Grace News January 3, 2023

Announcements

New Office Email

Please update your contact information for the church office, the new email address is gracechurch517@gmail.com

Good Gifts/ God’s Global Barnyard

Sunday School children please return your banks ASAP!

Save the Date

Vicki’s Appreciation Party Sunday January 22, 2023

Following the 10:30 service we will gather in the Nolt Auditorium to thank Vicki Mumma for her service and dedication to our congregation.

A Note From Pastor V, our Treasurer and our  Stewardship-Finance Team

Thanks to all who have made offerings and special gifts at the year’s end to support our ministries here at Grace and from here to the community and neighbors around the world. Your offerings at our    Christmas weekend services totaled almost $55,000, with $23,000 of that given toward the Capital  Campaign, and a significant amount also directed toward a number of our outreach ministries at Grace or through the larger church.

The “World Cup of Sharing” appeal has unofficially passed $15,000 – bless you – our goal was $10,000!  We received an extremely generous gift to our endowment in December of nearly $68,000 from a former member of Grace who wished to leave a legacy gift here. Folks have made pledges toward the 2023 budget totaling $385,100, which is 71% of our budget, a good bit higher than recent years.

Thank you for these gifts, signs of your support, generosity, and concerns for our neighbors near and far. Although the Treasurer’s report for year-end will not be complete for a few more weeks, after double-checking for accuracy and reviewing all of our statements, the full picture will published in our Annual Report before the Annual Congregational Meeting in May. If you have any questions, or wish to receive a copy of our monthly Treasurer’s Report by email, please let us know at the office.

Grace Book Group

The members of the Grace Book Group cordially invite you to their next meeting on January 10th at 7PM on Zoom. The format for book group is Books, Coffee, and Conversation. We have different theme each month and we gather to discuss our books on the second Tuesday of the month on Zoom. For the January meeting read either a book you received as Christmas gift or a book of your bookshelf.

For the February meeting (2/7) please read a book by a U.S President or First Lady.

At our meeting in December we read the following YA books:

  • Wonder by R J Palacio
  • Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
  • The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • The Essay: A Novel by Robin Yocum
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thome

Our favorite books of 2022 were:

  • Thistlefoot by Genna Rose Nethercott
  • Famous Father: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein by Jamie Bernstein
  • Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
  • The Bad Muslim Discount by Syed M. Masood
  • Horse by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Endurance by Alfred Lansing
  • Wonder  by R. J. Palacio
  • The Maid by Nina Prose
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley
  • The Cape Doctor by E. J. Levy
  • The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore
  • A World of Curiosities by Louise Penny
  • The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell
  • The Magician by Colm Toibin

We will meet on January 10th at 7PM on Zoom. For the January meeting read either a book you received as Christmas gift or a book of your bookshelf. For the February meeting (2/7) please read a book by a U.S President or First Lady. If you are interested in joining our group please email Brenda Hayasaka at bkhayasaka@gmail.com

Christian Formation

Sunday School Presentations Understanding Autism

Deanna (dee-na) LaMaster is an advocate and mother who dedicates her time to educating adults and children alike about Neurodiversity, specifically Autism. Her work began in a single classroom within the School District of Lancaster’s Carter & MacRae Elementary School and has been rapidly expanding ever since.

She has presented as far as Washington state (Kent School District) and is very proud to have presented in every classroom within Carter & MacRae this past year. She is slated to be a presenter for the School District of Lancaster’s Education Conferences this coming March.

Deanna will be discussing Neurodiversity: the unique ways the human brain works relating to cognition, social and learning settings, attention and mood. Her knowledge base is rooted in       understanding Autism and listening to the Autistic community. Within the course of the presentation, she will discuss different ways to relate to peers with unique minds and how to better understand our own diverse brains!

Deanna will be joining the adult and high school Sunday School class on January 8th, Patti Hartman’s class on January 15th and the Kindergarten/Younger Children’s class on       January 22nd. Sunday School is at 9 AM in the Nolt Auditorium. Hope to see you there!

Weekly Reflection

I discovered that if you really keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it, even such limited and limiting life as the one I was living…opened up onto extra ordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day’s work. Hearing the rain patter against the window.

There is no event so commonplace but that God present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly…If I were ever called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less that in the excitement and   gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.

(from “Life Itself Is Grace,” Listening to Your Life Daily Meditations with Frederick Buechner, Harper Collins 1992, pg. 2.)

Tapestry of Pages Update

Our discussion of The Woman They Could Not Silence begins on January 17, 2023. We will meet at 2:30 PM on Zoom. The book is the true story of Elizabeth Packard who was committed to the Illinois State Hospital by her husband because he felt threatened by her intellect and progressive religious views. If you are interested in joining our group please contact Angie Rabbe at graceelcaapd@gmail.com. 

Christmas Play Thank You From Mrs. Verkouw

Thank you Grace Families for your support and efforts to produce this year’s Christmas play—we really rocked it on Christmas Eve! Twenty-three youth participated and many adults supported. Special big thank yous to:

  • Joel D. and Sebastian Smith who put in the extra time to make it flow,
  • Memory D’Agostino for choosing and accompanying the music,
  • Patti Hartman for directing the rehearsals and figuring out many details,
  • Cindy LaMaster for enhancing our animal costumes,
  • Mark Harman who learned how to manage the sound and lighting from the balcony

At many points in the process it can seem like all the effort will not be worth it – like when the children asked “How much longer is this rehearsal? Who signed us up for this anyway? We need a union!” But then,  it comes together and the spirit blesses us and we are more confident in our efforts…and  then, after all the hubbub of the worship service is over, one child tells her parents, “this is the best night of my life.” My heart is full! Thanks everyone for your efforts to love, teach, and support our kids (and me!) through another wonderful Christmas Play!

Creation Care

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 to the church office! (Dirty caps will be discarded—please wash caps before donating) Thank you for helping to protect our planet!

Our Grace Family