Grace Lutheran Church & Preschool

Newsletter - May, 2023

17880 E. Covina Blvd. | Covina, CA 91722
Church Office (626) 332-4536 | Preschool (626) 967-5855

GLC and More Online









We've now returned to the Sanctuary for Worship! Join us for a blended, in-person service Sundays at 9:30 a.m. 

We are streaming Sunday Worship on our Facebook page. If you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, or have had contact recently with anyone with COVID-19, we ask that you worship safely with us online.

Prayer requests
Make an offering here
Visit our website

The ACTION Food Pantry continues to serve numerous families a week, including single parents, the working poor, senior citizens, disabled, unemployed persons and the homeless. Volunteers are needed for the May 13 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive - this is a massive annual effort by USPS workers to collect non-perishable food and will help to stock pantry supplies for months.

The Food Pantry buys their eggs in bulk - this costs less, but to distribute this important protein source to their clients they need egg cartons. Please leave your paper or plastic cartons in the narthex for collection. For the month of May, the pantry is also requesting donations of canned soup - please pick up an extra can or two and leave it in the narthex!

From Pastor Steve

Greeting Grace Family,

Spring has finally arrived! A little later than usual this year after what seemed like a very long and frigid winter, Southern California frigid that is. The flowers in my garden at home are blooming and as I survey the land as I move about I notice everything is green and colorful, obvious signs of growth that signal it’s spring. It is a time of renewal and growth after the darkness and chill of winter. 

I imagine that mirrors the emotions that the followers of Jesus felt during His time with them post resurrection. Easter continues long after we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection day and our lectionary provides us with stories from the Gospels about the things our resurrected Lord did prior to His ascension. I’ve always been fascinated by those stories from a human point of view and how mind blowing it must have been for those who actually saw Jesus and what it meant to them. 

I’m sure everyone knew that Jesus had been crucified as I imagine word spread pretty quickly among the people of that day considering His fame. That must have been unbelievable for those who believed He was the Messiah. I would guess that the news of His death brought an all consuming sense of darkness and a chill that struck them to the bone. A dark winter of emotions, if you will. It must have felt like a hopelessness that would never end.

Then, Jesus appears to the women at the tomb, and then shows up on the road to Emmaus, then pops in on the Disciples in a locked room. Surprising? More like shocking! But, in a good way, a very good way. Imagine the absolute and immediate sense of jubilation that would have filled their hearts. Once those feelings of pure emotions subsided the question, “What does this mean?” had to pop into their minds. The answer to that question remains open ended to this day 2000 years after Jesus resurrection.

One reason it remains open ended is because like pretty much everything God does in our world is far beyond our full comprehension. Another reason for that is that in some ways it’s different for each of us and there’s really no limit to what it can mean to us. I spoke about this in a recent sermon about Holy Communion. The bread and wine represent the entirety of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The power in that is unlimited and goes so far beyond just a reminder of the forgiveness of our sin. If you want to hear more go to our YouTube channel and listen to the sermon from April 23 if you weren’t in worship that day or watching the livestream. 

How is this related to spring? I’m glad you asked. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is for us an endless source of renewal and growth, which is how I understand spring. We will all experience dark periods, periods of uncertainty, during our lives but will always have Jesus’ resurrection to remind us that we always have hope in this life and in the life to come. Happy Easter!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Steve

From the Congregation Council

April, 2023 - Council Report

• Council received the resignation of Grace’s organist, Lily Lee.  Her last day with us was Easter Sunday, April 9. A search for a new organist will be underway soon.

• Attendance for Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday worship services was well above average. The Pre-School children sang at the Palm Sunday service and there was a baptism at the Easter worship service.

• The Easter Egg Hunt, held on Saturday, April 8, was well attended by Pre-School families, former Grace Pre-Schoolers and friends and families of Grace.  Thank you to all that donated food, cooked and served the food, and set-up and cleaned up.

• The Easter brunch, after the worship service on Easter Sunday, served 45-50 people. Thank you again to all who prepared food, helped to set up, serve and clean up.

• A Chili Cook-Off is planned for Sunday, May 21.  A volunteer to coordinate this event is needed.

• A benevolence of $1000 for the first quarter of the year was designated for the work of missionaries in Turkey.  One of them, Christina Costley, spoke to the congregation in January about the work that she and her colleagues do there.

• The money donated during Advent to purchase items through the Good Gifts program of the ELCA has been spent. The money collected went toward the purchase of four mosquito nets, one rooster, two goats, three piglets, and three chicks.  Thank you for your generosity.

• Further repairs have been necessary recently. Discount Rooter was called in to alleviate the clogged toilet problem. It is not totally resolved, but further investigation will soon be underway.  Also, a locksmith has been called to repair the lock on the north-facing door on the Fellowship Hall.

In His Service

Brenda Noriega, Council President

ELCA Good Gifts are a creative, meaningful way to support the ministries of the ELCA that mean the most to you and your loved ones. These gifts are real examples from projects currently supported through ELCA churchwide ministries. Each of these programs is a long-term, partnership-based ministry that focus on the needs identified by local congregations and global companion churches and their communities. This April, the Grace-Covina family purchased of four mosquito nets, one rooster, two goats, three piglets, and three chicks. Thank you for your generosity!

We need representatives from Grace-Covina to serve as voting members of this year's Southwest California Synod Assembly June 2 -3! We are looking for one man and one woman (both of any age) and one more representative age 30 or under. This year's assembly is being held at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. It is a hybrid assembly, so you will have the option of attending in person or participating online.

Here is a list of FAQs about synod assembly, an annual gathering of pastors, deacons, and lay people representing the congregations that make up the SWCA Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The assembly is the synod’s highest legislative authority, and as an assembly member, you will receive information and reports; elect nominees to leadership positions in the church; decide on matters brought before the assembly; and set priorities for the synod’s ministry. Please consider this opportunity to represent Grace and participate in synod governance!

May Scripture Readings

May 7, 2023

5th Sunday of Easter

Acts 7:55-60

Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16

1 Peter 2:2-10

John 14:1-14

Click here for readings

May 14, 2023

6th Sunday of Easter

Acts 17:22-31

Psalm 66:8-20

1 Peter 3:13-22

John 14:15-21

Click here for readings

May 21, 2023

7th Sunday of Easter

Acts 1:6-14

Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35

1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11

John 17:1-11

Click here for readings

May 28, 2023

Day of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-21

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

1 Corinthians 12:3b-13

John 20:19-23

Click here for readings

Birthdays and Anniversaries

May Birthdays

Drew Adzovich | May 1

Kayla Wood | May 1

Christy Arreguin | May 3

Katie Encabo | May 13

Barbara Bryner | May 14

Diana Alley | May 14

Carolyn Wengel | May 15

Madison Jacobs | May 16

Kitty Davisson | May 19

Erin Noriega | May 21

Keegan Yarber | May 22

Joyce Gower | May 25

Candyce Jacobs | May 25

Nathan Smith | May 27

May Anniversaries

Anthony & Mary Encabo

May 11

Ryan & Sandy Roset 

May 27

Let us know

  • If we don’t have your birthday or anniversary listed
  • If you have a special announcement
  • If someone in your family is sick or in the hospital
  • If you move or change your telephone number
  • If you feel the church can assist you in any way 
  • If you would like a paper copy of the newsletter mailed to you

May, 2023 Calendar

Please see the online calendar here for the latest updates

Make or update a prayer request here

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry – Psalm 34:15 

Please pray for those with medical needs, including: Judith Tury, Cindy Skolaski, Keith McHugh, Elena Navarette, Tina Pike, Nancy Klotzche, Larry Weidner, Linda Schober, Barry Gustaferro, Debbie Gonzales, Yolanda Weidner, Candy Turner, Cheryl Miller, Joan Pelleren, Shelly Ruiz, Elizabeth Ordonez, Patty VanRaalte, Elva Maldonado, Cathy Plante, Felix Noriega, Holly Masters, Gen Alley, Ray, Audrey Fuller, Karen Putnam, Arlen Heyne, Gil and Yolanda Erro, Linda Dalton, Charlene Lisberg and Debbie, Rick Turner, Herb Westerfield, Noa Buhler, Rose Marie Quesada, Deanna Kellogg, Jaxon Turner, Art James, Robert Larsen, Trina Clay, Connie Brown, the Davidson Family, Jamie Wilcots, Joan and Lee Juneau, Kari Watson, Mike Spangler, Pam Elparin, Ed McGee, Sarah Encabo, and victims of COVID-19.

Please pray for others in need of prayer, including: the family of Richard Howard, the family of Esther Papp, the family of David Noriega, Barbara and the family of Roger Melendrez, the family of Robert Boomsma, the family of Walter Hoke, the family of Virginia Allen, Jeffrey Saltonstall, Timothy Morgan, the family and friends of Marie Dabbs, Rocio Orozco, and our Grace neighbors.

Please pray for the men and women currently serving in the military, who are bravely protecting us and our country, including: Andrew Ranabarger (Marine Corps), and Christian Van Allen (Navy), and Phillip Beserra (Air Force).

Please pray for all victims of natural disasters.

Please pray for those who are being faced with grief, and all who know violence and hate.

Please pray for our Grace Lutheran Church Congregation and partners in ministry.

Please pray for the teachers and children of our preschool and infant care program, and for the teachers and students of Ben Lomond Elementary School, our school districts, and all schools, that they and their families will be safe.

Please pray for hospital staff, all medical personnel and first responders, those in essential services, and the leaders of our world, state, country, and local governments.

Please pray for the ACTION Food Pantry, the clients that they serve, and all those in need.

Your Church Council

President | Brenda Noriega 

Vice President | Johna Stienstra 

Secretary | Diana Alley 

Treasurer | Robert Ordonez


Cindy Skolaski | Nancy Adzovich | Judy McGee | Sarah Encabo

Your Church Staff

Pastor | The Rev. Steve Otte

Director of Worship & Music | Jeffrey Saltonstall

Preschool Director | Christy Arreguin

Custodian | Laureen Alvarez

Parish Administrator | Samantha Henderson

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