3 Amazing Women

The month of June brings us into the embrace, and recognition of 3 amazing women.

Kelly Wilkerson

“Welcome Kelly!” as we begin this shared journey together. Kelly! – you bring remarkable gifts. We bring opportunities for using your gifts. We at Grace have so much that we can learn from you and the rich, multi-faceted background of your life,  and we believe that ‘faith formation’ will be mutual, exciting and in fulfillment of God’s Purposes, moving us all together forward in faith. Again, Welcome as “Director of Youth & Family Ministry” at Grace.

Joan Beeman

It was in June of 2005 that Joan took up the reins of “Parish Nurse” at Grace Lutheran Church, Carrollwood. For 16 years, she has loved, served, and cared for this community with  excellence, quiet strength, and her glowing smile. We say “Thank You Joan!”. We applaud you!  You have blessed us for 16 years.
***Gather with the congregation of Grace this Sunday as we pay tribute  – June 6.***

Lois Sorensen

2012 was the year that Lois became a member of Grace Lutheran Church; following a “Green Extravaganza” community event we hosted on campus, regarding the environment and “Care of Creation” at which Lois presented a workshop on water conservation and recycling of fresh water (participants  received a voucher for a rain barrel).   Off to the races!:  Council leadership, Green Gardening Group, Diakonia certificate, and Synodical Parish Deacon. Next – Seminary!  Completion of M. Div.

Next Sunday, we celebrate Lois’ 1st Call and Ordination.    June 13th, 2PM.
Come celebrate this milestone in her life,  and give thanks that the Church  is receiving  a capable pastor, talented leader in the person of Lois Sorensen.

                                                Let’s Make it four!            Naomi Osaka

This week Naomi pulled out of the French Open, rather than to engage in the press conferences associated with, and required by, the conference.  She risked her reputation and her year’s training in order to protect herself and her mental health –   a courageous and brave act!            Through my years as Pastor, I have seen and experienced people who say “I don’t know how to say, ‘No.’  (At times, I’ve been one of them!)  I try to point out that every time someone says ‘Yes’, they are actually saying ‘No’ –  ‘No’  to something else; actually saying ‘No’ to one’s self. There is no free ‘Yes.’ By saying ‘Yes,’ one is usually making others happy or comfortable, and typically leaving yourself out of the equation. People do know how to say ‘No’—because they say it to themselves all the time. What they don’t know how to do is disappoint others in order to better care for themselves.  Every person on earth, presents us with an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and grow. 

          May we grow, laugh, love and learn from one another!  -for God has given us each other as gift!! – to learn from, appreciate, and cherish!           Peace to all – Pastor John

Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood

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

                +Here are some helpful suggestions and ideas about ‘how to participate’!+

Especially for those ‘staying safe at home’ and not-yet-ready to return to ‘in-house worship”.

                      Have a Holy & Blessed Holy Week!  Pastor Hillmer

March 28th – “Palm Sunday/Sunday of the Passion”

            PRIOR to service at Grace – service begins outside in parking lot.

    Palm processional.  Begins at south end of driveway to Connections.

    Palms provided OR bring your own!  Palms then placed on

    benches/drive/walkway area outside entrance.  You may…get

    in your car and return home – OR– enter Sanctuary for worship.

    Your choice!  If you are worshipping at home, cut a palm branch from

    your yard or from paper – wave palms when prompted by the ‘crowd’

    online.


AFTER service – all are invited for outdoor fun.  Safety first!!…with

    opportunities for Holy Week/Easter activities. Food, ‘Treasure Hunt’,

    Face-painting, crafts, mixers “in the breeze” and outdoor safety.  AND

    Youth Bar-b-que fundraiser, order forms available in prior eblast and in

    Connections.

April 1st – “Maundy Thursday”

            Services at 12 noon & 7 PM. Sanctuary.  “Foot Washing” – John 13:1-17. 

    This can be modified & simplified to hand-washing. (Most appropriate for

    these days of Covid!)  You may participate at home, by preparing a bowl

    of water and towel, and as the foot-washing passage is read in service,

    take turns in your family washing each other’s hands.

    (live stream available at 7 PM)

April 2nd – “Good Friday”

            Services at 12 noon & 7pm. Sanctuary.  “Tenebrae” = gradual darkening of the Sanctuary, ending in complete darkness.  Dramatic symbolism of the crucifixion of Christ.

    Should you choose to worship ‘on-line’ at home, you can participate by

    having 7 candles ready to light at the beginning of the service.  As each

    candle is extinguished, while you watch online, you do the same.

    You may also want to dim your lights accordingly.  As the service

    concludes in darkness and silence, leave your “home altar” in quiet

    reverence.  (live stream available at 7 PM)

April 4th – “Sunday of the Resurrection” – “Easter!”

            Two services!!    “Sunrise Service” @ 6:30 AM Outdoor.  Youth leadership

                                            “Festive Service” @ 10:00 AM in the Sanctuary

                                                (live stream available at 10 AM)

Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood

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

The Worship Committee along with Fellowship are offering up a wonderful opportunity for our Grace Family to “be together” since we cannot participate in onsite Lenten Dinners this year.

Our Fellowship and Worship & Music committee are asking the Congregation to cook a dish(their choice, from the Church cookbook would be great)and gather around their tables in joy, anticipation, thought, prayer and fellowship with their Grace Family.

We would love to share photos of you and your family enjoying your meal on our PowerPoint during Sunday worship. Please forward them to Kerri, kerris@gracelutherantampa.org.

For our 5nd Wednesday Virtual Lenten Dinner, March 17, Stephen Ministry is sponsoring a gathering encouraging enjoying together salads. Please enjoy your salad favorites or one from the Grace 50th Anniversary cookbook.

Note also “green” salads and Pistachio green for a special St. Patrick’s Day!

PISTACHIO AMBROSIA FLUFF     Page 28

SPINACH SALAD                             Pages 32-33

Stephen Ministry is a national non-denominational Christian care-giving organization. A Stephen Minister completes an extensive number of training modules and is equipped to provide one-on-one Christian care to those who are going through life’s difficult times. The care is given in a confidential and accepting environment.

Galatians 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Also if anyone needs a Grace cookbook checks, $10 can be sent to the church office or Charlotte Hunter, Fellowship, and arrangements made for delivery or mailing.

If any want more details about any of our participating church groups or other opportunities for service and fellowship, please contact the church office.

So Wednesday night let’s eat and be blessed to be a part of the Grace Family!

Our Fellowship and Worship & Music committee are asking the Congregation to cook a dish(their choice, from the Church cookbook would be great)and gather around their tables in joy, anticipation, thought, prayer and fellowship with their Grace Family.

We would love to share photos of you and your family enjoying your meal on our PowerPoint during Sunday worship. Please forward them to Kerri, kerris@gracelutherantampa.org.

For our 4nd Wednesday Virtual Lenten Dinner, March 10, Grace Lutheran Choir is sponsoring a gathering encouraging enjoying together soup and bread. Please enjoy your soup and bread favorites or one from the Grace 50th Anniversary cookbook.

EASY CLOVERLEAF ROLLS Page 103

SCONES Page 108

7 CAN SOUP Page 19

The Choir leads our Congregation during services in hymns and uplifts us with anthems. There are also special offerings during Lent and the Christmas Season.

They are always looking for others to join them and welcome new members to their group.

Psalm 105:2 Sing to him, sing praise to him: tell of all his wonderful acts.

Psalm 95:1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD: let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Also if anyone needs a Grace cookbook checks, $10 can be sent to the church office or Charlotte Hunter, Fellowship, and arrangements made for delivery or mailing.

If any want more details about any of our participating church groups or other opportunities for service and fellowship, please contact the church office.

So Wednesday night let’s eat and be blessed to be a part of the Grace Family!

Ultreia!

Some say it comes from old Spanish, some say old French, but the word is carried forward to us in Latin. “Ultreia” = “let’s keep going”; “onward”; “go beyond”; or even “stay young”!   Word nerd that I am, it comes from the walkers, hikers, pilgrims along the way of Camino de Santiago,  pressing on toward the goal of St. James, Compostela – the most famous pilgrimage of Europe.

(cf. the 2010 movie “The Way” starring Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, Emilio Esteves.)

Today – – Tampa, 2021 in the “here and now”  – –  I say  “Ultreia”!!   Onward!   Let’s keep going! Let’s stay young  as we move through this ‘ol pandemic which can have the effect of wearing us down and wearing us out, even as we stay safe from covid-19. Energized by the excitement and hope of seeing life again overflow with freedom, health, joy, unrestrained movement, we press on toward that goal. Even as we say “Ultreia, Onward”! …vitality is evident right now in our midst.

This Sunday, March 7, our Confirmation Youth will lead us in worship. “Confirmation” is a ministry of the church – the whole church – “to, with and among the youth of the church”.   It is a major piece of “Faith Formation”.  Parents & teachers, Confirmation Leaders (“Thank you” Tim & Janet Wise, Susan Nieland, Carol Gutcher, Sue Mendenhall) all are part of the team.  Yes, even the Congregation (that is “YOU”!)  takes a part in supporting, affirming, modeling your faith, and demonstrating your active participation in the life of this community.  (Nothing really goes unnoticed!)  Together, I – with YOU – help build a community where youth have an essential place; where they can share & use their gifts, demonstrate their faith, and by their pure energy, give vitality to us who may be entrenched or jaded in our faith.

Soo…this Sunday, we welcome our youth!  It will be a ‘hybrid’ service.  Some youth will be “in person”; some will have prepared a video at home, which will be embedded in both the power-point, and online streaming. 

We continue to “stay safe”, keep steadfast with all “safe practices”: wear masks, wash hands, keep a distance of 6’, and sanitize frequently.   To those who have concerns about ‘social engagement’, please live in such a way that aligns with your thinking & feeling. “Freedom of thought and expression” is spoken here!  To those who may be feeling ill or poorly, please stay safe at home!   But wherever we are on the spectrum…

                         ”Grace is a Place of Faith, Hope and Healing for all”.

We will continue to move forward into the future as a community of mutual trust, respect, and appreciation for all.   And “all”  means  ALL!

“Ultreia”!!!    Onward!

Pastor Hillmer

Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood

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

Our Fellowship and Worship & Music committee are asking the Congregation to cook a dish(their choice, from the Church cookbook would be great)and gather around their tables in joy, anticipation, thought, prayer and fellowship with their Grace Family.

We would love to share photos of you and your family enjoying your meal on our PowerPoint during Sunday worship.  Please forward them to Kerri, kerris@gracelutherantampa.org.

For our 2nd Wednesday Virtual Lenten Dinner, March 3, Grace Girlfriends is sponsoring a gathering encouraging enjoying together a Casserole or two. Please enjoy one of your favorite casseroles or one from the Grace 50th Anniversary cookbook.

BROCCOLI/CHEESE CASSEROLE            Pages 39-41

CHICKEN AND RICE                                  Page 61

TATER TOT BAKE                                      Page 94

Grace Girlfriends enjoys meeting together in homes or at the church, enjoying entertainment, speakers and sharing in refreshments. The Fellowship that they enjoy is a gift and a special bond.

They are always looking for others to join them and welcome new friends to their group.

Acts 2:42

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Also if anyone needs a Grace cookbook checks, $10 can be sent to the church office or Charlotte Hunter, Fellowship, and arrangements made for delivery or mailing.

If any want more details about any of our participating church groups or other opportunities for service and fellowship, please contact the church office.

So Wednesday night let’s eat and be blessed to be a part of the Grace Family!

“Let us break bread together”.

The Worship Committee along with Fellowship are offering up a wonderful opportunity for our Grace Family to “be together” since we cannot participate in onsite Lenten Dinners this year.

We are asking the Congregation to cook a dish (their choice, from the Church cookbook would be great)and gather around their tables in joy, anticipation, thought, prayer and fellowship with their Grace Family.

Pictures posted to the Grace Facebook page would be welcome.

This week, February 24, the Homeless in Our Community Outreach Ministry is sponsoring a gathering encouraging enjoying together an Appetizer or two. Please enjoy one of your favorite appetizers, and here are some suggestions from the Grace 50th Anniversary cookbook.

FLORIDA’S BEST GUACAMOLE Page 6

SAUSAGE CHEESE BALLS Page 13

SWEET & SOUR MEATBALLS Page 16

The Homeless in Our Community Outreach Ministry is active sponsoring food drives and providing much needed supplies. They are always looking for others to join them as they go about doing God’s work.

Matthew 25:35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.

Matthew 25:40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Also if anyone needs a Grace cookbook checks, $10 can be sent to the church office or Charlotte Hunter, Fellowship, and arrangements made for delivery or mailing.

So Wednesday night let’s eat and be blessed to be a part of the Grace Family!

“Let us break bread together”.

The Worship & Music Committee along with Fellowship are offering up a wonderful opportunity for our Grace Family to “be together” since we cannot participate in onsite Lenten Dinners this year.

We are asking the Congregation to cook a dish(their choice, from the Church cookbook would be great)and gather around their tables in joy, anticipation, thought, prayer and fellowship with their Grace Family.

Pictures submitted to the office to posted to the Grace Facebook page would be welcome.

This week, February 17, the Grace Executive Committee and Church Council are sponsoring an Italian themed dinner, and here are some suggestions from the Grace 50th Anniversary cookbook.

VEGGIE PIZZA                  Page 17

BAKED LASAGNA              Page 55

CHICKEN ITALIANO          Page 62

If you need a Grace cookbook, mail your check for $10 to the church office or Charlotte Hunter and arrangements will be made for delivery or mailing.

So Wednesday night, let’s eat and be blessed to be a part of the Grace Family!

1 Corinthians 10:31 “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

Charlotte Hunter, Fellowship Chairperson

Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood

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

“What do you do after you win the Super Bowl?”
Well – you bask in the win for a little while – but then life goes on.
Who’s the successor to the GOAT? The question is being asked. I hear
the name Blaine Gabbert a good bit. Thing is…life goes on.
You don’t bask in the glory forever. Glory can make you a little loopy.
Life goes on.

This coming Sunday is “Sunday of the Transfiguration”. Jesus shines in glory up on the mountaintop. In the heights. Peter gets a little loopy. He wants to stay. Doesn’t want it to be over. But it doesn’t last. They come down
from the heights. Life goes on. But the experience is never forgotten.
It has marked their lives. It has become a piece of them.

So also with us. The “Glory Days” that we have experienced and enjoyed
(each one, fill in the blank of what those days are; write your own definition) don’t last forever. But neither are they even taken away. They are with you forever. They ‘mark’ your life. They are a piece of you. Life goes on.

Life goes on here at Grace.
Even as glory days don’t last forever, neither does the pandemic last forever.
Worship goes on. Changed? Transfigured? It goes on.
Quilting goes on. 58 quilts blessed and sent on their way. The “how” is changed.
The process is pieced out, but the stitching goes on.
Stephen Ministry goes on.
Handbell ringing goes on.
Bible Study and Education goes on.
Please be aware and KNOW that life and learning goes on.
Adults! Sunday morning Bible study has not stopped.

From the moments of glory to the ‘every day’; from the heights to the plain ‘ol plains…
God is with us. And we are blessed!

Pastor Hillmer

Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood

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

Wisdom for the ages
With information technology always advancing, with medicine and science always breaking new barriers  (“Operation Warp Speed” was simply an amazing feat!), we tend to think primarily in terms of the “latest and greatest” or “newest is best”. True enough.
But wisdom knows no boundaries of time.  Wisdom never fades.
I’ll simply share some ‘food for thought’ that I’ve come across this week. 

“When someone steals another’s clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to one who could clothe the naked and does not? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the one who needs it; the shoes unworn in your closet belong to the one who has no shoes; the money which you hoard up belongs to the poor.”     – Basil the Great, born in 330 AD, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia

Luther says the same in the catechisms as well, particularly the Large Catechism.
-Martin Luther, born in 1483, Eisleben, Germany
Johannes Bugenhagen, Martin’s pastor in Wittendburg, started a community chest in the town of Wittenburg on this very premise.  

 –Johannes Bugenhagen, born in 1485,  Wolin, Poland
                                                                                                        
Wouldn’t it be great, to put some of the great truths in practice once again!
The ‘greatness’ of Christianity is never easy.  Neither is the ‘greatness’ of America.

The following quote has been making its way around FB attributed to Pope Francis, though originating with Israelmore Ayivor, born in 1989. It too, is good ‘food for thought’.
“Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself, and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves.  Living for others is a rule of nature.  We are all born to help each other…no matter how difficult it is.  Life is good when you are happy, but much better when others are happy because of you.”  

During these times when it is easy to turn inward,  may we hold to the outward look,
embrace the Common Good, and do little things to ‘love our neighbors as ourselves”.   

Reminder:  Please, when attending worship on Sundays,  remember to “sit by the blue marks”.
They have been carefully placed to ensure ‘social distancing’.  We are doing wonderfully well at Grace, and have had no contact spread within our ranks on campus. 

Let’s keep it that way!!!     Thank you.

All the best to each and every one!
Stay safe!  Be well!  God Bless you.
Pastor Hillmer

Grace Lutheran Church at Carrollwood

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