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Grace Lutheran Church, Hatfield, Pa.

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“40”

Those of you who are baseball fans probably know the significance of the number 42.  It was the uniform number for Jackie Robinson, the first baseball player to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier that segregated the sport for more than 50 years. To remember this event, each year, Major League Baseball has a date where every player wears the number 42, and not their own name and number on the back of their jersey.

There are numbers in Scripture that are equally powerful.  I think of the numbers 7, 10 and 12.  But the number that seems most prominent to me in Scripture is the number 40.  The Great Flood for Noah and his family that symbolized God’s judgment on a sinful people lasted 40 days and 40 nights (Genesis 7:12).  Moses endured a fast of 40 days and nights in his time with the Lord as he received the Ten Commandments (Exodus 34:27-28).  Israel spent 40 years in the Wilderness in preparation for their entrance into the Promised Land, literally turning over the generation of those adults who left Egypt to a new generation(Joshua 5:6).

In the New Testament, Jesus went from his baptism to be led into the wilderness by the Spirit for a time of fasting and temptation by the devil for 40 days and forty nights (Matthew 4:1-3).  Finally in the Easter Season, we recall that there are 40 days between Easter Resurrection and the Ascension.

That is why I found it a wonderful opportunity to choose 40 as part of Grace’s new address, 40 North Main, Hatfield, as we attempted to better reflect the area where people arrive and leave the church.  We could have chose any number between 30 and 100, but I felt it had to be 40.

You see, 40 is a number that signals both Biblical journey and our journey in recent years as a congregation.  In the Bible, 40 designates a time of trial and testing.  God’s people with God at their side, move with a period of 40 from one faith chapter to another.  It can be a very hard time and we are never the same at the end of the 40 from the beginning of the 40.

Grace has known such a faithful journey from the devastating fire on December 31, 2011, to several pastoral transitions, a time for  considering where God was leading us for the future, and faithfully choosing to move forward– all with the help of God.  Grace has gone through a Biblical kind of 40 and today we are not the same as we were. I serve in the second year as the settled pastor of this wonderful congregation.  We are getting ready to break the ground for a new and renovated facility to for the sake of the Gospel for generations to come.  But there has been many trials.  There has been loss.  Some mourn the ending of what had been and regret we can not return to a former day.  Others are looking ahead with eager and faithful anticipation.

One of my favorite prayers is found in our worship book’s Evening Prayer service.  I believe it describes the people of Grace, Hatfield at this time.  I invite you to pray it with me.  O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Together in Ministry,

+ Pastor Dave Lutcher

 

 

September Happenings

September 2nd is the last Sunday of our Summer schedule.  Sunday, September 9th will begin the regular schedule of services at 8 am and 10:30 am. There will be a potluck breakfast next September 9th at 9:15 am to share food and information on our ministries. Vacation: Pastor will be on vacation, September 4-10. In event of a pastoral emergency need, you may contact by their cell…

Laymen Playmen Audition Notice

AUDITION NOTICE The Laymen Playmen, Inc. is proud to announce for its 32nd production, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Auditions will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, 40 North Main Street, Hatfield, PA. on Thursday, September 13th from 7-9pm and Saturday, September 15th from 10am-12noon. Check our website for audition forms and further information.  www.laymenplaymen.org . Questions call 215 368 9484. Performance…

SEPA Annual Assembly Agenda

The month of May will be a very special one in the life of our Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod. On May 4 and 5 at Franconia Mennonite Church, our synod will be meeting for our Annual Assembly. Joyce and Tom Salter will be joining me as voting delegates. This year, we will be voting for a new bishop as our current bishop, Bishop…

May Wednesday Yoga Classes from 6:15-7:15 pm

YOGA (Hatha) CLASS WILL CONTINUE THRU MAY – All–levels. Poses and sequences will work on using all parts of the body, and will vary from week to week. This will be suitable for those with some yoga experience but also for anyone with little to none, as options will be offered for the various poses. The goal is to work on strength and flexibility…

Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton Event

Don Kinnier, who has been called “the premier silent film accompanist in the Northeastern United States,” returns to accompany this 1925 Romantic Comedy, The Swan, on Emmanuel’s organ on Friday, May 18 at 8pm. A marriage is arranged between Prince Albert and Princess Alexandra, but the prince is not interested in her at all. Alexandra’s mother wants her daughter to marry royalty and…

May Events

May 3rd from 6pm – 7:30 pm: Mother’s Day Dinner: Invite a special person in your life to join us for an evening of good food and fun for “Everybody is a Mother to Someone”  Tickets are $7 and available  from In-Reach members. Call 267-222-8449 for reservations. Join us on May 14th between 5pm and 8pm as part of Hatfield Borough’s Roll…

Easter Egg Hunt

Tell your neighbors and your friends, that Grace is having an Easter Egg Hunt again!  We had such a great turnout last year that we can’t wait to host this fun event again.  It will be held on March 24th at 2 pm. We will start off in the Sanctuary where Pastor will talk to the children about the Easter Story.  Then the…

December 2nd Happenings

Pet Photos with Santa will be available from 3 pm to 5 pm on the terrace at Grace This will be followed at 5 pm until 6:15 pm by Community Craft time – Bring a canned donation and make a craft to put on your Christmas Tree! Includes crafts and food in Grace’s Fellowship Hall. 6:30pm- CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY AND COMMUNITY CAROLING at Memorial Park, Hatfield at…