GRACE NEWS April 2013

Paul's Reflection: Spring 2013  Business As Usual John 21:1019

About three weeks ago I was looking forward to Easter because after that life would go back to being   normal .   Today, if you are a tax accountant, you are probably waiting for April 30 because then you can get back to  business as usual .  If you are a family awaiting the birth of a child, you may be looking forward to the birth date because then you can get your family life  back to a normal routine .  It is normal for human beings to want a sense of stability in our existence, or at the very least some small amount of predictability.  Though transition, excitement, challenge, and novelty might be welcome and stimulating for a while, at some point most of us yearn to have some control over the timetables and agendas of our lives.   

The last chapter of the Gospel of John begins with Simon Peter saying to the other disciples,  I'm going fishing!   

After All they had been through, following Jesus throughout Galilee, incurring the wrath of religious leaders, enduring the agony of Gethsemane and the trial by Pilate, Peter had had it.  The grief of losing his friend and leader was more than he could bear.  And now, though there was excitement that Jesus was still with them, making sense of this was challenging beyond belief.    Peter wanted a return to a simpler time when his life was his own, he was in charge, and things were familiar.  Who could blame him? Fishing was what he did.   The others said,  we will go with you .   

Every once in awhile I hear someone at Grace say  When things get back to normal .  When we are done fundraising.....,  when we have our new  kitchen....,  when we get into the new hall....  the  implication is that at some point we will return to the  familiar, the predictable, to  business as usual .  

Just as Peter didn't really go back to fishing,   business as usual  may be a long time coming for us.  

As I write this, North America is coming to terms with  the Boston Marathon Bombings .  Fear and confusion, and many questions perplex us.  Things have changed.  Yet the world needs hope, and faith, and courage, and insight, as much as we ever have.   Our church offers connection, and inclusiveness, imagination, and compassion, care for people, and care for the world.  The opportunities for building healthier    communities have never been greater.   Our new building project has changed us and will transform our church.    Maybe  business as usual  isn't even what we want anymore.    

Come join in the adventure.  We will learn things about ourselves and our God we never imagined, and we will likely not be the same ever again.  

Have a great Spring and Summer!!      



THURSDAY, May 9 (11 am – 1 pm) Note the change of location: LEGACY CENTRE (5101 – 46 St)

If you can donate food, assist with serving or clean up, call Mary at the Church office at 780.875.8959. There are a limited number of tickets - $10/each – Please call Cheryl – 306-825-7211 or the Church Office.


The Walls Come Tumbling Down  Concert
Featuring: Jason Barnsley

Construction on our new building starts in May so join us on Sunday, Apr 28 @ 2 pm to visit the old church before the walls come down and our new church starts to take form!

Some of our musical youth will warm up the audience and refreshments will be served at intermission.

Tickets are $25/each Purchase yours at the church office – 780 875 8959.


Construction Update:

Many will be well aware of the progress that has been made on our building project but for those who are not, below is a brief summary of developments to date.
October, 2012: Grace United contracted for the services of Berry Architecture and Associates of Red Deer to begin design work on the new facility.  The architects have consulted extensively with the D and D Committee and activity groups in our church to ensure the design is as functional and flexible as possible.  

February 2013: The congregation of Grace United and St. Paul Presbytery respectively approved the design and budget for the project.   

March 2013: Delnor Construction of Edmonton was chosen as the General Contractor.
April 2013:  Design is being finalized and construction drawing being prepared.  Once completed subcontractors will be invited to submit bids.
May 2013:  Remaining hazardous materials will be removed from the structure in preparation for demolition work.

June 2013: Demolition and construction will begin all 2014.  Our contractor indicates that the project should be able to be completed in about 14 months from the start of construction.  

Once construction begins, our access to the site, including the sanctuary, is entirely at the discretion of Delnor Construction. But we have been assured that they will do all they can
to make our sanctuary available for our use as much as is possible during the
construction period.

Garry Cunningham, Les Ellis and Morris Smith will be attending bi- weekly site construction meetings with the architects, engineers and contractor throughout the entire construction process.

The contractor is keenly aware of congregational interest in the project so will be planning three or four site tours during construction.


Grace United Church Worship Schedule - Summer 2013

Grace United Church will be beginning our new construction project in early May.
Effective Sunday May 12th and until June 30, we will be worshipping in the Knox Presbyterian Church hall (5115 - 49th Street) at 10:00 a.m. We will be sharing coffee and fellowship with the people of Knox after church.

From July 7 until September 1 we will be sharing worship with Knox Presbyterian Church at 10:00 a.m.

In August we will be announcing plans for the fall when we know how available our sanctuary might be for our worship services. Please make every effort to join us for worship through the summer. This will be part of the adventure.


Office Arrangements during Construction:

The  church house  immediately west of the church is nearly ready for occupancy by our ministry and office staff. New flooring has been installed, it has been re-painted and a main floor washroom created, all with volunteer labor. A big thank-you to everyone who worked on the project!!

Some additional work still needs to be done but the move to the new office space has already begun!
A family donated the use of a couple storage containers so that we can store  stuff  that has to be removed from the church during construction. Loading these containers has already begun but will occur over the next three weeks. If you can help in any way with this moving and storage work, please contact Garry Cunningham.


Friendship and Visitation:

Our committee was pleased to respond to a request from residents of the Hemstock/Hearthstone Lodge to provide a regular Communionopportunity for them. In January, Rev. Paul along with our committee provided a short service
and communion. Now, our U.C. W. Units have agreed to take Communion each month providing we have a minister available. Previously our U.C.W. Units helped with the singsong or visited. This way we are providing a requested service in the form of Communion and having a visit after with a number of our church members and others.

We have lost several of our long time, dedicated church members in the past couple of months. The Friendship and Visitation Committee have tried to visit these families and show our congregations support.

Wouldn’t life be great if we could all live as this poem suggests?

Life’s Highway
You and I travel along each day, some road or highway or street.

We choose our path and go our way as each new day we greet.

What shall come and what shall be not a one of us can ever know;

For the future is dim and it’s hard to see which way our feet should go.

But, wherever we go we will surely find plenty of human need;

Let’s then be friendly, good and kind, whatever our class or creed.

It’s really surprising what can be done if we are just willing to try;

If we’ll just look we’ll find someone right where we are passing by.
Let us then seek to help wherever we can, as we travel on life’s winding lane;

So in service to God and our fellow man we’ll find we have not lived in vain.

By – Rev. B. Irvin McGowan

Friendship and Visitation Chair - Shirley Aston


Finance Committee Report

The Finance Committee welcomes its newest members, Donna Arie, Anita Weaver, Joyce Hamilton and Della Olson. We would like to thank Jo-Anne Locke, Dick Arie and Carole Simpson for their contributions to the committee and the Church while they served as members of Finance.

It is such an exciting time for Grace and the Finance Committee is happy to be part of the planning, assisting with setting up an online Pay Pal system to simplify our fundraising and donation management. Please stay tuned for more details. We are also looking at new ways to track our finances in order to keep up with the volume and diversity of funds that are flowing through the church office. We will then continue to report on the financial end of our vibrant congregation’s activities!

To date in 2013 the General Fund has raised $41,767 in offering and contributions to fund the general expenditures of the Church. We look forward to the results of our general fund fundraisers, the Fair Booth and the Charity Auction in order to help with offsetting our 2013 operating costs.

The finance committee will meet again in May and June so please feel free to contact Mary Laursen at the office or any member of the finance committee if you have any questions or would like more information on the finances of the church.

Submitted by: K. Shea Kelly



The Lloydminster Colonial Days are coming up, and we need your help. We really do have a lot of fun working on this important project. We still have some openings on our committee.

If you are able to donate some time on our committee or would like to sign up early to help in the booth, please call Marilyn McAllister 780-808-

Thanks in advance, for helping to make this another successful year at the fair!



Grace United Church Tuesday, April 23 (2 – 7 pm) Wednesday, April 24 (10 am -7 pm) Thursday, April 25 (10 am – 2 pm) Donations of clean, miscellaneous household

items, kitchen items, books and furniture are welcome.

Clothing may also be donated provided articles are seasonable and up to date. There will be clothing for sale at the spring garage sale. No shoes, purses or belts please. We are in need of plastic grocery or clothing bags.
If you wish to have your items picked up on Monday April 22, please call and leave your name at the church office at 780-875-8959. Please drop off all donations by Monday, Apr 22 by 4 pm.

Men and women are needed to set up for the sale on Monday, April 22 at 9:00 a.m. We also welcome any women of the church not currently a member of the UCW, if you have any free time to come out   help for one hour or a few hours to help sort   organize or work at the sale, please call Mary at the office 780-875-8959.



Grace United Church Friday, April 26
(doors open 8:30 am, auction starts 10 am)
Grace United Church is auctioning off some of the larger items that will not be kept in our new building. Items include pews, shelving, cabinets, folding tables, piano, household items, padded chairs, organ.


Mark the Date – October 30/2013! Time   Talent Fundraiser Auction

It is once again time to begin planning for the Grace United Church Time   Talent Fundraiser Auction! We have booked the newly renovated Centennial Civic Centre Auditorium   kitchen for Wednesday, October 30, 2013.

This is almost 1 month earlier than our event in 2011, so we wanted to get the word out. Please mark your calendar and spread the word


Celebrate the Past! Look to the Future!

Wedding Anniversary Invitation

You are cordially invited to a celebration on April 27th 2 – 4 pm to remember the ministry of Christian marriage conducted within the Old Grace United Church Sanctuary. The old sanctuary building that predates the current sanctuary has continued to serve the congregation as a fellowship hall for suppers, meetings and receptions. Now the mission of the congregation needs facility improvements and this older building has passed its ability to be repaired and renovated

As a bride and groom from this era of ministry you would be our honored guest,
and we hope that you will be able to come. With the passage of time and the unknown journey of life, we also recognize that some halves of our special couples now may be living life on their own. Please know we want you to come. Your memories are precious to us.

Everyone is invited to bring a wedding photo or small remembrance from their special day. There will be a special table where it can be displayed.

RSVP please, to the church office at 780-875-8959 or email

You are still welcome to attend even if you don't RSVP! Hope to see you there.


Graduation Sunday – April 21

This year, we will honor our grade 12
graduates during the April 21st worship service. The service will be followed by a program and lunch for the grads and their families. Graduates are: Greg Weaver, Jon Rees, Serena Robinson, Kelsey Moison, Duke Young, Ace Young, Hunter Maydonick, Benjamin Musgrave, Jackson Daniel, Keeghan McLennan, Courtney Loftstrum.

To request inclusion on the email address list, just send an email to

Grace United Church