Grace Lutheran Church & Preschool

Newsletter - September, 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!

Prayer requests
Make an offering here
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God's Work, Our Hands - September 10

Bishop Brenda Bos Guest Preaching

Bishop Brenda Bos will be our guest preacher for God's Work, Our Hands Sunday on September 10.

Please see the information below for materials needed for this year's God's Work, Our Hands Sunday service project - Blessing Bags for those in need. After Worship on Sunday, September 10 we will gather for fellowship and to assemble bags.

From Pastor Steve

Greetings Grace Family,

After taking last month off writing an article for this newsletter (due mostly to writer’s block, but also because I really enjoyed Bishop Eaton’s article. I hope you did too!), I’m back! There were a number of topics I considered writing about this month like fear, or the history and purpose of why we do the things in our worship services that we do. But I decided to write about Romans. Not the residents of Rome, but Paul’s Epistle.

As long as I’ve been at Grace and teaching Bible study, I have mostly taught from the historical narrative books. Genesis, Exodus, the Samuels and Kings, even Acts from the New Testament, just to name a few. I find the historical books fascinating for many reasons and they are also fairly easy to follow. After finishing 2 Kings I decided to venture back into the NT and explore faith and theology with those who participate in Bible study. Studying Romans did present some challenges for both the teacher and students. One of those challenges is the density of Paul’s theological work and his writing style. One of the other challenges is studying a book that requires one to examine one’s theology. That may not seem like a big deal, but the truth is we humans tend to have a pretty simple understanding of topics like grace, righteousness and salvation. But these are deeply intellectual topics that can make one’s brain start to ache when exploring the endless layers of some of the key tenants of our Lutheran Doctrine. 

It is not a criticism to say we tend to have a simple understanding of our doctrine. When presented with the reality that Jesus dies for our sins and as a result those who believe receive salvation and eternal life, it is like receiving the greatest gift ever! I do not have to know, necessarily how that gift was made or how it works in order to understand and appreciate its incredible value. If Jesus said it is true, that is good enough for me! Taking grace at face value does not diminish its blessings. I was perfectly happy with face value for many, many years of my life as a Christian.

When I started my education to become a pastor and began to explore the how’s and why’s of my faith I did not anticipate the depth of the change that it would create in my relationship with God and my worldview. Silly me! It was challenging for sure, but I am so grateful for the process and its results, results that continue to evolve. That is one of the beautiful things about this kind of study. The deeper I went the more I wanted to learn and grow! But the truth is it can be uncomfortable at times having deeply held beliefs challenged and it requires a great deal of thought. It also does not change the basic truth of saved by grace through faith. 

So deciding to teach from Paul’s letter to the Romans, perhaps the most theological book in all of scripture, was accompanied by the concern that my fellow learners would quickly lose interest, thinking, “Why do I need to know how grace works if it does not add to its benefits?” I imagined I would be teaching a class of one (That one being Lindi because she would never want to hurt my feelings) after a couple chapters of rich Pauline theology. Well, I am happy to say that as of this writing and four chapters of Romans I have not lost any of the folks who regularly attend the study!

I hope one of the reasons for that is studying a book such as Romans, as hard as it is at times to understand, has resulted in what I experienced in seminary. That ‘going deeper’ has resulted in a closer relationship with Jesus and a greater appreciation for the Gospel. This is what I experienced throughout my education and what I continue to experience today as I am being transformed by the renewing of my mind (Romans 12:2). It’s never to late to join our Bible study! You might just discover that below the surface the riches of God’s grace are infinite!

Yours In Christ,

Pastor Steve

August Council Report

• M/S/C to purchase new music, mic stands and cable, and music stands from Worship and Music budget for a cost of around $300.

• Bishop Brenda Bos will be preaching on Sunday, September 10. Pastor Steve will also be here.

• The pre-school will be closed August 17-18 for Teacher Preparation Days.

• The Food Pantry has a new treasurer, Pastor Jim Mericle, of St. Mark’s in Hacienda Heights.

 • The thermostats for the HVAC in the sanctuary need to be replaced. Mitch McCabe will be doing the installation.  

• The resignation of Judy McGee from Church Council, an at-large member, has been accepted, effective immediately.

In His Service, 

Brenda Noriega

Council President

September Scripture Readings

Sunday, September 3, 2023

14th Sunday after Pentecost

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Psalm 26:1-8

Romans 12:9-21

Matthew 16:21-28

Click here for readings

Sunday, September 10, 2023

15th Sunday after Pentecost

Ezekiel 33:7-11

Psalm 119:33-40

Romans 13:8-14

Matthew 18:15-20

Click here for readings

Sunday, September 17, 2023

16th Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 50:15-21

Psalm 103:[1-7] 8-13

Romans 14:1-12

Matthew 18:21-35

Click here for readings

Sunday, September 24, 2023

17th Sunday after Pentecost

Jonah 3:10--4:11

Psalm 145:1-8

Philippians 1:21-30

Matthew 20:1-16

Click here for readings

Thank you to everyone who has been bringing their egg cartons for the ACTION Food Pantry to use! At this time, ACTION's source for bulk eggs is packaging them in cartons for their clients' use, so they don't need any more for now.

There still is a need for canned goods of all kinds, especially fruit, which is difficult to source fresh.

Birthdays and Anniversaries

September Birthdays

Bernie Nord | September 3

Cecilia Hamblet | September 9

Zachary Jacobs| September 9

Gen Alley | September 11

Bill Wengel | September 13

Lorie Turner | September 14

Jacob Banks | September 14

Jeremy Brown | September 14

Brenda Noriega | September 23

Jane Wurtz | September 27

Nelly Brown | September 28

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

The Rev. Roger Rogahn

April 9, 1939 - August 16, 2023

Memorial Service September 6 in Glendale

Roger Harry Rogahn, 84, passed away peacefully on August 16, 2023 while under hospice care at Solheim Senior Community in Los Angeles, CA. Roger and his twin brother Ronald Lee Rogahn were born in Milwaukee, WI to Harry Rogahn and Dorothy Holtz Rogahn on April 9, 1939.
The family moved to Southern California when he was young, where he graduated from North Hollywood High School before obtaining a degree in History from Pomona College. He attended Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA and was ordained in 1965 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). He married Dee Ann Bowater (née McGaw) in 1962, and while their marriage formally ended, they remained close friends until his passing. While a practicing pastor, he attended California State University in Los Angeles and he earned a doctorate in Greek, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation History at the University of Southern California (USC) in 1974.
He lived a long and dedicated life of service, touching the lives of many through his ministry and teaching in Southern California and across the globe. He formally served as Assistant Pastor at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in LA Crescenta (1965-1967), Messiah Lutheran Church in Pasadena (1967-1969) and Trinity Lutheran Church in Manhattan Beach (1969-1974). From 1974-1982, Roger was the pastor of Bethel Lutheran Church in Los Angeles. In 1982, he accepted a call from the synod to serve as the Director of Los Angeles Metropolitan Ministry and served on the synod staff from 1982-1995. During this time he also served as an Assistant to the Bishop as a Mission Director. In 1995, he accepted a part-time call to serve Grace Lutheran Church in Covina where he served until 2001. In 2005, he served as the part-time Interim Principal at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Highland Park, and provided pulpit supply at Mount Calvary/Faith Lutheran Church in West Covina, until he retired on June 2, 2006.
In addition to his ministerial work, his passion for history and theology led him to serve with ELCA Global Missions where he taught at a Lutheran Seminary in El Salvador. He also taught at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Cairo, Egypt, the Claremont School of Theology and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.
Pastor Roger’s foundational faith and his life of service were an inspiration to many. He was known for his selflessness and giving, love of art history and classical music.
He is survived by his former wife, Dee Ann Bowater, sister-in-law Maire Blaisdell and nephews Scott and Andrew Koyen and Ross Perry. He was preceded in death by his brother Ron and sister Gail Perry.
A memorial service for Roger will be held on Wednesday, September 6th, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the Lutheran Center located at 1300 E. Colorado St. Glendale, CA 91205.
In lieu of any gifts or flowers, we ask that, if you feel so moved, to please donate to the organization of your choice, or to the Hawai’i Community Foundation ( as they continue to recover from the devastating Lahaina fire.
Eternal rest grant him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.

September, 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: Diane Syslo, Richard Duffy, Spencer, Bonnie Larini, Candyce Jacobs, Sue Henderson, Jim Oravetz, Deneise Hadley, Alma Pasos, Alaric, Marie O'Malley, Judith Tury, Cindy Skolaski, Keith McHugh, Elena Navarette, Tina Pike, Nancy Klotzche, Larry Weidner, Linda Schober, Barry Gustaferro, Yolanda Weidner, Candy Turner, Joan Pelleren, Shelly Ruiz, Elizabeth Ordonez, Patty VanRaalte, Elva Maldonado, Cathy Plante, Felix Noriega, Holly Masters, Gen Alley, Ray, Audrey Fuller, Arlen Heyne, Gil and Yolanda Erro, Linda Dalton, Charlene Lisberg and Debbie, 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: the family and friends of Gwen Jenkins, Deanne Castorena and family, the family and friends of Roger Rogahn, the family of John Galletta, Christy Arreguin and family, the family of Deanna Kellogg , the family of Shawna Wakeley, the family of Christian Noriega, 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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