Grace News August 16, 2022

From Pastor Verkouw

Historians can tell lots of stories about bridges between Wrightsville and Columbia, PA!  Three of the efforts are visible in this amazing picture taken Aug. 1, when a quiet morning allowed the river to settle into a clear mirror image of the Rt. 30 bridge (1972), the concrete Veterans Memorial bridge (1930) and the tree-covered piers of the second Iron Bridge (1897) which carried trains, carriages and pedestrians across the mighty Susquehanna.  Before that were wooden bridges, first built in 1814 and destroyed 18 years later by ice and high water, then rebuilt by 1834…both were the longest covered bridges in the world.  The second was famously burned in 1863 to prevent the Confederate Army from crossing the river during the Civil War.

Veterans Memorial Bridge (Wrightsville) photo by Grace friend,
Joe Deerin

There aren’t any actual bridges that I know of mentioned in Holy Scripture…yes, I googled it! Yet bridges resonate with so many biblical ideas – connection, journey, overcoming danger, promises. The Columbia-Wrightsville bridges  connected one side of the river to another, but they’ve also connected the past (the developing East Coast) with the future (the expanding frontier across the Susquehanna).

This week, your church connected a desperate family of 10 (soon to be 11) refugees from Cuba with hope for a new life in Lancaster, helping them cross a bridge from an island ravaged by so much hardship to one of our apartments that is filling up, literally, with hope and possibility as I write these words.  Thank you for your love of neighbors, for your donations; thank you for your trust in supporting ministries like LHANDS, thank you for building bridges in a world that often burns them.  Thank you for sharing the love of God, embodied in Jesus, poured out by the Spirit, that fills our hearts and lives. 

–Pastor Steve Verkouw 


Worship Volunteers Needed

As we begin the journey back to a “normal” worship schedule, we need volunteers to: read the lessons, assist Pastor with communion, set up and clean up communion, sound and camera operators, ushers, and greeters. Have helped in the past— or would like to?  All are welcome! Please call the office at 717-397-2748 to volunteer!


Look for Summer sales to complete your LWR kits!  Ingathering October 1&2, 2022

School Kits

  • Four 70-80 sheet notebooks (280-300 sheets total) of wide or college-ruled paper approximately 8” x 10 ½ ”, no loose leaf paper
  • One 30-centimeter ruler, or a ruler with centimeters on one side and inches on the other
  • One pencil sharpener
  • One pair of blunt scissors (safety scissors with embedded steel blades work well)
  • Five unsharpened #2 pencils with erasers; secure together with a rubber band
  • Five black or blue ballpoint pens (no gel ink); secure together with a rubber band
  • One box of 16 or 24 crayons
  • One 2 ½” eraser

Health Kits

  • One light-weight bath size towel (between 20” x 40” and 52” x 27”), dark color
  • Two or three bath-size bars of soap equaling 8 to 9 oz, any brand, in original wrapping
  • One adult-size toothbrush in its original wrapping
  • One metal nail clippers (attached file optional), remove packaging

Winter Outerwear Items For Community Meal

Beginning this week we will begin collecting winter outerwear items for our community meal. This ministry has taken many different forms over the years. This year we will be putting together bags filled with winter outerwear and winter necessities for our community meal participants.

We would like to fill the bags with hats, scarves, gloves or mittens, socks, granola bars, lotion, lip balm, and hand sanitizer. Our goal is to create 100 bags. We will also be collecting feminine hygiene products to make bags for the folks who need them.

Beginning Sunday you will be able to take a card from the giving tree which is located on the bulletin board across from the donation station in the Nolt Auditorium. All items need to be donated by Sunday, October 30. We will pack the bags the week of November 7. The bags will be distributed at Community Meal on November 16. We will need volunteers to help organize donations, pack the bags, and distribute the bags.

If you are interested in volunteering or have any questions please email Angie Rabbe at Watch the Grace News for more information on this ministry as we move into the fall. 

Christian Formation

Tapestry of Pages: New Book Beginning in September

Join us Tuesdays at 3PM via Zoom for a discussion of Made For Goodness by Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu.

In this book the dynamic father and daughter duo discuss their deeply held belief that humanity is made for goodness, “We are fundamentally good…If wrong was the norm it wouldn’t be news…The norm is goodness” (p.5).

The book combines theology, poetry, prayer, and lived experience in a way that will challenge us to think about what beliefs we hold as both individuals and a community about human nature, our relationship with God, and free will. For the first meeting on 9/13 please read the preface- chapter three.
If you would like to join this group please email Angie Rabbe at

Grace Book Group September Meeting

Our next book group meeting is September 13th at 7PM on Zoom – we would love for you to join us! For this month’s meeting we are reading banned and challenged books because September 18th is Banned Books Week. You can find lists of banned and challenged books here. For additional info contact Brenda Hayasaka at

Save the Date

Rally Day—Sunday September 11, 2022 9:00 a.m. in Nolt Auditorium… the beginning of the Christian Education year.

Creation Care

This Week’s Green Tip

Planting times vary depending on your location, but a general rule is that in the northern part of the country, most winter crops get planted in late July and August. In the southern US, extend that window as far as October. Read more here

Cap Collection Continues

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 in the office

Our Grace Family