Staying Connected
HOLY MOLY IT'S HOLY WEEK!!!
 
This time of year is always my favorite. The days seem to be getting longer with the sun setting later. The weather starts to warm up and you can start seeing new life sprouting up all around. In my backyard, we have been able to see some flowers starting to peak up out of the ground. My first thought is I wonder how long before our puppy eats those, but I am hopeful that she will leave them alone. As I sit here in my office right now, I have the shades open and I love the sunshine coming through. I am working on getting this written up too so I can get out for a quick little morning walk to take in some of this sunshine. Looking at the forecast the weather just seems to be looking like it is going to be getting even nicer into the weekend.
 
Yesterday we had some folks join us for our Easter Egg Decorating event after worship. With the event, we had a devotional to go with it. That and pictures and the devotional from the event can be found a little farther down in this newsletter. With the devotional, we were able to look at what the different colors of the Easter Eggs could represent and there were bible verses to go with them. One of the colors highlighted was GREEN. I loved talked about the color green. To me it almost seems to be a color I forget through the winter. The Devotional said this
 
GREEN: The color of the grass, trees and so many other things that grow. Green reminds us of the new life Jesus gives us when we trust Him as our Savior and it reminds us that we continue to grow in knowing Him as we study the Bible, pray, serve & obey Him.
 
It was paired with a reading from 1st John 5:12
 
This time of year is just brimming with new life... especially this year as we are optimistically coming out of not only a time of winter but also a time of Covid with a hopeful end in sight. To see how things have grown at Grace during the pandemic, our ways of being able to serve others will only multiply more and more as we get through it and beyond.
 
May this time during Holy Week and Easter be encouraging to you and your family.


Peace,
 
Ben Geer
Holy Week Schedule
Easter Egg Event
March 28th 2021
Photos from around Grace
ECHO Food Shelf
Thank You to all those who have made donations for the ECHO food shelf. It's been great to see the pile grow over the last few weeks. It's amazing to to how big of a difference can be made when people come together for one cause.

All donations will be taken to ECHO this week and since it's Minnesota Food Share month all donations are matched.

Be on the look out for our next donation drive. More information will be coming out on that in next weeks staying connected newsletter.
2021 Easter Garden
GRACE LUTHERAN’S ALTAR GUILD IS PLEASED TO OFFER
 A BEAUTIFUL EASTER GARDEN THIS YEAR.

As has been the tradition at Grace, flowers may be sponsored and given in honor, in memory or in celebration of someone or to add to the beauty of our Easter Worship Service. Please designate whether you wish to take a plant home or wish to have it gifted to a member on Grace’s visitation list after Easter. Please fill out this form or one in the church pew pockets and send it in or drop it off no later than March 29th to Grace Lutheran Church: 110 N. 4th St, Mankato, MN 56001

If you have any questions, please contact Terry Kvitek 507-257-3004 or ptkvitek@charter.net     
Lent at Grace
Our Lenten series on "Faithful Feelings have come to an end but you can view any of the Wednesday night services along with the Holden Evening Prayer by clicking the links below.

Adopt a Highway
Cleanup
2021 Vacation Bible School
"King of Me"
June 7th - 11th
We are planning an in-person Vacation Bible School (VBS) this summer. We will be holding here at Grace the week after schools get out the week of June 9th. The theme for the week is "King of Me." We will explore some of the characters from the Old Testament and how God is bigger than some of the obstacles that were put in their way and how God is the kind of all those things. When we feel alone God is with us. This week will be full of fun worship, crafts and activities as well. This will be fully run by Grace so we will be looking for volunteers to help during the week. If you have time available or an older child at home that you want to get out of the house to help please let Ben know (DSG@gracemankato.org) and he'd love to have some help. He will take help during the days with programing, food, childcare before and after or even planning the VBS if you are feel very adventurous.


All kids are welcomed to attend. They don't have to be a member of Grace
Children ages Kindergarten - 6th Grade are invited.
Programing will run from 8:30 - 3:00 Monday - Thursday and 8:30 - noon on Friday. Early drop off and late pick up will be available to families that need it.
Meals will be provided Monday - Thursday
Suggested Donation of $35 to cover cost of food and craft supplies

Click below to sign up.
2021 Youth Summer Service Trip
North Shore MN
June 13th - 18th
The summer of 2021 was supposed to be the next ELCA National Youth Gathering that happens every three year. That has been postponed to July of 2022 and will be in Minneapolis as planned. That means we will be doing a youth service trip this summer instead. With still some uncertainty of what that can look like we are planning this ourselves and will be traveling to the north shore based around Duluth. Service opportunities are still being worked out along with lodging but we are confident we will be able to offer a safe and fun trip for youth that have completed 7th - 12th Grade. You can register by clicking the link below. If you have any questions about this trip you can reach out to Ben at DSG@gracemankato.org.
Carlson's Pillow Cleaning Service
Grace Lutheran Church Women are Sponsoring a Pillow Cleaning

Monday May 10th
Drop-off from
6-8pm

Tuesday May 11th
7:30am - 3:00pm

*Cleaned *Deodorized

*Sanitized *Fluffed

Custom Made New Pillows & Down Comforters for Sale

New Ticking of your choice added. On the spot cleaning - returned same day

Crushed foam pillows can be cleaned

Polyester pillows can be recovered

You can learn more about Carlson's Pillow Cleaning Service by visiting their website Carlsonpillow.com
Feeding Connections
Grace is serving dinner at Connections Shelter the second and forth Sunday of every month. If you would like to sign up to help out for any of the next times we're serving you can find a sign up below. You can also reach out to Ben through the church office or at DSG@gracemankato.org.
There are other opportunities to be able to serve at Connections. Below is a link to their sign up to be able to be greeters at the shelter. If your family would also like to take on a meal on your own to make and serve there are opportunities to sign up and do that.
Children
While we are not yet meeting in person 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.
Confirmation
March Confirmation Schedule
  • March 31st - No Confirmation. Holy Week.
  • April 7th - Confirmation @ Grace 6:00
  • April 14th - Campfire Confirmation hosted at Ben's House 6:00
  • April 21st - Confirmation @ Grace 6:00
  • April 28th - Confirmation @ Grace 6:00
  • May 5th - Confirmation @ Grace 6:00
  • May 12th - Last week of Confirmation @ Grace 6:00
High School
Keep a look out for more opportunities for fellowship and faith opportunities for High School youth. If you have ideas for events reach out to Ben at DSG@gracemankato.org or by phone at 507.524.3254
If anybody has questions about youth and family ministry opportunities or would like to help 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
Thursday Night Zoom Bible Study
No Bible Study This Week
We will be back Thursday April 15th

All Are Welcome!

More information about a new study will be available next Monday
April 5th
As a community of Christ, we share in each other's joys and pains. Before we dive into the word each week 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 is 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
**************************************

Thursday Bible Study

Zoom Meeting ID 857 5766 8823
Meeting Passcode: grace

Time 7:00 pm Thursday
Every week will have the same meeting ID and Passcode
Worshiping Together Virtually
Our Facebook live stream is a great way to gather with others(although virtually)as we are all part of this assembly as we gather as the one body of Christ to chat, share a greeting of peace and worship together. A live stream of our worship is broadcasted every Sunday morning at 10:00 and is 50-60 minutes long.

If you do not have Facebook worship is will still be available on KTOE Sunday mornings at 10:00 and the rebroadcast on KTV Tuesday at 1:00 pm and again Wednesday at 7:15 pm. Past worships can also be found on YouTube and our Website. Our goal is that everyone will still have an opportunity to worship with us at Grace.

All the past worship services can be found by going to

March 28th 2021 Worship
Palm Sunday
In-Person Worship
We acknowledge that the risks of this pandemic are not over, and if you are unsure about being in the building, we encourage you to stay home and worship with us from a distance. If you enjoy worshipping from home, we encourage you to continue to do just that. We are opening our doors again but we encourage people to do what is best for your family right now. We want to offer the opportunity for everyone to connect with their faith in ways that are meaningful and meet you where you are. For now, we are glad you can be here with us, whether you are watching live on Facebook, listening on KTOE radio, following along on YouTube or KTV in Mankato. Even after we return to holding worship in our building, we will continue to provide these means of participating with us from a distance including a livestream on Facebook. 

However you participate, now and in the future, we believe you are a part of this assembly, gathered as the one body of Christ to worship and celebrate our life of faith together.
Christ in our Home
Devotional
Christ In Our Home are still available here at Grace. You can stop in and pick on up anytime during church office hours.

You can access a digital copy by clicking HERE (January - March)
Fair Trade Coffee
Fair Trade coffee and other items are for sale here at Grace. Current selection of products on hand here at Grace are pictured below. Items available are Coffee, Tea, Hot Cocoa Powder, Chocolate bars, backing cocoa and olive oil. Items are located near the narthex and can be bought during church office hours and Sunday mornings.
All Fair Trade/Organic Coffee - $7.00/Bag

Individual Coffee packets - 60¢ each
Makes 10-12 cups

All Tea - $3.00

Hot Cocoa - $6.00

Large Chocolate Bars - $2.50

Baking Cocoa - $6.00

Olive Oil - $13.50
Find more information about Mankato Fair Trade Products and their Mission by clicking the link below

Serving the Community

Echo Food Shelf - Echo is still 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.
Pray Together
Lord God

We thank you for the new life growing all around us. We thank you for the hope that is given to us this time of year as we feel your warmth and sunshine around us.
Amen
Check out these Videos!
Come to Save Us by All Sons and Daughters
Amazon Smile
Many of us has been spending more time shopping online. When shopping with amazon there is an easy way to help raise a donation go to Grace. 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.
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@gracemankato.org

Worship and Media Technology Coordinator

Maintenance and Grounds
Jordin Johnson - grounds@gracemankato.org
Grace Lutheran Church Office Hours

Monday - Thursday 10:00a.m - 5:00p.m
Friday 10:00a.m - noon
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.