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.

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from 

Grand Lake Community Chapel

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 

Greetings in Christ! 

This is the magnificent day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! Let us rejoice in the clear blue skies  and gentle breeze, and let us be glad in the delightful temperature! On this, the last Wednesday in spring, we have been  blessed with an absolutely glorious day to be out and about in God’s wonderful Creation, so let’s get out there and  enjoy! 

The upcoming change of seasons, coinciding with Father’s Day this year, is a good time to take a moment or two to  reflect on our relationship with the God of our fathers. We have enjoyed God’s protection and guidance over the past  15 months or so, in the same way that our earthly fathers (and father figures) protect and guide us in our youth and  beyond. God wrapped his arms around us, as did our Dads, to keep us safe and secure when we were frightened. Much  like a butterfly in its chrysalis, the pandemic wound itself around our lives, tightly confining us in the protective cocoons  of our homes, and now we are ready to emerge and spread our wings to the world. There can be no doubt that the  world’s ongoing recovery from COVID is the work of God’s hands, guiding the activities of researchers and caregivers to  bring forth vaccines and treatments; and there can be no doubt that all of us are beyond ready to take flight, and  reengage with family and friends. Make no mistake, the virus is still out there, so we must still be cautious and  respectful of others in maintaining a bit of social distance and wearing face coverings if asked to do so, but we are able  to do so many more things than were available to us even a few weeks ago – that’s something to celebrate! 

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

Karen and Greg 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Ephesians 1:3

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 9, 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 summer-like  weather we’ve been enjoying, and let us be glad that the humidity levels have dropped a bit! As we write this  morning, the sky is a brilliant shade of blue, and there’s a fresh breeze blowing, making for a comfortable  morning. Yes, we need some rain, and the forecast seems to promise a bit of liquid relief in the coming days,  but for now, if you’re able, get outside and enjoy! 

As we draw ever-closer to those “lazy, hazy days of summer,” we invite you to try to set aside time  every day to be quiet and listen for the still, small voice of God. We are blessed with so many beautiful places  to step away from the busyness of life, and to settle ourselves for a few moments; beaches, trails, harbors,  lighthouses, and more beckon us to come and “set a spell.” We’ve been through so much due to the  pandemic, and many of us feel some pressure to try to make up for lost time, to try to cram as much activity  into each day as is humanly possible, but we urge you to resist the temptation to overload your days with  events and gatherings, and take advantage of the incomparable gift of peace. We’re certain that you’ll find  yourself better-equipped to face whatever comes your way, and most importantly, you’ll be so much closer to  your God for having spent quiet time with him. As always, God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is  good! 

In Christ! 

Karen and Greg 

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;  my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, June 2, 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 clear, blue skies, bright sunshine, and comfortably warm temperatures.  Let us be glad that summer is upon us, and the magnificence of Northern Michigan awaits our presence.  Sometimes it’s worth stopping whatever we’re doing to consider that we live where people come for vacation; it’s so very easy to take that little factoid for granted, as the everyday events and concerns of life squeeze out some of the joy of living in God’s Country, so let us encourage you to seek out the surprises and delights that are part and parcel of living where we do!

Let us rejoice and be glad in loosening restrictions, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to release us from its grip; case numbers in Michigan are falling rapidly, and nearly 60% of the eligible population have received at least one dose of a vaccine.  If all goes according to plan, by July 1 all restrictions will be removed, and life as we remember it can return; although life will never be quite the same.  The pandemic has changed us, in ways large and small, and in those changes we can see the hand of God at work.  We’re less inwardly-focused now, our sense of community has been rekindled, and we are more aware of our vulnerabilities.  For many of us, life has become more precious, and we’re a bit more patient with others (and ourselves).  The pandemic has taught us that no matter how hard life may seem, because we are being inconvenienced by constraints or the seeming lack of necessities, those things that we truly need are always available.  We’ve learned to trust in God in a way that many of us had forgotten, and we’ve learned to trust in the kindness and generosity of others in ways that some of us never have before.  Make no mistake, the past 14 months have been unpleasant at best, but that does not mean that God has not been present; all the evidence points to the fact that he’s been on this journey with us every step of the way.  God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2 Timothy 1:6

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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

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Wednesday, May 26, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  In spite of the up-and-down temperatures, let us rejoice in springtime weather and the spectacular colors and smells of the season, as flowers bloom, barbeque grills work their magic, and the aroma of freshly-mown lawns fills the air!  Let us be glad in the upcoming holiday weekend, and the 100 days of summer that will follow!

This coming Monday marks the Memorial Day holiday, a day on which we will pause to remember all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of our country.  From its very humble beginnings as a day of remembrance for Union soldiers who died in the Civil War, to its current status as one of the biggest holiday celebrations on the calendar (and also the unofficial beginning of summer), Memorial Day presents us with the opportunity to stop, remember, and give thanks; not only to those who wore the uniform of the nation, but to all those who have touched our lives and are no longer with us.  Please, in between the parades and picnics, make the time to be still and remember.

Sunday is Trinity Sunday, celebrating God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; three manifestations of the Almighty from one substance.  It’s also the last major feast day of the church year until Christ the King Sunday, which marks the beginning of Advent.  We joyfully look forward to seeing as many of you as are comfortable being out-and-about on Sunday morning; and we give thanks that the pandemic is slowly but surely releasing its grip on our lives!  As always, God is good, all the time; and all the time, God is good! God bless you!

Karen and Greg

I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did,  with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 2 Timothy 1:3

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-GLCC Women’s Guild—All women are invited to attend on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.  Bring a sack lunch. If the weather permits, we hope to meet outdoors, so be sure to bring a lawn chair and we’ll have a picnic.

-GLUFP Food Pantry—Monday, June 14th at 1 p.m. in the Chapel parking lot.

– WPC Stephen Ministry Announcement – Westminster Presbyterian Church has agreed to join this world-wide, interdenominational ministry. What is it exactly? “A Stephen Minister is a member of the congregation who is trained to listen, care, encourage, pray, and walk alongside you during difficult times.  It is confidential, free, and very helpful.”  Stephen Ministry leaders will be trained in July to begin the program in the fall.  If you are interested and/or want more information, please contact Carrie Wilson (734-355-0780) or Sharon Rocker ( 989-766-2131). Training will begin in September.
— “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”—John 13:34b

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL Hey kids, VBS is back this year!  So, mark your calendars for July 5-9, call your friends and plan on boarding the Rocky Railroad and having a wonderful week learning about Jesus! There will be songs, games, crafts, and snacks. Make sure to get a registration form from the Chapel office. 

VBS Helpers are Needed It takes a lot of extra helping hands to conduct a week of VBS.  Abbey-jo needs assistance with student registration, extra people to work with the younger children, and also help in the kitchen.  If you could offer some of your time, please call Abbey-jo at 464-4445.

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, May 19, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

This is the Wednesday before Pentecost that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  Let us rejoice that the Holy Spirit filled the disciples and the crowds in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, and brought the church of Jesus Christ to life!  And let us be glad that we are a part of the ongoing story of the church in our time; let us be glad that the same Holy Spirit empowers us to share the Good News, to live into the hope and promise of the Resurrection of Our Lord, and to live fully and joyfully every day because we are privileged to walk with Christ on life’s’ incredible journey!

Let us also rejoice and be glad that spring has finally taken a firm hold of the weather, that flowers are in bloom and trees are budding out, and that those of us who put away our snow-fighting gear a few weeks ago no longer fear the retribution of our friends!  And let us rejoice in the steadily-improving COVID-19 situation, with infection rates and deaths falling rapidly in state; so much so that mask mandates are being canceled for those fully vaccinated, and restrictions on the size of gatherings are being eased.  These are things to truly celebrate, as they indicate we are getting closer to a return to life more-or-less the way it used to be.  The leadership at both of the churches are in the process of revising the COVID protocols that have been in place, and we ask for your patience as we discern the best next steps.

In the meantime, we invite you to join us this Sunday on the Day of Pentecost, resplendent in your red finery, as the Holy Spirit ushers in a new season of the church year!  And we’ll thank you in advance for not thinking of your pastors when the Scripture is read that describes the Holy Spirit as a “mighty wind.” Emoji

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Acts 2:1-2

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

Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, May 12, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen, Indeed!!  This is the sixth Wednesday in the Season of Easter that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!  It may be hard to believe, but we are nearing the end of the Easter season; tomorrow we will observe the Ascension of the Lord, the day, exactly forty days after Easter Sunday, when our Risen Lord was taken up to Heaven in the presence of his disciples, and took his seat at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.  From that seat, he continues to watch over us, to guide us, and to love us, even as he awaits our arrival before the throne of grace when our time comes to be called home.  We invite you to join with us in taking a moment tomorrow to lift your eyes heavenward, and offer a prayer of thanks and praise for all that we have been blessed with during this most important season of the church year.

And speaking of thanks and praise, this happens to be National Police Week, a perfect time to let the men and women of law enforcement know that their difficult and dangerous work is appreciated.  While it’s true that not all police officers do their jobs perfectly all the time, and tragic mistakes are sometimes made, the vast, vast majority of those who are sworn to uphold the law, to protect, and to serve do their often-thankless jobs with professionalism, humility, and dedication.  Take time to say “thank you” to the law enforcement professionals you encounter, offer a friendly wave as they drive by, and hold them in your prayers that they might return home safely to their loved ones at the end of the day’s watch.

Walk with God through this glorious day; enjoy the sunshine and (relative) warmth, and remember always that God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

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CHURCH AND COMMUNITY UPDATES

VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL will be back this summer at The Chapel!  Dates are July 5-9 with VBS Sunday Service on July 11. Watch for more information here. It will be different this year as we are living in different times, but we will sing, dance, love Jesus, and create new memories together safely! 

– WPC Stephen Ministry Announcement – Westminster Presbyterian Church has agreed to join this world-wide, interdenominational ministry. What is it exactly? “A Stephen Minister is a member of the congregation who is trained to listen, care, encourage, pray, and walk alongside you during difficult times.  It is confidential, free, and very helpful.”  Stephen Ministry leaders will be trained in July to begin the program in the fall.  If you are interested and/or want more information, please contact Carrie Wilson (734-355-0780) or Sharon Rocker ( 989-766-2131).
— “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”—John 13:34b

-FEMA assistance with COVID-19 related Funerals—Call (844)684-6333, or toll free at (800) 462-7585 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday to begin the application process.

-Consumers Energy is offering four options to those struggling with utility bills
—Call 2-1-1 or go to mi211.org for help. Contact them at 1-800-477-5050 for flexible payment options. Apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) at Michigan.gov/mibridges. Or apply for a Home Heating Credit by visiting Michigan.gov/treasury to see if you qualify.

THE ASCENSION OF THE LORD

Luke 24:44-53

44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

50Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God

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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

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021 

Greetings in Christ!

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!!  Joyous tidings to all on this day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!  It’s been a bit on the “soggy” side this week, but that brings with it the ongoing unfolding of spring flowers and all the delights of this season.  There is so much to enjoy, as the grass grows greener and the trees bud out, and soon enough the barbeque grills and patio furniture will be in place for outdoor living.  We’ve got to be a little patient, as Mother Nature takes her own sweet time in turning up the temperature, but very soon summer will be upon us, and life in Northern Michigan will take on a new rhythm.

The Season of Easter is slowly winding down, but its importance isn’t; the power of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior remains in full force, changing our lives and changing our world.  What an amazing thing it is to live knowing that our sins are forgiven, and that someday we will be in Paradise with Christ.  Make no mistake, there’s a whole lot of living to be done in the here and now, but isn’t it comforting to know where we’ll be spending eternity?  This knowledge frees us to soar, frees us to serve, frees us to love unconditionally; which coincidentally reminds us of our mothers, as we will observe Mother’s Day this coming Sunday – Moms love us unconditionally, show us what it means to serve others, and encourage us to be the best we can be.  Let us honor our mothers, or those who fill that role in our lives, every day.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.    Colossians 1:16

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Pastor’s Message

Reaching Out from

Grand Lake Community Chapel

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Wednesday, April 28, 2021 


Greetings in Christ!

Christ is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!!  We are halfway through the Season of Easter, and the incredible gift we received on Easter Sunday continues to fill our hearts with joy.  In spite of the vagaries of the weather (don’t you just love Michigan weather??), the unrelenting flow of bad news about the state of the world, and the frustratingly slow return to normalcy, the truth remains that we are a loved and forgiven people.  The fact of the matter is that we are well-equipped to face any challenge that comes our way because we are children of the Most High God; that’s something to celebrate every day of the Easter season, and every day beyond!

While it may seem a bit impolite for us to ask, have you let go of Easter?  Have you settled back into your routines, and lost sight of the cross?  It’s easy to do, when the newspaper headlines are scary and the voice on the radio is preaching gloom and doom, but we urge you to claim Easter back from the world, and celebrate the Good News of the gospel; it’s a message of hope, joy, wholeness, and love.  Keep on living in the glorious glow of Easter for the rest of the season, and then commit yourself to living in the glorious glow for the rest of your life.  Christ went to the cross for YOU; the least we can do is honor his sacrifice by living lives worthy of our calling as Christians.

God bless you!

Karen and Greg

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 1 Chronicles 16:34

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CHURCH AND COMMUNITY UPDATES

-Joint Church / Chapel Road Clean-up – We will meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, May 4th at the corner of M-23 and 638. If           needed, our rain day will be on Thursday, May 6th at the same time and place. 
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-FEMA assistance with COVID-19 related Funerals—Call (844)684-6333, or toll free at (800) 462-7585 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday to begin the application process.

-Consumers Energy is offering four options to those struggling with utility bills—Call 2-1-1 or go to mi211.org for help. Contact them at 1-800-477-5050 for flexible payment options. Apply for State Emergency Relief (SER) at Michigan.gov/mibridges. Or apply for a Home Heating Credit by visiting Michigan.gov/treasury to see if you qualify.

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

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