Grace News May 5, 2020


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.  

A Note From Our Program Director Kathryn Verkouw

People are discovering so many ways to creatively help their fellow humans in this strange time.  We don’t want you to miss out on this time of great giving.  Below are some of the ways in which our church can help!

  1. We now host two grab-n-go community meals each week. Sunday evenings, hosted by the Parish Resource Center and on Wednesdays evenings, hosted by a rotation of five churches (Grace, St. Peter’s, Good Shepherd, Covenant, and Zion Leola). You can help by providing desserts! They can be baked or bought. We usually serve around 75 people each evening. Please place individual servings in zip lock bags to be delivered to the church office. We have plenty of freezer space, so your donations may be dropped off at any time. 
    Important note: We do not have access to our church driveway or our office front door right now. To drop off or deliver anything, drive up Christian Street, come into our parking lot and knock on the door above Stafford room steps. You can then leave your donation on those steps and someone will deal with them right away.

    We would like to recognize our partners in the community for their donations and discounts which help to support the Community Meals. The Food Hub, Arooga’s Grille, Denise Biddinger, Khristina Mitchell, Common’s Company, Plum Street Gourmet, and Forry’s Country Store.
  2. We have had several calls from the IU13 about families in need of food and supplies. These are families that fall through the cracks of social services for various reasons and really need our support. We have delivered food and supplies to three families and plan to continue to do so on a weekly basis. If you would like to help with this evolving ministry, please contact the church office.  Needed are donations of fresh fruits and vegetables (plantains, kale, tomatoes, oranges, and grapes), eggs and milk, and cleaning supplies.  Monetary donation will also be excepted to help with purchases. Checks should be made out to Grace Lutheran Church – memo IU13 support. If you would like to sponsor a family and or volunteer to drop off groceries, please let me know and I will connect you to one of the IU13 families.
  3. Schreiber Pediatric Rehab has asked for help creating personal protective equipment. They currently are in need of arm gaiters for their teachers. They need medium and large sizes, made from any washable material. Patterns are available by calling the church office at 717-397-2748.

There are so many wonderful ways to help our more vulnerable brothers and sisters in Christ. The request continue to pour in, so stay tuned!

Three years ago this month, many of us made specific pledges to support our first Campaign for the comprehensive renovation of our building.   Others pledged to support the work however they were able.  Our goal was $800,000… to date we have received $823,438 in pledges and un-pledged gifts—what a great success!  Early pledges led us to be confident that the congregation would be supportive of this project, as you have.  We can’t say it enough—THANK YOU for your generous support.  A great spirit was evident throughout this process, and we trust that this work seems good, not only to us, but to the Holy Spirit that moves people to acts of love and faithfulness from “Generation to Generation.” 
After years of planning and design work, actual construction began in earnest after our ground-breaking celebration on  March 24, 2019.  Significant delays slowed progress through the winter, but with good weather, completion seemed near when the COVID19 restrictions fell upon us all, bringing construction to a halt as well as most of church life as we know it.  Plans for a second three-year capital campaign to pay down construction debt were suddenly meaningless, and there was little certainty to guide us into the best way ahead.  Should we simply reschedule for a month later?  Or three months later? 
For now, here’s what we DO know.  Interest continues to accrue on our loan, which stands at about $1.2M to date, and…construction resumed on Monday 5/4!  The first pieces of metal siding went on the new addition, and a small crew began work on the kitchen.  COVID19 regs and guidelines are to be observed, which will slow things down a bit, but the spring weather brings hope that the crew will finish most if not all of the project before can re-open our building for worship!  That idea brings both joy and concerns.  Our Council will be meeting by ZOOM this Wednesday evening to begin considering the complexities of worshipping again safely, once restrictions are lifted.
Until this all becomes clearer,  our Stewardship and Capital Campaign teams are asking us to continue to support our general fund and capital campaign as we have in the past year as we are able.  Our leaders are currently reworking the schedule for the second campaign, “Growing in Grace: Continuing the Challenge.”  These materials will be forthcoming.  Your ongoing gifts to the campaign will support our monthly interest payments until the loan is finalized.  Your regular offerings continue to support our staff, ministry, and outreach budgets through this challenging and unique time!  Your gifts allow Grace to continue to live as the Church, the Body of Christ, in ways that are both  familiar and brand-new! 

May God bless and keep you,

Pastor Verkouw

Resources for week four can be found here

May 10, 2020 (Fifth Sunday of Easter)
1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light .
We have a long way to go to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, AND we have a special part to play. Peter reminds us that we belong to God and are called to proclaim the good news and work for justice, peace, and mercy.

Prayer List