Dear People of Grace

June 10, 2020

Dear People of Grace,

Sunday last, June 7, 2020, we reopened for worship.  At the 10am service, 63 people entered the Sanctuary.  Well below the 25% capacity metric.  25% is applied to “Phase 1”.  The Governor declared “Phase 2” to be in effect on Friday, 6/5.  “Safe Practices” were in full play – social distancing, no bodily contact, no singing, no refreshments/fellowship, conversations in parking lot, out of doors.  My estimate is that 85% of people wore masks.  Speaking of masks –  a huge “Thank you” to Wendy Knafla and her mother who made over 35 masks, during this time of being furloughed.  The masks have been donated to Grace as we reopen, and they are available in “Connections”.  “Thank you” Wendy!

Nadine Anderson, member of Grace, Synodical Parish Deacon, and “Director of Christian Education” at Grace for the past 19 years, has announced her retirement.  In a letter dated May 29, addressed to Pastor and Council, Nadine states “With a heart full of joy, I am retiring from my position of Director of Christian Education, effective July 31, 2020.  My tenure of 19 years has been filled with blessings, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve God and you in this ministry.”   We will miss Nadine’s presence on staff.  I WILL MISS NADINE as a colleague and co-conspirator; but…Nadine is not going anywhere!    She and Jeffrey will remain in Tampa, and Nadine will continue to share her gifts as a Synodical Deacon, through worship, liturgy, preaching and Wednesday morning Bible study.
“Nadine – you have been a blessing to Grace!  We applaud you, and give thanks for your many gifts!”

As COVID 19 continues to be a part of our daily reality, the ELCA is responding in many ways.
At the local level the “United As One” appeal provides grant money to congregations which are struggling.   Grace, Tampa has been blessed by your faithful stewardship. 

We will be giving support to this program soon.   Stay tuned.  More to come!  You are encouraged to give financial support.

Another opportunity is to support ELCA World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response.  We can help neighbors around the world with our gifts to

To see videos of families and communities at home and abroad go to

Finally, this Sunday June 14, Lois Sorensen – member of Grace, Seminarian, and presently Intern @ Emmanuel Naples, will be with us in worship. 

Lois and I will craft a “Dialogue Sermon”.  Stay tuned!!
It will be a fun morning, and a great joy to see Lois again. 

Til then…

Be safe.  Stay healthy.  Wash your hands!!!!   And God bless you.
        Pastor John


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