Habitat for Humanity – Opportunities and Blessings

There are many ways you can help the Habitat for Humanity mission without pounding a hammer! This past year, Habitat McHenry formed a Public Relations / Fundraising Committee. The group meets the first Wednesday evening at 5:00 pm at the Habitat McHenry office. We’re just beginning to organize a bowling fundraiser and other ideas for 2017 are also in the works. We’d love for you to bring your ideas and consider joining this effort! Heading this committee is Barb Swanson, Director of Development. She can be reached at 815-759-9002 or via email at bswanson@habitatmchenry.org. We will provide details early in 2017 on the bowling event – it’s a great time to break up the winter doldrums and, of course, support a very worthy cause.

In October, our Marketing Department at Intermatic participated in a Corporate Sponsorship Day at a McHenry rehab home. It was such a positive experience for all involved – great teambuilding outside of the office and the opportunity to meet the homeowner as well. Faith in action! The homeowner, Bernadette, is a very lovely, appreciative single mother of four children. On Sunday, Nov. 13, volunteers, staff, neighbors and friends of Bernadette were present for the home dedication, applauded the handing over the house keys and witnessed the fulfillment of Habitat’s mission “seeking to put God’s love into action, bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope.”

If your employer would be interested in sponsoring a Corporate Build Day, please contact Barb Swanson at 815-759-9002. During a day on the job site, your team will work alongside a Habitat partner family to help them build their home. Group construction tasks offer great opportunities to strengthen workplace skills. By participating in a Team Build, your team will play an important role in helping to break the cycle of poverty, strengthening our community, and building a brighter future for a local family.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have an All-Grace Construction day some Saturday in 2017? The hours are 9:00am – 3:00pm and everyone who’s ever pitched in has truly enjoyed the experience. Building with Habitat for Humanity provides a unique, fun and rewarding experience for any group. No previous construction skills are needed and Habitat will provide the tools and training you need for success. The minimum age to volunteer at a construction site is 16 years old. Volunteer between 16 and 17 need a parent or guardian signed waiver. Let me know if you have any other questions.

If volunteering at a build site is not your thing, check out volunteer opportunities at the McHenry or Woodstock ReStores, Habitat’s thrift stores selling gently used building supplies, appliances and furniture to the public at greatly discounted prices

Please prayerfully consider helping out one Saturday next year. Contact Rose McGuire (815.245.0566 or springgrove.rose@gmail.com) if you would like to be on a tentative list.

Divorce Care

The next session will begin in February 2017. If anyone is interested, or know of anyone interested, in being on the Divorce Care leadership team, please contact the office.

Contact: Linda Davis 815-347-5982.

Women’s Friendship & Faith – Bible Study Continues

Join us as we study God’s word and share our faith! We meet the second Monday of each month at 7 pm, continuing Dec 12, Jan 9 and Feb 13

Please sign up in the church office or contact Thorey Ellis at (815)675-1170

Women of the ELCA (WELCA) December News

We missed a few of our regular attending ladies and hope to see them back in the near future.

Any new ideas are welcomed and discussed. A few suggestions were brought up but more input has to be obtained before voting on them.

A review was read of any changes necessary for our April Craft-Vendor Fair coming up.

Rita gave a report of her meeting with Pastor Andy, concerning our Bake Sale funds and we decided to give all proceeds to “Pastor’s Discretionary Fund.” Speaking of the Bake Sale, we want to say a BIG THANK-YOU to any of you who donated in any way; Some brought in trays of goodies and, of course, we needed you buyers. It was very successful and we really appreciate all your efforts – about $500 was raised! God Bless each of you.

We look forward to our Christmas Luncheon on Saturday, December 10th at Crandall’s Restaurant in Hebron at 12:30pm. You will be able to order ‘off the menu’ and will be billed individually for what you eat and your beverage. Instead of a grab bag gift, it was voted upon to donate $10.00 from each woman wishing to contribute to a deserving organization or purpose. This is not a mandatory donation. All women of the church are welcome to attend our Christmas luncheon. We are limiting the attendance to the first 30 women. A sign-up sheet is on the revolving bulletin board in the Narthex. A car pool category will be on the sign-up sheet as well. Please fill in all information and write/print legibly. Thanks to Anne Katzenberg for organizing the Christmas luncheon with Crandall’s.

The WELCA ladies are willing to help another committee when asked.

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, January 9th at 1:00pm. If you are in need of a ride, please contact Carol Heuer at 815-678-7516 and she will make sure a ride is provided for you.

WELCA Contact: Carol Heuer at carolh1935@hotmail.com, 815-678-7516

Remember –

Save pull tabs from cans – receipts from Richter’s Market Place – canned goods and staples for the food pantry – warm clothes and gift cards from McDonalds for our homeless in McHenry County, see Curt Bjorklund – sign up for taking a Sunday to serve coffee and sweets after service, see Pat Peterson – our shut ins and those returning from the hospital with a card, a phone call or a visit – our armed forces personnel at home or serving in another country – remember their families and loved ones in your prayers –let’s help and support our vets upon their return to civilian life.

God Bless America

UPDATE: Haiti Disaster Relief Effort

Life has been rough in Haiti since Hurricane Matthew swept through the southern peninsula. A few days after the hurricane had devastated the area near our home base of Les Cayes, they were bombarded with 4 days of intense rain causing swelling of the rivers, waist deep flooding in the city of Cayes and the complete closure of most of the roads and bridges. The immediate need is to secure and reinforce the buildings that are still standing. As many of you know, the proceeds from October’s Sunday breakfast café were donated to help the Haitians. Thanks to Grace members’ generosity of money and tarps, we were able to cover many homes, churches, schools and orphanages to provide a shelter from the weather. Many homes were demolished and people have been housed in local churches and schools. The next phase will be to start rebuilding the structures. A special gift was sent to Pastor and Mdme Pharyl in Plen Matin to help secure their home which was completely destroyed by the storm as was the cement-block church that we built in Plen Matin. While the initial rain wasn’t too terrible (the heavy rain followed a few days later), the wind on the windward side of the mountain was ferocious. The good news is that all the children housed at our orphanages were safely evacuated before the storm hit. Pastor Pharyl and his family are safe.

Gladys will be returning to the United Sates this month for her annual December visit and we will continue to monitor the situation from here. We will continue to accept donations to help our Haitian friends. You can donate to our Haiti mission through our church or you can contribute online toward recovery efforts of Gladys Mungo’s orphanage at www.haitischildren.org. There is a donate button on the left side of the screen as you scroll about halfway down the home page

Please contact Jon Petersen with any questions. Jonpetersen1307@gmail.com

No Outreach Café in December – Enjoy the Day!

We had a nice crowd at the November café and raised about $400 for the Youth mission trip! Thanks for all the donations and hard work of our regular volunteers and youth – they were a huge help!

Our next Outreach Café will be on Sunday, January 22nd from 8:30-9:30. The Café benefits our Haiti Mission, PADS (homeless ministry), Habitat for Humanity and the food pantry. Thrivent Financial also helps support us with ‘seed money’ to buy supplies. To help out or donate food, see Tina Peterson.

Outreach Café Contact: Tina Peterson, tinap59@hotmail.com, 815-678-4335

Meet Bishop Clements December 4th

You’ll have a chance to meet and hear Bishop Clements, newly-elected Bishop of the Northern Illinois Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on December 4th right here at Grace. He will preach at both services and will stay for a ‘meet and greet’ after 2nd service. Don’t miss it!

Stewardship Ministry Report

October 2016 offerings totaled $18,421 for 5 Sundays and the average attendance was 138. Sorry for the typo last month: September giving was $15,274, not $5274!

PADS Homeless Ministry Can Use Your Help?

We partner with St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, which organizes meals and housing every Thursday of the month from October through April. Grace furnishes the dinner and volunteers the FIRST Thursday of every month. We also wash and return all of the bedding used by the guests – anywhere from 20 – 45 people. We are receiving about 10 women as well this year. We would like to provide underwear, socks and warm hats, gloves and scarves to the ladies as well. Thanks to those who already stepped up to volunteer or provide clothing for our guests!
Contact Curt Bjorklund at 815-529-7746 or email chbjorklund@hotmail.com

Merry Christmas to all of my Church friends!

December is a busy time of the year with getting all of my preparations ready for Christmas. While I’m running around I see so many people. I see kids are walking to school that have orange hair, an older person waiting in line at the bank and a lady with her little baby. I think to myself, “Does God know all of the people by name? Do they really matter to Him?The answer is “Yes, we do matter to Him”. The Maker of ALL things has deemed us worthy of His individual attention and love.

Jesus is indeed the answer.

There will be two Christmas Eve Services, Saturday, December 24th – one at 5:00 pm and the other 11:00 pm. There will be no Christmas Day Service. I hope to see you and all of my friends at the Christmas Eve Services.

Here we go a’ caroling, a’ caroling; here we go a’ caroling; all through the town. If you would like to join other Christmas carolers from Church, it will be held on Sunday, December 11th from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm starting from the church parking lot. There are many ways you can assist with this activity by baking cookies (yum this is my favorite), decorating paper bags to put the cookies in (fun activity) or singing Christmas Carols. If you have any questions, please contact Tina Petersen at 815-678-4335.

I love this Christmas saying so I would like to share it with you: “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? We can do it all year round.” Kinda warms me up like drinking hot chocolate. Aahhhhhh!

With winter approaching, below are a few safety tips:

  • Watch for children, especially now that the sun sets earlier.
  • Don’t crowd snow plows. Snowplow drivers need room to operate and they may not be able to see your vehicle on the road.
  • Keep your gas tank full – fuel lines can freeze when gas tanks are less than two-thirds full.
  • Carry a fully charged cell phone and tell someone of your travel plans.
  • Keep an emergency road kit in your car, such as jumper cables, flares, ice scraper, blankets, a first aid kit and don’t forget about the non-perishable food.

I also heard that our new Bishop, Jeff Clements is coming to visit our church on December 4th! He will preach at both services and I just BET there will be extra treats that day. I can’t wait!

Talk to you next month and stay warm. Merry Christmas to all of you !!