Announcements for 7/5

SUMMER MISSION PROJECT:  We have tables available in the narthex and chapel to receive donations of SOCKS, UNDERWEAR, AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES for the children in need at Harry Abate Elementary School in Niagara Falls, one of our inner city grade schools.  We have checked with their administrators, and yes, they are able to accept our donations.  They continue to have a great need for these items, even with distance learning.  So no matter what the school situation looks like in September, they anticipate that there will be numerous requests for help.  Please remember this mission as you are out shopping, and of course, shop safely (masks, distancing, and wash your hands). 

SPECIAL MISSION ENVELOPES for July & August are designated to support our local food pantries.  As you’ve seen in the news, food pantries across the country have experienced tremendous increases in requests for help since the onset of the pandemic, and our local pantries are no exception.  Your donations in the Special Mission envelopes from your packets, or the Special Mission option online, will be split evenly between Community Mission, Salvation Army, Niagara Gospel Rescue Mission, and Heart, Love, & Soul.  Thank you for your generosity in helping our neighbors.

Virtual VBS information is available at gracenf.org/vbs Registration is due July 15th. Become a Family Outpost today!

We are still providing snacks and crafts for VBS families. If you would like to help supply items, please contact Lacey Bahr (525-5134) for a list of needed items.

We look forward to having you join us for this UNIQUE experience!

Announcements for 6/21

PLEASE DON’T FORGET about your monthly special mission envelopes.  Donations to these projects have decreased while were unable to meet together.  We hope to get back on track now with supporting the projects designated by your Social Ministries Committee.  If you have suggestions for future designations, please talk with any of our committee members or leave a note in Amy Folmsbee’s mailbox.

CAMP PIONEER will remain our designated special mission for June envelopes.  Planning for summer activities is continuing as COVID restrictions change, but it is clear that not all of the usual camps and other activities will be able to proceed this year.  Please note that cabins will be open and available for family units through the summer if you are looking for a peaceful family retreat location.  Pastor Bahr wishes to share that there are hopeful options being considered for the future of our camp.  However, this summer will present special financial challenges because of COVID, so our help is needed to support our camp during the next few months.  If you would like to help keep our camp open, please send your donation to church in your June special mission envelope (or another clearly marked envelope), or donate online under “special mission”.    

SUMMER MISSION PROJECT:  We will have tables available in the narthex and chapel starting in July and continuing through August to receive donations of SOCKS, UNDERWEAR, AND SCHOOL SUPPLIES for the children in need at Harry Abate Elementary School in Niagara Falls.  We have checked with their administrators, and yes, they are able to accept our donations.  They have continued to have a great need for these items, even with distance learning.  So no matter what the school situation looks like in September, they anticipate that there will continue to be numerous requests for help.  Please remember this mission as you are out shopping, and of course, shop safely (masks, distancing, and wash your hands).

Announcements for 6/14

SUNDAY SCHOOL STUDENTS – TODAY IS THE DAY!! All students who attended classes this year received a letter explaining our special end of year Sunday School celebration. It is in our church parking lot this afternoon, Sunday, June 14 – come any time between 1:00PM and 2:30PM. We will have 8 staff cars spread throughout the parking lot, all decorated in different themes, handing out “goodie bags.” Just follow directions when you get there, drive thru in your cars, stopping at each staff car and pick up your surprise. Take them home and enjoy remembering some of the fun times and Bible lessons we had during the past year in Sunday School. Really hope you all have a fun, safe, and healthy summer. And we look forward to seeing you this September. Take care and God Bless!!

CAMP PIONEER will remain our designated special mission for June envelopes.  Planning for summer activities is continuing as COVID restrictions change, but it is clear that not all of the usual camps and other activities will be able to proceed this year.  Please note that cabins will be open and available for family units through the summer if you are looking for a peaceful family retreat location.  Pastor Bahr wishes to share that there are hopeful options being considered for the future of our camp.  However, this summer will present special financial challenges because of COVID, so our help is needed to support our camp during the next few months.  If you would like to help keep our camp open, please send your donation to church in your June special mission envelope (or another clearly marked envelope), or donate online under “special mission”.  

FAMILY OUTPOST VBS.  Your family becomes an “Outpost for Hope” in your community!  It is a three-day program – approximately two hours each day – that includes stories, games, crafts and music. Join us for the three-day event.  On July 27th, 29th and 31st, we will post a live welcome and links to any videos for the day.  Can’t join us live? Click on the appropriate links anytime after they are posted. They will be available for two weeks after their posted date. Visit the VBS page on the church website for more information and how to register.

Announcements for 6/7

CAMP PIONEER will remain our designated special mission for June envelopes.  Planning for summer activities is continuing as COVID restrictions change, but it is clear that not all of the usual camps and other activities will be able to proceed this year.  Please note that cabins will be open and available for family units through the summer if you are looking for a peaceful family retreat location.  Pastor Bahr wishes to share that there are hopeful options being considered for the future of our camp.  However, this summer will present special financial challenges because of COVID, so our help is needed to support our camp during the next few months.  If you would like to help keep our camp open, please send your donation to church in your June special mission envelope (or another clearly marked envelope), or donate online under “special mission”.  

The current COVID crisis is bringing new focus to old challenges regarding estate planning. The threat of illness, disability or death makes real the need to make sure that “wishes” are written down to become “directions” instead. Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor is available NOW to begin working with you toward that plan. The Counselor can meet with you in person or by video conference. Contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ (robert.wirth@lfnd.org) robert.wirth (at) lfnd (dot) org or 716-863-4427.

Announcements for 5/3

MAY SPECIAL MISSION DONATIONS will support Camp Pioneer.  Many of us have enjoyed our church’s beautiful camp on Lake Erie over the years.  Camp Pioneer is still open and has NOT been included in the Erie County closing of campgrounds.  However, they cannot hold large gatherings such as weddings and retreats, which will of course affect their income over the next weeks.  Going forward, their planned activities for this summer may be also affected depending on when groups are allowed to be together again.  Several positive options for the camp’s long term future are being considered.  Our donations are important to help Camp Pioneer weather this difficult time as they consider the choices God is making available to them.  We ask that you prayerfully consider if you are able to help.  If you desire to donate, please mail your special mission donation (clearly marked “Camp Pioneer”) to the office during the month of May.  You may also donate online through our church website, www.gracenf.org.

For what do you want to be remembered in life? For some this is the central question. For the child of God, we want everyone to know Jesus. Do the words of your Last Will and Testament reflect that witness? Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor has resources available to help you craft those words carefully, to give to your attorney to include in your document. For help, contact Robert Wirth, LCMS Foundation Gift Planner @ (robert.wirth@lfnd.org) robert.wirth (at) lfnd (dot) org or 716-863-4427.

Announcements for 4/12

FLOWER ORDERS FOR EASTER that have been received by the office will be published at a later date when we are able to have an Easter celebration with the congregation.

SPECIAL MISSION ENVELOPES FOR APRIL have been designated to support Lutheran Church Charities’ (LCC) K-9 Comfort Dogs and LERT teams (Lutheran Emergency Response Teams).  LCC K-9’s are specially trained dogs who travel with their handlers to natural disasters and other crisis situations throughout the US to offer comfort and reassurance of the love of Christ.  Their LERT teams have boots on the ground within 24 hours of disaster declarations.  LCC has separate fundraising activities to support administrative costs, which means that 100% of your donation will go to support the work being done in the field.  You can donate at Grace’s e?Giving site, or send your donation to the church office during April.

GRACE LADIES RUMMAGE SALE:  If you are spending your time at home sorting and cleaning, please keep the ladies’ annual rummage sale in mind.  They will be setting a date for the sale as soon as events are no longer restricted.  Please save all your gently used items (except clothing) to help make this sale a success.  We cannot currently accept your donations at the church building, but if you can find a corner to store items in your home for the present time it would be greatly appreciated.

AREA FOOD PANTRIES have experienced an increase in requests for assistance over the past several weeks. If you would like to help, listed below are agencies accepting donations of food or checks (they are NOT accepting household or clothing items at this time). Please do NOT drop donations at church–we do not have a means of delivery at present.

  • SALVATION ARMY 283-7697 (7018 Buffalo Avenue) from 9 – 3 daily
  • COMMUNITY MISSION 285-3403 (1570 Buffalo Avenue) anytime
  • HEART, LOVE & SOUL 282-5681 (939 Ontario Avenue) from 8 – 10 or 1-3
  • LORD’S DAY DINNER 284-6973 (1317 Ashland Avenue) needs donations of hams, macaroni, sauce, & vegetables by Friday 4/10 for their dinner on 4/12.

Announcements for 4/5

SOCIAL DISTANCING: In accord with direction from the Governor, we ask that you not stop by the office in person at this time. We’re glad to help you by phone or email until we’re able to get together again.

ARE YOU ON OUR EMAIL LIST? If you haven’t been receiving emails from us, contact the office to add your email to our mailing list. This is one of our primary methods of communication, especially right now!

WE COLLECT STAMPS!  Please consider saving stamps from mail that you receive.  All stamps are needed EXCEPT flag and bell stamps.  Stamps MUST have 1/4″ border of paper around them, so please keep that in mind when you tear or cut them off the envelope.  Our volunteers trim them, and they are sorted and sold by the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML).  100% of the funds they make go toward LWML mission projects.  There is a jar available in our donation center where you can deposit them once we resume worshiping in person.

SPECIAL MISSION ENVELOPES FOR APRIL have been designated to support Lutheran Church Charities’ (LCC) K-9 Comfort Dogs and LERT teams (Lutheran Emergency Response Teams).  LCC K-9’s are specially trained dogs who travel with their handlers to natural disasters and other crisis situations throughout the US to offer comfort and reassurance of the love of Christ.  Their LERT teams have boots on the ground within 24 hours of disaster declarations.  LCC has separate fundraising activities to support administrative costs, which means that 100% of your donation will go to support the work being done in the field.  You can donate at Grace’s E-giving site, or send your donation to the church office during April.

SUNDAY SCHOOL students will receive a letter during the coming week with activities related to Easter.  We are planning an Easter celebration when we are able to be back in session.  We miss seeing you and can’t wait until we are back together again!

CHOIR MEMBERS:  At this point, the plan is to have a joyous Easter celebration when we return to worshiping together, which will include a choir anthem.  In the meantime, keep those voices singing your favorite hymns around the house.  What a wonderful reminder of the blessings we receive daily even in challenging times such as these.  

Announcements for 3/29

GIVING: There are several ways to give while regular services are not being held.

  • Sign up for recurring e-Giving at gracenf.org (click Give Now).
  • Use the GivePlus app
  • By texting the dollar amount of your gift to 833-912-0562, which will take you to a website to complete your gift
  • Call 800-675-7430 and Vanco Client Services will process your credit/debit card or bank account offering.
  • Mail your check to the church office, 736 Cayuga Dr., Niagara Falls, NY 14131
  • In accord with direction from the Governor, we ask that you not stop by the office in person at this time. We’re glad to help you by phone or email until we’re able to get together again.

GREAT OPPORTUNITY FROM THRIVENT: From now through June 30, Thrivent will be matching an extra 50% on all donations made through its Thrivent Choice giving program. That means a $100 donation would become $150 for our congregation! All fees are covered by Thrivent, and it is NOT limited to Thrivent members. Anyone can do it! This special program is unrelated to the normal Thrivent Choice dollar direction. Would you prayerfully consider joining me in making a special donation to Grace of $100, $50, or whatever you can today so that we can continue advancing God’s ministry in our community? To give, go here: https://bit.ly/3aweYXP and search for “Grace Niagara Falls”. Next to our congregation’s name, click “Make a Personal Donation”.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Grace is operating under our Coronavirus Preparedness Plan. Due to New York State regulations, we are now at Stage 4. All events at Grace are cancelled until further notice. Worship will be livestreamed and the church office will be open for any questions. We will continue in Stage 4 until government officials change their order. Please continue watching gracenf.org and/or our Facebook page for more information.

SPECIAL MISSION ENVELOPES for March have been designated to support our Penny War mission, Operation Starfish.  You can still donate this way before the end of March by sending your March special mission envelope (or an envelope clearly marked “March special mission”) to Grace.  You can also donate to special missions online.  Directions are available on our website.  Every $75 raised will feed one starving child for one entire year.

PENNY WAR:  Our Sunday School’s mission project, OPERATION STARFISH, is temporarily on hold.  We will reschedule the last three weeks of activities, including our Loose Change Sunday, when we are able to resume worshiping in person.

LAST CHANCE:  If you have a Thrivent policy or investment, you may have Choice Dollars available from 2019.  Choice Dollars are dollars Thrivent will donate to a charity of your choice, including Grace if desired.  But 2019 dollars need to be designated by this Tuesday, 3/31, or you will lose them, so don’t delay.  Log on to Thrivent and choose “Thrivent Choice Dollars”, then follow the directions to designate Grace or another charity.

WE COLLECT STAMPS!  Please consider saving stamps from mail that you receive.  All stamps are needed EXCEPT flag and bell stamps.  Stamps MUST have 1/4″ border of paper around them, so please keep that in mind when you tear or cut them off the envelope.  Our volunteers trim them, and they are sorted and sold by the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML).  100% of the funds they make go toward LWML mission projects.  There is a jar available in our donation center where you can deposit them once we resume worshiping in person.

Announcement

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE

Grace is operating under our Coronavirus Preparedness Plan, which was sent on Friday to all who receive our newsletter and is also available for review at church. As New York State has prohibited all gatherings of more than 50 people and the White House recommends no gathering more than 10, we are now at Stage 4. All events at Grace are cancelled until further notice. Worship will be livestreamed and the church office will be open for any questions.

Announcements for 3/15

LENT 3: In the third week of Lent, we stare into the “Denying Eyes” of Peter and the other apostles. They could not see how they could ever fall away from Jesus, but after Jesus is betrayed by Judas, ten of them flee, and Peter – when he is spotted by a servant girl and sees that his own neck is on the line – sees fit to deny Jesus, which leads to his own weeping eyes in remorse. We sinners likewise deny our Lord in many ways, but Jesus denied himself to take up the cross for our salvation.

PENNY WAR:  This year we are participating in OPERATION STARFISH through Food for the Poor.  Every $75 we raise will feed one starving child in a developing country for one year.  So far we have raised $83.  Our goal is to raise $1125 which will feed 15 children.  There are several ways to support this mission, including our March Special Mission envelopes, and Loose Change Sunday next week on March 22.  You may also donate your spare change to the Penny War jar which is located on the glass case, or give a donation to one of our Sunday School children for their class banks.  Watch for updates as we continue our project throughout Lent.

SPECIAL MISSION ENVELOPES for March have been designated to support our Penny War mission, Operation Starfish.  If you would like to support our Sunday School project in this way, please place your special mission envelope in the offering plate before the end of March, or donate to “special mission” online.  If you are using the convenience envelopes in the pews, please mark it clearly as “special mission”.

LOOSE CHANGE SUNDAY is next week!  In support of our Penny War, you will have the opportunity to “lose” your pocket and purse change (or dollars) onto the pews at the end of the service.  Our Sunday School students will hunt for your donations and add what they find to their team banks.  This year we have formed a girls team and a boys team, and they are excited to see who can raise the most money.  Our Sunday School will also serve as readers and ushers for next week’s service, and will sing “God Loves Us So” during the service.  

ATTENTION THRIVENT MEMBERS:  If you have a Thrivent policy or investment, you may have Choice Dollars available from 2019.  Choice Dollars are dollars Thrivent will donate to a charity of your choice, including Grace if desired.  But 2019 dollars need to be designated by 3/31 or you will lose them, so don’t delay.  Log on to Thrivent and choose “Thrivent Choice Dollars”, then follow the directions to designate Grace or another charity.

WE COLLECT STAMPS!  Please consider saving stamps from mail that you receive and placing them in the jar in the donation center.  All stamps are needed EXCEPT flag and bell stamps.  Stamps MUST have 1/4″ border of paper around them, so please keep that in mind when you tear or cut them off the envelope.  Our volunteers trim them, and they are sorted and sold by the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML).  100% of the funds they make go toward LWML mission projects.

DO YOU LIKE TO EAT?  Our non-profit, Help and Hope For Homeless, Inc, has a ” Dine to Donate” fundraiser at the Texas Roadhouse in Tonawanda. It takes place on Tuesday, March 17 and goes from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM. You would give our flyer to your server and we will receive 15% of your total food and beverage costs from your bill. Thank you for your support of our fundraiser. Flyers are on the glass case in the fellowship hall. Any questions please see John Loss

GRACE WOMEN’S RETREAT AT PIONEER CAMP. May 1st-3rd. Registration is still open; invite that friend you meant to!  Forms, payments and questions: see Lacey Bahr.

There are additional copies of the Church’s policy and response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Church office.