Staying Connected
Greetings Folks
 
Aren't kids great?
 
I do really like mine even when they frustrate me. Quick story of something that happened this morning. I usually come into to the church office a bit early. Especially on Monday mornings. I like to really be focused on what is going on the week ahead and like getting any updates going on this Staying Connected Newsletter. A lot of times I start thinking about too if I have anything awe and inspiring to share with you all at the beginning of it.... you know this part here that it's totally ok to skip through and find the more important stuff below.
 
This morning was no different just working away and was out by the Fair Trade cart to take a picture of it... did you see it's been restocked??? Lots of new stuff out there. Anyways my phone rang. It was my youngest daughter's teacher. She said Chloe would like to talk to you. I thought oh no what is going on. Chloe came on the phone and said, "Can you run home and grab my tennis shoes and bring them to school?" My thought then went to "did my daughter walk to school without shoes on?!?!? What kind of parent am I?" I then realized she must have worn her crocs. I am sure it was just an oversight and she was not trying to get away with anything. I ran home grabbed the shoes, and an extra pair of socks just in case. I did not need any extra stinky feet in the house tonight. Ran down to school in the midst of the drop off line and got them to someone, the principal :) that would then get them to her.
 
As I thought about the running around I had to do this morning I thought I could write something about this. My mind went to how inconvenient we must make things for God at times. We do our best but we still stumble and fail. We are human we make innocent mistakes. God however still loves us. We are giving that Grace in our lives and are able to go on and continue to honor and show praise to God through what we do. As we try and do our best.
 
I'm thankful I have a flexible enough job that I am able to just run home quick and grab what Chloe needed and when I really think about it, it really wasn't an inconvenience for me at all to do so. It is probably not an inconvenience for God either to show us that Grace.

So when I say "Aren't kids great?" I mean that in the best way. They're great because they can be that reminder for us of how God shows the same understanding for us that we show for our children.
 
Have a great week!
  
Ben

Grace Workday
This Wednesday May 12
We were blessed by amazing weather this past Wednesday May 12 for our work day here at Grace. Members from Grace along with the help of our confirmation students were able to get various work projects done around the church. Some of the projects included racking out old mulch and weeds and replacing it with new red mulch along Mulberry Ave along with laying down new much in front of the mural. There was also a lot going on in the community garden as well.

Special Thank You to Del Vulcan for lining up all the supplies and organizing the work day.
Feeding our Community
Chicken Packing Party
Wednesday May 19th 4:30
Food continues to be recovered as part of the South Central Minnesota Food Recovery Project. Just last week another three tons of chicken was loaded into the coolers and freezers at Wooden Spoon.

At Grace we are still striving for ways to help feed those in need using the recovered food. Through the help of some volunteers last week we were able to prepare more meals using chicken, onions and green peppers that all would have gone to waste if it wasn't for the food recovery efforts in Mankato. 10 Meals went to families from MY Place, 4 meals went to Partners for housing in St Peter and the remaining 12 went to CADA House here in Mankato.

We are going to keep these efforts going and this Wednesday May 19th we will be having an event here at church to separate cooked chicken from the bone and package for later use for making more meals for families in need. We're looking for some volunteers that'd like to help us out. We will be starting between 4:30 and 5:00 that evening and we'll work for a few hours. Our goal is to work on 40-50 chickens. You can use the sign up genius link below to sign up to help.
Senior Sunday
May 23rd
Sunday May 23rd will be Senior Sunday here at Grace. At worship we'll celebrate the High School Graduating Class of 2021. The youth will receive a quilt made by out Grace Quilters and some will receive a the Grace Lutheran Church Servanthood Award. Everyone is invited to join in the celebration of class of 2021

Congratulations to:

Anna Bauer

Wyatt Block

Julie Domas

William Gronewald

Brandon McLean

Christian Rosen

Preston Rosen

Emily Spieker
VBS & Youth Summer Service Trip Fundraiser
This May our focus at Grace is going to be on the youth here at the church. We continue to strive to pro-vide great opportunities for the youth to grow in their faith. Through our programs like Vacation Bible School and summer trips, we are able to help these kids feel the love of God. This love that they receive aids them in living out their faith in our community and beyond.

Next month the youth have the opportunity to attend Vacation Bible School (VBS) June 7th-11th and 11 youth and 2 adults will be heading to Duluth MN for our 2021 Summer Service trip.

There are many ways you can help us make these opportunities great for the youth.

The main thing you can do is to keep us all in your prayers during these weeks so we are kept safe and are able to constantly feel the presence of God during these events.
The other way to help is through donations of money, craft supplies and time.

Below you’ll find a form of different ways to donate. In some cases we’re looking for monetary donations that will help defray the costs of our summer events. We also have a list of craft supplies that can be dropped off at the church that we will use during VBS week. The last way we could use your help is if you would like to help be here and assist with our VBS programming in person. Helping with VBS would involve assisting in crafts with the kids, getting lunch ready, and being an inspiring adult for the kids to be around.

Thank you for your continued support for the youth at Grace.
Youth Plant Sale
You've probably seen the plants in our entryway off Main street. They were getting pretty big and a few folks came in a split them and started them in new pots and containers. They did this with the thought that this would make a great youth fundraiser. We agreed. Starting this Sunday we will have the plants available to take home. For a free will offering feel free to grab one and take it home. Our hope is as the plant grows in your home it'll help you think of and pray for the youth here at Grace.

Thank you for your support
Red Cross Blood Drive
Friday May 28th
12:30 - 5:30

10 Spots remaining
Thursday Night Zoom
Bible Study
Thursday May 13th
7:00 pm

All Are Welcome!
We continue to meet every Thursday evening at 7:00 over zoom for our weekly bible study. We're always looking for more people to join. Most weeks will be lead by Ben but other weeks the study will be lead by another Grace member. The study is on Daily Faith Practices and the Bible Study material is provided by the ELCA. Each week we'll spend some time chatting and sharing some highlights and lowlights from our week as we fellowship. Following that we will spend time diving into a study each week. All the studies can be viewed ahead of time and can be found by clicking HERE. We will also have a few weeks of the studies shared in this weekly newsletter. So you can look ahead to help guide discussion. Each week we'll gather over zoom for about an hour.

We hope you will consider joining us for this time of bible study and fellowship. All are Welcome whether you've joined us in the past or not.

We hope yo see you soon
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Upcoming Studies
Mark your Calendar





Clicking on the Study will take you to a PDF copy
Clicking on the scripture will take you to the reading for the study
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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
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.
Connections Shelter
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.
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

Worship
May 16th 2021
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
Fair Trade Coffee
***Restocked***
New Fair Trade merchandise is now on the cart.

All items are prices as marked

Sister's Blend Ground Coffee and Toffee Caramel Flavored Coffee are back!!!

Items are located near the narthex and can be bought during church office hours and Sunday mornings.
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

Thank you for the love a patience you give us every day. Though we stumble and fail you love us the same and every day is a day we are able to glorify you

Amen
Check out this Video!
The Broken Beautiful by Ellie Holcomb
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.