Gift of Grace receives SO many gifts from our neighbors!

Karla’s 2017 photo of our hen with her egg in the crotch of our cedar tree.

Making friends with neighbors and simply being in relationship with them here and now is a way of lifting up Christ for our neighbors. True relationship means humbly and gratefully receiving the gifts our neighbor offers. Gift of Grace receives SO many gifts from our neighbors!

Our nearest neighbor Karla Meursing, is a dear friend to Gift of Grace who has been quietly supporting Gift of Grace projects for several years. She has been most involved with the chicken project. She LOVES the chickens. In addition to having her own flock, she helps take care of ours every single day, feeding and watering them and generally keeping an eye on them.

Karla is an artist. So, she makes art out of her chicken interactions and shares it with us. Here are some art projects she has shared with us. Give thanks to God for Karla and the gifts she freely shares with Gift of Grace.

When we first got chickens Karla was taking an online art class. She befriended an artist in Germany, Saskia Elze, and told her all about the chickens and their adventures. This led to the creation of this book, based on actual chicken events: The True Story of Blackface’s Night Out.  

Saskia drew the pictures and wrote the story. Then sent them to Karla via the internet. One of Karla’s art forms is book binding. So she printed the pictures out and created them into a book.  Some of the pictures show her binding work. 

By the way, to honor Saskia Elze’s work please note: pictures and story are copyrighted.

 

In a little henhouse there lived four hens and a rooster.
The biggest hen was called Big Red Bertha.
The rooster’s name was Cocky.
He was very young and a dashing and all the hens had a crush on him,
most of all Blackface, the smallest hen

One evening Big Red Bertha hissed menacingly at Little Blackface,
“You’re too small and ugly. Cocky will never like you!
And he won’t find worms for you anymore either.
You’d better leave before he throws you out.”

Blackface was devastated and ran out of the henhouse.
She didn’t see where she was going and she felt all alone

Night fell. It was cold and Blackface didn’t know what to do.
She cried big, hot tears and it seemed
like no one in the world loved her.

Suddenly she heard a familiar voice calling her name.
It was Cocky and he had been looking for her all over
because he liked her best all hens.

When Blackface realized that he liked her she was overjoyed!
Together they went back to the henhouse.
They sat down on the roost side-by-side
and huddled against each other.

Big Red Bertha was furious that her plan hadn’t worked.
Cocky was very cross with her
and didn’t give her a single worm for a whole month.
Little Blackface stayed with him and never ran away again.

(The End)

Karla’s binding!

 

Karla’s drawing of the building and food forest from Summer 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Feast on Thanksgiving Day

You are invited to a Thanksgiving Feast at Gift of Grace on Thanksgiving Day.

GraceFeast’s own chef, Matthew Shea, is teaming up with a we.org service club from Redmond to serve this feast.  Matthew has worked with this crew in the past. They have even cooked and served meals here, for example, last Christmas.
Two mom’s from Redmond, Diane Baron and Kelli Landers, started their own after school service club through the we.org organization when their kids were in 3rd and 5th grade. They are now 8th and 10th graders. They wanted to encourage kids to learn the joy of service early. This is the goal of we.org. Each year this club is committed to 1 local and 1 global service project, but they do more. They connected to Matthew when they were volunteering at Facing Homelessness. Diane rejoices that Matthew has been been an inspiration to her kids as they have gotten to know him over the past 3 years. They now count him as a friend.
I rejoice too, because getting to know one another across socio-economic status is exactly the spirit of GraceFeast. Jesus broke bread indiscriminately. We want to follow his lead and experience the joy he promises.
I will send out the details of the time and menu of the Feast when they are solidified, but for now, mark the date and give thanks for God’s reconciling work in the world. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. (Psalm 34:8)

New hens and new friends

Beloved in Christ,
I am writing to celebrate with you the arrival of 2 new hens, joining our other 4 hens. The best part of getting these new hens is that they were given to us by a neighbor family. One of the main reason for having Gift of Grace Urban Farm, of which the chickens are a part, is to encourage interaction with our neighbors. So, we give thanks to God for Nancy

Adams Treder and family for gifting us these hens. We can also give thanks for Molly Donavan and those who manage to the FaceBook page “Buy Nothing: Wallingford.” This page is dedicated to helping neighbors gift things they would otherwise toss out, as well as being a platform for letting neighbors know about items you might need in the event the someone can gift it to you instead any of us buying MORE STUFF!  Nancy posted her hens on the page. I saw the post and we connected. Before calling me, she read most of our giftofgrace.org website to learn who we are.

We also received this lovely table for Little Castle Preschool from the “Buy Nothing: Wallingford.” page!
In more chicken news, about a month ago a band of marauding raccoons attacked our next-door neighbor Karla’s coop, killing about 8 hens. A few nights later they attacked our coop and killed all Karl’s chicks.The chicks were in our front coop pending their transition to Karla’s back yard with her other hens.
We discovered how the coons got in our front coop and solved that issue. The next night or so they attacked our coop again and this time got in the back coop, killing one of our hens before Karla heard the ruckus and come to the defense of our remaining hens.
How that coon got in our back coop remains a mystery. We went over every inch of it and could not find a point of entry. We nevertheless fortified the coops. Since then we have had no more coon visits that we know of. We hope it stays that way.

Child Of God? How? Sermon on 1 John 3:1-3

Without an act of God all “child of God” talk is empty, deceitful flattery. But in Christ it is for real! Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for sinners is God’s act that allows us to be called children of God. And that is exactly what we are! Let’s live so as to bring honor to the family name.

Follow this link to read the full sermon for All Saints Sunday, November 5, 2017

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzUS6de-7f6WZVJqTFduaFcxMzA

Follow this link to listen to the mp3

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzUS6de-7f6WbkN3UzZOR0FTWW8

Reformation message — Stop trying to make something of yourself. Let God be God.

Those who sin will only ultimately experience God as a threat, as a judge. Only God can make peace with God & freedom in God a reality in your life and mine. Otherwise all God talk is deception & manipulation. As Jesus says “only the Son can make you free in reality”. Luther taught the Church to stop trying to earn peace with God, to stop trying to make something of ourselves, to stop avoiding God & God’s judgement, and instead, to simply let God be God. Let God be the God, God wants to be for you & me — the God who God is in Jesus Christ. This God alone is the Savior God. And is your Savior.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzUS6de-7f6Wa2I1ZE5fRXV4aVU

Refurbished sign

Beloved Friends,
Rejoice with me that a mundane but very important task was accomplished with gusto! Wendy Berry, Pat Fritz, and Dietrich Biemiller, sanded and vanished our beautiful wooden sign that stands on the corner of 40th and Meridian. This sign has not had this much love for many years and it was in need. It has stood at its post faithfully for about 20 years, inviting the neighbors to worship. 
 
Now that it is sanded and varnished, the wood grain stands out remarkably, reminding me of when it arrived from Ecuador all those years ago. At that time Gretchen Cohan sketched a picture for the sign on a regular piece of 8 ½” X 11” copy paper. The paper was taken to a village of wood carvers in Ecuador and a few months later the sign arrived here. It looks exactly as Gretchen sketched it… except bigger… and wooden. The sign was paid for by the Northwest Washington Synod. Thanks be to God for all the hands that brought this sign to us. And thank
s be to God for the willingness of Pat, Wendy and Dietrich to steward this valuable tool for lifting up Christ.
 
Peace and power to you from Christ,
Pastor Jami Fecher  
BEFORE                                                                        AFTER
              

BEFORE                                                                                                AFTER

 

Jesus’ “gotcha” — Pentecost 20 sermon, Matthew 22:15-22

The first thing that stands out in today’s story is that Jesus pulled a really good “gotcha” on the Pharisees’ disciples & the Herodians. Don’t be smug about Jesus’ gotcha on these religious leaders. It is for your sake — intended to getCHU! To call you to repentance. To call you to invest yourself, your heart, your concern, in the valuable things of God, rather than in the urgent, pressing things of this world, which seem so important, but are truly nothing but vanity and vapor.  The coin used to pay taxes to the emperor is imprinted with the emperor’s image, but your heart is imprinted with Christ’s image at your baptism.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzUS6de-7f6WZmVldUdMZmk2WE0

Pentecost 19 sermon, Matthew 22:1-14, the marriage of Christ – the happy exchange

Whatever else this difficult passage says, know for certain that we are here today at the wedding banquet, celebrating our Lord Jesus’ marriage to the church. This marriage is called the happy exchange, in which Christ marries himself to all our weakness, misery, and shame, while marrying us to all his grace, love, forgiveness and joy. Let your faith cling to this reality above everything else. Let it guide your heart as you look at the other, more violent and scary images in this parable. Because God’s Word never wants to say anything else to you than Jesus Christ crucified for the justification of the ungodly. Everything is in service to that.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzUS6de-7f6WSUI1TzY2V3oxb00