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.
December Walk Recap – Greenway Walkers and Bikers
Thanks to everyone that joined us for our December walk!
Join the next walk on Saturday January 5th.
Details of our December Walk
On Saturday, Dec. 1st at 9:00am we will walk part of Walnut Creek Trail towards the Neuse River. From Grace Lutheran take Millbrook which becomes New Hope Rd., continue through Poole Rd. intersection and then exit into the “Bluffs at Walnut Creek” on the right.
The parking area is on left at 1890 S. New Hope Rd.(#96 on map). Use your own judgment about any weather conditions that might not be comfortable or safe for you to walk.
Remember all ages are welcome to join us for this walk outing, and you can walk at your own pace.
Pilate asked him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.” – GOSPEL: John 18:37
One time I was driving from home to work, when at the last minute I decided to take a route that I had never driven before. I said you myself, “self, let’s see where this road goes.” As I was driving, I came upon a young woman walking by the side of the road. I rolled down my window and asked her if she was okay or if she needed help.
She looked over at me and when she saw my collar and started crying (Note: I don’t always have that effect on people). I got out and went over to her and she told me that her car had broken down, and that her cell phone was dead, she was from out of town, and that no one would stop to help her. She said that she was praying as she walked, and then God sent her a pastor. I told her that she was correct because I NEVER come down this road, but I was led down this street today, just for her.
The Big Picture
Have you ever wondered why you are here, what your destiny is or why things happen the way that they do? Have you ever stopped to think about the bigger picture and what God has in store for you?
When Pilate questioned Jesus he asked him if he was the king of the Jews. Jesus, then, told him about destiny. Jesus said “FOR THIS I WAS BORN.” For this very moment I came to this world, to testify to the truth. Jesus knew the bigger picture, he knew that the events that were happening were leading to something more. Jesus knew why he was here.
Things to Ponder
Sometimes things happen in our lives for unexpected reasons and they leave us pondering why. And sometimes the answer comes to us quickly, like it did for me and that young woman on the road, and sometimes the answer comes later, and we say “Oh, now I get it!” God knows the reason that you are here. God moves us to places where God needs us to be, and it is our destiny to serve God.
So, let’s follow our destiny and follow Jesus in testifying to the truth, then the question of “why am I here?” will become clear.
As [Jesus] came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” – Mark 13:1-5
The Suspense is Killing Me…
Have you ever read a book and just had to peek at the last few pages to see how it ends?
Maybe it was a romance… Maybe it was a mystery… and it was so intense that you couldn’t wait to find out what happened at the end? Maybe you just had to know if the two people get together…. Or maybe you just needed to know if the “good guys” win… in the end.
Every once in a while, I have found myself doing that because somehow it made it easier to keep going, if I knew that everything turned out okay in the end.
Fear of the Unknown
Seems that real life isn’t that different, is it? One of the things that scares us the most is the unknown.
In their conversation with Jesus on the Mount of Olives, Peter, James, John, and Andrew wanted to know how things would end before they had even begun their work of spreading the gospel of peace to people of all nations. Jesus refused to tell them how or when their world would end.
He did not believe that revealing the end to them would help them be better disciples or more effective evangelists. Would knowing the end of the story have strengthened their faith in any way?
In some ways we are not unlike those first followers of Jesus. Most of us have moments when we are curious to know how and when things in this life are going to come to an end.
While We Wait – Living Faithfully
However, we do know how the story ends, we know that Jesus was raised from the dead so that we could have life and have it more abundantly. But let’s not stand around waiting for the end. Let’s be about the task of doing the work of God now. The future is open. What matters is not that we know the end of the story but that we live faithfully in the meantime.
Listen to Pastor Tim’s sermon on intentional giving – Are you willing to give all you have for God’s use? But remember, giving is not just about money. Stewardship is everything we do after we say ‘We Believe’.Continue reading
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.
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).
Many years ago, Sharon baptized her niece Kennedy, she was six years old at the time.
One day we went to visit her brother and his family and Kennedy’s mom asked her to tell us what she had said about God.
She was a little embarrassed at first, but then after some prodding she said with a great sense of confidence and authority… “ONLY GOD CAN GIVE YOU REAL FREEDOM!”
And with that, a six year old summed up the Gospel!
ONLY GOD CAN GIVE YOU REAL FREEDOM
Jesus was talking to the Jews who believed in him …and told them
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus reminds us that real freedom is spiritual freedom. Real freedom is the freedom from sin and death and that freedom can only be given by God.
Weekly Reminder – Confession of Sins
Each week, we begin our worship with the corporate confession that reminds us of this truth.
The pastor says: If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, but if we confess our sin, God who is faithful and just with forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
And then we pray together: we confess that we are in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.
There it is, without God’s help we are not free. We cannot earn, or buy, or conquer our freedom because we are enslaved to sin. It is part of our human nature.
Martin Luther Described This True Freedom
“Our wills are bent or curved towards ourselves so that without God’s help, everything we do ends up being about us.”
You see we are not in bondage to our sins, those things we do wrong that come and go. We are in bondage to our own human nature which always puts ourselves before God.
And that’s exactly why Jesus came into the world. To free us from our bondage and save us from ourselves. Jesus went to the cross and went head to head with our sin so that he could pay the price required to set us free.
So I encourage you to live out your freedom. Let your life be an reflection of the Glory of God, and an example of the amazing things that living in true Freedom, TRUE FREEDOM… can produce.