Grace Notes, our monthly newsletter,
is currently published as an e-newsletter.
"You feel good helping people"
Verna Offermann retires after 21 years at the Grace reception desk.
Since 1999 Verna Offermann has been welcoming adults and children to Grace Church and School from her post at the reception desk. She retired at the end of June and recently spent some time reminiscing about her years of extending Grace hospitality to all who come through the door.

What will autumn look like at Grace?
Summer is a time when things slow down around Grace. We continue to worship, to live out our mission and ministry, to care for one another. Still, it has always been a time when certain ministries and programs take a break. This year, however, is different. Many things have been put on hold since March or have been reinvented.

When will things get started again? And what will autumn look like at Grace?

Remember that during the pandemic, plans can change in a hurry. But that said, we are moving forward with a plan for holding worship services for up to fifty people at a time, as you’ve read about elsewhere. Grace School is planning on opening up for in-person learning at the beginning of the school year, with remote learning available for students, too.

Beyond worship and the school, we plan to take it slow when it comes to in-person gatherings. Meetings of committees and boards should continue to happen remotely. Individual ministries, from Cornerstones to Adult Education, Sunday School and youth ministry, are making plans that will most likely involve remote gatherings, at least in the fall. This is partly due to a desire to minimize in-person gatherings, but also so that we can focus on keeping the building safe and clean for our students when they come to school each day.

Make no mistake, ministry programs will ramp back up as we transition from summer to autumn. But it will look different. Thanks be to God that the church is still the church. We continue to gather in creative ways, giving thanks to God through Christ our Lord. Thank you, Grace, for being the church during these days.

Pastor Dave Lyle
Getting the health care you need during the pandemic

During the pandemic some people have been “toughing it out” because they are afraid to go to the hospital — either because they fear being exposed to the virus or do not want to strain the health care system. But this can be a problem, too. Pat Gulik, our Parish Nurse, writes about getting necessary health care during the COVID pandemic. Read more.
Summer food drive

The Social Ministry Committee is sponsoring an ongoing food drive during the summer to help keep the shelves stocked at  Beyond Hunger , the  Harmony Food Pantry,  and other locations. Bring non-perishable food items to the Grace atrium when you come for worship, or Monday through Friday, 11:30am–1pm. Or consider supporting these organizations directly with a direct monetary donation at their websites.
Thank you for your gifts to Grace

Thanks to the generosity of Grace members our deficit for the 2019-20 budget year will be minimal. Thank you for your support of Grace Lutheran Church and School.

Thank you as well for your support of local ministries through the Sharing Burdens, Sharing Hope campaign in June. The organizations highlighted in videos and emails continue to serve vulnerable community members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch Grace members describe their work with these organizations in the playlist on YouTube.
Apartment for rent

The second-floor apartment in the Grace-owned two-flat at 1135 Bonnie Brae is for rent. More information here.
Contact information

  • The building is open and the reception desk at Grace is staffed from 11:30am to 1pm, Monday through Friday. 
  • If you come to Grace, please wear a mask. Use hand sanitizer when you arrive. Please observe social distancing when you are around other people. 
  • Grace staff members are available by appointment. If you need to get into the building at another time, please contact the appropriate staff member to make arrangements. Contact information for Grace staff is here. Or call 708-366-6900 and leave a message. Voicemail messages are checked Monday through Friday at 11:30am and passed on to the appropriate people.

Emergencies. Pastor Lyle's emergency number is 708-689-3032. You can also email him at dlyle@graceriverforest.org.

Daily devotions. Pastor Lyle continues to post a daily devotion and prayer on his blog; you can sign up there to follow his posts via email. The link to the devotion is also posted daily on the Grace Church Facebook page.

Ascension image from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.   http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=54351  [retrieved May 13, 2020]. Original source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/skip/111045024/