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WELCOME!!


 

Front of church cropped for index page

No matter who you are,

or where you are

on life's journey,

You are welcome here!

 

 

 

click here for:


VIRTUAL WORSHIP SCHEDULE

NEWS/UPCOMING EVENTS

BOOK AND BIBLE STUDY


(If you are looking for information or a link about an event at Grace Church, click on upcoming events to find the information and zoom link needed!)




Urgent Update Grace Church Covid Policy

 

 

Friends,


Unfortunately, Covid numbers are rising again in a 4th wave and this Omicron Variant. For this reason, our services will be Virtual ONLY until further notice, to allow rates of covid to lower. 


 

In additon we are reinstituting the following procedures at Grace starting this week:

  •  Masks will be requested for all persons, vaccinated or not.

   A. It is not yet required by the state, but we highly ask you to mask while in the building.

  •  Choir will immediately suspend again. We will return to quartets with social distancing.
  •  Temp checks and sign in lists will be a regular part of worship again.
  •  Please maintain good Covid guidelines while at Church by sitting only in the pews NOT marked as reserved. This will help us maintain safe distance.

 A reminder: while these are not mandatory (yet), we are trying to lead the way in being cautious to protect those most at risk. We appreciate your cooperation. I hope we are through this soon.

 

Blessings

Pastor Rob+   

 

 


 

Letters from Pastor and Council:

 

February 2022 

Dear Friends

February is by far my least favorite month of the year, but on the good side, it’s the shortest too! February is the month most people associate with love…Valentines Day.

Rather than drone on to you about how cold, miserable and seemingly endless this 4 dreadful weeks are… I figured I would take a few moments and talk with you about the concept of love.

Did you know there are several types of love in the Bible? In English we use one word: LOVE. But that love is very different for different things. You hopefully don’t love ice cream the same way you love your kids, for example. Yet in English we can express our feelings for both chocolate ice cream and my child using the same word. Crazy, huh? Its not that way in other languages. In German (the other language in my wheelhouse) we “Love” our significant other. We “have love for” family and close friends. We only “really like” food and other things. While people use it colloquially, you technically only have love for things with which you have a relationship. And while I may look like I have a deep meaningful relationship with ice cream, it is in fact not the case!

In Greek (the New Testament was written in Greek) there are several types of love. Eros is erotic love. The intimate love we have for our partner. Eros is about passionate love most often expressed in sexual ways. Eros is obviously where we get the word erotic, but eros love doesn’t have the tawdry connotation that erotic does for the modern ear. Eros can be pure and holy love. It’s the love in the Bible than most reflects God’s love for us as the marital bond is often used to reflect the relationship between God and God’s people or Christ and the Church.

Storgi is the love of family. Its parent to child, brother to sister. Grandchild to grandparent. It is described as the most natural of loves. Natural in that it's present without corrosion. It's emoted because we can't help ourselves and it pays the least attention as to whether the person is worthy of love. It's often transient behaviors that wouldn't be tolerated in philia love. For example, women can continue to love their children despite truly awful behaviors. Behaviors they wouldn't tolerate in their friends or their spouses. It seems to come unbidden in the care of a newborn and it grows to allow us to love our children despite their behaviors. Thank goodness for that!

Philia is the love we have for friends (Philadelphia is the city of Brotherly love) This is the love that is good for your health. The touch of a loved one. The philia touch lowers blood pressure. People in loving relationships feel your love have few doctor visits, shorter hospital visits, have less pain, and have more positive emotions. All of these positive consequences of philia love, loving friendships make us more resilient when hard times come. It must also be a part of an intimate relationship. When after years together and the “hot and bothered” eros love in the relationship has gone the wayside, it is the Philia love that sustains a couple. Its that deep friendship that transcends other loves.


Finally, the love least understood is Agape (pronounces A-GAH-Pay). Agape love is the love that is given whether or not it's returned. It's the love without any self-benefit. In the Buddhist tradition it is the central foundation of loving kindness for all humankind. It does not imply a relationship of any kind. I care for hungry people throughout the world, not because I want a partner (eros) or because I need a friend (philos) not because I am related for them (storgi). I care because I am called to care for all people and because every person is a person of dignity who reflects the image of God. When the Bible tells us to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” The word that is used there is Agape. Love them. Care for them, pray for them. Do no harm to them. Its not saying to have a relationship with them and to make shopping or fishing companions with them. That’s a different kind of love.


So this month lets celebrate all the various gifts of Love in our lives. May we tend our intimate relationship with such care that it truly reflects God’s love for us. May we care for our families and friends in life-giving ways. And may we see the image of God reflected in all persons, so that they may truly know the fullness of their dignity and the depth of our faith.

Have a great month!


Pastor Rob+

 

 


 

 REOPENING LETTER

 

Dear Friends,

 

After many months, it is time to let you know that we are beginning the process of reopening for people to join us for weekly worship. Other churches have been opening for the past few weeks; but, at my recommendation, Council has decided to wait a bit to see if infection rates in our area would remain low once people start gathering for worship.  Honestly, things are working remotely, so we were more concerned with gathering safely than gathering quickly.

 

And so I am writing with good news and better news!  The good news: We are inviting people to join us for worship in person starting August 2nd.  The better news: Our live stream broadcasts of worship have been more successful than we imagined and they will continue to be a part of our ongoing worship experience.  So if you don't feel comfortable returning to worship in person yet, you can still join us every week as you have been! 

 

What to expect when you return? 

1. You will be warmly welcomed by someone who will take your name and contact information. Creating a contact list for each service means we will be able to reach everyone should one person end up getting sick at any point. 

2. You will have your temperature taken with our fancy new no-touch thermometer. 

3. You will be asked if you have a mask. If you do not have one with you, we will have one for you! (Masks must be worn at all times, no exceptions.)

4. Hand sanitizer will be available should you want it. 

5. The doors will be open so that there is no need to touch hardware.

 

What will look different?

1. Seating will be intentionally separated from each other.  Families of course will sit together, but we will seat in alternating rows every other row. (They will be clearly marked.) 

2. There will be no passing of the peace in the service.  We would ask you to greet each other with a heartfelt smile and wave instead!

3. There will be no offering during the service. (That doesn't mean we don't need your gifts. LOL)  We will have collection baskets at the doors when you enter and when you leave so you can drop off your tithe. 

4. There will be no Hymns, at least for now. The CDC and the National Council of Churches recommend no singing as that produces more vapor droplets which might spread germs in the sanctuary. A study is coming out in the fall which will have more definitive word on this, but until then, there will be lots of good music, just not vocally!

5. Fellowship hour will NOT resume for the near future. Once the weather cools, we might want to gather outside after church for donuts and coffee, where we can be outdoors and safer in a group. 

 

So, as you can see, we are doing all we can to make sure our reopening is as safe as it can be.  We hope you will join us as you feel able, either in person or on Youtube.  We are excited for this regathering and look forward to the day when we can all be together again soon!! 

 

Much love and know that you are missed!

 

Pastor Rob+

 


No matter who you are,

or where you

are on life's journey,

YOU ARE WELCOME HERE!

 

 JOIN US FOR WORSHIP

Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

We celebrate Holy Communion

on the first Sunday of every month.

 

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after that, you're family!

 

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