e-newsletter and
Friday Message from Pastor Aaron
Grace Abounds!

The celebration of Easter Sunday is over, but the celebration of Easter is NEVER over for Christians! God sent His only Son, Jesus - the greatest Gift ever given, to die a horrible death on the cross taking ALL of our sins upon Himself so that we may spend eternity with Him in heaven. Why? Why would God sacrifice His own Son for us, miserable sinners? There is only one answer: LOVE!  "For God so loved the world...He gave His only Son." John 3:16.  Did we deserve this sacrifice? Heavens NO! We are sinful and unclean, but God loved us so much He provides us with HIS grace – the grace to be saved through the death of one perfect final offering, Jesus Christ – atonement!
 
One of the most well-known contemporary Christian authors, Max Lucado, puts it this way:
 
Grace is God's best idea. Rather than tell us to change, He creates the change. Do we clean up so He can accept us? No, He accepts us and begins cleaning us up. Grace is God as heart surgeon, cracking open your chest, removing your heart - poisoned as it is with pride and pain - and replacing it with His own. His dream isn't just to get you into heaven but to get heaven into you. What a difference this makes! Can't forgive your enemy? Can't face tomorrow? Can't forgive your past? Christ can, and He is on the move, aggressively nudging you from graceless to grace-shaped living. The gift-given giving gifts. Forgiven people forgiving people. Deep sighs of relief. Stumbles aplenty, but despair seldom. Grace is everything to Jesus. Grace lives because He does, works because He works, and matters because He matters. He placed a term limit on sin and danced a victory jig in a graveyard. To be saved by grace is to be saved by HIM - not by an idea, doctrine, creed or church membership, but by Jesus Himself.
(Published in PSD School Ministries Connections 4/15/20)
A message from Pastor Aaron
and Jack Anderson, Congregation President
4/17/2020

Dear Grace Families:

The purpose of this message is to update you on the actions being taken by the Grace staff and Administrative Council, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus is primarily on the financial needs and the proactive steps we are taking to address them. A separate message focused on Grace’s Ministry needs and actions will be communicated soon.
To this end, the key areas and actions we are addressing include:

1.       Cash Flow Assessment:
  • We have been maintaining a positive Cash Flow to date and are current with our financial obligations
  • We have consolidated several Grace accounts to give us access to needed cash
  • Plate giving has been steady to date

2.       Assessment of Grace ministries/schools and the financial resources needed for their continued operation:
  • After thoughtful consideration and open discussion, some part time employees have been laid off, and selected hourly, benefitted employees have been furloughed.
  • The Grace staff has reached-out to affected employees and supported their applications for unemployment benefits under government programs.

3.       Information from the Pacific Southwest District and LCMS Synodical resources:
  • We participated in several webinars to gain insight into available resources for our ministry.
  • All of these resources strongly encouraged churches to act swiftly in seeking support available through the stimulus programs available from our government.

4.       Consistent with our by-laws, the Admin. Council has completed applications for available funding:
  • Loan opportunities available from the Lutheran Church Extension Fund
  • The Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program financed by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

5.       Implications of Financial Decisions:
  • As we consider the availability and use of these financial opportunities, the Council remains strongly aware of, and concerned about increasing our debt. We have approved a policy that no debt will be incurred without the unanimous approval by the Administrative Council along with a representative of the Elders.
  • One of the financing measures that we are seeking enables the repayment of funds to be forgiven if all of the proceeds are expended according to the program guidelines by June 30, 2020. Our assessment is that we can meet these requirements; this financing then becomes a grant, requiring no repayment.

6.       Plate giving: February: $49,740, March: $50,243, April to date: $10,961 (We are trending to budget YTD)

A special thank you is extended to a leadership team of Pastor Aaron, Ben Elliott, Patti McDonald, Bob Ness and Jack Anderson who have worked tirelessly to assess Grace’s ministries, the employees that serve at Grace and the financial resources we have available to sustain our ministry efforts. With the efforts of this team, and the active participation by the Grace Administrative Council (two electronic meetings in the last 10 days) we have set in motion the above-listed plans.

What can you do?
  1. Pray: We ask your continued prayers for Grace, her ministries and the people that serve with us; as well as prayers for those afflicted by the virus pandemic and all of those serving tirelessly to combat this disease.
  2. Stay well: Take care of yourself and your family. Practice all the CDC guidelines for being safe & healthy during this crisis.
  3. Give: We ask that you continue to support the ministry at Grace through your consistent giving. If you need information about online giving, please contact Yoke at 760-745-0832, ext.7113.
  4. Communicate: Let us know what you need, how you are doing and any special requests you may have. (Financial or otherwise) We have resources and ministries available to help, such as Helping Hands, and other means.

Our prayerful consideration of Grace’s ministries has been sustained through our trust in Jesus’ reassurances to us in John 16:33 : “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Blessings,
Pastor Aaron, Ben Elliott, and Church Council
Friday Message From Pastor Aaron
Consider...
For information and to stay up to date with Grace, please check your your email, our websites and Facebook regularly.

Please note: Temporary Church Office Hours are Monday and Thursday 8am-noon. Besides online giving or mailing your tithing via US Mail, giving envelopes can also be dropped off by sliding them under the door when the office is closed.
Prayer requests are gladly received and will be published on Mondays. Please email all prayer requests to  ytanko@gracelcms.net  by Sunday evening.

Our school office is temporarily closed but we are available by phone or email. Please call 760-747-3029 or email Kara at kwarner@gracelcms.net or Michelle at mquezada@gracelcms.net