Staying Connected
Greetings everyone.
As some of you may know, I have been taking a little bit of time off this past week. Betsy and I were invited to stay with some friends (Steve and Kathy Mork) at their time-share on Hilton Head Island South Carolina. Betsy and I traveled down Thursday morning and as I write this (Sunday evening), we are preparing to head back tomorrow afternoon. It has been a fantastic time away where I have had a chance to recharge and spend some much needed one on one time with my wife. We have had some great meals and seen some great sights. I have had a chance as well to connect with Steve and Kathy's church Christ Lutheran here in Hilton Head. I've gotten a tour of the little pantry they do for their community and think it's something that is really neat and something we could do in Mankato as we continue to try and feed our community. I've also been able to meet with their director of spiritual growth and talk about how each of us do our jobs and build a connection to possibly collaborate together in the future. Christ Lutheran also has a great feeding ministry so it was fun to see something similar that they are doing that we are.
The other thing I have been able to do these last few days is take some long walks on the beach. I have been able to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean and this evening we were able to even see some dolphins swimming around.
One thing that has really been on my mind as I have walked along the beach looking out at the ocean is just thinking about how huge the water is. I have seen the ocean before but most of the time the largest body of water I have been around is Lake Superior where a lot of it you can see land across the water. It made me think about how small I am but yet how much God still loves me. It also just made me think about how huge this world is and how even though we are so small there is no reason not to try to make a huge difference. It is easy to stay in your own little world whether it be in Mankato or in Minnesota or even in the United States. It makes me so proud though with the way Grace Lutheran is going. The way we are expanding how we serve our community. I am excited to head home and get back into things at Grace. Below I talk about some green peppers we received this last week and how we are going to use them to serve others. I'm excited to see how we continue to grow our ministries over the next year and beyond to reach more and more of this giant great world we're a part of.
Now one last game of Farkle before our last sleep before heading home. Going to see if I can win again for the third time :)
Ben Geer

Green Peppers
First chicken then green beans then strawberries and now green peppers. Once again, I got a call this week that Wooden Spoon received a surplus of green peppers that would have gone to the landfill or compost. With the efforts of the South Central Minnesota Food Recovery Project and our partnership with that, we took eight crates of green peppers to clean, cut and freeze to use later on to make meals. We had a group of folks willing to stick around after worship this past Sunday to help. With the help and leadership from Molly Yunkers during this time, they bagged up 60 bags of green peppers. It was approximately 420 peppers. That is a lot of peppers. We are looking to once again using the peppers as a main piece to dinners we can make to donate to families.
If you want to get involved more with our feeding ministry at Grace please reach out to Ben ( There will be many more opportunities in the near future to help. 
Holy Week Schedule
Jelly Jars Needed
We are still collecting jelly jars. Once we have, enough we will start making jelly to give out to low income families in our community.
If you are interested in helping make jelly please reach out to Ben. We are hoping to be able to make jelly starting after Easter.
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.

Thank You to all who have donate already.
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 Ends Sunday March 28th
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 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
This Summer
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 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


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
Greater Than All My Regrets by Tenth Avenue North Music 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 21st 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

Birthdays and Anniversaries
Many Blessings to those celebrating Birthdays and Anniversaries this week.

Karen Zingmark 3/22
Kent Bauer 3/22
Kristine Hall 3/23
Pat Priem 3/24
Ted Hoogenraad 3/24
Gretchen Townsend 3/26
Curt Priem 3/27
Louis Linder 3/28

If we missed your birthday or anniversary this week please contact the church office and we'll update our records.
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

We know we are just small specks in the world..... but you still love us. You pour your love into us in ways that are unimaginable. Thank you for your kindness.
Check out these Videos!
My Own Little World by Matthew West
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.