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.
When your heart beats, it pumps blood round your body to give it the energy and oxygen it needs. As the blood moves, it pushes against the sides of the blood vessels. The strength of this pushing is your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is too high, it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.
The only way to tell is to have your BP checked which can be done at the doctors office, a pharmacy, some gyms have BP machines in them, a health fair, or someone you know that is a healthcare professional. You can also purchase a Blood Pressure kit from a local pharmacy and check your BP at home.
The only way to know if you have high blood pressure (HBP, or hypertension) is to have your blood pressure tested. Under-standing your results is key to controlling high blood pressure. A diagnosis of High BP or Hypertension must come from a medical professional and will need to be monitored.
Blood pressure categories: The five blood pressure ranges as recognized by the American Heart Association are:
Less than 120/80 mm Hg
Consistent readings from 120-129 systolic and less than 80 mm Hg diastolic.
3-Hypertension Stage 1
Consistent readings in the range of 130-139 systolic or 80-89 mm Hg diastolic.
4-Hypertension Stage 2
Consistent readings of 140/90 mm Hg or higher.
This stage of high blood pressure requires medical attention. Readings that exceed 180/120 mm Hg.
You and your medical provider will discuss what treatment plan is best for you. Treatment can consist of medications to help control your BP as well as lifestyle changes. If you have high BP you should avoid salty foods. Your physician may ask you to exercise and try to avoid stress. If you smoke it may be advised that you quit. If you have any questions about your medications speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
American Heart Association – Check, Change, Control Calculator Tool
American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Information page.
Soon we will start to hear the birds chirping in the early mornings and the days will begin to get warmer – its time for spring. Most people do a spring cleaning of their homes to get rid of unwanted clothing, shoes, old toiletries and spruce up their homes.
Well don’t forget about your medicine cabinet. Be sure to dispose of expired and medications you no longer use properly. There will be a National Prescription Drug take back day on April 27, 2019.
Tips for dropping off unused or expired medication(s)and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines:
- While not required, it is best practice to cross out your name(s) and address with a permanent marker on all medication labels.
- The bottles are not examined when removed from the drop-box and are safely and securely destroyed.
- Sharps (needles) are not accepted at any drop-box location.
- For medications in cartons, remove the outer carton, but leave medications in the original bottles, as it was prescribed.
- Please don’t dump pills into large bags. We discourage this in case someone is stopped by law enforcement. (If you are stopped, they should inform the officer of their intent to dispose.)
- For large drop-off amounts or any other questions, please contact the location nearest you to see specific location criteria.
Medication Drop-off Locations and Times
National DEA Take Back Day 2019 – April 27 2019. Visit their website for additional info and a Collection Site locator.
The Souper Bowl of Caring is an annual event at Grace bringing together everything that makes a great event – food, fellowship and a great cause. We gather to enjoy breakfast cooked by our youth and support the North Raleigh Ministries Food Pantry with our donations. This year’s event was no exception!
Here are a few pictures from this recent event that raised $ 1080.00 to fight hunger in our community.
The 2019 event was held on Sunday, February 3rd . We’ll catch you again on Super Bowl Sunday next year to do it all again.
The History of the Souper Bowl of Caring
Visit the Souper Bowl of Caring website to read more about the history of this unique movement and its impact in our world since 1990.
An annual physical with a primary care MD is a good way to stay healthy and proactive.
- Make it a goal to get a physical with your primary care provider annually. Sometimes its easiest to schedule this around your birthday so you don’t forget.
- There are certain screenings that need to be done annually or less often so it’s important to talk with your primary care provider about when you need to be scheduling things like colonoscopies and mammograms.
- Women, especially child bearing years, should also see someone for their routine gynecological care. This can be with your primary care provider or an OB/ GYN MD.
- Make sure you are up to date on all vaccines. This can be discussed with your primary care provider as well who should have a record of them.
- In the fall mark the calendar to remember to get your flu shot.
Other Healthcare workers you should see are:
- Dentist: You should make sure you have appointments to see you dentist at least 2 times each year for a basic cleaning and exam.
- Eye Doctor: Most adults should see an eye MD annually as well.
Don’t have a Primary Care Doctor…
If you don’t have a primary care provider contact your insurance company to see who is in network. Local hospitals have doctor referral information on their websites so you can get a list of providers that are accepting new patients .
Greetings from the Grace Health Team! Often when it’s the start of a New Year people come up with New Year’s Resolutions.Continue reading