Message of Grace
July 2019 | Vol 12 Issue 7
Articles are due the 15th of the
month preceding publication.
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Welcome to Grace Lutheran's eNewsletter!
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
A Word from Pastor Andy
Pastor Andy
Pastor Andy Tyrrell
VBS
Inviting all children age 5 - entering 5th grade to VBS , July 29-Aug 2. Bring your friends, neighbors and grandkids. See below for details.
Change
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” -Jeremiah 29:11

Most people don't like change. We like to get things to a place where things are predictable. But as we all know, change is inevitable. And so, whether we like it or not, we have to be willing to adapt.

This is true in our personal lives and also in our church. Many of you have taken our church's survey. I am grateful that you have allowed your voice to be included as we seek to answer the question, “Where is God leading Grace?” Our church is changing not only because the people in it are changing but because the world around us is changing. While we will always be a community that seeks to be faithful to Jesus and the scriptures, the approaches and methods we use might need some tweaking. We want to ensure we are the church God is calling us to be, and not the church God was calling us to be.

This is not to say that we change things for the sake of changing. We have many wonderful traditions at Grace that will continue. But as we seek to strengthen our traditions we must always ask the question what does God have planned for us next? I am grateful to partner with you all as we seek to grow deeper in our faith and share the love of Jesus with the whole world.

In Christ,
Pastor Andy
Check Your Email for an Important Survey
We should always be asking the question where is God leading our congregation? Leaders in our church have put together a survey to explore specific areas of congregational life. Please consider taking this brief, but important survey to help us better understand how we can do God's work in and outside of Grace. Hard copies are also available at the “Ministry Information and Opportunities” table and can be returned to our church. We strongly value and look forward to your input. If you have any questions please let us know. If you haven't already done so, please click the green button.
Stewardship: Creating a Clean Heart
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.“ – Psalm 51:10 

Marie Kondo is a Japanese organizing consultant and author. She's recently become a household name by visiting American homes in need of her help on her crazy-popular Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Kondo's method of organizing is known as the KonMari method, and consists of gathering together all of one's belongings, one category at a time, and then keeping only those things that "spark joy”.

Because you're actively choosing items that spark joy, and discarding what doesn't, the intention of the KonMari method is to end up with a clutter-free home that is better able to bring more joy and prosperity to your life. While tidying, she encourages folks to visualize the life they want to live — to be less stressed, for example — and what you need to get there. “Anything that won't help on that journey isn't deserving of your space or you”, she says.

Just as our house may need decluttering, there are times when our heart and mind could use some decluttering, too. We may have feelings of fear, hurt, anger, inadequacy, stress or impatience. We may be rushed, feeling barely in control during the busy day. These negative feelings affect how we live and how we treat others. They keep us from fully experiencing the love of God. Perhaps it is time to use the “KonMari method” on ourselves, keeping those things that give us joy and bring us closer to God. Everything else “isn’t deserving of space” in our hearts.

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

~ Ray Yoder
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Pastor's sermon June 30th was about remembering Jesus when we take communion - to not just go through the motions. It's more than a ritual - it's a chance to let the Holy Spirit speak to us.

Similarly, we ought to take time to remember the REASON we celebrate the Fourth of July. It's more than a day off work, parades and fireworks. Thank God for the freedom and prosperity we have in the United States. May we also remember the men and women who have, and continue to, guard and protect us through their service in the military, the police, firefighters, EMTs and many others who make freedom possible. And to pray for those in countries who don't share our freedoms.
Upcoming Events, How You Can Participate
Diakonia classes starting soon
Diakonia is an exciting opportunity which provides a spiritual journey to lay individuals who wish to become more involved in their church or who want to better understand their faith.

Diakonia meets once each week for two years during the school year (September through early May). Individuals are joined by other students and teaching pastors from around the Northern Illinois Synod to talk about the Bible, Christian Doctrine, Christian Ethics, Lutheran Faith in the American Context, and other topics. Students are also given the opportunity to discern what spiritual gifts they might have to use in service to God’s people.

This course of study prepares students for the task of showing God’s love in their workplaces, neighborhoods, families, and schools, as well as their local churches. Diakonia graduates are called to be share the light of Christ in the world.

Anyone who is looking for a deeper spiritual connection with Christ is encouraged to try Diakonia. The Northern Illinois Synod currently offers classes in six locations including Shepherd of the Hills, McHenry, from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Thursdays. See https://nisynod.org/diakonia for more information. There is a charge for the classes and the required books but some scholarship money is available if interested. 

I have taken and enjoyed the first year of the studies and would like to extend an invitation to other members who would be interested in these casual yet informative classes. I still have one year to go so we would be attending the classes together.  For more information please contact Jon Petersen at church, at 815-790-5934 or at jonpetersen1307@gmail.com

I would personally like to invite you to a casual introductory get-together with students, instructors, and alumni on Thursday, August 8th at 6:30 pm at Shepherd of the Hills Church, 404 N Green St, McHenry, IL. Please let me know if you will be attending this free introduction. 

~Jon Petersen
Thanks from our Haiti Missionary Team
On behalf of Gladys Mungo and our missionary team in Haiti, I would like to thank everybody for the generous support with the collection of prescription bottles. They will be a huge help with our medicine distribution in Haiti. We have been so successful with the bottle collection, that we now have enough bottles to last for the next year or two. We will not be collecting any more bottles at this time, but we do encourage you to recycle the bottles in your plastic recycling bin.

Again, we always appreciate your continued support and prayers for the people of Haiti.

~Jon Petersen
Vacation Bible School, July 29th - Aug 2nd

Life is Wild - God is Good
When : July 29 - Aug 2, 9-11am
Where:  Grace Lutheran Church
Who: Children Age 4 thu those entering 5th grade
SIgnup Deadline: July 15th

This epic African Adventure will explore God’s goodness and celebrate a “ferocious” faith that will power through the wild life ahead.

Sign-up sheets located in the Narthex.

Contact: Pastor Andy or the church office 815-678-3082
Softball Season is half over - just 5 games left!
The Grace Softball team has won 2 of 4 games played and has just five games to go! Two were rained out as well (what a surprise). Won't you come out and cheer us on to another victory?

Grace's co-ed softball team is part of the McHenry Christian Fellowship Softball League. The next game is Monday July 1st at 6:30 at Township 3.

If you would like to join: 
  • 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
  • For standings and game scores go to the website
  • For more information or to sign up contact Bryan Johnson at gracelutheransoftball@gmail.com
Outreach Cafe July 28th
Please join us for our next Outreach Café on Sunday, July 28th 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.

A huge note of thanks to our team for their dedication and good natured service, and for their donations of food. We also want to acknowledge Thrivent for providing funding to help purchase groceries. Continue to Live Generously!

Outreach Café Contact: Tina Peterson, tinap59@hotmail.com
Where in the World is Flat Jesus?
Where in the world is Flat Jesus? Have you been out and about with Jesus? You can take him everywhere! Be sure to snap a few photos and send the photos to gracelutheranflatjesus@gmail.com. Please identify yourself or others in the photo and provide a location. Follow the adventures of Flat Jesus and see where he has been and who he has been with. 

If you have lost your Flat Jesus or he is getting worn out pick up a new one or download one at Grace’s website: 

July Challenges include taking photos with Flat Jesus and yourself:

  • Attending a parade - Celebrate the 4th of July in style
  • Eating ice cream - Celebrate National Ice Cream Month
  • At a picnic - Celebrate National Picnic Month
  • Cooling off (at the pool, in the shade, etc)

Ongoing Challenges 
  • Who was the oldest person FJ was with?
  • Who was the youngest person FJ was with?
  • Who travelled the furthest with FJ? Where did he go?
  • When was FJ with the biggest crowd? 
  • Did FJ meet anyone famous?

Flat Jesus Project Team
Lynette Rodriguez, Anne Johnson, Michelle Jones, Carolyn Bolman, Jean Schenk, Kait Rodriguez, and Pastor Andy

 Bits and Pieces from the Church Mouse

Hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather - I am - I'm on vacation! I might turn up later this summer to see what's going on but if not, enjoy your summer.

Women of the ELCA - WELCA
A picnic luncheon for all women of the church was hosted by Rita Popenhagen on Monday, June 10th. Weather did not cooperate so we enjoyed the event indoors. Approximately 20 women attended - some old members, new members and guests. Each introduced themselves and gave a brief history of how they came to Grace. All comments were very positive. Hopefully, the non-members and guests will make Grace their home.

Other than a final update on the Craft/Vendor/Bake sale nothing else was brought up. All other business can be brought up at our September meeting which will be held on Monday, September 9th @ 1:pm at Grace.

After eating, we got to enjoy each other’s company and had much to talk about. 
The camaraderie was a plus for all and something we should think about doing again. 

Contact Sandy Messick for more information. 815 354 6521
Remember –
- The homeless and needy do not take a summer vacation. They are always in need of canned goods and staples to furnish our local food pantries. Also, a $5.00 gift card to McDonalds or Burger King gives food and shelter. If you have any questions contact Curt Bjorklund.1/815-675-2765. Ongoing collection of Pull Tabs from cans, cardboard empty egg cartons.
- Jon Petersen said we have plenty of prescription bottles so please stop bringing them in. He suggests that you remove the labels and recycle them.

- Don’t forget to sign up for coffee service one Sunday per month. You will not be alone. You will be with another volunteer. We all enjoy our coffee and goodies after service but----- WE NEED VOLUNTEERS. Again, your Free Will offerings help purchase coffee, tea, juice and supplies. See Jan Heynis or Pat Peterson for assistance. 

Thanks –
- A special ‘thank you’ to all who save the marketplace (sentry) grocery receipts with the sticker on back. For every $10.00 spent, we get $.01 – pennies do add up to dollars. The money collected is divided and given to the local food pantries.
- Containers for these items can be found in the Narthex. If in doubt, please ask.
- A big Thank You to Deborah Billig and son Sam for helping Joan with planting her garden. Between the rain and minor surgery, she needed help. After an hour’s time flowers were planted and, hopefully, will grow. 
- The FOURTH of JULY holiday will be celebrated on Thursday July 4th and will continue until the weekend. Let us all remember our past and present servicemen and women and our Veterans who serve and have served so valiantly to protect and preserve the freedoms we enjoy today.

GOD BLESS YOU and AMERICA

Dates to remember–
Independence Day – Thursday, July 4th 
Café Breakfast – Sunday, July 28th
Vacation Bible School - July 29-Aug 2
Bible Study and Small Group Opportunities
Women's Friendship & Faith Monthly Bible Study

What: We are using Max Lucado’s Life Lessons Series to study Romans. We will read about how the earliest Christians were lead by Paul to learn to make better choices. We will be reminded of the importance of a relationship with God to help us make better choices in our own lives.

Who : 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
Where : Grace Lutheran Church Library
Cost: $7 for the book.

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

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who
love him, who have been called according to his purpose. ” Romans 8:28

GraceNotes
Quick notes, reminders, who to contact
Electronic Giving is Easy Download and print the form here. Fill it out and return with a voided check to the church office. Forms are also available in the Narthex at church. 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.

People of Praise Rehearsals Mondays 7:00 - 8:00pm
The choir is on summer recess. We'll let you know when we start up again in the fall.
Director, Danielle Cairoli
Sunday School at 9:30 for children age 4 through 5th grade. Classes will begin again in September. Call the church office for more information. 815-678-3082.
P.A.D.S. Homeless ministry at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. First Thursday of every month from October thru April. Every week from October through April, St. Joe's hosts from 25-50 homeless individuals with a hot meal, sleeping arrangements, breakfast and a sack lunch. McHenry County PADS provides transportation. Different churches in the area sponsor each week with meals, set up, clean up and laundry services. Contact Curt Bjorklund at chbjorklund@hotmail.com or call 815-529-7746.
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. You are welcome to join at any time.

WHEN: The next session begins August 15th. Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Sign-up will be available soon. Click here for more information.
Contact: Linda Davis 815-347-5982
ALPHA is our confirmation class open to 6th, 7th and 8th graders and is led by Pastor Andy. We meet Wednesday nights beginning with a meal at 5:30 and then enjoy a time of learning and fellowship. Register your children in the church office or contact Pastor Andy. Alpha is on summer recess and will start up again in September.
May Giving: $17,097 Average Attendance per Sunday: 139