GRACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
500 School Street, Kohler, WI 53044
Thomas M. Schroeder, Pastor Volume 72—No. 5
Home Phone: 920-458-7087
Church Phone: 920-452-6795 MAY 2014
MAY GRACE NOTES
FROM OUR PASTOR—
Dear Friends in Christ,
May is a time when we look forward to growth, the growth of the grass, the flowers, daylight, warm evenings and many more places where the good times of life can grow. The same is true of the church. We look for growth!
This month we will welcome the youth from our Confirmation program. They have grown in the knowledge of God, and we pray they have grown in the love of God as well. We will welcome them with joy and open arms on May 18th at our 10 a.m. service.
However, Grace needs more than just the youth of our families if we wish to grow on into the future. We need to bring in new people and new families. We can do this by sharing the good news of why we come to Grace UCC.
Why do you come to Grace UCC? For some they respond to this question such as: ―Because I like to hear the choir,‖ ―Our pastor has relevant sermons,‖ ―We enjoy each other’s company,‖ ―It’s a good way to start the week.‖ These comments are wonderful to hear, but behind them lies another layer of meaning. For many of us to come to church is to come into the presence of God and to give God some time. The previous comments are fine; but if we fail to look for God in our presence, we really have little reason to be a church. For the church, any church in Christianity, represents the ―Body of Christ.‖ The church manifests the ―Body of Christ‖ in the world. Its purpose is to be used to bring the glory of God’s love into the places it reaches.
Now a good church that connects its members and guests with God will elicit the above comments; but more importantly, it will move in ways so that those who are involved will find a sense that God understands them and that those in the church are trying to understand God. A church dedicated to manifesting God in the world will help its members and guests find understanding and purpose in life as they seek to unite with God’s eternal vision. A church that seeks to manifest God’s love on earth will reach out to members, guests and strangers and let them know they are united in God, for all belong to God from the oldest to the youngest and everyone in between. Christ did not just die for a few but gave himself up so that all may live, united with God and one another. Finally, a church that seeks to manifest God’s love in the world brings hope, as people see how close God is to them.
These are all great advantages to coming to a dedicated church seeking to serve God, but the most important service the church can offer is that of a matchmaker. The church is first and foremost at work to open the eyes of all to the love that God has for them. Then, with their eyes wide open, it can lead people into a meaningful relationship with God.
One church, the Chinese Community UCC in San Diego, invites people to join them for lunch. After the service all are welcome to join in a meal. We, too, can do such a thing. On Wednesday, June 4nd, we will host our annual Brat Fry. You can invite neighbors, friends, and even strangers to join us on this day for a wonderful evening.
Come and help Grace share this incredible love that God has for us. Invite your neighbors and friends and join us as we seek to do God’s will in the world.
Peace, Rev. Tom Schroeder
OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORSHIP IN MAY
MAY 4TH – WORSHIP 8 & 10 A.M.
On this day we celebrate the fact that the disciples walked into a new day as they walked to Emmaus. God walks with us into each new day. We will explore the meaning of Easter as we walk on into the future.
The Senior Choir also sings at 10 a.m.
MAY 11TH – FESTIVAL OF THE CHRISTIAN HOME – WORSHIP AT 8 & 10 A.M.
Come and celebrate this wonderful day! The Children’s Choir will enhance the 10 a.m. service.
We will explore the call of Jesus and other calls in our lives.
MAY 18TH – CONFIRMATION SUNDAY – WORSHIP AT 8 & 10 A.M.
As the youth of the confirmation class express their wish to align with Christ, our scripture lessons challenge all of us to renew our commitments. We will welcome new members from our Confirmation Class at 10 and celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion at both services. The Senior Choir will sing at 10 a.m.
MAY 25TH – WORSHIP AT 10 A.M.
We mark the holiday weekend by contracting our program and offering worship at 10:00 only. Past attendance indicates that this is a smart thing to do. Scripture assures us that Christ is with us throughout the changes and challenges of our lives.
JUNE 1st – WORSHIP AT 8 & 10 A.M.
A day of celebrations! As Jesus emptied himself of his divine nature to come to earth at Christmas, now he wishes to be united with God as before, praying that all may be one and God the Creator and Son are one. May we celebrate this oneness for all. The Senior Choir will recap several hymns from the past year and we will also recognize several of our graduating high school students at 10 a.m.
JUNE 8TH – WORSHIP AT 9:30 A.M.
Our Summer schedule begins on June 8th with our service time at 9:30 a.m.
Please make the changes in your routine through September 7th.
WHEN IN OUR MUSIC CONCERT, MAY 9 at 7 PM
This year we will have our third annual free concert featuring our organ on Friday, May 9 at 7. We will have the Sheboygan Falls Middle School Women’s Show Choir, Mr. Ryan Gahagan on guitar, Miss Allison Boerner and Clara Montes on strings, and Dan Ognavic on the organ. Come and enjoy a delightful evening of music and fellowship.
IN MEMORIUM: Our prayers go out to the family of JOLA SCHWINN who entered into god’s perpetual light on March 7, 2014. May God bless and strengthen all those who loved her.
CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS
May 11th: The members of the Children’s Choir will spend most of the time of Church School practicing the songs they will sing on this day during our 10 a.m. Service.
MAY 18TH: The Last Day of Church School
This day we will celebrate the year, recall the lessons and thank the teachers. We wish to thank, AMY KALMERTON, HEIDI BECKER, SHERRY LEONHARD, KAREN GROTH, SARAH MONTGOMERY, MONICA WHITE AND TRACY WIDDER for the hours they put in guarding our children throughout the year. A special thank you goes out to our Children’s Choir director, Curt Joa, who has been available every Sunday to work with our children. We also thank our assistants as we had Rachel Eastway, Erin Valenstein, Courtney Ludwigson, and Zia Harriott helping in the classrooms. A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL!
Church Camp Scholarships: Does your child or grandchild want to go to Summer camp? A great place to send them to develop a wide range of skills is to our Summer camps at Moon Beach or Pilgrim Camp Conference Center. Scholarships are available at $50/week for students or $75/week at Family Camp through the Northeast Association and another $25/students from Grace UCC. Look up the opportunities at UCCI.com
YOUTH AT GRACE — MAY 18TH — CONFIRMATION SUNDAY AT 10 A.M.
We look forward to introducing several young people to the congregation at 10 a.m. with the Rite of Confirmation. The youth have spent 2 years coming to an understanding of who they are as children of God. In the service they will celebrate their First Communion as well as joining in fellowship with Christians everywhere to receive the strength of Christ in the bread and wine. We look forward to welcoming these young people.
HONORING OUR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES ON JUNE 12ST AT 9 A.M.
All Sr. high and middle school youth are invited to a breakfast on June 1st at 9 a.m. to honor our 2014 high school graduates. Graduating from high schools in our area are: ERIN VALENSTEIN, SUMMER HOCHREIN, VALERIE LINCK, CALVIN STEFANCZYK, and ALYSSA BRENDEL . We will recognize them during the 10 a.m. service on this day as well. May God go with you into your next endeavors.
MISSIONS AT GRACE
MISSION OF THE MONTH : The month of May we will use our Mission of the Month to serve the Home Front. As we all know the economy may be improving for some but not for all. Several of our members have been left behind and are facing harder times as each month passes. Jobs are not easily come by nor or opportunities always open and some of those close to us have been left in the dust. This month we are establishing a fund to help those next to us to get over the hump as they continue to seek employment. Please help your neighbor by supporting our Mission of the Month.
FOOD COLLECTION: We continue to collect non-perishable food items and hygiene items for our community. With the absence of school provided services in the summer, food pantries are inundated with requests. This month we will support the food pantry at the Salvation Army.
STEWARDSHIP AT GRACE
SCRIPT PROGRAM THROUGH KWIK TRIP: We are offering gas and gift cards of $20, $25, and $50 values. These cards are usable for any service at Kwik Trip. They act like debit cards, in that you do not have to use them up completely at one time. The balance will carry over to the next time you need to fill up. Please support Grace by buying gift cards today. Rumor has it that they make a great gift card for graduates. The Church Council also has decided to offer discounts if you buy over $2,000 worth of cards at one time.
Brat Fry, Wednesday, June 4th:
We are looking for volunteers and contributors to help us at our annual Brat Fry. This year it will be held Wednesday, June 4TH from 5 – 7:30 p.m. We need people to bring desserts, beverages, salads, and beans as well as people to cook, serve, set up and clean up! Come to worship and sign up on sheets in the foyer or call us at 452-6795 and let us know what you can do. Support of our Brat Fry helps reduce our burden in the General Fund. INVITE YOUR NEIGHBORS!!
Stewardship by the Numbers: Through one-quarter of the year, we find that our expenses are 30% of our budget (using more gas to heat than expected) but our annual giving is at 23%. Our deficit in the General Fund is at –$10037, as of March 31. Though this is at the high end of normal it is customary to average both March and April to get a running review. April came through with high income and with normal expenses we should reduce this amount significantly. As always we will need your faithful support in the coming months to meet our expenses. We thank you for your continued support of time, talent and contributions.
EASTER LILIES: We thank the following people for donating lilies on Easter. They certainly brought joy to the celebration this morning:
Wayne & Rosemary Lohse Mary Ann Bichler
Henry & Margy Horneck The Groth Family
Bev Kramer Dorothy Mohr
Rev. Barb Loose The Becker Family
Marcia & Don Fenner Jack & Carol Lorenz
Rachel Eastway Tom & Joyce Atkins
Orville & Gloria Valenstein The Pilz Family
Arlana & Don Weber The Teaters Family
Tom & Bev Schroeder, in memory of Irv & Loretta Schroeder
We also wish to thank Linda Billmann, Bev Kramer, Rosemary Lohse, Phylis Preder, Anneke Teaters, Mary Risseeuw, and Betty Jones for helping to decorate the sanctuary for Easter. It was nice to see.
DID YOU DO SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR God?
DID YOU FEEL GOD ESPECIALLY CLOSE TO YOU?
DID YOU FIND YOUR SPIRIT UPLIFTED BECAUSE OF A GIFT FROM GOD
DID YOU BRING JOY TO ANOTHER?
These times and many others are MOMENTS OF GRACE—a moment when gifts are showed.
In honor of our 90th anniversary, we are collecting Moments of Grace. Write down your moment on an index card (3 x 5) and hang it on the bulletin board by the lift. We want to collect those moments and share them for all to see! CELEBRATE 90 MOMENTS OF GRACE!
The Evangelism Committee is in the process of creating a Historical Wall in the back classroom. We are in need of old pictures of events that happened at Grace. If you have pictures of confirmation, baptism, weddings at Grace from past years please share them with us. We will copy the pictures and return them to you and then use them to create our new historical wall. 90 years of Grace is a marvelous thing. Let us celebrate together. Thank you.
The Fred & Frieda Kirkpatrick Lakeland College Scholarship Fund is available to a student who
attends Lakeland College. At the present time the Council is entertaining applications for the
scholarship and will use the following graduated levels of qualification to determine the award. A
letter to Grace church’s Church Council spelling out interest is all that is needed. Qualifications are
1) Grace members who are the most recent high school graduating class that are full-time students
2) Members of Grace church currently enrolled as full-time students
3) Children students
4) Members of extended families of Grace church members, including spouses, step-children, and other very closely related members
5) Members of Grace Church currently enrolled as part-time students
Applications may be sent to Grace UCC as a litter simply stating your intention to be a student at Lakeland College. Application deadline is July 1, 2014.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE IN MAY
Ushers: 4th– 8 a.m. Ann Ebert 10a.m. Deb & Larry TerMaat, Tiffany TerMaat, Cortnie Ludwigson
11th M.Wandschnieder Groth Family
18th Keith Valenstein CHURCH COUNCIL members
25th Tom Widder Kurt & Noah Becker, Nicole Leicht
Lay Readers: 4—Pat Forkner; 11—Phylis Preder; 18—Janet Carter; 25—TBA
Child Care: TBA
Acolytes: 4—Mason Valenstein; 11—William Groth
Kitchen: Laurie Joa & Judy Kummer, co-chrs.
K. Peil, N. Leicht, L. Rolloff, S. Wandschneider, C. Knepfel, A. Kamerton, S. Hoppert, K. Kammerer, M. Fenner, D. Mohr, P. Brethouwer, B. Musil, G. Inmann, C. Garnett, J. Matson, M. Boerner, A. Ebert, L. Billmann, R .Lohse, D. Horneck, S. Leonhard, D. Brendel, L. Lindow, S. Jaberg
Grace Notes: Lee & Shirley Musil
Bulletins: Orville & Gloria Valenstein
Flowers: 4—Paul & Lynn Green; 11—Pfrangs in celebration of Nick’s birthday;
18—Confirmation Parents; 25 — Susie Wandschneider in memory of Kathy Brotz