From Pastor Verkouw
Thanks again to everyone who came to the walk-through worship last week, and thanks for adding your responses to the sentence: “I love Grace Church because it is…” The largest words in the “word cloud” to the left were the most common responses.
Worship this coming Sunday, Oct. 11
We are planning two simple services for 8 and 11 a.m. Please call Vicki (717)397-2748 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org to make your reservation for either service. The service will last about 1/2 hour, including music, scripture, prayer and Holy Communion, distributed as we did last week.
As of this writing, we have 15 signed up for 8 a.m. and only 6 for 11 a.m. so if you are worried about a large crowd, I don’t think that’s a problem. Our team is confident that our plans have mitigated almost all risk, even if someone attends who doesn’t know they are sick yet. I’m looking forward to greeting everyone who feels called to attend. And I’ll have the video ready for everyone else!
Liturgical Calendars Have Arrived!
If you ordered a calendar, please stop by the church office to pick it up. The cost is $5.00.
I still have a few extra—so if you would like one, please call 717-397-2748 to reserve one.
Fall is for planting! Volunteers needed!
The design is complete! The plants are purchased! Now it’s time to get our hands dirty!
Please consider helping our landscape designer Rhoda Martin and our Grace gardeners to prepare and plant the flower beds surrounding the new addition and the newly cleared bed on James Street. Many hands make light work!
When: Tues Oct 13 – 2:00 p.m.
What: Bed clearing and soil prep.
When: Thurs Oct 15 – 2:00 p.m.
What: Unloading of plant material, placing them in prepared beds, and planting!
Become a partner in creating a beautiful, pollinator sustaining oasis!
Dove Learning Pod Update
I am writing to update our pod committee and church leaders on how things are going with the Dove Learning Pod and request continued prayers and support.
1) We are in our third week and are thankful for the work of Andrea, Victoria, Vicki, Kath and the many teachers, parents and volunteers who have come together to get this learning community off the ground. There are currently 20 children who attend the Dove Learning pod from 18 different classrooms. Our teacher, Andrea, and her team have been coordinating closely with Mrs. Hopkins at Ross Elementary to ensure that we are aligning our work and support for the children with the school district. There has been a learning curve and some technology glitches, but I am humbled by how well things are going. The children seem to be connecting with each other and they are definitely developing relationships with the adults who are supporting them. Kudos and thanks to all the caregivers (many of the copied)!
2) In addition to the initial support of the church council, we have raised about $8,500 from donations to Grace and we have one sponsorship of a child. Thanks to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church for joining us in this important ministry and for sponsoring a child a $350 a month. I will be reaching out to other churches in the coming weeks to request their support as well. If you have connections with individuals, congregations, or service organizations who may be interested in sponsoring a child, please let me know. The monthly commitment allows people/groups to support the pod while it is needed, rather than to make a 10 month commitment up front.
3) This week, we had some important visitors to the pod. Dave Koser from the Lancaster County Community Foundation came for a tour and was very encouraging. He suggested that we apply to LCCF for a portion of funding if we learn we will not be eligible for CARES funding (if you recall, we submitted our budget as part of a CARES grant application made by SDoL to the County Commissioners). In addition. Gene Duncan and Robert Pena, from the city and the Lancaster Emergency Management Agency respectively, conducted a safety tour of the pod. They had a few very simple recommendations to improve student and staff safety that will be reviewed with the pod team and Pastor and hopefully implemented. Things like adding blinds to the upper windows and getting multiple elevator keys (so the elevator can be locked at certain times) may be of benefit to the church too.
4) While our greatest need at this point is funding, there continue to be opportunities for volunteer support. Patty and Carl Hartman will be bringing a birthday treat for the September birthdays tomorrow and we look forward to volunteers baking for future celebrations, volunteers willing to plan and assemble individual craft kits or other activities so the children have meaningful community activities on asynchronous Wednesdays, and volunteers willing to coordinate Thanksgiving and Christmas care packages for the children and families who might appreciate them.
As we look to October, our pod goals focus on continued development of a caring community for all, fund-raising for continued support of our staff, and honing our support for the students through improved collaboration with SDoL and families.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Thanks for your care and interest in this work. Together we can do more than any one of us can alone!!
In peace and love,
Grace member and pod contributor
October 11, 2020 (19th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 23, Year A)
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
“Will there be enough?” Many are asking this question in the midst of growing economic uncertainty and fear. Christians know that this is the wrong question. With God there is always enough and a little bit more—enough to share. If this question crosses your mind, remember Paul’s words to the Philippian church. Don’t worry; give thanks and pray. God will provide a way.
Our Grace Family
Ordination and Installation of Pastor Tom Busteed
Congratulations to Pastor Tom, who was ordained by Bishop Samuel Zeiser of the NE PA Synod of the ELCA and installed as pastor of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church, Whitehall, PA (north of Allentown). Grace Church has made a gift in Tom’s honor to the ELCA fund for Leaders, which “supports seminarians of tremendous promise who are attending ELCA seminaries.” Tom joins a number of other Grace members who have discerned the call to ordained ministry over the years.
Pastor Verkouw was honored to preach the sermon for the occasion, and other local clergy involved included Pastor Chris Rankin of Trinity UCC in East Petersburg, where Tom played the organ for some years. It’s a small world – Pastor Chris used to be the Verkouw’s paperboy on State Street long ago!
May God bless Pastor Busteed and the people of Faith Lutheran as they begin this new pastorate and ministry together!