St Marks invites you to a Hymn Festival at Saint Mark’s on Friday night, February 5, at 7:30. A great Hymn Festival needs lots of enthusiastic singers of all ages and abilities.
Thanks to underwriting by a generous donor, this event will be free.
William Porter will be our guest organist. He improvises music on the organ with astonishing skill and imagination, and his hymn-playing inspires robust singing. Mr Porter’s appearance is part of St Mark’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of their Flentrop pipe organ.
Parking at Saint Mark’s is free!
A blessed Epiphany to you. Here’s a brief Epiphany Bible lesson.
Throughout the Old Testament Israel lived in the hope that despite their oppression, despite having been forcibly removed from their homes and scattered all over the known world, not ONLY would God their Savior gather them back together, but God would SHINE from them like a great light, so that even their oppressors would flock to them to learn the ways of their righteous God who takes the part of the poor and saves the oppressed. This is the Biblical meaning of justice.
Fast forward to the New Testament. The coming of the Magi (the so called three kings) to visit the Baby Jesus stands as the beginning of God’s Light drawing all nations to Israel (I’m certainly not talking about the political nation, Israel, but about the people God created and gathered, who worship and obey God). In Jesus, those who were not Jews, those who were not part of the people who endured centuries of oppression in order to worship and obey their Savior God, in Jesus even the Gentiles are gathered to worship the God of the Bible. This is a major theme of the New Testament, exemplified by Paul’s words:
“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. ” (Galatians 3:28)
The God of the Bible who shines forth from Jesus is the foundation of all justice, acceptance, inclusion, and all welcome of the stranger, and the “other”, even to the point of G loving the enemies of God and forgiving sinners their sins. This is the Epiphany in Jesus Christ and the reason we remember the magi coming to worship the baby in the manger.
Peace and power to you from Christ,
Pastor Jami Fecher
Please join us for Christmas Eve Candlelight Services, Thursday, December 24 at 7:30pm!
Here is a Gift of Grace farming success to celebrate which you have to look beneath the surface to see. In January 2015 Farmer Micah started the hugelkultur bed (pronounced hoo-gul-culture).
The point of this design, which is described below, is to produce extreme soil fertility, water efficiency, and ease of use. Our hugelkultur bed has already done some great work. It has produced a two inch layer of worm castings on top of the soil under the mulch layer. Worm castings are more or less worm poo and are a extremely rich organic fertilizer.
Micah created the Gift of Grace hugelkultur bed like this: After tearing out and saving the parsonage sidewalk he dug down about 3.5 – 4 feet and
buried large hardwood logs that will break down over a period of approximately 20-25 years adding fertility slowly and promoting fungal life in the soil. Then he laid layers of sod, straw, and leaves, which break down much more quickly and provide lots of food for worms! Worms are one of the biggest keys to fertility in the garden. Next there is a layer of topsoil and finally a very thick layer of much. The mulch protects the soil from drying out or from getting rained on directly, causing erosion. Best of all the mulch provides is more food for worms!
The worms have eaten about halfway through the mulch! There is now a rich layer of worm castings sitting atop the soil. Worm castings are an extremely valuable resource effecting water efficiency, fertility and soil structure.
Learn more about hugelkulture go to http://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur
We invite you to the Second Annual Wallingford Chili Cook Off hosted by Gift of Grace Lutheran Church at 2102 N. 40th St. (Wallingford) on Sunday Oct. 4, at Noon! Come and eat the best chili in Wallingford or be bold! Enter your best chili and let five judges (local Wallingford restaurant owners/chefs and a Gift of Grace member) taste and select the most delicious chili which we will serve at GraceFeast Sunday Dinners*. The First Prize Winner gets bragging rights and the prestige of his or her chili to be used in the GraceFeast recipe book and rotating menu (We’ll serve it about every 8-9 weeks). read more » »
Gift of Grace is hosting a Church Bazaar. Come share a cup of cocoa and consider purchasing fair trade knitwear, coffee, chocolates, and olive oils for your gift giving this season. There will also be fresh baked goods, preserves, and handcrafted novelties. The proceeds from this fundraiser benefit the Fair Trade organizations and Gift of Grace Church through the matching grant “Matthew 25: Neighbors in Need Grant Program” with $0.50 on the $1.00 up to $5000 from Thrivent Financial.
Bazaar Dates & Times
Friday, November 7th 3PM to 8PM
Saturday, November 8th 9AM to 6PM
Sunday, November 9th 1PM to 5PM
The winner of the 1st annual Wallingford Chili Cook Off hosted by Gift of Grace Church was Wallingford neighbor, Dale Levitzke! Out of 6 submitted chilis, Dale’s “Scorpion’s Kiss” Chili took first prize and will be the official chili recipe in the rotating menu for Gift of Grace’s weekly Sunday dinner, GraceFeast. This is a delicious, comfort food themed, homemade dinner for the neighborhood, served at Gift of Grace every Sunday at 11:45AM. www.giftofgrace.org
Beside the bragging rights, Dale won a gift basket with donations provided by Irwin’s Neighborhood Bakery & Café, The Bounty Café (aka Caffe Appassionato) and Fair Trade items provided by Gift of Grace. Chili Cook Off Judges included representatives from Chow Foods’ TNT Taqueria on N. 45th St., Tutta Bella Pizzeria on Stone Way, Irwin’s Bakery & Café on N. 40th St. and friends and members from Gift of Grace.
Come and taste “Scorpion’s Kiss” Chili at GraceFeast Sunday Dinner on Sunday November 16 at 11:45! Congratulations Dale!!
Welcome to the Official Rules Page for the First Annual Wallingford Chili Cook Off hosted by Gift of Grace Lutheran Church located in Wallingford at 2102 N. 40th St. on Sunday Oct. 5, at Noon!
We are inviting residents of the Wallingford neighborhood to prepare their Chili to be entered into this Cook Off where five judges (local Wallingford restaurant owners/chefs and a Gift of Grace member) will taste and select the most delicious and appropriate chili for our purpose.
First Prize Winner earns the bragging rights of their chili to be used in the recipe book and rotating menu for our Sunday Dinner that we call GraceFeast*. This is a free community event where neighbors may also participate by eating chili, GraceFeast Cornbread, enjoying live music and awaiting the outcome of the Cook Off! read more » »
Dear Friends in Christ,
With joy I report three things. Each one deserves more attention, but I want to hurry up and get the news out:
1) We received a $5000 Grant from Thrivent. Give thanks for our partners.
2) Grace Gospel Chapel sold their Ballard building and will be sharing our space and partnering with us in ministry. They will be worshiping on Sundays at 1:30 PM. They move in Aug. 13th and worship Aug 16th. One thing they are bringing with them is their baby grand piano! Pray for Grace Gospel Chapel, and their pastor, Sharon Busch.
3) Little Castle Preschool is doing well and Gift of Grace is receiving income from it. Pray for Adrienne!
Thanks be to God for these sign of God’s steadfast love and care.
Peace and power to you from Christ
Dear Friends in Christ,
The congregation met last Wednesday night to do our due diligence in affirming a budget. The two main reasons we needed to do this were: 1) acknowledge to ourselves our financial picture 2) have an official document to be able to share with any potential mission partners.
Here is what we adopted:
Adopted proposal 7/2/14
We agree that the 3 documents presented (Financial Narrative, Profit Loss Budget vs Actual, Balance Sheet) [attached to this email] accurately represents the circumstances of Gift of Grace finances for 2014, both what has actually happened and the plan forward given our current trajectory.
Peace and Power to you from Christ
Dear Friends in Christ,
At the congregational meeting last night there were nine members present and 2 guests. We adopted the proposal below. We give thanks to God for all who participated and all who held the meeting in prayer. Being just two sentences, the proposal reflects the outcome of the meeting, but not the passion and love that led to the outcome. It also does not reflect the dedication to our mission that was clearly expressed at the meeting.As the proposal indicates, this is the beginning of hard work. The proposal is a necessary but insufficient measure. Please pay attention to upcoming meetings and plan to participate. We need each other to proceed faithfully.
Peace and power to you each, from Jesus Christ
We had a meeting last Wednesday night that followed up last week’s email, the subject line of which read, Very Important Gift of Grace Meeting. About 25 people were present. The Steering Team had very modest goals for the meeting: 1) inform the congregation that the June 15 payroll check for the pastor would be deferred, 2) Acknowledge the need to free up cash immediately and into the future 3) begin a discussion about how to do that.
In our messy, consensus building way we were able to agree to this proposal: Expenses are greater than income so that we can no longer afford the pastor’s salary as agreed. We propose renegotiating the pastoral contract. The Steering Team will call another meeting of the congregation within a week to solidify the details of the renegotiation.
So, you can expect an email in the very near future inviting you to the next meeting during which we will look at the new shape of congregational ministry with the pastor at less pay. There is no requirement that you attended the last meeting to attend this meeting. You can come.
We give thanks to God that we are given the opportunity to invest our whole selves in lifting up Christ for our neighbors and inviting them more deeply into the life of God. It is a blessing to be able to stick together during difficult times while making difficult decisions about how to do this. Thanks be to God for those who participated in this last meeting. When you receive the email inviting you to the next meeting please make the time to come.
peace and power to you from Christ,
Pastor Fecher, Vivian Little, Tim Linnemann
The Steering Team
Give thanks to God for Little Castle Preschool, one of the ministries of Gift of Grace. It has been a somewhat hidden ministry because it’s had a hard time gaining momentum. Nevertheless it has been quietly plugging along and gaining stability through the efforts of the director Adrienne Wilson and the support of Pastor Fecher and congregational neighbor and friend Karla Meursing. Others have also participated, notably Vivian Little and Tims Linnemann and Lemly.
The goal of this ministry is primarily to empower Adrianne to begin a preschool with the intent that it becomes her own independent preschool with its own official 501c3 (non-profit status) by January 2015. When we achieve this goal Gift of Grace will be responsible for helping give birth to a new business in Wallingford. We are helping create from scratch jobs and service. No small accomplishment. This is ministry a good example of our congregational values of risky creativity and trustworthy stewardship. read more » »