From the Pastor’s Desk: December 2017

Dear Grace Community,

God took on flesh and entered our world many years ago.  Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the world changed forever.  Death no longer has power over us.  And yet, we see death around us.  And so, we wait for Christ’s return and the time when all of creation will be redeemed.  Every year the season before Christmas, the season of Advent, gives us a chance to name this.

Living as a Christian in this place between Christ’s resurrection and return is challenging.  On November 5 worshipers were killed in their sanctuary in Southerland Springs, TX.  A horrific event like this raises questions for us as Christians and raises practical questions for us at Grace.  We are called by God to offer hospitality and not to fear, yet we also know that we have to be responsible and safe.

At its November meeting the Board of Trustees spent time addressing security.  Earlier in the year the board appointed a sub-committee to work on policies and procedures for Grace, including security, so we were already moving in this direction.  The shootings in Southerland Springs prompted more conversation and some immediate action.  Several trustees and our Executive Pastor Martin Burch will attend a church security event put on by the United Methodist Church in early December.

At the time I’m writing this, the session has not yet met for its November meeting.  The session will also engage in conversations about safety and security here at Grace.  If you have specific questions or concerns I encourage you to talk to me or to anyone on session or trustees.  I will list their names and term years at the bottom of this letter.

Join me this Advent season in hope and prayer as we await Christ’s coming.

In Christ,


Grace Session: Cindy Dethloff ’17, Jerry Juhnke ’17, Janet Rhoads ’17, Anne Woolsey ’17, Tom Bloxham ’18, Shelley Duncan ’18, Steve Hooper ’18, Hal Pluenneke ’18, Bruce Gealy ’19, Emily Juhnke ’19, Kelly McFall ’19, Laurie Mulford ‘19

Grace Trustees: Betsy Bloxham ’17, Jim Grannis ’17, Tom Rhoads ’17, Norman Tice ’18, Bob Ross ’18, Christy Vavra ’18, Scott Eads ’19, Francie Ekengren ’19, Betsy Sweeney ‘19

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