Weekly Devotions May 25th 2018

A teacher of the law came to Jesus by night. After Nicodemus told Jesus that he’d heard some of his teaching, seen some of his healing and knew Jesus was connected to God, Jesus interrupted him. Before Nicodemus could ask Jesus a question, Jesus shared an answer. “You must be born anew–born of water and the Spirit.” the late J.I. Packer (not from Green Bay) said, “Once you become aware that the main business you are here for is to know God, most of life’s problems fall into place.” Being born of the Spirit is allowing God to help us make life-giving changes in our lives. Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). If joy, abundance, or a lightness of heart have quietly slipped away in your life, Jesus still whispers across the centuries, “invite the Spirit in to help you start fresh.”

This Sunday, of course, we’ll take some time to remember those who have served our country and have gone on to heaven’s shore. But, we’ll also be inviting God’s Spirit to come into those places in our lives where we need rebirth and transformation. Please pray for the service and those who will be attending before-hand. Pray for any who are feeling the need for a fresh start, release from weariness, or a renewed sense of purpose. If you have the chance, read John 3:1-3–and ask God to show you where God is offering newness in your life.

Blessings,

Pastor Roger

Church Leadership

Our Church Leadership

Our Church thrives because of the energy and style of the people who are a part of our leadership. Here are a few of the people that make our church community special:


                Roger Grafenstein - Pastor

            Pastor Roger and his wife Chele are entering the empty nest

            phase with two grown children--a 25 year old daughter and an

            20 year old son.  They share a passion for seeing the beauty in life:

            growing flowers, appreciating nature, and seeing God's image in

            others.

On Pastor Roger's office wall is a plaque:  "The Pastor's Study - You are welcome here.  Within these walls each word is safe, each burden gladly borne, and each blessing gladly shared."  Such is the work of ministry and worship leadership--creating safe, sacred times and spaces that are sanctuaries where we are reunited with the God who made us.  In these worshipful settings we are renewed to love and serve God's people and and creation.  Telling the stories of God's loving, healing presence in our everyday lives is Pastor Roger's passion.  Learning to live and love like Jesus and encouraging others to do the same is his daily goal.  By following Jesus we are transformed on the inside and become part of transforming the world into a place where God's kingdom comes on earth as it is in heaven.


     Del Larson - Certified Lay Minister

Del is assigned by the District Superintendent to assist where needed at Grace UMC.  Del isn't a paid staff person, but he did work through a series of prayer and study modules designed for personal spiritual growth and leadership development.  Del was a key person in completion of Grace's Picture Directory, in creating a new way of organizing Grace's Rollag Fundraiser, and this year was the Vacation Bible School storyteller.  Del also arranged for Grace to be the HERO drop off site in Moorhead.  If you have unused medical equipment you may drop it off at Grace UMC and HERO will then distribute the items to those in need.  Del is focusing his ministry on visitation with the elderly and coordinating volunteers to serve meals at Churches United every 5th Wednesday.  Outside church Del has been highly involved in Moorhead's Special Olympics.  Del and his wife LuAnn are lifetime Moorhead residents, proud of their church and community.

Staff

  Office Administrator - Sondra Vick

Sondra has her finger on the pulse of Grace's congregational life--as keeper of the calendar and organizer of seeminginly endless information.  If you have a question regarding any administrative portion of Grace's Church life, Sondra will have or will find the answer to your question.  Sondra also compiles Grace's newsletters, readies Sunday bulletins and PowerPoints, and is at the center of most of Grace's correspondence with members and the community.  Most important, however, is that Sondra will always greet you with a smile and a gracious willingness to help you get the information you need or spread the word for a Grace project you're a part of.  You'll find Sondra in the office M 9 AM - 2 PM and T- F 9 AM - 1:00 PM.

Choir Director - Kyle Schwartz

                                              Choir Accompanist & Bell Choir Director - Sharon Fangsrud

 

Music is an integral part of my spiritual life – I would be lost without it. My church life began back in my home town in South Dakota in a Baptist congregation, where, as a young girl in junior high, I began playing for Sunday School and youth group, "moving up the ranks" to play for the Sunday morning church service and accompanying the choir as well as soloists and small groups. I inherited the love of music from my loving Grandfather (who I was blessed to be able to accompany often) and Mom (who was the first pianist when the Baptist church was organized in Milbank), and I will be forever grateful to them for the encouragement they gave to keep going. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with many musically talented musicians. It has been their love and ministry that has inspired me to share my talent and carry on their ministry – through singing, playing piano, or directing the bells. I pray that my ministry will do the same for others.

Prayer Focus

Prayer for those who struggle to believe the best each day because their lives are
going through a season of struggle. Pray for strength a day at a time and a step
at a time.

First Mile Mission

First Mile Mission Giving begins in all UM Churches with
Apportionments: ‘A Portion Meant’ for mission. Grace’s 1st Mile
Mission Giving Goal is $20,460 or $122.00 each member based on
a membership of 168. Generous givers are already Paving The way
to meeting that goal, with $2,538.02 given to date.

2018 Offutt Scholarship

Applications for the 2018 Offutt Scholarship are now available. These scholarships are available to members of Grace UMC and their families for post-secondary education for the coming academic year. Applications are due in the office by June 1, 2018. The applications are available in the Church office and at the Church Website. If you have any questions about the Scholarships or about the Grace UMC Endowment and its activities, please contact Paul Anderson.

Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up

Third Sunday in Lent

CALL TO WORSHIP:

Psalm 19:1-3, 7a
The heavens tell the glory of God.
The majesty of the cosmos signals God’s handiwork.

Day by day, God speaks in a myriad of ways.
Night by night we are reminded there is an order beyond our imagining.

Look around. Rivers and streams, mountains and valleys, prairies and forests,
They do not use words, but they speak of God’s greatness.

Listen deeply. Waves crashing, birds singing, leaves rustling, all testify to God.
The laws of the Lord are perfect—reviving the soul.”

We gather to learn of God’s ways.
We gather to be filled with life and love, joy and compassion. Amen.

GOSPEL LESSON:

John 2:13-22 (CEB)

The gospel of John places Jesus’ cleansing of the temple almost at the very beginning, instead of at the end, of Jesus’ ministry like in the other gospels. John’s gospel is also the gospel that says, “God so loved the world that he gave his only son.” John wants to make it very clear that God is a giving God—in contrast to a world that is all too interested in taking. This passage invites Jesus’ followers to cleanse themselves and follow him into a life of blessing others.

Message:

Be Cleansed—Share God’s Blessing