Grace News April 28, 2020

Christian Education

Be Bold!

Materials for week 3 can be found here

Chrildren’s Sunday School

A note of thanks from Brady & Layla Swartz for the wonderful Easter activity bags they received prior to Easter Sunday. (thanks to Mrs. Verkouw for delivering them to all our Grace Sunday School children)
Mrs. Verkouw continues to send out games and activities like the “Would You Rather” game to our wonderful children!
Would you rather have a fire over your head? (Matthew 25:1-13)  or  Have Holy ground under your feet? (Joshua 5:15)


Across the country, Lutherans are answering the call to make 75,000 face masks for families in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.
Check out how many masks have been pledged so far – and join us!

For more information on how to donate masks click here

With the outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the United States and around the world, our church and its leaders continue to minister to its members, to those who are hurting and searching for peace, and to those in need.
You can help the ministries of the ELCA by supporting your local congregation and making a gift to the ELCA’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
Your donation will provide funds to the ministries of the ELCA most in need and best positioned to help. This includes our congregations as well as local and churchwide ministries capable of reaching and assisting those in need.
Additional resources for congregations and members regarding worship, stewardship and assistance programs are available here.

You can donate to the ELCA COVID-19 Response Fund here

As COVID-19 continues to threaten our global family, give gifts that save lives. Our special COVID-19 collection helps neighbors in the world’s most vulnerable communities. You can find more information on how to donate COVID-19 gifts here

Grace ESL is going online! They are looking for used tablets and iPADS for their students! The ESL Class is in need of used tablets and IPADS for their student to continue their studies and to participate in Zoom classes.  If you have one, and would like to donate it—please contact the church office at 717-397-2748.  

Our Grace Family

April 22, 2020

We write from Pennsylvania, having left Burkina Faso last month less than 24 hours before the airport closed. With continued terrorist attacks in the North and East, the anticipated closing of the country, and the potentially overwhelming burden of COVID-19 on the health care system, our leadership strongly recommended we return home. Since we are two years into our three-year term, we will likely make this our home assignment, returning early next year for a second term.

Thankfully, we had begun sorting and packing in the days leading up to our departure, but in the end we had two hours to wrap everything up and leave for the airport. Still, we saw so much evidence of God at work. In just one example, when we found out Friday afternoon that the airport was closing that weekend, our travel agent found us four suddenly available seats on the full flight leaving that evening. 

Probably the hardest part of leaving so suddenly is not having said our goodbyes in person, but we are grateful for communication tools like WhatsApp that allow us to keep in contact with our friends and church family in Burkina. The drill rig and its equipment are in the hands of Joseph’s collaborator, and while they had planned to work together for several more months, we are encouraged that he’ll be able to carry on. 

Lucie and William have adapted fairly quickly to a new location and the cold. We are thankful to stay with Joseph’s parents in central PA, where we can look out across the pasture and take walks in the woods, and where Lucie and Will have the chance to spend time with their grandparents, whom they haven’t seen for two years. 

We look forward to seeing many of you again in person when we’re able. We hope to be based in Lancaster for the majority of our time and are looking for housing. If you know of places in the area we might be able to stay for 6-10 months, we’d love to hear of them. We hope to visit other areas of the country, as well, but may also seek out ways to connect remotely to best profit from your fellowship while we are home.

We pray that you are staying healthy and finding moments of joy and peace in this challenging time. We’d love to hear of specific ways we can be praying for you. We are so thankful for your support and encouragement over these past several years. Even if you didn’t know about our travels, we firmly believe your prayers carried us through

to PA.

Joseph, Erin, Lucie, and William Longenecker

May 3, 2020 (Fourth Sunday of Easter)

Acts 2:46-47a – Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people.
Now is a good time to take our cues from the early church, and choose new/ancient ways of being in community together for the sake of the world. How would you like to see this “new normal” unfold?

Prayer List

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