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Grace is turning 50-this Sunday, November 15th – A Message from Pastor John

“Did You Know?”…

  • That in 1970, November 12th was a Thursday?
  • 50 years ago the dates, days and numbers of the calendar were exactly the same as they are this year, 2020?
  • 44 families/households were buzzing in 1970, assembling all the necessary forms, documents, legal papers and ecclesial materials to ‘sign the charter’ so as to establish a new Lutheran congregation in Carrollwood, FL?
  • Dick Greco, mayor of Tampa would send greetings, Bishop Royal Yount, and the Rev. Dr. Weant of Southern Seminary would be present?
  • Excitement was ‘over the top’ as people made final plans and preparations!

All of which reminds us of the significance of this year!  Excitement is ‘over the top’ once again!  This place has been buzzing with activity all week.  (Heck – things have been buzzing for months now!)  Choirs are rehearsing, Bell ringers are ringing, a new hymn is being composed, a banner being created, a tree is planted.  Tomorrow and Saturday will be a bee-hive of activity making final plans.

I do not know if there was a named-storm brewing in the Gulf in 1970 but I doubt it.

I DO know that there was no pandemic raging through the towns and cities of America.

I also DO know that the spirit of excitement and enthusiasm to start a new mission was off-the-charts in 1970.  And THAT – Dear People of Grace – is what I look to and am passionate about.  Yes – a ‘church’ is a building. But MOST OF ALL – church is people!  The building (‘church’) just happens to be the place where the ‘church’ (People!) meet.  The mission-spirit, the excitement and enthusiasm to “do God’s work in the world” remains strong; and that excites me.

Get ready for Sunday!   November 15, 2020.  10am. A celebration of 50 years of Grace.  More than an ‘anniversary’, it is a time for re-charge and renewal.  The Chancel Choir will sing (‘virtual choir anthem’); the Joyringers will ring (‘virtual performance’); the Bishop will bring greetings (a ‘virtual greeting’). If you feel it unwise, or unsafe, to attend, please stay safe at home, but DO connect with us, and tune in to Facebook, Grace Lutheran Tampa to share in the day. Not even Covid-19 can put a stop to this.

God Bless each and every household, in this “Year of our Lord two thousand and twenty” and may God bless Grace Lutheran Church, as we enter the next 50 years of Grace.

In Christ and His Love,

Pastor Hillmer

Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood

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