Staying Connected
I do not have it all together. This statement may shock some of you... However, most likely many of you are not shocked. I would say most all of us are that way though.
Do any of us really have it "all together"?
I would say on a monthly... or weekly... ok daily basis I do something and I say to myself, "Really Ben??? Seriously what are you thinking?"
Confession time.
This past Sunday while working the sound system during the service I started thinking about my children's message I had prerecorded the previous Thursday. When I record my children's messages, it hardly ever takes me one take. Sometimes not even two three or four takes. This past week it took two. I started talking got a little ways in and decided I did not like the direction I was going with it so I started over. Sometimes I will stop the recording on my phone and do a new take. This time I just started over. I got through the next take and was happy with it so off to my office I have to trim it up and have it ready to be played during the service.
Now back to Sunday morning. I was thinking, "Did I edit out the first take of my children's message?" I panicked. What if I didn't. People are going to be confused when I stop part way through make a funny face, talk to myself and start over. I ran to my office trying checking what I had for it but felt short on time so I ran back up to the loft and told Jason to skip the children's message. Then ran down by the sacristy to secretly let Pastor John know we needed to skip the children's message. He said he could handle coming up with one and he did. He did great with it by the way. I then ran back to the balcony and let Jason know children's message back on but with Pastor John. Woofta it was quite the few minutes during worship.
Isn't it great though that we are part of a community where it is ok to not have life totally "all together"? It is great that I can let you all know about this story and still be met with love and kindness from you all. Just as we are met with love and kindness from a God that sent Jesus to the world to live among us and die a very real death but then then still we get to live with the Holy Spirit every day. The perfect Trinity.
At the end of each newsletter, I always include a music video. I encourage you to check it out. It is a new song by one of my favorite artist Mike Donehey called All Together. It just was released last week and it is really speaking to me.
Oh and by the way. Would have been fine with the children's message I had recorded. I had edited it properly.
Have a great week everyone.

Outdoor Worship Service and Picnic
Sunday June 20th 10am
Worship will be held at the Sibley Park gazebo (Located near the pavilion)

Followed by a picnic lunch in the pavilion.

All are welcome!!!

Optional: Bring a Dessert or Side Dish to Share

We encourage you to bring your own chairs.

Lunch: Free-Will Donations will be happily received
Feeding the Community
Many of you have heard of the efforts going on at Grace to feed the community. We are once again getting together this Wednesday June 2nd to prepare heat and eat ready meals for the community. Using ingredients saved by the South Central Minnesota Food Recovery, we will be preparing chicken fajita meals. We will be slicing up onions and green peppers and we will have 96 chickens we will need help processing the meat off. If you have not had a chance to help with this ministry, we invite you to join us Wednesday evening starting at 4:30 in the Grace kitchen.
Molly Yunkers will be leading the efforts this week to produce the meals.
If you would like to help out or have any additional questions about this ministry please reach out to Ben (Email at or you can text or call him at 507-524-3254)

Summer 2021
Grace Lutheran
Vacation Bible School
Grocery List
Our 2021 Grace Lutheran Vacation Bible School "King of Me" is quickly approaching. Next Monday June 7th we'll have the sound of kids once again echoing through the hallways of the church. It'll be so great to be in-person with the kids for our VBS this year.

We can't do it without the support of great Grace family though. We like to be sure the nothing will stop a family from attending out programing at Grace. That way we only ask for a free will offering from the families attending our VBS. With thought though we could use some support from you all. Some may have seen the donation drive we have going for craft supplies in the narthex. If you haven't had a chance to check that out you can access that below.

We are very lucky this year to be receiving help from Jason Glaser in the planning and preparing the lunch for the kids attending Vacation Bible School. Jason has come up with a great menu for the week that goes along with the daily themes we have.


Monday - Light of the World lunch "Light Kabobs"

Tuesday - Sling stone like foods. Meatball Subs, Mellon Balls, Cheese Balls, Actual Cheese Balls

Wednesday - Daniel The Living Lord Lunch. Vegetables laid out along with "Wonder Bread" Kids will get to make salads or BLTs

Thursday - Jonah Lunch. You can't have a Jonah lunch with out fish sticks and goldfish crackers and gummy Swedish fish in blue Jell-O.

Friday - "Unity" Lunch. Using leftovers from the week we will make salads and other items.


Below you will also find a link where you can signup to help supply different items for lunch. The list is broken down into what is needed each day. If you plan to purchase and item you can sign up for that item in the Sign up Genius. If you still want to help out but don't want to tackle the sign up genius you can give Ben a call at 507-524-3254 and let him know what you want to supply and he will get it taken care of in the sign up.

Non-perishable donations can be dropped off any time. Be sure to drop them off with Ben or let the office know the items are for VBS. Perishable items can be dropped off in the kitchen the afternoon of Thursday June 3rd and before or after worship on June 6th.

Thank you all for your support of our programming here at Grace. I'm very much looking forward to our VBS program this summer.

If you are willing to help out during the week in any way with VBS please reach out to Ben to find ways to help out.
Mask Policy at Grace
Red Cross Blood Drive
Thursday Night Zoom
Bible Study
Thursday June 3rd
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
Upcoming Studies
Mark your Calendar

June 17th
No Zoom Bible Study this week.
Ben on Service trip in Duluth with the Youth

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

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 ( 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.
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

May 23rd 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
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
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 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.

Be on the lookout for more information about Wednesday Faith Night at Grace.
We are hopeful to be back to normal again next school year.
Pray Together
Lord God

Thank you for the community that we are a part of. Thank you that we an accept everyone as they are. Imperfect people, cracks and all. Thank you for showing you love to us everyday.
Check out this Video!
All Together by Mike Donehey
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.