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The News of Grace

Volume 35, no. 2 February 2012

WHAT WONDROUS LOVE IS THIS?


(Jesus said) This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide. (John 15:12-16a) This month we celebrate Valentines Day, the day that is set aside on the secular calendar to exchange cards and gifts as an expression of our love to someone who is near and dear to us. I trust that all my brothers in Christ here at Grace have February 14th marked on your calendar. If not, please do so!! Most of you have an idea what it means to celebrate Valentines Day. Chocolates, flowers, special gifts, cards, dinners and the like are appropriate ways to show our love to our spouse or to someone we want to be our spouse in the future. We also celebrate the day with our children and grandchildren with gifts and simple exchanges of I Love You, or Be My Valentine. The 22nd of this month we will also observe Ash Wednesday as we once again start our yearly Lenten journey to the cross where we see the greatest expression of love ever shown for all of mankind. February could easily be called Love Month, and we have an opportunity to express our love to those who are near and dear to us and to Him who has made Himself near to us through Word and Sacrament. His Word is an epic account of His love for us and His Sacraments are the gifts that He gives to us sharing His love with us by giving us forgiveness and life. The hymn by the same title of this first page finds the author contemplating the wondrous love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. According to most sources the author of this hymn remains anonymous, though there are a number of different writers who have this work attributed to them. During this season of Lent we once again are given an opportunity to reflect upon this wondrous love as we will hear the words that Jesus spoke from the cross and apply them to our lives.

As Ash Wednesday approaches I invite you to recall what the Lord has done for you and intentionally plan to come and join our Lenten journey as we consider this years mid-week Lenten theme: Words of Life from the Cross. As I invite you to do so I am reminded of what Jesus said to Peter, James and John as he found them sleeping when He was praying at Gethsemane. Jesus said, So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weakSleep and take your rest later on. (Matthew 26:40b-41, 45b) How about you? Can you find an additional hour for reflection upon the greatest expression of love ever shown? Do you need to be reminded of your greatest need and Gods greatest gift? If you have been uncommitted lately or for quite some time, Lent is a great opportunity for you to recommit yourself to Him who, by grace, chose you to go and bear fruit that will last. As we rejoice in the wondrous love of God in Christ Jesus shown to each one of us we recall Jesus command for us to love one another as He has loved us. As we express our love toward those who are near and dear to us we also need to be reminded that we are called to love those who are not, even those who are truly unlovable. That is not easy to do, is it? In fact it is very difficult. We know that sin has brought brokenness into our lives and sometimes we are reluctant to show love for others or even have love for others. Showing love to those who have wronged us puts us in a very difficult situation. Yet through the work of Christ Jesus for us, that is exactly what God did for you and for me. The context of the Bible passage for this letter to you is Jesus declaring Himself to be the true Vine. At the same time He tells us that we are the branches. Remaining in Christ enables us to bear fruit. Those good works and acts of kindness in Jesus name are the direct result of being in Christ. Our good works, done in faith, show forth our love for Him who loved us so wondrously that He gave His life for us. Dont forget to show your love to those who are special to you this Valentines Day. As another Lenten Season begins the end of this month, dont forget to show your love for the Lord. He has made you special in His sight. He loves you unconditionally. For some of you that may mean returning to worship, while for others it may mean increasing your time of worship, devotion and prayer. It might mean reconciling yourself with someone you have struggled to love lately. It could mean sharing more of your time, talent and treasures sacrificially in response to our Lords sacrifice for you which represents the greatest love! Pastor Walter

This years Mid-Week and Holy Week Lenten Series:

Director of Parish Music


February 24th is the due date for our second child. That means that we will, by the grace of God, be having our second child baptized sometime in the next month or two. So I have baptism on my mind. As a matter of fact, its a good thing to have baptism on your mind on a regular basis, especially your baptism. For in your baptism God made you His child by giving you faith and thereby working forgiveness of sins, rescuing you from death and the devil, and giving eternal salvation to you, who now believe this through faith. So here is a spectacular baptism hymn that tells more about the wonderful sacrament that is Holy Baptism.
God's Own Child, I Gladly Say It 1 Gods own child, I gladly say it: I am baptized into Christ! He, because I could not pay it, Gave my full redemption price. Do I need earths treasures many? I have one worth more than any That brought me salvation free Lasting to eternity!
2 Sin, disturb my soul no longer: I am baptized into Christ! I have comfort even stronger: Jesus cleansing sacrifice. Should a guilty conscience seize me Since my Baptism did release me In a dear forgiving flood, Sprinkling me with Jesus blood? Satan, hear this proclamation: I am baptized into Christ! Drop your ugly accusation, I am not so soon enticed. Now that to the font Ive traveled, All your might has come unraveled, And, against your tyranny, God, my Lord, unites with me!

WORDS OF LIFE FROM THE CROSS


The theme of this series is the seven words of Christ that He spoke from the cross as He offered up His life for the life of the world. These words of Jesus are well known even as they show how God So Loved the World. That verse of Holy Scripture is a part of the Gospel in a nutshell, John 3:16. The extent to which God showed His love for us is echoed in these words of our Lord from the cross. Each word imparts a blessing and is a word of Gospel. The sermons and devotions in this series will expound on these words of Christ, linking them to Jesus words and works recorded in the Gospel as well as the Old Testament prophesies that pointed to Him. Each word of Christ proclaims and delivers something about Him, the Word Incarnate, and delivers His saving death to us that we would trust Him for forgiveness, life, and salvation. Ash Wednesday February 22nd The Pardoning Word
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)

LSB 594

Lenten Midweek February 29th

The Promising Word

Truly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. (Luke 23:43)

Lenten Midweek March 7th

The Faithful Word

Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? that is, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? (Matthew 27:46)

Lenten Midweek March 14th

The Compassionate Word

Woman, behold, your son! . . . Behold, your mother! (John 19:2627)

Lenten Midweek March 21st


I thirst. (John 19:28)

The Suffering Word


3

Lenten Midweek March 28

th

The Dying Word The Remembering Word The Fulfilled Word

Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit! (Luke 23:46)

Maundy Thursday April 5th Good Friday April 6th

(1 Corinthians 11:23-26) It is finished. (John 19:30)

Death, you cannot end my gladness: I am baptized into Christ! When I die, I leave all sadness To inherit paradise! Though I lie in dust and ashes Faiths assurance brightly flashes: Baptism has the strength divine To make life immortal mine. There is nothing worth comparing To this lifelong comfort sure! Open-eyed my grave is staring: Even there Ill sleep secure. Though my flesh awaits its raising, Still my soul continues praising: I am baptized into Christ; Im a child of paradise!
1991 Robert E. Voelker. Used by permission: LSB Hymn License .NET, no. 100011479.

THOSE WHO SERVE in FEBRUARY


ACOLYTE SCHEDULE 8:15 a.m. Worship Service Elisabeth Graf 10:45 a.m. Worship Services Maxwell Baker Ash Wednesday Service February 22nd Acolyte Emily Junkans Crucifer Perryn Andrews Lenten Service February 29th Lauren Faulkner USHERS SCHEDULE 8:15 a.m. Worship Services Jim Keppels team 10:45 a.m. Worship Services Tim Sweeneys team Ash Wednesday - Feb. 22nd - 7:00 p.m. Gary Goldsbys team Lenten Service Feb. 29th 7:00 p.m. Roy Bullards team CANTORS SCHEDULE 8:15 a.m. Worship Service Paul Walter 10:45 a.m. Worship Service Jeff Ralston COMMUNION ASSISTANTS February 5th 10:45 a.m. Service David Faulkner February 12th 8:15 a.m. Service Gary Proud February 19th 10:45 a.m. Service Terry Eustice February 26th 8:15 a.m. Service Ralph Olsen Ash Wednesday February 22nd 7:00 p.m. David Witte GREETERS SCHEDULE 8:15 a.m. Worship Services Bill and Anita Allaben 10:45 a.m. Worship Services Larry, Faye, Melanie & Bradley Stillman Ash Wednesday Feb. 22nd Debbie Penny Lenten Service Feb. 29th Debbie Penny ALTAR GUILD SCHEDULE 8:15 a.m. Service Lori Dumont and Angie Proud 10:45 a.m. Service Judy Rivers Wednesday Mid-Week Services - Suzanne Raddle and Wilma Richter If you are unable to serve please ask someone to fill in for you and then call the church office.

Peace in Christ, Nathan Beethe Director of Parish Music

LITTLE ROCK MARATHON March 4th


The Little Rock Marathon will be held Sunday, March 4th, beginning at 8:00 a.m. with the race route going past Grace. Both lanes of Lookout will be closed and one lane of Kavanaugh from downtown to Hillcrest will be closed. The best route to the church will be to go east on Lee to Beechwood, turn left on Beechwood going across Kavanaugh to Hillcrest. Turn left on Hillcrest and come to the church. Coming from the west on Cantrell, you can also take Kavanaugh to Hillcrest and very carefully turn left onto Hillcrest. Please proceed with care.

ECDC News & Notes


Well here it is almost February and not a snowflake in sight. Must say this has been a challenging winter but the best child-care staff in the city state country no world have has answered the call and made the time fly by! February is all about valentines, ground hogs, where we live, Presidents, shapes, and colors that seems like a lot for a short month, but we are all about being busy! And, of course, we will celebrate Valentines Day with pajama parties and dances! Our kids will be making Valentines Day cards for special friends in our church and the community so if you know someone who needs a little-pick-me-up, let me know and well make sure they get one of our special cards. Something new this year, we are officially celebrating Fat Tuesday with our very own Mardi Gras parade and festivities should be a th hoot! Well also have a Staff Development Day February 20 to take our First Aid/CPR class and sort of get things spruced up for Spring. Jesus Time will find us learning of Gods love. In John 13:34 we find Jesus words love one another as I have loved you. He not only told usHe showed us in many ways! Well re-hear several of our favorite Bible stories. Zacchaeus who was a wee little man (and we are wee little people). Jesus cared enough for him to come to his house, and He cares for and comes into our hearts! (Luke 19:1-10). Well also learn the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10: 25037) we all need to be reminded about being a good friend; and about some of Jesus miracles one of our favorites is Jesus feeding over 5,000 people with just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. As we wrap up the month the Lords Prayer will be our focus as we learn how Jesus taught us to pray. Cant remember if I had already shared this if so Ill brag again ECDC has earned a Level 2 certification (Level 3 is the highest) as an Arkansas Better Beginnings facility! Better Beginnings is a voluntary quality rating improvement system for licensed child care and education facilities in Arkansas. Minimum licensing regulations primarily address health and safety issues. Better Beginnings, however looks beyond minimum standards, evaluating the elements of high quality child care and early education experiences. During the Better Beginnings certification process, we were assessed in five areas. 1)Administration 2) Administrator and Staff Qualifications and Training 3) Curriculum 4) Learning Environment 5) Child Health and Development. Again hats off to our staff for doing a wonderful job of preparing and impressing the evaluators!

Anyone have a VCR or VCR/DVD combo they would like to donate to ECDC? While we have some DVDs for our special movie times most of our selections are VCR tapes and wed really like to have one more unit it would make Friday afternoons much happier! If anyone has one to share please give me a call. Oops Im way out of room and didnt get to draw a Valentine Just remember with God in our lives every day is filled with HIS LOVE thats better than any valentine! See ya again next month, until then Gods continued blessings to each of you

Colleen

Painless Ways to Support Little Rock Lutheran Education!


Many of you already take advantage of company programs that provide financial incentives for Grace Lutheran ECDC and Christ Lutheran School that dont cost you any extra money for that we all say THANK YOU! These programs are really an untapped resource that benefits Lutheran education in Little Rock by providing funds for all type of budget needs! And all the programs are very user-friendly and simple - some only require scissors! Following are programs used by one or more of our Lutheran schools please consider this painless way to support Lutheran Education in L.R.!

Kroger Gift Card Program


used by ECDC
Heres how it works: - Buy a $5.00 Kroger Gift Card from ECDC (also available in the Church Office) for $5.00. - Take it to any Kroger and recharge it with any amount between $5.00 and $500.00. You may use cash, check, bank debit, or major credit card; and recharge it over and over. The card may be used for any purchase at Kroger with the exception of Money Orders, Western Union, Postal Stamps, and/or Lottery Tickets. - At check-out just use your Kroger Gift Card as your grocery money! - ECDC receives 5% of every recharge and receive a check every time the total reaches $5,000!

General Mills
Box Tops for Education
used by Christ Lutheran School

Campbells Labels
used by ECDC & Christ Lutheran School
Heres how these work: - Remove box top for education labels from General Mills containers (ie Cheerios, Betty Crocker), and/or ENTIRE LABEL WITH UPC CODE from Campbells products (ie soup, juices). - collection boxes may be found on the bookcase next to the bridgeway or the entry area of ECDC. - Box Tops for Education provide monetary support for the CLS Band, Campbells Labels are turned into credit toward purchasing supplies and equipment for both ECDC and Christ Lutheran School.