Message of Grace
August 2018 | Vol 11 Issue 8
Articles are due the 15th of the
month preceding publication.
Welcome to Grace Lutheran's eNewsletter!
Don't forget VBS Aug 6-10
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
Access the Mobile Directory by clicking on the button at left, 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
This time we are filling it with school supplies! Please bring any supplies you want…pencils, markers, folders, back packs, paper, rulers, anything a student could use.
We will be collecting items until Sunday, August 12 th . (The Mouse has a few tips to help you know what to get.)
Thank you so much for caring!
The End of Summer
“Life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans.”
-John Lennon

With the start of August I hear one thing over and over again. “Is it August already? Summer is already over?” This month seems to be the one where we “catch up” on all the things we meant to do the last few months and get ready for another fall season. Kids are preparing to go back to school, families try to take one last vacation and we all start remembering that cooler weather is right around the corner.
The surprising start of August reminds us that life moves fast - faster than most of us would like. It makes me think of the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus went to a village and there lived two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha went to great lengths to make sure everything was perfect for Jesus' visit. While Martha was busy working and cleaning she noticed that Mary was listening to Jesus and not helping. Martha began scolding Mary when Jesus stopped her and said Mary has chosen the better thing to do.
It makes us wonder why Jesus was critical of Martha and not Mary? Doesn’t Jesus want us to be responsible? Of course Jesus wants us to be responsible. But this gospel is meant to show us life is about more than moving from one day to the next. Life is about more than crossing things off our to-do list. God created us so that we “might have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) So this month do more than just make plans for the next month. Find ways to live more fully and appreciate the gift of life God has given you. Life becomes more manageable, and frankly more beautiful, when we live one day at a time. In other words, enjoy the end of your summer!

Yours in Christ,
Pastor Andy
People of Praise Choir Meet and Greet New Director
Danielle Cairoli , our new pianist and choir director, is planning a Meet and Greet after the 9:30 service on August 12 to meet as many current and prospective choir members as possible before rehearsals start in September. If you have any interest in singing with the choir, please come. Hope to see you there!

The first rehearsal will be on Monday, September 10 at 7:00 pm.

Danielle is looking for secondary pianists/accompanists to help cover services. Please see the attached recruiting flier . Feel free to pass this along to anyone who might be interested.
We'd also like to thank Kristin Lundine Miller for her service as musician and choir director since last fall. She'll be with us a few more times in August and then Danielle will take over. Kristin did a wonderful job, from playing for worship services, directing the choir, singing and her amazing performance at the Nelson Family Benefit. (If you missed it or want to see it again, it was recorded live and is on Facebook.) We'll miss you, Kristin, and wish you God's blessings!
Have You Tried Electronic Giving Yet? It's Easy
Grace Lutheran Church has implemented a new ACH contribution feature to our stewardship program. This program will allow members to make their weekly or monthly contributions electronically without the need to write checks. This program is administered by our own local bank and is safe, secure and confidential. You can fill out a form available here , on the website or at the welcome desk in the Narthex and return it to the church office or place in a collection plate.

This new program is completely voluntary and has been instituted as a result of many comments from our recent focus discussions with our members. This will allow you to make regular donations automatically even when you miss a Sunday worship session due to vacation or other reasons. If you have any questions, please contact the church office or Jon Petersen, 815-790-5934.

Download and print the form here. Fill it out and return with a voided check to the church office. Please note that if you wish to donate to the building fund or other specific causes you will need to write a check or use cash as before.
Summer Gardens Full of Color and Texture!
Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped lay over 30 yards of mulch this month around the trees and all our landscaped beds. It's been a tough year for the gardeners this year --first with the rain, then delays of the new pavement install and now the heat. But thanks to our gardeners and the many volunteers in July who helped with the mulching, the gardens are looking very nice once again.

This month we are highlighting three more gardens and their volunteers.

Doreen Niederhofer cares for the garden leading to the hall kitchen entrance on the south side. She joined Grace 4 years ago and has participated in many volunteer opportunities. She and her husband live in Johnsburg and have two children and three grandchildren.
Doreen's garden
Doreen's Garden
Corey and Dawn Weinfurtner have been members of Grace more than 10 yrs and have sponsored one of the gardens for the last five years. He cares for the garden on the North entrance to the child care center. Corey is currently property ministry chairman of the newly formed team of volunteers caring for the property. Corey and Dawn just celebrated 25 years of wedded bliss and have two children, Owen 12 and Erynn 11. Corey is a chiropractor in McHenry and has been there since 2003.

Joan Rzonca cares for the bell garden located on the North entrance. She and Rick have been married for 65 years and have 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Joan retired from Abbott Laboratories in 1998 and they have been members of Grace since 1972. Both Joan and Rick have been very active in our church and the community as volunteers. Joan is one of the founding members of the WELCA (women’s church group) and she started the WELCA shawl program which crochets lap blankets, hats and baby clothes for cancer patients available through the McHenry Hospital and Grace. She and Rick have been Hospital volunteers for 15 years and are also active in many community senior groups. Rick has also served on the Property Committee for many years. Joan is also one of the very active Fellowship volunteers on Sunday serving refreshments after and between services, as well as furnishing bacon and juice for Outreach cafe.

If you are interested in the Adopt-A-Garden program or have questions, please contact Deborah Billig or 815-271-5342. 
Corey's garden
Corey's Garden
Joan's garden
Joan's Garden
Grace Softball Team Wraps up 1st Season!
Let's play ball!
Our first season is over and even though we only won a couple of games, we learned a lot about functioning as a team. We had some pretty sore muscles and found out that a warm-up stretch really helped. N o matter the final score we always had good words of support from our teammates plus we had a lot of FUN! Thanks to those who came each week to cheer us on. We hope we can do it again next year.
Upcoming Events, How You Can Participate
Outreach Cafe August 26th
Our next Outreach Café will be on Sunday, August 26th  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,
Will you wear a Hawaiian Shirt to church?
Some of our members wore their Hawaiian shirts during the month of May. It was so much fun that we have decided to repeat this during the remainder of the summer. Please join us as we show our Aloha spirit by wearing your finest Hawaiian shirts to church in August. 
PADS - Thanks for your help for the homeless
Thanks to your generosity we've donated about 10 cans of bug spray, but summer isn't over yet! We'll still get some very HOT, muggy weather and the mosquitoes are not giving up. Many of our homeless pitch tents during the summer. If you've ever spent time outside in the summer, you know how miserable those mosquitoes can be - but you probably have repellent on hand or can choose to go inside. They often don't have a place to go to get away from the heat and mosquitoes. You can help by donating insect repellent and mosquito netting. If you can, please leave it on the left hand freezer in Luther Hall and Curt will get it to them. They really appreciate it.

They are always in need of NEW underwear, t-shirts and socks for both men and women. Please do NOT bring used clothing - they don't have any room to store them and neither does the church.

Thank you for your continued support.

Curt Bjorklund, or call 815-529-7746
Vacation Bible School Aug 6-10 - Join Us!
Vacation Bible School (VBS) will be held from 9:00 am to 11:00 am each day from August 6 through August 10. The theme this year is “Shipwrecked: How Jesus anchors us through life’s storms.”

VBS is open to kids from age 4 to those entering 5th grade.

If you can help for even one day, we can use you! Contact the church office (815-678-3082) or email Pastor Andy ( ) for more information.
Women of the ELCA, Northern Illinois Synod, Convention September 22nd
Join us on September 22nd for the Convention of the Northern Illinois Synod Women's organization (WELCA). It will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Harvard, IL (just a short distance for us). If you've ever wondered about the role of women in the Synod, this event is an opportunity for you to learn about and worship with other Lutheran women.

Any women of Grace are welcome to attend, as we are all members of WELCA. For more information, contact Sandy Messick. 815 354 6521 or
Stewardship of our Resouces
Cheerful Giving
For God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:7
A little girl came home from school one day and told her mother that her class was collecting food for kids who were hungry. Excited about the project, the girl ran into the kitchen and opened the pantry. Her mother sighed and followed, thinking about what they could give. There were those two cans of vegetables they would probably never use, that old box of muffin mix, and those packages of noodles that they tried but did not like. When she entered the kitchen, she saw the girl was already busy pulling things from the pantry. There was peanut butter and jelly, a box of the girl’s favorite breakfast cereal, and cans of ravioli that she really liked. Surprised, the mother asked, “Why are you giving away all the food you like?” “Because these kids are HUNGRY, Mom”, the girl answered in a serious tone, “I want to make sure they get to eat all the good foods that I do.”
As Christian stewards, we are asked to use our gifts to support God’s work. Unfortunately, many are like the mother in the story. Giving is reluctant, a chore, and is accomplished with minimal inconvenience to us. We only give the food that we would not eat. We only give the small amount of excess cash we would not miss. We only volunteer our time when it does not disrupt our busy schedule. Consider giving with the exuberance of a child, where the end results, and the happiness they give, are what are important. Children do not worry about “inconveniences”, but with child-like innocence, trust that everything is going to work out. Trust in God and give with joy , for God loves a cheerful giver.

Submitted by Ray Yoder

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

Bits and Pieces from the Church Mouse 
I'm back! I hope you are able to get some rest and relaxation during the summer months because everyone needs time to relax…it is good so you become refreshed. You know what - sometimes I become a little lazy during the summer months. I like to sit out on my back deck with some iced tea and a cookie. YUMM!
While running around outside of the church, I have smelled all of the beautiful flowers and plants . I love looking at them too…they are all so nice and make the church look welcoming. Many thanks to all of the gardeners who work so hard to maintain the gardens.

Got Mulch? We sure did!! A big “thank you” goes to Cory Weinfurtner who spearheaded the project and the many people who helped spread mulch a few weeks ago. It makes the grounds of the church look so much better. It is always nice to have many hands to help with projects. Did you know that I almost got mixed up with the mulch, but thank goodness I was able to run away. Again, thank you very much for all your hard work!!

I can’t wait for Vacation Bible School to begin. The first day is on August 6th and goes through August 10 th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. I am looking forward to playing with the kids and of course snack time. For me, snack time is the best time. Then my belly gets nice and full. The theme for VBS is: “Ship wrecked: How Jesus anchors us through life’s storms”.

Stuff the Bus is back, this time for school supplies . They will be taken to the local food pantry to distribute before school starts. If you would like to have a list of what they need (sometimes they are very specific), you can get one at the store or search online for 'School Supply List'. Here is Walmart's page. Just type in the zip code, pick a school and class and you will get a list. You can even click to find the items, place your order online and pick up at the store for free! Can't get much easier than that. If you have ever spent 2 hours looking for everything, this is a big help. Just bring them to church by August 12th.

If you were not able to attend Dave Nelson’s Benefit and you would still like to help by donating, you can write out your check to Judy Nelson and give it to the church or write out your check to Grace Lutheran Church with Dave Nelson’s name in the memo part. The church will make sure it goes into their account.

By the way, didn't Kristin and Jennifer do a GREAT job with the benefit concert?! Wow. Thanks to both of them and Jan Heynis and her team who provided the yummy treats and to those who attended and donated.
Enjoy the summer!
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 August 13th. 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 Resumes in August
DivorceCare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Don’t go through separation or divorce alone.

We meet Thursdays at 6:30pm . New sessions begin August 2nd and run through November 15th but you are always welcome to join us when you can. Cost is $15 to cover the cost of materials.

Call to sign up or click on the information link below to sign up online.

Contact: Linda Davis 815-347-5982

Divorce Care Recovery Support Groups -  More information
Women of the ELCA - WELCA
The WELCA women are on summer break until the month of September.

The committee working on our table for the Ministry Fair will meet on Sunday, August 12 th after the 9:30am service to discuss and finalize the plans.

A reminder about the WELCA Convention on September 22nd at Trinity Church in Harvard. For further information contact Sandy Messick.

The next regular meeting for the new season will be held on Monday, September 10 th at 1:00pm in Luther Hall. Sandy Messick will be contacting the Richmond Rescue Squad to give a presentation regarding emergency readiness in various situations. Remember to bring your own soup, salad, sandwich or fruit to the regular meeting which we will partake of after our meeting adjourns and socializing begins.

All women of the church are members of WELCA and are welcome to our monthly meetings. Please come and offer your suggestions and comments. See what we are all about and join in the comradery.

Contact Sandy Messick for more information. 815 354 6521
Remember –
- over the summer Curt Bjorklund is collecting NEW men’s and women’s UNDERWEAR, SOCKS and T-SHIRTS for the homeless in McHenry County. He asks that you do NOT bring other clothing at this time.
- $5.00 gift cards to McDonalds or Burger King are also most welcome. They feed and shelter many who are in need. 
- we still collect canned goods and staples for our food pantry. 
- Contact Curt Bjorklund for any information regarding the above.
- remember to ‘Stuff the Bus’ with SCHOOL SUPPLIES. Bring to church on Sundays through August 12th.
- save your Richter’s (Sentry) receipts and deposit in container provided in hallway to the office. Please ask the cashier to put the sticker “Funds for Friends” on the back of receipt. 
- we are still collecting tabs from cans. Collect them, put them in a baggie, and bring to church.

Thanks –
-to all who offer their time, talents and equipment to keep our church running smoothly. Special thanks to all the volunteers, young and old, who answer the call to help when needed.
- to Debbie Billig who has done a great job, under rain and bad weather conditions, taking care of the church gardens. Speak with Debbie if you have any time to help with the gardens.
- to our pianist and choir director who has done a fantastic job and will be leaving us shortly.
- to those who helped spread the mulch around the trees and gardens. Weather has not been our friend.
- to all who make our church so friendly and welcoming. This means a lot to visitors and potential members.
- please make sure gate is closed during the week and open only on Sundays and for special occasions. Trucks and cars are beginning to use our roadway as a convenient bypass.

Dates to Remember in August –
- Sunday,August 12th – Stuff the Bus with School Supplies final day
- Sunday,August 26th – Outreach Café Breakfast

Never forget our armed forces personnel and our vets. Without them, we would not have the freedoms we enjoy today. We give you our THANKS

June Giving: $14,730; Average Attendance per Sunday: 137