Grace Lutheran Church & Preschool
Newsletter - March, 2021
17880 E. Covina Blvd. | Covina, CA 91722
Church Office (626) 332-4536 | Preschool (626) 967-5855
GLC and More Online
Worship
Full Sunday services are available on the Grace Lutheran, Covina YouTube channel. We also hold in-person, outdoor worship at 9:30 a.m. Sundays on the Grace, Covina campus, weather permitting. 

Masks are required and social distancing is observed, and we ask that you bring your own chair, if possible. If you are medically compromised, have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, or have had contact with anyone with COVID-19, we ask that you worship safely with us online. 

Drive-though Holy Communion is offered every second Sunday of the month at 10:30 a.m. in the Grace, Covina parking lot. 
From Pastor Steve
Dear Grace Family,

We are several weeks into the season of Lent and I do not know how many of you make any changes in your life in observance of Lent, but I believe there is great value in doing something, even a little something during this season. So, that is what this month’s article will be about. 

First, let me start by saying that one does not have to strictly adhere to the calendar when it comes to the practice of Lent. It helps because ‘experts’ say that anything you do for forty days will likely become a habit and that can be a good thing if one decides to adopt a healthier lifestyle during Lent, or be more committed to reading scripture, or perhaps praying daily. But, if giving up chocolate for Lent is what a person has decided to do for forty days, I would not suggest that become permanent because chocolate is delicious and one of life’s great pleasures. That last sentence was clearly meant to be seen as spoken tongue in cheek, but I think you get the point. I hope. 

With that all being said, you are relieved from the excuse of, “It’s too late to start since Lent began weeks ago!” One thing I would not necessarily argue for as a Lenten discipline this year is taking anything away this time around. I think we can all agree that we have endured enough of things being taken away over the past year! Keeping that line of thinking in mind, it has been pretty rough and as this pandemic has dragged on it has naturally brought with it increased negative feelings. It can be as serious as real depression, or a deep sense of isolation. It can also be an increased sense of irritability, or frustration, or impatience. The point is few if any of us can say that we have not been negatively impacted from an emotional standpoint. So, what to do?

Well, the ancient people of Israel encountered some pretty significant trials and long periods of hardship. Think about 400 years of captivity by Egypt, or even forty years wandering through the wilderness, or the numerous occasions when they were being antagonized and oppressed by foreign nations. One of the ways they dealt with these trials was through prayers of lament. They would cry out to God, publicly and privately, and basically complain to Him. Some would even call it whining to God. Lament is a kinder way of saying complain or whine. The Psalms are full of lament and did you know there is a whole book in the OT called Lamentation? Guess what that book is about? 

In their lamentations the people would get real honest with God, sometimes brutally honest, about their displeasure with life and sometimes even with God. That may seem strange or even offensive to some of you, but do you think God is not aware of our feelings? This kind of honesty can be liberating. Do we not often feel better about a situation when we have an opportunity to ‘blow of some steam’ to a friend or family member? The problem is that after a year long ordeal we may feel like we have run out of people to complain to or feel like the ones we would normally complain to may not want to hear about because they are feeling the same way. 

The truth is God never gets tired of hearing from us, even if our crying out is not always praise and thanks. God does not want to hear what we think He wants to hear. He wants our honesty and vulnerability. He wants us to be real with Him and with ourselves. Besides allowing us to blow of some steam, lamenting to God also brings us closer to God because our relationship with Him becomes more honest the more vulnerable we become. This is certainly true with our human relationships, is it not? The people you are closest to are closest to you because you are more ‘real’ with them in sharing your thoughts and feelings. It the same in our relationship with God. 

So, going back to the beginning of this article I suggest that you adopt the idea of lamenting to God as a part of your prayer life. Scripture is a good guide and encouragement for you if you need some help. Read the book of Lamentations or the lament Psalms. You can Google ‘lament Psalms’ to get a list of individual and communal Psalms. After some reading you will likely have a good idea of what I have been writing about. One thing you should definitely notice and that should be a part of your lament is that they almost always finish with a statement of hope. This is what makes it a lament and not just a complaint. After blowing of some steam, it is the most helpful to recognize that God is the best source of hope for us in every situation. In doing so we can be reminded that we are never alone and that God is always there to hear our cries as well as our thanks and praise. I hope you will consider what I am suggesting. I really think it can help us all get through this ordeal. Happy Lent!

Yours in Faith,
Pastor Steve
Grace-Covina History
Thanks to Ronda Salgado and Will Langer for sharing their memories about the founding years at Grace!
Hello, my name is Ronda Salgado. I grew up in Grace Lutheran Church. I was there, as a young girl, when they began laying the foundation to build the church. At least once a week my Dad would take me to the work site to see the progress on the church building. When it was finally built, we waited for Pastor Nordby to arrive and become our minister. My mother was the church organist, my dad was always an usher, and Wednesday night we had Bible Study at our home. My brother and I were both confirmed there (above). Once the church was finished every family that was a member received a plate (top and bottom right). I recently found this plate and wondered if you would want to have it at the church, just as a bit of the church history.
We've received the plate safely - thank you to Ronda for sending it back to Grace as part of our parish history!
My name is Wilfried (or Will) Langer. My wife, Helen, and I were founding members of Grace in the late 1950’s/early 60’s. As a Mission church, we helped to get it built and up and running. I was President for a year or two during tough budget times. Pastor Nordby was our Pastor at the start of our membership. Attached (above) is a 1966 photo of us and our family for your archives.

I can see on Google that a new building was added along the parking lot and a school is part of Grace’s mission. Thanks for your ministry.
Wednesday Bible Study
Join us Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. for Grace Lutheran Online Bible Study - our current topic is the Book of Jonah.

Zoom information for Wednesday Bible Study is also made available on our Facebook page. 
March Scripture Readings
March 7, 2021
3rd Sunday in Lent
Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
John 2:13-22
March 14, 2021
4th Sunday in Lent
Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
Ephesians 2:1-1
John 3:14-21
March 21, 2021
5th Sunday in Lent
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalm 51:1-12
Hebrews 5:5-10
John 12:20-33
March 28, 2021
Palm Sunday
Mark 11:1-11
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11

March Birthdays
Chase Entrikin |March 1
Steven Turner | March 1
Randy Noriega | March 3
Lisa Entrikin | March 6
Sandra Streeter | March 6 Charlene Bergerson | March 7 Denise Thomas | March 8
Blake Yarber | March 9
Heather Bergerson | March 9 Pastor Ed McGee | March 11
Tony Encabo | March 24
Ken Linden | March 26
Carol Davisson | March 28 Asheley Hernandez | March 28 Donald Jacobs | March 29
Steve Adzovich | March 31
March Anniversaries
Michael & Patty Van Raalte March 18
  • 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 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: Annalisa Morgan, Hailey, Lorraine Thorne, Trina Clay, Walter Hoke, Charlene Bergerson, the Davidson Family, Jaxon Turner, Sarah Encabo, Shiloh Truman Charles, Mickie Spangler, Kevin Ardery, Sylvia Gilmour, Harper, Ed McGee, Suzanna Auckland, Dakota Gorske, Aria Labrum, Kari Watson, Peggy Salcido, John Carlin, Jason Foutch, Addie, Susan Atkison, Joyce Sutera, Jan Sieber, Ofelia Rodriguez, Dave Diaz, Lee and Joan Juneau, Meade Stemple, Rhonda Kloster, Marie Cole, John Brown and Casey Broccini, Marie and Tom McCarthy, Penelope Ross, Russ Mohrmann, Amrie and Denis, Robin Kreitzer, Nikki Intravia, Connie Brown, Jeremiah Reese, Ken Gillingham, Sheila, Susan Blonsky, Marie Dabbs, Tony Key and family, Cody, Adrian Burden, Jennie Walters, Emma, Pat Bergeson, Cheryl Miller, Esperanza Avalos, Pam Elparia, Myrna Ott, Ron Ott, Marilyn Heyne, Cindy Skolaski, Doug Ginesi, Mamasan Ajito, Brian Akey, Deanna Kellogg, Taylor Rae, Robert Larsen, Ray Varela, and victims of COVID-19. 
 
Please pray for others in need of prayer, including: the family of Deanna Kellogg, Deborah and Mark Roberts, the family of Robert Henderson, the family of Lorraine Thorne,
the family of Summer Scott, the family of Sylvia Gilmouir, and our Grace neighbors.

Please pray for the men and women who are currently serving in the military who are bravely protecting us and our country, including Andrew Ranabarger and Cole Elliot (Marine Corps) and Nathaniel Morgan (Army).
 
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 | Judy McGee | (323) 376-1226
Secretary | Brenda Noriega | (626) 914-1664
Treasurer | Robert Ordonez | (626) 388-6930

Members-at-Large
Diana Alley | (626) 475-7583 Cindy Skolaski | (626) 332-0209
Dave Brown | (909) 772-3500 Johna Stienstra | (626) 840-3167
One Year Ago
Last year on February 16, Bishop Guy Erwin was our guest preacher at a special combined Sunday service at Grace-Covina. He then served as a judge at the Grace-Covina Annual Chili Cook-Off! Pastor Steve Otte regained his title as chili champion (as a co-judge, I can tell you all the chili contenders were delicious), and over $300 was raised for the ACTION Food Pantry.
www.gracecovina.org | office@gracecovina.org | (626) 332 - 4536