March 2019
Grace United Church of Christ
visit our website at graceucckohler.org
920.452.6795 • graceucckohler@gmail.com
500 School Street • Kohler, Wisconsin 53044
Rev Beth Petzke, Pastor
Cell: 920-371-8018 • rev.beth.petzke@gmail.com

Grace and Peace to you all as we prepare for this Lenten season!

We continue our annual journey through Lent, a season in which we search for obstacles that distract and deter us from fully experiencing a deeper relationship with God. Lent begins when all is in darkness. The days are short and the nights are long; the whole world seems to be asleep. As Lent passes, the days grow longer and signs of spring begin to appear. The season of Lent ends with three holy days that mark the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

We gather for worship to remember those important days. On Maundy Thursday, we recall the last supper where Christ ate with his disciples for the final time and instructed them on how to remember him. On Good Friday, we recall the death and crucifixion of Jesus, where he willingly suffered and died a slow and painful death, as the ultimate sacrifice for our sins (1 John 1:10). Finally, we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Resurrection literally means to make something right again. Though we are bent, bruised and bloodied by life’s darkness, God’s love makes us (up)right once again.

It is through the darkest of spiritual times – Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, that we can be fully led to the joy of Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning, where we once again we can return to our shouts of “Alleluia!”

Later in this edition of “Grace Notes” look for a listing of Lenten/Easter services.

May each one of you be blessed as you celebrate the true meaning of Easter, from the reflection of Ash Wednesday to Good Friday to the joy of Easter Sunday and the promise of eternal life. Thanks be to God!

Easter Blessings,
Pastor Beth
The 2019 calendars are open for to sign up to help with the work of the church through time, talent and treasure
Reminder that if you admitted to the hospital and would like a visit from Pastor Beth, please contact her directly (Pastor Beth’s cell 920-371-8018). Her contact information is also published in a number of other places, as well as on the answering machine in the church office. 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.    
Thank you to…
Marge Horneck for maintenance on the candle lighters the acolytes used.
 
Chuck Ebert for delivering the warm woolies.
 
To all those who helped move the donated books from the balcony.
 
To Mike Rolloff, custodian, for his diligent work to keep our sidewalks clear during all this crazy winter weather!
 
Our snow angels for their help clearing Grace church from our many snowstorms this winter.
 
To Larry TerMaat for sorting church photos.
 
To Chuck Ebert for repairing the shed door. As well as the front door of the church which was in need of new weather stripping. Thanks to Chuck Ebert the draft has been plugged and we should be saving on some heat loss. However, please note that the door is a bit tight and may need a little extra muscle to open. 

To Tahna Jensen and Lisa Rolloff for coordinating the Souper Bowl event at Grace. It was a great success! Funds raised were added to the carpet fund.

To Rick Kleeman for donating time and the expenses for the parsonage furnace repairs.

To Grace UCC Family,
Thank you so much for the generous donation of books to the students of Jefferson School. Reading is the key to success and we thank you for giving us these resources.
Thank you,
Zach Pethan
Principal
When you see outgoing church council members Chuck Ebert and Marge Horneck, please thank them for serving on the church council. In worship, we thanked them for their dedication and service on the council as they find new ways to continue to serve God through Grace United Church of Christ. 
Thank you to all who contributed to the February Mission of hats, scarves, and mittens for those in need. We collected a total of 104 items. Thank you for your generosity! 
Dear Grace UCC,
I write to thank you for your generous and faithful support of Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM). In 2018, the congregations of the Wisconsin Conference contributed $1,591,500 toward basic support of OCWM. This response reflects strong commitment to our common mission, and is a remarkable sign that when we 'pool' our Gospel values together with our resources, we partner with God to transform the world!

Collectively our congregation also gave $337,931 to our four special offerings- Neighbors in Need ($76,437), The Christmas Fund ($85,740), One Great Hour of Sharing ($127,683) and Strengthen the Church ($48,071). What's more, 116 congregations were 5 for 5 in 2018, supporting all four special offerings as well as basic OCWM.

You may be interested in knowing the 3/4 of your OCWM annual contribution funds the direct ministry our Conference provides to clergy and congregations. These services include search and call, congregational care and conflict resolution, clergy authorization and support, administration of heath and dental plans, Lay Academy, youth programming, communication and data work, and catalyst grant/vitality initiatives. Approximately 1/4 of your OCWM basic support contributes to our wider appeals including: Outdoor Ministries, National UCC, Seminaries, Campus Ministries, Wisconsin Council of Churches, and UCC related social service agencies.

I am grateful for each congregation, every pastor, and all the remarkable lay leaders that shoulder the work of the Gospel and share God's transforming grace both near and far. Thank you!
Faithfully yours,
Rev Franz Rigert
Conference Minister
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. 
On Sunday, January 27, we welcomed the following new members into the life and fellowship of Grace United Church of Christ. Please introduce yourself when you meet them and let them know how happy we are to have them in our church family.
Mike & Carol Skeris

Mike and Carol are both retired. They have two grown children Daniel and Benjamin. They enjoy reading (Mike) and quilting (Carol) and volunteering. Mike & Carol have been attending worship at Grace for a while now and were drawn to Grace because of the openness they have experienced here.
Maureen Faucher

Maureen is a retired medical assistant. She enjoys sewing (quilting and embroidering), camping and spending time with her family and dogs. Maureen enjoys worshiping at Grace because of its traditional service and it feels like coming home. Her grandparents attended church here, her parents were married here, and she was baptized here.
Jan & Vern Nigh

Jan & Vern are both retired. Vern enjoys playing games on the computer, going out for coffee or lunch, and solving word puzzles. Jan enjoys walking and reading in her spare time. She also enjoys volunteering in the community when she can. Jan & Vern are happy to have returned to Grace as their church home.
In case of inclement weather, cancellations for events or worship at Grace will be posted on WISN channel 12, on our Facebook page, and by email.

Remember to 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. Kwik Trip cards are sold to the church at a discount and the difference is extra giving to the church and it can add up! If a family purchased $50 in SCRIP every week (we all need gas in our cars) that would be like making an additional $100 donation to the church over and above what you put in the offering plate. Imagine if 10 families did that! It adds up quickly! In addition, we earn an additional 10% rebate when the SCRIP cards are used to purchase in-store merchandise– giving your the potential to earn even more!
Scrip gift cards come in various denominations and can be used at the pumps or for any in-store purchase. Make your giving go farther! Pick up SCRIP the next time you're at church.

Tai Chi Classes on Mondays at 5:30pm in the sanctuary. Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that is practiced as a graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow and focused and is accompanied with deep breathing. This gentle form of exercise can help maintain strength, flexibility, and balance. It is often called ‘meditation in motion’. All are welcome! You are invited to wear comfortable, loose clothing. Donations are welcome. Feel free to bring a friend. 

Did you know that 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. So if you go out for lunch or dinner on Sundays, consider patronizing Texas Roadhouse.

Hosts are needed for the fellowship time & coffee hour following worship on Sundays. Sign up in the foyer if you're interested in sharing your love of baking and hospitality with your church family.
 
Lost and Found – located in the lounge (rear of the sanctuary). Any clothing or winter items not collected at the end of the winter season will be donated to a local charity.

Upcoming Events at Lakeland University
Mon., Mar. 4  7-8:15 pm  ETHICS COLLOQUY: THE DOCTRINE OF DISCOVERY AND ITS ONGOING EFFECTS
Featuring Larry Littlegeorge and Rev. Rob McDougall
Laun Center, Rm. 209, Lakeland University, W3718 South Dr., Plymouth
Larry Littlegeorge is a member of the Hochunk Nation, the Warrior Clan. He was baptized in 1957 at the Hocak (Hochunk) Church (formerly Winnebago), which is part of the WI Conference of the UCC. He completed the WI Conference Lay Academy in 2016 and is currently a spiritual leader of the Hocak Church. Larry has personally felt the effects of racism that he traces back to historic documents like Papal Bulls laying out the Doctrine of Discovery, and he has done a great deal of study and writing on the topic. Rev. Rob McDougall is Associate Conference Minister with primary responsibility for the Northwest Association of the Conference, of which the Hocak Church is part of. Larry and Rob will provide an overview of the Doctrine of Discovery and explain why the issue is being studied by Conference churches prior to considering a resolution to repudiate the document at the 2019 Annual Meeting.
Free; reservations are requested. Please register online by Feb. 25 at  www.Lakeland.edu/Ulrich Center or contact Linda Bosman at  bosmanlr@lakeland.edu  or 920-565-1023 ext. 2151.

Tues., Mar. 26 11 am – noon FOUNDERS’ DAY LECTURE: A MODERN RESPONSE TO MODERN DAY SLAVERY
Bradley Theatre, Lakeland University, W3718 South Dr., Plymouth
Presenter: Sr. Joan Dawber, founder and executive director of Lifeway Network in New York City
Sr. Joan will present the story of LifeWay Network and its response to human trafficking, or what it is more correctly named modern-day slavery. Learn about human trafficking globally and right here in the United States, who it impacts, tactics used by traffickers and red flags in order to prevent, recognize and report trafficking.
Lecture is free; lunch with Sr. Joan following presentation is $10. For more information, visit www.Lakeland.edu/UlrichCenter  or email  bosmanlr@lakeland.edu  or call 920-565-1023 ext. 2151.
We sometimes think that “imagination” means something escapist or illusory. Yet, imagination is not something unreal or fake. No, it is essential to God’s hope for creation. Hear how the Apostle Paul put it: “Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine….” (Ephesians 3:20-21). And God imagines a world where all are safe,all are loved, all are fed.
You see, when we use our imaginations in the way that God does, we can begin to envision – and work for! – a world where no child goes unfed, un-housed, or unloved; where no one ever fears abuse or violence; where clean water is not a dream but a reality for all; where small farmers do their work with dignity and are paid a fair wage for their labors; where agricultural practices enrich and renew the land rather than deplete it; where survivors of natural disasters have the resources they need, now and for years to come; where vulnerable immigrants are welcomed in Christ’s name.
Can YOU imagine these things? Through your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing what we can imagine becomes ever more a reality for more and more people. Please give generously! 
Your support provides more than we can imagine. Thank you!
Girl Scout Sunday will be celebrated in worship on March 10 at 10am

All former and current Girl Scouts are invited to wear their uniforms or bring their sashes to church on Sunday, March 10th. Current Girl Scouts that plan to attend (in uniform or with their sash) are asked to contact Shelley Heinemann so that they can have a little token of appreciation for our sister scouts. Coffee hour will be served following 10am worship.
Sunday, March 10th
On March 1st, we look forward to welcoming the new parsonage renters. Please make them feel welcome when you see them!
Our current children’s choir is a young one. All together there are ten of us, three girls and seven boys. They are wonderful kids.

We practice every Sunday morning at the end of the Sunday School hour. We sit in a half circle on little chairs. I play to them and ask them to sing back to me. When they do, I try not to sing, at least not too loud, but I know I usually do. The Sunday School teachers join in the fun and sing along.

Sometimes we have some extra time and sing a song just for fun. Their favorite is “The Name Game”. You remember: "Curt, Curt, Bo Burt. Banana Fanna Fo Furt..."

We sing in worship once a month and look forward to singing for you the following Sundays before Sunday School is in recess over the summer:

Sunday, March 24
Sunday, April 14 (Palm Sunday)
Sunday, May 12 (Mother's Day)

We look forward to sharing our music with you! Come hear us sing! 
Curt Joa- Director
YOU ARE INVITED!

Plans are under way to form a Grace Church Festival Choir to sing at the Maundy Thursday worship service and the 10 a.m. Easter Sunday worship service.
The Senior Choir would like to invite anyone who enjoys singing to rehearse with us at 7:15 p.m on Wednesday April 3, and Wednesday, April 10; and also at 6 p.m. on Maundy Thursday, April 18. 
All voice parts are welcome. For more information, or to volunteer, please contact choir director Audrey Braatz at 452-7706 or by email dobraatz@yahoo.com  or talk to a choir member.
Music and Arts is the combination of Music and Visual Arts (seasonal décor, Altar Committee, Church Mice, etc.) need to gather in March to discern needs and wants for the beautiful enhancements provided in both song and ambience to all that enter Grace. We are also looking for someone to serve as a chairperson.
March Mission of the Month:
Socks for Salvation Army
During the month of March we will be receiving donations of NEW socks for the Salvation Army to distribute. Imagine how comfortable we are in our warm houses out of this cold and snowy weather. Clean, warm socks is a little thing that can do so much to make a person more comfortable. Thank you for your generosity.

Also, in April we will be serving the Emmaus Meal at Salvation Army. Please watch the bulletin announcements for ways to contribute to that upcoming project.
-The Missions Committee
Do you have a prayer request that you would like to share with Pastor Beth? Please reach out at any time rev.beth.petzke@gmail.com or
920-371-8018. All prayer requests will be kept confidential unless permission to share with the congregation is given. 
In an effort to celebrate and record our history, please forward any photos of Grace church events to the church office. 
We certainly have begun the year on a high note at Grace and share with you just a few pieces of news to keep the lines of communication open and ideas flowing freely:

Business discussed at the January annual meeting included a proposal for installing carpeting to specific areas of the church where our property insurance carrier has required action be taken. A fund has been established and is already growing for which, we are thankful. Additional funds will be needed, prayerfully consider your support. The property committee has been researching options for the congregation to consider when the Church Council calls a special meeting to determine the full scope of the project. Items being considered at this time are: leveling out the chancel area, adding a handrail assist in that area, and investigating hearing assist options. We anticipate this meeting to be called sometime this spring.

The constitution was updated and those changes were approved at our annual congregational meeting. If you would like a copy of the updated document, please contact the church office. 

Listening sessions will commence after the Lenten season is underway. A time to come together, to have discussions for forward focus, and share what we love about Grace and dream about the ways we share who we are as a church with our friends and community.

We met with our newly elected council members this week. The Council is grateful to be whole again. Pictured elsewhere in this newsletter so that you can put names with faces. Officers include Aaron Radder, Secretary; Tahna Jensen, VP; Sandy Rabe, Pres., and Lisa Rolloff Property Representative. While the Council will have presence on the Committees of Grace, there are several committees that we call YOU to be a part of should they survive like Evangelism, Kitchen Chair (no pun intended), Personnel, Christian Education. Contact a Council member, Pastor Beth or church office. Together, we are the body of Christ and in harmony we will keep the light that shines at Grace available to all for all are welcome.

January financials finished ahead of budget which helps reduce the deficit. Information will be shared to help keep the members of Grace to date on our financial health and when needs arise.

The Council next meets in March on the 14 th

Grace is a part of the United Church of Christ family. We need to contribute by sending 2 delegates to represent us at the Wisconsin Conference and Association meetings held April 5 – 6 in the Wisconsin Dells. Registration is $150 per person and will be paid by the Church. See contact a Council member or Pastor Beth for details. You will be in awe of the events they have planned and join in worship and with representatives of the larger church in this eye-opening forum.  
Introducing our 2019 Church Council
(from left to right) Wendy Opitz, Sandy Rabe, Tahna Jensen, Lisa Rolloff, Larry Ter Maat, and Aaron Radder. Dan Montgomery is on the right, he is our church Treasurer. We appreciate the gifts and talents that you bring to the leadership team of the church. Our prayers are with you as you make important decisions of behalf of this congregation. Thank you for serving!
The Property Committee has been meeting on a regular basis and recently gathered with their new committee members. The 2019 Property Committee includes:
Chuck Ebert, Marge Horneck, Larry Ter Maat, and Lisa Rolloff.

We are pleased to announce that the parsonage renters will be moving into the parsonage in March.

As we attend to the property matters at Grace, we welcome you to join us with your time, talent and treasure. If you notice and property concerns, please contact any member of the committee.
Christian Education met and made plans to take leadership of hospitality as we celebrate the Rite of Confirmation on May 19. As we recognize and celebrate the end of the Sunday School year. We will be planning a fun and fantastic pajama party with games, dancing, pizza and a movie. We might even have time to bake/make goodies to raise funds for the carpeting project.  Kids are encouraged to bring a friend…I’ve never slept at Grace before ….have you? Oh wait – who said we’ll sleep? YIKES!

We are also considering the ways we include and engage children in worship. We are exploring the idea of creating a space for children to engage their hands in a quiet craft or activity in the lounge (formerly the 'cry room') So that they are nearby and can still be a part of our worship community. More to come on that. 
 
GENERAL SYNOD
 
June 21-25, Milwaukee 

Dear friends in Christ,
 
In just four months we in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ will host General Synod 32! This bi-annual national UCC gathering will take place in Milwaukee, June 21-25 at the Wisconsin Center. We are so grateful for this opportunity to provide warm Midwestern hospitality, and for the diligent planning efforts of our Local Arrangements Leadership Team.
 
I want to encourage your congregation to participate in this historic event in three ways:
 
1. Sign up to volunteer! We need as many as 400 volunteers in order to provide the kind of extravagant hospitality that we in the UCC strive for. Volunteers can register for General Synod for a discounted $60. There are also volunteer opportunities for people who aren't planning to attend Synod. Find all the volunteer info and sign up at  wcucc.org/synodvolunteer .
 
2. Support our hosting with a gift! Thanks to many individual and church gifts, we are nearing our goal of $50,000 needed for hospitality costs and to cover volunteer expenses. If you or your congregation has yet to make a gift, we welcome your  donation
 
3. Experience General Synod firsthand! While some in our Conference will register as a Visitor and take in the entire 5 days, many others would simply like a "sampling" of General Synod. We invite you to visit on Sunday, June 23, for these free, open-to-the-public events: 
  • Afternoon worship service, featuring the dynamic preaching of our Justice and Local Church Ministries Executive, the Rev. Traci Blackmon.
  • Wisconsin-style Outdoor Festival at nearby Zeidler Union Square Park, featuring live music and art and food trucks. Visit with UCC folks from around the country as they get a taste of Wisconsin.
  • You can also peruse the exhibit hall featuring over a hundred exhibitors.
If you would prefer to arrive in Milwaukee Saturday, June 22, there is also a  Gala Dinner and Concert  scheduled for that evening featuring the choir of Trinity UCC in Chicago (there is a cost for this event).
 
Many thanks to our Synod Coordinators, Debbie and Tom Payden, Bonnie Andrews and Tim Perkins, as well as the remarkable team of leaders they have in place! We are truly blessed to have such deep commitment and love for the United Church of Church here in our midst. 
 
Thank you for joining in the effort to host General Synod!
 
Blessings,
Franz Rigert
Wisconsin Conference Minister
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Grace Church is an accepting community of faith, committed to growth through change.
-Core values statement written on Saturday, May 13, 2017
Grace United Church of Christ
Office: (920)452-6795 graceucckohler@gmail.com
Rev Beth Petzke, pastor rev.beth.petzke@gmail.com
(920)371-8018
Grace UCC 1998