Grace Lutheran Church & Preschool

Newsletter - September 2022

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.

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From Pastor Steve

Dear Siblings in Christ,

My newsletter article last month was a follow up from a sermon I preached in July about prayer. To recap, I wrote that prayer is very important and is about strengthening our relationship with God and with others and that prayer always ‘works’ as long as we have a proper understanding of its purpose. It is not a ‘get what we want from God’ exchange. This month I’d like to address another aspect of prayer that some people struggle with and that is how to pray.

Jesus’ disciples asked Jesus how they should pray. Imagine that! Faithful Jews confused about how to speak to God! Well, if you understand the context of the scripture and the religious practices of first century Jews it is not all that surprising. Their relationship with God was much different than our relationship with God, and we have Jesus to thank for that. Yet, still some folks may seem intimidated by the thought of wanting to get that prayer just right. 

The truth is there isn’t a right or wrong way to pray, and there are many different ways to pray. Some say to think of prayer as a conversation with God as if you were speaking with a friend. That’s not a bad way to think about except God isn’t like any of your friends. He is the Holy and Mighty God, All Powerful, All mighty, All knowing Creator. Unlike a conversation with a friend there probably should be at least a slight amount of awe in speaking with God. That doesn’t mean, however, it needs to be formal or filled with elegant speech and fancy words. It can be a simple conversation in form and language but with the understanding that one is speaking with God.

If you’re one who likes to have a formula or pattern of prayer, look no further than Jesus’ instruction to pray based on the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer. Start with praising or recognizing God’s Godness, thank Him for His limitless blessings and mercy, forgiving our sins, and for being the source of all things. That helps put one in a good mindset to then lift up prayers for ourself and others. The intercessory prayers (prayers on behalf of others) is where the part in the Lord’s Prayer that speaks of His will being done comes in. Praying according to His will implies that God knows what He is doing and we trust Him enough to accept His will in our prayers. 

Jesus’ instruction to His disciples doesn’t mean that’s the only way to pray. It very well can be a conversation with Him. Prayer isn’t just about asking God for what we want. If it is about building a relationship with Him as I stated, then simply sharing what’s on your mind can be thought of as prayer. Complaining to God about having a bad day can be prayer. Being angry with God and questioning Him is a form of prayer. As can a simple, “Thank You God’ on seeing a beautiful sunset. Music can also be thought of as a form of prayer. All of these forms of prayer can be found in the Psalms, which are in some way the thoughts and communications ancient people had with God.

Prayer can be spoken out loud as they are in group situations. You may want to check your surroundings before praying out loud when your alone. Individual prayer is generally done silently, and that’s just fine. God knows your thoughts before you think them so He doesn’t need to ‘hear’ you. You can sit or stand, kneel or any other position that is comfortable. It usually helps to have a quite space so as to not get distracted, but that’s not necessary. I know plenty of people that can tune out the noise around them and focus their attention on God. Praying while driving (eyes open!), exercising, showering, brushing one’s teeth, cooking dinner, gardening, or any other activity that doesn’t require singular focus are common. I pray while I walk around my neighborhood. That works for me. 

The point is, there is no ‘how’ to pray. Just pray. God is always happy to hear from you! The really important thing is to make prayer a habit, something you do regularly and that takes some intentionality initially. If not done initially at a set time and place its hard to make it a habit. But once it becomes a habit, it becomes something that comes naturally and something you’ll miss if you go several days without praying. I love my time with God! Just me and Jesus spending quality time together. It is when I feel closest to God and that is always the best time of my day. Why wouldn’t it be? That’s it for now. I may have more to say next month, but I’ll pray about it first.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Steve 

Report of the Grace-Covina Church Council

From the August, 2022 Meeting

• There will be a Special Congregational Meeting following the worship service on Sunday, September 18, and prior to the All Church BBQ, to approve the Pre-School budget for 2022.

• Our first fellowship event since the onset of COVID will be held on Sunday, September 18. Sign-up sheets are available for those wishing to help with set-up and clean-up. There will be a pasta/macaroni salad and potato salad competition for those wanting to participate. Sign-ups for desserts are also available.

• A notice, both in this newsletter and in the weekly bulletin, has gone out to all and any interested parties regarding the dartball trophies and cases in the

• Fellowship Hall. Please check it out.

• Flooring replacement for the Pre-School has been delayed because of the difficulty in getting materials. Rooms 1, 2 and 8 have been repainted.

Brenda Noriega

Council President

From the Preschool Director

Hello All!

Thank you for your continued prayers and support of our preschool and infant center. I have hired two new teachers in the past two months, and they have been a Godsend. We are looking forward to moving towards a post-pandemic schedule.

• We will return to opening at 6:30 a.m. starting Tuesday, September 6, 2022.

• We will return to Chapel days starting Wednesday, September 7, 2022.

• We are planning our Halloween Carnival for Sunday, October 30, 2022.

Upcoming Themes:

8/22-8/26 Getting to know each other

8/29-9/2 Family

9/6-9/9 Squares / Letter Ss*

9/12-9/16 Insects / Numbers 1 & 3*

9/19-9/26 Fall / Letter Tt*

9/26-9/30 Circles / Cc*

*Please note only Ms. Cerise's class will work on a weekly letter or numbers.*

Upcoming Bible Stories:

9/12-9/23 Creation Celebration

9/26-10/7 Noah and the Big Boat


Ms. Christy

Save the Date

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

Trophy Cases

We have begun refreshing the Fellowship Hall, and are removing the trophy cases.

If you would like to have any of the trophies, please call or email the church office and let us know which ones you would like. Please let us know by October 1!

September Scripture Readings

September 4, 2022

13th Sunday after Pentecost

Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Psalm 1

Philemon 1-21

Luke 14:25-33

Click here for readings

September 11, 2022

14th Sunday after Pentecost

Exodus 32:7-14

Psalm 51:1-101

Timothy 1:12-17

Luke 15:1-10

Click here for readings

September 18, 2022

15th Sunday after Pentecost

Amos 8:4-7

Psalm 113

1 Timothy 2:1-7

Luke 16:1-13

Click here for readings

September 25, 2022

16th Sunday after Pentecost

Amos 6:1a, 4-7

Psalm 146

1 Timothy 6:6-19

Luke 16:19-31

Click here for readings

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

Nelly Brown | September 28

Save Your Egg Cartons

The ACTION 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.

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

Christmas Eve Survey

In an effort to offer service times on Christmas Eve that are accessible to the largest number of people, we ask the following question; if you were to attend a Christmas Eve service, what time would you prefer?

Please pick one preferred time.
5:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m.
9:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m.
11:00 p.m.

Special Congregational Meeting 

Please plan to stay for a few minutes after service on Sunday, September 18 for a special congregational meeting - we will be approving the 2022 Preschool budget.

September 2022 Calendar

Online calendar here

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: Elizabeth Ordonez, Carolyn Wengel, Patty VanRaalte, Elva Maldonado, Amber Brown, Bonnie Larini, Scott Evinger, Cathy Plante, Felix Noriega, Holly Masters, Gen Alley, Ray, Audrey Fuller, 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, Noa Buhler, Rose Marie Quesada, Cindy Skolaski, Deanna Kellogg, Jaxon Turner, Art James, Dakota Garske, Fern Hastings, Robert Boomsma, Robert Larsen, Trina Clay, Walter Hoke, 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 Patrick Putnam, the family of Alice Noriega, the family of Beverly Smith, the family of Steve Schantz, 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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