Grace Notes


GRACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST                                  Non-Profit Organization

500 School Street

Kohler, WI  53044                                                                             U.S. Postage Paid

 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED                                           PERMIT NO. 3

 Mailed:  September 30, 2016

KOHLER, WI  53044
Home Phone:  920-458-7087
Church Phone: 920-452-6795        October   2016
Dear Friends in Christ,
The leaves are changing, the sun is setting sooner, the wind is getting cooler and you’re grabbing the sweatshirts and sweaters from the other closet. Fall is officially upon us. With the days becoming shorter, the darkness descending hours earlier and the temperatures dropping, you might not be too happy that autumn has arrived. Or maybe, quite the opposite, fall is your favorite season.  With the arrival of autumn, I welcome the return of what has always been my favorite season. There is something poignant about savoring the waning days of light and warmth as the last long days of summer take their final bow and winter appears on the distant horizon. Like drinking the last drops of a really fine wine or lingering over the last few bites of a sumptuous meal, autumn arrives on the heels of summer urging us to harvest the abundance and fill up with sweetness. All too soon, the light will be gone, the days will be short and nights will be long, and the work of winter will begin
Autumn this year takes on a different meaning for me for I am on the verge of a different outlook on life.  No matter how old one is, we’re always standing at the edge of the unknown. There is no certainty, not even about taking the next breath. But growing older affords one a certain perspective on life, not available from the earlier parts of the journey. Gratitude comes forward, front and center, as the prevailing consciousness. What could be better than that?
The earlier stages of life are all about making it in the outer world. For most of the 40-to-50 years preceding autumn, people are heavily engaged in gaining knowledge and experience, building a career, establishing a reputation, working hard to earn money and provide a living for one’s self and one’s family. Life is all about achieving, accomplishing, accumulating or surviving.
But the focus shifts as autumn approaches and tasks become more meaningful, as they may be my last.  Our task now, if we are to continue to grow beyond our former outward focus is to reach for some self-renewal.
Autumn is a time to update the operating system of our life. There are old files and programs to be deleted, hard drives that need cleaning and random access memory to be added. It is a It’s time to push the “refresh” button in some places, take stock in what is important, and seek new ways to sustain one’s self.
The autumn of life brings us into evening, where life becomes quieter and a new portal opens. We discover a kind of beauty that only becomes available at this stage of life. New voices emerge; new wisdom is gained. We learn to appreciate the subtle and the sublime. We become creative in ways never deemed possible in our younger years. New possibilities emerge. Lovers of life with less time left now see their job as giving back to the larger community of beings. Larger forces come into play, preparing for the journey ahead.
Standing at the threshold of autumn, this is what I see it’s about: harvesting the gifts grown over our time together, applying generous amounts of love and gratitude, community and wisdom to render up a rich and sweet elixir sufficient to sustain one through the season ahead and then on into the new life that is to come.
This is all part of God’s wisdom of the seasons, of life, and of organizations.  The seasons pass, they come and go, but the presence of God endures all time, places and events.
I thank God and Dr. Judith Rich for helping me see where the future will be full of life in the future as we celebrate now.                 God Bless & Peace—Rev. Tom Schroeder
October 2nd – WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY – Worship at  8 & 10 a.m.
This day we celebrate with the Sacrament of Holy Communion at both services.
With the bread and wine we are nourished both body and soul to increase our faith.
OCTOBER 9TH —  Worship at 8 & 10 a.m.
This day we have the pleasure of having The Rev. Dr. Rich Christensen speaking to us.
Dr. Christensen was the Professor of Religion at Lakeland College before he retired.
Come and hear his thoughtful words.
The Children’s Choir will sing at 10 a.m.
OCTOBER 16TH – Worship at 8 & 10 a.m.
There is a New World Coming is the theme for the day as we seek to be faithful to God
and see the realm of God on earth as it is in heaven.
The Senior Choir sings at 10 a.m.
OCTOBER 23rd – Worship at 8 & 10 a.m.
God is good and God’s steadfast love endures forever.
We hear that we are saved through Grace.
At 10 a.m. the Senior Choir will join in our worship.
OCTOBER 30TH – Worship at 8 & 10 a.m.
The story of Zacchaeus reminds us that God came for me and for thee, for you and me.   All people are encouraged to come into the presence of God, and no one should stand in the way.
Dear members and friends of Grace Church,
Our congregation’s traditional practice of “calling” a pastor affirms the active presence of God’s Spirit in the search process. We prayerfully seek a pastor with particular gifts and skills while recognizing that candidates are also engaged in a Spirit-led discernment process. Thus our church enters into a covenant with a new pastor always knowing that God may sometimes call that pastor to a new ministry setting.
In the days that have elapsed since Rev. Tom Schroeder mailed us his retirement letter, we have been keenly aware of God’s new calling for him even as we have experienced a profound sense of loss. It is not easy to think about ending a Spirit-filled twenty-eight year ministry. These next months together will be a precious time, and we will inform you soon about our plans for special events to celebrate Pastor Tom’s ministry.
The members of your council have already been approached by some of you with the haunting question, “Our pastor is leaving . . . what will we do?” We want to assure you that we have already been in touch with our Conference/Association minister, Rev. Jane Anderson. We have already met and heard directly from her about UCC procedures during a time of pastoral transition. She suggested that we share with you this brief overview:
We will select an interim pastor to provide continuity in worship, pastoral care, and program/staff oversight.  Rev. Anderson will advise us on this process; she has assured us that
1. She has several excellent candidates available who offer the specialized skills needed during a transition time. This pastor will not be a candidate for the “settled” position.
2.  After the interim pastor is in place, we will initiate a search process for a new pastor in accordance with our bylaws. We will invite all of you to be part of a self-study that will identify our church’s pastoral needs. And we will develop a church profile for our potential candidates.
3. Our Conference office will advertise our vacancy among UCC clergy all across the country. Our search committee will read ministerial profiles, screen candidates, conduct interviews, check references, and eventually select a candidate who will be recommended to the entire congregation.
We send this letter so you will know that we are taking steps to think about our future. We will keep you informed on a regular basis. For now, let us express our gratitude to God for Tom’s ministry and enter into a time of celebration with him and his family. Please keep them in your prayers even as you know from experience that he will be praying for us.
In Christ’s name,
Deb Pfrang; Grace UCC Council President
The theme for this stewardship year is the climactic line from the parable of the Good Samaritan: “Go and Do the Same.” (Luke 10:25-37). The implication is that God calls us to “go and do the same” as the Samaritan with all our resources—material, human, and natural.
When I first heard the theme, “God and Do the Same,” it sounded like a simple command to follow the example of the behavior of the Samaritan. Jesus used the Samaritan as an illustration of what it means to be faithful to God’s purposes. So, at this level, the message of the parable is “Go and do the same kind of things for your neighbor—and your church—that the Good Samaritan did for the person robbed along the road.”
In the context of a stewardship campaign, the line includes the meaning, “Go and give the same way the Samaritan gave.”
When the Samaritan saw the person who had fallen among thieves at the side of the road, the Samaritan stopped and helped. That earlier traveler was beaten up, bleeding, alone, and abandoned. Today, individuals, households, neighborhoods, and communities are beaten up, bloodied, fallen alongside the road of life, alone, and abandoned. An individual’s or household’s commitment of time, talent, and money can help the church help them. A pledge can be an act of neighbor-love.
The Samaritan did not have access to a cell phone and EMTs, so the Samaritan took care of the person at the side of the road. Look at what the Samaritan did. The Samaritan personally got involved. The Samaritan took responsibility. And going beyond the moment to a long-term view, the Samaritan wrote a check to the innkeeper to house and feed the person who fell among thieves while the earlier traveler was regaining strength.
The Estimate of Giving cards will be available for pick up – October 2—9.
After that the cards remaining will be placed into neighborhood routes and passed household to household by those on the list.  After passing on the pouch, please call Grace UCC 452-6795 to let us know where the pouch is located..
The pouches are to be returned to Grace by November 13, or you can place your card in the offering plates or via the mail.
The Church Council needs to hear from you in order to set a budget for 2017.
We want to continue to serve God and shine God’s light into the world, and we can only do so with your help.
Let us know how you will join us through an Estimate of Your Giving as we celebrate
KWIK TRIP CARDS:  Do you stop at Kwik Trip for gas or merchandise? If you do you can help Grace.  Purchase $20 gift cards for Kwik Trip from Grace and Grace will receive a donation.  Your purchase will be fully redeemable at Kwik Trip.  $20 to Grace = $20 for you at Kwik Trip.  Join us!
STEWARDSHIP BY THE NUMBERS:  The summer was good for many.  Many of us were refreshed and reinvigorated – energized.  Unfortunately, Grace fell behind.  Worship attendance was down ABOUT 8% and financial support down 9% leaving the General Fund balance on August 30th at –$12, 978.92, last year we were behind at -$14041.
It is high, but not uncommon to be at a deficit at this time.  September has been good to us, but it also has quarterly payments (the last payments of the year) for some big ticket items.  With faithful attendance and support, we should rise above the deficit and do well, but we need your help.  Thank you for your support and your generosity.
We have a new banner hanging in the sanctuary this month thanks to the DELORES KAMMERER Memorial.   With funds from her memorial we purchased this banner to eventually hand during the epiphany season.
With cooler weather ahead, those who are just squeaking by now ill need support in the future.  Bring food and hygiene items to church and we can help stock the food pantries so they can deliver the needed support.
In October we will ask for cash to help the Mission of the Month build funds to provide the Emmaus Meal at the Sheboygan Salvation Army on October 8th.  We have a sign up sheet for people to help with setup, service, cooking, or cleanup or to help by providing cookies for dessert.  Every Saturday over 150 people sit down for lunch at the Salvation Army, and for some it is the only hot meal they get.  You can help by support our Missions activity through our Mission of the Month or by signing up.  Thank you
“Thank you,” from Helping Kids
Helping Kids would like to thank Grace UCC Church for their amazing generosity for all the wonderful school supplies.  Without all your generous donations we would not have been able to fill the growing need this year.  Helping Kids Ministries gave out 90 backpack filled with school supplies. Plus each backpack has hygiene products in them such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, body wash, shampoo, & deodorant for the older kids.  There is no better feeling than seeing a child’s face light up like a Christmas tree when you hand them their backpack.  Your willingness to serve the Lord and your love for others was shown thru your
prayers, and generous donations.  I pray God will bless each of you as you have blessed Helping Kids.  From the bottom of my heart I thank you all.  God’s richest blessings.         Kathy Rowe – Helping Kids
COATS FOR KIDS: but others will be collected as well.
Slightly used or new Jackets/coats of all sizes are welcome, but there is a big need for coats for kids.  If you have any coats that your children have outgrown, bring them in by October 18th and we will help them warm another body.  See poster in the foyer.
Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the UCC that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry(CAIM). Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries(JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants.
The Council for American Indian Ministry(CAIM) is the voice for American Indian people in the UCC. CAIM provides Christian ministry and witness to American Indians and to the wider church. Justice issues that affect American Indian life are communicated to the whole UCC by CAIM.
Historically, the forebears of the UCC established churches and worked with Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arickara, and Hocak in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin and northern Nebraska. Today there are 20 UCC congregations on reservations and one urban, multi-tribal UCC congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. CAIM supports these local churches and their pastors. In addition, CAIM strives to be a resource for more than 1,000 individuals from dozens of other tribes and nations who are members of other UCC congregations and to strengthen their participation in the life of the church.
Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice. We will collect our N-I-N offering on October 9. 
GRACEFUL YOGA – Thursdays at 6 p.m.
On Thursdays yoga classes will be held in the basement fellowship hall and participants are asked to bring their own mats.  These classes will range in effort according to the ability of those who attend.  Join us at Grace for stretching and relaxation.
New Neighbors???    House for Sale?????
If you have new neighbors or know of houses that are for sale.  Inform Grace or Pastor Tom and give us the address.  Pastor Tom will meet the new people when they arrive.  We need your help as the Village or City no longer sends us the names of new residents.  Helping Grace helps yourselves as we grow in faithfulness.
September 11th we started the school year greeting the children to our church school classes and the Children’s Choir.  We are happy to say that we have a full compliment of teachers for our classes and once again have Curt Joa leading our Children’s choir.   We thank Monica White, Tami Ter Maat, and Tracy Widder for teaching our younger children their first stories of the faith.   As the children grow they encounter the stories of our faith in new ways.   Leading the older children are Becky Payne, Amy Kalmerton, and Sandy Rabe.   We are grateful for their dedication to both the message and the children.   We are proud to say the children are in good hands.  We have classes for all children age 4 through grade 8.  Church School classes meet Sunday mornings from 8:45-9:40.
USHERS;   2—8 & 10 a.m.  CHURCH COUNCIL MEMBERS (Communion)
9–  8 a.m.  Marie Boerner               10 a.m.—Kurt & Noah Becker, Rachel Eastway
16                open                                              Karen & William Groth, Chris Widder
23                Paul Green                                    Larry & Deb TerMaat, Tiffany Ter Maat
30                Glen & Kathy Valenstein             Scott & Ronda Hendricks, Betty Musil
ACOLYTES:  2—Colton; 9—Jacob; 16—Colton, 23—Jacob,  30-open
LAY READERS:  2—Marge Horneck; 9—Mary Risseeuw; 16—Barb Loose; 23—open; 30—open
KITCHEN:  Betty Jones and Karen Groth, co-chrs: M. Horneck, L. Tesmer, M. Fenner, J. Leonhardt, P. Preder,
R. Eastway, B. Fischer, S. Jensen, A. Ebert, C. Garnett, M. Boerner, KI. Kampmann, C. Valenstein, P. Gumm,
H. Becker, L. Green, K. Peil, L. Rolloff, S. Montgomery, B.Schroeder, C. McNitt, G. Valenstein
FLOWERS:  2—OPEN, 9—OPEN, 16—OPEN; 23—Rosemary & Wayne Lohse; 30—Scott & Ronda Hendricks
BULLETINS AND BRIDGEWAY:  Rosemary & Wayne Lohse
GRACE NOTES:  Jenny Hanson
















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