News

GRACE  PRESCHOOL Please call Bonnie Sears at the preschool office, 216-529-1081, or visit the preschool website, www.grace-preschool.net, for more information or to set up an appointment to visit the school.

LENTEN FOLDER PROCEDURE If you would like a Lenten folder, you will be able to pick one up on the table in the hallway beginning Sunday, February 11th, which is Transfiguration Sunday.  There will not be envelopes to put them in.  If you are a shut in and would like a Lenten folder, please call Vicki at the church office, 216-221-4959 and she will make sure that you receive one.  Thanks!!

LENTEN MIDWEEK WORSHIP SERVICES February 14th traditionally is known as Valentine’s Day, a day to send those special cards and gifts that express our love for the people that God has placed in our lives.  This year, Valentine’s Day is also Ash Wednesday, the day that we begin our forty day journey that will lead to a cross on a skull-shaped hill and end with the glorious victory of the Resurrection on Easter.  How appropriate that Valentine’s Day falls on a day that will point us to the greatest demonstration of love ever expressed, God’s only-begotten Son giving His life as a ransom for us.  You are cordially invited and encouraged to come and reflect on God’s great love for you during the Wednesdays of Lent. Our services are at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Consider bringing a friend, or even inviting a member of our congregation that you haven’t seen in a long time.  May God bless our time together as we reflect upon what it cost to remove our sin and guilt and to assure us of the precious gift of forgiveness and everlasting life.

MISSION FESTIVAL & AFTER WORSHIP LUNCHEON – FEBRUARY 25TH It’s amazing some of the things that we learned in Bible Class during our observance of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.  Among the things that we learned was the fact that the Lutheran Church is looking very much like Africa.  The fact of the matter is that Africa is where the Lutheran Church seems to be growing the fastest.  For example, in the island nation of Madagascar off the eastern coast of the African continent, there are 4 million Lutherans.  That’s twice the number of the entire Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.  In Togo, one of our SELC Pastors is working as a theological educator in Togo on the west side of Africa.  That theological center exists to train native people representing many of the nations in west Africa to serve their own people with the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Join us on Sunday, February 25th for a special worship service in which we will celebrate the wonderful things God is doing in Africa! At this writing, our Synod’s Department of International Mission is also trying to arrange with Rev. Jacob Gaugert, our SELC missionary in Togo, to be with us via Skype during our Bible Class hour at 9:15 a.m.  With that in mind, if anyone has Skype on their laptop computer, please let Pastor Hansell know.  We would love to connect it to our projector and be able to see our missionary on screen.  A special thank you to the members of the Board of Christian Education, the Sunday School Children & Youth Group, and the Board of Evangelism who are researching mission work in Africa, especially Togo, Kenya, and Madagascar, in order to create educational displays for February 25th.  They will also be making available recipes unique to Africa for an After Worship Luncheon that will be held after the late service.  Please plan on joining us, and even bringing an African dish as those recipes are made available.

SELC DISTRICT CONVENTION CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS Grace Lutheran Church will be hosting the SELC District Convention April 26-29, 2018. Volunteers will be needed for a number of different responsibilities including Transportation, Refreshments and Registrations. If interested, please e-mail Pastor Hansell at grh61655@roadrunner.com or put a note in the Church Secretary’s mailbox. Thank-you.

Be watching the Graceline and the Bulletin throughout the year as calls for volunteers will be made to serve in other capacities. Thank you in advance for your consideration and your willingness to serve.  May God bless our efforts to be good hosts to our SELC brothers and sisters in Christ.

REFORMATION CELEBRATION!! October 22nd was an awesome day!  Pastors dressed in their albs and robes and red stoles.  238 Lutheran Christians from congregations throughout Ohio and western Pennsylvania and representing three LCMS districts gathered at Grace Lutheran Church to celebrate the Reformation truths of salvation by Grace Alone, received by Faith Alone, through Christ Alone, as revealed in Scripture Alone.  An impressive procession that included the processional cross, banners from several of our SELC Central Circuit congregations as well as our own, and Pastors from three districts opened the service.  The organ and choir and wind ensemble and bell choir were inspiring.  The preached Word was convicting and comforting and motivating.  The singing and worshiping brought glory and praise to God!  After the service, many people commented about the beauty and pageantry and sheer joyfulness of the service.

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THE CHURCH OF THE LIGHTED CROSS For over 2000 years, the cross has been the quintessential symbol of the Christian Church.  Adorning altars, stained glass windows, and steeples in churches around the world, the cross has served as a reminder of the One who hung upon it as the Lamb of God that once and for all took away the sin of the world.  The cross forever brings to mind the person and work of Jesus Christ, and brings forgiveness, peace, and joy to those who trust in the crucified and risen Savior. For decades, a lighted cross shone at the top of the former Saints Peter & Paul Lutheran Church building, now Grace Lutheran Church, located right across the street from Madison Park in Lakewood.  But then, the light went out, and for about 10 to 15 years, the cross could not be seen during the nighttime hours.  However, thanks to a generous donation by a Lakewood resident who lives right by the church, as well as donations from the members of Grace Lutheran Church, the cross shines once again.  The neighbor told our church secretary that when she first moved to Lakewood, she knew she was home when she saw the lighted cross.   It can be seen from as far away as I-90 and from the neighborhoods along the Madison Avenue corridor.  Lakewood residents are invited to take note of the cross as it shines daily from approximately 8 PM to 8 AM. May the lighted cross be a source of hope and joy to you!

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