Staying Connected
I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. Hope nobody's Halloween was too spooky. At the Geer house we kept it pretty quiet and at some pumpkin shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's and watched the movie Hocus Pocus projected on the big screen in our back yard with a campfire going to keep us a little warmer. It was also nice enough to get some more much needed hard work done which was nice. Although that seems like a never ending need to get done.

This past Sunday we celebrated All Saints Sunday. Whether you were able to gather with us in person or on one of our digital platforms we hope the service was meaningful in remembering the saints that have been apart of your lives. This year we had to do things a little different. Instead of coming up front to light candles during the service we invited folks to decorate a luminary in honor of a passed loved one. Those were placed on the steps before the service and a tea light was placed inside. We had around 60 luminaries brought in. It looked great to see them all up front.

As I was preparing for my children's message last week I was thinking about the pumpkin carving event we had on the 25th. The pumpkin I carved was just of a simple cross and I had it sitting in my office along with some of the extra pumpkins we had left over. I thought to myself the pumpkin is a lot like a luminary. You put a light inside and it shines though. Then I thought about how I talked the week before about how God is everywhere and God is inside of us. God's light pours into us and we are to reflect that light to others. Those lights inside the luminary bags made me think about all those saints before us and how their light shined into our lives and touched us in meaningful ways. As a baby in baptism the words are said "Let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." This All Saints Sunday was a beautiful reminder for me that the light of God shines through the people we love in life and in death no matter what.


Don't Forget to Vote
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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.
Ann Carlberg &
Audrey Halverson
Anna "Ann" (Fardal) Carlberg, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 25th, 2020 at Pathstone Nursing Home, Mankato, MN. Ann Carlberg was born in Stanhope, Iowa on November 16, 1927 to Art and Helen (Mathre) Fardal. Ann graduated from Stanhope High School in 1945, and was the Valedictorian of her class. She played clarinet, was in Glee Club and a cheerleader. She loved sports and played forward on Stanhope HS Girls Basketball team that won at state. Her father Art instilled early in his children the importance of a college education, even more important for women.

Ann attended St Olaf College in Northfield, MN in 1945. While in college she recorded songs in a studio on 45 RPM records using cutting edge technology. She taught music in Randall, Kamrar and Stanhope Iowa for many years starting in 1949. She also taught band in both elementary and high school.

She married A. Edwin Carlberg on August 29, 1952 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Stanhope, IA. Together they raised 3 sons, Norman, Gary, Ron, and two daughters Judy and Lori.
Ed and Ann moved to Sioux City in 1958. The young family of 7 moved to Antigo, Wisconsin in 1961. Ann was very active at Peace Lutheran Church, sang solos for weddings and funerals and played the organ at church. She was a substitute teacher and taught 1st grade at Peace Lutheran School.

They moved to Mankato in 1973 where Ann worked at the Mankato West HS Resource Center. After earning a Master's Degree in Library and Media Science, from 1979 to 1993 she worked at Mankato State University as a Librarian until her retirement. Active in her church, she enjoyed going to Lutefisk dinners, attending plays and going to concerts. Ann was Secretary for Sons of Norway, a group she was passionate about. She enjoyed being Chairperson for Mankato State University Children's World where she received an award for volunteering and was the Grand Marshall in 2014. Ed and Ann enjoyed family activities, going on camping trips, time with cousins, day trips to the lake, sledding, visits to grandparents, and always making time for the pool and annual vacations. Wonderful trip memories included Yellowstone and Seattle to spend time with relatives.
Ann and her siblings Harold and Harriet (Fardal) Kluzek were very proud of their Norwegian heritage. Her great grandparents immigrated from Matre, Norway.

After visiting several church friends from Grace Lutheran Church at Pathstone Nursing Home in Mankato, Ann moved to Ecumen Pathstone Nursing Home in 2013. She enjoyed singing, attending chapel, playing bingo, doing puzzles and many other activities with friends. Each year she celebrated Christmas with her family and walked through Kiwanis Lights.

Ann and Ed centered their years together and raising family around faith in the Lord. The focus of their life was raising their 5 children. They taught their children values, ethics, to be kind, to work hard, love nature, travel and most important to love God.
In her final years at Pathstone she suffered with Parkinson's and dementia. We thank Pathstone for her wonderful, outstanding care. They said she always remained very kind and sweet. She would say life here on earth is short like a seed compared to the flower it will be in heaven. She told us she was ready to go to heaven.

Anna is survived by her three sons, two daughters, ten grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Her family was where she spent the greatest amount of her time (especially grandchildren). They brought her great pride and joy. She especially loved reading to them. Norman Carlberg lives in Mankato, Gary Carlberg and his wife Rene of White Bear Lake have three daughters: Rebecca (Carlberg) and Douglass Jackson have two children, Morgan and Drew. Colleen (Carlberg) and Tim Meyer have two children Oliver and Anna. Lisa (Carlberg) and Maxwell Webber have two daughters Lena and Victoria. Ronald Carlberg lives in Mankato and has two children Brittney and Brady. Judith "Judy" (Carlberg, Barlow) and Paul Grannes live in Corcoran and have three sons: Jeffrey and Maggie Barlow have a daughter Chloe, (youngest great granddaughter), Justin and Annie Barlow, and Joshua Barlow. Lori (Carlberg) and Kevin Kramer live in Plymouth and have two sons Frederick "Fritz" and Hans. Ann is also survived by cousins, five nephews and one niece.
Ann was preceded in death by her loving husband of 49 years Ed (January 30, 2001), parents, siblings Harriet (Fardal) Kluzek and Harold Fardal.

"Blessed be the memories of mange tusen (wonderful times) with Ed and the family we raised together", Anna Carlberg. Blessed be the memory of Anna Carlberg.
Audrey Joyce Halverson, 89, North Mankato, died Thursday, October 29, 2020 at MCHS - Mankato. Private family services will be held. Interment will be at Woodland Hills Memorial Park. Online condolences may be left at Memorials are preferred to BENCHS or Vine.

Audrey, born November 28, 1930, grew up in Kasota and was the daughter of Leone Reed Peterson. She attended Kasota High School. Audrey was united in marriage to Eugene Halverson on November 18, 1948 in St. Peter. In her free time she enjoyed reading, bowling, dogs, exercising at Vine, and was an excellent cook. She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church and Vine.

She is survived by sons, Michael (Cheryl) Halverson of Prescott, WI and Donald Halverson of Crosslake; daughter, Deborah (Terry Davis) Joerg of North Mankato; five grandchildren; eight great grandchildren; one great great grandchild; three brothers; two sisters; and many nieces and nephews.

Audrey is preceded in death by her husband, parents, and sister.
A Walk in Their Shoes
November 7th, 2020
10:00a.m - 12:00p.m
There is a fantastic event coming up to support Connections Shelter. You can join in the walk or just donate.

Tickets for the event start at $40.00

Walk two miles in the shoes of our neighbors experiencing homelessness in Mankato to raise funds for this shelter season.

Brave the chilly November weather like those experiencing homelessness, and learn about the places and programs they frequent in downtown Mankato. The walk begins at First Presbyterian Church, where Connections Shelter is housed, and includes stops at Centenary United Methodist Church where Holy Grounds breakfast ministry happens, the Blue Earth County Library, and the Salvation Army. Educational speakers will be at each location, and snacks and hot beverages will be provided.

· 10-12 on Saturday, November 7

· Tables will be available at each stop along the journey with items to get you through (hot chocolate, goodies, etc): Connections/First Presbyterian Church, Centenary UMC, Salvation Army, Blue Earth County Library

· Event starts and ends at First Presbyterian Church (lots of street parking around!)

· Bag of essentials picked up at First Presbyterian Church before your journey starts

· Virtual tour of Connections video at Centenary UMC

· Resources about what is available from Salvation Army at Salvation Army

· Snacks and short presentation from Pastors Erica and Collette at the Library. 

Family Ministries/ Education
Every week while we won't be having 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.
More information and a signup will be coming out this week about our special 4 week Advent event starting November 29th. This will be a chance for families to gather at Grace for lessons and crafts about Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.
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 4  – Confirmation @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • November 11  – Confirmation @ Grace 6:00 - 7:00
  • November 18  – Service Night @ MY Place Mankato 6:00 - 7:30
  • 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
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 4  – Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 11  – Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 18  – Service Night @ MY Place Mankato 6:00 - 7:30
  • November 25 - No Youth Group. Thanksgiving Break
  • December 2  – Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • December 9 - Youth Group @ Grace 6:00 - 7:30
  • 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
Zoom Thursday night
Bible Study
"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


This Thursday we continue to move forward in Acts.
We'll be looking at Luke 15:1-32

"The 'Lost' Parable"

One thing to be thinking about coming into the bible study is:
Make a list of descriptive words that paint an image of a God who is punitive and harsh. How read aloud Loke 15:5 and 20. Make a contrasting list of descriptive words that illustrate this portrait of God.

What thoughts and feelings do you have as you look at these two images of God?


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 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.
November 1, 2020 Worship
All Saints Sunday
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
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. - Confirmation and High School students will have the chance to volunteer with some service projects at MY Place on November 18th. Be on the look out here to find more information in the future on ways that Grace can be more active in service for this great place.

Echo Food Shelf - Echo is currently looking for volunteers to commit to one 2-4 hour shift/week. You can email 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

Pray Together
Lord God,

Thank you for shining the light of your love into our hearts. Help us as we be a reflection of that light to others. We also thank you for for the light that our loved ones has shined into our lives.
Check out this Video!
When the Saints by Sara Groves
Contact Us
Rev. John Odegard -

Director of Spiritual Growth

Parish Administrator
Rich Krause -

Office Specialist
Joan Hertel -

Interim Organist and Music Director
Chuck Hoogland -

Worship and Media Technology Coordinator

Maintenance and Grounds
Jordin Johnson -

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.