News Letter


G R A C EAmazingGrace!



J U L Y 2 0 1 7

“Seek, Welcome, And Serve All in Christ ”


When we think of words that describe our life of faith, “surprising” is not usually among them. The Northwestern Ohio Synod of the ELCA has, as part of its vision statement, “expecting to be surprised.” When I was a few months into my service at Good Hope in Bucyrus, this expectation came up as the bishop and I began to discuss how my status as an “employed” leader in the church could be changed to a “called and ordained” pastor. I never thought that I would be driving halfway to Lake Erie to finally live out the calling to ordained ministry that I had first experienced almost fifteen years earlier. I was, indeed, surprised at where God took me.

God has been surprising God’s people for eons. Last week’s alternative Old Testament lesson was Genesis 18:1-15, the story of Abraham and the three “visitors” at the Oaks of Mamre. This text is often talked about because it reflects the importance of hospitality, but it also contains one of the great surprises in scripture. The strangers announced that Sarah and Abraham would have a son, even though they were elderly! Sarah laughed at this news, but gave birth, in due time, to Isaac (whose name means “laughter”).

The surprises run throughout scripture. Virtually all of the Old Testament prophets seem to be surprised to be speaking for God. Mary was surprised to be visited by the angel Gabriel and even more surprised to be told she would be the bearer of the Son of God (“How can this be?”). After his efforts to persecute the small groups who were following Jesus after his resurrection, Paul was sur- prised to find himself bringing the Gospel of the risen Christ all over the Roman Empire (“Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me has not been in vain.” 1 Cor 15:8-10)

The greatest surprise of all is Christ’s resurrection. Everyone who thought that death would be the end of Jesus’ ministry of healing and hope was surprised by the empty tomb that Easter dawn. Death did not have the last word. Life and love did. The disciples were surprised again fifty days later when the rush of the Holy Spirit drove them out to proclaim the risen Christ and his kingdom. Followers of Jesus have been surprised ever since by the grace of God that forgives our sins, welcomes us into the kingdom, and sends us out (sometimes to odd places!) encouraged and empowered to share the good news of that kingdom.

This summer, keep your eyes open for ways God may surprise you.

God’s Peace,

Pr. Chris

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The Green Corner

Sponsored by the Green Team

The Environmental Price of the Border Wall

Adapted from an interview for Earth Share with Dan Millis, Borderlands Program Coordinator for the Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter

A few American politicians have been clamoring to expand the border wall lately. That has many conservationists thinking about what the environmental impacts might be.

What does the US-Mexico border look like today? How did it get that way? Our borderlands are beauti- ful. We’re talking about a region that spans 2,000 miles, the majority of it along the Rio Grande, and the rest of it cutting through some of the most remote and biodiverse landscapes on the continent. The US-Mexico border looks like the columnar cacti of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, the bustling cities of San Diego, Tijuana, Ambos Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, El Paso, and the beautiful faces of the good people who live here. Today’s border line was drawn by the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, intended to make way for a railroad across the southern US. But where there’s no river, the line is arbitrary, and it cuts across communities, tribal nations, forests, mountains – entire eco- systems. So building a wall on that line causes many problems. Right now we have 354 miles of the border where steel or concrete walls have already been constructed. An additional 300 miles have vehicle barriers. There are several drones, dozens upon dozens of surveillance towers, hundreds of aircraft, thousands of vehicles and more than 18,000 Border Patrol agents. The costs are enormous and the footprint is huge.

What’s the biggest misconception you encounter about the border? People think the border is a bunch of sand dunes that have been overrun by drug smugglers. Our border communities facilitate legitimate cross- border trade that supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in the US and Mexico. And the wildlands in between these communities are prime destinations for tourists and wildlife enthusiasts – places like Big Bend National Park in Tex- as and the San Pedro River in Arizona and Sonora.

What are the environmental impacts of the current barrier? What are the human impacts? Border w alls block wildlife migration, fragment wildlife habitat, and block the natural flow of water, which can result in floods, erosion damage – in fact, the wall itself has been knocked over by floodwaters several times! Studies identify many species impeded by the walls, including puma, coati, desert bighorn, jaguarondi, even reptiles and birds (example: the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl, which flies low and avoids clearings and high obstacles). It’s important to under- stand that walls on the border were built without consideration for basic environmental protections like the Endan- gered Species Act and the Clean Water Act.

How is the recently proposed border wall different than the current physical barriers? There is no dif-

ference between the proposed wall and existing border walls. Building a solid concrete wall across an 800-mile land border full of mountains and canyons, and then down the middle of a 1,200-mile river, is not going to happen. In- stead, the plan is to build steel walls, about 20 feet high, made of closely spaced posts so that Border Patrol agents can see through. Along the river, pro-wall politicians clamor for concrete ‘levee-walls’ that isolate animals from much-needed water, or entrap them when the river floods. These are the same walls we have today, the walls that block nature.

Sole Hope is a ministry headquartered in North Carolina that sponsors a clinic in Uganda that performs foot washings and jigger removals for children who suffer from painful sores from sand fleas or jiggers. Once their feet are washed, and the jiggers are removed, they are provided a pair of shoes made from jean material with heels made from recycled tires. Sole Hope hires Ugandans to sew the shoes together providing wages for local people.

During the month of July, we will be taking a monetary collection to help sponsor the shipment of supplies to Uganda as well as collecting items needed for the Care Kits used to remove the jiggers and treat the children’s feet.

Monetary donations can be put in the collection bowl at the back of the sanctuary. There is a box in the fellowship room with a listing of items needed for the care kits: Large safety pins, medical gloves, band aids, alcohol wipes, gauze wrap, triple antibiotic/Neosporin cream, child strength pain medication, medical tape, stickers for children.


Birthdays & Anniversaries

Come and celebrate on July 2nd...

6th - Isaac Lutz

11th - Brian & Christena Lutz

9th - Julie Barnosky

20th - Jim & Julie Barnosky

12th - Amy Chooljian


19th - Panna Flower


26th - Pastor Chris


30th - Billy Saxton


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Heartland Nursing Home Service


Centerburg Pointe Song Service

Join us on Sunday, July 9th as we worship with the residents at Heartland Nursing Home at 1:30pm followed by a Song Service at Centerburg Pointe at 2:30pm.

'Fishing for People--Evangelism for all the Baptized' workshop July 15 led by Pr. Katie Kerrigan

'Evangelism' can be such a scary word until we get to the root where we find 'evangel,' which simply means 'good news.' We all like to share good news: a job promotion, a high turn out for an event, a clean bill of health, a wedding, a long awaited grandchild. No one would have trouble or hesitation sharing these tidbits of good news, so why should the Good News of Jesus be any different? Come to the July 15, 2017 workshop led by Pr. Katie Kerrigan and find out how easy sharing the Good News really can be. It can even be fun! Really.

'Fishing for People' is designed for all baptized members of our congregations and of other denominations, not just the ordained or specially trained. You’ll receive real-world, hands-on training and tips you can take back to your congregation to share, plus meet others from our mission territory who also want to share the Good News in their communities. You’ll walk out of this workshop excited and prepared to ‘fish for people’ and will have made a few new friends in the process.

'Fishing for People, Evangelism for all the Baptized' is scheduled for Saturday, July 15, 2017 from 11am – 2 pm at St Johns Lutheran Church, 141 S Ludlow St, Dayton, OH. Lunch is provided. A $5 donation to cover lunch is requested.

This workshop is open to people of all denominations. You are encouraged to invite friends, family, co-workers and neighbors for this special evangelism event!

Please RSVP to St Johns Lutheran Church by Monday, July 10 @

About the presenter...

The Rev. Katie Kerrigan serves the Southern Ohio Synod Mission Territory as Director of Evangelical Mission (DEM) and is an Assistant to the Bishop. Before joining the Bishop’s staff, Pastor Kerrigan served in both a rural three-point parish and a small town parish in southeastern Ohio, both wonderful experiences in partnering with disciples committed to following Jesus and participating in God’s creative and redeeming work in the world. She has a passion for sharing the gospel and helping others do the same.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. Romans 1:16

Learning Gardens Open House

Saturday, July 22nd - 10am-2pm

771 E Main St, Newark

Come out and explore many different types of gardens such as Annuals, Perennials, Herbs, Pioneer, No Till, etc.

There will be people on hand to answer any questions you may have about your garden or plants. Refreshments will be available along with a food truck and music. Admission is free!

Join us for a relaxing 2 - 2-1/2 hour float down the Mohican River! We will be heading to Camp Toodik for canoeing or kayaking (your choice) on Saturday, July 22nd. We will be carpooling from the church @ 9:00am. Possible stop for lunch afterwards.

Sign up on the bulletin board by Sunday, July 16th.

Contact Deb Stewart for additional information.

Cost: $23/person

Children 12 & under are free when riding along with 2 paying adults.

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Lay Eucharistic Minister Training and Commissioning

We are Stronger and Better Together: Joining Jesus in the Restoration of the World!

Your ministry to the homebound is a vital link between not only your congregation and the homebound member, but also with the greater Church. When you bring communion to those who are unable to physically be present at a worship service, you bring the body and blood of Christ and all that it represents with you. You bring to life the concept of the priesthood of all believers.

To make sure this vital ministry is available to all homebound members of your congregation, the Southern Ohio Synod will host and lead its 2nd training and commissioning service for Lay Eucharistic Ministers on Saturday, July 22, 2017.

As many members from your congregation who are willing to be a part of a Lay Eucharistic Ministry are invited for a very special day of learning, sharing and sending forth in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Date: Saturday, July 22, 2017

Date: Saturday, August 5, 2017

Place: Peace Lutheran Church

Place: St Paul Lutheran Church

231 Harry Sauner Road

104 Main Street

Hillsboro, Ohio

Roseville, Ohio

Time: 10 am until 1 pm with lunch

Cost: $5 to cover lunch (bring money with you the day of the event)

The Faculty: Bishop Suzanne Dillahunt, Rev. Jeff Wick, Rev. Bob Abrams and new DEM, Rev. Katie Kerrigan

RSVP by July 17th (for July 22nd) to Pr. Jeff Wick at

RSVP by July 31st (for Aug 5th) to St Paul Lutheran Church at

The Sound of the Speed of “Whoa”: Listening to your Soul through Music, Movement, and Meditation - in the Presence of Horses!

When: Saturday, July 29

Time: 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Where: Gilgal Farm, 2928 Eckert Rd SE, Lancaster

Co-Facilitator: Robin Cummings, Healing Arts, LLC, LMT,

Yoga Instructor

These ancient hills are alive with the Music of the Spheres! Come away on a quiet summer evening to this peaceful place for a contemplative time of personal reflection and spiritual restoration. “Whoa” down in the humming, green world of Lilly and Beau, the incredibly resilient one-eyed horses, Music, a very expressive elder mare, Amarah, their sweet Arabian pasture mate, and the frisky barn cats. Learn how to listen to the rhythm of your soul from a deeper, more resonate well of Healing Gong Meditation, Sacred Sound Vocalizing, drumming and gentle yoga. Slowly walk the labyrinth, leisurely stretch and allow your body to unfold, and feel the musical vibrations lift your spirit. Then fan your burdens and desires into flames at the closing fire ceremony!

Details and registration at or call 740-625-5661.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who donated items and baked goods for the annual yard sale. We were able to raise an additional $165 to go towards the upcoming costs for the youth convention.


Come plant apple trees with

Lutheran Men in Mission!

Lutheran Men in Mission extends an invitation to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation by planting some apple trees with your fellow Lutherans at Lutheran Memorial Camp on July 29.

Planting will begin shortly after 9 am. If you want to help, email David Drumm at and bring a shovel or two.

Lutheran Memorial Camp is a Lutheran Outdoor Ministries in Ohio camp located at 2790 State Route 61, Fulton, OH.

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Picnic with the Pets

Sunday, October 1st

We will be hosting our second annual gathering with our neighbors and community for a fun-filled afternoon. If you would like to be a part of this festival, please plan on attending the July 19th Fellowship/Outreach Meeting @ 6:30pm @ Grace. If you want to help but can’t make the meeting, please let Sandy know.

We will be discussing the comments & feedback from last year and making plans on what we want to do and ways to improve on last year’s event.

Local MaƩers

The Fellowship Commi ee would like your feedback and level of interest in par cipa ng in a cooking or gardening class at Local Ma ers. Local Ma ers leads hands‐on cooking classes, gardening workshops, and conversa ons about food and culture in their CareSource Community Kitchen. All are welcome regardless of ability to pay or skill level. Local Ma ers partners with healthcare providers to offer healthful food educa on and complement exis ng programs trea ng chronic diseases. They also advocate for providers to take a "food as medicine" approach to care.

Everyone is welcome, regardless of ability to pay or skill level. Classes are pay‐what‐you‐ can basis. Market value is $25 per class. Par cipants must register online to confirm a seat.

Family friendly classes: Children ages 5 and up are welcome with a par cipa ng adult. Children younger than 5 years old may be accommodated.

Some classes offered include “Brunch for Dinner” on July 25, “Ten Dollar Challenge” on July 20, “Fall Gardening” on August 3, “Cookout Classics” on August 16, and “Taco Tuesday” on August

29.Classes are held at the CareSource Community Kitchen (Local Ma ers) 633 Parsons Avenue, Columbus, OH, 43206, from 6‐7:30pm, doors open at 5:30pm.

If you have an interest in this type of event, please let someone on the Fellowship CommiƩee know: Sandy, Deb, Don, Julie, Tina or Pastor.

Notes from the May 28th Council Meeting:

Pastor’s Report: She will be on vacation from July 16th through the 23rd.

Trustees: Several people have approached the trustees requesting the purchase of property that sits along the bike path.

Treasurer: Average weekly giving is below our budgeted amount. Offerings collected during our community

services were sent to ISS: $241 - Ash Wednesday; $143.35 - Maundy Thursday.

Notes from the July 25th Council Meeting:

Pastor’s Report: We are looking at having a Healing Service on Tuesday, August 1st @ 6:30pm in Memorial Park to coincide with the annual Pelotonia bicycle ride. She is looking into putting together a Young Worship Toolbox for Dean & Amy to help engage them in worship and guide them on their spiritual path. An intergenerational bible study on the Lord’s Prayer will be held on the first or third Sunday in August. She spoke a little about becoming designated as a Reconciled in Christ community. This will be discussed further as to what it means and what we need to do to accomplish it.

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J U L Y 2 0 1 7


Notes from the June 4th Semi-Annual Congretational Meeting:

Pastor’s Report: We will begin a new Adult Study on the book “Practicing Our Faith” on Sunday, June 18th. A discussion was held regarding our worship service - the possibility of live music and/or the return of the contemporary service which led to the questions “What is God calling us to be as a worshiping community” and How do we get there?” Pastor would like to bring in the Synod’s Director for Evangelical Mission to help us look at ways to grow in the community.

Trustees: Completed projects: Roof was replaced, Crown molding was installed in fellowship room, Back door lock was rekeyed and tightened, Ceiling in the sanctuary was fixed and painted, Land survey has been received.

Treasurer: We sent $606.46 to the Synod for our giving. We sent $736.88 to ISS from money collected for the Souperbowl of Caring, Sub Sale, Ash Wednesday collection and Maundy Thursday collection. We spent $5,881 on the new roof. A second $10,000 investment was setup with Nationwide.


Constitution - Changes made by the ELCA will be incorporated into our current constitution to bring it up to date. Old Time Farming Festival - We will have our corn booth again this year. Tina will look at getting one of the

Action Teams grants through Thrivent.


Founded in 2008, Pelotonia was established with the objective to fund life-saving cancer research. Pelotonia is a three- day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism. In its first seven rides, Pelotonia raised more than $106 million for cancer research. Thanks to its generous funding partners, Huntington Bank, L Brands Foundation, Peggy and Richard Santulli, American Electric Power Foundation, Nationwide Insurance, Cardinal Health Foundation, Harold C. Schott Foundation, Pelotonia is able to direct 100 percent of every rider-raised dollar to cancer research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

We have 5 members who will be riding in the Pelotonia bike ride on August 5th. Any and all support is appreciated. You can donate online at

Rider ID: MD0069 - Monica; CD0097 - Christelie; SD0157 - Sophie Dunlap; KG0153 - Tina Gall; KG0154 - Kevin Gall

Worship Assistants








Sandy Bell

Don & Rosemary Grube

Panna Flower

Deb Stewart

Sandy Bell


Sandy Bell

Sandy Bell

Rosemary Grube

Panna Flower

Sophie Dunlap


Deb Stewart

Sandy Bell

Don Grube

Panna Flower

Sophie Dunlap


Deb Stewart

Don Grube

Julie Barnosky

Kevin Bell

Panna Flower


Becky Fichtelman

Julie Barnosky

Kevin Bell

Sandy Bell

Angie Martin


Rosemary Grube

Don Grube

Sandy Bell

Julie Barnosky

Sandy Bell


Panna Flower

Deb Stewart

Panna Flower

Rosemary Grube

Julie Barnosky

Cup Bearers

Don Grube

Panna Flower

Becky Fichtelman

Rosemary Grube

Deb Stewart


Panna Flower

Deb Stewart

Angie Martin

Don Grube

Panna Flower


Monica Dunlap

Rosemary Grube

Don Grube

Panna Flower

Becky Fichtelman


Panna Flower

Becky Fichtelman

Monica Dunlap

Rosemary Grube

Don Grube

For biking weather

For Moni-Christelie-Sophie

For the life of Annette Penniman

For the live of Dr Edward Rossi

For the journey

For His comforting Peace



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P A G E 7



Carol Gall

Richard Pitzer




Christopher Gil

Shelby Pruner




Grube Family

Dennis Pyle Jr




Ben Hitchner

Dennis Pyle Sr


Donnie & Family

Our Enemies

Mary Hitchner

Lori Roof



Catherine Baker

Mary Louise Hutson

Jim Stumbo



Mike Bluemel

Tracy Lantz

Laura Webb



Russ Catalfamo

Daniel McSorley

Family & Staff of



Marianne Derr

Catherine Mengini

Congress Members


Laura’s Dad

Family of David Eley

Justin Pettit

injured in shooting


Serving the Neighbor in Charged Times

By Bishop Eaton

These are politically charged times. This very sentence in the presiding bishop’s column is likely to raise eyebrows.

Across this church I’ve heard stories of parishioners disturbed by the Gospel read on Sundays, believing the pastor chose the passage as a critique of the current administration. The Beatitudes seemed to provoke the most attention. In a way this is good - maybe we are all hearing Jesus’ words with fresh ears. But really, the Beatitudes have been the appointed Gospel for the fourth Sunday of Epiphany (year A) for as long as we have been using the lectionary.

In these charged times it’s helpful to consider two things: the relationship between church and state, and how Lutherans participate in civil society. Often we speak about the “separation of church and state.” This principle is usually raised when parishioners feel the pastor (or the synod, churchwide organization or bishop) is being “political.” There is the assumption that the church should only deal with the spiritual and that it should have nothing to do with civil and political life. The First Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The separation of church and state is intended to protect religious liberty and keep the government from interfering in the church.

We Lutherans also cite Martin Luther’s doctrine of the two kingdoms - the temporal and the spiritual. This has been misinterpreted to mean that the temporal realm is inferior to the spiritual realm - or that God, and therefore the faithful, should not be as concerned with the temporal, should not allow the temporal into the church, and really need not be too engaged in the public square.

But our understanding as Lutherans is that the church and the state, the spiritual and the temporal, are both established by God and are both part of God’s twofold rule. When we pray, “Give us today our daily bread,” we are also praying that God send us the gift of good government (Luther’s Small Catechism).

Both church and state are good gifts from God and have been established for specific purposes. The proper work of the church is to “preach the gospel in its purity and administer the sacraments according to the gospel” (Augsburg Confession VII). The proper work of the state is to keep peace and order and to support and nourish the lives of its citizens. And since we confess that God entered human life through the incarnation of Jesus Christ, who took our flesh upon him, we do not have a hierarchy of value that places the spiritual above the temporal.

Active participation in public life and the duty of government to care for its people, especially the most vulnerable, have been part of the Lutheran movement from its beginning. In his explanation of the petition “Give us today our daily bread,” Luther said: “It would be therefore fitting if the coat of arms of every upright prince were emblazoned with a loaf of bread instead of a lion” (Large Catechism). He also wrote that the “second virtue of a prince is to help the poor, the orphans, and the widows to justice, and to further their cause.”

Lutherans don’t withdraw from public life. In fact our constitution pledges us to “work with civil authorities in areas of mutual endeavor, maintaining institutional separation of church and state in a relation of functional interaction.” Lutherans fulfill our baptismal vocation when we show up.

So why are we so tense? I think we’ve been influenced by a divisive culture. We forget that we are one people. I think we fail to recognize Christ in others, whether the other is across the pew or across the world. We forget that we all - whatever our politics - stand under the judgment of God and that only God’s promise of reconciling love in Jesus can save us. Set free by that promise we can find a way to serve the neighbor.

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Grace Lutheran Church








182 W. Houck St.








P.O. Box 876








Centerburg, OH 43011

Worship with Holy Communion





(740) 625-6341


& Children’s Church for all ages












10:30am every Sunday
















































































Ministry Team

RSVP for






Fishing for


Meeting 12pm

Fishing for






People Workshop



















Nursing Home









Service 1:30pm


















Pointe Song









Service 2:30pm


















RSVP for

RSVP for Lay















Kayaking 9am





Meeting 6:30pm













Lay Eucharistic


















Training 10am


















Gardens 10am


















Tree Planting @


Info Due







LMC 9am


Council Meeting







Divine Equines









Event 5:30pm