July 2020 Grace Notes
Grace and Peace to you all!
I pray that this finds you safe and well. During all the challenges of covid-19, continued racism and other injustices, dust storms, killer hornets and the like, it is easy to find ourselves in a place of worry and distress. But instead, I challenge us to return to the core of our faith and hold onto that which is good – the good news of Christ through God!

Confessions of a preaching woman: from time to time I have found myself in those moments of despair as well. Times when the world speaks louder than anything else. It doesn’t help that literally anyone can post anything on the internet and social media and can be taken as “an expert” or what they are saying is, “the truth.” It can often be downright difficult to find out what the truth really is. On the other hand, how many times are we so isolated by the quiet that we put ourselves into unhealthy places and our mental health suffers. And we can easily go back and forth between the two places. And so how can we stay grounded? 

In the midst of all of this, I turned to God in prayer – not only to talk to God, but to listen. God provided – and brought someone into my life that shared the joy of walking the beach at Kohler Andrea. Admittedly, it took a while to give myself permission to stop the work of the day and take care of myself. And when I did, I found a new happy place. I’m referring to is as ‘Theology at the beach.’

When we read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), and respond accordingly, we cannot help but be grounded. Jesus’ entire ministry was counter cultural – then and now. They offer us lessons that we are invited to wrestle with in the text again and again.

Our culture is one of getting ahead by working 24/7, of giving up everything else for work – including family, friends, and self care. I followed the example Christ gives us – spending time wilderness and getting away – and took time to pray and take care of one’s self. My new ‘wilderness’ is walking the beach early in the morning or late in the evening. I’d like to share with you one of my awakenings.

Sometimes I walk the beach and it’s warm, sunny, and quiet and the lake is like glass. It’s then that I focus on the rocks below my feet and look for sea glass. I see and hear things differently and talk to God.

Sometimes I walk the beach and it’s chilly, overcast or foggy, and the waves are loud. They are so loud I cannot hear myself think. It is then I am reminded that I need to listen – not to the noise of the world, but to God.

And so I invite you to join in find a time or place (you don’t even have to leave your home) to put everything else aside and remember that you are God’s beloved. God invites you into relationship – which requires us to speak to God but also to listen.

May God’s richest blessings be upon you!
Pastor Beth
* This message was mailed earlier this week to our church membership as an update to our plan to continue to monitor the situation and create a plan that is workable us at Grace to responsibly open our door for in-person worship.

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer so far. I’d like to give you an update on the latest information from the council regarding our efforts to safely reopen Grace. As I said in our last letter, we’ll be updating at least every two weeks, with at least a two-week notice of our next potential reopening. We will still not be reopening at this time for in-person worship due to a number of factors: recent local outbreaks of the virus, not having all of our sanitation supplies in stock, and needing to further detail our plan for a safe restart.

Your Grace Church Council had our monthly meeting, and I must say, it was a productive one! We have created a task force composed of different focuses such as sanctuary safety, sanitation supplies and planned use, usher duties, and communications. With this new level of organization and collaboration, we are confident that we will come up with a topnotch action plan for when we return to in-person worship. 

The Council would like to share with you where we are getting our information, so you can also keep up to date with what is going on in the county. We are looking at the Sheboygan County Safe Restart benchmark criteria.

This information is vital, as it not only tells us which areas we are excelling in, but where we need to exercise caution. Right now, there is still a high risk for gatherings of 10-50 people. There have also been some local outbreaks that are giving us pause in returning at this time. Please include those folks in your prayers. 

Council will be meeting every two weeks to reassess our situation. We aren’t sitting idly by but working diligently so that when the county’s metrics are looking better and group gathering risk is lower, we will be ready to get back to in-person worship with the proper modifications. We are working to have the survey mentioned in our last letter done shortly. Again, if anyone has any concerns or questions, please let us know. We will be in touch after our July 2nd special meeting.

Peace & Good Health,
Tahna Jensen
Church Council President
There are a number of ways we are working to stay connected –
If you have access to email and internet:

  • 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 (452-6795) or E-mail (graceucckohler@gmail.com).

  • Worship bulletins are also posted on our website as well as sent via email each week.

Virtual Gathering Opportunities:
beginning June 7th 9am worship on Facebook
Join us for virtual Coffee Hour on Thursdays at 9:30am
This is an interactive opportunity to check in with one another.
All are welcome, so feel free to share.
Meeting ID: 541 996 199 Password: 064281
Call in on the phone: (929)205-6099 use Meeting ID: 541 996 199

 If you do not have email or internet:
  • Worship bulletins have been mailed to those in our church family that do not have online access to worship. If you are or know of someone who would appreciate being added to that list, please contact that church office to be added to the mailing list.

  • If you would like to be placed on the list to view worship on one of our tablets, please contact the church office (452-6795). Don't worry, if you are not familiar with how to use a tablet (handheld computer), we will provide complete instructions on how to use it.

  • 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.

Have you missed viewing worship because you don't have a way to watch online? We can help!

Grace Church has received a grant from the Wisconsin Conference to help us connect with members of our congregation that do not have access to viewing our worship service online. If this describes you or someone you know, please contact the church office or Pastor Beth to be added to the delivery list.

The tablet is delivered to your house with directions of how to access the video recording of worship. After you've viewed worship, contact us at the church office and we'll make arrangements to pick it up and load next week's worship service onto the device and deliver again to your home. If you have questions, please let us know, we're happy to help you feel more connected to the church during this difficult time.

Below is a picture of what the tablets look like. In a few easy steps you'll be watching our most recent worship services.
Thank you to everyone who makes Grace what it is!

Thank you to those who continue to support the church through sponsorships.

Thank you to Maureen Faucher for sponsoring altar flower for July 26th.

Thank you to all who continue to support Grace through your offerings!

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. 
Grace United Church of Christ is offering a scholarship up to a $500 for the 2 nd semester of the 2020-21 school year.
Applicants must:
o    Must be attending Lakeland College
o    Must be a member of Grace or a child or grandchild of member.

Any interested applicant should send a letter of interest to:

Grace United Church of Christ
attn: Scholarship Committee
500 School St
Kohler, WI 53044

Submitted by the Scholarship Committee, Dan Montgomery, chairperson
We gratefully receive your offerings that are mailed to the church. In addition, we have set up several online giving options. You can contribute to the financial health of the church by making a donation through PayPal or Facebook . Thank you for your continued financial support of the ministries of Grace Church during this time.
I Corinthians 13:8-13 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

One of the key lessons of Tai Chi is simplicity. You are able to “flow” when you do the forms when you clear the mind and simply focus. The same with yoga. When you clear the mind and relax the body, you begin to move deeper into the poses. There’s a big lesson to learn from these two. Whether in yoga, Tai Chi, or anything for that matter in life, when we clear the mind and focus, things become much easier. Take relationships for example. When was the last time you were talking with a family member and just focused on what they were saying and nothing else. Often, we try to think of the next thing to say, maybe mentally going through our to-do lists, or some other mental journey. This often results in missed key information, misunderstandings, and more. Often when we do this, we either want to make sure our response sounds intelligent, not really interested in the conversation, or trying to “fix” the person’s problem. Here is something to remember. Sometimes people don’t want you to fix something, they just want you to hear them and listen. The next time you have a conversation with someone do like we do in Tai Chi, or yoga, and clear the mind. Focus on what the person is saying. Try to really understand what they are saying. Sometimes it helps to even occasionally paraphrase it back to them to clarify. Ask yourself, “what can I learn from this person?” 

In these verses, Paul is writing to the people of the city of Corinth. There the age old argument “who is better” was occurring. Paul brings to the forefront that all of this is temporary. The only thing that sustains is love. How we care about and for each other is what counts. We can do amazing things but if we do not love each other, its really pointless. Love is the greatest gift we can give each other. It transcends all else. When we begin to listen to each other in a way that we are truly trying to understand each other, we open up to begin to have faith in others. Once that begins, we begin to have hope in the present and hope in the future. Out of that hope we begin to give and receive true love and compassion. 

So the next time you are having a conversation with someone (especially when it is a really charged conversation), simply take a deep breath, slow exhale, clear the mind, and begin to intentionally listen. You may learn more than you think and you may see a side of the person you haven’t seen before. And that really begins to open doors…ready to give it a try?

Submitted by Michael Finney
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 prayer concerns that you would like added to the prayer chain, click on the 'prayer chain' button below or contact Pastor Beth directly. Once you open the link below it will give you details and should answer any questions you may have. 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 920-371-8018.
Emily Heinemann
(daughter of Shelley Heinemann and granddaughter of member Maureen & Richard Faucher)

Emily graduated from South High School in Sheboygan. Emily will be attending the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay in the Fall. She will be majoring in mathematics with a minor in education. Her goal is to teach high school calculus. 
Over the summer she will be a camp counselor and lifeguard at Camp Evelyn Girl Scout Camp in Plymouth.

Molly Montgomery
(daughter of members Sarah & Dan Montgomery)

Molly graduated from Sheboygan Falls High School.  Molly will be attending Ripon College in the Fall. Over the summer she is working at Panera Bread and umpiring softball and baseball games. 
July 1
Glenn & Cathy Valenstein

July 4
Deb & Chuck Pfrang

July 9
Robert & Caitlin McNitt

July 15
Jim & Margie Price

July 21
Eric & Karen Groth
Scott & Tami Ter Maat

July 24
Mark & Cheryl Lichtenberg

July 25
Maureen & Richard Faucher

July 28
Courtney & Greg Lindstrom
Curt & Laurie Joa
We do have copies of the Upper Room Devotionals available at church. if you would like a copy, please contact the church office to arrange a pick up or to have one sent to your home.
July 2- Drew Bogard, LaVerne Gier, and Margie Price

July 3- Carolyne Colbath

July 4- Isla Grusznski

July 5- Tom Schroeder

July 7- Curt Scheppmann and Marie Boerner

July 8- Hank Horneck

July 9- Brewer Jensen, Calvin Stefanczyk, Nadia Wandschneider, and Nicholas Wandschneider

July 11- David Grusznski and
Jack Bolling

July 12- William Groth

July 13- Eric Groth

July 14- Rebecca Payne

July 15- Sherry Leonhard

July 16- Noah Becker

July 19- Paige Kalmerton

July 20- Pam Grube

July 21- David Rabe

July 22- Richard Schoneman

July 24- Kim Pizer

July 30- Jerry Gordon and RaeLynn Rose Peskie

July 31- Lynn Litt
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.
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.
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.  
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!

Sponsorship continues to be an essential way to help support the ministries of the church, especially now. Sponsoring Grace Notes and worship bulletins makes it possible to print and mail these resources to our church family who do not have access to our information online helping to ensure that friends and members of Grace church continue to receive information regarding worship, spiritual care, and ongoing opportunities for fellowship and connection is more important than ever. Providing altar flowers is a great way to acknowledge birthdays, anniversaries, or just because you'd like to brighten our worship space and share for all to enjoy and celebrate with you. Supporting Bridgeway House continues to be a way that we as a church show care and concern for those in need. Thank you for your continued support of these opportunities.
(920)452-6795 graceucckohler@gmail.com
Rev Beth Petzke, pastor rev.beth.petzke@gmail.com