sizes of containers for $15 and $8 to fill with a variety of homemade holiday cookies. Proceeds benefit the orphans of Busoka Lutheran Church, St. Peter’s companion congregation in Tanzania.

Young Musicians wanted for Christmas Eve!

We again invite young musicians to play in the prelude music for the 7:00 pm Christmas Eve service.  Ask your “young musician” NOW about doing this so there is time to prepare a piece. We prefer pieces based on familiar carol tunes.  This is a great way for children to “give back” and give glory to God.  Please call David or Vicki in the office: 397-2748.

Stewardship Snippets

December 1, 2019 (First Sunday of Advent, Year A)
Matthew 24:42–Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
Consumer culture tells us to buy and spend so that we may have the perfect holiday. Jesus, on the other hand, reminds us to pay attention because he is coming. We are called to be alert and ready, focusing on all that really matters.

Community Outreach

Tree of New Beginnings

In the Narthex you will find the “Tree of New Beginnings”.  This tree is to benefit our two refugees and their families – Christine Mbuyu and her sons Norbert and Sterling, and Ivine Abit and her daughter Jeanette. Please choose an ornament (or two), purchase a gift(s), and return it with ornament attached by December 22nd. There will be a large green bin next to the tree to place your gifts. Our younger children will be collecting change (similar to the barnyard banks in past years) and decorating their own tree. We will be dividing the total cash between our two families. Thank you for considering to share the joy of Christmas with these special families.If you have any questions please contact our Assistant Program Director Angie Smith at

Community Meal Christmas Gifts

We are collecting the following items for Community Meal 
Gloves: 75 mens large, 25 mens med, 75 womens med, 30 kids
Hats/Caps: 75 men’s md/lg, 25 women’s md/lg,30 kids
Unisex Sweatshirts: 75 adult large, 25 adult med, 10 adult xl, 30 kids
Contact Joyce Saeger 717-824-5153 or Denise White 717-572-2583

Donations to the Lancaster County Food Hub

Our donations to the “Grocery Cart Ministry” were taken to the Lancaster County Food Hub on Monday, November25th.  Grace donated 7 pounds of clothing and 125 pounds of non-perishables.
The currents needs at the Hub are: Diabetic Food Items (Sugar Free), meal helpers like Hamburger Helper, and canned meals like ravioli and chili.

Christian Formation

Thank you for your recipes!

Thank you to everyone who submitted recipes for the Grace Church cookbook, “Grace Your Table”. We have received over 200 recipes from members and friends for their delicious family favorites!
As you know, this cookbook is a fundraiser to help our youth raise money to attend the National Youth Gathering in Minneapolis in 2021.
If you haven’t already ordered your copy – you still have time!  Orders for Christmas delivery must be in the office by December 2nd. The cost per book is $15.  Sign up sheets are in the Narthex, the St. Peter Chapel, order by calling the church office at 717-397-2748, or emailing Angie at
REMINDER—Youth will gather after late service on Sunday December 1st to put cookbooks together.  Please contact Angie at if you plan to attend.

Advent Devotions by Vibrant Faith Ministries

Getting back to the truth and simplicity of the Advent and Christmas season – isn’t this what we strive to do?
That was our goal, and hope, for Taking the Advent Story Home. We want to help you experience the season of Advent, as you prepare your hearts and homes for Christmas, without adding to the clamor.Each day of this devotional eBook provides a Scripture, taken from Taking Faith Home or Taking God’s Story Home. Also included daily is a short devotion and four key activities to do with your loved ones. Pick up yours in the Narthex or in St. Peter Chapel

A note from our Director of Music Dr. David McConnell

Many thanks to the members and friends of Grace who attended my three weeks of classes on Music and Liturgy in the 21st-Century. For those of you unable to attend, I wanted to take an opportunity to sum up some of what discussed.
Most important, I stressed that these three weeks were not me teaching music in the church needs to be, but rather a discussion in which folk got to hear from me directly where I am in my thinking and understanding of the current issues of music and liturgy. I wanted to hear from everyone attending what their thoughts were – and they was lots of excellent discussion about where we are, have been, and want to go in the future.
I came away from the class with a list of ideas all of us seemed to agree were important for the music and liturgy at Grace:
1. Our music should be, indeed, must be, diverse, including music from other cultures and other denominations.
2. Contemporary Worship is a term that is near-impossible to define, because almost everyone seems to have a different definition.
3. There is an enthusiasm for fused/blended worship, where music of diverse styles can happen within the same liturgy. 
4. Corporate worship is a unique and powerful experience that is integral to the health and growth of our journey as disciples.
Music is a connection to the divine and a connection with our past, present and future catholic church. And in keeping with Lutheran tradition, hymnody is also an important source of theological teaching. While we certainly discussed more than this, these are five major themes that seemed to come up repeatedly during our three weeks of talk. 
Finally, I very much heard that when we do try new things/new styles/new music’s it is best to explain why. There is an openness to newness, but a desire to understand why we want to try and use something new. And please know that if you ever have questions about anything to do with music, you are more than welcome to come talk to me – I want to believe that everything I choose has a theological and musical purpose and that I should be able to explain that to anybody who asks.
Again, my thanks to everyone who took part in the classes, and I want to suggest to small books, both published by Augsburg Fortress, that will certainly help any reader examine these kinds of issues in a deep and thoughtful way.  Both books have served me well as I have worked to be a faithful musician over the last several years.
Why Worship Matters – Robert Alan Rimbo 9780806651088/Paperback – ebook available
Central Things: Worship in Word and Sacrament – Gordon Lathrop  9780806651637 Paperback – eBook available

Our Grace Family

Special thanks from the Property Team

On Saturday November 6th the Property Team, along with 19 volunteers tackled various chores around the church.  The help of these folks is always welcomed and greatly appreciated!
Nine members of the Matu Congregation helped to clean the Chapel.  Additional volunteers included – Len Wolf, Bruce Linton, Denny Maharg, Klaus Case, Glenn Weidman, Dale Dombach, Doug Halter, Jim Pacelli, John Brandt, Mark Harman, and Pastor Verkouw.  Special thanks goes out to the “Balcony Crew” – Kathryn Verkouw, Patti Hartman, Mark and Brooke Harman, and Arielle Commaro, students in Mrs. Hartman’s Sunday School Class.
Property is planning another clean up following the renovation. Please consider coming out and joining the fun! Many hands make quick work!

Member Spotlight – Bruce Linton

by Brenda Hayasaka

Baptized at Grace as an infant, Bruce Linton has truly been a life-long member of this congregation.  Interestingly, his father John J. “Bud” Linton moved from East Lampeter Township to South Prince Street and was assigned to St. Mary’s parish, but “Bud” preferred to attend St Anthony’s.  The priest and “Bud” disagreed, and in defiance “Bud” settled at Grace Lutheran as a compromise, and both he and his wife were members at Grace until their death. 
Bruce remembers preparing for confirmation by studying Luther’s Catechism in one of the three classrooms which is now the location of St. Peter’s Chapel.
Bruce became very involved in the life of Grace when in the 80’s he became a member of church council and took on, with Denny Maharg, a revival of the youth program.  It was a “Super Youth Group” of about 150 kids from 3 or 4 Lutheran congregations who met monthly.  Pastor Chuck Lisse was very instrumental in the organizing and spearheading of this group.
Semi-retired, but still working at Giant at Elizabethtown, now going on 20 years, Bruce loves his sports.  He plays golf, and he enjoys watching it as well as his beloved Eagles and Phillies on TV. However, organizing a group from Grace each year and driving the van to attend the Little League World Series in Williamsport is just one of the social activities where Bruce can be found.   
According to his daughter, Sara Linton Ressler, Bruce probably got the idea for the excursion when he visited the base at Wilkes Barre where Sara and her husband Brian, a US Army helicopter pilot, were living. Bruce has also visited them while Brian was stationed in Colorado, Alabama, and most recently Hawaii where Sara had a beautiful shirt waiting for him upon his arrival.  In turn, he is often on duty picking up Sara at the airport when she comes home to visit.  Sara remembers Bruce bringing her along to the Wednesday Night Community Meals for which he has been a dishwasher since the inception of the meal at Grace. At the neighborhood cookout Bruce also lends a hand at the grill.

Special Thanks

Dear Pastor Verkouw,
On behalf of the entire Mummert-Durand families and my self, I thank the members of Grace Lutheran Church for your heartfelt sympathy, cards, and support during our loss of my wife Christine. Our eight years together were a treasure of an entire lifetime. Your kind expressions of love, the now even deeper meaning of the Word, and your uplifting expression of musical ministry are overwhelmingly comforting. I would also be remiss if I didn’t thank you for your prayers and cards during my triple bypass surgery of this February. Of all the unknown in our lives, let us thank God for making Jesus known to us and in our daily prayer. –Robert Durand

Christian Sympathy

Dear Members of Grace,
We give thanks for the life and witness of Dennis Sapp, who died Sunday, November 17, 2019. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his wife Cindy Horn Sapp, their family and friends. A funeral service will be held December 2, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 3110 Lititz, Pike, Lititz PA. Friends and family will be received prior to the service starting at 10:00 a.m.

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