Choir Updates and Information – Fall 2019
The end of summer means it is time for the choirs to resume their rehearsals and we would love to have you join us! We currently offer three ensembles at Grace.
Cherub Choir (Infant/Toddler/Preschool)
The Cherub Choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 5:45 pm – 6:10 pm and rehearsals will resume on Wednesday, September 18, 2019. Parents and their children make music together in this group and sing periodically during worship.
During rehearsals, we sing, dance, move, and play instruments
Some children jump right in and participate, while others observe for many weeks. That is just as it should be for children this age! No matter what participation looks like, everyone has fun and we would love to welcome you into the group!
Covenant Choir – Elementary School
The Covenant Choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 6:15 to 7:00 pm and sings an anthem during worship approximately once a month. Rehearsals will resume on Wednesday, September 18, 2019.
During rehearsals, we work on establishing healthy vocal technique, beginning music reading skills, and instrument playing technique.
We weave movement into most rehearsals. In addition to singing anthems, this group also creates instrumental soundscapes based on Bible stories to present during worship.
Adult Choir (High School Age and up)
The Adult Choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings from 7:30pm-9:00pm and sings approximately twice a month at the late service. Members of this group also participate in the Community Thanksgiving Service with singers from other Six Forks Rd. churches and the MLK Service choir, made up of singers from other area ELCA churches.
Rehearsals resume on Wednesday, September 4, 2019
This season, we will also have the opportunity to sing with the National Lutheran Choir when they come to Raleigh in 2020!
During weekly rehearsals, we work on establishing healthy vocal technique and basic music reading/score navigation skills. I’ve also been known to weave in some creative movement using scarves and Chinese jump ropes, too! Curious? Join us to find out more! There is no audition and the ability to read music is not a prerequisite to joining the group!
NEW this Year!
We are exploring the idea of splitting the Covenant Choir into two groups to form a lower elementary group and an upper elementary/middle school ensemble. This would allow me to choose music and activities more appropriate for each age group. If this interests your family, please be in touch!
Please contact Director of Music Ann Goldfinch for more information about any of the groups or to sign up!
Our summer retreat is happening this Saturday, August 17th from 10am-2pm in the church Fellowship Hall. We’ll share a salad lunch and dessert bar.
Please RSVP by Wednesday 8/16 and let us know what you’ll be contributing for the lunch. Paper supplies, fruit, and drinks will be provided.
Report from the June NC WELCA Annual Gathering
I am excited to report back to all of you from the June NC WELCA Annual Gathering. There is so much going on in our state, Synodical National Women’s Organization, and in our NC Synod. I hope you are checking on-line posts from our NC WELCA President and our Synod Bishop, Tim Smith. Site addresses are www.ncwelca.org, www.nclutheran.org, www.womenoftheelca.org.
Program – Bible Study – The Book of Micah
We will study the book of Micah on Saturday. Micah is a short book but mighty book. This will be a continuation of the study we began at the Annual Conference. If you haven’t read this book in a while, you may want to do a refresher read prior to Saturday.
Save the Date – Fall Gathering – October 26
We have planning to do for the coming year and especially for the Fall Gathering which will be held on October 26.
As we planned at our last meeting, I requested a check for $200 from our WELCA account and purchased LWR school supplies to stuff 50 more backpacks. We will fill and pack what we can complete now.
Thanks – Lin Gunnet
Help us make sure kids experiencing homelessness have the supplies they need to succeed in the upcoming school year!
Items needed are:
- Wide and College Ruled Filler Paper
- Book Bags (Large and Small)
- Dry Erase Markers
- Varying sizes of ZipLock bags
- #2 Pencils
- Colored Pencils
- 1, 3 and 5 Subject Notebooks
- Blue and Black Pens
- 1″ and 2″ 3-Ring Binders
- School Glue
- Pencil Sharpeners
- Pencil Bags
- 8oz Glue Sticks
- Pocket Folders
- Kid’s Scissors
Our goal is to collect enough school supplies to fill 50 bags for children being assisted by Families Together.
Please bring in your donated supplies to Grace on July 6th, 13th, or 20th.
A Thrivent Financial For Lutherans team will also add $250 worth of school supplies!
Read Pastor Tim’s post about Pentecost. Holy Spirit Timing, it happens to us all, you may have been thinking about a friend that you haven’t talked to in a while and that person calls on the phone, or you may have been lonely, and someone shows up at your hospital bed.Continue reading
“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Prayer in Song
Dorothy Norwood has a song that is titled “Somebody Prayed for Me.” Look it up on YouTube or listen here before you continue reading this post. I’ll wait…
The lyrics say:
Somebody prayed for me, had me on their mind,
They took the time and prayed for me.
I’m so glad they prayed. I’m so glad they prayed for me.
My mother prayed for me, had me on her mind,
She took the time and prayed for me.
I’m so glad she prayed. I’m so glad she prayed for me.
The preacher prayed for me had me on his mind,
He took the time and prayed for me.
I’m so glad he prayed. I’m so glad he prayed for me.
If you listened to that song, you are probably dancing in your seat right now. It is uplifting and inspiring and exciting. What makes it so exciting is that if we listen to the words then we realize that at this very moment…Somebody is praying for you.
How exciting is that?
Keeping Prayers Everyday
And if we read the text from John, we learn that the very somebody that is praying for us is JESUS. Jesus THE Christ himself is lifting us up in prayer.
So go about your day, your week knowing that no matter what you are dealing with, no matter what the struggle, no matter how high the mountain that you are staring up, you can take each step knowing that Jesus himself is there with you and lifting you up in prayer to God.
I’m so glad he did, I’m so glad he did, I’m so glad he prayed for me!
Walk with Grace is back for the Summer of 2019. Join your teammates, share a photo and see if your team will win a prize.Continue reading
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.
Our next walk, for the month of April will be on April 6th at 9:00am. This will be a one-way walk with a reward at the end!Continue reading
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.” Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone.’ “
Then the devil led him up and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And the devil said to him, “To you I will give their glory and all this authority; for it has been given over to me, and I give it to anyone I please. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered him, “It is written,
‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him.’ ” Then the devil took him to Jerusalem, and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written, ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to protect you,’and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’ ” When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time. Luke 4 1:13
Have you ever had one of those days?
You know, one of those days where if it could go wrong it did. One of those days where it seemed as if the entire world had decided that on THAT DAY every single person was going to get on your very last nerve. One of those days when the light at the end of the tunnel was in fact the headlight of and oncoming train.We all have had those days, and we read in this text from Luke that even Jesus was having one of those days. He had just come out of the waters of his baptism, and he was driven into the wilderness where he came face to face with Satan. After forty days of fasting and walking, Jesus is met by the one who thought that he was weak and weary and that he would fold.
An Opportune Time
“Have some food…I know that you are hungry…”
“Have some power, Only I can give you real power”
“Become popular, and everyone will worship you…”
But Jesus knew that none of those things were true, and that only God had the real power. So the text tells us that the devil left him until a more opportune time.
Guess what folks? We are that more opportune time. Satan is trying to convince us that we are weak, that we are weary and that we should give up on God and simply follow his lead. He is causing us to have “one of those days” over and over again, so that we will give on on God and enjoy the promises that Satan has to offer.
But here is a fact for you. The battle for your soul has already been won. Jesus’ death and resurrection sealed that deal a long time ago, and you are free to live your life OUT LOUD knowing that no temptation, no matter how great the offer, will ever be able to separate you from the Love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So shout, “Get behind me Satan!” and walk in the light of the Cross. Because that headlight in not an oncoming train, but it is the Light of Christ, coming after you.