Grace News September 7, 2021


God’s Work Our Hands Update

As noted in last week’s issue of Grace News, we have had to adjust our plans and focus for the September celebration of “God’s Work, Our Hands” Sunday, as Covid positivity cases are on the rise in the county. 

Throughout the month of September, with the official kickoff on the 12th, we are encouraging you to reach out to support our neighbors suffering from a host of calamities around our globe through the work of Lutheran Disaster Response.  Our initial goal is to raise $5000 for this work, and already generous gifts have come in following the article about Haiti in the August 24th Grace News. Just today (9/2) an updated communication about Hurricane Ida Relief has come out from the Rev. Daniel Rift, Director of ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response, in which he notes the impact not only on the Gulf Coast States, but also the devastation in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As Pastor Rift says, “You can accompany our neighbors, who have been affected by this disaster.  …. With your support, hurricane survivors, will know that they are not alone.”

Today the top three areas of concern for Lutheran Disaster Response are: Hurricane Relief, Haiti, and U. S. Wildfires. LDR believes that every disaster is local, in the sense that response needs to be rooted in the community, and they work to accompany the community from immediate relief through long-term recovery. As is expressed on their website, “When the dust settles and the headlines change, we stay to provide ongoing assistance to those in need.” Through our gifts here at Grace to Lutheran Disaster Response, we can help to bring hope and healing to our neighbors.  100% of gifts are directed to those in need.

Together we can make a difference. Please consider being part of this September’s “God’s Work, Our Hands” outreach though a gift to Lutheran Disaster Response.  Please note on your check or envelope that your contribution is for Lutheran Disaster Response.  If you wish, you can designate it to a specific area.  A complete list is on their website. Thank you for reaching out in Grace and Love. – Carol Main

Grace’s Annual Neighborhood Cookout Moved to October 17th

An earlier Grace News article about this year’s cookout, began with the words flexible and adaptable.  The Neighborhood Cookout Committee is, and will continue to be, both!    Due to concerns about the surge of the Delta variant in our community, this special meal for our neighborhood guests prepared by the Bertrands’ Smokestack BBQ has been postponed until October 17th.

An outdoor event with prepackaged meals, gifts for our guests including information about Grace’s ministries, and brief socially distanced interactions are being planned.  The committee will continue to monitor Covid rates as we get closer to mid-October.  Thank you to those of you who have already contributed to this event.

Fall Foliage Day

Fall Foliage Day at Kirchenwald ~October 24, 2021  1:00 – 6:00 pm  $10 per person

Return to camp for the afternoon to enjoy fall activities, worship, and a picnic supper. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet up with old friends or introduce new folks to camp. An evening meal is included.
Enjoy Pumpkin Painting, Canoeing / Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Hayrides, Hiking, and More! Call the church office at 397-2748 to register!

Join Our New Book Group

You’re invited to join our new book group, Novel!
What is Novel? Novel is our quarterly book group that highlights works of fiction by diverse authors. Each quarter we’ll share a list of six to eight books that we will discuss at a potluck. 

When is the first meeting? We’ll have our first meeting in December. Pandemic and weather permitting we will have a potluck at church. If we cannot meet in-person we will meet on Zoom. The time and date of the meeting will depend on the availability of those interested in joining our group. 
Do I have to read all the books on the list? Nope! We ask that you read at least one of the books from the list. 
Where can I find the books? Most of the books are available through either Lancaster Public Library or the Free Library of Philadelphia. You can join the Free Library of Philadelphia as long as you are a resident of Pennsylvania! You can register for a library card here. You can also check out our local independent bookstores. Angie also has copies of some of the books she is willing to lend out. 

The eight books for our December meeting are:
A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum / White Ivy by Susie Yang / The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray / Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas / Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbli Weiden
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi / The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood/
The Library of Legends by Janie Chang

If you are interested in joining our group and/or have any questions please reach out to Angie Rabbe at If you have questions about our monthly Grace Book Group please reach out to Brenda Hayasaka at

Music at Grace

Organist Eric Plutz in Concert
Sunday, September 12 @ 4:00 pm Freewill Offering – Children welcome

Mr. Plutz will perform Symphonies 1, 3, & 5 on Friday, September 10, at Christ Episcopal Church (Reading, PA), and Symphonies 2, 4, & 6 on Sunday at Grace Lutheran.

Masks required for concert attendance, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The “Tie That Binds” Season Christian education and Fellowship Fall 2021

“Blessed be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the unity of heart and mind is like to that above.”  I know, it’s a old-time (18th century) hymn, but the “tie that binds” is a familiar biblical phrase: St. Paul urges the Colossian church to, “clothe yourselves with love which binds everything together in perfect harmony”(3:14). 

While the ongoing pandemic ebbs and flows around us makes decisions about participating in groups more fraught than ever, please know that our adult staff and volunteers will be masked and vaccinated, and committed to creating a safe and healthy environment. The ties of friendship and mentoring between generations, the ties that bind our hearts and minds – our feelings, experiences, knowledge, history, questions and prayers – all these help us to know ourselves as God’s children. We hope to see you at one of these opportunities to renew “the tie that binds” us to Christ and one another!

Worship: 8am and 10:30 am on Sundays.

Fishbowl time is back!!!  Beginning September 12th we will have fun Fishbowl time (the time between the sermon to the offering) during the 10:30 worship where we will learn, laugh, create.  Designed for kids K-5th but younger children are welcome with a sibling or adult.

Sunday School Fun: Sundays 9am – 10:15 am (In our new educational classrooms!!)

We have decided to begin the year “in person”. Masks will be worn and classes will be small or we will move to a bigger space. We will read the bible, use our imaginations, act, play games and create.  Ages “almost 3” through 5th grade. A virtual option will be offered for the older class – please contact Kath for the link.

Confirmation: In person class from 9 am to 10:15 am in the new confirmation room. 

High School Youth: Our high school students will be meeting on Zoom from 9-9:45 am

Join Angie to talk about the big questions of our faith. Possible topics of conversation include heaven and hell, what happens when we die, and does God punish us? If you would like to join this group please email Angie Rabbe at for the Zoom link.” 

Jammin’ Faith:  A time to enjoy making music focusing on folk, bluegrass and maybe some jazz. 

Bring your guitars, your voice and other instruments that might enhance.  Beginning on Monday, September 20th from 7:30-8:30 pm in Sanctuary.  Kath will send recordings of songs ahead of time so you can figure out how to join in.  Contact Kath if you are willing to try –  Note: if jammin’ time would work better for you from 5:30-6:30 pm on Mondays please communicate that.

Pastor’s adult class will continue to meet via ZOOM.

I’ll be leading us in reading and discussing a book by Prof. Walther Brueggeman, Materiality as Resistance: Five Elements for Moral Action in the Real World.  Dr. Brueggeman has a long career as a biblical scholar and theologian, and while the title sounds a bit academic, the book is written for lay-people and adult study groups. It will be a thought-provoking and biblical reflection on “Real Life,” with chapters on Food, Money, Body, Time and Place.   Copies will be available next week at the church office, or you may certainly order you own hard-copy or Kindle version online if you wish. 

Sept. 12, 2021 (16th Sunday after Pentecost, Year B) Mark 8:35
Jesus taught, “For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?”
Jesus debunks the prevalent lie that the more we accumulate, the happier and more secure we will be. Steward/disciples learn that when we give ourselves fully to God, we save our lives and find true joy.

Creation Care

If your houseplants spent the summer outside, don’t forget to bring them in before it gets too cold. If you don’t have any houseplants, maybe now is a good time to consider getting one or two. Not only do plants brighten up the interior of your home, they will also help clean the air. Since most of us in cooler climates open the windows less frequently in the winter, houseplants can do a lot to improve your indoor air quality. More at Earth911

Our Grace Family