April 2020 Grace Notes
Grace and Peace to you all!

When we began our Lenten journey together about four weeks ago, we could not have imagined what we might be involuntarily ‘giving up.’ But I have been even more impressed by the ways in which we have connected.

I recently saw a post on Facebook that accurately portrays our current situation – The church is not empty. The church has been deployed.

The church has always been a community of God's people seeking to live as followers of Christ's teachings, showing the love and grace of Jesus Christ to others and to our world. Now we are being challenged to be a faith community in new ways – ways that invite us to be creative, ways that are sometimes uncomfortable and difficult for us, ways that encourage us to reach out to one other and support, encourage, and love one other while we physically distance ourselves because our health and well-being (love one another) is dependent on each another. At this time, the church cannot gather in person and celebrate our mission and ministry as we are accustomed to doing, but the church is not the building – the church is you, the people.

Perhaps you remember the old song – ‘The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is a resting place, the church is the people. I am the church, you are the church, we are the church together. All who follow Jesus, all around the world. Yes, we’re the church together.”

We are “the church” together! We have a number of people who have volunteered to help those who may need it. If you find yourself in need of a helping hand, please contact me and we can connect you together. May God's love and Christ's peace uphold us together in these challenging times.

Pastor Beth

P.S. I do miss seeing your faces! 
There are a number of ways we are working to stay connected –

  • Now is a good time to share your E-mail address with the church (or make sure it’s updated) to receive the most up-to-date information by contacting the church office by phone or E-mail.

  • The next best thing to being together, is hearing another’s voice. In an effort to keep us connected, we are asking those who are able to participate in a phone tree. If you are already checking in with others via phone, please let pastor Beth know so we don’t double up. If you are interested in making a few calls, please let her know and she will connect you. Thank you in advance.
Worship and other postings are available on our Facebook page
In addition, they will be posted soon on our web page (watch for an announcement).
Virtual Gathering Opportunities –
Sundays              10 a.m. Worship on Facebook
Wednesdays     6:15 p.m. Lenten Gathering on Facebook
Thursdays          9:30 a.m. Virtual Coffee Hour Gathering on  Zoom
(which is accessible by internet or call in by phone*)
*An invitation and instructions to participate online or via phone will be available soon and shared on constant contact (E-mail) and mailed to those who do not have E-mail. This is an interactive opportunity to check in with one another. All are welcome, so feel free to share.
Holy Week Update
Though we will not gather together for Holy Week, Pastor Beth will be offering a “Holy Week Connection Bag.” It will include items for you to be connected to the happenings of Palm Sunday through Easter.

Times will be set up to drive by and pick up a bag from Pastor Beth in front of the church (from a distance without even getting out of your car). If you are homebound they can be delivered to you if not on lockdown. If you are not homebound but would prefer to have it delivered to you (locally), let Pastor Beth know by Sunday, April 5th. 

Please watch for upcoming details of dates and times as they become available.  

Thank you to everyone who makes Grace what it is!

Thank you to those who were willing to try something new this Lenten season. Thanks to all who prepared the Lenten suppers and to those who participated in Lenten worship and faith formation on prayer.

Thank you to all who ordered Easter plants to celebrate the resurrection. Although we will not be gather in our sanctuary together. For those who wanted to keep their order in place, Pastor Beth will arrange for them to be used in the background of our Easter worship and we'll be in touch about how to get your plants to you after Easter.

Thank you to Judy Kummer for sponsoring the Bridgeway meal for the month of April.

Thank you to Ann & Chuck Ebert for sponsoring the bulletins for the month of April.

Thank you to Chuck Ebert for creating legs for the youth table, and for fixing the door handle in the church office and the railing.

There are a number of things that just ‘happen’ here at Grace. For those who give of their time and talent to make things happen – whether anonymously or whether I may have accidentally not included, please know that we are thankful for your generosity! Please let Pastor Beth know if there are any errors or omissions. 
Since we will not be gathering face-to-face for a bit, a link has been created to share in a virtual prayer chain. Once you open the link below it will give you details and should answer any questions you may have -- It's not the same as being physically together, but perhaps it will give us an opportunity to be together in spirit. All prayer requests will be kept confidential unless marked as a "shared" choice. Feel free to share -- all are welcome to join in prayer.
Please reach out at any time rev.beth.petzke@gmail.com or
Please remember that if you admitted to the hospital and would like a visit from Pastor Beth, please contact her directly (cell 920-371-8018). Between HIPPA and the busyness of the hospital staff, oftentimes the hospital doesn’t call, therefore Pastor Beth would appreciate a direct call from you or your family to ensure timely visitation and pastoral care. 
If you have a student who is graduating this spring, please let the office or Pastor Beth know the details including date, school, degree, so we can choose a date to recognize and celebrate with them in worship.
Please note that the church building will remain locked for the time being for everyone's safety and well being.
Thank you for your understanding.
Spring Plant Fundraiser! 
Grace is hosting a spring plant/flower voucher sale as a fundraiser for the church. It works great! You can place your order for the plants you want to purchase by April 23rd and vouchers will be available for pickup on May 3rd. Vouchers can be redeemed directly at Caan’s until May 27   th   . Completed order forms can be mailed or emailed to the church. Thank you for your support!
Texas Roadhouse offers a Sunday bulletin program to support local churches. On Sundays between 11am and 9:30pm, guests that come into the Sheboygan Texas Roadhouse location can have 10% of their total food purchases back to the church! Simply present a current copy of your church’s bulletin to your server. If you go out for lunch or dinner on Sundays, consider patronizing Texas Roadhouse.  
Shop with SCRIP!
Kwik Trip cards are available in the church office. With scrip, you’re paying face value and you’re getting face value. Make your giving go farther! Contact the church office for more details.
Sponsorship is another way to support the ministries and outreach of the church. Through sponsorship of Grace Notes, worship bulletins, altar flowers, or Bridgeway meals you help the church fulfill its mission. Donations made to sponsorship can be sent to the church office or placed in the offering plate with a notation of what you're sponsoring. Each sponsorship is $40. Thank you for your generosity! We couldn't do it without you!
Grace is now registered with Amazon Smile. To choose Grace as the charitable organization to benefit from your Amazon purchases go to smile.amazon.com. Here are the step by step. Sign in to  smile.amazon.com  on your desktop or mobile phone browser.
1.     From your desktop, go to Your Account from the navigation at the top of any page, and then select the option to Change your Charity. Or, from your mobile browser, select Change your Charity from the options at the bottom of the page.
2.     Select a Grace United Church of Christ as your organization to support.
Thank you to all that volunteered to serves as acolytes, ushers, and liturgists in the month of April. At this time, all in person worship is cancelled until further notice.
visit our website graceucckohler.org
(920)452-6795 graceucckohler@gmail.com
Rev Beth Petzke, pastor rev.beth.petzke@gmail.com