RACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
GRACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST Non-Profit Organization
500 School Street
Kohler, WI 53044 U.S. Postage Paid
APRIL GRACE NOTES
GRACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
500 SCHOOL STREET
KOHLER, WI 53044
Thomas M. Schroeder, Pastor Volume 75—No. 4
Home Phone: 920-458-7087
Church Phone: 920-452-6795 APRIL 2017
Dear Friends in Christ,
I want to thank all of you for the many ways you allowed me to be your pastor. As the years go by I will look back fondly on our time together; I trust the same will be true for you.
In the twenty-eight years I have served with you, I watched children grow up that I’ve baptized , performed marriages, and performed too many funerals. I’ve visited hospitals and shut-ins. We’ve celebrated anniversaries and a Seder meal, built an addition and saw many variations of landscape come and go. Together, we realized a few dreams, lived through a few trials, and persevered.
While I am leaving you, there is one who remains constant: Jesus Christ. Jesus has been here from the beginning, and will be with you for the rest of time. If through the power of the Holy Spirit you allow Jesus to guide (you) our Grace Church will always have a mission. It may not look like the church we have today, there may be difficult decisions which need to be made, but a passion for our God and a desire to pursue faithfulness will see us through all our future trials. This passion guided the earlier generations of Grace Church and will guide us into our new future.
The biblical record is full of stories about people who faced times of change. Joseph saw his life change when he went to Egypt. Moses’ life changed when God called from a bush. The disciples lives changed when Christ called them “to follow,” and Paul’s life changed when he fell off a horse. Life is filled with changes, we all know that. We all also know that new life and good things are ahead of us. We have been through change before and we have come out better for the process, so too with this time. God will walk with us in our new adventure. We will not be left alone, but we have the promises of God to carry us forward.
It has been a great pleasure to have served you as “Your Pastor” these twenty-eight years, but the time has come for me to set this aside and seek out a new adventure with my wife, family, God , and friends past and present. Easter Sunday will be my last service as your pastor. The celebration of this day is a celebration of remembrance for all of us. The women set out on Easter morning with a sad and solemn duty to perform, but their eyes were open to the new life won in the resurrection of Jesus. We also will be able to experience this joy. This service will again remind us of God’s life with us, even in the darkest of times, and we will find it to be good. The future will be good thanks to God. But it also will be different. I will be leaving the keys on the secretary’s desk and moving out of the pastor’s office. When I leave that office, I leave that office. I must leave behind the call, duties, expectations, and service of being your pastor. As we are not leaving the community, we will run into each other and we will greet each other, I look forward to those times, but I will not be your pastor at that time, just the friends we have become. Please keep me in your prayers and approaches as a friend. I will greatly appreciate that.
As for your pastor, I know the Church Council has found a person with a gracious and willing heart. Jack will serve you in new ways, and will address you in a different voice. Worship will be filled with change, but he will love you with Christ’s love, as I have loved you. I know he will do great things with you and you will flourish under his guidance. I must let you all establish that loving relationship without interference from me, so that means I can not do what the pastor does. Please do not ask me to do such things.
I pray that you all will have a wonderful future. I hope that under new pastoral leadership you find a way to connect with the community in ways that invite more people to join you Sunday morning and share God’s love with greater joy.
God Bless, Pastor Tom
A Message from the Church Council
We have called an Interim Minister. His name is Jack Kraaz. He’ll be starting his ministry with us during the week after Easter Sunday. Easter Sunday is Tom’s last day as our minister. Jack’s first Sunday with us will be April 23 and he will continue the 8:00 service.
Jack lives in Ripon with his wife Sarah who is a music professor at Ripon College. He will find temporary quarters in the area while he works with us. Intentional Interim ministry is not new to Jack. He served that function at St Stephen’s in Merrill and Union UCC in Waupun in the last few years. He has had special training for Interim Ministry before taking on the challenge at Grace.
For you and Jack to get to know each other better, we will have a session called, “Core Values Workshop” on Saturday, May 13th from 9:00 AM until noon in the fellowship hall. We urge everyone to put it on their calendar now.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORSHIP IN APRIL
Sunday, april 2nd, worship at 8 & 10 a.m.
On this Sunday we look at our transformation from death and obsessiveness to receiving new life as a gift from God.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5TH — Worship at 7 p.m.
This evening we look at the Ira Stanphill’s hymn “Room at the Cross for You,” and William Tappen’s “’Tis Midnight, And On Olive’s Brow” as we conclude our Lenten Devotional services.
SUNDAY, APRIL 9TH — WORSHIP AT 8 & 10 A.M.
Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week and we celebrate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem and into our lives. This year we will also celebrate the Rite of Confirmation at 10:00. Both choirs will sing at 10 a.m.
THURSDAY, APRIL 13th — MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE AT 7:30 P.M.
This evening we hear and experience the depth of God’s love as we recall the agony that Jesus faced for us. In the midst of the shadows we will celebrate the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
FRIDAY, APRIL 14th — GOOD FRIDAY — NOON
The actual Good Friday Community service will be at Word of Grace at noon. Prior to the service you can walk from the Sheboygan Falls Municipal Building with the procession of the cross. Join them at 11:25 a.m.
SUNDAY, APRIL 16TH — EASTER
8:00 Discovery Service
10 a.m. Easter celebration service
This service will INCLUDE OUR choir , trumpet and holy communion As we celebrate the new life we receive in
the resurrection Of our lord. The service will conclude with a service of retirement for Rev. Schroeder.
April Grace Notes — 4
NE Annual Meeting 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 9:00am to 2:00pm
9:00am-2:00pm First Congregational UCC 220 Ransom Street Ripon, WI 54971 Join us as we celebrate the work of our individual church communities. Grace is looking for 2 delegates to go. Contact Chuck Ebert if you are willing to go. We will leave Grace at 7 a.m. and return by 5 p.m.
STEWARDSHIP AT Grace United Church of Christ
It is about trust and faithfulness. God entrusts us with all the riches of creation, all that makes life possible, and asks so little in return. The bible suggests that we give 10% to God for the work of God. That is to be 10% of our finances, time, abilities and resources. It is 10% to be given beyond ourselves to make known the wonder of beauty of life with God. Now there are many good causes that we can give to that contribute to the work of God — educational facilities, youth programs, community programs, health. These all count toward the 10% to God, but don’t forget the church. The challenge is to give ½ to the church — 5%.
This also extends beyond the individual and is a challenge to the local church. For years we have given 10% to OCWM (Our Churches Wider Mission). This year we cut that back but still set as our goal the need to give 10% beyond ourselves. So we give to the wider Church in different ways as we give 1% to our Association (Northeast Wisconsin Association), 5% to the Wisconsin conference, 1% to local mission, and 4% to the Wisconsin Conference Insurance pool which helps to lower the cost of insurance for pastors and churches (this figure actually means that we receive monies from this pool for our pastor’s insurance.) Another way we give back is through support our Youth going to summer camps.
STEWARDSHP BY THE NUMBERS
We thank everyone who has been faithful in their participation and support of the ministries of Grace. Thanks to you we have minimized our deficit so that the balance as of March 1st in the General Fund was at
$–6244. 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 June 1, 2011.
CHURCH CAMPS — MOON BEACH & PILGRIM CENTER
Q: I have never been to camp, will I be the only new camper?
A: No, each session of camp greets many new campers. About 30% of the campers are new each year. We are happy to say that our church camps are places where people connect with each other, with new people, with their inner spirit and with God.
A complete schedule of camps is available through the brochure at church or at www.ucci.org .
Grace UCC offers scholarships of $25 to our camps. The Northeast Wisconsin Association does the same. Look it up and sign up. There are camping experiences for all ages.
Missions at Grace
CONTINUED FOOD BASKET MINISTRY
We have a continuing food basket ministry with our wicker baskets at the top of the stairs in the foyer. This ministry provides food items and hygiene items for our area pantries. You help to stock local pantries whenever you leave items in the baskets for those in need. The Mission Committee challenges members of Grace to bring one whole meal/month for those in need. With about 9% of the population at or under the poverty line that would indicate that 11,000 people in Sheboygan County are challenged to put food on the table. Approximately 2500 of those would be under 18 years of age. The need is great so please help us to help others.
MISSION OF THE MONTH – United Way of Sheboygan County
The United Way of Sheboygan County serves Plymouth, Sheboygan Falls, Sheboygan, Kohler, and Howards Grove areas. With over 19 agencies and 43 programs funded through United Way of Sheboygan County the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those in need is immense. For more than 80 years, United Way of Sheboygan County has been working to build a stronger and healthier Sheboygan County through effectively facilitating community resources, convening broad dialogue and focusing on the areas of highest need. Your contribution to the Mission of the Month offering through the envelopes in the pews will help the cause. Thank you.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE IN APRIL
USHERS: 2– 8 a.m. Rick Weeden 10 a.m. Richard & Carol Schoneman, Sandy Werdeo (also Wed.)
9– Wayne Lohse Scott & Ronda Hendricks, Betty Musil
13– MAUNDY THURSDAY—Church Council Members
16 — 8 & 10 a.m. EASTER Church Council Members—Communion at both services
23 — Wayne Lohse Anneke & Tom Teaters, Dan Montgomery 30– Paul Green Kurt Becker, Chris Widder, Chuck Pfrang
LAY READERS: 2—Marge Horneck, 9—Mary Risseeuw, 16—Barb Loose, 23—Betty Musil, 30—Open
ACOLYTES: 2—Colton; 9 – Jacob
KITCHEN: Sherry Leonhard & Lola Lindow, co-chrs.
- Nelson, S. Montgomery, C. McNitt, M. Bogard, C. Knepfel, S. Jensen, L. Rolloff, L. Rolloff, Deb TerMaat,
- TerMaat, A. Davis, N. Limberg, M. Fenner, K. Pizer, J. Carter, K. Willis, L. Scheppmann, L. Tesmer, P. Forkner,
GRACE NOTES SPONSORS: Chuck & Ann Ebert BULLETINS: Larry & Deb TerMaat
BRIDGEWAY: Judy & Bob Kummer
FLOWERS: 2—Pat Longstaff 9—Kurt & Heidi Becker 16—Easter Lillies 23 and 30—OPEN