Grace News May 11, 2021


Official Notice of the Congregational Meeting Grace Lutheran Church Sunday June 6, 2021 (time and format to be announced)

Sunday May 16, 2021

8:00 a.m. ~ Modified in-person worship (please call 7173972748 to register)
9:00 a.m. ~ online Sunday School
10:30 a.m. ~ Livestream Worship

CAP Update

Grace Lutheran Church’s second and third floors and playgrounds continue to swell with children, ages infants to five years of age.  Community Action Partnership, known as CAP, has enrolled 60 families, with the intention of providing quality childcare and education to the children of parents who are working, but are economically challenged.

As a result of the interviews, led by Kath Verkouw with the CAP coordinator, Nikki Waldron, some of the daily essential needs of the families were made evident.  The cost of diapers has skyrocketed!  Nikki suggested that the size of needed diapers is 2-6.  Other essential needs are wipes, toilet paper and paper towels. On the only day that these items were put in the second floor lobby, all items were quickly selected by the families.

If you would like to support the CAP families by providing any of these products or by making a monetary contribution , which will be used to buy these products, please contact: the church office at 717-397-2748, Joyce Loiseau, 717-575-7013, or Joanne Mcsparren, 717-367-2282.


Longenecker Family Update

Dear Grace Church family,

We are wrapping up our first home assignment and preparing to return to West Africa mid-May for another two-year term. It has been good to see and reconnect with many of you, and we are thankful to all who support us through prayer and encouragement and the funds to make our work possible.

Lucie and William have grown a lot in the last year, adapting to whatever location they find our family living in, and we have hope that they will adapt again to living in a French-speaking country.

We will continue to work for improved water access and to encourage and support the Church to develop new ways to serve the community and gain access to areas where the Gospel has not been heard.

One aspect of this work is development of locally built well drilling equipment that will provide both lower cost wells in remote areas and jobs in manufacturing in the city. Another focus is improving the reliability of community hand pumps that millions of rural people rely on for their water supply. In both of these areas, we will focus on building sound business models so that others are eager to take over the work from us in the future.

We ask your prayers for our family as we adjust again to life in another culture and climate, and for the team that we will rejoin, that we would work together in unity. Also pray that we would encounter the partners and collaborators we need to do our work in a culturally appropriate and sustainable way.

Joseph, Erin, Lucie, and William

Ways To Give

Joseph and Erin ID number: 043533

Famine relief fund ID number: 093255

By check: Payable to SIM, with the ID in the memo line



Mentoring Group

Mentoring Group for 5 New American Families

Jesus says: “Love one another as I have loved you”

A very inspiring woman named Loice, who is one of the “cultural navigators” at the Refugee Center at Reynolds Middle School, has a vision for a group mentoring situation.  There are 5 refugee families all living on the same street in the South East section of Lancaster City.  These families, like all families, really would benefit from a group of mentors. 

The mentors would work with the families by focusing on the following areas: 

  • Budgeting
  • How to navigate parenting in the U.S.
  • Home/Self Hygiene

Loice hopes that the mentors and 5 families would gather to work on these life issues all together, creating a learning and supportive multi-cultural family.  We plan to have at least one Zoom training and information session and then decide more specifics there. Grace members and friends – Are you interested in being part of this adventure? Do you want to know more? Call or contact Barbara Andersen or Kath Verkouw through the Church Office (717-397-2748).  

BREAKING: India’s COVID crisis engulfs Nepal

Dear Friend, I pray you and your family are safe and well. Unfortunately, our neighbors in need around the world are not. In fact, they need your care quite urgently right now.
Earlier this week, I reached out to you about the COVID-19 crisis in India. That crisis has spilled over the border to Nepal, where this past week the country has seen COVID positivity rates as high as 44%. By all measures, Nepal is headed in the same direction as India and the country, and its people, are not prepared.

Nepal’s health system is extremely fragile: there are fewer doctors, less equipment and resources. If we don’t reach out to help right now, many of our neighbors in Nepal will needlessly die.
In this critical moment, your love is needed more than ever. Your compassionate gift today will deliver supplies directly to partners on the ground working to save lives.
This pandemic has called us to love and serve our neighbors in need in extraordinary ways. I pray you will find it within your heart to send your best gift today to ease the suffering of God’s children in Nepal and in other places where COVID-19 is surging.
I continue to pray for you, your family and families throughout the world, as we continue to work to end this pandemic together.
In Gratitude, Daniel Speckhard President and CEO of LWR
Donate here

Christian Formation

Adult Sunday School

Join Pastor Steve and members of Grace for Sunday School at 9:00 a.m. for When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner. 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

Tapestry of Pages

We voted and our next book is His Truth is Marching On John Lewis and The Power of Hope by John Meacham. Our discussion begins on May 25th at 3PM via Zoom. Please read the Overture and the first two chapters for the first meeting. Angie will be sending out supplementary readings to the group mid May.

This will be our last book until the fall, when hopefully we can meet in person. If you are interested in joining us or need a copy of the book ordered please email Angie Rabbe at 

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 4:43-54

Weekly Rest

How did taking time to pray work out for you last week?

Did you feel connected to God? What will do the same this week?

What will you change?

Our prayer this week is from Julian of Norwich:

In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss. In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving. You are our mother, brother, and savior. In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvelous and plenteous grace. You are our clothing; for love your wrap us and embrace us. You are our maker, our lover, our keeper. Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well. Amen.

As you pray this week think about these questions- Do you believe that through God all things shall be well? Or are you skeptical? 
[Prayer ELW pg 87]

Kids and Youth Zoom Updates

Update on Sunday ZOOM Fun for kids! 

Join us at 9:00 am ~ for kids 1-6th grades. 

We looked at how the Spirit led Philip to walk along a desert road and was instructed to talk to a wealthy man who was trying to understand the book of Isaiah. Philip joined the man on his chariot and explained the passage the man was reading and how it pointed to Jesus.  As they traveled they came upon water and the Ethiopian wanted to get baptized right then. 

Do you know what happened when Philip and the man came up out of the water?  Philip was teleported to another city to tell more people about Jesus.  How cool is that?

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. Contact Meghan Kelly at for more information

Reminder – Confirmation Camp Deposits are due!

Lancaster County Confirmation Camp at Camp Kirchenwald June 20-26

Exciting news! The Lancaster County Confirmation Camp (LCCC) is coming back to life…after taking a year off for the pandemic, we look forward to reuniting our Lutheran youth from congregations around the county who will be entering grades 6, 7, 8 and 9 this fall. 

The camp will be held Sunday afternoon, June 20, through Saturday morning, June 26, and will take place at Camp Kirchenwald, 1 Cut Off Road, Colebrook, PA (near Mt Gretna).  Eight to twelve Lutheran congregations are participating this year! 

Our theme this year, “Keeping God’s Covenant,” touches on themes from the 2021 Camp Curriculum, as well as the centrality of our baptismal covenant at the heart of the Rite of Confirmation.

By May 15th, families are asked to return their registration forms along with a $50 deposit, indicating their commitment to participate.  The remaining $125.00 needs to be submitted to the church office by Sunday, June 13th.  If you need additional

financial assistance, please contact Pastor Verkouw by May 30th


Summer Devotional: an illustrated compassion

Did you enjoy the devotional we used for Lent this year? If you did, you’ll love the devotional material we have for this summer…An Illustrated Compassion.

Our devotional encourages us to love with compassion like God loves us. This is a great resource for families- there are family activities and coloring pages (the family activities can also be done by individuals)!

I will be posting questions/readings/prayers to our social media between June 13 and August 29, but you can do any 12 weeks this summer that work for you.

Just like for Lent there will be a path of daily readings- one for each of the three sections of our devotional. These will be available on our website within the next few weeks.

If you would like the materials emailed to you (it’s a big document) please email me at If you want to pick a copy up in the office please contact Vicki at 717-397-2748 or If you have any questions send me an email.

Peace, Angie Rabbe. 

Grace Going Green

The Bees Are Back In Town

This spring I discovered that a wild swarm had taken up residence in one of our empty hives on the church roof. They seem to be doing quite well without any intervention or help from me.

They were joined two weeks ago by a purchased colony that is housed on the office roof.  We are hopeful that both colonies will thrive and that (if we’re lucky) we may have honey for sale at the end of summer.   


Early spring brings wet weather to much of the continent, and in many areas, slugs emerge in tandem with springtime rains. If slugs are a problem in your area, monitor young seedlings for damage and hand-pick as the pests emerge. Use non-toxic slug control like diatomaceous earth when weather permits to keep them from decimating your garden before you get a chance to enjoy your harvest. Read more here

Seventh Sunday of Easter, May 16, 2021

“As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.” –John 17:18

Jesus prayerfully sent his disciples into the world knowing the challenges that awaited them. Likewise, our elders steward us into the world with prayer, love, and hope. They know the difficulties that await; yet they send us on as God’s beloved children first and always.

Our Grace Family

Christian Sympathy

Dear Members of Grace, We give thanks for the life and witness of Marion Sowers, who died April 22, 2021. Marion is the mother of Craig Sowers. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to her son, her family and friends. Please keep Marion’s family in your prayers.