Grace Lutheran Church & Preschool

Newsletter - July 2022

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

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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.

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From Pastor Steve

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The first official day of summer was June 21st. Some of you may pay attention to such things as the ‘official first day of summer’, but I’ve always thought of summer beginning with the 4th of July. It’s kind of the kick off of summer for me with the all the fanfare and such. When I was young it meant summer vacation from school and family trips, bar-b-ques, beach parties and those lazy days of summer. And I loved that it felt like the fireworks and excitement of 4th of July was a perfect way to start 3 months of fun, fun, fun!

Of course, 4th of July is much more than parties and instructions to ‘light fuse and get away’. It is really a day of patriotism, celebrating our countries independence from an oppressive monarchy. And a country borne out of a fierce desire for independence and democracy, a government of the people for the people, started a culture that has embraced our independence as a nation and as individuals. We cherish our freedom as much as anything in this world. 

The dictionary defines independence as, “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” Sound about right? I don’t know about you, but I like to be in control. I don’t want anyone telling me what to do, what to think, where to go, or how to live my life! I think that attitude stems largely from a culture that was born out of a struggle for independence. It doesn’t hurt that that kind of attitude also appeals to our generally strong egos. 

So, how does this work with our faith? Certainly we embrace the freedom of religion in our country, but do our religious beliefs promote a radical kind of freedom or strict obedience to our Lord? Think about that for a second. Does the Bible teach us that we are free from the control or influence of God? Well, in a way, yes it does. God gave all humankind free will to resist being controlled or influenced by the God who created us all. On the opposite side of the coin is the understanding that we should submit our lives to God and let Him be in control and be influenced by the teachings of Jesus. In a sense faith means giving up our independence to God. It is recognizing that God truly is in control and that submitting to Him is the ideal way of life. 

As a Christian we can say that it’s super easy to give God control! Right? If you said “Yes!” we need to talk. This is one of our greatest battles and most significant struggles of our faith. Sin, our egos, and the world we live in bombard us with the message of, “It’s all about me! I want, I want, I want! And ME, ME, ME!!!” Jesus tells us to ‘love our neighbors,’ ‘give to the poor,’ ‘be the least of all’. And Paul tells us not to think too highly of ourselves. With these mixed messages it’s no wonder life can be so confusing, especially life as a Christian. 

We fight our whole lives for independence and it’s a fight we will never win. In order to live a life of fulfillment we will always need others, but more importantly we will always need God, especially as it relates to our salvation. We are completely dependent on Christ for that. This is one of the many paradoxes in the life of a Christian. Fiercely independent and completely dependent all at the same time. 

So, what the point of all of this? Frankly, it’s what your Pastor writes when he can’t think of anything else to write for the newsletter and the deadline has already passed to finish this article and he’s thinking about the month of July and a national holiday. But, beyond my lack of inspiration I hope that it sparks in you to take a moment and consider what it means to be totally dependent on our Lord for the one thing that matters most of all and how we all might let God take control of all aspects of our lives. He’s taken care of the big thing, so it’s not difficult to think He can also handle the little things as well. When we do that the hope, peace and joy we have with the promise of our salvation becomes the hope, peace, and joy of our everyday lives. This is the abundant life that Jesus promises us if we depend on Him in all things. We celebrate our countries independence once a year, but we should celebrate our dependence on God every day, giving thanks to the One on whom we can always depend. Amen.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Steve

Report of the Grace-Covina Church Council

From the June, 2022 Meeting

·      The new benches for the patio have arrived.  They need to be assembled and installed.

·      The “dead” bush barrier on Larkin St. has been removed. We are discussing a replacement barrier.  Both the benches and the removal of the bushes were funded by the FRF.

·      A Fellowship Event will be held on Sunday, August 14 after worship.  There will be a potato salad and macaroni/pasta salad competition.  There is a need for an organizer.

·      The Birthday and Anniversary list is in the Narthex for corrections and additions.

·      The ACTION Food Pantry has asked to have free haircuts in the Choir Room once a month for their clients. M/S/C  The AFP is also changing the hours they are open, beginning July 1, to 12 noon –3:00 pm on Thursdays.

·      The Pre-School is short a teacher.  Christy is working diligently to find a replacement.

Brenda Noriega

Council President

"A New Thing"

by Pastor Angela T. !Khabeb - Holy Trinity, Minneapolis

from Living Lutheran, June 3, 2022

Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43:18-19).

Recently I learned about a church fire where, due to the combination of fire, smoke and water damage, most of the building was destroyed. The congregation was understandably traumatized. Their beloved place of worship, fellowship, learning and service had been annihilated, reduced to charred remains. Over the weeks and months that followed, they worked through the immediate logistical steps. What irreplaceable items were lost? Where do we worship now? How does our insurance policy cover this loss?

As this congregation moved toward the hopeful steps of rebuilding, the time came for the leaders to decide what the new worship space would look like. This congregation faced an opportunity to renovate and step into new beginnings for their worship life together. What happened? They chose to use the exact same layout of the previous sanctuary for the new construction, despite knowing its shortcomings...

...We may feel the deep pull to return to what is most familiar, most known, most comfortable. But instead of following the impulse to do everything like we did before, what if we opened our imaginations to what God might be calling us to do, even if it’s unfamiliar or uncomfortable?

Read the rest here


Strength and Dignity

WELCA One Day Retreat

featuring Bishop Brenda Bos

October 15, 2022

Prince of Peace

Lutheran Church

1359 E. Covina Blvd. in Covina

Registration information coming soon!

Questions - contact Debbie Tate at 626-252-0411

July Scripture Readings

July 3, 2022

4th Sunday after Pentecost

Isaiah 66:10-14

Psalm 66:1-9

Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Click here for readings

July 10, 2022

5th Sunday after Pentecost

Deuteronomy 30:9-14

Psalm 25:1-10

Colossians 1:1-14

Luke 10:25-3

Click here for readings

July 17, 2022

6th Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 18:1-10a

Psalm 15

Colossians 1:15-28

Luke 10:38-42

Click here for readings

July 24. 2022

7th Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 18:20-32

Psalm 138

Colossians 2:6-15 [16-19]

Luke 11:1-13

Click here for readings

July 31, 2022

8th Sunday after Pentecost

Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23

Psalm 49:1-12

Colossians 3:1-11

Luke 12:13-21

Click here for readings

July Birthdays

Mike Brown | July 4

Jerry Colwell | July 5

Steven Fields | July 7

Adrianna Biggs | July 11

Michael Van Raalte | July 14

Amber Brown | July 21

Barbara Margison | July 21

Bernie Schantz | July 29

Judy McGee | July 31

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

July 2022 Calendar

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: Cathy Plante, Felix Noriega, Nadia Mitchell, Holly Masters, Gen Alley, Ray, Audrey Fuller, Alice Noriega, Don Lockman, Robert Ordonez, Sr., Karen Putnam, Arlen Heyne, Gil and Yolanda Erro, Linda Dalton, Charlene Lisberg and Debbie, Rick Turner, Kurt and Debbie VonRice, Bud Peterson, Nolan, Herb Westerfield, Patrick Putnam, Noa Buhler, Rose Marie Quesada, Cindy Skolaski, Deanna Kellogg, Jaxon Turner, Art James, Beverly Smith, Dakota Garske, Fern Hastings, Robert Boomsma, Robert Larsen, Trina Clay, Walter Hoke, Cody Umpleby, Connie Brown, the Davidson Family, Jamie Wilcots, Joan and Lee Juneau, Kari Watson, Ken Gillingham, 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 Craig Barr, the family of Kimberly Saldan, the family of Sherry Kost, the family of Mike Saltonstall, the family of Cerah Nolan, the family and friends of Marie Dabbs, Tricia Henderson, 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), Nathaniel Morgan (Army), 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 | Dave Brown | Nancy Adzovich | Judy McGee
Your Church Staff
Pastor | The Rev. Steve Otte
Director of Worship & Music | Jeffrey Saltonstall
Custodian | Amber Brown
Parish Administrator | Samantha Henderson
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