Grace News March 23, 2021

Many thanks to the children of Grace for sharing the Good News with us on Christmas Eve, they worked very hard to make this year’s play a very special part of our celebration!

We are still collecting caps for the Earth Savers Club at Central York High School. If you would like to help—drop off your clean/label free caps to the church office!

Thank you for helping to protect our planet!

The Grace Book Discussion Group will meet via Zoom at its regularly scheduled time 7pm on Tuesday, April 13.

Read any memoir, biography, or autobiography to share with the group. If you have questions or wish to join, contact Brenda Hayasaka-

Weekly Green Tip

Use-it-up dinner ideas:

Frittata or a quiche:  Add five eggs and a splash of milk to whatever vegetables or cooked meats  you have left over from previous meals, and bake in a pie pan (with crust to have a quiche, or none to make a frittata).
Read more here

From Pastor Verkouw

“Notre Dame, Uncertainty, and Holy Week”

I haven’t really taken time to reflect much lately on the past year.  We have been focused on looking ahead, which is especially difficult to do for human beings when the future seems especially uncertain.  Centuries ago, the pace of change was still slow…people could expect that life would be pretty much the same for their children, their grandchildren as it was for them. 

Against such a backdrop, however, people in medieval Europe did not hesitate to plan amazing projects: think of the great cathedrals, like Notre Dame de Paris.  When it caught fire and was badly damaged in 2019, we were reminded of what it took to build such a building over the century between  1163 – 1260.  Those who began it knew they would never live to see it finished.  Nevertheless, despite their primitive (to us!) tools and knowledge of the world, they undertook such an amazing project – because they felt confident that it would still be relevant when it was finished, no matter how long it would take. And they were right!

Fast forward to our own time.  Our government, for many reasons, cannot seem to think much beyond its officials winning the next election – in two years!  Nobody knows what to plan, because things are changing so fast!  We take it for granted that the lives of our children and grandchildren will be dramatically different from our own.  Growing up, it seemed like people thought the end of history had arrived when they bought a color television!  Now their 6-year-old grandchildren have to continually remind them how to use a smart-phone.  The paradox is clear: because we have come to know so much so fast, we have lost our confidence in the future. Martin Rees, the “Astronomer Royal” at Cambridge University writes, “That’s why we, and our governments, react with such torpor to the compelling concerns about the future. We retreat into inaction because we’re not confident enough in any scenario to commit to it.”[1]

We have faced our own version of these challenges in this pandemic year.  With your faithful support, we have adapted in many ways to the sudden changes of the pandemic.  We finished a major renovation, and before it was complete, you raised almost half the money to pay for it!  We figured out how to record worship so you could pray along with a recording – and then we figured out how to bring people together for worship with a live-streamed video.  We collaborated with a two new partners to care for children and families in our neighborhood: through our childcare and learning center managed by CAP, and our learning POD for Lancaster schoolchildren, with our own staff and volunteers.  Older folks joined younger ones in learning the new technology of ZOOM to come together for study, fellowship and prayer.  Many of our other ministries also adapted to serve in new ways.

Now Holy Week is coming – again!  And we undertake that work which belongs to the church, in every season, in every uncertainty – proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, for the healing and salvation of the world.  May God give us the faith we need to hold fast to that calling in this generation, in this time of many uncertainties, so that places like Notre Dame – and Grace Church! – can be places where God’s people will offer HOLY WORSHIP, and be found WHOLLY SERVING today, and also many years from now.   

In Christ, Pastor Steve Verkouw

[1] This quote and general inspiration taken from: Martin Rees, “Some Thoughts about 2050 and Beyond” in the Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 163, No. 4, December 2019.  

Outreach Opportunity

Refugee Assistance –  Mentoring Workshop on Zoom

On March 13, the IU13/ Refugee Center and Community School at Reynolds, in partnership with LHOP and CWS held a housing workshop for New Americans.  Many who call Lancaster home, came to the Workshop with many questions and complaints about Landlords and lack of responses to their requests for repairs.

On Monday the 15th, I followed up with 4 of the attendees who had voiced their complaints.  I called the landlords and got swift responses.  By that afternoon two of the landlords were on the property.  They repaired most of what needed to be repaired and are keeping promises of getting the rest of the work done.

This exercise opened my eyes even more to the issues  facing New Americans  because they do not speak or read English.

I would like to invite you to a Mentoring Workshop to be held on Zoom, on April 14, 2021.  We will work together to learn how to empower New Americans navigate systems in our beautiful city without spending any of your money, or transportation.  If you know anyone who is interested in mentoring on parenting, budgeting, housekeeping, tenants’ rights and responsibilities, School District of Lancaster policies, please invite them. 

Loice Byler, Cultural Navigator

Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13 Community Education


Christian Formation

Listening for God

Join Pastor Steve and members of Grace for Sunday School at 9:00 a.m. for Listening for God Volume 1. Check your weekly email for the Zoom link.

If you need the readings or need to be added to the weekly email list please contact Vicki  at  (717-397-2748 or

Contemplating Logos

“Listen, O my son, to the precepts of thy master, and incline the ear of thy heart, and cheerfully receive and faithfully execute the admonitions of thy loving Father, that by the toil of obedience thou mayest return to Him from whom by the sloth of disobedience thou hast gone away.”
(Prologue to The Rule of St. Benedict, Trans. Rev. Boniface Verheyen OSB, 1949)

This week’s reading is John 3:11-21

Tapestry of Pages Update!

Our discussion of The House in the Cerulean Sea begins on April 6, 2020, at 3 PM via Zoom. The House in the Cerulean Sea is a delightful fantasy novel that challenges the reader to think about family, belonging, and perception of “the other.” Please read the entire novel before our first discussion. The book should be available through your local library (wait times vary) or wherever books are sold.
If you have any questions or would like to join this group please contact our Assistant Program Director Angie Rabbe ( 

Kids and Youth Zoom Updates

Update on Sunday ZOOM Fun for kids! 

Join us at 9:30 am ~ for kids 1-6th grades. 

This time we looked at how Rebekah became Isaac’s wife. Did you know that if Rebekah hadn’t offered to “water the camels” she probably wouldn’t have married Isaac? 
Pretty interesting way to get married but read about it: Genesis 24.
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

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.

Palm/Passion Sunday, March 28, 2021

“While [Jesus] was at home in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head.” – Mark 14:3

Today we enter Holy Week and walk the road with Jesus to the cross. The gospel lesson opens with a story of second-mile generosity. The unnamed woman anoints Jesus with a costly perfume. While others criticize her wastefulness, Jesus praises her lavish gift and pure intent. What have you to bring to Jesus?

Sunday School – 9:00 a.m
Livestream Video at 10:30 a.m.
Palms may be picked up from
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Worship Video – Solemn Stripping of the Altar
Please check your email or our social media for the link.

Worship Video
Please check your email or our social media for the link.

                 Livestream Video – Holy Eucharist – 9:00 a.m
Walk through Communion – 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Easter Flowers

The cost is $10.00.  Flower orders are due in the office Friday March 26, 2021Plants may be picked up from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday the week of April 5th.