Staying Connected
Hope you all had a great weekend. If you're reading this and here in Mankato we saw quite a weekend of weather. Saturday started nice. We had breakfast on the patio at my house then the rain and wind came through in the afternoon and then got nice again. My wife and I actually went for a four mile walk around town and down the the path by the river. One thing I love about Mankato is just how easy it is to get on a trail and find a great place to go for a walk. And WOW what a beautiful day Sunday was. Low humidity and sunshine. I'd say over all it was fantastic weekend.

Now to the work week. What will that bring us? Mondays are always a day for me to focus. To really look at the week, get my bearings and figure out what's going on. Set some goals for the week of what I want to get done and reflect what I had gotten done the week before. When I worked at Taylor I did a lot of that. I was in a routine. I had certain things I would need to get done Mondays and then everyday through the week I wanted to make sure things were done in a certain order as we went along. I've talked about routine before in these little write ups I do at the start of these newsletters. I've learned though through the years that it can be tricky if all you do is fall in a routine. I've learned to loosen up and be ready for anything. Plans change, new things pop up and sometimes you just can't say that everything will work out just as planned. I've learned that we just have to roll with things.

Yesterday we had a meeting to talk about the Boundary Waters Trip. I was getting ready for the meeting and going over with myself everything I wanted to communicate with the kids and parents in the meeting. I know I wanted to talk about packing list stuff, food, schedule and just some general things about the trip. When I was writing everything down I was thinking about the schedule of things while we're in the BWCA. I finally stopped thinking so hard about it and thought that the two days when we'll fully their that as long as we have a good time and get out do things or stay in and relax and spend time with God that's all we need to know. Eat breakfast some time in the morning lunch sometime in the middle of the day and dinner towards the end and we'll be set. Roll with it. I've thought about the words from Jeremiah "for I know the plans I have for you, declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" We'll be spending time with God up north and with each other. It'll be glorious!

I hope you all have a great week and that God surprises you along the way with something amazing.

Peace

-Ben
New Worship Opportunity!!!
Thank you all who took time to fill out the in-person worship survey. The council met this week to discuss the possibility of in-person worship opportunities. Considering the results of the survey we sent out, the council believes that the majority of people in our congregation feel that doing our part to keep everyone safe and healthy is an important starting point for us. It is also important that we not diminish the quality of worship we are providing to a large number of people in order to offer an in person option at this time for the smaller number of people who are ready to return, and yet we understand how important some aspects of in-person worship are. Taking all of this into consideration, the council has asked that we begin the process of hosting in-person worship for small groups. Our goal is to have people sign up to host a driveway worship service, where a group of 10 people or so can worship and celebrate communion together. We are working on planning a service format that uses best practices for health and safety, while also being meaningful. You can invite a few neighbors, some church members, and we will make it available for others to sign up to attend each service while keeping the numbers at each one small enough to maintain social distancing. More information will be available over the next week as we put together a plan on how to move forward. If you would like to host, you can contact the church office or click the link below and fill out a google form and let us know to help us as we make this happen. Our hope is that we will be able to continue to provide a great worship experience online, while also offering an opportunity to worship together and celebrate communion in a way that is accessible to all.
Fundraising Opportunity Youth BWCA Trip
Grace Lutheran is sending twelve youth and six adults to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area this summer July 27th - August 1st. We are looking for the church for some support with the trip. First off I just want to ask for prayers. Pray that this trip will be a successful trip and that everyone will stay safe and that we all can see God in a new and exciting way. Pray that we will build solid relationships with each other and great friendships will come out of it. Another way we could use your support is if you'd like to make a donation to the trip we'd love it. We normally would have done an Easter Breakfast ran by the youth that would have brought in some funds be we lost that opportunity. What we're doing now is looking for people to help sponsor different parts of the trips.

There are many things that help make a successful trip. For a BWCA trip the main things are a Campsite, Canoes, Tents and Food. We're looking for people that want to donate towards those things. Below you can click on a link we're you can fill out a form if you'd like to make a sponsorship. A Campsite Sponsorship is $200, a Canoe Sponsorship is $100, a Tent Sponsorship is $75 and a Food Sponsorship is $50. Each of these will help cover expenses in the trip. And example of how this works is we're looking at getting 6-7 canoes on the trip from an outfitter. For the four day trip it cost about $100 a canoe. Your sponsorship will cover that canoe. What we'll do is we'll also take a picture of the kids in that canoe and I'll do a little photo shop once we get home and add your name to the side and you'll get a picture of it. I thought it could be a fun little thing. Same with with a campsite sponsorship. We'll do a group picture at the site and can photo shop a camp flag with your name on it. The other thing we will do is when it's safe to gather we will be hosting an all sponsor dinner where we'll invite all the sponsors for a dinner served by the students and we'll talk about our experiences from the trip. Don't worry the dinner won't consist of peanut butter wraps and mac and cheese cooked over the fire like on the trip.

So please consider helping out the trip and I thank you in advance for that.

The google form below can be filled out and a check can be sent in or dropped off at church(just note it's for the BWCA Fundraiser) otherwise you can also print the the form and include with money to the church.
Connecting with you at Home
***Bible Study***
8:00pm Thursday July 16th 2020
It has been great to see so many people joining in for bible study on a weekly basis. If you're interested, all are welcomed and I encourage you to join in. We've had great discussions and it's good to see each other and connect for a little while.

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 12-13

The Character of Evangelism

One question to be thinking about coming into the bible study is:
Think of someone you know who effectively shares the gospel. What qualities do you see in that person.

You can also reflect on on:
What characteristics and qualities do you have that make sharing the gospel natural for you? What makes it difficult for you to share your faith?
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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
Education & Fellowship Opportunities for Youth
VBS Update Aug 9th - 14th 2020

A chance to register will be available soon. There is no cost to this Virtual VBS. We can also provide craft supplies.
While we will be having our own Virtual VBS in August through Grace there is still an opportunity for youth to get involved in summer camp in a neat way. Good Earth Village will be releasing a series of videos weekly that will help kids get engaged with not only with God but with the outdoors. Good Earth Village made the tough decision to not do summer programming this year. Instead they are doing Virtual Village. We here at Grace will be doing a similar program in August(more information will be coming out about this very soon). In fact one of the summer staff that helped create these videos for GEV will be helping us out at Grace. If you want more information about Virtual Village you can check it out on their website or click the link below.


Below is a bit about what to expect from Virtual Village
Below you can access Week 2 of Virtual Village. Week one is about Faith.

Week 1 Virtual Village http://goodearthvillage.org/faith

Week 2 Virtual Village http://goodearthvillage.org/peace

Stay Tuned for Week #3 coming out Monday July 20th
You're Invited!
Josh Spellacy
223 Harbor Hill Dr Mankato, MN 56001
****The in home graduation party is going to be rescheduled for a later date but feel free to send a card to Josh in Congratulations****

Kari Stephas Ssaturday July 18 from 1pm - 4pm
2216 Fairbanks Drive North Mankato 56003
Connect with us
Zoom can seem like it might be tricky to use but it's really not that bad. If you have a Smart Phone or Tablet you can download the Zoom app for free. If you have a laptop with a camera you can easily join in too by going to the Zoom website. On the website there is a spot towards the top where you can click "join a meeting." That takes you to a spot where you can enter a meeting ID number. If you are using the App there is a there is a spot where you can Join too and then asked for the Meeting ID number.

To access the conversation by phone only call 1-312-626-6799 and enter the Meeting ID followed by # you will then need to hit # again to enter the meeting.

If you have any questions about getting connected with Zoom you can contact Ben at 507-524-3254.
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.
July 12th, 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
There is a new and easy way to continue to give to Grace. You can now text the 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.
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
Amen
Check out this Video!
Normally I try and make sure this video I include in this section of the newsletter goes with something from above or what I wrote at the start of this. This week just wanted to include a hymn.
How Great Thou Art - Lauren Daigle