This temple talk was shared by Lynn Hess on Easter Sunday.
The children’s names have been replaced with initials, to protect the families.
He is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!
My name is Lynn Hess. I am the Director of The School of Grace, which is Grace Lutheran Church’s parent participatory preschool, serving children ages 6 months through 5 years.
Please join us on Sunday, May 5th, after the 11:00 am service, to celebrate our extended family and our Annual Art Show and Silent Auction Reception.
During April, as part of our acclaiming Easter, Grace Lutheran Church is conducting an Appeal for The School of Grace Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships for all of our refugee children and for families in need. We have already raised $5000 toward our $15,000 goal for the 2019/2020 school year.
One of my favorite Bible passages is Psalm 133: The Blessedness of Unity, which reads,
“How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running over the collar of his robes.
Imagine someone taking their finest oil, warming it and dripping it on your head. The warmth brings comfort, as if God’s arms are wrapped around you.
It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion.
Imagine waking up on a chilly fall morning, stepping outside, barefoot and feeling the crisp cold dew on the grass. Your whole body awakens to the glorious new day.
For there the LORD ordained his blessing, life forevermore.
And here we are, gathered together, in unity, celebrating the gift that God has given to us, life forevermore. Hallelujah!
As you heard, Psalm 133 begins with the words “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity”. That describes us! We gather together. We live in the unity of the Spirit as brothers and sisters in Christ.
When we celebrate our unity, good things happen. The School of Grace is one of those “things”.
Monday through Friday, the children, parents and teachers gather in the classrooms, greeting their friends, some of whom are typically developing, some have special needs and some are from refugee families. Each class is its own school family. The classes together fit within the family of the preschool. The preschool is part of Grace Lutheran Church’s extended family. We rely on you. Without you, the preschool would not exist.
The School of Grace is an extension of this family.
So I am here to thank you…
On behalf of “W”, whose father was hunted by the Haitian government, I thank you for giving him a place of peace and security within the walls of this building.
On behalf of “C”, whose parents grew up in a Bhutanese refugee camp in Nepal, I thank you for giving her a place where she could learn and play, allowing her parents to go to school and, then start their own business, which continues to be successful today.
On behalf of “D”, whose family escaped war torn Afghanistan and still fears retribution for their extended family, who remain in danger. I thank you for providing a place of peace, where she learned English and quickly made new friends.
On behalf of “N”, whose father and grandfather were killed in Afghanistan. She and her mother experienced joy and hope here at Grace.
On behalf of “S”, who lives with her mother, grandmother, aunts and sisters in a three bedroom apartment. Even in those crowded conditions, they are grateful to be here, away from the country where the mother was persecuted. No one in the family can read in their home language of Swahili, but they are committed to learning to speak, read and write in English. “S”, after a few weeks of enrollment, began singing songs like, “The Wheels on the Bus” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”. Her teachers, Kerrie, Jeanne and Reena, were thrilled the day that “S” responded to Kerrie’s questions with an emphatic, “NO!” (because it was in English!)
There are many other children from refugee families, who have grown in our classrooms. They are all grateful. Why? Because, through your prayers, donations and support, you have given them all hope for the future. You have helped the parents see that their children will not live lives of fear, like their parents. Their children will leave The School of Grace ready for kindergarten. Their children have hope and joy in their future.
In fact, “Si’s” father, from Bhutan, told me that he did not start school until he was 13 years old. He said, “You have given my child the gift of education and she is only 3 years old! No one in my family has started school that young. Your teachers love my daughter. My teachers never showed love to me or any of the students. My daughter knows that she is capable and can learn anything she wants to learn. I never had that experience. You have blessed my child.”
So, on this Easter day, as we celebrate our Unity in Christ and the gift of life forevermore, I thank you, again and again, for enabling these precious children, preparing them for kindergarten and blessing them with hope for the future. Most importantly, for loving them as part of this amazing family of Grace.
A Service of Healing – Sunday December 23rd at 3 pm
For some of us, the holidays aren’t always the joyous times you would expect.
You are not alone.
Come celebrate with us, to help find the joy in the season.
Please join Pastor Tim on Sunday, Dec. 23rd at 3:00pm for a special Blue Christmas service filled with carols and scriptures to help those feeling a little blue.
This service invites those grieving any kind of loss, who are depressed or feeling alone to come and experience the good news of Jesus.
All are welcome, tell your friends, share this post.
Elementary School Family Fellowship – December 2nd
Our next monthly elementary school family gathering will take place on Sunday, December 2nd, immediately following the 11:00 AM worship service.
We enjoy a light lunch and then play together on the playground. All families with Elementary School age children are invited. Siblings are welcome too!
For questions or to RSVP
Contact Caity Stratemeyer.
Can’t make it? We hope to see you next time. We meet the first Sunday of the month. Check the Grace calendar and watch our Letter of Grace newsletter for updates.
Advent is a time of preparation. The word advent comes from Latin – ‘ad’ which mean ‘to’ and ‘venere’ which mean ‘come’. We are waiting and preparing for the coming of our Lord, for the birth of Jesus on Christmas.
Food, Fellowship and Worship – Wednesday evenings
Beginning Wednesday December 5th, join us for food, fellowship and worship. The meal is served from 6 to 6:45 pm, followed by a 30 minute worship service at 7pm.
There is a different menu each week, including plenty of homemade desserts.
Advent dinners and services will be held on Wednesday December 5, 12 and 19th.
Stop by the Grace Narthex to pick up Advent resources for your family – advent activities for all ages.
Backpack Project Update – Lutheran World Relief
Grace WELCA members prepared 120 backpacks for Lutheran World Relief this year. All the fabric materials were donated. The school supplies were either donated or purchased. WELCA members thank all of you who so generously packed our bin with supplies.
Thanks to a Trivent grant and your donations we are well on our way. We need approximately $ 800 in additional donations to complete the project and ship the backpacks to their final destination.
CAN YOU HELP?
Several people have asked if they can purchase a backpack, the answer is yes!. You can purchase a filled backpack for a donation of only $20. Contact Lin Gunnet or Helen Hauser to make a donation.
November Meeting – Tuesday November 13 – 7 pm
We have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 13 at 7pm in the church conference room. Hope to see you all there. Barb Rodberg is scheduled to present the Bible Study from our October, 2018, Gather magazine. We will do November’s study at our holiday party in December. We are seeking a volunteer to lead the December bible study.
Christmas Celebration – Dinner and Fruit Basket Preparation – December 14
WELCA will hold their annual Christmas Dinner and fruit basket preparations on Friday, December 14 at 5:30 pm in the Fellowship Hall. All women of Grace are invited to attend. Make your reservations by signing up on the WELCA bulletin board outside the church office or contacting Lin Gunnet. The cost for dinner is $10 per person.
There will not be a scheduled backpack sewing day or The Ladies Monday Lunch Bunch in November and December. These activities will resume in January 2019.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.
And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him. – Mark 1:14-20
Bringing Hidden Talents into View
There was an animated show several year ago called “The Iron Giant,” In one scene the Giant robot and his human friend are running through the town trying to flee from those who are chasing them and they fall over a cliff, as they are heading to the ground below, the robot turns on jets and begins to fly. The shocked little boy says with wonder and amazement “You can fly? YOU CAN FLY!!!” Apparently, even though they had spent a lot of time together, he did not know that his robot friend had this ability.
Strengths and Gifts
We also spend a lot of time with one another and are not aware of some of the strengths and gifts that we each have. Did you know that Grace has a Walking Club, a supper club, 3 adult Bible study options, a quilting group, a weekly youth ministry meeting? Did you know that Grace supports the Crop walk, prayer shawl ministry, Joy of Discovery? There is so much potential here at Grace, and in some cases our strengths and gifts are our best kept secrets.
Jesus called the twelve from their nets and boats and said “I will make you fish for people.” As evangelist Christine Kane asked “Are we fishers of men, or are we keepers of the Aquarium?” Come out on REFORMATION SUNDAY, October 28, and learn about all of the mission and ministry opportunities that we have here at Grace. Find something that excites you, and you just might learn that we can fly.
God’s Work – Our Hands – Sunday September 9th
Volunteers are needed to pack 10,000 meals for Rise Against Hunger on Sunday September 9th after our worship service.
We need 65 + volunteers to pack those meals!
Lunch will be provided – beginning at 11:30 am
Meal packing – from 12 to 2 pm
Everyone can help – if you want to help we will find a task for you. Youth are invited to volunteer too!
We also need at least six strong folks able to unload 30-50 lb bags of rice and tubs of other grains. Arrive by 8:45-9:00 am if you can help with the unloading!
Food Bank Tour & Lunch
Monday, July 16, 11am to 2:30pm
Stop Summer Hunger 2018, is a goal of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. In an effort to further fulfill our WELCA mission statement, members wanted to learn more about this valuable resource in our own Raleigh backyard. Grace member Barbara Oates, a 2012 Hunt-Morgridge Award recipient for her service to the NC Food Bank, has arranged for all Grace members to tour the new state of the art food bank facility in Raleigh.
The two-hour tour will begin at 11am. Following the tour we’ll enjoy lunch at RSVP for the tour, lunch and let us know if you need a ride.
All are welcome! Learn more about resources in our community that are providing for a better quality of life for our neighbors. You never know what light bulbs God will cause to shine next. He used Barbara Oates all those years ago when she saw a need in our community to feed all our neighbors who were hungry and didn’t have the resources to provide for themselves and their families.
Come join us, bring a friend, colleague, or neighbor!
Food Bank: 1924 Capital Blvd, Raleigh, NC 27604
18 Seaboard Restaurant: 18 Seaboard Ave, Raleigh, NC 27604
New Hope Valley Railway Ride and Museum Tour
Wednesday, July 11, 2018, at 10:30 am
Location: 3917 Bonsal Road, New Hill, NC 27562
For all Grace Members, Friends, Children, Guests-Come Join us for hours of fun and an opportunity to learn about the New Hope Valley Railway heritage railroad operated by the North Carolina Railway Museum, Inc., an all-volunteer, nonprofit, and tax exempt educational and historical organization.
Bring your children and grandchildren; invite your neighbors and friends.
You will need to purchase your own tickets at their website or by calling 919.396.5833.
Tickets are $12/adult, $8/child, (ages 2 and under free, no seat), and $11/Senior.
Hurry, do not delay, tickets will sellout fast for this date.
Questions contact WELCA.
Upcoming Events – Note Changes and Save The Dates
NO Ladies Lunch Bunch in June 2018
WELCA Summer Retreat – August 4, 2018, 10am-2pm, Location TBD
Come ready to learn about Prayer from our three summer lessons in our Gather Magazine and work on our service project, Backpacks for Lutheran World Relief. Help determine the future of Grace Lutheran WELCA and how we serve Grace, our community and the world.
WELCA Sunday, August 26, 2018, 10am, Grace Lutheran Church
Backpack Sewing, Wednesday, June 27, 2018, 9:30am-12N
Please note there will be no backpack sewing in July. We will continue sewing in the Fall. We will assemble the completed backpacks at our August retreat for shipment in November.