Want updates about COVID-19 and how Grace is safely gathering and worshiping at this time? 
CLICK HERE for the latest from Grace.

Divine Call Extended—Pastor Jacob Behnken, currently serving Good Shepherd in Midland, MI, returned his call to serve as an additional associate pastor here at Grace. The next call meeting is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 8, at 11:45 a.m., following the open forums.

Reminder: Fill Out Long Range Planning Survey—Building off the SWOT analyses that were conducted in 2019 and earlier this year, this survey’s purpose is to help Grace members share what they see for the future of Grace Church in the next five to 10 years. The survey is now live. Details on how to best access the survey can be found at the end of this week’s GraceNotes. 

Annual Open Forum Planned for Sunday Nov. 8—While the Grace Fine Art and Craft Festival has been cancelled for 2020, the annual open forum will still be taking place! Plan to attend either at 9 a.m. or 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, this year in the Great Hall! Discussions for this year’s forum will be congregational goals as well as long range planning.

Grace Adopt-A-Student—Grace is continuing this program that is designed to encourage the faith of our college-bound members. Grace members will write to their “adopted student” at least twice a semester for this school year. Additional notes, care packages, or other ways to offer encouragement and support to students are welcome. To sign up for a student, contact Christie Fischer, clfis29@yahoo.com or Peggy Stone, stone.peggyj@gmail.com.

God Answers the Big Questions of Life: Nov. and Dec. 2020 Sunday Morning Bible Class—Is the end the beginning? The Bible book of the prophet Malachi answers, “Yes!” The end of the Old Testament is the beginning of the New. What a perfect bridge from one to the other—from the end of one church year to the beginning of another, from End Times to Advent! Join Grace in-person or virtually via YouTube for God Answers the Big Questions of Life, Nov. 1 through Dec. 13, 2020.

Nov. 1                      How can we tell if God really loves us?          
Nov. 15                    What is the meaning of worship?
Nov. 22                    What does it mean to be faithful to God?
Nov. 29                    What does it mean to have God as our Father?
Dec. 6                      Why do the wicked prosper?                   
Dec. 13                     What does it mean to return to God?   

Virtual Sunday SchoolThis fall, Grace is continuing virtual Sunday school. To find these lessons, head to Northwestern Publishing House’s YouTube channel, or visit the Virtual Sunday School page on the Grace website (under the Learn and Grow tab). Take home sheets for each lesson are also available—these can be picked up after church in the Parish Center, or delivered upon request. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Drew Carter at dcarter@gracedowntown.org.

Most Certainly True Podcast: New Episodes! Gear up for a brand new podcast with Most Certainly True, Grace’s official podcast! Civil Government, which started Oct. 7, focuses on the book in the People’s Bible Teaching Series from Northwestern Publishing House. This book (along with God’s Providence, a future podcast focus for 2021) are both available for purchase now. Contact Pastor Hackmann at bhackmann@gracedowntown.org to secure yours today!

Moms Group Fall Gathering DatesMoms Group is back for the fall! Currently meeting remotely on Fridays at 9 a.m. via Zoom, this is a great opportunity to connect with other moms while also spending time in the Word and Bible readings for the upcoming Sunday. This fall’s remaining dates are: Nov. 6 and 20; Dec. 4 and 11. Questions, contact Diana Carter at Diana.Marzinske@blc.edu.

First Fridays presents Kyle ThompsonGrace’s free concert series, First Fridays, returns with a performance by classical guitarist Kyle Thompson on Friday, Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. in the sanctuary. Program will include Tansman’s Cavatina, Koshkin’s Two Ballads, and Bach’s Suite, BWV 995. Concert will be available in-person (masks required) as well as live stream via Grace’s YouTube channel.

Teen Movie NightMovie theaters still no closed? No problem! Teen Movie Night is planned for Saturday, Nov. 14, 6-9 p.m. in the Grace Center Great Hall. Due to being inside, face coverings and social distancing will be required. Pizza, snacks, and drinks will be provided (food will be distributed by gloved and sanitized chaperones). The movie will be picked out from a list by those who RSVP. There is no cost to this event; RSVP by Nov. 9 by emailing Drew Carter at dcarter@gracedowntown.org.

Angel Tree—One of Grace members’ favorite Christmas traditions, the Angel Tree, is back! Located in the Parish Center, the Angel Tree is decorated with tags that represent Christmas gift wish lists of children in foster care. These children may not receive any other gifts this year, so please consider choosing a child’s wish list (or two)!

To sign-up in-person:

  1. Choose a tag
  2. Add your name and contact details on the sign-up sheets (next to the tree) that correspond to the tag you have chosen
  3. Buy your gift and turn it in, unwrapped, before Monday, Nov. 30

To sign-up remotely:

  1. Call the office
  2. Talk with Carolyn, Veronica, or Rachel to choose a tag, and they will add your name and contact details to the sign-up sheets that correspond to the tag you have chosen
  3. Buy your gift and turn it in, unwrapped, before Monday, Nov. 30

Gifts can be dropped off at the church office during the week Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., or in the donation bin next to the Angel Tree Sunday mornings. Questions, contact Veronica Brewer at 414-271-3006 or vbrewer@gracedowntown.org.

Poinsettias Available to Order—It is time to order poinsettias to beautify the chancel for Christmas. Please use one of the envelopes provided on the Parish Center counter and deposit it in the box. The costs are $17 (single, 5-7 blooms) or $26 (double, 10-14 blooms); you may choose red or white. Orders for white poinsettias need to be in by Thanksgiving; orders for red poinsettias need to be in no later than Friday, Dec. 4. Poinsettias purchased can be taken home after morning worship on Christmas Day. Please make checks payable to Grace Lutheran Church.

Grace Place Coffee: Open During the Week! Place Coffee is once again open Monday through Friday!
Hours are 7-11 a.m. The shop is currently serving coffee and espresso drinks (hot or iced), teas, smoothies, and limited bakery items. If you work or spend time during the week in downtown or Grace’s neighborhood, stop by and grab a cup and say hi to Paul, our new manager! Look to future email announcements and GraceNotes as to when the shop will resume coffee service on Sundays.

Save the Date for Advent by Candlelight! While it will look different this year, Advent by Candlelight is still happening! Save the date for Saturday, Dec. 5, for Advent by Candlelight, from 3:30-5:15 p.m. in the Great Hall. While masks will be required and social distancing will be taking place, the focus of the event remains the same: preparing hearts through worship and for the Christmas season. Watch future GraceNotes in the coming weeks for more details. Questions, contact Advent by Candlelight coordinator Sarah Egelseer at sarahegelseer@live.com or call 920-285-8775.

Kingdom Workers: Now Hiring—Kingdom Workers is looking to fill two full-time positions, a Data Analyst and a Programs Support Coordinator. The data analyst role can be performed anywhere in the United States; the program support coordinator role will be based at their offices in Waukesha, WI. To learn more and apply, go to kingdomworkers.com/careers.

WELS Military Services—Did you know WELS civilian chaplains only know if members are serving actively if they are registered with WELS/ELS Military Services? If you or a loved one serves in the military, National Guard, and/or army reserve, and would like to ensure and maintain a spiritual and encouraging connection to the church, head to wels.net/ref to register any and all names.


Long Range Planning Survey Now Live!

Dear Grace Members, 

Every five to seven years, Grace gathers a committee of staff, councilmen, and members to start thinking ahead and facilitating long-range planning of congregational goals. We do not undertake this as a pursuit of unbridled ambition, but rather as an honest analysis of where we are, and as an aspirational look to where God's gifts might be applied in the future. 

The long range planning survey for 2025/2030 is now live and ready for your input.
(if using a printed worship folder, type the above link in your browser’s address bar)

You should have received an email with a link to the form earlier this week. If you did not, please contact Amanda Schumacher, Communications Coordinator, at aschumacher@gracedowntown.org to ensure we have your most up-to-date email address on file. You can also find the survey on the Grace website, under the Connect tab (you must be logged into the Member Portal to access the survey this way). There are also a select number of printed versions of the survey in the Parish Center, for those of you without online access.

In addition, we will be texting, emailing, and calling for congregational input in the coming weeks as we survey the members. We want as much feedback as possible as we reflect on the past and set our sights on 2025/2030.  

Please fill out—and submit—a survey before Reformation Day (Saturday, October 31, 2020).

Questions, feel free to contact the long range planning committee via the button below as well.

Thank you in advance, and may God bless your week!

In Christ’s Service,

Grace Long Range Planning Committee