Message of Grace
October 2017 | Vol 10 Issue 10
Articles are due the 15th of the
month preceding publication.
Welcome to Grace Lutheran's eNewsletter!
Welcome back! 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
 Quick Links
A Word from Pastor Andy
Pastor Andy
If you weren't able to get your photo taken in June, you have another chance October 16 and 17th .

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
- Matthew 11:28  

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I find the cooler weather refreshing after a hot summer. My favorite activities take place during autumn. I am a huge football fan and I enjoy hotter drinks like tea and coffee. I also find fall to be a very peaceful time of year. I enjoy seeing nature transition into a season of rest after a summer full of activity. In many ways it seems that nature is getting ready to relax.

Rest and relaxation are hard-wired into us. The average person sleeps 24 years throughout their entire life. Before electricity most people slept about ten hours a day. Yet with electricity, coffee and alarm clocks we push ourselves to limit our rest to as little as possible. Believing that what makes us busy is so important, taking care of ourselves comes second. It's times like these that I remember the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” The word Sabbath literally means rest. Resting is not simply a good idea, it's something God commands. I think God values rest so much because it helps us remember that no matter how hard we try, we can't do and be everything. That at the end of the day “we have to let go and let God.” We must open ourselves each and every day to what God wants to do through us. Then, trusting that what we cannot complete, God will take care of in His own time. 

In Christ,
Pastor Andy
Last Chance This Year to Get in the Directory!
We chose to go with the smaller community directory which allows us to update the directory as other members take photographs. This means each member who participated this summer will receive an updated directory when fall sittings are complete.

There is still time to sign up for the next round of portrait sittings on Monday, October 16 and Tuesday, October 17 from 2-9 p.m. You can sign up in the Narthex after church on Sundays or sign up online at

Bits and Pieces from The Church Mouse 
Hello Friends, 

Hmmm…pumpkins, apple cider, trees turning colors and putting on a sweater. Well, I guess it is that time of year where the temperature is getting cooler. I love this time of year. God certainly is a great artist.

A friend of mine told me this and I would like to share it with you:
We tend to think of blessings in terms of prosperity rather than the high-quality relationships God makes possible for us. No matter what our economic situation, we can love and respect the people God has brought into our lives. In so doing, we give and receive blessings. Love is the greatest blessing.

If you are looking to volunteer, PADS is looking for you. There are many ways you are able to assist. You could help out with making food, set up, clean up or chaperoning. The first night will be October 6th at St. Joseph’s Church . They serve the first Thursday of every month from October through April. If you would like more information, please contact Curt Bjorklund at 815-529-7746.

Have you seen the Library yet? If not, you need to take a look because it looks wonderful. Thank you to the “Davis Family” for all of your efforts in making our church look so welcoming.

Oh boy, oh boy! Trunk or Treat is back on October 21st from 5:30-7 . There will be so much candy and other goodies - I'm sure some will make its way down to me and my friends. Of course we wouldn't want to SCARE anyone, so we'll wait until the party is over to clean up. Bring an item for the food pantry if you can.

The Richmond/Spring Grove Food Pantry always appreciates the donations they receive and they send their “thank you” to you in advance.

See you next month and stay warm!
Upcoming Events, How You Can Participate
2017 Capital Campaign Information
  • The potholes and cracks in the upper parking lot? The poor condition of the lot makes it difficult to navigate and there are several drainage issues that need to be addressed.
  • The chipped concrete pads at both entrances? The poor drainage has resulted in chipping and icing issues at both entrances.
  • The dark parking lot and signs last winter? The electrical wiring running to the signs and parking lot lights is in poor condition and shorts out leaving the signs and lots dark. 
  • The loose tiles in the Sanctuary? The Sanctuary was tiled in 1969 and many tiles are now loose causing a hazard.

We are blessed to have a beautiful and inspiring place to worship and to proclaim the Gospel, to meet the needs of our church family and to serve the community. However, the issues listed above adversely impact our mission and ministry and must be repaired. 

The needed repairs are estimated to cost $140,000. Because these projects don’t fit well into the annual operating budget, a Capital Improvements Campaign was announced on Sunday, September 17. The funds raised will be used to correct these issues during the fall of 2017 and spring of 2018 as weather permits. 

As of September 24, we have raised $59,481 toward this goal. Please prayerfully consider donating, as you are able, toward this special campaign, above and beyond your regular offerings. Donations can be made through the Building Fund envelope included with your offering envelopes. Extra envelopes are available in the Narthex. Checks can also be made out to Grace Lutheran Church and mailed to the office – please clearly mark ‘Capital Improvements Fund’ on your check.

If you have questions about the campaign, members of the committee will be available in Luther Hall following each service throughout the campaign. The committee can also be reached by phone or email: Ron Erdmann: 815-861-9925, ; Bob Ketelsen: 630-319-5825, ; Sandy Yoder: 815-581-3202, .

Thank you for helping to keep Grace a safe and welcoming place for our community to gather!
Trunk or Treat Saturday October 21- 5:30-7pm
Decorate your trunk or van, load it up with treats and come on over to Grace October 21st for Trunk or Treat! Dozens of children will show up to admire your costumes and Halloween decorations and of course collect a few treats. Or just bring your kids, grandkids, neighbors' kids and have some fun! We'll have food and prizes too. No admission but please bring a non-perishable food item for the Richmond Food Pantry if you can. 'Treating' starts at 5:30 until 7:00.
RINGS Youth Fall Schedule

October 8th at Grace – Richardson's Con Maze

October 22nd – Leaf Raking

November 12th – Carthage College Visit

November 26th at St. John's - TBA

December 10th – Christmas Party @ Grace
Join us for Sunday School at 9:30. We start in the Sanctuary and after the Children's Sermon, go to Luther Hall for the lesson and come back in time for Communion.
To sign up for Sunday School, call the church office (815-678-3082).
Cafe to Benefit Lutheran Disaster Response
Join us for Outreach Cafe October 22nd
Our next Outreach Café will be on Sunday, October 22nd  from 8:30-9:30. This month the Cafe will be used to benefit those affected by recent hurricanes and wildfires. To help out or donate food, see Tina Peterson. Live Generously!
Outreach Café Contact: Tina Peterson,,
Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, wildfires out west, tropical storms, flooding...
We invite you to stand by our neighbors affected by recent events. Your gifts ensure that our church will be able to provide help and hope for those left homeless or otherwise affected by these disasters for years to come. The Outreach Cafe October 22nd will go entirely toward Disaster Response. We hope you will come to share a meal and offer whatever help you can. Thrivent Financial is covering most or all of the costs through their Action Team program.

Breakfast and brunch items will be served from 8:30-9:30 in Fellowship Hall.

You can also donate directly to Lutheran Disaster Response by clicking the button below.
Habitat for Humanity, McHenry County Update
Feel free to reach out to me with your contact details (phone and email) if you would like to be on a tentative list for a group day at one of the homes so I could coordinate a date for us! Also if you would like to volunteer and have any friends / family who would like to be included on the day, that is absolutely OK! ( Rose McGuire, or 815-245-0566)  Thank you! 
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 will use Max Lucado’s Life Lessons Series to study the Book of Acts beginning October 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 Thursdays at 6:30 pm
Divorce Care meetings continue through November 16th . You're always welcome. 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
- The WELCA ladies had their first meeting the beginning of September after their summer break. They are excited about getting an agenda together and many suggestions were discussed. Hopefully, we will be able to confirm our plans.
- Firstly, we were fortunate to have Gina, a speaker from PADS, along with Curt Bjorklund the head of the PADS program here at Grace, address our group and answer questions that we had. Gina was very informative, interesting and enlightened us about the homeless we have in McHenry County and the issues they face and how we can help them. 
- The meeting continued with discussions about a future bake sale sometime in the fall. Nothing final was decided and the issue was tabled.
- The WELCA women voted to contribute to the Capital Improvements Campaign which will start September 17th and end on October 22nd. The Property Committee has given the church three – four urgent safety and security improvements needed totaling $140,000. Ron Erdmann and Pastor have addressed this issue with the congregation after a recent Sunday service and a letter explaining this urgency has been sent out to the congregation. 
- A Farewell Luncheon was held at Crandal’s for Marga Burbatt who has moved to Michigan to be closer to her family. The WELCA women of the church will miss Marga as she has been a remarkable leader handling so many functions. Rita Popenhagen and Carol Heuer have accepted the job of handling our funeral luncheons now that Marga is no longer with us. Ann Katzenberg and Carol Steadman will do the calling for getting the donated food items – and Sandy Messick will be getting names of women to sign up to bring either salad or baked goods for the luncheons. 
- Now that our meetings start at 1:00pm perhaps there are some women who can now join us. We would welcome some new-fresh ideas and suggestions. So, come and join us. The next meeting will be held on Monday, October 9th at 1:00pm in Luther Hall. Our hostess will be Joan Rzonca who will be serving coffee and dessert. If you wish to bring a light lunch of soup, salad, fruit or a sandwich, there will be time for socializing after our meeting which adjourns somewhere between 2:00 – 2:30pm. If you need a ride to and from church please let Carol Heuer know and she will arrange a ride for you. She can be reached at 815-678-7516. 
Remember –
- PADS helps the homeless by providing dinners, shelter, clothing and other necessities. Now that the cooler/colder weather is upon us, the need for warmer clothing items are most needed. Collections of socks, underwear, hats, gloves, pants, jackets, boots and personal items are most welcome. Don’t forget flashlights and batteries. Remember, there are women who are also homeless and need warm clothing. Gift certificates to McDonald’s or Burger King are most welcome as they provide food and a place to spend some time. If you have any questions see or call Curt Bjorklund who heads PADS for our church. 
- A box is provided in the vestibule for canned goods, staples or clothing you may wish to bring to church on Sunday. 
- there is Sunday School for young children after Pastor delivers the children’s sermon during the late service after which children go to their respective rooms for their classes. 
- in case you have not had your pictures taken for our new church directory, there will be two dates in October for pictures to be taken. Monday, October 16th and Tuesday the 17th from 2:00pm – 9:00pm. Call Thorey Ellis at 815-276-2456 for an appointment or sign up for your time after Sunday service. 

Thanks –
- to Rita Popenhagen who agreed to continue to purchase the Baptismal bibles for children being baptized.
- to Ann Katzenberg who once again volunteered to set up WELCA’s Christmas luncheon at Crandalls in Hebron.
- to Bob and Linda Ketelsen who will be moving to Arizona sometime this October. Bob and Linda have been active in every phase of our church functions which are too many to mention. They will surely be missed for all the work and kindnesses they gave to all at Grace.
- to our men and women who serve in our armed forces who sacrifice their lives for our country’s freedom and rights. Remember and give thanks for all they give the people of our great country. Many are in distant lands and away from loved ones, family and friends to protect us. Now more than ever let us pray for our country.
August Giving: $16,688 Average Attendance per Sunday: 136