Staying Connected
Folks it has been exactly one year ago today that the first Staying Connected Newsletter went out!!! WOW! I am hoping everybody is still finding this as a helpful way to keep connected with Grace during these times where it continues to be difficult to be together. Constant contacts is an interesting tool that I have learned a lot about over the year so the E-Newsletter has evolved over time. I looked back at some of the old ones an it is interesting how it has changed and progressed into what it is today. Being able to see how many people open the emails and what is clicked on is an interesting part of the program. I have been told that normally emails sent like this only are opened about 20% of the time and the Grace family is opening them at a rate quite a bit higher than that. That tells me that people really have wanted to stay connected over this last year.
Most weeks I start these off by some ramblings about something that is going on in the world, what I did over the weekend or maybe just some random thing that is in by brain that week that needs to be set free. Thank you for putting up with the writings. I know they are not always perfect. There may be some mixed up words and the occasional long winded run off sentence. I like to think it is written like how I would talk. In addition, it has giving everyone a great chance to get to know me over my first year at Grace. I am really looking forward to the time we can start gathering again at Grace for meals and other activities more often and I can started getting to know all of much better also. I am really looking forward to coffee hour after worship on Sunday and I will never take that time for granted.
Before my time here there were emails sent out with updates on faith night so I am glad I was able to take that on and see it evolve the way it has so I look forward to keeping this going and seeing what other fun things, we can do with constant contacts. Let’s try something different. The tool bar has always had an option for a poll and I have wondered how that would work so I have one below. Just a fun question to see what happens.

Which team will win a championship first?
Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Twins
Neither. Our hearts will continue to be broken forever :(
Thanks for reading

Ben Geer
Jelly Jars Needed
Last week we washed, trimmed and froze 120 pounds of strawberries that we were able to get from Wooden Spoon through the South Central Minnesota Food Recovery Project. We are looking to use these strawberries to make jelly to get out to Black, Indigoes, People of Color (BIPOC) and low income families in our community. This is a similar project as we did with the green beans a couple weeks ago.

We asking if people have extra jelly jars they would be willing to donate to the cause that they bring then in to Grace. You can drop them off in the kitchen or with Ben in the office.

We will be having a jelly making party in the near future so be sure to keep your eyes out for future opportunities to get involved to help families in need. As mentioned in Ben's children message from 3/14 we'll be looking for help from our your decorating labels to go on the jars.
ECHO Food Shelf
March is Minnesota Food Share Month. This month all donation of both food and money are matched through Minnesota Food Share. That means we can multiply the impact you have on our community with every gift made. There are several ways we can help out ECHO Food Shelf.

  • Participate in our food drive here at Grace Lutheran Church
  • Volunteer to help sere people at the Food Shelf
  • Send a monetary gift to ECHO Food Shelf

There are 250 families that come to ECHO, on average, each week. We can help be a huge impact to ECHO.

We are filling our own shelf here at Grace through the end of the month. The shelf is located in the Narthex. We continue to fill the current shelf and if our donations fill that shelf we'll find an even bigger shelf, and if that shelf gets filled we'll find and even bigger shelf. We look forward to seeing he donations grow over the next few weeks. Below you can we we collected after just one Sunday.
2021 Easter Garden

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     
Easter Morning Cinnamon Roll Sale
Preorder your Easter Cinnamon Rolls today!

Preorder will be active through Palm Sunday March 28th. There will be some rolls available Easter Sunday in the Grace Narthex and for Drive up if you don't get a chance to preorder.

Pick up your Cinnamon Rolls in Grace Narthex or you can get them delivered to your car following worship.

If you are picking up your rolls that can be picked up out of the back entrance.

Proceeds go to support youth activities at Grace such as the 2021 Service Trip to Duluth, future ELCA National Youth Gatherings and Future Youth Canoe Trips.

1 - $2.00
4 - $7.00
12 - $20.00

We will gladly accept additional in kind donations as well. :)

Thank you for your support of the youth programing at Grace!!!
Lent at Grace
Our Lenten Series "Faithful Feelings" continues this week. We will have in person worship here at Grace and we will also be live streaming the service on Facebook and YouTube at 6:00pm. This week we will be looking at the feeling of Doubt.

Week 4 - Grief
Week 5 - Peace

To view previous week's worships click on the week above.
As we continue our Lenten journey this week we can take time to really focus on the world around us. Below is a great activity for families to do together. Print out the picture below and hang it on your fridge. Each day during lent there is something you can do as a family. This map has a focus on times of fasting, prayer and giving as we follow our way together to the cross.
Easter Egg Decorating
at Grace
Palm Sunday March 28th after worship
All families are welcome to join whether you have kids or not.
Families will be spread out through fellowship hall to ensure social distancing.
Masks will be requited during event.
A short devotion will go along with the fun.

Sign up below so we can have your spot ready!
Adopt a Highway
Looking Ahead in 2021
Start marking your calendar. We're moving full speed ahead with things and we're excited to announce some opportunities for fellowship, leaning and service this next year. We are optimistic that life will return to a more normal form and these events will be able to move forward how we hope.
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 ( 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
Carlson's Pillow Cleaning Service
Grace Lutheran Church Women are Sponsoring a Pillow Cleaning

Monday May 10th
Drop-off from

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
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
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.
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.
March Confirmation Schedule
  • March 17th - Meet with Mentors
  • March 24th - Meet with Mentors
  • March 31st - No Confirmation. Holy Week.
High School
High School students are invited to join Ben in the Youth Room(Formally knows as the children's chapel) after worship throughout lent for time to of discussing and fellowship. We'll be diving deeper in the feelings discussed during worship each week.
High School will not gather March 17th as Ben will be out of town.
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
Thursday Night Zoom Bible Study
Thursday March 18th, 2021

All Are Welcome!

Starting April 8th we will be starting bible study at 7:00pm rather than 8:00
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


This Week

"The Struggle"

We are continuing to look at teaching videos by Mike Donehey that go along with songs from his band Tenth Avenue North. You can view the teaching video along with the song "Overflow" below.

Teaching Video
Overflow Lyric Video

Thursday Bible Study

Zoom Meeting ID 857 5766 8823

Time 8:00 pm Thursday
Every week will have the same meeting ID
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 14th 2021 Worship
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
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
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 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

Thank you for the gifts you give us. We pray that you help us use those gift to serve those around us and that our love to others can be an overflow of your love to us.
Check out these Videos!
I came across this song by Mercy Me last night and it hit me as so powerful. Some lyrics in it say "I'm gonna know what it means to live and not just be alive." I think that it's so insightful as we have things that happen through our life that may be uncomfortable but what we do with that truly determines how we live and are alive.
Say I Won't by Mercy Me
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  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
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 -
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.