Message of Grace
April 2018 | Vol 11 Issue 4
Articles are due the 15th of the
month preceding publication.
Welcome to Grace Lutheran's eNewsletter!
Sorry about the typo last month in the Easter Service times! Services are at the normal times of 8:00 and 9:30.
Click on the links at the right to view or print the calendar and volunteer schedule , plus you can go directly to our website, Facebook and sites in the ELCA family. If you have anything you would like put in the newsletter, send an email to me at dreamstar_00@msn.com.
 Quick Links
We've added a button to access the new Mobile Directory . Just click on it, enter the access code (if it's the first time) and you're in! We sent you the access code by separate email in February or you can get it at church. Please don't share outside of Grace.
A Word from Pastor Andy
Pastor Andy
To Be Continued...
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid." ~ John 14:27  

What's next? For the last forty days of Lent we have been moving towards Easter. After Easter Sunday is over I cannot help but wonder “What's next?” As I ponder this question I think about what the disciples did after Jesus rose from the dead. You might think that they got to work building churches, feeding the poor or healing the sick. And while they eventually did those things, the first thing they did was hide. After the saw Jesus' crucifixion they lived in fear what might happen to them. Their future was uncertain and they were filled with anxiety.

As we celebrate Easter Sunday, we are left with a feeling of hope and awe. Jesus has overcome sin and given us eternal life. This gives a renewed sense of energy and excitement. As wonderful as this feeling is, it is realistic to assume that these good vibes will wear off. Problems will come up and reasons for worry will invade our thoughts. Life will continue to throw us a variety of challenges.

When the Easter message seems distant it is helpful to remember the disciples hiding in that room. Worrying about what the next step will be and where they will turn. When they felt this way, something miraculous happened. Jesus came to them saying “peace be with you” and opened their hearts. Jesus' message gave them the courage to continue on in their work. As the next few weeks and months roll along Easter Sunday may seem distant. But it is important to remember that Easter is not just a day but is something we can experience daily. When we are locked up in our own places of fear Jesus finds us wherever we are. The risen Christ meets us at our homes, our work or wherever we need him. Offering that same message he did to the disciples, “Peace be with you.”

God's Peace,
Pastor Andy
Holy Week Schedule
 
Ecumenical Good Friday service –12:00 noon – March 30 - here at Grace
 
Good Friday Service – March 30 – 7:00 PM
.
Easter Services - April 1st - 8:00 and 9:30 AM

Easter Breakfast - April 1st - 7:00 - 9:30 AM
Continental Breakfast at 10:30.
Free will offering benefits PADS and the local food pantries in Richmond and Genoa CIty.
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Bits and Pieces from the Church Mouse 
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Happy Easter to all of my friends. Did you know that eggs symbolize the coming of new life in the spring? Easter is on Sunday, April 1 st and I hope it turns out to be egg-ceptional.

Have you noticed the grass is turning green , some trees are budding, the daffodils are popping out and many birds are singing. Spring has sprung and it is like the earth coming alive. God makes our earth beautiful so we are able to enjoy and appreciate it.

If you would like to assist with the Easter Breakfast , please contact Chris Bjorklund at
815-529-0789 The breakfast is delicious with a variety of tasty dishes and desserts! Hop on in as they start serving at 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

The Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m . I heard with my big ears that there will be about 40 crafters. Besides having a craft fair, a bake sale is taking place too. Yummmm… there will be so many good things to nibble on such as cookies, cakes and pies. They will be taking donations of baked goods for the Bake Sale.

Thrivent Community will be hosting a Layette Kit Packing Party event. This event will be assembling basic infant items to be distributed by 1 st Way Life Center to needy families in our local community. It is on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. held at Cunat Office Park, 5400 W. Elm Street, McHenry, IL. If you would like to help with this opportunity and help those in need, please contact Dawn Egan at 815-534-9524 by April 23, 2018. Guess what, (my ears just perked up) - dinner and refreshments will be served. Now you’re talking!!

A big “Thank You” to all of those who donated to the Stuff the Bus . The food pantries really appreciated all of the donations of nonperishable food and paper products. Hummm… Just thinking about all of that food and I could not have one crumb because I could not get into it at all. Oh well, it is going to a good cause.

See you next month and keep on thinking Spring .

Happy Easter to you and your family! 
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Upcoming Events, How You Can Participate
Join us for our 23rd Annual
Easter Breakfast April 1st
Join us for Easter Brunch
Menu
  • Made-to-order omelets
  • Baked ham
  • Pancakes
  • Waffles
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cheesy potatoes
  • Cherry enchiladas
  • Biscuits and gravy
  • Fresh fruit
  • Sweets & treats
  • Beverages
Make plans to join us for worship and our 23rd annual Easter breakfast buffet . Serving from 7:00am until just before 2nd service at 9:30. Can't get there early? After 2nd service we'll have a continental breakfast for you. Bring your family and friends. All proceeds from the free-will offering benefit the local food pantries and PADS homeless ministry. Thanks to Thrivent Financial for their support of this activity so more money can be donated to these great causes.

NOTE: It is NOT necessary to sign up in advance to come for breakfast. The forms in the bulletin are just to help us plan. Please, join us!

We also will need LOTS of help to prepare, cook, serve and clean up. Many hands make light work. If you signed up, thank you! We'll see your there. If you didn't, give us a call and we'll put you to work.
Live Generously!

Contact: Chris Bjorklund at dreamstar_00@msn.com or
call 815-529-0789
Habitat for Humanity News
A small group of Grace Members (Nancy Kepple, Brian Morris & I) , along with a few work friends (Rita from Intermatic and her husband, Alan Henderson) helped out with a painting day for a Habitat home in Cary on Saturday, March 10th. We worked alongside the new homeowner-to-be, Carol and several of her friends. We’re happy to report that the interior painting was completed that day and the projection for Carol and her daughter to move into their new home is sometime in April. It was a productive day, we finished early and it’s always fun to meet prospective homeowners and their family or friends working on the job sites! 

A few reminders of ways to help support Habitat: 

Join the PR Committee which meets the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 5:30 pm at their offices in McHenry (5141 w. Bull Valley Road, Suite B in McHenry – phone: 815-759-9002, ext. 105). If you’re interested in joining, you can reach out directly to Holly Zissman, Director of Development at hzissman@habibatmchenry.org or 815-759-9002. 

Shop or donate items at one of the McHenry County Restores: 

  • Woodstock: 111 S. Eastwood Dr., Woodstock IL 60098
  • McHenry: 5141 Bull Valley Rd, #B, McHenry, IL 60050
Business Hours for shopping are: Wed through Sat from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. For donations and pick-ups only, Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. 

I want to sincerely thank those who’ve reached out to join the list of potential volunteers! 

For any questions or suggestions, please contact Rose McGuire at springgrove.rose@gmail.com or 815.245.0566
Let's play ball!
Join the Grace Softball Team!
Grace is recruiting players for our co-ed softball team . We will be playing in the McHenry Christian Fellowship Softball League.
  • Must be 16 years old to play. Players 55 years and older must have a doctors note (league rules).
  • Games are Monday evenings starting at either 6:30pm, 7:30pm or 8:30pm.
  • Season starts April 23rd or April 30th.
  • For more information or to sign up contact gracelutheransoftball@gmail.com
Outreach Cafe April 22nd
Our next Outreach Café will be on Sunday, April 22nd  from 8:30-9:30. All funds raised will be donated to PADS, Habitat for Humanity, Richmond Food Pantry and our Haiti Mission. Thanks to Thrivent Financial for their support to purchase food and supplies. To help out or donate food, see Tina Peterson. Live Generously!

Outreach Café Contact: Tina Peterson, tinap59@hotmail.com
Stewardship of the Earth
Thanking God for our food
God said [to Adam and Eve], ‘See, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. Genesis 1:29

There’s an old joke about the first-grade teacher who asks her class, “Where do apples come from?” One child speaks up: “From the supermarket!”

We laugh, but the sad truth is that many of us are so far removed from farms that we forget that our food -- every bite -- comes from life, life that God alone created. Yes, farmers sow seeds and care for the plants and trees, but it’s God’s miracle of life that makes them grow. 

As stewards and disciples, we desire to cultivate in ourselves and our communities a deep appreciation for all God provides us, particularly what we need to live. With every mouthful at every meal we thank God for our daily bread, and for the soil, air and water that sustains life. 

  • Easter and springtime are perfect occasions to celebrate God’s miracle of life that gives us fruit, vegetables, grains, meat, fish and dairy foods. Here are some ideas:
  • In saying mealtime grace, thank God not only for food, but also for the cycles of seedtime, growth and harvest. Thank God for life-nourishing soil, water and air.
  • While eating discuss or ponder the origins of the variety of food on your plate. How and where are the plants grown or animals raised? How do they get to your kitchen?
  • As a church or family, celebrate Earth Day (Sunday, April 22) by learning about food production and how climate change, pollution and economics impact our food supply.  
  • Celebrate Earth Day by planting a garden in your yard or community garden on church grounds.
  • Learn about nutrition -- what foods are the best and worst for us, and why. Promote healthy eating. Find out more at www.usda.gov/topics/food-and-nutrition/dietary-health
  • Did you know that about 33% of food in the US is wasted? Learn about food waste in our culture and take steps to reduce it in your home. See www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/faqs.htm for more information.
  • At church, reserve a Sunday for a special service highlighting creation and food. Maybe “Blessing of the Seeds,” or the ancient “Rogation Sunday” ritual.

We live in a culture where food is all around us all the time. As steward-disciples, we want to be sure not to take even a mouthful for granted. 
Copyright © 2018, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted with permission.

Stewardship: “Everything we do after we say I Believe.”

~Ray Yoder
Bible Study Opportunities
Women's Friendship & Faith Monthly Bible Study
Won't you join us for a once-monthly Bible Study, open to all women who want to grow in faith and share fellowship with other amazing women.
When: Second Monday of the month at 7pm at the church. Cost: $6 for the book. We are using Max Lucado’s Life Lessons Series to study the Book of Acts. Our next session is April 9th. We will read about how the earliest Christians were transformed by their faith. We will also look at our own lives and see how knowing Christ can transform us.

Please contact the church office or Thorey Ellis at (815)276-2456 to sign up so we have enough materials.

Divorce Care Sessions Continue
We meet Thursdays at 6:30pm. If anyone is interested in becoming a leader, please call the office. Contact: Linda Davis 815-347-5982

Divorce Care Recovery Support Groups -  More information
Women of the ELCA - WELCA
HAPPY EASTER - Don’t give up – spring is right around the corner, buds are popping out on branches and robins are around and chirping. Following Easter, the weather should be milder and warmer preparing us for spring and summer events.
- we led our last meeting in March with devotions given by Lynn Jambor followed by reading of the minutes of our February meeting by Rita Popenhagen. Sandy Yoder, Treasurer, gave her report followed by Committee members giving their reports. 
- Pastor Andy was our guest speaker. He gave us an overview of how the various groups can work together and thrive to benefit all. A question and answer period followed. A lot of information was gathered by all.
- the remainder of the meeting concentrated mainly on our Craft/Vendor/Bake Sales set for Saturday, April 21st from 9:am – 3pm. Road signs will be placed in strategic traffic areas advertising our fair. Advertisements will be appearing in local newspapers. 
 - the bake sale is LOOKING FOR DONATIONS of cakes, pies, cookies, breads, etc. for our bake sale. Bring to church Friday evening (April 20th) or Saturday morning marked ‘Bake Sale’ along with your name, what it is and if any nuts are in the baked item. Please put your name on the bottom of your dish if you wish it returned. PLEASE , no paper name and address stickers. Mark with a marking pen. 
 - remember, a light lunch may be purchased at any time during the Craft Fair.
 - several other details will be finalized at our meeting. Most of the help needed has been assigned. 
 - a reminder that the Northern Illinois Synod Retreat for WELCA will be held on Saturday, April 28th in Oregon, Illinois. Anyone wishing to attend or needs a ride, please let Sandy Messick know @ 815-354-6521. 
 - our next meeting will be on Monday, April 9th at 1:00pm in Luther Hall or the Sunshine Room. The main order of business will be finalizing plans for the Craft/Vendor Fair. Our hostesses will be Chris Hammerstrom and Lois Randall who will be serving coffee and dessert. Upon adjournment of our meeting we will be eating our lunch (BYO) sandwich, soup, salad or fruit. Socializing ends our meeting and gives any new members a chance to see and hear what we are all about. Please come and share your thoughts and ideas with us. 

All ladies of Grace are welcome to our meetings.
If you need a ride, please contact Sandy Messick at 815-354-6521.
Remember –
- continue to support PADS with new or slightly used clothing (socks, hats, gloves, scarves, underwear or gift cards to McDonalds or Burger King) that provides for the homeless and less fortunate in McHenry County. Curt Bjorklund is in charge of PADS. Drop off donations may be put in Luther Hall by the freezers with PADS clearly marked on the box or bag. Curt may be reached @ 815-529-7746 for further information. April will be the last month that Grace will be providing dinners until October.   
- continue to provide your Richter Market Place receipts into the container provided. The sticker ‘Funds for Friends’ must be placed on the back of your receipt in order to receive credit, which is 1 cent on every dollar spent. It all adds up so please save for this worthy cause.
- if you do not know where to drop off a donation, please ask anyone serving coffee or someone you know. 
- continue to support our Building Fund Campaign – we are getting there!

Help Wanted -
- Jan Heynis is always looking for volunteers for the Altar Committee. Contact Jan if you can serve.
- Can you help with our Coffee Service? Sign-up sheets are on the revolving board.

Thanks –
- do you ever wonder how the coffee service and the Café Breakfasts seem to just happen? Well, without your support this would not be happening. Your free-will donations HELP to defray the cost of supplies needed. Someone has to take time to go and buy or donate the supplies (coffee, milk, cream, juice, cups, plates, napkins, etc.) and bring to church. The same is true with our Café Breakfasts only on a bigger scale. All the food is bought or donated and brought to the church and cooked if necessary. Some of the food and supplies must be picked up or purchased by Tina or Dean Peterson, who head the Café Breakfasts and some is funded by Thrivent Action Team money. Every penny of the free-will offerings is donated to our missions. None of the monies collected pay for time and expenses incurred by the volunteers. Volunteers are at the church on café Sundays at 6:00am preparing the breakfast you enjoy. Some are busy on Saturdays shopping or preparing the food. Just thought you needed a reminder. I know I did. If you wish to help or donate, please see Tina or Dean or Jan Heynis who heads our coffee service. 
- we at Grace are fortunate to have so many willing to give and work behind the scenes. THANK YOU.
- to our armed forces men and women who continue to serve our country. Many are veterans who served in past wars and conflicts – many with their lives. Many are away from home, family and loved ones. We are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy today and will continue to protect and stand up for the USA.
REMEMBER OUR SERVICEMEN, WOMEN AND VETS. GOD BLESS AMERICA!
February Giving: $13,074; Average Attendance per Sunday: 132