Staying Connected
Important message about In-Person Worship at Grace
After long and careful deliberation, our council has voted to move back to online-only worship for a few weeks beginning next Sunday, November 29th until the number of Covid-19 cases begins to decline to a manageable level once more. We take this decision seriously and know the impact that a community of faith has on the wellbeing of our members, and how for some this place of sanctuary is vital to their spiritual life. 

With other congregations in Mankato and the surrounding area, and at the recommendation of our bishop we believe that now is an important time for all of us to come together once again to make the health of our neighbors and friends our first priority, above our own comfort and personal preferences. As Bishop Hassannally said in her letter to leaders of our synod, “Of utmost importance is our continued willingness to make decisions for the good of others.” St. Paul says in his letter to the Philippians, “In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” 

And that is who we are here at Grace, we are willing to do whatever it takes to care for and love our neighbors. In the middle of our previous hiatus from in-person worship we managed to donate 1400 lbs of chicken to feed the hungry, we served meals out our back door, we made care packages for last year's graduates, we came together in new ways to be the church. We can do so much together and for that I am honored to be your pastor.


Moving forward for the next few weeks, worship will be live-streamed on Facebook, and is also available on KTOE radio, KTV, and YouTube. Once again, we believe the body of Christ is made up of all believers in all places, and however you participate with us, you are a part of this assembly gathered in his name. You have a place with us, you are a part of what makes Grace a living and caring community in Christ. 

Advent at Grace
We are looking forward to the Advent season here at Grace. We want to be sure we're able to offer the best Advent and Christmas experience for all. The Worship and Music team have met a few times now to discuss whys to continue to share meaningful devotions and Worship. We have plans to release devotionals with special music of various types on Facebook and other platforms through out Advent.

We are also planning and putting together a very special Christmas Eve service featuring various types of Music. This will be put out on Facebook and YouTube a week ahead of Christmas so families get plenty of time to enjoy it together as a family. Along with pre-releasing the video we will also host Facebook Watch Parties on Christmas Eve so we can gather together to watch with our Grace Family and Friends.

Keep watch for more details about all this.
Amazon Smile
Many of us will be spending quite a bit more with online shopping this year. Amazon Smile is a great program that is run through Amazon that offer a way to give while also spending the money you were already going to anyways.

When not supporting and of the great local businesses (that also have online shopping options or curbside pick up) and you happen to be shopping on Amazon we encourage folks to check this out. When shopping through a web browser you can follow the link below and it's easy to set up. It's also super easy to get set up on a mobile device through the Amazon App. When signed into your account in the app in settings there is a section called "Programs and Features" in that sections you can click on AmazonSmile. I that section you can select your charity. You can search Grace Lutheran Church Mankato or type 41-6006451.

When you #StartWithaSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the purchase price to Grace Lutheran Church. Bookmark the link   http://smile.amazon.com/ch/41-6006451  and support us every time you shop.

You still get the same prices and you can still use your Prime account, but when you start by using this link above, Amazon will donate a portion of the price back to Grace.

Thanks for supporting Grace in this new and easy way!
Quarter Drive for Connections Shelter
We are collecting Quarters to donate to the Connections Shelter so they can use them to clean linens at the laundromat. You can bring any extra quarters you have and put them in a jar in the office. For more ways to help the connections shelter, reach out to Ben. (DSG@gracemankato.org) 
Feeding Connections
Along with collecting quarters to help out the Shelter We are looking to build two teams (to start with) that could assist in providing dinner to the people staying at the Connections Shelter. Details are still being finalized for when the meals would be served but we are looking at starting with preparing and serving meals twice a month. Please consider if you would like to be a part of a team to help get this done. If we get enough interest, we could add more weeks in the future. This is a great way to stay connected with Connections now that they have found their permanent home just around the corner from us at First Presbyterian Church. Thank you too to Barb Heller and Penny Banwart for your assistance and leadership in getting this off the ground. If interested in being a part of a group to prepare meals or serve you can contact Ben (DSG@gracemankato.org)
Need Help w/ Zoom?
With Covid numbers going up up we know a lot of families are probably going to be looking at getting together differently for the holidays. Not being able to see family could be a tough thing. We'd like to try and make that a bit easier on you if you're thinking about using Zoom to see each other.

If you've waiting to try and use Zoom because it can be a bit confusing at time we invite you to get a hold of Ben here at Grace. Ben's not an expert at all with zoom but can defiantly help enough to get things set up on your device and test things out to see how they work. You can call the office to get a hold of Ben or send an email at DSG@gracemankato.org to set up a time.
Desk Available
We still have one desk available for anybody who may want it. Pastor Scott's Old desk is still available. It is currently disassembled in the choir room. If you interested in having the desk or just looking at it you can contact the church office.

We'll have this desk available for another couple weeks before we fine somewhere to have it donated too.
Family Advent Event
Our Advent Family event will not be meeting in person here at Grace. This event will now be done virtually. Ben will drop off Kits and Devotions at houses so families can still do the kits together. If you want to be sure that your house is not missed, you can find the sign up below.
You can also reach out to Ben directly at DSG@gracemankato.org

Snack Drive for MY Place
MY Place (formally known as the Boys and Girls Club of Mankato) will now be hosting around 40 kids all day while schools are moving to distanced learning. They will be providing these youths (Kindergarten – 9th Graders) with three meals a day. Many of the kids that will be going to MY Place are at risk youth, so having a place where they can get these meals is so important. Another thing they will provide the kids with are snacks throughout the day. That is where Grace can come in and help. We will be holding a snack drive for a few weeks here at Grace. You can bring in boxes of snacks and place them in the Nursery during the day. 

Lets pack the nursery with snacks to help feed these kids!!!
Children
While we are not yet meeting on a regular basis for children PreK - 6th Grade we do want to make weekly lessons available online. You can access the weekly lessons we would be doing by clicking the links below. There are great activities that can be done as a family together. We will be holding special events for youth and families that feel comfortable meeting together at Grace. We will also have virtual options to participate in these events.
Confirmation
Our hope this year is that we can build a lot of fellowship as we find creative ways to safely gather as we learn more about the ways God is working in this world.

For more details about events or would like to get involved please reach out to Ben or Pastor John and we'll be sure to get you in the loop on everything you need to know.

November/December Confirmation Schedule
  • November 25 - No Confirmation. Thanksgiving Break
  • December 2  – Confirmation @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • December 9 - Confirmation @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • December 16th - Fellowship Night @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • December 23 and 30th - No Confirmation Winter Break
We had a great time helping out at MY Place (Mankato Youth Place) last week. We washed walls, vacuumed classrooms and moved tables.
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. All High School youth are invited to attend and bring friends. During this time we'll have a chance to share highs and low and do a short devotion and just hang out. Youth can meet in the Youth Room at Grace(formally known as the children's chapel).

  • November 25 - No Youth Group. Thanksgiving Break
  • December 2  – Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • December 9 - Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • December 16th - Fellowship Night @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • December 23 and 30th - No Youth Group Winter 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

*No Bible study this week due to Thanksgiving
Parables
"The Greatest Stories Ever Told"


Join us Thursday December 3rd 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 Week

Bible Study will Resume Thursday December 3rd


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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 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 Bible Study

An email has gone out to the folks that have signed up that have had interest in our bible study Couples of the Old Testament. Thanks for those that have had interest in it. Be on the look out for more opportunities and all are always welcome to join us Thursday nights over zoom for our current bible study on Parables.

If you are still interested in join in for this study we could have a virtual options to still be able to meet in the group. Space is limited in the church. This study will be starting at the start of 2021.
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.
November 22, 2020 Worship
We're confidents our kinks with our livestream are mostly resolved. If you notice anything goofy with things live on Facebook Sunday mornings please let us know and we'll continue to be sure the best quality worship is available for those that can't be with us in person here at Grace.
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.

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.

CADA House - Committee Against Domestic Abuse, Inc. (CADA) is a nonprofit victim advocacy and emergency shelter organization based in Mankato, Minnesota. CADA’s mission is to provide safety and support to victims of domestic and sexual violence through education, advocacy, and shelter.
You can check out the latest Newsletter for CADA by Clicking HERE
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

10,000 Villages Kiosk
2020 presents us with a challenging holiday shopping season. Due to the pandemic, 10,000 Villages Mountain Lake will not have the kiosk in the River Hills Mall. However, you can still support the store in Mountain Lake by ordering at www.tenthousandvillages.com and selecting the store when you view your shopping cart. 

For detailed instructions, please download this PDF
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
Please click the link to join the webinar:
Webinar ID: 938 5793 5187
Pray Together
Lord God,

As we enter this season of advent we ask that you help us see the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love in the season. Be with those struggling this holiday season whether it be with loneliness, anxiety or in health. You are God that loves us all and sometimes we need help seeing that love.
Amen
Check out this Video!
Here's a fun song for Thanksgiving
Gobble Gobble by Matthew West
Current Finances
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.