Greetings. We just experienced a Holy Week and Easter unlike any we have ever experienced before and likely will not experience again. We were denied the opportunity to meet together in our normal worship environment in the Grace sanctuary. You will note that I said ”in our normal worship environment”, but we were able to worship together in a virtual environment that we had not experienced before. I believe that we were together with a tremendous feeling of our church community spirit as we engaged in the homes of the different participants in the services. It didn’t make any difference in what day and what time of the day we participated in a particular service, we still felt the presence of all the others in our Grace community. These virtual services will continue throughout the social distancing period.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pastor Chris and the staff for all the work that they put into making this happen. And it is not limited to just the conducting of the services. Many of the normal functions of Grace have continued, just not in the church offices but also distributed in the homes of the staff. Normal phone calls have become phone messages and return calls. Email and text messages became the dominant way to communicate. Bills needed to be paid, including payroll, and some routine office functions needed to be continued. Pastor Chris also brought us the Covid19 related videos and is providing the weekly devotionals.

So again to Pastor Chris and both the ministry and admin staff personnel, a big Thank You!  I was not going to single out any individual because all contributed, but I would like to recognize Drew in his countless hours making the technology work. This on top of continuing his ministry studies remotely.

Remember a couple of months ago when we asked you to come to the Sunday service prepared to worship in a cold sanctuary because of the heating shutdown for the new HVAC installation, which was then canceled at the last minute because of forecasted rain? Well, we know the rain came, and came, and came; but now a window has opened and the HVAC installation and Narthex roof repair began this week. The good news is that we will not be there anyway, so no concern about worshipping in the cold. (The Lord has his ways!)

The Grace council has continued to meet virtually using Zoom and has been dealing with decisions needed regarding both the closed Grace church and school campuses. The elementary/middle school has continued with web based classes and the teachers are doing a great job with this format. The preschool was closed and the teachers furloughed for an indefinite period of time.

My main purpose in writing this was to thank the staff for going above and beyond, but I thought some additional updates would be beneficial.  As we continue in this time of social distancing, if you are having any undue hardships, or know of others who are, please contact the church office so that we become aware of the situation and have the opportunity to help where we can.

May God continue to go with you and comfort you during this difficult time. Reach out to someone and see how they are doing and just pass some time together by phone, text or email.
Marlin Golnitz
Grace Council President