GRACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
500 School Street
Kohler, WI 53044 U. S. Postage Paid
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED PERMIT NO. 3
Mailed: March 26, 2015
APRIL GRACE NOTES
Grace United Church of Christ
500 School Street, Kohler, WI 53044
Thomas M. Schroeder, Pastor Volume 73—No. 4
Home Phone: 920-458-7087
Church Phone: 920-452-6795 April 2015
Dear Friends in Christ,
Sister Brenda Walsh writes to remind us that Easter is a call to renew our faith and reclaim the power of Christ’s resurrection.
Martin Luther wrote, “Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection, not in books alone, but in every new leaf in spring-time.” In the Northern Hemisphere the spring-time coincides with the Christian celebration of Easter. It shows us the power of God’s resurrection to overcome the darkness of deep winter and moves us to the light. God has acted already in the resurrection of Christ and in the coming of the Spring-time, it is now our time to respond to God’s actions in our lives.
As we walk with Jesus through his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, it is a good time for us to immerse ourselves in this sacred journey and deepen our commitment to follow the path of Jesus day by day. The Scripture story is not just about the journey of Jesus, but also about our journey and how we live the message in our world today. It is about bringing hope, healing and peace to our world greatly in need of such gifts. The Gospel story is not only about the God’s power in raising Jesus from the dead. That same power is available to us at all times, and we are called to make good use of it.
We are familiar with the use and misuse of power in our society. Many claim power and privilege and superiority of one race, culture, or religion over another, leading to prejudiced attitudes that deprive many of a full and meaningful life. We rely on the power of the atom to build sophisticated weaponry for war and to explore outer space. Many of the advances may be good in themselves, such as in the field of medicine; but others are used for destructive purposes and rob many people of life. They prevent us from relating to the human family in a life-giving way and of living a Spirit-filled life. We need to tap into a greater power – the power of God’s Spirit always available to us.
The Easter season invites us to look deep within our own lives, our community life, our nation and our world. The promise that is offered to us by Jesus is that “all may have life and have it in abundance.” Watching the evening news, we see daunting challenges. There are endless wars, failed relationships, budget deficits, and much political conflict. There is very little mention of the common good. We must know by now that what we have tried up to this time is not working very well for most of the human family. Paul offers us this sound advice: Let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, that will offer a new way of living and relating to the whole human family. This does not mean we will have
APRIL GRACE NOTES — 2
no challenges. It does remind us that challenges and failures will not have the last word in our lives and relationships.
We are called to live a Spirit-filled life through the power of the Resurrection. We have God’s promise that we will never walk alone. We need to take time each day to get in touch with the Spirit within. We draw on that power and pray that the stones in our lives will be rolled back from our individual, community, and national lives and let the Spirit of Easter shine in and through us. Are we ready to allow this to happen and to walk in the light of the Risen Lord? If we do this, we will bring light, hope, peace and justice to our own lives and our broken world. What are we waiting for?
We are told in 1 Corinthians 6: 14, that God who has raised up Jesus from the dead will also raise us up by the same Spirit that dwells in us. This promise of life everlasting gives us great hope. We will live a life that continues beyond the grave with our loving God forever. How do we bring this message of hope to those people with whom we live2? This calls for our energy and fidelity in sharing the Word about the Easter promise of unending life. We have many reasons to rejoice and be glad.
May this year and all the efforts made to renew and deepen our faith, enable us to choose God’s plan and work to make it a reality and to choose life for ourselves and for generations yet to come. Through the power of the resurrection, a new light will shine in our minds and hearts, directing us toward a new way of thinking and relating, of being and doing, and solving problems in such a way as to bring life and not death and destruction, and bring healing and hope to our wounded world. We can do it in the name and power of the Spirit. May the hope and energy of Easter fill our minds and hearts as we welcome the life-giving presence of God who guides and sustains us every step of the way.
Easter Blessings! Pastor Tom
OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORSHIP
APRIL 2ND – MAUNDY THURSDAY SERVICE – 7:30 P.M.
Join us on this Holy Thursday as we recall the mandate Christ gives us—”to love one another as I have loved you.” This we do as we hear how Christ laid down his life for us through hearing the passion story according for the Gospel of Mark.
APRIL 3RD – GOOD FRIDAY – NOON
The Sheboygan Falls/Kohler Community Good Friday service will be held at the Pentecostal Church (621 Broadway Avenue in Falls) at noon with a “Walk of the Cross” to take place prior to the service starting at 11 a.m.
APRIL 5TH – EASTER SUNDAY
7:30 a.m. Discovery Service
As the day starts out in the darkness of death, join with us as we explore the coming light as the women find an empty tomb and the disciples discover Christ has Risen.
8:30 Continental Breakfast
Join us for a light breakfast. We believe no one should have to eat Easter breakfast alone.
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10 a.m. Easter Celebration Service
Let the trumpets declare the glory of God as we start the service with “An Easter Fanfare.” The Senior Choir will begin the proclamation of God’s great work and the service will continue that theme. In the service we will celebrate with the Sacrament of Holy Communion and move to the finale as brass, choir, organ and congregation join in celebration and praise
SUNDAY, APRIL 12TH – WORSHIP AT 8 & 10 A.M.
On this Second Sunday of Easter we recall how the disciples were transformed when Christ encountered this in the Upper Rooms. For those who feel left out, we will raise up Thomas as he missed out on the first encounter.
SUNDAY, APRIL 19TH – WORSHIP AT 8 & 10 A.M.
On this Third Sunday of Easter we look deeper in to the disciples doubt of the resurrection and hear how Jesus ate with his disciples. We face our doubts aw well and then we invite the women of the church to join us for a luncheon. The Senior Choir will join us at 10 a.m.
APRIL 26TH – WORSHIP AT 8 & 10 A.M.
This Sunday we explore how the resurrected Christ shepherds us on into a new future.
The Children’s Choir will sing this day at 10 a.m.
EVANGELISM COMMITTEE IS BUSY!
Invite your family and friends to worship! This month we celebrate the most important festival of the Christian Year—EASTER. Invite your family and friends to join you at Grace and celebrate together.
KEEP THE INVITATIONS FLOWING—Invite people to our free Community Concert!
FRIDAY – April 17th at 7 p.m.
We have a mixture of choral and instrumental music on tap for those who join us. We start with the Golden Choraleers. Their program is followed by some string chamber music. A women’s quartet sings in tight harmony before we give the program over to Dan Ognavic. Refreshments will follow the evening of music. GET THE WORD OUT!
SUNDAY, APRIL 19TH – 11 A.M. WOMEN’S LUNCHEON
Come join us for a Women’s Luncheon immediately following the 10 a.m. service. The Evangelism Committee will provide pulled pork sandwiches and participants are asked to bring a salad or dessert.
The program will be a presentation from Catlin Brotz involving the products of Olivu. Caiti’s products have recently been included in the participants welcome bag for people attending the Oscar and Emmy presentations. Invite family and friends to join you for this interesting program.
Gentlemen, we need you to man the kitchen and be available for cleanup.
Sign up or call in your reservation.
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CHURCH SCHOOL AT GRACE—No Church School classes on Easter!
Church School classes will resume on April 12th at 8:45. The Children’s
Choir is working on their April songs and their Mother’s Day (May 10th) program.
MISSIONS AT GRACE – one great hour of sharing: It is not
too late to join us in our OGHS offering supporting the relief
effort of the United Church of Christ throughout the world.
Your participation in their offering reaches out to refugees
world-wide, victims of natural disasters at home or abroad,
and brings hope to those caught in despair. Please bring in
your gifts to OGHS by our Easter celebrations.
MISSION OF THE MONTH FOR APRIL—HABITAT FOR HUMANITY – LAKESIDE: The Sheboygan County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is busy building home on Erie Avenue in Sheboygan. Now that the weather is nice, you can watch the progress to on as you drive by. Better yet, you can call (920-458-3399) and volunteer to help build, feed, or support others as the progress grows.
STEWARDSHIP AT Grace United Church of Christ
As God has given us gifts of life and talents, let us offer a portion of ourselves to God in thanksgiving.
Your gifts of time can help bring the face of God to one who feels along. The gifts of your financial resources can bring hope to a weary world. Your support of Grace UCC and her ministry create opportunities for service to our community, education to our children and youth, support and pastoral calling to those facing trying times, and opportunities for worship and praise. The beauty of Grace UCC is that our services are not limited to our members but available to all who come and wish to participate. Thank you for your help and support!
GIVING TREE FOR GRACE: To help support the work of Grace UCC, we will give people a chance to bring in office supplies, Church School materials and mission support through a Giving Tree ornaments that will contain items that we need at Grace. Most of the ornaments will be specific items and some will contain a price tag for materials used in our programs. Watch for the tree and bring in your offerings.
WIDER CHURCH CAMPAIGNS: Grace UCC is studying how it will participate in the Wisconsin Conference Outdoor Ministry and the Lakeland College Endowed Chair campaigns. The Wisconsin Conference in trying to establish an endowment for the damps and camping program. We are blessed with Pilgrim Conference Center on beautiful Green Lake and Moon Beach Camp just outside of St. Germaine. Lakeland College is trying to establish an endowed chair for a faculty member in the area of Philosophy Ethic and Christian Thought in the name of Reinhard Ulrich. You will hear more of how you can participate.
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STEWARDSHIP BY THE NUMBERS: The General Fund as of February 28, 2015, sits with a deficit of
$–11,012. This is unusually large for this time of the year. Over the last six years our deficit has averaged
$–6,254 at the end of February. We need everyone’s help to keep this manageable. The only real difference between last year and this year has been member’s contributions. We have received about the same amount from rent, interest, stewardship programs, etc. but members contributions are down though attendance is close to the same. Thank you for your support. Your contributions do matter!
IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMS AT GRACE: Soon you will see progress on the landscape issues of Grace. We are looking forward to making some changes to the landscape to make us more attractive. Stay tuned.
ASSOCIATION MEETING – APRIL 18TH IN SHEBOYGAN
On Saturday, April 18th from 8:30-3:00 at St. John’s Sheboygan the Northeast Association meeting will take place. We are entitle to 2 delegates besides the pastor. If interested, please contact Rev. Schroeder by April 5th.
Conference meeting – June 12-14, 2015
“Courage in the Struggle” is the theme.
Grace is entitled to 2 delegates besides the Pastor. If interested, contact Rev. Schroeder.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR SERVICE IN APRIL
USHERS: 5TH – 7:30 – Jim/Will Hapeman 10 a.m.—Church Council Members (Communion)
12th 8:00 Marie Boerner Judy Kummer,Dennis Kampmann, Chris Widder
19th Richard Schoneman Deb & Larry Ter Maat, Tiffany TerMatt
26th Paul Green Scott & Ronda Hendricks, Fred Grube
ACOYLTES: 5—Shelby Horth; 12—Molly Montgomery; 19—Paige Kalmerton; 26—Paige K.
LAY READERS: 5—Marge Horneck; 12—Mary Risseeuw; 19—Barb Loose; 26—Betty Musil
GRACE NOTES: Ann & Chuck Ebert
SUNDAY BULLETINS: Richard & Carol Schoneman
FLOWERS: 5 – Easter lilies; 12– Paul and Lynn Green; 19 and 26—OPEN
KITCHEN: Rosemary Lohse and Stacy Harriott
C. Valenstein, B. Kramer, C. Lichtenberg, R. Payne, M. Risseeuw, C. McNitt, K. Groth, P. Grube, P. Gumm, R. Hendricks, A. Rahm, H. Becker, D. Pfrang, S. Grusznski, C. Kleeman,
N. Dummer, M. Bogard, J. Homiston, P. Linck, P. Preder, D. Pilz, P. Forkner