Staying Connected
What a great weekend we had here in Mankato. The weather was about as perfect as it could be. Maybe a little warm but still pretty nice. It's gets me pretty excited for the cooler weather that we'll be dealing with in just a matter of weeks. I know I should be careful for what I wish for though since before we know it snow will blanket the ground and we'll be missing these warmer days. I love this time of year though as you have the sense the that seasons are getting ready to change. It's a tough on this year though as there is still so much uncertainty about what's going on with school and other things in our lives that can strip away some of the joy. We have to keep looking though for all the things that bring us joy and can let great weather weekends just slip through our fingers. Seize the day! Make the most of what we have because everyday is a blessing from God.

One thing I've been trying to do lately is lead a healthier lifestyle. I've cut out a lot of the foods that don't promote healthy eating. I've concentrated on a healthier Ben. One thing I've been doing a lot more now is trying to get out and get a bit more exercise. I've got my smart watch that counts my steps and I try to get at least 7500 steps a day. A lot of times thought I shot for 10,000. This means getting outside enjoying the weather and time with Betsy as we find new places to go for walks and explore. Sometimes it's just a simple walk through town. It's funny too I always seem to run into people I know as they drive by and honk or even pull over and we get to chat with them(good seeing last week Lee).

This weekend with the great weather on Saturday so after a fantastic breakfast on our patio we decided to head out on a walk. We went on a somewhat familiar path as we headed out from lower north towards Sibley park. Walked through Sibley and down the Minneopa trail. We saw on the sign 2.5 miles to Minneopa state park. We weren't feeling quite that adventurist and turned around part way. We still ended up walking for 8.25 miles that day. Saturday ended up with a total of 23,500 steps as I also had a busy evening that day which racked up a good amount of steps.

Sunday after the family and I sat down for worship on Facebook, Betsy and I decided it was time for another adventure. I had never walked on the Red Jacket Trail before and I decided Sunday was the day to check it out. I knew down the trail there was a park. I figured that could be a fun goal to try and walk to that, so off we went. We packed a little lunch and threw it in a back pack. Kids decided they were going to stay at home and hang out. We walked through lower north. Across the river. Past West High School and the Y. Through the neighborhoods in West Mankato and eventually made it to Mount Kato. That was three miles. At that point it might have been a good time to turn around and head home but my own stubbornness decided I wanted to make it to this park. I wanted to prove I could get all the way out there. Betsy and I kept going. Got a little confused on the path but we figured it out. We went another mile.... and another mile and finally made it out to the park. Woofta. 5 miles to get there. We ate our lunch checked out the trestle and contemplated getting an Uber to take us home. We decided to head back though. We made it all the way back and in total went 10 miles. We didn't move around much the rest of the day and still a bit sore today. It was good day with another 20,000+ step day.

What a beautiful world we live in. I was blessed to go to the Boundary Waters a couple weeks ago and experience God's great beauty up there. We've got such great beauty though right from our doorsteps here in Mankato. To spend a 3 hours with my wife exploring trails that leave here in town that takes you through the woods and meadows we can feel God's presence through all of it. To take a break and eat a peanut putter and jelly sandwich and have some carrots we can have lunch with God. To get the strength to keep walking when your legs feel like they just want to stop. The beauty of God's creation something to contemplate in awe.

Peace

-Ben
Grace Lutheran Virtual VBS
We had our week of virtual VBS last week. if you didn't get a chance to participate yet that's ok. The lessons can be done at any time. Below you can access each daily theme. By clicking on the link below you'll have access to all the pieces of the themes. There is Scripture, Bible Lesson, Activity, Craft and Songs.

We still have craft kits available at Grace on a table inside the west entrance in the alley behind the church.
Below are a few pictures of my youngest daughter Chloe. She helped decorate the sidewalk behind the church and also had a great time with the Mankato Sculpture Scavenger Hunt. The scavenger hunt is great for all ages and can be found in our Peace theme. Printouts for the it can be found in the craft bags too.

Anybody can also pick up a quilt square that can be decorated to remember this crazy year we've been having. They can be decorated and sent back to me at the church and we'll have a quilt created.
Worship Opportunity!!!
Thank you all who took time to fill out the in-person worship survey. The council met this week to discuss the possibility of in-person worship opportunities. Considering the results of the survey we sent out, the council believes that the majority of people in our congregation feel that doing our part to keep everyone safe and healthy is an important starting point for us. It is also important that we not diminish the quality of worship we are providing to a large number of people in order to offer an in person option at this time for the smaller number of people who are ready to return, and yet we understand how important some aspects of in-person worship are. Taking all of this into consideration, the council has asked that we begin the process of hosting in-person worship for small groups. Our goal is to have people sign up to host a driveway worship service, where a group of 10 people or so can worship and celebrate communion together. We are working on planning a service format that uses best practices for health and safety, while also being meaningful. You can invite a few neighbors, some church members, and we will make it available for others to sign up to attend each service while keeping the numbers at each one small enough to maintain social distancing. More information will be available over the next week as we put together a plan on how to move forward. If you would like to host, you can contact the church office or click the link below and fill out a google form and let us know to help us as we make this happen. Our hope is that we will be able to continue to provide a great worship experience online, while also offering an opportunity to worship together and celebrate communion in a way that is accessible to all.
Connecting with you at Home
Zoom Bible Study
***Bible Study this Thursday***

If you haven't joined us yet for bible study I invite you to check it out this week.

Join us Thursday August 20th 8:00pm
As a community of Christ we share in each others joys and pains as we share 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

We then jump into the bible where we get to study the word together.

**************************************

This Thursday we continue to move forward in Acts.
We'll be looking at  Acts 16

Conflict in the Church

One question to be thinking about coming into the bible study is:
What makes it easy for you to obey God? What makes you hesitate?

You can also reflect on on:
Think back yo when you uttered the words, "What must I do to be saved?" either to a friend or to God himself. Praise God for creating a desire for himself in you, and thank him for giving his precious salvation to you.


**************************************

Thursday Bible Study

Zoom Meeting ID 857 5766 8823

Time 8:00 pm Thursday
Every week will have the same meeting ID
Connect with us
Worshiping Together
I hope all have been able to continue to worship with us at Grace. It has been great to see people join into the Facebook Watch Parties Sunday mornings at 9:55am. Our goal is to ways make worship enjoyable and accessibly to everyone in their homes whether it be though Facebook, YouTube, Radio or KTV. There are many ways you can join in and we hope that you're able to find the way that best fits for you right now until we all can once again meet together for worship at Grace. If you are having troubles getting connected to any of that please reach out and we'd love to help you out getting connected.

Every Sunday we will be hosting a Facebook Watch Party Sunday mornings starting at 9:55am so we can all participate in worship together at the same time if you have Facebook

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.
August 16th, 2020 Worship
Zoom Coffee Hour
Every Sunday after the worship is done on Facebook (approx 10:50) we will be having a Zoom Coffee Hour. It's been fantastic to be able to see some familiar faces from Grace and chat a bit. Even if you weren't able to be with everyone while worship was streamed on Facebook you are more than welcomed to join for the coffee hour.

SUNDAY COFFEE HOUR
MEETING ID 886 4204 9605
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.


There is an easy way to continue to give to Grace. You can now text any amount you want to give to 507-607-7337. After a few very easy steps you can submit giving right from your phone. We thank you for your support to the mission and ministry of Grace Lutheran Church.
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.
Pray Together
Lord God,

We thank you for the beauty all around us. As we spend time with you as the summer seems to be coming to a close we as that you help us to always see the beauty even though we may have to look through some of the yucky stuff to see it.
Amen
Check out this Video!

Our Prayer by Rend Collective