Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in the calmer weather today, following a few days of storms, and let us be glad that, for the most part, our corner of Michigan was relatively unscathed.  Our prayers go out to those who are without power and those whose homes were damaged in the storms; and our prayers continue for those in the South and Northeast who are struggling in the aftermath of hurricane strikes, and also for those in the Northwest dealing with wildfires.

We cannot avoid the subject of 9/11 this week, as much as we may want to; twenty years ago, our nation and our world were rocked by the terror attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.  Twenty years ago, our lives were forever changed.  Twenty years ago, for a brief moment in history, citizens of the United States rallied together in support of kin and country; churches were filled, as if we instinctively knew that God was our only true refuge and strength.  Partisanship waned, patriotism flourished, and some thought that a new, brighter day had dawned, born out of unspeakable tragedy.  Sadly, it didn’t last very long, and now, as we continue to face the worldwide tragedy of the COVID-19 virus; we find ourselves at odds over vaccines, masks, social distancing, and shutdowns, and we once again have turned to God Almighty for refuge and strength. While it is true that there is no better place to seek support, it is also true that we have learned very little in the twenty years between tragedies; we are more divided than ever before, less willing to listen, to compromise, and to forgive.  Our actions, or lack thereof, grieve the heart of God, who wants only the best for us and all of Creation.  Let us set aside our desire to be “right,” and seek to become right with God, who is all goodness, mercy and love.  In unity we will find strength, in unity we will find love, and in love we will find God.

With our love in Christ,

Karen and Greg

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.  1 Peter 3:8

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel


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Wednesday, September 1, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the first day of September that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in a new month, and let us be glad for all the opportunities it will bring.  While many of us aren’t overly excited about this particular turn of the calendar page as it signals the approaching end of summer, we are blessed to live in a place where cooler weather brings spectacular beauty as the leaves change colors from lush green to vibrant hues of red and gold.  But not yet!

As the seasons change, we are reminded that the one consistent aspect of our lives is the One who created all things; God is unchangeable.  God’s goodness and mercy are limitless, as are his generosity and love.  Sadly, we human beings are not so consistent.  We are malleable beings, influenced by world events, social media, and popular culture; and we aren’t always kind, merciful, generous, or loving.  On this first day of a new month, on the cusp of a new season, let’s take some time to reflect on these things, and if we find ourselves coming up a bit short in emulating our Lord and Savior in our daily behaviors, let us then turn to God in prayer and ask for the courage, strength, and constancy to change.

And let us also pray for those in Afghanistan, the Gulf Coast as they recover from the impact of Hurricane Ida, and in our own state who suffered from the severe weather of the last several days, for God’s protection and healing.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

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CHURCH AND COMMUNITY UPDATES

-Rededication of the Kauffman House – 1 p.m., Sunday, September 5th in the front lawn of the Grand Lake Community Chapel.
-God Loves You Food Pantry
– Monday, September 13th in the GLCC Parking Lot.
-Chapel Guild
will meet Tuesday, September 7
-GLCC Council Meeting
– Thursday, September 16th at 9 a.m. 

A Prayer for Recovery

 God of mercy, be a present and steadfast help to those left reeling from Hurricane Ida.

 Be with those recovering from property damage and loss. Be with those traumatized by the storm’s    wind and rising waters. Be with those left without power, kids left without school, communities left without essential services.

 We also pray for those leading the rescue and recovery efforts. Grant them the strength and endurance they’ll need for the weeks and months ahead. Cool them in the brutal heat. Assure them that you are pleased with their efforts to seek and save.

 Holy God, may all those devastated by Ida know the shelter and security of your safe refuge.

 In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the last Wednesday in August that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in the continuation of summer, and let us be glad that we are blessed to have much to celebrate in our little corner of God’s good Creation, even as there are challenging events taking place around the world.  At the Grand Lake Community Chapel, the Diamond Jubilee of the congregation’s founding will be observed this Sunday, with a special litany during worship and an old-fashioned hymn sing (along with cake and coffee) following the service.  

And we also celebrate that your pastor’s daughter is bound for Alma College today, to embark on the grand adventure of college life; Justice has blessed our lives, and those of our congregation, with her buoyant spirit and helpful nature.  And, she has been blessed to receive your love, care and friendship over these last four years.  She will be missed, and she (and we!) welcome your prayers as she adjusts to life away from home.

One cannot turn on a television, radio, or computer without being inundated with scary reports about the Delta variant of COVID-19, natural disasters around the world, and turmoil in Afghanistan; the world seems to be coming apart at the seams, but our faith informs us that nothing happening around us can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:38-39).  As hard as it can be to believe at times, God’s got this, even if things don’t make any sense to us, and we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It is enough for us to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that Light is the Light of the World, which we know as Jesus Christ.  Let us pray fervently for peace, unity, and purity in all things, and let us trust in the saving grace of God, the love of Christ, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to see us through the tough days.  God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great.  Psalm 18:35

Grand Lake Community Chapel Celebrates 75 Years of Ministry!


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On September 21st, 1946, Articles of Association were signed and notarized at the Presque Isle Post Office that established the Grand Lake Community Chapel as an ecclesiastical corporation.  A few days later, on October 3rd, 1946, the Commissioner of the Michigan Corporations and Securities Commission certified these articles, and the Grand Lake Community Chapel was born!

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The groundwork that led to the incorporation of the Grand Lake Community Chapel had begun a year before, in 1945, with the prayers and financial support of 196 families and individuals, along with seven businesses.  These people of faith, trusting in the love of God, the grace of their Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, stepped out on a journey to establish a place of worship in the heart of Presque Isle, near the shores of Grand Lake, where residents and visitors could gather for worship, learning, and fellowship.  From these humble beginnings, this intentionally-interdenominational church has served the Presque Isle community through good times and challenges; the original worship space that was built in 1946 was renovated and expanded in 2000.  Beginning in 2010, the Chapel was blessed to have 13 beautiful stained glass windows, made by Hubbard Lake artist Art Guren, installed in the sanctuary.

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Today, the Grand Lake Community Chapel holds regular worship services on Sunday mornings at 9:00 a.m.; services are open to all, as is the Lord’s Table.  The worship services are enriched by the talents of gifted musicians, including a hand bell choir.  The Chapel offers an adult Sunday school, a weekly children’s gathering on Wednesdays after school, and hosts the God Loves You Food Pantry which is dedicated to addressing food insecurity in our region.  The chapel family joyfully looks forward to the next 75 years of service to their community.

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day! Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in another magnificent summer’s day to get out and enjoy, and let us be glad that we have several more weeks of summer ahead of us!  While each season of the year brings its unique delights (and sorrows), summer Up North is truly special; let’s relish these days that we have been blessed with!

There is so much happening in the world right now, it’s hard to keep up; the tragic situations in Haiti and Afghanistan, the remnants of tropical storm Fred soaking the Southeast of our country, continuing wildfires in California, and the seemingly endless squabbling by our elected leaders can leave us spiritually exhausted and feeling broken.  We don’t know what to do or where to turn for respite; we want it all to stop, to go away and leave us alone!  While this would be nice, it isn’t reality, and pulling the covers up over our heads (at least figuratively) isn’t what we are called to do as people of faith.  All that is happening around the world is a call to action to the faithful; it starts with prayer, and builds from there.  Let us pray for the people of Haiti and Afghanistan, let us pray for our fellow citizens facing natural disasters of all kinds, and let us pray for our leaders that they might act with honor and integrity, setting aside partisanship to work for the good of all.  If we are able, let us donate to relief agencies, and if we are able, let us lend our hands to the work of preparing packages of food and medicine so that those who are in harm’s way might know some comfort.  And let us pray, without ceasing, for God’s blessings to flow to those in need everywhere around the world, so that someday this Earth will become God’s peaceable Kingdom, where there is no want or need that goes unmet.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean
on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in bright sunshine as the day begins, and let us be glad for shelter later in the day as severe weather is in the forecast for the evening.  Many of us would be very happy if the rules of Camelot applied to the weather in Northern Michigan; the rain can never fall ’til after sundown, July and August cannot be too hot, but alas, we don’t get to set those rules.  Yet without the rain, the sunshine wouldn’t be so delightful; without the rain, the flowers wouldn’t bloom and the crops wouldn’t grow, so let’s accept the fact that into every life a bit of rain must fall, and make the most of it!

And while we’re coming to grips with the inevitable rainy days that might interrupt our plans, let’s not lose sight of the truth that the rainy days always come to an end, whether those rainy days are because of precipitation or because of hard things that befall us.  Our loving God wishes only good things for us, so we can trust that no matter what we’re facing, we’ll get through it because we turn our faces to Heaven for guidance and support.  It’s been said that “if God brought you to it, he’ll see you through it,” and also that God won’t give us anything we can’t handle – but God is far more confident in our abilities than we sometimes are; regardless of what we believe our limitations to be, the reality is that God is always present to us, his power is always available to us, and his love is never taken from us.  The Letter to the Philippians says it well; we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us, so do not fear or fret, you’ll get through whatever it is that lies before you.

Blessings,

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

He is before all things,
and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the first Wednesday in August that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice in the continuation of summer fun, and let us be glad that shorts and sandals remain the “uniform of the day” instead of flannel shirts and insulated boots!

There is much to celebrate this week!  First, it’s Nautical Festival time in Rogers City, with special events to enjoy and carnival rides to experience (if you’re willing…).  We invite all members of our church families to stop by the various venues and shops to celebrate our maritime heritage and support our local merchants –  and make sure to stop by Westminster Presbyterian Church for a homemade strawberry shortcake (remember, you couldn’t get one last year, so buy 2!!).  Second, the Grand Lake Community Chapel is preparing to celebrate 75 years of faithful service to God in the Presque Isle community; this is quite an accomplishment for a church that started out as an informal gathering of year-round and seasonal residents to worship our Lord and Savior, and is now a vibrant faith community that touches hundreds of people.

And as we celebrate festivals and anniversaries, let us also celebrate the loving and generous God that has made these, and all things, possible.  Amidst the excitement of the Nautical Festival and the joy of the diamond jubilee of the Grand Lake Community Chapel, please join us in stepping away for a moment, stilling our hearts and minds, and offering prayers of joyous thanksgiving for all the blessings we enjoy; join us in praising God for his love, in thanking Jesus Christ for his limitless grace, and in thanking the Holy Spirit for constant companionship.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,

And tell of His works with joyful singing. Psalm 107:22

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastors Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Tuesday, July 27, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the last Tuesday of July that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice that the warm summer weeks are only halfway behind us, and let us be glad that we have several more weeks to enjoy the beauties of God’s marvelous Creation!  The weather has been pretty wild for the last few days of July, but we’re still able to be out and about without slipping and sliding around.  As Laura Ingalls Wilder once wrote: “Some old fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat,” and we couldn’t agree more!  Let’s get out there and enjoy fresh air, sunshine, warm(er) waters, and all the delights that summer has yet to offer us!

While we’re spending as much time as possible reveling in the Northeast Michigan summer, let us not lose sight of the One who has gifted us with all things, especially this place we call home (for at least part of the year).  We’ve touched on this a few times before, but it’s sometimes easy to overlook what a grand place we live in, and also to forget the source of it.  We invite you to be very intentional about giving thanks to God every time you see a sunrise, experience a moving sunset, or smile at the antics of an animal or bird; these events, and countless more, are priceless gifts from a loving God who wants only good things for us.  The least we can do is appreciate them.

We’ve all heard about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, and while it doesn’t seem to have yet become a major factor “up North,” we must be vigilant; hand washing, social distancing, and vaccinations (if medically possible) will help keep the Delta variant at bay, and prevent another round of lockdowns.  We’ve come so far, but we’re not in the clear just yet.  As always, God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

“Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:11

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Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel 


Wednesday, July 7, 2021 

Greetings in Christ! 

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us rejoice (??) in the gentle, steady  rainfall that is freshening our gardens and lawns, and let us be glad that summer rains are inevitably followed by  sunshine and warm temperatures! As we all continue to enjoy summer in Northern Michigan, we’d like to let everyone  know that your pastors will be away for the next two weeks as we try to capture some last-minute family time before Justice heads off to college in August; there won’t be a weekly e-mail on July 14th or the 21st, but rest assured that the  offices at both Westminster and the Chapel will be staffed and able to respond to your calls and e-mails.  

As odd as it may seem to some of us, leisure is an often under-appreciated aspect of life; for the past several  years, if not decades, there has been a culture-wide emphasis on being busy. We’ve come to believe that if our children  aren’t in multiple after-school activities and summer enrichment programs, and that if we ourselves don’t have  calendars crammed full of meetings and events, that somehow we aren’t really living the “good life.” To that we say  “nuts!” Leisure, or play, if you prefer that word, is an absolutely essential part of life; we all need some down time, the  opportunity to be unproductive and inefficient every once in a while, and in our humble opinions, reading a good book  in a comfy chair is one of the best ways to spend those down time hours. And let us suggest that one of the good books  to spend some time with is the Holy Bible; every day, why not try reading a chapter or two and see what jumps out at  you? One of the truly fascinating aspects of reading our Bibles is that something new always presents itself, even if  we’re intimately familiar with the chapter we’re reading; almost as if God is speaking to us every time we open the  pages… As television news anchor, Anderson Cooper, once wrote “The mark of a good book is that it changes every time  you read it,” and the Bible is certainly a Good Book – right?? So consider adding the Bible to your summer reading list;  we promise that you won’t regret it! 

God bless you! 

Karen and Greg 

“Yet faith comes from listening to this Good News— the Good News about Christ.” Romans 10:17 

Grand Lake Community Chapel will be holding our VBS Sunday Service at 9 a.m. on July 11th in the BIG tent! All are invited. Please bring your favorite lawn chair and maybe a warm blanket as it will be sunny with a bit of a chill in the air! The Holy Spirit has been with us all week dodging rain drops, laughing and dancing, and listening to the heartfelt prayers of all our kids. Come and be with us!

Wishing you joy and peace in your day! Remember, God’s got this.

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from 

Grand Lake Community Chapel

Wednesday, June 30, 2021 

Greetings in Christ! 

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! On this last Wednesday of June, let us rejoice in  the upcoming holiday weekend, with celebrations, special gatherings, and cherished traditions being renewed. Let us be  glad that we are citizens of a free nation, so that our gatherings and celebrations are of our own design, and not those  prescribed by a faceless bureaucrat. And let us also rejoice and be glad that the pandemic has eased enough so that we  can be together for this special time of the year! 

While religious freedom isn’t explicitly stated as a reason for the quest to break away from Great Britain 245 years ago  (there were 27 specific reasons given in the Declaration of Independence), there can be no doubt that the founders  believed that the unalienable rights granted to men by their Creator were being set aside by King George and the  Parliament in England, and that God’s plan was for equal status for the colonists and their British brothers and sisters,  not the second-class status that was being imposed upon the colonies. It is good to stop and consider the bold acts  taken by our forbearers, which led to the freedoms we enjoy today, and to understand the tremendous risks they were  taking; we are the benefactors of their boldness, and we must not allow ourselves to take for granted the legacy they  left us. It has become fashionable in some circles to be dismissive of our national heritage, in part because it is not a  heritage of absolute perfection in all things, yet doing so dishonors the sacrifices made by countless men and women in  order that we might be free to worship as we wish, to travel freely across this great land, and to associate with  whomever we please. These are among the unalienable rights granted to us by Almighty God; let us never lose sight of  them. And let us always remember that God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good! Have a wonderful  Fourth of July holiday! 

God bless you, 

Karen and Greg 

“God bless America, Land that I love, Stand beside her, And guide her, through the night with a light from above” from God Bless America

Wishing you joy and peace in your day! Remember, God’s got this.

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from 

Grand Lake Community Chapel 

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 

Greetings in Christ! 

This is the first Wednesday of summer, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us rejoice in bright sunshine this morning, and let us be glad for life-giving rain overnight! While it may be a bit on the cool side for some of us, this will most certainly  change in the coming days; and let’s be honest, how many people really like the combination of high temperatures and  humidity? 

It’s fascinating to watch the progression of the seasons, especially when it comes to the flora and fauna around us; in the  gardens at our house, we’ve watched the rose bushes go from spindly, almost-lifeless plants with brown branches and  no buds, to green branches with just the hint of buds and leaves, to fully-leaved bushes without flowers, to this  morning’s revelation of abundant foliage and magnificent flowers in bright red, yellow, and gleaming white. Glorious!!  In a way, our society’s emergence from the grip of COVID-19 parallels the development of our gardens; step-by-step,  day-by-day, until things became more lenient yesterday when the State of Michigan lifted all restrictions on gatherings  and dropped mask mandates. While we must remember that the virus (and its many variants) is still out there, and still  dangerous, but the fact remains that we can begin to reclaim much of life as we remember it from before the pandemic. 

The growth of our gardens, and our recovery from the pandemic, are fitting analogies for our faith walks through life; we  start out as kind of spindly believers, barren of the means to absorb spiritual energy from the Son because our leaves  aren’t developed. Then we grow stronger and more vibrant as we come to know more about God and his Son; the buds  of our leaves and flowers become apparent as we learn, and finally we burst out as robust, fully-flowered followers of  Christ Jesus in all our glory, showing the world how beautiful it is to walk with Christ; and hopefully encouraging others  to join us on the journey to forgiveness of sin and eternal life.  

God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good! 

Karen and Greg

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 

Colossians 2:6-7

Church and Community Updates

 -GLUFP Food Pantry—Monday, June 28th at 1 p.m. in the Chapel parking lot. 

-GLCC Prayer Chain Ministry– We are updating the names of those who wish to be a part of this important ministry of  The Chapel. If you wish to be a part of the prayer team who prays for others as special concerns arise, please choose  whether you would like to participate by phone tree or email notification and then leave your name and contact  information with the office. (595-6073) Thank you! 

-GLCC Spotify Summer Playlist- To find the Chapel’s playlist for June, July, and August, download and install the Spotify  app from your Apple or Android Play Store. There is a FREE option available. Search for Pam Clarke Barkel and follow  her. Then search for Grand Lake Chapel Songs. ♫♪♫ 

Grand Lake Community Chapel COVID Protocol Change 

The Council of GLCC, in compliance with the decisions of the State of MI, has  opened our building and leaves mask wearing as a personal decision.

Wishing you joy and peace in your day!  Remember, God’s got this.