2010-2-1 Pastoral

February 1, 2010

Dear Grace Church Family,

A special thank you to all of you for the generous Christmas gift card to my family and me.  We are so thankful for all of you, and our unity as members of the body of Christ.  I hope you will be able to attend worship, our annual meeting, and church family potluck on Sunday, January 31.  We will focus on 1 Corinthians 13, the ‘love chapter,’ and what it means for our life together.

What a difference a month can make!  Who would have thought a month ago that we would be so focused on Haiti right now!  On Sunday, January 17, we raised about $650 for Lutheran Disaster Response in Haiti (100% of the donations go directly for aid – any administrative costs are paid by the ELCA), and we will continue to keep Haiti in our prayers and giving.  As many of you know, Miquette Denie, the director of TeacHaiti and a friend and mission partner of this congregation, has been given the task of heading Lutheran World Relief efforts in Haiti.  Here is a recent email message from Miquette (thanks to Kathy Coyle for this):

Hi, I spent the entire day and night working at a hospital assisting with ortho surgeries this morning around 6am I felt the house shaking very strongly, many people panicked. I am back at school now and I am fine as well.  There is a constant fear, today I truly thought the house was going to collapse over all of us. I hate this feeling of crippling fear, please pray for strength. I will go back to the hospital to help with about 8-10 surgeries starting around 12. I will email you more later.  Miquette

We will also keep our local Food Pantry in mind, especially in February and March.  We are partnering with other congregations in the Detroit Lakes area to fill a semi trailer or two (or more) with donations.  Since the Food Pantry can buy one cubit foot of food for $6 (or one pound for about 14 cents), we will focus on giving and raising money, though of course we will always accept food donations also.

With the leadership of Linda and Tom Hunt, our after-school Wednesday Faith and Fund program will also prepare a meal for The Refuge, a Christian Outreach and Referral Center on 8th Street, dedicated to helping God’s people in times of need.

As we reach out to our neighbors with a helping hand, both here and around the world, we are obeying Jesus’ command to share God’s love.

I invite you on a journey together through the season of Lent.  On Sundays and Wednesday evenings, we will explore the Old Testament faith stories of Ruth, Jonah, and Esther.

Walking with you in God’s amazing grace in 2010,

Pastor Eric Lemonholm

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