To allow time for some more strategic planning of our children’s ministry at Grace, our Council voted to have a sabbatical from regular Sunday School until the fall of 2020. This will allow our new council to establish leadership roles in this important area, as well as benefiting from the input of Pastor Chambers after he is installed at Grace next year.
In the meantime, there will be a variety of activities for children within and around our regular worship services. This schedule may change as we gather input and expertise from more people, but for now, we have the following monthly plan:
1st Sunday (Communion at 11 am): Regular Children’s Message
2nd Sunday (Communion at 9 am): Craft Sunday! Devotion and crafts in the gym at 10 am.
3rd Sunday (Communion at 11 am): Stump the Pastor! Bring an item in a box to see if Pastor Curtis can use it to create a Children’s Message on the spot.
4th Sunday (Communion at 9 am): Regular Children’s Message
5th Sunday (September 29 & December 29, 2019 and March 29 and May 31, 2020): These will be Grace Family Sundays! On these special Sundays, there will be ONE SERVICE ONLY at 11 a.m. for all Grace members. Our worship will focus on the ways all of our generations and cultures bring God praise and honour, in response to His loving grace and mercy.
We are excited to see where God leads us in this new season!
On June 23, 2019, the Voters’ Assembly ratified a new Executive and elected five additional council members from a field of nine. Meet your new Council:
L to R: Laura, Carmen, Ingrid, David, Robert, Tabitha, Ron, Pastors Curtis and James.
Executive Director – David Dyck
Assistant Executive Director – Eric Decorby
Congregational Secretary – Laura Tanasychuk
Interim Treasurer – Ron Goertzen
Council members at large:
Each Council member will take responsibility for coordinating work and activities in one key area of leadership within the congregation. These roles will be fairly fluid, as different areas overlap and have common goals. Our goal is to involve congregational members for short term tasks and projects, rather than asking our members to commit to long-term service in one particular area. We are currently meeting on a bi-weekly basis in order to address as many needs as possible.
There is a great deal of work to be done in transitioning from our former board structure to the more compact council model. Please pray for your council members, that we might utilize our gifts effectively to bring glory to God and to serve His people at Grace and in our surrounding community.
Worship Anew (previously called, “Worship for Shut-Ins” or "WFSI") is a 30 minute Lutheran television worship service. It includes the readings for the day, prayers, and a Lutheran pastor delivering a message that is one-on-one to the viewer. Also included are up to four choir selections. Each program is closed captioned for the hearing impaired.
Since 1965, WFSI television broadcasts have been bringing church to the shut-in and many others. The program was conceived and produced by the Rev. Oswald Bertram at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio. It continued after his death in 1979 under the leadership of Pastor's Jim Stalder and Pastor John Westra, at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The program director was Ray Huebschmann. WFSI continues to provide a unique link between the church, its shut-in members, and many others.
For 30 years, Holy Cross served as the production site for the creation of each WFSI program. The Luepke Chapel inside of Holy Cross served as the preaching station and the sanctuary offered musical groups the perfect setting for the recording of the traditional church hymns heard on each broadcast.
In August 2010, those operations were moved to the newly constructed Elsie Rossman Media Center. The center sits on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For the first time in its history, all WFSI production offices and volunteer functions are housed in the same building. The Wolf Chapel, as the studio has been named, offers a state of the art facility for the production of quality TV programming. In recent years, WFSI has received a number of local, regional, and national production awards. Continuing with that level of excellence is essential for this ministry.
Weekly programs are distributed in three different ways: first, through the purchase of airtime on almost 100 local TV stations; the second is through the Total Christian Television (TCT) network satellite broadcast; and third, through webcasts that can be found on the Programming tab on the website, Worship Anew
IGNITE IS A LUTHERAN YOUNG ADULT GROUP (ages 18-30) that meets twice monthly on Saturdays from 7-9:30pm for activity nights, devotions, Bible study, prayer, as well as volunteering as a group through local ministries. If you would like more information, visit their Facebook page at Ignite Lutheran Young Adults group or contact Alida Leicht at 780-242-2511 or Levi Hennig at 587-991-9267.
The Mustard Seed’s Evening Meal Program feeds 300-350 people each night, Monday through Saturday. If you can help, contact Volunteer Services at 780-426-5600 or VolunteerEdmonton@theseed.ca
ADOPT A STUDENT-You can make a difference to a student studying to become a pastor. Please prayerfully consider supporting a student with prayer, the occasional card and correspondence, and occasional or regular financial contributions. Financial contributions made through Concordia Lutheran Seminary are eligible for a tax receipt. Please visit www.concordiasem.ab.ca or call Kathy at 780-474-1648 ext. 225 for more information about the Adopt A Student program.
THE UPCYCLE GROUP IS “UP” AND RUNNING! (PUN INTENDED) Come join in every Thursday evening from 7pm in the Social Room. There will an activity for the kids, and two different projects for the adults. One will be making sleeping mats for the homeless and the other, a craft using recycled and upcycled goods to create a treasure for yourself or a gift for someone special. Speak to Nadine Madill to learn about some of the projects.
The Rock—Community Breakfasts help feed the poor and homeless. The Rock Outreach urgently needs volunteers for the Community Breakfasts for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. We require the most help for Wednesday. The hours are from 6:00/6:30am weekly. If 6:00am is too early, come at 7:30am and stay for cleanup. For more information call Judy at the office 780-426-1122 weekdays 9:30 to 2:30. “...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” Jesus, Matthew 25:40 NIV
Thred.org Lutheran Hour Ministries' newest outreach ministry, called THRED, launched February 1st.
THRED is digital; its initial focal point is a Facebook page. People of all beliefs—or no beliefs—are invited and welcomed into discussions about thought-provoking topics.
"That's why LHM has called this outreach THRED," says project lead Andrew Fitzgerald. "When people participate in an online discussion, it's called a thread. The whole idea of THRED is for it to be a safe place for people to converse about things they care about. And while THRED unapologetically presents a Christian point of view, it also presents an environment that is open to all perspectives. "And," he adds, "we're seeing some surprising early reactions to it!"
The most striking example is the discussion generated by one of THRED's "Jesus Dialogues" videos, posted Feb. 9 on the Facebook page. The video depicts roundtable chats by people with both Christian and non-Christian points of view on the topic, "What did Jesus say about heaven?"
"Viewers engaged in a big way," says Fitzgerald. "The post has had more than 66,000 views; more than 200 people—and they're not just Christians—have shared it in their own Facebook feeds. And the more than seventy comments in the discussion thread reveal some of the wide range of ideas people have about heaven."
For anyone who has questions or who desires to dig a little deeper into issues such as relationships, community, culture, God & Christianity, and a host of other contemporary issues, THRED's website publishes short and long articles on life and faith themes. THRED also has a presence on YouTube, where the ministry's growing collection of videos—including the "Jesus Dialogues"—is based.
THRED has also recruited a team of ministry volunteers who can offer Christian perspectives in broad discussions—or in one-on-one conversations with participants who have specific questions.
"THRED is also designed to serve as a path, if you will," explains Fitzgerald. "Someone who engages with THRED's content can move through THRED into closer and closer community with thoughtful people of faith. We envision THRED bringing Christ to the nations—and the nations to the church in whole new ways."
Want to know more about THRED? Visit www.facebook.com/THRED (Don't forget to Like it!) and THRED.org.
A Rewarding Opportunity
Although we live in a time where we are probably the most connected of all people when we think of the internet and how easy it is to stay in touch, we are also probably the most isolated. We are connected with people across the world, but not with those who live around us. This problem is not only contained to the culture but is found within the Church as well, and in our own congregation! One of the places we see this most is in the connections and relationships between generations. In order to serve age-specific needs we often segregate, making it difficult to have connection between groups. This wasn’t always the case.
In the first century, in the Jewish community which Jesus grew up in, there was lots of contact between generations and families. When Jesus and His family went to Jerusalem to worship when He was a boy, He remained there in order to study with and dispute (!) the teachers (Luke 2:41-52). This was also the case in the early Church. St. Paul, in his first letter to Timothy encourages members of congregations to treat those older than them as parents and those younger as brothers and sisters (1 Timothy 5:1-2). All of this reinforces the idea that as members of the Body of Christ we are all family, not by the blood in our veins but by the Blood which redeemed us.
We have a great opportunity in our own congregation to show this love and respect to one another that many of you may not know about! We have in our congregation, members who you may not know very well as they can’t attend very often. These are our shut-ins. And we as a congregation are always looking for more of our members to visit with them - especially youth and young adults!
Both secular and church studies have shown the benefit to both parties when there is interaction between generations. Younger people get to learn from those who have had more life experience and have seen, done, and know more. At the same time older adults learn new perspectives by seeing how the younger generation sees and interacts with the world. From a faith based perspective, younger people get to see examples of the faith and be edified by witnessing this. Older adults get to be encouraged by seeing younger adults engaged with their faith.
Are you’re worried you won’t know what to do or how to do this? The good news is that it’s easy! Just be there, just listen. You can start by visiting just one person, maybe once a week. Over time it all becomes easier. If you contact one of the members of our Caring Ministry team, they will be able to suggest someone for you to visit with if you need! We all have room to learn and grow and a visit and a prayer can go a long way in that. I’ll end with these words of St. Paul that I referenced earlier, “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father. Treat younger men like brothers, older women like mothers, younger women like sisters, in all purity.”
If you are interested in this, please contact any member of the Care Ministry team or get in touch with the church office or Pastor Curtis for more information.