Grace News February 18, 2020


2020 Confirmation Camp – June 14-20

2020 VBS – June 21-25
Give and Receive God’s Great Love!

Christian Education

Why We Welcome

Join us on Saturday, March 21st from 10 am-3 pm for our third annual Lenten Retreat. This year we will be exploring the role that Lutherans have had in immigration in the United States since WWII. We will have a guest speaker from Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services and have partnered with Carry the Future to make bears for children in refugee camps. Space is limited to 40 participants, please sign up asap. The cost will be approximately $20 per person—lunch included. Questions – Call or email Angie Smith at 717-397-2748 /

Lenten Small Groups

This year for Lent we will be diving into Matthew, specifically questions related to heaven on earth.

If you would like to participate in a small group and would like the student guide ($9) please let Angie know ASAP. A student guide is not necessary to participate in a small group, but is recommended (study guides are not needed for the contemplative group).

· Pastor Verkouw will be hosting a small group in the Fellowship Hall 9:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings beginning March 1st.

· Kathryn Verkouw and Keith Miller will be hosting a small group in the Stafford Room on Tuesday evenings beginning March 3rd at 6:30 p.m.

· Angie Smith will be hosting a small group on Wednesday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. in the Stafford Room beginning on February 26th.

· Barb Steinmetz will be hosting a small group Thursday mornings at 10am in the Stafford Room beginning March 12th.

· Contemplative small group:  In chapel from 9:15-10 am Sunday mornings.  This is more focused toward mindfulness and neighbor.  You will hear some scripture, ponder it in your heart and mind and then discuss how it relates to your life and world. Contact Kathryn Verkouw

· Text small group: Twice a week you will receive some scripture and a question. You are asked to respond to the group so we can all learn about each other and how we relate to heaven on earth. Contact Kathryn Verkouw.

Our Grace Family

Hi my dear friends of ESL,
As most of you know I substitute teach in the Lancaster City elementary schools.  This provides me with many opportunities to interact with the growing number of immigrant families in the district. Many come from Africa.   

When I am at Ross Elementary on North Queen St, I also try to drop into Norbert’s classroom to say “hi” and check how he is doing. This week his teacher told me Norbert is advanced in math and has been helping some other students in math. He is making progress on his English as well. I also saw him help a few classmates on their iPads. The teachers tell me he is a nice, polite boy.
This week I sat with a third grade student from Somalia and read with her. As she looked at the words, I saw such a big smile from her when she understood what I was saying. Another student from a refugee family has been identified with some serious hearing issues and the School District is working to get her help. 
I could tell more stories of these students. I often say I don’t think I could be in a classroom and not know what the other students are saying. I would just sit and cry. But the students I see are resilient and I believe many are happy just to feel safe. I am so lucky to have these opportunities to work with these students and their families and I wanted to share this with you.
We are also making a difference with the adult students we help.  I see the love and gratitude in both the adults and children. Sometimes it gets hard for the teachers with students coming and going and trying to meet the needs of students at different levels – BUT you do it and I feel that we help our students in more ways then just helping them learn English. 
These refugees have really touched my heart and soul. 
Thanks for your continued love and support of these our neighbors. 
Mary Gentzler

From Our Program Director

We KNOW that God loves us through the cross: “God demonstrated His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
We ACCEPT God’s love through the Holy Spirit: “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (Romans 5:5).

We UNDERSTAND God’s love through the Word: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
We EXPERIENCE God’s love through the community: “Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us” (1 John 4:11-12).
Did you catch it?
God’s love becomes complete, or it gets brought to its full maturity through the human experience in the family of faith. In other word, God created church (and family!) to be a primary place where His love becomes tangible and feels real. When we love one another well, this causes us all to see God and His love for us and know that its real!
Join us for a Lenten Study!  
Kathryn Verkow
Resource From

February 23, 2020(Transfiguration Sunday, Year A)

Matthew 17:5 –While he [Peter] was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”
Peter, James, and John see Jesus shining like the sun, his form transfigured into a dazzling presence—and they are terrified. As they are, we’re still listening and following Jesus today to cultivate a heart of love.

Prayer List


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