Staying Connected
A couple weeks ago when I gave the children's message the Sunday after I got back from the Boundary Waters I told the kids that it's alright some times to just be still. Life is so busy sometimes and sometimes you just have to chill and relax. I told them about the the verse in Psalms chapter 46 verse 10 that says "Be still and know that I am God. It's a verse that I think about often in times where I'm feeling very busy. Be still. Being still can take on many forms and experiencing God during those times can be very different for many people.

As I write this I'm in the middle of a stretch of a little bit of time off. Since Friday I've been spending time with Betsy's family in an Airbnb near Red Wing Minnesota. We've been spending time sitting on the deck talking and eating a lot of food(so many snacks). The kids have spent time in the pool splashing and having a good time and they've also been playing games like basketball, ping pong, darts and cards. It's been a fantastic weekend. Every year Betsy's family gets together and spends time together. It's always been at the end of the summer before everybody heads back to school. It's been a time of rest.

Some people may think the best way to rest is to find a super quiet spot and just be alone and if that's the best way for you to rest that's great. There have been times this weekend where I've just kind of sneaked away and took a little nap or had some time by myself. One way thought I found rest is just being with family that I care about. Being with them and shutting my brain off from the busyness of everything around happening in "normal" life. I found it preparing meals as I stand at the grill making sure the burgers and brats are cooked just right. As I jump in the pool with my nieces and they ask me to throw them across the pool or I sneak up being the tube they're sitting on and flip it. I see God in these moments too. God has been present in this whole weekend so far.

It's been a great weekend to just get away and I'm just in the middle of it. This morning after we get everything cleaned up we're going up to Grand Marais for a couple nights. Pastor John had sent me pictures of their trip to the north shore a couple weeks ago and I got jealous. I just had to get up there myself. We try to get up there at least once a year. Take in the sounds of the water as it splashes up onto shore. Get some donuts from the shop in town.... which is actually closed Tuesday and Wednesday... But Betsy had a cousin that is picking some up today while they're still open before we get there. The trip also gives us a chance to get outside and walk in the woods. Another place I find stillness. To be in God's great creation with just my family. To go on a hike and see the beauty. To see a waterfall, to year the sound of nature all around me, to hear my kids ask when this hike is ever going to end and just be still once again.

I hope everyone has a great week and are finding ways to be still in your busy lives. To sit down and experience God. To be still and know God.

Peace

-Ben
Build your own Bouquet
Family Fellowship Event
The summer series has been "In the Garden with Grace." We've looked at the gardens in scripture. I thought a great way to end the summer would be to bring people together to a garden where we can pick flowers and create something beautiful.

Every one is invited to a family fellowship event we're doing together in September. South of town our highway 68 there is a farm called Valley Veggies. Valley Veggies is a farmers market that is open seven days a week. Another thing the offer is build your own bouquets. for $8.00 your able to cut and arrange your own flower arrangements there at the farm choosing flowers from their gardens. My family went down last year to try it out and it was a blast. The owner Terri was super helpful and we were able to put together an awesome arrangement. Pictures of what we were able to make can be seen below.

I'm encouraging families to sign up and give it a try. If whole families want to come out and make one together that is great. If dad's want to bring their kids out to make an arrangement for mom that is awesome too. Or even if someone wants to come out on their own fellowship with some other members and make an arrangement for a stranger, loved one or themselves I think that's a great idea also.

The plan is to have people meet in the Grace Parking Lot at 1:30pm September 12th and we'll all drive out together to Valley Veggies. Valley Veggies is located at 52727 MN-68, Lake Crystal, MN 56055 and is about a 15 minute drive from church. Located on the left side of highway 68 traveling towards New Ulm from Mankato.
Date: Saturday September 13, 2020

Meet in Parking Lot at Church at 1:30 and will travel out together to Valley Veggies

Cost: Will need $8.00 to pay to Valley Veggies for the Bouquet. 

Mask will need to be worn at Valley Veggies along with physical distancing practices observed.

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these."
Luke 12:27
Worship Opportunity!!!
Sign up below to host an in-person worship at your home. Group sizes will be around 10 people to allow physical distancing. There will be a devotion lead by Pastor John and there will also be communion served. This is a great way to still get together with others while the council explores the next steps to safely meet again in person at Grace in the sanctuary.
Connecting with you at Home
Zoom Bible Study
***Bible Study this Thursday***

If you haven't joined us yet for bible study I invite you to check it out this week.

Join us Thursday August 27th 8:00pm
As a community of Christ we share in each others joys and pains as we share 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

We then jump into the bible where we get to study the word together.

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This Thursday we continue to move forward in Acts.
We'll be looking at Acts 17

An unknown God

One question to be thinking about coming into the bible study is:
What kind of philosophies do you encounter as you attempt to communicate the gospel in our modern world?

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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
Connect with us
Worshiping Together
I hope all have been able to continue to worship with us at Grace. It has been great to see people join into the Facebook Watch Parties Sunday mornings at 9:55am. Our goal is to ways make worship enjoyable and accessibly to everyone in their homes whether it be though Facebook, YouTube, Radio or KTV. There are many ways you can join in and we hope that you're able to find the way that best fits for you right now until we all can once again meet together for worship at Grace. If you are having troubles getting connected to any of that please reach out and we'd love to help you out getting connected.

Every Sunday we will be hosting a Facebook Watch Party Sunday mornings starting at 9:55am so we can all participate in worship together at the same time if you have Facebook

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.
August 23rd, 2020 Worship
Zoom Coffee Hour
Every Sunday after the worship is done on Facebook (approx 10:50) we will be having a Zoom Coffee Hour. It's been fantastic to be able to see some familiar faces from Grace and chat a bit. Even if you weren't able to be with everyone while worship was streamed on Facebook you are more than welcomed to join for the coffee hour.

SUNDAY COFFEE HOUR
MEETING ID 886 4204 9605
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.


There is an easy way to continue to give to Grace. You can now text any amount you want to give to 507-607-7337. After a few very easy steps you can submit giving right from your phone. We thank you for your support to the mission and ministry of Grace Lutheran Church.
Grace Lutheran Virtual VBS
We had our week of virtual VBS last week. if you didn't get a chance to participate yet that's ok. The lessons can be done at any time. Below you can access each daily theme. By clicking on the link below you'll have access to all the pieces of the themes. There is Scripture, Bible Lesson, Activity, Craft and Songs.

We still have craft kits available at Grace on a table inside the west entrance in the alley behind the church.
The scavenger hunt is great for all ages and can be found in our Peace theme. Printouts for the it can be found in the craft bags too.

Anybody can also pick up a quilt square that can be decorated to remember this crazy year we've been having. They can be decorated and sent back to me at the church and we'll have a quilt created.
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.
Pray Together
Lord God,

Thank you for the time in our lives where we can just be still. To be still and experience you in what we do. You fill our lives with so much joy. Although there are times where the joy feels stripped around us we know that we can know you through the stillness.
Amen
Check out this Video!
This is a song by the band NEEDTOBREATHE. They've recently come out with new music and this is one of their newer songs. I've listened to it quite a bit. I love the sound but more so love the message of the song. There have been many times in life where I as the same questions. Who am I to be loved by you. God uses those people though in the bible that say the same thing. Moses is a great example of that.
Who am I by NEEDTOBREATHE