Staying Connected
My Monday mornings normally go like this. I get up about a quarter to six shower, eat breakfast, watch some news, wonder if my kids are going to be getting up or if I'm going to have to motivate them to get out of bed, then head to church about 7:00. I know I could probably wait a little bit longer before heading in but I can't help it. I'm just used to being up and getting my day started. My kids do a great job getting ready for school and out the door in the mornings too. Betsy and I are pretty blessed by some awesome kids. I know for some it's not that easy. Monday's I head in to church and I start working on the staying connected newsletter. I've really enjoyed getting these together since March and I hope you all have enjoyed getting them. I've only seen a couple unsubscribes since they've been going out. :)

I usually get some of the easy pieces put together in it and then come back to write this up. Sometimes I'm not sure what to write and sometimes it comes easy. A lot of times something will happen over the weekend and I decide to write about that. Well this last weekend a lot happened and in a way I'm exhausted. Exhausted in a good way. The kind that fills you with excitement and energy. I've been told when people go to the gym and they work out they're tired but energized. I've tried... I'm not a gym sort of guy. But the events over the last few days were tiring but exciting at the same time and I thought I'd share a little bit of that with you all.

Thursday my wife Betsy and I celebrated 15 years of marriage. I guess that's a pretty big milestone. That really took a back seat of for exciting news for that day. After 8 years of asking since my youngest's daughter Chloe could talk we finally gave in and got a puppy. Chloe has wanted to be a veterinarian since as long as she's known what one is and loves animals. We surprised the girls after school with an 8 week old Aussie Border Collie we named Millie. She's going to be a wonderful addition to the family. With a new puppy in the house it's caused for a few disruptions in sleeping patterns at night though. We'll get through it though and the end result will be a well trained loving family member. The weekend just came with a couple naps.

There was no time for naps though on Sunday. Sunday was a fantastic day. It was a busy day but it came with so many great things. It was great to see folks join us in a safe way for worship in the morning. We're still working out some of the kinks with live streaming but we're getting there and thank everyone for hanging in there as we try and transition to that. Thank you Jason too for all the hard work he's putting in getting everything set up. It's truly a blessing to have him behind the board working on everything. We had some great music for the service as well. It's been great to be able to have some of the choir members providing special music. After worship was our drive-thru chili lunch. So see folks come through and pick up the chili was great. Saw many familiar faces and met some new folks just coming though for a lunch. After lunch we hosted what I hope is an annual pumpkin carving event. We had 8 families come together in the fellowship hall for a fun time. We had a devotion to go along with the pumpkin carving and KEYC even stopped by and did a story about what was going on. You can check out their news story by clicking HERE. It was great to see families together in fellowship. There were some pretty creative and spooky pumpkin carvings as well.

All in all this weekend was amazing. Busy but sometimes those are the best kind. Next weekend we'll see what happens. I'm thinking a Halloween nap will be happening for sure.

Peace

Ben
Stay tuned for more upcoming fellowship and devotional events. They will be posted here as well on the website and can be found in the ministry's tab.

Starting November 29th we will be having a four week Advent event for Youth and Families. More information will be coming out about that soon.
In-Person Worship at Grace
It was great once again to host in-person worship here at Grace this past Sunday. We hope to see you all again in the future. Below are a reminder of the guidelines put in place to allow us to be able to have worship together at Grace.

  • Masks are requited in the building for everyone participating.
  • We have blocked off rows to ensure that there is at least 6 feet between households and we will have ushers to help people find open seats. If you would like to help usher, please contact the church office.
  • The congregation will not be singing for now, but we will have some music preformed as part of worship in as safe a way as possible.
  • Communion will be distributed to each pew rather than people getting up during worship.

These and other changes will help us worship together as safely as possible, and we will review these policies as time moves on and new best practices are discovered.

For those who do not yet feel comfortable attending in person, we will continue to have worship posted online as it has been since March. We will have that option available for the foreseeable future so that everyone knows they have a place with us. We were able to get our in-house worship live-streamed on Facebook this last week we're hoping this will all all to participate together in the same worship service wherever we worship from. We will also be continuing to have worship live on KTOE and rebroadcasted on KTV weekly.
All Saint' Day Luminaries November 1st 2020
We are doing something a little different this year for All Saints Day on November 1st for the Sunday worship. Instead of being able to light a candle at the front of the sanctuary in honor of a passed loved one you are invited to make a luminary. You can pick up a bag from the the narthex at Grace any time. On the bag you can write the name or games of passed loved ones. It could be someone who passed away this year, or someone who passed a long time ago. After you write their name include a small prayer on how these people have impacted your faith. You can also have you kids decorate the bag. Bring then back any time and we'll have them placed in the front of the church for our November 1st service.
Drive-Thru Chili Lunch
to support
Habitat for Humanity
Thank you to everyone that participated in the Drive-Thru Chili Lunch this past Sunday. The chili was fantastic and went fast. Sold out a lot quicker than expected and it raised quite a bit of funds to be donated to Habitat.

A very special thank you to the social ministry's team and the GLCW for planning the event.
Family Ministries/Education
Every week while we can't have regular Sunday School or Wednesday night faith night we'd like to make the Sunday School lessons available for families to use on their own at home.
Confirmation
We're looking forward to this year of Confirmation. Our hope is that we can build a lot of fellowship as we find creative ways to safely gather. If you have not been contacted by Ben yet for more details about events or would like to get involved please reach out and we'll be sure to get you in the loop on everything you need to know.

October/November Confirmation Schedule
  • October 28 – Campfire hosted by the Geer’s 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 4  – Confirmation @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • November 11  – Confirmation @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • November 18  – Service Night @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • November 25 - No Confirmation. Thanksgiving Break
High School
As high schoolers are now back in school and adjusting to a very different looking school year I invite them to join me at Grace for some middle of the week refocus Wednesday nights. As the year starts we invite them to join the confirmation kids at the campfires and service night in October. Going into November we'll continue to have the opportunity to meet and more communication will come out then.
  • October 28 – Campfire hosted by the Geer’s 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 4  – Youth Group@ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 11  – Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 18  – Service Night @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • November 25 - No Youth Group. Thanksgiving Break
If anybody has questions about youth and family ministry opportunities or would like to help out leading any activities please reach out to Ben. You can call directly any time at 507-524-3254 or send an email to DSG@gracemankato.org
Zoom Thursday night
Bible Study
Parables
"The Greatest Stories Ever Told"


Join us Thursday October 29th 8:00pm

All Are Welcome!
As a community of Christ we share in each others joys and pains. Before we dive into the word each week we share we share our joys and pains with each other using the Rose Analogy.

  • We look for the Rose in our lives - A highlight, success, small win or something positive that's happening.

  • We look for a Thorn in our lives - A challenge you are experiencing or something you can use more support with.

  • And we look for the Bud in our lives - A new Idea that has bloomed or something you are looking forward to knowing more about or experiencing

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This Thursday we continue to move forward in Acts.
We'll be looking at Matthew 13: 1-23

"Parable of the Sower"

One thing to be thinking about coming into the bible study is:
Describe a firsthand experience(serious or humorous) you have had with farming or with caring for plants in someway. What have you observed about the role of the soil in relation to a plant's ability to thrive?

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Thursday Bible Study

Zoom Meeting ID 857 5766 8823

Time 8:00 pm Thursday
Every week will have the same meeting ID
Mark your Calendars
November 5, 2020-The "Lost" Parables Luke 15: 1-32
November 12, 2020-The Good Samaritan Luke 10: 25-37
November 19, 2020-The Unforgiving Servant Matthew 18: 21-35
November 26, 2020-No Bible Study
December 3, 2020-The Widow & the Judge Luke 18: 1-8
December 10, 2020-The Wheat & the Weeds Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43
December 17, 2020-Parables of Money & Self-Worth Matthew 19:16-20:16
December 24, 2020-No Bible Study
December 31, 2020-No Bible Study
January 7, 2020-The Wise & Foolish Virgins Matthew 24: 36 -25: 13
January 14, 2020-Parable of the Talents Matthew 24: 14-30
January 21st-The Pharisee & the Tax Collector Luke 18: 9-14
January 28, 2020-Parable of the Rich Fool Luke 12: 13-21
February 4 2020-No Bible Study
February 11, 2020-The Rich Man & Lazarus Luke 16: 19-31
In-Person Couples Bible Study

If you are interested in being a part of an in person couples bible study at Grace click the link below to let us know or sign up.

For this Couples Bible study we would be doing a nine week study on Couples in the Old testament. Some of the Couples will be well known couples like Adan and Eve or Abraham and Sarah and some of the lesser known couples like Elkanah and Hannah or Hosea and Gomer.

We'd be looking at doing this study here at Grace every Sunday evenings spread out in the fellowship hall. Depending on size of group location could be changed.
Start date would be determined once group has been formed.
Worshiping Together Virtually
We hope since March you've been able to continue to find a way to worship with us all at Grace. With the many platforms out there we hope you've been able to find one or a few that has been able to bring you comfort during these tough times. We acknowledge that all may not feel comfortable going for in-person worship here at Grace(and that's alright) so we want to continue to provide opportunities to worship virtually. As we've been working on ways to be able to stream and record worship live we'll have them posted through this newsletter weekly so if you can't watch live you can watch when the time is best for you.

If you don't have Facebook the worships will still be available on KTOE Sunday mornings at 10:00 and the rebroadcast on KTV. We will also continue to share the link to where they can be found on YouTube. Our goal is that everyone will still have an opportunity to worship with Grace.
October 25th, 2020 Worship
Communion Available
You can now bring communion home with you. Pre-consecrated elements are available at the church. You can stop in to pick it up and bring home to have during service on Sunday morning. If you can't make it in let us know and we can bring it to you and drop off during the week.

If you'd like also you can make your own communion bread at home. Check out the link below for a great recipe.

Christ in our Home
Devotional
Many of you may be unable to get a copy of Christ In Our Home from the church as you normally would.

During this time we are making it available to you digitally, paper copies are still available at Grace and can be picked up. If you stop to pick one up please do wear a mask while in the church building.
Serving the Community
A few years ago Grace was able to host Connections Shelter in the building here at Grace. The shelter now has a permanent home at First Presbyterian Church. Although we will not be hosting folks here at Grace we can still help in a big way. We've had interest in continuing to provide meals to them. They're open to us providing meals for them once a week, once every two weeks or once a month. They'd be happy with whatever we can provide to help feed the folks out that are staying there. We're looking to form a team or even a few teams that would be willing to help prepare and serve meals for the shelter. We have a few people interested in helping lead these efforts but anybody interested please contact Ben and we can get everybody connected.

Due to Covid meals will be plated individually for the rooms rather than how they have been done in the past as family/buffet style. They have enough beds at the shelter for 35 people so meals will be for no more than that.

There are many ways to help out the shelter besides proving meals for them. You can sign up to help as Morning and Evening Greeters, Hospitality and meal team. Connections team will doing background checks on all volunteers that sign up. You can sign up by clicking the link below.


MY Place. Mankato Youth Place. - We will be looking at ways to get more involved with My Place. Be on the look out here to find more information in the future.

Echo Food Shelf - Echo is currently looking for volunteers to commit to one 2-4 hour shift/week. You can email echofoodshelf@yahoo.com to get involved.
Fair Trade Coffee
Missing fellowship after service and the delicious fair trade coffee? All fair trade/organic coffee is now $7 a bag, including our fellowship blend. It's a course ground blend perfect for french press!  

Your choice of Sisters' Blend, Love Buzz, Breakfast Blend, Mind Body and Soul, And Fellowship Blend now only $7 a bag.  

Stop by the church office to get yours today!
Did you Fair Trade is so much more than Coffee??? There's tea, chocolate and even olive oil all available here at the church. Next time you're at Grace check it out!
Find more information about Mankato Fair Trade Products and their Mission by clicking the link below

Pray Together
Lord God,

Thank you for all the good things you provide in our lives. We know that everything in life is a gift from you. We find rest in you through worship and fellowship with others. Thank you for being there for us
Amen
Check out this Video!
I shall not Want by Audrey Assad
Contact Us
Pastor
Rev. John Odegard - pastor@gracemankato.org

Director of Spiritual Growth

Parish Administrator
Rich Krause - parish@gracemankato.org

Office Specialist
Joan Hertel - office@gracemankato.org

Interim Organist and Music Director
Chuck Hoogland - music@gracemankto.org

Worship and Media Technology Coordinator

Maintenance and Grounds
Jordin Johnson - grounds@gracemankato.org

Is there news you're wanting to have included in future staying connected newsletters? Reach out to Ben with the details and he'll be sure to included in an upcoming newsletter. New newsletters are emailed out every Monday and can also be found on Facebook or the Webpage under the At Home Resources tab.