A Message from Pastor John 10/31

Dear People of Grace!
      This coming Sunday is “All  Saints Day” – a time to remember 13 of our faith-community  who have died in the past 12 months. We give thanks for their life, legacy and witness of faith. But personally I am also mindful of the 230,000 Americans who have died of covid in the past 8 months. The National Council of Churches USA (NCC) held a public online memorial service on Sunday, May 24, 2020.  The service: “A Time to Mourn: An Ecumenical Memorial Service for Lives Lost to COVID19” represented 38 member communions ranging from mainline Protestant to historic African American and Orthodox churches.  Noting the pain and suffering felt by so many Americans whose loved ones died alone or were not able to conduct normal funeral services for them, Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, chair of the NCC Governing Board, offered the following statement: “Religious rituals provide unique ways for us to express our feelings and close emotional wounds. Our hope is that by taking part together in this observance, healing will follow in the hearts and minds of those who are grieving.”

     A few other thoughts:

·        Stay safe, healthy, resilient.  The Fall uptick is upon us. Continue with “safe practices”. You know them well by now: wash your hands, wear a mask, “social distance” (6 ft apart).  Be mindful of mental health. Even the everyday decisions can make weary.

·        Grace’s 50th Anniversary is coming!!   November 15, 2020.   A tree planted outside.
A “tree” mounted on the wall in Connections. A hymn and a banner commissioned.
People working diligently to ‘mark the day’ and celebrate as safely as possible.

·        Sundays at Grace.  Even as we consider the re-introducing of Holy Communion at our
Sunday services in the safest way possible, please remember that I am available to offer communion at a personal level by request.  This can be done by scheduling a time with me to come by church through the week.  OR – I am willing to come to your home.Conditions for making this possible are:   +that you are healthy and well, with no signs of illness.
+no elevated temp.    +you have not tested positive.   +wear a mask.   +that you are comfortable, confident and feel safe about this arrangement.    And please know, we are ALL doing as best we know how, staying safe, informed by the science & nature of this virus, all the while doing what is beneficial, healthful and safe – body, mind and soul – as we make our way through the new reality around us. As I said earlier: “Be mindful of mental health” as well as physiological health.  We are complex human beings! – which is both a wonder and  a challenge at the same time.

We need each other.  We need to seek the good of each other. Or in the words of Jesus – the Two Great Commandments are:  “Love the Lord your God; and love your neighbor.”

Have a great weekend!  AND DON’’ FORGET TO TURN YOUR CLOCKS BACK 1 (ONE) HOUR Saturday night!
 Pastor Hillmer

Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood

“Grace is a place of Faith, Hope and Healing for ALL”