March 26, 2020
Dear Family of Grace,
After evaluating the recent Stay at Home order and other current events, all services and activities through Saturday, April 11th are cancelled. This includes Palm Sunday and Holy Week services. We hope and pray that we will return to worship on Easter Sunday. We will reassess the worship schedule after the Stay at Home order is lifted on April 6th. Access to the Church facilities remains restricted, so please contact the Office ahead of any visit. Office staff will be alternating days in the office Monday through Thursday and will be working remotely on the days they are not in the office. Molly is in the office Monday through Thursday and Pastor Phillips is available on Tuesdays. The office will be closed on Fridays. Emails and phone calls will be attended to during the week, even if someone is not present in the office. We will reassess the office schedule after the Stay at Home order is lifted on April 6th. Since our congregational meeting, I have been in regular contact with Pr. Hopman. He is grateful to the congregation for the vote and I am pleased to share that he has verbally accepted the Letter of Call. A lot has changed with the timeline to complete his PhD and he is currently evaluating his commitments and availability to start the call. He and his family have been actively looking at houses in our area. I will send out an update as soon as I have more information. We hope that you have taken the opportunity to use the resources that have been sent via email and posted online. Perhaps you have also taken time to view some past services that are available on our website. I am encouraged by all the kind messages that are shared by our congregation and the updates on how everyone is making the best of this situation. We are truly a blessed family of faith called Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. As always, please contact me or any member of Council with any questions or concerns.
Congregation Council President
March 19, 2020
Dear Members of Grace,
As you are well aware, the coronavirus crisis has caused many churches to cancel Sunday worship, which includes Grace. Although we will not gather for worship on Sunday, at least until April 5th, that does not mean that you cannot worship. On our website www.grace43081.org under the tab Our Church, Our Worship is the bulletin for March 22 the fourth Sunday in Lent, Sola Lectionary Text Study and the Taking Faith Home page. This is a time for you to be creative in your family worship on Sundays. It is an opportunity to have family devotions and share special days together to keep your spiritual life healthy and uplifted. Nothing replaces corporate worship on Sundays, but in this time of crisis, we should avail ourselves of any and all resources to keep our Bible study and worship from suffering. The Holy Spirit will enlighten us through the Word, and Jesus Christ will bless us in our study and worship. Remember that God is with us and will never leave us. We are told in the scriptures 365 times "Do not fear"- one for each day of the year. Fear can grasp us and turn us in the wrong direction. We will get past this- stay positive. This is a time for prayer and an opportunity to spend time together and communicate with one another. Our prayer is that each member of Grace keep healthy both physically and spiritually. This crisis will pass by the grace of God. Please remember St. Paul's words in Ephesians 6:10,
"Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might."
Blessings to all,
Pastor Tom Phillips, Vice Pastor
Molly King, CLM, Director of Youth and Family
March 17, 2020
Dear Family of Grace, After evaluating our current situation, all services and activities at Grace will be cancelled through Saturday, April 4th. During this time, access to the church will be restricted so please contact the church office ahead of any visit. The Rev. Dr. Dan Selbo, Bishop of The North American Lutheran Church, has the following message for our congregation (you can read Bishop Selbo’s full letter at https://thenalc.org/projects/pastoral-letter-on-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/) “The concerns regarding the coronavirus are real. Real lives are being touched, and real lives are being lost, and real people for whom our Lord died are being affected by this pandemic. As bishop, I would encourage you to use your own wisdom in determining what would be best and most well-received in your own setting and by your own people. Talk with the pastors in your area. Reach out to those whose wisdom you trust. Do not be afraid to make changes. Err on the side of good health practices...I would also encourage you to stay well informed of what the health professionals are telling us and to stay in touch with what is happening and being recommended in your own communities...” We are not aware of any issues, but to ensure the safety of our congregation, we will be scheduling a “deep clean” of all areas over the next few weeks. Also, stay tuned for messages from Molly and the Worship & Music leaders on resources available for our use at home. Finally, I have had a few questions on how giving can be accommodated if we do not have worship services. Some have dropped off their giving envelopes and some have sent them through the mail, but I want to remind everyone that we have the ability to give online via our website at https://www.grace43081.org/giving.html. Please consider this option over the coming weeks. As always, please contact me or any member of Council with any questions or concerns.
John Hicks Congregation Council President
Announcements and Updates from the office
This is a resource for announcements and updates from the office and council that occur between VOICE mailings. Most are included in the VOICE and emailed to the congregation as well.
Worship with us
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
100 E Schrock Road
Westerville, OH 43081
Office Hours: 9am to 3:00pm M-Th
9am to noon Fri
p. (614) 882-3026
Our mission is to reach out with the love of Jesus to grow disciples and serve our community.
We envision Grace to be a welcoming Christ-centered community of faith, inviting all, growing in discipleship, sharing in ministries.