Grace Lutheran Church & Preschool

Newsletter - November, 2023

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

GLC and More Online










Join us for a blended, in-person service in our Sanctuary every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. 

Sunday Worship is streamed on the Grace-Covina FaceBook page, and posted to YouTube on Monday. 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. We also welcome our Grace family and friends from around the world to our online Worship!

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From Pastor Steve

Greetings Grace Family! 

It’s time for my annual Thanksgiving newsletter article. It seems appropriate for November to pen an article about gratitude considering the national holiday at the end of this month.

Gratitude is a vital component of our faith. It is the primary motivating factor in discipleship, thanks to God’s unlimited grace. Think about it, God’s gives us all the blessings without us having to earn them and the continuation and consistency of His blessings are unconditional. God will always pour out His blessings whether or not we are ‘doing the right things.’ This is all thanks to the cross and Christ’s atoning sacrifice. Prior to that the blessings of God were somewhat conditional. I say somewhat because the covenants God initiated with His people generally had a component of expectation; God will bless if the people do...fill in the blank. It was, in theory, a great motivator for the Israelites to be obedient and observant to the agreement though they consistently failed to uphold their end of the bargain.

One would think that instead of loosening the restrictions God would have ramped up the requirements of blessings considering how often His people failed. But, God does not think or act like we do and instead removes anything that might be considered the conditions of blessings and unlimited grace is actualized.

Instead of ramping up the conditions God ramped up His love. Very counterintuitive. Paul writes in Romans about the removal of the restrictions of the law by asking, hypothetically, “without the requirements of the law, should we go crazy with sin?” That is a paraphrased version, but pretty much sums it up. He answers emphatically in the negative in light of what Jesus did for us. In essence Paul implies that everyone should be so grateful for the extraordinary blessing of imparted righteousness that any response besides complete devotion is absurd.

How are we doing with that? Personally, I could do better. Human nature still gets in the way of my total devotion, but I have make great strides when I look back on my walk with our Lord. One of the main factors was a much greater sense of gratitude. For years I based my attitudes and perspective on bad theology and unrealistic expectations. By all accounts life was pretty good from a worldly perspective but something was still missing. I was generally unhappy most of the time. Most of you have heard some version of my story, so I wont fill this article with things you’ve likely heard before. At the heart of the change in my life was the internalized realization of grace, God’s unlimited blessing, and a profound sense of gratitude. It was life changing.

Ironically I experienced some of life’s greatest trials after that change of perspective, but because I had adopted a spiritual discipline of gratitude I never felt abandoned by God. I know it sounds corny and maybe even disingenuous, but it is true. You might be wondering what some of the aspects of a spiritual discipline of gratitude are. The simplest answer I can give is another corny saying, “count your blessings” with the added component of thanking God for those blessings.

Life is rarely ever 100% happy or 100% miserable. It is a mix of a lot of things. Certainly during the periods closer to 100% miserable, counting blessings is nearly impossible. But, for the most part there are countless things we have to be thankful for. I’m not going to list mine, but I would encourage you to do a personal inventory of the things you are grateful for. Take time regularly to take inventory and I promise that over time you will draw closer to God. Thanksgiving is a one-day holiday. Giving thanks is our reasonable response to grace. That’s another paraphrase from Romans. What are you thankful for?

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Steve 

October Council Report

October 10, 2023

• Worship News:  Jeremy Brown will be preaching on Sunday, October 8. Pastor Steve will be at Cursillo. Bishop Brenda Bos will be preaching on Sunday, October 15. 

• M/S/C to trim the cypress trees on the west side of the parking lot for a cost of $1200.

• On Sunday, September 10, Grace participated in the 10th anniversary of the ELCA event “God’s Work; Our Hands.” Over 100 Blessing Bags were filled. Some were taken by members that day. If you need more, there is a box in Pastor Steve’s office to replenish your supply.

• The Harvest Festival and Trunk or Treat will be Sunday, October 29 at 3:00 pm.  Please come and show your support for Grace’s Pre-School, the students and their families.

• There is an opportunity for you to join the Church Council for the term 2024-2025. Please see me (Brenda Noriega) for information.  

In His Service, 

Brenda Noriega

Council President

A huge thank you to all who volunteered for our Halloween Carnival, it was a huge success. It took a lot of help to set up, clean up, sell tickets, work a game and open your trunk. The children and their families had a great time.

Also, thank you so much for your prayers and support during the loss of my parents. Your prayers and the Grace of God carried my family and I through such a difficult time. As well as the cards that filled our mailbox, meant more than you can imagine. Blessing to all of you!

Ms. Christy

Grace Lutheran Pre-School/

Infant Care

November Scripture Readings

Sunday, November 5, 2023

All Saints Sunday

Revelation 7:9-17

Psalm 34:1-10, 22

1 John 3:1-3

Matthew 5:1-12

Click here for readings

Sunday, November 12, 2023

24th Sunday after Pentecost

Amos 5:18-24

Psalm 70

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Matthew 25:1-13

Click here for readings

Sunday, November 19, 2023

25th Sunday after Pentecost

Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

Psalm 90:1-8 [9-11] 12

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

Matthew 25:14-30

Click here for readings

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Christ the King Sunday

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Psalm 95:1-7a

Ephesians 1:15-23

Matthew 25:31-46

Click here for readings

ACTION Food Pantry

ACTION Food Pantry and the volunteers that run it have been feeding  an average of over 400 people a week, and the numbers are rising. We are in desperate need of non-perishable food to keep the pantry stocked.

Our primary needs are:

Grace-Covina has committed to providing mashed potatoes and gravy for the AFP Thanksgiving Distribution. Thank you to everyone who has donated - we do need more, so please consider picing up a few boxes of mashed potatoes and cans of gravy and leaving them in the narthex.

The traditional Advent calendar is used to count down the days until Christmas by opening a box and discovering an ornament, a chocolate, or another treat - something fun that helps you focus on the Advent journey. A Reverse Advent calendar focuses on giving something instead of receiving, since Christmas is all about God giving himself to us as a baby.

The idea behind a Reverse Advent calendar is simple. Fill a bag with food donations for your local food pantry - one item for every day in December. The Reverse Advent Calendar below features those items most needed by the clients of the ACTION Food Pantry. This is a great activity to share with your children and grandchilden to share the special act of giving!

November Birthdays

Tim Said | November 4

Keith McHugh | November 4

Brian Jacobs | November 8

Carol Thompson | November 9

Francie Yarber | November 11

Jeffrey Saltonstall | November 11

Kenny Colwell | November 15 Kevin Colwell | November 20 Jaxon Turner | November 22 Cindy Skolaski | November 27 

Marie Dabbs | November 29

In-person (at 11:00 a.m. on the Grace campus) or online (at 7:00 p.m. via Zoom), our Bible study is a space to be curious, to ask questions, to give feedback, to wrestle with tough topics, and to express doubts and frustration. Consider joining in Wednesdays as we continue our study of Romans!

November, 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: Martha Olson, Leo and Audrey Fuller, Aaron Melland , Victor (EGM Pastor), Emma Reardon, Jane Wurtz, Mary Beth Wilson, Tony Alvarez Sr., Marge Clark, Steve Quick,  Ron Ott, Diane Syslo, Spencer, Sue Henderson, Jim Oravetz, Deneice Hadley, Alma Pasos, Marie O'Malley, Judith Tury, Cindy Skolaski, Elena Navarette, Nancy Klotzche, Larry Weidner, Barry Gustaferro, Yolanda Weidner, Joan Pelleren, Shelly Ruiz, Elizabeth Ordonez, Patty VanRaalte, Elva Maldonado, Felix Noriega, Holly Masters, Gen Alley, Ray, Audrey Fuller, Arlen Heyne, Gil and Yolanda Erro, Linda Dalton, Rick Turner, Herb Westerfield, Noa Buhler, Rose Marie Quesada, 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: Christopher Oravetz, 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: Richard Larini (Navy), 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 | 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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