Message of Grace
May 2019 | Vol 12 Issue 5
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
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A Word from Pastor Andy
Pastor Andy
Pastor Andy Tyrrell
Where are you going?
Your Word is a lamp on my feet and a light on my path -Psalm 119:105

The month of May gets us thinking about endings and beginnings. Many people are looking forward to the summer to travel. Others are saying goodbye to their school as they graduate to new opportunities. Whenever something ends, we make plans. Having a plan gives a sense of hope and optimism for what the future might hold. But plans also bring a bit of anxiety, because ultimately we don't know if they will work out.

Transitions make us think not only about where we have been, but also where we are going. But how do we know where we are going for sure? When I think about when I turned 10 or 20 I could have never predicted where I was going to wind up 10 years in the future. I am thankful to say it's been better than I could have imagined. In terms of what my life will look like when I'm 40? I honestly have no clue. Of course I could guess. But that's all it would be, a guess.

The above verses remind us that God's light in our lives is not a spotlight, but a lamp. And in the darkness a lamp only shows us the next step. Jesus does not want us to look too far in the future, because He has a purpose for us today. When it comes to the future, plan on only one thing - being there. “ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. ”-Hebrews 13:8

In Christ,
Pastor Andy
Notes from Pastor Andy
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Ministry Fair April 28th. There are so many great ministries and opportunities to serve here at Grace. If you have questions about any of them or want to know who to contact, you can call the church office or watch our Sunday morning announcements. Many of them are also included in this newsletter.

We will be accepting new members on May 5th at the 9:30 service. Please welcome them into the Grace family.

Some of our youth activities are coming to a close for the summer. The last session of ALPHA confirmation class is May 1st. The last class of Sunday School will be May 5th. We'll start up again in September.
Stewardship of Community
"You shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord" -- Leviticus 19:18b
"And who is my neighbor?" -- Luke 10:29b 

Think of all the homes, apartments and condos within walking, or easy driving, distance of our congregation. Now ask, how do we interact with these neighbors? Does our congregation understand their issues, joys, opportunities and challenges? How can we love them as ourselves?

Though God has filled the world with neighbors for us to love, we have a special opportunity and responsibility with neighbors who live near us. They form our immediate community. Many congregations narrowly define “community” as people who are already part of church, but God calls us to broaden our vision.

Congregations across our denomination are finding renewed energy and purpose by connecting, or reconnecting, with their community neighbors. It takes work and a willingness to go outside our comfort zone, but is worth the effort, as it pays off for them and us.

“It’s within our power to become good neighbors, to care for the people around us and to be cared for by the people around us,” write Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon in The Art of Neighboring (2012, Baker Books, p. 22), a handy guide for a church looking to start a community ministry. “There really is a different way to live, and we are finding that it is actually the best way to live.” 

By loving our neighbors we naturally gather together as a community that is blessed by God. It holds true in our personal lives as well as our congregations. As spring and summer unfolds, let’s commit to finding ways to be better stewards of our community, engaging our neighbors, especially those who live closest to our congregation.

For more information on community ministry, see:

 [Copyright © 2019, Rev. Robert Blezard. Reprinted by permission.]

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

~ Ray Yoder
Thank you - WELCA Craft Fair & Bake Sale
The WELCA Group wishes to thank everyone who participated in our Craft, Vendor Fair and Bake Sale. All proceeds from the Bake Sale were given to Rebecca Keltner, widow of our slain McHenry County sheriff's deputy. Thanks to everyone's wonderful generosity, we were able to give her $1,035.00! We also wanted to thank everyone who helped us move things, especially the National Honor Society students from Richmond Burton High School , and Boy Scout Troop who came here with Lois and Ed Randall, to help. The day is only a success because we have help from so many, and we thank you all very much! God Bless.
Upcoming Events, How You Can Participate
Softball Season has Begun!
Grace's co-ed softball team ready to play in the McHenry Christian Fellowship Softball League. Our first game was scheduled for April 29th but it was apparently cancelled due to the rain. The next game is Monday May 6th 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 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
24th Annual Easter Breakfast Success
Join us for Easter Brunch
Thank you to all those who made another wonderful Easter Breakfast possible. Dean, Tina and Craigan Peterson, Carol Heuer, Sandy Messick, Rick Graves, Dave & Deb Oelert, Kim & Brian Morris, Dawn Weinfurtner, Joan Rzonca, Jan Heynis, Jim Nor, Curt Bjorklund, Dave Ritzert & Matt Horton (our hardworking dishwashers), Jon & Pat Petersen, Rich & Carol Aird, Linda Davis, Jeanne Guenther plus all those who supplied the fruit & treats. And of course, thanks to all those came to enjoy the meal and made donations. We'll be able to donate about $1000 to PADS and two local food pantries. You helped us all to Live Generously!

Contact: Chris Bjorklund at or call 815-529-0789
Outreach Cafe May 26th
Please join us for our next Outreach Café on Sunday, May 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.

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,
Flat Jesus Project
We are so excited to announce a fun project that EVERYONE can participate in. 
Jesus is always with us and we want to prove it, so we are introducing Flat Jesus! 
Pick up a Flat Jesus in the Narthex or download one from our website 
Color your own Flat Jesus or select a pre-made one
Take Flat Jesus out and about. He can go with you everywhere. 
Take him on vacation, to camp, to a ball game, or even hang out in the backyard 
Take him to the ice cream parlor or the hotdog stand
Take him with you on a hike or a bike ride
Take photos or videos with Flat Jesus; tell us who you are (and with), where the picture was taken, and send them to us at We will be using the photos and videos in church and on our social media sites as well as on our website. Be creative and have fun!
Look for Flat Jesus on Facebook and Instagram. Follow his adventures this summer to see who he is with and where he has been. 

Please attend worship on May 5th to see a super special guest walk among us!

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

I am so excited May is here because some of the flowers are in bloom, the trees budding and the birds are singing. It has been awhile since we have seen and heard these signs of Spring. It is great, isn’t it! .

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the Moms. Whether you are a mom, adoptive mom, stepmom, expecting mom, or grandma we wish you a great day. Where would we be without you? You have done so much for us like; fed us, clothed us, and made our cuts and scrapes go away. You are/were always there taking care of us. I am going to have to make a phone call to my mom on this special day to say “Thanks for everything you’ve done for me, Mom Mouse”. 

On Memorial Day, we give thanks and honor to those who have served in the armed forces. We appreciate all of their sacrifices they have made for us. Keep them and their families in your prayers.

The ELCA Craft and Vendor Fair was held on April 13, 2019. I attended the craft fair and there were many vendors, raffle tickets were being sold, and you could purchase lunch. Of course, there were some crumbs that I was able to scarf down. YUMMM. You will be hearing more information coming your way after their meeting.

The Easter Breakfast was a success. Thank you to everyone who set up, cooked, shopped and cleaned up, and to those who ate breakfast. (Wow, I helped clean up by eating all of the crumbs!!) The proceeds will be going the Richmond-Spring Grove Food Pantry and to PADS. 

Do you have a calendar? I have one that I write my appointments in and then each and every day I jot down something that I am “thankful for”. Some days, well, may be a little light then other days I can go on and on. The reason why I do this is because God is with us no matter where we go or what we do. It is nice to know no matter what the day brings, we know God is with us.

See you next month and Happy Spring .

Women of the ELCA - WELCA
Spring is just around the corner (hmmm?) anyway it has to come before summer, so they say. WELCA could not have asked for a better day for their craft/vendor/bake sale on April 6th. Feedback from last year prompted some changes making easier access to outside parking and inside direction signs. Feedback from this year’s fair will help us in future planning. If there are any further suggestions for WELCA events, please advise President Sandy Messick Not all the figures are in but will be reported in our June newsletter. However, we do have the money collected from our Bake Sale in the amount of $1,085.00 which was given to the family of fallen Police Officer Jacob Keltner. 
- Please support the local businesses who donated to our Fair - Richmond Citgo, Richmond Brathaus and Jewel Foods in Spring Grove.
- Special thanks to all the volunteers who helped set up and clean up and manned the various stations at the Fair. Also, to all who donated food or raffle prizes. 
- also, WELCA wishes to thank Boy Scout Troop #359 and RBCHS National Honor Society for all their help in setting up and cleanup for the Fair.
- the Ministry Fair scheduled for Sunday, April 28th after the 9:30am service highlighted the different ministries of the church, what they do and, hopefully, will provide members interest in joining one of the ministries. Any questions contact Ann Katzenberg or Lynn Jambor, WELCA members.
- Money collected from the Richter’s Market Place Receipts will be split between the Twin Lakes and Genoa City food pantries.
- coins/dollars collected in the jar on the Welcome Counter in the Narthex have been donated to the Richmond Food Pantry. This has been setup per the wishes of former WELCA member Pat Mayer.
- Ann Katzenberg, our Sunshine Lady for WELCA, who sends get well and birthday cards sent a Retirement card to the Van Daele family (Vans) for their years of service to our funeral luncheon committee.
- Larry and Ollie Mann made a generous donation and WELCA used the money to purchase additional tables needed for the fair and other events to be scheduled.
- Rita Popenhagen has volunteered to be WELCA’s representative at the Council Meetings. 
- Treasurer, Kathy Zank gave an interesting report on Thrivent benefits and activities
- Carol Heuer, Nancy Kepple, Kyle Truelson and Rita Popenhagen, WELCA members are going to clean out the WELCA closet. Joan Rzonca has already been working on the crochet items for our ill members and for the Northwest (Centegra) Hospital for distribution in the Cardio, ICU, Cancer Center, and Nursery as well as the hospital. Also, a lot of yarn will be given to Sandy Yoder and others for use to continue this worthwhile endeavor, both at Grace and the hospital. Sandy has been a very loyal supporter of this group. If interested please contact Joan Rzonca. 
- our next meeting will be on May 13th at 1:pm in Luther Hall. Please bring your own sandwich, soup, salad or fruit which we will enjoy after our meeting adjourns. Carol Runyard and Lois Randall will be our hostesses who will be serving dessert and coffee. Stay and enjoy the comradery.

Contact Sandy Messick for more information. 815 354 6521
Remember –
- remember to collect the following – pull tabs from cans, egg cartons, prescription bottles, Richter’s MarketPlace receipts with sticker on the back. All these items can be deposited in boxes or containers around the Narthex and in Luther Hall 
- contact Curt Bjorklund and ask if there are any items needed to collect during the warmer weather 
- Debbie Billig who is in charge of our gardens is looking for volunteers to take care of several gardens that need caregivers. Please see Debbie if you are interested
- to all who give of their time, materials, labor and expertise to maintain our lovely church making it so warm and friendly - you are our ‘unsung heroes’
- a special time to remember our service men and women serving at home and abroad - also the Veterans past and present. We will never forget you, the sacrifices you made and what freedoms we enjoy today because of you. 

Dates to remember–
Happy Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12 th to all the mothers, grandmas, stepmom’s and others-
Friday, May 18 th -Armed Forces Day
Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 th also Memorial Weekend

Bible Study and Small Group Opportunities
Women's Friendship & Faith Monthly Bible Study

What: We will use 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

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: A new session began in February and continues through May 23rd. Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Call to sign up or click here to sign up online.
Contact: Linda Davis 815-347-5982
Quick notes, reminders, who to contact
Lost and Found - a red and white cooler brought to the craft fair by a volunteer has gone missing. If you have it or know where it is, please notify the office at 815-678-3082.
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
Final rehearsal is May 13th. 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. Last class is May 5th. The children start in the sanctuary with their families and after the children's sermon, they go to their classes and return in time for communion. 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 current session continues through May 23rd. Time: 6:30-8:30pm

Call to sign up or click here to sign up online.
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. Last class is May 1st and will start up again in September.
March Giving: $19,470; Average Attendance per Sunday: 149