Message of Grace
June 2019 | Vol 12 Issue 6
Articles are due the 15th of the
month preceding publication.
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
 Quick Links
A Word from Pastor Andy
Pastor Andy
Pastor Andy Tyrrell
Calling all members of Grace to attend the annual June Congregational Meeting, June 23rd at about 10:30. We will be electing new council members.
Please join us!
Faith and Failure
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.
But the greatest of these is love.” - 1 Cor. 13:13

Recently I've been thinking a lot about success. In everything we do we try to be successful. We want to be successful at our jobs, our relationships and really any project we take on. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to be successful, the desire to be successful often brings out fear. Fear that we will be the opposite of successful: that we will be a failure. As much as we wish to be successful often our fear of failing is greater.

We are afraid of failing for the same reason we want to be successful, because each has consequences. If we are successful then good things happen to us, and if we aren't then bad things happen to us. We try to maximize success and minimize failure. 

My concern is we have brought this thought process into the church. Not just this church, but all churches. But to apply a success/failure model to the church is not only wrong, it's not biblical. By today's standards Jesus' life was a failure. If Jesus lived today he wouldn't have a credit score, a retirement account, a house and when he died he only had three friends left. Yet because of his work we have received God's love and eternal life.

My point is this. That we should look at this church as a place where we are free to fail. We should look at this church and our relationship to it as a laboratory. Where we can experiment and try different things. If something doesn't work out that's fine. As we long as do everything with faith, hope and love we can trust that God is at work.

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: Building a Heart of Generosity
We must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." -- Acts 20:35 

A group of Christians were with a missionary on a tour in rural Korea. One day, they saw a boy pulling a crude plow, while an old man held the plow handles and directed it through the rice paddy. “That’s a curious sight,” one man said to the missionary. “Yes,” was the reply, “that is the family of Chi Noui. When the church building was built, they were eager to give something, but they had no money, so they sold the only ox they had and gave the money to the church. This spring, they are pulling the plow themselves.”

The group was silent for a few moments. Then the man said, “That must have been a real sacrifice.”

“They did not call it that,” said the missionary. “They thought it was fortunate they had an ox to sell.”

When the group returned home, the man took the story to his Pastor. “Give me some plow work to do,” he said. “I never have known what sacrifice for the Lord really means. I am ashamed to say I never have given anything to the Lord that really cost me something.”

It feels good to give, but we are blessed with so much more when we give generously. The act of giving truly blesses us by shaping our personalities and developing our character.

Anyone can develop a generous heart, or a more generous heart. Begin by deepening your relationship with God, seeking guidance and wisdom in daily prayer. Then simply begin to pour yourself out for the sake of others, giving generously as a spiritual exercise and discipline. Here are five action steps:

Give smiles. Smile at everyone you see. You may be surprised at how it changes your outlook.
Give nice words. Say something nice to everyone – family and friends, coworkers, parishioners, store clerks, folks in an elevator.
Give courtesy. Hold a door open for the person behind you; stop for pedestrians; let someone go ahead of you in line.
Give your time. Serve people face-to-face: tutor schoolchildren, serve meals, visit a shut-in, volunteer at a homeless shelter.
Give your resources: Slowly increase your giving to God’s ministry. Make tithing a long-term goal. 

Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive. When we give our time, talents and possessions, God blesses us by developing in us a generous heart.

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

~ Ray Yoder
Upcoming Events, How You Can Participate
Softball Season is in Full Swing!
Grace Softball is now in full swing after two hard fought games!
As the weather warms up we look forward to having our cheering section back.
We have a scorebook keeper position available. Please email or See Bryan or Mike after Worship 

Grace's co-ed softball team has joined the McHenry Christian Fellowship Softball League for another season . The next game is Monday June 10th at 7:30 at Township 1.
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
Gardens Still Available for Adoption
Do you love to garden or want to learn? Grace’s adopt a garden ministry has gardens available for adoption. This is a great ministry for those needing flexibility and control on their volunteer time. Volunteers care for an assigned landscaped garden. Adopt a garden by yourself, as a family or with friends. For more information contact Deborah Billig
Annual Family Fishing Event June 23rd

When : June 23rd 3:00-6:00 pm
Where:  Spring Grove Fish Hatchery 2314 Hatchery Road, Spring Grove, IL
Parking fee of $5.00 per car
Bring your fishing pole, bait, and picnic cooler

Contact: Stacy Radmer at
Outreach Cafe June 23rd
Please join us for our next Outreach Café on Sunday, June 23rd 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,
Where in the World is Flat Jesus?
We hope you had a chance to pick up or download a Flat Jesus and have been taking him with you everywhere! Be sure to find Grace Lutheran Flat Jesus on the web, Facebook and Instagram and send a friend request. Follow the adventures of Flat Jesus and see where he has been and who he has been with. 
Flat Jesus has been very active so far. Keep up the fun and take him with you. Be sure to snap a few photos and send the photos to
Please identify yourself or others in the photo and provide a location. 

June Challenges include taking photos with Flat Jesus and yourself:

  • Honoring a WWII veteran on D-Day June 6th 
  • Celebrating National Doughnut Day onJune 7th
  • Hanging out with your best friend. 
  • At a picnic 
  • With an American flag 

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
All women of Grace Lutheran Church are WELCA members.
We are on summer break and wish to share the following news to all women of the church–
Rita Popenhagen is inviting all women of the church to attend a luncheon at her home in Richmond @ 1:00pm. on Monday, June 10 th . If you will be attending, please bring a dish to pass. Should you need a ride please call Rita @ 1-815-678-4413 and she will arrange a ride for you from the church. Hope you all are able to attend and enjoy the camaraderie.

Contact Sandy Messick for more information. 815 354 6521
Remember –
- continue saving empty RX bottles or containers, food and staples for the food pantry, pull tabs from cans and bottles, the MarketPlace Richter receipts with the sticker on back, empty egg cartons, coins in the jar on the Welcome Counter and canned goods and staples for the food pantry. Boxes and containers are provided throughout the Narthex.

Thanks –
- to all who give of their expertise, time and equipment to keep our church running smoothly during these summer months, to the gardeners, the choir, committee heads and members, organist, ushers and greeters, Café Breakfast volunteers, Sunday School teachers, to all others who keep the wheels in motion for our church, and to Pastor Andy who inspires us all to be good Christians. 

- to our armed forces men and women who are serving at home and abroad, leaving their families and loved ones in order to preserve the freedoms we enjoy today. Our thanks to our Veterans who served with honor. WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU!

Dates to remember–
Flag Day – Friday, June 14th 
Father’s Day – Sunday, June 16th
First Day of Summer – Friday, June 21st
Café Breakfast – Sunday, June 23rd
Congregational Meeting - Sunday, June 23rd
Family Fishing Event - Sunday, June 23rd

WELCA wishes to thank everyone who helped with the funeral luncheon for Len Benson's family and friends. Len had very little family, and most of the people at the luncheon were his friends. They were most appreciative for the luncheon and to have a place to gather after the funeral and burial. To those who set up, those who donated food items, those who helped us clean up, and anyone else who took part to help us, we send you a big Thank You! Your efforts are always appreciated by the families we serve and by those of us in WELCA as well. God Bless.
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

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 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.
April Giving: $18,322 Average Attendance per Sunday: 191