Grace News December 15, 2020

Congregational Meeting and Pastor’s Message

We had our first ever congregational meeting by ZOOM this past Sunday, with over 50 confirmed members showing up to go over the 2021 Budget! Thanks to all who showed up, thanks to all who helped with the budget preparations, especially Robert Durand from the Finance Team, and most of all…

Thanks to you all for your strong and generous support of our ministries over this past  year!  Back in March we faced a great deal of uncertainty – how would our ministry continue? What forms would be effective? How would we be able to adapt?  How would our members and friends be affected by the pandemic? Would they be able to continue to support the budget, overcome our previous deficit, and raise funds for the capital campaign to boot? 

Well, you answered those questions! Our capital campaign has raised over $1M, our general fund is keeping up with expenses. Though we miss being together, our videos have attracted many viewers both inside and outside our membership. Our neighborhood ministries have been sustained and adapted to COVID-19 circumstances. A new partnership with our neighboring schools has allowed over 20 children to be supported in virtual learning through the DOVE Pod, and our new partnership with CAP has rejuvenated our childcare and pre-school ministry.

As we prepare for Christmas we have so much to be thankful for. Even as a blizzard is bearing down on us, and the virus is getting worse by the day as we await the protective vaccine, we know that our congregation is continuing to thrive, adapt and serve. We will make our way through this dark winter; we will continue to support each other as we are able, and when it is time, the ministry we call Grace Lutheran Church will be here, a place to gather for worship and serving. Our R3 Team is asking for your help to use this time to  refine our vision, to look and see and feel how God is inspiring us for ministry in the new year. Thanks be to God, and thanks to you all for your presence, your prayers, and your support through this time! With love and thanksgiving for you all,  

Pastor Steve 

Worship Updates!

Fourth Sunday of Advent will be live at 10:30 this Sunday morning – but on our YouTube channel, not Facebook. 
There will be a visible link to the live worship.  If you miss the live feed, it will remain as a recording to view for all eternity at your convenience.

Our Video Worship on Christmas Eve will go live in the same way at 7pm…we will be live but also inserting some pre-recorded material from our choir, and from our Sunday School kids.  It will not be the same, but it will be memorable, I promise you! 

Dove Pod update expands time!

As you might already know we are now back to having all of the children all of the time and we expanded our hours a bit because some School district teachers were not finished teaching virtually until 2:30 pm. Our Pod teachers, volunteers and students are all working diligently and doing their best.

Materials needed:

1. Dry erase markers – the children use their white boards a lot and we are all out of replacement markers as they are used up.

2. Headphones – these seem to break pretty easily and are really needed to keep the noise down in the room and block out the ambient noise for the student.

A BIG THANK YOU to all the people who contributed to our pod Thanksgiving feast! Such a yummy time of thanks. Also a BIG THANK YOU to those who are contributing coats, hats, gloves and funds to support our children.

Donations of snacks needed for the Dove Learning Pod!

Request from the children are as follows: Pretzels, cheese sticks, Gogurts, and clementines

Christian Formation Update

Update on Sunday ZOOM Fun for kids 
Happy Advent! Happy church new year!
Join us at 9:30 am for our zoom Sunday School – best for kids 1-6th grades.  Look for the Weekend Updates and links for Worship and Sunday School email from Pastor!

Youth ZOOM on Sunday mornings!

For youth, grades 6-12, Meghan Kelly and Keith Miller will be leading a youth ZOOMS! Confirmation at 9:00 a.m. / High School at 9:45 a.m. If you would like to participate – please contact Meghan at to receive the link.

Poinsettia orders are due Tuesday, Dec. 22nd  Plants are $10.00 each.

Although there will be no in-person services on Christmas Eve we would like to offer poinsettias this year. Please fill out the enclosed form and return it to the church office. The list of gifts in honor and memory of loved ones will be published in the December 29, 2020 Grace News.

Please call the church office at 717-397-2748 to arrange pick up the week of December 28, 2020 .

A message from our Financial Secretary …

Do you need to catch up on your pledge?  Want to make an end of year donation? The Financial Secretary is asking that all end of year donations be in the office by Sunday Dec. 27 in order to be credited for 2020. 

Donation received after Sunday Dec. 27 will be credited in 2021.                                    Thank you, Judy Resch

Christmas gifts needed for our community dinner guests    

Items needed – Socks, hats, gloves, and scarves for men, women, and children
Collection Dates – Now through Jan. 1, 2021
Collection sites –  Grace Church, Good Shepherd, and the Parish Resource Center – 2160 Lincoln Highway East (9 am –5 pm Monday – Friday)
Coordinator for Distribution – Parish Resource Center / Kate Good     

R3 – ReFORM, ReNEW, ReVISION…ReMINDER of Guiding Principles!

Several weeks ago, you received a request – either through Grace News or by email – to participate in developing Guiding Principles for our congregation’s future. Many thoughtful responses have been received.  Thank you!
If yours is not yet among them, there is still time.  Please return your responses by no later than December 31, 2020 so we can proceed with the next steps toward Guiding Principles.
Thank you! John Saeger for the R3 Team

Please use the contact form below to submit your answers to the following (submit all answers on the same form). Please use one submission form for each member of your household.

  1. imagine that YOU ARE GOD and you are listening to two people FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD talk about our congregation. The ministry of the church is vibrant and has a strong relationship with and significant impact on the neighborhood. Remember this is what God wants us to be when we are at our best. What words does God want to hear the neighbors say about our congregation as they say, “I love Grace Lutheran Church. Those people there are so _________ .”  Enter 5 words or phrases that complete the statement, describing us at our best from the perspective of our neighbors.
  2. imagine that YOU ARE GOD and you are listening to two people FROM THE CONGREGATION talk about our congregation.  The ministry of the church is vibrant and people are glad to be there, growing as disciples and finding involvement meaningful. What words does God want to hear the members say about our congregation as they say, “I love Grace Church. This congregation is so __________.” Enter 5 words that complete the statement, describing us at our best from the perspective of our members.

December 20, 2020 (Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B)
“For nothing will be impossible with God.”– Luke 1:37
This Sunday we celebrate Mary’s faithfulness and willingness to do God’s will. This brave young woman hears the angel’s words and believes. As a faithful steward, what possibilities do you see for our community and congregation?

Our Grace Family

Congratulations to Matthew Douglas & Kaitlyn Weaver who were married in November. Matthew is the son of Kristin & John Douglas.