Staying Connected
Greetings Grace Family

A few weeks ago, my daughter Esther and I were out on a walk. Within ear shot there was a dad loading up two children into his truck. One was in a baby seat and the other child was probably about 3 or 4 years old. I did not hear their whole conversation but what both Esther and I heard we found really funny. The dad's young daughter says, "I'm so excited to have chips for supper!" You could hear the excitement in her voice. This was at 9:00 in the morning. Already thinking about supper and the chips she was going to get to eat.

What is something simple like that, that makes you super excited? Do you spend more time looking for the big things in life to bring you excitement that you are missing the small things? It is like when a kid gets that expensive toy that comes in a big box and they are more excited to turn that box into something than actually play with what came inside. 

I am really trying to look at the small things that are going around me that are bringing joy. This last year I think have taught us that quite a bit. We may look at the big exciting things we may be missing out on but when we look at the small things like the dinner in together as a family, a simple walk around the neighborhood in the sunshine or good conversation with a neighbor we can truly see how blessed we are. 

I hope this week brings you much joy. Look for the little things happening all around you. If you feel you are not seeing those little pieces of joy you can at least try to be that for others.

Have a great week

Ben

No More Trash Bags
The Reach Drop in Center in partnership with Lutheran Social Services are seeking donations of new or very gently used suitcases or duffle bags of all sizes for children transitioning in and out of foster care. The goal is to eliminate the use of trash bags as an acceptable form of luggage.

Last month we had a great food drive for ECHO food shelf and in the past we've also had a lot of success collecting quarters for Connections shelter. We continue to want to bring month opportunities for members and friends of Grace to make donations to make a difference for those in our community.

We'll collect suitcases and duffle bags through the month of April. Donations can be dropped off in the narthex and we're excited to see the pile grow all month.

If there is a donation drive you think would be good to do at Grace reach out to Ben to share.
South Central Minnesota Food Recovery Update
***Freezer Needed****
Many of you have heard of our involvement in the South Central Minnesota Food Recovery Project. With helping preserve and package 1400 pounds of chicken last summer and also making meals using green beans. We currently also have 120 pounds of strawberries we'll be turning into jam for those in need. We also have around 400 Green Peppers we'll be turning into meals really soon.

This Past week the Food Recovery Project received 6 TONS of raw chicken. This chicken was going to be going into the landfill when instead it was able to go to the Wooden Spoon where much of the food is being stored. This chicken will be distributed and at Grace we have an opportunity to take some and turn it into meals. With so much chicken though we are running short on space at Grace.

If you have a freezer that you would be willing to donate we'd love to be able to take it off your hands. This will help us be able to quickly prep food and be able to hold onto it a little longer to then later be able to process into meals.

With all that's going on too we would love to find more people that would like to help out in many different ways with our efforts to get food out to the community. Below you can click on a link to get get text and email updates on what's going on with Food Recovery at Grace. Sometimes food becomes available quickly and needs to be processes soon so it does not go to waste. If we have an event that is going to happen Ben can text a group to try and pull people together quickly.

If you want to know more about the Food Recovery Project you can reach out to Ben. He'd love to talk about it with anyone.
Ben's cell 507-524-3254 or email DSG@gracemankato.org
***NEW***
Thursday Night Zoom
Bible Study
Bible Study is back this Week
Thursday April 15th

All Are Welcome!
We are starting a new Thursday night Bible study starting this week April 15th. It is a new time and new study so this is a great time to join in if you've been waiting. We will meet every Thursday evening at 7:00 over zoom. 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
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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
Vine
Faith in Action
Caregiver Support Groups
Caregiving can be challenging and isolating. Gain insights and encouragement from other caregivers by joining a Caregiver Support Group facilitated by VINE Faith in Action staff.
Call Joyce at (507) 386-5583 for more information.
Adopt a Highway
Cleanup
Join us Saturday April 17th at 1:00pm for our Spring 2021 highway clean up. We'll meet in the Grace parking lot before heading out to our two mile stretch on highway 83 between Mankato and St Clair. Thank you Sam Anderson for leading these efforts once again and you would like to join us you can reach out to Sam by phone at 507-382-9107 or by email at SAM74SG@gmail.com. Afterwards there will be Pie, Rootbeer Floats and Ice Cream available.

A back up date is scheduled for Sunday April 18th in case of weather.
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.
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 DSG@gracemankato.org.
Carlson's Pillow Cleaning Service
Grace Lutheran Church Women are Sponsoring a Pillow Cleaning

Monday May 10th
Drop-off from
6-8pm

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 Carlsonpillow.com
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 DSG@gracemankato.org.
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.
Children
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.
Confirmation
March Confirmation Schedule
  • April 14th - Confirmation Via Zoom 6:00
  • April 21st - Confirmation @ Grace 6:00
  • April 28th - Confirmation Service Night 6:00
  • May 5th - Confirmation @ Grace 6:00
  • May 12th - Last week of Confirmation. Picnic and Service Night @ Grace 6:00

Locations may change
High School
Keep a look out for more opportunities for fellowship and faith opportunities for High School youth. If you have ideas for events reach out to Ben at DSG@gracemankato.org or by phone at 507.524.3254
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 DSG@gracemankato.org
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

April 11th 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
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
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

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

We thank you for the little things in life that bless us. Help us to see those things in our life and also help us to be blessings to those around us.
Amen
Check out these Videos!
Blessings by Laura Story
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.