Grace News February 8, 2022

Announcements

New Floor!

Beginning the Week of February 14, the “Balcony Floor Improvement Project” will begin.  The amount of time to install the new cork floor is unknown at this moment, but we will keep you informed of the progress.

Choir and bell practice may be temporarily displaced during this process.

We appreciate your patience!

Souper Bowl Sunday

This Sunday, February 13th, we will collect canned goods and monetary donations for the annual “Souper Bowl of Caring”!

We hope you will participate!  All proceeds to benefit the Lancaster Food Hub, 812 N. Queen St.

Music at Grace Concert ~ March 27th ~ Manor Winds

A Lancaster-based ensemble, Manor Winds is comprised of five musicians who come together to rehearse in a historic farm house on Manor Street. At home in traditional and non-traditional settings, Manor Winds strives for professional performances of both standard and modern wind quintet repertoire.

Manor Winds wishes to share their love of music and collaboration with their surrounding community and can be seen performing throughout southeastern Pennsylvania

Christian Formation

Lent 2022

Reading the Bible Together: Part III

Last week we considered some good reasons to consider committing this Lent to a new habit of reading scripture together, enabling those who stick with their new habit to read the entire Bible in a year. This week, let’s consider some normal objections or barriers to this idea. Why NOT join together with others at Grace to read the Bible through this coming year? What might be standing in your way? What might you need to change to make this a fruitful experience?

1. Not enough time – Fair enough…time is in short supply. Or is it? Let’s ask ourselves, are we all making good use of time? How often are we just spinning our wheels? Or satisfying ourselves in the shallow waters of entertainment? How often are we deliberately “connecting” or at least opening ourselves to God’s presence, to the Spirit’s nudging, to the deeper waters of reflection and curiosity about what our faith is calling us to do and be? There can be time to read scripture if we want there to be!

2. Set up for failure – Just like New Year’s resolutions get left behind by January 15 or so, maybe we’re afraid that we just won’t finish so why bother? I understand that thinking about a whole year seems intimidating, and that setting ourselves up to fail in our faith may in some way feel like even more guilt piling on. But don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good, as they say. Maybe you’ll miss a few days, but there will be time to catch up. Maybe you’ll make it half-way…and resolved to do the rest next year! But envision the goal – taking your knowledge and understanding of the whole of the bible to a higher level, and creating this avenue of connection between ourselves, God and the world and our times. Feeling guilty in advance is an excuse, not a reason!

3. I don’t like reading…I get bored – Again, fair enough. I love to read, but it’s not everyone’s strong suit. The Bible only has 1,189 chapters. Some are quite long (see Psalm 119), while others are quite short (see Psalm 117). Divided by 365, we’ll read just over 3 chapters a day. Even so, there will be boring parts and confusing parts, and obscure parts. But RIGHT THEN – in the darkness of boredom, confusion and obscurity – is when you’re about to learn something! Unless your problem is…

4. I already know a lot about the Bible – Well, bully for you! I know that most of us wouldn’t brag like this out loud, but in our hearts we may be thinking, “I already know God…I already have faith…what more do I REALLY need to know?” One correct answer to that question is, “nothing.” We trust in God’s saving grace; if this is becoming a question about how much is enough, then I think that’s the wrong question to ask. We are not reading the Bible to impress God or jump through a hoop, we are trying to grow through the reading of a story in which every detail is included to somehow point beyond itself to God the Creator, Christ the Savior, God the Spirit of mercy and peace. The infinite God will reveal new things to us no matter how many times we read it: As St. Paul exclaims: “Oh the depth of the wisdom and riches and knowledge of God!” (Romans 11:33)

Next week, we’ll fill you in on what resources (besides the reading schedule) will be available to guide us on this journey through the Bible. Stay tuned, and this week, think about what might be the best pattern for your reading – are you a morning person? Will you read before bedtime? Will you use an audio version and listen while you exercise, or do chores? There are lots of ways to participate. Ponder what would be most fruitful for you!

Peace,

Pastor Verkouw

Adult Sunday School Beginning the First Sunday in Lent, March 6, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

Pastor Steve will use the Lenten Sunday School hour to conduct a new and updated version of his “Discovery Class” – Surprises and Insights from Scripture, Tradition, and Lutheranism and our Ministry at Grace. 

With Pastor Steve’s guidance, participants will deepen their knowledge of the Bible, the long tradition of Christian faith, our “home-turf” Lutheran Confessions, and understand how all these undergird our ministry priorities at Grace Church and in the neighborhood. 

Pastor hopes that both newer folks and Grace veterans will come together for these sessions and be inspired for ministry and life together!

Lent for Children & Families at Grace

Preschool and Early Readers (ages 2.5yrs. – third grade)
Hi! I’m your prayer elephant and I have some fun things for you to do during Lent! 
You will receive an activity book that’s lots of fun.  I’m also giving you prayers to say with your family.  I know we are going to have a very special time together!

P.S.  I need a name—what do you think I should be called?

K-8th grades – Are you ready for the hunt? Students will be receiving  a bible scavenger hunt. Each day of Lent, students will use their clues to find the answers in one of the 39 books of the old testament.  Were you correct? Scratch off the silver sticker with your prayer rock to reveal the answer!

Lenten Retreat

Save the date!  March 25-27  “Come Follow Me” Lenten retreat.

Led by the Rev. Dr. Dave Bushnell and the Rev. Dr. Steve Verkouw

An opportunity designed to have people experience an awareness and renewal of Christian Community and healing and wholeness for all of creation.

Transformed Community: Freed and Empowered For Radical Welcome

The study is based on Romans 12:2. We will meet Tuesdays at 3PM on Zoom please contact Angie Rabbe at graceelcaapd@gmail.com if you are interested in joining this group. Copies of the study can be picked up in the office. Angie can also email you the PDF if you prefer an electronic version. This group begins on March 8.

Feb. 13, 2022 (6th Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C)

Luke 6:20 –Then Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

Why are the poor “blessed” and entranced into the kingdom of God? Emphasizing how wealth can be an obstacle to discipleship, Luke’s gospel challenges us to rethink our relationship to money. What does this passage say to you?

Creation Care

The volume of news and pseudo-science published online every day is stunning. Our exposure to this barrage can lead to declining physical and mental health.

This year set limits. Use the time saved to get outside and walk in nature. Spending just 20 minutes in a park can lift your mood and improve your life satisfaction. Read more here

Our Grace Family

Christian Sympathy

Dear Members of Grace,

We give thanks for the life and witness of Bill Graf, who died Friday, February 4th.  Bill often attended Grace with family members Doris Andrew and Deb Buckwalter when visiting the Lancaster area. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and friends.

Please keep Bill’s family in your prayers.

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