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.
In February 2019 our Stewardship focus will be Habitat For Humanity of Wake County.Continue reading
November Walk Recap – Greenway Walkers and Bikers
Everyone had a great time walking on such a beautiful November fall day!
Join the next walk on Saturday December 1st.
We will meet Saturday, November 3rd at 9:00am at Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve Park (#93 on map). Take 401N (Louisburg Rd), go left on Mitchell Mill Rd. at traffic light, then left on Horseshoe Farm Park Road until the parking lot. When assembled we will decide which direction we want to walk.
*There are restrooms at this park.
Remember all ages are welcome to join us for this walk outing, and you can walk at your own pace.
WELCA (Women of the ELCA members) stuffed 106 backpacks for Lutheran World Relief on Monday October 29th.
There is still time to help!
You can contribute a monetary donation to help pay for the school supplies to fill them and to cover the costs to ship the bags ($2.50/bag).
Those of you who know me even marginally well, know that I love my boys. Luc is a 14 year old Bichon Frise, and Oscar is a 15 year old Maltese. For Christmas one year I received a new T-shirt from an animal rescue site called “Advice from a DOG”.
This advice includes the following:
Delight in the simple joys of a long walk
Unleash your talents
Hide your favorite snack
Make new friends
Learn new tricks, no matter your age
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them
Now, I might suggest that we “share our favorite snack” instead, but the others are pretty good advice! We can learn a lot from our four-legged friends as this poem by Amy Dean reminds us:
Each day comes to your dog new and fresh and full of promise; your dog is not bounded by days of the week, business meetings, deadlines, and commitments that prevent you from looking forward to the day.
Perhaps it’s time to start today to adopt more of your canine’s outlook on life. Each morning can be a new beginning – a time for joy and play, a time for fresh air and sunshine, a time for bounding around, a time of canine delight!
Advice from Martin Luther – Remember Your Baptism
As we start this new ministry together, may our animals inspire us to start each day anew. Martin Luther emphasized that it is important to begin each day by remembering our baptism. When we awaken, we are to make the sign of the cross and remember that God has claimed and sealed us in baptism. Each day we are given a new start, a new beginning. The old is washed away. We are made new each day in Christ.
Advice From God
With a little adaptation, our T-shirt advice could easily shift from “Advice from a DOG” to “Advice from GOD”.
In other words:
Trust in me with all your heart and soul and mind.
Delight in My creation while strengthening your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
Use the gifts and talents I have given you to benefit the common good.
Share your favorite snack and your cloak and your tunic.
Make room for everyone.
Welcome others as you have welcomed me.
Be creative for the sake of the Gospel because you all have the capacity for spiritual growth regardless of your chronological age.
Like the Father who ran to meet his prodigal son, run to greet those returning home.
Receive others with the grace with which I have received you.
So let’s together feel God’s unfailing presence, embrace the gift of each moment with joy and anticipation.
Peace and Joy,
Pastor Tim, Sharon, Luc, and Oscar
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.
You’ve all seen the Green Bin in the Narthex, right. Grace Lutheran Church members do a great job each week – filling it up with donations for North Raleigh Ministries.
I bet you’ve seen the reminders too.
Those posts in the weekly Letter of Grace that you pick up on Sundays, on our Facebook page and in the weekly Grace Happenings email.
You’ve taken them to heart and added extra items to your shopping list or maybe even pulled things out of your own cabinet to donate.
But what happens next?
Each week, the contents of the bin, miraculously arrive at North Raleigh Ministries to meet the needs of our hungry community.
This special delivery happens every week, courtesy of some special volunteers.
Grace Lutheran members volunteer in many different areas of this vital ministry in many different areas. They serve as thrift shoppe, client choice market and crisis center volunteers. Our congregation also provides leadership on the organization’s Board of Directors.
History of North Raleigh Ministries
Grace Lutheran was one of the original five North Hills area congregations to provide support of the North Hills Crisis Center (now North Raleigh Ministries) when it opened its doors in 2004. The first location was right across the street from Grace, in a 1,200 square foot house.
The other churches founding churches include St. Timothy’s Episcopal, St. Mark’s Methodist, Trinity Baptist, and Hudson Memorial Presbyterian. Each member church provided initial donations and volunteers to support the ministry, as well as one member each for the Board of Directors.
Read more about the history of North Raleigh Ministries.